First Edition Cycling News for July 16, 2006
Edited by Jeff Jones and Shane Stokes, with assistance from Susan
Ullrich and Sevilla miss team's deadline
Are Jan Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla on their way out of the T-Mobile Team
permanently? It's beginning to look that way. On Saturday morning, sports
communication director Christian Frommert said that the two riders have
missed the deadline to prove their innocence in the Operation Puerto affair.
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Ullrich and Sevilla have "not met the request of the sponsor and the
team management to provide their innocence," the team announced Saturday.
The deadline, which was given to them upon their suspension June 30, "already
expired on Thursday."
"Now it's in the hands of the attorneys to consider what steps to take
next. This is a very difficult situation," Frommert said, and noted that
he is confident to have an announcement "by the end of the Tour."
The team suspended Ullrich and Sevilla before the start of the Tour
after both were named in the Spanish doping scandal involving Dr. Eufemiano
Fuentes. Directeur Sportif and Ullrich mentor Rudy Pevenage was fired
over his involvement.
Both riders "assured us before they left Strasbourg on June 30 that
they wanted to prove their innocence," Frommert said. This has not yet
T-Mobile plans "round table discussion" over doping
T-Mobile Team and sponsor T-Mobile are staying aggressive in their fight
against doping with cycling. They will hold a round table discussion on
the issue at the HEW Cyclassics Pro Tour race on July 30, with the national
association (Bund Deutsche Radfahrer) president Rudolf Scharping.
Many of the biggest doping affairs have not been discovered through
routine testing - for example, Jan Ullrich, David Millar and Richard Virenque
were never tested positive in a race. T-Mobile therefore wants to work
more closely with the National Anti-Doping Agency. Team Gerolsteiner has
also indicated its willingness to participate in the project. In addition,
Frommert said, doping critics such as the biologist Werner Franke and
Austrian doctor and nutrition expert Kurt Moosburger will also take part.
"We will be looking at every aspect," says T-Mobile Sports Communications
director Christian Frommert. The suspension of nine riders before the
start of the Tour de France was an alarm signal, he said, and now it is
up to the sponsors to act. But the riders and the trainers must also be
part of the new beginning, as only "clean cycling" will be attractive
to sponsors, Frommert noted.
T-Mobile's continued sponsorship of the team depends on the success
of the fight against doping. "We will stay until at least the end of 2008,
but that doesn't necessarily mean that we will stop then," Frommert said.
Basso prepares his defence
By Hedwig Kröner, with additional reporting from Shane Stokes
Ever since Ivan Basso returned home to his native Italy on June 30,
one day prior to the start of the Tour de France, the now suspended CSC
rider has been in close contact with his lawyer, Massimo Martelli, who
has taken over not only the preparation of his defence but also his relations
to the media.
Martelli, wrote L'Equipe's Philippe Brunel in Wednesday's edition
of the paper, travelled to Madrid last week to meet the investigators
of the Guardia Civil and the magistrate in charge of the Operacion
Puerto affair. The attorney was given a copy of the dossier which
led to Basso's exclusion of the Tour.
"There are very few indications," he said, "only suppositions and indirect
proof." Martelli added that Basso appeared in none of the video camera-recorded
films the officials had used in their investigation, and that the recorded
telephone calls which concerned Basso included silences and omissions
which could be used for all sorts of interpretations.
"One correspondent tells doctor Fuentes that a 'certain' Basso won.
But in Italy for example, the word 'certain' is used for an unknown person,"
Martelli said. As for the codename 'Birillo', the attorney added that
this was an invention of the media. "Birillo is supposed to be the name
of Basso's dog. But yesterday, I heard his daughter Domitilla call the
dog 'Tarello' - I don't think that at two years of age, a child could
be wrong about the name of its dog."
So while Basso is said to train every day, being "very impatient to
get out of this dead end", his representative is in contact with the authorities
in charge: the UCI, which is in possession of more complete documents
on the case, as well as the Anti-Doping section of the Italian Olympic
committee, which will let Basso be heard once it has all the information
available. It can then either classify the case or else send Basso before
the disciplinary commission of his cycling federation, which could ask
Basso for a DNA test.
While the winner of the Giro d'Italia is in favour of the idea, his
attorney isn't. "It's a traumatic act, and not reliable to 100 percent,"
However many other lawyers and scientists would disagree with this last
assertion. DNA testing is taken to being 99.5 percent reliable and has
been used as the mainstay of countless criminal cases for many years.
In fact, if an inaccurate reading does occur, this decreases rather than
increases the chances of Basso having a blood match.
Across the border in Switzerland, the president of the Swiss Olympic
committee's doping section Gerhard Walter stated several days ago that
he felt such testing was vital in the case of Jan Ullrich, another accused
of working with Dr. Fuentes. "The reports out of Spain indicate a seemingly
clear situation, therefore it's up to the athletes to exonerate themselves,"
he stated. "If Ullrich, for example, doesn't make a DNA test, then I assume
that the charges are true."
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
Fast Kiwi to ride as a stagiaire with Française des Jeux
By Jean-François Quénet in Carcassonne
Photo ©: JF Quenet
The typically French Française des Jeux team no has a long history of
English speaking riders from various countries like the US (Chris Horner),
Great-Britain (Max Sciandri and Bradley Wiggins), Australia (Brad McGee,
Baden Cooke, Matt Wilson, Mark Renshaw) and South Africa (Ian McLeod).
New Zealand was missing on the list. But a Kiwi will line up soon with
the four-leaf clover white jersey: Tim Gudsell, 22, from the national
track team, will be a stagiaire from August 1st on and his first pro race
will be Paris-Corrèze (Aug. 2-3).
Gudsell caught the attention of Yvon Madiot – Marc's brother – when
he won the U23 Tour du Haut-Anjou in early April under the colours of
his French club VS Albi, where he pairs with the up and coming sprinter
Stéphane Poulhiès. Poulhiès will start his own pro career with AG2R, also
on August 1st.
"I'm delighted to be given a chance," Gudsell said, while riding the
Tour des Deux-Sèvres in west of France. "I'll do my best to get a pro
contract after that. My 2006 season almost started in October last year
because of the track commitments, but fortunately I've had a nice break
with a couple of other New Zealanders in June. I'm fresh and motivated
for what's coming up now."
Italians to check out World's course
Paolo Bettini and Danilo Di Luca will lead an informal Italian team
to check out the course of the upcoming World road championship in Salzburg,
Austria, next week. On Tuesday, July 18, the two will go out with fellow
Italians Vincenzo Nibali, Marco Pinotti and Tiziano Dall'Antonia to get
a feel for the course. Their ride will be followed by a press conference
at the Hotel Gmachl in Bergheim, Austria, at about 3 p.m.
FRF couriers-Caravello for Qinghai Lake
By Mark Gunter
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
FRF Couriers-Caravello are looking to show well in what is their biggest
race yet, the 2.HC ranked Tour
of Qinghai Lake.
This team is in its first year as a UCI Continental team are looking
to make a name for themselves in professional cycling. This exotic and
challenging race is a great opportunity to get noticed.
"A stage win or a day or two in the leaders jersey would be great" explained
team manager Andrew Portess. Overall GC is not the main priority for this
race especially when up against teams like Liquigas and Bouygues Telecom,
but to be competitive against such strong opposition would be a boost
for the riders and sponsors alike.
The team has been racing in the UK and Canada recently so their legs
and mind set should be ready to tackle this event in a positive way. A
stage win is not out of the question. With Cyclingnews diary submitter
Cody Stevenson riding well and in form sprinter Joshua Marden recently
having a win in the Milk Race in Ireland. a chance on the flatter stages
is possible. Meanwhile 19 year old Brendan Brooks has been getting some
high altitude training in Colorado.
And high altitude is the word for this race with the riders reaching
3880m during stage 4. Netherlands-based team Skil-Shimano have already
been in the area for two weeks getting used to the thin air and one would
expect them to perform well in the early stages of the tour. Andrew Portess
isn't too worried about this as the tour is 9 days long and the big climbs
don't come until half way through. By then, he feels, the guys should
off on a ride
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
No team leader has been arranged yet. They will see how things pan out
before making any decisions, as anything can happen in the mountains of
"This will be a great learning experience for the guys, and with the
high altitude racing they should arrive back in Australia with some good
form" says Andrew. "They should place well in the Tatts Cup coming up
FRF couriers-Caravello are aiming to be the number one team in Australia,
and along the way help riders adapt to a professional lifestyle and in
the future gain contracts with a UCI professional team.
Team roster: Joseph McDonnell, Cody Stevenson, Peter McDonald, Peter
Herzig, Brendan Brooks, Tony Mann, Joshua Marden
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)