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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, June 20, 2009

Date published:
June 20, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Gerdemann and Ciolek to co-captain Tour team

    Germany's Linus Gerdemann looks to be the man to beat for the 65th Tour de Pologne
    Article published:
    June 19, 2009, 13:55 BST
    Sue George

    Milram names Tour de France squad

    With its two captains Linus Gerdemann and Gerald Ciolek, Team Milram will be at the start of the Tour de France, starting July 4. A total of nine riders, including six Germans, will be at the start of French Grand Tour.

    The Tour de France squad will include Gerald Ciolek, Markus Fothen, Johannes Fröhlinger, Linus Gerdemann, Christian Knees, Niki Terpstra, Peter Velits, Fabian Wegmann and Peter Wrolich.

    The team's two reserve riders are Servais Knaven and Martin Velits.

  • Rooks admits to EPO use

    Steven Rooks in the polka dot jersey at the 1988 Tour de France. Next to Rooks is Dutch PDM teammate Gert-Jan Theunisse and yellow jersey Pedro Delgado.
    Article published:
    June 19, 2009, 14:17 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    1988 polkadot jersey winner and two other former Dutch riders reveal their use of EPO

    Steven Rooks, runner-up to Pedro Delgado at the 1988 Tour de France, has admitted using to prohibited blood booster EPO during his career. He said that he used EPO after 1989 in a book entitled "Het laatste geel" [The last yellow - ed.] published this week by Dutch journalist Marc Smeets.


    "Yes, I've taken EPO. It was necessary to finish high up in the classification," Rooks said.

    The Dutchman won the mountains jersey, finished second overall and won stage 12 to L'Alpe d'Huez at the 1988 Tour. In 1989, he came seventh in the overall classification and won another mountain stage.

    Rooks' other career highlights include Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 1983 and the Amstel Gold Race in 1986. From 1986 to 1989, he rode for the PDM team, later for Panasonic, Buckler, Festina and TVM.

    Two other former riders of the same generation, fellow Dutch men Gert Jakobs and Matthieu Hermans, have also admitted using the drug. Hermans also won a stage in the 1989 Tour, stage 11 from Luchon to Blagnac, and ten stages of the Vuelta a España.


  • Phinney ready for Alpine Test

    Taylor Phinney after winning the Under 23 Paris - Roubaix earlier this season
    Article published:
    June 19, 2009, 14:34 BST
    Daniel Benson

    American fifth in stage one of Tours de Pays de Savoie

    Taylor Phinney finished fifth on the first stage of the Tours de Pays de Savoie, over 95 kilometres from Chambéry to Saint-Jean de Maurienne. The race, which runs three days, will see Phinney and the US National team take on some of the most demanding Alpine climbs, including the Col de Madelaine and Croix de Fer. It will be the first time the track world champion has raced over such terrain but after Friday's initial test he's looking forward to the task at hand.

    "Today was my kind of stage. The team tried to control the race but it broke apart in the final 20 kilometres," said Phinney. However he and teammate Tejay Van Garderen bridged up to the leaders just as a small group split from the front. Phinney eventually finished fifth with Van Garderen taking ninth.

    Despite a top ten finish Phinney was disappointed to miss out on his second road win of the season, after claiming the Under 23 Paris Roubaix title earlier in the year. "It's a shame we didn't make it across to the leaders as I was feeling strong and I could have won in a sprint but I can't be too down. Tejay did a fantastic ride. He's certainly a young rider with huge potential and one that people should watch out for," Phinney said.

    "Tejay and I have never raced together before, but are good friends and have remained close over the years as both of us have risen to high levels in this sport. While many people haven't heard of Tejay, he has been tearing up the Under 23 cycling world while racing for the Rabobank Continental Team. He's two years older than me and knows the cycling world a lot better than I do. I look up to him as a good mentor for me."

    "In the race today, he suggested that we both attack over the final climb to bridge to the breakaway," said Phinney. "I had thought of this but wasn't sure if I had the confidence to pull it off. With his encouragement, we decided to go for it."

    "For me it was a defining moment because I realized that I...

  • Valverde appeals suspension to CAS

    Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) won the Dauphiné Libéré for the second year in a row.
    Article published:
    June 19, 2009, 16:35 BST
    Daniel Simms

    International court confirms receipt of appeal

    Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde appealed his suspension to The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which confirmed receipt of the appeal on Friday.

    The National Anti-doping Tribunal of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) imposed the two-year sanction on Valverde on May 11 in response to his alleged involvement in the Operación Puerto affair and the fact that samples taken from him after stage 14 of last year's Tour de France matched one of those found in the clinic of disgraced Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. CONI had cited grounds that Valverde had violated UCI anti-doping regulations.

    Valverde made two points in his appeal. First, he stated that CONI has no jurisdiction. Second, he asked to be exonerated of any sanction and to have the matter terminated.

    Since the suspension was issued, Valverde has continued to race outside of Italy. He recently won the overall classification at the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, which wrapped up on June 14.

    CAS intends to consult with both parties as the next step in the procedure.

  • Euskaltel-Euskadi prepares for Tour’s TTT

    Euskaltel-Euskadi - not the world's best team time trial squad.
    Article published:
    June 19, 2009, 16:52 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Tour shortlisted riders train together in Basque country

    Euskaltel-Euskadi carried out a team time trial training session Friday in the Basque region of Spain. Nine of the team’s 11-rider Tour short list took part in training aimed at preparing the squad for the Tour De France’s stage four team time trial in Montpellier on July 7.

    Mikel Astarloza, Igor Antón, Egoi Martínez, Gorka Verdugo, Rubén Pérez, Amets Txurruka, Alan Pérez, Iñigo Landaluze and Iñaki Isasi completed 75km of time trial training under the guidance of team technical director Igor González de Galdeano. The team's other potential tour riders, Juan Jose Oroz and Koldo Fernández, were absent since they were at the Tour de Suisse.

    According to González de Galdeano, the day’s session was designed to fine tune rider positions and equipment ahead of next month’s 38km test in France.

    "There are times when force perhaps counts more than the technique, but in this case, the latter will be of vital importance," he said. "That it is the reason why today we practiced that discipline – to adjust to the equipment and maximize our chances of getting our best result."

    "The session has helped us to work together better," said Mikel Astarloza. "We took it seriously and rolled very fast."

    Euskaltel-Euskadi’s performance at Tour team time trials has traditionally been an Achilles’ heel for the orange-clad squad. In the Tour’s last team time trial, in 2005, Euskaltel-Euskadi finished 3:59 down on Lance Armstrong’s Discovery Channel team.

  • Lelangue hopes for a solution to BMC calendar woes

    John Lelangue
    Article published:
    June 19, 2009, 17:10 BST
    Shane Stokes

    Enforcement of UCI rule hampering team's racing in the US

    Two days before a Nevada City Classic that his team is officially unable to take part in, John Lelangue has told Cyclingnews that he is hopeful a compromise can be worked out between his BMC Racing squad and the UCI for the rest of the season.

    A previously dormant rule preventing Pro Continental teams from riding national level races was suddenly enforced towards the end of April, due to the planned participation of the Astana team in the Tour of the Gila. The UCI eventually allowed three riders - Levi Leipheimer, Chris Horner and Lance Armstrong - to participate, while BMC fielded Florian Stalder, Scott Nydam and Chad Beyer. However all were all required to wear "neutral" jerseys and compete under a different team title.

    Last month, the same UCI code 2.1.009  Fuji Servetto and BMC from riding the Air Force Cycling Classic's Clarendon Cup. "I have to be honest, the UCI is now enforcing a rule that they hadn't done before," said the event's technical director Robert Laybourn.

    On Sunday, Leipheimer, Horner and Armstrong will race in Nevada under the same stipulations as before. BMC can also field up to three riders, but would again have to drop all reference to the team.

    "We are trying to find a solution with the UCI," Lelangue told Cyclingnews on Friday afternoon. "We have a different situation to Astana as we are a US-based pro continental team with nine US riders.

    "In the upcoming months we have planned races that are part of the [US] calendar, such as the Cascade Classic, Elk Grove, Pittsburg and the Tour of Utah. These are necessary for a Pro Continental team such as us. If you look at the North American calendar, we are doing all the North American UCI races, but this calendar is really weak at the moment.

    "The only UCI races [in the US] are the Tour of California, the US Air Force Cycling Classic, Philly, Missouri and the US national championships [and also the Univest GP - ed.]. That is too weak to have...