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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest Cycling News for May 31, 2006

Edited by Anthony Tan, with assistance from Susan Westemeyer

ASO to withdraw Würth's TdF invite?

The Spanish newspaper AS reports that on Friday, the Tour de France organisers ASO will withdraw their invitation to the Liberty Seguros-Würth Team, now known as Würth. Former race director Jean-Marie Leblanc announced that the Tour would take "vigorous measures" against any teams found to be implicated in the Spanish doping scandal.

However, according to AS, ASO cannot unilaterally remove Manolo Saiz's team from the race because of the way the current ProTour rules stand, which was also communicated by ProTour manager Alain Rumpf to the press on the final day of the Giro d'Italia. To withdraw Würth's invite, the TdF organisers will have to await a ruling from the UCI as to whether the team is still a part of the ProTour, and is therefore eligible to participate or not.

AS also reports that ASO will prevent Spanish pro continental team Comunidad Valenciana from racing the Tour, although the announcement has not been officially made yet. Comunidad Valenciana isn't a ProTour squad, and was invited at the descretion of the race organisers, but the implication of its assistant director Ignacio Labarta in "Operación Puerto" seems to have put its Tour spot in jeopardy.

All T-Mobile riders must deny involvement

In light of Oscar Sevilla's involvement in the current Spanish doping scandal, T-Mobile Team is requiring all its riders to verify they have nothing to do with the matter. "We have requested all our riders to sign a three-line declaration, stating that they have not worked with Fuentes. "Our manager Olaf Ludwig will collect these declarations in the coming days," said Christian Frommert, Director of Sports Information for the T-Mobile Team.

Sevilla was allegedly filmed entering the Fuentes clinic, but claims to have visited another doctor in the same building. Frommert said there is "no reason to doubt Oscar. If, however, it transpires that he has been clandestinely using banned substances, then we will take action."

Liberty Seguros offline

And if anyone's looking for news on the former Liberty Seguros-Würth team on the Internet, don't bother: their Web site is gone. Click on and all you get is the following message: "Página no disponible, Page not available."

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

Investigating lawyer says Armstrong should be cleared

According to Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, the UCI's appointed independent lawyer Emile Vrijman says Lance Armstrong should be cleared of any suspicion surrounding the retrospective testing of his blood samples from the 1999 Tour de France. In late August last year, the seven-time Tour de France winner was at the centre of French newspaper L'Equipe's allegations, who claimed Armstrong's first Tour victory was aided by blood-boosting agent erythropoietin (EPO).

Mr. Vrijman denounced the manner in which the doping laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry carried out its research, as well as questioning the ethics of World Anti-Doping Agency chairman, Dick Pound. Furthermore, Vrijman said the French scientists who worked on the retrospective testing facilitated the ease with which L'Equipe journalist Damien Ressiot obtained the documentation that listed riders' code numbers against each of the urine samples tested. Ressiot was then able to match the code numbers against the doping control forms mistakenly given out by UCI doctor Mario Zorzoli.

Despite Zorzoli handing out these forms, Vrijman believed it was definitely not enough to identify Armstrong as guilty of taking EPO. Again slamming the Châtenay-Malabry laboratory for its research methods, he said it was "irresponsible to suggest the results of the 1999 analyses contain enough proof [to convict Armstrong]".

June 27, 2006 - Carmichael defends Armstrong, Armstrong answers L'Equipe & LeMond
June 26, 2006 - LeMond: "Armstrong threatened my life"
June 19, 2006 - Armstrong calls for Pound's exit
June 18, 2006 - Lance Armstrong's open letter against Dick Pound
June 4, 2006 - UCI hits back at WADA
June 3, 2006 - WADA slams the Vrijman report
June 2, 2006 - L'Equipe stands by its story, UCI supports Vrijman's findings
June 1, 2006 - UCI, WADA and Armstrong react to Vrijman's report
May 31, 2006 - UCI lawyer asks for Armstrong's name to be cleared
May 14, 2006 - Two more weeks for Armstrong investigation

Phonak for Schwarzwald & Gippingen

The Phonak Cycling Team will send the following line-ups to the GP Triberg-Schwarzwald and GP Kanton Aargau one-day races, to be held this weekend.

Team GP Triberg-Schwarzwald: Alexandre Moos, Steve Morabito, Luis Oliveira, Gregory Rast, Florian Stalder, Johann Tschopp, David Vitoria, Steve Zampieri
Directeur-sportif: René Savary

GP Kanton Aargau: Aurélien Clerc, Martin Elmiger, Alexandre Moos, Steve Morabito, Luis Oliveira, Gregory Rast, Florian Stalder, David Vitoria
Directeur-sportif: René Savary

Wiesenhof-Akud for upcoming races

Almost the entire Wiesenhof-Akud team will be racing this week, with only three of the team's 16 riders sitting it out. Starting today, German road champion Gerald Ciolek will be leading the team in the Tour of Luxembourg, while climber Gerhard Trampusch will lead a small team in the GP Schwarzwald in Germany on Saturday and also at the GP Aargau in Gippingen, Switzerland, on Sunday.

Skoda-Tour de Luxembourg: Gerald Ciolek, Artur Gajek, Steffen Radochla, Marcel Sieberg, Corey Sweet, Carlo Westphal, Gergor Willwohl

GP Triberg-Schwarzwald/GP Kanton Aargau: Tim Klinger, Christian Leben, Robert Retschke, Gerhard Trampusch, Lars Wackernagel

Lampre to Memorial Pantani

With the approval of team manager Giuseppe Saronni, Lampre-Fondital direttore sportivo Giuseppe Martinelli confirmed the team's line-up for this Saturday's Memorial Pantani, a 176 kilometre race from 'Il Pirata's' former home in Cesenatico to Cesena.

Riders: Alessandro Ballan, Daniele Bennati, Giuliano Figueras, Enrico Franzoi, Daniele Righi, Mauro Santambrogio

South African nationals start tomorrow

South Africa's Herald Online reports Nelson Mandela will play host to the South African national road championships, which begin tomorrow (Thursday) until June 4 in Altona.

According to the Herald, over 800 cyclists have registered for the championships, which commence with the national time trial championship on Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, the schools events will take place, followed by the men's and women's road races on Sunday.

In the women's road race, Anriette Schoeman, who recently won her division in the Cape Argus Cycle Tour for the fifth time, is vying for a record eighth championship on Sunday. "Team tactics will play a major role in the outcome of the event," Schoeman said. "It will be left to the team manager to decide who is singled out in the team to go for the win. The only important aspect is that we as Team Proline Computers, take the national title."

Pakistan MTB race to help earthquake victims

An epic three days of mountain biking over some of the most exciting and gruelling terrain in the world, the Tour of the Karakorum in Pakistan is being promoted to help victims of last October's earthquake that destroyed much of the area and killed thousands of people.

Organised by former Marco Polo Cycling Team member Nathan Dahlberg, all funds generated from the race will go to the Kaghan Memorial School Project of the Kaghan Memorial Trust. This school is being built in Balakot, one of the areas worst-affected by the earthquake, where thousands of children were killed when their schools collapsed on top of them.

To be held from September 1-3, 2006, the Tour of The Karakorum is a combined mountain bike stage race and bike tour. 20 invited riders will participate in the three-day race that will cover 250 kilometres on dirt, paved and track only roads, crossing the Babusar Pass at more than 4,100 metres above sea level (that's 13,600 feet!). A further 20 tourists will cover the same distance, and any others who are game (read: mad - ed.) enough can also tackle the race.

Organisers warn this is not a trip for the physically, mentally or culturally weak, and a documentary for British television will also be filmed during the race.

Race prizes:

Daily prizes for the first three on each stage
King of Babusar pass and special prizes for second and third up the pass
King of Karakorums for the overall winner and prizes for the first 10 on overall classement
Special prizes for oldest, most combative, best sportsman

More information:

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