First Edition Cycling News for December 12, 2007
Edited by Greg Johnson & Paul Verkuylen
Worre: Riders mislead the UCI
Michael Rasmussen at the Tour de
France in July
Photo ©: Makoto Ayano
More and more riders are lying about their whereabouts, according to
claims by Danish Cycling Federation chairman Jesper Worre. In an interview
with Belgian paper Volkskrant Worre spoke his mind on the issues
surrounding the warning that Michael Rasmussen was reportedly issued and
his subsequent dismissal from his Rabobank team during the Tour de France
while leading the race.
"That has never been the subject of discussion," Worre responded, when
asked if he believes that Rasmussen had been doping. "It was only ever
to do with the warnings. It is better to not talk about it. In Denmark
there is a fine line between what an accusation is and what isn't."
"If the federation in Monaco follows the rules, where he holds a licence,
he would be suspended for two years," added Worre. "How the case is progressing
at the UCI, I don't know. We haven't heard anything about it, even though
we would like to play a role."
Since Rasmussen was ejected from this year's Tour, Worre hasn't heard
from his countryman. "Maybe Michael is angry at me, even though we should
be angry with him also," Worre said. "Because he didn't tell the truth,
he has destroyed the sport."
Worre believes that Rasmussen's actions have had a direct impact on the
sport in Denmark. Sponsors of the national tour, the Tour of Denmark,
want to withdraw from the event due to the negative press associated with
cycling at the moment, according to Worre. This year alone four Danish
riders have admitted to doping during their careers ľ Bjarne Riis, Jesper
Skibby, Brian Holm and Bo Hamburger.
Following Rasmussen's warning, which he received in June, Worre was phoned
by the rider's Rabobank manager Theo de Rooij whom he said that he advised
that taking the Dane to the French Grand Tour would be a mistake.
"De Rooij called me on June 29, after he received the letter from the
UCI informing him of Rasmussen's warning for not filling in his location
form correctly," said Worre. "He must have known then that Rasmussen was
not in Mexico. We spoke for about 30 minutes about stuff including the
Danish championships. I told him 'we are not taking him in our team [for
the worlds - ed.] and if I was you, I wouldn't let him start the Tour',"
De Rooij allegedly responded that he would need to talk with his rider
first. Rasmussen did take to the start in London a few days later, which
Worre describes as: "Of all the mistakes that was the biggest."
"Rasmussen planned all the lies in the lead up to the Tour," accused
Worre. "He is not the only one who follows that programme to mislead the
UCI. He receives a warning, but they don't have any consequences. This
is the problem with the system. If the teams turn there heads the other
way and the UCI can be convinced that intervention is not necessary then
it always remains at the warning stage."
Worre believes that only those with a clean past can lead cycling away
from the dirty image that it has at the moment. "But people still allow
money to dictate," he said. "Rabobank let Rasmussen take to the start.
The UCI is also scared to make a decision and has their eyes placed on
the money in the sport over everything else.
"There are lots of doping controls, yeah, but what use do they have if
the teams continue just as they have for the last 10 years?" Worre said.
Worre has offered two possible solutions to the problem. The first, which
was accepted, was to place riders who have tested positive in a state
of quarantine longer. "Only no one sticks to it," said Worre. The second
is to make public the warning that riders receive for a missed doping
control, but Worre says that nothing more has be said about it. "Now riders
can speculate about the warnings. And we know where that can lead," he
Designa K°kken gets CSC rider
Former Danish Road Race Champion Allan Johansen will leave the ProTour's
Team CSC squad after next season's spring classics and ride out the year
with European Continental Team Designa K°kken outfit. Paris-Roubaix will
be the Dane from Silkeborg's last race before switching teams.
"The last race will be Paris-Roubaix and I'm okay with that," said 2006
national champion Johansen. "I'm happy to get the option to ride the rest
of the season with Team Designa K°kken. The team has developed enormously
over the last couple of years.
The 36 year-old, who turned professional in 1998, has taken victory for
Team CSC at the Sachsen Tour's Stage 4 in 2005 followed by the Tour de
Luxembourg's Stage 1 and Grand Prix Herning in 2006. Johansen spent the
first two years of his career with Team Chicky World before moving to
MemoryCard ľ Jack & Jones for a season. The Dane then moved to Team Fakta
for three years, Bankgiroloterij for a year, before spending the past
three years at Team CSC.
"What happens after that, I haven't decided yet," added Johansen. "I'll
have a leading role with Team Designa K°kken where I am going to help
develop the young talents."
Team Designa K°kken manager Christian Andersen is very satisfied with
the signing, which will see the Danish champions from 2006 and 2007 both
riding for the Danish team in 2008.
"Of course we'd liked to have Allan Johansen the entire season, but [we
always] want more," he said. "If we look at Team Designa K°kken next year,
there's no doubt that we'll be dominating in national, as well as international,
races, as we've been in 2007.
"The team is more or less intact, and has now been supplemented with
the Danish champions from 2006 Allan Johansen, and earlier we signed with
Alex Rasmussen, who was the Danish road race champion in 2007," he added.
"I'm really looking forward to 2008 already."
The all Danish Team Designa K°kken squad will have 16 riders in 2008,
with the final signing expected to be announced in the near future.
Team Designa K°kken for 2008: Allan Johansen, Kasper Jebjerg,
Jakob Fuglsang, Andreas Frisch, Michael Reihs, Michael Tronborg, Jens-Erik
Madsen, Jakob Bering, Rene J°rgensen, Alex Rasmussen, Ricky En°, Martin
Mortensen, Thomas Oredsson and the two brothers, Thomas and Rasmus Guldhammer.
Menchov and Garzelli join Murcia lineup
By Antonio J. Salmerˇn
Vuelta a Murcia director Francisco G˙zman has announced that he's pleased
with the list of professional riders pledging to take part in next year's
edition, with 2007 Vuelta a Espa˝a winner Denis Menchov and Stefano Garzelli
reportedly announcing their intention to contest the race. Menchov and
Garzelli join Alejandro Valverde and Carlos Sastre on the list of riders
expected to take part in next year's race, with G˙zman also confident
Spaniard Samuel Sßnchez will contest the event as well.
"The last Vuelta winner, Denis Menchov, and the Italian climber Stefano
Garzelli have pledged their presence," confirmed G˙zman.
G˙zman is believed to be please with the support the cyclists have shown
for the five day Spanish race. "Despite the bad times for cycling, we
are having a good support for the next edition," he said. "We are finalizing
the details of the route."
The 'queen' stage will be contested between Calasparra and Totana, while
the tough fourth stage will be a Time Trial in Alhama. The sprinters will
get a chance to show their form on the first stage, which will be carried
out between San Pedro del Pintar and Lorca, and again on the third stage
in San Pedro del Pinatar, which was won by Rabobank's Graeme Brown in
Carrigan focussing on TT
By John Flynn
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Olympic Road Race Champion Sara Carrigan isn't taking anything for granted
in the lead-up to Beijing, with the rider expecting to go all out for
the Australian Time Trial title in January. According to the official
selection criteria, some weight is given to the title of 'Defending Olympic
Champion', but that in itself won't guarantee a place in the Australian
Carrigan will need to produce a strong performance at the national titles
and her focus is on the time trial, an event which the Gold Coast native
has won before and is specifically training for. "I've been doing a lot
of time trial work, I've been focussing on the T.T. for nationals," Carrigan
said. "It's an Olympic year, you just never know, all these people come
out of the woodwork.
"Just because I'm Olympic champion doesn't mean an automatic spot, I
have to re-earn my spot just like everyone else does," she added.
Two more rivals for spots in the Olympic team will be second and third
place-getters at the weekend's Surfers Paradise Grand Prix Nikki Egyed
and Lorian Graham.
Egyed, who spent the first half of last year with the AIS Team before
signing a contract to ride with Nicole Cooke at Raleigh LifeForce, continues
to show improvement since making the transition to cycling from triathlon.
"Any athlete in the world at the moment, if they've got any remote chance
of going to the Olympics that's what they're thinking about," Egyed said.
"I'm in week four of training now so it's starting to feel a little bit
better, like it takes me three or four weeks to feel myself again, so
we've got another month really looking forward to getting into my legs
before nationals and good preparation for the European season."
Karpin-Galicia optimistic for '08
By Antonio J. Salmerˇn
Karpin-Galicia riders go mountain
Photo ©: Karpin-Galicia
The Karpin Galicia squad has concluded a two week block of training together
which featured "quantity rather than quality", team manager Alvaro Pino
has announced. The squad's riders for 2008 will not take some time off
for the Christmas break having completed their first team camp together,
during which they also took part in activities such as a mountain bike
"They will start with the individualised training from now," Pino announced.
Pino added that he's very happy with what was achieved at the training
camp in Galicia, where the Professional Continental squad was created
at the end of 2006. "At the beginning there were many riders who were
reluctant to this system [of having a training camp], but I think that,
while some of them used to work alone at home in optimal level, at the
end everyone have adapted perfectly to it and have seen used to render
and work in group," he said. "The results will be seen later; whether
it is good or not."
The Karpin Galicia 2008 roster will feature fewer names than in 2007,
but Pino expects the squad to show improvement throughout the season.
"There are young riders, but with some experience already gained, and
under normal circumstances they will continue getting better," he said.
"I am also confident that new riders will feel well adapted to the new
category as well as the new squad.
"Sure, we missed some very important riders, such as Eladio Jimenez,
but we have already demonstrated a high level, for example the local Ezequiel
Mosquera, who finished fifth in the Vuelta a Espa˝a, but also David Garcia,
David Herrero and Carlos Casta˝o," Pino added.
Increased doping controls at Stuttgart Six Day
By Susan Westemeyer
The Stuttgart Six Day race has joined the anti-doping fight, announcing
that it will conduct more tests at the races to be held January 17 to
"In the first night everyone will go to the doping controls. That will
surely surprise one or another of the riders," race organizer Roman Hermann
said at a press conference Tuesday, according to dpa. "That is
a comprehensive control, like we have never before had in Stuttgart. There
will be more than three times as many tests as before."
Armstrong to open Israel cycle route
Seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong will open a new cycle
route in Israel next year, according to Dutch news site AD.nl.
The planned route will run from the coastal city of Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
and marks the Jewish's states 60 years of independence.
Armstrong this week accepted an invitation extended to him by the Israeli
consulate in New York, Ilanm Marciano.
The date for the event has yet to be decided, but will coincide with
the anniversary celebrations across the country.
Final Croc Trophy videos
It's been a long road for the contestants of this year's Crocodile Trophy
mountain bike race in Australia's Queensland, but Cyclingnews has captured
the closing moments of the contestants journeys in our Stage 9 and 10
videos. The special highlights packages bring our 2007 coverage of the
event in the grueling far north to a close.
To watch the final two chapters, you can do so by clicking on Stage
9 or Stage
B&E sponsors Tassie Carnivals' UCI series
The organization behind the Christmas Carnivals Series in Tasmania, Australia,
SCAT, has announced that B&E Personal Banking has provided additional
sponsorship to be the naming rights sponsor of the UCI sprint series during
the Basslink Christmas Carnival Series. The UCI sprint series will be
held over three major carnivals in Latrobe, Launceston and Devonport.
"B&E Personal Banking is a great supporter of the carnivals
and in particular of the cycling programme and this is a real boost to the
series," said SCAT president Grant Atkins. "The action should
be fast and furious, as it allows the crowds to see some of the best cyclists
in the world compete."
Only the elite riders will get a chance to compete for the $1000 on offer
for the UCI events which include a men's sprint, men's keirin, men's Olympic
sprint and women's point score.
"This UCI series is just the beginning of making the Tasmanian Christmas
Carnivals the place to be for cyclists all around the world and this is
already showing with over 230 cyclists registered to compete at Latrobe,"
With elite cyclists competing from all over the world as a lead up to
the Beijing Olympics, the organizers are expecting the new UCI events
to be a real crowd pleaser.
Sooty Park is back
The producer of Sooty Park, a cycling show broadcast in selected cities
of Australia, David Olle has announced that 'Cycling Sooty Park' has returned
for it's third season on Channel 31 in Melbourne, Victoria, airing on
Wednesdays at 8.00 PM local time. Olle has also announced that viewers
in Perth, Western Australia can also watch the programme from this Thursday
at 7.00 PM local time, with broadcasts for other major Australian capitals
commencing in January.
"The unique show presents different aspects of the cycling world in a
magazine format, with the Sooty Park crew collecting diverse interviews
and footage while visiting many cycling events in Europe and Australia
and still features the famous Roller Room 'four-up' sprint," said Olle.
"Honest product reviews, statistics, fashion, gossip, fun, famous and
little known climbs, commuters, MTB, road, track, grappa, frites, pizza,
vino, Belgium, France, Italy, Australia et al, it's all there in weekly
episodes, tune in for your share."
This week's episode will include interviews with Nick Gates, Thor Hushovd
and Brett Lancaster.
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(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2007)