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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News, August 9, 2008

Edited by Laura Weislo & Sue George

Sella admits to doping

Emanuele Sella at the Giro d'Italia in May
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Giro d'Italia stage winner Emanuele Sella admitted doping during a two-hour meeting led by Ettore Torri of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) on Friday. Sella had tested positive for EPO-CERA in an out of competition test on July 23. At the time, he and his team CSF Navigare, were not competing in the Tour de France. He was later suspended by his team.

According to La Gazetta dello Sport, Sella, who was accompanied by his lawyer Claudio Pasqualin and by defender Eriberto Rosso, said in a statement after the meeting that he "had access to the banned drug and had explained the context under which it was received."

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Sella also named his sources to CONI, but he declined to state them publicly outside of the meeting with CONI so as not to impede the organization's investigations.

"I feel a great weight has been lifted by cooperating," said Sella.

"We will go to trial. We await the formalities, but given the cooperation, we expect a reduction in accordance with the code," said his lawyer Pasqualin. "The punishment may be cut in half." The standard punishment is a two-year ban from racing.

Sella won three stages and the mountains classification in the Giro d'Italia in May. He ended up sixth in the general classification.

Fellow Italian Ricardo Riccó also tested positive for CERA in July. He was fired from his team and withdrew from the Tour de France after winning two stages.

Broken neck for Bertolini

Alessandro Bertolini hits the barrier
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Alessandro Bertolini spent the night at a Camaiore Hospital after crashing in the final sprint of the GP Citta di Camaiore on Thursday. The Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli rider ran into a barricade on the roadside during the sprint, and was briefly knocked unconscious. He was transported to the hospital where it was determined that he had fractured his first cervical vertebrae and suffered a compression of three more, according to his team.

"If is possible, we will try to transfer Alessandro to the Trento hospital today by helicopter," spokesman Davide Bellini said. "Only after Alessandro is seen by the Trento Hospital primary doctor will we know when Alessandro will be back to races."

Half of CSC in Beijing

Like Team Columbia, the CSC-Saxo Bank squad is currently missing half its squad as riders are in Beijing to represent their countries at the Olympic Games. A full 15 riders will be in the men's road race alone: Carlos Sastre will represent Spain, while Jens Voigt will wear the colours of Germany. Stuart O'Grady will lead the Australian team, while the Schleck brothers will make up two-thirds of the Luxembourg squad.

Riding for Sweden will be Gustav Erik Larsson and Marcus Ljungqvist, while Kurt-Asle Arvesen will don the blue and red of Norway. Chris Anker Sørensen and Nicki Sørensen ride for the Danish team. Karsten Kroon (Netherlands), Jason McCartney (USA), Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland), Alexandr Kolobnev (Russia) and Juan Jose Haedo (Argentina) are all in Beijing as well.

In addition to the road racers, Bradley McGee will represent Australian in the track events, making 16 of the team's 28 riders off racing in China.

Step by step: Amaël Moinard, France's next big Tour contender?

Amaël Moinard
Photo ©: Hedwig Kröner
(Click for larger image)

Even though this year's Tour de France was quite a successful one for French teams with three stage wins and a showing in the yellow jersey, the best Frenchmen in General Classification did not make it into the top 10. Sandy Casar was the best placed Frenchman at 14th, but just behind him was a newcomer to the Tour, Cofidis' Amaël Moinard. Never heard of him? That's why Cyclingnews' Hedwig Kröner sat down with him on the Tour's ultimate start in Etampes.

Before Casar passed Moinard on General Classification on stage 16 to Jausiers, the Cofidis rider had been 'best Frenchman' for five days. Part of a breakaway, he jumped from 37th to 25th position on stage 11 to Foix in the Pyrenees, and then just kept improving. In the end, Moinard wasn't unhappy to have lost his title to Casar.

"To finish best Frenchman doesn't mean anything to me," he shrugged. "That's only something for the media and the public - but it's never been one of my personal goals. To finish within the top 15 on my first Tour de France, on the other hand, is something that makes me very happy and proud. Nobody expected this of me, except of course [Cofidis manager] Eric Boyer and my trainer, who knew that I could perform this way."

The man from Cherbourg in the North of France that his whole season preparation this year was centred around the Tour de Franc, which could explain his good performances especially in the final week of the race. "Since last winter, I have been preparing and concentrating solely on the Tour. It was a bit risky, but it worked out! So I came here feeling fresh, and the more experienced people told me that that's what makes the difference in the last ten days," he explained.

"Even in the last time trial, I still had some energy. I'm surprised at myself, but at the same time, I think that all my preparation and work just pays off."

Moinard's career so far has been a steady build-up, a logical succession of improvement. The 26 year-old started out at Cofidis aged 23, in 2005. This year is thus his fourth year as a professional. While racing at amateur level, the Frenchman finished his studies of applied mathematics. In his final year as an Espoir rider, he nevertheless decided to really give it a go as a cyclist. "I told my parents, 'I want to ride the bike for six months flat out, to see if I can get a pro contract'. I had already been in the French national team the year before, but becoming a pro cyclist really was my dream. It helped that I already had my university degree," he continued.

Cofidis manager Eric Boyer saw the talent of the young all-rounder and took him on. "I worked two years for the team, without any personal agenda. It was just about gaining experience and power on some bigger races like the Tour de Romandie, the Tours of Germany and Poland. Last year, I started getting some results: I won a stage at the Route du Sud, where there were four climbs in one day. I passed guys like Sevilla and Mancebo, so I started getting more and more confidence in my abilities."

Moinard then finished 11th overall in the Deutschland Tour and 14th in the Tour of Poland. "I was never center-stage, always in the second ranks, in the shadow of others. Still, I earned a spot in the national team for the World Championships."

Continue on to the full feature.

Smog may delay Olympic road race

The media scheduled to broadcast the Olympics were notified on Friday that the men's road race could be postponed due to thick smog in Beijing. According to Fox Sports, broadcasters were advised to make alternate plans just in case.

The men's road race is still scheduled for Saturday beginning at 11:00 am local time. Organizers have set a deadline to start the race by 1:30 pm or else delay it for 24 hours. The women's road race is still scheduled for Sunday at 2:00 pm.

Borrajo in Beijing

Alejandro Borrajo
Photo ©: Emory Ball
(Click for larger image)

After confirming his form with a convincing victory in the Presbyterian Hospital Criterium in Charlotte, North Carolina last weekend, Alejandro Borrajo of the Colavita/Sutter Home Men's Cycling Team is ready to represent his native Argentina in the road race at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

"Every athlete dreams about going to the Olympic Games," said Borrajo. "It's the greatest sporting event in the world." He continued, "It's very exciting for me and my family. Only a few people ever get this chance."

Recognized as one of the most versatile cyclists, Borrajo's strength and endurance for climbing coupled with a powerful sprint will serve him well for the event. Borrajo finished second in the Argentinean National Road Race Championships in 2007 and has represented his home country in numerous international events, including the South American Championships, which he won in 2006, the Pan American Championships, and Road World Championships in Italy and Spain. His number two standing in the 2007 UCI Americas Tour ranking earned him a spot on Argentina's 2008 Olympic squad.

Borrajo, 28, has been riding competitively since he was 16 when he left home to train with his older brother. After racing for a season with Rite-Aid, Borrajo signed with Colavita/Sutter Home where his childhood friend Sebastian Alexandre is director sportif. Borrajo, in turn, recruited his younger brother Anibal to join the team. Both Borrajo brothers have re-signed with Colavita/Sutter Home for the 2009 racing season.

In Beijing, Borrajo will race with another childhood friend on the Argentina squad; Juan Jose Haedo, who made his North American debut in Colavita colors back in 2002 and now races for Team CSC.

Germans among the favorites for the Tour de l'Ain

Andreas Klöden will race the four-day, 566km Tour de l'Ain starting Sunday, August 10 in Lagnieu as preparation for the Tour of Germany in two weeks' time according to the AFP. As a former Tour de France podium visitor, he and German compatriot Linus Gerdemann are the favorites along with winner of the 2007 edition Frenchman John Gadret.

The French will pin their hopes on climber Rémy Di Gregorio and young European champion Cyril Breton Gauthier as well as David Moncoutie who will replace his Cofidis team-mate Belgian Rik Verbrugghe, after he crashed and broke his collarbone in the Clasica San Sebastian last Sunday.

In total 19 teams of six racers are expected. New for 2008 will be an 8.8km time trial in Saint-Genis-Pouilly.

Teams for Tour de L'Ain: AG2R La Mondiale, Astana, Bouygues Telecom, Caisse d'Epargne, Cofidis, Crédit Agricole, Française des Jeux, Gerolsteiner, Columbia, Silence Lotto, Agritubel, Skil Shimano, A styl Somn, Auber 93, Bretagne Armor lux, Rabobank, Roubaix Lille Métropole, Pezula Racing, Steg Computer.

Szmyd to Liquigas

Sylwester Szmyd will leave Team Lampre and transfer to the Liquigas team according to The 30 year-old will likely provide support to Ivan Basso at the Giro d'Italia after he returns to racing. Basso will finish serving his suspension effective October 24.

In small races, the Polish Szmyd will have his own chances. Previously, he has ridden for the Saeco and Mercatone Uno teams.

Aaron's sweeps Women's Prestige Series

Presybterian Hospital Crit winner Kat Carroll (Aaron's)
Photo ©: Emory Ball
(Click for larger image)

The Aaron's Women's professional cycling team wrapped up a hugely successful Women's Prestige Series with a win in the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational. The 2008 Women's Prestige Cycling Series began at the Redlands Bicycle Classic in April, followed by the Nature Valley Grand Prix in June and then finished with the grand finale at the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational on August 2.

With Katharine Carroll taking a solo victory in the big-money criterium in Charlotte, she propelled her team to the top of the standings as well as clinching the overall. Three other Aaron's riders placed in the top twenty of that race to push the squad ahead of Cheerwine in the team standings.

Carroll defended her individual series lead with the win ahead of Canadian Anne Samplonius (Cheerwine). In the best young rider category, Alison Testroete (Aaron's) was the surprise winner, vaulting from 10th to the top spot when she finished first among riders under 26 in Charlotte. Lauren Franges (Team TIBCO), the pre-race favorite, ended up second after sacrificing her chances by riding for team-mate Brooke Miller. Tiffany Cromwell (Colavita / Sutter Home) finished in third.

Winning the race also secured Carroll's position as the Series sprint leader. Second and third place finishes in Charlotte by Brooke Miller (Team TIBCO) and Tina Pic (Colavita / Sutter Home) moved them into second and third for the Series sprint title.

WPCS Individual Classification

1 Katharine Carroll (Aaron's)
2 Anne Samplonius (Cheerwine)
3 Leigh Hobson (Cheerwine)
4 Laura VanGilder (Cheerwine)
5 Brooke Miller (Team TIBCO)

WPCS Best Young Rider

1 Alison Testroete (Aaron's)
2 Lauren Franges (Team TIBCO)
3 Tiffany Cromwell (Colavita/Sutter Home)
4 Catherine Cheatley (Cheerwine Cycling)
5 Samantha Schneider (Colavita/Sutter Home)

WPCS Sprinter Classification

1 Katharine Carroll (Aaron's)
2 Brooke Miller (Team TIBCO)
3 Tina Pic (Colavita / Sutter Home)
4 Anne Samplonius (Cheerwine)
5 Joanne Kiesanowski (Team TIBCO)

WPCS Team Classification

1 Aaron's Women's Pro Cycling
2 Cheerwine Cycling
3 Colavita/Sutter Home
4 Team TIBCO
5 Advil-ChapStick
6 Team Kenda Tire

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