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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News, April 9, 2008

Edited by Greg Johnson & Paul Verkuylen

Trek and LeMond at loggerheads

Court interpretations will rule on who discredited whom

Lance Armstrong and Trek CEO John Burke launch the company's
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

One of cycling's more uncomfortable business relationships, that of Greg LeMond and the Trek Bicycle Corporation, has seemingly been irreparably damaged following the announcement by Trek that it is seeking to immediately sever its relationship with the three-time winner of the Tour de France.

Since 1995, Trek has licensed the 'LeMond' brand and produced a range of bicycles carrying the name. The brand enjoyed spectacular growth in its early years and was always proudly promoted as a key Trek brand. However, at a staff meeting on April 8, 2008, Trek CEO John Burke announced that Trek had filed a suit in the Federal Court in Madison, Wisconsin, alleging breach of contract by LeMond.

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The Trek action is a response to a summons that was issued to Trek HQ on March 20, 2008, by LeMond's law firm, in the State of Minnesota. LeMond is asking for that court to rule that his company is not in breach of its agreement with Trek, and in fact, Trek is in breach of its agreement. LeMond is also seeking an injunction requiring Trek to uphold the licensing agreement, and that LeMond is seeking damages from Trek for the alleged breach of contract.

Interestingly, LeMond did not make this summons publicly available - that has been done by Trek on its own website.

The LeMond summons includes allegations that Trek didn't market and support his brand of bicycles within the terms outlined in their licensing agreement.

The Armstrong connection

Further, the summons references Trek's reactions to LeMond's public statements about alleged doping practices in cycling in general, as well as well as his comments about Lance Armstrong's relationship with the disgraced Italian sports doctor Michele Ferrari and further, how Trek's strong association with and support of Armstrong directly affected LeMond's relationship with Trek.

LeMond believes his public anti-doping statements helped to improve cycling's reputation and did not harm Trek. However, the company counters; "Greg LeMond has done and said things that have damaged the LeMond brand and the Trek brand as a whole," Burke said.

To read the full article, click here.

Russia aiming for '09 ProTour berth

Russia's desire to host a round of the ProTour public knowledge for some time, but the nation is moving closer to achieving that goal. Over coming weeks representatives from the UCI will travel to Russia to evaluate its suitability for a round of the sport's top series.

Russian Cycling Federation president Alexander Gusyatnikov has signalled that he wants the nation on the ProTour calendar as soon as next year. Gusyatnikov has big hopes for the sport in his homeland, signalling that he wants to build a Tour of Russia that would be as prestigious as the three Grand Tours – Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España.

"The financial and technical directors of the International Cycling Union will be visiting Russia in the next couple of weeks," Gusyatnikov told "Their goal is to evaluate the condition of our roads and accommodation for the cyclists. We are then planning to sign an agreement to host a race."

Russia's desire to host a ProTour round meshes well with the UCI's desire to globalise the sport of cycling. The international governing body took its first step earlier this year with the addition of Australia's Tour Down Under to the ProTour calendar, the first non-European nation to host a round of the world series.

"We don't have to have 100 races in order to become the Tour de France; we must have at least a few held at the highest level possible, everything is possible," added Gusyatnikov. "At this point it doesn't really have much to do with the athletes; Russia lacks good quality roads in order to have an attractive race."

Russia is one of handful of nations vying for a ProTour position. The UCI has floated the possibility of including ProTour rounds in the major markets of America and Asia as a part of its expansion plans. The Tour of California is an obvious candidate for any push into the massive American market, while the Tours of Qinghai Lake and Langkawi have been named as possible Asian rounds, although organisers from the latter have moved away from its ProTour ambitions in recent months.

Lucky dip could affect Roubaix outcome

Paris-Roubaix's team car order will be decided by drawing names out of a hat this weekend. The move, which has upset some team directors, has come as a result of the dispute between the UCI and race organiser ASO.

With the 2008 edition being staged outside of the UCI's ProTour structure, it means the team car order for the one day event isn't decided by ProTour team standings. In years gone by the car order has been awarded based on these standings, but in its place will be a lottery system for this year's event.

Quick Step sport director Wilfried Peeters is not happy with this system and would like to see it scrapped, believing that the top teams should be protected. "Otherwise we could lose Paris-Roubaix on Saturday already," he told Sporza.

The position of the team car can play an important role in the race which traditionally has the most punctures of any of event, according to Peeters.

The first 10 team cars in the Tour of Flanders were determined by the ProTour standings, with the rest were decided via a lottery. As Paris-Roubaix does not make up part of the ProTour, all positions will be decided by lottery.

"That could be a problem," said Peeters. "I can't think about the fact that we could draw the last or second last number. The most important teams should be protected."

Voeckler back in the picture

By Jean-François Quénet in Ligné, France

Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom)
Photo ©: Jean-François Quénet
(Click for larger image)

Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) has been a professional for eight years and is finally contesting his first Circuit de la Sarthe-Pays de la Loire, a race starting almost in front of his house in Mouilleron-le-Captif in Vendée. A change in program allowed him to contest his home event this year.

"Usually I was doing the Tour of the Basque country [where he won a stage in 2006 - ed.] but that wasn’t possible this year due to my change of program, including the Tour of Flanders," Voeckler told Cyclingnews.

Voeckler went away with Agritubel's Anthony Ravard on the race's opening stage, where he demonstrated his experience as a professional by saving energy for a time trial effort in the stage's final 20 kilometres. The Frenchman worked with the sprinters' teams, which focused on the right time to catch the leaders as usual.

The time bonus from his second placing on the opening stage puts Voeckler 21 seconds ahead of time triallists like Russian champion Vladimir Gusev (Astana), French champion Benoît Vaugrenard (Française des Jeux) and Dutch champion Stef Clement, who is his team-mate at Bouygues Telecom. It's a handy margin to have over the speciallists in the discipline ahead of tomorrow's Stage 2b, a nine kilometre time trial in Angers. The time trial is set to be the turning point of the French race, after Andreas Klöden won the stage last year and was then never headed for the lead.

Voeckler was sick during the rainy Tour of California, therefore he couldn’t take part in Paris-Nice. Instead he prepared for his spring campaign at the Volta Santarem in Portugal, before going on to take fourth place at the GP E3.

"It had been a long time since I didn’t hurt myself so much," he said. "What I did in Belgium motivates me for the Circuit de la Sarthe, Paris-Camembert and the Ardennes Classics that I’ll do after that."

The Bouygues Telecom team of Jean-René Bernaudeau hasn’t won the Circuit de la Sarthe, a local race for the team, since Didier Rous edged out Australian Bradley McGee in 2002.

Kirchen beats Bettini in Basque country

Kim Kirchen proving that a Basque hat
Photo ©:
(Click for larger image)

Kim Kirchen (Team High Road) has taken his biggest victory since winning the Tour of Poland in 2006, after sprinting to victory on the Vuelta al País Vasco's second stage. The Luxemburger outpaced reigning UCI World Road Champion Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) to claim the uphill bunch sprint.

"We said this morning at the team meeting that this was a good stage for Kim, and that's how it's worked out," said Team High Road sports director Valerio Piva. "We saw it was uphill at the end, and there aren't any real pure sprinters here, so it was a great chance for him.

"We got the whole team to work for him during the race, with Michael Barry being the one who led him up to the last kilometre," added Piva. "Kim started to accelerate with 300 metres left to race, maybe a bit too early, but he still won, which is what matters."

While Kirchen is a possible general classification contender, sitting just eight seconds behind the Spanish event's leader, but the rider is unlikely to target the overall win. Kirchen's main aim for the race is to prepare for Amstel Gold, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

"The general classification isn't something we would ever rule out, but to be honest that's not Kim's objective here," said Piva. "He came here to win a stage, to test his form, and he's done that. And if he can beat Bettini in Spain, maybe he'll do the same in Belgium as well."

Stage 1 winner Alberto Contador (Astana) continues to lead the six-stage event in his homeland of Spain.

Van Gerwen not satisfied

By Susan Westemeyer

Team Milram's Gerry Van Gerwen wasn't satisfied with his team's performance in the Hel van het Mergelland on Saturday. His disappointment saw the director make a last-minute change in the Gent-Wevelgem line-up, pulling most of the Mergelland riders who had been scheduled to ride.

"After two-thirds of the race, the whole team was out of the race," Van Gerwen told Cyclingnews. "When riders present themselves in a race as part of our team did Saturday in the Netherlands, then they need to re-think not only their own performance but also their whole attitude toward their profession.

"We are happy to give one or the other of them time now to do that," he said, referring to the rider's exclusion from the Gent-Wevelgem roster.

Van Gerwen said the move should be taken as a wake-up call to the riders. "I had to give a signal to the team, say, hello, that is not the way to do it," he explained. "It belongs to my role that when things are going well, I tell them that. And when things are going wrong, as in this case, I have to say that, too.

"I have to respect my sponsor, the organisers, the public, everyone," he added. "I have to give this signal for them, and therefore I decided to change the Gent-Wevelgem line-up."

Van Gerwen has no regrets over making the criticism of his rider public. Rather than discussing it privately with the individuals, Van Gerwen issued the criticism in a press release announcing the team's Gent-Wevelgem roster.

"Why not? Why not?" he said. "I did it because we changed our line-up at the last moment and I think everyone has a right to know why."

Van Gerwen had earlier indicated that his criticism did not apply to star sprinter Alessandro Petacchi, who was returning to racing after recovering from an illness.

Top line-up for Australian series round

By Paul Verkuylen

Australia's top domestic squads are preparing for the second round of the Australian National Road Series, which gets underway this Friday in Tasmania. The race doubles as the first Junior World Championship team selection race, with the team heading to South Africa later this year to contest the championships.

The three stage event, held over three days in Tasmania's Mersey Valley will see riders from all over Australia compete for the title. Top domestic based squads including FRF-NSWIS, Savings & loans, Praties, Virgin Blue, Bike King and South have confirmed their attendance.

"We are using the event to build up to our main goals of the season," team director Andy Portess told Cyclingnews. "It is good to see that the series is getting the support of the Australian-based teams and it should be some good racing."

The event comprises of a 28 km time trial and a 110 km road stage on the Saturday. On Sunday the men will contest a gruelling 135km final stage in the hills which surround the Mersey Valley. The women will follow a similar route, beginning with a 16km time trial, a 68km stage on Saturday and 82km on Sunday.

Ex-Slipstream rider Ben Johnson will head up a strong FRF-NSWIS squad, which includes Peter Herzig, Chris Jory and Joe Lewis. It will be faced with some strong competition from riders such as Russell van Hout (Savings & Loans), Mark Jamieson ( and Nathan Clarke (Praties) who is making his comeback to racing after several seasons on the side line.

The Under 19's section should see some tough racing with Roan Dennis and Under 19 World Kilo Champion Thomas Palmer taking to the start. Dennis has apparently switched his focus from the short sprint events to road racing. Organisers expect local favourite Andrew Smith to put a good fight for the overall.

In the women's event the recently named Amy Gillet Scholarship award winner Carly Taylor will be lining up as one of the favourites to take out the event.

See across the weekend for full daily coverage of the event.

Utah calls for team applications

Organisers of the Tour of Utah are calling for applications from any team interested in contesting this year's event. Applications for the five day stage race must be complete by April 15.

The event, a round of America's National Racing Calendar, will have a cool $75,000 prize purse on offer at this year's event. Teams interested in applying for consideration should visit the teams page of or contact Terry McGinnis at

A list of invited teams for the August 13-17 road race will be announced one week after the close of applications on April 15.

Mazzoleni gets two year ban

Eddy Mazzoleni has been handed a two-year ban by the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) for his involvement in the Oil for Drugs affair. The FCI also banned 28 year-old former Ceramica Flaminia rider Domenico Quagliariello for life for his involvement in the same affair.

Mazzoleni, third in last year's Giro d'Italia, was initially suspended by his Astana team in June 2007 before having his contract terminated a few days later. Both men have 10 days to lodge an appeal with the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI).

The Oil for Drugs inquiry, looking into a suspected EPO doping network, was launched in 2004 and was based on relationships of several athletes with Dr. Carlo Santuccione. Santuccione had been suspended from 1995 to 2000 in a doping affair. His involvement in the illegal doping practices was found out after investigators bugged his surgery and recorded several phone conversations which implicated him in the affair.

Other riders who have been implicated in the affair include 2007 Giro winner, Danilo Di Luca, who received a three-month suspension for his involvement.

Teams for Pino Cerami

Team Barloworld and Quick Step have announced their rosters for the 42nd edition of the GP Pino Cerami. The race, which is held tomorrow, is named after former Belgian professional Pino Cerami, who like many people in southern Belgium, has Italian roots.

Eddy Merckx is just one of the famous names to have conquered the Belgian event. The race covers a technical course over a distance of 175.9 km from St. Ghislain to Boussu.

Barloworld's roster includes Robert Hunter and Baden Cooke while Quick Step will send a squad that included Kevin Van Impe.

Barloworld: Patrick Calcagni, Baden Cooke, Marco Corti, Chris Froome, Robert Hunter, Daryl Impey, Paolo Longo Borghini and Carlo Scognamiglio.
Quick Step: Matteo Carrara, Mauro Facci, Dmytro Grabovskyy, Leonardo Scarselli, Kevin Seeldraeyers, Kevin Van Impe, Davide Viganò, Giovanni Visconti and Maarten Wynants.
Landbouwkrediet-Tonissteiner: Nico Sijmens, Bert De Waele, Sebastien Delfosse, Benjamin Gourgue, David Boucher, Dirk Bellemakers, Bert Scheirlinckx and Steven Kleynen.

Adelaide starts work on World Cup track

Work on the BMX World Cup Supercross track in Adelaide, Australia commenced at 12.01 AM this morning at Adelaide Showground. The challenge of preparing the 310 metre track in a record 60 hours has organisers working against the clock.

The track will be used for the Olympic selection event on the weekend and requires a total of 200 truckloads of sand and clay. Beijing Olympic Games BMX track builder Tom Ritzenthaler will be on site to create the unique indoor track which will feature a 7.2 metre start ramp.

BMX World Cup Time Trial qualifications start on Saturday with racing on Sunday.

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