First Edition Cycling News, March 25, 2008
Edited by Greg Johnson & Paul Verkuylen
Pooley the Magnificent
By Ben Atkins in Cittiglio, Italy
British climber Emma Pooley (Specialized Designs for Women) has taken the biggest victory of her career in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, the second round of this year's World Cup. Pooley attacked with Priska Doppmann (Cervelo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling) and Miho Oki (Menikini-Selle Italia) with around 40 kilometres to go and continued alone when her companions dropped back to an unresponsive peloton containing most of the favourites of the day.
She managed to build up a lead of up to two minutes forty-five seconds which the chase managed to reduce by the end, but in truth the twenty-five year old never looked like being caught.
"We were instructed to cover attacks, so the attack that I went with just before: that was planned, but to go on my own was not planned!" said Pooley.
"It was impulsive, I would say," she added. "I knew it was a bit early to attack, but I was in the right place and I thought I would have a go. I thought some people would come with me - maybe two or three others - it looked like an attack was going to go. But I was on my own so I thought I would keep riding."
Despite there being several strong teams featuring a number of race favourites present, none of them seemed willing to commit to a chase, and it soon became obvious that the peloton were not going to catch the former triathlete. The expected challenge from teams like High Road, Safi-Pasta Zara Manhatten and Titanedi-Frezza Acca Due O never materialised, but Pooley didn't want to take things for granted until she was sure of victory.
"I didn't count my chickens until I was over the finish line, but when it came to the last small lap and I still had a couple of minutes I was happy that I could keep going. I knew that I could keep going at roughly the same pace, well I was slowing down, but two minutes I thought they probably couldn't get back."
Behind Pooley there were several counter-attacks, most notably from Priska Doppmann (Cervelo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling), but none were able to make any impression on the lead of the Swiss-based Briton. A last ditch attack, initiated by World Champion Marta Bastianelli (Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan), and joined by defending champion Nicole Cooke (Halfords-Bikehut) and American Kristin Armstrong Cervelo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling).
"I would have thought that with the field that is here today, they could have chased," said Pooley. "They should know by now that that's what I do, because I've done it once before - in Thüringen. I am a time triallist, so you'd think that they would try and get me back. I was surprised."
The Briton's World Cup victory in Italy throws her into the joint World Cup lead after two rounds. While Pooley is a strong rider, her victory was the second unexpected World Cup win from as many rounds after Katheryn Curi Mattis of the Webcor Builders squad won the opening round in Geelong, Australia last month.
For results, photos and a full report from Trofeo Alfredo Binda - Comune di Cittiglio, click here.
Landis outcome months away
Disgraced American cyclist Floyd Landis has at least a three month wait before learning of his Court of Arbitration in Sport appeal's outcome. Landis' hearing with a CAS panel, held in the chambers of a Manhattan, New York law firm, concluded on Monday.
Post hearing submissions from both sides are due by April 18, before a decision is announces by international sport's highest court no earlier than June, according to an announcement from the organization. During this time CAS will study presentations and evidence submissions before making its final decision.
"The hearing in the CAS arbitration between the US cyclist Floyd Landis and the United States Anti-doping Agency (USADA) is over," announced a release from the Switzerland-based organisation. "The hearing started on Wednesday 19 March 2008 and went on until today (Easter Sunday excepted)."
"The CAS Panel will need some time to review this voluminous file and the post-hearing submissions, which are due on 18 April 2008, before delivering a final decision, which is not expected before June 2008," concluded the brief release.
Landis is appealing a decision by the American Arbitration Association not to overturn the sanction for his positive drug test from the 2006 Tour de France. The former Phonak rider raised eyebrows on the event's 17th stage with a comeback that was reported as "a comeback that defied logic". Just days after the conclusion of the event, which saw Landis awarded the prestigious yellow jersey, news broke that the American's anti-doping test had registered an abnormal testosterone to epitestosterone ratio.
Shortly after the AAA announced its decision last year, Tour organizer Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) held a ceremony at which it awarded original race runner-up Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears) the winner's jersey. The ceremony, while held in the dim lighting of the Spanish sports ministry's chambers instead of the famed Champs-Elysées award ceremony, marked a monumental moment in the sport's history, with Landis becoming the first in its 94-year history to be officially stripped of the victory.
Landis hopes that the CAS panel, including David Williams of New Zealand, Paris attorney Jan Paulsson and New York lawyer David Rivkin, will overturn the two-one ruling against him by AAA.
Interim Freiburg report released
An interim report of the research conducted into the use of doping products by the T-Mobile cycling team, has confirmed that officials believe that a number of former T-Mobile riders and staff were involved in the malpractices at the University of Freiburg Hospital.
The official inquiry into the doping practices of the T-Mobile cycling team, The Freiburg Report found that between 2001 and 2005, but possibly from as early as 1993, doctors from the hospital were administering doping products to rider from the then T-Mobile cycling team. No names were recorded in the report, but it did state that suspended former T-Mobile rider Patrick Sinkewitz was not alone in his doping practices at the team, according to HLN.be.
The hospital also confirmed that two doctors are involved in the case. Then T-Mobile team doctor, Andreas Blum, and Stefan Vogt. An official complaint has been recorded against the two doctors, both of whom no longer work at the hospital.
Blum worked for the University briefly in 2006, beginning in July and leaving in December, while Vogt started in May 2002 and was fired after his involvement in the case became known. Two other previous team doctors who were associated with the Freiburg University, Andreas Schmid and Lothar Heinrich, made a number of doping practices known in May 2007.
Vogt and Blum said they were not involved with the practices of Schmid and Heinrich. "Vogt and Blum have not confirmed anything," said Hans Joachim Schäfer, chairman of the inquiry into the University of Freiburg's Hospitals. "The committee, however, is presuming that they used money from Telekom for medical care."
According to the report, a package was sent via express to Andreas Klöden's girlfriend in the year 2000. There was no direct indication of what was in the package, but according to Schäfer the parcel contained medication to the value of 1000 Deutschmark.
Klöden, who has always maintained that he has never had anything to do with doping, did admit to receiving a package from the University hospital, but that it contents had nothing to do with doping.
"He assured team manager Johan Bruyneel that it contained only vitamins," Team Astana spokesman Philippe Maertens told dpa. "Our hands are tied, until all the facts are laid open. On Tuesday there will be a personal meeting between Klöden and Bruyneel."
Sinkewitz contradicted Klöden's alleged innocence, naming him as the rider with which he visited the hospital the night before the start of the Tour de France. "Andreas and I went to the University of Freiberg where we both received blood doping," he said.
Another former T-Mobile rider, Erik Zabel, also commented on the report. Zabel was open about his doping use as preparation for the 1996 Tour de France, but maintains that this was the only time he ever used the doping products.
"I used 10 units every two days - 13 days before the Tour de France and one week during the Tour," he said. "Then I broke it off."
Zabel had confessed last May to having used EPO, something the interim report reiterated, only in a rather confusing manner. "The report was a bit wrong on this point," Schäfer said. "I can understand that Erik Zabel got upset over it."
"I was a little surprised by all the to-do," Zabel told press agency dpa. "I made the timetable clear in my confession. On Thursday I came back from training and heard that the Freiburg report contradicted me."
Initial news reports interpreted the Commission's statement that Zabel had used EPO during the Tour de Suisse as an additional use of doping and not a continuation of the EPO use, to which he had confessed.
Dwars door Vlaanderen making snow plans
Organisers of Dwars door Vlaanderen are determined not to be caught in the same situation as the Rund um Köln organisers, who cancelled the event due to snow. The organiser has plans in reserve in case of snow, they announced Monday afternoon.
"We are examining the weather forecast every hour, but apparently it is supposed to get better on Tuesday and Wednesday," organiser Guy Dulesie told Belga. "If there is snow on the day of the race, then we have an alternative course ready. The 'hellingen' (climbs) will be left out, as will some of the cobblestone sections. We would concentrate then more on a round course in Waregem, which wouldn't have any addtional cobblestones. We have various 'spotters' along the course who we will use if it snows. They can quickly inform us of the situation at crucial points."
"I assume, though, that we will be able to ride our planned course," he concluded optimistically. "Perhaps there will be some rain, but that wouldn't be any handicap to our 200 kilometres."
Moreno signs with Caisse d'Epargne
By Monika Prell
Former Relax GAM rider Dani Moreno has signed a contract to ride for ProTour team Caisse d'Epargne this season. The 26 year-old has been looking for a team since his former team Relax GAM announced its closure.
Moreno has initially looked likely to sign with Agritubel, but the deal fell through in the late stages of negotiation. Moreno's signing with Eusebio Unzué's squad will see him ride out 2008 with the Spanish outfit.
The Spaniard from Madrid, whose speciality is climbing, has been a professional since 2004 and already has seven victories in his palmarès. Those wins include the overall 2007 Escalada a Montjuic title, where he also won two stages. Moreno also finished 12th in last year's Vuelta a España.
Manchester ready for World Records
The track at the Manchester Velodrome has been declared ready to accept claims for any World Records set during this weeks UCI Track Cycling World Championships, on March 26 - 30. The new track surface was laid in June last year and was recently measured to ensure it complied with the UCI requirements. The track was scanned using specialist equipment to create a computer model which accurately measured the black datum line which marks the edge of the track.
There are a number of timed events during the five day championships where records could be set. These include the individual and team pursuit races plus the shorter distance time trials.
The newest event on the championships programme is the womens 3,000m team pursuit. The race debuted in this years World Cup series where the Ukrainian team set the fastest time so far of 3.27.438 in Los Angeles. There are a number of teams who have the credentials to go faster and a new record is expected to be claimed in Manchester.
Chris Boardmans World Record of 4 minutes 11.114 seconds for the 4,000m individual pursuit has stood for 12 years. Britains Bradley Wiggins is getting closer to this time. He won the gold medal in last years World Championships in 4 min 15.976. He would have to find around a third of a second per lap to reach Boardmans time which was set using the now banned 'Superman' position.
Gerolsteiner to Belgium races
Team Gerolsteiner is preparing for the next round of races, with three Belgian races coming up in the next week. In the next few days it will take on Dwars door Vlaanderen (Wednesday), the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen (Saturday) and the De Brabantse Pijl (Sunday). In the first race, the team will look to allrounders Stephan Schreck and Sebastian Lang, with Heinrich Haussler joining them in Harelbeke on Saturday. On Sunday, Markus Zberg and German champion Fabian Wegmann will lead the team in Brabant.
Gerolsteiner for the Belgian races: Thomas Fothen, Oscar Gatto, Heinrich Haussler, Sven Krauss, Sebastian Lang, Stephan Schreck, Tom Stamsnijder, Fabian Wegmann, Carlo Westphal, and Markus Zberg.
Skil gets ASO call up
Dutch cycling squad Skil - Shimano has received invitations to some of Spring's biggest races, including crown jewels Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. The Professional Continental team has also been invited to contest La Flèche Wallonne in Belgium.
All three races are organized by French race organizer Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the company behind the Tour de France. While the team hasn't been invited to compete in this year's Tour, signs are good for the outfit's future with race director Christian Prudhomme describing the outfit as a 'team for the future'.
Teams line up for Perth challenge
Some of Australia's largest cycling teams will contest the second Tour de Perth on April 4-6. Savings & Loans, Bike King/Triple Play and Praties Cycling Team are among those listed to contest the category one National Road Series event next month.
The tour's course has been re-arranged this year in an attempt by organizers to spice up the racing. Saturday's racing will be on the state championship course at Roleystone, with Sunday's events again in Kalamunda, all in the hills district on the outskirts of Perth, Western Australia.
For this year's event the women's component has been upgraded to a category one event, which organizers are hoping will encourage a few more women to travel west for the event. In addition to local teams the newly formed Virgin Blue Elite Cycling Team will also contest the tour.
The Perth event also includes the Lycopodium Hills Challenge participation ride on Sunday, April 6. The ride, which has distances of 25, 50 and 100 kilometres, is targested at non-racing and recreational cyclists.
See www.tourdeperth.com.au for more details.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing Limited 2008)