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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for February 28, 2006

Edited by John Stevenson

UCI source of Armstrong leak

The UCI has admitted it was the source of leaked documents that provided evidence for French sports newspaper l'Equipe to accuse Lance Armstrong of using EPO in the 1999 Tour de France.

Last August l'Equipe claimed that research being conducted by the anti-doping laboratory at Chatenay-Malabry on stored urine samples from the 1999 Tour indicated EPO use. The documentation of these urine samples included code numbers designating the rider who supplied them. By obtaining doping control forms from the UCI, l'Equipe claimed it could prove six of the samples came from Lance Armstrong.

At the time, the UCI said it had showed l'Equipe journalist Damien Ressiot just one doping control form after Ressiot had requested access to the documentation, claiming he was trying to show that since returning to racing Armstrong had never taken any medicine in relation with possible consequences of the cancer he had overcome.

However, in a meeting between WADA chairman Dick Pound and UCI vice-president Hein Verbruggen at the Winter Olympics in Torino, Pound informed Verbruggen that WADA had obtained copies of all 15 doping control forms signed by Lance Armstrong during the 1999 Tour de France and that those copies originated from the UCI.

The organisation later revealed that Dr Mario Zorzoli had asked to stand aside while the investigation was underway. "Dr Zorzoli has asked himself to be suspended until this matter is cleared up," a high ranking UCI official told news agency AFP. "It's very annoying because he fulfils an important role and is appreciated by the teams and riders and is respected in scientific circles. He unfortunately under-estimated the risks one runs in this job."

Cyclingnews coverage of the L'Equipe allegations

June 27, 2006 - Carmichael defends Armstrong, Armstrong answers L'Equipe & LeMond
June 26, 2006 - LeMond: "Armstrong threatened my life"
June 19, 2006 - Armstrong calls for Pound's exit
June 18, 2006 - Lance Armstrong's open letter against Dick Pound
June 4, 2006 - UCI hits back at WADA
June 3, 2006 - WADA slams the Vrijman report
June 2, 2006 - L'Equipe stands by its story, UCI supports Vrijman's findings
June 1, 2006 - UCI, WADA and Armstrong react to Vrijman's report
May 31, 2006 - UCI lawyer asks for Armstrong's name to be cleared
May 14, 2006 - Two more weeks for Armstrong investigation

Click here for full coverage of the L'Equipe allegations.

Mayo returns to racing in Murcia

Euskaltel-Euskadi's Iban Mayo will return to racing tomorrow when he lines up for the first stage of the Vuelta a Murcia (March 1-5), according to Europa Press. The team hopes to improve its early-season campaign which has already seen it take the team classification at the Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana and Iñaki Flores take overall fourth place in the Vuelta Andalucía.

Mayo will be joined in Murcia by Antton Luengo, Beñat Albizuri, Unai Uribarri, Rubén Pérez, Joseba Zubeldia, Igor Antón and Aketza Peña.

The five-stage Vuelta a Murcia is expected to be taxing, with two stages that should be crucial to the overall result. Stage 3's 21.3km time trial in Jumilla will be an essential test for any rider with general classification aspirations, and the following day's 148.6 trip from Caravaca de la Cruz to Collado Bermejo includes three category one climbs and finishes at 1150m.

Mayo and Euskaltel won't have things their own way. Murcia will also be an early-season outing for several other noted talents, including Discovery Channel's Manuel Beltran; Caissed'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde; Lampre-Fondital's Damiano Cunego; Liberty Seguros' Alexandre Vinokourov; and Rabobank's Denis Menchov and Michael Rasmussen.

An interview with Frankie Andreu: Getting rolling with Toyota-United Pro

Frankie Andreu
Photo ©: Toyota-United Pro
(Click for larger image)

They've already taken two stage wins in their first outing at the Tour California, but there's more than a few scratching their heads at this gang of big-name riders wearing Captain America outfits. Chris Henry answers the question, 'Who is Toyota-United Pro?'

It's hard to be a fan of American cycling and not know Frankie Andreu. Twelve years as a professional on the biggest teams from the United States, Andreu is a seasoned veteran of two Olympic Games (finishing 8th in 1988 and 4th in 1996), nine Tours de France (including US Postal teammate Lance Armstrong's 1999 and 2000 victories), and tireless support for his teams in World Cup classics and major stage races throughout the seasons. Following retirement from the peloton in 2000, Andreu kept himself involved as directeur sportif for US Postal in the United States, as well as landing television broadcast work with the Outdoor Life Network's cycling coverage in the U.S.

In 2006, a few years removed from the team car, Andreu is throwing his hat back in the domestic team ring, taking the job of co-director for the new Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team. A few hours after the team's big unveiling at the ESPN Zone in New York's Times Square, Andreu managed to make time and find the energy for an afternoon chat with Cyclingnews back at his hotel on 7th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Sitting in the lobby bar, going incognito in blue jeans, a faded Michigan t-shirt and a knit cap, Andreu offered his usual, friendly "what's up?" to start the proceedings before recounting with some enthusiasm his chance encounters with race car driver Jeff Gordon and 'some boxer...'

Click here for the full interview.

World Deaf Cycling Championships to host power training clinic

The World Deaf Cycling Championships will host a weekend-long power training clinic at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont from May 19 to 21, 2006. The 2006 World Deaf Cycling Championships will take place in the San Francisco Bay Area, June 18 to 24.

Proceeds from the clinic will go to the week-long international event, to be hosted on U.S. soil for the first time and which will feature elite cyclists from 10 nations.

"This is exciting news, especially in the Bay Area which has a lot of cyclists who are very competitive and are always looking to improve their performance," said Robin Horwitz, director of the 2006 championships.

Hunter Allen will introduce the concept of power training, which has been widely adopted by professional cyclists such as Lance Armstrong. The clinic will discuss training with a power meter, threshold power, training levels and power profiling.

Registration for the clinic will be 180 dollars and is limited to 30 participants. Interested persons can register online at

Sponsors renew with USAC

Ten of USA Cycling's sponsors have renewed their support for the organisation. Specialized, Shimano, SRM, Continental Tire, Clif Bar, Training Peaks, Defeet, Excel Sports, Park Tools Co. and Pedro's will all continue to contribute equipment and - in some cases - financial support to the body's programs.

"We're grateful for the continued support of our longtime sponsors," said USA Cycling chief executive office Gerard Bisceglia. "The level of both loyalty and support they have shown over the years has been tremendous and are important to the continued growth and success of American cycling."

Specialized returns as the official bicycle, helmet, optical, shoe and apparel sponsor of all of USA Cycling's under-23 programs, and will financial support for these teams through the 2008 Beijing Olympic Summer Games.

For more than 15 years, Shimano has provided bicycle components to the U.S. National Team, the USAC Under-23 program, the NORBA national mountain bike series and national championship events. in 2006, Shimano will financially support the NORBA Series, as well as provides neutral support at select events.

Pedro's, Excel Sports and Park Tools provide support for the mechganics who look after all of the USA Cycling teams. Park Tool supplies tools and workstands; Excel Sports provides mail order products and Pedro's supplies lubricants to the U.S. national team.

Cycling Peaks and Training Peaks join USA Cycling as software sponsors for a third year in a row.

Clif Bar has extended its previous sponsorship of the women's program to include the provision of products for the track and Under-23 programs.

Defeet has arranged to provide socks and undershirts for the Under-23 programs.

Continental Tire, a long-time supporter of USA Cycling programs, will provide tires for the track program.

SRM has agreed to continue providing power meters for USA Cycling teams.

OBRA road race season revs up with Banana Belt Series

The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association's (OBRA) 2006 road racing begins in earnest this Sunday, March 5, at Henry Hagg Lake in Forest Grove, with round one of the three-race Banana Belt Road Racing Series, according to race director Jeff Mitchem.

The Banana Belt series a two-decade tradition is expected to draw more than 400 of the fastest Northwest cyclists to the hilly roads of Scoggins Valley Park and Henry Hagg Lake for three consecutive Sundays March 5, 12, and 19. The Henry Hagg Lake course is a challenging, rolling 11-mile loop that throws 750 feet of net elevation gain at the riders each lap.

"Last year's series was a huge success," explained Mitchem, "We had 410 entries for the first race, and this year looks even better. Pre-entries are coming in fast, and some classes may even fill up. This speaks to the growing popularity of bike racing in Oregon and the efforts of the Oregon Bicycle Racing Assocation."

For complete information on the 2006 Banana Belt Road Racing Series, visit

Morgan Stanley/24 Hour Fitness/Specialized Factory Team

Created not only to be competitive but also to promote cycling safety and cultivate growth of the sport in Texas, the Morgan Stanley Factory Cycling Team kicked off its 2006 season Saturday, January 21 at the Copperas Cove Classic, hosted by Bicycles, Inc. The team is sponsored by Morgan Stanley, Specialized Bicycles and 24 Hour Fitness, and is scheduled to compete in a number of Texas Cup races as well as make several appearances at special events throughout the region in 2006.

Full announcement and roster.

Fiordifrutta 2006

Fiordifrutta, an Italian producer of organic jams and honeys, has announced the 2006 roster of its cycling squad, one of the highest ranked US amateur teams. The team has spent the last five years near the top of the National Racing Calendar points classification and its riders held the #1 USCF road and criterium rankings for much of 2005. The squad consists entirely of riders from New England and it racked up thirty wins in 2005.

Full announcement and roster.

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