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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

News for July 27, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Garzelli banned for nine months

Italian cyclist Stefano Garzelli has received a nine month ban for doping and a 50,000 Swiss franc fine, handed down by the Swiss Olympic Association today. Garzelli holds a Swiss licence, and was therefore judged by that country's officials. He tested positive for the banned diuretic probenecid in May after winning stage 5 of the Giro d'Italia, and was later disqualified from the race.

The SOA issued a statement on Friday specifying that the maximum sentence was a two year suspension with a SF100,000 fine. However, Garzelli will be allowed to come back to competition next April (a 9 month penalty) providing he pays half the fine, and agrees to a five year probationary period.

Garzelli rides for Mapei-Quick Step, and won the Giro in 2000. The substance he tested positive for used to be used as a masking agent, to mask the presence of other drugs in a urine test. However as probenecid is banned, easily detectable and is no longer good enough to mask steroids and the like, its presence was considered out of the ordinary. However, it can be used to enhance the effect of undetectable substances such as human growth hormone.

Garzelli always denied that he had taken it, believing that the chicken he ate in the hotel in Cologne was contaminated with the drug, which only showed up in minute amounts in his urine.

Ullrich will stay with Telekom

A day after being handed a six month ban for testing positive to amphetamines, Jan Ullrich's future in the Deutsche Telekom team has been assured for next season. Ullrich will not be able to race until March 23, 2003, and during that time Telekom will not pay him a salary. However, he will stay with the team that he has ridden with since turning pro in 1995.

Ullrich tested positive at an out of competition test on June 12, while he was in a rehabilitation clinic recovering from knee surgery. He had been out the night before, and admitted taking a couple of pills. When announcing his suspension, the German federation said that he had not taken drugs for performance enhancement (athletically speaking), but had still broken the anti-doping regulations and would have to be sanctioned.

Millar pulls out of Commonwealth Games

David Millar (Scotland) will not be riding in the Manchester Commonwealth Games, which starts with the Individual Time Trials on Saturday, July 27. Millar was going to contest the individual time trial tomorrow, but obviously would have to pull out of the Tour. This is not going to happen, given that the Tour's final time trial also takes place tomorrow, followed by the final stage on Sunday.

Millar was also scheduled to ride in the individual pursuit next Tuesday and Wednesday, and the road race on Saturday, August 3. However, Cofidis team management said that Millar will be racing in the HEW Cyclassics on Sunday, August 4, ruling out his participation in Manchester.

Millar won the 13th stage of the Tour that finished in Béziers.

Van Hyfte and Peron renew with CSC-Tiscali

Belgian Paul Van Hyfte and Italian Andrea Peron have extended their contracts with the Danish CSC-Tiscali team for another year. Team director Bjarne Riis commented on the team's website that "Van Hyfte's attitude and spirit makes him a model for other riders. He always works hard for the team - on the cobblestones as well as in the tough stage races. We need riders like him."

"Andrea Peron pulled a huge load in the Giro. He is ever willing to sacrifice himself for the captain and, furthermore, he always performs well on the time trials. He brings home a lot of top 10 places on the time trials and he is a good man to have on board on a team time trial."

Erwin Thijs renews with Palmans-Collstrop

Erwin Thijs has extended his contract with Palmans-Collstrop for another year. The 31 year old is a specialist kermesse racer, and also featured in a long breakaway at this year's Tour of Flanders.

Mapei-Quick Step for Tour de la Région Wallone

Riders : Paolo Bettini, Davide Bramati, David Cañada, Paolo Fornaciari, Kevin Hulsmans, Daniele Nardello, Luca Paolini. DS: Valerio Piva.

Third Annual Corporate Challenge at Lehigh Valley Velodrome

The Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown, PA, will host the 3rd Annual Corporate Challenge on Friday, July 26 at 7pm. In addition to the featured Corporate Challenge Italian Pursuit, several professional races will also take place.

This annual event invites 10 local corporations to showcase their talents outside of the office. The Velodrome supplies the track racing bikes, coaching, and training time for each team. The night promises to exciting, fast-paced, and highly competitive.

Last year's winner, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., is returning to the event hoping for repeat victory. Air Products, Mack Trucks, Red Robin Restaurants and Morgan Stanley are all making their third appearance. Newcomers Lehigh Cement, The Morning Call, T- Networks, Faith Evangelical Church and EDS will have there work cut out for them. PPL is racing for the second time and are expected to make a strong showing.

The teams are made up of 4 men and 2 women each and all have several experienced road riders as well as people who have never competed in cycling. Bruce Donaghy, 1980 Olympic Team member, heads up Team Morgan Stanley and former track racer Paul Carpenter leads The Morning Call's efforts.

A strong women's professional race field will add to the evening's excitement. Expected to compete are Junior World Champion Sarah Uhl, 2004 Olympic hopeful Becky Conzelman and Argentina's Graciella Martinez.

The men's professional feature event will round out the evening with the 4th Madison in the Bentley Graphic Communications Madison Series. Local favourites Bobby Lea and Kyle Wamsley hope to gain their third victory after breaking their winning streak with a loss to Marty Nothstein and Erik Weispfennig.

Mersey Valley-Devonport Cycling Club tour

The Mersey Valley - Devonport Cycling Club's tour will take place this weekend and will feature a top class field for their inaugural race. As well as the New Zealand track team, who arrived in Tasmania yesterday, the race will have the Australian junior track team competing as well.

Consisting of four stages over two days, the event will be two separate graded mass starts, with category 3 and 4 riders completing slightly shorter stages.

On Saturday, both stages will start and finish at the Moriaty Hall, with the morning stage. Following a similar circuit to the Darren McGurk race. The afternoon stage will take riders out through Railton and up Stoodly Hill with Cat 3 and 4 riders turning there, while Cat 1 and 2 riders continue to Sheffield before returning to Moriaty.

Sunday's racing will follow a course out through Latrobe, Devonport, Don Hill and Forth to the Gawler Road overpass with Category 1 and 2 racing through to Penguin before following the same course back.

The final stage in the afternoon is again based around the Moriaty area, with Cat 1 and 2 racing 65km and Cat 3 and 4 completing 50km. There will be a full programme of junior racing, also over four stages, commencing on Saturday at 10.15am.

All sections of the Tour will start from the Moriaty Hall on Saturday with Category 1 and 2 departing at 10.15 and Cat 3 and 4 at 10.20.

Courtesy of Matthew Conn

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)