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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Edition Cycling News for October 18, 2007

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

TV broadcasters to contribute to anti-doping fight?

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The Secretary General of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), a conglomerate of 75 radio and TV stations throughout Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East, has said that he could imagine the audiovisual media to support the fight against doping in sports, particularly cycling. Speaking at the Sportel trade show in Monaco, an international sports rights market, Jean Réveillon told Radsportnews that he had already made a proposal to this effect to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), but hadn't received any answer.

To combat the current developments in Germany, where the public TV stations are reluctant to continue showing cycling races on TV, and prevent the same situation to spread amongst other broadcasters, Réveillon seemed ready to take on more responsibilities. "We have to educate the young athletes, promote a clean sport and possibly contribute to its financing, even if WADA doesn't seems very interested by this," said the Frenchman, who used to direct the sports sector at France Télévisions. "I had proposed that the EBU contributes to the financing of the WADA, because television brings the money into the sport by way of TV rights. But they haven't got back to me yet. I wanted to speak at the WADA conference in Madrid, but [WADA manager] Howman only responded that I could come as journalist. That wasn't the answer we had hoped for. But we'll continue to be open."

Réveillon also supported the idea of a European Anti-Doping Agency, but deplored the fact that only the TV stations of European countries were taking the doping problem seriously. "We TV stations in Europe are the only ones fighting against doping," he added. "I took part in the general assembly of the World Broadcasting Union, where the subject doping was unheard of. Terrible. The proposal of a European Anti-Doping Agency is interesting. I spoke to the EU commissioners in charge of this and EU [Commission] president Barroso. We at TV hold important keys in our hands: Information, debate and especially money."

Even though the German public TV stations ARD and ZDF, who withdrew their live coverage of the Tour de France this July in the middle of the event, are currently discussing the future of their reporting on the French Grand Tour, the other members of the EBU will continue to broadcast professional cycling races, Réveillon assured. "Germany is a specific case. There is more pressure, and we hear things like: 'cycling is like professional wrestling, it doesn't have its place on TV.' But all other members of the EBU hold their simple position: yes, cycling is in danger, and yes, it is necessary that the sport finds unity again, but we continue to broadcast it. All of our members agree to cover the Tour de France," he said.

Italians prep for Lombardia

Rebellin's first seven-hour training session

By Gregor Brown

Paolo Bettini (Quick-Step) on his way to victory in 2006, followed by Rebellin
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

The favourites are gearing up for a one last hurrah this weekend with the running of the 101st Giro di Lombardia, and for the Italians the 242-kilometre monument ranks high in prestige.

Many of the same riders that featured in the World Championships fancy themselves for taking the win along the shores of Lake Como. Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) passed seven hours on his bike yesterday for the first time in his long career. The 36 year-old rider from Veneto did a lot of above threshold work, including climbing mountains behind a motorbike to simulate race conditions according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. 'Tin-Tin' will have a light programme today and tomorrow he will ride another two and a half hours behind the moto.

World Champion Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step - Innergetic) has won the race two year's running, and will once again be a favourite to win. Joined by Leonardo Scarselli and Giovanni Visconti, the 33 year-old Livornese trained for four hours on home roads yesterday. Many are indicating that his team-mate and current Italian Champion, Visconti, will be a favourite give his recent win in the Coppa Sabatini.

Damiano Cunego won the race in 2004 and with his win in the GP Beghelli this week he will be considered a top gun for Saturday. Cyclingnews spotted the rider from Verona on the parcours yesterday. "Damiano went with team-mates Marzano, Tiralongo and Gavazzi on the climbs of Ghisallo, Civiglio and San Fermo," explained Directeur Sportif Maurizio Piovani.

"He is well, and the win last week in the GP Beghelli was good for his morale." He covered 175 kilometres. "It will be important to race with intelligence, without wasting energy," said Cunego.

Filippo Pozzato will lead Liquigas on Saturday. Yesterday, he trained for 160 kilometres on the roads near his home in Monte Carlo with Andrea Moletta (Gerolsteiner) and Matteo Tosatto (Quick.Step - Innergetic). He will travel to the start town, Varese, tomorrow.

Boogerd ends career with criterium

Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) finished 8th in last year's Giro di Lombardia
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Even though Michael Boogerd was able to turn the pedals for 20 minutes on the rollers for the first time since his training crash last Friday which left him with a bacterial infection in his left knee, the Rabobank rider has decided for himself that his participation in the upcoming Giro di Lombardia on Saturday would make no sense. "I have to be realistic," Boogerd said. "My knee hurts too much and I can’t bend it. It's no use."

The Giro di Lombardia should have been his last ProTour race before retirement, and the Dutchman was looking forward to it. "Now I say 'goodbye' with a twelfth spot at the Worlds in Stuttgart. That’s what I have to do with," he added.

But on Sunday, 'Boogie' is still planned to make a showing at his farewell criterium in the Netherlands - including his beloved Cauberg in Valkenburg. "I will be there! How, I have to see, but I’m for sure going to ride one lap," the Dutchman insisted. In the evening, he will be giving a huge party attended by 350 guests. Amongst the invited will be World Champion Paolo Bettini, the brothers Fränk and Andy Schleck as well as Leontien van Moorsel.

Dutch media report that Boogerd will add another Amstel Curaçao Race on the tropical island on November 3 to his last season before definitely stepping off the bike. The Dutchman has 53 victories on his palmarès as a pro, amongst them the Brabantse Pijl twice and the Amstel Gold Race in 1999. He was three times Dutch champion and rode the Tour de France 12 times, where he won two stages.

Two Russian U23 riders positive

Overall GP Tell winner Reshetnikov - surely not smiling now
Photo ©: Daniel Erismann
(Click for larger image)

Two young Russian riders have returned a positive doping test result and will receive a two-year suspension by the International Cycling Union (UCI) according to Russian Sports news agency All Sport. Anton Reshetnikov and Elena Kuchinskaya respectively used forbidden substances Carphedon and Furosemide, doping tests undertaken in July revealed. Still, the Russian Cycling Federation was advised of these results only in September, which left some time to the athletes to score results.

"At the beginning of September, our Federation got a letter from the UCI, in which they said that U23 riders Anton Reshetnikov and Elena Kuchinskaya had tested positive," said Russian Cycling Federation President Alexander Gusyatnikov. "The samples were taken in Italy on July, but we got the results only now. During this period of time, Kuchinskaya won the bronze medal at the Russian Championships, and Reshetnikov was the winner at the Grand Prix Wilhelm Tell in Switzerland in the end of August."

22 year-old Reshetnikov took part in the U23 World Championships in 2006 and the U23 European Championships in 2007. Kuchinskaya won the bronze medal in the U23 Russian Championships. This year she also took part in the female Giro d’Italia, where she was 33th.

Gusyatnikov deplored the "doping ignorance of our athletes," saying that at least Reshetnikov had no intention of increasing his performances when he took Carphedon. "The substances found in their organisms have nothing in common with cycling," he continued. "Especially it is a pity in the case of Reshetnikov. He fell down very seriously during the training camp in Adler, hurt his head and went to the local hospital to reduce the pain. The doctor didn't know he was an athlete, and gave him Fenotropil, which is Carphedon. The athlete felt better, but only until the first doping control."

The Russian federation will investigate the case, and try to reduce the suspension. But "to tell the truth there is not much chance for it. The standard suspension in such cases is two years," Gusyatnikov added.

Cycling tragedies lead to more awareness

The NSWIS/FRF team show their support for the Ben Mikic Foundation
Photo ©: Shane Goss
(Click for larger image)

Last year, two young Australian cycling hopes sadly passed away while out training on local roads. On April 27 this year, while riding with his good friend Alex Tomlinson, Ben Mikic, a talented 15 year-old cyclist from Mittagong, New South Wales, was killed after he was involved in a collision with a car. Ben's tragic accident came just four months after Scott Peoples was killed while training on the Maroondah highway in the Victorian town of Merton. 19 year-old Peoples had just capped off a great season with two stage wins in the Tour of the Southlands in New Zealand and seemed destined to become one of the next generation of Australians taking on the professional circuit in Europe.

To raise awareness as well as protect riders while out training, the Ben Mikic foundation is selling fluoro green reflective slap bands as well as silicon, glow in the dark wrist bands, many of which have been spotted on riders in the Herald Sun Tour. The bands are available through the Foundation's website.

After Peoples accident, a foundation was also set up in his honour, which is organising an event to commemorate the talented youngster this December. Scotty's race will start and end at the Queens garden in Shepparton, Victoria and will be open to all Men’s A, B and C grades as well as Open women. More information on the event can be found on the foundation's website at

New U23 squad in North Carolina

A new U23 Developmental team is forming on the East Coast of the United States. Based out of Wilmington, North Carolina, the Elite Endurance U23 developmental programme is seeking riders. The team will focus heavily on fielding a roster to the Nationals, along with a fairly intense racing schedule throughout the 2008 summer.

At the moment, the team is finalising its budget for next season but should be adding 7-10 riders to their current roster. Interested riders should be Cat. 1 or Cat. 2 riders with a desire to move up to the pro ranks. Category 3 riders who show exceptional talent may also be considered.

Any riders that feel they may fit into the goals of this team must send race resumes to

MACE looking for riders

The Northern Sydney Cycling Club's elite men’s racing team MACE, aimed at up and coming A grade riders looking at developing into the elite ranks, is currently looking for new recruits for the 2008 season. The Australian team will take part in key races next season, including (but not limited to) NSW Opens, Gunnedah, Mudgee, Tamworth Tour, Cootamundra and Kurrajong, as well as the National Road Series, Canberra Tour, Tour of Gippsland and/or Tour of Murray River, Muswellbrook, Grafton and Goulburn.

Committed A or A+ riders should contact NSCC Secretary Matt Garnon and send their riding resume and 2007 results to

Australian cycling loses stalwart of the sport

By Phill Bates

John Hardaker, one of the favourite sons of St George Cycling Club, the Sydney-based club that has produced countless champion cyclists, has passed away in his sleep while in Vietnam on holidays. The body of the 68 year-old is on his return to Australia.

Known to many people as 'Softie', Hardaker was a dominant force as a cyclist during the sixties and helped pilot St George to ten New South Wales teams pursuit titles and four road premierships, the last in 1973 when he was captain and coach of the team.

Hardaker was a great all-round cyclist, capable of winning road or track and was part of the successful NSW team that won the coveted Southcott Cup ­ National title in the teams pursuit in 1962. Hardaker also picked up a bagful of silver medals at national titles and in the tandem won three silvers with different partners, including Olympic Champion Lionel Cox, Alan Dutton and Malcolm McCredie.

One of the great facets of his cycling career was Hardaker's ability to read the race; he was one of the best tacticians in cycling in NSW and one of the unluckiest riders not to make the Australian team ­ in 1962 and 1964 ­ considered by many as an outstanding teams pursuit rider.

As a NSW madison cyclist in the sixties and early seventies he was without peer.

Hardaker's career spanned 15 years racing with and against some great champions of the late fifties and early sixties and then teaming with the likes of Gary Sutton to win titles as late as 1973.

Hardaker during his own career was a guiding light for St George cyclists taking over the reigns from National Coach Joe Buckley and going on to coach the Australian team at the Moscow Olympics. Even before he took the reigns as the St George coach he was assisting young riders claim medals at National titles.

Hardaker coached many cyclists to national and international prominence and Graham Seers, not unlike 'Softie' in racing style or ability, went on to represent at the Moscow Olympics and was grateful to the time and effort that Hardaker devoted to his career. They remained great friends for decades as did most people that had the pleasure of meeting John Hardaker.

Hardaker, during the past 12 years, had been assisting the UCI to develop cycling in third world countries requiring the need for coaching development and had been extremely successful.

Hardaker was awarded life membership with St George Cycle Club in 1974.

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