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First Edition Cycling News for March 10, 2007

Date published:
March 10, 2007, 0:00 GMT
  • McGee out of Paris-Nice

    Brad McGee
    Article published:
    March 10, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Française Des Jeux rider Bradley McGee will not make it to the start of this year's Paris-Nice. The...

    Française Des Jeux rider Bradley McGee will not make it to the start of this year's Paris-Nice. The Australian is suffering from an ongoing ear infection, which already made him miss out on his season start program, GP Chiasso and GP Lugano last weekend, and will not be able to test his legs in the Paris-Nice prologue in Issy-les-Moulineaux on Sunday.

    "It's better that he heals correctly, without participating in Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico," Française Des Jeux sports director Marc Madiot told L'Equipe on Thursday.

    McGee will also have to leave out the Track World's in Mallorca at the end of the month. Instead, he will participate in a team training camp next week in Toulon, and take up competition again at the GP Cholet on April 25. He is also scheduled to race at the Criterium International from March 31-April 1.

  • Mattan: Museeuw and EPO

    Article published:
    March 10, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Nico Mattan admitted in the Belgian press that EPO and other doping products were frequently used by...

    Nico Mattan admitted in the Belgian press that EPO and other doping products were frequently used by riders in his earlier riding days. Mattan, who currently rides for the Professional Continental DFL-Cyclingnews team, was interviewed by the regional weekly Belgian newspaper Krant concerning Johan Museeuw's confession that he had used EPO.

    "I think that was a mistake for Johan. He must have said in fact, 'Yes, I have taken EPO'. And then? Johan certainly did nothing more than any other rider," Mattan said. "At that time the whole peloton was riding on EPO." Did Mattan ever use forbidden products? "Ach, who hasn't done a bad thing in his life?" he answered.

  • No Ullrich at Volksbank presentation

    Ullrich.
    Article published:
    March 10, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Susan Westemeyer Team Volksbank was planning on Tuesday to present not only its squad for the...

    By Susan Westemeyer

    Team Volksbank was planning on Tuesday to present not only its squad for the 2007 season but also its newest team advisor - the recently retired Jan Ullrich. However, the team announced Friday evening that Ullrich had decided not to appear at the team presentation in Vienna, Austria, in order not to take attention away from the team itself.

    "It is very important to me that the only one who stands in the foreground at the team presentation is the Volksbank team," Ullrich said. "The media reports of the last few days and weeks lead me to doubt that this would be so, if I were to attend. This is not about one person, but about 17 ambitious cyclists. The name Jan Ullrich should not be in the middle. Together we can do great things, as soon as things have calmed down."

    Thomas Kofler, Team Manager of the Austrian Professional Continental team, said, "Jan is thoroughly supportive of our team. Like us, he has a heart and passion for cycling. So I understand and accept his suggestion, which shows that our relationship is based on friendship and trust."

    Austrian television station ORF had originally reported Friday afternoon that Ullrich and Volksbank had agreed to part ways. It reported that Ullrich suggested that he and the team should talk again when the doping charges against him were settled, and that Kofler had agreed. This announcement was subsequently denied by both Ullrich and Team Volksbank.

  • Blood tests at Driedaagse

    Article published:
    March 10, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    The UCI carried out blood tests before the start of the Driedaagse van West Vlaanderen Friday...

    The UCI carried out blood tests before the start of the Driedaagse van West Vlaanderen Friday morning. The teams involved were Predictor-Lotto, Rabobank, Wiesenhof, Team Slipstream and Agritubel. All riders were allowed to start.

  • UCI relieved over the new ProTour situation

    Pat McQuaid
    Article published:
    March 10, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Initially intending to talk about the anti-doping program only, Pat McQuaid started his official...

    Initially intending to talk about the anti-doping program only, Pat McQuaid started his official speech at the UCI press conference Friday with the ProTour situation but didn't come up with new information.

    "We are relieved that all parties have had the courage to return to the path of dialog. It's an act of responsibility... The UCI has three missions: regulating the sport and assuring its integrity, promoting the sport, being the meeting place of cycling communities around the world... The UCI has a vision for the sport to move forward... Cycling has never had a brilliant future as today."

    Talking again about the convention agreed on Monday between the Grand Tours and the UCI, he said: "We are not completely happy but we feel a sense of relief. We'll discuss for one year. Everyone has to be reasonable."

    Even without Unibet.com taking part in all the races, there will be a ProTour ranking and a ProTour ceremony organized beside the official protocol podium at the races run by ASO, RCS Sport and Unipublic. It will be the case at the end of next week for the winner of Paris-Nice. "I don't think it's humiliating," McQuaid answered to the press. "It's a short term situation for the good of cycling."

    He also made clear that "there is still a risk of sanctions by the UCI. Personally, I have asked that there would be no sanctions, but I'm only the president. The board has the responsibilities for the order of cycling. At some stages, I've been really afraid that teams would boycott Paris-Nice."

    UCI accepts French judge's decision

    Right after the anti-doping program presentation, Pat McQuaid got wind of the French judge's decision to not include Unibet.com in Paris-Nice. "We have to accept it then, it's a judicial decision," the UCI president said. "We gave Unibet a ProTour license with good will."

    Asked whether or not the UCI could or should have anticipated...

  • Hondo must serve two years

    Article published:
    March 10, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Tinkoff Credit System's Danilo Hondo's season will start later than expected after the Court for...

    Tinkoff Credit System's Danilo Hondo's season will start later than expected after the Court for Arbitration for Sport ruled that the German must serve more time on his suspension to fulfil the two year penalty that was upheld in January. Hondo, who tested positive for banned substance Carphedon during the 2005 Vuelta a Murcia, challenged his original ban in the Swiss courts, and won a temporary reprieve when the Swiss courts overturned the suspension imposed by the Swiss Cycling Union.

    Hondo returned to racing in April of 2006, having served just over one year of the suspension before being banned again by the Swiss Supreme Court in January 2007. He was originally scheduled to return to racing on March 31, but CAS must now recalculate his ban, throwing the German's 2007 season into doubt.

  • UCI unveils new anti-doping program

    Australian Anne Gripper
    Article published:
    March 10, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet in Paris

    By Jean-François Quénet in Paris UCI anti-doping department manager Anne Gripper has presented the...

    Blood profiles to be used to screen for doping

    By Jean-François Quénet in Paris

    UCI anti-doping department manager Anne Gripper has presented the new UCI ProTour anti-doping program as a direct response to the Operación Puerto and Floyd Landis' alleged doping case that tarnished the 2006 cycling season and resulted in the loss of team sponsors Liberty Seguros, Würth, Comunidad Valenciana, Phonak, iShares, among others.

    "The 100% Against Doping initiative represents a quantum leap forward for the cycling world in its efforts to fight doping. Our objective is clear: to give cycling the best anti-doping program in the world. Only clean riders should win; those who cheat should be caught; those trying to cheat should be discouraged. Together we can eliminate doping from our sport."

    "100%" means that 100% of the ProTour riders will be subject to unannounced out-of-competition tests, especially in periods of preparation for their main goals. All of them will also undergo pre-race blood tests at least four times a year. A haematological profile (blood) will be created for 100% of the ProTour riders and a steroid profile (urine) will be put in place for selected riders. All the riders will also have to sign a commitment to provide a sample of their DNA if necessary. There will be a code of conduct for everyone as well and it will include high financial sanctions.

    "The program will have the ability to recognize the clean riders", Gripper stated. Profiling will not mean giving bonus to the clean ones, nor banning the suspected riders, but "it will help chasing them as it happened before with Raimondas Rumsas and Tyler Hamilton", UCI ProTour manager Alain Rumpf explained. "Names will remain confidential until the right time, Gripper added. "The program guarantees anonymity, confidentiality and security. We want to restore 100% confidence."

    Bob Stapleton, the new manager of...

  • Giro Problems for Française des Jeux and Predictor Lotto?

    Article published:
    March 10, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    By Shane Stokes While Unibet.com’s general manager Koen Terryn believes that the team no longer...

    By Shane Stokes

    While Unibet.com’s general manager Koen Terryn believes that the team no longer faces any question marks over racing in Italy, having proved to RCS Sport that their sponsors have a fully valid licence to practice on Italian soil, he says that two other teams may run into problems if the same standards of law are applied.

    "We have shown that we have a licence but that could pose some problems to Française des Jeux and the Lotto team," he said on Friday. "Their sponsors don't actually have a license for that country. I really don’t have anything against those teams, it is not our intention to stop them from riding in the Giro. But that scenario has arisen after our case of today."

  • Unibet Paris-Nice appeal fails

    General Manager Koen Terryn
    Article published:
    March 10, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    By Shane Stokes On a day when Jimmy Casper won the first stage of the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen...

    By Shane Stokes

    On a day when Jimmy Casper won the first stage of the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen in Belgium and Baden Cooke took over the leader’s jersey in the Tour of Murcia in Spain, the Unibet.com team have had disappointment in France with regards to Sunday’s Paris-Nice.

    After being left off the start list by ASO, the Swedish-registered squad took a court action on Wednesday to try to force the organiser to grant them a ride in the opening ProTour-counting race. However a judge in the Nanterre region near Paris closed the door to this solution on Friday, removing the last hope for the team of getting a ride.

    Full details of the ruling have yet to be clarified, but general manger Koen Terryn said that he was not happy with the ruling. "I am disappointed - I can't believe it, because even with a neutral jersey, we cannot participate [in Paris-Nice]."

    Terryn said that he was not sure what the judge’s reason was, or if it would also apply to other races promoted by ASO. It will be important to ascertain if the judge sided with ASO in their insistence that they have no binding obligation to invite Unibet - something which was reinforced after Monday’s peace deal with the UCI - or if his ruling related to French laws prohibiting advertising by gambling companies.

    If it is the latter, Terryn told Cyclingnews that this could have very big implications for sport in France. "I am very disappointed, and what the judge has said has a lot of consequences [if he rejected the team’s application due to the gambling legislation]. Werder Bremen and AC Milan, the champions league football teams, are sponsored by Bwin. So now, is it the case that even with the neutral jersey they may not participate any more in the champions league if they are playing in France against French teams? If so, the decision of the judge has a very, very...