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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News for September 9, 2006

Edited by Hedwig Kröner, with assistance from Susan Westemeyer

Vuelta stage 13 wrap-up

Sánchez flies to victory

Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was the fastest in Friday's stage 13 of the Vuelta a España, ahead of Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) and Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears) in that order. The Basque climber proved excellent descending qualities as he split off the favourites' group in the last downhill stretch after the race's main showdown at the Alto del Castillo in Cuenca. With 7 kilometres to go, Sanchez attacked and managed to hold onto his advantage of 8 seconds until the very end, where he sat up to let himself be carried into the finish by the cheering crowd.

The day saw no changes to the top of the overall classification, still owned by Alejandro Valverde, although the last climb, the Alto del Castillo with 12 kilometres to go, was battled out by GC favourites.

The breakaway of the day, which took off in the second climb of the stage, the Alto de Córcoles, saw Michael Boogerd (Rabobank), Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), Lars Ytting Bak (Team CSC), Frédéric Bessy (Cofidis) and Iñigo Landaluze (Euskaltel-Euskadi) reach a maximum lead of close to eight minutes, before Quick.Step, Milram and Liquigas took over the pacemaking in the bunch and caught them 20 kilometres from the finish line.

Click here for the Full results, report & photos and live report.

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Valverde "very motivated" for ITT

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Caisse d'Epargne Illes Balears leader Alejandro Valverde tried to win in Friday's stage 13 to Cuenca, attacking during the last metres in the Alto del Castillo climb. But he found it "impossible, because we had to fight it out against an astoundingly great Samuel Sanchez". In the end, the current leader had to settle for 8 bonus seconds instead of getting some more, as he had hoped for: "I finished in third position, so I have 8 seconds more of an advantage". Stage 13 between Guadalajara and Cuenca was "so fast", but Valverde's teammates controlled his rivals. "I'm thankful, once again, to my companions who did extraordinary work," he added.

Valverde is also hopeful to keep his maillot oro after Saturday's time trial in Cuenca. "I will be very motivated for maintaining jersey," he said. He believes that the route profile is not for pure time trial specialists, like Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), so that, "it adapts to my characteristics, mainly, with the passage of the Alto de Castillo". I believe I can leave Cuenca as leader."

Landis lawyers demand that doping case be dismissed

By Steve Medcroft

Howard Jacobs, attorney for 2006 Tour de France champion Floyd Landis, announced on Friday that he will formally request that the US Anti Doping Agency drop its case against Floyd Landis and cease any further disciplinary action.

Jacobs says that after reviewing 370 pages of documentation provided by the LNDD laboratory at Chatenay-Malabry, he and the Landis legal team have found inconsisencies in the the way the athlete's positive Tour de France urine sample was handled that call into question the validity of the results they produced.

"In our review of the documents detailing the tests on both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ sample, we have found evidence that supports our request for USADA to drop the doping charges against Landis," Jacobs said in an article posted on the athlete's Web site; "While I cannot comment on the full details of our findings, we now have the foundation for a very strong defense should the case proceed to arbitration."

Jacobs also added that should USADA proceed with presenting a case before arbitration against Landis, who has protested the initial negative test results and asserted his innocence throughout the process, they will ask for the entire proceedings to be made public. "Once again, we are asking for complete transparency in this process. Floyd has maintained his innocence from the outset and what we have found in the official document package points to a premature public conviction before all of the evidence could be considered," Jacobs said.

Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case

May 29, 2009 - French authorities summon Landis and Baker
September 28, 2008 - Landis takes case to US federal court
September 10, 2008 - Landis signing with current Health Net-Maxxis team for 2009
July 1, 2008 - CAS delivers final blow to Landis legal challenge
June 30, 2008 - Landis loses final appeal
June 28, 2008 - Landis decision due Monday
March 12, 2008 - Landis' judgment day nears
October 21, 2007 - Landis files appeal with CAS
October 18, 2007 - AFLD takes another look at Landis case
Thursday, October 11 - Landis continues fight, appeals to CAS
Saturday, September 22 - UCI officially names Pereiro 2006 Tour champion, Landis case raises issues
Friday, September 21 - Landis' appeal denied, two year suspension levied

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of the Floyd Landis case

Fraud charges against Ullrich?

The public prosecutor's office in Bonn, Germany, indicated to Spanish investigators that it assumes Jan Ullrich had been receiving "forbidden products" from doctor Eufemiano Fuentes since 2003, using his manager Rudy Pevenage as an intermediary, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported on Friday. It is also investigating Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla on fraud charges.

In the rogatory letter which Sebastian Trautmann of the public prosecutor's office sent to the Spanish investigators last week, he indicated that Pevenage, Ullrich's personal advisor, provided the cyclist with "medicines and substances prohibited in cycling."

Based on evidence uncovered in the Operation Puerto, Trautmann has opened investigations of not only the use of illegal substances, but also of fraud committed by Ullrich, Pevenage and Oscar Sevilla. He has asked the Spanish judge to give him access to the contents of five volumes of information concerning the investigation, and also to allow German police specialists to come to Madrid and gather samples from the bags of blood uncovered in the investigation. This would allow a DNA comparison to see if any of the blood belonged to Ullrich and/or Sevilla.

In the request, the German prosecutor claims that Ullrich received a base salary of 2,5 million Euros plus performance based bonuses, under his 2004 contract with Walter Godefroot and his 2006 contract with Olaf Ludwig. He also allegedly earned up to 1,3 million Euros making public appearances. Sevilla is claimed to have earned 1 million Euros.

According to Trautmann, Ullrich and Sevilla may have committed fraud, since he signed a commitment with T-Mobile not to use illegal substances. One of the clauses in their contracts allow the unilateral cancellation of the contract if the riders are found to have doped. According to El Pais, T-Mobile thinks that Ullrich and Sevilla have damaged its image and caused it to lose up to 6,5 million Euros.

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

13 positives at Tour, but 12 had exemption

Pierre Bordry, president of the French council for doping prevention (CPLD) has revealed in an interview with Le Monde that the anti-doping tests performed at the Tour de France this year came back positive for performance-enhancing substances 13 times, but that there were 'therapeutic use exemptions' (TUE) in 12 of the cases. All the cyclists concerned were thus able to prove that they needed the substances to treat illnesses, except one: Floyd Landis, who could not produce a TUE for his high testosterone:epitestosterone ratio.

Brodry also said that 105 of the 199 cyclists that participated in the Tour de France this year had been tested. All in all, 16 urine samples came back positive, concerning a total of 13 riders. "Except in the case of Landis, the UCI did not rate the cases as doping, because these riders have TUE's which allow them to use prohibited substances in competition," he said. "Sixty percent of the 105 controlled riders had TUE's [...], which raises serious doubts and leaves one to think that they can be used to hide doping practices."

T-Mobile wants Voigt, but CSC says no

In its current re-organisation, T-Mobile is interested in signing the best German rider this season: Jens Voigt. Incoming team manager Rolf Aldag confirmed this to the Frankfurter Rundschau on Friday, saying, "When we speak of a new beginning of a team, of character and team building, then Voigt has to be the very first one that we speak to. We negotiated with him quite concretely a while ago and came to an agreement."

Unfortunately for T-Mobile, Voigt's contract with CSC runs through the 2007 season. "He doesn't want to go to court to break his contract. That is a loyalty that we respect. I have spoken with his team boss, Bjarne Riis, who understands our interest in Jens," Aldag told sid press agency. The dpa press agency quotes Aldag as saying, "We spoke several times with his team boss Bjarne Riis about an early transfer. But we can forget that."

Brian Nygaard, CSC spokesman, said, "I can imagine that right now there's no team that's not interested in Jens. But he is contractually obligated to us through 2007 and there is no chance that he will transfer early."

Voigt, 34, is having the best season of his career. He won a stage at the Tour de France and won the overall title at the Deutschland Tour.

Aldag also confirmed that sprinter Gerald Ciolek has signed to ride with the team next year, and that negotiations with other riders are currently underway. "There are still some places free. But not all discussions are ended nor have all the signed contracts been returned to us." Aldag called the 2007 season a "transitional" year and noted that "We are planning for long-term success."

Season has ended for Thomas Dekker

A crash in the Tour of Poland now finally does mean the end of the season for Thomas Dekker. During further examinations on Friday in a hospital in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, the Rabobank rider was diagnosed with a broken bone in his hand (os naviculare). Originally, a broken wrist was wrongly feared.

Thomas Dekker’s left hand has been put in a plaster cast, which he will have to wear for six weeks. This means that Dekker will have to miss out on the World Championships later this month in Salzburg, Austria.

De Goede to T-Mobile Women's team

Suzanne de Goede is reported to ride for the T-Mobile Women's team next season. If the deal is confirmed, De Goede will join German stars Judith Arndt and Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and leave behind her current team AA Drink directed by Michael Zijlaard and Leontien van Moorsel.

"T-Mobile is a squad with a lot of top riders, but they always ride for whoever has the best chances at any particular race," De Goede, who was Junior World champion ins 2002, told ANP. "Which means that I will also get chances to win races."

Meanwhile, the team has announced its line-up for the season’s final World Cup race in Nürnberg. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg will count on the support of Judith Arndt, Kim Anderson, Kimberly Baldwin, Amy Moore and Christina Becker. "Usually, Nürnberg boils down to a sprint finish," Teutenberg said. "Since the course is very fast, it may prove relatively tricky for a breakaway to succeed. We’ll see how the legs are on Sunday and how well I have recovered from the races in Holland."

Gerolsteiner for Nürnberger Altstadt

German team Gerolsteiner is getting prepared for the one-day classic Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt, to take place on Sunday, September 10. Team manager Hans-Michael Holczer has his bets on a sprint finish, "and for that we have a fast man with us: David Kopp," he said. Even if the Cat. 1.1 race sees a breakaway get through, Holczer is optimistic. "That's why we have Sebastian Lang and Frank Hoj in our roster," he added.

Last year's winner, Ronny Scholz, currently races the Tour of Poland for Gerolsteiner, but the team is ready to defend his title. Michael Rich might make his last appearance at the event. "It could be the last race for him before he stops," Holczer continued. "You never know. So I will definitely be there, as we have worked together for over 13 years now."

Last, but not least, a stagiaire joins team Gerolsteiner at this race: 21 year-old Johannes Fröhlinger (SC Sarreguemines) proved his talent by winning the Trophée des champions and the Tour d'Alsace this season. Fröhlinger, who is literally a "Gerolsteiner" since he was born in the town which gave his name to the mineral water source, hopes to do well enough in the pro ranks to get himself a contract for next season.

The Gerolsteiner roster for Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt will thus be: Thomas Fothen, Johannes Fröhlinger, Frank Hoj, David Kopp, Sebastian Lang and Michael Rich.

Deroo signs with Skil-Shimano

The Skil-Shimano cycling team has signed David Deroo on a two-year deal. The 21 year-old from Roubaix in Northern France has been put through his paces at Skil-Shimano over the past few weeks and Deroo’s performances in a number of races, including Rund um die Hainleite and Sparkassen Giro Bochum in Germany, were enough to secure him a two-year contract.

Deroo first attracted attention earlier this season on the Circuit des Ardennes, in which he earned a third place finish in stage four, and in the Tour de Bretagne, where he took a stage victory. Deroo came through the ranks at Velo Club Roubaix, where he honed his cycling abilities up to this season before arriving at Skil-Shimano for a trial. The Frenchman is a fine mid-distance climber and also shows the makings of a good sprint finisher in small groups.

The signing of the talented Deroo is consistent with Skil-Shimano’s strategic policy and is the first step in the intended expansion of the team’s international activities into France, to serve the interests of its sponsors as well as possible.

Irish organisers pool resources

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

Counties Limerick and Cork are to the forefront of the cycling scene as regards National Championships this Saturday and Sunday.

In Broadford, Co Limerick on Saturday, the National Hill Climb Championship will be held on Killala Hill just outside the town. According to race organiser Liam Collins, "this is a vertical climb! It was in the late 1970’s before cars were allowed to descend, such was the gradient." Collins will also organise the Junior and Veteran Championship which were originally scheduled to be held back in July. The sponsors of the championships in Broadford are Cycling Pursuits. Evidently there involvement has added a buzz to the occasion and also, Paul Griffin is jetting in from the Far East in attempt to reclaim the Hill Climb Championship.

The start time of the Hill Climb is at 6.30 on Saturday evening, which will surely add some colour to the event.

On Sunday there are three championships and the two clubs involved, Limerick CC and Kanturk Credit Union CC have pooled their resources so that everything runs as per schedule.

On current form Dermot Cronin looks the nap in the Juniors because of his recent win in the Kevin McInerney. Robbie Bryson is going for a unique treble in the Veteran championships. The Lakeland CC Veteran, has concentrated recently in events which will undoubtedly give him the edge. Both events are scheduled for a 2.30 lift off.

Also sharing the billing with the Vets and Juniors on Sunday will be the B Championships which are being staged in Kanturk. Here, race organiser Dan Curtin gets the B’s under way at 10.30 to allow him time to help out in Broadford. "Sure it is only the road and we neighbours have to stick together," said Curtin.

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