Latest Cycling News for June 27, 2006
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
Hands tied at UCI
By Hedwig Kröner
The International Cycling Union (UCI) is waiting for "concrete proof"
in the Spanish Operación Puerto affair to be able to engage disciplinary
procedures. UCI spokesperson Enrico Carpani told Cyclingnews that
the governing body of cycling will not take a stand on the matter now
opposing new-founded ProTour team Astana-Würth and Tour de France organiser
ASO unless it has official information on the current investigation.
"We cannot start any disciplinary procedure against riders or teams
on the basis of a newspaper report," Carpani said. "If the secret of the
investigation is lifted, we will be able to intervene, but not with the
situation as it is now. We need concrete proof, and names, by the Spanish
judicial authorities to have the legal basis for further action, including
UCI president Pat McQuaid, who is in constant contact with Spanish authorities,
regretted the current situation. "It is very frustrating for us in particular
who want to do something, who want to sanction riders once they need sanctioning,
and want to get rid of riders like this out of the sport, that at this
moment in time our hands are tied behind our backs," McQuaid told news
agency AP at a conference in Paris on doping.
CAS to rule Astana-Würth case before Tour start
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) intends to rule on the case
opposing Spanish ProTour team Astana-Würth and Tour de France organiser
ASO before the start of the Tour de France on Saturday, July 1. After
the organisers of the Grand Tour have asked the team formerly directed
by Manolo Saiz not to participate in their event - on the grounds of a
UCI reglement according to which "a licence holder or a team may be excluded
from a race if he/it seriously blemishes the image of cycling or of the
race" (UCI regulations article 2.6.036) - the team's management has asked
the highest legal instance of sport to decide upon its fate.
According to UCI rules, "the exclusion shall be imposed by joint decision
of the president of the commissaires panel and the organiser. In case
of disagreement between the president of the commissaires panel and the
organiser, the decision shall be taken by the president of the UCI ProTour
council [...]. The licence holder or the team must be heard."
"I'm expecting a letter from the Astana-Wuerth team shortly," CAS general
secretary Matthieu Reeb told Reuters on Tuesday morning. "We will
then set up a quick procedure to rule on the case by Friday the latest."
Spanish sport council denies McQuaid's declarations
The Spanish Sport Superior Council (CSD) has assured that it maintains
"a total collaboration with UCI as well as with the World Anti-Doping
Agency", after UCI president Pat McQuaid's declarations made from Paris,
where an international convention on the fight against doping is taking
place. McQuaid questioned the collaboration of the Spanish authorities
regarding doping matters, despite of his recent meeting with the CSD.
In an official statement, the CSD claims that it has "disclosed all available
information on Operación Puerto to the UCI" and that "representatives
of the Spanish Civil Guard attended the mentioned meeting that took place
at the CSD in order to pass on the most possible data."
The Spanish statement continued by explaining that, "the CSD is the
first one interested in knowing the results the investigation that is
being carrying out, but, like in any state of right, this will only be
possible when the secret of investigation will be lifted." In this sense,
the CSD concluded that it was "surprised that the president of a private
sport organization pretends that the authorities violate the procedure
of a State."
Courtesy of Antonio J. Salmerón
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
AG2R, Française des Jeux, Bouygues & Crédit Agricole for Tour
The manager of French team AG2R Prévoyance, Vincent Lavenu, has announced
his team's Tour de France line-up. The last remaining slot went to Sylvain
Calzati, who already rode the Tour de Romandie and the Giro d’Italia.
Sprinter Jean-Patrick Nazon will not participate in the Tour this year.
The squad will therefore include: Spaniards José Luis Arrieta, Mikel
Astarloza and Francisco Mancebo, French Sylvain Calzati, Cyril Dessel,
Samuel Dumoulin, Stéphane Goubert and Christophe Moreau, as well as Australian
Another French team, La Française des Jeux, has published its list of
riders for the upcoming Grand Tour. Sandy Casar, Carlos Da Cruz, Sebastien
Joly, Christophe Mengin, Benoit Vaugrenard, Bernhard Eisel, Philippe Gilbert,
Gustav Larsson and Thomas Lövkvist will be at the start of the Tour in
Strasbourg in Saturday.
Bouygues Telecom has also announced the last two places on its team
roster for the three-week event: Laurent Lefèvre and Matthieu Sprick.
"We have decided to take the same team as last year," explained Jean-René
Bernaudeau. "They are nine very self-confident fighters; everyone knows
what he has to do. We will not aim at the General Classification, as all
nine riders are equal in their capacity to join breakaways and to give
us a chance to win on every stage. I expect my riders to be very cunning.
They can win on every ground."
The nine riders selected are: Walter Bénéteau, Laurent Brochard, Pierrick
Fédrigo, Anthony Geslin, Laurent Lefèvre, Jérôme Pineau, Didier Rous,
Matthieu Sprick and Thomas Voeckler.
Finally, Crédit Agricole has also lifted the secret of who will be at
the start for the green team: Thor Hushovd, Alexandre Botcharov, Pietro
Caucchioli, Anthony Charteau, Jimmy Engoulvent, Patrice Halgand, Sébastien
Hinault, Christophe Le Mevel and Julian Dean.
Valverde: "I'm better than in 2005"
Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne)
wins 'La Doyenne'
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde of team Caisse d'Epargne has held an
official reception in his home region prior to the Tour de France. The
26 year-old, who will be starting at the French Grand Tour wearing the
white jersey of best ProTour rider, considered that this "will be one
extra motivation" to do well.
Valverde admitted that, "I am one of the favourites and hope to finish
within the six or seven first riders on general Classification, as well
as getting at least one stage victory." The winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège
and Flèche Wallonne this spring came back to competition in the Dauphiné
Libéré, which added to his overall tranquility when facing the next challenge.
"I will need to complete the whole Tour, something that I hope to do
this time, because I'm a little better that in 2005," he said, adding
that, "the Italian Ivan Basso is the main candidate to win the Tour, but
there are others like Ullrich, Mancebo, Vinokourov, Popovych and myself..."
Courtesy of Antonio J. Salmerón
Grabsch honoured by Tour selection
German Phonak rider Bert Grabsch feels very proud of being part of his
team's Tour de France roster this year. "Never before on the Phonak Cycling
Team has it been so difficult to qualify for the Tour de France as it
was this year," he explained. "For that reason, being able to participate
means even more to me than it did in previous years. I'm happy and proud
to be able to take part."
Grabsch is especially looking forward to the 15th stage, from Gap up
to the L'Alpe d'Huez, in spite of the fact that he isn't really a climber
and knows already that he's going to struggle a lot. "There are more difficult
mountains than L'Alpe d'Huez, but its legendary status and the huge crowds
give it a great atmosphere," Grabsch continued. "Once again, it's going
to be a big spectacle."
Grabsch is hoping for solid teamwork at the Tour de France, "and that
everyone on the team is prepared to fight and do their utmost for Floyd
Landis." The German rider who now lives on the Swiss side of Lake Constance
will be doing exactly that.
Van den Broeck to Davitamon
Belgian rider Jurgen van den Broeck has signed a contract with Davitamon-Lotto,
valid as of next year. The 23 year-old is currently racing for Discovery
Channel, but will be leaving the American squad for Davitamon, just like
Leif Hoste. Van den Broeck's new commitment will last two years. His best
result yet is the junior world's title in 2001.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)