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Cycling News and Analysis

News for August 5, 1998

Ullrich to ride in the Worlds

Jan Ullrich has said that he will race the World Road Championship in Valkenburg on October 11. He told the press that: "It is possibly too long for me to maintain my concentration and form. But my morale is good and I think with some rest then some intensive training I can do well in the Netherlands."

Ullrich will ride the Vuelta (September 5-27) as preparation for the Worlds. He said: "That is a tough stage race. It will help in my mental and physical preparation. It cannot not hurt."

New Giro start in 2000

For the year 2000, the Giro will start in Rome and be dedicated to the Holy Year of the Vatican. The stage on May 13 will finish in St. Peter's Square and the entourage will then be blessed by the Pope.

Netherlands, Boxmeer Criterium, August 3

Professionals: 

 1. Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank	    100 km in 2.25.28
 2. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom
 3. Jan Svorada (Cze) Mapei-Bricobi
 4. Leon Van Bon (Ned) Rabobank
 5. Tristan Hoffman (Ned) TVM-Farm Frites
 6. Raymond Meijs (Ned) Team Gerolsteiner
 7. Martin Den Bakker (Ned) Rabobank
 8. Christian Van Dartel (Ned) Team Nurnberger 
 9. Cees Hopmans (Bel) Tonissteiner			1.10
10. Peter Verbeken (Bel) Ipso

Amateurs: 

 1. Kemna (Ned) 			    100 km in 2.17.32
 2. Buurstede (Ned)
 3. Reinerink (Ned)

Denmark, Tour de Charlottenlund, August 3

 1. Bo Hamburger (Den) Casino
 2. Frank Hoj (Den) Palmans-Ideal
 3. Kim Marcussen (Den) Acceptacard
 4. Martin Kryger (Den) Acceptacard

UCI Rankings as at August 3

  1.  (1) Laurent Jalabert (Fra)         	2961
  2.  (2) Alex Zulle (Swi)            		2196
  3.  (3) Michele Bartoli (Ita)          	2097
  4.  (5) Marco Pantani (Ita)          		1985
  5.  (4) Laurent Dufaux (Swi)           	1535
  6.  (7) Andrei Tchmil (Bel)                	1400
  7.  (9) Davide Rebellin (Ita)         	1301
  8.  (8) Francesco Casagrande (Ita)      	1290
  9. (12) Andrea Tafi (Ita)             	1281
 10. (16) Micheal Boogerd (Ned)          	1279
 11.  (6) Jan Ullrich (Ger)          		1243
 12. (10) Erik Zabel (Ger)            		1222
 13. (17) Bo Hamburger (Den)        		1102

The drugs scandal update

- The Spanish Cycling Federation has withdrawn the National Women's team from the Tour Feminin which starts on August 11 (to the 20th) as a protest against the way riders were treated in the Tour de France (for men). They specifically did not like the way the Spanish riders were handled. Out of solidarity for the men, who withdrew en masse, the women will also not start.

- Jean-Marie Leblanc, the Tour Director has announced that he will introduce a "good conduct charter" which will determine whether a team will be allowed to start in future editions of the race. The organisers are adding "moral" conditions to the sporting criterion already used to admit teams to the race. The Tour will also have two rest days instead of one to ease the burden on riders. But further downscaling of the race to meet demands to make it easier will not be contemplated.

He implicitly acknowledged that the increasing speeds over the last decade have been due to the increasing use of drugs in the peloton. He told the press that: "I believe in a sort of consensus to fix limits and not overstep them ... If that ends up in a Tour raced at 35 kph things will go well. Cycling is a sport of relative and not absolute values. All you need is a first (placed rider), a second, a 100th, but there is no need for the notion of a record. If it has to be raced ordinarily and no longer at a super (level), that doesn't matter."

- Spanish team ONCE will not ride again in France this year. The team of World Number One, Laurent Jalabert has revised its program to exclude France after the way it perceived it was treated during the Tour de France. They were going to ride in the Tour du Limousin, Paris-Tours and the Tour de l'Avenir. They are also contemplating legal action against the Tour organisation. They believe that the French police were heavy-handed in their investigations. The arrest of their team doctor Nicolas Terrados culminated this unsatisfactory behaviour, they claim. This is despite Terrados admitting to possession of banned substances. He is claiming they were not for the riders but for support staff in the team. The Chairman of ONCE, Jose Maria Arroyo told the press this afternoon: "We are studying taking action against the organizers, against those who have condemned us without evidence, against those who have attacked (our) cyclists. We will go to any court or international organization necessary to defend our rights which have been trodden on."

Terrados issued a statement which said: "I've never used anything against the health of my sportsmen. This has always been the way in my career. I would not have spent so much time abroad investigating to end up using drugs. What they found in my bag and on the bus is what one would expect to find in a doctor's bag." He has been banned from mixing with ONCE until his case is heard.

- And now the organisers of the Vuelta have indicated they are looking into a variation of the race route to eliminate the entry into France. Stage 13 on September 18 rides on French soil for 80 kms. The organisation has said that: "We're studying whether it's advisable to enter France after what has happened."

- The Swiss cycling federation issued a statement today requesting that the UCI punishes the riders who have admitted to using banned drugs. Hugo Steinegger, the Federation President said the penalties should be centrally administered by the UCI. The Swiss Federation is currently not doing anything specifically about their own licenced riders who have admitted using banned drugs. Festina riders like Alex Zulle, Laurent Dufaux and Armin Meier who have admitted taking EPO will be on the starting line at the A Travers Lausanne ITT tonight. How come? If the administrators of the sport were really serious they would have acted quickly to stop these riders from competing.

- World Champion Laurent Brochard is to take action against the Tour organisation for expelling him from the race. He told the press today that: "They did not have the right to throw us out. Not even if the team manager had problems. None of us had failed any drug tests. They have forbidden us to conduct our lawful work. That can not be overlooked.