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News for June 1, 2001
84th Giro d'Italia news
Stage 13 lived up to all expectations, producing an epic battle between Dario Frigo and Gilberto Simoni in the Dolomites, culminating on the Passo Pordoi. To read the blow-by-blow stage description click here, or simply read what the protagonists had to say below. And there's more where that came from.
Gilberto Simoni (Lampre, 1st GC)
Despite his talents, today in Pordoi was the first time in his career that Gilberto Simoni (Lampre) has worn the Maglia Rosa. "I think I have a good chance to win the Giro now. There is still a hard stage tomorrow which will suit me before the time trial. I don't want to waste too much time with the Maglia Rosa. It is possible that I have to give it up for a few days, but I hope to recover it again."
"My principal rival? I think that it is Frigo, even though it is difficult to understand how the Frigo-Belli duo functions. No-one knows who is the captain."
"I don't believe Olano can recover his loss in the time trial."
"Pantani? It was thought that he was hiding, now he seems isolated for good. It is proof that you have to prepare for a Grand Tour by racing."
"Since the beginning of the Giro, I have paid attention to everything, I have ridden at the front, and I am on my guard. I rider such as Gotti for example must always be watched."
"I've already worn the Maglia Rosa in the amateurs, and for a long time I dreamed to wear it in the pro's. For me, Pordoi is a symbol. When I decided to race was when I saw the 1984 Giro stage which crossed Pordoi. Fignon won, then Moser took the Maglia Rosa again."
Julio Perez Cuapio (Panaria, 1st stage)
"It is significant to win the hardest and most prestigious stage of the Giro. I began cycling late, I did not ride as a kid. I worked part-time as a clerk in a hardware store and I raced in my first races. In my 5th race, I finished second behind Miguel Arroyo who helped me after that."
"This victory will change my life. With the money, I will buy myself a motorbike to carry my future fiancée. Because I am still single and I've already said to television that I wanted to get engaged, if possible to someone beautiful."
Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo, 2nd GC)
"Perhaps I was wrong to try and follow Simoni's attacks all the time. It's true I spent a lot of effort, but so did everyone."
"I still have a good chance to win the Giro. The time trial is good for me. The next stage? It is possible that I lose a little more time, but I am not worried."
"With Belli, we do not have a problem. He was tired, he did what he could."
Olano to go for hour record in June
Spaniard Abraham Olano will try to break the World Hour Record in mid-June, a few days after the Giro finishes. Speaking today before the start of stage 13 of the Giro d'Italia, Olano nominated June 14-17 as the desired period. The venue is likely to be the velodrome in San Sebastian, near Olano's home.
Olano is a former World Time Trial champion, and will have to beat Chris Boardman's 49.411 kilometre mark that he set last year in Manchester on October 27.
Women's World Cup 5: Montreal
After a brief break following La Fleche Wallonne (April 18), the UCI women's World Cup gets going again for two rounds in America. This Saturday, June 2 is the Montreal World Cup in Canada, followed by the First Union Liberty Classic in Philadelphia on June 10.
The circuit used tomorrow is identical to that used in the 1974 World Championships, 1976 Olympic Games and Men's World Cup from 1988 to 1992. It covers 12 laps of 8.3 kilometres, including the famous Mont Royal Climb which makes it one of the hardest World Cup races.
Leading the series at the moment is Australian Anna Millward (Saturn) on 200 points, ahead of Mirjam Melchers (Acca Due O) on 165 points. Both riders can do well in this race, but it may favour Millward given that she finished second in the hilly Fleche Wallonne.
One of Millward's greatest challengers will come from young Canadian star, Geneviève Jeanson (Rona) who has been embarrassing both men's and women's fields in domestic US racing so far this season. Fellow Canadian Lyne Bessette, who recently won the Tour de l'Aude, may be on hand to help Millward or go for the win herself, as the parcours suits her climbing talents.
The start is at 1130 Canadian Time/0830 USA West Coast/1730 Central European Summer Time/0130 Australian Eastern Time. Cyclingnews.com will be providing live lap by lap updates, right after the Giro, the last part of which will be covered approximately 2 hours prior to this.
TVM trial: Final day
After the postponement of yesterday's session of the TVM trial, so that the defence documents could be examined in detail, the prosecution today requested heavy fines and prison sentences for the three men accused in the affair. Former TVM director Cees Priem, team doctor Andrej Mikhailov, and soigneur Jan Moors have been recommended for fines between FF10,000-100,000 (US$1300-13,000), and sentences between 10 months and 2 years after the trial finished today in Rheims.
The prosecution recognised that it had no "direct proof" of EPO use by the cyclists. The facts were a) that 104 ampoules of EPO were found in the team doctor's car, whilst he was travelling back from a race in Spain in March 1998; and b) an unapproved method of hair analysis revealed that four cyclists (Jeroen Blijlevens, Servais Knaven, Bart Voskamp and Sergei Outschakov) had used EPO.
However, the prosecution did believe that there was sufficient "indirect evidence" in this case, in particular the blood tests that revealed the side effects of EPO, and the seizure of drugs commonly used to mask these side effects. The prosecution therefore claimed that there was systematic doping within the TVM team, condoned by director Cees Priem.
It was requested that Priem receive the heaviest penalty: a 2 year prison sentence plus a FF100,000 fine for employing the good doctor in the first place, and importing illicit substances. Against Dr Mikhailov, a FF10,000 fine and an 18 month deferred sentence was asked for. Finally, the prosecution requested that soigneur Jan Moors receive a 10 month deferred sentence, and a FF40,000 fine.
It is clear from today that as the director of the team, Cees Priem is the one that the prosecution is after. Dr Mikhailov has acted once as the "fall guy", serving 4 months in jail already, while Moors is considered more an accessory to the affair rather than the instigator.
The judgment will be handed down by the court on July 17 - right in the middle of the Tour de France, and almost exactly three years after the TVM trucks were searched in Albertville during the infamous 1998 Tour.
Fuji sues John Wordin Sports
It has not been a good month for the Mercury-Viatel cycling team. Fuji America/Advanced Sports have officially announced that they are suing John Wordin Sports for a breach of Fuji's sponsorship with the Mercury team. Also named in the suit are Greg Lemond, Greg Lemond Enterprises, Trek Bicycle Corporation and others for "tortious interference."
Problems between the parties arose after John Wordin partnered with Greg Lemond to sign co-sponsor Viatel to build the Mercury-Viatel team. The new injection of cash helped the team to buy top riders such as Peter van Petegem, but a conflict arose as to who was supplying the bikes.
Fuji claims it had an existing three year contract with Mercury, but part of the Lemond-Viatel deal meant the team was to ride Lemond frames. The high-end aluminium Fuji frames were actually manufactured in Australia by Ti Sports, which has supplied many champion riders. There have been subsequent rumours of a lawsuit all year, which were finally confirmed by a press release from Fuji:
"We at Fuji have great respect and admiration for the members of the team and the Mercury car company. However, the actions of Wordin Sports, Lemond, Trek and others have had a substantial impact on Fuji, its high brand image, good will, business and reputation."
"Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise of the New Jersey Federal District Court has set a preliminary hearing date of June 22, 2001."
England Potential Team for Belgium
The England Potential Programme team for the Ledegem-Kemel-Ledegem road event in Belgium has been announced. The team, to be managed by Neil Walker, consists of Ben Clark, Kris Storey, Steve Harrison, Jack Hill and Adam Duggleby. The event receives UCI 1.8 junior ranking. The team travels today and will return on Sunday.
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