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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest News for September 10, 2003

Edited by Chris Henry

No Vuelta roadblocks from CPLD

Free to ride
Photo: © AFP
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The French Conseil de Prévention et de Lutte contre le Dopage (CPLD) has confirmed that it will not make any effort to prevent Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE-Eroski) and Txema Del Olmo (Milaneza-MSS) from carrying on with Vuelta a España stages 7 and 8, which take the Spanish tour onto French soil for some serious climbing in the Pyrénées mountains.

Both riders are have been banned from competition in France by the CPLD. Gonzalez de Galdeano received a six month suspension beginning March 2003 for a positive test for salbutamol during the 2002 Tour de France. Del Olmo is banned from racing in France for three years after testing positive for EPO in the 2001 Tour. The CPLD ban pertains to events organised or authorised by the French cycling federation (FFC).

"The Vuelta does not fall into either category," FFC legal representative Christophe Lavergne told l'Equipe. "For us these two riders have the right to race in France on Friday and Saturday."

Scanlon out of Tour of Poland

Mark Scanlon has decided not to start Wednesday's third leg of the Tour of Poland, having crashed in the final kilometre of stage 2. The 22 year old first year professional had ridden strongly on the first day of the race on Monday, picking up mountain points and sprint bonuses in a long breakaway with one other rider. They were caught by the bunch with just two kilometres to go. He then went into yesterday’s 202 kilometre race from Tczew to Olsztyn in an excellent fourth place overall, and was also leading the mountains competition and the combined classification.               

However the Sligoman was involved in a crash in the finishing sprint and had the misfortune to break his nose. He crossed the line 55 seconds behind the stage winner Fabio Baldato of the Alessio team, but because of a rule regarding crashes in the final kilometre, he was given the bunch time. His injury does however mean that he will not start today. The news is a cruel blow to the former world junior champion, who despite his youth has been riding exceptionally well of late.

See also Cyclingnews' recent interview with Scanlon.

Courtesy: Shane Stokes,

Millar looking for form

David Millar (Cofidis) has had a less than ideal start to the Vuelta a España, but the Scot isn't overly concerned about time spent at the back of the peloton. Millar finished seven minutes down on Stage 4 winner Unai Etxebarria, and sat in 180th place overall before the start of Stage 5. Nonetheless, Millar had already targeted the Vuelta's individual time trials as his primary objectives, and expects his form to improve.

"I'm creeping at the moment, just surviving, taking baby steps to get through one stage at a time," he commented on his website. "I don't feel too down though, because I knew my fitness wasn't great. I'll just keep plugging away and I should improve soon."

Freire sets his usual obective

Waiting for the world's
Photo: © Cyclingnews
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Absent from the Vuelta a España this year, two-time world champion Oscar Freire (Rabobank) has his sights set once more on the rainbow jersey. Having finished a grand tour for the first time at the Tour de France in July, Freire knew recovery was in order and made the decision to skip the Vuelta in the build up to the World's in Canada.

"Each year the objective is the same: the world championships," he said. "At the moment Bettini is the best rider for the single day races. But between now and October 12, my form should improve."

Freire has had a quiet first season with the Dutch Rabobank squad, but his track record at the world championships in recent years, including two rainbow jerseys and a podium place, puts him among the riders to watch this year on the tough Hamilton parcours.

Raas under pressure

Another man counting on a strong performance by Oscar Freire at the world championships will no doubt be Rabobank team manager Jan Raas. Rabobank's corporate directors have voiced their concern over a ten million euro investment which this year has not yielded any World Cup victories, nor stage wins in the grand tours. Raas and assistant Piet Hubert are rarely seen at the races, and Rabobank has expressed concern over the lack of decision-making hierarchy within the team.

Rabobank is currently pinning its Vuelta a España hopes on Michael Rasmussen. "Now we have just one man for a top 10 classification," directeur sportif Frans Maassen explained after Levi Leipheimer's difficult day on Stage 2 which knocked him out of contention for the general classification. "It's lucky that we still have a good man with Michael. He made a good impression, and he also had morale. He remains the only captain for this tour."

Flecha to Fassa, Mancebo waits

Juan Antonio Flecha ( will join the Italian Fassa Bortolo team for 2004. Without a replacement sponsor for, Flecha has decided to take advantage of other offers. Flecha won Stage 11 of this year's Tour de France, and has also won stages in the Vuelta a Aragon and Bicicleta Vasca.

Flecha's teammates Francisco Mancebo and Pablo Lastras have for the moment opted for patience, confident that a new sponsor can be found to keep the iBanesto team rolling. "I want to believe that [team manager] José Miguel Echavarri will soon find a sponsor for the team," Mancebo said, quoted in l'Equipe. "I'm truly confident."

Sassone searching

Robert Sassone has learned that he will no longer be a part of the Cofidis team for the coming season. Team manager Alain Bondue had already in recent weeks said publicly that Sassone needed some big results to keep his place in the team, and apparently a stage in at the Tour de Poitou-Charentes wasn't enough. For the moment Sassone is without a contract for 2004.

Landuyt held in prison

Belgian veterinarian Jos Landuyt will be held in detention for another month over his alleged trafficking of doping products. A number of professional cyclists have been called for questioning by the Belgian police, and the investigators hope to avoid any possible collusion between Landuyt and those implicated alongside him.

Dick Lane Velodrome benefit a success

More than 1,200 people came to watch Jame Carney wrap up a stellar season with a win in the season finale of the East Point (Georgia) Velodrome Association Grand Prix series at the Dick Lane Velodrome Saturday night. The velodrome, which has seen three riders go on to the Olympics from it's ranks, was closed as of midnight September 6th by the city after 29 years of racing.

Citing structural problems with turns three and four of the track, the city was forced to close the facility until it could either be repaired or demolished. The East Point Velodrome Association, Inc. a Georgia non-profit formed and dedicated to manage the velodrome, will be submitting a proposal to the city of East Point which will include a long term lease and financial and structural solutions on how to fix the sagging track.

The racing action was intense with a field of 29 riders, including 2003 US track Rider of the Year Jame Carney, US Postal rider Kenny Labbé, (who heard of the Association's struggles and wanted to help), South African Sprint Champion Morné Blignaut, and a star studded field of home local and southeast heroes. Jame Carney won the unique Omnium racing format by only one point over University of Florida rider Dan Larsen, Jittery Joe's rider Chad Hartley and 2003 DLV rider of the year Tony Scott.

The EPVA raised close to $6,000 for the night, providing a good start to raising the estimated $20,000 needed for temporary fixes to the track. Facing a daunting task, EPVA estimates that the velodrome will need $100,000 - $150,000 over the next two years to repair the neglected facility. A tax deductible fund has been established, and the EPVA is now ready to accept donations to fix the velodrome, one of the most used tracks in the United States (more than 2,000 participants used the facility in 2003). Donations of all amounts will be accepted; however, EPVA asks that riders who use the facility donate $250 or more.

Please make your tax deductible checks payable to: Training Wheels/EPVA (a 501c3 Corporation)

Mailing address:

c/o Peter Antonvich
579 Cameron St.
Atlanta, GA 30312

Or go to for full details on how you can help.

Final day to join Vuelta Fantasy Game!

Today is the final day to join in the Cyclingnews Vuelta Fantasy Game. Registration closes at midnight, European time after the end of Stage 5 on Wednesday, September 10. You must build and pay for your teams before stage 6 begins to be eligible for the prizes on offer. First prize in the game is a very nice Orbea Vertex bicycle , with supplementary prizes from fi'zi:k saddles and Rudy Project eyewear.

The Fantasy Vuelta follows the same rules as our Giro d'Italia and Tour de France games, where you select a team of 15 riders worth a maximum of 9,000 UCI points, from which you pick nine for each stage, the overall, points and mountains classifications. It's a great way to get involved in following the Vuelta stage by stage and you can increase your chances by adding more teams.

Join now at

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