Second Edition News for August 4, 1998

Aalst Criterium

In front of 15 thousand spectators in the Belgian town of Aalst (between Brussel and Gent), Tom Steels won the 94 kms criterium, the first post-Tour race in Belgium. He was the fastest in a breakaway group of 7.

 1. Tom Steels (Bel) Mapei
 2. Mario Cipollini (Ita) Saeco
 3. Wilfried Peeters (Bel) Mapei
 4. Peter Van Petegem (Bel) TVM
 5. Carlo Bomans (Bel) Palmans-Ideal
 6. Kurt Van de Wouwer (Bel)			s.t.
 8. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx 			1.00

main peloton at 1 minute

Voigt contract renewed

26-year old German Jens Voigt has had his contract renewed with the team of Roger Legeay until the year 2000. From August the team changes from GAN to Credit Agricole. Voigt just finished his first Tour de France and was the KOM jersey holder for one day. He was also sought by Telekom.

The drugs scandal update

TVM riders out - Despite the TVM soigneur, manager Cees Priem and doctor Andrei Mikhailov being held in custody for allegedly possessing banned drugs and violating the customs laws of France, the TVM riders - Jeroen Blijlevens, Steven De Jongh, Servais Knaven, Bart Voskamp, Sergei Ivanov and Sergei Outschankov - were allowed to leave the police station after 12 hours of questioning. Other officials were also allowed to leave. A spokesperson for the team, temporary manager Guido Van Cluster said things were conducted reasonably.

The results of the blood and hair tests taken last Tuesday in Albertville are still not available however. Stay tuned for that one.

The riders announced that they would return to competition for the Ronde van Stiphout later this month. Meanwhile, the Boxmeer Criterium held last night was won by Michael Boogerd with Erik Zabel second and Jan Svorada third. There was a lot of anti-French sentiment expressed among the crowd at Boxmeer last night with the TVM riders absent.

Festina riders return - The three Swiss riders from Festina who were part of the Tour team expelled after the drug revelations will return to racing today at the "A Travers Lausanne" which is a 2-stage ITT around the IOC HQs. Maybe, Juan Antonio Samaranch will be able to talk to the boys about his plans to relax drug regulations at the Olympics and sport in general.

They are still facing disciplinary action from the national Swiss Cycling Federation under UCI rules. The UCI wants to keep a distance from taking responsibility in drug suspensions - maybe that is the problem. The Swiss Cycling Federation said yesterday that it was waiting for the UCI to do something. Typical, eh? They are either guilty of breaking the rules or they are not. The Tour organisers thought the case was sufficient to throw them out of the largest race on the UCI Calendar (although I know they were thrown out for an alleged infraction of TDF rules rather than UCI rules). So if they are not guilty of anything it would seem their expulsion from the TDF was unfair. But of-course admissions of drug use have been made. So how long does it take for the UCI to insist on appropriate penalties?

In an ambigouus statement from the so-called anti-drugs chairman of the Swiss Cycling Federation, Remo von Daeniken, he said: "These cases cannot leave us indifferent. The time that it will take the UCI to answer doesn't matter. We will have accomplished our duty."

Yeh, the riders are still riding in Swiss races!