First Edition Cycling News for September 27, 2007
Edited by Sue George
Kupfernagel adds to her collection of world titles
Armstrong and Soeder round out podium
After a break from racing in the world championships, the 33 year-old Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) took an emotional victory on home turf in the elite women's time trial on Wednesday.
"The course was good for me and it just went very well. I still can't believe it," said Kupfernagel. "I didn't participate at Worlds in four years. I have always done the 'cross Worlds."
"People always looked down on 'cross, so winning the title on the road is really the top thing," she said, happy with her win. "I want to thank my parents, who have given me all the genes, from which I am now profiting. Tonight we'll celebrate with a glass of champagne or maybe a few. [My partner] Mike just had his birthday yesterday, so it was the best possible belated birthday present."
Meanwhile, defending champion Armstrong had to settle for second. Notably, it was her third consecutive world championship medal in the elite women's time trial. Armstrong won bronze in Madrid two years ago and gold in Austria last year. On a hilly and technical 25km course, Armstrong finished 23.47 seconds off the pace of Kupfernagel's winning time of 34 minutes, 43.79 seconds.
"After having the world championship jersey, getting second place isn't easy," said Armstrong. "It was a difficult day and it's hard to be world champion every year. Yesterday I told my team-mates the strongest girl will win today because of the technical part and the flats. There wasn't any time to rest during the course. I knew Hanka was a dark horse coming in because she doesn't typically race with us all year, but I knew she was a strong girl."
With her third career world championship medal, Armstrong becomes one of only two Americans to win three or more world championship medals on the road, joining Greg LeMond who captured four road race medals in his career (gold in 1983 and '89 and silver in '82 and '85). Armstrong's performance also qualified her for an automatic berth on the 2008 US Olympic Team.
"I'm looking forward to going for it (world championship) again next year and also in Beijing" (at the Olympic Games), said Armstrong. "I've defended my national title for three years now and have been on the podium of the world championships for the last three years. As long as I'm healthy and injury-free, I feel pretty good about my shot."
Her team-mates also did well, with Amber Neben and Christine Thornburn placing fourth and fifth respectively.
Christiane Soeder, who raced for Austria, but was born in Germany, took the bronze medal. "It was a big surprise for me," she admitted, happy with her performance. "It is true that I had good results before, but I did not expect something so good in the world championship."
In the under 23 men's time trial, also held Wednesday, Lars Boom of the Netherlands took the gold medal after a hard-fought two-man duel with Russia's Mikhail Ignatiev. Boom is also the reigning U23 World Cyclo-cross champion.
Valverde thankful for favorable decision
By Antonio J. Salmerón
"The cyclists are being used in a war of interests between organizations. It is the time to defend those who love cycling. It is necessary to do it in a non-discriminatory way," Alejandro Valverde to press agency EFE on Wednesday evening after learning that CAS would allow him to be on the start line for the men's road ride in Stuttgart on Sunday. The Spaniard declined to indicate what he would like to say to UCI President Pat McQuaid face to face. Instead he said, "I reserve that for me."
In Valverde's opinion, CAS' decision was "very important for me because it would not have been good to not let me race."
"I think that, in my case, they have excelled, a reason why I am not going to say anything on the matter. I have always tried to be respectful and disciplined," said Valverde after admitting he was "uncertain" of the CAS outcome beforehand. "Although I was calm, I did not know what was going to happen."
"I think that the cycling must make a move to avoid having others go through what I have lived," said Valverde who added that he did not give up on his specific training for the worlds. Valverde had wanted to race the Vuelta a España and support Unipublic, an organization he said respected him, but he said it was better for him to prepare specifically for worlds.
"Honestly, due to the circumstances of the last few days, I am somewhat affected and off-center. But I want to do as well as possible and am thankful for the support given by my national team-mates and by the national selector, Paco Antequera, who never doubted on my presence."
Likewise with the support of my family, I also want to thank my representatives and advisers for their advice as well as the magnificent work of the CSD, the RFEC and the team. In these last days, the work of my lawyers and the Federation has been brutal, and without them, I could not travel tomorrow to Germany," finished Valverde.
Lissavetzky satisfied with CAS decision
By Antonio J. Salmerón
The Spanish Secretary for the Sport, Jaime Lissavetzky, expressed his "satisfaction" after knowing the decision made by CAS, which favored Alejandro Valverde's participation in worlds.
"The outcome of CAS is a very good news for Valverde and for the national cycling team," Lissavetzky said in an official press note. "I celebrate that a sport and an independent court decide in favor of the position defended by the Spanish Federation and by the Spanish Superior Council."
According to Lissavetzky, "This resolution goes beyond a personal situation, a conflict with the Spanish Federation [and the UCI], and proves it is always necessary to safeguard the presumption of innocence. But we can't be ingenuous and think that the problems of the cycling are resolved."
"It is a good moment for reflection, and I continue thinking that the unification of criteria is necessary and that agreements between the different groups that take part in this sport would create a framework for clarifying the [sport's] management and competition," said Lissavetzky.
UCI says yes to Davis and Andrle
The UCI announced Wednesday evening that Australian Allan Davis and the Czech Rene Andrle could participate in the World Championships in Stuttgart according to the AFP. Both riders are in similar situations to Spaniard Alejandro Valverde; their names have been linked to the Operacion Puerto which broke in May of 2006, but both riders remain innocent until proven guilty.
The UCI made its decision for "reasons of equity" after CAS ruled in Valverde's favor Wednesday afternoon.
Did Bettini provide testosterone gel to Sinkewitz?
Patrik Sinkewitz has allegedly said that Paolo Bettini and Davide Bramati provided him with testosterone gel when all three rode for Mapei/Quick.Step. In response, German TV threatened to pull the plug once again on cycling broadcasts, while Sinkewitz' attorney denied the statement.
The German television sender ZDF reported that Sinkewitz said under questioning, "I had Italian riders, who took care ... of this testosterone gel. I could name names, too, Bramati and Bettini." The three rode together on the teams Mapei and Quick.Step before Sinkewitz joined T-Mobile in 2005.
The German cyclist tested positive for testosterone in an out-of-competition control in June. At the end of July he confessed that he had used a testosterone plaster. He is cooperating with the investigators in hopes of getting a reduced suspension.
The ZDF, which is broadcasting the World Championships, has threatened to stop the broadcasts, just as it did this summer with the Tour de Franc when the Sinkewitz positive was announced. "If this dubious occurrence is not totally cleared up, then we will keep all of our options open," said ZDF chief editor Nikolaus Brender. "That includes stopping the broadcasts."
Sinkewitz' attorney, Michael Lehner, denied the authenticity of the quote. "My client has never said anything like that," he told the sid press agency.
Stuttgart threatens to sue UCI
The city of Stuttgart has threatened to sue the UCI if Danilo Di Luca and Paolo Bettini start in Sunday's World Championship road race. Di Luca is allegedly on the verge of being suspended on doping-related charges, and Bettini has still not signed the UCI code of ethics, the city said.
A spokesman for the city told the dpa press agency that it feared the loss of sponsors and television coverage, saying the damages could be as high as one million Euros.
UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani has said that Bettini's signature is not necessary for him to start. however, Susanne Eisenmann, the Championships organizer and the city's chief of sports, has said that the city does not want him to start. Bettini's attorney told the dpa that his client had signed a document acceptable to the UCI on July 10.
CONI, the Italian Olympic Committee, is said to be ready to suspend Di Luca for three months for working with the "doping doctor" Carlo Santuccione.
Coppel proves himself as the next French hope
By Jean-François Quénet in Stuttgart
France's Jérôme Coppel claimed the bronze medal at the U23 men's individual time trial world championship in Stuttgart, Germany, on Wednesday just as he did last year in Salzburg. The Frenchman walked away with no regrets.
"45 seconds between myself and the winner (Lars Boom) is not something that requires a photo-finish," Coppel said. "The gap is quite big. I said I would have signed up for whatever position on the podium prior to the start, so I'm happy with the bronze medal.
"I was afraid of blowing up, so I didn't start too strongly," said Coppel. "But the two strongest riders have taken the two first spots. I knew them from last year; they are both used to taking part in professional races, therefore they have more power than I do."
Coppel will join the pro ranks next year. He signed a two-year contract with Française des Jeux during the Tour de l'Avenir where he was the favorite for the time trial although he crashed in the last curve. The reigning French champion for U23 in both the time trial and road race also won the UCI 2.2 Circuit des Ardennes in April prior to being forced to a stop because of an injury.
"I will start from scratch again," he said. "As soon as I turn pro, everything I've achieved before will not count anymore. For the first year of my career, I'll just try and learn my job. I hope to become a more complete rider. Within three or four years I want to be able to win one-week long stage races."
Coppel firmly believes that a young rider like him should be afraid of becoming a pro. "You find cheats only when you look for them," he stated. "I don't think cycling is more affected by drugs than other sport. I'm not afraid." He added he's happy to join FDJ who is known for its strong anti-doping policy.
"I've chosen the team," he said. "They have an excellent team spirit. They were the first ones to contact me before I got my first results." For the past two years, Coppel was a member of the foundation of Française des Jeux which backs young athletes from different Olympic sports as long as they continue their studies.
Coppel might be just be France's next elite champion.
Spanish racers challenged by time trial
By Monika Prell in Stuttgart
The Spanish contingent began competition at the World championships with mixed results. The best rider proved to be Rafael Serrano, who finished 17th in the Under 23 time trial, at one minute and 59 seconds behind winner Lars Boom from The Netherlands.
The 20 year-old Serrano was happy when he talked to Cyclingnews. "This is my first Under 23 World championship; I already rode the junior championships. I went well (today); it was a very great experience. I liked the [course] profile; there was a technical and a power part."
His team-mate Sergio Domínguez, who finished 59th, at five minutes 20 seconds behind Boom, commented after the race, "I went well in my first World Championships, even if the profile was very hard. Mainly the second lap was very hard for me. The last three kilometers consisted only of a big ascent. Now I am happy because this was the last race of this season for me, and I will benefit from my holidays."
On the women's side Marta Vila took 24th at two minutes and 35 seconds behind winner Hanka Kupfernagel. "Those were my third World championships, and I did a lot better than in the other ones, because I was very young in the first ones," said Vila. "I liked the profile; the second part was very hard, mainly the last two kilometers... . I am very content. I will ride the race on Saturday, and then my season is finished. I am very tired."
Maribel Moreno was not so happy with her performance. "My race was not my best. The profile was too easy; weightier riders are privileged. I needed more mountains to win, because my strength is climbing."
Both women will ride the road race on Saturday. Tomorrow, José Iván Gutiérrez and Luis León Sánchez will get a second chance to put Spain on the podium when they race the elite men's time trial.
WADA makes 2008 Prohibited List available
Following its approval by WADA's Executive Committee on September 22, the 2008 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods is now available. This list will go into effect January 1, 2008. It can be viewed at www.wada-ama.org/rtecontent/document/2008_List_En.pdf.
Most of the changes relate to terminology applied throughout WADA's procedures. However, added to the list of prohibited substances are selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs), a novel family of nonsteroidal molecules. WADA wrote in their summary that "Therapeutic SARMs are currently being developed for the treatment of muscle wasting diseases and androgen replacement therapies. Based upon their mechanisms of action and early clinical results in humans, these compounds have the potential to be used as doping substances."
Giro to announce 2008 route details in December
Giro d'Italia organizers announced Tuesday that they will unveil the complete route for the 2008 edition of the race on December 1 according to the Canadian Press. The three-week, 21-stage race is scheduled to begin in Palermo, Sicily May 10 and finish in Milan.
Italian Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas) won the 2007 edition ahead of Andy Schleck (Team CSC) of Luxembourg and Eddy Mazzoleni (Astana) of Italy.
Senac goes pro with AG2R Prévoyance
Jean-Charles Senac signed his first professional contract for two years with the ProTour team AG2R Prévoyance. Senac now rides for the Chambéry Cyclisme Formation (CCF). The 22 year-old is the third rider from the CCF to turn pro, after Blaise Sonnery and Alexandre Pliuschin.
Senac is the amateur vice champion of France and the espoir champion of the Rhône-Alpes. In 2007, he also finished third in the GP d'Ancelle, fifth in the Tour des Pays de Savoie, and eighth in the Tour des Flandres and La Ronde de l'Isard. In 2006, he won the Tour of Jura, the Tour de Savoie, and the GP d'Ancelle.
Racers wanted in Northern California
Sterling Sports Group announced the formation of a regional elite cycling team for 2008. The squad, who his soliciting resumes for its roster, will ride a comprehensive regional schedule with several national and NRC events including Cascade Classic, Tour De Nez, The USA Crits series and the Elkhorn Classic Stage Race.
The program will provide equipment, travel and coaching support for riders who excel at the regional and national level. Category 1 riders or Category 2 riders with substantial points toward their upgrade are invited to apply. Send a race resume and goals to email@example.com by October 1. Preferences will be giving to qualified riders in the U23 and U26 age groups and to qualified Masters ready to mentor the next generation.
Initially selected riders will be invited to attend a training camp October 27-28. Based on testing, interviews, and ride performance, a final roster will be selected. Applications will be reviewed and camp invitation sent by October 8.
Noosa adds women's Grand Prix event
The 2007 Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival scheduled for October 31 to November 4 in Queensland, Australia, has added a women's Grand Prix cycling event to its calendar. Women will race 30 minutes plus three laps in an event on the afternoon of Saturday, November 3. The winner will take home AUS$2,200.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2007)