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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for June 7, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones and John Stevenson

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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Holczer takes a strong stand

By Susan Westemeyer

Gerolsteiner's Team Manager Hans-Micheal Holczer leaves no doubt as to where he stands on the current Spanish doping affair: "If everything that is being reported is true, then everything has to be done so that the guilty parties have nothing to do with cycling or sport for a long, long time, in either an active or passive role," he told Cyclingnews.

In an interview with, he also said, "Everybody involved - attendants, team bosses and riders, too - must all disappear out of cycling, if the charges that we read about are proved...I feel sick when I read that about the money, the bags of blood and the transfusions. The ProTour teams - and of course, all other teams - have to finally work together to combat doping."

Interviú publishes Fuentes' drug list

Spanish weekly Interviú has published a list of the drugs seized by the Civil Guard from doctor Eufemiano Fuentes as part of 'Operación Puerto'. Although the case is still under investigation by the courts, Interviú reports that Fuentes had "Chinese EPO and growth hormone. Other substances seized were corticosteroids, peptide hormones, testosterone, Actovegin, and HMG Lepori. These products, in their therapeutic use, are used to treat cancer, rheumatism, asthma, and sterility."

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

An interview with Chris Wherry

Wherry's extended lease - Part I

Current USPRO champion Chris Wherry (Toyota-United Pro) has been an elusive Captain America this year at many of the major North American races, but it hasn't been by choice. After suffering through the first races of the season with a nasty viral infection Wherry was sidelined for three months - leaving races like the Tour of California and Tour de Georgia without the USPRO champion; and although he's made a slow comeback, Cyclingnews' Mark Zalewski found out that it's now all systems go for America's national champion.

On the podium in stars in stripes
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
(Click for larger image)

For a time it seemed that the stars and stripes might not get a chance to display his hard-earned jersey, but the cycling gods smiled on Wherry and conveniently moved the USPRO championships three months later in the calendar. Wherry beat the bug and began his season racing smaller stage races like Tour of the Gila and Joe Martin, carefully monitoring his fitness before returning to defend his title in Philadelphia with a view to defending his national championship in September.

You have to look rather carefully to notice the differences between Chris Wherry's USPRO champion's kit and bike to his Toyota-United Pro teammates. A cynical person might even argue that the team did this in a dark foreshadow to Wherry's ailment, so that fans would think the USPRO champion was in the field somewhere.

But in a cosmic turn of events Wherry is getting his chance to race a full season with his jersey, thanks to the new date of the USPRO championships. And he is not wasting his health - even taking his situation as a sign that his title defence is the most important goal for him. "It would have been a bummer to only be representing the jersey for a month or so. I did wear it at the beginning of the season, but not at 100%. I really want to wear it when I can show what made me the champion last year," he explains.

Click here for the full first part of the interview.

Boonen the favourite for Veenendaal-Veenendaal

World champion Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) will be the top favourite for today's Veenendaal-Veenendaal, a 210 km race between Utrecht and Arnhem in the Netherlands, ranked as 1.HC on the European continental tour. Boonen is using it for some extra racing kilometres before he starts in the Tour de Suisse, but the team isn't placing any pressure on him to win.

Boonen's main rivals in a bunch sprint include Simone Cadamuro (Milram), Max van Heeswijk (Discovery), Niko Eeckhout (Chocolade Jacques), Graeme Brown (Rabobank) and Baden Cooke and Jeremy Hunt ( But Quick.Step also has Steven de Jongh as an alternative sprinter, depending on how things evolve in the race.

Hruska back in G.P. Correios

By Antonio J. Salmerón

The Czech rider Jan Hruska (3 Molinos Resort) will return to racing in the G.P. Correios, following his failed health check before the start of the Volta ao Catalunya. Hruska had a reticulocyte (new red blood cell) count that was below the UCI limit, and was forced to rest for two weeks without racing. Subsequent tests have cleared him, and he will form part of his team for the Portuguese race, which starts on Thursday.

3 Molinos Resort will be led by Jesus del Nero, who finished third in the Euskal Bizikleta. Apart from Hruska and Del Nero, the 3 Molinos Resort squad is composed of Jesús Buendia, José Antonio Baños, Pedro Luis Castillo and Pedro Martínez.

The 3 Molinos Resort riders in the G.P. Correios are using the race to prepare for the Spanish championships, which will take place in Mostoles, near Madrid, on the last weekend of June. Santos González wants to arrive in top condition for the time trial, as does his Del Nero.

Hulsmans back on June 21

Kevin Hulsmans (Quick.Step) will return to racing on June 21 in Halle-Ingooigem. The race will be his first since he broke his collarbone on May 10 whilst out training with Tom Boonen. Hulsmans will not form part of Quick.Step's Tour de France team, however.

Another ultimatum for VDB

Frank Vandenbroucke is once again under pressure to race, with his team ordering him to ride Halle-Ingooigem on June 21 or he will have "big problems" according to team manager Hilaire van der Schueren. "My patience isn't unlimited."

Vandenbroucke's 2006 season has been a disappointment so far. He has done more races as a reserve than a rider, and has abandoned most of the races he has taken part in. His last was the Amstel Gold Race on April 16, which he did not finish.

Rabobank's Tour team takes shape

The Rabobank Tour de France team is starting to take shape, with five riders almost certain of their spots. The experienced Michael Boogerd and Erik Dekker will be joined by Thomas Dekker, while the young Pieter Weening (stage winner last year) and Joost Posthuma will get a ride if they show decent form in the coming weeks. The full team won't be named until after the Tour de Suisse.

TIAA-CREF visits elementary school

Team TIAA-CREF spent their off-day (Tuesday) during 'Philly Week' speaking to students Conshohocken Elementary School in Philadelphia, USA. In two assemblies, racers Chad Hartley, Taylor Tolleson and Brad Huff, as well as mechanic Damian Shanks and soigneur Lara Pate explained professional cycling to the kids, and used it to reinforce the year's academic lessons.

Chad Hartley got things rolling in both sessions by talking about all the countries in which the team races, prompting a deluge of questions. Next to speak was Lara Pate, whose husband Danny finished in second place in last year's Philadelphia race. She focused on the nutrition of professional racers and demonstrated how they eat their lunch in the midst of a six-hour race. Brad Huff, fresh off an epic 80 km breakaway in Saturday's CSC Invitational in Arlington, Virginia, next spoke about teamwork.

Mechanic Damian Shanks impressed the crowd when he compared one of the team's racing bikes to one of the student's bikes that had been brought to school just for this occasion. Shanks explained that the team has 100 bikes that each weigh half of what the child's bike weighed, and cost $6,000 apiece. Finally, a very banged-up and stitched-up Taylor Tolleson explained how wearing a helmet probably saved his life in a bad crash he suffered in Sunday's Triple Crown race in Lancaster.

The student's questions were varied. Some were easy, such as "have you ever raced in China?" (Huff races there next month). Others showed that the children clearly grasped what the racers were teaching. One child asked, "If one person on a team wins a race, does the whole team win?", which the team used as a springboard to explain diversity and working together for a common goal.

Some questions, though, required more diplomacy among a mixed audience of seven and eight year-olds. Brad Huff's response to the question of how riders go to the toilet during a race was, "we've learned all kinds of neat tricks to go while we're riding."

Afterwards, the team signed autographs for the students underneath the giant banner they had painted to welcome the team. The banner will be hung beside the course on the Manayunk Wall during Sunday's race.

Fantasy Giro 2006 winners announced!

The winning managers of the Fantasy Giro 2006 game have been confirmed. There were 32 prize winning managers this year with over 45 sponsored prizes. In an excitingly close finish with over 7000 points scored by the top two managers, manager "Kadzielawski" a personal fitness trainer from Rolling Meadows, Illinois, USA won the Grand prize of a Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Alu Carbon Mirage bike. Here's what he had to say about his team strategy:

Fantasy Giro winner Marcin Kadzielawski (right)
Photo ©: Marcin Kadzielawski
(Click for larger image)
Fantasy Giro winner Hofgaard
Photo ©: Hofgaard
(Click for larger image)

"My only source of information was and help of my wife Joanna - huge cycling fan! After waiting to the last possible stage to pick the final rosters I went mostly with GC contenders and good climbers because of the high number of mountain stages. The rest of the team was completed with all-around raiders or sprinters. With the addition of luck and couple of risky choices I managed to win! Thank you for great game and Bianchi and all the other sponsors for the wonderful prizes. Looking forward to Tour de France! Marcin Kadzielawski." Have a look at Kadzielawski's team break down here. Marcin generously donated his prize for his 6th place team to the next manager in the top 10 showing great sportsmanship. Thanks Marcin.

Manager "Hofgaard" from Oslo in Norway came 1st place runner-up winning a pair of HED's Stinger wheels. Here's what he had to say about his winning tactics: "Before the start of the Giro I did a lot of research into which riders were on form. I also looked at last year's results and studied the scoring system in detail to better know the distribution of riders (GC contenders or stage winners/sprinters). After the last "free" stage I did my final team selection based on the above criteria and the results so far in the Giro. My team ended up with 9 overall contenders and 6 sprinters/stage hunters. My selection turned out to be a very good one, but I did a "poor" job in managing the team each day and lost valuable points by not having the right combination of riders in the "points section" and also a bad selection of riders on a few stages."

Have a look at Hofgaard's team break down here .

The overall top table in the Giro looked like this:
Grand - Marcinster, USA
1st - Some of the rest, NOR
2nd - Italian Stallions, NOR
3rd - Rude Boys, USA
4th - Wingding, USA
5th - Asiunia2, USA
6th - Nuff Makka, NOR
7th - Aksel Rockets, DEN
8th - AnyOneCanWin, USA
9th - Fokt Deal, NOR
10th - DHBC, AUS

Some fierce battles were waged in the Daily Stage Prize competition. The highest cumulative stage points won the following teams a pair of BBB BSG-23 Winner Team Quick-Step glasses :

Stage 1 - PsychoExprezzo, UK
Stage 2 - Suitcase of Courage, USA
Stage 3 - 1Day@aTime2, USA
Stage 4 - Polydactyls, USA
Stage 5 - Pink Winkers, USA
Stage 6 - TimeStimul, BEL
Stage 7 - Team Start, EST
Stage 8 - Archimedespyn, USA
Stage 9 - NYCdominata, USA
Stage 10 - ReTread, USA
Stage 11 - Rude Boys, USA
Stage 12 - ThePancakemen 2, USA
Stage 13 - Shuvit pro team II, SWE
Stage 14 - Flea, USA
Stage 15 - The rest, NOR
Stage 16 - Marcinster, USA
Stage 17 - The Right Mix, USA
Stage 18 - Team One, AUS
Stage 19 - AnyOneCanWin, USA
Stage 20 - Winged Wheels, USA
Stage 21 - Rabid Lemmings, NZL

More details on the prizes these players won can be found in the prizes page. A big thanks to all our prize suppliers:
Bianch for the Grande Prize, a Bianchi 'Via Nirone 7 Alu Carbon Mirage';
BBB for the Daily Stage Prizes of 21 pairs of BSG-23 Winner Team Quick-Step glasses;
Hed for the Hed Stinger Wheels;
Giro for the Giro Atmos team helmets;
Speedplay for Speedplay stainless steel Zero pedals;
fi'zi:k for the new edition saddles from fi'zi:k;
Maxxis for 10 pairs of Maxxis Courchevel Tyres;
and Santini for the complete sets of Santini ProTour replica team kit.

Le Tour Fantasy Game 2006

We will shortly be announcing the grand prize for our le Tour game. We'll also be uploading a provisional rider list for this year so you can begin creating your dream teams. Register now and we will email you as soon as you can begin creating your winning teams.

Good luck!

Fantasy Cyclingnews Team.

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