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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News for October 19, 2007

Edited by Laura Weislo

UCI to remove Di Luca from ProTour standings

Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

The UCI will remove Italian Danilo Di Luca from its ProTour standings, the organisation announced today. Di Luca has led the series since taking the overall classification of the Giro d'Italia, but his luck turned when he was first excluded from the World Championships and then sanctioned by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), who gave the 31 year-old a three month suspension which began on October 16 for his involvement in the "Oil for Drugs" scandal.

The UCI issued a statement on Thursday announcing that Di Luca was "excluded from the UCI ProTour ranking in accordance to the article of the UCI regulations." That rule states that any suspended rider will be excluded from the classification if the suspension lasts "until the last event counting for the ranking". Because Di Luca was suspended just prior to the final ProTour race, the Giro di Lombardia, he will lose the entire series.

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His removal puts Australian Cadel Evans in the white ProTour leader's jersey for the final event in Italy. Alberto Contador moves up to second place, but will not ride the Giro di Lombardia. Therefore, Evans can hold off third placed Alejandro Valverde and fourth placed Oscar Freire and win the overall series if he gets at least 7th place.

Saiz pledges to return

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Manolo Saiz in 2006
Photo ©: Hedwig Kröner
(Click for larger image)

To some, the name Manolo Saiz conjures up vivid images of cycling's biggest doping investigation, Operación Puerto, but to others it conjures up years of successful management of the Spanish teams ONCE and Liberty Seguros. After a long history of leading riders such as Laurent Jalabert, Abraham Olano and Miguel Indurain, Saiz' career hit a major snag when he was arrested along with Eufemiano Fuentes and two others after a police raided Fuentes' Madrid clinic and came up with hundreds of bags of blood, doping products and performance enhancing drugs.

But despite the scandal Saiz still plans to find his way back into the sport. Speaking publicly for the first time since his arrest in May, 2006, Saiz vowed to return. "I'm taking a break and dedicating myself to my (hotel) businesses," he told Cyclingnews, "but one day I will return to cycling and will do it with the same enthusiasm as before."

His case is still in appeal, so Saiz couldn't comment on the case, preferring to stay silent and let the lawyers sort it out. "I have said to my lawyers that, at the moment, I just feel like being with my family and with my closest friends, and leaves in their hands all judicial matters; I do not want to know anything more, unless something new happens. My lawyers will not allow me to talk, but when I do, many of those who walk around so happy will be silenced," Saiz said ominously.

He did object to the way the riders were treated during Operación Puerto. "In cycling, all is seen in a bad light. If people knew the suffering that a cyclist has to endure, the riders wouldn't be treated in such a way," Saiz said. "With cyclists, no one respects their constitutional rights."

Saiz assured that despite being out of the sport, he has been following his protégés from the Liberty and Astana team closely. "I am very satisfied with Alberto Contador - the winner of the 2007 Tour, Luis Leon Sanchez -third in the Paris-Nice, José Joaquin Rojas, Carlos Barredo, José Antonio Redondo ... because they are also my friends.

"They are the 80 percent of the immediate future of Spanish cycling. They are also a great example that we were working correctly with them, but there are always those who will say otherwise." The 48 year-old did not want to comment on the issues facing the riders caught up in the scandal along with him, "because now they are not under my supervision, and therefore it is not for me to make assessments."

Llaneras to race Amsterdam six-day, but not Gent

Juan Llaneras
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
Click for larger image

The six-day season gets off to a strong start this year in Amsterdam - moving the Dutch race back into the position of season opener that it has held for several years with the move of the Maastricht six-day to December. Former Madison World Champion Juan Llaneras will enter his first six-day since the death of his long-time partner Isaac Gálvez at the six-day in Gent last November, but out of respect for his fallen partner, will skip this year's Gent six-day.

Llaneras will partner with another Spaniard, Carlos Torrent. Also marking a return to six-day racing is Robert Slippens, who will be back with his partner Danny Stam after sitting out last season due to injuries.

Reigning Madison World Champions Bruno Risi and Franco Marvulli will have strong competition from Erik Zabel, who will head to Amsterdam to pair with hometown favourite Peter Schep, and the pairing of another German, multiple World pursuit champion Robert Bartko and Belgian Iljo Keisse.

Teams for the Amsterdam six-day: Bruno Risi / Franco Marvulli, Robert Slippens / Danny Stam, Peter Schep / Erik Zabel, Iljo Keisse / Robert Bartko, Niki Terpstra / Jens Mouris, Andreas Beikirch / Leif Lampater, Jos Pronk / Bas Giling, Juan Llaneras / Carlos Torrent, Mathe Pronk / Marc Hester, Aart Vierhouten / Kenny van Hummel, Bobbie Traksel / Hans Dekkers, Kenny de Ketele / Wim Stroetinga.

2007-2008 Six-day calendar:

October 22-27, 2007 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Octoberr 25-30, 2007 - Grenoble, France
November 1-6, 2007 - Dortmund, Germany
November 8-13, 2007 - Munich, Germany
November 20-25, 2007 - Gent, Belgium
December 17-22, 2007 - Maastricht, Netherlands
December 27-January 1, 2008 - Zürich, Switzerland
January 3-8, 2008 - Rotterdam, Netherlands
January 10-15, 2008 - Bremen, Germany
January 17-22, 2008 - Stuttgart, Germany
January 24-29, 2008 - Berlin, Germany
January 31-February 5, 2008 - Copenhagen, Denmark
February 7-12, 2008 - Hasselt, Belgium

Gent six-day lures top teams

The view from the stands in Gent
Photo ©: Emory Ball
Click for larger image

The Gent six-day promises to have an even stronger field for the 67th edition of the race on 'Het Kuipke', the historic velodrome in the city's Citadel park. World pursuit champion Bradley Wiggins will pair with his future T-Mobile team-mate Mark Cavendish, while last year's pairing of Iljo Keisse and Robert Bartko will continue this year. World Madison Champions Bruno Risi and Franco Marvulli will also appear, while the rest of the teams are yet to be announced.

More than 40,000 spectators are expected to flood the velodrome in Gent for one of the oldest six-days to see their favourite cycling stars as well as musical entertainment from the pop group Reborn and "the voice of Europe", Eddy Wally. Organiser Patrick Sercu vows that the event will memorialise Isaac Gálvez, who perished in the race after crashing into the railing on the penultimate night, but his death will not be the main theme of the event. "It was a fatal misfortune. But the Gent six-day remains a sports competition, a place for for celebration and socializing."

The six-days may be a place for celebration by the fans, but the racers will take this year's competition seriously, as the UCI sanctioned events qualify for points, along with World Cups and World Championships, toward Olympic berths for Beijing.

Liquigas, Milram for Lombardy

As the day draws near for the final ProTour race of the year, the teams are finalizing their rosters. Liquigas and Milram have announced teams of eight to contest the "race of the falling leaves". For Liquigas, Leonardo Bertagnolli and Filippo Pozzato will lead the final Classic of the season along with Vincenzo Nibali, Manuel Quinziato, Manuel Beltrán, Dario Cataldo, Matej Mugerli and Alessandro Vanotti, with Stefano Zanatta and Mario Scirea in the team car.

"In spite of the long and difficult season, last week in Tours we gave signs of a good condition," said manager Zanatta. "I expect the race to be very exciting also for the characteristics of the race route. We want a great finale of a season full of successes, also to make a present to Danilo Di Luca who will not have the possibility to defend his leadership in the ProTour final ranking."

Milram will close the season out without its two sprint aces, Alessandro Petacchi and Erik Zabel, and instead count on Mirko Celestino to lead the team of Sergio Ghisalberti, Andrey Grivko, Alberto Ongarato, Fabio Sabatini, Carlo Scognamiglio, Marco Velo and Matej Jurco. Sport directors: Vittorio Algeri and Antonio Bevilacqua.

Abbott to T-Mobile

Abbott in the climber's jersey
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
Click for larger image

The T-Mobile women's professional team has chosen US National Champion Mara Abbott to join its squad for 2008. The team announced a team of 13 riders on Thursday, keeping ten members from this year's squad and adding Abbott and two German riders, German Road Champion Luise Keller and young rider Madeleine Sandig.

The rest of the team is the same with the exception of Dutch rider Susanne de Goede, who was not listed.

The T-Mobile team had a successful 2007 season, thanks to Judith Arndt's trio of stage wins in the Giro d'Italia Femminile and overall victory in the Thuringen-Rundfahrt as well as a World Cup win in Sweden by Chantal Beltman. Overall, the team racked up total of 31 victories and finished ranked number one on the UCI rankings.

Team director Anna Wilson gave a clue about the team's ambitions for next season. "We will be aiming to win the early World Cups of the season and maintain our status as the number one team in the world. That is a huge feather in our cap and one that we are very proud of as we place teamwork as the most important pillar of the team."

Other changes include the addition of a second team director in Ronny Lauke, who is coming from the men's Wiesenhof continental team. Kristy Scrymgeour will continue to manage the team, and Petra Rossner will stay on as the coach.

Full roster: Mara Abbott (USA), Kim Anderson (USA), Judith Arndt (Germany), Kate Bates (Australia), Chantal Beltman (Netherlands), Luise Keller (Germany), Emilia Fahlin (Sweden), Alex Rhodes (Australia), Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Germany), Madeleine Sandig (Germany), Linda Villumsen (Denmark), Anke Wichmann (Germany), Oenone Wood (Australia).

Spilak to Lampre-Fondital

Slovenian Simon Spilak has signed to the Lampre-Fondital team for 2008. The 21 year-old rider has been on the professional Slovenian team Adria Mobil, and took a bronze medal in the Verona 2004 Junior World Championship. Milan Erzen, the Adria Mobil general manager, told Lampre manager Giuseppe Saronni about Spilak's talents, which brought him the Porec Trophy (2006), Cote Picarde (2007) and a 4th place in Tour de l'Avenir 2007.

"Being in Lampre-Fondital is a big joy," Spilak explained after signing his two year contract. "I will work hard in order to support the team. Waiting for the first training camp, I will begin to study Italian language."

US adds six to talent pool for Beijing

Six more athletes placed themselves in a position to be selected for the US Olympic team at the Elite Track National Championships this month. USA Cycling announced the list of riders who have made the 2008 'USA Cycling Track Talent Pool' on Thursday, naming 17 riders who have become eligible to represent the United States at major international competitions throughout the 2007-08 season, including the Olympic Games in Beijing next summer.

The youngest rider on the list is the men's individual pursuit champion, 17-year-old Taylor Phinney who made the time standard in his qualifying round before going on to win the event. The event was Phinney's first major track competition, however, he won the Junior World Championship in the time trial earlier this summer.

Another newcomer to the discipline of track cycling, Dotsie Bausch, qualified in her third ever competitive track race. Bausch won a national title in the women's individual pursuit, clocking a time of 3:44.35 in her qualifying round to eclipse the automatic time standard of 3:49.12.

Joining Phinney in the men's endurance category is Bobby Lea, who gained entry as part of the winning Madison team at the national championships. Lea won a national title while paired with Colby Pearce, who had already qualified.

Adam Duvendeck and Giddeon Massie made the cut as sprinters. Duvendeck clocked a time of 10.59 seconds to equal the 10.59-second automatic time standard, while Massie was named to the Talent Pool after capturing a national title in the men's keirin.

Liz Reap was the sole female addition to the sprinter's pool, her 35.947 in the 500-meter time trial surpassed the automatic time standard 35.98.

Men's Endurance: Michael Friedma, Brad Huff, Bobby Lea, Colby Pearce, Taylor Phinney
Men's Sprint: Ben Barczewski, Michael Blatchford, Adam Duvendeck, Giddeon Massie
Women's Endurance: Kristin Armstrong, Sarah Hammer, Dotsie Bausch, Becky Quinn, Christen King, Lauren Franges
Women's Sprint: Jennie Reed, Liz Reap

Athletes will have their final opportunity to make the talent pool on December 11-12 in a USA Cycling Talent Pool Qualifier at the ADT Event Center in Carson, California..

Revolution 17 promises a spectacle

The Manchester track series, "Revolution", opens Saturday night, marking the start of international racing at the Manchester Velodrome in what will be a crucial track season building towards the Manchester World Championships and ultimately the Beijing Olympics next year.

For the British riders their goal will be Olympic selection and Revolution will provide important opportunities to impress the British Cycling management as well sizing up potential rivals. Likewise other nations are increasingly using Revolution for their own preparation with squads from USA and Ireland lined up for the first event on October 20th and more to follow through the season.

The Americans and Irish riders will certainly have their work cut out with an impressive line up including Mark Cavendish, Magnus Backstedt, Francesco Chicchi, Rob Hayles, Chris Newton and Team Pursuit World Champions Geraint Thomas and Ed Clancy. Chicchi hits the track off the back of a podium finish at Paris Tour last weekend so it will be interesting to see who will dominate the sprints especially with Cavendish back on the track for the first time this year.

Also in the line up is experienced German six-day specialist Stefan Steinweg. Steinweg was Olympic team pursuit champion back in 1992 and since then has notched up three world titles, ten World Cup titles and ten German national champion titles making him the most decorated rider on the start sheet.

On the sprint side we can expect plenty of rivalries and not just with the international challengers. With only three places up for grabs in the team sprint for the Olympics Jamie Staff, Craig MacLean and Jason Kenny will all be looking to get the upper hand early in the season. They will take on American Michael Blatchford, Spanish powerhouses Jose Antonio Escuredo and Itmar Esteban and British Junior World champions Dave Daniell, Christian Lyte and Pete Mitchell.

With three elite women's endurance events and the start of the DHL Future Stars Revolution returns with more riders, more races and more action than ever before. For a full rider list and race programme and to buy tickets go to Tickets will also be on sale on the door.

Auction for Braveheart fund to benefit Scottish cycling

Scottish cycling stands to get a substantial financial boost from an online auction to benefit the Braveheart Fund. Items will include a Discovery Channel jersey signed by the 2007 Tour de France team, including winner Alberto Contador; the pink Giro d'Italia winner's jersey, signed by 2007 champion Danilo Di Luca; a T-Mobile jersey signed by the entire German squad, including British star Mark Cavendish – and other items to be auctioned on the organisation's website.

In its fifth year, the Braveheart Fund has raised more than £80,000 and supported more than 40 young Scottish cyclists. More information about the auction can be found at

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