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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Latest Cycling News for June 28, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones, with assistance from Susan Westemeyer

Ullrich to sue newspaper and do DNA test?

Jan Ullrich may be preparing to sue the Spanish newspaper El Pais, which has mentioned his name in relationship to the newest doping scandal. "That puts a lot of pressure on Jan," his manager Wolfgang Strohband told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung. "So Jan said to me, 'We have to do something.' And because Jan's denial is so definite, we will follow up. We will go on the offensive against the newspaper, but I still have to speak to our lawyers about it."

Strohband didn't give any further details, but did not deny the possibility of Ullrich giving a DNA sample to compare to the blood bags found with the name "JAN" on them. [There is more than one professional rider with that name - ed.]

The manager admitted that he and Ullrich have not reacted to previous doping rumours. "We always thought, they would just peter out. But this time we just had to do something," he said, noting that "it could be expensive for the Spanish newspaper."

Dr. Werner Franke, a noted German biologist and anti-doping campaigner, said that a DNA comparison could be quick and simple. The red blood cells could not be used, but the white blood cells could be. "With one single, original Jan Ullrich hair, you could make a very quick DNA comparison. That takes maybe two days - und is even quicker than a paternity test." If Ullrich should decide against the test, Franke says, "then he must have a guilty conscience."

Astana Würth bound for Strasbourg, but no team presentation

The Astana-Würth team is steadfastly continuing with its plans to ride the Tour de France, regardless of the ASO, the CAS, Operacion Puerto or anything else. The teams cars and buses set out yesterday, while the riders spent the night in Madrid before arriving in Strasbourg Wednesday in time for the scheduled medical tests, Spanish Eurosport reported.

One question, however, is which riders will be participating. According to the news story, the nine riders are Alexander Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Alberto Contador, Luis Leon Sanchez, Carlos Barredo, Isidro Nozal, Joseba Beloki, Allan Davis and Sergio Paulinho. It had previously been announced that Jörg Jaksche and Assan Bazayev would ride, instead of Barredo and Paulinho.

The team may be counting on outside help in its bid to participate. According to the International Herald Tribune, Kazakh rider Kashechkin, told L'Equipe that the president of Kazakhstan would be protesting the proposed exclusion to French President Jacques Chirac.

"This is going to become an affair of state," Kashechkin warned, citing no sources, and added. "There are some important French investments in our country," according to the IHT.

No team presentation

The team was refused participation in the Tour's team presentation, which is scheduled for Wednesday evening in Strasbourg. The Tour organisers are still against having the team in the race, but it will be up to the Court of Arbitration of Sport to decide whether it can race. A decision on that is expected on Friday at midday.

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

Gerolsteiner's double hopes - two captains, two goals

A top ten finish, or a stage win? Actually, Gerolsteiner Team Manager Hans-Micheal Holczer would be happy to take both. "Of course we dream of a stage win but for that you need a little luck, and you can't always count on that. On the other hand, in the last two years we have had a rider in the top ten overall. I would like to see that, too," he said.

The team is going with two-pronged offence, with Levi Leipheimer and Georg Totschnig as equal captains. "Both are in the running for a top ten placing," according to Holczer. Leipheimer may have the better chance, having just won the Dauphiné Libéré. "Levi says that he can come close to the podium. I certainly don't want to contradict him. But he knows very well that everything has to work out just right in these three weeks. We want to take care of that." He wishes the American well, saying, "The closer to the podium, the better."

The other captain is the Austrian climber Totschnig, who has stayed healthy this year before the Tour. "It will be good for us, to be there with two top riders. It makes us more open, more difficult to figure out, and more variable," according to Holczer.

But the team is not just looking at the overall rankings. According to Holczer, the team is taking Tour newcomer David Kopp "because he can sprint. And I'm sure that he will have his chances." He is also looking to Fabian Wegmann and Peter Wrolich as possible stage winners in escape groups. "You can't have enough of these guys."

Jalabert going for July 14 win

Frenchman Nicolas Jalabert (Phonak) is hoping for a Tour stage win on France's national holiday: July 14. It will be Jalabert's eighth Tour, having first participated in 1997. "The final week was extremely difficult," he recalled of that race. "Therefore, riding the last part on the Champs-Elysées I felt great relief and satisfaction at the same time."

Like many other Frenchman, the 33 year-old wants to win the stage between Luchon and Carcassonne, over 211.5 km, on July 14. The race will pass near his town of Aussillon on his country's national holiday. "On that day I hope to have the chance to play my hand," he said. "But in principle the will to win has to be in the foreground." During the other 19 stages, Jalabert will work in the service of his teammates.

Davitamon-Lotto gets a cook for the Tour

The Davitamon-Lotto team has found itself a cook for the Tour de France. Thanks to newspaper and radio publicity, the response was great. "We received reactions from renowned cooks and caterers locally and abroad, but also from a lot of hobby-cooks, who felt they should call," said the team in a statement.

More than 100 CV's were sifted through, narrowing the list down to around 10 candidates, who were interviewed. The final choice was Frank De Wilde, a 46 year-old chef from Gent. De Wilde was the long time manager of 'De Wijzen en De Zot', a well known restaurant in the Gentse Patershol. After that, he started to work as a caterer in the 'Quartier Sauvage', near the Gentse Rabottorens. His customers include top banking and pharmaceutical companies, as well as the province of East Flanders. He also looked after the catering for Prince Filip's visit to Omega Pharma, which owns Davitamon.

While he is away for three weeks in July, Frank's wife and daughters will take over the running of his business, as he tends to the needs of the Davitamon-Lotto team.

Torres leaves 3 Molinos Resort

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Roberto Torres, the sports director of 3 Molinos Resort, said that he will leave the team. Speaking to Spanish newspaper El Faro de Murcia, Torres. "My decision to leave was made when I saw that my role as director didn't make any sense."

Torres has directed the team to some victories this year, including most recently the Spanish time trial championship, won by Toni Tauler. There were also the Vuelta a Murcia (Santos González), Clásica de Alcobendas (Jan Hruska), and a stage of the Vuelta a Asturias (Mikel Artetxe).

The decision was made after a meeting between the president of the team's managing company, Josefina Alcaraz, and Torres. 3 Molinos Resort stated that Torres' departure is "a beneficial agreement for both parties."

For the time being, team manager Ginés Garcia will take over as sports director, until the appointment of a new director is made.

8th Alpenrose Challenge

The Alpenrose Challenge claiming to be the largest prize list track race in the USA with a $12,000 purse, will be held on the Alpenrose Velodrome in Southwest Portland between July 7-9. With elite men/women and masters catered for, the competition is expected to be solid.

Top of the the entry list is Pan-Am Games gold medallist Stephen Alfred, a native of Trinidad, who is now a U.S. citizen living in Capitola, California. Alfred holds the Alpenrose single flying-lap record at 15.10 seconds. Other riders expected to compete are Anne-Brit Erickson, from Calgary, the Canadian national sprint champion, and Becky Quinn, from Carlsbad, Calif., who has a U.S. national championship and was member of the U.S. Olympic team.

Local riders also challenge for part of the big purse. Stephen McLaughry, of Camas, Wash., a surprise top three finisher last year, will be back to improve his standing; and Heather Van Valkenburg, Vancouver, Wash., is the national bronze medal winner.

"The Alpenrose Challenge is without question one of the premier track races anywhere," said race director and event founder Mike Murray. "Eight years ago we wanted to create a local event that featured national and international caliber riders and would showcase the unique attraction that is bicycle track racing. And we succeeded. The event put Alpenrose on the map for the top riders and local spectators."

The meet will offer a 4,000m pursuit, 500 m and 1 km time trials, sprints, miss & out, keirin, Madison, flying lap, 10-mile, and Olympic sprint. Registration takes place on Thursday, July 6, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Alpenrose. Two sessions of racing are scheduled for Friday, July 7, beginning at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. On Saturday, July 8, two more sessions are set, starting at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. On Sunday, July 9, the final two sessions take place, starting at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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