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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition News for June 7, 2003

Edited by Chris Henry

Salanson: heart failure

Doctors at the University of Dresden medical institute in Germany have concluded that Fabrice Salanson died most likely of heart failure. "According to what we've discovered thus far, the French cycling professional Fabrice Salanson died a natural death," Dr. Jan Dressler said in an AP report. Doctors suspect Salanson's heart was enlarged and the coronary vessels failed to pump enough blood.

Funeral Saturday

Family, friends, and the Brioches La Boulangère team and staff will gather Saturday outside Nantes, France to remember Fabrice Salanson at funeral services in Frossay. Given the timing, the team has forfeited its place in the Classique des Alpes, however participation in the Dauphiné Libéré, which begins Sunday, is still planned.

Amateurs positive for EPO

Independent of the ongoing 'Operazione Bike' investigation in Brescia, another doping affair has come to light in Italy, involving two amateur riders. Gianluca Coletta (GS Grassi) and Moris Luna (Feralpi) both tested positive for EPO at the Coppa Citta di Asti on May 6. Both riders were subjected to random tests at the event, an U23 World Cup race, according to a Datasport report.

PCC sets new rules

Further to UCI president Hein Verbruggen's announcement of a new season-long competition for the European professional peloton, the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) has begun to outline new rules governing the selection of teams for races, under the umbrella of reform in professional cycling.

Among the new regulations being drafted is a revised selection process for the grand tours. According to the PCC, the 14 teams automatically selected for the grand tours will have to confirm their participation by February 1. Following pre-selection, the choice of eight wild card teams must be made by race organisers by the 1st of March.

USA MTB team for Pan American Championships

USA Cycling announced its roster Friday for the Pan American Championships Cross Country Mountain Bike event to be held in Medellin, Colombia on June 15. The American contingent was selected in an effort to gain valuable UCI points, critical for determining the number of start positions in the Olympics.

"The number of start positions in the Olympic Games are determined by a nation's ranking on UCI points," explained USA Cycling's Steve Johnson, "so when the opportunity to acquire points presented itself we put together a team of talented riders who are willing and available to go."

The trip to Colombia means the USA team members will have to forego the Snowshoe, West Virginia stop of the NORBA National Championship Mountain Bike Series, which has fewer UCI points on offer.

The USA Cycling selection for the Pan American Championships includes Frank Mapel (Specialized), Carl Decker (Giant-Pearl Izumi), Kim Anderson (T-Mobile) and Heather Irmiger (Ritchey-K2).

Phonak won't take Brard

The Phonak Hearing Systems team has decided not to sign Frenchman Florent Brard, who this month becomes eligible to race following a doping suspension. Brard was suspended after traces of corticosteroids were found in his urine during a routine test in the Tour de l'Ain in August 2002. The former Crédit Agricole rider, released from that team following the positive B sample of the same test, became eligible to race in France on June 1, and on June 15 will be allowed to race internationally. Brard has not yet found a team for this season.

His positive drug test has left its mark, and Phonak management was unwilling to sign Brard. "I met [Phonak president] Andy Rihs to explain the particular situation, that Brard tested positive out of negligence, but our team has a policy against signing any rider who has recently been implicated in a doping affair," explained directeur sportif Jacques Michaud.

Belgians for European championships

Belgian national selector José De Cauwer has begun to consider his selections for the European Championships in Athens, Greece. The event, an U23 championship, will be held this year on the same parcours that will greet the professionals at the 2004 Olympic Games. De Cauwer's early tips for selection all come from the ranks of the Quick.Step-Davitamon team, according to Het Nieuwsblad. The early choices are likely to include Preben Van Hecke, and Sébastien Rosseler, Jurgen Vandenbroeck, and Johan Van Summeren.


Swedish juniors lose bikes in burglary

Late Tuesday night, 21 racing bikes were stolen from the Cycling High School program in Skara, Sweden. The bikes are worth some 700,000 kronor (90,000 USD). "Strangely no windows or locks are broken. It seems as the burglars knew where the bikes were," said teacher Micael Gustafson.

The cycling programme has 20 students, the best junior cyclists in Sweden. Several students race both on the road as well as on mountain bikes. They will now have to get new bikes, and quickly, as the Swedish Championships are due in three weeks time. Anyone who is offered the occasion to buy an exclusive racing bike in the area is requested to contact local police.

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)