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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for July 26, 2006

Edited by John Stevenson & John Kenny

Ullrich's lawyers, T-Mobile meet

By Susan Westemeyer

Jan Ullrich after his win at the Tour of Switzerland in June
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
(Click for larger image)

Jan Ullrich yesterday refused to accept the termination of his contract from T-Mobile and has engaged lawyers to meet team managers to discuss the legality of his sacking, according to Reuters.

The first talks were held Tuesday in Bonn between Ullrich's lawyers and those representing T-Mobile. Ullrich himself did not attend, T-Mobile team spokesman Christian Frommert told Cyclingnews, adding that, "It was a very good and constructive meeting."

"We agreed to not comment on the content," said Frommert. "We fixed the date for the next meeting. There is no agreement yet but it was constructive and there will be more meetings."

Frommert added that Ullrich's ability to sign with another team, "depends on the outcome of these meetings. He was dismissed, now it is a question of what comes out of these meetings. Once it is cleared up then of course other teams can make him an offer but the question is whether from a sports law point of view he can ride. That is outside of our remit."

In a previous interview, Ullrich said he refused to submit to a DNA test, because, "I am a pro cyclist and not a murderer or criminal."

Ullrich said that the first few days after the suspension were hard for him. "Naturally I was down at first, was very depressed and had motivation problems. I had no interest in riding my bike." Since then, things have changed. "Yes, a week ago it started itching again. I notice that I had to do something, that my big athlete's heart was requiring movement. And then it was there again, my passion for cycling. I've been training again for several days now, and it's a lot of fun."

"I have never cheated another rider in my whole career," said Ullrich. "That is a fact. This year I have undergone 11 unannounced doping tests in training and countless competition tests, all of which were negative."

He further maintained his innocence in the Spanish doping affair and said that he cannot accept his firing from Team T-Mobile. "I do not accept the termination of my contract because in my opinion there is no reason for it," Ullrich said. "I expected more support from the team."

Other teams have expressed interest in his future, even if there aren't any concrete offers yet. Money doesn't play a role for him, he says. "I'm open for everything and am looking for a good team for 2007. I don't want to just ride another year, I want to win the big one. And to do that I need a professional team, in which I can also have fun."

Discovery confirms Leipheimer, adds two more

Levi Leipheimer in stage 18 of the Tour de France
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

The Discovery Channel team has formally announced its signing of Levi Leipheimer, who rode for the team in its previous incarnation as US Postal Service in 2000 and 2001. While riding for US Postal in 2001, Leipheimer achieved his best result in a grand tour, finishing third in the Vuelta a Espana. He's clearly hoping that returning to Johan Bruyneel's outfit will help him regain the form he displayed in 2001.

"I'm very excited about returning to the Discovery Channel Team, its family of sponsors and working with Johan Bruyneel once again, Leipheimer said in a Discovery team statement. "This team has a long history of success and I plan to work hard to continue their winning ways in 2007."

Discovery Channel also announced the acquisition of two new faces for 2007: Portuguese rider Sergio Paulinho (26), currently with Astana-Würth and Lithuanian Thomas Vaitkus (24) who joins Discovery from AG2R Prévoyance. Vaitkus was the under-23 time trial world champion in 2002, a race in which Paulinho took the bronze. Subsequently Paulinho won the silver medal in the 2004 Olympic road race, while Vaitkus won a stage of the Giro d'Italia earlier this year.

Discovery directeur sportif Johan Bruyneel said of the additions, "All three of these riders have proven themselves in the Pro Tour ranks and I expect them to fit well into our team. Each of them brings different strengths and I am excited about having them ride for Discovery Channel in 2007."

National federations to receive Operacion Puerto dossier

The names of the 58 cyclists implicated in the Operacion Puerto drugs investigation will be passed on by the UCI to the respective riders' national federations this week, according to AFP. The federations will then have one month to decide what action to take against the named riders.

The affected riders include Ivan Basso, Oscar Sevilla, Joseba Beloki and Francisco Mancebo. Jan Ullrich's case will be passed on to the Swiss federation, with which the rider is registered. The Spanish federation will be obliged to open disciplinary hearings concerning the largest national group of cyclists.

Once the national federations have reached a decision about the affected riders, the UCI has given itself a month to decide to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Spanish Operacion Puerto investigators found some 200 frozen bags of blood and plasma as well as various other prohibited products including steroids, EPO and growth hormones in their investigation which began in February.

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

T-Mobile, Gerolsteiner pick up Wiesenhof riders

T-Mobile and Gerolsteiner are taking their pick of GS II Team Weisenhof-Akud riders, according to The website reports that Gerolsteiner, which is losing its captain Levi Leipheimer to Discovery Channel, will be picking up Tim Klinger, who recently finished sixth in the Sachsen Rundfahrt, and Carlo Westphal, who finished fourth in the under-23 world's in 2005.

Gerolsteiner is also reported to have courted young sprinting sensation Gerald Ciolek, who was just 18 years old when he became the youngest ever German champion in 2005, out-sprinting Robert Förster and Erik Zabel for the title. However national rival T-Mobile has allegedly made the youngster an offer he can't refuse.

Lampre-Fondital names teams with youth and experience.

Lampre-Fondital yesterday named an experienced team for the Vattenfall Cyclassic on July 30, while a young squad will ride the Volta a Portugal, August 5-15.

Manager Giuseppe Martinelli will take Alessandro Ballan, Matteo Carrara, Salvatore Commesso, Claudio Corioni, Giuliano Figueras, David Loosli, Danilo Napolitano and Gorazd Stanglej to the Vattenfall Cyclassic.

Commesso and Ballan came close to stage victories in the Tour, while Figueras and Napolitano won stages of the tour of Brixia.

A young team, managed by Maurizio Piovani and Bruno Vicinois, will be sent to the Volta a Portugal. In the team are, Matteo Bono, Matteo Carrara, Jaime Alberto Castaneda, Enrico Franzoi, Marco Marzano, Ruggero Marzoli, Morris Possoni, Mauro Santambrogio and Sylwester Szmyd.

The team will aim for stage wins in Portugal.

Meanwhile Danilo Napolitano will return to track racing at the Italian Track Championship in Bassano del Grappa. Napolitano will ride the points and scratch races.

Millar looking for more

David Millar yesterday announced that his return to competition after a two-year doping ban has given him the inspiration to return to the top level of the sport. "I am very happy [with my performance in the Tour], but not satisfied," Millar said.

"He fought hard in this first stage and in the other two individual time trials, getting better week by week and always showing he is a specialist and a shining example in the sport," said Virginie Ducrot Geinoz of Saunier Duval.

"Millar also showed off his qualities in other stages, launching attacks right up to the last kilometres of the Champs-Elysées."

Cardenas takes second win in a week

Colombian Felix Cardenas (Barloworld) has taken his second win in a week in the Prueba Villafranca-Clásica de Ordizia race.

After his win on the hilly stage of the Brixia Tour in Italy last Friday - which he dedicated to his mother who had passed away a few days before - Cardenas' win gave the team their first win while wearing the new Barloworld-Finanzauto jersey.

"Cardenas is in really good form at the moment," said directeur sportif Valerio Tebaldi. "In the key moments of the race he knows how to use his years of experience as a professional that have given numerous wins, including a stage victory at the Tour de France. The win at the Brixia Tour got him going and this time he won thanks to some excellent work by the rest of the team."

Wheel race comes to Lehigh

This Friday, July 28, Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley Velodrome hosts a new event on the program, Ondra Huyett's Golden Wheel Race featuring the Corporate Challenge.

The centerpiece event of the night will be the Golden Wheel Race, a handicap event of a format that's a popular tradition in Australian track racing but rare elsewhere in the world. In the wheel race, or handicap format, riders qualify for a seeded final and are ranked according to ability. In the final, riders start from different points around the track so that, in theory at least, all riders have an equal chance of winning.

Several Australian and New Zealand riders will be in town for the first time this season to join Lehigh regular Pete Fitzpatrick. Also racing on Friday will be the Pan-American keirin champion and last week's omnium winner Leandro Botasso of Argentina; Spike pro team members and hometown favorites Ben Barczewski and Andy Lakatosh. Among the top women riders will be world champion Sarah Uhl along with Colavita's Ashley Kimmet and Norway's May Britt Hartwell.

For more information see

Races to promote bike safety in Winston-Salem

On August 6, Hanes Park in Winston-Salem, NC will host a day of races as part of the Community Bicycle Day. The day begins at 8:00 am with a race for first timers and continues with races for more experienced riders, plus the 50km Baux Mountain Fun Ride at 10:00am. Top level Women will race at 1:00pm followed by the Kid's Safety Clinic and Bike Rodeo at 1:30pm. At 2:30pm the entire community is invited to get in a few laps on the Hanes Park Classic race course during the Pro Men Warm-Up. International Pro Men will race at 3:00pm followed by the most important race of the day at 4:40: the kid's race! Children under 6 will have a 200 meter sprint, 6-8 year olds will have a 400 meter dash to the line and 9-12 year olds will go for three laps on the full race course.

For more information see

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