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First Edition Cycling News for July 16, 2007

Date published:
July 16, 2007, 1:00 BST
  • Ullrich blocks documents release

    Article published:
    July 16, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Jan Ullrich's attorneys are trying to prevent Swiss investigators from turning over documents from...

    Jan Ullrich's attorneys are trying to prevent Swiss investigators from turning over documents from the Bank Credit Suisse to German investigators, the German news magazine FOCUS has reported. The bank account statements were taken during a search of Ullrich's house last September and from the bank.

    The documents are currently being held by the district attorney in the Swiss canton of Thurgau. The German district attorney's office in Bonn hopes to use the documents in its fraud investigation of Ullrich, by showing how much the German cyclist paid to Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes.

    In addition, the magazine said that Belgian prosecutors are investigating Ullrich's mentor Rudy Pevenage for tax problems.

  • Cow takes on the Devil at Le Tour

    The Devil
    Article published:
    July 16, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    By Susan Westemeyer The Tour de France can be dangerous, and not just for the riders, as the "Tour...

    By Susan Westemeyer

    The Tour de France can be dangerous, and not just for the riders, as the "Tour Devil", Didi Senft of Germany, found out in the Alps. Senft, who appears on the mountain stages in his devil's costume to urge the riders on, apparently found a cow who doesn't approve of his act.

    The cow attacked him, and tore a sleeve of his costume, the German agency sid has reported.

  • Milram missing Petacchi

    Can Zabel bring Green back to Milram?
    Article published:
    July 16, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Gregor Brown in Tignes Milram Directeur Sportif Vittorio Algeri has been guiding his team through...

    By Gregor Brown in Tignes

    Milram Directeur Sportif Vittorio Algeri has been guiding his team through the 2007 Tour in search of a stage win without star sprinter Alessandro Petacchi, who was sidelined just prior to the Tour. The 33 year-old sprinter had a non-negative test for the asthma drug Salbutamol during this year's Giro d'Italia. Although he had dispensation for the asthma product, the levels that were recorded at the Giro were abnormally high, leading to CONI's investigation and his team has had to search for wins without him.

    "Today (stage 8 to Tigne) we will try to have all the riders together at the finish and basta," Algeri said to Cyclingnews from Bergamo on Sunday morning in Le Grand-Bornand. "This is our big objective. We want to have Zabel in Green for Paris but our first objective is to win a stage."

    Zabel became Milram's sprint-man when Petacchi was sidelined by his case with CONI. "I have not heard from (Petacchi) in these last days but we are waiting for the 24th (for Petacchi's hearing in front of the the Italian Cycling Federation)," Algeri said. "We have a lot of faith but we are also worried because these days there is an atmosphere to find guilt at any cost. And maybe in this moment they don't use the same scale for everyone. For a simple spray, he maybe could be disqualified for year. This would be truly too much.

    Some sponsors have pulled out in cycling's dark moments but Algeri says he believes Milram has faith and he is assured by his riders' performance in the first week of the Tour. "We are in difficult time. However, in the first week of the Tour we have made a lot of publicity for the team with the riders and the escapes. Zabel had the green jersey, and for all of this they are content. There is bad publicity but there is also a lot of...

  • Aussies endure a 'shocker' on stage 8

    Stuart O'Grady (Team CSC) is lifted onto a stretcher
    Article published:
    July 16, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown in Tignes

    After years of scrapes and injuries but usually always managing to battle through, the Tour de...

    After years of scrapes and injuries but usually always managing to battle through, the Tour de France's Australian contingent of six riders, to put it in the local term, had a 'shocker' on Stage 8 after three riders either abandoned or were eliminated in one day. It was undoubtedly Australia's worst-ever day in the Tour de France, a day filled with drama, one that will be remembered by many Australian cycling fans as serious crashes took out marquee riders while aggression at the front shook up the GC contest.

    A senior Australian cycling figure said to Cyclingnews, "(it was) a tough stage for the Aussies last night. After the Australians more often than not avoid major incident, accident and injury in the Tour over the past seven to eight years, we have copped our negative share in one shot."

    No single rider could be more disappointed with the turn of events on Sunday than podium hopeful, three-time world time trial champion and T-Mobile's GC rider, Mick Rogers (T-Mobile).

    Rogers had become maillot jaune virtuel on the road and was looking to become the first Australian to win the yellow jersey in a mountain stage of the Tour for many years. He crossed the Cormet de Roselend, 65 kilometres from the finish in the lead group with eventual stage winner, Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank). Suddenly, on the tricky descent with 54 kilometres remaining, Rogers and fellow breakway rider, Spaniard David Arroyo (Caisse d'Epargne) crashed on a tight left hander; the Caisse d'Epargne man went over the barriers into a ditch while Rogers hit the deck on the road surface.

    Both riders seemed - at the time - to have no major damage and quickly got back on their bikes in pursuit of the six front runners. (The descent of the Cormet de Roselend has caught out a few riders in the past, including Discovery Channel DS Johan Bruyneel in the '96 TdF (see

  • Vinokourov: heroism breeds popularity in Tour

    Victor in the 2006 Vuelta a Espana
    Article published:
    July 16, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet in Tignes with assistance from Steve Medcroft

    By Jean-François Quénet in Tignes with assistance from Steve Medcroft When the 2007 Tour de France...

    By Jean-François Quénet in Tignes with assistance from Steve Medcroft

    When the 2007 Tour de France started, race favorite Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) was riding under a slightly tarnished image when it was revealed that he worked with controversial Italian doctor Michele Ferrari. But there's nothing better than a spectacular crash and the grace of a rider gritting his teeth and performing while injured to bring about a sympathetic response from the fans.

    Not to say that Vino's crash on stage 5 (Chablis - Autun) wasn't serious; Anyone who saw him exiting the hospital of Beaune at 11.45pm on Thursday with bandages on both knees couldn't have thought he'd be able to go far in the Tour de France. Vino himself was just happy that nothing was broken. The next morning, he could hardly walk from his hotel room to the Astana team bus.

    Vinokourov received between 15 to 30 stitches (according to different sources inside the Astana team) applied loose enough so the Kasakh can still pedal correctly.

    Stage 6 to Bourg-en-Bresse was a crucial test for Vinokourov. He spent most of the race at the back of the bunch with three of his team-mates and managed to stay with the peloton to the end of the day. He also kept pace with the contenders in stage 7, the first mountain stage of the 2007 Tour. When he arrived in Le Grand-Bornand, he said: "Maybe I gave the impression of climbing well, but don't get it wrong, I was suffering a lot. Finishing with the best guys is like a victory for me."

    Read the entire Alexandre Vinokourov feature here.