First Edition Cycling News for May 7, 2007
Edited by Sue George
No EPO in Basso's blood bags but different for Valverde
Italian paper sheds light on riders' connection to Fuentes
By Gregor Brown
Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper has shed light on the document that was issued by Spanish judge Antonio Serrano in conjunction with the shelving of Operación Puerto, March 8, 2007. There are 20 pages from Madrid's Court 31 that, combined with the original dossier of 38 pages (June 27, 2006), reveal further details about the bags of blood sequestered from the three offices of Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.
Ivan Basso and Alejandro Valverde are both allegedly linked to the blood bags through code names, but following examination of the bags, only Valverde's showed traces of EPO, according to the newspaper. However, even if there were no doping products found, blood transfusion is still considered an illegal sporting practice.
On page 13 of the 20-page March document is table 1, containing a list of 99 bags (of the total 223 sequestered in June 2006) that the Guardia Civil sent to a Barcelona anti-doping laboratory to be investigated in the fall of 2006. The table lists the identification number given by the police (GC1, GC2, etc; not related to Fuentes' codes), the police code of the transportation box and the street in which the Guardia Civil found the bags. There were three separate raided locations that brought about blood bags: Calle Alonso Cano (Fuentes), Caidos de la Division Azul (Fuentes) and Fernandez de la Hoz (José Merino Batres).
Aside from the police codes, the document also lists Fuentes' code names and numbers along with the dates of blood extraction. According to the Guardia Civil, the number '2' and the code name 'Birillo' correspond to Basso (the latter being the alleged name of Basso's dog). '2' appears two times (GC2 and GC3) with the dates of extraction of 12/1 and 11/11. No year is specified, but these dates could refer to 2006 and 2005 respectively, or both 2005. 'Birillo' appears twice as well (GC70 and GC71) with the dates of 18/8 and 15/12 (both would be late 2005 because Fuentes' operation was stopped that same summer).
Page 17 of the March document contains another table that lists the eight bags of blood (belonging to 'Klaus,' '5,' 'Falla,' 'Mari,' '18,' 'Gemma') that were found to have the occurrence of exogenous EPO. (Read EPO blood bags attributed to code names.) Not listed in this table is '2' or 'Birillo' but the number '18.' The bag of blood (GC40) was extracted on 23/5 (possibly 2005) and found at location Calle Alonso Cano.
La Gazzetta dello Sport links '18' to Alejandro Valverde, winner of 2006 Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, via the original dossier of June 27, 2006. It points out that '18' appears twice in the Guardia Civil document. A passage of page 3 of the June document reads, "The documents 109, 114 and 155 establish five levels of refrigerator conservation, combining individuals with 2 or 3 identifications via number or pseudonym." Then there is a list of numbers and code names followed by the addition of "In document 114 there is added these numbers 18 - VALV. (PITI) and 20 - VAINS."
'VALV.' is allegedly Valverde and 'PITI' is the name of his dog that Spanish newspapers confirmed, however, the Spaniard has never been summoned by the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) in regards to his alleged association with Fuentes.
Meanwhile, former Discovery Channel rider Ivan Basso is expected to be heard again by Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) anti-doping prosecutors on May 11, the eve of the Giro d'Italia departure. Basso's fall statements to CONI could be contradicted by new evidence that has emerged from Madrid.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Fundación Miguel Indurain (Por un Deporte Limpio)
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'
May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
Dekker shines in Romandie
By Susan Westemeyer
Twenty-two year-old Thomas Dekker of Rabobank powered his way to a win and to the top of the general classification when he finished ahead of Paolo Savoldelli and Andrey Kashechkin, both of Astana.
It was the second consecutive year that the winner of the finishing time trial moved up into first place to take the victory overall. Last year's winner Cadel Evans finished fourth this year in both the stage and the GC.
Chris Horner (Predictor Lotto) led going into the final stage, but he slipped to fifth place after finishing seventh, 55 seconds behind Dekker. When interviewed Saturday, Horner expressed doubt that he could keep the lead and said: "I'm not a time trial specialist."
On the other hand, Dekker noted: "Time trialing is my specialty and actually I was sixth in the same stage two years ago." He was the Dutch time trial champion in 2004 and 2005.
"I expected to be on the podium, but not necessarily to win. I did not know I was so strong at that stage of the season. It's pretty big for me to beat big champions like Savoldelli and Kashechkin today. Now I'll have time to celebrate a little prior my next race in a month," the young Dekker said. He was the first Dutchman to win the race since 1988.
Dekker is ready for a break from competition after a full spring schedule. He will return to racing action in the Tour de Suisse in preparation for the Tour de France, where he has his eye on the young rider's white jersey.
For complete coverage of Stage 5, click here.
Pereiro optimistic about form
By Antonio J. Salmerón
Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne) is positive about his form - even after finishing 92nd in the Tour of Romandie. His teammate, Joaquím Rodríguez, finished in 15th position in the final general classification.
"In spite of bad weather during a good part of the race, I felt good sensations, and I am heading home satisfied," said Pereiro. "I suffered a little in the high mountains but that is normal considering I still have some weight to lose, but I have been able to verify that my condition is indeed better than last year at the same period.
"This race gave me the opportunity to pedal again at the ProTour rhythm, and I am optimistic looking toward the important races that await me later in the season, because I am getting better. I will return to competition in the Volta a Catalunya to sharpen my form, and then, I will take part, as initially scheduled, in the Dauphiné Libéré and the Tour de France."
Vos goes three for three in San Marino
Team DSB Bank's Marianne Vos won everything she could this weekend while racing a talented women's field at the Giro di San Marino. The Dutchwoman dominated the race from start to finish.
Friday, the world road champion won the opening four kilometre prologue eight and nine seconds respectively ahead of Lithuanian Edita Pucinskaite (Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung) and Amber Neben (USA National Team). Saturday, she outsprinted a 46 rider group at the end of an 87 kilometre road race. That day she beat Marta Bastianelli (Safi - Pasta Zara Manhattan) and Martina Corazza (A.S. Team F.R.W) in the final dash.
On the final stage, she survived three big climbs and arrived at the finish in a pack of 18. Again, she outsprinted Batianelli, but this time, she locked up her overall win in the general classification ahead of Pucinskaite and two-time Tour de L'Aude winner Neben.
For complete coverage of the Giro di San Marino, click here.
Boasson Hagen weighs ProTour offers
By Katharina Schulz
Edvald Boasson Hagen, who is only 19 years-old, but who already has three stage wins in the Tour de l'Avenir and a fifth place in the individual time trial at the Junior World Championships 2006 to his name, is being courted by several ProTour teams. As he told CyclingWorld.dk, he has "offers from T-Mobile, CSC, and Credit Agricole, amongst others, and right now I'm thinking about where I'm going next year."
Boasson Hagen played an important role in this weekend's two Danish Classics: The GLS Express Grand Prix in Herning and Colliers Classic, where he was in breaks in both races and finished eighth and ninth respectively. In yesterday's GP Herning, he was in the decisive group with Kurt Asle Arvesen who went on to win the race, but he took a wrong turn in the finale.
"That was really stupid of course, but I wasn't thinking straight, because amongst other things, I hadn't drunk enough. Apart from that, I'm really satisfied with my performance," said Boasson Hagen, who is currently racing for Norwegian Continental squad Team Maxbo Bianchi.
Ullrich investigations move
By Susan Westemeyer
Things may be moving again in the German fraud investigation of Jan Ullrich. German ARD television reports that the prosecutor's office in Bonn is awaiting delivery of documents concerning the former cycling star's bank accounts, which could possible show payments for doping activity.
Hans-Ruedi Graf, public prosecutor for the Kanton of Thurgau, told the ARD Sport Show that he expects any day to get the OK from the Swiss 'Bundesstrafgericht.'
"Jan Ullrich's bank documents could then go to Germany," said Graf. Ullrich's attorneys have previously tried to block the transfer of documents.
The Swiss Olympic investigation of Ullrich is also continuing. "Circumstantial evidence which convinces the Swiss national Olympic committee, would be enough for a lifetime ban for Jan Ullrich," Bernhard Welten, of Swiss Olympic's anti-doping committee said.
Française des Jeux for Giro
Française des Jeux announced its line-up for the Giro d'Italia starting on May 12 according to L'Equipe. Former world junior champion Arnaud Gérard, Carlos Da Cruz and Lilian Jégou will head the team.
Française des Jeux for the Giro: Carlos Da Cruz, Arnaud Gérard, Lilian Jégou, Cyrille Monnerais, Francis Mourey, Fabien Patanchon, Timothy Gudsell, Ian McLeod, and Jussi Veikkanen.
Timmer breaks collarbone
Albert Timmer broke his right collarbone yesterday in the Dutch classic race the Ronde van Overijssel. The Skil-Shimano rider crashed on the local circuit, eight kilometres before the finish. Timmer hopes to be back racing again in four weeks.
Fantasy Giro Grand Prize announced!
Register your teams now!
We are pleased to announce that the Grand Prize for the Cyclingnews 2007 Giro d'Italia Fantasy Game is a fantastic Wilier Triestina Izoard Lampre-Fondital team replica bicycle. It's equipped with Campagnolo's all-new Chorus Ultra Torque ten speed groupset, while the wheelset is the fast and strong Fulcrum Racing 3, ITM Visia bars & stem, Selle Italia SLR XP saddle, Look Keo Sprint pedals, FSA Carbon fibre seatpost and Vittoria tyres. Wilier reports weight at 7.9kg (17.4 lbs) and a retail value US$4,750.
There's plenty time to join in the fun at this year's Fantasy Giro game at Cyclingnews. You can join until stage 6 begins on Friday, May 18 and there is no disadvantage in joining after the tour has begun. We have loads of prizes on offer this year. Here a sample of some of the most recent runner-up prize additions:
- Daily Stage Winner prizes of Tifosi Optics "Forza" featuring
High Speed Red Fototec lenses
Play for FREE in the Giro 2007 game
Remember you can play for free for the first five stages! Try the game out and see how best to play. It's easy to play the Grand Tour games - all you need to do is pick your dream team of 15 from the riders racing in this year's Giro start list. Then each day pick nine riders to race for your fantasy team from these 15. You'll need a good combination of climbers, sprinters, and general classification riders. For more details, go to rules section of the site for more info. It's a great way to follow the Giro 2007.
To register your teams for the game go to fantasy.cyclingnews.com
The Fantasy Cyclingnews Team
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2007)