News for October 6, 2000

Sevilla positive

The "physical problems" that prevented Oscar Sevilla from taking his place in the Spanish team for the World's have turned out to be of a stimulatory nature, after it was found he tested positive for caffeine. The test was taken at the GP Villafranca de Ordizia in July (won by Javier Otxoa) and Sevilla had more than the limit of 12 mg/L of caffeine his urine sample. His "B" sample, analysed on September 27, confirmed the result.

The Spanish Federation will investigate Sevilla and the Kelme rider is allowed to appeal the test. However, they did not want a potential doping scandal to affect the team at the World's, so they left him out. As yet, Sevilla has not been sanctioned until

There is no sanction at the moment, although he risks a suspension of 3 months as it is classed a "light" stimulant. Sevilla's argument is that he "drank two or three coffees" before the race and did not take anything.

His team manager, Joan Más, said that he did not win the "Galera Memorial or Trofeo Luis Ocaña for this reason," adding that they will support their rider in his appeal.

Kelme team director., Vicente Belda claims that "Sevilla is innocent," and the publication of this result was aimed at hurting the young rider. "If you have two coffees and you don't metabolise them well, you can give a positive test. Also, it was in a race that he did nothing and finished 22 minutes down."

Belda admitted that it was a bad way to finish the season, but it did not take away from all the good work that the team had accomplished. "I don't believe that because a ride tests positive from caffeine, he puts the whole team in doubt," he said.

Durand's big aim

Left out of the French team for the Olympics and the World's, Jacky Durand will turn his energies to the Paris-Tours World Cup race on Sunday, that he won in 1998. He considers that this race, along with the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, holds the greatest potential for a win for him in a World Cup race.

Second in the French Championships this year, Durand considers himself "satisfied" although not overjoyed with the 2000 season. His form has not been finely tuned of late, but he is still motivated for the last few races. For next year, he is still with Lotto although he has been linked with Lampre.

Antequera a little disappointed

Spanish national selector, Francisco Antequera, was not overly happy with his team's performance at the Olympics, where they managed a gold (Llaneras, track) and a Bronze (Fullana, MTB). His best road rider was Abraham Olano, who came fourth in the time trial but he admitted the team could have been more carefully selected.

In the men's road race, three of his five riders failed to finish, with Freire coming in 17th and Olano 60th. Santos Gonzalez didn't perform too badly in the time trial, coming 8th, but many believed that Angel Casero should have been given the chance.

"He felt a little annoyed because he was at his peak form," said Antequera of Casero. "But I took Santos because I thought that he would ride a great time trial and would be able to work for Freire."

Casero will ride in the road race at the World's, but it has not yet been decided who will ride the time trial for Spain. Two riders from Olano, Gonzalez and Casero will be chosen after the Subida Naranco on Saturday.

Velo wins his appeal

Italian time trial champion for the past two years, Marco Velo has been cleared of doping by the Italian Olympic Committee. After the Italian championships, he tested positive for salbutamol and was left off the Italian World's team. However, Velo said he used the product for medical reasons and CONI accepted his explanation.

Planckaert muses

Cofidis' Jo Planckaert has been fairly quiet this season, but has still managed to pick up 6 wins and has 600 UCI points. Although they were not in the Belgian classics that he prefers, he impressed his sponsors enough for them to offer him a contract for another 3 years.

His season, has "not been super - I wasn't selected for Sydney or Plouay. I want to show myself in Paris-Tours," said Planckaert to De Standaard. "I'm not that satisfied about this season, because they didn't select me in the important races."

With only 5 Belgian riders above him, and three of them (Museeuw, Steels, Tchmil) not going to Sydney, Planckaert thought he was a good chance. "I expected to get a place in our team," he said. "I didn't count on Plouay, because Tchmil is our man there, and - everybody knows - he isn't my best friend."

His next aim is the 2001 Paris-Roubaix, "as a revenge for the non selections."

Traksel full professional

Young Dutch up and comer, Bobbie Traksel (18) will turn professional with Rabobank in 2001 after signing a two year contract. With Rabobank, he has raced in both Frans Maassen's espoir team and Nico Verhoeven's amateur team.

Euskaltel-Euskadi's three neo's

Leading Spanish division II team, Euskaltel-Euskadi, have decided on their three neo professionals for next season. Iñaki Isasi, Gorka González and Iñigo Landaluze were considered by director Julién Gorospe to be the most promising of a number of candidates. "They are riders who know how to win, they have competed enough and all that we will ask them is to be ambitious and to do their best," said Gorospe who added that they will not be pressured to win in their first year.

The riders will benefit next year from the experience of former ONCE professional, David Etxebarria, as well as Haimar Zubeldia, who rode quite strongly this year.

Isasi and González will ride in the 215 km Subida Naranco on Saturday in order to give them a taste of the professional circuit.

De Wilde to Deschacht

Belgian veteran, Etienne De Wilde, who this year won a silver medal in the Olympic madison race (with Matthew Gilmore) will continue his racing career in the amateur ranks. 42 year old De Wilde will be the number one rider in the Deschacht Plastics team, sponsored by Rony Deschacht. Although Deschacht has been associated with cycling for a number of years, he intends on building a top Belgian amateur team, with riders such as Ludo Giesberts, Guy Smet and Cédric Van Lommel.

The aim is to have a 19 rider team that will contest the big amateur races and the local professional races (kermesses) with a strong lineup.