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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest Cycling News for August 4, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones

German doping expert shocked at Ullrich dossier

German anti-doping expert Werner Franke has expressed his amazement at the contents of a dossier on Jan Ullrich collected by Spanish investigators as part of Operacion Puerto. Franke was quoted on German Rheinmaintv as saying, "I have the file of Mr Ullrich from Madrid and it's been a while since I've seen so much bad stuff.

"There must have been people around him who put him in contact with Spanish doctors. He bought quite a lot of dope in Spain. In one year, Ullrich paid €35,000 for doping substances."

Ullrich defended himself against Franke's comments in Bild, saying, "He just likes to be on television. I've never heard so much nonsense."

Ullrich was prevented from riding in the Tour de France as a result of his implication in Operacion Puerto. He was also dismissed from T-Mobile, and his future is still up in the air.

May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
May 15, 2009 - Valverde not welcome in Denmark
May 14, 2009 - Spanish federation wants proof in Valverde case
May 13, 2009 - Spanish Olympic Committee defends Valverde
May 12, 2009 - Valverde responds to sanction
May 11, 2009 - Italian tribunal delivers Valverde two-year suspension
May 8, 2009 - Valverde case: Italian Olympic Committee defends Torri
May 7, 2009 - Valverde to take legal action against CONI prosecutor
May 5, 2009 - WADA and Spanish federation join CONI and UCI on Valverde
May 1, 2009 - International Cycling Union joins in on Valverde's hearing in Italy

Andreu sacking still vague, no response from management

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

The circumstances surrounding the sacking of Toyota-United directeur sportif Frankie Andreu are sill unclear - both to Andreu and to anyone else outside of the team. The team management had only released a non-specific statement saying that, "due to other obligations and commitments, Frankie was not able to fulfil his contractual obligations." Andreu, speaking with Cyclingnews, said that the only reason given to him by the owner of the Toyota-United team, Sean Tucker, was his absence from the Tour de Nez race.

"I was fired because I did not go to the Tour de Nez," said Andreu. "I realised that the amount of time I was going to be away from my family and home that it would be very difficult for me to do Tour de Nez. I told him a couple of weeks beforehand. We had the schedule all laid out, but there are always changes with staff and riders. And I requested permission to not attend. He said that, 'You and Harm need to work it out, one of you need to go, and Harm has a vacation scheduled.' I called up the riders and the staff that were going to be at the race, talked with them and explained the situation that I didn't feel it was right for me to go. So I missed one NRC race out of the sixty-some races."

Andreu said he felt confident in sending the team with only a mechanic and soigneur to the Tour de Nez, only a 2.6.1 rated race. "I talked to the soigneur, the mechanic, Baldwin, Wherry and Cruz. And they won."

When asked about the other obligations referred to in the statement, Andreu responded, "The other contractual obligations, I do not know what he is talking about. They encouraged me to do the Tour de France for OLN. As far as other commitments and obligations, the team was my only job.

"I left for the Tour [de France] the day after the Tour de Nez finished. Sean was on vacation in Africa or something. I didn't hear anything throughout the Tour [de France] and I continued to do work with registering the team for different events. I came back from the Tour de France and Sean called me up and told me I was fired."

Andreu feels that he was either fired unjustly or that the reasons were more than just his absence at the Tour de Nez. "I feel I was fired unjustly. I know they issued a statement saying I was released. Obviously I don't want people to think I did something wrong. I think it was extreme, kind of odd and harsh. It doesn't quite make sense."

Cyclingnews attempted to contact Sean Tucker on multiple occasions to gain a better understanding of the reasons he had to terminate Andreu from the three-year contract. However, the only contact with Tucker was through the team's media representative, Martine Charles, who said that Tucker did not want to discuss what was deemed to be a human resources matter. Without specifically asking, Charles added that Andreu's leaked court testimony regarding Lance Armstrong was not a factor in the decision to terminate Andreu.

Andreu said he and Tucker spoke briefly about this situation immediately preceding the termination. "When Sean called me up and before we got down to business, we talked a little bit about [the Armstrong situation.] He didn't really know what was going on. He said he respected that I went to court and told the truth." However, Andreu is still unsure about the connections involved in his dismissal. "My answer to that is, 'I don't know' and you can ask Sean. I have no way of knowing. Even for a job in the future, I won't know if it is connected [to the Armstrong situation.]"

Andreu said that upon learning his fate he did have contact with the riders who were all surprised. "I've made a few phone calls and a bunch of the guys called me too. They didn't have any problems with me and I never had any problems with them. They were disappointed."

As of now, Andreu is most concerned with his immediate lack of employment. "I don't have anything coming in now, nothing. I loved working with the riders and it was a three year deal. I thought everything was good - I never managed I would be terminated six months into putting together the whole team."

Riders take legal action against 3 Molinos Resort

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Some of the 3 Molinos Resort Murcia Turística riders who were prematurely dismissed by the team are taking legal action, according to El Faro de Murcia. The riders, who had contracts until the end of 2007, have already informed the Spanish Professional Cyclists Association of their dismissals, which were made on the grounds of "under performance". Furthermore, the riders will demand that they receive the necessary endorsement from 3 Molinos Resort to allow them to race again.

12 riders and two trainers were dismissed, in addition to previous departures Robert Torres, Francisco Perez Moya and Ángel Luis Casero.

Not all the team's riders are affected by 3 Molinos Resort pulling its sponsorship at the end of the season. Jorge Ferrío, Santos González and Toni Tauler have had no problems so far, because their contracts run out at the end of 2006.

O'Grady extends

Stuart O'Grady has extended his contract with Team CSC, the team has reported. The Australian rider, who joined the team at the start of this year, will continue with CSC until at least the end of 2008.

Ciolek to T-Mobile?

19 year old German sprinter Gerald Ciolek will probably ride for T-Mobile next year, according to a DPA report. Ciolek, who surprised many to become German champion last year, current rides for Wiesenhof.

"Unfortunately, we couldn't keep hold of him, even though it would definitely better if he stayed with us another year," said Wiesenhof team manager Raphael Schweda. "I think he is going to T-Mobile." T-Mobile has yet to confirm the signing, however.

Ciolek's season has been solid this year, with a second place in the Rund um den Henninger Turm and fifth in the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg.

Three stagiaires for Saunier Duval

Saunier Duval Prodir has announced the signing of three stagiaires to its squad for the rest of the season. Enrique Mata (22) and Miguel Ochoa (21) are both Spanish and come from the Saunier Duval amateur team. They will be joined by the young, talented British rider, Geraint Thomas (21).

Caisse d'Epargne only ProTour team for Clásica Los Puertos

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears will be the only ProTour team that will take part in the Spanish Clásica Los Puertos de Guadarrama in Madrid on August 20. There are also four continental professional teams: 3 Molinos Resort Murcia, Andalucía Paul Versan, Kaiku and Relax Gam, with Comunidad Valenciana in doubt.

The race features three main climbs: el Alto de los Leones (Cat. 2), el Alto de Navacerrada (Cat. 1) and Alto de Serranilla (Cat. 3), which will be tackled four times, two of them at the start, and the other two in the finale.

Milram to Burgos and San Sebastian

Team Milram will race the Vuelta a Burgos (August 6-10) and Clasica di San Sebastian (August 12) with the following squads.

Vuelta a Burgos: Simone Cadamuro, Alessandro Cortinovis, Maarten Den Bakker, Sergio Ghisalberti, Daniel Musiol, Matej Jurco, Alberto Ongarato and Alessandro Vanotti. DS: Oscar Pellicioli.

Clasica San Sebastian: Mirko Celestino, Giovanni Visconti, Maarten Den Bakker, Sergio Ghisalberti, Daniel Musiol, Matej Jurco, Alberto Ongarato and Alessandro Vanotti. DS: Oscar Pellicioli.

Barloworld to Due Giorni Marchigiana

Team Barloworld will take a young "future-oriented" team to the G.P. Mengoni and Trofeo Città di Castelfidardo, also known as the Due Giorni Marchigiana, to be held on August 8-9 in Le Marche, in the middle of Italy. These two races will serve as the first outings for the team's two stagiaires: Italian Marco Corti (20, team manager Claudio’s son) and Swiss Simon Schaerer (23). The rest of the team will consist of Giosue Bonomi, Diego Caccia, Mauro Facci, Rodney Green, Jeremy Maartens and James Perry, with Alberto Volpi as directeur sportif.

Australian coach a father

Australian women’s road coach Warren McDonald and his wife Sian welcomed to the world their son Finn Jeordie McDonald on Friday. Weighing in at 3kg, he was born at Nambour Selangour Hospital on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Mum and bub are doing well, and dad is over the moon.

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