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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for November 18, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Jeanson defends herself

At a press conference in Montreal on Monday, Canadian cyclist Geneviève Jeanson defended herself against accusations that she took performance enhancing drugs. "I've never touched EPO in my life," Jeanson said. "I've never seen it, I've never been given any and I've never taken any. Never."

Jeanson called the press conference in the wake of the Dr. Maurice Duquette affair, the Quebecois doctor who last week pleaded guilty to a number of charges brought against him by the Collège des médecins du Québec (Quebec College of Physicians), many of them dealing with the improper administration of EPO. Dr. Duquette admitted - then denied - giving EPO to an "international level Quebec cyclist and coach" who are now known to be Geneviève Jeanson and her coach André Aubut. The publication ban forbidding naming the cyclist was lifted at the request of Jeanson herself, on the condition that she keep the confidentiality of her medical files.

Jeanson was named in Dr. Duquette's files as follows: having "neglected to write into the medical file of Ms. Geneviève Jeanson... medications that were administered to her, notably Marcaine [a local anaesthetic] and Eprex [Ed: EPO] that had been re-administered as a diagnostic test, in contravention of the Règlement sur la tenue des dossiers d'un médecin (regulation on keeping medical files)."

The day after the plea, Dr. Duquette sent a letter to Jeanson’s lawyer where he wrote that he had, "never prescribed or given Eprex to Geneviève Jeanson... I pleaded guilty for injecting Marcaine along one tendon during one exercise routine and then omitting to write this in her file at the office."

Jeanson has strongly denied ever receiving or using EPO either from Dr. Duquette or any other source, and has been frustrated that she has so far not been allowed to explain her situation to anyone. Jeanson's lawyer Alain Barrette said that his client had tried in vain for nearly a year to tell her version of the story to the Comité de discipline du Collège des médecins (Disciplinary Committee of the Quebec College of Physicians), but her Motion for Intervention was rejected by the Committee.

Dr. Duquette's guilty plea means that Jeanson still cannot explain herself to the Collège des médecins tribunal, and she wants to appear before sport's governing bodies, especially the Canadian Cycling Association, to clear up the situation.

"It's been months since I've wanted to talk about this," she said. "Because I was not able to with the Collège des médecins, I want to have the chance with the sport's governing bodies."

The publicity surrounding the Duquette case is the second time in as many months that Jeanson has found herself surrounded by controversy. She was unable to race at the world championships last month after a routine haematocrit test found her to be over the permitted red blood cell level. Jeanson subsequently tested negative for EPO and claimed her elevated haematocrit was caused by use of a hypoxic tent in training.

63rd Zesdaagse van Vlaanderen-Gent

By Nick Rosenthal,

Gilmore and Wiggins
Photo ©: Nick Rosenthal

The 63rd edition of the Zesdaagse van Vlaanderen-Gent, better known as the Ghent Six, will run from Tuesday, November 18 through Sunday, November 23. It's one of the most popular Sixes, and the crowds are always appreciative of the action in Gent's Kuipke.

The 2002 Ghent Six saw the regular pairing of Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart score a hard-earned win ahead of some fierce competition. This year, the newly made up team that came second in 2002 will be hungry for revenge: Ghent's own Matt Gilmore was paired for the first time with Britain's Bradley Wiggins in the 2002 Ghent Six, and they are a remarkably effective combination. Gilmore and Wiggins can also be sure of having the local crowd behind them, as they were both born in Ghent while their fathers were themselves racing on the six-day circuit.

Matt Gilmore and Brad Wiggins are both very keen to win the Ghent Six in 2003, and Wiggins is in great form. The only slight question mark against their form is Gilmore's condition following a "vehicular mishap" on the way back from the recent Munich Six, a car crash which has left him a bit battered and bruised, and with reports of a pulled muscle. But Gilmore is tough and has bounced back from worse, and he had the good sense to lay low and rest, choosing to miss the European Derny title in order to be back on song for his home six day race.

Other riders to watch include Switzerland's top six day pairing of Risi and Betschart, who should never be underestimated, but they may well be ready for a bit of a rest after two hard earned wins in Dortmund and Munich. Robert Slippens and Danny Stam are very quick, and could well make the podium. But Fat Nick's money for an outside flutter has to be double world champion Franco Marvulli and Alex Aeschbach.

Throw in a few Belgian beers (for the spectators, anyway!), a nice tight 170 metre track, and oodles of atmosphere, and you can see why Fat Nick has been looking forward to this race. And the race is "under new management" this year, with new owners and new ticketing arrangements. The good news is that former six-day ace Patrick Sercu remains firmly in charge of sporting matters, so exciting racing is guaranteed.


1 Bruno Risi/Kurt Betschart (Swi) Labo Van Vooren
2 Andreas Kappes/Andreas Beikirch (Ger) Real Homes
3 Scott McGrory (Aus)/Robert Sassone (Fra) VDK
4 Robert Slippens/Danny Stam (Ned) Evosoft
5 Matthew Gilmore (Bel)/Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Mercator
6 Jean-Pierre Van Zyl (RSA)/Marco Villa (Ita) Saey/Deschacht
7 Jimmi Madsen (Den)/Lars Teutenberg (Ger) JDK-RDM
8 Iljo Keisse (Bel)/Franz Stocher (Aut) Tartuffe
9 Dimitri Defauw (Bel)/Gerd Dörich (Ger) AVS
10 Rob Hayles (GBr)/Marty Nothstein (USA) Rail-Pass
11 Steven Deneef/Wouter Van Mechelen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen
12 Franco Marvulli (Swi)/Alexander Aeschbach (Swi) Van Eetvelde

68th Tour de Suisse unveiled

Next year's 68th Tour de Suisse will take place from June 12-20 over nine stages and 1450 kilometres - one day shorter than in previous years to comply with UCI regulations. The race, which was presented on Monday, is considered one of the most prestigious stage races in the world, ranking just behind the three grand tours in status.

The 68th Tour de Suisse opens with a flat 170 km stage between Sursee and Beromunster, and follows a fairly flat trajectory for the first four stages. Stage 5 from Bätterkinden to Adelboden (170 km) finishes with a 12 km climb, and that will be followed by the tough king stage between Frutigen and Linthal, which includes the Susten and Klausen passes. Friday's seventh stage between Linthal and Malbun is no easy one either, finishing with a 10 km climb which takes the riders up to 1600 m. The tour finishes on Sunday, June 20 with a 40 km time trial around Lugano, the only stage against the clock in this year's edition.

The stages

Stage 1 - June 12: Sursee-Beromunster, 170 km
Stage 2 - June 13: Durrenroth-Rheinfelden, 170 km
Stage 3 - June 14: Rheinfelden-Juraparc Vallorbe, 190 km
Stage 4 - June 15: Valle'e de Joux-Bätterkinden, 160 km
Stage 5 - June 16: Bätterkinden-Adelboden, 170 km
Stage 6 - June 17: Frutigen-Linthal, 190 km
Stage 7 - June 18: Linthal-Malbun, 170 km
Stage 8 - June 19: Buchs-Bellinzona, 200 km
Stage 9 - June 20: Lugano-Lugano ITT, 40 km

Ullrich sees the Lion King

Jan Ullrich, who started his training last week, is in the meantime taking advantage of the relative calm of the off season. Together with his partner Gaby, Jan went to Hamburg to see the musical, The Lion King. "Gaby and I were totally enthralled. The music and the costumes are really amazing. It's worthwhile to go and see this musical," Ullrich wrote on his web site.

Chocolade Jacques to focus on UCI points

The team director of the new Belgian Chocolade Jacques team, Johan Capiot, will focus on winning as many UCI points as possible in the coming season in order to give his team a solid ranking at the end of the year. "With the arrival of a Top Competition in 2005, a place in the top 20 will become extremely important," Capiot was quoted in Het Belang van Limburg. "That means that one year later we will be certain of a start in all the big one day races and tours and have the support of sponsors. There is only one way: harvest results and points."

Nijdam to BankGiroLoterij

Former Dutch pro Jelle Nijdam will come back to cycling as a team director in the Division II BankGiroLoterij team. Nijdam has a one year deal with the team, which will lose its top sponsor at the end of 2004. After he retired from a successful cycling career (six Tour stages, three classics), Nijdam has been involved as a directeur sportif of various amateur teams.

Van Bondt to Landbouwkrediet

Belgian Geert van Bondt will sign this coming Thursday for the Landbouwkrediet-Colnago team for next season, according to Belgian teletekst. "Team leader [Gerard] Bulens gave me his word," said Van Bondt. "Bulens is a man who has always had confidence in me. The reason that it's taken so long for me to start in Landbouwkrediet is because Bulens already had completed his team. He had to find some extra money for me."

Hunt and Gabriel to Palmans

British rider Jeremy Hunt and Frenchman Frédéric Gabriel have each signed one year contracts with the team for 2004. Both rode for MBK Oktos this year.

New Italian amateur team: Bottoli Artoni-Zoccorinese

A "new" Italian amateur team has been created from the merging of Bottoli Artoni and Zoccorinese squads, with ambitions of doing well on the Italian and international scenes in 2004. The Bottoli Artoni-Zoccorinese team includes the likes of national team members Samuele Marzoli and Aristide Ratti, national TT champion Gianluca Moi, and young talents Francesco Gavazzi and Cristiano Fumagalli. The team's president is Tino Izzacane and it will be under the technical guidance of Mauro Izzacane, with Secondo Volpi as team director. Bottoli Artoni-Zoccorinese will race on Colnago bikes.

Autopsy carried out on Rusconi

An autopsy carried out on the body of 24 year old Italian hopeful Marco Rusconi, who died last Friday evening, November 14, of heart failure, revealed that he may have had a congenital heart problem. The examinations revealed evidence of a degenerative cardiac pathology that manifested itself suddenly. Before his death, Rusconi was set to enter the professional ranks in 2004.

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