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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for October 4, 2006

Edited by Greg Joihnson, Kyle Mackay & Hedwig Kröner

Riis leaves door open to Basso

Ivan Basso enjoys a drink
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

The manager of CSC, Bjarne Riis, has given his clearest message yet he will accept Ivan Basso back into the team should the latter be cleared by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) of implication in the Spanish Operación Puerto investigation. "I still have regular contact with Ivan. He is still part of the team as I have a two-year contract with him. We must wait if he is cleared, but the door is still open," said the manager of the Danish team.

Basso is also looking forward to positive news from CONI regarding his suspension, and a swift return to racing. "I hope that the announcement follows rapidly," said the 28 year-old Italian, "because then I can return as soon as possible to the group. If I am cleared, a conversation will follow concerning my future at CSC."

It is expected that CONI will drop the case against Basso citing lack of evidence. Thus far, the evidence against Basso is largely circumstantial, consisting of his name mentioned in police-intercepted telephone calls, on a fax, and the name "Birillo" on a batch of blood found in Dr Eufemiano Fuentes' office - allegedly the name of Basso's dog.

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

Lampre to Paris-Tours

The sprint
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

Lampre's Daniele Bennati returns to Paris-Tours to take his revenge on last year, where the Italian was beaten by just few centimetres by winner Erik Zabel. In order to win the penultimate ProTour race taking place next Sunday, Lampre has selected a custom-made roster for Bennati in France: Alessandro Ballan, Claudio Corioni, Paolo Fornaciari, Enrico Franzoi, David Loosli, Danilo Napolitano and Mauro Santambrogio.

"Bennati will fight for the victory, but also the other cyclists of the team will be able to be active in every moment of the race," explained sports director Maurizio Piovani, who will guide the squad.

Liquigas to upcoming Italian races

Italian team Liquigas will be taking part in the Coppa Sabatini, Giro dell’Emilia and GP Beghelli as of next Thursday, and has announced its rosters for the respective events. At the first race, Coppa Sabatini on October 5, the key riders will be Enrico Gasparotto - who has recently won the Memorial Cimurri - and Luca Paolini. On Saturday 7, at the Giro dell’Emilia, the team will be captained by Danilo Di Luca and Franco Pellizotti, who will act as the Liquigas leader at next Sunday’s GP Beghelli as well.

The complete squads, led by team manager Mario Scirea, are as follows:

Coppa Sabatini: Enrico Gasparotto, Luca Paolini, Dario Cioni, Vincenzo Nibali, Kjell Carlström, Roman Kreuziger, Andrea Noè, Charles Wegelius.
Giro dell’Emilia: Danilo Di Luca, Franco Pellizotti, Dario Cioni, Vincenzo Nibali, Kjell Carlström, Matej Mugerli, Andrea Noè, Charles Wegelius.
GP Beghelli: Franco Pellizotti, Dario Cioni, Vincenzo Nibali, Kjell Carlström, Roman Kreuziger, Matej Mugerli, Andrea Noè, Charles Wegelius.

Saunier is waiting for Mayo

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Saunier Duval-Prodir director Joxean Fernández Matxin denied to Cyclingnews having already signed the Euskaltel-Euskadi leader Iban Mayo, as El Correo Vasco had previously assured. "That is not true, but I do not deny that Saunier Duval-Prodir is actually interested in him." The Basque rider is among the main preferences of the Spanish ProTour team, as Matxin had asked Basque squad director Sabino Angoitia in the Vuelta about Mayo, but, at the moment, Matxin insists, "we are hoping to negotiate with him."

Mayo, who achieved good performances in Burgos and San Sebastian, did not succeed in the Vuelta a España. Saunier Duval is convinced that it can give him a breath of fresh air, as also Mayo himself admitted, "a change can come to me well."

Rabobank renews Posthuma's contract

Joost Posthuma (Rabobank)
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

Theo de Rooij, general director of the Rabobank Cycling Teams, has renewed the contract of Joost Posthuma, who will now be a member of the ProTeam until the end of the 2008 season. His current contract was due to end at the end of the 2007 season.

After joining the Rabobank Cycling Teams in 2001, Posthuma made the switch from the youth team to the professional team during the 2004 season. In his first full season, Posthuma won a stage in Paris-Nice, as well as the GP Jef Scherens in Leuven, Belgium.

This year, Posthuma made an impression in the individual time trials of the 2006 Tour de France, where he was the first to wear the white jersey for best young rider - a first for Rabobank. Women's Pro Cycling team announced

A new team will enter Women's Pro Cycling in 2007 with Team to be officially launched in January at the title sponsor's head office in Portland. While the team's administrators have remained tight lipped about details on the new team it's understood has signed on as title sponsor for three years, commencing in 2007. The outfit has also said its riders have signed multi-year agreements.

12 African teams at 20th Tour du Faso

The Tour du Faso in Burkina Faso, Africa, will celebrate the 20th year of its existence soon. Scheduled from October 25 to November 5, the stage race will see 12 African teams participate, which is a record. The last two years, two Burkinabès won the overall classification (Abdul Wahab Sawadogo and Jérémie Ouedraogo), but this could change in 2006. The Egyptian team, victorious in 1999, is making its come-back in Ouagadougou, and Cameroon as well as Angola are looking to making some progress on the final podium. Togo, Benin and Nigeria will assemble a mixed squad, as Zimbabwe will make its first appearance in the Tour.

Six European teams will be invited: Belgium will return as every year since 1996, and aim for the victory as the team has been on the podium several times already. Four French teams (Bretagne, Sarthe, Vélo Club de Roubaix and Yvelines) are also hoping for good results and maybe more than a stage win, the declared goal of Japan, who sends a team to the African event for the first time.

The enrolled teams in short: Angola, Belgium, Bretagne, Burkina Faso A, Burkina Faso B, Burkina Faso C, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Gabun, Japan, Mali, Sarthe, Senegal, Vélo Club de Roubaix, Yvelines, Zimbabwe, Benin-Niger-Togo.

Slipstream Sports sign young duo

US team Slipstream Sports, who raced under the name Team TIAA-CREF in 2006, has announced the signing of former Phonak rider Patrick McCarty and Credit Agricole's Kilian Patour for 2007. The signing of the two 24-year-olds represents another step forward in the team's mission to obtain a ProTour berth and contest the Tour de France.

Patour, the 2004 French Espoir National road champion, brings valuable knowledge of France to the outfit and will act as leadout mane for sprinter Brad Huff while McCarty will join 2001 world champion Danny Pate as the team's co-leader.

USA Cycling announce talent search

USA Cycling has announced a new program that will see the sporting body take a hands-on approach to the development of future competitive riders. The organisation has launched the USA Cycling Talent Search powered by RacerMate with the 2012 London Olympics in mind.

The initiative is aimed at training, testing and developing elite junior riders to ensure the nation's future competitiveness in the sport. "Young cyclists are the key to the future of our sport and it is critical we identify them early so we can carefully cultivate their talent and prepare them for competition," explained USA Cycling's CEO Steve Johnson. "RacerMate's national MultiRider network offers a unique opportunity to accurately test America's youth talent in a controlled setting, on a nationwide level. A critical aspect of this program is to search as far and wide as we can, and in Bicycling we are partnering with the nation's most-read cycling magazine."

Full details on the program are expected to be released later this month. For more information see

Velo Bella-Kona announce bi-coastal cyclocross team

The United State's Velo Bella-Kona women's Cyclocross team has announced its expansion into the East Coast scene to cater for both sides of the nation. "Velo Bella is dedicated to providing a place for women to ride their bikes, race their bikes, and above all, get muddy in a skinsuit," explained team co-founder Sabine Dukes. "With continued membership growth across the US, we felt it necessary to create a bi-coastal cyclocross team to mentor and inspire our members wherever they are. That and there just isn't enough mud here in California."

The non-profit outfit, now entering its third year, will contest the Crank Brother's US Grand Prix of Cyclocross, US Cyclocross Nationals and over 60 independent races. Newcomers to the team's Elite lineup include California's Sarah Kerlin, Barb Howe and Ann Fitzsimmons who join team veterans Erin Kassoy, Shannon Holden and developmental racer Marian Jamison complete the squad.

Beacon Cross Race rescheduled

Organisers of the Verge MAC Cyclocross Series have been forced to reschedule the third round due to a date clash at a venue which makes up part of the track. The Beacon Cross Race has been pushed back a day to Sunday, October 29, to avoid any complications.

"Due to an event at the Bridgeton City Zoo I have been force to change the date of the Beacon Cross Race," explained event promoter Wade Hess. "If I didn't change the race date, then the race course would have been drastically changed. Nothing else has changed but the date. Red Sky Cafe will still be there cooking Tex-Mex at the top of the Amphitheater of Pain. The race course will still be the same as it has been for the past two years. It's still a MAC race, it's still a UCI race - everything but the date is the same."

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