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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for October 6, 2006

Edited by Laura Weislo, Jeff Jones and Greg Johnson

Nine Astana riders challenge the Spanish Cycling Federation

By Hernan Alvarez

Nine Astana riders (Aitor Osa, Unai Osa, David Etxebarría, Giampaolo Caruso, Isidro Nozal, Joseba Beloki, Javier Ramirez, Allan Davis and Jörg Jaksche) have accused the Spanish Cycling Federation of: "spreading information incorrectly, which meant for them the violation of their rights of personal data protection". This demand was accepted by the court that has the named Operacion Puerto in charge in Plaza de Castilla (Madrid). Some of the nine riders met with legal representatives on Thursday to discuss how to proceed with the case.

There was another abnormal situation in the Operacion Puerto, already reported by Cyclingnews on September 17. Apparently, Spain's State Sports Council didn't receive documents about the case until July 7, but had already sent information about it to the Spanish Cycling Federation on June 29. That federation sent it directly to the UCI. Both documents were very similar but not the same as the first was missing a Civil Guard signature. Apparently, the council has warned that action must be taken before the start of next year's Tour de France.

[Jesus Alaña, Spain's Cadena COPE radio journalist contributed to this story.]

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

Paolo Bettini to race in Italy

World Champion Paolo Bettini has decided to take part in this weekend's races, the Giro dell'Emilia and the GP Beghelli. "The decision to race was made after discussing it with my family. Also in so difficult a moment, the wish is to ride for my family, for Sauro and to respect the jersey that I wear." Bettini's bother, Sauro, died in a car accident Monday evening. Riding with Betttini for Quick Step are Serge Baguet, Leonardo Scarselli, Hubert Schwab, Ivan Santaromita, Matteo Tosatto, Cedric Vasseur, and Davide Vigano.

Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears for Paris-Tours

Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears has confirmed its line-up for the upcoming Paris-Tours. Iván Gutiérrez, Pablo Lastras, Alexei Markov, Mathieu Perget, Nicolas Portal, Mikel Pradera, Fran Pérez and Vicente Reynes will contest the 100th edition of the event under the direction of José Luis Jaimerena.

Gerolsteiner for Paris-Tours

Gerolsteiner has a mixed line-up for Sunday's Paris-Tours classic, trying to cover the chances of the race finishing in a bunch sprint as well as a breakaway. Team director Christian Henn is counting on "a sprint with a big bunch" and has selected his team accordingly. "We have enough fast men that a place in the top 10 is achievable."

An interesting rider could be Heinrich Haussler, who recently won two stages of the Circuit Franco Belge. The 22 year-old is able to sprint from a small breakaway or in a big bunch, although there are also riders like René Haselbacher and Peter Wrolich for a big finish.

The team: Thomas Fothen (Ger), René Haselbacher (Aut), Heinrich Haussler (Ger), Frank Høj (Den), Sven Krauß (Ger), Sebastian Lang (Ger), Ronny Scholz (Ger) and Peter Wrolich (Aut). Sports director: Christian Henn.

McEwen to race Sun Tour

Robbie McEwen
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

Robbie McEwen, coming off his highly successful Pro Tour season, will head back to his native land this week for Australia’s oldest stage race, the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. McEwen, 34, is in career best form, coming off of a fifth place in the world championships only two weeks ago in Austria. This season, he took three stages in both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France and his third green jersey for his Pro Tour team Davitamon-Lotto, but will line up for the Sun Tou with the Australian national team.

Dave Sanders, VIS Coach and manager of the Australian national team, was exited at the prospect of working with McEwen. "It is a privilege for all the cyclists and the public to get to race against, and watch, the best of the best, Sanders said. "The fact that riders of the caliber of McEwen, Gerrans and Vogels are so keen to race here shows just how Australian cycling is evolving".

McEwen last rode the Herald Sun Tour in 2001, and has captured seven stage victories there. He made the decision to ride the tour after a long season in Europe, because he wants to make a contribution to one of Australia’s great bike races. "I want to ride for the national team in a Tour, which I never get the chance to do. You ride in the world championships and Olympics for the Australian team, but they are one-day races, not a Tour, so it will be a different experience."

Of course, McEwen’s presence in the Australian team begs the question as to who will be riding for the overall honours in the Australian team, given Simon Gerrans’ position as defending champion. "Obviously I’ll be after stage wins - we’ll work out the tactics once we all get together."

Last year, Gerrans described his Sun Tour win as the highlight of his career. He went on to claim victory in the Tour Down Under in January before returning to Europe with his French team Ag2R. His team had hoped to return to Victoria to defend Gerrans’ title, but illness and injury prevented them from sending a squad. Instead, Gerrans will wear the national team colours with McEwen when the tour starts in on Sunday. They will still have strong team support from Henk Vogels, Matt Wilson, Trent Lowe, Trent Wilson and Tony Mann.

CSC's anti-doping program delayed

by Katharina Schulz

After being involved in one of cycling's biggest doping scandals during which most of the favourites for the Tour de France 2006 were excluded one day before the race started, Danish Team CSC had decided to launch one of the most ambitious anti-doping plans. In taking aboard one of Denmark's leading anti-doping specialists, Rasmus Damsgaard, they took an offensive course of action. However, this course has apparently been stalled, if only temporarily, as there are still no concrete plans for the program after the latest meeting between team director Bjarne Riis and Damsgaard.

Damsgaard is still optimistic, "We haven't come as far as I'd been hoping, but things are still looking positive. We had our second meeting on Friday, and now CSC are checking their budget to find out whether the preliminary plan is economically feasible," Damsgaard told the Danish news agency Ritzau. The two parties have also asked the national anti-doping agency, Anti Doping Danmark, and the UCI to join them in their efforts to fight unauthorized measures. "I haven't heard anything from the UCI yet, but I am doing my best to get an answer from them," Damsgaard said.

De Bie leaves Fidea

Danny De Bie has left the Fidea team as directeur sportif, according to various Belgian media. The 46 year-old would not accept an offer from manager Hans van Kasteren to work part time. "While everything is becoming more professional, I would have to take a big step backwards," he was quoted as saying. "Then it's finished for me. I was enormously happy to do this job. But I know the environment and the environment knows me. In principle, I could be busy again tomorrow."

Van Kasteren told GVA and HLN, "I was satisfied with the work of De Bie in the field. But on the administrative side it went wrong once in a while. If you buy a pair of wheels, then don't you keep the receipt?

"De Bie always put himself next to the riders, never above. A director should at least dare to bang on the table, but he couldn't or wouldn't do that."

Diquigiovanni continues with Selle Italia

The Italian continental pro team Selle Italia-Diquiogiovanni has announced that its co-sponsor Diquigiovanni has renewed for another season. The team features Colombian riders Jose Serpa and Walter Pedraza, as well as Italians Santo Anzà, Wladimir Belli, Sergio Barbero, Alessandro Bertolini, Alberto Loddo and Gabriele Missaglia, with young riders Emiliano Donadello and Mattia Turrina joining next season. Team manager Gianni Savio plans to sign another four Venezuelans for next year.

Lehigh Velodrome swap meet

The Lehigh Valley Velodrome will host the 31st Annual Fall Bicycling Swap Meet on Saturday, October 7. The open-air bazaar allows a variety of merchants to sell to consumers; from the professional bicycle racer unloading last season's gear to the upscale commercial retailer selling brand-name items. This year's event will kick off with Olympic Champion Marty Nothstein ringing the opening bell at 9:00 AM, signifying the start of the "rush to the gates". More than 250 vendors from all over the United States and Canada are registered to sell, barter, and swap their merchandise from 9 AM to 2 PM. Additional event information is available at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome's website.

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