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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Edition Cycling News for May 30, 2006

Edited by Les Clarke & Jeff Jones

Manzano statements pivotal to latest scandal

This week the investigation into doping in Spanish cycling will rely upon declarations made by former Kelme rider Jésus Manzano to Italian prosecutor Raffaele Guariniello in April 2004. The investigation moves into its second week since the arrest of five people in connection with a Civil Guard probe that uncovered what appears to be widespread doping practices. Manzano was involved in a massive scandal in 2004 regarding alleged doping practices by his former Spanish Division I team.

Eufemiano Fuentes, then Kelme team doctor, was questioned as a result of Manzano's statements, after Manzano detailed the illicit practices of Fuentes before or during races. It was alleged Fuentes administered EPO, Trigon, caffeine, autotransfusions and the female hormone HCG Lepori as part of his duties while team doctor.

It's likely the testimony of Manzano and his collaboration with the investigation could also uncover the names of other athletes who have been treated by Fuentes.

Cyclingnews will feature an interview with Jésus Manzano in the coming days

Sevilla admits to visiting the lab

In further developments in the case, El Pais has reported that Oscar Sevilla (T-Mobile) has admitted to visiting Dr Fuente's clinic at Zurbano, 92 in Madrid. After Spanish magazine Interviú reported that the Civil Guard was investigating Sevilla, T-Mobile told El Pais, "[Sevilla] has told us that it was possible that he appeared in the photographs taken by the Civil Guard at the door of the laboratory of Zurbano, 92." Sevilla admitted to receiving training programs from Ignacio Labarta, an associate of Dr Fuentes who was also arrested last week, but claimed that he had nothing to do with Fuentes. "If it turns out that he lied to us, Sevilla will have a problem."

According to El Pais, the investigators have also said that they have photographed riders coming to the lab in the evening, after it is closed.

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

Basso returns home as Giro victor

Basso and baby Santiago
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

After securing a dominant win in this year's Giro d'Italia, CSC's Ivan Basso has returned to his home in Cassano Magnago as Giro victor and father to a new son, Santiago. While Basso celebrated his triumph in the loop of Italy, it was also his first opportunity to see his baby son, who was born during the last week of the race. Basso saluted Santiago by displaying a photo of the newborn as he crossed the line in stage 20 of the Giro.

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Roberto Bettini/

Basso does two post-Giro crits

Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso (CSC) will pay tribute to his fans at two post-Giro criteriums in Italy this week. On Thursday, he will take part in the evening race in Arona (Gran Premio Formaggi Guffanti - GP Fontaneto Ravioli), while on Friday he will do the Gran Premio SBS.

The Gran Premio Formaggi Guffanti-GP Fontaneto Ravioli has attracted a solid field, including (in addition to Basso), Franco Pellizotti, Alessandro Spezialetti, Andrea Noè, Dario Andriotto (Liquigas), Fabio Sacchi, Alberto Ongarato, Elia Rigotto, Alessandro Vanotti, Sergio Ghisalberti (team Milram), Damiano Cunego, Paolo Tiralongo, Giuliano Figueras, Sylvester Szmyd (Lampre Fondital), Gilberto Simoni, Leonardo Piepoli, Guido Trentin (Saunier Duval - Prodir), Francesco Bellotti (Credit Agricole), Emanuele Sella (Ceramica Panaria - Navigare), Giovanni Lombardi (Team CSC), Serguei Gonchar, Scott Davis (T-Mobile), Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel), Gabriele Missaglia, Sergio Barbero, Wladimir Belli, Raffaele Illiano, Alberto Loddo (Selle Italia Diquigiovanni), Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner). The racing will start at 20:45 and will include a scratch race and an elimination race.

Prior to the race, Basso will be on hand at the Nobili Rubinetterie factory in Suno to launch the first "safety car" in the world of cycling.

On Friday, June 2 in Miasino, Basso will take part in the fourth Gran Premio SBS. Starting from 14:45 outside the SBS factory, the riders will race to the top of Mottarone, a 14.5 km climb.

T-Mobile not underestimating competition in Luxembourg

With the Giro d'Italia and the Bayern-Rundfahrt out of the way, T-Mobile are looking ahead to their next race - the Tour of Luxembourg (May 31-June 4). Kim Kirchen spearheads the six-rider roster in his homeland, and Luxembourg's 2005 Sportsman of the Year will be out to prove that title is no fluke and has set a goal of a top ten place in the five-day race.

Olaf Pollack travels to the Grand Duchy fresh off his battles for a stage win at the Giro; and after many near-misses and a day in the maglia rosa, the sprinter will be keen to make his good form count in Luxembourg, where he'll have the support of fellow fast man André Greipel. Both riders have already recorded two wins so far this season, and will be keen to take more during the week.

Classics specialists Marcus Burghardt, Lorenzo Bernucci and Sergey Ivanov round out the roster in Luxembourg. While no comparisons can be drawn between the parcours in Luxemburg and the mountainous final week of the Giro, T-Mobile sporting director Brian Holm believes the race profile cannot be underestimated. "It's a constant up and down course with often quite steep and sharp ascents that require a different approach than the Dolomites," said Holm. Last year the Dane oversaw a very successful five days for T-Mobile crew at the UCI Cat 2 HC race, with Eric Baumann and classics specialist Bram Schmitz scoring a stage win each.

There will be 13 teams riding the Tour of Luxembourg, including six ProTour teams. Top Continental teams Wiesenhof-Akud,, Landbouwkrediet and Skil-Shimano also line up on Wednesday. "You underestimate the second division teams at your own peril. Just look at Agritubel’s success at the Bayern-Rundfahrt and Skil-Shimano's success at the Tour of Belgium," added Holm on his team's competition for the race.

T-Mobile's roster for the Tour of Luxembourg: Lorenzo Bernucci, Marcus Burghardt, André Greipel, Sergey Ivanov, Kim Kirchen, Olaf Pollack. Sporting director: Brian Holm

Acqua & Sapone confident in Spain

Acqua & Sapone Caffè Mokambo returns to racing in Spain after a win at Circuit de Lorraine and second overall at the International Peace Race, and team manager Masciarelli wants to finish this first half of the season with a flourish.

The squad that will ride the Euskal Bizikleta (May 31 - June 4) under directeur sportif Bruno Cenghialta, who said that, "We're relying on a very solid team, and we're aware that we have the means to perform well; and above all the boys are very focused."

Cenghialta also said that the two recent victories will calm the team's nerves somewhat and help them work better together. He also has a strong belief in two of his riders for the overall win. "I can tell you that [Juan Mauricio] Soler and [Kanstantin] Siutsou are in good form of late, but all the squad has plenty of ability, and we're optimistic [for this race]," he said. Soler won the overall title at Circuit de Lorraine,

The squad for Euskal Bizikleta: Alessandro Donati, Andrea Masciarelli, Leonardo Moser, Rinaldo Nocentini, Giuseppe Palumbo, Kastantsin Siutsou, Mauricio Soler, Andrea Tonti. Directeur Sportif: Bruno Cenghialta

Australia MTB series dates announced

The national series for the 2006/2007 season has been finalized. Once again the season sees four high quality venues conducting events from October 2006 through to February 2007.

The season kicks off with the much-anticipated mountain cross (MTNX) at Sydney Olympic Park, which last season saw over 200 riders coverage on the first purpose-built and permanent MTNX course in a major city. It's expected that this season's opener (October 21) will be bigger and held in conjunction with the Sydney Festival of Cycling. The following day (October 22) sees XC#1 being staged at the very well known Yellowmundee Regional Park near Richmond by the Western Sydney MTB Club.

The first downhill event will be hosted by Central Tablelands MTB Club on their awesome course at Lithgow the following weekend (October 29).

National level mountain bike competition will see a welcome return to Tasmania (November 25-26) with the Hobart Dirt Devils hosting XC#2, DH#2 and MTNX#2 at the Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park, whose Glen Jacobs-designed courses were very favourably received last season.

Thredbo (December 16-17) hosts the third round in all disciplines, with chair-lifted DH competition, high altitude XC and a Jacobs-inspired MTNX course. The final round of the MTNX series (MTNX#4) will be hosted at Blackhill, near Newcastle (January 7), and the final rounds of XC and DH (XC#4 and DH#4) will be staged at the ever-popular Mt. Beauty (February 24-25).

The Australian MTB Marathon Championships (Toowoomba, September 3) and the Australian MTB Championships in Canberra (January 24-28) will also feature on the calendar with a view to hosting the 2008 World MTB Championships, the details of which are available on the MTB Australia website.

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