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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for June 15, 2007

Edited by Laura Weislo

Mayo cleared in 'non-negative' test

Mayo won stage 19 in the Giro
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Spanish climber Iban Mayo has been cleared of any doping offence after returning a 'non-negative' urine test in the Giro d'Italia. The Italian newspaper Gazetta dello Sport reported the test results in a move that the UCI called "premature". The UCI is currently investigating the results of two other 'non-negative' tests, reported to be high levels of the asthma medication salbutamol returned, according to Gazetta, by Mayo's team-mate Leonardo Piepoli and sprint ace Alessandro Petacchi.

The UCI issued a statement regarding Mayo's high testosterone:epitestosterone result, stating, "No breach of the UCI antidoping rules was committed by the Spanish rider Iban Mayo of the Saunier Duval team. A further examination conducted by IRMS has enabled any possibility of testosterone administration to be ruled out."

The additional tests were performed in the WADA laboratory in Rome, and confirmed that Mayo's high testosterone levels are of a natural origin, something which Saunier Duval team manager stated the UCI is aware of, and for which Mayo holds an exemption. The Saunier Duval team objected to the publication of the test results in the press, stating that previous reports of non-negatives have been published and then subsequently returned 'not-guilty' verdicts, "But never in the past, had rumours been published with names of cyclists to such early stage," stated the team press release. "That is why we condemn and regret those accusations which have been made to our team and which affects our image and our sponsors."

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Indeed, earlier this year news that second place 2006 Tour de France finisher Oscar Pereiro had tested 'non-negative' for the asthma drug salbutamol was published and later cleared up when the rider presented proper documentation for a therapeutic use exemption to the antidoping authorities.

The UCI statement addressed the premature publication of the names involved, stating, "The history of this particular case shows the vital need to await the closure of the relevant investigations before reaching conclusions.

Teams react to 'non-negatives'

Milram: violation of confidentiality is irresponsible

Petacchi won five stages and the points classification in the Giro
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Alessandro Petacchi's Milram team responded to the publication of his 'non-negative' test for the asthma drug stating that he, "like several other athletes and millions of people, in some periods of the season, suffers from allergic problems that he controls with a Ventolin inhaler."

The team confirmed in their statement that Petacchi had a therapeutic use exemption from the UCI, which allows him to use the drug. The statement decried the leak of the test results, and expressed their confidence that the matter would be cleared up.

Coming just weeks after the confession of Erik Zabel, who admitted to using EPO in the 1990's, the team expressed its anger at the breach of confidentiality to the press, and stated that such publications "unjustly discredit athletes, teams, sponsors and the entire world of cycling."

Piepoli: 'I take salbutamol for allergies'

Piepoli won the mountains jersey in the Giro
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Winner of the best climber jersey in the Giro, Leonardo Piepoli is one of those named by the Gazzetta article. Piepoli's team responded to the news stating that he takes the asthma drug for his allergies, and has a written exemption to use it from the UCI. While the rider has an exemption, he is still subject to a cut-off of the maximum level of the drug that can be in his urine. According to the team statement, "The concentration of Salbutamol in his urine will be verified in a laboratory in Barcelona respecting different factors such as the weight of the rider (54 kg) and others."

The rider himself admitted to AFP that he takes the drug for his allergies, and said, "Mauro [Gianetti, team manager -ed.] asked me how much I had taken. But I do not know the number of 'puffs' (inhalations) I made. I take it when I need it. It depends on the seasons."

Piepoli's team-mate David Millar has had his share of doping drama. The 30 year-old spent time under suspension after admitting EPO use, and has since become an antidoping advocate. He gave his team-mates the benefit of the doubt, according to AFP. "They are not-negative. Leo has a certificate for asthma. Iban has a testosterone history. It is necessary to give them the benefit of the doubt," Millar declared. "One cannot never be sure with hundred percent certainty, it is always necessary to have doubts. In my personal opinion, they deserve my trust. If I am misled, it would be a pity. That would break our friendship."

Cunego to skip the Tour

Fifth place finisher in this year's Giro d'Italia, Damiano Cunego, will not participate in this year's Tour de France, according to his Lampre-Fondital team. The 25 year-old won the best young rider's classification in last year's tour, but will have to sit out the race this season due to 'fatigue'. Cunego sat out the 2005 Tour de France when he was diagnosed with mononucleosis following his attempt to repeat his 2004 win in the Giro d'Italia.

Liquigas doubles in Slovenia

Nibali takes the solo win
Photo ©: Mitja Smid Bricelj/Photo SI
(Click for larger image)

After an extraordinarily successful Giro d'Italia, the Liquigas team is carrying the winning mentality into Slovenia, where former pink jersey wearer Enrico Gasparotto and team-mate Vincenzo Nibali took control of the race on the 168 kilometre long third stage to Beljak.

Nibali launched his attack at the beginning of the final climb, about twenty kilometres before the finish, gaining nearly a minute advantage at the top of the climb. The 22 year-old held on to take the stage just 14 seconds ahead of the chasing peloton, gaining his third win of the season after wins in the GP Larciano and the Giro di Toscana. Enrico Gasparotto, the first pink jersey of the Giro 2007, took the field sprint to give the team the top two steps of the podium, and now holds second place in the overall classification behind Slovenian Mitja Mahoric by just one second.

"After two second places by Chicchi and Gasparotto in the first two stages we expected the victory," said manager Stefano Zanatta. "At the beginning of the climb I suggested to the riders that they attack and avoid the final sprint."

Barloworld's Degano takes over in Portugal

Team Barloworld's Italian sprinter Enrico Degano took his first win of the season in the GP Internacional CTT Correios in Portugal. The 31 year-old won the first stage and took the overall leader's jersey on the 197.6 kilometre long stage from Tirso to Povoa De Varzim, beating American Tyler Farrar (Cofidis) and Ukrainan Mikhaylo Khalilov (Ceramica Flaminia).

The win marks an important moment for Degano after a series of physical and personal problems affected the first part of his season. Once more, Portugal proved to be a lucky place for Degano, who won four races in the country during 2006.

"I'm really pleased that he's finally got a win," Team Barloworld team manager Claudio Corti said. "With the directeur sportifs of the team we've really worked hard to help Degano get back to form. In the last few days Volpi has personally accompanied him doing speed work behind a motorbike so that he could improve his speed and fitness."

The stage victory meant that Degano also pulled on the overall race leader's jersey, and improves his chances of getting a place in the Team Barloworld line-up for the Tour de France that begins in London on July 7.

Teams announce line-ups for Tour de Suisse

Stefan Schumacher: winner of the Bayern Rundfahrt 2007.
Photo ©: Andrea Hübner
(Click for larger image)

Team Gerolsteiner is among those using the Tour de Suisse for final preparations for the Tour de France. Stefan Schumacher will lead his team in tackling the Swiss mountains.

Gerolsteiner: Johannes Fröhlinger, David Kopp, Volker Ordowski, Matthias Russ, Stefan Schumacher, Marcel Strauss, Beat Zberg and Marcus Zberg.

Andreas Klöden will lead his Team Astana is his final warm-up for the Tour de France. He will be joined by lieutenant Matthias Kessler and three Swiss riders.

Astana: Igor Abakoumov, Thomas Frei, Matthias Kessler, Andreas Klöden, Andrej Mizurov, Daniele Navarro, Gregory Rast and Michael Schär.

The T-Mobile Team is headed by Michael Rogers in the Tour de Suisse. The team features two riders who have finished second in the race, Rogers in 2005 and Giuseppe Guerini in 2003.

T-Mobile: Marcus Burghardt, Linus Gerdemann, Giuseppe Guerini, Roger Hammond, Kim Kirchen, Andreas Klier and Patrik Sinkewitz.

Predictor-Lotto: Bart Dockx, Chris Horner, Leif Hoste, Robbie McEwen, Fred Rodriguez, Jurgen Vandenbroeck, Wim Vanhuffel and Wim Vannsevenant.

CSC: Lars Bak, Fabian Cancellara, Karsten Kroon, Anders Lund, Stuart O'Grady, Carlos Sastre, Fränk Schleck and Jens Voigt.

Quickstep: Carlos Barredo, Mauro Facci, Juan Manuel Garate, Hubert Schwab, Bram Tankink, Andrea Tonti, Alessandro Proni and Giovanni Visconti.

ProTour riders to Smithfield Nocturne

David Millar in Paris-Nice
Photo ©: Régis Garnier
(Click for larger image)

The Smithfield Nocturne sees its first ProTour stars confirmed with Saunier Duval's David Millar and CSC's Matthew Goss set to join some of Britain's top road stars in the heart of London on June 23rd.

It will be an action packed weekend for Millar, who will attend the Nocturne following a unique time trial at the Goodwood Festival of Speed before being whisked off to Eindhoven to make the start line for the Team Time Trial the next day.

Millar is currently competing in the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré but is looking forward to making the trip to the capital in advance of the Tour, "Both events are completely new and unique so it will be a good weekend," he commented. "With the Tour a couple of weeks later it will be nice to be a bit more relaxed before things get serious, I´m looking forward to it."

Joining Millar will be CSC rider Matt Goss who is no stranger to circuit racing, "I've got plenty of experience of riding criteriums from back in Australia so it will be good to have a go against the British riders in London."

Goss is on form after placing second in the Philadelphia International Championships, and will prove a tough challenge for the British riders on home soil. It won't be a pushover for the Australian sprinter, though, with on form riders such as Rob Hayles, Tony Gibb, Adam Blythe, Warwick Spence and Simon Holt on the start sheet.

Hayles currently leads the British elite circuit series following races at Brentwood and Hillingdon over the weekend so will be a serious contender but with Gibb, Blythe, Spence and Holt all on the podium anything could happen on the technical London course.

The Smithfield Nocturne is free to the public and will take place between 5pm and 10pm on Saturday June 23rd. Full details of the programme, course and hospitality tickets can be found on www.smithfieldnocturne.com.

Secrest to attempt 24 hour record

54 year-old bicycle racer Michael Secrest of Scottsdale, Arizona might be over the prime age for a professional bike racer, but he shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, starting at 7.30 a.m. June 15, at the ADT Velodrome in Carson, California, he is hoping to go more than 15 miles farther than his existing 24 hour world record mark of 534.75 miles, which was set in October 2006.

Secrest's claim to fame is his challenge of America's first Tour de France rider, Jock Boyer, in the 1985 Race Across America, where he placed second to Boyer by four hours. Since then, he's taken his talent for ultra-endurance cycling to the 1987 RAAM victory and three 24-hour world records in consecutive decades, riding 516.2 miles in 1985, 532.74 miles in 1996 and 534.75 miles in 2006 - an average speed of 22.28 mph.

"I'm here to inspire others to set goals; don't give up; and be true to themselves," says Secrest, who has established a program called Ride Your Bike to School, which hopes to combat childhood obesity by travelling to schools around the country and inspiring children to be more active. Information about this program is available at www.theguyonthebike.com.

Other notable achievements by Secrest include riding 1,216 miles in 24 hours in 1990 on a motor speedway pacing behind a truck. Also, he holds the North American transcontinental record of 2,916 miles in 7 days, 23 hours, 16 minutes.

To Frank Fedel, an exercise physiologist at East Michigan University and Secrest's coach, Michael Secrest is a phenomenon. "People look at Michael's lab test results and say it shouldn't be possible for him to ride as fast as he does. It seems to me he has a powerful belief system, he's remarkably tough mentally. He has the ability to ride at a greater percentage of his threshold for an extended period than any other cyclist I have seen. It truly is inspiring to see what he can do, and it is a lesson to the common man that we can do a lot more than we probably realises we are capable of."

Secrest will attempt the 24-hour indoor un-paced world record at the ADT Velodrome in Carson, California on June 15 at 7:30 a.m. PDT.

Mirabella debuts children's bike racing book

Two-time US Olympian Erin Mirabella is hosting several readings of her new book, Gracie Goat's Big Bike Race, which addresses teamwork in cycling and facing one's fears as well as offers tips on hydration kids can put to use in play and sport. The book is geared toward kids aged 5 and up and is illustrated by Lisa Horstman.

At each event, Mirabella will read her book, teach children about the Olympics, and give away cycling water bottles to kids. Mirabella represented the US at the 2000 and 2004 summer Olympics.

Upcoming readings are scheduled for Monday, June 18 at Racine Public Library in Racine, Wisconsin at 1:30 pm; Wednesday, June 20 at Turin Bicycle in Evanston, Illinois at 6:00 PM; Thursday, June 21 at Racine Cyclery in Racine, Wisconsin at 6:30 PM; and Friday, June 22 at Emery's Bicycle and Super Fitness in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at 6:30 PM The book is available at online retailers like Amazon and local book stores.

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