Cycling News Extra for June 30, 2006
Edited by Jeff Jones
More riders suspended: Basso and Mancebo out
The various teams taking part in the Tour de France have now suspended
all of their riders implicated in the Operacion Puerto affair, including
Ivan Basso (CSC), whose nickname was allegedly "Birillo" in
Fuentes' files, and Francisco Mancebo (AG2R). Joseba Beloki (Astana-Wurth)
is another to be sent home. After Jan Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla were taken
out this morning by T-Mobile, the teams are now pulling their other riders
out. The pressure from the organisers, the UCI, the sponsors, and the
non-affected teams has been intense.
ASO public relations man Bernard Hinault told radio RTL that
he expects 15-20 riders to be ejected before the day is out. The UCI will
then ask the national cycling federations to start disciplinary proceedings
against the riders named in the Spanish network.
Teams spokesman Patrick Lefevere said that there will be no replacements
for the riders who have been taken out. "We have unanimously decided
to send all the riders who are on the list home, and not to substitute
Ullrich's ex-trainer calls it a "catastrophe"
"This is a catastrophe," said Jan Ullrich's former trainer Peter Becker
to German news-TV channel N24, after learning of the suspension of Ullrich
from T-Mobile. "Naturally that will be a terrible blow for Jan. It's unbelievable.
You work hard for 15 years...I can't find any more words. This is a catastrophe.
"He has an altitude chamber in his basement, that cost €120,000,
so that he could train in a clean way, and he still manages to fall in
with these rogues and betrayers. Who has been advising him, who has been
taking care of him, since I'm not with him? He is actually old enough
to know who he should trust. I simply don't want to believe it, it is
Vicente Belda, the team manager of Spanish continental pro team Comunidad
Valenciana, was questioned on Wednesday of this week by the Spanish Civil
Guard. Belda's team is one of the most heavily implicated in Operacion
Puerto, with 10 riders on "the list" and ex-directeur sportif Ignacio
Labarta suspected of being one of the ringleaders.
David Millar is ready
In the midst of all the doping scandals going on in the Tour, there
is a certain irony about the return of David Millar to racing. After police
searched his home in 2004, Millar admitted to using EPO to win the 2003
world time trial championships (among other races), and received a two
year suspension that has just run its course. Millar said that he is now
ready to race without doping, and called the events in Spain "fantastic
"Cycling is the most beautiful sport in the world," said the Brit on
Thursday. "I had to watch the 2005 Tour de France on TV, and I felt excited,
just like a child. I realised I was very lucky that my first race back
would be the Tour. I needed to believe in myself and work hard. Fortunately,
many people trusted me: the British team, Mauro Gianetti, Matxin and the
Saunier Duval-Prodir team, and, of course, my family. It´s like a new
beginning; everything is new to me.
"I want to prove that it is definitely possible to win without doping,"
Millar told Sportwereld.be. "I don't want any more ambiguity. "I
am now one hundred percent clean. In the years left in my career, I will
have to convince the fans, my colleagues, and the journalists that I am
now an honest rider. I hope that my story is a positive message for this
sport. I f**ked up: I lied, I did wrong, I cheated, and I have to live
with that now. I hope that the new generation of riders can gain the respect
of the public. It's already proven by the scandals in Spain that the sport
doesn't deserve that respect yet. Cycling will also need years to build
up its credibility again."
"It's going in the right direction, I really mean that. What happened
in Spain in the last weeks is fantastic news. Through those sort of anti-doping
actions, the organised doping networks will be slowly dismantled. The
belief that you can't win without doping, must stop. It's up to the current
riders to convince the younger generations."
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
2006 Jayco Herald Sun Tour launched in Melbourne
By Mal Sawford in Melbourne
John Brumby, Premier Steve Bracks
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
The 2006 Jayco Herald Sun Tour was launched on Friday morning by the
Premier of Victoria, Steve Bracks at a gala breakfast attended by 300
cycling enthusiasts coinciding with the third annual Bicycle Victoria
Tour de France Breakfast. Mr Bracks and the Minister for State and Regional
Development, John Brumby, announced the route, which will take the peloton
through some of the state's major provincial centres, from the opening
city centre criterium in Shepparton, through Bendigo, Nagambie, Benalla
and Lake Mountain before concluding in Melbourne with a time trial and
the traditional Lygon St Criterium.
The State Government hopes to build on the revitalisation started in
2005 of the 50 year old race, to assist in their promotion of the ‘Make
it happen in Provincial Victoria' campaign, which promotes the lifestyle
and business opportunities in provincial Victoria. The Sun Tour was recently
elevated to Hallmark status under the state's major events program, alongside
the F1 Grand Prix, AFL Grand Final and Spring Racing Carnival, making
it the only such event outside of the state capital, Melbourne. Mr Bracks
envisioned that the tour will continue to grow to "become the biggest
and best cycling event in Australia."
Similarly to the 2005 edition, the seven day tour will see 14 teams
of seven tackle one stage per day, but will reintroduce time bonuses for
stage finishes, intermediate sprints and hill climbs. Defending Champion
Simon Gerrans (AG2R Prevoyance) was confirmed as a starter, which will
be directed for the second time by Michael Hands. Hands is in negotiation
with a number of other ProTour teams to join Continental teams from Australasia,
but is yet to announce the full list of starters.
Gerrans, one of only three local riders to win the event in the last
twenty years told Cyclingnews recently at the Tour de Suisse that
he "was looking forward to defending his title. It's my home town race,
my friends and family get to watch, so it's really important." If Gerrans
can triumph in October, he will become the first back to back winner since
Graham McVilly in 1973-74. While admitting that the win was not rated
as highly by his team as a win in Europe, Gerrans noted that "the event
gets bigger and bigger every year. One stage per day makes the race a
lot more 'Euro', so as a race it's going to get a lot more popular."
Steve Bracks and Julian Clarke
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
Prior to the official launch, the Tour de France breakfast featured
a panel including former Giro d'Italia stage winner David McKenzie, dual
Women's World Cup Winner Anna Wilson and Olympic Gold Medal Mike McKay,
the patron of the local Drapac-Porsche team. Asked for their predictions
on Lance Armstrong's successor, there was clearly some home town bias
evident, with all three predicting another Green Jersey for Robbie McEwen.
Both Wilson and McKay tipped Jan Ullrich for Yellow [before the latest
news developments - ed.], while ‘Macca' stuck with another local, Cadel
Evans as the rider to take cycling's biggest prize.
Stage 1 - Sunday 8 October: Shepparton Criterium, 50km (approx)
Stage 2 - Monday 9 October: Shepparton – Bendigo, 179km
Stage 3 - Tuesday 10 October: Bendigo – Nagambie, 158km
Stage 4 - Wednesday 11 October: Mitchelton Winery (Nagambie) – Benalla,
Stage 5 - Thursday 12 October: Benalla – Lake Mountain, 183km
Stage 6 - Friday 13 October: Yarra Boulevard, Kew ITT, 12km
Stage 7 - Saturday 13 October: Lygon Street Criterium, 65km (approx)
Hammer hosts celebration of excellence
World champion on the track, Sarah Hammer (USA), will host the first
annual Celebration of Excellence on Saturday, August 12, 2006. In April
2006, Hammer became the USA’s first track rider to win a gold medal in
a decade. In honouring her achievement, she will be joined by Olympians,
prominent business leaders and sporting visionaries in an effort to raise
funds for women’s track cycling in the USA.
Celebration of Excellence will be held at the ADT Event Center Velodrome,
part of the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The event will start
with a reception at 12:00 pm, and the ceremony will begin at 12:30 pm.
A world record attempt and exhibition racing will form part of the program.
More details: www.awtcf.org
Santos Gonzalez sanctioned
Spanish rider Santos Gonzalez (3 Molinos Resort) has been sanctioned
by his national federation after testing positive for triamcinolone acetonide
during the Vuelta a Murcia on March 4. Gonzalez did not receive a heavy
penalty, however. He was given a warning and disqualified from the race.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)