First Edition Cycling News for June 29, 2006
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
Vinokourov: "It's not normal"
Alexandre Vinokourov earlier this
Photo ©: Hedwig Kröner
Alexandre Vinokourov, team leader of the new ProTour squad Astana-Würth,
has criticised the Tour de France organiser's decision of not wanting
his team to participate in the race. "It's not normal," the Kazakhstan
said. "There is no proof against the team." Spanish newspaper El País
had published information allegedly taken from the current Operación
Puerto investigation, according to which 15 riders of the said team
had ties to a large scale blood and drug doping network.
Vinokourov, who is one of the favourites for the general classification
at the Tour de France, continued by saying that the newspaper only reported
that there were "suspicions" of doping against these riders, not proof.
"The press might as well decide on general classification," he added.
"Lance Armstrong has also been named [in relation to doping - ed.] in
the press in the past, and this has never prevented him from riding the
Tour de France."
Whether or not Astana-Würth will start the "Grande Boucle" on Saturday
will now by decided by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The hearing
is reported to take place on Thursday afternoon, with a final ruling expected
on Friday morning. "I hope that the CAS will take the right decision and
that we will be at the start on Saturday," said Vinokourov, who, along
with his teammates, will undergo the usual medical check-up on Friday
if they are allowed to start. "It's not very good to prepare yourself
under these circumstances, but the most important thing is that we are
here now. If we can take the start, our morale will get better from day
CAS ruling: A question of image
In the hearing in front of the CAS on Thursday, ASO representative Jacques
Nataf will, according to L'Equipe, insist on two points to get
the approval of the highest instance for sports matters. Firstly, the
attorney will reiterate that the Tour de France is a major event and secondly,
that there is a high risk of deterioration of the event's image if the
former team Liberty Seguros is allowed to start, since there have been
repeated revelations about the team this last month.
Nataf will base its argumentation on Article 28 of the Tour de France
rules, which states, "An organiser has the right to refuse a team or a
member of a team whose presence is susceptible of blemishing the image
of cycling, of the organiser or of the race." This regulation is slightly
different to the UCI
article 2.6.036, 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", in that persons even susceptible of tainting the
image of the event may be refused.
But the UCI will not take part in the legal procedure opposing ASO and
Active Bay in any case. "The event organiser is the only one concerned,"
Professional Cycling Manager Alain Rumpf said. "We are not a party in
this case in the sense that the Tour de France does not have a ProTour
licence and that we have organised a procedure that stands on both of
The lawyer of the managing company of Astana-Würth - still 51 percent
owned by former team manager Manolo Saiz - is meanwhile expected to base
his defense on the presumption of innocence of the team.
UCI asks riders for written statement
The ongoing investigation in doping matters by Spanish authorities has
led the president of the International Cycling Union, Pat McQuaid, to
"strongly recommend" the ProTour teams to ask the riders taking part in
the Tour de France, "to sign a written statement certifying that they
are not involved in this case (with a clause that if their statement proves
to be incorrect, they would immediately leave the team and pay a substantial
The UCI made this recommendation known to the press via an official
communiqué on Wednesday afternoon. "Riders who would refuse to provide
such statement, must be replaced," the press release continued. "Should
convincing official information be provided to the UCI during the Tour
it will request the immediate withdrawal of any rider implicated and that
he remain inactive until the disciplinary process is completed."
However, the ProTour has been set up under European laws, and the legality
of this demand is not yet clear.
Furthermore, the UCI Licence Commission has made known its stand in
the ongoing discussion about team Astana-Würth and its participation at
the Tour de France. The Commission has met on Wednesday, June 28, and
"took note of the latest developments in the case in relation to supposedly
generalised doping practices. None of the information communicated to
this day to the Licence Commission concerning these practices, has come
from official sources.
"However, should facts related by certain media be confirmed, and the
Commission receives a request for a withdrawal of licence, the proceedings
prescribed by the regulations will be started."
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
Astana-Würth's nine not definite
Not only does the Spanish-Kazakhstani team Astana-Würth not know whether
or not it will be allowed to start at this year's Tour de France, but
the team directors have not yet confirmed a definite line-up for the squad.
Twelve riders arrived in Strasbourg on Wednesday, waiting for a decision:
Alexandre Vinokourov, Assan Bazayev, Andrey Kashechkin, Carlos Barredo,
Joseba Beloki, Alberto Contador, Isidro Nozal, Aitor Osa, Luis Leon Sanchez,
Allan Davis, Jörg Jaksche and Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho.
German Jörg Jaksche, initially thought to have a sport on the roster,
is rumoured not to get selected after all, with Spaniard Joseba Beloki
taking his spot. Asked which nine of those twelve riders present will
start in Saturday's prologue, Jaksche said, "Nothing has been decided
yet. I'll train again on Thursday and then we'll decide."
Armstrong lawyers clarify
After the recent publications by French newspapers of declarations made
by Frankie and Betsy Andreu, as well as former Tour de France winner Greg
LeMond and his wife Kathy, in a court case opposing Lance Armstrong and
insurance company SCA, the lawyers of Lance Armstrong have issued another
statement to clarify the accusations made against him. Both Frankie and
Betsy Andreu had testified that they heard Armstrong confess past use
of performance-enhancing drugs in a hospital where he was treated for
cancer in 1996. Greg and Kathy Lemond also claimed that Armstrong used
EPO, which was repudiated by Belgian team mechanic Julian DeVriese, according
"Lance Armstrong last week confirmed that he would no longer dignify
accusations made against him, principally in French newspapers, which
were comprehensively considered in the trial, concluded six months ago,
in which he was once again vindicated and awarded $2,500,000 in punitive/extra-contractual
damages in addition to the $5,000,000 he was owed," the statement by Armstrong's
lawyers, Tim Herman and Sean Breen read. "As he also stated, he has asked
his legal representatives to clarify, where appropriate, misleading or
incorrect information leaked to the press in violation of the explicit
orders issued by the Arbitration Tribunal.
"L'Equipe and LeMonde, both French publications, included
in their weekend editions selected portions of depositions and testimony
from the trial. These materials were acquired in violation of the arbitrators'
order of strict confidentiality. The papers also published recent quotes
received from Greg Lemond. Conspicuously absent from the French accounts
were confirmations by other witnesses that both Greg Lemond and his wife
repeatedly lied under oath and that statements attributed to others by
Lemond had been categorically repudiated. There is simply no credibility
to Lemond's statements regarding Armstrong."
To read the full statement, click
T-Mobile for Tour of Austria
With his confidence sky-high after his strong performances in recent
weeks, T-Mobile's Bernhard Kohl will lead his squad at the Tour of Austria,
from July 3-9, the team announced. After excellent performances at the
Dauphiné Libéré, where he finished third in GC, the 24 year-old just won
his national elite men's road race in Salzburg on Sunday and will now
start his home tour in the red and white jersey of the Austrian Champion.
"I think I have shown on a few occasions this season what I am capable
of," said Kohl. "A stage win at my home tour would be fantastic. I think
I can mix it with the best of them."
Directeur sportif Frans van Looy is convinced his rider could not be
better at the moment. "Bernhard is in the form of his life and he is well
capable of challenging for the GC," he said. Joining Kohl on the 1,042
km-race through the Alpine nation will be a mixed crew of all-rounders,
classics specialists and sprinters: Sergey Ivanov, Daniele Nardello, Frantisek
Rabon, André Korff, Olaf Pollack, Stephan Schreck and Thomas Ziegler.
After two relatively flat opening stages, the first GC shake-up is expected
on stage three, when the race hits the high mountains, concluding with
a summit finish atop the 1,670 metre Kitzbüheler Horn - one of the toughest
climbs in central Europe.
Solid field for 2006 Brixia Tour
The 2006 Brixia Tour taking place in Italy from July 20-23 will line
up some "big names" of the international peloton. The organisers of the
event have announced that Igor Astarloa, Giuliano Figueras, Davide Rebellin,
Emanuele Sella and Peter Van will be part of the 160 riders participating
in the UCI-rated 2.1 stage race, which will coincide with the last days
of the Tour de France this year.
The parcours of the Brixia Tour will be well-balanced as in previous
years, with two summit finishes, the Passo Maniva and the Saviore dell’Adamello
suited for climbers. The first stage on Thursday, July 20 will start in
Concesio and conclude at the shores of Lake Garda, Toscolano Maderno,
but the next day will see the riders take on the 1800 metres-high Passo
Maniva. On Saturday, there will be tow half-stages before the race ends
on Sunday in Palazzolo sull’Oglio.
Five ProTour teams have been announced to participate (Davitamon-Lotto,
Gerolsteiner, Lampre-Fondital, Liquigas and Milram); 11 Professional teams
(Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, Barloworld, Unibet.com, Acqua Sapone-Caffè
Mokambo, Ceramica Flaminia, Miche, Naturino-Sapore di Mare, Team 3C Casalinghi
Jet Androni Giocattoli, Team L.P.R., Team Tenax Salmilano and Selle Italia-Serramenti
Diquigiovanni) and four continental teams.
Stage 1 - Thursday, July 20: Concesio - Toscolano Maderno, 177.8 km
Stage 1 - Friday, July 21: Centro Sportivo Rigamonti Buffalora - Passo
Maniva, 169.2 km
Stage 3a - Saturday, July 22: Pisogne - Darfo Boario Terme, 101.8 km
Stage 3b - Saturday, July 22: Piancamuno (Planet Kart) - Saviore dell’Adamello,
Stage 1 - Sunday, July 23: Bassano Bresciano – Palazzolo sull’Oglio, 177.9
Landis to race at Tour of Elk Grove
Tour de France cyclist Floyd Landis, who finished in the top 10 in the
overall classification in 2005, and in 2006 has already won the Tour of
California, French Paris-Nice and the Tour de Georgia, will be racing
in the streets of Elk Grove Village at the Alexian Brothers International
Cycling Classic Tour of Elk Grove to be held in Illinois, USA, on August
This inaugural, weekend-long "criterium" cycling event will feature
a total of $153,000 as prize money. At the Tour of Elk Grove, Landis will
be competing for the biggest single-event cash prize of $25,000 for the
first-place winner of the men's international pro race, a 100k criterium
race presented by USA Cycling. This race will be held at 3:00 p.m. on
Saturday, August 12. In addition, Landis will also be signing autographs
at the event from 11:00-11:45 a.m. that morning.
The 14 races in total, held as part of the Village's 50th anniversary
celebration in 2006, will take place from 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. each day.
Start location is Ridge and Elk Grove Boulevard (at the south end of Audubon
For more information, visit www.tourofelkgrove.com.
Haywood Yaletown GP closes early registration
With just days to go, the preparations are nearly complete for this
year’s third edition of the Yaletown Grand Prix in Vancouver, Canada,
scheduled for this Saturday, July 1, 2006. Despite the conflict with the
Canadian National Championships being held in Québec this weekend, the
pro fields are starting to fill up with top racers like Alison Sydor,
Kirk O’Bee, Scott Goguen and Max Plaxton.
The organisers have announced that the on-line registration deadline
is Thursday, June 29 at 5pm and that this will be the last chance to get
the early-bird sign-up discount. There will be in-person registration
available Friday night and Saturday at the Yaletown Brewing Company.
Just like last year, one the racing is done, the Yaletown Brewing Company
will throw open its doors to host the best post-race party around, as
racers, race crew and friends are invited to come celebrate the day.
This year the Yaletown Grand Prix will raise money for the Boys and
Girls Clubs of Greater Vancouver who deliver a wide range of health, educational
and recreational services to over 6000 local children annually.
For more event information visit www.yaletowngrandprix.com.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)