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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News, June 28, 2008

Edited by Laura Weislo

Landis CAS decision due Monday

Landis is serving a two year ban
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

On the eve of the Tour de France, and just under two years after he stood atop the final podium in Paris, Floyd Landis may at long last have resolution of his doping case. Currently serving a two year suspension for his testosterone positive, Landis appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to overturn the sanction, and he will finally get a decision on the case on Monday, June 30, the court announced Friday.

Landis tested positive for synthetic testosterone use after his epic solo breakaway on stage 17 in the 2006 Tour, and was stripped of his title after losing an appeal to the United States Anti-doping Agency last fall (USADA).

Landis has contested the charges, citing numerous mistakes in the paperwork from the French anti-doping laboratory and questioning its interpretation of the results. His long and drawn out hearing with USADA went 2-1 in against Landis. The arbitrators acknowledged that there were issues with the testing and were critical of the lab, but ultimately decided the problems were not sufficient to nullify the outcome.

The UCI officially named Oscar Pereiro the 2006 Tour champion the following day.

Despite having sunk a large amount of money into the failed USADA arbitration, Landis decided to take his case to the CAS in hopes that his argument would sway that court to overturn his positive test. Landis' two year suspension ends on January 30, 2009.

After the circus-like atmosphere of the USADA hearing, the CAS arbitration was conducted behind closed doors in March. The arbitrators heard 35 hours of testimony at a New York law office, and have taken more than three months to arrive at a decision.

Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case

May 29, 2009 - French authorities summon Landis and Baker
September 28, 2008 - Landis takes case to US federal court
September 10, 2008 - Landis signing with current Health Net-Maxxis team for 2009
July 1, 2008 - CAS delivers final blow to Landis legal challenge
June 30, 2008 - Landis loses final appeal
June 28, 2008 - Landis decision due Monday
March 12, 2008 - Landis' judgment day nears
October 21, 2007 - Landis files appeal with CAS
October 18, 2007 - AFLD takes another look at Landis case
Thursday, October 11 - Landis continues fight, appeals to CAS
Saturday, September 22 - UCI officially names Pereiro 2006 Tour champion, Landis case raises issues
Friday, September 21 - Landis' appeal denied, two year suspension levied

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of the Floyd Landis case

Chavanel to skip Olympics

Sylvain Chavanel will skip the Olympics
Photo ©: Fabrice Lambert
(Click for larger image)

Newly crowned French time trial champion Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) has decided not to attend the Olympic Games in Beijing, citing his desire to focus on the Tour de France as the main reason for his decision. Pollution, heat and a difficult parcours have also inspired the 29-year-old to skip the Games.

"Frankly, I prefer the World Championships," he told AFP. "I was the Olympic Games in Athens, and I had a great adventure. But in cycling, the Olympics is a bit less important, in the eyes of the public it is better to be world champion."

Chavanel's team manager Eric Boyer disagreed, and said he hoped Chavanel would not regret his decision later.

The national technical director Patrick Cluzaud, interviewed Thursday at Semur-en-Auxois, has seemed to take note of the Chavanel choosing.

"I'm not going to push to make sure he goes to Beijing," Cluzaud told AFP. "If Sylvain wants to come, it is his decision to make, but if he wants to back out... There are so many riders who dream ... "

The French team can name five riders for the road race and one of the five to contest the time trial in Beijing.

Top names to contest Spanish championships

Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Caisse D'Epargne) was best young rider at the Tour Down Under
Photo ©: Shane Goss
(Click for larger image)

The contest for the Spanish national road race championship is heating up, with most of the peloton's top names ready to fight for the red and gold jersey on the 210 kilometre course in Talavera on Sunday. The forecasted hot weather will be an additional challenge for the likes of Alejandro Valverde, who will start on Sunday as a favourite alongside his team-mate Joaquím Rodríguez, the defending champion.

With 16 riders on the start list, the Caisse d'Epargne riders should be able to dominate in a breakaway or a sprint, with David Arroyo, Daniel Moreno, Oscar Pereiro, José Joaquín Rojas and Luis León Sánchez among the line-up.

Rojas is particularly motivated to win the title after solid results at the Tour de Suisse. Rojas said he likes the course, which has a significant climb to be traversed three times. "Together with the heat, this will make it very hard. In addition, the climbs are a bit far away from the finish, which may lead to a regrouping after the climb." Rojas thinks that a group of about 20 riders could come to the finish together, and hopes to be among them.

A strong performance could earn him a selection for the Tour de France, as the Caisse d'Epargne team to support Valverde has yet to be decided.

The strongest opposition for Valverde and his squad could come from the Saunier Duval team, which will field several riders who have put in strong performance in June. David De La Fuente and Juan José Cobo both wore the mountains jersey at the Dauphiné Libéré, and will be joined by Josep Jufré, Alberto Fernández De La Puebla and Javier Mejías.

Karpin-Galicia's David Herrero will return to competition after his crash in the Vuelta al País Vasco, where he led the points classification before falling victim to a wreck on stage five. He will have Gustavo César Veloso and Carlos Castaño by his side.

Other names on the start sheet are Rock Racing's Oscar Sevilla, the Benfica trio of Javier Benitez, Rubén Plaza and Mikel Pradera. as well as ProTour riders Xavier Florencio (Bouygues) and Juan Manuel Gárate and Carlos Barredo (Quick Step).

Portuguese fed suspends LA-MSS riders

The Portuguese Cycling Federation (UVP/FCP) has suspended nine members of the Continental team LA-MSS as a "preventative measure", it announced Friday. The disciplinary board opened an investigation into alleged doping offenses against five riders and four staff members of the team after a raid by police of the team's base in Povoa de Varzim netted banned drugs and transfusion equipment.

The UVP/FCP has suspended Tiago Silva, Rogério Batista, Pedro Cardoso, Afonso Azevedo, and as well as masseur Paulo Silva, Spanish doctor Marcos Marino Maynar, directeur sportif Manuel Ramos Zeferino and club president Luis Almeida pending the conclusion of its investigation.

The drug raid followed a surprising string of victories by Portuguese team in the Subida al Naranco, the Vuelta a Asturias and the Gran Premio Rota dos Móveis in May.

Before the GP Rota dos Móveis, the team lost Bruno Neves, who died after a fall in the Classic Amarante.

Jongewaard not selected for Olympics

Chris Jongewaard, one of Australia's top mountain bikers has been left off the country's team for the Beijing Olympics over behavioural issues, Cycling Australia announced Friday. The mountain bike spots were awarded to Daniel McConnell and Dellys Starr.

While Jongewaard is the country's highest ranked rider, he was not considered for the Games because he is facing charges over a hit-and-run incident last year.

In February of 2007, Jongewaard had been celebrating the birthday of his friend and training partner Matthew Rex when he accidentally hit Rex with his car. Rex sustained head injuries and was temporarily placed in a coma, but has since recovered.

"The committee believes it cannot in good faith nominate Chris Jongewaard," the Cycling Australia statement read. "We acknowledge he met the performance criteria but nomination for selection in the Australian team for the Olympic Games is based on more than results."

Jongewaard has until Tuesday to request an appeal.

Gilmore stays with Menikini

Australian Rochelle Gilmore will not go through with her planned mid season switch from the Menikini Selle Italia squad to Team Flexpoint, the latter announced Friday. The sprinter was scheduled to move to the Dutch team after discussing the opportunity with her national team coach. R

However, Gilmore learned that her contract with Menikini-Selle Italia would not allow the transfer, and she decided to remain with the Italian squad for the remainder of the season.

In search of Abdou

Abdou's win on the Champs Elysées in 1995
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Djamolidine Abdoujaparov was one of the most feared sprinters in the peloton during the early to mid-90s, not least for his erratic style in sight of the line. Procycling's Daniel Friebe tries to find out what "The Tashkent Terror" is doing now, but discovers it's not that easy.

Georges Matthys, race founder, organiser – Mr. Gent-Wevelgem himself – once said much the same thing about the young Bernard Hinault. Now, though, there was more disbelief, more outrage in the way he spat those five syllables like bitter pills he didn't want to swallow. "Ab-dou-ja-pa-rov?! Ab-dou-ja-par-ov?! He's not a worthy winner of my race. Who's ever heard of Ab-dou-ja-pa-rov?"

Had Matthys been paying attention, he'd have known that plenty of people were familiar with the short, unfeasibly muscular and murderous-looking sprinter from Tashkent, in the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan, who had just ennobled his race with his first major pro victory.

OK, pronouncing his name was an exploit in itself, but had the aficionados not already had plenty of practice? A quick glance at Abdoujaparov's palmarès in the years before the Berlin Wall fell (and, with it, restrictions on Soviet riders turning pro) revealed they had: there were stages in the Peace Race, the Settimana Bergamasca, the Tour de l'Avenir and the Baby Giro; a Russian road race title; a near-miss in the 1988 World Championships...

Somehow, though, for Georges Matthys, that dark, joyless face still didn't fit.

He shook his head one more time. "Ab-dou-ja-pa-rov?!"

Silence. Nothing. One second, two seconds, three sec...
The intercom crackles into life.
"Who is it?"
"I'm a cycling journalist from an English magazine. I'm looking for Djamolidine, your brother. Is he here?"
Another pause. We check for jerking net curtains and silhouettes in the large ground-floor windows. Nothing.
Then, finally, another crackle.
"He's not here. He's away. I don't know when he'll be back. What do you want...?"
"We want to know if we can speak to your brother. Or even to you. We just want to know what he's doing now..."
"I can't come out. I have a one-year-old child. Anyway, he has his life, I have mine. You'll have to speak to him."
We persist...
"OK, but can you just tell us what he's doing now. For a job, I mean. We've heard all sorts of things – that he breeds pigeons, that he trains juniors back in Uzbekistan or Russia..."
"He breeds pigeons, but that's a hobby. He looks after young riders. But you have to ask him: I told you, he lives next door and he has his own life. I'm sorry. Arrivederci."
Crackle, crackle, clunk. And then silence.

You know this isn't going to be your average assignment when it begins with a call to Evgeni Berzin and he tells you that he's just come back from a training ride with Frank Vandenbroucke. Berzin was the enfant prodigy turned enfant terrible of the early 90s, a mantle he passed on to VDB in the late 90s, and – wouldn't you just know it – in recent years this terrible twosome have become mates and sometime training partners on the plains south of Milan where Berzin now owns three car dealerships.

Continue to the full feature.

Leipheimer heads to Cascade

Astana riders Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner, denied the chance to compete in the Tour de France when the organisers refused to invite the team will fill in their July calendar in Oregon at the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic, the race organisation announced Friday. The five day race will take place in and around Bend, Oregon from July 9 to 13.

Leipheimer, who took third in last year's Tour de France and his second consecutive Tour of California title in February is coming off of a successful Giro d'Italia, where he helped team-mate Alberto Contador to victory and finished 19th himself.

The USA race is not only benefitting from the Astana team's exclusion, but will also bring in Tom Danielson, who did not make the Garmin-Chipotle Tour squad. They'll go up against defending Cascade champion Rory Sutherland who will have a full Health Net squad, as well as 2007 winner Phil Zajicek.

Brown backs six day cycling festival for London

By BikeRadar

UK Prime Minister Gorden Brown has given his backing for a cycling festival to be held in the London Borough of Newham at the beginning of October 2009.

The event will attract world class cyclists including Great Britain's six day stars Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins. Members of the public will be able to ride the same track as the stars prior to the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Ex-six day racer Tony Doyle MBE, who began his career in the Six Days in London at Wembley, has been instrumental in the organisation of the new event.

"I would like to thank Tony Doyle and his team for all the hard work in making 'On Track 6 Day' a reality," said Gordon Brown in a statement. "It is great to see the event coming back to London at a time when Britain is celebrating such success in the sport and I'd like to thank to thank the London Borough of Newham for hosting this event."

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