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First Edition Cycling News for January 27, 2007

Date published:
January 27, 2007, 0:00 GMT
  • UCI reacts to Belgian doping stories

    Article published:
    January 27, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    At a meeting of the UCI Management Committee in Courtrai, Belgium, the organisation declined to take...

    At a meeting of the UCI Management Committee in Courtrai, Belgium, the organisation declined to take any action based on the recent stories in the Belgian press about alleged organised doping at Quick Step and the confession by Johan Museeuw. A statement released by the UCI said "Lacking any proof or evidence, the Management Committee will not express for the moment any opinion, however it will follow the case closely."

    The statement went on to express the UCI's support of it's president, Pat McQuaid, over the recent spat between the UCI and the Grand Tour organisers, saying "in troubled times for cycling, [he] strongly reaffirmed the obligation for all to respect participation rules to UCI ProTour calendar events, which makes it impossible to accept the unfolding of a competition beyond these rules."

    In a response to the legal decision in favor of the LPR and Fuerteventura Canarias teams, who fought exclusion from the Professional Continental ranks, the statement confirmed that the teams will be registered as Professional Continental teams, but only "provisionally".

    The UCI also announced the host cities of future championship events, including the 2009 Mountain Bike worlds in Canberra, Australia. Cyclingnews will have a full feature about this announcement in coming days.

    The Danish city of Copenhagen was granted three championships, including the the 2008 BMX world championship,the 2010 indoor cycling worlds and the 2011 world road championship. Denmark last hosted the world road championship in 1956.

  • Scanlon moves to Toyota-United Pro

    Mark Scanlon
    Article published:
    January 27, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    By Shane Stokes The 1998 world junior champion Mark Scanlon has been confirmed amongst the lineup...

    By Shane Stokes

    The 1998 world junior champion Mark Scanlon has been confirmed amongst the lineup for the 2007 Toyota-United Pro team, completing his move to the US racing scene.

    Scanlon had spent four seasons with the AG2R Prévoyance team, winning the opening stage of the Tour of Denmark in 2003 and then the following season, becoming the first Irish rider in 11 years to take part in the Tour de France. However last September he spoke about his disillusionment with the European peloton, saying that the prospect of a change of scene was what was keeping him in the sport.

    "I want a fresh start, and so a move to a totally different scene seems like a good idea," he stated at the time. "Firstly, I have been in Europe since I was 17 or 18 and it has come to the point now where I am not getting motivated for the big races the way I should be. At the same time too, you wonder if you should be making big sacrifices to finish 16th or 17th in a race, if guys are doping. It is not very motivating."

    Although it was known that he was heading to the US, he previously told Cyclingnews he was unable to name the team he would be racing with until they made their own announcement. However in a release issued on Thursday, Toyota-United Pro confirmed his signing, saying that it was looking forward to working with him and three other new acquisitions.

    "We've added some serious firepower and Pro Tour level experience with Mark Scanlon, Henk Vogels and climbing specialist Burke Swindlehurst, plus our wild card Caleb Manion," stated team manager Harm Jansen. "I think we'll definitely have an impact on the domestic racing circuit this year."

    Although Scanlon will be based mainly in the US, he will line out against European teams in several races there. The Toyota United Pro squad gets things underway in the 2.HC Amgen Tour of California, which runs from February 18 – 25th, and this could mark his debut in...

  • Cofidis: A new jersey for its 11th anniversary

    David Moncoutie
    Article published:
    January 27, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    By Hedwig Kröner French team Cofidis will celebrate its 11th anniversary in the pro ranks this year:...

    By Hedwig Kröner

    French team Cofidis will celebrate its 11th anniversary in the pro ranks this year: the team formerly directed by Cyrille Guimard started out in 1997. For this year, the team's management decided to radically change the squad's outfit and made it public during the team's presentation in Paris on Thursday, January 25.

    The new jersey will be predominantly red in front, and red/white in the back, which will make Cofidis' riders easily recognisable as these colours had disappeared from the peloton since Brioches La Boulangère became Bouygues, and Saeco turned into Lampre. And the new look is not the only change within the team, which is now directed by Eric Boyer:

    For 2007, the roster has been modified in view of the Spring Classics, with one name immediately sticking out of the list of 30 riders: Nick Nuyens. The Belgian, who won Het Volk in 2005 and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne last season, will be able to lead the team at these races, assisted by Frank Hoj and the young guns Kevin De Weert and Sébastien Minard. Last but not least, Maxime Monfort and Rik Verbrugghe will also be targeting the Ardennes Classics, with the latter also chosen to peak at the Tour de France.

    "Last year it was all reconstruction," said Boyer, who was hired after the team was shattered by several doping cases. "This year, we're entering a new phase. We have greater objectives, more difficult to obtain."

    The two captains of the team will nevertheless remain the same: Sylvain Chavanel and David Moncoutié. While Chavanel is still only just breaking through on an international level, climber Moncoutié is hoping to repeat his accomplishments and leave his bad luck of 2006 behind. The 32 year-old injured the a tendon in his right leg at the 2006 Dauphiné Libéré, and tried to come back too early after that, which resulted in a chronic tendonitis, preventing him from racing since last...

  • LeBlanc helps present Euskaltel Euskadi

    Jean Marie Leblanc
    Article published:
    January 27, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Monika Prell The Team Euskaltel Euskadi was presented on Wednesday evening in Bilbao, under the...

    By Monika Prell

    The Team Euskaltel Euskadi was presented on Wednesday evening in Bilbao, under the slogan "Talde hau ere zuretzat da - Este equipo también es para ti" (This team is also for you). The 29 members of the team, staff, were joined by guests such as Jean Marie Leblanc, former Tour de France director, Abraham Olano, and Álvaro González de Galdeano, director of the team Orbea. The attendees were welcomed by two "bertsolariak" (basque singers) with a traditional Basque song.

    Miguel Madariaga, the general manager of team, said that the goal for 2007 will be "working like a team, acting like a team and exciting the fans, because that way victories will come." José Antonio Ardanza, the president of the company Euskaltel, honoured the team as "a new project that adapts itself to the times. We are a team in which everybody is working for everybody", an important thing to Haimar Zubeldia, one of the leaders of the team, who considered this as "perhaps the thing we had forgotten during the past few years".

    Ardanza thanked Leblanc for "having opened the doors of the Tour de France to Euskaltel since 2001." Juan José Ibarretxe, the president of the Basque government, thanked Leblanc saying, "The Basque country needs the Tour." Leblanc for his part recognized that he always had a "special affection for the Basque team" and marked it as "an exemplary team."

    Another honoree was Roberto Laiseka, who had to end his career after thirteen years with Euskaltel due to a bad fall in the Giro d'Italia. He recommended warmly that fans should "continue supporting Euskaltel 100 %!"

    The team, whose changes are not only noticeable from inside, has changed the colour of its clothes for the first time in many years. The jersey that is still orange, but a little brighter, shorts will have black instead of blue accents. The new scheme appealed to Samuel Sánchez, one of the leaders of the...

  • Ullrich spokesman responds to Swiss Olympic statement

    Article published:
    January 27, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Jan Ullrich's spokesman Michael Lang has responded to statements made yesterday from Bernhard...

    Jan Ullrich's spokesman Michael Lang has responded to statements made yesterday from Bernhard Welten, who is conducting Swiss Olympic's investigation of Jan Ullrich. "Mr. Welten's public statements are inconsistent. The Swiss Federation's zig-zag course in the last few months is unbearable and is doing considerable damage to Jan Ullrich," Lang told Cyclingnews.

    Welten noted that the progress of his case depends on the outcome of criminal cases against Ullrich in Spain and Germany.

    "What is right, is this: Mr. Welten is not in the position to open a proceeding; for one thing, his institution has no jurisdiction, and for another, he has no evidence against Jan Ullrich. Welten's strange announcements present a misleading view of the facts and the legal position." According to Lang. "Especially in view of the responsibility, that he has in his professional duties, one should expect more sensitivity in order to avoid damaging the personal rights of Jan Ullrich."

    Lang concluded, "We assume that Mr. Welten will shortly make public the end of his investigations."

  • Mourey out of 'cross Worlds?

    Article published:
    January 27, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Monika Prell

    Francis Mourey, one of the dark horses for this year's cyclo-cross World Championships, might not be...

    Francis Mourey, one of the dark horses for this year's cyclo-cross World Championships, might not be able to make the start line. According to the Belgian press, the French winner of the World Cup race in Treviso was out to pre-ride the course on Friday when he crashed hard on his face. He was taken to the hospital, and while nothing serious was found, he will remain overnight for observation.

  • Lefevere hits back

    Patrick Lefevere holds 'evidence'
    Article published:
    January 27, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé in Kortrijk

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Kortrijk Patrick Lefevere gave a press conference at a hotel in Kortrijk,...

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Kortrijk

    Patrick Lefevere gave a press conference at a hotel in Kortrijk, Belgium on Friday afternoon to respond to the accusations from the newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. At the conference, Lefevere read a statement in which he often referred to 'dirt injections', describing the methods of the Belgian newspaper and its journalist Maarten Michielssens.

    "The way I have been tackled is inconceivable. A newspaper – worthy of that name – would never use such methods," Lefevere said. One by one, the Quick Step manager refuted the accusations that have been made, emphasizing the damage that they have caused. "Luc Cappelle – I won't bother to describe this man - has been presented wrongly as a close friend. His wife already said that he made those statements on demand of Dedecker [the Belgian Senator], and other media who knew about his statements weighed it and found it all wanting."

    "The newspaper used one known fact, which is true but 30 years-old [referring to his admitted use of drugs - ed.], and they attach papers full of nonsense to it without delivering any proof," Lefevere said. Referring to the allegations that he had become addicted to drugs, and had to enter a rehab programme to kick the habit, the 52 year-old said, "I put up a premium of 50,000 euro if someone could show me that centre. One week has passed since then and nobody reacted."

    Lefevere showed papers that he claimed were proof that his riders didn't have extremely high hematocrit levels during recent editions of Gent-Wevelgem. "With approval from team doctor Van Mol, I received the results from the UCI tests after those races. I demand the UCI, WADA, … to make everything public." He also blamed the newspaper for not offering him a reasonable chance to reply. "They called me the evening before the publication while they knew I was in a meeting in...