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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Latest Cycling News for October 17, 2006

Edited by Gregor Brown

McQuaid compares Landis and Operación Puerto damages

Pat McQuaid
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Click for larger image

President of UCI, Pat McQuaid, has said in an in an interview that Operación Puerto is more damaging for cycling than not being sure that Floyd Landis is the winner of the Tour de France.

"[Landis' case] had more important impact than Operación Puerto. It became a blow of world-wide subject," said the Irishman to French newspaper Le Monde. "From my point of view, Operación Puerto was definitely more negative because it demonstrated that riders who have tested negative in the anti-doping controls have in reality resorted to very sophisticated malpractice.

"It is necessary to understand how these things are carried out," continued McQuaid regarding the Tour de France. "We received the first dossier of 44 pages from the Spanish police the Thursday before the Tour departed. With this material we drafted a list of ten cyclists that were to participate in the Tour, and because of their involvement in the Spanish investigation they were excluded from their teams.

"In a second instance we received another 500 pages; we studied them and concluded that there were three types of cyclists [involved in the investigation]: Those involved in a very serious manner, those who were partially implicated and those who were realistically not involved."

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'

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

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of Operación Puerto

Raivis Belohvosciks takes the Nations

Photo ©: JF Quenet
(Click for larger image)

By Jean-François Quénet

At 30, Raivis Belohvosciks isn't finished. He might have spent four years in a series of small teams (Marlux, Chocolade Jacques and Universal Caffè), but he landed in Nantes with a smile on his face on Saturday because he had just signed a two-year contract with Saunier Duval-Prodir the day before. His former director sportif at Lampre, Pietro Algeri, hasn't forgotten the gentleman and father of three from Latvia, who rode superbly on several occasions, including a second place behind Lance Armstrong at the GP des Nations in 2000.

"I'm delighted to win this race," a happy Belohvosciks said. "I've come here many times, I love the course here. It's very well organized and I really like the people who welcome me here regularly."

Last year, the Latvian rider travelled the whole day before and waited for nine hours for a lift in from Paris airport. He came fourth the next day, but decided that he would organise himself in a better way next year. He did. Two hours before the start, he asked for a heavier lenticular back wheel and found a Corima. "That made me gain 30 seconds," he said before the arrival of Vandborg, who rode only 27 seconds slower than him.

Click here for the Full results, report & photos.

Matxin on ace Iban Mayo signing

"In Spain there are three 'aces': Freire, Valverde and Mayo," said Saunier Duval-Prodir DS Joxean Matxin yesterday during the official team announcement of Iban Mayo's signing.

The 29 year-old Basque turned professional in 2000 with Euskaltel-Euskadi and spent every year since then with his home team. Over the years Mayo has accumulated wins in races such as the Tour de France and Dauphiné Libéré. 2005 was a dry season but 2006 saw Mayo come back with a blast in the Dauphiné and Vuelta a Burgos, leading way for greater media exposure and contacts with his old friend, Matxin.

"... Oscar Freire, Alejandro Valverde and Iban Mayo. And they are three 'aces' for several reasons: for what they have accomplished the qualities they possess and for their media significance," said Matxin according to

Matxin went on to explain Mayo's possible objectives for the coming 2007 season. The Basque DS figures Mayo can achieve his best results, like in the Tour de France, without being "obsessed."

"There are other races and Mayo has the potential to win them," said Matxin of the feisty Basque climber who won the Tour stage finishing on Alpe d'Huez in 2003. "He cannot go to the Tour obsessed, but taking it day by day and fight for obtainable objectives. He will have marked objectives, but without being obsessed."

Lampre-Fondital in final top 5 team ranking

Alessandro Ballan (Lampre)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

The 2006 ProTour ended on Saturday with the running of the Giro di Lombardia. The ProTour circuit saw Lampre-Fondital fighting as protagonists in every race to obtain precious points.

As a result of their persistence, the Italian formation obtained four ProTour victories: Daniele Bennati won two stages in Tour de Pologne and one stage in Volta a Catalunya, while Patxi Vila won a stage in Paris-Nice. There were, of course, a lot of second places: Bennati, Marzoli, Napolitano, Commesso, Ballan, Bruseghin, Petrov and Vila finished one step down on the podium in stages of the Tour de Pologne, Vuelta a España, Tour de France, Deutschland Tour, Tour de Suisse, Giro d'Italia and Paris-Nice.

Thanks to their important results Lampre-Fondital conquered the fifth place in the ProTour teams' classification with 327 points; making them first Italian team.

The team is especially grateful for their young stars: Alessandro Ballan, who finished sixth (155 points) in the ProTour individual ranking; with him, in the first 50 positions, there are Damiano Cunego (21st with 106 points) and Patxi Vila (38th with 69).

Klöden to marry

By Susan Westemeyer

Andreas Klöden is marrying his long-time girlfriend Betinna on Saturday in Berlin. The couple will have the civil ceremony and the church wedding, at the Berliner Parochialkirche, on the same day. Among the guests will be Klöden's former teammate Jan Ullrich. Klöden, who is transferring from T-Mobile to Astaná, and his wife-to-be have two daughters.

Julio Pérez Cuapio confirms with Panaria-Navigare

UCI Pro-Continental team Panaria-Navigare have brought their 2007 roster up to 19 riders with the resigning of Julio Pérez. According to, Team Manager Bruno Reverber and Team DS Roberto Reverber confirmed the addition to their Italian (Irish-licensed) team Monday, 16 October.

The 29 year-old Mexican shot to fame in 2001 when he won his first stage of the Giro d'Italia. In 2002, Pérez returned to the Giro to take two more stages along with the green mountain's classification jersey. A noted climber, his most recent win came in 2005, in the Giro del Trentino.

Luis Pérez wins Vuelta Chihuahua Internacional

Luis Pérez (Andalucia-Paul Versan) closed out the Vuelta Chihuahua Internacional with two stage wins and the overall win. The 25 year-old Spaniard, stage winner in Volta a Catalunya earlier this year, finished with 40 seconds over Mexican Jesús Zarate (Tecos) after six days of racing in Chihuahua, the largest state of Mexico.

"When I am in form I consider myself a good climber and a complete rider," said Pérez to Spanish paper Marca. "I go well in everything but the sprint.

"Now I have taken one more. I expect that these results will help me with a better contract", finished Pérez, who has not yet renewed with the Andalucia-Paul Versan.

See the full results here.

Victorian schools run championships over Sun Tour circuit

Last Saturday, over 325 students from schools in Victoria, Australia braved a chilly early morning in Lygon St to contest the state final of the 2006 Schools Cycling Championships.

The championships, being run on the same circuit as the final stage of the Herald Sun Tour, which was held there hours later in the day, was the culmination of a nine zone finals held throughout the state in August and September, through which students competed in racing and novice categories in their respective age groups.

The best performed schools on the day included Ruyton Girls School, which won two silvers and a bronze, Beaconsfield Primary School, which picked up a medal of each colour, Bendigo Senior Secondary College with two silvers and a bronze and the Little Yarra Steiner School with 2 golds.

In the racing category, the best performed clubs were the Bendigo CC with five medals including gold to Imogen Jelbart, Ararat & District CC with 23 medals including gold to Aodhan Kelly, and Brunswick CC and Carnegie CC with two medals each.

"To see over 300 young cyclists turn up so eager and enthusiastic at such an early time (6.00am registration time) was a great sight," said Event Coordinator Warren Vigor. "... We actually had a record amount of entries this year with 1100 students, over a 20% increase from last year, and we are really unearthing some great talent".

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