Lance Armstrong has joined Jan Ullrich in threatening to take former Festina soigneur Willy Voet to court if he takes his doping accusations any further. Armstrong spoke to German website sport1.de before the first stage of the Tour de Suisse in Europapark Rust, commenting on Voet's recent TV appearance.
"The media have given a forum to this man. They give him credibility and the possibility for him to speak. This man makes money out of the whole affair at the same time. If he says something, his name becomes even more important...Willy Voet is completely full of shit."
"Jan and I - both of us, cannot be cynical like him. But he should watch out, because as soon as he accuses people publicly and directly, he has to be brought before court. So long as he doesn't say: Lance Armstrong was doped in 1999 or Jan Ullrich was doped in 1997, you can't make anything of it. But as soon as he calls me by name, I would start proceedings against him."
Armstrong commented on the latest doping furore: "It worries me, the sport, the public and the people who love this sport. It was looking like people were starting to believe in the sport again - confidence in the riders and the teams. And then this happens with the Giro!"
"I believe there was more made of the whole thing than was actually there. They searched rooms and found things, but did not say what. If they found vitamin C, they would have said that they found something. That is unprofessional, undemocratic and unfair."
"But there were also riders who had some stuff found on them. We don't need to name names, because we know them all. For these people, there are no apologies. It is pure stupidity, they are total idiots and they should be excluded from the sport! Some say for two years, others for life. I don't know what would be fair."
"The sport of cycling already paid a high price for 1998. Everyone of us has a responsibility to keep the sport alive."
Do you feel different as a rider after all these doping stories? "There is no big difference. The fans are mad. 1999, after the Festina affair, it was different: you did a training ride through a village and sat down at a cafe, and were called unpleasant things. That doesn't happen any more."
On the eve of the Tour De Suisse, Gilberto Simoni (Lampre-Daikin) has not yet ruled out his participation in next month's Tour De France. Simoni told La Gazzetta dello Sport that "We (Lance Armstrong) were born the same year (1971) but we have not raced together very often."
Simoni continues by saying "I'd like to test myself against Lance; he will be my ruler to see what my condition is and if I still have enough left in my legs after the Giro to ride the Tour De France."
"I haven't given up the idea to ride the Tour yet; I'll see after the Italian Championships (Sunday 1 July) what will be my objective for the rest of the season...last year (in the the Italian Championships) I was 2nd and the course (in Lissone, near Milano) is harder this year. The (Italian) championships will be the real test of my condition and if I feel good, I don't want to give up the Tour. There are a few good mountain stages for me."
Should Simoni decide to ride the Tour De France, he may not be a GC threat to Armstrong, but Gibo will be yet another dark horse to the defending champion.
Analyses of the large quantity of medical products seized on June 6 during the NAS Giro d'Italia raid in San Remo are expected to be finished soon. Currently, there have been 86 people placed under investigation by the prosecutor in Florence suspected of transporting prohibited substances.
The first hearings are expected on Thursday. However, no riders will be questioned who are currently racing, e.g. in the Tour de Suisse.
The Italian NAS police will meet with their French counterparts to exchange information and possibly coordinate similar action during the Tour de France.
Frank Vandenbroucke will definitely not be participating in the Tour de France, and may be quite close to losing his contract with Lampre-Daikin. Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure quoted Italian sources saying that a "letter recommending the removal of Vandenbroucke's licence has been dispatched if he didn't show in Milan on Monday. Frank himself would have already been informed by telephone."
Lampre director Giuseppe Saronni has not yet confirmed the sacking, but he also "hasn't excluded it a priori...what happened the day before the Tour of Luxembourg was unfortunately not the first time."
Marco Pantani will return to racing for the Italian championships on July 1, after being given the OK from his Mercatone Uno team doctor Marco Magnani. Pantani was forced into withdrawing from the Giro d'Italia due to bronchitis after showing some signs of form.
According to an official team announcement, he will not be riding in the upcoming Vuelta a Catalunya (June 21-28) but will instead return in the Italian Championships, and race the Criterium d'Abruzzo, Trofeo Matteotti, Brixia Tour, Vuelta Castilla-Leon, GP San Sebastian, Subida a Urkiola, Vuelta a Burgos, Trittico Lombardo, Giro del Veneto and the Vuelta a Espana.
Spanish cyclist Joane Somarriba (Alfa Lum RSM) has announced that she will participate in the Giro d'Italia Femminile (July 2-15) to defend her previous two victories. She had previously said that she would concentrate solely on the women's Tour de France this year after being hampered in her preparation by allergies. However, in order to get back to top shape, she needs to race and the Giro will certainly provide a good base of competition.
She said that she will not be aiming for her third win, but instead use it for training and help her Alfa Lum teammates.
The future is a bit brighter for Lotto's Danish cyclist Tayeb Braikia who crashed heavily in the Tour of Murcia in the beginning of March. He has got a special shoulder bandage that makes it possible to train on the road again and hopes to be back racing in a couple of months.
"It all depends on how the injured nerve in my shoulder mends. It is a matter of time and there is nothing I can do to hasten the process," the Danish sprinter said to newsagency Ritzau.
Patrick Jonker will not be riding in the Tour de France. The BigMat rider has not sufficiently recovered from a knee injury that he sustained in a fall Midi Libre.
In tomorrow's meeting planned between the Conseil de prévention et de lutte contre le dopage (CPLD) and the team doctors on the Tour de France, Ag2r's Eric Bouvat will ask that they be allowed to transport drugs during the race. French law only allows pharmacists to do this.
"It is simply a question of validating the practice that is done in all sports which move around," he said. "Cycling certainly falls into this category."
Tomorrow, Bouvat will meet together with representatives from the Ministry for Youth and Sports, French Cycling Federation, Professional Cycling League, Société du Tour de France, Regional Pharmacists Council, and the National Order of Doctors.
Charles Palmans, head of the Palmans transport company and co-sponsor of the Collstrop-Palmans team finds the rumours that he will form a new team with Ideal very annoying.
"I have heard nothing from the people from Ideal," said Palmans. "Actually the reason why we merged with Collstrop was because Ideal stopped sponsoring cycling. We wanted to go further with Palmans in cycling and that was possible through joining with Collstrop."
"This week I have spoken with Hilaire Van Der Schueren about the future. There is the possibility that we are going to raise the budget to 40 - 50 million francs (approx. US$1 million). For practical and logistic reasons, it's possible that we're going to have to shrink the core of the team. And eventually with that money we can attract a 'sub-topper '."
Another former Colombian cyclist has been caught with heroin at Bogota airport. On Monday, Rafael Antonio Tolosa was stopped by authorities on his way to the USA with 125 capsules of heroin in his stomach (similar to the case of Gustavo Wilches two weeks ago). Nine other heroin capsules were found after a search of his residence. Tolosa was active as a cyclist during the 1980's
The UCI has recognised the formation of the International Association of Managers of Cyclists (AIMC) after its inauguration in Busto Arsizio on June 8 during the Giro d'Italia. The association is made up of several cyclists' agents from different countries: Mauro Battaglini, Raimondo Scimone, Alessandro and Johnny Carera, Juan Carlos Gonzalez Salvador, Carlos Meléndez, Georges Barras and others.
The AIMC will have its seat in Milan and will try and have a representative on the UCI and the CCP (Professional Cyclists Council) in future. The board of directors is as follows:
President: Mauro Battaglini (Italy)
Vice presidents: Carlos Meléndez (Spain), George Barras (Belgium)
Advisors: Raimondo Scimone (Italy), Giuseppe rivolta (Italy)
Treasurer: Johnny Carara (Italy)
Secretary: Rosa Di Leo
A World Class programme of track racing with a prize list of over £3000 is being held at Meadowbank Velodrome this weekend. The Grand Prix of Edinburgh Sprint is the 2nd of 3 Union Cycliste Internationale Grand Prix matches to be held in Britain this year.
For the first time all of the top British sprinters take part, including Olympic and World Silver Medallists Chris Hoy and Craig MacLean (City of Edinburgh RC); and Andy Slater, Barney Storey, and Dave Heald (VC St Raphael). They face top international sprint stars from Greece, who were 4th in the Sydney Olympic Games; with Labros Vasilopoulos, (Bronze Medal in the recent World Cup Keirin) and Dimitris Georgalis (5th World Cup Kilo); Dion Aakerstrom (Danish Sprint and Kilo Champion); Elisha Greene and Clinton Grant (Sprint and Kilo Champions of Trinidad) and 2 young European Stars, Markos Kamerman from Switzerland , and David Hubschwerlin (under 23 Champion) from France.
The Grand Prix Sprint is open to all competitors with a qualifying 200m time-trial at 11.30am on Saturday. The fastest 12 will compete in the first round starting at 1pm, and the top 6 winners continue with the match races for the prizes. The Grand Prix of Edinburgh Trophy will be presented to the winner at approx 4.30pm. The defending champion is Craig MacLean and the British No1 who will have to be at his very best this year to retain the title.
Eliminated sprinters and others compete in the 'Classic Walls' Keirin. The top endurance riders will compete in a Devil, a Course des Primes , and the finale 'Sandy Gilchrist Cycles' 15 km in which some of the specialist sprinters will attempt to do battle with the 'endurance' favourites James Taylor and Steve Whitcombe (City of Edinburgh RC), John Nunan and Alwyn MacMath (Atom CC) and the young Swiss and French Champions. There 3 events each for 'B' riders , Women, and Youths.
At 1pm on Saturday, the new Meadowbank Children's Club will be launched by the Chairman of The City of Edinburgh Recreation Committee, and 9-15 year olds are welcome to enrol at a desk in the Grandstand.
On Sunday starting at 11.30am, the best 12 sprinters compete in the City of Edinburgh Council Sprint Omnium which consists of 4 events; 250 Time- trial, Sprint, Devil and Keirin ; with the winner having the lowest score of places overall. The endurance riders have a 10 km Points Race , Unknown Distance, 10 km , and the programme includes the 'D M Hall 500m Handicap' for all categories of rider, 'The Paul Doyle Solicitors Mile' , and 3 events each for B riders, Women, and youths, with the finale 10 km Scratch for a full field of the top 30 riders.
Admission to the Grand Prix is free and refreshments are available at the track centre Bistro. Come and see the biggest event in Scotland this year and welcome back our Olympic medalists to Scotland for the first time since their tremendous success. Further details are obtainable from www.esca.freeserve.co.uk/gpedin
Major Races and Events
September 7-29, 2002: Vuelta a España (GT) - Preview, stage list
May 11-June 2, 2002: Giro d'Italia (GT) - Preview, stage list, photos
July 6-28, 2002: Tour de France (GT) - Full preview & official route details
December 8: Superprestige Rd 5 (Cat. 1) - Erwin Vervecken
November 29-December 4: Six Days of Noumea (6D) - Sassone/Neuville victorious
November 26-December 1: Six Days of Zurich (6D) - Day 6 - McGrory/Gilmore/Schnider win
December 1: Melbourne Cup on Wheels (IM) - Scott Moller, Keirin, Sprint, Support races
December 2: Cyclo-cross World Cup #2 (CDM) - Sven Nijs again
November 24-December 3: Juegos Deportivos Centroamericanos (JR) - Final results
December 8-9: Frankfurter Rad-Cross (Cat. 2) - Alex Mudroch, UK National Trophy Series #4 (Cat. 3) - Roger Hammond, Grote Prijs Industrie Bosduin - Kalmthout (Cat. 1) - Bart Wellens, Int. Radquer Obergösgen (Cat. 2) - Björn Rondelez, Trofeo Mamma e Papa Guerciotti (Cat. 3) - Enrico Franzoi, Premio Egondo (Cat 3) - David Seco, Irish cyclo-cross championships - Robin Seymour
Results: local racing
Australia - CycleWest Promotions Omnium Series #2, Eastern Suburbs Summer Criterium Series, Carnegie Caulfield Tuesday criterium, Southern Cross Junior Track Open & Madison Cup, Manly Warringah CC, George Town Track Carnival, Carnegie Caulfield CC, Randwick Botany CC, Gold Coast CATS CC, Caesar's Illawarra CC, Caesar's Illawarra (track)
Denmark - Danish cyclo-cross Post Cup #3
Italy - Gran Premio Città di Bassano
Luxembourg - GP De Kopstal
New Zealand - Cyco Criterium series
Spain - Elorrio cyclo-cross
USA - Georgia Cross Series Championship, Chimborazo Grand Prix cyclo-cross, Boulder Cross Rd 6, New Mexico State Cyclo-x Champs, Sorrento Cyclo-x & California State Champ's, Boulder Cross Rd 5, Verge New England series, Northampton CC Cyclo-cross Championships, Chris Cross International CycloCross
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