First Edition Cycling News, November 12, 2008
Edited by Greg Johnson
Rumpf relishing climate of trust
Photo ©: JF Quenet
ProTour manager Alain Rumpf is relishing the "climate of trust" which
now exists after years of war between the International Cycling Union
(UCI) and Tour de France operator Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO). Rumpf
described the ProTour's fourth year in existence as one of "transition",
in an interview with velo-club.net.
"The most important thing is that relations between ASO and the UCI are
restored and a climate of trust between all parties in cycling has been
reinstalled," said Rumpf.
While details on the future direction of cycling's highest level are
still being sorted, Rumpf spoke positively on the sport's future. Despite
the positive outlook, he admitted the progress has come at a cost.
"The credibility of all parties in cycling has been affected by the conflict
that has market the sport in recent years," he said. "We must now all
work to restore the image of our sport, which requires a strong government."
Rumpf confirmed that there are currently nine teams registered to next
year's UCI ProTour, with the remainder to be decided in due course. A
working group is also in the process of mapping out details on next year's
"To date nine teams are licensed for 2009: Ag2R, Astana, Caisse d'Epargne,
Columbia, Garmin-Chipotle, Lampre, Liquigas, Milram and Scott-American
Beef," he said. "In addition to Katyusha, most teams whose licenses expires
in 2008 have filed a new application, which will be discussed soon by
the commission for licenses. It also remains to be seen whether all teams
will be registered by the deadline of November 20, especially if they
can present a balanced budget and bank guarantee."
Gil looking for '09 gig
By Monika Prell
Photo ©: Sirotti
Koldo Gil's hunt for a team to ride with in 2009 is continuing after
Euskaltel-Euskadi told the rider it wasn't able to accommodate him next
season. Gil approached Euskaltel-Euskadi after the outfit took on his
former Liberty Seguros team-mate Pablo Urtasun.
"I talked to Igor González e Galdeano [Euskaltel-Euskadi technical secretary]
to see if I could join the team; I know that it is difficult because they
have already finished planning the 2009 squad," Gil said earlier this
week. "Igor said that he will have a look, but that it is complicated.
If this doesn't work, I will find myself in a precarious situation."
The rider has since announced on Onda Cero Deportiva de Vizcaya
that he is now in that precarious situation. "Galdeano confirmed that
there is no possibility for me to race in the team," he said. "This is
a pity and a frustration for me.
"I already have been without a team at various times; I won't quit,"
he added. "I still have time to find a team."
Portugal was once the last refuge for Spanish riders who couldn't find
a team in their home country, with riders like Francisco Mancebo, Rubén
Plaza and Gil taking up this option on previous occasions. But now Benfica
and LA Aluminios MSS will cease operation while other teams will reduce
their squad's numbers, reducing the number of positions available for
the abandoned Spaniards.
Gil confirmed that the situation in Portugal has impacted his prospects.
"From the four good [Portuguese] teams, two will disappear and Liberty
will have less money. Until now the Portuguese cycling stayed constant,
there were no ups and downs, but this year has been difficult," the Navarran
rider told Gara, referring to the doping case of LA Aluminios MSS.
A big obstacle in Gil's hunt for employment comes from his name's connection
to Operación Puerto. "We talked to various teams of different countries,
but it's correct that the shadow of the Operación Puerto still lingers,"
said Gil. "I am not an indispensable rider, but a competitive one and
in recent years I have performed well, even if I didn't participate in
Ullrich in court today
By Susan Westemeyer
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Former rider Jan Ullrich is scheduled to appear in a Düsseldorf, Germany
court Wednesday morning in his lawsuit against Günther Dahms, the former
owner of Team Coast, for which Ullrich rode in 2003. Ullrich's manager,
Wolfgang Strohband, confirmed to Cyclingnews.com that Ullrich would
be in court.
Ullrich rode for Team Coast for four months, before the team ran out
of money and was taken over by Bianchi. Ullrich is suing Dahms to recover
unpaid salary from those four months, which totals about half a million
Euros including interest. Dahms has refused to pay, saying that he assumed
that Ullrich had doped during that time period, which would have been
a contract violation.
It is expected that Ullrich will take the stand and be asked whether
or not he used illegal doping. It will be first time Ullrich has addressed
this question under oath.
Pujol joins Sastre at Cervélo
By Monika Prell
Oscar Pujol Muñoz will join his compatriot Carlos Sastre in 2009 after
the 25 year-old rider signed a contract with the Cervélo TestTeam. It
will be the rider's second season as a professional, after riding the
Vuelta a Castilla y León and Vuelta a Asturias in 2008 with Burgos Monumental.
Pujol started as an amateur in 2006, when he was able to win a stage
of the Vuelta a Cantabria and finished second in the overall classification
and two stages of the Vuelta a Salamanca. In 2007 he was able to win the
Aitzondo Klasikoa and stages at the Vuelta a Navarra and the Bizkaiko
The Valladolid rider is a good climber and was able to be amongst the
best at the Vuelta a Asturias in 2006, where he showed his strength with
a strong performance.
Cervélo TestTeam's 2009 roster includes: Iñigo Cuesta, Philippe
Deignan, Dan Fleeman, Xavier Florencio, Simon Gerrans, Roger Hammond,
Heinrich Haussler, Jeremy Hunt, Thor Hushovd, Wolodymyr Gustow, Andreas
Klier, Ignatas Konovalovas, Brett Lancaster, Daniel Lloyd, Joaquín Novoa,
Serge Pauwels, Oscar Pujol, Gabriel Rasch, Martin Reimer, Dominique Rollin,
Hayden Roulston, Carlos Sastre and Marcel Wyss
Ramírez Abeja to return in '09
By Monika Prell
After one season out of the sport Javier Ramírez Abeja will return to
the professional peloton in 2009. The 30 year-old rider from Carmona,
Spain has signed a one-year contract with Andalucía Cajasur, becoming
the team's 13th rider for next season, according to Biciciclismo.com.
Ramírez, who turned professional in 2004, spent three years with Liberty
Seguros before riding for Fuerteventura Canarias in 2007. The rider was
unable to find a professional team in 2008, so spent the year with his
former amateur team Avila Rojas.
A strong season with Avila Rojas put Ramírez back on the radar of professional
team bosses for next season. In addition to more than 10 top 10 classifications
in 2008, Ramírez won some 11 races.
While Andalucía Cajasur's full roster for 2009 is yet to be completed,
the team won't renew Francisco José Ventoso- or José Antonio Redondo's
contract after poor performances in 2008.
Andalucía Cajasur's 2009 squad includes: Javier Ramírez, Javier
Moreno, Francisco José Martínez, José Ruiz, Antonio Piedra, Jesús Rosendo,
José Antonio Carrasco, José Antonio López, Xavier Tondo Ángel Vicioso,
Manuel Calvente, Esteban Plaza and José Luis Roldán.
Team Type 1 signs two
Valeriy Kobzarenko (Team Type 1
Photo ©: Mark Zalewski
American squad Team Type 1 has announced two signings for 2009, including
the re-signing of Ukrainian Valeriy Kobzarenko. The former Ukrainian champion
played a crucial role in the squad throughout 2008, helping the team's
leaders setup several victories in addition to several podium finishes
of his own.
"I honestly believe we would not have had the success that we enjoyed
in 2008 without his undying, consistent, and selfless work and commitment,"
TT1 sport director Ed Beamon said. "In every situation that I can remember
this year where our leader may have been under fire, Kobza was always
there to put out the flame. Valeriy can win when in the situation, but
his experience and competitiveness make him one of the hardest workers
on the team."
The outfit has also signed 23 year-old Ino Ilesic, a Slovenian rider
who finished the 2008 season in strong form. Ilesic won the Dylan Mitchell
Memorial Criterium and Vista Grand Prix races and finished third at the
USA Crits Finals.
"He has extensive European experience coming from one of the top programs
in central Europe," Beamon said. "This was another move to improve our
strength in the sprints and at the finish, especially in the harder internationally
Beamon believes IIlesic's finishing speed will be showcased in hard,
one-day events and stages, as well as criteriums.
Australia gets festive over bicycles
Australia is getting ready for a cycling fix, with the Bicycle Film Festival's
leg Down Under ready to kick off. The festival commences in Sydney on
November 13 and runs through to November 16 before moving on to Melbourne
from November 19-23. The Melbourne leg of coincides with the city's UCI
Track World Cup round which will also be held next weekend.
On offer for two wheeled enthusiasts is a number of films including The
Six Day bicycle races, The way Bobby Sees it, and Road to
Roubaix. There will also be a series of swap meets and parties held
in conjunction with the shows.
For specific details on venues, viewing times and parties, see bicyclefilmfestival.com.
Coach heads home after charges dropped
West Australian track cycling coach Rick Lee is returning to Australia
after United States of America authorities dropped charges against the
51 year-old and released him from protective custody. Lee was being held
on charges of raping a 15 year-old girl in July while in USA with a team
of junior Australian cyclists.
Lee was to face charges of statutory rape, aggravated indecent assault,
burglary and trespass after the girl claimed to have been attacked by
Lee. While the girl claimed to not know and had never had contact with
Lee in an affidavit, Lee admitted to contacting the girl and attending
her home after she posed as a 19-year-old.
"She was posing as a person of legal age and it was on a website," Lee
told Fairfax Radio Network. "The evidence clearly backed up my
Lee thanked the Northampton County Prison staff for "doing a very good
job" and said he holds no grudge against the girl but hopes she seeks
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