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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

News for July 28, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Simoni cleared

Gilberto Simoni has been cleared by the Italian Cycling Federation's disciplinary committee for testing positive to cocaine on two occasions. The FCI judged that he had not knowingly taken the drug, and accepted the claim that it was present in some imported South American sweets given to him by his aunt. Police analysed the sweets, and verified the claim.

Simoni described himself as "relieved" that it was over, but he was not happy, as his Saeco team was excluded from the Tour de France on the premise that he had tested positive to a banned substance, and was likely to be suspended.

"The biggest thing that I've learnt from all of this is that it's better not to care what everybody else says, but do what you think is right," said Simoni. "The cases of Garzelli (at the Giro) and Gonzalez de Galdeano at the Tour de France have shown that I shouldn't have left the Giro, because I didn't do anything wrong."

His compatriot Garzelli didn't get off nearly as lightly, after the Swiss Olympic Association banned him on Friday for nine months for testing positive to probenecid, a diuretic on the UCI forbidden list.

Then halfway through the Tour de France, Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano tested higher than the limit for salbutamol, which is banned except in case of therapeutic justification. Galdeano had this, and was therefore not penalised.

Simoni will return to competition in the HEW Cyclassics World Cup race at Hamburg, Germany next Sunday, August 4. His racing programme will be planned with the aim of him competing in the Vuelta Espaņa in September.

Six months suspension for Sgambelluri, Ongarato and Conti

The FCI's disciplinary also handed out suspensions for Roberto Sgambelluri, Alberto Ongarato and Alessandro Conti today, giving each of them six months for doping, of a potential maximum sentence of 2 years. Sgambelluri tested positive for Nesp (a form of EPO) in April, Ongarato and Conti were found in possession of Nesp, caffeine and hashish. In each case, the rider's team was cleared.

Garzelli will appeal

One day after being given a minimum nine month ban by the Swiss Olympic Association for testing positive to probenecid, Stefano Garzelli has said that he'll take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

"It is an absolutely scandalous sentence," wrote Garzelli in a letter to the Swiss Cycling Federation. "Especially compared with other cycling federations. The disparity between the treatment and the application of the rules in a manner disproportionate to the circumstances, and who "interprets" the regulations is unacceptable."

Kevin Livingston retires

29 year old Telekom rider Kevin Livingston, has announced his retirement from cycling at the end of this season. Livingston made the announcement at the Tour de France, citing his family situation as the reason, in particular the birth of his young daughter.

"I just wanted to touch on the fact that it's a change that came about after a lot of talk, obviously with my family and with my wife," he told Cyclingnews today.

"This is a life change more than anything. I'm really excited. It's almost like the excitement of this change is why I have to do it. I can't wait another year, another two years, three years... I don't want to be living saying, 'in two years I'll do this, that'll be so nice.' I'm ready to do it right now."

"I'm going to finish the year with the team, and fulfil my professional commitment."

"As a rider you never know how it'll come about, and I'm happy how (my retirement) came about."

Livingston has ridden for four teams in his nine year career - Motorola, Cofidis, US Postal Service and Telekom. He has nearly always ridden as a domestique in support of riders such as Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich. He left Armstrong's team at the end of 2000, a decision that Armstrong was never 100% happy with.

At a Tour press conference today, Armstrong commented "I don't know exactly why he wants to stop. Obviously it's something to do with wanting to spend time with his family, which I understand and respect. But in the end I don't think he made the right decision to leave US Postal. I think we had a good thing here, it was a quick decision and a financial decision; those never end up being the best decisions.

"If he is indeed going to retire, I wish him well. We live in the same town so I'm sure our paths will cross. But I was surprised, very surprised."

No criteriums for Mario Aerts

Lotto-Adecco rider Mario Aerts has told Gerrie Van Gerwen, the Dutch Criterium manager, to not count him in for any of the post-Tour criteriums. In contrast to other TdF riders who may wish to collect additional income, Aerts has chosen not to take any risks.

"I refuse to ride those type of races this year. I want to do well in the second part of the season. Riding over those types of parcours, the cobbles,'s no good for your form. My behind is hurting enough as it is. I don't know how much money I'm saying no to; didn't even ask. But I'm not risking anything for some quick bucks. My only problem is that I'll be without competition for two weeks. My first race will be San Sebastian. I want to prepare there for the Championships of Zürich. I hope that the team directors lift the boycott."

Westwood Homes Kerry Youth Tour preview

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

Hopefully in a year where tourism is reported to be not as buoyant as previous years, the cycling fraternity in Killorglin, Co. Kerry have not been found wanting.

Since Easter, they have contributed in no small way by staging to date, two high profile events, which attracted over 2,000 bed nights in the area with the Tour of Munster (Easter) and the FBD Milk Ras (May), which had a stage end. This in no small way must have given a fillip to the local economy.

Next weekend there will be another influx of competitors and tourists to the town. Reportedly by far one of the biggest fields yet have been assembled for the fourth annual Westwood Homes Kerry Youth Tour.

The event will be held over the August Bank Holiday weekend, starting on Saturday afternoon and concluding on Monday on Monday morning.

In total 200 (two hundred) riders have entered the event. The flagship category 1 race for under 16's will have a field of 93 riders. This event will include the top boys in Ireland, England, Wales, the Isle of Man and a very strong team from Belgium. Entries from Sweden and from Spain are anticipated but to date no confirmation has been received to date. The category 1 race will include also Nikki Harris who is the reigning Girls British Champion. She has opted to race on equal terms with the boys and it will be interesting to see if she is going to follow in Nicole Cooke's footsteps and beat the boys.

Two sets of twins will compete in the race. The Whipp brothers Aaron and Ashley from the Scottish Provident Isle of Man team ride the category 1 race. The Ballantyne brothers Jason and Mark will race with a Duhallow Wheelers team in the category 2.

Killorglin Credit Union Cycling Club hosts the race, which is an international youth stage race. The race has an enviable reputation as a community based event. The title sponsor is a local house building company but all sections of the local business community contribute to making the Westwood Homes Kerry Youth Tour the remarkable success it has become. The race organisation are particularly grateful to the Gardai in Kerry and to the Roads Dept. of Kerry County Council for there help and support.

Randwick Botany Annual Junior Carnival

A large spectator crowd is expected at next Saturday's (August 3, 2002) Annual Randwick Botany Cycling Club Junior Carnival, at Heffron Park, Robey Street, Maroubra, starting at 8.30am. The event is part of the NSW Cycling Federation 2002 Road Racing Programme.

Spurred on by the excitement of the 2002 Tour-de-France, over 100 junior boys and girls, ranging from 7 to 17 years old, from all over NSW and ACT will compete. Handicap, Pointscore and Scratch races will be conducted around the tight 2km Heffron Park circuit. A sausage sizzle BBQ and club canteen will be open for riders, officials, media and spectators.

Local cyclists will be well represented by the best juniors from Randwick Botany Cycling Club, including Belinda Angwin, Robert Cater, Britney Orr and Tamas Bykerk. Late registrations will be accepted on the day from affiliated junior riders.

Several local businesses have supported the Junior Carnival, including the Newington Inn Petersham, Maroubra Cycles Anzac Parade Maroubra Junction, DS Labels Marrickville and Vella's Painting Services.

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)