First Edition Cycling News for May 17, 2007
Edited by Sue George
Evidence quality clouds 'stage three' arguments
By Mark Zalewski in Malibu, California
Day three of Floyd Landis' arbitration hearing began with the continuation of testimony from one of the two LNDD analytical chemists that performed the original as well as the retesting of the Landis samples from stage 17 of last year's Tour. Cynthia Mongongu's direct examination by the USADA attorney concluded Tuesday's proceedings and the Landis side had all night to prepare for the cross-examination, likely in an effort to show errors in the processing of the samples and to discredit Ms. Mongongu's work as a technician. Floyd Landis was again sporting a yellow tie, and was noticeably more jovial at times, particularly in the more frustrating moments of the testimony.
Drama of the day
There seems to be a daily occurrence of drama that brings the hearing to a screeching halt. Yesterday it was the translator, today it was a problem with evidence - or in legal-ease, the "discovery process" (no pun intended). During the afternoon testimony of Ms. Mongongu, the hearing was stopped when Landis' lawyer Maurice Suh objected in response to the witness saying she needed a certain document in order to answer a question of analysis.
"The documents to determine if there is matrix interference here, we never received," said Mr. Suh. "And we asked for them. So because we did not get those documents, we are going to stop the cross right now, with the right to recall this witness."
The USADA lawyers said that the discovery process was long and lengthy, but that the Landis side has finally acknowledged they had everything they needed.
"We have never, ever said we have everything we needed to have," Mr. Suh quickly replied. "We are told [by the witness] that you cannot properly identify this because there is matrix interference."
After a recess, USADA lawyer Richard Young responded to Mr. Suh's claims. "That is absolutely not true," said Mr. Young. "They got the electronic data file. If they wanted to give [AFLD Secretary General] Dr. Dautry clear instructions, they should do that. Then when Dr. Dautry and themselves were all in Paris together, he was accepting instructions from them there. It isn't that they didn't get the documents from the file. They are now saying, I guess we got the documents, they are just not enlarged the way they want. The could have asked Dr. Dautry to have it printed in that format, and if they had I guess they would be happy now. If they had asked, they would have in their hands everything they are making a fuss about."
"I absolutely need to respond to that," Mr. Suh quickly retorted. "It would have taken weeks to go in and get the resolution. We got this data on April 5, and we simply did not have the time. We asked for [the files] on February 22, and were told we could not have it because USADA said we would go in and tamper with them."
After yet another lengthy recess, neither side seemed satisfied with the deliberations. However, Mr. Suh rested in his cross-examination with the right to recall later.
To read Cyclingnews' full coverage from day three, click
Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case
29, 2009 - French authorities summon Landis and Baker
Unibet withdraws legal action against Giro organisers
Green Cycle Associates AB, managing company of the Unibet.com ProTour team, announced Tuesday that it would no longer pursue legal action against Giro d'Italia organisers RCS Sport as the Milan court judgment would not be made until the end of May, thus having no effect on the team's Giro participation.
However, the team still considers its Giro exclusion unfair and said in a statement that "Green Cycle Associates AB and its sponsors were obliged to review their position and are contemplating new actions to see their rights honoured."
The Unibet.com team was also excluded from Tirreno-Adriatico in March with RCS citing its lack of authorisation to do business in Italy as the reasoning behind the decision. Unibet.com then obtained the appropriate authorisation from the Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies (AAMS) and was allowed to start in Milan-San Remo shortly afterwards on March 24.
"The discriminatory restrictions imposed upon the team are extremely clear," said the team's general manager Koen Terry. "Green Cycle Associates AB is the only team sponsored by a gaming and betting operator that actually is licensed in Italy and it is excluded to compete in RCS races."
Terry went on to say that other ProTour teams sponsored by gambling companies, such as Française des Jeux and Predictor-Lotto, did not have the aforementioned AAMS licence but faced no hurdles competing in Italy.
The team was also excluded from Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège for similar reasons although a court in Liège ruled that Unibet was entitled to compete in Belgium and should be paid five million euros in damages for each race missed.
The team first encountered problems at the GP d'Ouverture La Marseillaise in France and now races under the name of its bike sponsor, Canyon.com, in all French races.
Matti Breschel: The peloton's next top model
At the tender age of 17, Matti Breschel left his home in Denmark to work as a model in New York City. At 20, he was signed to the ProTour team CSC. He's got looks, he's got legs, and now, after a rocky 2006, Breschel placed top-twenty in Paris-Roubaix and third in the GP Herning this year, and finds himself among the peloton's top models. Cyclingnews' Katharina Schulz finds out more about this young Dane.
Matti Breschel was on the brink of winning the 2006 edition of the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen when he crashed in the final sprint. He had already won the intermediate sprint and was only seconds behind the current leader Robbie McEwen, and he felt sure that he would be stronger than the Aussie in the finale, when they both went down and Breschel hit the barriers.
McEwen was relegated for irregular sprinting and Niko Eeckhout won the overall, while Breschel couldn't remember his date of birth for almost an hour after the crash. He spent two weeks in hospital in Belgium with two fractured vertebrae, severe concussion and a few minor injuries, before he could return to Denmark to recuperate with his family. The most alarming consequence of the crash was that his short term memory was dysfunctional for a while.
To read the complete interview, click here.
T-Mobile for Catalunya
Michael Rogers and Linus Gerdemann will lead a mixed squad of T-Mobile veterans and youngsters at the Vuelta a Catalunya, starting next week. "We will focus on stage wins, we won't pay special attention to the GC," according to directeur sportif Jan Schaffrath.
The team features T-Mobile's oldest rider, 37 year-old climber Giuseppe Guerini, and the second-youngest rider on the squad, 21 year-old sprinter Mark Cavendish. Cavendish, who recently won two stages in the Four Days of Dunkirk, will make his ProTour race debut. "Mark is a thoroughbred sprinter with excellent prospects. But we want to see how he copes with the climbs," Schaffrath said.
T-Mobile for Catalunya: Mark Cavendish, Scott Davis, Bernhard Eisel, Linus Gerdemann, Giuseppe Guerini, Kim Kirchen, Jacob Piil, and Michael Rogers.
Cavendish eyeing British title
Up and coming Manxman Mark Cavendish has his eye on adding the British Elite Men's Road Champion title to his palmarès when he contests the Yorkshire race in July. The T-Mobile rider has put the peloton on notice in his debut year as a professional, with victories in the Scheldeprijs Vlaaderen and stages three and six of the 4 Days of Dunkirk earning the youngster his first ProTour race start at this month's Vuelta a Catalunya.
"The nationals are a big goal for me," Cavendish told his team's website, www.t-mobile-team.com. "I like the course and it's a nice race to end the first half of the season. Myself and Roger [Hammond] will travel over for that, so we'll take it from there. Allan Peiper will be coming over as well with a team car, so we will have good support."
One of Cavendish's biggest threats at the British titles will undoubtedly come from close to home in Hammond. The T-Mobile strongman is already a multiple time national champion and will put up stiff competition for the 21 year-old.
CSC Invitational to celebrate 10 years
The CSC Invitational will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Saturday, June 2. The Washington DC area race will again bring a world class field to the streets of Clarendon Virginia. The inaugural criterium was held in 1998 and has a reputation for toughness. Racers tackle a 1 km lap that takes just over a minute to complete.
"This is the hardest crit we do all year," said 2005 champion Ivan Dominguez.
Last year's winner Mark McCormack agreed, "You can see it at the end of the finish, over 100 riders started the race, but it was whittled down to 30 at the end. It's a hard man's criterium."
Cycling fans will have a chance to meet their favourite riders at a reception from 6:30 to 9:00 pm on Friday, June 1 at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City. Ticket information is available at www.arlingtonsports.org. A silent auction held in conjunction with the reception will raise money for the Paralyzed Veterans of America.
Racing begins in the morning with amateur categories and a new handcycling competition. The pro men's race will begin at 12:25 PM
T-Mobile and Menikini-Gysko for tougher Tour de l'Aude
The Menikini-Gysko and T-Mobile squads have announced the riders they will send to the Tour de l'Aude, the longest stage race on the women's calendar. The 10 stage event gets underway tomorrow with an individual time trial in Gruissan and T-Mobile coach Petra Rosner believes the girls are in for an event like no other.
"It's longer and tougher than any other race currently on the women's calendar," noted Rosner, who has contested the event 17 times herself, on the team's website. "It used to be second hardest after the women's Tour de France, but now it occupies that space on its own."
The German women's squad has appointed an all-star line up for the grueling race, including Judith Arndt, Ina Teutenberg and Linda Villumsen.
"Judith is our best climber and our GC push will be focused on her," said T-Mobile sporting director Anna Wilson. "She has an awesome track record at the tour, and I think some of the very long and hard stages offer the best chance for her to make her move."
The Menikini - Selle Italia - Gysko squad is hoping to build on a successful
season so far at the French women's race. The team, directed by Walter
Zini, will however miss the strength of Australian Rochelle Gilmore who,
along with Elodie Touffet, will be absent from the race due to a conflicting
event in the United States.
Menikini-Gysko roster: Fabiana Luperini, Sigrid Corneo, Silvia Valsecchi, Olivia Gollan, Miho Oki, and Dorthe Rasmussen.
T-Mobile roster: Kim Anderson, Judith Arndt, Suzanne de Goede, Ina Teutenberg, Linda Villumsen, and Anke Wichman.
Mayor disappointed after Montréal - Boston axing
Nashua, New Hampshire Mayor, Bernie Streeter, has hit out at the city's disinterest in Le Tour Montréal - Boston, a new UCI 2.1 event which was postponed last week. The eight day event, originally slated for August 5-12, was postponed after issues with the "logistical complexity" of planning the event which was to cross six different jurisdictions, including New Hampshire, on the trip from Montréal, Canada to Boston, United States of America.
"This announcement is disappointing to say the least," read a statement from Streeter. "As mayor, I am personally offended by the city of Boston's lack of interest and support. I know our state officials who have worked long and hard on this event also are crushed with this decision."
While no firm postponement date has been set, it's expected to be sometime in the summer of 2008, according to a statement that announced the organiser's decision.
"We want to thank all our partners, who did not hesitate to give their time and support to this project," said Daniel Manibal, president of the event, in a statement. "They have already accomplished an amazing feat, and we want to assure them of our determination to make the Montreal-Boston Tour a reality.
"This tour goes far beyond the realm of a simple cycling event, helping to promote the beauty of Quebec and New England," he added.
Despite the tour's cancellation events planned to coincide with its arrival in Boston are expected to go ahead as planned.
Hammer gets Olympic honour
American cyclist Sarah Hammer has been honoured by the US Olympic Committee, with the track racer named as one of its 'Athletes of the Month' for April.
The Californian successfully defended her world title in the women's three-kilometre individual pursuit at the 2007 UCI Track World Championships in April, leading to the organisation's recognition. Hammer's back-to-back world titles is the first such achievement by an American woman on the track in over 20 years.
Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast off to Ireland for FBD
The Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast pro team is gearing up for its first entry into European racing, as a five man squad, led by Jonas Carney, left Wednesday for the FBD Insurance Ras starting May 20 in Naas, Ireland. Dan Bowman and Dominique Perras, who replaces the injured Jonny Sundt, along with Justin Spinelli, Ryan Roth, and Nick Waite will comprise the squad.
The 54-year old FBD RÁS is a UCI-ranked, eight-day, 1,200-kilometre stage race from Naas to Templemore in the Republic of Ireland. With an anticipated field of 150 riders from around the world, the race includes 20 King of the Mountain climbs and a 174-kilometre final stage road race. Stage one, May 20 includes a 20 kilometre category two climb.
"The European style of racing and the terrain throughout the Ras will be good for our guys," said performance director Jonas Carney. "We're looking to race aggressively, attack on the steep climbs, and hopefully get some results in what is a very tough field. It will also be perfect preparation and timing for the Commerce Bank Triple Crown and the first of many more UCI races we hope to compete in.
"We have our sights on competing at the international level," said John Kelly, co-title sponsor and president of Kelly Benefit Strategies. "The FBD Insurance Ras will be a perfect opportunity for us to test ourselves against a European field and plan for the future."
Ride of Silence honours injured and killed cyclists
Cyclists around the world are participating in silent, slow-paced rides (maximum speed of 20kph / 12mph) in honour of those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roads. In North America, rides began at hundreds of locations at 7 PM on Wednesday. The rides follow all road rules, are polite and respectful of other road users, and are conducted in silence unless speaking is absolute necessary.
"Not only is cycling fun, it is rapidly increasing in importance for community health and is now chosen by many as a sensible transport option. All levels of government should recognise these facts and do more to assist to increase shared education and awareness, and also reduce the numbers of incidents resulting in death and injury," said Rob Eke, Melbourne Ride of Silence spokesperson. "It is absolutely vital that bicycling is accepted by all road users as a normal part of daily life." The Melbourne ride will be held Saturday May 19 at 10 am.
The ride was first organized in 2003 by Chris Phelan in Dallas, Texas, after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was hit by the mirror of a passing bus and was killed. The goal of the ride is to increase awareness, of motorists, police, city officials, and cyclists, about the rights of cyclists to be on the roads. In the US, rides are being held in conjunction with Bike Safety Month.
Edinburgh to host bike film festival
Edinburgh will host a week-long bike film festival next month, which will overlap with Bike Week in Scotland, according to The Scotsman newspaper.
Named the Edinburgh Bike Week Film Festival, the list of films shown will include The Flying Scotsman, which features record-breaking cyclist Graeme Obree, Robert Millar – The High Life a documentary about one of Scotland's most enigmatic and mysterious sportsmen, The Flying Scotsman, a tale of troubled time trial and trackie Graeme Obree. There will also be films about bicycle gangs in New York City, a Canadian Critical Mass movie, an Jacques Tati comedy, and the winners of a Wheel to Reel 2007 film competition.
This starts on June 15 at the Filmhouse on Lothian Road. Tickets go on sale Friday. For more info, see www.bicyclefilmfestival.info.
Fantasy Giro Game entry closes soon!
There's time still to join in this year's Giro game. Win a Wilier Triestina Izoard Lampre-Fondital team replica bicycle worth US$4,750! You can join until stage six begins on Friday, May 18, and you can compete equally with players that have joined earlier in the tour.
Deadline for joining
The deadlines for joining the game on Friday May 18 across the world are as follows:
10:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time)
You can play for free for the first 5 stages! Try the game out and see how best to play. It's easy to play the Grande Tour games - all you need to do is pick your dream team of 15 from the riders racing in this year's Giro start list. Then each day pick nine riders to race for your fantasy team from these 15. You'll need a good combination of climbers, sprinters and general classification riders. For more details go to the rules section of the site. It's a great way to follow the Giro.
First four Daily Stage Winners announced
We are delighted to confirm the first four winners of the Daily Stage Prizes here at Fantasy Cyclingnews. It's been a tough battle each day at the top with an unprecedented amount of high scoring teams in this year's game.
STAGE 1 - Manager "Slovensko" with team "aussie"
* Note there were three teams with the same Stage only points in Stage 1. As this was the first stage in the game the winner was picked at random from the three contenders.
The managers win a pair of Tifosi Optics "Forza" glasses. Each day of the Giro a prize is awarded to the Stage points leader. Remember you can take part until stage 6 begins for FREE.
Full Giro Prize Roster
- Grande Prize Wilier Triestina Izoard Lampre-Fondital team replica
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2007)