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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest Cycling News for August 9, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones

Lefevere considers action against Landis

The president of the professional teams association and Quick.Step team manager Patrick Lefevere has put forward the idea of legal action against Floyd Landis for damaging the sport of cycling. "Actually, we should take him to court for what he is now doing to cycling," said Lefevere to "Why not? Why not take the American approach of dealing with things and apply it here? As long as Landis continues to maintain that he knows nothing, this sort of scenario becomes more likely. I feel like throwing up when I hear him. Landis has turned the clock back 20 years."

Lefevere also called for the removal of Phonak from the ProTour, citing its 10 doping cases in the last three years. "Look, one doping case per year is possible to explain, but ten in three years? Teams like that should be out of the PorTour. I had warned the Tour management before the start of the Tour. I'm certainly not a judge and the fate of Phonak is not yet sealed, but I would gladly like an explanation."

Skoda pulls out of Tour sponsorship

The Tour de France has felt the first big financial effect of the Floyd Landis affair, with its main car sponsor Skoda choosing not to renew its contract when it finishes at the end of 2007. The Czech car manufacturer said that while it was "generally content with the sponsorship" it didn't want its image to be associated with doping scandals such as the one involving Landis.

Skoda, part of the Volkswagen group, has been sponsoring the race since 2004, when it took over from Fiat. Its sponsorship of the world's biggest bike race has helped increase its visibility in several key European markets.

Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case

May 29, 2009 - French authorities summon Landis and Baker
September 28, 2008 - Landis takes case to US federal court
September 10, 2008 - Landis signing with current Health Net-Maxxis team for 2009
July 1, 2008 - CAS delivers final blow to Landis legal challenge
June 30, 2008 - Landis loses final appeal
June 28, 2008 - Landis decision due Monday
March 12, 2008 - Landis' judgment day nears
October 21, 2007 - Landis files appeal with CAS
October 18, 2007 - AFLD takes another look at Landis case
Thursday, October 11 - Landis continues fight, appeals to CAS
Saturday, September 22 - UCI officially names Pereiro 2006 Tour champion, Landis case raises issues
Friday, September 21 - Landis' appeal denied, two year suspension levied

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of the Floyd Landis case

Pevenage has heard nothing

Rudy Pevenage, who was given his marching orders by T-Mobile after his involvement in Operacion Puerto, says that he still hasn't heard anything official about the case. "I'm just sitting at home," he said in an interview with Gazet van Antwerpen. "I haven't got much news. From Spain, I have heard nothing yet. No dossier, no information, nothing.

"Everything I know, I've largely got from the media. My lawyer has advised me to comment as little as possible about the affair. I want to hold myself to that."

Pevenage said that he didn't know whether he would be back in the peloton, and commented that "there were strange things that happened before the start of the Tour. For my, Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso were kept away for unclear reasons. There was a list with riders. A bit later there were names taken off that list."

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'

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

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of Operación Puerto

Maurice Garin feature

Cheating is nothing new in the Tour

All of the furore surrounding cheating in the Tour de France is nothing new. In the early days, riders were involved in devious practices that make today's Tour stars seem like choirboys. The first winner of the event, Maurice Garin, was disqualified the following year trying to defend his title for catching a train instead of riding his bike. Les Woodland puts the 2006 Landis affair into some sort of historical context.

50 years after the first Tour

Photo ©: AFP

(Click for larger image)

There's a historical irony in this Floyd Landis business. He'll be remembered, unless his lawyers can persuade us otherwise, as the biggest cheat in Tour history, the only man to have had his yellow jersey torn from his back.

But history will be wrong. The first big Tour cheat, Maurice Garin, would not only have failed any modern dope test but he also extended the concept of cycle-racing to include catching a train.

Nobody knows for certain that Maurice Garin waited at an out-of-the-way railway platform back in 1904. He wasn't caught with the ticket stubs in his pocket. But a while back I met a man, a gravedigger in Garin's home town of Lens in northern France, who knew him. The gravedigger was just a boy then and Garin an old man, but there was no doubt in the gravedigger's memory that Garin had admitted catching a train to skip round some tricky or boring bits of the course.

"He was amused by it," Maurice Vernaldé told me. "Not embarrassed, not after all those years, and he used to laugh and say 'Well, I was young…' and admit it. Maybe at the time he said he didn't, but when he got older and it no longer mattered so much…."

Click here for the full feature

Dekker DNF in last European race

Rabobank's Erik Dekker, who announced that he would be prematurely ending his career this week, rode his last race on European soil in Emmen, the Netherlands on Tuesday night. In the 'Gouden Pijl', Dekker rode alone in front until 10 laps to go, but then stepped off the bike and didn't finish. The race was won by Frank Schleck (CSC) ahead of Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) and Addy Engels (Quick.Step). Afterwards, Dekker was honoured by the crowd and organisers. His last official race will be in Curaçao later this year.

Grabsch out, Ziegler in

No sooner does the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer announce its preliminary cadre for the upcoming World Championships than it has to change it. Phonak's Bert Grabsch has withdrawn from the team, as he is still suffering from an injury he received in a crash in the Cyclassics Race in Hamburg. His place on the preliminary team will be taken by T-Mobile's Thomas Ziegler, the BRD announced Wednesday.

Skil-Shimano trials David Deroo

French rider David Deroo is set to join the Skil-Shimano cycling team as a stagiaire in mid-August. The 21 year-old, who hails from near Roubaix in northern France, raised his profile this season in the Circuit des Ardennes, where he earned a third place finish on stage four, and the Tour de Bretagne, where he won a stage.

"I'm delighted to get this chance and I'm highly motivated to do well in the pro peloton," said the young Frenchman.

Deroo, who came through the ranks at his present club Velo Club Roubaix, is said to be good on smaller climbs and "ratcheting up the pace in small groups". His profile is in line with Skil-Shimano's plans to expand its international activities, with an emphasis on France in order to better serve its sponsor.

Cyclist fined for riding on the road

A UK cyclist has been fined £100 with £200 costs for riding on the road and obstructing traffic. The Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC) reported that member Daniel Cadden was cycling fast downhill on a single-lane approach to a roundabout when he was stopped by police who believed that the position he had taken in the centre of his lane was forcing cars to cross the solid white line in the centre of the road illegally in order to overtake.

CTC Director, Kevin Mayne, said, "The police at the scene said that Daniel should have been cycling well over to the left - effectively in the gutter - but the judge felt that Daniel should have crossed three lanes of busy traffic and used a segregated cycle track to save fractions of seconds off the journey times of a few motorists. CTC continues to fight a re-draft of the Highway Code, which proposes cyclists 'should use cycle paths where provided', in order to tackle the attitude, held by many people in the judiciary, police and public alike, that cyclists should be out of the way of motorists."

The proposed re-draft of the UK highway code is in some ways similar to the one existing in Belgium, which also states that cyclists must use bike paths when available. Belgian motorists are usually very cyclist friendly, but become quite irritated when they see riders not obeying the law in this way. However, the paths are typically right beside the road, or are even designated sections of the road.

Three Welsh cyclo-sportif events

On Sunday, August 20, the first of three BikeWales cyclo-sportif events gets underway at Bailey Park, Abergavenny. They are sponsored by The Welsh Assembly Government and Welsh Cycling and organised by The Events Group.

Three alternative distances are on offer, 25, 50 and 100 miles with the big one starting at 9:00 and taking in three tough climbs of The Tumble, Llangynidr and Talgarth. The events are chip timed, have refreshment, mechanical and medical support and will also take late entries on the day.

The second BikeWales event will start and finish at the Events Arena, Rhyl in North Wales on Sunday 10th September. This will again offer the three distances and skirt the scenic roads around Snowdonia.

The final BikeWales event will start and finish at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea on Sunday 1st October and take in a course based on Carmarthenshire, West Wales.

Entry for the final two BikeWales events are via

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