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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

News for August 10, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones and Chris Henry

Lampre: products were legal

According to the Lampre-Daikin team, the products found in one of the team's campervans on July 29 were all legal. It was reported that the team doctor, Jose Ibarguren Taus' supplies contained corticosteroids, which are legal under certain conditions, and illegal in other cases. Dr Ibarguren could show police all the documents pertaining to the products that he carried. He will visit the UCI in Lausanne next week to discuss and clarify the issue with them.

Protests at French Embassy in support of Raimondas Rumsas

Roughly fifty Lithuanians convened to protest outside the French embassy in Vilnius on Friday, in support of Raimondas Rumsas and his wife Edita. Mrs. Rumsas remains incarcerated in a French jail after being arrested July 28th with suspected illegal doping products in her car.

Banners written in French, Lithuanian, and English carried pleas to "let mother return to her children." Some speakers at the rally expressed concern that Edita Rumsas remains in jail because she is Lithuanian. "I believe if she were from Austria, Germany, or any other European country she would have been released within a few hours," said Vytautas Bogusis, a former member of parliament.

Meanwhile, Lithuanian news agency ELTA reported today that Edita Rumsas's mother and her doctors have requested that medical documentation be sent to Italy to confirm that the products seized from Edita Rumsas could have indeed been destined for her mother Valerija Jakstiene.

After surgery several years ago, it is reported that Jakstiene could still receive substances similar to those found in Edita's car as part of on-going treatment, although no specific information was provided as to who in Italy would receive these documents.

Clasica San Sebastian Preview

The Clasica San Sebastian will be raced after HEW Cyclassics this year, as the seventh round of the UCI World Cup. The 227 kilometre classic is generally hard enough to force a selection on the main climb of the Jaizkibel, which has its summit at 36 km to go. Recent winners include Laurent Jalabert, Erik Dekker, Francesco Casagrande, Davide Rebellin, Udo Bšlts and Lance Armstrong, all of whom (save Dekker) will be present at the start line in front of sponsoring newspaper El Diario Vasco's offices on Saturday.

Click here for the full preview, start list and map.

Follow the live coverage of the 22nd Clasica San Sebastian on Cyclingnews. Coverage starts at approximately 14:30 CEST/5:30 PDT/08:30 EDT/22:30 Aust EST.

Zurich World Cup boycott averted

After threats of a boycott voiced by many of the teams registered for the Championship of Zurich threatened to derail the World Cup race this year, new race organisers Upsolut have announced that an agreement has been reached and the race will proceed as scheduled. A number of teams had threatened the boycott in response to unpaid prize money from last year's edition, which was won by Italian Paolo Bettini. Reuters reports that prior to the agreement struck on Thursday between Upsolut and the concerned teams, only five teams had confirmed their participation in the event, including Phonak, Team Coast, and Saeco.

German-based Upsolut, which acquired the race from DPO, announced that it would pay the 140,000 Swiss francs ($93,330) owed to teams after last year's event. According to Michael Hinz, a member of Upsolut's executive committee, "we had only one option to pay this amount to save the race. In the interest of the sport and this meeting we did justice to our responsibility."

Verbruggen affirms determination to fight doping

Despite his decision to resign from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), UCI president Hein Verbruggen affirmed Friday that he remains determined in the fight against doping.

Responding to questions at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee, of which Verbruggen is also a member, the head of the UCI declared, "everybody knows my efforts to fight doping," after which he refused to answer any questions which did not pertain to the matter at hand, an evaluation of the preparation for the 2008 Olympics.

Verbruggen, a founding member of WADA's executive committee, announced last week his intention to resign from the organisation, citing what he considered excessive attacks concerning doping in cycling relative to other sports.

The return of Jan Ullrich?

German star Jan Ullrich, considered by some the "fallen angel" of German cycling, has announced his intentions to return as a professional. Finding inspiration in the performances - and comeback - of German swimmer Franzi van Almsick, Ullrich says he has new hope for a return to the top.

"When I hear about these athletes that rise above the critical moments in life," Ullrich mused, "I once again find courage and hope."

Though he may be anxious to return to cycling, the 1997 Tour de France champion has yet to return to the driver's seat of his car, relying on his girlfriend for four-wheeled transportation.

Boogerd to ride Ster Elektrotoer

Michael Boogerd will be one of the big favourites for the Ster Elektrotoer, a five day Dutch 2.3 stage race from September 11-15. The race starts in Eindhoven and finishes in Schijndel, and Boogerd is considered an excellent chance of winning it. Other teams include EDS-fakta, CSC-Tiscali, Index-Alexia and Bankgiroloterij.

Saeco-Longoni Sport heads for Spain

The Saeco-Longoni Sport team is heading for Spain for the next few weeks in order to build up its team for the Vuelta España, which starts on September 7. The first race on the calendar for them is the Clasica San Sebastian which takes place on August 10. The team for that consists of Igor Astarloa (2nd in HEW Cyclassics), Mirko Celestino, Italian champion Salvatore Commesso, Danilo Di Luca, Gerrit Glomser, Fabio Sacchi, Gilberto Simoni, and Alessio Galletti.

The following day, Saeco will race with a similar line up (Juan Fuentes will ride in place of Galletti) in the Subida Urkiola.

For the Vuelta Ciclista a Burgos (August 12-16), the team will include Astarloa, Commesso, Damiano Cunego, Fuentes, Glomser and Simoni. They will be joined by Igor Pugaci and Oscar Mason for the G.P. Llodio on August 18.

Concurrently with the races in Spain, Giuseppe Martinelli will manage a team at the Due Giorni Marchigiana (August 13-14) which includes Bertagnolli, Conte, Gavazzi, Pepoli, Sabaliauskas, Spinelli, Tonti and Wegmann as preparation for the World Cup race, Meisterschaft von Zurich on Sunday August 18.

Sunderland pulls out of Tour of Denmark

After being laid low for the third time this season with a stomach and intestinal virus, Scott Sunderland has had to forfeit the Post Denmark Rundt, which takes place between August 13-17. Further examinations on Monday excluded any bacterial poisoning of the body, or more serious stomach or intestinal tract illness.

Like many riders in the peloton Scott Sunderland has been suffering on and of with this problem this season. It is expected he'll resume racing in his "hometown race" the GP Stad Zottegem, on the 20th of August.

In the meantime, team EDS-fakta is in negotiations with a number of possible co-sponsors. According to the team management the meetings have been very constructive and the outlook is positive.

For more information, see Scott Sunderland's diary.

Phonak for Tour of Denmark

The Phonak team has announced is roster for the upcoming Tour of Denmark, to be held August 13-17. The team will be guided by directed by Jacques Michaud.

Matthias Buxhofer
Iker Camaño
Christian Charriere
David Derepas
Michael Reihs
Sven Teutenberg
Alexandre Usov
Lukas Zumsteg

Jacques Michaud, directeur sportif

Mapei-Quick Step development team for upcoming races

Alvaro Crespi, Team Manager of the MAPEI-Quick Step team, announced today the upcoming schedule of the Young Riders formation. The development team will spend the weekend in Germany, racing on Saturday, August 10th at the Dortmund Classic, and Sunday at the Sparkassen Giro Bochem. The following riders will compete in the two events:

Gianpaolo Cheula
Aurèlien Clerc
Bernhard Eisel
Graziano Gasparre
Scott McGrory
Filippo Pozzato
Michael Rogers
Pavel Zerzan

Directeur Sportif: Roberto Damiani

Photo finish system and TV coverage for Gamuda Eagle Tour

The inaugural Gamuda Eagle Tour of Malaysia, to be held in Langkawi from August 14 to 18, will be using a state of the art photo finish equipment and results system to ensure the dissemination of accurate and fast results of the race.

The equipment, manufactured by Lynx System Developers in Boston, which produces and distributes Sports Data products, has been used in Malaysia's Tour de Langkawi and in other major cycling events in Europe.

Television network RTM, the host broadcaster of the race, will air 30 minute daily delayed telecasts of the race from August 14 to 18. The programs, featuring highlights and action from the race, will be aired on TV1 at 11:30pm local time.

Rising stars in Irish cycling

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

What with the M. Donnelly Junior Tour dominating proceedings all week, the senior brethren have a selection of events to choose from.

In the Junior Tour, Nicholas Roche has certainly been the junior of the race. Last year he made his debut as a raw competitor, but 12 months on he has blossomed into a very fine athlete and the future looks bright for him. Of course he has the pedigree to do well and who knows, maybe he could emulate at least some of the success his dad, Stephen, had on the world stage.

With two stages remaining, he could do the business. It was rather odd to say the least that he opted not to compete for Ireland, but his commitment was to the lads that he races and trains with every week and what's more it was a boost for his team which was sponsored by his dad.

In the last number of weeks, Stephen O'Sullivan has been hitting the headlines for all the right reasons. If you were checking form, O'Sullivan would command all the attention.

Wherever, Stephen decides to compete on Sunday, he'll do the business.

His success last week in the Gene Moriarty Trophy in Listowel demonstrated that it was vintage O'Sullivan. He has had some notable successes since making his debut on the cycling scene. His best years would have been in the purple and white jersey of the Bray Wheelers. He was a regular winner on the circuit before moving on to a number of high profile sponsored clubs. He contributed down the years to their success, but in early May he left a club in Naas because of contractual arrangements.

Since reverting to the unattached ranks, his success has meteoric to say the least. Evidently he was a solid bonus to those sponsored clubs and down the years must have sacrificed his personal ambitions in preference to his employers.

Next week the focus of attention will be on an Irish team led by Tommy Evans who will be participating in the Gamuda Eagle Tour of Malaysia which starts next Wednesday and finishes up on Sunday. The five-day event will be on the island of Langkawi.