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First Edition Cycling News, July 5, 2008

Date published:
July 05, 2008, 1:00 BST
  • Dean, Cheatley named to Kiwi Olympics squad

    Article published:
    July 05, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes in Brest

    Team Garmin-Chipotle's Julian Dean was named to the New Zealand Olympic cycling team this week. Dean...

    Team Garmin-Chipotle's Julian Dean was named to the New Zealand Olympic cycling team this week. Dean will be joined by Timothy Gudsell (Française des Jeux) and Glen Chadwick (Team Type 1) for the men's road race, while Joanne Kiesanowski will be the sole representative for the women's road race.

    Catherine Cheatley, who has accumulated good results in the United States racing for the Cheerwine team, and Peter Latham have been added to the Kiwi track team. They will join Samuel Bewley, Westley Gough, Greg Henderson, Hayden Roulston, Marc Ryan, Jesse Sergent and Alison Shanks.

    New Zealand had initially qualified three spots in the women's road race, but lost two after the UCI downgraded two events which had given the country ranking points. The New Zealand federation has appealed that decision, and expects to hear whether it will regain the spots. If it does, Cheatley and mountain biker Rosara Joseph will join Kiesanowski for that event.

  • Bourgain sets new French record

    Article published:
    July 05, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes in Brest

    Track sprinter Mickaël Bourgain set a new French record for the flying 200 metre at his national...

    Track sprinter Mickaël Bourgain set a new French record for the flying 200 metre at his national championships in Hyeres on Friday. The Cofidis rider set a time of 9.894 seconds, an average speed of 72.771 kilometres per hour. The new mark bests that of Gregory Baugé, 9.903 seconds, which was set in Cottbus, Germany.

    Baugé was not present to defend his title, he had to miss the championships after having oral surgery.

    Bourgain, a part of the 2008 World Champion team sprint squad from France also took the bronze in the individual sprint in Manchester.

  • MPCC teams confirm no corticoid use

    Article published:
    July 05, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes in Brest

    By Shane Stokes in Brest The ten member teams of the MPCC (Movement for a Credible Cycling) which...

    By Shane Stokes in Brest

    The ten member teams of the MPCC (Movement for a Credible Cycling) which will ride the Tour de France met on Friday in Brest, and confirmed that none of their riders has had oral or injectable use of corticoids in the 15 days leading up to the race.

    According to a MPCC press release, the health booklets of those from AG2R, Agritubel, Bouygues Telecom, Cofidis, Columbia, Crédit Agricole, Française des Jeux, Garmin Chipotle, Gerolsteiner and Rabobank have been verified by an independent doctor as clear in this regard. Another verification of the booklets will be made at the end of the race.

    The doctors of the MPCC teams have formally requested WADA and the UCI to continue to require TUEs for corticoid use. They also request that any infiltration of corticoids (injection or oral) should be followed by a 15-day break from competition.

  • Rabobank satisfied with Rasmussen decision

    Article published:
    July 05, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé in Brest

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Brest After the two recent legal decisions in court about Michael Rasmussen...

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Brest

    After the two recent legal decisions in court about Michael Rasmussen clearly the water around the Rabobank team still hasn't calmed down just yet. The team's PR-representative Luuc Eisinga pointed out that the team was happy with the decision from the judge in Utrecht, The Netherlands. In this case – which handled the dismissal from Rasmussen last year – the Dutch judge decided that Rabobank had the right to fire Rasmussen, but he also decided that they should've done it earlier. That's why Rabobank has to pay Rasmussen 665,000 euro, which is about 10 percent of what Rasmussen's lawyers had asked for.

    "The team is happy that the conclusions from the commission 'Vogelzang' were confirmed." This independent investigation commission looked into the Rasmussen case, about his whereabouts and the following dismissal of Rasmussen from the Rabobank team.

    "The commission 'Vogelzang' made two conclusions. First of all Rabobank shouldn't have let Rasmussen take the start in the Tour de France, or [it should have] taken him out of the race earlier. Next to that Rabobank had to terminate the contract earlier," Eisinga explained. This lawsuit at a Dutch court is not related to the lawsuit between Rasmussen and the CAS, in which the Danish rider wants to reduce the two year suspension he received from the Monaco cycling federation.

  • GP Plouay to go radio-free?

    Article published:
    July 05, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet in Brest

    By Jean-François Quénet in Brest The August 25 ProTour race, the Grand Prix de Plouay in France,...

    By Jean-François Quénet in Brest

    The August 25 ProTour race, the Grand Prix de Plouay in France, might be the first event contested by the professional cyclists without team radios since the advent of their use back in the mid-1990's. The ear pieces, which allow team directors in the follow cars to communicate with riders ahead have been blamed for making races too predictable. Race organizer Jean-Yves Tranvaux has sent an official request to the UCI for his event to be a test for the world of cycling to see if the elimination of the radios would spice up the action.

    "In the past few years we've always had the same scenario with a regrouping in the finale," Tranvaux argued. "The spectators are frustrated that this kind of thing happens all the time. Without radios, we might have a more interesting race with more attacks like we had in Plouay in the past."

    GP Plouay used to be the most thrilling one-day race in France after Paris-Roubaix until the UCI organised the world championships in the Breton village in 2000. Since then, the popular event has become somewhat boring and doesn't attract as many spectators as before. "It's worth trying anyway," Tranvaux explained. "We're always told that radio communication is important for the security. We understand it's the case in most of the races but not in Plouay where the race is contested on a totally secured and closed circuit. It's an ideal venue for a test."

    Tranvaux has no intention to impose his views. He will leave the final answer to the teams and the riders.

  • Menchov renews for two years

    Denis Menchov won a stage in 2006 for Rabobank
    Article published:
    July 05, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé in Brest

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Brest The Rabobank team may have one of the top contenders for the Tour's...

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Brest

    The Rabobank team may have one of the top contenders for the Tour's overall, but it has also been busy dealing with several non-Tour related business matters. The team announced Friday that it has negotiated to extend the contract of team leader Denis Menchov for two more years. The team's management is also dealing with agitation from Thomas Dekker about his non-selection for the Tour, and the settlements of the several lawsuits from former rider Michael Rasmussen. And all of that on the eve of the Tour de France

    Team manager Harry Knebel – who joined the management for business decision in March – explained to Cyclingnews why Rabobank decided to keep the Russian rider while they have a lot of talented riders themselves. "Menchov can keep the pressure off young guys like Robert Gesink in the Grand Tours. The youth has the future, but we can't redeem their future by bringing them in too early," Knebel said.

    Menchov himself was a happy man, although it was hard to read that from his body language. "It is good because I don't have to worry about my future going into the Tour de France. No major changes were necessary. I feel good in this team. It's good for both parties," Menchov reacted on his contract extension.

    Menchov will not focus on the task at hand, which is doing well in the general classification of the Tour de France. "I don't have too much stress. I have some, but I try to stay relaxed. I'm ambitious and I think that I can win the Tour de France," Menchov claimed.

    Knebel played down the non-selection of one of the team's young talents, Thomas Dekker, for the Tour squad – a decision which caused a lot of commotion in The Netherlands. "Dekker was not selected solely on basis of his current form; that was the only reason." The decision...

  • Valverde content with thoughts of early yellow jersey

    Valverde and Pereiro share a laugh
    Article published:
    July 05, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes in Brest

    By Shane Stokes in Brest The absence of a prologue plus a reportedly-tough uphill finish at the end...

    By Shane Stokes in Brest

    The absence of a prologue plus a reportedly-tough uphill finish at the end of stage one of this year's Tour de France will lead to a very different opening day in the race. Breakaway specialists, the more versatile sprinters and perhaps even the GC contenders will all be in with a chance of nabbing the victory and thus taking yellow in Plumelec on Saturday.

    Alejandro Valverde already demonstrated that he can win an uphill sprint at the opening stage of the Dauphiné Libéré, where he beat Thor Hushovd, and all eyes will be on the Spaniard to see if he will top the podium in Brittany. He was asked at the team's pre-race press conference if he would consider going for the maillot jaune, or if he would prefer to stay out of the limelight for now. His answer was that the victory would be desirable, even if it would mean his Caisse d'Epargne team would have expend energy early in the race to defend a lead.

    "Having seen the parcours of this stage, it is one which would suit me perfectly," he stated. "It is the first day of the Tour and everyone will be motivated to show their form, to try to win. The roads will be twisting and it will be necessary to avoid risks. It is certain that I and the whole team would love a stage victory.

    "To take the yellow jersey in the first day would be fabulous, even if taking it would also bring responsibilities. We will see how things go."

    The new Spanish Champion is feeling optimistic as the Tour gets underway. After withdrawing due to injury in 2005 and 2006, he reached Paris for the first time last year. His sixth place finish was slightly disappointing to some observers, but the team stressed throughout the race that the priority was to get that first finish under his belt and to learn for the...