First Edition News for June 13, 2003
Edited by Chris Henry
FDJeux.com loses two
The FDJeux.com team lost two riders in stage 4 of the Dauphiné Libéré Thursday, one in spectacular fashion. Jacky "Dudu" Durand began the stage in typical fashion, launching the first break shortly after the drop of the flag. The aggressive peloton was not keen to let the master of the solo escape go, however, and Durand was pulled back faster than usual.
Unfortunately for the veteran of the French peloton, Durand was hit by a motorcycle of the Garde Républicaine at the moment of his capture. As he looked left to see the approaching peloton, Durand failed to notice the motorcycle which was passing the field quickly on the right.
Durand crashed heavily, and was unable to get up after his fall. He suffered a deep gash to his elbow and injured his hip, although initial tests did not reveal any fractures. Durand was taken to the hospital in Vienne, and later released to travel to his home near Grenoble, where he will be forced to rest for several days. The injury could compromise Durand's participation in the Tour de France.
FDJeux.com's Baden Cooke also retired Thursday during the stage. Cooke suffered a high speed crash in the closing metres of stage 1 as a fight for the ideal leadout wheel led to a tangle of bikes and several riders hitting the ground. Cooke will use the rest of the week to recover before lining up at the Tour of Switzerland on Monday.
Rumsas denies charges
In the wake of reports that he had tested non-negative for a banned substance during the Giro d'Italia, Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) has protested the results and insisted that he is innocent. Rumsas issued a statement through his attorney declaring that he has not used banned substances. "[Rumsas] formally contests accusations from the press concerning the use of doping products," said attorney Alexandre Varaut. "Mr. Rumsas has immediately asked for a counter analysis to establish proof of his integrity."
This new suspicions comes less than a year after Raimondas' wife Edita was arrested with a variety of banned substances in her car on the final day of the 2002 Tour de France. According to a l'Equipe report, Rumsas was formally put on notice by the UCI following last year's affair. "Despite this affair which implicates your wife, you have tested negative in all controls," the UCI's chief medical personnel Doctors Schattenberg and Zorzoli wrote in a communique to Rumsas. "You should know nonetheless that you are considered a suspect, that you will be under watch, and that we will test you regularly."
Meanwhile, the Lithuanian cycling federation echoed sentiments of surprise and disappointment voiced by Rumsas' Lampre team over the latest implication of doping. "We were surprised by the news, particularly given last year's scandal," federation president Valentinas Rutkauskas told the Associated Press. "He is tested frequently."
Indeed, the repercussions have already begun. Rumsas was immediately suspended by Lampre after the news of the non-negative test, but the entire team will suffer some degree of consequence for the new cloud which hangs over the rider. Lampre has not been invited to race the Tour of Denmark (August 12-16). "Some teams have not gotten the message," race director Jesper Worre said to AP. "We don't want teams like Lampre."
Sevilla to miss Tour de France
Oscar Sevilla (Kelme), who has suffered continued setbacks in training this spring, will miss the 2003 Tour de France. Sevilla has been unable to train properly following an operation to remove a cyst in the groin area, and has determined along with his team management and doctors that he would not be adequately prepared to race the centenary Tour in less than one month's time.
"Following a meeting between the president of Kelme, the directeur sportif, and the medical staff, it has been decided that Oscar Sevilla will not take part in the next Tour de France," read a statement from the team. "We are sorry for the fans of cycling, as we had wished his total recovery."
Sevilla finished the 2001 Tour in 7th overall, but was forced to abandon on stage 16 in 2002 due to illness.
Dutch anti-doping organisations get together
Several Dutch anti-doping organisations have come together to form the Dutch Antidoping Platform, with the aim of improving the speed at keeping up to date with international developments in doping. The platform is made up of the Dutch Centre for Doping Problems (NeCeDo), the Dutch Doping Control (DoCoNed), the Dutch Olympic Federation (NOCNSF) and its athletes' commission. The president is Jos van der Vegt, the General Manager of Ahoy' Rotterdam.
Museeuw joins ride for disabled
Johan Museeuw (Quick.Step-Davitamon) will spend Friday, June 13 at the side of Italian disabled athlete Fabrizio Macchi, riding the first leg of the European Tour 2003. The event is organised for disabled Italian athletes, and this year will cover 19 stages in 24 days, taking in seven European countries and many of the most famous roads in cycling. Macchi is a well known Italian athlete, and among his many cycling victories holds the hour record for disabled athletes.
The Tour begins Friday in Brussels, heading southwest to Roubaix, France, and the famous velodrome where Museeuw has three times been victorious. Museeuw will join Macchi as the ride reaches the Brussels suburb of Ninove, not far from the finish of the Tour of Flanders.
The European Tour 2003 will also visit the Pyrénées, the Alps (including Alpe d'Huez), and the Dolomites as it winds its way from Belgium to Italy by way of the Netherlands, Germany, France, Andorra, and Spain. The tour concludes on July 6.
Kraftwerk re-releases "Tour de France"
Germany's electronic music pioneer Kraftwerk will release an updated version of its classic song "Tour de France" in honour of the race's centenary. Originally released in 1983, Kraftwerk's Tour de France remains a cult classic from the enduring electro band. The album "Tour de France 03" is set for release on July 21.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)