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First Edition Cycling News for May 18, 2007

Date published:
May 18, 2007, 1:00 BST
  • Fantasy Giro Game entry closes soon!

    Tifosi glasses
    Article published:
    May 18, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski in Malibu, California

    There's time still to join in this year's Giro game. Win a Wilier Triestina Izoard Lampre-Fondital...

    There's time still to join in this year's Giro game. Win a Wilier Triestina Izoard Lampre-Fondital team replica bicycle worth US$4,750! You can join until stage six begins on Friday, May 18, and you can compete equally with players that have joined earlier in the tour.

    Deadline for joining

    The deadlines for joining the game on Friday May 18 across the world are as follows:

    10:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time)
    04:00 EDT (Eastern Daylight Time, North America)
    01:00 PDT (Pacific Daylight Time, North America)
    09:00 BST (British Summer Time)
    18:00 AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time)
    08:00 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)

    You can play for free for the first 5 stages! Try the game out and see how best to play. It's easy to play the Grande Tour games - all you need to do is pick your dream team of 15 from the riders racing in this year's Giro start list. Then each day pick nine riders to race for your fantasy team from these 15. You'll need a good combination of climbers, sprinters and general classification riders. For more details go to the rules section of the site. It's a great way to follow the Giro.

    First four Daily Stage Winners announced

    We are delighted to confirm the first four winners of the Daily Stage Prizes here at Fantasy Cyclingnews. It's been a tough battle each day at the top with an unprecedented amount of high scoring teams in this year's game.

    STAGE 1 - Manager "Slovensko" with team "aussie" *
    STAGE 2 - Manager "Zeeman" with team "Empire 2"
    STAGE 3 - Manager "Hercules III" with team "E4"
    STAGE 4 - Manager "Dr Do Little" with team "Daniel's Delight"

    * Note there were three...

  • Kodak takes shot at Irish RAS

    Article published:
    May 18, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski in Malibu, California

    American continental squad Kodak Gallery will touch down in Dublin, Ireland today where the squad...

    American continental squad Kodak Gallery will touch down in Dublin, Ireland today where the squad will contest the FDB Insurance RAS next week. Contesting the eight stage race will be a landmark occasion for the squad, which is making its debut in Europe.

    "For our organization, this is an exciting day," explained spokesperson Rob O'Dea. "Over the past year, the focus of our organization has been to set a foundation for the program's growth and to showcase our world-class riders. Five NRC wins in the last three weeks, including two on one day, speak volumes to the talent, depth and character of this team. We are eager to showcase the program in a true international stage race."

    Fronting the squad's lineup is Canadian National Champion Dominique Rollin. He has taken three victories for the squad this season, including the Roswell, Walterboro and Jacksonville NRC events.

    Kodak Gallery roster: Dominique Rollin, Mark Walters, Jesse Anthony, Josh Thornton, and Ben Raby.

  • Triple Crown teams announced

    Article published:
    May 18, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski in Malibu, California

    The Commerce Bank Triple Crown of Cycling has announced the professional men's teams that will be...

    The Commerce Bank Triple Crown of Cycling has announced the professional men's teams that will be competing in the three race series this year. The series is made up of races in Lancaster on June 3, Reading on June 7 and concluded in Philadelphia on June 10. The tough Philadelphia race that started 23 years ago and is notorious for 'The Manayunk Wall' has become the biggest one day road race in North and South America.

    Those sending squads to this year's event include most of America's top continental teams and ProTour teams T-Mobile and Team CSC. The squads are expected to confirm their respective rider lineups as the event draws closer.

    Men's teams for Triple Crown: AEG-Toshiba-Jetnetwork Pro Cycling Team (USA), BMC Racing Team (USA), Caico Cycling Team (Col), Calyon - Litespeed Pro Cycling Team (Can), Colavita-Sutter Home P/B Cooking Light (USA), Equipe Valee De L'aluminium De Vinci (Can) (Lancaster And Reading Only), Health Net P/B Maxxis (USA), Jelly Belly (USA), Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling Team (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast (USA), Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling Team P/B Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (USA), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team (USA), Nerac Pro Cycling (USA), Priority Health P/B Bissel (USA), Rite Aid Pro Cycling (USA), Rock Racing (USA), Successfulliving.Com P/B Parkpre (USA) (Reading And Philadelphia Only), Symmetrics Cycling Team (Can), T-Mobile Team (Ger), Team CSC (Den), Team Slipstream (USA), Tecos De La Universidad Autonoma De Guadalajara (Mex), and Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team (USA).

  • PCT announces Espoir stage race in Pennsylvania

    Article published:
    May 18, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski in Malibu, California

    US race promoters, Pro Cycling Tour, organisers of the Philadelphia Commerce Bank Classic, have...

    US race promoters, Pro Cycling Tour, organisers of the Philadelphia Commerce Bank Classic, have announced a new race for the 2008 calendar - an all-espoir race called the Tour of Pennsylvania. The race will be a a six day stage race for racers under 25 years of age from around the world.

    The race's title sponsors American Eagle Outfitters and Highmark Healthy High 5, have committed to supporting the event, which will have a total of $250,000 awarded in stage prizes, overall general classification and special competitions – making it the world's largest-ever purse for U25 riders.

    The USA Cycling-sanctioned tour is being organized by Tour of PA, LLC, a partnership between Pro Cycling Tour, LLC of Norristown, PA and ISM-USA of Pittsburgh. The race will begin with a Prologue Time Trial in Philadelphia and cover approximately 500 miles over six days (June 24-29, 2008), with finish-line events in Valley Forge, Harrisburg, Bedford and the Laurel Highlands, and a race grand finale in Pittsburgh to help celebrate the southwestern Pennsylvania region's 250th anniversary.

    "The route's combination of challenging terrain and in town circuits make it the ideal format for a stage race," said Jerry Casale, chief operating officer of Pro Cycling Tour, LLC. "Plus we're thrilled that the race will showcase cycling's wave of new, up and coming talent."

    In addition to inviting Espoir teams from around the world, organizers expect to include several American teams made up entirely of riders under 25, like USA Cycling's Development Team and the newly-formed Pennsylvania Lightning, an all-Pennsylvania squad being directed by former Olympic Team coach, Jack Simes. "Our goal is to field a top team that will represent the state's homegrown talent and give Pennsylvanians their own local favourites to follow," said Simes.

  • Flexpoint going for three in France

    Amber Neben listens as the audience
    Article published:
    May 18, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski in Malibu, California

    Team Flexpoint's Amber Neben will lead the squad's lineup at the Tour de l'Aude, which starts today...

    Team Flexpoint's Amber Neben will lead the squad's lineup at the Tour de l'Aude, which starts today in France, in an attempt to claim her third consecutive victory. The American took her first victory at the race in 2005, beating home the previous year's winner Trixi Worrack.

    "We will absolutely go for the third overall win in a row" says team spokesperson Jean-Paul van Poppel. "The team time-trial is a specialty and an advantage for us, but the real time will not be crucial to make a real difference in this race."

    Neben will face stiff competition from her rival teams with both T-Mobile and Menikini-Gysko announcing strong lineups for the race yesterday. Amongst those announced was two time victory Judith Arndt who is backed by a strong T-Mobile squad.

    "Further it's a disadvantage that there will not be any mountaintop finishes," added van Poppel. "Amber Neben is not that good in descends so she can't make bigger differences. Also the missing of a real individual time-trial is a disadvantage for our team."

    Team Flexpoint roster: Amber Neben (USA), Loes Gunnewijk (Ned), Luise Keller (Ger), Susanne Ljungskog (Zwe), Madeleine Sandig (Ger), and Iris Slappendel (Ned).

  • CSC antidoping doctor responds to 'irregularities'

    Article published:
    May 18, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski in Malibu, California

    Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard, the physician in charge of Team CSC's aggressive antidoping programme...

    Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard, the physician in charge of Team CSC's aggressive antidoping programme responded today to reports that two rides on the team had shown 'irregularities' in their blood tests.

    "Due to various misunderstandings in recent media outlets, I feel the need to clarify a number of things. It has been reported, that two riders have shown abnormal values in their test results and due to this, [and] these two riders were under special observation. This is completely false. All values showing even minimal fluctuations have been followed up by further rigorous out of competition tests. These tests have all shown negative results and all variations in the values can be considered physiological and perfectly normal."

    Damsgaard went on to announce that they will soon release the results of the 400 tests taken as part of the program to date.

  • Caisse d'Epargne respond to Valverde 'speculation'

    Article published:
    May 18, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski in Malibu, California

    Spanish ProTour team Caisse d'Epargne will consider legal action against any new attempts to "throw...

    Spanish ProTour team Caisse d'Epargne will consider legal action against any new attempts to "throw doubt [through] public opinion based on unfounded speculation" in regard's to its riders involvement in Operación Puerto. The squad's declaration comes after an article in Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper revealed further information on the case in recent weeks. The article claimed a blood bag, allegedly linked to Caisse d'Epargne rider Alejandro Valverde, showed traces of EPO.

    The team's statement declared three points "with the greatest respect, but also with the indignation that such unfounded news [was published]". The points, as follows, address the squad's stance on the allegations, and DNA testing:

    1 All the riders forming part of our professional staff, whatever their nationality, subscribed in a contractual way the clause by which they commit themselves to provide their DNA. As a consequence it not true to say that among those cyclists, some of them refused to give their DNA.

    2 With regard to Alejandro Valverde, if there would be a doubt as for his implication in the Operación Puerto, these last days we received information from all the competent authorities, national, international, legal, administrative and sporting, and one more time, and they are already numerous, we confirm that there is no new fact, indication, proof or investigation, which allows, neither directly or indirectly, to connect him to the Operación Puerto.

    3 Lastly, we want to highlight the fact, if what precedes is not sufficient, that Alejandro Valverde, present at this act, declared that he completely agrees so that his DNA is checked with any element of proof existing within the framework of the Operación Puerto, as soon as the Courts of competent jurisdiction would consider it necessary or convenient.

    The organisation and its sponsor, French...

  • Merckx won't testify in Landis hearing

    Article published:
    May 18, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski in Malibu, California

    Eddy Merckx has been called as a witness in the Floyd Landis hearing, but has no intention of going....

    Eddy Merckx has been called as a witness in the Floyd Landis hearing, but has no intention of going. "What am I supposed to do there in America? I have no knowledge of this whole thing," he said, according to the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. "I found it strange that they asked me to be a witness."

    "I have nothing at all to do with this affair," the Belgian said, "so I will let it pass me by."

  • LeMond responds to threat, questioning

    Will Goeghegan
    Article published:
    May 18, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski in Malibu, California

    By Mark Zalewski in Malibu, California Following the testimony by Greg LeMond in the arbitration...

    By Mark Zalewski in Malibu, California

    Following the testimony by Greg LeMond in the arbitration hearing between the USADA and Floyd Landis, and the subsequent fall-out over an alleged threatening phone call made by the now former associate of Landis, Will Geoghegan, to LeMond the night before, LeMond addressed the assembled media. "I think if you read what [Landis] posted about me, I think there is another side of Floyd that the public has not seen," said LeMond in response to the alleged phone call made by Geoghegan.

    According to LeMond the alleged phone call was from a male who posed as his uncle and said things that made him shake. "I was shocked, absolutely shaking and shocked," said LeMond. "I think that the comprehension of his team about sexual abuse and people who were victims is reprehensible. I said it shows the extent of their ignorance, lack of intelligence or who they really are."

    "As I was leaving [Geoghegan] admitted that he called me and tried to apologize," LeMond said. "I plan on pursuing this through the police. It was a real threat - it was, I hate to say, creepy."

    Mr. Geoghegan declined comment as he quickly left the building with his girlfriend. Immediately following the recess, Landis' attorney Maurice Suh asked that the official record reflect that the business relationship between Mr. Landis and Mr. Geoghegan was dissolved, effective immediately.

    Landis' attorney Maurice Suh stated, "To the extent there has been any business relationship between Mr. Landis and Mr. Geoghegan, I would like to inform the panel that Mr. Landis has made the determination that Mr. Geoghegan's services are no longer required and they have separated their agreement as of this moment. And so Mr. Geoghegan is now terminated from the previous position he's had with Mr. Landis."

    LeMond was called by the USADA to testify because of another phone call, one that occurred between LeMond and Landis on August 6,...