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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for April 24, 2007

Edited by Hedwig Kröner, Greg Johnson and Ben Abrahams.

Landis camp responds to new L'Equipe testosterone claims

Following yesterday's claims by French newspaper L'Equipe that several of Floyd Landis' B-samples from the 2006 Tour de France contained synthetic testosterone, Landis and his legal team have strongly criticised both the Châtenay-Malabry (LNDD) laboratory that carried out the testing procedure, and the US Antidoping Agency (USADA).

During a teleconference held on Monday, Landis' attorney Maurice Suh said that their experts sent to oversee proceedings were denied access to certain parts of the testing while USADA officials were given unrestricted access to all areas. "Our observers were not allowed to see critical parts of the analysis," he said. "This is in stark contrast to the fact that USADA's expert - not just their expert, but their lawyer - was present at LNDD. They basically had free reign over the LNDD while our experts did not. The observation of what occurred was one-sided, and that onesidedness was directed by USADA's lawyer."

Suh did acknowledge that: "Generally, when our observers were there they were able to see some of the results," and said that Landis and his team were aware of some of the "top line results" during last week's testing. "These tests are complex," he continued. "They're not like a pregnancy test... certainly we have not received full documents or data that could help us analyse these results."

Regarding the source that leaked the results to L'Equipe, another of Landis' lawyers, Howard Jacobs, claimed that it could only have been someone inside the LNDD or USADA, and that he will ask the arbitration panel to require both parties to provide affidavits under oath that they were not the source of the leak. "The source of the leak is relevant to some of the improprieties that occurred during this retesting," said Jacobs.

While it remains to be seen whether this latest information will be considered at the arbitration panel hearing on May 14, Landis and his team are considering a motion to have it dismissed by either the panel itself or a district court judgement. "If we were to be able to get more time (a delay), that would be terrific, and that is something we will bring to the panel's attention," said Suh.

Landis himself spoke briefly during the teleconference, continuing to protest his innocence. "I won the Tour fair and square," he said. "It's just another example of that the very few rights the athlete has are being completely ignored by the antidoping authorities. This leak itself confirms the total lack of ethics within the antidoping organisations, specifically with regard to the LNDD and USADA.

"We're looking at potentially deliberate falsification of results and willful destruction of evidence - which was one of our arguments against the retesting being done at that lab (LNDD)."

The new claim by the respected news outlet has, at this stage, not been confirmed by any official channels from either USADA or LNDD.

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.

McQuaid appeals Spanish authorities for DNA comparisons

UCI president Pat McQuaid
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Click for larger image

UCI president Pat McQuaid has sent an open letter to Spain's Minister of Sport, Jaime Lissavetzky, asking that the Spanish authorities in charge of the Operación Puerto affair make rider DNA comparisons possible.

"The UCI wants to ensure that all the blood that was found in relation to the Puerto affair is identified," the letter states. "What is still missing is agreement and action from the Spanish authorities to proceed with the identification of the blood that is in their possession or, at least, to make partial samples available for identification.

"The UCI now makes an urgent appeal to you to ensure that the competent authorities do whatever is in their jurisdiction to have the Puerto affair examined down to the last detail. We rely on such action from you to help the sporting authorities deal properly with their disciplinary responsibility in the fight against doping."

McQuaid also stressed that a number of riders made their DNA available to the Spanish Sports Council, and that "almost all riders of the ProTour teams have now signed an agreement enabling their DNA to be used for matching purposes." The Irishman appealed to the Spanish minister with the support of the IOC and WADA, but also arguing on behalf of the Tour de France organiser ASO.

"I have recently discussed this matter with the Director of the Tour de France, Mr Christian Prudhomme who is very concerned that the integrity of his event may be compromised because this affair is not yet concluded," McQuaid continued. And: "This action is all the more necessary in light of indications that practices such as those discovered in the Puerto affair have not stopped."

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

Henninger Turm wants ProTour status

By Susan Westemeyer

The start of last year's Rund um den Henninger
Photo ©: Régis Garnier
(Click for larger image)

If Switzerland is losing a ProTour race, Germany is ready to gain one. After reports that the Züri Metzgete may be cancelled due to financial problems, the organiser of the Rund um den Henninger Turm one-day race in Frankfurt is eager for his event to take its place in the ProTour calendar.

Bernd Moos-Achenbach is preparing to write to the UCI with the suggestion, according to the press agency dpa. "In Germany we have good organisations and a secure race. Why shouldn't we try to get the race in the ProTour? If Zürich isn't going to happen, then they should send the points to Frankfurt."

The UCI-rated 1.HC race is traditionally held on May 1. There are currently two ProTour races in Germany, the Deutschland Tour and the Vattenfall-Cyclassics in Hamburg.

Flèche Wallonne line-ups

Milram: Igor Astarloa and Mirko Celestino will lead Team Milram at the Flèche Wallonne, the second of the three Ardennes Classics taking place on Wednesday. Astarloa won the race in 2003 and wants to be a race contender again this year.

The full Milram roster: Igor Astarloa, Mirko Celestino, Mirco Lorenzetto, Andrey Grivko, Matej Jurco, Niki Terpstra, Carlo Scognamiglio, Björn Schroeder

T-Mobile: German team T-Mobile will be led by Patrik Sinkewitz, who was fifth in the race in 2006, and Kim Kirchen, second in 2005. "I've proved that the undulating terrain and the short climbs are best suited for m," said Kirchen, who came 14th in the Amstel Gold Race last Sunday. "It will be difficult but we'll try to ride aggressively from the start to get our top riders well-placed in the finale," stressed sporting director Valerio Piva.

T-Mobile for Flèche Wallonne: Michael Barry, Scott Davis, Kim Kirchen, Axel Merckx, Marco Pinotti, Michael Rogers, Patrik Sinkewitz and Thomas Ziegler.

Gerolsteiner: Stefan Schumacher, the surprise winner of the Amstel Gold Race, and runner-up Davide Rebellin will lead Team Gerolsteiner in the Flèche Wallonne. Rebellin won the race in 2004. David Kopp has had to drop out of the line-up due to ongoing intestinal problems.

The full Gerolsteiner line-up will be: Johannes Fröhlinger, Torsten Hiekmann, Tim Klinger, Davide Rebellin, Stefan Schumacher, Tom Stamsnijder, Fabian Wegmann and Peter Wrolich.

Rabobank: The Dutch ProTour team will be sending a young roster to the race. Michael Boogerd will not be riding, as he has decided to concentrate on Liège-Bastogne-Liège later in the week.

Rabobank for Flèche Wallonne: Thomas Dekker, Theo Eltink, Robert Gesink, Koos Moerenhout, William Walker, Oscar Freire, Pieter Weening and Bram de Groot.

Barloworld: Team Barloworld knows that it has "to give 105 percent" in both in Flèche and in LBL, to justify its wildcard invitations and "increase our chance of getting an invitation to the 2007 Tour de France," according to directeur sportif Alberto Volpi. The team will be led in the Ardennes Classics by Alex Efimkin, who has already won the Giro del Capo and the Settimana Lombarda this season.

Barloworld for Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Alex Efimkin, Felix Cárdenas, Pedro Arreitunandia, Giampaolo Cheula, Ryan Cox, Paolo Longo Borghini, Hugo Sabido and Mauricio Soler.

Lampre-Fondital: The Italian team led by sport director Fabrizio Bontempi will take part with the following riders: Matteo Bono, Giampaolo Caruso, David Loosli, Morris Possoni, Daniele Righi, Tadej Valjavec and Patxi Vila.

And the team announced other good news: Salvatore, the son of rider Paolo Tiralongo and wife Angela, was born on Monday morning in Sicily.

Predictor-Lotto: The Belgian team will be sending Mario Aerts, Dario Cioni, Cadel Evans, Nic Ingels, Matthew Lloyd, Pieter Mertens, Jurgen Vandenbroeck and Wim Vanhuffel to Charleroi.

Team CSC: Bobby Julich, Alexandr Kolobnev, Karsten Kroon, Fränk Schleck, Andy Schleck, Chris Anker Sørensen, Nicki Sørensen and Jens Voigt are the riders planned to contest the race up the Mur de Huy on Wednesday.

Quickstep - Innergetic: UCI world champion Paolo Bettini will lead the Belgian team's lineup which included Carlos Barredo, Bram Tankink, Matteo Tosatto, Jurgen Van De Walle, Cedric Vasseur, Geert Verheyen, Giovanni Visconti.

Line-ups for Niedersachsen Rundfahrt

Milram: Alessandro Petacchi will be returning to a scene of success last year, when he rides the Niedersachsen Rundfahrt starting this Wednesday. In 2006, he won the overall title by winning all five stages. If he should falter this year, Erik Zabel will be ready to look for a sprint win. Zabel is long familiar with the race, having first participated in 1992 as a 21 year-old for the German national team.

Milram for Niedersachsen: Erik Zabel, Alessandro Petacchi, Christian Knees, Ralf Grabsch, Marcel Sieberg, Alberto Ongarato, Enrico Poitschke and Fabio Sabatini.

Gerolsteiner: Gerolsteiner will send seven Germans and one Italian to the race, its first German stage race of the year.

Gerolsteiner for Niedersachsen: Thomas Fothen, Oscar Gatto, Heinrich Haussler, Sven Krauss, Volker Ordowski, Matthias Russ, Ronny Scholz, and Carlo Westphal.

T-Mobile: The second German ProTour team will be sending a sprinter's squad to the Niedersachsen Rundfahrt, led by youngster Gerald Ciolek and Andre Greipel.

T-Mobile for Niedersachsen: Eric Baumann, Marcus Burghardt, Gerald Ciolek, Linus Gerdemann, Bert Grabsch, Andre Greipel, Andre Korff and Andreas Klier.

Benfica ends contract of Sergio Ribeiro

By Monika Prell

The Portuguese Professional Continental team Benfica has set an immediate end to the contract of the Portuguese rider Sergio Ribeiro. The 26 year-old Ribeiro, one of the world's top Portuguese riders, has failed to secure the squad a top result in the early parts of 2007.

In a press release LagosBike, the company which manages Benfica, explained that the decision was taken after the cyclist, "did not fulfil the ethical codes that are claimed by the team Benfica and that the cyclist knows perfectly."

"[Ribeiro] has accepted his own errors and [we] wish him the best luck for his professional future," ended the statement.

According to, team manages added: "This decision will only strengthen the cyclist team Benfica both internal and external."

Kelly Benefit announces Virginia roster

United States continental squad Kelly Benefits Strategies/Medifast pro cycling team has announced its roster for the Tour of Virginia. Performance director Jonas Carney will lead the squad at the five-day US tour which gets underway today.

"We can't wait to get to Virginia," said Carney. "It's a challenging course that's going to offer us some almost European-style terrain and the biggest climbs of our season so far. Along with the time trials, that's a race well suited to the skill set of our guys who climb well and know how to race the clock."

Virginia podium finisher Justin Spinelli will lead the squad with Ryan Roth, one of two Canadians in the lineup, taking up a supporting role.

Kelly Benefit Strategies Virginia roster: Dan Bowman, Dominique Perras, Ryan Roth, Justin Spinelli, Johnny Sundt, Nick Waite.

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