Latest Cycling News for October 22, 2007
Edited by Hedwig Kröner, with assistance of Susan Westemeyer
Mayo cleared after B sample comes back negative
Iban Mayo was informed by the Spanish Cycling Federation on Monday that the testing of his B sample from the Tour de France positive test on July 24 has come back negative. The Saunier Duval - Prodir rider was originally declared positive for the blood booster EPO from a sample taken on the Tour's second rest day, but has now been cleared for a return to racing.
According to AFP, the federation confirmed that there had been a mistake in the testing of Mayo's A sample, which was carried out at the Châtenay-Malabry anti-doping laboratory in Paris. The B sample was tested by a separate laboratory in the Belgian city of Gent, and was confirmed by another test done in Australia.
Speaking on Spanish radio station EFE, Mayo said: "During these months I have felt very bad. My professional career was a wreck, but everything has turned out as expected.
"I have not stopped training during this time, although I didn't feel good," he added "A lot of people gave me support to carry on."
Mayo had been temporarily suspended by his team, pending the outcome of the B sample, but is now expected to see out his contract. "I have signed [with Saunier Duval] until 2008 and I hope to finish with them," he said.
Saunier Duval manager Mauro Gianetti told Reuters that the team was yet to receive official confirmation from the UCI. "We have read stuff on the Internet and it seems that this has happened but it is too early to make any comment," he said.
Courtesy of Antonio J. Salmerón
Vasseur critical of Anti-Doping summit
Cédric Vasseur, the new president of the international association of professional cyclists, CPA, will be attending the international Anti-Doping summit called upon by French minister of Sports, Roselyne Bachelot, in Paris today and tomorrow. The meetings will see representatives of the UCI, WADA, team managers as well as some active riders unite to discuss the latest proposals in the fight against illicit performance-enhancing methods, such as the 'biological passport'.
But former pro Vasseur is not convinced that the summit will provide solutions to the problem, and criticised the fact that the riders weren't represented at the talks at all. "The riders who are invited [David Millar, Thomas Voeckler, Jérôme Pineau - ed.] are there only on a personal basis," Vasseur told AFP. "The riders do not have a representative talking at the round tables. I will be listening to what will be said and inform the riders of it. But I'm annoyed by the fact that it's only about cycling."
The 37 year-old was also wary as the confidentiality of the data produced for the biological passport, which the UCI wants to implement as soon as January 2008. "This subject was invoked without being discussed with the riders," he continued. "This passport can serve as a tool to combat doping, but it shouldn't be used by the media. It should remain the business of the doctors, the UCI and WADA. The medical parameters are confidential. We have seen that anonymous data has been revealed to the public. The Anti-Doping instances have shown that they are not afraid to exclude and sanction - you can't say that they don't fight [doping]."
An increase in the amount of doping controls would not save cycling, either, Vasseur commented. "Quantity does not necessarily mean quality," he said. "Of course there have to be controls, but it shouldn't come down to harassment. In between sending schedules to the team and the other instances, the repetition of controls, the rider has less and less time to focus on the next competition. But just like the team directors, the riders are willing to prove their good faith."
The Anti-Doping summit will consist of four round table meetings in two days. On Monday, the current state of the fight against doping as well as detection methods will be evoked. On Tuesday, discussion topics will include Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE's), the role of team doctors and the possible creation of referee doctors who would control the drug prescriptions of their colleagues during races.
The fourth and last of the round tables will consider the implemetation of experimental measures in 2008, and will sit down Bachelot, as well as UCI president Pat McQuaid, WADA president Richard Pound and Tour de France organiser ASO president Patrice Clerc. The next Tour de France is rumoured to serve as a test run for the application of these measures.
Rasmussen report expected mid-November
After ejecting Michael Rasmussen out of its Tour de France roster while he was wearing the Maillot Jaune, Dutch team Rabobank had announced a full internal investigation of the whereabouts of the rider in June, reason for which the Dane could not pursue on the road to a possible final Tour de France victory. Now, three months later, the report has arrived at a Rabobank consulting council and is expected to be published by mid-November.
"I won't say anything until the report is public," said Rasmussen to Dutch media as he was in the Netherlands last week to appear at the Bike Motion trade show in Utrecht, as well as his team-mate Michael Boogerd's farewell party in Valkenburg on Sunday evening. "I understand that Peter Vogelzang [chairman of the commission - ed.] is still on vacation, which is why we must wait. Of course the tension rises because of this. I don't know what will come out of it, either, as this matter is not in my hands."
Meanwhile, the 33 year-old Dane enjoyed his promotional work at the trade show, responding to a huge fan crowd wanting to take pictures and autographs. "It does me good that there were so many people," said Rasmussen, who maintains that the Tour de France overall victory was stolen from him. He was also happy to attend Boogerd's farewell party. "It was very nice to see everyone again, especially on such a unique occasion," he added.
Soler to be honoured
Mauricio Soler of Team Barloworld will be honoured this week for his successes this season, and will be a guest of honour at the presentation of the Tour de France route on Thursday in Paris. The Colombian rider scored the mountain stage to Briançon in this year's Tour and won the overall polka-dot jersey for best climber.
He followed up his success at the Tour by winning the Vuelta a Burgos. However, in late August he crashed in the Coppa Agostini. Fears that he had broken his elbow proved to be false, but Soler had to have surgery to rebuild the cartilage in his right wrist on top of also having knee problems.
Following the wrist surgery, he returned home to Colombia for convalescence, but has since returned to Europe. On Saturday he had minor nasal surgery.
This evening, the Colombian climber will be at the Gran Gala Ciclisto Internazionale in Coneglianio, Italy, to receive an award for his successes this season.
In addition, it was announced that Soler would participate in the Pick 'n' Pay 94.7 Cycle Challenge in November, a race in South Africa which raises money for charity.
10,000 bid farewell to Boogerd
About 10,000 people turned out Sunday to say goodbye to Michael Boogerd at his farewell race at the Cauberg in Valkenburg, the Netherlands. The race was won by the duo of Thomas Dekker and Alex Zülle, but the star of the show was the 35 year-old Dutchman, who turned pro in 1994 and has raced with Team Rabobank since 1996.
Boogerd had been scheduled to ride the Giro di Lombardia on Saturday, but a training crash the previous week lead to an infected knee, putting an end to that plan, and nearly preventing him from riding in his own farewell race. However, he paired with his brother Rini and rode the four laps of the course in a race designed as a two-rider team criterium. Other pairs included Rick Flens and Leontien van Moorsel, as well as Pieter Weening and Frans Maassen. Boogerd's parents fired the shot to start the race.
The Dutchman was honoured after the event with various gifts and a plaque from the municipality of Valkenburg. "I could have ridden this in a convertible or on a tandem bike, but I really enjoyed it on the bike," he noted in this speech of thanks.
"Beforehand I was afraid that not many people would come," he said. "I am happy and grateful that I have been able to do this. It did not even go badly with my knee. We had a lot of fun underway, and the Cauberg is very special. It just breathes cycling."
Also read our hommage feature on Michael Boogerd, Bye bye Boogie.
Baguet a DS at Belgian Conti team?
Serge Baguet retired from racing in September at the age of 38, but the former Quick.Step-Innergetic rider may not be leaving cycling entirely. Baguet may become the second Directeur Sportif at Mitsubishi-Jartazi, a Belgian Continental team, reports Sporza.
The team manager at the team is Jef Braeckevelt, who previously worked with Baguet at Lotto. "The position of second DS is not a full-time job," Braeckevelt noted. "But because we very often ride a double programme, he would be very welcome."
Baguet's last race was the Grote Prijs Briek Schotte. He rode for Team Lotto from 1991 to 1995, and for Vlaanderen 2002 in 1996. He did not compete from 1997 to 1999, but returned to Lotto in 2000, where Braeckevelt gave him a second chance. He joined Quick.Step this season.
Six Day season opens in Amsterdam
The road racing season is virtually over, but that only means that the season of Six Day track races has begun. It kicks off Tuesday in the Netherlands, with the Six Days of Amsterdam, from October 22-27.
The race will see Erik Zabel make his debut in a Six Day race outside of Germany. The Milram rider won three Six Days last year and has good chances in Amsterdam, as he will partner with defending champion Peter Schep. The Dutchman is also 2006 World points champion.
Schep's partner last year was Danny Stam, who this year will ride with Robert Slippens. The race is a family affair, too, as it features brothers Matthe and Jos Pronk. They won't be riding together, though, as Jos will be partnering with his nephew, road racer Bas Giling, who is making his Six Day debut.
Other pairs include Bruno Risi and Franco Marvulli, Iljo Keisse and Robert Bartko, Niki Terpstra and Jens Mouris, Andreas Beikirch and Leif Lampater, Joan Llaneras and Carlos Torrent, Matthé Pronk and Marc Hester, Aart Vierhouten and Kenny van Hummel, Bobbie Traksel and Hans Dekkers, and Kenny De Ketele and Wim Stroetinga. It is the first Six Day also for Traksel and Dekkers.
In addition, the sprint will be ridden by Theo Bos, Teun Mulder, Tim Veldt, Patrick Bos, Youndi Schmidt and Jaime van der Lugt.
Brisbane's spinal unit patients try hand cycling
Patients in the Spinal Unit at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, Australia, will get the opportunity to try Hand cycling on Wednesday, October 24 at the velodrome at the Sleeman Sports Centre, Chandler. The initiative, between the PA Hospital, Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association and Cycling Queensland will allow patients with spinal injuries to get out in the Queensland sunshine and meet local confirmed Hand cyclists. The initiative is intended to encourage the patients to try the sport and hopefully take it up in the future.
Hand cycling is for athletes who normally require a wheelchair for general mobility or athletes who cannot use a conventional bicycle or tricycle. They are categorized based upon the placement of their break, in either A, B or C classifications.
Queensland is hosting its first State Hand cycling Championships in 2007, and is only the third State in Australia to embark on a State Championship event for Hand cyclists in a bid to increase competitive opportunities for athletes with a disability and increase the profile of Hand cycling as a sport. In South East Queensland, a current SEQ Racing Tour is held for hand cyclists between April and September.
The Spinal Unit visit to the Chandler Velodrome will be held from 1.30-3pm. For more information, please contact Alex Bright at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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