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First Edition Cycling News for December 1, 2006

Date published:
December 01, 2006, 0:00 GMT
  • AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork team rides for kids

    Article published:
    December 01, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Several members of the AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork professional cycling team are scheduled to participate...

    Several members of the AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork professional cycling team are scheduled to participate in the 5th Annual Inlet Challenge Bicycle Ride, a charity ride to benefit Kids in Distress, a Florida-based organization that is dedicated to protecting children from child abuse and neglect. “Several of our riders have personal ties to South Florida, and as an organization, we are deeply committed to the cause of helping children in need,” said Managing Director Ravi Rajcoomar. “This ride allows the team to show our support for a great cause and get some quality early season training in the great South Florida weather.”

    Community service will continue to be a major focus of the 2007 AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork program. The team takes part in year-round youth programming activities with CycleSafe.org, an organization devoted to promoting safe cycling habits and conditions for participants of all ages, as well as conducting riding clinics, visiting area schools and civic groups, and promoting the lifelong benefits of living a healthy and active lifestyle. More information on the Inlet Challenge Bicycle Ride and Kids in Distress is available online at www.inletchallengebikeride.org.

  • Drug testing begins for amateur golf, pro men lag behind

    Article published:
    December 01, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    By Shane Stokes Although recent scandals and positive cases have shown that doping is a problem in...

    By Shane Stokes

    Although recent scandals and positive cases have shown that doping is a problem in cycling, professional riders have also lamented the fact that this gets an inordinate amount of coverage in the general media while other sports escape the same kind of stories.

    The suggestions of unfair treatment come from the fact that cycling has a far tougher system of testing and general scrutiny than many other sports, making positive findings more likely. Indeed it has emerged that the first drug tests in golf took place at last month’s world amateur championships in Stellenbosch, South Africa, with the International Golf Federation selecting twelve players at random. These were then tested by the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport, with the results coming back negative.

    It has now been announced that the Ladies PGA Tour will begin testing in 2008. However both the men’s PGA Tour and the European Tour are currently without any anti-doping measures, despite the huge levels of money in the game. They are talking about following suit at some point in the future but, for now, there is no danger of a top golfer testing positive for the type of strength or concentration-boosting substances which could arguably be of benefit.

    Earlier this year, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said he saw no need for drug testing in the sport, because he didn't think there were any drugs that could be of benefit to a golfer. However, golf star Tiger Woods was quoted by the Associated Press as being in favor of the regulations. “I think we should be proactive instead of reactive,” he said. “I just think we should be ahead of it and keep our sport as pure as can be. This is a great sport, and it’s always been clean.”

  • FBD to go again

    Ras winner Chris Newton
    Article published:
    December 01, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    By Shane Stokes What must be one of the longest sponsorships in Irish sport will continue next...

    By Shane Stokes

    What must be one of the longest sponsorships in Irish sport will continue next season when, for the 24th successive year, FBD Insurances will back the UCI 2.2 ranked Rás in Ireland.

    FBD Insurance Rás race director Dermot Dignam confirmed on Friday that the company is happy to go once again, helping to guarantee that the eight day event will attract the same strong international field in 2007.

    “This will be the Irish insurance company’s 24th year of sponsorship of this great race and, in that time, it has developed into a much sought-after event by professional, national and amateur teams from many parts of the world,” stated Dignam in a press release.

    Adrian Taheny, FBD Insurance Director, Marketing & Sales, said that his company was delighted to continue its association. “The Rás is truly one of Ireland’s great sporting events, and one that captures the hearts and minds of sports fans all over the country and further afield”

    The 2007 route is set to be announced over the next few weeks. Dignam says it is expected to be as tough as ever, with a number of new stage finish towns likely to be included.

    This year’s edition was the closest in history, with eventual winner Kristian House (Recycling.co.uk) and former world under 23 time trial champion Danny Pate (TIAA-CREF) level on time but separated on countback. Morten Hegreberg (Norway Sparebanken Vest) was third, 12 seconds back.

  • UCI allows more US Continental teams

    Article published:
    December 01, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    By Sue George The US road scene could see and increase in the number of professional teams next...

    By Sue George

    The US road scene could see and increase in the number of professional teams next year, thanks to the expansion of the sport in the US and a growth in the American calendar. The UCI road commission has agreed to increase the number of US Continental teams it will license for 2007 to 20.

    Sean Petty, USA Cycling's Chief Operating Officer, cited several reasons for the increase. "The size of the US and the recent growth in the American cycling calendar motivated the UCI to grant an exception. The American Tour showed a 45% increase in [UCI-sanctioned] events. There were 13 new events from Canada to South America, but the majority of the increase was due to more UCI races in North America, especially in the US."

    The American racing scene may not yet be ready to support fully the increase in the allowed number of teams. "I'm not sure we'll have 20 teams," said Petty. "It's likely we could have 18 or so, making a total of 21 domestic teams chasing the US Pro Tour Calendar."

    The other three teams to which Petty refers are the US Pro Continental teams of Health Net, Navigators Insurance, and TIAA-Cref. Pro Continental teams differ from Continental teams in that they require a greater financial commitment in the form of higher salary requirements and more rigorous health monitoring of the riders.

    In addition to the Continental and Pro Continental teams, cycling fans can also expect to see the ProTour Discovery Channel team at many US ProTour events.

  • Raisin continues to make strong progress

    Article published:
    December 01, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Shane Stokes Almost eight full months after the crash that put him into a coma, Credit Agricole...

    By Shane Stokes

    Almost eight full months after the crash that put him into a coma, Credit Agricole rider Saul Raisin is continuing to make strong progress as regards his physical and mental recovery.

    On Sunday, the 23 year old did his longest training ride since his accident, showing that his fitness is continuing to build. “Yesterday with David Sprinkle, David Randolph, A.J Meyers (a 15 year old talent), Andy Meyers and Tracy, I did my longest and hardest ride after my accident,” he wrote on his webpage www.saulraisin.com. “With some good friends, we rode 200k/120 miles from Chatsworth, Georgia to Brass Town Bald. We rode over 8 big mountain passes and got in about around 20,000 ft of climbing… It was a 8 hour, 5000 calorie epic ride. I am getting very strong mentally and physically.”

    Raisin suffered injury to his brain in the April 4th crash in the Circuit de la Sarthe, but has shown very encouraging signs of recovery. On the 20th of November he received encouraging results from a neurological examination and this too was a boost to his morale.

    “I had a huge Neuro Phy test a few weeks ago,” he wrote. “It took eight hours and tested my mental capacity and thinking level. I received the results this last Monday.. To make it short, my doctors said if I was a normal business person or a college student they would release me to go back to work or school (but I am a pro cyclist). For my age and education I am average or above average... My doctors were very surprised. They have never seen someone with the amount of damage I had do as well as I did, this short after the accident. What can I say?? I have been blessed.”

    Although he has been told by his doctors that a return to pro racing is not guaranteed, the talented American rider is hoping to be able to do so at some point in the future....

  • De Fauw speaks about Gálvez

    Dimitri DeFauw
    Article published:
    December 01, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    An emotional Dimitri De Fauw spoke to the press for the first time since the tragic accident which...

    An emotional Dimitri De Fauw spoke to the press for the first time since the tragic accident which resulted in the death of Isaac Gálvez today. During the fifth night of the Gent six-day, De Fauw and the Spanish world champion collided, and Gálvez was critically injured when he hit the rail. The 25 year old De Fauw said "I will carry this with me for the rest of my life. Only time can heal my wounds."

    Fauw has gone back to the velodrome, known as ''t Kuipke', three times since the ordeal, but has yet to touch his bike. "I haven't touched the bike since Saturday." De Fauw said the first time he tried to go back to the track, he collapsed, and the second time he could stay only ten minutes. "The last time I laid flowers at the place where they tried to resuscitate Gálvez. Now I no longer want to see the building".

    De Fauw, however, promises that he will pick up the bike again as soon as he has come to terms with the tragedy. "I have had some painful and very emotional days and nights. The idea of hanging up the bike hasn't occurred to me. What good will that do? It is no solution to stop. In fact, this accident must be an extra incentive for me to go further with racing... However, right now I am not ready for that. I would like to thank my team for giving me the time to complete this process in my own way."

  • Sevilla and T-Mobile agree to part

    Article published:
    December 01, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    Oscar Sevilla and the T-Mobile Team have reached an out-of-court settlement on his wrongful...

    Oscar Sevilla and the T-Mobile Team have reached an out-of-court settlement on his wrongful termination suit against the team, according to the Spanish press agency EFE. The team suspended Sevilla before the start of the Tour de France because of his suspected connection to Operación Puerto, and later fired him.

    Sevilla had filed charges against the team and the trial was due to start in Albacete, Spain, next week. The trial will now not take place because of the agreement reached by the two sides. Sevilla no longer has a connection to the team, but details of the settlement were not released. T-Mobile had previously reached a similar agreement with Jan Ullrich.

    Sevilla said that he is considering various offers from other teams. T-Mobile spokesman Christian Frommert told Cyclingnews that, as in all judicial matters, he would not comment on the action.

    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...

  • McQuaid: Astana application was late

    Article published:
    December 01, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Shane Stokes “Quite simply, they haven’t followed the regulations,” said UCI President Pat...

    By Shane Stokes

    “Quite simply, they haven’t followed the regulations,” said UCI President Pat McQuaid when Cyclingnews contacted him on Thursday evening. “They [Astana] didn’t get their information in on time. It is as simple as that. The regulations are there for all the teams to follow. They know the times, they know the dates, they know what they need to get in and the correct paperwork wasn’t in on time.”

    Marc Biver and the rest of those concerned are disappointed by the decision, but it seems they do have a second chance. “They have a recourse, yes,” said McQuaid, when questioned about this. “They can ask to meet the license commission. It sits again on the 7th of December and they can ask to meet it again then. And if they wish, they can also go to CAS.”

    “From our point of view, we must follow the regulations because there is more than one team involved. It is not as if there is only one team applying for a license, after all. If we break the regulations for one and then don’t let the others into the ProTour, you understand what can happen then. The same rules are there for everybody and, as I said, they didn’t follow the rules.”

    McQuaid confirmed that the holding companies for both Unibet and Barloworld have submitted their applications and these have moved forward for consideration by the UCI.

  • Astana fails to secure ProTour license

    Astana had a successful Vuelta
    Article published:
    December 01, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    By Hedwig Kröner The Swiss manager of the Kazakhstani-funded Astana team, Marc Biver, has been...

    By Hedwig Kröner

    The Swiss manager of the Kazakhstani-funded Astana team, Marc Biver, has been informed on Wednesday evening by the UCI that the newly-founded squad will not be granted a ProTour license for the next season, according to French sports newspaper L'Equipe. Because of a non-reglementary bank guarantee, the ProTour license commission has apparently rejected the team's candidacy.

    Biver, who has until December 7 to contest the decision, was angry over the turn of events. "I get the impression that they don't treat us the same way than the other teams, because at first everything seemed clear with Ernst&Young, the auditors in charge if studying our dossier," the Swiss manager said. "We even completed the guarantee by November 20, as they asked us to. But all of this was in vain, because I have the feeling that our candidacy is disturbing from the start. Lately, the prime minister [of Kazakhstan, Danial Akhmetov, who played an important role in the team's formation - ed.] has even been outraged by the UCI's attitude in this matter."

    The Swiss Astana venture has been reported to have already presented its rider roster to the UCI, including such famous names as Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Paolo Savoldelli and Andrei Kashechkin, as well as other riders who wore the colours of Liberty Seguros this season - but this was before the Spanish doping scandal known as Operación Puerto put an end to this sponsorship of the team, then directed by Manolo Saiz. When the continuation of the team was threatened in summer, Vinokourov found a new backer, a Kazakhstani conglomerate named Astana after the country's capital, which stepped in to ensure the 2006 season of the team managed by Saiz' company Active Bay would be completed.

    However, as the doping scandal unfolded, Saiz became persona non grata in the cycling world, and with a view to the next season, the...