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Cycling News Extra for September 23, 2005

Date published:
September 23, 2005, 1:00 BST
  • Drug charges against Rebellin dropped

    Article published:
    September 23, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

    The charges of illegal drug use against Gerolsteiner's Davide Rebellin have been dropped by the...

    The charges of illegal drug use against Gerolsteiner's Davide Rebellin have been dropped by the court in the northern Italian town of Este, Padova. Rebellin and 19 others were put on trial in November 2004 for violating the Italian anti-doping and sporting fraud laws. The trial was initiated on the basis of phone tapping and video surveillance of athletes allegedly injecting themselves with drugs in 2001. However, the court judge in Este ruled that the evidence was insufficient to prove that Rebellin had taken any banned substances.

  • Belgian World's angst continues

    Article published:
    September 23, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

    The cold war between Patrick Lefevere and José De Cauwer is heating up. The QuickStep manager does...

    Lefevere: "Boonen with publicity for Davitamon, that is not possible?!"

    The cold war between Patrick Lefevere and José De Cauwer is heating up. The QuickStep manager does not understand how the Belgian Cycling Federation accepted sponsorship from Davitamon, while this company is already sponsoring the other Belgian ProTour cycling team.

    "I have no problem with De Cauwer being in charge of my riders for one day," Lefevere said, blowing off steam in the VUM newspapers. "But I do struggle with them saying that the selected riders ought to be happy that they are allowed to be here! Allowed? No! they sell my riders to their sponsors! Just like that, for free. I don't think it's normal that Tom Boonen will be riding with publicity for our competition (Davitamon) on his shirt on Sunday. I would love to cut that out."

    When the selection for the World's was made, Lefevere already had mentioned that Davitamon's sponsorship with the Belgian Federation influenced De Cauwer's choice. "De Cauwer maintains that it didn't," Lefevere reacted. "But I don't believe one bit of that! They never asked us to sponsor the federation. What did the Belgian Cycling Federation do at the moment we were tied into a court case with Davitamon and a claim of €24 million was made? Help? Try to mediate? Get out, they made one of the parties their own sponsor. That really bothers me still. When I see Marc Coucke around here, I'll certainly shake his hand, but I haven't forgotten what happened. I would really grant Peter Van Petegem the rainbow jersey, but I wouldn't be cheering if he won.

    "A World Championships, you ride with wit, your eyes and your wallet," said Lefevere, calling a spade a spade as usual. "Avoid making mistakes, read the race right and when push comes to shove, look for allies, no matter what jersey they wear. In those last five kilometres, not earlier. Only then, the puzzle will fit.

    "If Tom Boonen wins, I'll jump for joy,...

  • Rogers looking to number 4

    Michael Rogers (Australia)
    Article published:
    September 23, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

    25 year-old Australian Michael Rogers became the first cyclist in history to achieve a hat trick in...

    25 year-old Australian Michael Rogers became the first cyclist in history to achieve a hat trick in the time trial of the World Championships when he powered home for victory in Madrid's Casa de Campo on Thursday afternoon. Rogers' time of 53:34.49sec was a clear 23 seconds faster than second placed home-town hero Jose Ivan Gutierrez Palacios, with Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara claiming third on the 44 kilometre course.

    "To be in the history books of anything is fantastic," said Rogers. "I just love cycling, I've done it since I was seven years-old and although I've had a few hard patches this really makes up for it. Perhaps this was the hardest one for me, but I am really, really happy to be the first person to be able to do it. There was a lot of pressure coming into the World Championships for me and that makes it all the better to win it and now I'll look to next year and number four."

    Rogers thanked every member of the Australian support staff for their help and deferred his celebration to sit down with the U23 Australian riders at the team hotel to have a chat and spend some time with the young riders who are coming through the same development program that he did. There were also tears and cheers in the Australian camp as Rogers crossed the line and his victory gave the Aussies a much needed boost in the wake of the tragic death of Amy Gillett in a training accident in Germany in July.

    "I hope so, I hope this lifts Australia," said Rogers. "It's a great sport and Australia's really getting behind it now, and I hope this is the start of things to come."

    As the defending champion Rogers was the last rider off the start ramp and he rode the course to perfection. He was fifth at the first of four time checkpoints and second at the halfway mark. By the third check he was leading and in the final quarter he blew past last year's silver medallist,...

  • A wonderful moment for McQuaid

    Pat McQuaid
    Article published:
    September 23, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid Ireland's Pat McQuaid was logically very happy after being...

    By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

    Ireland's Pat McQuaid was logically very happy after being elected president of the UCI this morning. McQuaid has had a couple of tense months after his position in the UCI was questioned by UCI management committee member Sylvia Schenk, among others, on ethical grounds. "It's a wonderful moment for me," were McQuaid's first words as UCI president at the end of the UCI congress. "I want to thank the voters who voted for me and also my family that is here. Now we have a commitment with the cycling in general." McQuaid won with 31 votes to 11 votes from the 42 voting delegates over Spain's Gregorio Moreno.

    McQuaid paid tribute to former president Hein Verbruggen: "He was the eighth president of this federation and he will be remembered as the greatest president we had had. This wonderful building that is cycling these days was built by Verbruggen. He did a tremendous job for our sport. We indeed owe him a lot". McQuaid proposed that the Dutchman be given the title of honorary president of the UCI, and there is little doubt that Verbruggen will remain an active member of the organisation, despite his commitments in the IOC.

    About his defeated rival in the election, Spaniard Gregorio Moreno, McQuaid said, "I look forward to discussing the future of cycling with him." And to Malaysian Darsan Singh Gill, who retired before the election, McQuaid added, "I wish all the best to him outside cycling."

    McQuaid's big task now is to smooth out the ongoing problems between the Grand Tour organisers and the UCI with regards to the ProTour, and will be his first serious test as president.

    After the Irishman's speech, it was turn of Verbruggen, who said that he will keep a great memory of his time as the president of the UCI. "I started as UCI president in 1991 and I think I gave a lot," said Verbruggen. "We had...

  • Special report: Serious concerns over urinary EPO test

    Article published:
    September 23, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

    Three recent cases in the endurance sport of triathlon have raised some major concerns about the...

    Three recent cases in the endurance sport of triathlon have raised some major concerns about the reliability of the urinary EPO test, which has been used in the sport of cycling since 2001. Although researchers around the world are working on improving the test, several holes in its past methodology have thrown doubt on every positive case involving the drug. This places the World Anti-Doping Agency and national sports federations under potentially crippling legal pressure, should wronged athletes sue for damages. But WADA believes it is safe from such challenges, as Cyclingnews' Chief Online Editor Dr Jeff Jones reports.

    Science is characterised by debate. If a theory or method is found to be inaccurate or false, it has to be modified or thrown away. This means that things we have believed to be true in the past, such as the sun and planets revolving around the earth, have had to be revised when better information comes to light. Anti-doping science is not exempt from this, with all the talk about retrospective testing of samples, as well as questioning existing positives.

    The Lance Armstrong EPO-in-a-1999-B-sample affair, as well as the acquittals of triathletes Rutger Beke, Virginia Berasategui and Ibán Rodríguez for EPO abuse, have put the spotlight on the Recombinant EPO test, which up until now has been believed to have been quite robust, even if comparatively ineffectual given its maximum three day testing window. Dr Iñigo Mujika is one scientist who has taken a keen interest in the test, and has had plenty of experience. He is a Sports Physiologist from the Basque Country, who has spent time working as a Senior Physiologist at the Australian Institute of Sport in the lead up to the Athens Olympics, and now works as a physiologist and trainer for...