First Edition Cycling News for September 29, 2006
Edited by Hedwig Kröner and Jeff Jones
T-Mobile: "Do it right or don't do it at all"
The T-Mobile Team is looking to a clean and fair sport, and wants to take a leading role in providing it. And to do so, they have come up with their own new beginning, changing virtually everything within the team, from management on down. A new general manager, a new sport manager, 11 new riders - they are all combining to become what new general manager Bob Stapleton hopes will be "the best cycling team in the world and eventually the best sports franchise in the world," he announced Wednesday, September 27 at a press conference in Bonn, Germany. Cyclingnews' Susan Westemeyer reports.
Those eleven new riders are a combination of young and old, and a real international mix, coming from nine different countries. They join 16 riders remaining from the 2006 squad, from six different countries. There are still three places left up for grabs.
The "new" team almost didn't come to be. T-Mobile Chief Finance Thomas Winkler admitted that the company seriously considered dropping its sponsorship of the team after the revelations before the Tour de France of Jan Ullrich's implication in the Fuentes doping case. "But after 15 years of involvement with the sport, you don't just throw your sponsorship away. We, as the management of T-Mobile Corporation, believe in cycling and we believe in the image of clean cycling." To prove this, it has extended its contract for an additional two years, through 2010. Winkler said that the firm has full trust in Bob Stapleton, whom the company has known for six years. And Aldag, the new Director of Sport Management, "stands for everything that you should stand for in cycling."
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T-Mobile ready for Zürich
Steffen Wesemann will lead the T-Mobile Team roster at the 93nd edition of the Championship of Zürich on Sunday. 'Wese' who represented his adopted Swiss homeland at last week's World Championships, will be hoping to use home-advantage to his favour in the prestigious one-day classic.
The ProTour race, also called the Zuri-Metzgete, is set on a tough parcours, which is why the team management has selected a mix of classics specialists and stage racers, with Michael Rogers, and the Italian duo of Eddy Mazzoleni and Daniele Nardello aiming for the podium. Nardello pulled off one of the biggest wins of his career in Zürich in 2003, when eight kilometres from the finish he jumped clear of a select leading group to solo home to victory. Rounding out the roster in Switzerland are Kim Kirchen, Stephan Schreck and Patrik Sinkewitz and young Austrian Bernhard Kohl.
The 241km race starts south-east of Zürich on the shores of Zürichsee and features one large, hilly opening circuit of 71 km, followed by four undulating laps of 41.4km that include the steep climbs of Forch and Pfannenstiel on each lap. The last ascent of the Pfannenstiel with 18 km to go is usually where the final selection is made, but the winning move can also come on the way to the lakeside finish.
"The Züri-Metzgete attracts a strong field, and offers riders a chance to get world’s revenge," said race director Marco Canonica. Freshly-off world champions Paolo Bettini and Fabian Cancellara will be in action, as will Vuelta champion Alexandre Vinokourov.Alongside the 20 ProTour teams, the organisers have invited two Wildcards: Barloworld (South Africa) and Volksbank-Ideal (Austria).
The T-Mobile roster in brief: Kim Kirchen, Bernhard Kohl, Eddy Mazzoleni, Daniele Nardello, Michael Rogers, Stephan Schreck, Patrik Sinkewitz and Steffen Wesemann.
Quick Step to Zürich
Competing for the Belgian Quick Step team in the Züri-Metgete will be: Paolo Bettini, Kevin De Weert, Filippo Pozzato, Jose Rujano, Hubert Schwab, Matteo Tosatto, Cedric Vasseur and Davide Viganò. DS: Serge Parsani.
Liquigas backs Paolini after house searched
Italian team Liquigas does not see any reason to suspend its rider Luca Paolini, whose house was searched by police officers on Wednesday, September 20. The rider, who at the time was already in Austria preparing for the World Championships, had to return to Italy to help the inquiry, but could return straight to Salzburg as nothing was found at his home.
Police are investigating a drug trafficking network operating mostly in Italian gymnasiums, after exchanging information with the Spanish Guardia Civil on the Operation Puerto affair. Paolini's name reportedly came up in taped phone conversations, as well as the names of Ivan Basso and his sister Elisa, whose home was also searched.
Team Liquigas has now announced that it will not suspend Paolini for a lack of evidence against him. "As the rider has guaranteed to have nothing to do with this situation, and, up to now, Liquigas Sport hasn’t received any official document, as requested in point 1 paragraph 2 art. IX of the Code of Conduct, that could motivate the suspension of the rider, Luca Paolini remains - until evidence to the contrary - in the Liquigas Pro Team," the statement read.
Doping hits South Africa
The cycling scene of South Africa has been shaken recently when Shawn Lynch, a former track racer twice suspended for doping practices, admitted in a TV show that he specialized in advising sports people how to use banned substances. On Sunday, September 24, Lynch told Carte Blanche on M-Net that the persons he advised included children and cyclists.
In an interview with Beeld, Lynch said: "It's not as if I tie up children and then inject them with something from behind. The parents approach me and ask me to help." Products on which Lynch allegedly advised included steroids, growth hormones and EPO.
Lynch this week denied having also supplied any of these banned substances, but Carte Blanche claims it has footage of the cyclist admitting to "sometimes supplying illegal substances", which will be aired this upcoming Sunday.
Lynch claimed that during his time as a track rider, a senior cycling official had always warned him in time when he would be tested for banned substances so that he could take precautions. He also added that the challenge was "to always be one step ahead of the Institute for Drug-free Sport," and confessed to selling substances when he was in Europe.
Lawrence Whittaker, president of Cycling South Africa (CSA), has reacted on Thursday on the affair, sending out a press release in which he assured that "CSA has zero tolerance towards drug use. We will do everything within our power to root out this growing evil which threatens the future of our sport, at every level. With particular reference to the Carte Blanche programme, we will have to follow up individuals concerned."
Whittaker also announced that a fund to fight doping in the sport was being created, and said that he was "currently exploring the viability of voluntary polygraph (lie detection) testing for cyclists, the idea being that cyclists who voluntarily and successfully undergo a lie detector test establishing that they are drug free will be given a wrist band to wear. [...] Lie detector tests are, I understand, 98 percent accurate.
"I stress that this would be a voluntary programme and my sincere hope would be that it would gain massive momentum over a short period of time and at a fraction of the cost required for expensive blood and urine testing," the statement continued. "Hopefully we could get to a point where, if a leading cyclist, was not wearing the wrist band, he would feel compelled to undergo the test or drop out of the sport altogether. To ensure viability, questions would only be asked about a cyclist's history over say the last 6 months, but the test would be done at regular intervals and a national register would be kept."
MacLean ready for Revolution sprints
With an impressive line up of sprinters confirmed for Manchester Revolution on October 14, including World Champions Theo Bos and Mickael Bourgain, the scene is set: British star Craig MacLean is one of the home riders facing the international challenge potentially setting up a rematch against Bos, who beat MacLean to the sprint world title earlier this year.
MacLean has already enjoyed some pre-season success against the Dutch sprinter racing in the Japanese Keirin Series over the summer, "Japan was very successful this time," he said. "Out of four races I had two wins, a second place and a win in a minor final. As a result I was best overall international rider which with riders like Ryan Bayley, Theo fast Dutch bloke Bos and Mickael Bourgain all competing was a pretty good achievement."
Despite these victories, the Scottish sprinter is keeping his cards close to his chest in advance of the imminent track season. "Form was obviously good in Japan but I'm still unsure how it has affected preparation for the coming season as it is hard to train effectively while out there. It would be great to get one over on Theo but I don’t want to show my hand too early in the season! For my confidence it will be good to be consistent in the match sprint as I think I can go one better than last season."
MacLean looks forward to more individual success but also knows the importance of the team event. "One of my objectives will be to re-establish myself as a key member of the Team Sprint," he continued. "Revolution is very important part of our preparation, especially with regard to the Team Sprint. If you look at our race programme from now to Beijing, we have very few opportunities to try out different formations. The Revolution provides us with the ideal environment to collect crucial data which will determine selection over the next two years, so it will be an important test for the whole squad."
With this in mind, the first Revolution on October 14 will provide an exciting challenge with five teams lined up for a Team Sprint finale. MacLean will be joined by Scottish team mates Chris Hoy and Ross Edgar with English riders Jamie Staff, Jason Queally and Matt Crampton racing for Science in Sport. Junior Team Sprint World Champion Jason Kenny will team up with Bos and Bourgain with Kenny’s team mates Christian Lyte joining Roberto Chiappa and Jan Van Eijden and David Daniell joining Eleisha Green and Marco Librizzi.
For more information and to buy tickets got to www.cyclingrevolution.com
Cobbles Baby! premiers at Interbike
Scott Coady, director of the The Tour Baby! will be premiering his second film, Cobbles Baby! at Interbike in Las Vegas on Friday, from 11am to 12 in rooms 105 and 106. Cobbles Baby! saw Coady head to Northern France and Belgium in his quest to get up close and personal with the "hardmen" of pro-cycling and the queen of the classics, Paris-Roubaix. The film includes behind the scenes footage of the US Postal Pro Cycling Team preparing for the race, interviews with George Hincapie, and the filmmaker himself drinking in an Irish pub with the "King of the Classics", Sean Kelly and legendary cycling commentator Phil Liggett.
Once the race starts, Coady races from cobble stone section to cobble stone section on the back roads and farm tracks of Northern France. Public screenings of Cobbles Baby! begin in October and November.
2006 confirmed show dates include:
Larkspur, CA, Thursday, 11/16 - Lark Theatre
The screening of the film will benefit the NorCal High School Mountain Bike Racing League and/or the Davis Phinney Foundation. Coady has raised over $200,000 for the Lance Armstrong and the Davis Phinney Foundations through sales and screenings of his films so far.
Complete details about all upcoming screenings can be found at: www.bigringfilms.com/upcoming_screenings.html
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)