Latest Cycling News for March 5, 2007
Edited by Gregor Brown
UCI and GT Organizers attempt resolution
Today in Brussels, at 14.00, there will be an emergency meeting between cycling's heads of state. The meeting stems from last Friday's International Professional Cycling Teams (IPCT) pow-wow, where it demanded peace talks to help solve the current row between the UCI ProTour and the Grand Tour organizers, specifically ASO.
At the table, in hopes to salvage cycling before the season really gets going, will be UCI President Pat McQuaid and UCI ProTour Manager Alain Rumpf; Grand Tour organizers Patrice Clerc (AS0, Tour de France), Angelo Zomegnan (RCS, Giro) and Victor Cordero (Unipublic, Vuelta); IPCT representatives Patrick Lefevere, Roberto Amadio and Theo De Rooy; and 17 (of 20) economic representatives of the ProTour teams.
Amadio, Team Manager of Liquigas, believes this meeting should put responsibility on the two parties to work together. "If Monday comes and there is not a solution then we will know who is to blame," said the Italian over the weekend to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "We want that they see each other in the face and understand if the rules of cycling can be preserved."
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the riders have communicated via President of the Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA), Francesco Moser, that, depending on the outcome of this meeting, Tuesday, they will meet to decide what action they will take.
Stay with Cyclingnews for more details.
Gilbert comments on UCI-Grand Tour row
Philippe Gilbert (Française Des Jeux), who is part of the Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA), spoke his mind regarding the conflict between the UCI and Grand Tours in an interview with Vers l'Avenir.
"They are not even concerned to know the thoughts of the cyclists; no one has asked us and our voice is lost," said the Belgian, attacking both parties. "It is not known if we will be able to race Paris-Nice or anything at all. There is less time for preparing for our programs, and less space to speak of the races while all the papers are concentrating on this political question."
Regarding the political pawn, team Unibet.com, he added, "I put myself in their shoes and express to them all of my solidarity."
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split
October 4, 2008 - New ASO chief to maintain values
Bennati's rising sprint star status
Daniele Bennati is rising in the realm of sprinting superstars. The Tuscan of Lampre-Fondital knocked-out chief rival Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) three times in the Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana by winning stages one, three and the final, five.
Benna spoke with La Gazzetta dello Sport about his status and who he considers his biggest threats. "The future of the sprints is between me and Tom Boonen," the 26 year-old quipped.
"Age is on our side. Petacchi and [Robbie] McEwen are both over 30 years and I don't think they can improve. At the Vuelta Valenciana I demonstrated to have something more than Alessandro, and I hope to confirm my superiority in the upcoming races."
Benna will focus on the Paris-Nice as a lead-up to the jewel of his season, La Classicissima, Milano-Sanremo, March 24.
Landis continuing legal funds campaign at Tour of California
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
Even though the defending champion of the inaugural Tour of California was unable to race in this year's edition, Floyd Landis was still a presence at the event. The American, who tested positive for testosterone in stage 17 of the Tour de France and is waiting for his USADA hearing, took time to help his sponsors and raise money for his legal defence fund.
He signed autographs in the health and wellness expo for the company that developed the device that was used in his hip resurfacing. He also appeared at town hall style meetings for the Floyd Fairness Fund fundraisers that paralleled some of the race and at the finish in Sacramento, where he attended a multi-purpose press event organized by the BMC team to act as a team presentation. At the BMC event, Landis presented Davis Phinney with the bike he rode in the 2006 Tour de France to be auctioned for Phinney's foundation.
"We are here is because we have a guy that has been dealt a bad hand," Landis said. "Every time I see him he is still smiling and still working hard to make something good out of it. That inspires me more than anything else in the world."
"I am very pleased to have one of Floyd's bikes," said Phinney. "That is going to have a big impression with our ability to raise money. We promote living positive with the disease. The funds from this bike will go directly into a fund to pay for research that will validate the benefit of exercise for Parkinson's patients."
Landis did say that he is using the race he won last year to help raise funds with his defence (race organisers never formally invited Landis to the race events). "Obviously tonight is nothing about me, it's all about [Phinney]," he said. "He is a champ. But for me there are a couple of other reasons. I am here for Smith and Nephew, they make the hip resurfacing device and have a booth here, so I am trying to help educate people on the new resurfacing procedure they do.
"Apart from that, the rest of the nonsense, I am still working on getting people to look at the facts more than anything. I think we are making progress. There was a lot of damage in the beginning with a lot of mis-statements from all of the leaders from the UCI, WADA..."
Landis did concede that being at the race as a spectator was not easy for him. "I don't enjoy being at a bike race when I can't race! I'm a cycling fan but it is painful to not race. What matters is the system needs to be changed so that this doesn't happen again. I'm not saying that everyone in the past has been innocent or guilty, I don't know. But one thing is for sure, if the guy that wins the Tour can't come up with the resources to even fight the case then there is no chance for anybody."
Landis' presence at this event, which was primarily organised as a team presentation for the new BMC team, did make sense due to his long standing friendship with BMC owner Andy Rihs. However, there was a little speculation in the air of whether this was an indication of a team for Landis to make a return to professional cycling. "I have no plans right now," Landis chuckled. "Andy is my friend and has supported me from the beginning. He is wonderful for this sport and the way he was treated by the UCI was despicable. That friendship will never change and that is why I am here. Every day right now is focused on fixing the problem."
The hearing with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is scheduled to open May 14.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Jonathan Devich/www.epicimages.us/
Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case
29, 2009 - French authorities summon Landis and Baker
Ullrich riding for charity in South Africa
By Susan Westemeyer
Jan Ullrich is back on his bike; riding for charity in South Africa on Sunday, March 11. He will give the opening shot to start the Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour and will ride 110 kilometres along with some 35,000 other participants.
Ullrich is participating in a new program called Race4Change, in which celebrities ride to raise money for various South African charities. Ullrich will be raising money for the Imibala Charity, which supports disadvantaged children in grade school, and the Starfish Foundation, which helps children orphaned by AIDS.
The public is encouraged to pledge money and sponsor Ullrich in order to support these charities. More information is available at the race4change.co.za website.
Operación Puerto documents arrive in Germany
By Susan Westemeyer
The first documents from Operación Puerto have found their way to Germany, but they don't concern Jan Ullrich. Instead, the documents deal with Dr. Marcus Choina, an anaesthetist who allegedly supplied Dr. Eufiamiano Fuentes with medical products.
German investigators searched Choina's house and office in August. At that time, the prosecuting attorney asked the Spanish investigators for their documentation concerning Dr. Choina. That material has finally arrived, a lot of it, and in Spanish, which will have to be translated. "We had hoped for a quick case," said prosecuting attorney Hans-Hugo Heimgärtner of Göttingen, Germany.
Equipe Nürnberger Down Under
By Susan Westemeyer
Former World Champion Regine Schleicher and Trixi Worrack finished seventh and eighth in Saturday's Geelong World Cup, giving the women's Equipe Nürnberger a good start on the season.
"The Equipe rode really well here. We can be very satisfied with Regina and Trixi's placements," said Jens Zemke, Director Sportif.
Noting the fourth place finish by T-Mobile's Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and the fifth place of the German National Team's Angela Brodtka, Zemke added that "I am especially happy that German women's cycling showed its enormous strength so well in the season opener. Four riders in the top ten is a very good result. That shows that we will have an exciting year with many interesting races."
Jaksche sees little choice but to retire
By Susan Westemeyer
Jörg Jaksche is another German pro cyclist who has been unable to extricate himself from Operación Puerto, and he said Monday that he will most likely end his career. "I have little hope that I can do anything other than stop."
"My career is in ruins," he told the press agency dpa. "I have given myself a certain time frame for the announcement of my retirement."
"It looks like there won't be anything with Volksbank," Jaksche said. "I have tried with other teams, but have little hope." He is keeping himself "more or less" in shape with light training.
Jaksche, who lives in Austria, had offered the UCI a DNA sample to be used for comparison with the blood bags taken in Operación Puerto. "That was in January. But I haven't heard anything form the UCI except a confirmation that they got my letter."
He is now considering suing for damages. "My image has been ruined," he said, and claimed that the Spanish investigators have not worked properly. "I have copies of the investigation documents from the Guardia Civil. Two sheets have the same registration number but different contents.
"I just don't know what else I can do," he concluded.
Caisse d'Epargne and Euskaltel-Euskadi for Vuelta a Murcia
By Monika Prell
The team Caisse d'Epargne will participate at the Vuelta a Murcia, March 7-11, with Frenchmen Mathieu Perget and Sébastien Portal, Italian Marco Fertonani, the Russian Vladimir Karpets and the Spaniards Joan Horrach, José Joaquín Rojas, Constantino Zaballa and the winner of the Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana, Alejandro Valverde. The team will be directed by José Luis Jaimerena.
Euskaltel-Euskadi will send a very strong team, similar to their Tour de France team. Haimar Zubeldia, Iñigo Landaluze, Iñaki Flores, Igor Antón, Jorge Azanza, Aitor Galdos and Amets Txurruka will participate under the direction of Xabier Carbayeda.
Barloworld "determined" to win Giro del Capo
Team Barloworld is determined to win the Giro del Capo this year, a stage race in South Africa, home of the team's sponsor. The five-stage race starts Tuesday, March 6.
While Barloworld has had "several prestigious placings" so far this season, it is still waiting for its first big win. "The Giro del Capo is a special event for us and we're determined and convinced we can do well this year," Team manager Claudio Corti said. "The whole team has worked hard in recent weeks and we deserved to get better results than we ever have. I hope things will finally go our way in the Giro del Capo."
The team features South Africans Robert Hunter and Ryan Cox, and sprinter Fabrizio Guidi.
"We want to do well in the Giro del Capo to make up for our disappointing performance last year. We want revenge," Corti said.
Belgian Champion Joseph Schils passes
Former Belgian Champion Joseph Schils, died at the age of 75, according to ANSA. 'Jef' Schils, who lived in Liège, was a professional from 1951 to 1965, and put 108 victories into his palmarès. At the young age of 20 he became Belgian National Champion and from there progressed in the peloton; becoming a team-mate and friend to Il Campionissimo, Fausto Coppi.
CSC/Marcello riders selected for Tour of Libya
South African Chris Willemse Jnr (Team CSC/Marcello) has once again caught the eye of the national selectors. Weeks after Willemse Jnr was selected to represent South Africa in the International Track Event, which takes place this Friday, March 9, he and fellow Team CSC/Marcello rider Duncan Viljoen were selected for the national team to participate in the 860km Tour of Libya, which will take place from March 17 - 23, 2007.
The South African elite riders to participate in Libya include: Chris Willemse Jnr, Duncan Viljoen, Prince Maluleka, Herman Fouche, Shaun Davel and Jonathan Kinnear.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2007)