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Cycling News Extra for July 5, 2006

Edited by John Kenny

T-Mobile to investigate doping allegation

The T-Mobile team has announced a doping investigation into Jörg Ludewig. On Monday the team obtained information that links the cyclist to alleged soliciting of doping substances in 1998.

Despite Ludewig not being a T-Mobile rider at the time of the alleged offence, the team intends to examine the matter. "The suspicion alone is reason enough for us to investigate the affair," said team manager Olaf Ludwig.

30-year-old Ludewig, who joined T-Mobile on a one-year contract in 2006, rode for Bayer Worringen in 1998. During this period he allegedly requested, in written form, banned substances, and showed a readiness to turn to doping, according to T-Mobile management, who say they have the relevant written correspondence.

'We don't have any direct evidence of doping and we realise that the incident dates back eight years," said Christian Frommert, director of sports communication at T-Mobile International. "However, even evidence of the intention to use doping substances gives us reason to investigate the facts around the affair. To what extent this will overlap with the team's agenda to clean up cycling remains to be seen."

T-Mobile management remains in contact the rider and has not ruled out taking further action.

Tour stage winners Casper and McEwen to ride Natour Broker criterium

Tour de France stage winners Jimmy Casper (Cofidis) and Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) will ride the Natour Broker criterium in Diksmuide, Belgium on July 25. Strasbourg stage winner Jimmy Casper (Cofidis) was signed by the organisers after his Tour win. He has 30 major victories to his name, including two championships of Flanders in Koolskamp.

Australian stage two Luxembourg winner McEwen had already agreed to ride the criterium before his stage win at Esch-sur-Alzette.

Comunidad Valenciana for Trofeo Agostinho

By Antonio J. Salmerón

The Comunidad Valenciana team will continue to follow its 2006 racing program, despite rumours that team sponsorship would be cut. The team will participate in the Trofeo Agostinho in Portugal, starting today. Rubén Plaza will lead the team backed by David Blanco, Eladio Jiménez, David Latasa, David Bernabeu, Jose Antonio Pecharromán, Javier Cherro and Ezequiel Mosquera.

Top fields expected in Mayo and Enniscorthy

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

The Ras Connachta gets under way at the village of Cong, Co. Mayo this Friday for three days of competitive racing on virtually traffic-free roads in one of the most scenic areas in the country. Racing gets under way at 6 o'clock and intending competitors are warned to allow plenty of time for travelling.

Race organiser Brian O'Loughlin said, "We are anticipating a good entry. Since the first running of the race, we have been fortunate enough to attract a very competitive and quality field. Last year, the outright [win] after three days of racing went right down to the wire with Tommy Evans shading it by a mere four seconds. It was great for the event and spectators alike," said O'Loughlin. The event will be sponsored by Thistlewood Holdings.

Morgan Fox (Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn Group) and Stephen O'Sullivan (MyHome.ie/Cyclewayus.com) have indicated their preference for the Co. Mayo venue as they prepare for a couple of stage events abroad. David McCann, who recently won the National Road Race title, could be in the field. In the last twelve months, Co. Mayo has been a happy hunting ground for the Giant-Asia professional.

The inaugural staging of the Betty Darcy Memorial in Gorey, Co. Wexford, is an alternative to the racing in Cong. The race starts at twelve o'clock. Race favourite, Robert Kelly of the Comeragh CC will hope to make up for the back luck he had last Sunday in Enniscorthy. He made what looked like a winning move on a 180-degree bend, but crashed on the greasy surface. Enniscorthy winner Fox took full advantage of Kelly's misfortune to solo to victory after a very testing 66 miles.

Research volunteers needed to improve performance in the heat

Volunteers are need to assist with research aimed at improving cyclists' performances in hot conditions. Researchers Stuart Best and Liv Holvik from the University of Sydney will undertake the tests during May - September.

Subjects are sought who train 5-6 times a week and are in the age brackets 18-30 and 50-65. Volunteers will receive feedback on performance including VO2max, power to weight ratios, cycling efficiency and economy, core temperature responses, sweat rate responses and tips on acclimatisation techniques. Each participant will receive a copy of the final study results.

The study will examine the effect of age on thermoregulation and to examine whether decreases in age-related aerobic fitness is accompanied by a decrease in thermoregulatory capacity. The research is targeted at investigating older and younger cyclists. The researchers hope to show that there is no decrease in the body's ability to regulate core temperature provided that physical activity levels are maintained as age increases.

The body's ability to maintain a safe core temperature is known as thermoregulation and can determine how a person will perform in certain climactic conditions. Physiological responses to higher temperatures or humidity can place a large strain on the cardiovascular and energy systems, sometimes at the cost of oxygen and fuels needed by the working muscles. However, like muscles, the cardiovascular and thermoregulatory systems can be better trained to respond better to cycling to decrease the physiological strain on the body in times of severe heat or humidity.

All testing will be conducted in the climate chamber at the University of Sydney Cumberland Campus. Volunteers do not need to have participated in research before and will find out about their body and performance and how to improve as a cyclist.

For information on how to participate in the study, or on any other performance testing contact:

Stuart Best

Liv Holvik

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