First Edition Cycling News for July 6, 2007
Edited by Sue George with assistance from Steve Medcroft
DNA testing not expected before Tour start
By Shane Stokes in London
The main bunch at the 2006 Tour
Tour de France
race organiser ASO announced recently that it will require all Tour riders
to have signed the UCI's Rider's Commitment for a Clean Cycling, thereby
vowing to race clean, to submit a DNA sample if required and to pay a year's
salary if they test positive or are proven to be part of a doping affair.
It seems unlikely however that any DNA matching will be done straight away.
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Comparing riders' blood, saliva or hair samples with the bags of blood
seized during the Operción
Puerto swoop last May would pinpoint some of those who were involved
with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. This is what happened with Jan Ullrich, confirming
that his blood was in the clinic in Madrid.
While it would be ideal to know that none of the riders in this Tour
were involved, it appears that this is something that will happen down
the line rather than sooner.
"I don't think testing will be done straight away," UCI anti-doping
chief Anne Gripper told Cyclingnews on Thursday. "We have
to go through a judicial procedure to get the DNA [from the bags of blood
in Madrid] and that will take time."
Meanwhile Astana rider Andreas Klöden has said that he has never
doped and is tired of questioning about such matters.
"I do not have anything to hide, you must me believe when I promise
you that I never did anything forbidden," he said in the German newspaper
Die Welt on Thursday. "Since eleven years of age I have always
been the best in my age categories. I have worked hard and did not suddenly
become good. I have continuously progressed without doping but despite
all that, I am still suspected. That tires me."
Tour field passes first round of tests
Tests of the 189 riders set to compete in the Tour de France all came
back negative, the UCI announced late Thursday according to the Associated
The riders will start the Tour Saturday in London with a 7.9km
prologue in London, England. Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for
complete Tour de France coverage.
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/
FCI to hear Petacchi in late July
Alessandro Petacchi (Milram)
Photo ©: Sirotti
The disciplinary board of the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) disciplinary
commission has set a date for hearing the case of Milram's Alexander Petacchi
on July 24 in Rome. Following a
hearing on July 4, CONI's anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri suggested
a one year sentence.
The 33 year-old sprinter had a non-negative
test for the asthma drug Salbutamol during this year's Giro d'Italia.
Although he had dispensation for the asthma product, the levels that were
recorded at the Giro were abnormally high, leading to CONI's investigation.
Petacchi is currently suspended
by his Milram team while a verdict is pending. He is also missing
this year's Tour de France, which starts in London on Saturday.
Petacchi, who signed the UCI's anti doping charter on Tuesday, could
be required to repay a year's salary to the organisation under conditions
of the new agreement, should he be found guilty of doping.
CPA wants more than just racers to clean up cycling
The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) called for managers, team
directors, doctors, team staff, and organizers to step up and join riders
in taking responsibility for cleaning up the sport of cycling.
In a statement released Thursday, the CPA said, "In their concern
for equality and transparency, the professional riders ask the UCI, with
the greatest firmness, that a commitment, as rigorous as the one they
have signed, is drawn up and presented, for signature, to the managers,
team directors, doctors, staff of the teams and organizers.
"It is neither conceivable nor acceptable that the rules, for the
practice of a clean cycling, are applied to the riders only," continued
the statement. "In order to clean up cycling and put an end to the
surrounding hypocrisy, all people working, closely or more distantly in
our environment, must assume responsibility, whatever his or her rule
and his role in the sport."
"The commitment signed by the riders will only truly count when
all involved in professional cycling commit themselves too." The
CPA believes such a commitment will help competition recovery a credibility
"essential for the public, the sponsors and the media."
London's calling Boardman
By Steve Thomas
London mayor Ken Livingstone, Chris
Boardman, and Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme (L-R)
Photo ©: AFP Photo
Chris Boardman stands high as Britain's most accomplished Tour de France
competitor. Cyclingnews spoke with the retired cyclist as he prepares
for the London Grand Depart, and three weeks in the commentary box:
When it comes to time trials, Britain's Chris Boardman didn't just master
the rule book: he wrote it. What started with a 10-mile national Road
Time Trial Council title as a schoolboy in 1984, was refined in to a World
Time Trial Champion jersey a decade later, with a wad of titles and records
in between. While some criticized the rider's lack of climbing ability,
the dual Olympic medallist still has a that would make most envious.
In 1994, his world champion year, Boardman shot to instant fame with
the fastest ITT on record before ironically losing the yellow jersey after
a disastrous Team Time Trial. With three Tour victories listed on an extensive
palmarès, the commentator is enthused by the prospect of a fellow
British rider taking out Saturday's Prologue when the event makes its
"It's great, and it really shows that the development [of British
riders] is working," said Boardman. "This is only the tip of
the iceberg; there are lots of guys standing right behind these riders."
Of course, there are two British riders in particular that the local
media is hyping for a Saturday stage victory: Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis)
and David Millar (Saunier Duval). The two British heavyweights will likely
be keen to impress on home soil, but Boardman believes conditioning will
play the decisive role in the duo's hopes.
"I would say [Wiggins] has a one in five chance," Boardman
said. "One problem is that we know he has been on top form for a
long time, which is worrying as you can't stay there forever. The other
thing is that the pressure will really be on him, and he's already realising
"At the Olympics he was one of a bunch of guys who could win, so
it wasn't too much pressure," added Boardman, who claimed his own
4000m individual pursuit Olympic gold medal in '92. "Now it's his
hometown and he is expected to win, and the Tour is always somewhat overwhelming.
If he can keep his mind on himself and how he races, as opposed to the
occasion, then he has a good chance."
Boardman rates Millar at an even remoter chance of taking the event-opening
victory from the yellow jersey hungry peloton. Despite his wider odds,
Boardman believes Millar could benefit tomorrow if he's finally reached
his peak form of the season. "I think Dave has not had that form
yet, which means he could be getting there," he cautioned. "He
also has the experience of having done it before. I would say he has a
one in seven chance of winning."
To read the complete feature, click
USOC and USADA up the anti-doping ante
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced Monday that it
has reached an agreement with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)
to conduct anti-doping testing and adjudication on behalf of the USOC
and its National Governing Bodies through 2010.
A statement by the USOC said the new agreement goes into effect immediately
and includes several important advancements from the original agreement
into which the two organizations entered in 2000, particularly focusing
on sports that have a "a higher risk of doping."
"We are continually looking for ways to intensify our efforts in
the fight against doping in sport, and this new agreement is an important
step forward," USOC Chief Executive Officer Jim Scherr said in the
statement. "Our stated goal is to have a clean team at the 2008 Beijing
Games, and that goal will be accomplished, at least in part, through a
testing program that is more intelligent, focused and efficient."
While the statement did not say which sports are considered high-risk,
a spokesperson for the USOC told Cyclingnews that the sports will
be decided at a later date. "USOC and USADA will work together to make
that determination," said Nicole Saunches. "They will consider several
factors including propensity for anti-doping sanctions."
The changes include and increase in the percentage of No-Advance-Notice
tests in sports with a higher risk of doping because, "No-Advance-Notice
testing is universally accepted as the most effective form of testing,"
the statement noted. The amount of tests conducted annually will be increased
to no less than 55 percent, with a goal of reaching 65 percent annually.
There will also be an increase in the number of blood tests conducted
annually for the high-risk sports.
Finally, the new agreement will place a greater emphasis on extending
sanctions to include coaches, agents, athletic trainers and others in
cases where there is evidence of complicity.
"Everyone who participates in or cares about sport deserves to
know that the playing field is level and that competition is clean,"
said Mark Henderson, Chair of the USOC Athletes Advisory Council. "As
athletes, we embrace this responsibility and believe that a strong anti-doping
program is an important tool in protecting the integrity of sport. Athletes
also deserve to know that the approved anti-doping protocols will always
be followed, and we appreciate the fact that USADA does so."
Le soap opera; new Tour video now online
By Paul Verkuylen
The next Cyclingnews' video installment looks at just what it's
like to ride the Tour de France with the support needed for the riders
and the soap opera that unfolds on the road to Paris each year.
Each and every professional bike rider dreams of riding the Tour de France,
and when they do, it is with great pride and joy that they take to the
start line. At least that's how it starts out; three weeks later they
may tell you another story.
Each rider deals with their own personal struggle to reach the end of
the three week race. It is this struggle that makes the tour so fascinating
and endearing to the spectators, possibly explaining the reason that the
lantern rouge, the last placed rider on classification, often gets
just as much support from the fans as the leader.
Riders will experience every emotion imaginable while on the tour, the
ecstasy of winning a stage if they are lucky enough, or even just finishing
one of the tough mountain stages, to the pain of suffering through the
toughest day on the bike that they have ever had, all the while knowing
that, they will need to do it all again tomorrow.
here to view the video.
T-Mobile & FRW - Gauss - RDZ ready for women's Giro
Speeding along in Montréal
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
The T-Mobile and FRW - Gauss - RDZ women will line up in Treviso the
afternoon of July 6 for the start of the 18th edition of the Giro Donne,
this year know as Giro Ciclisto Femminile International, the women's edition
of the Giro d'Italia.. The race will consist of a 3km prologue followed
by eight stages and will travel from the Veneto region through Regio Emilia
and briefly into Tuscany before heading back up to Lombardia to finish
in Milan. For the next nine days the T-Mobile Team website will have up
to date coverage of the event.
Judith Arndt, who has won two stage races so far this year, will lead
the T-Mobile team.
"We want to race for the overall victory and I expect Judith will
be our overall rider but Linda Villumsen has also shown herself to be
a GC contender with very strong performances in Bira and l'Aude,"
said Director Anna Wilson on the team's website, www.t-mobile-team.com.
The T-Mobile roster: Kim Anderson, Judith Arndt, Kate Bates, Chantal
Beltman , Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Linda Villumsen, Oenone Wood.
Meanwhile FRW - Gauss - RDZ also announced their squad: Tania Belvederesi,
Martina Corazza, Elena Kuchinskaya, Veronica Leas Balderas, Kettj Manfrin,
Yulia Martissova, Silvia Parietti and Belorussian national road and time
trial champion Tatsiana Sharakova. The team will be directed by Luisiana
Simoni picks MTB marathon over Tour
Simoni at 2007 Giro presentation
Photo ©: Sirotti
Former two-time Giro d'Italia winner Gilberto Simoni will not be on the
start line at the Tour de France in London. Instead, he will participate
in round two of the UCI's Marathon World Cup, the Südtirol Dolomiti
"I'm very curious and that's why I'm coming to Niederdorf to have
a look at the track on Friday" said Simoni. It's Simoni's first time
at the Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike, although he participated in the
opener in Gran Canaria in March.
"Mountain biking is my great passion," said Simoni, who claims
he's not really in shape at the moment.. "The atmosphere is super.
I'm torn between road and mountain bike races". Simoni said he'd
like to be competitive for the marathon, but "I'm sure it will be
a tough ride, and I don't know what I have to expect. I'm ready for a
Simoni returns to the road for August.
Saunier Duval Prodir suspends Piepoli
Saunier Duval Prodir announced that it has suspended rider Leonardo Piepoli
after receiving official notice from the UCI stating that Piepoli's samples
have reported non-negative during tests from the Giro d'Italia.
The lab was not able to identify whether the high levels of Salbutamol
were a result of inhalation or subcutaneous injection. While the case
works its way through the system, the team decided to suspend the rider
in accordance with the UCI Pro Tour code of ethics.
The UCI has filed all the relevant documents with the Monaco Cycling
Women's Prestige Cycling Series standings released
Mara Abbott (Webcor) also took
Photo ©: Matthew Moses
Standings in the Women's Prestige Cycling Series were announced this
week following the Nature Valley
Grand Prix in Minnesota (June 20-24). Mara Abbot (Webcor Builders)
tops the individual and Best Young Rider standings while Rebecca Larson
(Aaron's Pro Cycling Team) is in the lead of the Sprinter competitions.
Abbot's Webcor Builders team leads the Teams competition.
At Nature Valley, the speedsters came into their own as Rebecca Larson
and last year's Series sprint winner Brooke Miller (TIBCO) battled it
out for the lead in the Sprinter competition. When the dust settled, Larson
had claimed the Wheaties jersey, vaulting herself from sixth to first
in the standings while Miller moved from fifth to second. Kori Seehafer
(TEAm Lipton) fell from first to a close third, followed by Laura Van
Gilder (Team Cheerwine) and Martina Patella (ValueAct Capital).
"Rebecca really stepped up to the challenge to go all out for the
Wheaties Sprint Jersey and her teammates were by her side the entire week,"
said Aaron's Corporate Furnishings team director, Carmen D'Aluisio. "With
the overall Sprint series competition being as close as it is the battle
will be really exciting to watch."
"The 2006 Nature Valley GP's Cannon
Falls Road Race was Brooke's first big win, and it was great to see
her repeat at that stage this year," said TIBCO team manager Linda
Jackson. "She's within striking distance of the Series sprint lead
and I'm expecting her to claim it at the Tour de 'Toona later this month."
The Wheaties Sprint Champion Rebecca
Photo ©: Matthew Moses
There were no surprises in the other Series competitions. Mara Abbott
(Webcor Builders) kept the Series individual lead with an impressive second
place finish at the Nature Valley GP, despite the win by TEAm Lipton's
Kristin Armstrong, who had missed the Series opener at Redlands with a
knee injury. Abbot continues to dominate among young riders, claiming
the Boost Best Young Rider competition at Nature Valley and likely locking
in her win for the Series for that classification. And Webcor stretched
their team lead, with a point total that is almost double second-placed
The Women's Prestige Cycling Series continues at the International Tour
de 'Toona (July 23 - 29) and then finishes at the CD&P Bermuda Grand
Prix (September 20 - 23).
Women's Prestige Cycling Series standings:
1 - Mara Abbott - Webcor Builders, 330 points
2 - Felicia Gomez - Aaron's Pro Cycling Team
3 - Kristin Armstrong - TEAm Lipton
4 - Leigh Hobson - Team Cheerwine
5 - Katheryn Curi - Webcor Builders
Best Young Rider
1 - Mara Abbott - Webcor Builders, 440 points
2 - Lauren Franges - TEAm Lipton
3 - Alex Wrubleski - Colavita-Sutter Home
4 - Laura Bowles - Advil/Chapstick
5 - Joelle Numainville - Team Expresscopy.com
1 - Rebecca Larson - Aaron's Pro Cycling Team, 308 points
2 - Brooke Miller - Team TIBCO
3 - Kori Seehafer - TEAm Lipton
4 - Laura Van Gilder - Team Cheerwine
5 - Martina Patella - ValueAct Capital Cycling Team
1 - Webcor Builders Cycling Team, 1,042 points
2 - TEAm Lipton
3 - Colavita/Sutter Home pb Cooking Light
4 - Team Cheerwine
5 - Aaron's Pro Cycling Team
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2007)