News for June 12, 2001

Recent results and new features

Bo Hamburger's B sample positive

Danish CSC rider Bo Hamburger's B-sample has finally been confirmed to be positive for EPO. The Dane faces one year's suspension but the question is if he will resume his career, as he is 31 years old.

Hamburger was tested the day after Fleche Wallone this year, a race that he won some years ago when his career peaked with a day in the yellow jersey of the Tour de France. The year before he won the silver medal in the World Championships in San Sebastian.

In 1999 he transferred to Italian cantina Tollo but had problems with his back. Last year he came to Memorycard-Jack&Jones, now CSC-Worldonline. Results improved with a stage win in Paris-Nice and the Danish Championships but he was far from his level of 1998 when he was ranked no 13 on the UCI list.

Hamburger became professional in 1991 for TVM and also won a Tour stage for that team, some years later. Expectations have always been high on Hamburger who was supposed to be the successor of Bjarne Riis and Rolf Sĝrensen.

Hamburger will be banned for six months to a year. He will also get a national ban for two years by the Danish Cycling Union. After July 1, the UCI will adapt to the IOC rules and raise the suspension time to two years. Nevertheless Hamburger's career is probably over at age 31.

He was immediately suspended from riding when the A-sample was positive and will lose his contract with CSC-Worldonline. After the first test Bjarne Riis said that the rules are clear "If anyone takes forbidden medical products, they will be fired".

Now the Danish press and cycling fans are waiting for an official comment from Bjarne Riis.

Hamburger will sue UCI

The Hamburger affair might take months to settle, at least according to himself, writes the Danish daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende. Hamburger said in his first comment on Monday that he first got word that the B-sample was negative and that everything therefore would be all right.

"My two experts that supervised the B analysis first got a message that it was below the allowed limit, so I then thought that it was only a formality before I would be freed," he told Danish newsagency Ritzau immediately after the Danish Cycling Union had informed him about the positive B sample.

The analysis of the B sample was supervised by Hamburger's Italian lawyer and a medical expert. They came back to Italy, where Hamburger lives, and told him everything was OK, according to Hamburger

"I don't know if this is politics from the UCI, that they cannot accept that their costly EPO test has got a negative B sample, but I will have to take this to court."

His Italian lawyer will now contact UCI to find out what has happened after the analysis of the B sample was done. Hamburger had not been in contact with CSC-Worldonline manager Bjarne Riis by Monday noon but supposed that Riis was busy with the "Bo Hamburger Case".

Ullrich: dopers should be suspended for life

Top German cyclist Jan Ullrich has spoken about the drug problem in the peloton which surfaced yet again during the Giro d'Italia. The former Tour de France winner told popular German newspaper Bild that "those who have recourse to illegal substances irritate me. They must not be excluded for just a few months, but for life in cycling."

Wilhelm Schaenzer, head of the anti-doping lab in Cologne said that the police raids were "excellent for us, those responsible for the controls. We can finally see what each rider takes with them. I am impatient to find out the results of the analyses," he said.

"I do not despair" in the anti-doping fight, he added. "But there are still problems, because several products are only detectable in an imperfect manner."

He believed that the Telekom team was clean, as ever since 1999, increased national level controls mean that each team member is tested between 5 and 10 times per year. "To date, there have been no positive cases."

More about RSR-13

By Jeff Jones

As reported yesterday, a drug found in reasonable quantities in rider's hotel rooms during the San Remo raid was RSR-13, an anti-cancer drug in phase II clinical trials. It is primarily intended for brain and lung cancers.

According to some of our knowledgeable readers, "it is like a hormone that the body secrets naturally called 2,3 DPG. The natural mechanism works like: when you ascend to higher altitudes than the body is used to, the hormone causes the binding of the hemoglobin molecule to release O2 faster to make up for the less available inhaled O2. They probably modeled this stuff after the body's natural one."

It is manufactured by the American company Allos Therapueutics (Denver, CO) and in cancer treatment, its purpose is to improve the effectiveness of radio- and chemotherapy, by using smaller doses. "The clinical utility of RSR-13 may be in circumstances where increased oxygen release to tissues is desirable," writes one graduate in medicinal chemistry.

According to Dr Jacques de Ceaurriz of the French anti-doping laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry, if used for doping, it should be easily detectable. The UCI have not been able to comment on its legality yet until they receive an "official communication".

However, as mentioned in yesterday's report, the new UCI regulations to come into force on July 1 will take rather a wide aim: "Doping is 1. The use of an expedient (substance or method) which is potentially harmful to athletes' health and/or capable of enhancing their performance and 2. The presence in the athlete's body of a prohibited substance or evidence of the use or attempted use thereof or evidence of the use or attempted use of a prohibited method."

Presumably, this excludes training in winter or in Neapolitan peak hour traffic.

UCI rankings post Giro d'Italia

Rebellin, Millward number one

The latest UCI rankings have been released coinciding with the completion of the first Grand Tour of the year and the sixth round of the women's World Cup in Philadelphia. After a year at the top, Italian Francesco Casagrande (Fassa Bortolo) has finally been deposed, after his crash at the beginning of the Giro removed any chances of keeping his large number of UCI points. He may be back in the Tour de France, but for the moment, his compatriot Davide Rebellin (Liquigas) has assumed the mantle of top dog.

Rebellin's lead is slim, with Lance Armstrong in second place 50 points behind. If Armstrong can replicate his third overall in last year's Dauphine in this year's Tour de Suisse, then he may find himself closer to Rebellin. Dutchman Erik Dekker is in third, after having a quiet couple of months, but Jan Ullrich has jumped from 7th to 4th after he finished the Giro in 52nd place, and came third in two stages (worth a total of 85 UCI points).

The ex-Fassa Bortolo golden boy, Dario Frigo, managed to snare enough points whilst wearing the pink jersey and placing highly in several stages to move him into 7th on the UCI scale. This will put him ahead of many others in terms of trying to get another contract! His team also benefited and they are now the number one ranked first division team.

Giro winner Gilberto Simoni moved up from 14th to 9th, while runner up Abraham Olano jumped from 45th to 17th. Other notable UCI climbers were Rik Verbrugghe (29th-20th), Juan Carlos Dominguez (48th-23rd), Jose Azevedo (108th-36th), Mario Cipollini (92nd-39th), Danilo Hondo (189th-47th), and Fred Rodriguez (76th-83rd). The latter is a little mystery, since he just won the biggest one day race in the USA. However, bear in mind that he placed second in it last year (not too many extra points for a win) as well as winning one of the lead up races (First Union Invitational), which he failed to do this year.

Speaking of Philadelphia, the UCI women's rankings see Saturn's Anna Millward increase an already large lead to Dutchwoman Mirjam Melchers (Acca Due O) who was in the next wave of finishers in the Liberty Classic on Sunday after Rossner and Millward combined to blitz the field in the sprint. Despite having an incredible record in this race and arguably the world's fastest road sprinter, Petra Rossner is only ranked 22nd. However, she tends not to do as well in stage races where the points really rack up.

The women's top 10 remained fairly static from last weekend, save for the consistent Swede, Susanne Ljungskog's move into 5th position. Diana Ziliute (Acca Due O) continues to float down the scale, and she is now 7th. The Acca Due O team still holds the top spot in the team rankings, but Saturn is closing in.

Rankings as of June 11, 2001

Men

Individuals
 
1 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Liquigas-Pata                     2,078.00 pts
2 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service                 2,027.00
3 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                              1,891.00
4 Jan Ullrich (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom                 1,761.75
5 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom                  1,719.00
6 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) US Postal Service         1,703.00
7 Dario Frigo (Ita)                                       1,681.00
8 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                1,668.00
9 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Daikin                     1,665.00
10 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Domo-Farm Frites               1,646.00
11 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Fassa Bortolo                   1,581.00
12 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                 1,574.35
13 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                         1,422.25
14 Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                       1,262.00
15 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                   1,212.00
16 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Lampre-Daikin                    1,169.00
17 Abraham Olano Manzano (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski            1,135.00
18 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Deutsche Telekom       1,049.75
19 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                1,031.35
20 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                      1,018.00
 
Teams
 
Division I
 
1 Fassa Bortolo                          4,370.00 pts
2 Rabobank                               4,310.00
3 Lotto-Adecco                           3,543.00
4 Team Deutsche Telekom                  3,373.00
5 O.N.C.E.-Eroski                        3,218.00
6 Mapei-Quick Step                       3,142.00
7 Lampre-Daikin                          3,058.00
8 iBanesto.com                           2,785.00
9 Liquigas-Pata                          2,776.00
10 Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone      2,760.00
 
Division II
 
1 Alessio                                2,699.00
2 Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone           1,504.00
3 Ag2R Prevoyance                        1,410.00
4 Jean Delatour                          1,106.00
5 Bonjour                                1,095.00
6 Selle Italia-Pacific                     953.00
7 La Francaise Des Jeux                    951.00
8 Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo                 859.00
9 Bankgiroloterij-Batavus                  740.00
10 Alexia Alluminio                        703.00
Women
Individuals
 
1 Anna Millward (Aus) Saturn-Timex                          819.00 pts
2 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Acca Due O-HP-Lorena Camicie        576.50
3 Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel (Ned) Farm Frites-Hartol    506.00
4 Zinaida Stahurskaia (Blr) Gas Sport Team                  474.00
5 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Vlaanderen-T-Interim Ladies Team  445.00
6 Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Farm Frites-Hartol                428.67
7 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Acca Due O-HP-Lorena Camicie          417.00
8 Joane Somarriba Arrola (Spa) Alfa Lum R.S.M.              377.00
9 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Alfa Lum R.S.M.                   354.50
10 Chantal Beltman (Ned)                                    350.50
11 Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (Fra)                             314.34
12 Svetlana Boubnenkova (Rus) Edilsavino                    302.00
13 Mari Holden (USA) Alfa Lum R.S.M.                        296.00
14 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Edilsavino                        282.00
15 Judith Arndt (Ger)                                       270.00
16 Ceris Gilfillan (GBr)                                    250.00
17 Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus) Acca Due O-HP-Lorena Camicie      212.50
18 Pia Sundstedt (Fin) Gas Sport Team                       212.00
19 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Farm Frites-Hartol              208.00
20 Sara Felloni (Ita) Alfa Lum R.S.M.                       197.00
 
Teams
 
1 Acca Due O-HP-Lorena Camicie           1,398.00 pts
2 Saturn Cycling Team                    1,321.00
3 Alfa Lum R.S.M.                        1,224.50
4 Farm Frites-Hartol                     1,216.67
5 Gas Sport Team                           975.00
6 Edilsavino                               815.00
7 Vlaanderen-T Interim                     778.00
8 Carpe Diem-Itera                         450.00
9 Team Sponsorservice                      327.00
10 Autotrader.com                          263.00
11 C.A. Mantes La Ville 78                 186.00
12 Ciegi Professional Cycling Team         172.67
13 Equipe Cycliste Rona                    167.00
14 Team Nürnberger                          79.00
15 Ondernemers Van Nature                   60.00
16 S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox           32.00
17 Team Lolland-Falster                     28.00
18 Bik-Toscany Sport                        21.00
19 La Rosa Dei Venti                        16.00
20 Team Aliverti-Immobiliare Luca           14.00

Lampre for the TdF: Simoni doubtful

After winning the first grand tour of the year, what does a certain purple and blue clad team do for the Tour de France, which is less than a month away now. It is likely that both Ludo Dierckxsens and Franck Vandenbroucke will start in Dunkirk, however Giro winner Gilberto Simoni has yet to decide.

Team manager Pietro Algeri told French newsagency AFP that "If he takes part in the Tour de France, he will not ride the Tour de Suisse which begins next week."

Other riders likely to be in the team are Johan Verstrepen, Jan Svorada Raivis Belohvosciks, Robert Hunter, Marco Serpellini and Zbigniew Spruch. Simone Bertoletti is down for the final spot unless Simoni decides to take it.

Cipollini prepared for Riis

"I will decide about next year in the coming week where to ride next year when my contract with Saeco runs out. I think that Riis (CSC-Worldonline/Tiscali) is interested in Cipollini - Cipollini is anyway interested in Riis," the Italian sprinter told the Danish newspaper Ekstrabladet after the last stage of the Giro d'Italia on Sunday.

The Italian internet company Tiscali has expressed a wish to have an Italian profile on the team for next year. CSC team manager Bjarne Riis says that he has no meetings planned with Cipollini. "But maybe I should call him", said Riis.

31st Giro d'Italia Elite

The future talent of Italian and world cycling will start tomorrow, June 12 in Castelfranco for the 1693 kilometre Giro d'Italia Elite (riders 26 and under). 150 riders from 28 teams six of which are from outside Italy, will race over a route which goes from Castelfranco Veneto to Messina in Sicily and promises to be a great race.

12 stages, 24 mountain climbs, three of which are of first category and a rest day on June 18 make up a Giro Elite which will probably be decided in the 16.5 km time trial at Prignano sul Secchia (6th stage), the uphill finish to Prato di Campoli (7th stage) 7 climbs and the finish, and then the Messina-Catania (11th and last stage).

There are several expected favourites: Ruslan Pidgorny and his Sire-Frezza teammate Michele Scarponi, the Frenchman Christophe Lemevel of Credit Agricole who rode well at the world champonships in Plouay last year and in the recent Trofeo Liberazione and the Giro delle Regioni, and Nicola Pavone (Podenzano).

Other names to watch out for include Hector Mesamesa (Clazature Montegranaro), Valentino China (Resine Ragnoli) the former professional with Saeco and former Junior world champion, and the duo from Sintofarm Andris Rris and Davide Frattini.

There are many who want to join the famous names in the list of winners. Names such as Moser (71), Battaglin (72), Baronchelli (73), Corti (77), Ugrumov (84), Konychev (88), Belli (90), Casagrande (91), Pantani (92) and Di Luca (98). Gilberto Simoni who has just won the professional Giro d’Italia, won this race in 1993, the same year he won the Italian title.

In the first stage tomorrow, 149 km around Castelfranco Veneto, the sprinters will be out to score the first win. The two climbs of the Forcella Mostacin appears to be too far away from the finish to avoid a sprint finish. Sprinters expected to be up there include Simone Cadamuro (Sanpellegrino) and Sebastian Scotti (Pagnoncelli).

The start of the Giro Elite was preceded this evening by the Anteprima Azzurra, a 6.1 km team time trial around the historic centre of Castelfranco Veneto which was not valid for the overall classification.

The Tuscan team Casprini Pitti Shoes struck the first blow even though it was only virtual in this test, as Francesco Cipolletta was the first to cross the line and took the first pink jersey after having a lead out at over 50 km/h. His team beat Australia by almost two seconds.

Tomorrow there is the first real stage with the start and finish in Castelfranco Veneto. However this warm up stage which was watched by a large crowd, has launched the Giro in style, which after the problems in the cycling of the last few days, is needed to unveil new riders for a better future for the sport.

Hushovd for points race in 2004

According to Norwegian website Syklingens Verlden, Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) will make an attempt for the points track race at the Olympics in Athens 2004.

"I'm hoping for a medal," says the talented Norwegian who is supported by Credit Agricole's trainer Dennis Roux. Thor's strength in ITT and sprints makes it worthwhile to try the track. The condition is however that it mustn't affect his road career.

Norway has no velodrome since the World Championship's velodrome in the Viking Ship arena in Hamar was disassembled several years ago. Track races are held however on athletics arenas and some specially prepared sand tracks. In the early 70's Knud Knutsen was a good pursuit rider with an Olympic gold medal in Munich and a world title a couple of years later.

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