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Photo ©: Swift

Latest Cycling News for September 15, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones, with assistance from Susan Westemeyer

More details from German Operacion Puerto searches

By Susan Westemeyer

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Details have continued to emerge about the German investigation in connection with the Fuentes affair. The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that the investigators took DNA samples from Ullrich's house in Switzerland, which will be compared with certain of the blood plasma found in Fuentes' office. According to the newspaper, it is not yet clear wether the comparison will be made in Spain or in Germany. German prosecutor Fred Apostel said that his office has asked the Spaniards to analyse the blood, "But if we should actually get hold of it, that would be even better." reports that the investigators took "extensive documents" from the T-Mobile headquarters in Bonn, Germany. These papers allegedly show that Ullrich's contract, which was signed in 2003, "could be cancelled if there were even suspicion of doping." In addition, T-Mobile papers are said to have referred to Ullrich as an "unstable" talent.

In addition, it was disclosed that Olaf Ludwig's house in Stolberg, Germany, was also searched. Ludwig took over the T-Mobile team from Walter Godefroot in January of this year, and will turn the team over to Bob Stapleton on November 1.

"It was a house search like the others," he told the Aachener Nachrichten, but he did not say what might have been taken. "Of course I cooperated, because I have nothing to hide." Apostel confirmed that a "wide-ranging variety of documents" had been seized, and added that Ludwig was considered a witness rather than a suspect.

USA Cycling informed about Hamilton

The USA national cycling federation, USA Cycling, confirmed that it has "received information from the UCI regarding Tyler Hamilton and his alleged involvement in 'Operation Puerto' along with a request to move forward with disciplinary action." USAC has placed the matter in the hands of the US Anti-Doping Agency, which will adjudicate.

"We received a communication from the UCI today containing the 'Operation Puerto' dossier for Mr. Tyler Hamilton and a request to open disciplinary proceedings against him," said USAC's CEO Steve Johnson. "As required by our anti-doping regulations, we have forwarded the complete dossier to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and have asked them to adjudicate this case on our behalf."

In less than two weeks, Hamilton will complete his two year suspension for blood doping in 2004. But the Operacion Puerto raids allegedly linked him to illegal doping practices in 2003. If found guilty of a second offence, he faces a life ban from cycling.

Hamilton's last statement on the Operacion Puerto affair was issued on his website,, in August, where he denied any involvement. "What I do know is that these allegations are hurtful and false," he wrote. "It is not clear to me who is translating and alleging these things. I have never even heard of some of the substances listed within these supposed 'schedules'.

"It is also not clear why some riders have been cleared while others are being forced to wait things out. All that does seem clear is that this is not an ordinary investigation."

Austrian federation waiting on Jaksche papers

The Austrian cycling federation is still waiting to hear from the UCI about the charges against Jörg Jaksche, stemming from the Fuentes case. "The UCI, which supposedly is preparing a file to be sent to the national federations, isn't doing anything. We have nothing against Jaksche," said the federation's general secretary and chairman of the anti-doping committee, Rudolf Massak.

Jaksche, a German citizen, lives in Austria and thus rides with an Austrian license. He was suspended by the former Team Liberty Seguros for his alleged participation in the Fuentes doping ring.

"I don't need to bother to go to court with the rumours and denunciations that have been spread by the media. An attorney would tear us apart in five minutes," Massak told He "can only become active, bring charges, when we have definite evidence in our hands. Otherwise our charges would have such feet of clay, that the other side could blow us up," according to Massak, and that would be something that "the national federations would not survive."

Massak also questioned the strength of the evidence against Jaksche. "The illegal substance must be found in the body, proven that it is there. If that is not the case, then at least an illegal method must be proved."

He asked if his federation is supposed to try Jaksche, "just because the name 'Jorge' is written on one of the bags of blood they found, when there are probably three million men of that name in Spain?"

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

Andreu's former team responds to doping admission

Former US Postal riders Frankie Andreu and another anonymous rider's admissions that they used EPO in 1999 has caused a storm of reactions from everyone from Lance Armstrong to UCI president Pat McQuaid. The management of the Discovery Channel (formerly US Postal) team has also now issued a statement in response to the admissions, which were made to the New York Times.

"The US Postal and Discovery Channel Professional Cycling Teams have had a long standing "no tolerance" policy with respect to the use of performance enhancing drugs. No rider has ever had a positive test during the 10 years these teams have competed. However, it has recently come to light that a former rider, Frankie Andreu, has admitted to the use of a banned substance while he was a member of the team.

"We are saddened and disappointed by this recent revelation. Any suggestion that any form of doping has ever been encouraged or tolerated on this team is patently false. We have won our races (including 7 Tours de France, 1 Tour of Italy, 1 Tour of Spain, and many others) with regard for sportsmanship and fair play.

"Team management will be investigating this issue and considering all legal options and trust that the relevant authorities (USA Cycling, USADA and the UCI) will be doing the same."

Nicole Cooke and Univega win gold

Great Britain's Nicole Cooke (Univega) secured the 2006 UCI Women's Road World Cup title on September 10 at the end of the Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt in Germany, the twelfth and final race in the series, which was won by Regina Schleicher.

Cooke beat Germany's Ina Teutenberg by 162 points and Switzerland's Annette Beutler by 229 points. Univega came top of the team's classification with 807 points, ahead of T-Mobile (607 points) and Buitenpoort-Flexpoint (582 points).

Elite Women's World Cup rankings as at 10 September, 2006

1 Nicole Cooke (GBr) Univega Pro Cycling Team            473 pts
2 Ina Teutenberg (Ger) T-Mobile Professional Cycling     311
3 Annette Beutler (Swi) Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team       244
4 Judith Arndt (Ger) T-Mobile Professional Cycling       236
5 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team     221
6 Oenone Wood (Aus) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung       170
7 Regina Schleicher (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 150
8 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung     139
9 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) A.S. Team F.R.W                 127
10 Zoulfia Zabirova (Kaz) Bigla Cycling Team             120

Team Standings
1 Univega Pro Cycling Team                               807 pts
2 T-Mobile Professional Cycling                          607
3 Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team                             582
4 Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung                         537
5 Bigla Cycling Team                                     366
6 AA-Drink Cycling Team                                  304
7 Nobili Rubinetterie Menikini Cogeas                    266
8 Bianchi Aliverti Kookai                                211
9 Italy                                                  164
10 Elk Haus Nö                                           117

Full rankings

Kroon happy to win again

It's been a long time since Karsten Kroon had that winning feeling, like he did in Thursday's Queen stage of the 3-Länder Tour. "I haven't won a race in almost two and a half years, so crossing that finish line as number one today was a huge relief," said the Dutch CSC rider. "I feel my form has been good many times, but without results. But now it's finally happened and it leaves me with a really good feeling for the remainder of the season. I feel in absolute great shape right now, and I look forward to the World Championships a lot as a very important goal."

Kroon was part of a break which got away from the peloton very early. At the end, only six riders remained in the group, and Kroon was able to sprint to the win. "I was truly flying today, and I had a feeling I would turn out to be the fastest in our group, if we stayed together. We took turns attacking towards the end, so I had to close some gaps, but luckily my plan was successful."

Friday's stage is a perfectly flat 18.5 km time trial. Leader Patrik Sinkewitz of T-Mobile says, "It won't be easy to defend my lead. (Second placed) Sebastian Lang is already in good form for the World's time trial and so is surely the favourite. But I will do my best."

Haselbacher to Astana

Rene Haselbacher is celebrating his 29th birthday today with a two-year contract with Team Astana. "After eight years with Gerolsteiner I had the feeling that I was in a rut. My position in the team was not what I hoped it would be. And the pressure from the young German riders has increased in the last few years. I want to say that I am parting on good terms with Hans-Michael Holczer. They were good years, but after all this time, it was time to make a change, in order to get new motivation."

"It is a great honour for me to be on the same team with Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden and Andrey Kashechkin. I am convinced that Astana will be the best Pro Tour team next year," he said. "The team's main goal for 2007 is clearly the Tour de France. My job will mainly be to at the front in the sprint stages and in the Classics. I don't yet know whether I will ride the Tour. But it is clear to me: Cycling consists of a lot more than just the Tour de France!"

Astana is expected to make a team presentation next month in Switzerland.

Warwick hosts British circuit series finale

By Gerry McManus

The historic town of Warwick in England has seen many battles in past centuries, and this Sunday sees 43-riders contesting the final counting event in the British Circuit Race Series only a short distance from Warwick Castle.

Malcolm Elliott has already secured the overall series victory, but his Plowman Craven team will be out to gain victory in the Travelwise sponsored event on a tight circuit in the town centre. The multiple corner circuit that goes through the Old Square may suit some riders more than others. 45 year-old Elliott will race with great confidence following his world masters road race championship victory in Austria and winning a silver medal in the points race at the world masters track championships in Manchester on Wednesday night. The former points jersey winner in the Tour of Spain gave a spanking to the youngsters too when he won the Bob Chicken GP in the streets of London before the Tour of Britain stage on September 3rd.

The team have entered Sean Snodden, Evan Oliphant, Robin Sharman and Kristian House. The quartet will have their work cut out competing against a 7-man Plowman Craven team that includes Tony Gibb and James Taylor on top form as the recently crowned Madison champions of Great Britain.

Whilst the two top teams are watching each other it could be Rob Hayles (Team KLR) and Warrick Spence (London Dynamo) who benefit from any hesitation if the race becomes too tactical. Matt Stephens (Sigma Sport) is expected to make a late entry and his appearance will certainly help to shake things up.

The cycling event organised by the Rugby Sporting CC starts at noon with a trike race followed by racing for various categories during the day. The Women's Cycle Racing Association chose Warwick for their circuit race championship and their race starts at 14:45. The top billing Elite/1/2 race starts at 16:45 with the finish expected just before 18:00.

If you are there early, the Unicycle race could be worth going to at 14:00 just for the novelty value if nothing else.

Wiesenhof announces signings

Wiesenhof-Akud, which will be called Wiesenhof-Felt in the coming season, has announced four new signings and a contract extension. Sprinter Steffen Radochla has extended his contract with the continental team. He will supported by newcomer Andre Schulze, a 31 year-old sprinter currently with Lamonta. Another German newcomer is Robert Wagner, who now rides for the Milram Continental Team. In addition, the team has signed Slovakian twins Martin and Peter Velits, 21 years old, "who have already made their name in the international U-23 scene," according to the team.

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