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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for October 9, 2006

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

Paris-Tours wrap-up

A long time between drinks for Guesdon

Frédéric Guesdon (Française des Jeux)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

34 year-old Frédéric Guesdon (Française des Jeux) scored his biggest win since the 1997 Paris-Roubaix, taking out a nail-biting two man sprint ahead of Norwegian Kurt-Asle Arvesen (CSC). The pair were the only survivors of a larger group that had escaped in the early stages of the race. Arvesen's teammate Stuart O'Grady led the bunch home for third, eight seconds behind the winner.

"When they bunch came back on us [the break], there were about ten seconds left, but this often happened in the finale of Paris-Tours before, so I told myself that there still was a chance," Guesdon told France 3 at the finish. "I accelerated on the final climb, and fortunately my colleague Arvesen came back on me otherwise it would have been tight...In the final kilometre, it was all tactics. I knew he was fast so I got behind him early. It worked out!

"At the beginning of my career, if somebody had told me that I would win two World Cups... Now, all that's left to win would be Flanders or Milan-San Remo!" Guesdon added, all smiles.

The initial breakaway happened after 33 km of racing, and contained riders such as Paolini and Gasparotto (Liquigas), Van Impe (Quick.Step), and Moreni (Cofidis). They were chased and eventually mostly caught by a group of around 40, with Erik Zabel and Tom Boonen both missing the move and pulling out after 154 km. With 45 km to go, Guesdon, Moreni (joined by Van Impe, Gasparotto and Arvesen) attacked, and although the chasing peloton came close to bringing them back, Guesdon and Arvesen were able to get away on the Côte de l'Epan with 8 km to go. The sprint saw Arvesen lead until 200m to go, when Guesdon came past and won.

Click here for the Full results, report & photos and Live report.

CSC win ProTour team rankings

Danish team CSC came very close to winning Sunday's Paris-Tours, where both Kurt-Asle Arvesen and Stuart O'Grady made the podium after a dramatic finish. Arvesen lost the sprint for victory to Frederic Guesdon (Francaise des Jeux), while O'Grady won the bunch sprint ahead of Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole).

"The team did a fantastic job and we were well represented up front during the entire race, but you can't win them all, and Guesdon was the strongest rider today," admitted CSC sports director Alain Gallopin. "Having said that, I'm quite sure today's results mean we have won the ProTour team rankings for the second consecutive season." Indeed, CSC now leads the ranking by 37 points over Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears.

Lastras will try again

Caisse d'Epargne will continue to fight, though. Two kilometres from the finish line in Paris-Tours, Pablo Lastras (Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears) counter-attacked out of the bunch together with Belgian Nick Nuyens (Quick.Step) and Danilo Napolitano (Lampre). The three riders came close to the leaders, but it was not sufficient to fight for the win.

"I recovered very well after all the efforts I made during the Vuelta and this morning I took the start with very good legs and most of all very motivated to realize an excellent race", said Pablo Lastras after the race had finished. "I didn't go with the early breakaway, but I was lucky to be in the first part of the bunch when it was broken in two groups because of the wind. In the final part I felt really so well that I was aware I had a possibility to be on the podium. At that moment I knew I had to try something and that’s the reason why I attacked. Unfortunately it was not possible for me today, but I don’t lose confidence and will try it again next week in the Giro del Piemonte and later in Lombardy."

The Giro di Lombardia next Saturday will mark the end of the second season of the ProTour.

Landis makes defense plan public

Floyd Landis, winner of this year's Tour de France and currently preparing the trial of his doping case, will release all the information which makes up his defense on his personal website this week, according to USA Today. The key points of his probable defense against charges he illegally used doping products to win the race were outlined in a PowerPoint presentation, which Landis intends to make public in the coming days, together with 300 pages of documentation.

As one of the key points of his defense, Landis will argue that the analysis work performed by French Anti-Doping laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry was sloppy. While he did not contest that the positive sample was indeed his own, Landis will emphasize that officials made mistakes in filling out the testing forms with his urine sample number. The incorrect number was covered over with correction fluid, and Landis' number was overwritten, while WADA testing protocol actually requires that any corrections should be done "with a single line through and the change should be initialed and dated by the individual making the change." That was not done on Landis' test form.

Moreover, Landis will criticise the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, whose Review Board rejected his request for a summary dismissal of the charges without hearing the evidence. With a teleconference planned to discuss his request on September 18, the later letter notifying the rider of their rejection was dated September 15, three days before the teleconference.

Landis will also argue that his positive results from the carbon isotope test are incorrect, because the data indicated that he was out of acceptable range in only one of four testosterone breakdown products examined. All four must be abnormal for a test to be considered positive for an illegal testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio, he asserted.

The USADA hearing, which will also be open to the public, may not be held for several months.

Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case

May 29, 2009 - French authorities summon Landis and Baker
September 28, 2008 - Landis takes case to US federal court
September 10, 2008 - Landis signing with current Health Net-Maxxis team for 2009
July 1, 2008 - CAS delivers final blow to Landis legal challenge
June 30, 2008 - Landis loses final appeal
June 28, 2008 - Landis decision due Monday
March 12, 2008 - Landis' judgment day nears
October 21, 2007 - Landis files appeal with CAS
October 18, 2007 - AFLD takes another look at Landis case
Thursday, October 11 - Landis continues fight, appeals to CAS
Saturday, September 22 - UCI officially names Pereiro 2006 Tour champion, Landis case raises issues
Friday, September 21 - Landis' appeal denied, two year suspension levied

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of the Floyd Landis case

Gobbi in coma after crash

Team Milram's Michele Gobbi has been taken to hospital after a violent crash in the last lap of the GP Beghelli on Sunday. In the Bologna Maggiore hospital, doctors diagnosed a cerebral hematoma and decided to keep the rider in a coma.

"From what we know from the doctors of the hospital where Michele is being treated, he has a cerebral hematoma as well as several micro fractures on his head," said Milram directeur sportif Antonio Bevilacqua. "They told us that Michele is being kept in a drug-induced coma and that the situation is under control. For more precise information, we have to wait for the next CAT-scan, which will be carried out in the coming hours. We can only pray for the best."

Wesemann to Wiesenhof

Steffen Wesemann is taking the step down from a ProTour team to Professional Continental Team Wiesenhof, according to reports in the Swiss media. The 35 year-old was with Team Telekom/T-Mobile since 1993, but was not offered a new contract for the coming season.

Wesemann, as strong classics contender, won the Tour of Flanders in 2004, as well as the Peace Race five times. He participated in the Tour de France four times, the Giro d'Italia three times and the Vuelta a España five times.

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Casper and Coyot to Unibet

Cofidis riders Arnaud Coyot and Jimmy Casper will not race for the French team anymore next season, as they are getting ready to join Belgian Continental Pro team in 2007, which is looking to get a ProTour licence from the UCI. "We haven't reached an agreement with Casper," Cofidis manager Eric Boyer told French AFP. "Coyot had a contract through 2007 but he wanted to leave us. We accepted, even if we regretted to see a young rider go, on which we had counted." Boyer thus decided to take on young French stagiaire Nicolas Hartmann from CC Etupes, and might still re-sign Spaniard Bingen Hernandez.

Perth to Sydney record challenged

NSW Southern Highlands Cycling Club President Richard Vollebregt will leave Perth, Australia, at 7:00am on October 13 with his support team in an attempt to break the 4000km trans-Australia world record of 9 days, 23 hours and 25 minutes set by Japanese cyclist Tomio Uranyu in 1992.

39 year-old Vollebregt of Moss Vale must arrive at the Sydney GPO by 6.00pm on October 22 for the record to be registered as a Guinness world record. Justice’s of the peace along the route will have the responsibility of verifying Vollebregts’ progress.

Vollebregt’s record attempt will commence heading east on the Great Eastern Highway to Coolgardie and follow the Eyre Highway across the Nullarbor to Port Augusta. The cyclist as well as his support crew will continue across the Sturt Highway, passing Mildura, Robinvale, Hay, Narrandera, Wagga Wagga and Gundagai. The final leg includes Yass and Goulburn as Vollebregt makes his way to the Sydney GPO.

For the World Record attempt, Vollebregt must continuously cycle 16 hours a day, covering between 400km to 450km a day. The support crew, all of whom are members of Southern Highlands Cycling Club and will take turns to cycle with him for approximately 100km each, will make available daily results of his progress on the Southern Highlands Cycle Club Website,

Fulton Flyers sponsored by InterConti hotels

Atlanta-based Fulton Flyers development team has announced a new sponsorship deal with InterContinental Hotels. The hotel giant, which owns Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn, Candlewood Sutes amongst many others, will pay a commission to the team whenever someone links from the squad's website to an InterContinental Hotel website and books a room. This way, cycling fans can help fund the cyclo-cross, road and track Junior Nationals without actually paying anything.

The website of the junior and U23 team is:

Walters to

Canadian rider Mark Walters (Navigators) has recently signed in a leadership position with Nevada for the 2007 season. Walters, who had offers from both Navigators and Nevada, "thought it was time to move on from a support to a leadership role at this point" in his career.

He looks forward to joining his new team, and to have the opportunity to race with several fellow Canadians. With multiple Canadian champions on the 2007 roster, Nevada can be said to rival all other North American pro teams except Symmetrics in Canadian dominance and appeal.

Sanabria dies in road accident

Colombian cyclist and winner of the 1996 Vuelta a Colombia Miguel Sanabria (Lotería de Boyacá) died on Saturday, October 7, in a road traffic accident in his home country. Sanabria was travelling in a van when the vehicle crashed head-on into a bus in Las Gemelas, North of Bogotá. The bus driver tried to pass another van when the accident occurred. Sanabria, who just finished racing in the Vuelta a Boyacá, was the only person involved in the crash that died from his injuries.

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