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Cycling News Extra for September 24, 2005

Date published:
September 24, 2005, 1:00 BST
  • Contract news

    Article published:
    September 24, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    Spanish rider Juan Antonio Flecha has signed for Dutch outfit Rabobank for a two-year term. In...

    Flecha to Rabobank

    Spanish rider Juan Antonio Flecha has signed for Dutch outfit Rabobank for a two-year term. In Madrid for the world championships, Rabobank general manager Theo de Rooij came to an agreement with Flecha, saying, "Flecha is a racer that stands out on most levels of the Rabobank team. He rides in a way we like: always on the attack."

    The 28-year-old, originally from Argentina, has ridden for Italian squad Fassa Bortolo the past two seasons. In 2003, Flecha won the 11th stage of Tour de France stage to Toulouse, and a year later, he won his first World Cup, the Meisterschaft Von Zürich. This year, the classics specialist won a stage in the Tour of Valencia, took second in Gent-Wevelgem and third in Paris Roubaix. De Rooij is convinced they'll be able to help Flecha perform in the big classics: "He's now in a team that him can help increase his chances of doing well in those kind of races."

    Rabobank also wants Sastre

    Along with Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank wish to reinforce their team next year with another climber, with Theo de Rooij informing the Telegraaf he has been in discussions with Vuelta a España podium finisher Carlos Sastre. As it happens, the 30 year-old Spaniard is at the end of his contract with Team CSC, but at this stage, de Rooij has not presented him with a firm offer.

    Rinero and Pagliarini to Saunier Duval

    Brazilian sprinter Luciano Pagliarini has just signed a two-year deal with Saunier Duval-Prodir, while Frenchman Christophe Rinero, mountains winner and fourth overall at the 1998 Tour de France, has also signed to be a member of the team.

  • Olympic execs call for investigation & suspension of French lab

    Article published:
    September 24, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

    In a letter to WADA's executive committee in Montreal, Denis Oswald, president of the Association of...

    In a letter to WADA's executive committee in Montreal, Denis Oswald, president of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), and Sergei Bubka, the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) athlete's commission chief, have accused the French anti-doping laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry for violating confidentiality regulations and called for an investigation to identify the person/s who leaked one of the documents that ultimately led to the doping allegations brought against seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong.

    "According to the world code, that laboratory should have ensured the anonymity of the samples used in their research, or asked the athletes concerned for permission to perform [post] analyses. It's not a question of protecting anyone, but of applying the rules," said Oswald to L'Equipe, the paper that originally published evidence that linked six of Armstrong's frozen urine samples from the 1999 Tour de France to artificial or recombinant EPO, following retrospective testing by the lab in Châtenay-Malabry. Oswald and Bubka have also asked that the lab be suspended.

    However, WADA chief Dick Pound said recently "we're not prepared to sit by and participate in an investigation that only looks at how the information became public," commenting on the current investigations being conducted by the UCI, which have revealed nothing to date.

    Cyclingnews coverage of the L'Equipe allegations

    June 27, 2006 - Carmichael defends Armstrong, Armstrong answers L'Equipe & LeMond
    June 26, 2006 - LeMond: "Armstrong threatened my life"
    June 19, 2006 - Armstrong calls for Pound's exit
    June 18, 2006 - Lance Armstrong's open letter...

  • Perras makes last-minute World's trip

    Article published:
    September 24, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

    In a last-minute call-up, the Canadian Cycling Association announced that Dominique Perras of the...

    In a last-minute call-up, the Canadian Cycling Association announced that Dominique Perras of the Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada Professional Cycling Team will take part in Sunday's elite men's road race at the UCI Road World Championships, filling in for Michael Barry (Discovery Channel).

    Originally selected as the first reserve, Perras made the trip to Madrid on Friday, to join Francois Parisien and Ryder Hesjedal (Discovery Channel) after Barry withdrew his entry due to illness. This will be the third World's appearance as a professional for Perras, who represented Canada in Plouay, France in 2000 and Hamilton, Ontario in 2003.

    "It's not really my course, but a lot of guys who've ridden it say it's harder than it looks," Perras said of the course, adding that "there's always a chance that a group could go early, so I'll try to be aggressive in the early moves. I'm excited."

    The 2003 Canadian National Champion, Perras was the highest-placed Canadian in 2005 at the three biggest races in the U.S. - the Dodge Tour de Georgia (28th overall), the Wachovia USPRO Championships in Philadelphia (18th), and the Barclays Global Investors Grand Prix SF (10th). His trip to Spain will have be a brief one, however; his wedding is on October 1.

  • John Lieswyn interview

    Article published:
    September 24, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

    John Lieswyn (Health Net-Maxxis) will be ending his international cycling career this Sunday in...

    Once more, for old times' sake

    John Lieswyn (Health Net-Maxxis) will be ending his international cycling career this Sunday in Madrid as a member of the US team for the road world championships. Lieswyn's final season has been a memorable one, with wins and near misses while his team has effectively run the table in US domestic cycling. It's now time for this veteran to ride one more time in a worlds race. Cyclingnews' Mark Zalewski tracked Lieswyn down for a quick update on his worlds experience.

    After almost winning the Barclay's Global Investors Grand Prix in San Francisco and then winning the Carolina Cup early this month, Lieswyn thought his racing was done, since the US federation had not included his name on the list of riders for the worlds. However, his plans changes suddenly last weekend when he found out he was named to the team by the coaches. With some quick reshuffling of travel plans Lieswyn finds himself in Madrid with the opportunity to help a fellow American win the rainbow jersey.

    Cyclingnews: How is this worlds different then the other ones for you? Is it more nostalgic, or business as usual?

    John Lieswyn: In extreme distance and expected difficulty, this worlds has the same daunting feel about it. What's different is that I'm extremely motivated to make the sacrifices pay off; I am absolutely determined to get to the finish and to do a good job for Fred. Of course, should I be forced out due to a mechanical or crash I could accept that as part of cycling. But I won't be able to accept any other kind of failure on my part.

    CN: What have you been doing this week to prepare, especially since it was rather short notice?

    JL: After having ridden only occasionally since San Fran, I hit it every day since Saturday (the day I found out about the selection). I got in two particularly hard rides over four hours. Tuesday...

  • Zabel sees an open parcours

    Article published:
    September 24, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

    By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid Erik Zabel (Germany) is not having his best season. But in...

    By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

    Erik Zabel (Germany) is not having his best season. But in Madrid, there is a small possibility that he can take revenge of his swag of second places behind Alessandro Petacchi in the Vuelta a España. Cyclingnews went to the Eurostars Zarzuela Park Hotel in the surroundings of Madrid where the whole German team is staying to speak face-to-face with one of the greatest sprinters who will start men's road race on Sunday.

    "I actually have no idea about what can happen on Sunday," said Zabel. "It's a very open circuit; maybe there are chances for all kind of riders like [Paolo] Bettini, [Alexandre] Vinokourov, and the sprinters." About his chances for the bunch sprint with such a huge rival like Petacchi, he said, "I don't know if I can beat him. Petacchi is very fast and he's nearly unbeatable."

    Referring to his season, Zabel went on to say "I'm of course not so happy that I didn't ride in the Tour de France and that was my first time that I didn't do the Tour for years. So, it was not so good for me not to ride the Tour, but after my broken ankle in the spring, I was good in the rest of the classics. I also hope to be good for the rest of the season and now I'm a little bit like in the Vuelta, or maybe a little bit better. I'm happy."

  • Spain's perspective on UCI election result

    Article published:
    September 24, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

    By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid Moreno made his contribution Spain's Gregorio Moreno actually...

    By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

    Moreno made his contribution

    Spain's Gregorio Moreno actually didn't expect to win the UCI presidential elections. When Cyclingnews reached him in Casa de Campo last Wednesday, he said defeat in Friday's annual congress wouldn't take him by surprise. The only rival to Ireland's Pat McQuaid, Moreno lost with 11 votes to against 31 votes that the Irishman received. "Last night, I had practically 18, 20 votes, but well... the last hours matter... [and can change an election]," he said after the election.

    "I have made a contribution to cycling," stated Moreno. "I think something has changed and something has to change and it begins today. At first, there was some discrepancy that was never shown. Everyone said that they disagree and that there were things in cycling that should be changed, but nobody said it loudly. My candidature was representatively to say it loud and say, 'Gentlemen: we have to listen to everyone.'"

    Cordero's view

    Vuelta a España general director Victor Cordero said to Cyclingnews about the elections "there's nothing to answer or to judge."

    "The elections' development was correct and democratic. The result is obviously not the one that we would have liked; we should give the new president [Pat McQuaid] at least 24 hours for him to state his points of view. Apart from our concern for cycling in general, we obviously care about the ProTour. I guess the word 'intransigent' that he used in his speech as candidate will not be maintained now as president. I hope from now on, we start from zero and we start working with the others."

    Cordero added that McQuaid should be listened to see how he thinks and what he will do. "We didn't have many chances to know what he will do. We are used to democratic decisions. The president's election is certainly democratic and we will try [to discuss]. We should go on and let's see how things...