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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for October 19, 2006

Edited by Sue George and Laura Weislo

Discovery denies it made offer to Basso

Demol speaks
Photo ©: Jeff Jones
(Click for larger image)

Reports that Ivan Basso has been offered a 'concrete proposal' from the Discovery Channel team have been denied by Discovery's assistant manager Dirk Demol. "We have always had an interest in Basso, and the other way round. But we still have presented nothing concrete to him," he told sporza.be. Team CSC and Basso announced earlier this week that they had mutually agreed to end their relationship, but there still may be some loose ends that need tying up.

Demol said, "To my knowledge, he still has a contract with CSC. We must wait to see how that evolves." The team may also wait until the matter of Basso's involvement in the Operacion Puerto investigation is fully cleared up to make any offers. "The same applies to Basso's role with Dr. Fuentes. We really must wait until his name is cleared."

Christian Frommert, director of sports communication for T-Mobile, said he is not surprised at other teams' interest in signing Ivan Basso. "That was to be expected," he told the Netzeitung. "You have to reckon with the fact that not everybody takes the Code of Ethics so seriously."

Frommert expressed doubts, however, as to the success of Basso's comeback plans. "Talk is cheap. But we have to wait and see how the UCI and the organization of ProTour teams will react."

Susan Westemeyer contributed to this report

Authors of 'LA Confidentiel' to release new book on Armstrong

French authors Pierre Ballester and David Walsh, co-authors of the controversial book LA Confidentiel, are set to release a follow-up to that book on Thursday, called LA Official: the anatomy of a scandal. In this book, the two renew their accusations that Lance Armstrong used performance enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France seven times.

"Beyond the web of deception that Lance Armstrong spun around his image," reads a statement from the authors, "one has to ask questions about the serious repercussions of this tactic. After the disturbing revelation of a blood-doping network in Spain and the shameful Floyd Landis episode, does elite cycling retain any crumbs of credibility?"

The new book is centred around the battle between Armstrong and the Texas-based insurance company, SCA. Armstrong has repeatedly denied taking any banned substances, and successfully argued this in a 2005 legal dispute SCA, who had promised him $5 million if he won his sixth Tour de France in 2004. The company tried to deny the pay-out on grounds that Armstrong had used performance enhancing drugs to win.

Armstrong responded to the announcement, calling the book a "false string of sensational, untrue and fabricated allegations," and said it "will be no different than the first - a sensationalized attempt to cash in on my name and sully my reputation." Armstrong, who, despite having retired from the sport, continues to find himself defending his reputation, said "I raced clean. I won clean. I am the most tested athlete in the history of sports. I have defended myself and won every court case to prove I was clean. Yet another French book with baseless, sensational and rejected allegations will not overcome the truth."

Konzontchuk completes Rabobank ProTour team roster

Rabobank has completed its 2007 team roster with the signing of Dmitri Kozontchuk. Kozontchuk, who had been on Rabobank's Continental Team, has signed a contract that runs through the end of 2008. He will join two of his Continental teammates in graduating to the ProTour team. Rick Flens and Robert Gesink were signed earlier this month.

2007 will be Kozontchuk's third season with the Rabobank organisation. This year, he won two stages in Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux, a stage in Thüringen Rundfahrt, plus the mountain classification in Vuelta a Leon. He will be joining well-known teammates Michael Boogerd, Denis Menchov, Max Van Heeswijk, Oscar Freire, and Michael Rasmussen on the 28-man squad. Rabobank will also continue to support their Continental Team of 22 riders for 2007.

Peace Race guaranteed for 2007

By Susan Westemeyer

The Course de la Paix, or Peace Race, will be held again in 2007 thanks to sponsor Skoda. Race director Herbert Notter announced Wednesday that the company has agreed to continue as the main sponsor. "Without Skoda as the main sponsor it would not have been possible. The firm has given more than half of the necessary one million euros."

The UCI had already confirmed the race dates of May 19-27, 2006. The race is to run from Znojmo in the Czech Republic and end in Magdeburg, Germany, and has returned to the calendar in 2006 after not being run in 2005 due to financial problems.

South African Lill joins Navigators

Darren Lill
Photo ©: Jean-François Quénet
(Click for larger image)

The Navigators team has improved its climbing power by signing South African Darren Lill to its team for 2007. This year, Lill wore the King of the Mountains jersey at such races as the Tour de Langkawi and the Giro Del Capo. Lill will be the first South African to join the American outfit.

Lill previously rode for teams Barloworld, HSBC, and Microsoft, but was left without a contract at the end of the 2005 season when discussions with a major European team fell through. Too late to find a team for 2006, Lill split his time between racing for Schwinn in his native South Africa and the national team in international events such as the Tour de Langkawi , Tour of Qinghai Lake and the World Championships.

Darren is happy to have signed a contract with Navigators for 2007 and forward to meeting his new team-mates and racing with them in Europe and the US. Navigators was reportedly one of several teams making offers to Lill.

British Cycling endorses cycling infrastructure improvements for London

The 2012 Olympics present an opportunity for London to makes its transportation infrastructure more sustainable. British Cycling endorsed Greenways for the Olympics and London (GOAL) program plans to create more greenways suitable for riding and cycling as part of the city's preparation for the upcoming games. The improved transportation network strives to meet the following goals: lowering carbon emissions; bettering health by encouraging walking and cycling among Games' spectators and inhabitants; linking diverse boroughs to bring communities together; and renewing disadvantaged neighborhoods.

British Cycling's chief executive Peter King commented, "London 2012 is an unprecedented opportunity in British sport to showcase the very best of British sporting talent and to utilise that to inspire a new generation of active participants. The GOAL 2012 program would leave a real a legacy of infrastructure that will positively encourage people to cycle and walk both before, during and after the Games. This is a fantastic vision for London 2012 that we must all get behind.”

Landis fights for Bicycling Friendly Wisconsin

Floyd Landis will make a guest appearance at Saris Cycling Group’s annual Gala and Fundraiser “Fighting For a More Bicycle-Friendly Wisconsin” on Friday October 20th. Proceeds from the third annual event will benefit the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin.

“It’s important that we protect cyclists’ rights in Wisconsin,” said Chris Fortune, Saris Cycling Group President and Chairman of the Wisconsin Governor’s Bicycle Coordinating Council, adding, “Floyd recognizes the importance of this event and wants to help contribute. Floyd just underwent hip replacement surgery, but he insisted on coming to Madison in order to do everything he can to give back to the cycling community.”

In addition to a Q&A session with Landis, the fundraiser will feature a silent auction, bicycle poker, tricycle races, power contests, live music and food and drink from several local restaurants and breweries.

National Canadian track coach Van Den Eynde accepts new position

Canadian national coach Eric Van Den Eynde has accepted a position with the Québec cycling federation, the Fédération Québécoise Des Sports Cyclistes (FQSC). Effective at the end of the month, Van Den Eynde leaves the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) to head up FQSC's road and track programs. The move represents a return to his roots; he started his coaching career with FQSC from 1984 to 1996.

Van Den Eynde said, "It was a tough decision and the most difficult thing for me will be not to being able to coach Canadian athletes from outside of Québec, but it was the right decision to take according to my deepest convictions."

"Eric's decision is a disappointment because he won't be directly involved in continuing the tremendous progress the national track team has made in the last two years," said CCA High Performance Director Kris Westwood. "That said, I believe Eric will in the long term have an even greater influence on our international success in his new role with Québec, because he will be focusing on developing young riders, an area where strong leadership is crucial. I am also happy that Eric has said he is still keen to be involved with the national programs on specific future projects."

The CCA publicly commended Eric Van Den Eynde's exceptional involvement and contribution to developing elite Canadian athletes over the past twenty years.

USA Cycling names track talent pool for 2006-2007

USA Cycling identified its top track talent for the 2006-2007 season. Most of the 25 riders qualified based on their performances at US Track Nationals and in the National Track calendar, but a few set qualifying times at designated events or received coaches' nominations based on their 2006 performances. USA Cycling will draw from this list of chosen riders to field teams that will represent the United States in all major 2006-07 international track cycling competitions.

Men’s Endurance Squad
Mike Friedman (State College, Pa./TIAA-CREF)
Mike Creed (Colorado Springs, Colo./TIAA-CREF)
Brad Huff (Fair Grove, Mo./TIAA-CREF)
Cody O’Reilly (Santa Barbara, Calif./Echelon Santa Barbara)
Tom Zirbel (Boulder, Colo./Priority Health)
Dave McCook (Mountain View, Calif./Jelly Belly)
Bobby Lea (Taneytown, Md./Toyota-United)
Austin Carroll (Orange, Calif./i.e. Bikes)

Women’s Endurance Squad
Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./Ouch Pro Cycling)
Neva Day (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Southbay Wheelmen)
Becky Quinn (Quakertown, Pa./Spike)
Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho/Team Lipton)
Kori Seehafer (Louisville, Colo./Team Lipton)
Sima Trapp (Boise, Idaho/Colavita-Cooking Light)
Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich./Wolverine Sports Club)
Kelly Benjamin (Overland Park, Kan./Diet Cheerwine)

Men's Sprint Squad
Giddeon Massie (Colorado Springs, Colo./Spike)
Adam Duvendeck (Santa Barbara, Calif./Echelon Santa Barbara)
Ben Barczewski (Breinigsville, Pa./Spike)
Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif./Spike)
Kevin Selker (Boulder, Colo./Spike)
Andy Lakatosh (Trexlertown, Pa./Spike)

Women's Sprint Squad
Jennie Reed (Kirkland, Wash./Spike)
Liz Reap-Carlson (Jim Thorpe, Pa./East Coast Velo)
Anna Lang (La Jolla, Calif./Big City Velo)

Volksbank extends with Morscher, Matzbacher, and Rienbenbauer

By Susan Westemeyer

Team Volksbank announced today that it has extended its contracts with Harald Morscher, Andreas Matzbacher and Werner Rienbenbauer through next season. According to Team Manager Thomas Koffler, "I don't have to say much about Morscher, his successes in the last third of the season speak for themselves. Ribi and Matzbacher didn't perform as well as I had expected, but they have talent and a great attitude. They will show these qualities in the coming season."

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