First Edition Cycling News for October 22, 2006
Edited by Gregor Brown & Steve Medcroft
UCI bides its time on Basso and Ullrich cases
- legal limbo leaves riders and sport waiting
By Shane Stokes
The UCI has reiterated it has the right to take the Ivan Basso case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) if it decides that the final judgment by Italian authorities is not satisfactory, according to UCI President, Pat McQuaid.
The Italian cyclist announced this week that he was splitting from Team CSC and would look for a contract elsewhere. The Italian was linked to possible deals with Milram and Discovery Channel, but both squads then stated that they would not sign him while doubt still surrounds his role in Operación Puerto.
Although a freeze on Operación Puerto-related sporting sanctions ordered by the Spanish justice system means Basso is in a legal limbo, it's apparent he can resume racing, but he does not have a team. As McQuaid said, "everything is unfortunately on hold due to the recent decision of the (Spanish) judge. He said that for now, the 500 pages supporting the 44 page report which we got in late June are not to be used in a disciplinary process."
As Basso's case has been temporarily shelved, in recent days speculation has linked him to a possible move to Barloworld, a squad whose non-ProTour status would remove them from the constraints of the Code of Ethics. But this same Code came under fire last weekend at the general meeting of the Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA), who stated its opposition to its charter.
According to the CPA, the AIGCP code, "showed how arbitrary, incoherent and inapplicable it is: some riders were prosecuted as if they were delinquents ... whereas some others, being the subject of procedures, continue to race."
It called on the AIGCP to modify the code, removing from it "all provisions and standards which make it possible for the trade teams to exclude..., or even only to suspend, riders arbitrarily on the only basis of suspicions or deductions." It requested a clear answer on this before the start of the 2007 season.
McQuaid believes abandoning the Code would be a mistake. "I can understand the CPA's concerns but in the current situation and with the current difficulties facing cycling, we have to be realistic and do everything we can to regain the credibility of our sport," he stated.
"If that means going beyond what is normally accepted, then so be it. We have to accept that. As far as the UCI is concerned, it is up to them [the AIGCP] to decide what they want to do in relation with it. But I think the ProTour teams are completely committed to the code of conduct and I believe that is the way it is going to stay."
Colnago not confirmed with Tinkoff
Colnago official have confirmed that there is not any agreement with emerging Italian-Russian team Tinkoff. It has been reported that Omar Piscina's new team, Tinkoff, will be using Colnago frames for the 2007 season but the famous Italian firm could not confirm this to Cyclingnews.
"We are currently considering sponsoring the Tinkoff team for 2007, but no agreement has reached yet," said Ernesto Colnago to Cyclingnews. "We are still discussing this with Tinkoff, to become a technical sponsor."
Omar Piscina, current team manager with LPR, is forming the new squad for 2007; having signed Danilo Hondo and Steffen Weigold, the Italian is said to be interested in American Tyler Hamilton.
Landis talks road safety and advocacy at fundraiser
By Rebecca Anderson and Steve Medcroft
Floyd Landis took time out from his work to prepare for his upcoming case at the US Anti-Doping Authority to attend a road safety meeting in Madison, Wisconsin.
On crutches following the "Birmingham" hip resurfacing procedure he underwent earlier this month, Landis had been invited to keynote Saris Cycling Group's annual fundraiser to support the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin. This is the second time Floyd has appeared at this event which raises funds for bicycle related projects in Wisconsin.
Landis addressed a group of approximately 500 at Saris' manufacturing and business headquarters in Madison on the need for cyclists to advocate for safety issues within their communities. "I find most Americans to be respectful to riders," he said, "but I wish more cities had dedicated bike lanes or paths like Madison does and educating drivers about bikes on the road is always going to be needed."
The fundamental issue of safety for cyclists, he said at the event, is about making sure cyclists and drivers have the education and support they need to coexist. "I believe most cyclists don't go out of their way to get in the way of a car and likewise, I don't think drivers are always aware of how close they are to a bike. Every now and then there is the driver who would rather see you in the ditch - or dead - but not too often. Unless you've been on a bike and had a car come close to you, you wouldn't think about this situation. Cyclists need to show as much respect as possible; it doesn't help to react to a driver and education for drivers is needed. Which is why I'm here tonight."
Chris Fortune, President of Saris Cycling Group, said that the fundraiser was his company's way of contributing to the dialog of road safety. "We need to create a safe environment for people to ride and that means dedicating space on the roads and teaching drivers to respect bikes (as well as) providing funding to make the roads safe - for programs like "Safe Routes to School" and "Bike to Work Week," he said.
Fortune said that the funding and advocacy work is intended to raise the profile of the cyclist in public debates. "We are dedicating the funds (from tonight's fundraiser) to the advocacy projects of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin. Last year BFW used the funding to hire a lobbyist to make sure that cyclists are heard at the state capitol when funding decisions are being made. Here in Wisconsin, over $7 million every year is pirated by the highway builders and redirected from bike and pedestrian initiatives to fund state highways. We have to turn that around. People aren't going to commute by bike or ride for pleasure if they don't feel safe. Floyd is here because he is giving back to the industry that he makes a living in and working together we can make a case for more funding for cycling initiatives."
Landis recovery progressing
Landis noticably required the aid of crutches during his talk. "My hip feels good," he said when asked at about his ongoing recovery from hip surgery. "I don't have the pain I used to have." The surgery was necessary to repair bone degeneration caused after a fall three years ago left him with a broken hip; the fracture healed but scar tissue reduced blood flow to the femoral head and with no nutrition going to the bone, parts of his hip essentially decayed.
"The (Birmingham) procedure entails resurfacing of the bone and it's ideal for a younger patient," he said about the procedure. "Some of the dead bone is removed and in my case a new man-made femoral head was set in place."
Landis was well-received by the crowd and says he is generally treated well in public. "I can't go anywhere without being recognized," he said. "But people have been really supportive. I live in Temecula, California and there is a ton of traffic there. I get a lot of waves."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Rebecca Anderson/Cyclingnews
Ullrich may change countries, but Puerto will follow
By Shane Stokes
It was also an eventful week for other riders involved in the Operación Puerto investigations. German Jan Ullrich announced he would renounce his Swiss racing licence due to what he said was his dissatisfaction with the way he had been treated.
A message on his website said that he "cannot be reasonably expected to belong to a federation which injures the personal rights and professional freedom of a member, and which refuses to take a position on specific complaints."
The statement continued, "For months, officials of Swiss Cycling and Swiss Olympic have conducted a press campaign against me with the contradictory statements. I have no more trust in them. This withdrawal does not mean that I am ending my career -- I have contacted other cycling federations concerning a license for 2007."
However, UCI President Pat McQuaid clarified the UCI's position on Friday, saying that a switch in licences will have no effect on the final outcome of the investigation.
"The Swiss Federation will continue the process vis-à-vis Ullrich. He was a Swiss license holder and a Swiss resident when all this took place, so therefore it is still within the power of the Swiss Federation to deal with it. If they find him guilty then it will be the Swiss Federation who will ultimately sanction him. So moving countries and taking out a different licence wouldn't change anything in that situation."
McQuaid said that national federations need to consider the issues before issuing a licence to a rider under investigation. "If he [Ullrich] tries to go to another country and another federation, well then it is up to that federation as to whether or not they decide to accept his application for a license.
"I would imagine that most federations would take into account that there are ongoing investigations into Ullrich vis-à-vis Operación Puerto and there are also ongoing criminal investigations into his activities in Germany. So therefore any federation receiving an application from Ullrich for a license should consider these facts."
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'
May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
Cyclingnews' complete coverage of Operación Puerto
Good news and bad news for Ullrich
By Susan Westemeyer
Jan Ullrich doesn't have a Swiss license any more, but he have found out where he will be welcome to apply for a new one. "If Jan moves to Austria, he will get (a) pro license from me," said Rudolf Massak, director of the Austrian cycling federation. "Pro cyclists aren't saints, but it is unworthy and inhuman how they are being handled. Every person should be treated with fairness."
Massak went on to criticize the doping investigators and the UCI. "So far, everything that has been published is just speculation, and this is an impossible situation. The UCI has shoved the problem off on to the national federations. It can't be that Ivan Basso is acquitted in Italy, Ullrich sentenced in Switzerland and a proceeding against Jörg Jaksche opened, only to have it immediately struck down due to lack of evidence."
Ullrich had already heard that he needn't return to his homeland in search of a new license. "That is unimaginable," said Dieter Kühnle, vice president of the Bundes Deutscher Radfahrer, the German cycling federation.
In addition, his withdrawal from the Swiss cycling federation doesn't mean that the Swiss investigation into his possible doping practices has ended. "That won't have any influence on the continuation of the proceeding, because Ullrich rode with a Swiss license at the time of the alleged violation," said Bernhard Welten of the Swiss Olympic Committee.
As soon as the dossier in the case is complete, it will be forwarded to the disciplinary committee of Swiss Cycling. "Then, according to the WADA statutes, I will make my recommendation -- either an acquittal, because their is insufficient evidence, or for a lifetime ban. There are no other possibilities," Welten told www.radsport-aktiv.de.
Welten does not believe that his investigation is affected by the ban placed by a Spanish judge on the use of the Operation Puerto material. "I have only heard about that through the media, but this ban only affects governmental entities, not the sports federations. We still expect additional material from Spain and Germany." Swiss Cycling director Lorenz Schläfli said that he did not know when the material would arrive. He added that he assume that Ullrich would be sending his Swiss license back to the federation.
Ullrich's announcement of his withdrawal from the Swiss federation and the resulting publicity have caused him to change his plans for this weekend. His manager Wolfgang Strohband announced that Ullrich had cancelled his plans to attend the wedding in Berlin of close friend Andreas Klöden, because he did not want to take attention away from the bride and groom.
Salvodelli joins Red Bull Road Rage roster
Paolo Savoldelli is making the trip to Tuna Canyon in Malibu, CA to defend his unofficial title of, "il Falco," or "The Falcon" when, on November 11th, he will face the world's best bicycle descenders in Red Bull Road Rage. Last year's inaugural winner and former world downhill mountain bike champion Myles Rockwell will have his work cut out for him defending his crown against an elite field of the worlds best.
The 2006 Red Bull Road Rage list of warriors includes the top descent riders from all riding backgrounds: From road racing, Paolo Savoldelli, Ivan Dominguez, David McCook, David Clinger, Erik Saunders, David Richter, Kayle LeoGrande, Sterling Magnell, Steven Cozza, Devon Vigus, Friedrich Berein, John Wike will compete. From the world of mountain biking, Myles Rockwell, Steve Peat, Greg Minnaar, Brian Lopes, Dave Cullinan, Shaums March, Guido Tschugg, Glyn O’Brien, Ben Reid, and Mark Weir will challenge.
The 2006 Red Bull Road Rage will consist of both an individual time trial as well as a pack races broken into four-rider heats until an overall winner is crowned.
See also: 2005 Red Bull Road Rage
15th Japan Cup runs Sunday
By Miwako Sasaki
15th edition of the Japan Cup will be held today, Sunday, in Utsonomiya, Japan. 13 teams, of 65 riders will start the race; one team short after the Thailand National Team cancelled. The race will use the Utsonomiya forest park circuit (where the 1990 Worlds were contested); 10 loops of 14.1 km and then a final of 10.3 km. The circuit is punctuated with hills and will be tough.
Dominated by Italians, winning nine out of 14 editions, the Japan Cup often is called "Italian Cup".
2005 winner Damiano Cunego will not race but the following teams, with solid lineups, wills start: Lampre-Fondital, Saunier Duval-Prodir, Bouygues Telecom, Discovery Channel, Skil-Shimano, Hirose Miyata-Subaru, Aisan Racing Team, Team Vang Cycling, Team Matrix-Powertag, China National Team, Thailand National Team, Hong Kong China National Team, Chinese Taipei National Team, and the Japanese National Team.
Secrest goes for 24-hour track record
Mike Secrest of Scottsdale, Arizona is set to make an attempt on the 24-hour indoor track record. on Sunday, October 22, the 53 year-old will make his attempt on the Carson Velodrome in southern California. Secrest will go for 24 hours, attempting to better the record of 872.8 km set two weeks ago by Samuel Nagel in Switzerland.
Secrest, current holder of the 24-hour outdoor track record, invites everyone to come and encourage him when he begins (8:00AM).
Hunt and Pasamontes renew with Unibet.com
Unibet.com has confirmed the renewal of two additional riders, Luis Pasamontes and Jeremy Hunt. The Spaniard and British riders renews for one more year with the team that is slated to be elevated to ProTour status in 2007.
"Both riders will mainly compete in the same races as last season," says Director Sportif Jacques Hanegraaf of Unibet.com. "Jeremy will ride the classics, while Luis Pasamontes will take on the tours."
Cofidis renews Bingen Fernández
French squad Cofidis has renewed Bingen Fernández's contract for the 2007 season. According to todociclismo.com, the Basque rider was offered a new contract by manager Eric Boyer during the Giro di Lombardia. With the departure of Luis Pérez, the 34 year-old will be the only Spaniard on the team.
Fabien Bacquet to Skil-Shimano
Skil-Shimano has signed a third French rider for next season. Young sprinter Fabien Bacquet put his signature to a two-year deal with the Dutch team. This year, the 20-year-old from Soissons in northern France won the classic Dijon-Auxonne-Dijon, the second stage of the Mi-Août Bretonne and the points classification in the Loire Atlantique, a stage race for young riders. Bacquet also made an important contribution to his club CC Nogent-sur-Oises win in the Coupe de France for elite riders without contract.
Im very happy to be joining the professionals in 2007. Skil-Shimano offers the ideal platform and facilities for me to develop as a rider and realise my ambitions, says Bacquet.
Team managers Arend Scheppink and Iwan Spekenbrink are delighted with the young Frenchmans arrival at Skil-Shimano. We will be giving a few promising riders their debuts next season and we are happy that one of them has the specific skills of a sprinter.
Marco Pantani Foundation changes hands
The Marco Pantani foundation will change hands reports tuttobiciweb.com, arriving in Romagna, Italy. Thursday in Milano, the ex-manager of Pantani, Manuela Ronchi, met with representatives of Pantani's family to work out the details that will see the foundation moved to the birth-town of the late cyclist.
As per the wishes of Marco's mother, Tonina, the management of the Pantani foundation will shift from Ronchi in Milano to an institute in Cesena, Romagna.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)