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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for October 26, 2006

Edited by Sue George

Saiz hangs onto ProTour license

Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Manolo Saiz, former leader of the Liberty Seguros team, may hold on to his ProTour license for 2007 according to Belgian newspaper Nieuwsblad who spoke with UCI ProTour Manager Alain Rumpf. Astana had hoped to take over the license from Saiz.

Both teams were part of the same overall entity, Active Bay Sports, which is co-owned by Saiz, a major stockholder. Saiz does not plan to sell or transfer his license. So if Astana cannot acquire the license from Saiz, it will have to apply for its own ProTour license. But the confusion will not end with the licenses. While Astana took over sponsorship of Liberty Seguros mid-season, there remains a dispute as to which entity owns the contracts of Astana riders like Alexander Vinokourov. To complicate matters further, the new management of Astana has set itself up and signed contracts with riders like Andreas Klöden.

UCI meets with AIGCP and presents new measures

Photo ©: Shane Stokes
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Yesterday, UCI President Pat McQuaid Antidoping Service Manager Anne Gripper met with the AIGCP (International Parliament of Professional the Cyclists Groups) in Paris. Gripper presented the last improvements in the fight against doping. She called for a collaboration of all groups within cycling to fight doping together.

In particular, she suggested the use of new blood parameters for better targeting controls and called for increased involvement of teams, including more funding for teams' antidoping programs. The UCI also announced it would increase random, out-of-competition testing and control more strictly the authorizations for therapeutic uses of substances.

Gripper asked for an improvement in the quality and quantity of controls by National Federations including the strict application of sanctions and the increased education of cyclists regarding doping restrictions.

Finally, she highlighted the benefits of hematological profiles or baseline DNA testing for each rider in future doping fights.

Looking further ahead, the UCI is presently studying whether shortening the major Tours would help reduce doping in cycling. Some experts now believe that the long duration of the Tours makes them so tough that many racers resort to doping to get through them.

The teams present generally supported an increase in anti-doping measures.

Austrian Federation distances itself from Ullrich

Jan Ullrich
Photo ©: AFP
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The Austrian cycling federation, Österreicher Radsport-Verband (ÖSV), is perhaps not so eager to welcome Jan Ullrich to its ranks after all. In a statement published Wednesday, ÖSV said that it "wants to explicitly state that General Secretary Rudolf Massak had simply and only commented on the legalities of issuing a license. We further want to state that there has been no invitation or offer from the ÖRV to Mr. Ullrich that he should move to Austria and request a license."

Österreichische Radsport-Verband said it is more interested "in concentrating on its main obligations, namely the support of youth and junior sport, and does not need the additional challenges or duties in connection with the Ullrich case."

Earlier this week, Jan Ullrich's manager Wolfgang Strohband had inquired about the possibility of his client receiving an Austrian license. Massak said to the APA that Ullrich would be treated like any other rider. On the application form are not only questions as to the rider's address and team, but also questions about whether there are any proceedings underway against him. "We'll have to see what there is that speaks against him receiving a license. If Swiss Olympic opens a proceeding against Ullrich, then we'll have to wait on that," Massak said.

Strohband at first denied his inquiry about an Austrian license for Ullrich. "That's total nonsense, I haven't done that," he told Netzeitung. "Jan would first have to live in Austria for that." However, Wednesday evening, he told the German press agency Sid, "I don't want to comment right now. You can interpret that as you will."

Bettini ready for Grenoble Six Day

Paolo Bettini (Quick-Step)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Paolo Bettini (Quick-Step) continues his 2006 season on the wood planks of the Grenoble Velodrome southeastern France. Il Grillo will partner with experienced Six Day rider Marco Villa to tackle the event which starts today.

The rider from Livorno is coming off of a mythical season that saw him win the Italian Championships, the World Championships, and most recently, the Giro di Lombardia. After Lombardia, Bettini took time to prepare for this Six Day with Italian Track Director Sportif Sandro Callari. Bettini has little experience in this discipline.

Joining Villa and Bettini in Grenoble, also scheduled for the Munich Six Day, will be 10 other pairs.

1 Franco Marvulli - Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)
2 Paolo Bettini - Marco Villa (Ita)
3 Peter Schep - Jens Mouris (Ned)
4 Alex Rasmussen - Michael Morkov (Den)
5 Dimitri De Fauw - Wouter Van Mechelen (Bel)
6 Martin Liska - Jozef Zabka (Svk)
7 Wim Stroetinga (Ned) - Ioannis Tamouridis (Gre)
8 Simon Clarke - Nic Sanderson (Aus)
9 Jonathan Mouchel - Nicolas Rousseau (Fra)
10 Fabien Sanchez - Kevin Lalouette (Fra)
11 Damien Gaudin - Thibault Mace (Fra)

Zabel returns for 65th Dortmund Six Day

Erik Zabel (Milram) will return to Dortmond, Germany, to defend his 2005 title. Last year the German won the Dortmund Six Day with partner Rolf Aldag, but this year he will seek to defend his crown with Swiss specialist Bruno Risi, who recently won in Holland at the Six Days of Maastricht.

The Dortmund Six Day runs October 26-31.

Secrest's 24-hour world cycling record attempt pending certification

Michael Secrest attempted the 24-hour indoor world cycling record from Sunday to Monday, October 21-22, 2006. The 53-year-old circled the ADT Event Center velodrome in Carson, California for 534.7 miles to surpass the 530.41 mile record set by Rod Evans in Australia in 1994.

According to John Hughes, Managing Director of the Ultramarathon Cycling Association, the record is not yet official. "First, Mike and his official, John Marino, have to submit their report including lap sheets, etc." After review, the Association will determine whether to certify his ride as a record.

Secrest had already beat Evans' mark at the outdoor velodrome in Dominguez Hills, California, when he rode 532.74 miles in 1996. However, indoor and outdoor records are recognized differently by the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association.

The potential record is just another accolade for his resume. Secrest won the 3,117 mile Race Across America from San Francisco to Washington, DC, in 9 days, 11 hours and 35 minutes. During a previous RAAM from Huntington Beach, California to Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1985, he continued cycling non-stop without sleep for 64 hours until reaching Amarillo, Texas.

California man pleads no contest in death of cyclist

Chevelle Baily, 41, entered a plea of no contest to vehicular manslaughter and two other felonies before a court in California. Baily was accused of killing a cyclist, 31-year-old John Peckham, while on a lunchtime group training ride in the hills of Palo Alto on September 8th. Peckham was struck by Baily's speeding car while riding ahead of the group. Bailey's no contest plea is the legal equivalent of a guilty plea.

Baily could face 28 years and eight months in prison considering his prior DUI and robbery convictions. "This guy needs to be off the streets,'' Brian Petersen, president of the local cycling club, told the San Jose Mercury News outside of court.

Baily also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence while causing injury and a hit and run charge. According to the court, Baily was under the influence of methamphetamine and alcohol when he struck Peckham while driving between 60 and 90 mph. Then Baily kept driving until he crashed his car down an embankment. Witnesses reported to police that Bailey opened a beer after the crash and allegedly said: "I thought I was going to die, but I got out of the car like soldier, cracked a beer and downed it.''

Laiseka rests after operation

Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel)
Photo ©: AFP
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Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) underwent an operation yesterday to remove bone remnants remaining in his body from his crash five months ago in the Giro d'Italia.

The 37-year-old Basque rider crashed on the final stretch of the technical Cinque Terra Stage 12 from Livorno to Sestri Levante in this year's Giro. Involved in a crash with Serguei Gonchar (T-Mobile) in the final kilometers, Laiseka suffered a fracture in his right kneecap.

The operation in Vitoria was the second such operation. Laiseka had a similar operation on May 23, immediately after returning from Italy. According to, doctors Mikel Sánchez and Juan Azofra attended to Laiseka, who will remain in the hospital for 24 hours. After 10 days, once the stitches have been removed, the Basque should be able to resume training.

Austrian team signs two

Team Elk Haus Simplon announced two signings for the coming season. Christian Pfanneberger is returning for another year and Thomas Konecny will join the team.

Pfanneberger, the team's captain, said, "The team has supported me the whole time, I want to thank them for their trust in me with another great season." He added, "Next year I want to win the Tour of Austria, a realistic goal." Pfanneberger finished third overall in that race this year.

Konecny, from the Czech Republic, also signed a one-year contract. He rode last season for Team Wiesenhof-Akud, and before that for T-Mobile, among others. His palmares included a stage win in the Vuelta à Espana. "This past season wasn't particularly good, but in our talks, he showed himself highly motivated," said team manager Bernhardf Rassinger. "In 2004 Thomas had the best climbing time up the Glockner in the history of the Tour of Austria. It still hasn't been beaten."

Müller completes Skil-Shimano team roster

The Skil-Shimano cycling team added Christian Müller as its final rider for the next season. The 24-year-old, German racer leaves the CSC Team to join Skil-Shimano after penning a two-year deal.

"I felt at home at CSC, but I think I can develop better at Skil-Shimano and ride more for my own success," said Müller.

Müller had joined the pro peleoton with CSC in 2005 after winning the German and European under-23 time trial titles in 2004. He also won the German under-23 road title in 2003.

This year, with CSC, he won the Pro Tour team time-trial in Eindhoven. He also finished second in stages of the Bayern Rundfahrt and the Drie Länder Rundfahrt and took fourth in the German time-trial championship.

Kersten on track for Sydney Thousand

Commonwealth Games gold medalist Ben Kersten completed his trial yesterday and was approved by NSWIS Head Coach Gary Sutton to race in Sunday's historic Sydney Thousand for the 2000m despite being out of competition for four months following back surgery. Kersten will ride from the "Mark Of Honour" scratch along with dual Olympic gold medalist Ryan Bayley at the Tempe Velodrome.

Racers ready for New Zealand's "toughest road cycling event"

On Saturday, New Zealand racers will tackle the K2 Cycle Classic, a 200km road race around the Coromandel Peninsula also known as New Zealand's "toughest road cycling event." K2 gets its name from the 200km distance and the township of Kuaotunu, which in Maori means “to inspire fear in young animals.”

New Zealand pro Eric Mackenzie compares the hilly race to the classics, "I've ridden many European Classics, and the K2 round the Coromandel Peninsula is the best comparison you'll get here in New Zealand.”

Denmark's Linda Villumsen, 21-years-old, will compete in the women's race. Villumsen had a break-through year after winning the women’s Tour de France. Villumsen is spending her off-season traveling and training in New Zealand. Although far from race fitness, the European time trial champion is looking forward to racing New Zealanders Michelle Hyland, Amy Mosen and Gina Waible.

The men’s race is wide open. Kiwi Olympian Glenn Mitchell, the winner for the last three years, will not return to defend his K2 streak. Favorites include New Zealand under 23 national champions Joseph Cooper and Clinton Avery and pros Peter Latham, Logan Hutchings, Aaron Strong, and Scott Lyttle.

As well as the feature event, organisers will also stage an introductory 100km race and a 400km race for endurance junkies.

Free clinics for junior roadies in California

Whole Athlete is offering a series of free mentored road riding clinics for juniors in Northern California. The clinics are intended to promote growth in the junior cycling community and will focus on good sportsmanship, dedication, thoughtful actions, and character building.

The clinics are open to all high school students and will take place every other Saturday from 2:00 to 4:00 PM in November and December. Each ride will focus on a different aspect of road cycling and will be mentored by experienced riders, racers, and coaches all volunteering their time to promote junior cycling.

November 4 - Group riding email
November 18 - Pacelines
December 2- Climbing/descending
December 16 - Race tactics

For more info, click here.

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(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)