Tour de France Cycling News for July 1, 2006
Edited by Jeff Jones, with assistance from Susan Westemeyer
An interview with Robbie McEwen
A reflection of human nature
A prologue is not usually Robbie McEwen's thing, but as usual, the Australian
speedster is focusing on tomorrow's second stage, where he can use his
talents. But as he tells Cyclingnews' John Trevorrow, it's been
difficult to get into the swing of things with the drama leading up to
CN: Well, Robbie, the first question has to obviously be, what's
your view of what happened yesterday.
McEwen salutes the crowd in the
Tour de Suisse
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
RM: Well, if they have got hard evidence of doing
the wrong thing, they get kicked out because they have done the wrong
thing. It has brought the sport into the spotlight for the wrong reasons.
I suppose as far as the rest of the world is concerned, it's cycling which
is involved again it is bad for us, it reflects badly on the sport of
course. They should be naming the other sports and athletes too. They
have got to do it otherwise, if you were there and you did it, get out.
CN: Just touching on that, because a lot of people don't know,
but in the same Spanish inquisition there were 150 athletes from other
sports named or insinuated against
RM: As a rider, I know only what I read in the paper on the internet
or what I hear, so we have got to be careful and not judge people too
quickly but in the beginning they said there were a couple of hundred
names and from a number of different sports but they are only crucifying
cycling. Those names and sports are being held back and if that is because
cycling is really pushed to name names quickly before the Tour started,
but they were already leaking names of cyclists from the beginning but
not from any other sport. It's not fair on cycling as a sport in general,
but even so if those guys have done what these reports say, they can't
expect any mercy.
Coming up on
Cyclingnews will cover the 60th edition of
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as of stage 4 on Wednesday, June 10, at approximately 15:00 local Europe
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here for the full interview
Fuentes' code names athlete's dogs
Valverde named, but not implicated heavily
In the ongoing doping network investigation in Spain, several clues
have been used to link the now suspended riders like Jan Ullrich, Ivan
Basso and Francisco Mancebo to the accused doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. In
the case of Basso, for example, investigators found the codename "Birillo"
on the lists of the haematologist, accompanied by abbreviations and symbols
signifying various doping practices. "Birillo" is reportedly the name
of Basso's dog. Further to this, Basso was named in several telephone
El País today noted that the Guardia Civil has also identified
existing ties between the doctor and a person referred to as "Piti", which
date back to 2004. This codename is believed to refer to Alejandro Valverde,
who was riding for Kelme at the time, whose team doctor was Fuentes. But
the involvement of Valverde could not be verified by other means such
as notes, training plans, films of the various observation cameras, phone
calls, etc. "These are insufficient elements to include them in the official
report," said a Guardia Civil source.
Cycling Australia to question Davis
Cycling Australia has issued a statement regarding the Operacion Puerto
affair, which named Allan Davis (part of the Astana-Würth team) as one
of those involved. The federation issued a statement to the effect that
the UCI has recommended Davis should be questioned in relation to the
investigation. "However the UCI states it has not been established that
Davis has committed any anti-doping violation.
"We are confident Allan will cooperate fully with the investigation,"
said Cycling Australia Chief Executive Officer, Graham Fredericks. "We
will also be monitoring the situation to ensure he is afforded his rights.
"The investigation has uncovered some distressing allegations but we
hope a fair and thorough judicial process will be conducted in Spain and
if anyone is found guilty of doping offences they will be penalised.
"There is no room in cycling for cheats and Cycling Australia supports
any actions that will rid the sport of drugs and allow our members to
compete fairly and safely," said Mr Fredericks.
Gerolsteiner reactions: Scholz and Totschnig "shocked"
"How was that for a day?," asks Gerolsteiner's Ronny Scholz, who returned
from a two-hour team training ride to hear the news of the day Friday.
"I was shocked at the extent to which the apparent deceit is organized.
So I find that the steps taken by the Tour management and the team leaders
to be right. Obviously they have proof which supports their actions. The
affair has to be fully resolved, the riders have to be held responsible.
I have no understanding for this kind of practice. And if the suspicions
should prove to be true, I really don't know, how I would react if I met
one of these riders - after all, this has to do with my profession, which
is being discredited by a few."
"But despite all the turbulence from yesterday," he continued on his
website, www.ronnyscholz.de, "I'm looking forward to the Tour.
And I hope that the sporting aspect doesn't disappear into the background,
because after the ousting of Ullrich, Basso & co., the Tour will be more
interesting than ever."
Writing at www.nachrichten.at, his teammate Georg Totschnig says
that "nothing worse could have happened to cycling than what happened
yesterday. The news of Jan Ullrich's suspension put all of my colleagues
in a state of shock."
He has personal reasons to feel that way: "With Jan, it has affected
one of my best friends in the scene. You could sit down to dinner with
him and talk not just about cycling, but about everything. When I sat
together with my wife Michi, him and and his girlfriend Sara, we talked
about how his daughter Sarah was doing in kindergarten, when he would
hold his next party at his house in Switzerland, and whether singer Udo
Lindenberg would drop by. Lance Armstrong was different. He spoke the
whole evening only about training, his saddle and the position of his
handlebars. For him there was only cycling, and that's probably exactly
why he won the Tour seven times."
"Maybe we needed this scandal in order to save the sport," said Gerolsteiner's
Peter Wrolich. "Millions of people line the streets to watch the cyclists
- we can't just sweep it under the table. But according to the reports
out of Spain, there were 200 bags of blood, and 150 of them came from
other sports. It will be interesting to see whether the other affected
athletes will be named, or whether cycling will be the sacrificial lamb."
Also commenting at www.nachrichten.at, his countryman Bernhard
Eisel of FdJeux.com, said, "It is sad that this sort of thing has become
normal. I support an exhaustive explanation."
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'
May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
May 15, 2009 - Valverde not welcome in Denmark
May 14, 2009 - Spanish federation wants proof in Valverde case
May 13, 2009 - Spanish Olympic Committee defends Valverde
May 12, 2009 - Valverde responds to sanction
May 11, 2009 - Italian tribunal delivers Valverde two-year suspension
May 8, 2009 - Valverde case: Italian Olympic Committee defends Torri
May 7, 2009 - Valverde to take legal action against CONI prosecutor
May 5, 2009 - WADA and Spanish federation join CONI and UCI on Valverde
May 1, 2009 - International Cycling Union joins in on Valverde's hearing in Italy
complete coverage of Operación Puerto
Perdiguero as mountain support for Landis
Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero will be taking part in his first Tour
de France, the 33 year-old Spaniard being selected on the basis of his
strong performances at such classics and tours such as the Vuelta a Pais
Vasco and the Tour de Romandie. For the last couple of years, Perdiguero
enjoyed several days of holidays while his teammates battled it out in
the tour. Although he had never watched the season highlight live and
in person, as a young boy he tried to emulate Pedro Delgado, the Spanish
rider who won the Tour de France in 1988.
This year, Perdiguero himself is part of the Tour retinue. "That means
that the team management and Floyd Landis are satisfied with me. That's
a great feeling," he said.
Perdiguero's goal is to repay Landis's trust by supporting him as best
as possible. "We have to take Floyd Landis over the mountains," he said.
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Photo ©: Santini
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The Fantasy Cyclingnews Team
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