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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for April 17, 2007

Edited by Greg Johnson, Ben Abrahams & Laura Weislo

French lab begins Landis sample analysis

Floyd Landis
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
(Click for larger image)

The French anti-doping laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry has commenced analysis of the B-samples taken from Floyd Landis during the 2006 Tour de France. The samples, which are being analysed at the request of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), were found to be negative during the A-sample analysis, and were taken on different days that the one sample which was found to have a high testosterone to epitestosterone ratio.

Landis and his lawyers fought the testing of the B-samples, but a panel granted USADA their request to have the analysis performed at the Châtenay-Malabry lab last week. The results cannot be used to pursue any new doping charges against Landis should they come back positive, but Landis objected to the testing being performed at the same lab that he says botched the original test results.

"I am 100% confident that if best practice in process and technology were applied to testing my sample back in July I would be racing my bike this season," said Landis. The American wanted the analysis to be performed at the USADA lab in UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) instead, but the instrument required to perform the tests was under repair and could not be used.

Landis' arbitration hearing will take place on May 14, and he faces a sanction and the loss of his Tour de France title if the panel decides that the positive result is valid.

Coming up on

Cyclingnews will cover the 60th edition of the Dauphiné Libéré live as of stage 4 on Wednesday, June 10, at approximately 15:00 local Europe time (CEST)/ 23:00 Australian time (CDT)/ 9:00 (USA East).

WAP-enabled mobile devices:

Demol questions Discovery tactics

Dirk Demol
Photo ©: Jeff Jones
(Click for larger image)

Discovery Channel had a largely unsuccessful Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, causing directeur sportif Dirk Demol to question why none of the designated team leaders made the early breakaway of 34 riders containing eventual winner Stuart O'Grady from arch rival Team CSC.

"[Stijn Devolder] began his race 180 kilometres too late," said Demol to Sporza. "During the pre-race meeting we clearly said that one of the three leaders (Devolder, Vladimir Gusev and Tomas Vaitkus) would go with an early move. All three missed the train. I find that difficult to accept."

Discovery rider Volodymyr Bileka was part of the 34-man selection but faded away to finish 36th, with Gusev and Devolder eventually winding up 17th and 18th respectively. "When you get such chances, you must grab them," continued Demol. "When the back numbers of the breakaway riders were announced, I knew immediately that it was too late - the winner had gone."

Devolder explained to the Gazet van Antwerpen that: "The favourites waited too long before pursuing the lead group. I tried to initiate a break myself but got no help."

Aggressive O'Grady conquers Hell

An emotional Stuart O'Grady is greeted by manager Alain Gallopin and wife Anne-Marie
Photo ©: AFP Photo
(Click for larger image)

Stuart O'Grady nailed the big one on Sunday, the Queen of Classics: Paris-Roubaix. The straight-talking, likable Australian punched the accelerator with 23 kilometres to go to scribe his name in Roubaix's history book. Cyclingnews' Gregor Brown caught up with him the following day in Belgium, where he explained the emotion of winning one of the five monuments of his sport.

Prior to his historic victory, the 33 year-old had explained his Team CSC would approach Paris-Roubaix with its options open, but that the main goal was to help Fabian Cancellara. The Swiss rider returned for this year's edition to defend his crown and the team wanted to do everything possible to make that happen.

When Cyclingnews spoke to a fresh O'Grady the day before Roubaix, he observed: "the race can be decided in a matter of seconds; in every sector of cobbles something can happen. We have to have a plan A, B and C. Obviously we have a plan A but you have to have back up plans in the case something else happens."

With hot temperatures and Cancellara's form not at his optimum, plan A was quashed and the ProTour squad quickly implemented plan B. "I was definitely the plan B," noted O'Grady, who celebrated long into Sunday night with teammates, team staff and friends. "With Fabian the defending champion it is his race, there is no ifs, ands or buts about it. I knew the form was good and if the stars were lined up in my favour then...

"I don't want to take any of the focus away from Fabian, he was the team leader and that's it," highlighted the South Australian. "But, like we talked about on Saturday, in Paris-Roubaix you have to be prepared for every possible circumstance."

For the full post-Roubaix interview with Stuart O'Grady, click here.

Paris-Roubaix video highlights

Did you miss the history-making 105th Paris-Roubaix on the weekend? Fear not - you can check out all the action from the Spring Classic that lived up to its title on Cyclingnews. To view the highlights package, the first to feature Cyclingnews' new video-interface, click here.

Tinkoff confirm Jaksche signing

Tinkoff Credit Systems has formally confirmed the signing of 30 year-old Jorg Jaksche to the Italian-registered Professional Continental squad. The German was one of 56 riders named in the Spanish authorities' Operación Puerto doping investigation, which was recently shelved by a Spanish judge.

"This for me is an important day," said an enthusiastic Jaksche, "because finally I return to breathe cycling air, thanks above all to the Tinkoff [team] and its general manager Stefano Feltrin. [He] has followed me personally in this negotiation."

Milram & Quick.Step for Scheldeprijs

Erik Zabel is returning to the peloton this Wednesday at the GP Scheldeprijs in Belgium after recovering from injuries sustained in a crash at the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Team Milram has announced. The 36 year-old German sprinter won the race back in 1997 whilst riding for Team Telekom.

Last year's winner Tom Boonen will spearhead a formidable looking Quick.Step lineup in what is typically his last spring race before taking a break to rebuild for the Tour de France.

Milram for the Scheldeprijs: Erik Zabel, Mirco Lorenzetto, Elia Rigotto, Sebastian Siedler, Alberto Ongarato, Niki Terpstra, Ralf Grabsch and Martin Mueller.

Quick.Step for the Scheldeprijs: Tom Boonen, Steven De Jongh, Sébastien Rosseler, Gert Steegmans, Kevin Van Impe, Peter Van Petegem, Geert Verheyen and Wouter Weylandt.

Barloworld announce lineups

Team Barloworld has announced its line-up for the GP Scheldeprijs and the GP Denain this week, which it is riding in preparation for the two Ardennes Classics, Flèche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, for which it received wildcard invitations.

"They're going to be two interesting races and I'm sure Team Barloworld can be competitive in both of them," said directeur sportif Valerio Tebaldi. The Professional Continental team features a combination of climbers and sprinters.

Barloworld for GP Scheldeprijs and GP Denain: Giosuè Bonomi, Diego Caccia, Enrico Degano, Alex Efimkin, Robert Hunter, Paolo Longo Borghini and James Perry.

Problems with Dutch antidoping program

There were only 40 tests carried out for EPO in the Netherlands in 2006, according to, a number which Rabobank manager Theo de Rooij called "absurdly low."

In comparison, around 700 EPO controls were carried out in the Flanders region of Belgium, and Team CSC has already carried out more than 350 EPO tests on its 28 riders so far this year.

The Dutch Olympic Committee and the Dutch sports federation NOC*NSF are planning to meet with the Dutch antidoping authorities to clarify the situation.

Herman Ram, who is responsible for the doping controls, said that it was a matter of finances. "An EPO control is just as expensive as a complete screening," he said, and noted that they preferred to do complete screenings on as many athletes as possible.

In addition, a television documentary scheduled to be shown Monday night concerning out-of-competition controls, claims that athletes were informed beforehand of the tests Three athletes -- a rower, a runner and a shooter -- are quoted as saying that they were aware of the tests several weeks in advance.

According to the article, this violates WADA policies, which require that athletes receive not more than two hours' advance notice of such tests.

BMW Bianchi women’s team rolls into 2007

The BMW-Bianchi women's team is pleased to announce that both of its title sponsors have again committed to support women's cycling. The team is part of the Capital Cycling Club of North Carolina, and club president Russ Stapleton is pleased with the renewal "We're grateful that our sponsors can see the benefit in supporting a program like ours that allows different levels of riders to develop within the same team."

In response the team has stepped up its commitment to developing women's cycling by increasing its roster to 21 women (13 elite spots and 8 developmental spots). In addition, BMW-Bianchi has three women attending world championship events this season, including multi-time junior national champion and US National Team member Lauren Shirock. "Taking riders like Lauren on board and providing not only financial support but more racing experience is one of the main focuses of this program. We have lots of talented women who are new to the sport, and experienced racers as well. Combine the two and you can produce racers with the skills to take them as far as their talent lets them go," said Stapleton.

In addition to a full schedule of regional racing, select NRC single day and stage races, the team will be lining up for the Commerce Bank Triple Crown series near Philadelphia, and the team will be supporting its riders as they tackle national and world championship competitions.

Elite Team: Ashley Anderson, Kim Foland, Liz Griffith, Tonya Lail, Sara LeGrand, Nancy Lux, Cara McCauley, Cora Olson, Missy Petty, Kim Sawyer, Lauren Shirock, Patty Shoaf, Laura Weislo

Developmental Team: Janet Edgerton, Kelly McLaughlin, Carol Rockett, Tina Weiler, Hannah Whitaker, Gail DeCamp, Tracy Parker, Amy Slater

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