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Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for June 7, 2006

Edited by John Stevenson & Les Clarke

Coming up on

Cyclingnews will cover the 60th edition of the Dauphiné Libéré live as of stage 4 on Wednesday, June 10, at approximately 15:00 local Europe time (CEST)/ 23:00 Australian time (CDT)/ 9:00 (USA East).

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Dauphiné Libéré stage 2 wrap: Just rewards for a strong Gilbert

Philippe Gilbert (Francaise des Jeux)
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

Having spent his fair share of 2006 at the front of the peloton with only one win to his name, Francaise des Jeux's Philippe Gilbert has won stage 2 of the Dauphiné Libéré into Saint-Galmier. It was a well deserved triumph for the young Belgian, who spent the bulk of the day in front of the main bunch with team-mate Sébastien Joly and Cédric Vasseur (Quick.Step) for company.

The Francaise des Jeux team-mates worked well together, and it wasn't until later in the stage that Gilbert, who won Het Volk earlier in the year, had to ride away from his stablemate. But that didn't worry Joly, who said after the stage that, "For me, it's the same as if I had won myself. I love this spirit of sacrificing one for the other."

With an uphill finish and his breakaway companion behind him, Gilbert could afford to coast to victory, while behind him Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R) took it upon himself to fly the coop several kilometres before the end in order to avoid sprinting against the likes of Thor Hushovd, whose strengths suited the type of finish.

With a healthy five-minute buffer separating himself from the peloton at the finish, Gilbert took the leader's yellow jersey, just reward for a strong and intelligently-ridden stage. The long time trial of stage 3 will test how much gas the Belgian hope has in his legs as he'll surely be trying to hold onto his overall lead.

Click here for full results, report & photos

Vinokourov: No provocation

By Jean-François Quénet in Saint-Galmier

Tour de France favourite Alexandre Vinokourov says he doesn't believe there is anything provocative in his team wearing "the colours of Kazakhstan on our cars and buses." Vinokourov rides for the team formerly known as Liberty Seguros whose future is in doubt after manager Manolo Saiz was arrested while allegedly in possession of €60,000 two weeks ago.

Vinokourov was responding to a comment in the French press by Bouygues Telecom rider Thomas Voeckler who said of the suggestion that the team would be sponsored by Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, "Ils sont gonflés." It's not clear whether Vinokourov has picked up on the double meaning of 'gonflés' in French. Voeckler's comment could mean, "They're pumped up," or "They're arrogant."

Voeckler said he felt ashamed to wear the same turquoise colours of Bouygues Telecom on his gloves as the one of the renamed Astana-Würth Spanish based squad. "If they're cheats in this affair, hopefully there will be sanctions as well and not only some noise," he added.

But Vinokourov can't see any reason why the UCI's ProTour commission would deny his team its license. "The license stays the same," he said. Active Bay has the license, there's only a new sponsor." The commission is nominally in charge of the financial and ethical aspects of the running of the teams, but as Tour de France director Jean-Marie Leblanc observed the previous day, "They're quite slow in that matter."

Without a license, Astana-Würth couldn't ride the 2006 Tour de France Even if the commission does not make a decision before next week - effectively allowing the squad to continue as a ProTour team - Tour organiser ASO is still likely to ban Manolo Saiz from attending the Tour. "It would be good to use his experience for the tactics of the team," Vinokourov said. "But with Marino [Lejarreta] and everyone else, we can still make good tactics. It's not decided yet if [Saiz] will be at the Tour with us or not."

As for the race at hand, Vinokourov said, "I'm trying to stay calm. It's not my goal to win the Dauphiné, last year I came in form too early. I'm here to find my rhythm in the mountains and see how the others are." After the Dauphiné Vinokourov will go back to Kazakhstan to defend his national title and will not take part in any event before to the start of the Tour in Strasbourg on July 1.

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

Julich not racing Philly

By Mark Zalewski, North American editor

CSC's Bobby Julich was in Lancaster to help carry the CSC flag last Sunday, but surprisingly will not be representing the team for the rest of the series. Julich will be heading back to Europe to join his team as they prepare for the Tour. "Coming here was kind of an extension to my vacation over here," Julich told Cyclingnews. Julich finished in the main field at Lancaster and will get a couple more days of his vacation before returning to Europe.

Hondo can ride again

By Susan Westemeyer

The roller coaster that has made up Danilo Hondo's life and career the last year has taken another unexpected curve: he can race again. The latest twist is not an absolute victory in his legal battle against the two-year ban that he was handed after testing positive for Carphedon at the Vuelta a Murcia in 2005, but it's enough to get him back into competition.

"Our appeal at the Swiss Bundesgerichtshof was accepted and the previous court decision was set aside," Hondo wrote on his website, The ban on his racing has been lifted pending further process. "The UCI and the WADA will have the opportunity to submit written positions. Only after these have been received will it be decided how to proceed.

"It is only a small partial victory, like winning a stage in a race, where the overall victory isn't decided until later," he said.

"Once more this shows that it is worth it to never give up, and not to lose the ambition for long and hard training," Hondo said. "This evening I will try to get all the details cleared up so that I can start as early as Wednesday evening at the Michelstädter Abendkriterium!"

UCI and WADA join forces in Madrid

After both the UCI and WADA announced they would become involved with the Spanish doping controversy surrounding Manolo Saiz and Eufemiano Fuentes, UCI boss Pat McQuaid and WADA's scientific director, Olivier Rabin, have arrived in Madrid to begin gathering first-hand information on the case. Both men will speak with those involved in the investigation; McQuaid will meet with Jaime Lissavetzky tomorrow while Rabin will meet with Rafael Blanco on Thursday.

While WADA is focussing its efforts on analysing substances and blood seized in the raids, McQuaid and the UCI are planning to conduct interviews to ascertain more facts about the case. It appears that Lissavetzky will provide McQuaid with the chance to speak with the public prosecutor heading the case and with agents of the Civil Guard along with leaders of the Spanish Cycling Federation and the Vuelta a España. He is already coming under pressure to make a decision in regard to whether Saiz's team will ride the Tour de France, assuming they are allowed to continue operations.

Wegmann to keep on "rocking" with Gerolsteiner

Fabian Wegmann has extended his contract with Team Gerolsteiner through 2008, with an option year after that. "Fabian has been with Gerolsteiner since 2002 and has developed from a talented youngster to a key player in a ProTour team," said team boss Hans-Michael Holczer. "He still hasn't reached his full potential. We look forward to our future with him."

Wegmann has already won the GP Indurain and the first stage of the Dauphiné Libéré this season, and said, "Every rider, the whole environment, everyone is eager to do things. Gerolsteiner is world class, because nothing stands still here. The team rocks, and I want to rock with it!"

Quick Step-Innergetic for Veenendaal-Veenendaal

The Quick Step-Innergetic team has announced its line-up for today's Veenendaal-Veenendaal race. Under directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters the team will field Tom Boonen, Steven De Jongh, Servais Knaven, Nick Nuyens, Sebastien Rosseler, Kevin Van Impe, and Wouter Weylandt.

International debut for Grupo Nicolás Mateos in Portugal

Hailing from the Murcia region, Spain's newest continental pro team, Grupo Nicolás Mateos, will make its international debut at the GP CTT Correios-Portugal (June 8-11). The squad has performed well in its first season of racing, quickly establishing itself as a force in domestic racing with several wins and a constant presence at the head of many of Spain's biggest domestic races.

Grupo Nicolás Mateos for GP CTT Correios-Portugal: Javier Benitez, Joseba Aguirrezabala, Juan Carlos Fernandez, Victor Hernandez, Fernando Herrero, Juan Carlos Lopez, Martin Mata, and Diego Milan.

Barloworld for GP CTT Correios-Portugal

Team Barloworld is hoping it will continue its run of good luck in Portugal (where it has won three races so far this season), when it travels there to race the GP CTT Correios stage race (June 8-11).

Barloworld for GP CTT Correios-Portugal: Hugo Sabido, Gianpaolo Cheula, Felix Cardenas, Alex Efimkin, Enrico Degano, Rodney Green, Amets Txurruka and Diego Caccia. Directeur sportif: Valerio Tebaldi.

Tour of Slovenia

The four-day Tour of Slovenia starts tomorrow, Thursday, June 8 in Lendava, the easternmost town in Slovenia and finishes Sunday, June 11 with its traditional final stage into Novo mesto.

The race will host Slovenian teams plus visitors from Italy, the Czech Republic, Austria and Poland. In addition two ProTour teams will start: Lampre-Fondital and Liquigas.

Over the race's 12-year existence it has been won six times by Slovenian riders and six times by foreigners. This year, the Slovenian side will be represented by riders such as Tadej Valjavec, Gorazd Stangelj (both Lampre Fondital) and Matej Mugerli (Liquigas) and Slovenian teams such as Adria Mobil, Perutnina Ptuj, Sava Kranj, and Radenska Powerbar. The foreign contingent will be led by last year's winner Przemyslaw Niemiec (Miche) from Poland


  • Stage 1 - June 8: Lendava - Brežice, 214 km
  • Stage 2 - June 9: Medvode - Nova Gorica, 183 km
  • Stage 3 - June 10: Nova Gorica - Vršic, 158 km
  • Stage 4 - June 11: Grosuplje - Novo mesto, 156 km

Spanish riders line up to commemorate Rojas

This year's edition of the Marcha Cicloturistica Internacional Mariano Rojas on Sunday, June 11 has special significance for Spanish cycling. It marks the tenth anniversary of the death of promising young Spanish rider Mariano Rojas, who was killed in a car crash in 1996. Rojas had ridden the Tour de France the previous year and had worn the 'best young rider' jersey before pulling out of the race with a broken collarbone.

To mark the tenth anniversary of Rojas' death the cyclo-tourist event will see the participation of top Spanish track rider and former pursuit world champion Joan Llaneras, plus many other top Spanish riders such as Santos González (3 Molinos Resort), Francisco Pérez (Caisse d'Epargne) and Leon Sanchez (Astana-Würth). The president of the Spanish Cycling Federation, Fulgencio Sánchez, will be also there.

Women’s cycling summit in Minneapolis

The next Yoplait Nouriche Women’s Cycling Summit will be held on June 13 as part of the Great River Energy Bicycle Festival. Topics on the agenda include gaining recognition for women in male-dominated sports and entry level programming for women.

Keynote speaker will be NASCAR driver Kari Miller. Miller will discuss the challenges she faces in a male-dominated sport. Racing against men, she has scored wins in the Bomber and Short Track division and now races in the Late Model Division. Miller will be driving the pace car at the Nature Valley Grand Prix’s Minneapolis Downtown Classic and Stillater Criterium later in the week.

The subject will then turn to parallel challenges faced by women in cycling, with a lead-off talk by former US National Champion and 2002 Nature Valley Grand Prix Champion Laura Van Gilder. Miller will then join Van Gilder for a panel discussion including Jim Williams, manager of Colavita Cooking Light, the top ranked women’s team in North America.

The second session of the summit will focus on grassroots programming for women. Leadoff speaker will be Susy Pryde, former professional racer who now coaches the New Zealand national women’s development team. The subsequent panel discussion will include Pryde, Midwest Cycling Made Real’s Paula Plant, Bethany Collins, manager of the Colorado-based Rio Grande/Sports Garage team and USA Cycling Level II Coach Fiona Lockhart.

The summit will be held at 6:30pm on June 13 at the Kelly Inn in Saint Paul, and is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or email

Fort Lewis College extends scholarships

Fort Lewis College Cycling has announced an extension in scholarships available for the 2006/07 collegiate school year. The newly created “Championship Scholarship” combined with the existing Tom Danielson Scholarship will boost this year’s award total to $19,000.

The Championship Scholarship will be awarded to national-level athletes who contribute significantly towards Fort Lewis College Cycling’s pursuit of future national championship titles and demonstrate a financial need. These awards will range from $1,000-$6,000.

Contact Rick Crawford at or Eric Ransom at for more information on this scholarship. Deadline is June 15, 2006.

Westside Cycling Classic

This year’s edition of the Formwerks Westside Cycling Classic (Vancouver, June 18) has raised the stakes in 2006, with a cash prize purse in excess of $6,000, product prizing, an Expo and Team Village, exciting two-way racing and the Point Grey Fiesta Funfair in Trimble Park making the day more than just a race. Numbers of pre-race registrations are high, and it's expected a big field will turn out and race to support the BC Cancer Foundation.

"We have had great support from our new sponsors who are keen to help continue to bring exciting racing to Vancouver, and to support the BC Cancer Foundation cause", explained Event Director Jonathan Wornell, "Our pre-registration numbers are double what they were this time last year and we are optimistic for a good showing" he added. The local Wedgewood Cycling Team will donate $5 from each riders entry fee as well as funds raised on the day, all of which will be donated to the BC Cancer Foundation.

More information can be found at

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