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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News for October 8, 2006

Edited by Laura Weislo, with assistance from Susan Westemeyer

Puerto court orders Spanish federation not to act

The Madrid court that is in charge of the Operación Puerto case sent an official letter to the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) yesterday that said that the federation can not use the court documents to open up cases against riders named in the investigation. The Spanish cycling association will not be allowed take action in the affair until the Spanish justice determines exactly what happened.

The trial is underway, and it is predicted to be completed by the middle of next year. Therefore, the RFEC will have to wait until the trial is over to open proceedings with any sporting bodies or to sanction the implicated riders. The judge in charge of the case, Carmelo Jimenez Segado, decided not to admit the UCI as a part of the trial.

This decision made by the court seems to question the pre-emptive actions taken by other national federations such as the Swiss (against Jan Ullrich) and the Colombian (with Santiago Botero) took months ago. Ullrich and Botero are alleged to be included the famous 200-name doped sportsmen list discovered by the Spanish Guardia Civil in May.

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

Haussler out of Paris-Tours

Heinrich Haussler
Photo ©: Mani Wollner
Click for larger image

Team Gerolsteiner was hoping that Heinrich Haussler could continue his recent success in Sunday's Paris-Tours Pro Tour race, but the youngster is going to spend the day sick in bed rather than on his bike. A case of the flu has laid him low and cancelled his plans.

Haussler missed much of the season because of mononucleosis, but still managed to bring in five victories, including two stages of the Circuit Franco-Belge.

Baumann happy to be racing again

T-Mobile's Eric Baumann doesn't expect to win Paris-Tours, but is happy just to be able to race it. The sprinter missed much of the year due to a complicated leg break suffered in February, so he spent much more time in hospitals and therapy than in the Spring Classics. "I'm happy to be riding again," Baumann said.

A crash in the Algarve Tour broke both bones in Baumann's lower left leg. After surgery, he did extensive therapy before finally climbing back on the bike two and half months after the crash. He returned to racing at the Denmark Tour in August, followed by the Eneco Tour and the Poland Tour, but it was only after the Circuit Franco-Belge last month that he could say, "Now I'm back to the right level."

Fortunately for him he didn't have to worry about his contract, which expired at the end of this season. "The former team management told me that I would get a new contract if I recovered," he said, and the new management has followed suit. "Eric Baumann is a good type, who deserves a second chance," according to incoming director sportif Rolf Aldag.

Serious injury for Michael Rasmussen

Danish rider Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) was seriously injured today during a crash in Giro dell’Emilia. Rasmussen suffered a fracture to the top of his left femur. The winner of the polkadot jersey in the past two editions of the Tour de France will undergo surgery, and then will face several months of rehabilitation. However, at this time his team does not expect Rasmussen’s spring program to be in jeopardy.

Petacchi to race in Italy

Petacchi & Ongarato
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image) Alessandro Petacchi is congratulated by team-mate Alberto Ongarato

Alessandro Petacchi, who has been out of action since he fractured his hand in a fit of anger after stage 15 of the Tour of Spain, will get back on the bike for the Trofeo Città di Borgomanero on October 15th. Petacchi will pair up with his Milram teammate Alberto Ongarato for the 52 km long two-man time trial event. Also on the start list are new world champions Paolo Bettini and Fabian Cancellara, and Sergei Gonchar, who held leaders' jerseys in both this year's Giro d'Italia and Tour de France.

Petacchi's season, cut short by a break to his kneecap in May, was re-started in September's Vuelta a Espana only to be stopped again after he hit a team bus after stage 15 and broke a bone in his hand. He will have this one last race to enjoy before taking his winter vacation.

Teams for Trofeo Città di Borgomanero:

Paolo Bettini - Matteo Tosatto (Quick Step)
Fabian Cancellara - Andrea Peron (CSC)
Danilo Di Luca - Alessandro Spezialetti (Liquigas)
Vincenzo Nibali - Roman Krueziger (Liquigas)
Luca Paolini - Stefano Zanini (Liquigas)
Franco Pellizotti - Andrea Noe' (Liquigas)
Rinaldo Nocentini - Andrea Tonti (Acqua&Sapone)
Fabio Sacchi - Marco Velo (Milram)
Leonardo Bertagnolli - Cristian Moreni (Cofidis)
Serghei Gontchar - Eddy Mazzoleni (T-Mobile)
Ruslan Pidgornyy - Gabriele Bosisio (Tenax)
Mauro Gerosa - Denis Shkarpeta (Miche)
Paolo Longo Borghini - Maurizio Varini (Ceramica Flaminia)
Alessandro Ballan - Daniele Bennati (Lampre)
Sylwester Szmyd - Marc Marzano (Lampre)
Paolo Bailetti - Raffaele Ferrara (Androni Giocattoli)
Alberto Ongarato - Alessandro Petacchi (Milram)

Andy Schleck to re-sign with CSC

By Katharina Schulz

As reports, the younger of the Schleck brothers, Andy, is just about to sign a new two-year contract with Team CSC. The 21-year-old rider from Luxemburg has been on the team for the last two seasons, and achieved some good results during that time: he won two stages at the Sachsen Tour this year and the national ITT last year.

Despite tempting offers from other teams, Andy would like to stay on the team with his brother Frank, winner of the Alpe d'Huez stage at this year's Tour de France, whose contract with CSC lasts until 2008. Although there has been no official announcement from the team yet, Bjarne Riis is said to have offered Andy Schleck a place on next season's team for both Paris-Nice and the Tour de Suisse.

Doping scandal reaches German cyclo-cross team

According to the German cyclo-cross outfit Team Stevens Racing has suspended reigning national cyclo-cross champion Johannes Sickmüller from the team. The suspension comes after the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung revealed allegations that a famous German sports physician, Dr. Til Steinmeier, was supplying doping products to a number of athletes, including Sickmüller and a former member of the team, Fabian Brzezinski.

The allegations, made anonymously by a former colleague of Steinmeier, included photographs of computer screens showing athletes' names and treatment details. Both Steinmeier and Team Stevens Racing deny the accusations, and are considering legal action.

Team Stevens Racing manager Werner von Hacht said he "was shocked about the accusations, and insists on clearing up the matter." He emphasized that "one of the implicated riders, Fabian Brzezinski, had not been a part of the team since mid-September," and that the team stands for a clean sport. Both of the riders implicated, Brzezinski and Sickmüller, denied any wrong-doing. Brzezinski said he passed six doping controls last year and that he was thrown out of the team in September because "he didn’t fit."

Courtesy of Bjorn Haake

Haselbacher and McEwen bury the hatchet

It's a picture that is still clear to many of those who saw it: the sixth stage of the Tour de France 2004, Gerolsteiner's Rene Haselbacher crashed in the sprint finale, taking many of his rivals down with him. And as Haselbacher lay on the ground, writing in pain from multiple broken bones, Robbie McEwen stood over him and cursed him out. "Up until that point we had a normal cycling friendship," says Haselbacher. "But afterwards we had no more contact." But time heals all wounds, and friendship has been established again.

At a party in Salzburg following the World Championships, "Robbie came to me and apologized. It was a very nice gesture and made me very happy," according to Haselbacher. "I have always had a lot of respect for him, he is one of the best spritners and a great athlete."

Basque prodigy falls to his death

21 year old Spanish rider Julen Goikoetxea has died after falling from a balcony in Ondarroa, in the Basque Country. Goikoetxea had signed pro contract for 2007 for Euskaltel-Euskadi. Apparently, Goitkoetxea, who was under treatment for severe depression, had made earlier attempts to end his life.

Team car wrecks on route to Sun Tour

By John Trevorrow

While heading to the start of the Herald Sun Tour in Shepparton, the FRF Couriers team car was involved in an accident. A blown rear tyre caused the driver to lose control of the car, which then rolled over. Team assistant Peter Brook was taken to hospital with minor injuries, treated and released.

Riders Brendan Brook, Robbie Cater and Joe McDonnell escaped, shaken up but unhurt. McDonnell has a sore leg but will be right to start the Tour. The two bikes on the roof were destroyed, one was a spare bike, but the team are now searching for a replacement bike for Brendan Brooks.

Floyd Landis makes appearance at US Track Nationals

Floyd Landis
Photo ©: Mitch Clinton
(Click for larger image)

By Andy Sparks

Day three at the US Elite Track Nationals saw a surprise visit by 2006 Tour de France Champion, Floyd Landis. Apparently on hand to show support for OUCH Pro Cycling's World Pursuit Champion Sarah Hammer, Landis arrived with OUCH Sports Medical Center's executive director, Dr. Brent Kay.

The two made their rounds for fan photos and also took part in the award ceremony where Landis presented Hammer with her new National Champion jersey in the points race.

Landis, who recently underwent surgery to replace his ailing hip at the OUCH Sports Medical Center, visibly enjoyed his first visit to the velodrome.

24 Hours Solo World MTB Championships too close to call

By Steve Medcroft

Running for the bikes
Photo ©: Tracy Posner
(Click for larger image)

In Conyers, Georgia, Trek/VW mountain-biker Chris Eatough is getting aserious challenge in his bid for a seventh consecutive 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Solo Championship (held form noon October 7th to noon October 8th).

Just before sunset on Saturday, after six hours of racing, Australian marathon and 24-Hour Solo National Champion Craig Gordon (Bear Naked/Cannondale) is runing head-to-head with Eatough, with two other riders within striking distance.

In the women's event, Eatough's teammate Susan Haywood is finding two riders challenging her attempt at a first World Championships title; Rebecca Rusch (US 24 Hour Solo National Champion) and Monique Sawicki (2004 and 2005 US NORBA Marathon Series Champion) are six and eight minutes off the leader respectively.

Check out live updates from the race as it unfolds at the 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Solo Championships race page.

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