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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for October 21, 2004

Edited by John Stevenson

Russians appeal Hamilton's gold

Viatcheslav Ekimov will become Olympic champion if the ROC's appeal succeeds
Photo ©:
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The Russian Olympic Committee has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to have Tyler Hamilton stripped of his gold medal from the Olympic time trial. Hamilton's gold medal was in doubt soon after Athens when it was revealed that his A-sample blood test showed evidence of irregularities indicating homologous blood doping. However, Hamilton's B- sample which was mistakenly frozen by the testing lab, rendering it useless for the test. Under WADA and IOC rules a doping positive is not declared unless both samples test positive.

Nevertheless, the Russian Olympic Committee wants the gold medal to go to Viatcheslav Ekimov, who was second in Athens. "The ROC insists on the disqualification of Hamilton," said the organization in a statement.

New UK pro team

Driving Force Logistics (DFL) is the sponsor of a new British-based professional team that will ride the UCI's European Continental circuit in 2005 and 2006. According to a statement announcing the sponsorship, the team plans to "bring young talented British riders, who have displayed promise both on the domestic front and on the continent, together in a professionally structured team riding both in the UK and on the continent."

Directeur sportif for the DFL team will be South African James Louter, a former African Continental champion who says the team's 10-man roster is almost complete, but there are a couple of places left. "We will be targeting the major UK road races and tours with our European focus being the Tour de l' Avenir," said Louter. "With 60 races on the calendar I would be pleased to hear from any hard working, determind and ambitious rider that feels he could contribute towards the success of Team DFL in 2005 both in the UK and on the Continent."

Driving Force Logistics Ltd is a provider of temporary, contract and permanent HGV drivers in the UK. For more information, contact James Louter at

Zulle parties out

Swiss professional Alex Zulle will end his 14-year career with a party for his fans in Wil/SG on October 30, according to an announcement on his website. Zülle's career record includes 66 professional victories, 40 of them in time trials. His career highlight was his back-to-back victories in the Vuelta a Espana in 1996 and 1997 and he was second in the Tour de France in 1995 and 1999. He was involved in the Festina doping affair in 1998 and subsequently served a suspension after admitting the use of banned substances, returning to racing with Banesto in 1999. His last victory was the Tour de Suisse in 2002 with Team Coast and he has ridden for the last two years for Phonak.

Labbé retires

American rider Kenneth Labbé, who has spent the last four years as a US-based domestique for the US Postal service team, has announced he is retiring from pro cycling. Labbé was a US Postal Service employee when he was recruited to the team in 2001 and is returning to his off-bike career after four years racing for USPS rather than delivering mail.

A Chicago resident, Labbé says he may continue to race on the track at Kenosha and Northbrook Velodromes.

Matti Breschel signs for CSC

Matti Breschel
Photo: © Michael Gernaa
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Danish rider Matti Breschel has signed a two-year contract with the CSC team. Breschel was 6th at the U/23 World Championship in Verona and won the bronze medal at this summer's Danish National Championship for elite riders.

Breschel told that his expectations for 2005 are modest; just to learn how professional cycling works. "Really no big expectations," he says. "I hope to get in the team, but in the beginning I just want to learn the game and to learn the races. Somewhere I know that I'm in for at beating."

With CSC part of the pro Tour in 2005 there are big opportunities for an ambitious young ride - but also big obstacles. "I haven't set any goals therefore I won't be disappointed if I don't get any results," says Breschel. "I want to pick up the glove and I'm ready for the challenge and of course I will try to win a race or two. First I have to learn how to win racing with the pros."

Nevertheless, he hopes to get a start in Classics such as Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. "I haven't talk to Bjarne about my schedule yet," he says, however, when asked if he will be racing the Spring Classics.

As a Danish-based team, CSC is the logical place for a young Danish rider to start his pro career, and Breschel - who has already been on team training camps - syas he feels comfortable with Bjarne Riis's squad. "I feel very much at home on the team," he says. "Some of the riders already there have recommended the team to me as a good place to start. There are no stuck up riders in the team - anyway not those I have met so far. The team has a very high spirit and sometimes it looks like that helps them in the races. Team CSC was the team I wanted to join from the very beginning. I know many of the riders and they gave me, without doubt, the best offer. Also I think this is the place where I have the best opportunity to develop myself as a rider."

CSC team boss Bjarne Riis is happy to have Breschel aboard. "I am pleased that we succeeded in signing Matti, who we are looking very much forward to start working with," Riissaid in a team statement announcing Brescel's signing, "as he is extremely talented and has a huge potential. This made it obvious for us to sign a contract with him, and I am sure Matti will develop enormously as a rider at our team. With us, he will get a schedule that suits him perfectly."

Name change for Vlaanderen-T Interim

The Belgian-based Vlaanderen-T Interim team will have a new name and new sponsor for the next two seasons. With title sponsorship from the Belgian chocolatier the team will become Chocolade Jacques-T Interim, but will more or less continue as it has for the last few seasons, as a development team. "In spite of the name change, the mission of the team, to help talented young cyclists, remains the same," said team director Christophe Sercu in a statement. Sercu added that the new sponsorship would give the team a more secure foundation.

The team will comprise 21 riders, of wqhom 16 have already been signed for 2005: Koen Barbé, Steven Caethoven, Arne Daelmans, Benny De Schrooder, Matthew Gilmore, Steven Kleynen, Pieter Mertens, Jef Peeters, Wesley Van der Linden, Paul Van Hyfte, Wouter Van Mechelen, Wesley Van Speybroeck, Frederik Veuchelen, Frederik Willems, Kurt Hovelijnck and Iljo Keisse.

Roger Swerts continues as directeur sportif, along with Jean-Pierre Heynderickx and Walter Planckaert, and the team will ride Eddy Merckx bikes.

Lampre for Japan Cup

Lampre riders have won the last four editions of the Japan Cup, so it's no surprise the team will be looking for another victory when this year's edition rolls round the Utsonomiya circuit on Sunday, October 24. Last year's winner Sergio Barbero won't be riding, however, so the number 1 decal will be carried by Alessandro Ballan.

Ballan will be supported by four other Lampre riders: Paolo Bossoni, Marco Marzano, Marco Pinotti and Manuel Quinziato.

Lampre will also be racing at the Florence - Pistoia individual Time Trial this weekend, where Daniele Righi will be the team's rider against the clock.

'Early bird' discounts for Manchester World Cup

Special offer advance tickets go on sale this week for the Manchester round of the World Cup track series, January 7-9 2005. Spectators booking tickets before November 15 2004 will get an 'early bird' discount on selected tickets. In order to offer more choice, organisers say they have introduced a wider range of seat prices and options, including a family ticket for two adults and two children.

Top British track cyclists are all scheduled to attend, so this is a chance to see Olympic medalists such as Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy and Jason Queally in action, along with Athens medal winners Rob Hayles, Chris Newton, Steve Cummings, Paul Manning and European Sprint Champion Ross Edgar.

The Track World Cup is a key qualifying event for those nations looking to contest the World Championships in Los Angeles, guaranteeing attendance from the very best track cyclists from around the globe.

For more information see

New cross in Nashville

This Sunday, October 24, sees the first running of a new cyclocross race in Nashville, Tennessee: The Cumberland Cyclocross Challenge. Organised by Jittery Joe's rider Jesse Lawler, the race is a 'sister event' to the Redmond Washington Star-Crossed race organized by Lawler's road team-mate and Giant/Maxxis 'cross pro Jonny Sundt.

"The event is to be held in Shelby Park, from 11am to 3:30pm. This venue is in a beautiful Metro Park just across the Cumberland River from downtown. The course will be fairly challenging as it will encompass the 'Naval Hill' area of the park," said Lawler.

"We have four events, including a Women/Juniors, Masters 3/4, Open Citizens, and Elite," he added. "Two pros confirmed for the Elite race are Jonny Sundt (Giant/Maxxis) and Cesar Grajales (Jittery Joe's). Grajales will be signing posters before and after the race, and Sundt will conduct a 'cross clinic for kids and adults before the races get underway. We have $1200 in cash as well as a ton of prizes up for grabs. Jittery Joe's will have a booth set up serving coffee and selling pro team merchandise, in addition to other various food vendors."

Lawler added that the Cumberland Cyclocross Challenge was being made possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors Cumberland Transit and EFC Systems.

Volcanic racing at Mexican MTB marathon

Several of the world's top mountain bike racers are heading to Mexico this weekend for the Popobike, a 47km marathon cross-country race in the shadow of Popocatepetl, an active volcano. The October 24 race is in its second year and involves ascents to 2700m. Last year's winner Marzio Deho is busy with the Crocodile Trophy but other top European riders including Thomas Dietsch ands Paolo Pezzo have been named as likely to take part this year, along with local heroes such as Ziranda Madrigal, Emanuel Valencia, and Guadalupe Cruz.

For more information see

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day gets government stamp

In an effort to get kids more active and help fight childhood obesity, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a resolution officially declaring "National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.", according to the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). The legislation is in memory of Jack Doub, a teenage mountain biker from North Carolina.

National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day encourages adults and cycling clubs to introduce kids to the sport of mountain biking. The day is scheduled for the first Saturday of October each year.

The House adopted House Concurrent Resolution 480 by unanimous consent on October 5, 2004, just three days after IMBA celebrated the first annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day. Thousands of kids participated in more than 100 events nationwide and in several other countries.

The legislation marks one of the few times the sport of mountain biking has received attention from the U.S. Congress.

"We're thrilled that Congress has stepped up to recognize mountain biking and kids," said IMBA communications director Pete Webber. "This will give Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day a huge boost. Mark your calendar now for Oct. 1, 2005."

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