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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for October 31, 2006

Edited by Laura Weislo

Nys stays on top

By Brecht Decaluwé

Nys wins again.
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

Sven Nys (Rabobank) remains in the white jersey of the leader in the UCI Cyclo-cross rankings, despite his recent winning streak coming to an end on Saturday, after 23 year old Czech rider, Radomir Simunek Jr., and Bart Wellens' Fidea team managed to get away from the Belgian in the World Cup race in the Czech Republic. His lead over world champion Erwin Vervecken (Fidea) dropped a little from 195 to 187 points but it’s still fairly comfortable.

The Belgians continue to reign in cyclo-cross as they cover the first four positions. Frenchman Francis Mourey (Française Des Jeux), who dropped from third to sixth after missing out on this weekend's races, was replaced by Bart Wellens in third. New in the top10 is Czech Radomir Simunek Jr (Palmans), the winner of the World Cup race in Tabor; he jumps from 21st to eighth position. Klaas Vantornout (Fidea) snuck into the top 10 as well, gaining three spots after his fourth place in Tabor.

Falling out of the top 10 are Americans Ryan Trebon (Kona) and and Timothy Johnson (Cannondale/ Cyclocross world) after not earning UCI points this weekend. Trebon fell from 10th to 16th, Johnson from 11th to 17th. Also losing ground was Czech Zdenek Mlynar (AC Sparta Praha) who dropped from 9th to 12th.

 1 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank                               990 pts
 2 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team              803
 3 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team                 706
 4 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Rabobank                    583
 5 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank                        547
 6 Francis Mourey (Fra) Française Des Jeux               474
 7 Kamil Ausbuher (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor          471
 8 Radomir Simunek (Jr) Palmans Colstrop                 470
 9 Christian Heule (Swi) Stevens Racing Team             441
 10 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Morgan Blue                   429
 11 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team               382
 12 Zdenek Mlynár (Cze) Max Cursor                       347
 13 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team               320
 14 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank                         312
 15 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) Rabobank                   306
 16 Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona                               290
 17 Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocross world    285
 18 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Lampre - Caffita                262
 19 Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) AVB Asbestverwijdering          229
 20 Steve Chainel                                        228

Pereiro and Sánchez speak about Operación Puerto

By Antonio J Salmerón

Oscar Pereiro, second in this year's Tour de France, but who stands a chance of being declared the winner if Floyd Landis loses the case against his positive testosterone test, gave his opinions about doping and the Operación Puerto fiasco to the Spanish newspaper that broke the story, El Pais."We must fight against the dopers within the laws, together and without haste", Pereiro said.

"It is necessary to collaborate. Many riders are going to lose their jobs as a consequence of the Operación Puerto. And when the judge gives his verdict, I don't know how many will be guilty - there will not be many. That seems unjust to me. It is clear that, if there is some cyclists implicated, it is necessary to sanction him, but that has to be decided by the judge, not by anyone else. The leaks to the mass media have done damage".

Another Spanish rider who spoke on the Operación Puerto affair and its consequences is Samuel Sánchez. "Cycling has been the only sport in which so many people have been the condemned. Soccer players such as Carlos Gurpegui (Athletic de Bilbao), who was sanctioned for nandrolone, and had the opportunity to defend himself before before the license was revoked," said the Euskaltel-Euskadi rider.

"I am convinced that many riders have no part in doping. We have to bear in mind that cycling is the most tested sport. All that has happened invites us to reflect on whether the controls that we have are totally trustworthy. There are many false positives, many errors," he concluded.

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

Rujano out of Quick.Step

Jose Rujano, winner of the 2005 Giro d'Italia mountains classification and third in the general classification, has parted ways with his Quick.Step-Innergetic team. The team management and the rider have mutually agreed to immediately terminate his contract. The Venezuelan climber left his Selle-Italia team for the ProTour squad, but never lived up to the promise of his spectacular performance in the 2005 Giro. Rujano started this year's Giro d'Italia, only to abandon the race on the final climb of stage 13 after showing some of his former spark.

"I want to say thanks to the riders and the staff of the Quick Step-Innergetic team," said Rujano. "Unfortunately, I haven’t succeeded in reaching the objectives that I was me preset with the team because of some personal problems that have conditioned my season. I wish the team all the best for the next season."

The team did confirm that Cedric Vasseur will ride out his last season as a professional with Quick.Step before he retires at the end of the 2007 season.

Tinkoff names 15 and rides Colnago

By Gregor Brown

Tinkoff Credit Systems has sent out its first official press release, naming the riders that are confirmed for the 2007 season and its bike supplier, Colnago. The new Italian professional continental team will be directed by the current Team LPR Manager Omar Piscina, and will be backed by Russian millionaire and bike enthusiast, Oleg Tinkov.

Cyclingnews spoke with Ernesto Colnago a week ago, who at the time could only confirm that they were "discussing this with Tinkoff," but yesterday, the new Italian-Russian team announced it will in fact be riding on framed produced by Milano's famed bike maker. Colnago, in addition to supplying bikes to ProTour teams Rabobank and Milram, will now be the supplier of Tinkov's team.

Colnago and Piscina started negotiations in the middle of September at Italy's bicycle trade show, EICMA. Since EICMA, the two have ironed out the details, with the formal contract being signed today, that will see Colnago furnish carbon frames to the newly formed squad for 2007 and 2008.

In addition to confirming its bike supplier, Tinkoff Credit Systems announced 15 riders that have already been signed for 2007. "The team will be soon complete with three more members, of which will be one of top-level, with whom there are ongoing negotiations," read the Tinkoff press release. The team is said to be courting American Tyler Hamilton.

The confirmed 15 riders are: Elia Aggiano, Pavel Brutt, Ilya Chernetsky, Mikhail Ignatyev, Anton Mindlin, Ivan Rovny, Alexander Serov, Nikolay Trusov and Sergey Klimov (all Russian); Salvatore Commesso, Daniele Contrini and Ruggero Marzoli (Italian); Danilo Hondo and Steffen Weigold (Germans); and Spaniard Ricardo Serrano.

Three Germans in Skil-Shimano

By Susan Westemeyer

The Dutch Professional Continental Team Skil-Shimano will boast three German riders next year. Christian Müller, a time trial specailist, will join the team next season after riding for Team CSC this year. Christoph Meschenmoser already had a contract for the coming year. In August, 20-year-old Paul Martens said, "Next year I want to ride in the ProTour," but instead he has extended his contrct with Skil-Shimano for a year, www.radsport-aktiv.de reports.

Zabel and Bettini the stars in Munich Six

By Susan Westemeyer

Erik Zabel and Bruno Risi may be the top favorites to win the Munich Six-Days race, but they will be challenged for the win and for the public support by the Italian team of Paolo Bettini and Marco Villa. The Munich races run November 9-14. Zabel won the race last year with Robert Bartko. The race organizers are hoping for showdown between the gold and silver medallists of the World Championships. "Erik Zabel has a score to settle with his friend Bettini. In the road race in Salzburg, Bettini beat Zabel in the last 50 meters, and even excused himself for doing it," according to the organizer's press release. "Now cycling fans can can look forward to an exciting duel between the two teams."

Zabel honoured in Germany

By Susan Westemeyer

The German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen has honoured Erik Zabel with its Medal of Honour for Sport. Interior Minister Ingo Wolf awarded the Milram Sprinter with the honour during the Dortmund Six Days race. "Erik Zabel is deservedly a role model for many sport enthusiasts," Wolf said. Zabel is a native of Berlin, Germany, but has lived in Unna, Nordrhein-Westfalen, for many years.

Santos González signed by Karpin-Galicia

By Antonio J. Salmerón

New Spanish Pro Continental team Karpin Galicia, directed by Álvaro Pino, has reached a contractual agreement with Santos Gónzalez for the 2007 season. In addition to González, the team will also incorporate David Herrero (ex-Euskaltel-Euskadi), Carlos Castańo (Kaiku) and Gaizka Lasa.

González led the 3 Molinos Resort team this season, but now returns to Pino, who was his director at Phonak and Kelme-Costa Blanca. "He must contribute his maturity to the new members. I think that Santos González is going to be a very important rider for us," said Pino.

"Carlos Castańo is a very good rider in the race against the clock, but also is a good sprinter in finishes with a small group, as is David Herrero. On the other hand, Gaizka Lasa, 24 years old, has only signed for one season, although Pino is counting on "great satisfaction" with his latest draft.

After these four signings, the Karpin Galicia roster for next year numbers 14.

Muenzer retires

Olympic track champion Lori-Ann Muenzer, who won the sprint gold medal at the 2004 Athens Summer Games at the age of 38, announced Monday she is retiring from cycling. She plans to concentrate on her business and devote time to a program she's established to develop young cyclists.

Leaving the sport that has consumed her for over 17 years wasn't an easy decision for the Toronto native, who now lives in Edmonton. "I really thought long and hard about it," Muenzer, 40, told The Canadian Press. "To be able to have the ultimate performance you have to have so many things in alignment to make it happen."

During her career Muenzer won two silver and two bronze world championship medals, 11 World Cup medals, and a silver and bronze medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. She also was a 13-time Canadian champion. She was named Canada's female athlete of the year by The Canadian Press and Broadcast News, plus was inducted into the Edmonton and Alberta sports halls of fame.

House on fire for PowerNet Tour of Southland

By Alan Messenger

In its first fifty years the Cycling Tour of Southland has only been won by three overseas riders, two Australians and an American, but this year an English rider is poised to win New Zealand’s premier cycling event.

Kristian House has been in good form all year, winning the Tour of Ireland then later, a stage of the French Tour le Bretagne, while last weekend he added the Tour of Tasmania to his tally for the year.

In the Powernet Tour of Southland, House has perhaps the strongest team in the race. The Calder Stewart team includes Australia’s former Olympian and current road series winner Rob MacLachlan. The Australian was third on GC in this year's Tour de Taiwan and two weeks ago he won the 300km Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic. MacLachlan himself is a major contender to win the Southern Tour. The other riders in the team are Australian David Pell and two talented Kiwis, Jeremy Vennell (Hastings) and Karl Murray (Auck).

Vennell wore the yellow jersey for two days in last year's Tour before handing it over to eventual winner, Gordon McCauley. McCauley is back in the field this year and aiming to be only the fourth rider to win the Tour more than twice. The others are Warwick Dalton (three wins), Tino Tabak (three wins) and Brian Fowler (eight wins).

The Tour has attracted a record entry of 130 riders, with a good balance of domestic and overseas cyclists. Probably the best chance of a New Zealand win for the tour's 50th year is with the talented former world track champion, Greg Henderson. The Otago rider has had a good season in the USA, and he recently signed a professional contract with top European team T-Mobile for 2007. In the Tour, Henderson will ride in the McIntyre Dick and Partners team with a strong backup of New Zealand and overseas riders.

There will also be a lot of interest in Hayden Roulston. The South Canterbury rider retired from the sport in August after being diagnosed with a heart problem, but he showed he was back and a force to be reckoned with when he won the National Road Championship at Dunedin last weekend.

Peter Latham is back this year and will again ride for the Southland Times team. The Te Awamutu rider won the Under 23 Category two years ago and finished third in the Under 23 Category Time trial at the World Road Championships. After a good season in France he could well be ready to take his career up another level.

The Tour starts from Invercargill next on Monday, November 6, and finishes back in the city on November 11.

Spike hit by theft

By Greg Johnson

United States National Cyclo-cross Champion Katie Compton only enjoyed a short celebration after taking victory in the Boulder Cyclo-cross event in Colorado on Sunday, as her bike and Cane Creek carbon wheels were stolen that night.

The theft is a blow to the Spike Professional Cycling team, who said after her victory: "Next weekend’s races will be a great test for me, having Lynn Bessette and Katrina Nash here. I’m gearing towards the Portland USGP and Nationals."

Compton's fiancé and fellow Spike rider Mark Legg also had his bike stolen in the theft

Team Rubicon is hiring U23s

Team Rubicon is currently looking for four additional espoir riders to fill out its 2007 development squad. The team will be accepting resumes until November 20, 2006. Riders will be selected and contacted the following week. Requirements are a USA Cycling category 1 or 2 license, 18-23 years of age, a willingness to travel, be a team player, and to temporarily relocate to the Pacific northwest.

For more info on the team please go to trubicon.com

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