First Edition Cycling News for October 11, 2007
Edited by Sue George
Landis continues fight, appeals to CAS
By Mark Zalewski
Floyd Landis, the now dethroned 2006 Tour de France champion, announced Wednesday that he will appeal the decision of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) which refused to overturn the sanction for his positive drug test from the Stage 17 of the 2006 Tour to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland. This appeal is the final chance for Landis to have his sanction overturned.
"Knowing that the accusations against me are simply wrong, and having risked all my energy and resources – including those of my family, friends and supporters – to show clearly that I won the 2006 Tour de France fair and square, I will continue to fight for what I know is right," Landis said in a statement posted on the Floyd Fairness Fund web site.
Landis' hopes rest in what the lone dissenting arbitrator, Christopher Campbell, said in his opinion were critical flaws of the LNDD laboratory. The other two arbitrators Patrice Brunet and Richard McLaren agreed that there were problems with the testing, even finding in favour of Landis regarding the charge of an elevated T/E ratio. However Brunet and McLaren agreed that the presence of exogenous testosterone in the samples was enough to side with USADA, despite the admitted problems with the laboratory.
"My hope is that the CAS panel will review my case on the basis of the facts and the science, and to approach my appeal from the principle that the anti-doping authorities must uphold the highest levels of appropriate process, technical skill, science and professional standards to pronounce judgment on matters that hold an athlete’s career, accomplishments and livelihood in the balance," the statement said.
"Doping in sport seems to continue to get worse under the current anti-doping system, and this is only a part of the huge amount of proof that the WADA/USADA system needs a total overhaul," the statement continued. "I will continue to work to clear my name and fight for change in the name of fairness and justice. No matter the final outcome of my case, there must be change in the current system if athletes can ever hope to compete on a level playing field and return to the joy and inspiration that sport can bring all of us."
"We are pleased to announce that Floyd will appeal his case before the Court of Arbitration of Sport," Landis' attorney Maurice Suh of the firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher said in a statement. "We have always believed in the evidence showing that the French laboratory's flawed techniques and conclusions resulted in a false positive result. This appeal is directed at having a fair-minded arbitration panel recognize those errors, and apply the facts and law to this case. If this is done, Floyd will have the justice that he seeks."
The decision by Landis to appeal the AAA decision to the CAS came with less than 24 hours before the filing deadline. The statement from Suh said that the appeal was filed in conjunction with lawyers in Switzerland, who will join Floyd's legal team, as the hearing is likely to take place at the CAS in Switzerland.
Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case
29, 2009 - French authorities summon Landis and Baker
T-Mobile reviews its season
By Susan Westemeyer
T-Mobile Team went into the 2007 season with lowered expectations, and can now look back on a more than satisfactory season with 35 wins from the men's team and 31 by the women. "We more than fulfilled our expectations," said Sport Director Rolf Aldag.
"It was our goal to be competitive over the whole season and not to work towards just a few season highlights," he said on the team's website, t-mobile-team.com. Things got off to a slow start, but then things went "very, very well."
"Whether it was Mark Cavendish, Gerald Ciolek, or Kim Kirchen, who rode the whole season at a very high level the team showed what it was capable of. And there is a lot more potential there, I am convinced of that," Aldag said.
The team's season was dominated by the sprinters. Bernhard Eisel opened the season with a stage win in the Volta ao Algarve and Cavendish closed it with a stage win in the Circuit Franco-Belge. The young Manxman alone accounted for 11 victories. Fellow sprinter Gerald Ciolek won eight races over the season.
Another early and unexpected success was Marcus Burghardt's win in Gent-Wevelgem, which established him as a contender in the Spring Classics.
The team was no longer solely focused on the Tour de France or Grand Tours, but managed to do well in all three this year. Marco Pinotti wore the leader's pink jersey for several days in the Giro d'Italia. Linus Gerdemann won a stage in the Tour de France and took the leader's jersey for a day, and Kirchen finished seventh overall. The team also won two stage in the Vuelta a España, with Bert Grabsch winning the first time trial and Andreas Klier taking a stage win.
There were some low points for the team, too. Serguei Honchar was released after his "questionable blood test results" were found to have violated the team's internal code of conduct. That same Code of Conduct led to the release of Lorenzo Bernucci, who tested positive for an appetite depressant during the Deutschland Tour.
The team will have a different face in the coming season, with 10 new riders. It loses such veterans as Giuseppe Guerini and Axel Merckx to retirement. New riders include George Hincapie, Bradley Wiggins and youngster Edvald Boassan Hagen.
Vandenbroucke signs with Belgian Continental team
Frank Vandenbroucke is getting yet another chance in cycling. It was announced Wednesday that he has signed a one year contract with Mitsubishi-MKG, the former Jartazi Continental Team. It is the 32 year-old's tenth team since he turned pro in 1994.
The troubled Belgian rider has a history of problems, with the most recent being a suicide attempt this summer. According to hln.be, he only decided Tuesday evening to sign. "I am satisfied that I will do well on a Belgian team. This was definitely the best solution for me, and I thought about it a long time."
"I have a chaotic year behind me," he noted. "Since then I have been living in Belgium. I am starting to thrive again. "
Team manager Patrick Stallaert said, "It is our philosophy to give riders a second chance. So why not give a chance to a great rider like Frank Vandenbroucke? I believe in him 200 percent." Stallaert added, "VDB has a contract with a bonus system. If he does well, he earns more."
The team sport director is Jef Braeckevelt, who worked with the rider in the early 1990s at Team Lotto. "The ball is now in Frank's court. He must now try to reach the level of cycling we expect. Nobody can tell Frank anything. He has too much brio and experience for that. It is now up to him to seize this chance with both hands" he told Sporza.
Vandenbroucke turned pro in 1994 with Lotto. He then rode for Mapei for four years, his longest stretch with one team, before riding for Cofidis, Lampre, Domo-Farm Frites, Quick.Step-Davitamon, Fassa Bortolo, Mr. Bookmaker, Unibet.com, and Acqua Sapone, sometimes changing teams mid-season.
Adidas uncertain over its future in cycling
Adidas announced in August that it will continue its sponsoring contract with T-Mobile Team through 2008, but its Chairman, Herbert Hainer, has said that it seems unlikely the firm will stay on with cycling after that. "Right now I can't imagine that," he told faz.net. "First we have to see success in the fight against doping and the clear will of everyone involved to deal with the situation. Then an extension might be possible."
The sporting goods firm is one of the major sponsors of T-Mobile. Hainer said that he decided to honour the contract with the team through next season because "The team management's concept in the fight against doping convinced us and we want to do our part to make cycling a clean sport."
The recent World Championships in Stuttgart did not help. "Stuttgart was hardly a good sign. The way all the different decision-makers there all stumbled around, that hurt cycling. The international and national federations must work together with the politicians to make more decisions showing the right way than they already have. A clear direction is missing."
Hainer does not necessarily think the sponsorship hurts the company's image. "When T-Mobile's concept is effective, then that would be positive for us because then we would have helped to fight doping. If that is not the case, then we will end our engagement. We can leave immediately if there are more doping cases.
Tinkoff happy with Monte Paschi Eroica
Team Tinkoff Credit Systems was happy with the eighth place finish of Spanish rider Ricardo Serrano in the inaugural Monte Paschi Eroica on Wednesday and had nothing but praise for RCS Sports, who organized the event. Serrano made the initial 11-man major break of the day. The race was won by Russian Alexandr Kolobnev (Team CSC), who showed his worlds form was still in tact.
"I must confess that it has been a beautiful initiative, perfect in its kind," said team manager Oleg Tinkov of the difficult and unique race. The race featured seven sections of le strade bianche or white gravel roads, for a total of 60 of 180 kilometers. The conditions and dust from the roads, along with some steep grades, made for some rather technical racing.
Swedish riders get on track
With no track facilities and very little history in this side of the sport, getting a track programme started in Sweden means riders living or traveling to other countries to get track time. But both Magnus Backstedt (Liquigas) and Freddy Johansson (Plowman Craven) have raced for Sweden at World Cup level.
With Backstedt now looking to qualify for the Olympics on the boards, the interest among Sweden's elite riders is growing - enough so that Johan Landstrom and Mattias Westling (Cykelcity) and Mikael and Christoffer Stevensson (Amore Vita) joined him for a track training camp at the Newport Velodrome in South Wales last week.
The riders spent three intense days of up to five hours at a time on the track. By the end of it they looked like they had been riding the track for years. Each rider put down test rides over 200m, 500m, 1km and 4km, as well as various lab tests with high performance coach Steve Benton to ascertain the best route for them to take in terms of events.
Backstedt will fly solo at the first two World Cup events in Sydney and Beijing in an attempt to qualify for the Olympics in 2008. "I'm excited to see now where we can take this programme; these guys took on an amazing amount of information very quickly and how comfortable they looked after only three days showed their class. My own personal goal this winter is to get back on the track and secure a spot for the pursuit in Beijing."
"In terms of the programme we need results in order to secure the level of funding needed or external sponsors," said Team manager Martin McCrossan who was considering logistics for the Swedish track hopefuls. "Now we have a great group of talented riders to start from which is a great position to be in. Track cycling would be a perfect sport for Sweden and hopefully we can generate enough interest to build a velodrome and bring a new nation into this side of the sport."
Johansson, who has recovered well from a knee operation, will return to world competition in January. Others may get introduced to world-class track racing by the Copenhagen round in February. By the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Sweden is aiming to have a squad of riders capable of challenging for medals.
Mori returns to peloton
The Coppa Sabatini will mark an important comeback for Lampre-Fondital's Massimiliano Mori two and a half months after an accident in which he suffered a broken pelvis. In late July, Mori hit a car while out training on roads near his home in Tuscany. He also suffered head wounds and a light concussion.
"It's a great joy being able to take part in a race in this season," said Mori. "I thought it was impossible; when I was in hospital and I was told my pelvis was broken, I thought my season was already ended. However, my recovery was faster than usual and I could stand up from bed after 20 days. I began to train in swimming pool and then, one month after, I began to pedal.
"My will to come back to races was enormous and I was helped by the support received by my team-mates and my friends. On Thursday I finally will be in the peloton. I hope I can be useful to the team, even if my fitness is not at the top. After Sabatini I will take part in Emilia and Beghelli, and then in Japan for Japan Cup".
Novoa to debut with CSC
Joaquin Novoa will make his debut as stagiaire with Team CSC at the Coppa Sabatini at the Stadio Comunale in Peccioli. Novoa comes in under the recommendation of compatriot Carlos Sastre has been preparing for the upcoming Italian races.
"I'm honored to be given this opportunity and I'm highly motivated to work extremely hard for the team," said the Novoa according to team-csc.com.
"He's a big guy, who's both good on the climbs and at the front of the peloton during a flat stretch," said Sastre, who noticed the promising Novoa while at home in Spain. "He's one of the best amateurs in Spain, which he proved by taking 30 top-10 spots last year and 41 this year, so I think he's got the right skills to become a great pro rider."
The two have trained together during the last two years on a regular basis, but the Italian races will likely be an eye-opening experience for the stagiaire.
"He knows he'll have to work really hard and these races will enable us to check him out a bit and see, what he's made off. It'll be exciting and I'm very confident on his behalf," said Sastre.
CSC for Coppa Sabatini, Giro dell'Emilia and the GP Beghelli: Joaquin Novoa, Carlos Sastre, Fränk and Andy Schleck, Chris Anker Sørensen, Alexandr Kolobnev and Anders Lund.
Astana sets plans for final three races of the season
Astana is wrapping up its season with three more races. Two will be in Italy this weekend including the Giro dell'Emilia on October 13 and the GP Beghelli on October 14 in Monteveglio. The team will head there after the Coppa Sabatini, thereby giving Gregory Rast, Michael Schär, Maxim Iglinsky, Andrey Mizourov and Serguei Yakovlev a final chance to showcase their skills before the end of the season.
For the final race, Astana will head down under for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour from October 14 to 21. Seven riders will contest eight stages among which a prologue, a time-trial and a final stage for sprinters in the streets of Melbourne, are waiting for the 14 invited teams. Aaron Kemps, the sole Australian Astana rider, will be at the start. He will be there with Koen De Kort and René Haselbacher, who both will try for good results in the sprints, whereas the Swiss Thomas Frei and Steve Morabito will aim instead at the undulating stages
Astana for Giro dell'Emilia and the GP Beghelli: Igor Abakoumov, Maxim Gourov, Maxim Iglinsky, Andrey Mizourov, Gregory Rast, Michael Schär, Yevgeny Sladkov and Serguei Yakovlev under Sport Manager Adriano Baffi.
Astana for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour: Koen De Kort, Thomas Frei, René Haselbacher, Benoît Joachim, Aaron Kemps, Julien Mazet and Steve Morabito . Sport Manager: Mario Kummer
Milram & LPR announce rosters for Coppa Sabatini
Alessandro Petacchi will lead Team Milram at the 55th Coppa Sabatini Thursday. The nearly 200km race starts in Peccioli and finishes in Tuscany while covering two circuits.
After a fifth place at the Monte Paschi Eroica earlier this week, Team LPR will return tot he limestone roads of Tuscany. The team plans to take an aggressive approach to the race and will be led by recently crowned World Champion Paolo Bettini.
Milram for Coppa Sabatini: Alessandro Petacchi, Andrey Grivko, Fabio Sabatini, Alberto Ongarato, Björn Schroeder, Carlo Scognamiglio, Matej Jurco, Marco Velo under the direction of Oscar Pellicioli.
LPR for Coppa Sabatini: Paolo Bailetti, Daniele Callegarin, Riccardo Chiarini, Raffaele Ferrara, José Enrique Gutierrez, Marco Marcato, Daniele Nardello and Luca Solari under team director Mario Manzoni.
USA Cycling to host mechanics' clinic
USA Cycling announced the 2008 Bill Woodul Race Mechanic Clinic for January 10-13 at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The camp is geared toward all mechanics who wish to become USA Cycling-licensed mechanics
Woodul held the first such mechanics' clinic in the late 1980s as a way to recruit mechanics for his program. Past graduates of the clinic have gone on to work for teams all over the world. Participants will learn from industry instructors, receive hands-on experience and network with other mechanics. Upon completion, they will be eligible to purchase a mechanic's license from the federation, which will make them eligible to work Olympic Trials, national championships, USA Cycling training camps and some corporate neutral support positions. Topics include caravan and motorcycle support, pit set up, race equipment preparation, bike wash techniques, as well as tool, equipment, and supply needs. Information taught will support track, road, mountain bike and 'cross disciplines.
The clinic is open to US citizens with at least two years of experience as a bicycle mechanic. For more information, contact Justin Koch at (719) 866-4708 or visit www.usacycling.com. Registration is due by November 16.
Cold temperature and rain fail to dampen Second Annual Bikes for Kids Utah Event
In spite of rain and cold temperatures, Bikes for Kids Utah secured the funds and volunteers needed to distribute free brand new bicycles, helmets, bike locks and bicycle safety instruction to 1,000 underprivileged Utah second graders last weekend in a fund-raising event held on October 5-6 which included a silent auction and 3km and 50km rides with pro Dave Zabriskie, a Salt Lake City native and the third American ever to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.
"Seeing a smile on the face of one child while receiving a bike was enough," said Debbie Reid, executive director of Bikes for Kids Utah. "Seeing hundreds of smiling faces made it even better."
Throughout the event, hundreds of Utah second-graders were greeted by more than 60 volunteers and sponsors who distributed bikes and accessories. Volunteers also led students through a bicycle safety fair. Students were fitted for helmets and other accessories.
"Cycling has been a huge part of my life," said Dave Zabriskie, Salt Lake native and Tour de France stage winner. "It has provided me with a lot of freedom and taught me that exercise, discipline and responsibility can be fun. It felt good helping the kids get their new bicycles and I hope they have as much fun with their bikes as I do with mine."
A fundraiser dinner and silent auction raised more than US$11,000 through dinner tickets and donated auction items. A time trial also raised money for Yield to Life, a non-profit organization founded this year by Zabriskie to help educate automobile drivers and cyclist on how to safely share the road.
In an effort to enjoy better weather for the event and ensure the children more riding time on their new bikes, next year's Bikes for Kids Utah events are tentatively scheduled for summer 2008.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2007)