Latest Cycling News for November 26, 2007
Edited by Gregor Brown
Bettini wants rules rewritten
Italian Paolo Bettini has reacted to the issues that divide the UCI ProTour and the Grand Tour organisers, while concerned his sport may be losing interest from its financial backers. The World Champion noted on Sunday during a ceremony in Castellina (Toscana) that the rules governing cycling need to be rewritten.
"Today, it is everyone against everyone," said the rider from La California to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "The federations against the organisers, and then the teams, riders, doctors and technicians. And it goes on like this ... However, cycling is not dead, it is not dying, it will not die. It is embedded in the people: in the heart, the legs, the eyes. However, there is the risk of sponsors leaving, and this could ruin everything. Before, you would need a month to convince a company to invest in cycling, now you need about 10 years."
The winner of the 2006 Giro di Lombardia and two consecutive World Championships in 2006 and 2007 noted there is a need for an accord. "We need to sit down at the table and rewrite the rules. The ProTour, for example, was reasonable but now it is shattered. Who can think of a race circuit without the Giro and Tour, Sanremo and Roubaix? Races that have written the story of cycling and have attracted the people.
"It is like in football, they said that the Champions League would no longer exist and instead there is the 'cup of who knows what,' only because there, maybe, there is extra money involved."
Bettini alluded to the Tour Down Under's new ProTour status. "Before when you would go race in Australia the trip was paid for, and certain European teams would go. Now you have to race, and it costs [the team] about 30 to 40 thousand euro."
Santuccione claims innocence
Doctor Carlo Santuccione has responded to the request of a life-time ban by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri. Santuccione, who had been previously suspended from 1995 to 2000, stated his innocence in light of the Oil for Drugs investigation stemming from 2004.
"When I started to follow the professionals, I brought on jealousy from some because my cyclists, like [Andreas] Collinelli, had started to win important races," said Santuccione of Cepagatti, Italy, to Il Centro. "The mischievous ones thought that I doped the cyclists... Today, I feel deserted."
2007 Giro d'Italia winner Danilo Di Luca was recently suspended for three months for his involvement with Santuccione dating back to 2004. In that year's Giro, May 26, Italy's Anti-Narcotics Group (NAS) raided several teams' hotels, however its search of riders who were allegedly linked with Doctor Santuccione did not yield evidence. This July, Di Luca was further linked via documents supplied by NAS that were published in the Italian press.
Santuccione acted as a family doctor since Di Luca was a child, however the relationship has now ceased. "He is like a son for me," Santuccione commented.
For the following six months, until the suspension is confirmed or denied, Santuccione is unable to have dealings with Italian athletes as a sports doctor. Torri asked for "a life-time sanction from the sporting federation or associated disciplines, from frequenting Italian sporting events ..."
German federation wants to clear up 2000 Worlds
By Susan Westemeyer
The German cycling federation Bund Deutscher Radfahrer (BDR) is reacting to Patrik Sinkewitz's claims of EPO (Erythropoietin) use while on the national junior team in the year 2000. "The past will be explained," said BDR president Rudolf Scharping, who said that the federation has known of Sinkewitz's statements for about two weeks.
In an interview on the BDR's website, rad-net.de, Scharping said, "We have immediately requested Mr. Weibel to give a statement. We want to have it in writing. Public statements aren't sufficient for us, even if Peter Weibel denies it all and plans legal steps against Sinkewitz." He added that "Weibel will never again serve as trainer for us; there are also the mistakes he has made that he has admitted to us."
The most important thing, Scharping said, is to hear from everyone who was involved in the 2000 World Championships, so that the matter can be cleared up. "When there were rumours at the time, then those responsible should really have looked into it in 2000 or 2001," he said. Sinkewitz claimed that Weibel sent him home "sick" before the junior's time trial because of questionable blood values caused by EPO use.
Scharping added the BDR has misgivings about the sentence in the Sinkewitz case. "He signed the code of honour but still continued to dope. Sinkewitz did massive damage to cycling and he should at least do something to help repair it."
New team manager for Rabobank
By Susan Westemeyer
Rabobank is expected to appoint Harold Knebel to be the new chairman of Team Rabobank's Board of Directors, according to telesport.nl, replacing Theo de Rooy, who retired after the Tour de France in light of the Rasmussen scandal. Knebel, 45, has served as Director of Private Banking at Rabobank Nederland since January 1, 2007, and is Chairman of the Board of the bank's subsidiary Schretlen & Co. NV.
Raymond Saylet, manager of Media Relations for the Rabobank Group, told Cyclingnews, "It is not formal yet, but he is a good candidate."
Knebel, who calls himself a cycling fanatic, has been involved with the team this year as a commissioner and even rode the Amstel Curaçao race last month, finishing 63rd. The appointment must still be officially made by the bank's governing body.
An independent study released earlier this month criticized de Rooy's role in the Rasmussen affair before and during the Tour de France. Henri van der Aart had served as interim team manager following de Rooy's departure.
Isaychev signs with Karpin-Galicia
By Antonio J. Salmerón
Russian Vladimir Isaychev has indicated today via a press release that he has signed with Professional Continental Team Karpin-Galicia. He noted that he has been "very happy and enthusiastic", and before stating any objectives, he asked for more time for "adaptation and to know a little bit more about Spanish cycling." The 21 year-old started in cycling at the age of twelve years old in Samara, and raced two seasons with Russian U23 Team Lokomotiv, and last year with Italian Team GS 93 Promosport Bred.
In the junior category Isaychev was European 4km Team Pursuit Champion on the track, so he is considered "a good specialist in fighting against the clock." He believes he races with "more consistency," even if last year he could not achieve a win.
For 2008 he also had an offer "from the Liquigas squad," but he preferred to sign with the Karpin-Galicia, "because it gives me better opportunities."
"I had to find information through the internet," said Isaychev of the Galician squad, sponsored by the Russian ex-footballer Vladimir Karpin (now real estate entrepreneur).
For 2008 Karpin-Galicia will consist of Ezequiel Mosquera, Gustavo Dominguez, Marcos Serrano, Carlos Castaño, David Herrero, Juan Mourón, Serafín Martínez, David Garcia, Gonzalo Rabunal, Ramon Troncoso, Eduard Vorganov, Gustavo César Veloso, David Abal Diego and the five new signings of Delio Fernández, Alejandro Paleo, Jesús Cobelo, Alberto Fernández De La Puebla and Vladimir Isaychev.
Team Toshiba and Australian national teams selected for Beijing World Cup
Cycling Australia confirmed the members of the Australian and Team Toshiba teams to contest the second round of the Track World Cup series, December 7 to 9 in Beijing, one week after the opening round in Sydney.
The Australians contesting at the newly constructed Laoshan Velodrome will be part of three different teams.
Australian National Team, 'The Cyclones': Allan Davis, Belinda Goss, Matthew Hayman, Ben Kersten, Katie Mactier, Karle McCulloch, Travis Meyer, Jason Niblett, Shane Perkins, Mark Renshaw, Luke Roberts and Phillip Thuaux
Team Toshiba - Australian Professional Track Team: Ryan Bayley, Jack Bobridge, Peter Dawson, Zakkari Dempster, Daniel Ellis, Mark Jamieson, Shane Kelly, Anna Meares, Cameron Meyer and Scott Sunderland.
Katherine Bates will compete as part of Team T-Mobile.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2007)