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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest Cycling News for October 18, 2006

Edited by Gregor Brown

Ivan Basso to leave Team CSC

Basso not with CSC
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Click for larger image

Ivan Basso and Team CSC have mutually decided to part ways according to a press release issued by the Danish team this morning. The Italian rider, who has been embroiled in Operación Puerto, has been allowed to race by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) while the Operación Puerto investigation is ongoing.

"After all that has happened, especially this summer, Team CSC and Ivan Basso have agreed to part ways," said Bjarne Riis in a press release from Team CSC. "It has been a very difficult decision, but both parties agree it is time to move on. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Ivan for his time with the team and for the great results he and the team have achieved together. At the same time, we wish him all the best for the future."

The Italian mentioned early this week in an interview with France's L'Equipe that he had been in contact with teams Discovery Channel and Milram.

Basso envisions many Tours

"I still have many more Tour de Frances ahead of me," said Ivan Basso to Italian Radio 24. The rider from Varese was speaking out after recently having the case against him, in connection to Operación Puerto, shelved by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

"I am 29 years-old, I still have four or five seasons at the top level," Basso continued. "I am happy because it is all finished and I am able to return to my work. Clearly, there remains sorrow for not racing the last Tour."

Basso was linked to the investigation of Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, dubbed Operación Puerto, in late June, and not allowed to start the Tour de France only one day before the departure in Strasbourg, June 30.

"The day started normal for me," Basso reflected on the events of before the Tour. "I went out on the bicycle for an hour. When I returned to the hotel in Strasbourg, they told me that there was a problem; in the night their arrived a dossier and they advised me to leave immediately without making a statement. Probably, in these hours, we did not act in the best manner. There was a lot of confusion; it was the case of examining this dossier with great attention and, effectively, if there existed a premise then I would be sent away."

Ivan Basso, along with the other riders mentioned in the dossier sent from Spain, was asked to leave the Tour. Basso's Danish team, CSC, started the French race with only eight riders.

"There were a lot of difficulties stemming from the management of the situation in this period," continued Basso. "I had the good sense to never leave my bicycle aside; I always had the motivation to push forward. I never thought my career was finished. I got on my bike with the idea in mind to return in the last part of the season. I continued to work to return and race."

Basso, recently departed from Team CSC, has yet to announce his new team for 2007.

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'

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

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of Operación Puerto

Gorik Gardeyn thanks with Putte-Kapellen

Gardeyn wins
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

Yesterday, Gorik Gardeyn won the 177 kilometre Putte-Kapellen in Belgium. The 26 year-old Belgian gave his team payback for the trust they gave him. Gardeyn, winless in 2006 until yesterday, had faith from team management to go ahead with renewal of his contract last Friday.

Gardeyn was able to slip away after seven of 12 laps with a group including Nico Mattan and Tom Steels of Davitamon-Lotto. The Belgian then proceeded to win in front of a Benny De Schrooder (Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen) and Andy Cappelle (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago).

Gardeyn's contract renewal with is welcomed news young Belgian. The team is expected to move from the Pro-Continental level to ProTour for the coming 2007 season, which will give Gardeyn more opportunities to race with the best in cycling.

CPA discusses Moser's statements and ethical code

During its general meeting of October 14, 2006, which was held in the Grand Hotel di Como, the CPA (Association of Professional Cyclists) discussed the declarations that its President Francesco Moser made during an interview with Italian television. Moser's comments on anti-doping in the sport had generated some speculations that he was recommending the liberalization of doping.

Moser's explanations to the association were clear and convincing, so much so that the CPA is now believes that the comments were taken out of contested by the media, creating an unnecessary controversy.

The CPA went on to note, in the light of the recent events, its opposition to the Ethical Code established by the International Association of Professional Cycling teams (AIGCP). According to the CPA, the AIGCP code "showed how arbitrary, incoherent and inapplicable it is: some riders were prosecuted as if they were delinquents ... whereas some others, being the subject of procedures, continue to race."

The CPA further stated, "To avoid such kind of problems and to get out of the prevailing confusion and suspicion, the CPA invites the AIGCP to remove [from the] ethical code all provisions and standards which make it possible for the trade teams to exclude..., or even only to suspend, riders arbitrarily on the only basis of suspicions or deductions. ... An unambiguous answer should be given before the very beginning of the next season."

Firenze-Pistoia cancelled

The 21st edition of the Firenze-Pistoia time trial has been cancelled. According to, the end of season individual test was scrapped due to organization problems.

House on parcours of Tour of Tasmania

English cyclist Kristian House believes the up-coming Jayco Tour of Tasmania could be won or lost on the brutally-tough 55 kilometre stage from Deloraine to Sheffield on Friday, October 27.

House, 27, on his fifth visit to Australia, reckons the course, through Chudleigh, Mole Creek, Gog State Forest and Paradise, is one of Australia's most testing parcours. "It's spectacularly beautiful, but that won't necessarily help if you're in trouble half-way up the forest hill," he said.

House, a member of Britain's Olympic track endurance team for the past seven years, is enjoying his best road season. He won the Tour of Ireland, a stage of the Tour of Bretagne in France, and was sixth in Britain's national road championship after missing an early five-man breakaway.

Stage wins, or even outright victory in the 40,000 AU$ Jayco Tour of Tasmania, are now an end-of-season goal for House, who in 2003 won a Herald Sun Tour stage and was fourth overall in the Tour of Queensland. "I am reasonably fit and am really looking forward to this tour," House said.

"The ride through the Gog State Forest doesn't frighten me but I know it will probably sort everybody out. ... I wouldn't be in the Tassie Tour if I didn't think I had some sort of winning chance."

The 55km Deloraine-Sheffield trek, one of 11 stages in the 594km tour, will be followed by a 32km criterium in Sheffield, taking in 10 laps of a 3.2km circuit bounded by Main Street, High Street, Tarleton Street and West Nook Road.

Tour of Missouri to boost USA stage races

Missouri State will play host to the inaugural Tour of Missouri, September 11 – 16, 2007. It has been slated as one of only five stage races in the newly-created USA Cycling ProTour, which will highlight the top multi-day races in America. The race, categorized by the UCI, is sanctioned by USA Cycling.

The inaugural tour will play host to up to 16 major professional teams, including some of Europe's top ProTour teams. Fred Rodriguez of the Belgium-based Davitamon-Lotto team was in attendance and commented, "The Tour of Missouri is situated perfectly for American domestic teams as well as top Americans who have raced much of the season in Europe. For an American, having three major stages in the U.S. for the first time is great news. ... The Tour of Missouri will provide a great opportunity for Americans looking to prepare for the world championships at the end of the season."

The mid-September date follows the USA championships in Greenville, South Carolina, and before the world championships.

The six-day race is expected to start in the western part of the state around Kansas City and finish around St. Louis, according to race organizers, who will begin negotiating with potential start and finish cities immediately. The tour is expected to cover about 970 kilometers (or 600 miles) and highlight urban as well as rural parts of the Missouri.

Women's Prestige Cycling Series final standings

Monday, the 2006 Women's Prestige Series Final Standings were released and Webcor-Platinum, in second place after the International Tour de Toona, overtook TEAm Lipton at the CD&P Bermuda Grand Prix to claim the team title in the Women's Prestige Cycling Series for the second year in a row. With two stages completed, Webcor-Platinum held three of the top five places in the CD&P Bermuda GP standings. These results became final when the imminent arrival of Hurricane Florence cut the racing short.

1 Webcor-Platinum 1329
2 TEAm Lipton 964
3 Team Biovail 749
4 Victory Brewing 677
5 PABW p/b TIBCO 404
6 TRIA 118
6 Team Cheerwine 118

In the individual standings Kristin Armstrong (TEAm Lipton) developed an impressive lead in the series individual standings after the International Tour de Toona. That lead held after Bermuda, even though Armstrong was away at world championships, where she won the time trial title.

1 Kristin Armstrong (TEAm Lipton) 440
2 Kori Seehafer (TEAm Lipton) 253
3 Erinne Willock (Webcor-Platinum) 242
4 Stacy Marple(PABW Powered by TIBCO) 230
5 Felicia Gomez (Webcor-Platinum) 222

Erinne Wilock's trip to Worlds may have cost her the lead in the Best Young Rider competition, a classification that she won in 2005. Katharine Carroll (Victory Brewing) came from second place to claim the Series Best Young Rider classification, thanks to a strong performance at the CD&P Bermuda Grand Prix.

1 Katharine Carroll (Victory Brewing) 451
2 Erinne Willock (Webcor-Platinum) 385
3 Amber Rais(Webcor-Platinum) 352
4 Joelle Numainville (Team Biovail) 330
5 Flavia Oliveira (PABW Powered by TIBCO) 286

The 2006 Women's Prestige Cycling Series began at the Nature Valley Grand Prix in June, continued at the International Tour de Toona in July and finished at the CD&P Bermuda Grand Prix in September. The series began in 2004 with the goal of highlighting women's racing by giving them a spotlight that they don't have to share with the men.

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