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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for October 18, 2007

Edited by Sue George

Bertolini wins 2007 Coppa Italia

By Gregor Brown

Alessandro Bertolini (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Selle Italia)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Alessandro Bertolini (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Selle Italia) has won the 2007 Coppa Italia with one round still left to race, the two-up time trial Frienze-Pistoia. The 36 year-old rider from Trento was on fire this fall with four wins that advanced him in the standings and add weight to his inclusion in Italy's Squadra Azzurra for the World Championships.

Bertolini won the Giro dell'Appennino, Coppa Agostoni, Giro del Veneto and the Coppa Placci between August 5 and September 8, however; his first win of the season came in March, the opening stage of the Coppi & Bartali. In the races that comprise the Coppa Italia he amassed 427 points compared to the 308 points of Luca Mazzanti (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) in second.

25 year-old Kanstantsin Siutsou (Barloworld) won the young riders' classification and finished third in the overall classification with 210 points. Behind the Belarusian rider was 22 year-old Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas), at 151 points, and Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Prodir) in, at 134.

Tenax-Salmilano leads the teams' classification by a slim margin of five points over Ceramica Panaria-Navigare (698 and 693 points respectively).

The Coppa Italia ("Italian Cup") is comprised of Italy's best races that are not classified as ProTour races, like the Milano-Sanremo. Participation is open to any Italian rider, non-Italians that are part of Italian teams and riders of non-Italy-based teams where the majority of the riders are Italians (Tenax-Salmilano is based in Ireland but more than 50% of its riders are Italian - ed.).

Current Coppa Italia Standings after the GP Beghelli.

UCI wants blood passports to help combat doping

Anne Gripper of the UCI
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Anti-doping leader Anne Gripper told Eurosport Wednesday that the UCI would like to collect "biological passports" for all ProTour racers and used the in the fight against doping beginning in 2008. It's another effort in the fight to improve anti-doping testing and cycling's image by establishing a test history that will be used to highlight any abnormalities including haemoglobin and haematocrit levels.

"What in effect it means is that the rider becomes his own reference point," Gripper said. "We look for variations in a rider's individual profile to determine whether there may be some indication of using a prohibited method or a prohibited substance."

The passports would provide baseline information that could be used to help detect cheating efforts such as blood doping.

"What we're looking for is indirect evidence of the fact that cyclists may be doing something to increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of their blood either through blood doping or through small doses of EPO or something like that," Gripper said.

Blood passports will be up for discussion at the World Antidoping Agency (WADA) summit scheduled for October 22-23 in Paris, France. Such a method could be in place in time for the Tour de France and several teams like Team CSC, Slipstream and Plowman Craven are already using similar anti-doping programs.

AFLD takes another look at Landis case

Although the case against American cyclist Floyd Landis is still pending a final verdict after an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the French Anti-doping Agency (AFLD) made a move Wednesday to ensure Landis will not be able to compete in the Tour de France while he is serving his ban from cycling.

Landis tested positive for testosterone during Stage 17 of the 2006 Tour de France. He was stripped of his title after USADA found him guilty, and the Tour win was awarded to Oscar Pereiro Monday. Landis will serve a two year ban on any UCI-sanctioned races unless his verdict is overturned.

Given the ongoing conflicts between the UCI and ASO, organizers of the Tour de France, it is possible the Tour de France could occur outside of the UCI's sanctioning, which would mean Landis' ban would bear no weight.

Therefore, the AFLD has decided to take another look at Landis' case. "We have notified his lawyers," AFLD president Pierre Bordry confirmed to the AFP Wednesday. If the AFLD rules on Landis, it could close a legal loophole and ban him from a non-UCI sanctioned Tour de France.

AFLD shelved Landis' case late last winter while he was heard by the US Anti-doping Agency. Bordry also told AFP that "should the Tour de France decide to withdraw from the UCI calendar the AFLD would be able to carry out the necessary controls.

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

Dionne signs two-years with Successful Living

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

Charles Dionne in his Webcor days
Photo ©: Ella Lawrence
Click for larger image

The North American-based Successful Living team announced Wednesday that 27 year-old former Canadian road champion Charles Dionne has inked a two-year deal with the young team.

Dionne made a name for himself as a younger rider by winning the infamous San Francisco Grand Prix twice. As a result he was picked up by a ProTour team in Europe, racing for Saunier Duval-Prodir. However his racing there never quite came to fruition and he returned to North America for the 2007 season to race with the Colavita-Sutter Home team.

The Successful Living team, which just finished its second year in the professional ranks, had some positive progressions this year, winning a stage at the Cascade Classic and sweeping the Infineo n Cougar Mountain Classic . Team director Steve Hegg hopes that Dionne's experience and ability as an all-around rider will help the team take the next step in 2008.

"Adding a rider like Charles gives our team additional horse power and experience as we move into a new level of our program," commented Team Director Steve Hegg. "He's a great overall rider and we plan on making an impact at more stage races next season."

"I'm really excited about the change in teams for 2008," said Dionne. "I'm looking forward to a fresh start next season without any injuries, and returning to the form I had when I won San Francisco Grand Prix twice. My goal is to get some big wins in races like Tour of California, and Philly week."

Dionne is also aiming to be selected as a member of the Canadian Olympic team for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. The team's title sponsor, Successful Living, recently renewed its sponsorship for three more years.

Saiz talks of return to cycling

Manolo Saiz speaks
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
(Click for larger image)

Former Liberty Seguros and Team Once leader Manolo Saiz said Wednesday that he is considering a return to cycling.

"I'm taking a break and dedicating myself to my (hotel) businesses, but one day I will return to cycling and will do it with the same enthusiasm as before," Saiz said to Radio Marca.

Saiz was involved in Operación Puerto in May of 2006. He was arrested along with four others and is still part of the investigation into the alleged doping activities of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes and others. Saiz declined to comment on his personal story relating to the case while the outcome is pending. However, he defended cycling in general and said cyclists were not being treated justly.

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

23 countries for Chrono des Nations

By Jean-François Quénet

The French 2007 season will end Sunday with the Chrono des Nations individual time trial held in Les Herbiers in western France. Junior men and women, elite women, under 23 men, and elite men will contest the event. The Grand Prix des Nations was created in 1932 and disappeared in 2004, but was revived and merged with the Chrono des Herbiers in 2006 to become the Chrono des Nations.

In the women's category, an international field will consist of defending champion Priska Doppmann and her team-mates Pascale Schnider, Patricia Schwager and Sarah Daster (Raleigh), Swede Suzanne Ljungskog, British riders Emma Pooley, Caroline Kloiber and Pippa Handley, Siobhan Dervan of Ireland, Australian Bridie O'Donnell, American Larssyn Ruegg, Lada Kozlikova and Tereza Hurikova from the Czech Republic. Mie Lacota and Maja Watt Andersen from Denmark and Belgian national champion An van Rie and her compatriot Ludivine Henrion will also be there. Among the 31 starters, Edwige Pitel (Uniqa), Marina Jaunatre (Vienne Futuroscope) and Cathy Moncassin (Pruneaux d'Agen) are the French favorites.

Nine national time trial champions will join the elite men's field including defending champion Raivis Belohvosciks of Latvia, Vladimir Gusev (Russia), Matti Helminen (Finland), Matija Kvasina (Croatia), Grega Gazvoda (Slovenia), Gustav Larsson (Sweden), Laszlo Bodrogi (Hungary), Nicolas Roche (Ireland) and Stef Clement (Netherlands) who will be racing near the headquarters of his trade team Bouygues Telecom with Thomas Voeckler and Dimitri Champion.

Runner-up in the road race world championship Russian Alexander Kolobnev (Team CSC) will be one of the stars alongside Andriy Grivko (Milram), Rubens Bertogliati (Saunier Duval), Dominique Cornu and Olivier Kaisen (Predictor-Lotto), Freddy Bichot, Romain Feillu and Denis Robin (Agritubel), Jérémy Roy (Française des Jeux), Sébastien Duret and Noan Lelarge (Bretagne-Armor Lux), Niels Brouzes (Auber 93), Kilian Patour (Slipstream), Yuriy Krivtsov (Ag2r) and Maxim Gourov (Astana).

Ten Dam signs with Rabobank

Laurens Ten Dam (
Photo ©: Stijn Vercaemer
(Click for larger image)

Laurens ten Dam will wear the colors of Rabobank again in 2008. After four seasons, Ten Dam will return to his former team, of which he was a youth member from 200 through 2003. In the intervening years, he had ridden for Bankgiroloterij, Skil-Shimano and His new contract is for two years.

In 2006 Ten Dam recorded his first victory as a professional rider in the second stage of the Course de la Solidarité Olympique. In 2007, he left his mark on the Tour of Germany, where he finished eighth.

Auger retires

Ludovic Auger will retire from competition at the end of the year according to Wieler Report. The 36 year-old Frenchman has ridden for Française des Jeux. Previously he was on the Big-Mat team for ten years. In 2000, he won the Tour of Normandie and in 2004, he won one stage and the overall at the Tour de la Manche.

Vasseur prepares for final race

Cédric Vasseur
Photo ©: Bjorn Haake
(Click for larger image)

The Giro di Lombardia will be the final race of Cedric Vasseur's 14 year professional career. The 37 year-old has 20 wins, including two Tour de France stages and a five-day stint in the 1997 race, to his credit.

"Lombardia is one of my favourite races," Vasseur said. "This will be the tenth time I have taken part in it. Finishing my career at the Lombardia is something special for me especially as I'll also be riding alongside World Champion Paolo Bettini. I'm on pretty good form and hope to be useful for the team toward helping Bettini win the race."

"It will certainly be an emotional moment for me both at the start and finish of the race but thanks to my victory at this year's Tour [de France] during the Marseille stage, I'll be hanging up my cycling shoes with the knowledge that this sport has given me," said Vasseur.

"I have given it a lot during these years as a professional. I'd like to thank my team and team manager Patrick Lefevere who gave me the opportunity to race my final years in such a top class team like the Quick.Step - Innergetic."

After his retirement from racing, it looks like Vasseur will continue his involvement in cycling through the Professional Cycling Association (CPA). "I'd like to continue this role [in the organization] which I enjoy immensely. These past few years have been tough for cycling on the whole. I want to continue working with the C.P.A. in order to give a new image to this sport using my many years of experience as a professional. I think I can be useful in this respect of re-evaluating our sport."

Teams ready for Lombardia

Teams as gearing up for the final major one-day race of the European season, the Giro di Lombardia on Saturday.

Gerolsteiner is going into the last ProTour race of the season with high hopes and will be led by Davide Rebellin and Fabian Wegmann. Rebellin has finished in the top five three times, and Wegmann was third last year. Both riders finished second in races over the past weekend.

Team Lampre-Fondital previewed the hardest sections of the course before the race. "Riders covered 175 kilometers, studying the crucial places such as Ghisallo, Civiglio and San Fermo. It is a parcours for the attackers, for the ones who are in a good fit: I think that the main athletes will try to realize a selection on Ghisallo, and then will make the main attack on Civiglio," said Director Maurizio Piovani. Damiano Cunego and Alessandro Ballan will captain the squad.

Gerolsteiner for Giro di Lombardia: Johannes Fröhlinger, Tim Klinger, Bernhard Kohl, Davide Rebellin, Ronny Scholz, Fabian Wegmann, Peter Wrolich and Oliver Zaugg.

Barloworld for Giro di Lombardia: Pedro Arreitunandia, Diego Caccia, Felix Cárdenas, Giampaolo Cheula, Alexander Efimkin, Paolo Longo Borghini, Hugo Sabido and Kanstantsin Siutsou under Directeur Alberto Volpi.

Caisse d'Epargne for Giro di Lombardia: Vladimir Efimkin, Imanol Erviti, Iván Gutiérrez, Pablo Lastras, Alberto Losada, Mathieu Perget, Joaquím Rodríguez and Alejandro Valverde under Director Eusebio Unzúe.

Lampre-Fondital for Giro di Lombardia: Alessandro Ballan, Matteo Bono, Damiano Cunego, Francesco Gavazzi, Marco Marzano, Morris Possoni, Gorazd Stangelj and Sylvester Szmyd, Paolo Tiralongo under Director Maurizio Piovani.

Quick.Step-Innergetic for Giro di Lombardia: Carlos Barredo, Paolo Bettini, Hubert Schwab, Andrea Tonti, Matteo Tosatto, Cédric Vasseur, Davide Viganò and Giovanni Visconti under director Serge Parsani.

Gerolsteiner prepares for first Japan Cup

By Miwako Sasaki

Gerolsteiner will travel to Japan for the 16th Japan Cup (a UCI Asia Tour 1.1 event) on October 28. It will be among 15 teams from 11 countries. The race will run through the forest park circuit in Utsunomiya, a memorial circuit of the Worlds in 1990. Saunier Duval-Prodir and Lampre-Fondital are two other ProTour teams joining the fray.

It's a first time Gerolsteiner will start the Japan Cup, and German Champion Fabien Wegmann is one of favorites for the hilly race. Heinrich Haussler, Bernhard Kohl, Ronny Scholz and Peter Wrolich will be there, too.

Italian Riccardo Riccò, who won last year, will lead the Saunier Duval Team along with team-mates Manuele Mori, Raivis Belohvosciks, Rubens Bertogliati and Javier Mejías. Lampre-Fondital has made several Japan Cup appearances in the past, collecting five wins along the way. Marco Marzano, Massimiliano Mori, Paolo Fornaciari, Francesco Gavazzi and stagiaire Maurizio Girardini are expected to be there for the Italian team.

Two Professional Continental teams (Dutch Skil-Shimano and the Australian Drapac Porsche Development program), two Continental teams (Islamic Azad University Cycling team and Hong Kong Pro Cycling), and three national teams(China, Thailand, Chinese Taipei) have also been invited.

Southern California team soliciting U23 Racers

Team VRC which races as No Opportunity Wasted-MS Society (NOW-MS Society) is currently accepting resumes for its developmental and elite U23 programs. Entering its fifth year, the club's focus is on U23 development and raising money for and awareness about multiple sclerosis.

In its short history, the team has helped five member enter the pro ranks although it also boasts master's and women's squads. Moving into 2008, the club has secured a strong U23 budget and plans to field a six to eight person U23 Elite (category 1-2) team, along with a strong U23 developmental program for lower category riders. Interested U23 racers should send a race resume to Eddie Monnier at Non-U23's who support the club's mission but aren't expecting sponsorship are also encouraged to express their interest. For more information, visit

FRM women's team expands

The First Rate Mortgage Cycling Team is expanding its women's team for 2008 to a dozen athletes. Four women from the west side of the Puget Sound have joined the team including Brenda Green, Lisa Lund, Kathi McMahon, and Tonia Schmidt. Also coming to FRM from Bainbridge are long-time, part-time racer Julie Houck and experienced triathlete Nora Masters, who has a few bike races on her resume as well.

Zana Faulkner and Jitka Cole have made the move from other teams. Sile Kiernan, who whisked herself off to the hospital (with a broken collarbone) before the officials knew she had crashed at Redmond Derby, brings the number of Irish nationals on the team to a lucky three.

New to racing, but no stranger to bikes, is Robin Secrist, who is making the transition from being a triathlete. Donna Peters will continue with the squad while Martha Walsh returns to the team after a year in another jersey.

The team supports category 3 and 4 racers in Washington state and it has its eye on some regional stage races and masters nationals, among other events, for 2008.

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(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2007)