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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for July 20, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones and Shane Stokes

Memorial service for Gillett in Zeulenroda

Rhodes and Yaxley "serious but stable"

A wooden cross and flowers
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

The organisers of the Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen held a memorial service for Amy Gillett on Tuesday afternoon. The service was staged at the Marktplatz (Market Place) in Zeulenroda at 5.30pm local time. The location was to have been the start/finish area of the prologue of the race, which was cancelled in the wake of Amy's death.

The service was attended by race teams and officials along with a representative of the German Cycling Federation, the President of the Thüringen Cycling Federation, Mr Jurgen Beese and local government representatives. Australia's Ambassador to Germany, Pamela Fayle, and Senior Consular Officer, David Poulter were also present.

After a short service at the Marktplatz, the mourners travelled in convoy to the site of the accident, where floral tributes were laid. Ambassador Fayle laid a wreath on behalf of all Australians.

Four of the five cyclists injured in the accident are now in the same hospital after helicopters transferred Alexis Rhodes and Louise Yaxley earlier today (local German time). Arrangements are being made to move Lorian Graham to join them if she so wishes. Doctors have listed Lorian, Katie Brown and Kate Nichols in satisfactory condition whilst both Louise and Alexis remain in a serious but stable condition. The latter two will have to remain in hospital for at least a month.

The following condolence message from Cycling Australia was read out by the organisers of the memorial service:

Condolence Message from the Board, Management, Staff and Members of Cycling Australia

Amy Gillett was our friend, our team mate and a member of our cycling family - her death has left us in shock and grieving.

Amy was an amazing woman, a role model not just for athletes but for everyone who aspires to be happy and successful in life. Her honesty and loyalty made her an invaluable team mate and her friendship was treasured by all who knew her. Her bright, bubbly, joyous personality and that trademark Amy smile are irreplaceable.

Before turning to cycling Amy had a successful career in rowing that saw her represent Australia at the Atlanta Olympic Games. After that she chose cycling as her sport and was inspirational in her pursuit of excellence. Amy was an Australian champion on the track and a medallist on the road at this year's Australian Championships. She has stood on the podium at events both at home in Australian and internationally. She was a dedicated, committed and talented cyclist who did us proud every time she wore the green and gold.

We join everyone in sending our deepest sympathies to Amy's husband, Simon, parents Denis and Mary and her many friends and family who have been devastated by this tragedy.

Our thoughts and prayers are also with the five cyclists who remain in hospital today. Alexis Rhodes, Louise Yaxley, Katie Brown, Kate Nichols and Lorian Graham are receiving the very best of care and we look forward to their eventual release from hospital.

To coach Warren McDonald, the team staff and Amy's team-mates and friends here today - our thoughts are with you.

Cycling Australia would like to express our gratitude to the organisers of the Thuringen-Rundfahrt, the German police, emergency services and medical professionals who have done so much to help our team in the wake of this accident. Also our thanks go to the Australian Ambassador to Germany, Pamela Fayle, and her staff who have travelled down to help in whatever way they can.

Farewell Amy - may all your rides be in fair weather and calm winds and may all your races be victories - rest in peace.

See also:
Amy Gillett dead after crash in Germany
Unprecedented carnage in Germany

Tributes to Amy Gillett

Open Mike: another Armstrong accuser sounds off

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

Mike Anderson and Lance Armstrong are currently locked in a legal battle in the Texas courts. Anderson, a 33 year old from Austin, Texas was Armstrong's former bike mechanic and assistant. When he and Armstrong had a falling-out in 2004 over missing household funds and Anderson was fired, he then sued the six-time Tour winner for breach of contract. Recently, Anderson spoke to Le Monde's Stéphane Mandard, where he repeated old accusations about finding steroids (androgen) in Armstrong's Girona bathroom, that he helped Armstrong avoid a USADA out of competition test in 2004 and that Armstrong had promised Anderson and his wife that he would help them open a bike store after he retired.

Mandard asked Anderson if Armstrong's lawyers had falsely accused him of stealing funds from Armstrong and Anderson replied, "It's funny that they have accused me of extortion; I never tried to extort money from Armstrong. I just want him to keep his word; that he keeps his promise to help me and my wife to open a bicycle store. I was always loyal to even when he threatened and insult me. He's publicly defamed me and sullied my reputation. It's hard for me in Austin, because there are a lot of Lance fans here. I've become Public Enemy number 1.

"After Armstrong fired me, he and his people from his personal company Luke David LLC tried to get me to sign a confidentiality agreement. For three months wages, they tried to make me sign this agreement that I would not divulge any information about him. If I did, I would have to pay a penalty of one million dollars! They wanted me to wipe out two years of my life. Armstrong called me a lot of times at my house to pressure me to sign the confidentiality agreement. When I refused to sign, they realized I had a lot of information that could be dangerous to Armstrong, so they sued me and accused me of extortion."

Anderson is convinced that he can get revenge on Armstrong through his court case, telling Le Monde's Mandard, "I'm determined to convince the sporting authorities that Lance Armstrong is a liar. It's not only me he's fooled, he also lied to my wife and the whole world. By using prohibited substances, he's lying to cycling and to the public. And it's not only his career that's a lie, it's his whole life. No one realizes who (Lance) is. No one knows his real face. The images that are sent out by his sponsors and the people who manage his image don't correspond with reality. Armstrong isn't a good guy. And I wish I had never met him."

But Lance Armstrong has categorically denied Anderson's allegations and have filed a counter-suit against him, which is still in the Texas courts.

Ag2R sign two riders for 2006 and 2007, Van Huffel extends with Davitamon

Ag2R Prévoyance have announced the signings of two riders to the French team. Samuel Dumoulin extended his current contract for another two years on the Tour's rest day, while 26 year old John Gadret has also committed himself for the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

Dumoulin has been a professional since making his debut with Jean Delatour in 2002. The 24 year old won the second stage of the Dauphiné Libéré this year and took the Tro-Bro-Leon in 2004.

Gadret raced with Chocolade Jacques in 2004 before transferring to Jartazi this season. He is a former national cyclo-cross champion who has posted some good road results in 2005, including 4th in the French road race championships, 4th in the Tro-Bro-Leon and 10th in the Trophée des Grimpeurs.

Meanwhile Wim Van Huffel has signed a three year contract with Davitamon-Lotto. The talented 26 year old Belgian rode strongly in the Giro d'Italia and Dauphiné Libéré this year, finishing 11th and 12th overall respectively.

Lampre's 2005 Giro in Sky TV movie tonight

The Lampre-Caffita team's bid to win the 2005 Giro d'Italia will be shown on Sky Sport 2 tonight at 9.45 CEST. Called "28 Secondi" (28 Seconds), the film shows Gilberto Simoni's battle for the pink jersey, defending champion Damiano Cunego's difficult Giro and the story of the old team-mate Paolo Fornaciari.

Filmed over 23 days, including the crucial stage of the Colle delle Finestre, the film originated from an idea of Sky Sport journalist Umberto Nigri. "I worked with Giuseppe Martinelli last year when I made a movie on Marco Pantani at the Giro d'Italia," he said. "For the Giro this year it was really exciting to follow these two very different athletes, in the same team with the same target: to win the Giro".

The one hour film will be followed by interviews with team manager Giuseppe Saronni and the 'La Gazzetta dello Sport' journalist Pier Bergonzi.

Wesemann leads T-Mobile in Sachsen Tour

Steffen Wesemann will head the T-Mobile team in the Sachsen Tour, starting July 20 in Dresden. He will be supported by veterans Andreas Klier, Andre Korff, and Jan Schaffrath, plus Eric Baumann and Bram Schmitz, stage winners from the Luxembourg Tour. Christian Werner and neo-pro Bas Giling complete the team.

Reprieve for Herne Hill Velodrome

British Cycling today announced that the famous Herne Hill velodrome will reopen on the 5th of August, having being awarded an interim licence for three years. The future of the track was uncertain after riders were prevented from using it earlier this year when the Dulwich Estate, a large local landowner, refused to renew Southwark Council's lease. It said that it was in talks with an unnamed commercial developer, and that cycling at the site would resume "if possible."

Following a huge public meeting on May 5th, the developer indicated that it would be prepared to grant a licence to allow cycling to resume while it worked up a commercial leisure scheme.

British Cycling have said that the track can be re-opened immediately for cycling. In a press release, it says that it "will be working with local clubs to establish, in the longer term, a thriving community club at the heart of Herne Hill as well as ensuring that the Olympic Talent Team squads, from which the UK's 2012 podium athletes are beginning to emerge, can get essential access to the track for training and events."

BC says that it will be working on a solution to regenerate cycling facilities on the site. "This will play a key role both in the development of the athletes for the 2012 London Olympics as well as increasing participation in cycling at a local and regional level."

The Dulwich Estate says that it will be working on a scheme which will see the development of the facilities required by cyclists. It is also planning a leisure/sports complex to complement cycling on the site.

Jersey Shore to host Cycling Grand Prix in 2006

The American Pro Cycling Tour series will have the addition of a new event in 2006, namely the Jersey Shore Pro Cycling Grand Prix. Composed of a series of four criterium races to be held in New Jersey 'Shore' towns, it will include a final race in Atlantic City on Saturday, May 20. There will also be a 130-mile non-competitive "cyclo-sportif" ride from Sandy Hook to Cape May the following day.

"We are very excited about adding the Jersey Shore Cycling Grand Prix to the PCT," said David Chauner, president and CEO of Threshold Sports, owners of the Pro Cycling Tour. "The criterium format with daily points leading to overall standings will be great for spectators, and a terrific way to promote the sport's excitement and personalities."

The series is supported by the New Jersey Department of Commerce and Tourism and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). It is seen as a means to draw worldwide attention to the attributes of the New Jersey Shore and its businesses.

CRDA president Curtis Bashaw said that the Jersey Shore Pro Cycling Grand Prix would be "an important sports event and tourism draw that will unify the shore and bring New Jersey national recognition at the beginning of the season."

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