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First Edition Cycling News for August 4, 2007

Date published:
August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
  • RAAM opens 2008 registration

    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    Organizers opened registration for the 2008 edition of the Race Across America. A start date for...

    Organizers opened registration for the 2008 edition of the Race Across America. A start date for 2008 has not yet been formalized, but it is expected to be around June 8, 2008, and details will be confirmed in the next six weeks. Deposits are being accepted to hold race slots, given that the number of racers will likely be capped for next year.

    In response to racer feedback, organizers will be extending the solo women's cut off, perhaps by as much as 12+ hours. To accommodate the change, the women will start separately the day before the men.

  • Saunier Duval - Prodir ready for busy weekend

    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    Saunier Duval - Prodir is set for a weekend of racing action. Saturday, Joxean "Matxin" Fernández...

    Saunier Duval - Prodir is set for a weekend of racing action. Saturday, Joxean "Matxin" Fernández and Sabino Angoitia will coach the team for the UCI ProTour event, the Clásica Ciclista San Sebastián.

    The next day, the same eight riders and two of the team's stagiaires, Héctor González and Rafa Serrano, will participate in the Subida a Urkiola while, another yellow squad will be present in the 69th edition of the prestigious Portuguese tour, Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta under coach Matteo Algeri. The 12-stage Volta will unfold from August 4-15.

    Saunier Duval for Clásica Ciclista San Sebastián and Subida a Urkiola: Riccardo Riccò, Manuele Mori, José Angel Gomez Marchante, Juan José Cobo, David De La Fuente, Iker Camaño, David Cañada and Rubén Lobato.

    Saunier Duval for Volta a Portugal: Koldo Gil, Jesús Del Nero, Alberto Fernández De La Puebla, José Alberto Benítez, Javier Mejías, Arkaitz Durán, Raúl Alarcón and Luciano Pagliarini.

  • Euskaltel Euskadi for La Subida a Urkiola

    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    Euskaltel Euskadi announced its lineup for the Subida a Urkiola on August 5. Andoni Aranaga will...

    Euskaltel Euskadi announced its lineup for the Subida a Urkiola on August 5. Andoni Aranaga will replace Igor Antón, who is still recovering from fatigue accumulated during the Tour de France. Following medical advice, Antón will not race.

    Euskaltel Euskadi for Subida a Urkiola: Amets Txurruka, Unai Etxebarria, Antton Luengo, Aitor Hernández, Beñat Albizuri, Iban Velasco Murillo, Andoni Aranaga, Alan Pérez, Juan José Oroz and Andoni Lafuente under the direction of Jon Odriozola.

  • De Rooy steps down from Rabobank

    Theo De Rooy said Rasmussen's inclusion in the Tour squad
    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    Rabobank's general director Theo de Rooy has decided, in consultation with the squad, to step down....

    Rabobank's general director Theo de Rooy has decided, in consultation with the squad, to step down. A team statement said, "After the disappointments of the most recent Tour de France, De Rooy wishes to have the time and rest to consider the future. Rabobank understands and respects this decision."

    De Rooy joined Rabobank's cycling organization when it was created in October 1995. Nine years later, he exchanged his role as a team leader in the professional team for a position as general director.

    Under De Rooy for 12 years, the team won six world championship titles, 81 national championships, 10 World Cup Classics and 27 stages in the three Grand Tours.

    "This farewell is hard, really hard. The team - it is all the world to me. But I did not see another choice," said de Rooy.

  • Vogelzang appointed head of Rasmussen inquiry

    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    The former Superintendent of the Utrecht Regional Police, Chef de Mission of the Dutch Olympic team...

    The former Superintendent of the Utrecht Regional Police, Chef de Mission of the Dutch Olympic team in Athens, member of the Supervisory Board of the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB), and delegated supervisory director of Feyenoord NV Peter Vogelzang was appointed to head an independent inquiry into events surrounding Michael Rasmussen and the crisis including his Rabobank team last month in the Tour de France.

    The Rabobank Group's executive Board launched the inquiry and directed its focus specifically to look at the process leading up to the crisis, how management and team personnel performed during the process, the Cycling Team's governing structure and division of responsibilities, team policies concerning training and medical guidelines relating to team policy compliance, and how what happened fits in context of the larger realm of international professional cycling. The investigation will look at how legislation and regulations, doping checks, sanctions, and the conduct of various bodies such as the UCI, WADA, National Federations, and ASO may have contributed or influenced the outcome.

    Vogelzang will be called upon to present the committee's ultimate findings, conclusions, and recommendations in October.

  • USPRO road and TT courses reset

    Chris Baldwin (Toyota-United)
    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor After the inaugural year of the Americans-only format for...

    By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    After the inaugural year of the Americans-only format for the professional road and time trial U.S. national championship, the promoters of the event, Medalist Sports, has announced a few changes to the 2007 event. While most of the courses will be similar, a few important changes should result in different outcomes this year.

    As previously reported, on Saturday, the country's top time trialists will battle against the clock on a virtually identical course to 2006, from one residential development to another along rolling-to-hilly roads. However, according to Jim Birrell, the finish of the course has been altered to remove a difficult turn near the finish, the same one that likely cost 2005 champion Chris Baldwin (Toyota-United) a repeat win when he in the final kilometre. The new route will take the cyclists in a more straight-forward way to the finish line, ensuring faster times than last year.

    When Cyclingnews mentioned the removal of what some have names 'Baldwin Corner' to Baldwin at the Tour de 'Toona last week, he laughed and joked that he had wasted the last year preparing for technical 90-degree turn this year. Still, he thinks the course will still crown a worthy champion. "I think the course is a very appropriate time trial course for a championship event. It's not too extremely flat or too hilly. It's a happy medium of a few rollers with a few sticklers at the end. It's not as much as a climber's time trial and it's not just for the big power guys, either."

    The road race course will undergo bigger changes -- but not to the course itself as much as to how the course is utilized. The race will again ascend the steep and technical Paris Mountain climb, but only four times compared to the five...

  • Gerolsteiner considers suit against Sinkewitz

    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Hans-Michael Holczer, team manager of Team Gerolsteiner, said that he is considering a lawsuit...

    Hans-Michael Holczer, team manager of Team Gerolsteiner, said that he is considering a lawsuit against Patrik Sinkewitz, who recently tested positive for testosterone. "We are looking at how accountable we can make him," Holczer said in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung. "I won't make any claims now, but my attorney is definitely investigating what possibilities there are. Because we are in Germany, Sinkewitz is in Germany, we have a clear legal situation."

    The 53 year-old Holczer also said that "I wish for nothing more than the comparison of the 600 DNA samples of all the pro cyclists with the blood bags in Spain from the Puerto affair. The traditional system of cycling is: Shut up and sit tight. But that doesn't bring us any further."

    He called for a type of Cycling-Interpol to police doping in the sport. A new program "must start at the top, by WADA or the UCI or whomever. The topmost program is the most important, actually only WADA can do that. At any rate, the UCI must not do it itself, there must be an independent control firm, and they must be willing to risk money on it. For example, the Spanish should fly to Germany and the German controllers to Spain. That would eliminate the national component." He added, "And maybe they will even have to go a step further and have their people sit outside of the riders' hotel rooms. Maybe we will have to go that far."

    Gerolsteiner doesn't have an antidoping program like T-Mobile or CSC, but "We do have a very large antidoping program and we follow the UCI's program." The team's program "has a very preventative character," Holczer said, " and not just with the riders. Of our 18 soigneurs and mechanics, only two of them have previous experience with cycling teams -- the rest we got from other places."

    "This basic position is important: How do we speak internally about doping, how do we handle the subject? This...

  • Di Luca faces further inquiry

    Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas)
    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said in a statement on its website Friday that Giro d'Italia...

    The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said in a statement on its website Friday that Giro d'Italia winner Danilo Di Luca will be subject to further inquiry for alleged doping charges and may be sanctioned following the review of new evidence.

    No details were available about the nature of the evidence, the case, or where it might be heard.

    "It's news to me," Di Luca told the ANSA news agency on Friday according to the Associated Press. "I know absolutely nothing."

    Di Luca's lawyer, Federico Cecconi, also told ANSA he did not yet know the subject of the investigation. "At the moment, we haven't received any communication on proceedings other than those thrown out by the Pescara prosecutor's office."

    At present, Di Luca is awaiting a decision from CONI regarding his alleged involvement in a case with Carlo Santuccione, a doctor who accused of supplying doping products to athletes. The "Oil for Drugs" case was dismissed by the Italian judicial system in early July; however, Di Luca will have to wait awhile for any final decision from CONI; according to Reuters, CONI's doping unit is closed from August 10 to September 2.

  • WADA gets Fuentes documents from Franke

    Richard Pound has been a controversial WADA chairman
    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    WADA President Dick Pound has asked German antidoping crusader Werner Franke to send him the...

    WADA President Dick Pound has asked German antidoping crusader Werner Franke to send him the documents which are said to show that Alberto Contador was a client of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. Franke has sent the papers, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, and even added the protocol of Jörg Jaksche's interrogation by German investigators. Jaksche is noted as "JJ" in Fuentes' list, right next to the officially unidentified "AC."

    Franke had claimed to be in possession of incriminating documents which allegedly prove Tour de France winner Contador was involved in Operación Puerto and also detail the list of performance enhancing and banned products used by Contador.

    The inclusion of Jaksche's material is part of a deal between the cyclist, Franke, and Pound. Jaksche wanted to be sure of the agency's support in case he turns "state witness," the SZ said. Contador's name "is written twice in the reports," Franke noted, and added that "all of what Jaksche confessed to the BKA {Bundeskriminalamt, federal police} is of legal relevance to Contador."

    Pound told the newspaper, "As the oversight agency, we must first let the national and international federations handle the matter. If we don't agree with their decision, then we can request the case and decide whether we want to seek a solution from the court of appeals for sport."

  • Barloworld rejects calls for UCI investigation of Cox's death

    Ryan Cox
    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Susan Westemeyer Team Barloworld has reacted angrily to suggestions that Ryan Cox's death was...

    By Susan Westemeyer

    Team Barloworld has reacted angrily to suggestions that Ryan Cox's death was doping-related and that the UCI should investigate the matter. "To ask the UCI to carry out an investigation into the reasons for Cox's tragic death so soon and to do so without knowing anything about his physical problems is wrong. It is very sad that people who do not know the facts are speculating about Cox's death," team manager Claudio Corti said.

    Cox died Wednesday morning of complications following surgery on a leg artery.

    The South African cyclist started his pro career with the team Amore & Vita, whose manager Ivano Fanini this week said that he hoped the death was not related to doping. "How many riders have resorted to EPO, which renders the blood dense and can cause serious vascular problems." He called on the UCI to "open an investigation into the true cause of this death."

    "As the management of his team, we obviously want to understand what caused this tragic death but creating stupid theories and castings aspersions is yet another evidence of the terrible atmosphere that has surrounded cycling in recent years and especially in recent months," Corti said. "I think it is important to respect the death of a young rider who died tragically at the age of just 28. I won't say anymore because this is not the right time to begin arguments with people who are only looking to attract attention and grab the headlines."

    Cox's funeral will be held Tuesday in his home town in South Africa. A memorial bike ride will be held Sunday in Italy, followed by a short service at the Madonna del Ghisallo cyclists' chapel.

    Meanwhile, Cox's teammates will be mourning him while continuing to race. The team will wear black armbands during the Tour of Portugal and the Giro dell'Appennino. In the latter race, the team will...

  • No Vuelta defense for Vino

    Alexander Vinokourov (Astana)
    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Team Astana remains on the list of teams invited to participate in the Vuelta a España for 2007, but...

    Team Astana remains on the list of teams invited to participate in the Vuelta a España for 2007, but Alexander Vinokourov will not be among the team's riders. The 2006 winner will not have the option to defend his title. "He will not be able in any manner to register for the 2007 Vuelta," said organizers in a statement according to the AFP.

    "We have requested that each team respect its own code of conduct and do not register in the race any member of the team who is under investigation or procedure for a doping offense," read a team press release today.

    Looking for a clean Vuelta after a month of doping scandals in the Tour de France, organizers also said, "Faithful to the mission that entrusts the organizing tradition and the history to us as a Grand Tour, we will take all moral and financial measures and work with Spanish and international authorities so that the race is conducted according to the highest standards of reliability. We will align with the major organizations of cycling who consider the credibility of our sport a high-priority objective."

    According to organizers, allowing Astana to participate supports the team's efforts to clean itself up, but prohibiting Vinokourov supports the effort to clean up cycling.

    Astana fired the 33 year-old Tour favorite after he tested positive for blood doping following his time trial victory July 21. A doping test from his later in the Tour also came back positive. Vino was suspended from the team, and his team withdrew from the Tour initially after initial reports of his positive A sample.

    The Vuelta a España will take place September 1-23. Despite various doping scandals so far this summer, Vuelta organizers have decided to maintain the list of invited teams as was previously announced.