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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News, November 13, 2008

Edited by Sue George

UCI examines Sella's one-year recommended sentence

By Gregor Brown

Emanuele Sella (CSF Group Navigare)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

The International Cycling Union (UCI) will examine the investigation files pertaining to Emanuele Sella, 27, to determine if he merits a one-year sentence. The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) recommended the suspension for the Italian, positive for EPO-CERA, on Tuesday based on his cooperation during hearings.

"We have asked CONI for the file so that we see what is in it. ... We asked for the file so we can study it before the hearing takes place, so that we can give an opinion as to how we feel of the one-year [suspension]," said UCI President Pat McQuaid to Cyclingnews.

Italy's anti-doping tribunal will review the related documents before it issues the official suspension on Monday, December 1

Sella broke through in the Giro d'Italia. He won the mountain classification's maglia verde and three demanding stages. The UCI targeted Sella and found him positive for the third generation EPO in an out-of-competition control taken on July 23.

One-year was the minimal suspension CONI could recommend based on World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules. The duration indicates CONI could be ready to start a new round of investigations and that the rider from Vicenza provided convincing information. He indicated then CSF Group teammate Matteo Priamo, winner of Giro d'Italia stage six, as the supplier during his August 8 hearing with prosecutor Ettore Torri, but how much more he revealed is unknown.

"We are happy to see this encouragement [to talk and name names] as long as the information is worthwhile and it assists. [The WADA rule] is quite specific what information is acceptable for a reduced sentence. Important information is needed, and if this falls within that then 'well and good.'"

Sella is unavailable for comment prior to the December ruling.

Ullrich denies doping, wins case

By Susan Westemeyer in Düsseldorf, Germany

2006, Jan Ullrich riding
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Jan Ullrich denied using any doping product or method from January through March 2003, when he was under contract to Team Coast, in a courtroom Wednesday morning in Düsseldorf, Germany. He testified as to this time period in a dispute over wages still owed to him by former Coast team owner Günhter Dahms. The court ruled in Ullrich's favor and ordered Dahms to pay him.

The 34-year-old consistently and clearly answered "No" to all questions of using doping medicaments or methods at this time, or at an earlier time which would allow the effects to carry over into that time frame. He was specifically asked about doping products or methods, including any kind of blood doping, and about contacts to Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes.

Concerning Fuentes, he said that he had no personal contact with Fuentes in this time period, nor were there payments to him. If others, including his advisor and Directeur Sportif Rudy Pevenage had contact with the Spanish doctor, Ullrich said that he was not aware of it.

Ullrich did admit contact with Dr. Luigi Cecchini, but said that this dealt only with the preparation of training plans. He was introduced to the Italian doctor by his brother-in-law Tobias Steinhauser, who was also a pro rider and a client of Cecchini. The contact started in February 2003, and "had only to do with training plans. I never got any kind of medication from him." He further noted that his work with Cecchini was not secret but was widely known at the time.

The only time he ran into explanation difficulties was when Dahms' attorneys asked about blood found at the Freiburg University Clinic identified as his, with the dates November 13, 2002, and April 2, 2003. At the former date, Ullrich was still suspended for his amphetamine use, and at the latter date, he was under the care of Team Coast doctors.

Ullrich said that he was unable to explain how the blood – "if it is even mine" – came to be at the Freiburg Clinic. He said that he had no professional contact while he was with Team Coast with doctors Andreas Schmid and Lothar Heinrich, who have since confessed to supplying Team Telekom rides with doping products.

It was the first time that Ullrich had sworn under oath that he had not used doping, and the judge carefully explained to him the penalties of perjury, or lying under oath. In Germany a conviction for perjury carries a minimum sentence of one year imprisonment.

After the hearing, Ullrich said that right had been done, adding, "Dahms is a cheat. I don't want his dirty money. Dahms lied in my face, although he knew he was broke. If I do get anything from him, then I will donate it to a children's charity."

Pregnant Dahle Flesjå to take off first half of 2009

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå
Photo ©: Rob Jones
(Click for larger image)

Former mountain bike World Champion Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå shared her happy news on Wednesday that she is pregnant and will have a baby next April. Dahle Flesjå will sit out the first races of the 2009 season and aims to make her return to competition at the Gunn-Rita-Marathon, which is dedicated to her and will take place in Montebelluno, northern Italy, on June 28.

"This happy news was confirmed during a visit to our doctor almost two weeks ago, when the ultrasound showed all to be well with the little one," said the 35-year-old Dahle Flesjå.

The Norwegian is coming off a restful October break from training. "I've started up with my winter training program again, and hope to get in some good exercise in the period until Christmas, naturally adjusting intensity according to how I feel and my growing tummy." Dahle Flesjå said she will draw from the information and experience of the Norwegian Olympic Federation for training pregnant athletes.

"With a normal pregnancy and birth, I would hope to be back on my bike and in full training again sometime in May. My first international race would then be the Gunn-Rita Marathon, but this will all depend on what shape I'm in after the birth. The European Championships and World Championships are right at the end of the season, in August/September, and we naturally aim to take part in these events."

"We believe this will give us an extra inspiration in our goal of a medal at the London Olympics in 2012," said Dahle Flesjå, who renewed her contract for another four years with the Multivan Merida team in mid-October.

"Gunn-Rita never made a secret about the fact that she would like to have a baby, so we always knew that this step could come," said team manager Andreas Rottler. "We are very happy for Gunn-Rita and we are sure that she is going to return to racing in the second half of the 2009 season fully motivated."

Dahle Flesjå and her husband Kenneth plan to rely on babysitting help from their families as she resumes training and racing after giving birth.

More details on the Giro released

By April Pedersen Santinon

More information on stage three of the 2009 Centennial Edition of the Giro d'Italia became available Wednesday. Officials in the town of Valdobbiadene in Treviso, Italy, confirmed that their town will host the finish of stage three on May 11.

According to according to, Giro d'Italia director Angelo Zomegnan informed officials that the 180km stage three will start in Grado, which is on the Adriatic Sea between Venice and Trieste, in the neighboring Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. Valdobbiadene, at the foot of Monte Cesen and surrounded by vineyard-covered hills, is one of the capitals of Prosecco wine.

The following day, May 12, the race will depart from Padova (Padua), also in the Veneto region, and finish in the Dolomite mountain town of San Martino di Castrozza, in the Trentino region.

Cancellara named Team CSC Saxo Bank's best rider

Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)
Photo ©: Rob Jones
(Click for larger image)

Team CSC-Saxo Bank's fan club picked Fabian Cancellara as the team's rider of the year for the second consecutive year. The Swiss racer won the Olympic Games time trial in Beijing, China, in August. It was one of 11 victories this season. He also won a stage in Tour de France, Milano-Sanremo, Tirreno-Adriatico and Monte Paschi Eroica.

"It's a really nice way to end the season. I'm very happy about this," said Cancellara according to the team's website.

Cancellara captured 31.6% of the votes, Sastre finished second with 22.1%, and Andy Schleck captured the third most votes.

Previous winners of the team's title including Jens Voigt (2004-6) and Michael Sandstød (2001-2003).

Tour of California picks up new sponsor

Rabobank has signed a three-year sponsorship agreement to be a founding partner and the official bank of the Amgen Tour of California beginning in 2009, and extending through the 2011 event.

As part of the sponsorship, Rabobank will present the daily award given to the best young rider for that stage. Each day, all riders under the age of 23 compete for this special recognition. The recipient is determined by his overall placement at the finish line after each stage. During the daily awards ceremony, special recognition is given to the winner of the award as he is presented with the Rabobank Best Young Rider jersey. At the race’s conclusion, an overall winner of the jersey will also be named. Coincidentally, a rider from the Rabobank team has been the overall winner of this jersey for the past two years.

“We are pleased to enter into this partnership with AEG and to become the official bank of the Amgen Tour of California professional cycling race,” said Ronald Blok, chief executive officer of Rabobank, N.A. “In just three years, AEG has built the race into a highly professional and well-organized event that attracts millions of spectators and cycling fans in California and, increasingly, around the world. Rabobank has a long association with cycling and a century-old heritage of community banking, so our sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California is an ideal synergy between our commitment to cycling and the growth of our bank in California.”

The 800-mile 2009 Tour of California will make its way through 16 host cities down the coast and through the Central Valley of California. The nine-day race starts on Saturday, February 14, 2009 in Sacramento and concludes on Sunday, February 22, in San Diego County, with a finish in Escondido.

Rabobank has been a sponsor of one of the world’s top elite cycling teams for the past 12 years, including three-time world road champion Oscar Freire and 2008 Tour of California stage winner Robert Gesink.

Team Garmin launch to benefit Children's Hospital

Fans will have the opportunity to spend an evening with Garmin-Chipotle Professional Cycling Team riders and staff at the Boulder Theatre in Boulder, Colorado, on Saturday, November 22. That evening will feature the introduction of the full 2009 team, a silent auction and an open forum Q&A with the riders. Additionally, guests will get a sneak peak at a feature length documentary from Nick Davis Productions about a year in the life of Team Garmin-Chipotle. The film will air on the Sundance Channel prior to the 2009 Tour de France.

The silent auction will include items such as Christian Vande Velde's Felt DA time trial bike used in the 2008 Tour de France, a leader's jersey from the 2008 Giro d'Italia signed by the 2008 team time trial squad, a 2008 Garmin-Chipotle team jersey signed by the entire 2008 Tour de France team, a Zipp time trial wheelset signed by U.S. Professional champion Dave Zabriskie.

All proceeds from the evening will benefit The Children's Hospital Courage Classic, a three-day cycling event the benefits the hospital. Located in Aurora, Colorado, Children's is a pediatric network entirely devoted to the health and wellbeing of children. Cancer survivor and four-time Courage Classic rider Paul Lemieux, 17, will be a featured speaker of the evening.

A limited number of VIP tickets, which include a private cocktail hour with the team, special seating, and a gift bag, are available for US$250.00. For VIP tickets, visit For $25 General admission tickets, visit the Boulder Theatre Web site at Each ticket purchased comes with a raffle ticket for a custom fit 2008 team edition Felt F1.

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