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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest Cycling News, October 28, 2008

Edited by Gregor Brown

CPA urges riders to question anti-doping controllers

By Gregor Brown

Cédric Vasseur, President of the The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA)
Photo ©: Isabelle Duchesne
(Click for larger image)

The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) issued a statement today that advised riders to ask for identification from of all anti-doping testers who come to their home. Its president, Cédric Vasseur, is worried about foul play in a sport that is issues numerous controls in and out of competition.

"Think it is better to know who is coming – the UCI [International Cycling Union], a national organisation like the AFLD [French anti-doping agency], WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency], or an organisation, like one from the Flemish government. It is for security reasons," Frenchman Vasseur said to Cyclingnews.

The CPA supplied a frequency chart of biological passport controls, produced by the UCI's Anne Gripper, in its statement. Through September 2008, riders were tested an average of 8.7 times in blood and urine controls. The UCI performed more than half of the controls, 6.5 on average, outside of competition.

The UCI started the biological passport programme in January as a way to establish riders' haematological and steroid profiles. Italian Emanuele Sella was one rider caught though these type of tracking controls.

"In the last few weeks I have had a lot of phone calls from riders who have had two or three controls in the last 10 days. They don't understand why they have controls today and then more in the following days. Most of them, when I ask, don't know who did the controls. A French guy from Cofidis got controlled two weeks ago by the AFLD and then on the day after the Tour presentation, from the UCI – three controls in total."

Vasseur underlined security behind the CPA's statement. "Most of the riders just open the door when someone arrives for the control. ... I could put on a glasses and moustache to go to [Alejandro] Valverde's house!"

T-Mobile rider claims widespread EPO use

A former Team Telekom/T-Mobile rider claimed that team doctors from the Freiburg University Clinic distributed EPO (Erythropoietin) to riders during 2003 and 2004, public prosecutors in Freiburg, Germany said Monday night on German TV.

The rider, whose name was not released, rode for the team in those two years, but it was not clear as to whether those were the only two years, or whether he is still active. He allegedly made a comprehensive statement about doping practices at the team during those years.

"This is a witness whose identity I am not willing to disclose as this time, because we are planning further interrogations," chief prosecutor Wolfgang Meier told the

Doping violations which occurred in 2003 and 2004 would not fall under the statute of limitations. Riders such as Rolf Aldag and Erik Zabel admitted in the last years to drug use in the 1990s, which were far enough back that they could not be prosecuted.

Maier explained that his office tracked EPO shipments to the clinic in Freiburg. Some came from a pharmacy in Elztal, Germany, a town 225 kilometres away. Both the distance and the large amounts of EPO delivered lead to the conclusion that the drug was not just for medical use, Maier indicated. The other source was a pharmacy in Milan, and he said that this investigation is continuing.

The rider is the second rider after Patrik Sinkewitz to claim that team doctors Andreas Schmid and Lothar Heinrich were involved in illegal doping. Sinkewitz, who joined the team in 2005, had said there were blood transfusions and had not mentioned EPO.

Sinkewitz tested positive for testosterone in an out-of-competition control before the 2007 Tour de France. He later confessed to having used blood doping at the Freiburg Clinic before and during the 2006 Tour. (SW)

Terpstra training with Milram teammates

By Susan Westemeyer

Niki Terpstra of Team Milram is back to regular training
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Niki Terpstra of Team Milram is training again after recovering from two broken elbows suffered in Beijing during the Olympics. He joined his Milram teammates for the first team meeting, in Austria, earlier this month.

Terpstra, 24, was cycling with his Dutch track teammates from the Olympic Village to the finals of the team pursuit, when the rider in front of him quickly moved to avoid a police car. "I was unable to avoid it. I wanted to break my fall, landed on my arms and ended up breaking both elbows," he said in a press release.

Terpstra was taken to a local hospital and then flew home to the Netherlands for surgery. Operations on both arms left him helpless for a while. "Brushing my teeth, telephoning, and so on – I couldn't do any of those things alone. My girlfriend supported me wonderfully. I couldn't have done without her," Terpstra said.

He was back on the home trainer, working on his base training, as soon as possible. "I couldn't do anything more, but I couldn't just sit around and do nothing. ... Things are going much better and I can do real training again."

Team Manager Gerry van Gerwen told Cyclingnews that the team meeting went well. "The team for the coming season makes a good impression," Van Gerwen said. "At the team meeting, the chemistry was right between everyone from the start. I think that we can look forward to a young and sympathetic troupe, which will give its all."

Calvente signs with Andalucía

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Manuel Calvente (Contentpolis Murcia) before the start
Photo ©: Vincent Didelot
(Click for larger image)

Spain's Manuel Calvente, 32, reached a contractual agreement for 2009 with Professional Continental Team Andalucía-Cajasur. The rider from Granada raced this season for Contentpolis-Murcia and captured overall victory in the Vuelta a La Rioja.

"I had a great time with Contentpolis-Murcia this year, because I felt well. It was like a family. But now I did not want to miss the opportunity to ride in my region's professional squad, Andalucía-Cajasur," Calvente told to Cyclingnews.

His other results for 2008 include second place in the 'queen' stage of the Vuelta a La Rioja, sixth in the Subida al Naranco and eighth in the Subida a Urkiola. He explained that he will "work very hard" to race in the 2009 Vuelta a España.

Calvente made debut in 2002 with Team CSC-Tiscali, where he raced for four seasons. In 2006, the Spaniard joined Agritubel for two years. He joined Contentpolis-Murcia at the beginning of this season.

Braveheart raises £40,000 for aspiring Scottish cyclists

By Gregor Brown in Kilmarnock, Scotland

Robert Millar's mountain classification jersey from the 1984 Tour de France
Photo ©: Andy Smith
(Click for larger image)

The Braveheart Cycling Fund raised just short of £40,000 for young Scottish cyclists at its annual dinner on Saturday. Cycling celebrities, like Chris Hoy and Mark Cavendish, participated in the auction and fund raising event in Kilmarnock, Scotland.

Former Team Motorola professional Brian Smith started the fund in 2003 to help Scottish cyclists. Road, track and mountain bike racers receive financial support from the charity.

It was the fifth year that Braveheart held its fundraising dinner. Cycling's elite donated items to help pull in the crowds for the cause. Olympic gold medallist and Scot Chris Hoy was the star of the evening hosted by David Harmon. Cavendish, Thor Hushovd, Daniel Martin, Scott Sunderland, Hendrik Redant and Sean Kelly also helped make the evening a success. Tour de France Champion Carlos Sastre was present via a special dedicated video message.

Auctioneer Alan Hewitt led the bidding on the donated cycling memorabilia following a dinner. Top items included Robert Millar's mountain classification jersey from the 1984 Tour de France and a maillot jaune from CSC-Saxo Bank's Sastre and Sunderland. The original jersey donated by Scot Millar drew in the most money ever raised for an item in the dinner's history, £3200.

Supporters raised £30,000 of the £40,000 (€49,530) from the dinner and around £10,000 came from advance donations.

Money raised helps riders like Gareth Montgomerie. The organisation awarded the 25 year-old from Castle Douglas on stage as Braveheart Cyclist of the Year. He is a mountain biker for team Colnago/Ergon/Singletrack Magazine and is considering a switch to road for the coming Commonwealth Games.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Andy Smith

Extremadura leaves cycling

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Spain's Team Extremadura leaves the European professional peloton at the end of this month. The team was self-funded by its members after losing co-sponsor Spiuk at the beginning of the year.

The fund, Ciclismo Solidario, covered around 40 percent of the budget and the other funds came from the regional government of Extremadura. The search for a second sponsor, made worse by the team's non-invite to the Vuelta a España, was unsuccessful.

The management of the Extremadura-Ciclismo Solidario squad noted its "deeply regrets that for the project's end," in a press release. It did express satisfaction with its "work well done".

Team Extremadura decided to say goodbye in the next days to meet the deadline of October 30, when the squad would have to register with the International Cycling Union (UCI) for 2009. It maintains an agreement with the regional government to create a new under-23 and elite level team.

Donadio and Perez lead Grenoble

Argentineans Sebastian Donadio and Walter Perez lead the 38th Grenoble Six Day with two nights remaining. The pair took the lead from Denmark's Michael Mørkøv and Alex Rasmussen.

Donadio and Perez lead came thanks to their victory in Monday night's 35-minute pursuit, where they gained 16 points on the previous night's leaders. The duo also won the 36-lap sprint.

The French race, won in 2007 by Mørkøv and Rasmussen, ends Wednesday night.

(Additional editorial assistance by Susan Westemeyer.)

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