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First Edition Cycling News for November 13, 2005

Date published:
November 13, 2005, 0:00 GMT
  • TIAA-CREF donates bike to cancer survivor

    Article published:
    November 13, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    John Stevenson

    Jonathan Vaughters TIAA-CREF team has donated one of its Javelin team bikes to Gail Brantley, a...

    Jonathan Vaughters TIAA-CREF team has donated one of its Javelin team bikes to Gail Brantley, a cancer survivor from Durham North Carolina whose bike was stolen last month.

    Brantley was heartbroken when her bike was stolen from her home in the Willowhaven neighbourhood of Durham on October 25. More than just a bike, it was a symbol of her survival and subsequent participation in fund-raising rides for cancer research. It was decorated with the names of 50 other cancer survivors. "What that bike means to me it can't mean that to anybody else," Brantley told the Durham Herald-Sun after the bike was stolen.

    Enter Branan Cooper, a Duke University graduate from Landenberg, Pa who read about Brantley's plight on the Herald-Sun's website. Touched by Brantley's bad luck, Cooper set about trying to get her a replacement, initially contacting Cannondale, the makers of Brantley's stolen bike.

    Cannondale offered to co-ordinate a publicity campaign to get Brantley's bike back, but did not feel able to supply a free replacement as the company gets many such requests. However, as stolen bikes are often stripped, repainted and rebuilt to disguise their origins, Cooper did not think there was much chance of finding Brantley's bike, even with the offer of a reward of a Cannondale mountain bike for the bike's return.

    Cooper seemed about ready to give up when he heard from TIAA-CREF director Jon Vaughters. Vaughters is a former team-mate of cycling's most famous cancer survivor, Lance Armstrong, so Brantley's story hit home.

    Vaughters told the Sun-Herald that his team gets 30 to 40 bicycles a year from its bike sponsor. Those bikes are usually sold at the end of the year, but Vaughters decided to give one to Brantley. "It seems like the right thing to do instead of selling the bicycle to someone," Vaughters said.

    All of this had been going on behind the scenes, with Gail Brantley unaware of the generosity of strangers that was...

  • Doping sanctions

    Article published:
    November 13, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    John Stevenson

    The UCI has announced that the following riders have been sanctioned for doping offences. Person...

    The UCI has announced that the following riders have been sanctioned for doping offences.

    Person Pauletto (Brazil), did not check in for the anti-doping control during the UCI MTB World Cup, at Santa Catarina, Brazil, July 2, 2005, sanctioned by the Confederacão Brasileira De Ciclismo, suspension of 2 years from July 2, 2005 to July 2, 2007.

    Francisco Miguel Silva Ferreira (Portugal), tested positive for salbutamol during the MTB Portugal Cup, Portugal, May 15, 2005, sanctioned by the Federacão Portuguesa De Ciclismo, warning and suspension of 1 month from July 25, 2005 to August 25, 2005.

  • UCI Continental Circuits recommence

    Article published:
    November 13, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    John Stevenson

    While the ProTour season runs from March to October, the UCI's Continental Tour circuits for...

    While the ProTour season runs from March to October, the UCI's Continental Tour circuits for second-tier teams are year-round competitions, reflecting the seasons in areas such as Oceania and Africa, where racing continues during the traditional 'out-of-competition' period.

    The UCI Europe Tour opened on October 15 (slightly bending the notion that these series fit with the local season), while the Africa Tour, the America Tour, the Asia Tour and the Oceania Tour began on October 1. These series have already yielded their first leaders after just a few weeks of racing.

    Ukrainian Sergiy Matveyev (Ceramica Panaria - Navigare) leads the Europe Tour, while France's David Jungels tops the the Africa Tour. Giro king of the mountains in 2005, Venezuelan José Rujano Guillen (Selle Italia-Colombia) heads the America Tour, while Ireland's David McCann leads the UCI Asia Tour. Finally, Australian Simon Gerrans (AG2r Prévoyance) leads the UCI Oceania after his victory in the Herald-Sun Tour.

  • TIAA-CREF confirms Pate and Creed

    Article published:
    November 13, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    John Stevenson

    The TIAA-CREF team has confirmed that its ranks will be strengthened next year by the addition of...

    The TIAA-CREF team has confirmed that its ranks will be strengthened next year by the addition of two of the USA's best younger riders. Danny Pate, 25, the 2001 under-23 time trial world champion, and Mike Creed, 24, who this year rode for Discovery Channel, will both join the team for 2006.

    TIAA-CREF is expected to spend more time in Europe in 2006, and has hired former CSC, US Postal and Motorola directeur sportif Johnny Weltz as its director for European racing.

  • Millar aims for Tour comeback

    Article published:
    November 13, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    John Stevenson

    British rider David Millar, who is currently serving a two-year ban for possession of EPO, hopes to...

    British rider David Millar, who is currently serving a two-year ban for possession of EPO, hopes to return to racing in the 2006 Tour de France.

    Millar is about to sign a deal with Saunier Duval, according to an interview in The Times, and will be able to race from June 23, though he will have to be selected by the team in order to line up in Strasbourg on July 1.

    After his ban, Millar fled France and relocated in Hayfield, Derbyshire and stopped riding. "I had a long time off the bike, when I just didn't even touch it," he told The Times. "Last summer I started riding again, around the Peak District. I loved it and within a month felt like I was flying. It reminded me that actually I am quite good at it."

    It was a crucial point in Millar's personal redemption, which required him to come back from further down than many riders convicted of drug use.

    "Things kept getting worse, with financial issues and a lot of other escalating worries," Millar said of events after French police found an empty EPO vial at his home. "It was very hard. I think we all deal with those situations and get out of them differently. I had my own way of getting through it and getting my head back above water.

    "I lost everything and was punished, but that's what punishment is. You don't come out of it easily. The circumstances dictated that I ended up paying a very high price for my errors compared to other people."

    Millar believes his youth and inexperience led to his downfall, and wants to see more out-of-competition testing to deter other riders from following his path.

    "The UCI has to instigate more out-of-competition and random testing," he said. "I've hardly heard of any of the boys undergoing random testing by the UCI. So where is all this testing? Random controls are the only way to stop it all.

    "By all means test the top Tour favourites, with random tests on a regular basis. Cycling needs those kind of testing...

  • Mixed reactions to mountainous Giro

    Damiano Cunego and companion.
    Article published:
    November 13, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    John Stevenson

    The unveiling yesterday of the route of the 2006 Giro d'Italia has brought mixed reactions from top...

    The unveiling yesterday of the route of the 2006 Giro d'Italia has brought mixed reactions from top Italian riders and their managers. The route is tailored for climbers, with several brutal days in the mountains in the final week, an arrangement that's reminiscent of the route of next year's Tour de France, announced recently.

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Caffita) won the 2004 Giro d'Italia and is looking forward to trying to repeat that feat in 2006. Cunego's 2005 season was marred by mononucleosis - it's a year he wants to forget and move on.

    "It is a great Giro, very hard, especially in the last week," said Cunego. "I hope to be like in 2004, also better. Now I don't want to think anymore about my 2005 season. I'm calm and optimistic, I'll try to make this Giro as a protagonist."

    Cunego will be targeting stage 17, a 158km battle from Termeno to Plan de Corones that takes in 50km of climbing and finishes at 2273m. The last 5.5km of the stage go up an unpaved gravel road next to a ski slope with sections that have a 24 percent grade. "I particularly like the Plan de Corones stage," said Cunego. "It will make selection and I'll be there."

    Cunego's team manager Giuseppe Saronni was also happy with the Giro route. "It is a beautiful Giro," he said, "a Giro for the climbers, excellent for Damiano's characteristics."

    Gianni Savio also likes the route. Savio is directeur sportif of the Colombia-Selle Italia squad whose diminutive Venezuelan climber Jose' Rujano took the third podium spot in the 2005 Giro and blitzed the mountains classification.

    "It's a great Giro," Savio told Datasport, "that evokes the glamour of bike racing of old, and the winner will certainly be a climber. We have a lot of them in the team, besides Rujano there are other South Americans and Italians. There is Missaglia, Barbero and especially Wladimir Belli who hopes to improve on the results of the...