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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for October 5, 2006

Edited by Laura Weislo, Jeff Jones and Gregor Brown

McQuaid looks to ban Ullrich and other Puerto riders

By Susan Westemeyer

UCI President
Pat McQuaid
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
Click for larger image

Although Ivan Basso may be riding again as soon as next week, it looks like the UCI is going to do everything it can to stop Jan Ullrich from climbing on a bike again. Responding to the Swiss cycling federation's announcement last month that it would give Ullrich a license if he applied for one, UCI President Pat McQuaid told Sport-Bild magazine that "If the Swiss federation doesn't ban Jan Ullrich, we will go to the international court of arbitration for sport."

McQuaid also noted that even if Ullrich received a license, under the ProTour Code of Ethics, no Pro Tour team would be able to sign him as long as investigations against him continue.

Furthermore, McQuaid specified to Cyclingnews, "This consideration is not restricted to Ullrich but is something we will consider in all of the Operation Puerto cases, without prejudicing the outcome of any of the cases."

Mayo's future uncertain

By Susan Westemeyer and Antonio J. Salmerón

Iban Mayo is still uncertain about whether he will be riding for Euskaltel-Euskadi next year. His teammates Samuel Sanchez and Haimar Zubeldia have both renewed with the Basque outfit for the coming season, and Dioni Galpasoro (ex-Kaiku) has also signed for the team.

"I talked with my team on the subject; they made me an offer and told me that I have to answer them," he told EFE. "I phoned Miguel Madariaga (Euskaltel-Euskadi manager) yesterday to send them another reasonable offer. Now I am hoping for their answer."

The Basque rider insisted that his proposal was "reasonable", while at the same time, he admitted, "I believe that it is what I deserve. I cannot request what I was getting up until now, because I did not merit it.

"I promised them (Euskaltel-Euskadi) that when I decide something about my future, I will tell them, as I have done. There are other teams interested in me and that is very important for me. Once I know whether Euskaltel accepts what I have asked them, I will assess the best offer for me."

It is certainly clear where Mayo won't be riding next year. He reportedly has offers from his current team of Euskaltel, as well as from Cofidis and Gerolsteiner. That latter report drew a quick response from the German team. "That is totally ridiculous," Gerolsteiner spokesman Jörg Grünefeld told "Iban Mayo will most probably never appear on the roster of Team Gerolsteiner, and especially not in 2007."

54th Coppa Sabatini for Bettini

Thursday marks the 54th running of the Coppa Sabatini in Peccioli (Toscana). Due to Paolo Bettini's recent tragic loss, the 2006 World Champion will not line up for the race. Instead, before the start there will be a moment of silence all the riders to reflect on the death of Bettini's brother. Bettini, winner of the 50th edition of the race, was scheduled to take to the start line before his bother, Sauro, died in a car accident Monday evening.

Several members of the 2006 Squadra Azzurra will be on the start line tomorrow; just confirmed is Bettini's close friend Luca Paolini (Liquigas), joined by Rinaldo Nocentini and Andrea Tonti(Acqua & Sapone), Raffaele Ferrara (Androni Giocattoli-3C Casalinghi) and time trialists Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) and Marco Pinotti (Saunier Duval-Prodir). Last year's winner Alessandro Bertolini (Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni) will line up with the number 1, joined by other big names Frank Vandenbroucke (Acqua & Sapone), Mirko Celestino (Milram) and Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Fondital).

Kirsipuu retires after Paris-Tours

Estonian Jaan Kirsipuu is retiring from the sport of cycling after the Paris-Tours this Sunday. The 37 year-old has spent his career racing for French teams, including the last two seasons with Crédit Agricole. In addition to races like Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, the Estonian sprinter has taken four stages in the Tour de France and six days in the coveted Maillot Jaune.

Team Milram for Paris-Tours

Photo ©: AFP
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Team Milram has announced their squad for the second-last ProTour race of the year, Paris-Tours. Defending champion Erik Zabel will lead the team for the 100th edition of the race. Zabel will be joined by Simone Cadamuro, Alessandro Cortinovis, Alberto Ongarato, Fabio Sacchi, Marco Velo, Sebastian Siedler, Enrico Poitschke, and director sportif Oscar Pellicioli.


Lampre-Fondital for upcoming Italian races

Daniele Bennati will contest the Coppa Sabatini on October 5th, along with Matteo Carrara, Jaime Alberto Castaneda, Marco Marzano, Ruggero Marzoli, Morris Possoni, Mauro Santambrogio, and Sylvester Szmyd with reserves Paolo Fornaciari and Evgueni Petrov. For the Giro dell'Emilia and GP Beghelli, Santambrogio will be replaced by Evgeni Petrov, with David Loosli and Danilo Napolitano serving as reserves.

Three races in four days for Team Barloworld

Team Barloworld will ride three races in four days this week to get ready for the big challenge at the end of the season: the Tour of Lombardy. Team manager Claudio Corti has high hopes for the Coppa Sabatini in Tuscany, and directeur sportif Valerio Tebaldi will field a team that can get in breaks and handle the uphill finish. The team will consist of Pedro Arreitunandia, Giosuè Bonomi, Diego Caccia, Felix Cardenas, Alex Efimkin, Tiaan Kannemeyer, James Perry and Hugo Sabido. At this weekend's Giro dell’ Emilia, the team will replace Bonomi with Mauro Facci, but Bonomi will be back at Sunday's GP Beghelli, where Enrico Degano will replace Arreitunandia and Cardenas.

Liquigas announces 2007 roster

Champagne time for Murilo Fischer
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
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Liquigas Sport has officially released the list of riders for its 2007 Pro Team. New signings include Leonardo Bertagnolli, formerly of Cofidis, Brazilian rider Murilo Fischer, and the winner of this year's "Baby Giro", Dario Cataldo, who will be the team's only neo-professional. The three latest signings are in addition to previously announced new riders Manuel Beltran, Filippo Pozzato, Francesco Chicchi, Aleksandr Kuschynski, Roberto Petito, Guido Trenti, Alessandro Vanotti, and Frederik Willems.

Returning for 2007 are Danilo Di Luca, Magnus Backstedt, Luca Paolini, Charles Wegelius, Michael Albasini, Andrea Noè, Franco Pellizotti, Patrick Calcagni, Eros Capecchi, Kjell Carlström, Mauro Da Dalto, Francesco Failli, Enrico Gasparotto, Roman Kreuziger, Vladimir Miholjevic, Matej Mugerli, Vincenzo Nibali, Manuel Quinziato, and Alessandro Spezialetti.

Clément Lhotellerie signs contract with Skil-Shimano

Clément Lhotellerie has signed a contract for two years with the Skil-Shimano professional cycling team. The 20 year-old French rider is the current French Espoirs cyclo-cross champion, and an all-rounder on the road. This winter he aims to excel one more time in the French cyclo cross championship and the world championship for Espoirs in Belgium before concentrating totally on his career as a road racing professional.

The young Frenchman is looking forward to moving up to the professional ranks, and has big ambitions for the future: "I would like to take one of the top places in the world cyclocross championship this winter, and after that I intend to concentrate entirely on road racing. I’m going to do everything I can to develop step by step into a successful professional rider."

After David Deroo, Clément Lhotellerie is the second Frenchman to join the Skil-Shimano team for next season. The team also expects to name a third new French rider in the near future.

Japan Cup charging spectators

By Miwako Sasaki

The 15th edition of the Japan Cup is a topic of conversation for Japanese cycling fans now. The organiser of the race has announced that it will charge people to watch it - an unprecedented move in Japan. The roadside from the start to the top of the hill, the most popular spectator viewing points on the 14.1 km circuit, will be closed and require a ticket.

This controversial new system has been introduced due the financial problems experienced by the race, the organiser explained. They said that the race has become bigger in recent years, and has many spectators on the roadside, so security is costing more. The race will also invite more national teams, although there are only four ProTour Teams - the same number of the last year.

The cost of the ticket is only thousand yen (€7), but most Japanese cycling fans are disappointed at this decision. The Japan Cup will be held on October 22, and the paying model could set a precedent for other races around the world.

ProTour team presence

The Italian Lampre-Fondital team will come to Japan again, although defending champion Damiano Cunego is absent as he has already finished this season. Marco Marzano, Ruggero Marzoli, Morris Possoni, Sylvester Szmyd, and Hong Kong rider Wu Kin San will come to the race, with Fabrizio Bontempi. Szmyd was fourth and Marzano was seventh in 2004.

Spanish teams Saunier Duval-Prodir and French Bouygues Telecom will start the race too. The Spanish team Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears has cancelled their participation, on the other hand, American Discovery Channel finally decided to race last week after negotiations with the organiser, so Japanese rider Fumiyuki Beppu can show his national champion's jersey to his supporters.

Team list

Saunier Duval-Prodir
Bouygues Telecom
Discovery Channel
Aisan Racing Team
Team Vang Cycling
Team Matrix-Powertag
China National Team
Thailand National Team
Hong Kong China National Team
Chinese Taipei National Team
Japan National Team

Danes to the Thousand

Denmark's team pursuit crew
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Click for larger image

The Danish National team will head to Australia to race in the historic Sydney Thousand, to be held at the Canterbury Velodrome in Tempe on Sunday, October 29th. The Danish team is coached by Heiko Salzwedel, who is regarded as one of the finest coaches in the world. Salzwedel worked with the Australian Institute of Sport as national road coach for seven years, making Australia a major force in world cycling in the 1990's.

Under Salzwedel's guidance, the Danes chalked up their biggest win at the Sydney World Cup this year, defeating Ukraine in the team pursuit and breaking their national record. The Danish team of Jens-Erik Madsenm Casper Jorgensen, Daniel Kreutzfeld and Michael Christensen are familiar with the Canterbury Velodrome having used the facility earlier this year in preparation of their World Cup victory.

Steve Wooldridge, the Olympic champion and current World champion, said, "If you thought Canterbury Velodrome was ideal earlier this year you will get a huge shock with the improvements undertaken by Canterbury City Council in preparation for the Sydney Thousand."

Wooldridge will be pitted against the Danish team in a 2000 metre team event, and will head a team comprising members of the NSW Institute of Sport. The Danish team will contest many events on the program including the Sydney Thousand. It will be the first time that the Danes have attempted to win one of Australia’s most historic events since Thorwald Ellegaard contested the race in March 1905.

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(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)