Cycling News Extra for July 21, 2006
Edited by Jeff Jones, Shane Stokes and John Kenny
No new revelations from Fuentes and Merino
The Operación Puerto investigation moved forward to the next stage on
Thursday with the questioning of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes and Jose Luis Merino
today at court number 31, Plaza de Castilla in Madrid. According to Spain's
news agency EFE, both of them remain with the same charges against
them. The judge will now decide whether to dismiss the case or send it
Coming up on
Cyclingnews will cover the 60th edition of
the Dauphiné Libéré live
as of stage 4 on Wednesday, June 10, at approximately 15:00 local Europe
time (CEST)/ 23:00 Australian time (CDT)/ 9:00 (USA East).
WAP-enabled mobile devices: http://live.cyclingnews.com/wap/
"There is an open procedure and my client's situation as an accused
person doesn't change after today's presentation," said Fuentes's lawyer
Julian Perez Templado. "He has been declaring for more than two hours.
The process will be opened up to investigation depending on the judge's
decision. We do not know when the following procedural steps will take
place, because among other things, there are pending blood analyses."
He then added that "my client ratified his first declarations...denying
before the judge that he has practiced actions contrary to public health."
Meanwhile the lawyer of Jose Luis Merino, Agustín Tornos, explained
to EFE that, "my client is in the same situation as the first time
that he spoke before the investigating magistrate."
Another two men involved in the case, former mountain bike rider Alberto
Leon and former Comunidad Valenciana's assistant director Ignacio Labarta,
must appear tomorrow at the same court.
Courtesy of Hernan Alvarez and Antonio J. Salmerón
German charges against Ullrich, Sevilla and Pevenage?
Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: AFP
The District Attorney's office in Bonn, Germany, is considering a request
to file charges against Jan Ullrich, Oscar Sevilla and Rudy Pevenage concerning
fraud and pescription drug violations. State Attorney Monika Nostadt-Ziegenberg
confirmed that her office had received a complaint on July 7 from Britta
Bannenberg, a criminologist and professor at the University of Bielefeld.
The complaint is being investigated, and the attorneys expect to come
to a conclusion in the next weeks, as to whether to pursue the case. Nostadt-Ziegenberg
would not indicate how the investigation might end or what further steps
might be taken.
In her complaint, Bannenberg said, "It must be assumed that Ullrich
misled T-Mobile about the use of unallowed substances and that based on
this error, the sponsor continued to pay him his salary and premiums."
Meanwhile former rival Lance Armstrong gave his thoughts on the case.
"It's logical to advise Jan Ullrich to make a DNA test," he said. "That's
the best way to clear his name." But, he notes, "I feel sorry for Jan.
I really like him. I'm sure that he would have won this Tour."
In an interview at www.tagesspiegel.de, Armstrong stated that
he has not spoken with either Ullrich or Basso, but said that he had telephoned
Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc on the Friday before the Tour started.
"The suspensions really surprised me," he said. Leblanc "was surprised,
too. I wished him luck and strength, because nobody wants this kind of
"We have to continue the fight against doping. Every rider should be
ready for unannounced tests 365 days a year, around the clock. Everybody
who loves cycling should be ready to stand behind it now."
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer
More codenames published
Following the list disclosed earlier this month of those under suspicion
of being involved in the Operacion Puerto affair, the Spanish cycling
newspaper Meta2Mil has published the codenames of still-unidentified
collaborators and cyclists connected to the case.
The collaborators include those known as:
El Manos Pequeñas, Alibabá, Alessandro Kalc, El Bigotes and Jandro.
The codenames of riders still to be identified and disclosed are:
Valv. (Piti) (2004)
Clasicómano Luigi (2006)
Amigo de Birillo
It is expected that some or all of these names will be identified in
the coming months. The first list of names had a dramatic effect, appearing
to implicate Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso, Francisco Mancebo, Joseba Beloki
and many others. All of these were unable to ride the Tour de France as
a result, although it has not been proved thus far that they were doping.
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
Godefroot to manage Astana
Former T-Mobile manager Walter Godefroot is set to return to cycling
by managing Alexandre Vinokourov's Astana team, according to yet to be
published information from Belgian newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen.
Following the chaos that led to the team not taking part in the Tour de
France, and the subsequent transition to an all-Kazakhstani sponsorship,
top rider Vinokourov saw that there was a need for an experienced manager.
He turned to Godefroot, who retired from T-Mobile last year and has always
had a good relationship with Vino. Godefroot will take care of the managerial
issues, including the renewal of the team's ProTour licence. Astan should
take part in the HEW Cyclassics race in Hamburg, Germany, on July 30.
Backstedt says pulling out of the Tour was the right choice
Magnus Backstedt (Liquigas)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Former Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt retired from the Tour de
France prior to the final rest day, ill with a cold. Short of important
racing after spending much of the early part of the season out due to
injury, the Liquigas rider was trying to ride himself into form. However,
digging in while sick on the gruelling mountain stage to Pla de Beret
made things very tough.
"I'm disappointed of course not to make it to Paris," he said after
returning home, "but for once I've made the decision based on what is
best for my health. I lost the first half of 2006 to injury and I didn't
want to lose the second half to sickness caused by destroying myself through
"I missed out on the Classics because of the tendon problem with my
knee," he elaborated. "I have the Hamburg Classic, The Tour of Denmark
and the Vuelta coming up and I really want some good results before the
end of the season."
After much speculation about his destination for 2007, Backstedt will
stay with Liquigas for another year. "Yes I will stay in green next year.
I do feel that there are some issues relating to why the team has not
had the season they had last year, but we have a great bunch of guys and
believe that we can regain that killer attitude of 2005," Backstedt concluded.
Gilmore breaks thigh and kneecap
Photo ©: Nick Rosenthal
Belgian Matthew Gilmore (Chocolade Jacques) has broken his thighbones
and kneecap in a race in Ninove on Thursday. The crash happened when he
hit a pole early in the race. He was operated on on Thursday in Aalst.
Schär to Phonak
Young Swiss rider Michael Schär, the current U23 national time trial
champion, will ride for Phonak from August 1 until the end of 2008, the
team reported. "Switching to the pros and also riding for the only Swiss
pro team is a dream come true for me," said the soon-to-be 20 year old.
Schär's results this year also include a fifth place at the U23 European
championships, 4th at this year's U23 Paris-Roubaix and 10th at the U23
Tour of Flanders. He is considered one of the most promising young Swiss
Phonak's new recruit comes from a cycling family. Michael Schär is the
son of former pro Roland Schär, who now manages a bike shop in Geuensee.
USA Cycling team for Junior Worlds
USA Cycling has announced its automatic and coaches’ selection nominations
for the UCI Junior Road and Track World Championships in Belgium August
The nine-day event begins with track competition August 5-8 in Ghent
in which five athletes were named to the team via coaches’ selection.
Catherine Fiedler (Long Beach, Calif./Home Depot Center) and Lauren Shirock
(Emmaus, Pa./South Mountain Cycles) were appointed to the women’s squad
while Justin Williams (Los Angeles, Calif./Major Motion), Shane Kline
(Bally, Pa./Team Fuji) and Nik Reinert (Mertztown, Pa./Team Fuji) comprise
the men’s squad.
The road events are scheduled for August 10-13 and will feature both
a road race and time trial for men and women. Tejay Van Garderen (Fort
Collins, Colo./Team 5280-eSoles) earned an automatic nomination to compete
in time trial event after capturing a national title at the USA Cycling
National Festival at Seven Springs in July. Also, his international results
led to a coaches’ selection for the road race.
Ben King (North Garden, Va./Hot Tubes) also earned a coaches’ selection
to compete in the time trial event based on international results.
Seven additional riders were named to a long team from which additional
riders will be chosen to compete in the road race. Bjorn Selander (Hudson,
Wis./Alan Factory), Peter Salon (Brooklyn, N.Y./GS Mengoni), Daniel Summerhill,
(Centennial, Colo./Team 5280-eSoles), Ben Bradshaw (Winchester, Calif./IE
Bikes Racing), Chris Barton (Ojai, Calif./Bicycles of Ojai) and Walker
Savidge (Breckenridge, Colo./Team 5280-eSoles) were named to the long
team. The four remaining riders that will compete in the road race will
be chosen from those six plus King.
For the women’s road events, Arielle Filiberti (Worcester, Mass/Hot
Tubes Development) and Jacquelyn Crowell (Maitland, Fla./Colavita) will
each compete in both the road race and time trial.
Filiberti was an automatic nomination for the road race based on her
national title and a coaches’ selection for the time trial. Crowell was
an automatic nomination for the time trial as the national champion and
a coaches’ selection for the road race.
USA Cycling license sales outstrip 2005 total
By Andy Lee, USA Cycling
After selling 54,190 licenses last year, USA Cycling announced yesterday
that number had been eclipsed on July 10, illustrating the growth in competitive
cycling in the United States and continuing a four-year trend.
American cycling has attracted unprecedented attention in recent years.
Much of that attention can be attributed to the success of Lance Armstrong
and the growing popularity of American athletes at the sport's highest
level. In fact, since Armstrong captured his fourth Tour de France crown,
USA Cycling membership has increased by over 27 percent. During that same
four-year period, the number of competitive road cyclists has increased
from 25,803 to 35,010 - a 36 percent jump amongst those who complete in
the same discipline as Armstrong.
"Obviously if you look at the number of competitive cyclists licensed
by USA Cycling, it's evident that the sport has grown by leaps and bounds
in the last few years," noted seven-time Tour de France winner Armstrong.
"The climate of American cycling at the elite level of competition is
extremely healthy and the attention the sport has received has helped
stimulate tremendous growth and interest."
Following the retirement of Armstrong after the 2005 Tour de France,
Americans have continued to excel in cycling's flagship event. George
Hincapie and Floyd Landis became the fourth and fifth Americans in history
to wear the coveted yellow jersey in the Tour de France earlier this month,
keeping the success of Americans alive and likely fostering similar growth.
"There are a lot of positive things happening in American cycling right
now," added Armstrong. "The number of people racing their bikes from the
junior level into the U23 class and on up through the master categories
is an encouraging sign of where our sport is heading. It's a trend I hope
"We're ecstatic at the continued growth of USA Cycling," commented Steve
Johnson, chief executive officer. As the governing body for the sport
in the United States, it is ultimately our mission to grow the sport of
competitive cycling in our country. From a membership standpoint, we are
working diligently on a daily basis to create more value in a USA Cycling
membership with the hopes of better serving our existing licensees and
attracting new members to the sport."
Of the current licenses, 35,010 are road and track specific and 10,476
are mountain bike specific. Other licenses include USA Cycling coaches
licenses (1,071), officials licenses (1,914), collegiate cycling licenses
(3,383), BMX licenses (183), mechanics licenses (170), professional cyclist
licenses (294), UCI international licences (2,130) and gold and silver
premier memberships (171).
At the conclusion of 2002, USA Cycling had 42,499 members, followed by
43,944 in 2003, 48,867 in 2004 and 54,190 in 2005.
Those numbers represent a 3.4 percent increase in 2003, an 11.2 percent
increase in 2004 and a 10.8 percent increase in 2005.
Another statistic that points to the marked growth in organized competitive
cycling is the increase in USA Cycling sanctioned teams and clubs. As
of July 19, USA Cycling has sanctioned 1,748 clubs - a 12 percent increase
over the 1,554 sanctioned clubs at this time last year. Of those 1,748
clubs, 257 are new.
Tour of California route announced
The organisers of the Tour of California have announced the route for
the 2007 Tour of California. The 650-mile eight stage event will involve
12 'host cities' and run from February 18-25.
The tour will begin with a prologue in San Francisco. More than 150 of
cyclists will then race through 12 'host cities' including, Sausalito,
Santa Rosa, Sacramento, Stockton, San Jose, Seaside, San Luis Obispo,
Solvang, Santa Barbara and Santa Clarita and concludes in Long Beach.
"From the world-class riders and competition to the overwhelming support
from over one million fans who attended the inaugural Amgen Tour of California
and the critical acclaim from the international cycling community, the
bar has been set extremely high," said Shawn Hunter, president, AEG Sports,
producers of the event.
1.3 million spectators attended last year's event, setting records for
a single sporting event in the State of California as well as any cycling
event ever held on U.S. soil.
The Tour of California attracted some of the world's most renowned and
respected riders. 2006 winner Floyd Landis (Phonak) went on to win the
Tour of Georgia and Paris-Nice stage races and is closing in on a maiden
Tour de France win after his phenomenal ride on stage 17.
"I know I'm not alone in looking forward to competing in the again,"
said David Zabriskie (CSC), runner up last year, "This year's course was
great, the field of competitors was excellent and the race ran like clockwork
- it's hard to see how it could get better next year, but I know it will.
America deserves a world-class bike race and now it has one."
Prologue - February. 18: San Francisco
Stage 1 - February 19: Sausalito to Santa Rosa
Stage 2 - February. 20: Santa Rosa to Sacramento
Stage 3 - February. 21: Stockton to San Jose
Stage 4 - February. 22: Seaside to San Luis Obispo
Stage 5 - February. 23: Solvang time trial
Stage 6 - February. 24: Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita
Stage 7 - February. 25: Long Beach circuit race
The Tour de France of give-aways and competitions
Don't miss out at Tour time!
Resident freebies expert, Rufus Staffordshire, sniffs out some competitions
where over $600,000 in prizes are on offer as manufacturers clamber for your
Scratch - but don't sniff
Photo ©: Trek
The Tour de France is not only a reasonably popular bike race, ahem, it's also
a great opportunity to win an incredible range of prizes and competitions on
offer from manufacturers, publishers and distributors.
Many of our sponsors are offering Cyclingnews readers a schwag-fest
of give-aways during the lap-around-France. The prizes on offer range from pedals
and laptops through to trips to Paris for the 2007 TdF, as well as actual kit
being ridden by top pros in the Tour - including top bikes from Trek, Blue,
So that you don't have to go hunting around the Internet for all these goodies,
we've assembled the Cyclingnews complete
guide to Tour freebies and competitions.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)