News for July 7, 2002
Edited by Anthony Tan and Jeff Jones
Quick Step to decide sponsorship plans next week
The directors of Quick Step, current co-sponsors of Mapei-Quick Step, will make a decision early next week about whether they will continue to sponsor a cycling team. They have spoken with both Saeco and US Postal about possible partnerships, and are reported to be willing to commit 2.5 million euros to their sponsorship. What is important for Quick-Step is that they gain a spot in the Top 10 Club, which would grant them automatic entry into all the major UCI races next year.
What next for Ullrich?
After his frank admission today that he took amphetamines the night before he was drug tested on June 12, Jan Ullrich now faces a struggle to resurrect his racing career after a disastrous first six months to his 2002 campaign. Although it's most likely his team won't sack him as it was not a case of doping, a procedure has been started by the German Cycling Federation, who may suspend him for six months for taking banned substances. In addition, the district attorney's office in Munich has started a preliminary investigation, as Ullrich could well be in breach of the German drug laws.
However Ullrich strenuously denies that he had ever taken any drugs for the sake of enhancing his performance, and vows to return back to his best: "I am now very down, and want to come back to the top again. I cannot finish my career like this," he said at his press conference in Frankfurt.
Ullrich will now "look back on things and think about everything" with his girlfriend Gaby, and plans on "changing his whole life".
Telekom Marketing Director Jürgen Kindervater said that "We have a responsibility for Jan Ullrich, he has given much to us and because of that we should be there for him now. We will decide next week how to go forward and give him a chance, to show that we want him to come back."
Telekom pay him approximately two million euros per year, and with their possible downsizing of their sponsorship budget for cycling, this could well be affected. At present, the team's future is uncertain beyond 2003.
Team spokesman Olaf Ludwig said that although Ullrich had broken the anti-doping rules, "His behaviour is pardonable... it was not doping. He forgot himself for a moment."
Women's Tour of Italy a farce
Management of 14 of the 15 teams participating in the Giro d'Italia donne demanded the team of Alessandra Cappellotto be excluded from the event, but were denied by the UCI.
Cappellotto, riding for Dutch squad Power Plate-Bik, did not show up to a doping control on June 23 at the Giro del Trentino to have her haematocrit level measured, and was subsequently disqualified for her non-appearance until July 7. However for a reason unbeknown to the public, the UCI admitted Cappellotto into the Giro d'Italia donne, reducing her suspension by two days and at the same time causing an uproar into the early hours of the morning preceding the prologue.
A number of sport directeurs from various teams threatened not to start; however the race eventually got underway, with the prologue won by Chantal Beltman from H20 - although the stage was later declared void.
Varriale and Romano's arrest revoked
Roberto Spano, the public prosecutor of Brescia has repealed the probationary period of riders Antonio Varriale (Ceramica Panaria-Gaerne) and Domenico Romano (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago). The investigation started approximately four months ago, which began with the arrest of Panaria-Gaerne rider Nicola Chesini and later involved Chesini's team mates Giuliano Figueras and Filippo Perfetto. However the arrest of Armando Marzano stands, the former policeman who admitted supplying doping products to Perfetto, Varriale and Romano.
De Paoli and Mazzoleni under trial
The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) will hear the cases of cyclists Daniele De Paoli (Alessio) and Eddy Mazzoleni (Tacconi-Caldirola) next Wednesday in relation to the seizure of forbidden substances by Italian customs authorities last month. On June 27, De Paoli, and then two hours later Mazzoleni, were stopped by customs officials on the Italo-Swiss border. Upon investigation, a number of forbidden doping substances were found, with De Paoli being fired immediately by Alessio team management. Mazzoleni on the other hand, has denied his involvement, declaring himself a "stranger" to the incident. Only Bentalan was found in his car, which he had a prescription for. He is currently taking part in the Tour de France.
McGrory and Gilmore dominate in Turin
The Aussie and Aussie-turned-naturalised Belgian duo of Scott McGrory and Matthew Gilmore dominated the third night of the Six Days of Turin track event held in the San Francesco al Campoare velodrome in northeast Italy. McGrory and Gilmore were easily the strongest, showing the form that carried them to Olympic gold and silver, and lead the overall classification from the Italian duo of Marco Villa and Ivan Quaranta and the Swiss pair of Kurt Betschart and Bruno Risi by 11 and 33 points respectively. In the final and main event of the night, the "Americana", a 125 lap (50km) Madison-style points race, McGrory and Gilmore were comfortable winners with 38 points, beating the duos of Curuchet-Simon (16 points) and Betschart-Risi (12 points).
20th anniversary of Williamette Valley race
The Willamette Valley's largest bicycle race, the Eugene Celebration Cycling Classic, will be part the three day Eugene Celebration Festival and will be held in Eugene, Oregon on September 21-22 this year. The three stage road cycling event consists of a road race and time-trial on Saturday and a criterium on Sunday. Accommodation is also offered to all participants.
Visit the race website for maps, course profiles, race details at http://www.obra.org/eugene_celebration or register online: http://www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=1010459
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)