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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for October 16, 2006

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

Basso hopes to stay with CSC

Riis and Basso during the 2006 Giro d'Italia
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Ivan Basso and his team director Bjarne Riis are expected to decide soon whether or not the cleared Italian rider will remain within his Danish CSC team or not. After the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) archived Basso's case of alleged doping use in relation with the Spanish Puerto affair, the 2006 Giro d'Italia winner is free to race again - and maybe to find a new team for the next season.

"Today, many (managers) would like to have me in their teams," Basso told L'Equipe. The 29 year-old has offers from both Discovery Channel and Milram, but insisted that he would like to stay with CSC. "It's my team," he added. "I think I contributed largely to its structuring."

Regarding his relationship with Riis, which deteriorated sensibly since the start of the Tour de France as the two had not spoken for four months when they met last Thursday in Lugano, Switzerland, Basso said that he had "no hard feelings. His silence hurt me very much at first, but then, I digested it. (...) We are in the situation of couple that has had a few problems and that's trying to put the pieces back together."

The Italian also said that CONI anti-doping commission president Franco Cosenza, who decided to file the case, did not do this "on the simple declaration of the Madrid judge, who said that the documents of the Guardia Civil could not be used. (He) did not base his decision on the 39 pages transmitted in July to the Tour organisation, but on the a much more complete dossier, to which the UCI added its arguments."

Basso further explained why he chose not to undergo DNA testing even though he had vowed to do anything in his might to prove his innocence when the affair started. "My attorney would not have been opposed to the principle of DNA research, but the situation wasn't clear enough," he said. "There is too much confusion around the investigation. We don't know if we can trust the state of conservation of the blood bags seized by the investigators."

Finally, the Tour de France contender said that he was "convinced" he would race the Grand Tour again, and "win it. I even take bets on it." But Basso has not yet even been invited to the presentation of the Tour de France, scheduled October 26 at the Palais des Congrès in Paris.

Tschopp gets hip operation

Swiss pro rider Johann Tschopp underwent surgery last Friday, October 13. One year after fracturing the head of one of his femurs, he had three screws removed. "The operation lasted a bit longer than planned, but everything went well according to the doctors," said Tschopp, who will leave the hospital on Monday.

Over the course of four weeks the 24 year-old will have to use crutches, and have lots of time to think back on his season. Tschopp, who was riding with the Phonak team in 2006, scored six Top 10 finishes. "The thing I was missing out on was a win," he added.

Next season, Tschopp will be riding at the Tour de France as part of the Bouyges Télécom team. "The goal will also be to make a good showing at the Tour de Romandie as well as claiming the victory that I failed to get this season," he said.

Bad crash for Pitel

French cyclist Edwige Pitel will not be able to finish the season as she seriously hurt herself in a bad crash last week. During a training ride close to her home near Marseille, South of France, where she prepared for the Chrono des Nations, Pitel crashed and broke her nose, jaw as well as several teeth.

Two Australian teams for Sydney Track World Cup

More than 200 of the world's champion cyclists will contest the opening round of the UCI World Cup Classics Series at the Dunc Gray Velodrome from November 17-19. Twenty nine countries have so far confirmed their attendance, but with hometown support and early World Cup points on offer, the Australians will be the ones to beat.

Recently introduced changes to the UCI World Cup Series allow for professional track team entries, similar to the current set up for road and mountain bike racing, which means Australia will actually field two teams. The inclusion of the Australian 'Cyclones' National team and the professional team means fans will not only have the chance to cheer on their heroes, they will also witness the feats of our emerging young stars with their sights set on the Beijing Olympic Games and beyond.

Olympic and Commonwealth Games dual gold medallist, Ryan Bayley, will spearhead the attack for the team and is eager for early season success. "I've been training really hard in preparation for this opening round and the quality of the field will be top class," said Bayley, who will contest the sprint, keirin and teams sprint events. "I'm really looking forward to taking on the internationals.

"It's always amazing to race in front of a home crowd and to have big, international competition on our turf so we just want to go out and win," Bayley added. "Mind you the rest of the world doesn't necessarily agree with that so we'll have to work for it."

Joining Bayley in pro team colours for the sprint events will be Commonwealth Games team mate Shane Perkins and reigning kilometre time trial Junior World Champion, Scott Sunderland. The team also boasts reigning teams pursuit World Champions Peter Dawson, Stephen Wooldridge and Mark Jamieson along with 3km Junior World Record holder Michael Ford and Australian Madison Champion, Simon Clarke.

The Australian Cyclones will be led by reigning Olympic and Commonwealth champion and 500m World Record holder, Anna Meares who'll be joined by three other Commonwealth Games champions, Kate Bates, Katie Mactier and Sean Finning, plus medallists Rochelle Gilmore and Kerrie Meares. Mark French, Daniel Ellis and Joel Leonard will cover the sprinter's events for the team while Cameron Meyer, who this year scored three gold medals at the Junior World Championships in Belgium, heads the contingent of 'young guns' looking to step up to elite level. Joining Meyer in the endurance events will be Richard England, Zac Dempster, Hayden Josefski and Nic Sanderson.

"We're all coming together at the end of this month for an intensive training camp to prepare for Sydney," said Bayley. "We'll definitely be ready to take on the world."

The countries so far confirmed for the Sydney World Cup are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong-China, Iran, Italy, Japan, Jamaica, Korea, Lithuania, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and the Ukraine with more entries expected in coming weeks.

The international teams have not yet confirmed entry lists, but tickets are already on sale online via the Cycling Australia website - - for three days of fast track action in 16 events.

Swiss Cycling suspends mountain biker

By Susan Westemeyer

The Swiss Olympic Committee has suspended mountain biker Daniel Paradis for two years for avoiding an out-of-competition doping test. The incident occurred on August 8, and the suspension is considered to have started on August 11, 2006.

Avoiding a doping control is considered to be the equivalent of a positive doping test. Paradis issued a statement in which he admitted that he had refused to take the test, saying "I find it inacceptable to be disturbed in my private sphere evenings after 8 o'clock."

Paradis won the Grand-Raid Race from Verbier to Grimentz twice. He was fired by his team in August because of suspected EPO use.

NZ Road Championships coming up

Otago is pinning its hopes on two of its Commonwealth Games riders to take the senior titles at the 2006 Lion Foundation National Road Championships this weekend in Palmerston (Otago). Alison Shanks and Greg Henderson are local favourites to do well in the elite road races, with the elite women's race at 3pm Saturday afternoon, and the men's at 9.45am Sunday morning.

Greg Henderson is making a fleeting visit to Europe this week to sign his contract with T-Mobile, before returning to New Zealand on Friday, 48 hours before the men's 183km national road championship race begins. Henderson did not compete in the 2005 national championships so will be hoping for a quick recovery from the demanding travel schedule to perform well in front of a home crowd.

From the estimated 420 riders entered other big names include the teams pursuit medalists from the 2005 and 2006 junior track world championships, Melbourne silver medal winner Hayden Roulston, experienced campaigner Fraser Macmaster, 2005 men’s time trial national champion Robin Reid and 2006 World Championship and Commonwealth Games representative Logan Hutchings.

The National Road championships begin on Thursday, October 19, with the time trial championships, with the road races taking place from Friday to Sunday.

Giant Canada sponsors Elite Women’s team

Giant Canada has announced seven riders to compose the Giant Canada Elite women’s team for next season. Chelsea Bilsbarrow, Claire Cameron, Jenelle Cassidy, Leah Guloien, Alena Radomsky, Katherine Short, and Jenny Trew will join forces, boasting top credentials with a strong focus on development as well.

Katherine Short (16) and Chelsea Bilsbarrow (19) are two of the most exciting young prospects in cycling on the BC scene. Katherine wins just about everything in her age group and is a strong contender even at the elite level in mountain biking, while Chelsea stormed onto the scene in 2006 taking the BC Jr. road championships and seventh at Nationals in her first season. Claire Cameron (24) is an elite track and road racer and a National Paralympic team member having raced in 2004 in Athens as a blind tandem pilot. Leah Guloien (25) is a very strong local road racer, who is rarely off the podium in any event she enters. Jenny Trew (25) is a track and criterium specialist having won multiple medals at track Nationals. Alena Radomsky (24) is a seasoned rider, and excellent team player with experience racing internationally. Jenelle Cassidy (29),while relatively new to road racing, made a quick ascent up the ranks in 2006 and brings a wealth of experience from being a National team downhill racer.

Giant Canada’s Elite women’s team riders possess skills that will compliment each other giving the team a deep and balanced attack for 2007. The tentative race calendar for the Giant Canada Elite Women’s Team will be comprised of local BC and NW road, track, and mountain bike races including the BC Cup Road/Off road Series, BC Superweek, and the National Road/Track/Off Road Championships.

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