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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for August 8, 2004

Edited by Chris Henry

Perdiguero happy with Matxin

Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Saunier Duval)
Photo ©: Sirotti

After his victory in Saturday's Clasica San Sebastian, Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero tipped his hat to Saunier Duval-Prodir team director Joxean Matxin Fernandez. "Perdi" outsprinted the two big favourites of the day, Paolo Bettini and series leader Davide Rebellin, to take his first ever World Cup victory. His win was the first for a Spaniard in San Sebastian since Miguel Indurain claimed the title 14 years ago.

"My directeur sportif Matxin believed in me today," Perdiguero commented after his win, his eighth victory of the season. "I'm both surprised and happy. He encouraged me to stay up front and fight for it."

Perdiguero, who told Matxin he would earn ten victories this season, acknowledged that his director knows how to keep him motivated and with a mind set on winning.

"When I'm not going well, he knows how to get me going and not waste my time on the bike," Perdi added. "I seem to be someone who's there when people don't expect it, and vice versa."

He may be at the end of his contract with Saunier Duval, but Perdiguero makes no secret of his desire to stick with Matxin. "It's 100% that I stay with Joxean," he said simply.

Full results, report and photos
Live report

Yates set for Olympics, pro ranks

New Zealander Jeremy Yates is gearing up for two big stepping stones in his career, the Olympic Games in Athens and his first professional contract. Yates will represent his country in the road race in Athens, albeit on his spare bike after his primary road machine took an untimely tumble from a car roof rack on the Belgian autoroute.

In contract news, Yates will sign a two year deal with French Division I team Crédit Agricole. He will begin riding with the team in September of this year, hoping to prepare for his final participation in the U23 world championships.

"Because its a French team it will be good to get to know the new environment, riders, staff etc.," Yates said of the early start. "I am very happy with this team, which has a history of strong Commonwealth riders, and hope that I can mature and grow into a top professional rider under their direction."

Vasseur sticks with Cofidis

Despite disagreements with the Cofidis team concerning his implication in the doping investigation which has surrounded the team, France's Cédric Vasseur is intent on finishing his contract as planned. Vasseur has another year to go with Cofidis, and he has no intention of changing plans. "There's no question about that," he said.

Vasseur was implicated by ex-teammate Philippe Gaumont in the ongoing investigation surrounding the team, and has faced several accusations stemming from his questioning by French police since the early spring. First Vasseur was said to have tested positive for cocaine at the time of his initial interrogation, which was later disproved, and recently it was revealed that several statements supposedly made to police investigators bore a false signature.

As he became a target of judge Richard Pallain's investigation, Vasseur was suspended by his team. He took legal action against Cofidis to have himself reinstated in time for the French national championships, and in court was successful only to have the verdict handed down too late to race. As a subject of investigation, Vasseur was also excluded from the Tour de France, a policy adopted by Tour organisers before the start of the this year's race.

"The politics in Cofidis are the same as in other teams," Vasseur told l'Equipe. "If a rider breaks the rules, he's removed from the team. If I'm still here it's because I haven't done anything wrong. The problem is, little by little and by every means, people have tried to destroy my reputation and that of my team."

Kersten reacts to reports

Australian track cyclist Ben Kersten has reacted to reports that he may have been slipped a drug by a teammate in Moscow last year. Kersten joined the Australian Olympic track squad at a training camp this week in Buttgen, Germany, as a replacement for Jobie Dajka, who was expelled from the team for untruthful testimony in the Anderson Inquiry Report.

"I've never accused nor would I ever accuse my team mates of such a crime," Kersten said in a written statement. "In fact I would never think them capable of doing such a thing. It was the most awful and demoralising experience I have ever been through or wish to go through in the future but I have chosen to put it in the past where it belongs."

"I am angry and disgusted by the actions of the person who thinks ‘slinging mud’ and making accusations like this is just and appropriate especially considering the personal and permanent trauma the incident produced," he said. "They should be ashamed of themselves."

An AAP report on Cyclingnews on Friday quoted Phill Bates, a fomer board member of Cycling Australia and the president of Kersten's Sydney club, who believed, "It had to be someone playing a prank from his own team or a New Zealander."

With the disruptions to the Australian track cycling team's preparations for the Olympics in Athens, Kersten's integration into the team after Dajka's 'termination' was an additional source of stress.

"I acknowledge my reception was not exactly as I hoped but understand the reasons and sympathise with the frame of mind of the other athletes and the difficulties they have faced," he explained.

"However the current situation is that time has healed any initial tension and the professionalism of the entire team has won through. Everyone, including myself, is settled, focused and getting on with our preparation for Athens, which I might add is progressing extremely well for all of us."

Freddy Gonzalez to Lampre

Colombian Freddy Gonzalez will join the Italian Lampre team in time to ride the Vuelta a España in September. Gonzalez, who currently rides for Colombia-Selle Italia, has the overall title of the Tour de Langkawi and two king of the mountains titles in the Giro d'Italia to his name. He has ridden for Colombia-Selle Italia for the past five seasons.

Bricaud to leave La Boulangère?

After the departure of general director Philippe Raimbaud in April, another top figure is expected to leave the Brioches La Boulangère team. Directeur sportif Thierry Bricaud could be on the way out, according to a l'Equipe report, for unspecified reasons.

La Boulangère manager Jean-René Bernaudeau, in search of a new title sponsor for the coming seasons, is said to be close to an agreement with a sponsor beginning in 2006, however support for 2005 remains a question mark. Bernaudeau is eager to gain entry in the UCI's new Pro Tour, and has been in the hunt for a new sponsor for the team since Brioches La Boulangère announced mid-season that it would not continue beyond 2004.

Euskaltel for Urkiola

After a modest performance at the 'local' World Cup race in San Sebastian, Spain Saturday, the Basque Euskaltel-Euskadi team will regroup and send the following riders to the Subida a Urkiola, a 160 kilometre race in nearby Durango Sunday: Joseba Albizu, Gorka Arrizabalaga, David Etxebarria, Iker Flores, Dioni Galparsoro, Markel Irizar, Roberto Laiseka, Alberto Lopez de Munain, Antton Luengo and Aitor Silloniz.

San Sebastian health checks

Prior to the start of the seventh round of the World Cup, the Saturday's Clasica San Sebastian, riders from the Cafés Baqué, Relax-Bodysol, Paternina-Costa de Almeria, and Vini Caldirola teams underwent routine health checks. All riders were declared fit to start.

Cunego to visit children's hospital

Giro d'Italia winner Damiano Cunego (Saeco) will pay a visit to the child oncology unit at the G. Salesi hospital in Ancona, Italy Tuesday, along with teammate Andrea Tonti and directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli. Cunego and company will make the stop in the aim of brightening the day of a few children suffering from Leukaemia.

Final push for LAF jersey fundraiser

Only 50 left
Click for larger image

Last year Denver resident and Peloton Project member Ron McOmber organised a limited edition cycling jersey as a fund-raiser for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, pulling in $16,000 for the five-time Tour winner's anti-cancer charity. This year, Ron is doing it all again, and aiming to raise $20,000, with the support of his company, CTL Thompson, Wheat Ridge Cyclery (second home of Ron Kiefel), Ryland Homes and Morrison Homes.

The idea started as a celebration of McOmber's friend Stuart Laing's 10 cancer free years. Fifty jerseys from an original 250 are still available and a minimum donation of $50 is required for each jersey; a $75 to $100 donation is requested to help achieve the goal. All proceeds will go the Foundation. The effort has raised $12,000 to date.

You can donate and pick up a jersey at Wheat Ridge Cyclery, or by mailing a check made out to Lance Armstrong Foundation to:

Ron McOmber
CTL Thompson, Inc.
7306 S Alton Way
Centennial, CO 80112

The jerseys will be delivered or mailed so please include your size, street and email address and phone number in case there are questions. For more information see the fund-raiser website and Lance Armstrong Foundation website.

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