First Edition Cycling News for July 30, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones & Hedwig Kröner
Massive line-up at Cyclassics' 10th birthday
By Hedwig Kröner
The German city of Hamburg will be gearing up this weekend to celebrate the HEW-Cyclassics' 10th anniversary, which has moved up from the World Cup to being a ProTour race, thus attracting even more top participants. This year, the traditionally bumpy course takes a new turn into the countryside south of the German metropolis, peaking with the moderate climb of Langenrehm after 58 km. It then maintains the circuit loop established in the 2004 edition with a view to make life harder for the sprinters, making the bunch climb the Waseberg (a 600 metre wall of up to 16%) four times - but only the first three passes counting for the mountains classification.
Fortunately, this won't prevent the international sprinting elite from trying their luck. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) will be in Hamburg after a longer break from racing and might be fresher than Tour de France than the rest. Cofidis sprinter Stuart O'Grady will be looking forward to defend his title from last year, as well as having something to prove after the Tour.
Cyclingnews will be covering the 10th HEW-Cyclassics-Cup live starting 15:00 CEST/11:00 EDT (USA East)/8:00 PDT (USA West)/23:00 AEST (Australia East).
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Blow for Armstrong in Sunday Times suit
Lance Armstrong's lawsuit against London's Sunday Times has lost some steam after Great Britain's Court of Appeal ruled that the newspaper was entitled to publish a story that alleged that the Texan had used illegal performance enhancing drugs. On Friday, the Court of Appeal's three-judge panel overturned a High Court decision that had previously ruled against the Sunday Times. The case is set to continue, as the newspaper is now allowed to present its defence as to why it felt it was in the public interest to publish the contentious piece. A date for the trial has not been set, however.
The original article was based on the book L.A. Confidentiel, co-authored by David Walsh and Pierre Ballester, which contained a number of stories collected from former associates of Armstrong that tried to paint a picture of him using illegal methods to boost performance. However, no hard proof was given in the book, and after publication, David Walsh admitted that it was all circumstantial evidence.
In a separate case, just after the book's publication, a Parisian court ruled against Armstrong's desire for a rebuttal be included in the book, saying that he was given the opportunity to respond by the authors, but declined.
Bakker positive for EPO
Dutch rider Erwin Bakker has tested positive for EPO at an out of competition control in Mont Sainte-Anne, Canada, in June. Bakker finished seventh in the race, but faces disqualification from the race and a possible two year suspension. He has already been sacked by his team, Heijdens-Ten Tusscher.
Last year, Belgian Filip Meirhaeghe also tested positive for EPO in Mont Sainte-Anne, again in an out of competition test.
The UCI has announced that Noel Armando Vazquez Mendoza (Ven), who tested positive for Nicethamide during the Vuelta a Guatemala on 30th October 2004, has been sanctioned by Federacion Venezolana De Ciclismo, involving a four year suspension from 10th November 2004 to 9th November 2008, disqualification of the race, and a fine of CHF 1,000.
Moreau to AG2R
Christophe Moreau has found a new team. The 34 year-old will be riding for Professional Continental team AG2R-Prévoyance for the next two years, after leaving Crédit Agricole. The French team directed by Vincent Lavenu will continue to look for a second leader, whilst the aims of Moreau (also called 'the tongue' in France) will be the general classification of the Tour de France as well as other stage races.
Cooke to miss GP Wales
Commonwealth Champion Nicole Cooke will not be able to participate in the next UCI Women's Road World Cup, the Grand Prix of Wales, Newport, UK, on August 20, 2005. Cooke has had to undergo further surgery earlier this month to treat a recurrent knee injury. "This is all immensely frustrating," she said from her home in South Wales. "The World Cup in Newport was one of my big target races this season and I am devastated to miss racing in front of my home crowd. I had hoped my knee would recover but the medical advice is that more recuperation time is needed," she explained.
The Newport race, the 8th leg of the World Cup, will make its debut on British soil. With Nicole's withdrawal, the British top contenders will now be Rachel Heal (Great Britain Team) and Emma Davies (Vlaanderen-Capri Sonne-T Interim), with strong competition expected from World Cup Champion and current series leader Oenone Wood (Team Nürnberger), Olympic Champion Sara Carrigan of Australia (Team Ton Van Bemmelen) and World Champion Judith Arndt (Team Nürnberger) of Germany.
Race Organiser Alan Rushton commented, "We are naturally very disappointed not to have Nicole with us in the race and send our best wishes for her speedy recovery".
Irish weekend preview
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
A weekend of cycling competition is scheduled in Munster, beginning on Saturday in Cork and Killorglin. The St. Finbarr's/Ventilux CC will stage the Irish Criterium Championship on the Monaghan Circuit, where in former years, there was racing of a different kind. Namely horseracing.
Favourite for the event has to be the Cycleways.Com team, which certainly has the firepower within its ranks to do the business, despite the absence of Philip Finnegan, who was involved in a crash last weekend in Robinstown. This has sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
Also starting in Killorglin is the Kerry Foods Youth Tour.
On Sunday, it will be interesting to see if the legs of those who went in search of a title in Cork will be up to the rigours of the Gene Moriarty Trophy in Listowel. Now in its 23rd year, the event is firmly established among the top one-day events on the Irish Cycling Calendar. The race is promoted by the Listowel Cycling Club in memory of one of Gene Moriarty, Kerry's top grass cyclists of the late 1940s and early 50s, and an administrator and promoter of the sport for many years.
Also part of this year's Classic League, the Gene Moriarty Trophy is number five of six events, and out front in the points race is David McCann, but in close attendance is Eugene Moriarty, son of the race organiser, Tadgh.
"We have great support here in the town for the event with many of the local businesses putting their money up front," said Tadhg. "Down the years, we have attracted the cream of the crop and this year should be no different."
Current holder of the trophy is Brian Kenneally. There may be some doubt about his participation, but his club, Dan Morrissey/Carrick Wheelers, has the strength and depth to retain the trophy. David O'Loughlin of the Navigators team based in America has indicated that he'll be on the start line. He is the Irish Road Race Champion and will attract a lot of attention.
Racing gets under way at one o'clock on Sunday with racing for all categories. Also making their debut in Listowel will be a number of South African competitors who took part in the recent M. Donnelly Junior Tour. It is their intention to go over to Kirush in Co. Clare for the Crotty Cup on August Monday.
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