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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for May 18, 2007

Edited by Laura Weislo & Greg Johnson

LeMond responds to threat, questioning

By Mark Zalewski in Malibu, California

Will Goeghegan
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Following the testimony by Greg LeMond in the arbitration hearing between the USADA and Floyd Landis, and the subsequent fall-out over an alleged threatening phone call made by the now former associate of Landis, Will Geoghegan, to LeMond the night before, LeMond addressed the assembled media. "I think if you read what [Landis] posted about me, I think there is another side of Floyd that the public has not seen," said LeMond in response to the alleged phone call made by Geoghegan.

According to LeMond the alleged phone call was from a male who posed as his uncle and said things that made him shake. "I was shocked, absolutely shaking and shocked," said LeMond. "I think that the comprehension of his team about sexual abuse and people who were victims is reprehensible. I said it shows the extent of their ignorance, lack of intelligence or who they really are."

"As I was leaving [Geoghegan] admitted that he called me and tried to apologize," LeMond said. "I plan on pursuing this through the police. It was a real threat - it was, I hate to say, creepy."

Mr. Geoghegan declined comment as he quickly left the building with his girlfriend. Immediately following the recess, Landis' attorney Maurice Suh asked that the official record reflect that the business relationship between Mr. Landis and Mr. Geoghegan was dissolved, effective immediately.

LeMond shows the call history on his phone as evidence
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
(Click for larger image)

Landis' attorney Maurice Suh stated, "To the extent there has been any business relationship between Mr. Landis and Mr. Geoghegan, I would like to inform the panel that Mr. Landis has made the determination that Mr. Geoghegan's services are no longer required and they have separated their agreement as of this moment. And so Mr. Geoghegan is now terminated from the previous position he's had with Mr. Landis."

LeMond was called by the USADA to testify because of another phone call, one that occurred between LeMond and Landis on August 6, 2006, when LeMond says Landis confronted him about his public comments, specifically regarding the stage 17 positive Landis returned at that year's Tour de France. "I'm just here because I believe in finding the truth about cycling," said LeMond. "I happened to not call Floyd - he called me, and I was asked to testify about that."

LeMond implies Landis admitted to doping

Greg LeMond testifies
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

LeMond was asked directly about his testimony which seemed to imply that Landis told him he had used drugs. "I've been on record on there - it's fully on record what he told me," said LeMond. "You can take what you want from that, about my conversation with Floyd. Floyd believes I have breached some secret pact that we had -- I never agreed to any pact. I wanted truly for this to go through the legal system and USADA and this arbitration -- let the science and everything come out, right or wrong."

"You hear a lot of these athletes that we should take down USADA, we should take down WADA, we should get rid of the UCI," LeMond continued. "I say that thank God there is WADA and USADA because we all know what is happening with cycling. I care passionately about cycling. My son just got into cycling last year, he's racing collegiately now, and has even got me riding again. I just imagine my son entering a professional race today and being faced with the choice of either you dope or you don't."

LeMond's testimony, specifically the cross-examination by Landis' attorney Howard Jacobs, was interrupted by LeMond's personal attorney from Minnesota Bruce Manning. Mr. Manning objected to Mr. Jacobs' questioning regarding the deposition LeMond gave involving Lance Armstrong and a lawsuit brought by SCA promotions. "I had a legal reason not to answer questions about Lance Armstrong and it's fairly common knowledge for many years and that is why I didn't answer," said LeMond.

"What he was trying to do is portray me with an ulterior motive," LeMond continued. "I can tell you this, I put my whole bike company and business at risk for standing up for proper ethics and honesty. I wish that more people would do this in the sport of cycling. There are very few - the sport is paying the price for the dishonesty and the lies. The house of cards is cracking and it's coming down. I think it is a good thing for cycling - I think the Tour de France is an incredible event and as this culture and generation of the past is cleansed and they really attack the issue of doping."

Greg LeMond speaks to reporters
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

"When I hear people say you can't win the Tour de France without drugs, well I did!" LeMond exclaimed. "If everybody starts clean from point A to point B, you are going to have a winner across that finish line. And I will tell you it will be more exciting."

When asked if his testimony was affected by the alleged phone call from the previous evening, LeMond said, "Nobody owns me, nobody in the world of cycling that wants to... there have been a lot of people that do not want to look at the truth about cycling because of economics. I have had an economic fall out - if they are trying to say I have an economic reason [to testify] I have an economic fall out. I am not somebody that can be bought off, silenced - I'm doing what's right. And what I felt was right was coming here and telling the truth."

Mr. Geoghegan declined comment as he quickly left the building with his girlfriend. Immediately following the recess, Landis' attorney Maurice Suh asked that the official record reflect that the business relationship between Mr. Landis and Mr. Geoghegan was dissolved, effective immediately.

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

Merckx won't testify in Landis hearing

Eddy Merckx has been called as a witness in the Floyd Landis hearing, but has no intention of going. "What am I supposed to do there in America? I have no knowledge of this whole thing," he said, according to the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. "I found it strange that they asked me to be a witness."

"I have nothing at all to do with this affair," the Belgian said, "so I will let it pass me by."

Caisse d'Epargne respond to Valverde 'speculation'

Spanish ProTour team Caisse d'Epargne will consider legal action against any new attempts to "throw doubt [through] public opinion based on unfounded speculation" in regard's to its riders involvement in Operación Puerto. The squad's declaration comes after an article in Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper revealed further information on the case in recent weeks. The article claimed a blood bag, allegedly linked to Caisse d'Epargne rider Alejandro Valverde, showed traces of EPO.

The team's statement declared three points "with the greatest respect, but also with the indignation that such unfounded news [was published]". The points, as follows, address the squad's stance on the allegations, and DNA testing:

1 All the riders forming part of our professional staff, whatever their nationality, subscribed in a contractual way the clause by which they commit themselves to provide their DNA. As a consequence it not true to say that among those cyclists, some of them refused to give their DNA.

2 With regard to Alejandro Valverde, if there would be a doubt as for his implication in the Operación Puerto, these last days we received information from all the competent authorities, national, international, legal, administrative and sporting, and one more time, and they are already numerous, we confirm that there is no new fact, indication, proof or investigation, which allows, neither directly or indirectly, to connect him to the Operación Puerto.

3 Lastly, we want to highlight the fact, if what precedes is not sufficient, that Alejandro Valverde, present at this act, declared that he completely agrees so that his DNA is checked with any element of proof existing within the framework of the Operación Puerto, as soon as the Courts of competent jurisdiction would consider it necessary or convenient.

The organisation and its sponsor, French bank Caisse d'Epargne, have been forced to fend off further speculation of a rift between the pair over the latest allegations after an article in L'Equipe alleged the pair had met to discuss the situation. A representative from the bank confirmed a meeting took place, but that it had nothing to do with doping rumours.

The statement concludes "After this declaration, we want to underline the fact that all new attempt to throw doubt [through] public opinion being based on unfounded speculations, not only will be an obvious fact of unfairness with falsification of the truth, but will also give place to the exercise of the legal proceedings corresponding to the defence of the honour and the reputation of our rider, our team and our sponsors."

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.

CSC antidoping doctor responds to 'irregularities'

Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard, the physician in charge of Team CSC's aggressive antidoping programme responded today to reports that two rides on the team had shown 'irregularities' in their blood tests.

"Due to various misunderstandings in recent media outlets, I feel the need to clarify a number of things. It has been reported, that two riders have shown abnormal values in their test results and due to this, [and] these two riders were under special observation. This is completely false. All values showing even minimal fluctuations have been followed up by further rigorous out of competition tests. These tests have all shown negative results and all variations in the values can be considered physiological and perfectly normal."

Damsgaard went on to announce that they will soon release the results of the 400 tests taken as part of the program to date.

Flexpoint going for three in France

Amber Neben listens as the audience
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image)

Team Flexpoint's Amber Neben will lead the squad's lineup at the Tour de l'Aude, which starts today in France, in an attempt to claim her third consecutive victory. The American took her first victory at the race in 2005, beating home the previous year's winner Trixi Worrack.

"We will absolutely go for the third overall win in a row" says team spokesperson Jean-Paul van Poppel. "The team time-trial is a specialty and an advantage for us, but the real time will not be crucial to make a real difference in this race."

Neben will face stiff competition from her rival teams with both T-Mobile and Menikini-Gysko announcing strong lineups for the race yesterday. Amongst those announced was two time victory Judith Arndt who is backed by a strong T-Mobile squad.

"Further it's a disadvantage that there will not be any mountaintop finishes," added van Poppel. "Amber Neben is not that good in descends so she can't make bigger differences. Also the missing of a real individual time-trial is a disadvantage for our team."

Team Flexpoint roster: Amber Neben (USA), Loes Gunnewijk (Ned), Luise Keller (Ger), Susanne Ljungskog (Zwe), Madeleine Sandig (Ger), and Iris Slappendel (Ned).

PCT announces Espoir stage race in Pennsylvania

US race promoters, Pro Cycling Tour, organisers of the Philadelphia Commerce Bank Classic, have announced a new race for the 2008 calendar - an all-espoir race called the Tour of Pennsylvania. The race will be a a six day stage race for racers under 25 years of age from around the world.

The race's title sponsors American Eagle Outfitters and Highmark Healthy High 5, have committed to supporting the event, which will have a total of $250,000 awarded in stage prizes, overall general classification and special competitions – making it the world's largest-ever purse for U25 riders.

The USA Cycling-sanctioned tour is being organized by Tour of PA, LLC, a partnership between Pro Cycling Tour, LLC of Norristown, PA and ISM-USA of Pittsburgh. The race will begin with a Prologue Time Trial in Philadelphia and cover approximately 500 miles over six days (June 24-29, 2008), with finish-line events in Valley Forge, Harrisburg, Bedford and the Laurel Highlands, and a race grand finale in Pittsburgh to help celebrate the southwestern Pennsylvania region's 250th anniversary.

"The route's combination of challenging terrain and in town circuits make it the ideal format for a stage race," said Jerry Casale, chief operating officer of Pro Cycling Tour, LLC. "Plus we're thrilled that the race will showcase cycling's wave of new, up and coming talent."

In addition to inviting Espoir teams from around the world, organizers expect to include several American teams made up entirely of riders under 25, like USA Cycling's Development Team and the newly-formed Pennsylvania Lightning, an all-Pennsylvania squad being directed by former Olympic Team coach, Jack Simes. "Our goal is to field a top team that will represent the state's homegrown talent and give Pennsylvanians their own local favourites to follow," said Simes.

Triple Crown teams announced

The Commerce Bank Triple Crown of Cycling has announced the professional men's teams that will be competing in the three race series this year. The series is made up of races in Lancaster on June 3, Reading on June 7 and concluded in Philadelphia on June 10. The tough Philadelphia race that started 23 years ago and is notorious for 'The Manayunk Wall' has become the biggest one day road race in North and South America.

Those sending squads to this year's event include most of America's top continental teams and ProTour teams T-Mobile and Team CSC. The squads are expected to confirm their respective rider lineups as the event draws closer.

Men's teams for Triple Crown: AEG-Toshiba-Jetnetwork Pro Cycling Team (USA), BMC Racing Team (USA), Caico Cycling Team (Col), Calyon - Litespeed Pro Cycling Team (Can), Colavita-Sutter Home P/B Cooking Light (USA), Equipe Valee De L'aluminium De Vinci (Can) (Lancaster And Reading Only), Health Net P/B Maxxis (USA), Jelly Belly (USA), Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling Team (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast (USA), Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling Team P/B Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (USA), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team (USA), Nerac Pro Cycling (USA), Priority Health P/B Bissel (USA), Rite Aid Pro Cycling (USA), Rock Racing (USA), Successfulliving.Com P/B Parkpre (USA) (Reading And Philadelphia Only), Symmetrics Cycling Team (Can), T-Mobile Team (Ger), Team CSC (Den), Team Slipstream (USA), Tecos De La Universidad Autonoma De Guadalajara (Mex), and Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team (USA).

Kodak takes shot at Irish RAS

American continental squad Kodak Gallery will touch down in Dublin, Ireland today where the squad will contest the FDB Insurance RAS next week. Contesting the eight stage race will be a landmark occasion for the squad, which is making its debut in Europe.

"For our organization, this is an exciting day," explained spokesperson Rob O'Dea. "Over the past year, the focus of our organization has been to set a foundation for the program's growth and to showcase our world-class riders. Five NRC wins in the last three weeks, including two on one day, speak volumes to the talent, depth and character of this team. We are eager to showcase the program in a true international stage race."

Fronting the squad's lineup is Canadian National Champion Dominique Rollin. He has taken three victories for the squad this season, including the Roswell, Walterboro and Jacksonville NRC events.

Kodak Gallery roster: Dominique Rollin, Mark Walters, Jesse Anthony, Josh Thornton, and Ben Raby.

Fantasy Giro Game entry closes soon!

(Click for larger image)

There's time still to join in this year's Giro game. Win a Wilier Triestina Izoard Lampre-Fondital team replica bicycle worth US$4,750! You can join until stage six begins on Friday, May 18, and you can compete equally with players that have joined earlier in the tour.

Deadline for joining

The deadlines for joining the game on Friday May 18 across the world are as follows:

10:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time)
04:00 EDT (Eastern Daylight Time, North America)
01:00 PDT (Pacific Daylight Time, North America)
09:00 BST (British Summer Time)
18:00 AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time)
08:00 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)

Wilier Triestina Izoard Lampre-Fondital team replica bicycle
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
(Click for larger image)

You can play for free for the first 5 stages! Try the game out and see how best to play. It's easy to play the Grande 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 the rules section of the site. It's a great way to follow the Giro.

First four Daily Stage Winners announced

We are delighted to confirm the first four winners of the Daily Stage Prizes here at Fantasy Cyclingnews. It's been a tough battle each day at the top with an unprecedented amount of high scoring teams in this year's game.

STAGE 1 - Manager "Slovensko" with team "aussie" *
STAGE 2 - Manager "Zeeman" with team "Empire 2"
STAGE 3 - Manager "Hercules III" with team "E4"
STAGE 4 - Manager "Dr Do Little" with team "Daniel's Delight"

Tifosi glasses
Photo ©:Cyclingnews
(Click for larger image)

* Note there were three teams with the same Stage only points in Stage 1. As this was the first stage in the game the winner was picked at random from the three contenders.

The managers win a pair of Tifosi Optics "Forza" glasses. Each day of the Giro a prize is awarded to the Stage points leader. Remember you can take part until stage 6 begins for FREE.

Full Giro Prize Roster

- Grande Prize Wilier Triestina Izoard Lampre-Fondital team replica bicycle
- Daily Stage Winner prizes of Tifosi Optics "Forza" featuring High Speed Red Fototec lenses
- Zipp SL handlebars, 145 Stem, 300 Crankset and 185 Bottom Bracket
- Shimano Dura-Ace WH-7801-SL Wheelset The WH-7801-SL scandium wheelsets
- Saris Bones Rack
- HED handlebars
- Giro Atmos helmets
- First Endurance OPTYGEN
- Cheetah Bars for optimum performance

To register your teams for the game, click here.

Good luck!
The Fantasy Cyclingnews Team


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