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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

Latest Cycling News for November 6, 2006

Edited by Anthony Tan & Ben Abrahams

Millar faces trial with former Cofidis team-mates

David Millar
Photo ©: Unipublic
(Click for larger image)

Saunier Duval rider David Millar will face trial in Paris today (Monday) along with six other current and former members of the Cofidis team over allegations of 'acquiring and holding banned substances'.

As reported by Cyclingnews yesterday, three other defendants are also implicated in the case - a cycling technician, a pharmacist and a former Cofidis physiotherapist - who face charges relating to supplying performance-enhancing drugs and encouraging riders to engage in doping. Each of the defendants could face up to five years in prison and fines of €75,000 if found guilty.

The case is based around a series of intercepted phone calls between Boguslaw Madejak, an ex-Cofidis physiotherapist from Poland and two other Polish riders on the Cofidis team, who reportedly used codes to discuss the trafficking of illegal substances. One of the riders, Marek Rutkiewicz, was found to be in possession of seven vials of EPO whilst returning from a trip to Poland in January 2004.

Aside from Millar, other riders who face charges are three Frenchmen, Robert Sassone, Mederic Clain and Philippe Gaumont, plus Daniel Majewski of Poland and Italian Massimiliano Lelli.

Millar admitted using EPO three times during his career and was subsequently banned from racing for two years. Since his return in July this year he has been a strong advocate of drug-free racing and made a passionate speech about the possibilities of winning clean after victory in Stage 14 of the Vuelta a España.

Frenchman upstages big names in Treviso

Changes to parcours before 2008 'cross world's

A tight sprint won by Francis Mourey
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Click for larger image

At the site of the 2008 'cross world championships in Treviso, Italy, 25 year-old Frenchman Francis Mourey upstaged his more fancied northern European rivals to win the fourth round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup.

After just over an hour's racing, Erwin Vervecken (Fidea Cycling Team) went into the finishing straight with World Cup leader Sven Nys (Rabobank) and Mourey on his wheel, with neither of the Belgians able to match the Frenchman's finishing speed.

"It was a very hard race today, very fast," explained Mourey after the finish. "I had a good position in the sprint, and I was able to come around Nys to win. I'm very happy with my result."

Mourey claimed it was a hard race, but UCI Cyclo-cross co-ordinator Mélanie Leveau told Cyclingnews the same parcours won't be used for the 2008 'cross worlds: "The course is too straight and too fast for a World Championship, so we will change the parcours for the Worlds and add more hairpin turns and perhaps some barriers," she said.

Old hands also saw a familiar name grace the sponsors' banners at Treviso, Italian building giant Mapei; a dominant force throughout the mid to late 90s, the company owned by cycling fan Georgio Squinzi ended their sponsorship in 2002 as a result of numerous successive doping cases. But with many ProTour teams and the UCI now taking active steps to combat doping, it appears Squnizi's had a change of heart, as Mapei will also sponsor the world cyclo-cross championships in 2008, and again the following year in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

Click here for full results, report & photos from Round 4 of the Cyclo-Cross World Cup.

Malaysian federation to run Langkawi

By Anthony Tan

With the once debt-ridden race saved by the government at the eleventh hour, management of the next year's Tour de Langkawi has been the talking point in recent weeks.

On Sunday in Kuala Lumpur, with the full executive council of the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) present, it was unanimously agreed they should organise the 2007 race, to be held from February 2-11. The Malaysian government shall remain as owners.

The executive council also agreed that the MNCF has the mandate to contract a number of experts previously involved with the race, which precludes incumbents First Cartel and Red Revolution. However, Cyclingnews has learned this does include Alan Rushton, director of UK-based company The Events Group, who held the title of Race Controller from 1998-2004, and Datuk Wan Lokman, race owner during this same period.

Going forward, the Malaysian cycling federation will soon present the 2007 Tour de Langkawi budget to the steering committee, comprising the Ministry of Youth & Sports, the Ministry of Tourism and representatives of the MNCF. Route details are also said be near completion, and teams are due to receive their invitations around the same time.

Armstrong's marathon: "The hardest race of my life"

An unfamiliar sight
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

After completing the New York City marathon in a whisker under three hours, seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong revealed that the 26.2 mile race was the hardest of his life.

Speaking at a news conference after the finish, Armstrong explained, "for the level of conditioning that I have now, without a doubt that was the hardest physical thing I've ever done."

"I can tell you, 20 years of pro sports, endurance sports, from triathlons to cycling, all of the Tours, even the worst days in the Tours, nothing was as hard as that and nothing left me feeling the way I feel now, in terms of just sheer fatigue and soreness," he admitted.

Due to regular commitments with his cancer foundation, Armstrong was only able to train for approximately 45 minutes each day and his longest run beforehand had been 16 miles - running experts would generally recommend doing at least one 20 mile training run prior to a marathon.

Armstrong's time of just under three hours (2'59'36), equates to a pace of 6'51 for each mile and placed him 869th in a field of 38,368 starters. Despite being paced by three running legends - Alberto Salazar, Joan Benoit Samuelson and Hicham el-Guerrouj - Armstrong fell just short of Laurent Jalabert's time of 2'55'39, set in the same event last year.

However, Salazar noted that Armstrong may not have lost much of his fitness since retiring from cycling, saying that "for him, cardiovascularly, it was very easy. He could talk much better than I could during the race."

Armstrong ran the marathon wearing a green shirt with '10/2' (the date of his cancer diagnosis) written across it, and with the help of 100 other runners, raised over $600,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by AFP Photo


Missouri hardly incident-free

An accident last Friday afternoon in Columbia, Missouri, was the third incident within the space of a week where a car has hit a pedestrian or cyclist.

On November 3, 18 year-old MU freshman Greg Hahn collided with a car at the intersection of Stewart and Providence roads, causing the youngster to fly through the air and land in the middle of the street. The Columbia Missourian reports that Hahn was rushed to hospital, where he was said to be in fair condition the following afternoon.

Columbia police Officer Curtis Perkins said Hahn was not wearing a helmet, not a legal requirement in the US, with the Columbia Police Department's Traffic Unit still investigating the crash. The previous Sunday, a 31 year-old male was killed while walking on Nifong Boulevard, and on the same night, 20 year-old cyclist Aurora Chamberlin was hit by a car and hospitalised as a result, reported to be in a fair condition last Saturday.

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