Although Lance Armstrong's win in the Tour de Suisse today was by a convincing margin of 1'25 to Gilberto Simoni, it was still only supposed to be part of his preparation for the Tour de France. Armstrong had targetted the Tour de Suisse because of its mountain time trial, which was quite similar to stage 11 of the Tour de France. Given his form this year, it came as no surprise that he won it, taking the leader's golden jersey in the process, which he comfortably held for the final two stages.
"First of all, Lance's victory is a confirmation of his fitness," said Johan Bruyneel, the USPS' director sportif. "He was great in training but until you have something to compare with, against other riders, it is always a guess."
"It was a very good test," said Bruyneel. "To finish up 1:25 on Simoni who had just won the Giro was something significant for Lance's morale and for the confidence of the entire team. We saw that, like always, when the leader of the team is going good, the rest of the team is on a higher level and has the motivation of defending the leader's jersey. The team here was really good. Having to defend the jersey the last two days was good training for the Tour de France. We had not taken on that type of responsibility in any other race yet this year. This was the right moment for an overall rehearsal."
"It's a very important race," Bruyneel said of the Tour of Switzerland. "It's amazing when you have your objectives so high. Here we win two stages and the overall but we know that something more is to come. We are not overexcited, because our goal is higher than this, but I'm very happy with the results and how things went. We know we are ready."
The team will announce the nine riders to start the Tour de France on Sunday, with the other riders including Roberto Heras finishing in the Volta a Catalunya today.
It is unlikely that Lance Armstrong and his US Postal Service team will be charged in relation to the French investigation that started in November 2000. The prosecutor in Paris opened an enquiry after a France 3 television program showed what it said were bags containing swabs, compresses and pill packets being taken away and mysteriously disposed of from hotels used by the USPS team during last year's Tour de France.
According to an official statement from the prosecutor's office today [courtesy of Bloomberg News], "Tests on the contents of the bags didn't bring to light any facts susceptible to lead to criminal charges."
The statement said that testing of urine and blood samples taking during the 2000 Tour will continue, with results expected to take between four and eight weeks to analyse. This means that it is highly unlikely that the investigation will reach a conclusion during the Tour.
Former Fassa Bortolo rider Dario Frigo today presented himself in Florence to answer the public prosecutor Luigi Bocciolini's questions, in relation to the drugs found in Frigo's possession during the Giro d'Italia. Frigo was the first of 86 people to be questioned in the investigation.
Frigo has previously denied that he had taken Hemassist (synthetic hemoglobin), despite the fact that it was found in his bags. However, he did admit to taking Androderm, a prohibited hormone, as well as DHEA, a steroid precursor that is on the banned list. Frigo said that he bought the Androderm from two pharmacies in Lugano and Chiasso, in Switzerland.
According to an article to be published in the weekly "Panorama" magazine this Friday, Frigo had taken drugs ever since he started professional cycling in 1996, with EPO being used "occasionally in small doses." However, his two vials of Hemassist he bought "through the Internet, and they were delivered to me in mid-May in Malpensa airport by a man I had never seen before."
Frigo reportedly paid 1 million and 700,000 lira for each vial, but said that he never used them. The company who developed Hemassist (Baxter International) claimed that it needed to be kept at -60 Celsius to be of any use. Baxter also withdrew the drug from U.S. testing in 1998 after "more patients who used Hemassist died than did those in the control group. The company found that 46.2 percent of the people given Hemassist died, more than the projected 42.6 percent mortality rate and well above the 17.4 percent in the control group."
Frigo had said that he only wanted the vials of Hemassist for an emergency.
Italian team Liquigas-Pata has reinstated five riders who were suspended following the Giro raids. The team believes that Serguei Gontchar, Ellis Rastelli, Gianni Faresin, Denis Zanette, and Marco Zanotti "were not implicated in illicit acts," according to an official team statement.
"Taking into account the documents that were immediately supplied to the team leaders by the riders in connection with the seizure in San Remo on June 6, and owing to the fact that the seizure has produced either negative results or limited quantities of authorised drugs, it is opportune to reintegrate all the riders into the team to the full degree."
Although Telekom are due to officially announce its Tour de France team tomorrow, June 29, it emerged during the Tour de Suisse that Gian-Matteo Fagnini was not going to be selected. When Fagnini heard the news he was furious and didn't wanted to continue, but his teammates kept him from abandoning and he proved important in securing Zabel's win yesterday.
In 1998 Erik Zabel also had to start in the Tour de France without a special helper, but even with a Jan Ullrich there he won the green jersey.
Rudy Pevenage commented that "We were going to build a team around Ullrich if he showed 100 percent form before the Tour. I saw him training in the Pyreneees and then I knew for sure he's better for the upcoming Tour than last year."
More Tour teams
32 riders from the Mapei-Quick Step team will race this week in the various National Road Championships.
Austria: Bernhard Eisel
Belgium: Kevin Hulsmans, Bart Leysen, Tom Steels
Czech Republic: Pavel Zerzan
France: Philippe Koehler
Germany: Patrik Sinkewitz
Great Britain:Charly Wegelius
Hungary: Laszlo Bodrogi
Italy: Elio Aggiano, Michele Bartoli, Paolo Bettini, Davide Bramati , Gian Paolo Cheula, Dario Cioni, Crescenzo D'Amore, Paolo Fornaciari, Stefano Garzelli, Graziano Gasparre, Daniele Nardello, Rinaldo Nocentini, Andrea Noè, Luca Paolini, Filippo Pozzato, Antonì Rizzi, Luca Scinto, David Tani, Stefano Zanini
Russia: Evgueni Petrov
Spain: Triki Beltran, Pedro Horrillo Muñoz
Switzerland: Fabian Cancellara
Time Trial National Championships
June 28 (Hungary): Laszlo Bodrogi
June 29 (Russia): Evgueni Petrov
June 30 (Austria): Bernhard Eisel
July 2 (Italy): Filippo Pozzato
The Saeco Macchine per Caffe' team will be aiming to increase its tally of 22 wins this weekend in the various national championships, where they will have representatives in four countries. The biggest "team" will be that riding the Italian championships near Lissone and Carate Brianza, north of Milan. Directeur sportif Antonio Salutini will have Mirko Celestino as leader, along with Oscar Cavagnis, Salvatore Commesso, Nicola Gavazzi, Massimiliano Mori, Dario Pieri, Fabio Sacchi, Mario Scirea and Francesco Secchiari.
After some recent good results, Christian Wegmann (two wins), Torsten Nitsche and Joerg Ludewig (a win) will take part in the German national championships in hope of doing well. In Switzerland Laurent Dufaux (national champion in 1991) and Armin Meier (national champion in 1996 and 1999) will be trying to win again, while Igor Pugaci will be trying to win the Moldovian title he won in 1999.
Jean Marie Leblanc has officially announced that the prologue and stage one of the Tour 2004 will be in Luik/Liege (Belgium). There are now growing chances for a stage through Zeeland, in the south of the Netherlands.
The 22nd edition of the GP Eddy Merckx will be on September 9 and not on September 2 as indicated in several calendars. This will coincide with the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Francorchamps on that date. Instead of 12 teams of two riders, there is now a maximum of 24 teams.
US cyclists Dylan Casey and Chann McRae have become victims of a common internet problem to do with domain names - cyber squatting. Their websites at www.dylancasey.com and www.channmcrae.com have been shut down by an outside source, who purchased the domain name and is now trying to sell them back to them. Dylan Casey has in the meantime purchased www.dylancasey.net, where he is plotting his return to the ruthless dotcom arena (and cycling as well). In addition, Chann McRae's website is also being relocated by his management company Sotox Sports Management.
In December 1999, US Congress passed legislation in an attempt to protect persons from having their names arbitrarily registered without their consent or knowledge. This will be the "first course of action" by Sotox who are now looking to launch legal proceedings against the other party. The World Intellectual Property Organisation (www.wipo.org) has a detailed breakdown of domain name Management of Internet Names and Addresses, with another report, in particular addressing the personal name issue, expected to be released shortly.
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
Recently on Cyclingnews
Latest Photos - Olympic Armstrong, Boulder & California 'cross, More Pan-Am, Canberra, Boston & REI 'cross (December 13)
Cyclingnews survey - Reader Poll 2001 - Vote for your favourite riders
Letters - VDB, Lance, Boring Tour, Coastal Post, Respect (December 13)
Cyclingnews Interview - Ryan Bayley - the KFC-fuelled world champ (December 13)
Cyclingnews Interview - David McKenzie - Macca's back (December 12)
Cyclingnews Interview - Laurent Jalabert - Jalabert looks ahead (December 11)
Cyclingnews Interview - Charly Wegelius - A coffee stop with Charly (December 8)
Cyclingnews Interview - Sven Montgomery - Moving up in the world (December 6)
Cyclingnews Interview - Rochelle Gilmore - Road scholar (December 6)
Tales from the Peloton - 12 Hours of Oleta - MTB endurance race in Miami (December 6)
Tales from the Peloton - Tony Cruz - back to his roots (December 7)
Marco Polo Diary - Tour du Faso - Part II - Nathan Dahlberg's report (December 3)
Tech maintenance - Wheels - how to keep them true and tight
Tech letters - Headsets, Pegoretti, Carbon cage, gloves & tubes (December 10)
Tech news - Navigators power-tap, Headsets, Carbon cages (December 7)
Tech- Recycling - How to protect your chainstay for free
Tech Reviews: Egg Beater pedals; Park Tool belt; Shimano shoes; Speedplay
Breaking the Chain - Dope planning and testing - From Willy Voet's book
|Home Search Survey Contact us|