Second Edition News for December 6, 1997

Contracts and Transfers

- Cantina Tollo will have 19 riders next season headed by new acquisitions Alessandro Baronti and Sergej Gontchar. The team met today for a retreat until Monday at Porto Sant'Elpidio (Ap). The riders at the meeting will be: Baronti, Bellini, Cavagnis, Colagè, Di Renzo, Frizzo, Gentili, Giunti, Gontchar (Ucr), Hvastija (Slo), Ljunqvist (Sve), Magnani, Pierdomenico, Rittsel (Sve), Simoni, Strazzer, Trenti, Valoti & Villa.

- Twenty two year old Bergamascan Matteo Frutti, who has 150 wins in his career as a junior will become a professional for 1998 with Mapei-Bricobì.

Dutch Drugs Scandal - Part 14 - Its spreading

On Wednesday, the Public Prosecuter's Office in Doornik (Belgium) raided the houses of riders of the Belgian professional cycling team, Lotto. This has been reported in many newspapers in Belgium.

The leaders of the Special Investigation Brigade (BOB) visited the houses of team manager Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke, riders Peter Farazijn and Sebastian Demarbaix, and the soigneurs Julien Everaert and Gerard Lefevre. They were looking for banned substances Bramantan and Clenbuterol. They did not find anything.

The raid follows the drugs affair with Djamolidin Abdoesjaparov, who was caught for taking drugs during a routine test after the Second Stage of the 1997 Tour de France. The Uzbek quit the Tour and, later, he also quit Lotto, but he laid the blame on his soigneur Laurent van Brussel. Van Brussel was immediately sacked from the Team. He claimed that he was loyal to the team. He said he had not known that there was anything illegal about the products that he had given Abdoesjaparov.

This is the third time in a short period that a cycling team has been associated with illegal drug use. Last week the illegal drugs racket involving Wim Sanders, the former team doctor of the Dutch team PDM was revealed. A number of days later it was reported that the Belgian chemist Kris Vanderstichele had supplied the banned substance, EPO to Erik Rijckaert, the doctor for the French cycling team Festina.

A clarification

I received an email from a reader who says:

Perhap you need to do a little more research before posting "Steroids by Internet". Upon reading your article I did a litle checking into adrostenedione. It is not an illegal substance and does not require a doctors perscription. I could, if I so desired, go to my local health food store and pick up a bottle for myself. I think the reason that this is the case is that it is a precursor to testosterone and not an actual steroid.

Guidi has surgery

Twelve falls, two collarbones, a rib, seven screws and two plates in the shoulder. It could be the anuual balance sheet for a team but instead it is the summary of 1997 for Fabrizio Guidi. To call it bad luck would be an understatement. "In terms of competition, I just haven't been there - explains -. I wasn't racing long enough to be competitive. Every time I was about to catch up, I would get in trouble and something would happen".

Nevertheless he won six races, from a stage at the Three Days of La Panne to the circuito delle Valli Aretine. "Call it dreaming, but if I hadn't crashed during that stage of the Tour of Denmark, I think that I would have ridden a good last two months of the season", said Guidi. After the fall in Denmark, he had to hurry up his preparation for la Vuelta, where he wore the Yellow Jersey for one day. "I spent the first week of La Vuelta a España, but it was tough because I wanted to look good, to be a prospect for the Worlds".

Fabrizio Guidi was the great surprise of 1996, thanks to sixteen victories and the Ciclamino Jersey at the Giro. For 1998 Guidi will ride for Team Polti. Fabrizio hopes to leave his mark in the Great Classics. "I would like to combine other good races with the first part of the Classics: from Milano-Sanremo to Roubaix". Guidi, because of his technical capabilities, can aim for the overall classification of the World Cup. "It will surely be one of the objectives for 1998, but also I want to be a player at the Major Stage Races - explains -. I have to define my program now with my director at Polti, but I count on doing the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, aiming at stage wins and the points classification".

The Tuscan will ride next to Davide Rebellin, Axel Merckx, Giuseppe Guerini, Luc Leblanc and Silvio Martinello. "Stanga has assembled a strong group. At the Classics I will ride next to Rebellin, but that is not an obstacle because we have different characteristics". After the upsetting Worlds at San Sebastian, Guidi took a long vacation in Cuba with his brother Leonardo, ex-teammate Francesco Secchiari and two Tuscan amateurs: Gobbini and Nocentini. "I have been to Cuba for the third time in three years. It is beautiful". On Tuesday at the Hospital of S. Rossore, professor Mauro Spinelli has taken out the screws and metal plates and in a few days Fabrizio will resume training. "For this year, this has been the third total anesthesia. Spinelli gave me the screws. I hope that now I have some credit in my favor with luck. For 1998 I will just be happy with riding the whole yeart without interruptions".

Fabrizio Guidi was born in Pontedera (Pisa) on April 13, 1972 and lives in Cascine di Buti. He has been a professional since 1995. He had two victories in his first season: a stage at the Tour of Portugal and the Tour de Vaucluse. The explosion of 1996 with sixteen victories: Trofeo dello Stretto, G.P. Gippingen, G.P. Industria e Commercio a Prato, Tour of Denmark, Tre Valli Varesine and the Giro di Puglia. Won the Blue Jersey (Intergiro) and the Purple (Ciclamino-Points) Jersey at the Giro. In 1997 he has a difficult year where he broke in two falls, both collarbones: the right one at Paris-Roubaix and the left one at the Tour of Denmark, which didn't allow him to get his best form. In any case he had six victories, including a stage of the Three Days of La Panne and one day in the Vuelta a España yellow jersey.

Make sure your bike has a bell

Oscar Pozzi and Salvatore Commesso had a curious thing happen to them. The two young riders (the first rides for Asics-CGA, the other is the European champion in the Under 23 and will become a professional next season with Saeco) were training along the SS 36, when at the entrance to Lecco, they were stopped and fined by a patrol of the Polizia Stradale (Road Patrol) because their bikes were not equipped with bells to make 'acoustic signals' or lights in the back while riding in a tunnel. The agent, who previously had asked the two professionals to ride one in front of the other, fined Commesso for passing his training partner in a section with heavy traffic. In total, Oscar Pozzi will have to pay a fine of 70,500 lire, while Salvatore Commesso's fine is 105,750 lire.

Maximilian Sciandri out for 2 months

Maximilian Sciandri will be practically at a stop for 2 months. Regretfully the Magnetic Ressonance Test (MRI) that he has had done at the clinic by professor Enrico Castellacci has shown damage to two vertebrae: one fractured, the sixth and the other one is crushed, he is also suffering from a broken nose and a broken tooth. Sciandri will have to wear a rigid brace for a month and the month after he will have to undergo rehabilitation.