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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News, November 7, 2008

Edited by Laura Weislo and Peter Hymas

New sponsor, 16 riders for Gianetti

Gianetti's team will rise out of the chaos of the 2008 Tour
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

The former Saunier Duval manager Mauro Gianetti has succeeded where two other ProTour teams have failed: he has secured a new sponsor to fund his "new" ProTour squad for 2009. Gianetti was linked with the world-wide conglomerate TMC Transformers by La Gazzetta dello Sport on Sunday.

Gianetti managed the Saunier Duval team until the sponsor withdrew after the team was forced to pull out of the Tour de France due to the doping positive of Riccardo Riccò. He secured American Beef and bike sponsor Scott as title sponsors for the remainder of the season, but Scott refused to continue through 2009.

Directeur Sportif Joxean Matxin said last month that the team had signed on a "multinational company" as well as a second sponsor from Mexico in order for the team to continue. His team succeeded where the Crédit Agricole and Gerolsteiner teams had failed.

According to other sources, the team reportedly has 16 riders signed: Jose Angel Gómez Marchante, Juan José Cobo, David De la Fuente, Josep Jufré (all Scott-American Beef), Alberto Ongarato (Milram) and Andrea Tonti (Quick Step).

CONI drops Riccò's second positives

Riccardo Riccò
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

The Anti-Doping Tribunal of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) dropped the case for the second batch of positive samples from Italian cyclist Riccardo Riccò from this year's Tour de France. The prosecutors cited the rules of the World Anti-doping Agency which state that in order for an anti-doping rule violation to be considered, the rider would have had to have been notified of his first offense before being caught for his second offense.

Riccò tested positive for the drug EPO-CERA based on results from a urine screening during the Tour de France, and was removed from the race and later sentenced to a two-year suspension. The French Anti-doping Agency, AFLD, later ordered re-testing of blood samples taken from a selected group of riders during the Tour using a new, more sensitive test for CERA. Two of Riccò's samples came back positive during that round of testing, but since the samples were taken before he was notified of his first positive results, the CONI accepted the petition from the prosecutor to close the case.

Riccò's sentence of eighteen months for the use of prohibited substances and six months for consulting banned for life doctor Carlo Santuccione, will end July 30, 2010.

Armstrong speaks at Web 2.0 conference

By Gary Boulanger, BikeRadar US editor

Lance Armstrong has had a whirlwind two weeks, beginning with a speech in Florida October 28, onto Copenhagen, Denmark for the same, winning two time trials in Texas, onto Dallas for a friend's funeral, then time spent in southern California for wind tunnel and velodrome testing, all by November 5. So what does the 37-year-old do in his spare time?

The Texan took the stage at the Web 2.0 Summit Wednesday night in San Francisco, speaking with John Battelle, founder and chairman of Federated Media Publishing. Armstrong spoke for 38 minutes, covering the bases openly about the recent presidential elections, his training, reasons for coming back to pro racing, and why he's wired the way he is. He also spoke about using Twitter, a social networking tool that he started using recently.

The relaxed cancer advocate spoke about his ego, and shared many insights to the Silicon Valley audience, including Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang. He also talked about forming, a for-profit web venture, in addition to forming the non-profit Lance Armstrong Foundation/, before taking questions from the audience.

Watch the full video of Armstrong's discussion here.

Italian riders association questions privacy

The Italian professional cyclists association was presented with the findings of a study which questions the privacy of personal information provided to anti-doping agencies. The report submitted to the ACCPI by the Authority Guarantor for the Protection of Personal Data expressed concerns about the "excesses" of CONI and WADA protocols which seem to affect the privacy of cyclists.

The report focuses on the ADAMS system, the online database designed by WADA that serves as the center for collection and exchange of data related to riders whereabouts. It is used to locate riders for out-of-competition testing. The Guarantor expressed concerns about the lack of accurate and adequate guarantees on ownership of the database, data protection protocols, the types of information collected and its communication to third parties.

Specifically, surprise checks conducted in the home or hotel rooms of athletes could involve the collection of information concerning their private lives or references to third parties (such as family members), information irrelevant to the purpose of testing for doping, resulting in unwarranted invasion of privacy of those concerned.

Quick Step nets most wins in five years

The Quick Step team proudly proclaimed that it was named the team with the most wins in the last five years on Thursday. The team cited statistics compiled by Christian Lagneaux of the web site which counted 212 UCI wins for the team over the past five seasons.

The wins include 81 by sprinter Tom Boonen alone, as well as Richard Virenque's Tour de France stage win in 2004, Paolo Bettini's two world championship titles and his Olympic gold medal (2004) and two of Michael Rogers' three consecutive world time trial titles.

In total, the team scored 14 stage race overall victories, 133 stage wins and 65 one-day races, with Boonen as the winningest rider in the last five years, ahead of his competitors Alessandro Petacchi and Robbie McEwen.

Flores suspended for doping

Argentinean cyclist Claudio Flores received a two year suspension for doping during the Tour of Uruguay, AFP reported Thursday. He tested positive for anabolic steroids during the Tour of Uruguay in March, and was handed the suspension this week by the Uruguayan Ministry of Sports.

Flores, who rides for Agrupación Piquetera Vírgen de Fátima, tested positive for Estanozolol.

American pair wins UIV Dortmund

The USA Madison pairing of Guy East and Austin Carroll finished off the UIV U23 Dortmund three-day on Sunday after leading the race from the first day. The victory gave USA Cycling's recently initiated Madison Program the first major success.

East and Carroll started riding aggressively on the first night, and established a lead in both laps and points over the second-placed German team of Tino Thömel and Julian Tuchol. On the second night, the American pair was not able to gain another lap on the Germans, who successfully closed the gap in points.

On the third and final night, East and Carroll started with a lead of only one lap and one point. The pair rode conservatively, holding off their closest competitors and winning their first UIV race while also retaining a lead in both laps and points on all teams.

East and Carroll are scheduled to contest two more UIV races; Munich on November 7-8 and Gent on November 18-23. The pair will also compete in the UK Revolution on November 15 and several local races in Belgium before returning home to evaluate progress and build toward the future.

Southern US gets new endurance 'cross event

By Laura Weislo

The Southeastern United States will have its first long-distance cyclo-cross race in 2009. The Southern 'Cross presented by BH Bikes, will take place on January 24, 2009 in Ellijay, Georgia. Promoted by 55nine Performance's Namrita and Eddie O'Dea, the 50-mile race is loosely modelled on Pennsylvania's Iron 'Cross.

"We have a local race series that has become very successful, and a lot of people come down South to race and train because it's warmer," explained Namrita O'Dea. "We've had a lot of good feedback on the idea, but because of parking issues, we've had to limit the number of entries to 50 riders."

Despite the limit to entrants, O'Dea is encouraging spectators to come out to watch riders tackle the course, which will include a short circuit on the Mulberry Gap property and a 45 mile loop. "The long loop is mainly gravel roads with a lot of climbing with similar terrain to the Cohutta 100," said O'Dea. "Mulberry Gap has 15 acres, and we'll use its natural cyclo-cross terrain – hills for steep run-ups and natural barriers, to make a spectator-friendly circuit to finish off the race."

Southern 'Cross will be the third race the O'Deas will be promoting in 2009, and their future could see more cyclo-cross races. "We have some other ideas, but we don't want to add more than one race a year. We want to do a good job with it so we don't want to add too much. We're constantly gauging where the interest lies. Right now it's moving from the long endurance stuff to shorter, and a lot of people are racing cyclo-cross."

The Southern 'Cross will have categories for men, women, single speed and fixed geared bikes.

For more information and to register, visit

22nd Anniversary Of Trust House Cycle Classic

New Zealand's Trust House Cycle Classic, a UCI 2.2 event, will celebrate its 22nd anniversary in January 2009 with what is likely to be the biggest and best field in its history.

"The tour is now recognised overseas as the best race in this country and I expect a big number of national and international riders. Six UCI continental teams will be invited to take part," said Race Director Jorge Sandoval.

"In this year's event, New Zealand cycling fans witnessed three-time junior world champion Australian rider Travis Meyer showcase his talent. Meyer dominated the 2008 event, claiming podium finishes in five of the seven stages, including one stage victory. I will do my best to get him back to Wellington in 2009 to defend his title," said Sandoval.

The 2009 event will commence on January 21, 2009 with a team time trial in Hutt City and will finish five days later with the Wellington circuit in Lambton Quay.

More information is available at the race website:

Race route for the 2009 Trust House Cycle Classic:

January 21, Stage 1: Hutt City Circuit (TTT), 12 km
January 22, Stage 2: Featherson - Martinborough to Masterton Via Wainuiri, Te Waharau, 145km
January 23, Stage 3: Masterton Circuit, 125.3km
January 24, Stage 4: Gladstone Circuit, 120km
January 24, Stage 5: Masterton Criterium, 40km
January 25, Stage 6: Wellington City (ITT), 12km
January 25, Stage 7: Wellington City Criterium, 60min

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(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2008)