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First Edition Cycling News for August 26, 2006

Date published:
August 26, 2006, 1:00 BST
  • Fantasy La Vuelta 2006 Grand Prize Announced

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    Article published:
    August 26, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Rod Morris

    Breaking News: BH Bikes have confirmed they will be providing the Grand Prize in this year's Fantasy...

    Breaking News: BH Bikes have confirmed they will be providing the Grand Prize in this year's Fantasy game! We are pleased to announce their involvement with us this year and that the Grand Prize for the overall winner of the Vuelta game will be a L75D Global Concept G-1 Ultegra D bike! More details on the specifications will be announced in full shortly. The prizelist for this year's game is as follows:

    - Grand Prize - BH Bikes L75D Global Concept G-1 Ultegra D bike
    - Daily Prize - 21 pairs of BBB Winner Quickstep glasses
    - Runners-up Prizes - 1 pair of Hed Bastogne wheels, special silver edition
    - Runners-up Prizes - 10 sets Maxxis Courchevel tires
    - Runners-up Prizes - 3 sets Speedplay CSC edition pedals
    - Runners-up Prizes - $200 worth of Sock Guy vouchers
    - Runners-up Prizes - 3 Giro/Bell helmets

    More prizes to be announced soon... With just a few hours left until the 2006 Vuelta game kicks off, now is a good time to start thinking about your strategy for your team selection for the Fantasy Game. Remember there's plenty of time to make your final decision on your team riders. You can change your line up right up until stage 7 begins this year. Here's what 3rd Place winner from last year's game, manager "Marko Tammsaar" from Estonia, had to say on his winning 2005 selection:

    "I spent a...

  • Tour of the Murray river

    Article published:
    August 26, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Rod Morris

    By Rod Morris Tasmanian Wesley Sulzberger has extended his lead to 33-points in the 2006...

    By Rod Morris

    Tasmanian Wesley Sulzberger has extended his lead to 33-points in the 2006 Tattersall’s Cup cycling series with two multi-stage tours still to be raced. Sulzberger won the opening event of this year’s series, the Tour of Gippsland earlier this month and performed with distinction in last week’s Australian Cycling Grand Prix in Ballarat.

    Sulzberger has amassed 122 points and leads NSW rider Cody Stevenson on 89 and Victorian Mitchell Docker on 83. Stevenson won the criterium in the ACPG and Docker was the best overall rider, finishing well up in the time trial, criterium and road race.

    The Tattersall’s Cup continues with the third leg - the Tour of the Murray River from August 29 - September 3 and will be finalised in October with the Tour of Tasmania (Oct. 24-29). Riders earn start points in each event, are awarded points if they complete the tours and in each individual stage can earn bonus points depending on their finishing position. Further bonus points are offered to the leading 15 riders in each tour’s general classification.

    Sulzberger has been honoured with the No. 1 saddlecloth for the Tour of the Murray River, but will have no shortage of hard nosed opponents to contend with. Included in the start list are Stevenson, Queensland’s Miles Olman, Sydney’s Peter Milostic and talented young Victorian Scott Peoples. Sydney’s 1996 gold medal Olympian Brett Aitken, along with other Olympic and Commonwealth Games medalists, Stephen Wooldridge, Ashley Hutchinson and Sean Finning are others that enhance this quality field of 118 riders.

    Tattersall’s Cup progressive leader board

  • Boost for Sean Kelly team

    Article published:
    August 26, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    By Shane Stokes The Sean Kelly - ACLVB M. Donnelly Racing Team are heading into the final two months...

    By Shane Stokes

    The Sean Kelly - ACLVB M. Donnelly Racing Team are heading into the final two months of the season with strong morale following Paídi O’Brien’s seventh place in the 1.1 ranked Druivenkoers in Overijse, Belgium on Wednesday. Team directeur sportif Kurt Bogaerts is very pleased with O’Brien’s placing. "It is the best result for us to date, for sure," he said on Thursday. "Paídi was sprinting for the win so that was also a first for us.

    "Four guys were clear heading towards the finish, but then everything came together with five kilometres to go. Danilo Hondo’s team were driving it, trying to set him up for the win, but he made a mistake and wasn’t placed in the sprint. Paídi did a very good race and overall it was the best of the year for the team. Everyone was going well and rode hard for him."

    The Sean Kelly - ACLBV M. Donnelly team is in the first year of its existence as a Continental squad and while it has achieved some solid results, there have also been times when the riders have found it difficult to adjust to riding against the big name professionals. Bogaerts thinks that Wednesday’s race shows that the hard work is finally paying off. "This is a really big result if you compare to what other guys from Ireland have done in the past. The fact that Paídi is so young is a further plus. We have been doing these races all year and while we found them tough early on, there is good progression here. It shows that all the hard work is starting to pay off for us.

    "It was definitely necessary that something like that this happened. We didn’t quite feel that we were under a lot of pressure, but we wanted to do something for our sponsors, to show what we could do. We hope to keep building from this point. We have loads of plans for next year. The team will go ahead, hopefully with a slightly bigger budget. That would help us do a...

  • Francesco Del Ponte speaks

    Article published:
    August 26, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Tim Maloney, European Editor Speaking to La Gazetta dello Sport's Claudio Gregori after a tough...

    Vandenbroucke looking for another chance

    By Tim Maloney, European Editor

    Speaking to La Gazetta dello Sport's Claudio Gregori after a tough training ride in the hilly Oltrepo Pavesi region south of Milano, enigmatic 31 year-old Belgian Frank Vandenbroucke has been participating in Gran Fondo events for "cicloamatore" riders in Italy this summer, since he stopped racing for the Unibet team in May. Vandenbroucke, who has lived in a small village west of Milano since last fall with his wife and daughter, addressed why he stopped racing for the Belgian Continental Pro squad: "I started the season well and at the Ruta del Sol in February, I was flying," Vandenbroucke explained. "But in March I got some kind of virus, like mononucleosis. I started to think the team didn't trust me. Why was I still racing. Other riders might think of giving up in that situation, but not me. Since that day in February 2002, when I was handcuffed, I've changed. I've gone through some really hard moments, above all my mental outlook. Others would have been crushed, but now I've managed to come out of my depression. I feel strong again. For the last month I've been feeling good."

    With all his ups and downs, Vandenbroucke might seem like a candidate for the same tragic end as Pantani or Jose Maria Jimenez, but the former powerhouse from Ploegsteert was adamant that he wasn't going to end up like them. "I'm not going to be like that. There's no danger because my family gives me my strength. My wife Sara, my little girl Margot." As to why a former winner of Liege-Bastogne-Liege is racing in Gran Fondo events, Vandenbroucke explained that "I'm just riding these races because I need to get some racing miles in my legs. But I know that I have talent and want to show it. I don't want my talent to go to waste. I know I can still win another classic... I'm just waiting for (a team) to call me. And now I know I'm a good person and that my life is in order."

    ...

  • German cycling and TV stations discuss anti-doping plan

    Article published:
    August 26, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Tim Maloney, European Editor

    On Thursday, August 24, representatives of the German cycling federation BDR and German cycling...

    On Thursday, August 24, representatives of the German cycling federation BDR and German cycling teams have discussed a series of measures aimed at contributing to the fight against doping in the sport with the two German TV stations ARD and ZDF. BDR president Rudolf Scharping exposed his agenda as well as joint measures elaborated with the teams, race organisers and sponsors.

    These aim at improving the quality and the number of doping controls, taking more severe sanctions and supporting the implementation of an anti-doping law in criminal legislation. The publicly-owned TV stations, for their part, still have to decide over the amount of cycling races they will broadcast next season.

  • Klöden to decide soon

    Article published:
    August 26, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Susan Westemeyer Andreas Klöden has a choice of three proposed contracts, and expects to decide...

    By Susan Westemeyer

    Andreas Klöden has a choice of three proposed contracts, and expects to decide soon where he will ride next year. "Andreas has all the papers. Maybe he will decide tomorrow, maybe the day after," his manager Tony Rominger told radsport-aktiv.de on Friday. One of the offers is from his current team, T-Mobile.

    Rominger said that his other T-Mobile clients - Matthias Kessler, Steffen Wesemann and Sergei Ivanov - have not yet received offers from the team. "T-Mobile told me quite clearly that the other contracts will be decided only after the Klöden matter is settled," he said.

    The German ProTour team denied this. "Andreas Klöden is our highest priority, but the contract negotiations with the other riders are being handled independently of our discussions with Klöden," said team spokesman Luuc Eisenga.

  • Vuelta lost sponsorship deal over Landis positive

    Article published:
    August 26, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Ignacio Ayuso, president of Vuelta a España organiser Unipublic, has revealed to Spanish newspaper...

    Ignacio Ayuso, president of Vuelta a España organiser Unipublic, has revealed to Spanish newspaper AS that an earlier main sponsorship deal this year was cancelled after Floyd Landis tested positive for a too high testosterone ratio in his blood. Meanwhile, the race found a new main sponsor, but "Expo Zaragoza 2008" stepped in on emergency just three days prior to the event.

    "In July, we had it all signed," he said. "We had this main sponsor, a big business, as well as Ford coming on board and the continuous backing of Ifema and From. But the Landis case made the sponsor doubtful and he preferred to back out." Whilst Ayuso, who did not want to reveal the identity of the company ("We are confident that this possible sponsor, like others who had doubts, might be able to be signed in the future"), added that the Vuelta organiser agreed to drop the already-signed deal after the doping accusations against the Tour de France winner were made public. "We had an agreement for one year and the possibility of renewal for the next. But we understood the position [of the sponsor] and released them from their engagement."

    Finding a new backer just weeks before the event was not an easy task according to Ayuso. "When the Landis case came out we were in the middle of our holidays," he continued. "It wasn't easy to start new negotiations. With Expo Zaragoza, we already had a basic agreement for them to become sponsors of the Gran Premio classification in 2007 and 2008. We then reached an extended agreement for them to patronize the jersey this year."

    The Gran Premio classification, meanwhile, will not be promoted on the podium or the finish line this year, but Unipublic's finances are not reported to be suffering. "The Vuelta will not lose money [over this]. Despite all the problems we had to deal with we have no deficit - we won't obtain the profits we calculated, but we won't be in the red either," Ayuso explained.

  • Cipollini denies link to Fuentes

    Article published:
    August 26, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    After Italian daily La Repubblica reported on Friday that retired sprinter Mario Cipollini was also...

    After Italian daily La Repubblica reported on Friday that retired sprinter Mario Cipollini was also amongst the clients of Spanish doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes when he still a professional cyclist, the Italian has denied the allegations. The newspaper claimed that the Guardia Civil suspected Cipollini to have received various doping products and practices in 2002, under the code name of "Pavarotti" - a name that is allegedly found in Fuentes' records for that particular year. Cipollini scored 14 victories that season, including Milano-Sanremo, Gent-Wevelgem, six stages in the Giro d'Italia and three in the Vuelta, as well as his world championship title in Zolder, Netherlands.

    "I am completely astounded at what the newspaper Repubblica published today," Cipollini declared. "It is absurd to me that my name is mentioned in this arbitrary way in something I now nothing about. Personally, I do not know doctor Fuentes and I have never had any contact to him."

    The Tuscan is now ready to take legal action "to protect his image".

    Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'

    April 2, 2009 - Valverde indignant over possible suspension
    April 1, 2009
    - Valverde: Italy requests two-year suspension
    March 13, 2009 - Le Monde newspaper hit with fine over Puerto allegations
    March 2, 2009 - WADA president Fahey asks for Puerto evidence
    February 24, 2009 - Spanish federation seeks access to Puerto blood bags
    February 20, 2009 - CONI considers Valverde case while UCI awaits verdict

  • McQuaid: Hamilton file to be studied soon

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    Article published:
    August 26, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    By Shane Stokes Olympic time trial champion Tyler Hamilton is due to return to racing after...

    UCI aiming to complete investigation before current ban is up

    By Shane Stokes

    Olympic time trial champion Tyler Hamilton is due to return to racing after September 22 and has been targeting the world championships as his first major goal, but the American could possibly find himself hit with a new ban before turning a pedal in anger. Earlier this summer it emerged that Hamilton was implicated in the Operación Puerto affair, both through a fax reportedly sent to his wife Haven Hamilton under her maiden name of Haven Parchinski, and more recently through the publication of the details of the doping program he was alleged to have followed in 2003.

    UCI President Pat McQuaid spoke to Cyclingnews earlier this week on the subject and said that the governing body will study the documents relating to his case prior to the end of his suspension. "If it is shown that the allegations are true, he could face further sanctions," stated McQuaid. Under the second offence rule, a guilty ruling would most likely see Hamilton hit with a life ban from the sport.

    McQuaid said it is too early to say what will happen. "We haven't come to his file yet because we are dealing with the active riders first. Three lawyers have been working for seven weeks now on trying to get all the files done. The urgency is obviously on the active riders, and therefore any of the other older ones who are not active must wait until the end. But it will be done some time soon.

    "The files relating to the current riders are nearly finished. They are in the process of being completed now. Some of them have already been sent, and others will follow shortly. They are going out of here on an ongoing basis."

    When asked about the time scale for a decision on the Hamilton...