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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, October 31, 2009

Date published:
October 31, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Italian doctor under investigation for administering ozone therapy

    One of the blood bags from Fuentes' clinic
    Article published:
    October 30, 2009, 15:57 GMT
    Cycling News

    Doping via blood manipulation technique

    An Italian doctor, Enrico Lazzaro, has come under investigation for the unlawful practice of a doping technique, ozone therapy, as reported Friday in the Italian Gazzetta dello Sport paper. Ozone therapy, also known as autohemotherapy, enriches oxygen in the blood and may therefore improve athletic performance.

    In ozone therapy, a small amount of blood, approximately 200cc, is removed from the body, run through a machine in which it is enriched with ozone and then returned to the body of the patient. Given how the treatment was performed by Dr. Lazzaro, officials said patients were at significant risk to their health. Potential complications include embolism.

    Dr. Lazzaro was served a court order relating to an investigation conducted by prosecutor Benedetto Roberti. He is prohibited from visiting his practice in Montegrotto after three months of wiretapping and video surveillance. Previously he was linked to a doping raid at the Giro d'Italia in 2001.

    The current case began when the father of Andrea Moletta, then a Gerolsteiner rider and teammate of Davide Rebellin, was stopped on May 20, 2008. Officials found a syringe of Lutrelef hidden in a tube of toothpaste. The stopped man indicated to authorities that it had come from Dr. Lazzaro.

    Rebellin later tested positive for EPO-CERA. His case is still pending.

    During the investigation, officials recorded Dr. Lazzaro on video giving ozone therapy to a 15-year-old female swimmer in the presence of her parents, who are now also under investigation. In Italy, the practice of ozone therapy is prohibited in private clinics.

    Ozone therapy may lead to better performance without risk of getting caught in doping controls because hematocrit and hemoglobin levels remain constant. Ozone therapy in this instance was accompanied by intravenous iron injections to support erythropoiesis (red blood cell production). More red blood cells means an increased ability to...

  • Astana, Vinokourov put faith in Gasparotto

    Enrico Gasparotto (Lampre-NGC)
    Article published:
    October 30, 2009, 16:05 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    Italian disappointed and leaves Lampre after one year

    Italian Enrico Gasparotto will join team Astana after a forgettable year with the Lampre team. He received assurance from Alexander Vinokourov and new team director Giuseppe Martinelli that he will have chances to race for himself throughout 2010.

    "I talked to Vinokourov. He will ride for Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallonne, but confirmed I will have chances in the other races. I want to have a chance to win stages at Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo, De Panne and Tour of Flanders. Martinelli also confirmed my role," Gasparotto told Cyclingnews.

    Kazakh Alexander Vinokourov helped create team Astana from the former Liberty Seguros team in 2006. He returned to racing in August after serving a two-year doping suspension.

    Spaniard Alberto Contador won the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España last year, and the Tour de France this year for the Astana team. Johan Bruyneel leaves the team for Lance Armstrong's RadioShack, but Giuseppe Martinelli and Frenchman are coming in as replacement.

    "I have trained with Vinokourov different times, I have known him a long time. Martinelli, who manages the riders now, tried to get me to go to Amica Chips, but I went to Lampre. Now I will join him at Astana."

    Gasparotto believes the team will receive invitations to the races despite Vinokourov's past doping violation. "Astana is economically strong and in this period UCI needs economically strong teams," he said.

    He leaves Italy's team Lampre after one year. He joined last year to help Damiano Cunego and Alessandro Ballan, and to have opportunities for himself.

    "The team and I have two different ways to interpret cycling," he said. "There were situations throughout the year where we did not agree with how the races were managed.

    "I knew I was in a team with winning riders, like Cunego and Ballan, but I was confident it would be like Saxo Bank, where all the strong...

  • Bookwalter appearing at Cycle with Champions fundraiser

    Brent Bookwalter (BMC) was fastest today at 6:12
    Article published:
    October 30, 2009, 16:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Team BMC rider will be joined by Garmin's Cozza

    Brent Bookwalter of the BMC Racing Team will join the All Sport-Team Swift in Sonoma County, California, on Sunday November 1 for the "Cycle with Champions" benefit ride. Hundreds of participants are expected.

    The Team Swift Junior Development program is continuing its tradition of benefit events with top US professionals at the 2009 edition of the Cycle with Champions ride. Bookwalter, who is a 2008 and 2009 member of both BMC and the US World Championship teams, is the marquee celebrity expected to draw enthusiasts for the ride through picturesque Sonoma County. Local Team Swift graduate Steven Cozza will also be on hand. He rides for the Garmin-Slipstream team.

    The event boasts fall colors, a lunch at West County Revolution, which is one of several BMC dealers functioning on behalf of the Team Swift dealer, and a benefit auction with proceeds supporting the racing and development programs of the non-profit Team Swift, which recruits athletes and families into cycling.

    The Cycle with Champions event is a rallying point for regional cycling groups ranging from advocacy, community and competition oriented organizations. Event support is graciously donated by the Santa Rosa Cycling Club, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, the BMC Racing Team and numerous others. The tenor of the event is one of enjoyment of the outdoors, of community and the grassroots support of young athletes pursuing excellence in sports.

    For more information visit

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  • Rasmussen's future still to be determined

    Race leader Michael Rasmussen (Tecos Trek)
    Article published:
    October 30, 2009, 17:30 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Dane says he hasn't signed a contract with CDC-Cavaliere

    Reports of Michael Rasmussen's team affiliation for 2010 conflicted Friday.  First, he was reported to be headed to the CDC-Cavaliere team for 2010 according to Biciciclismo. Later, he told the Danish that he had not yet signed with any team.

    Initially, Rasmussen was linked to the CDC-Cavaliere team, which was known as Centri della Calzatura in 2009.  The squad is expected to step up its status from continental to professional continental. Had he joined the team, Rasmussen would have raced with Daniele Callegarin and Bernardo Riccio, who is reportedly transferring from Flaminia. 

    "We have sent all the documentation to the UCI, and we are confident that we will be at the professional level," said CDC-Cavaliere team manager Floriano Torresi.

    "It is not true," said Rasmussen to when asked later if he had signed a contract.  "It is a mystery to me how this story has evolved. Now I really hope that this false piece of information does not mess things up for me with regards to the contract which I am in fact negotiating at the moment." Torresi also indicated surprise at the news of Rasmussen's contract with his team.

    Rasmussen declined to say where he is going next season.  The Dane said he has an idea, but was deferring saying anything else for the time being. "I can only say that I am definitely not riding for CDC-Cavaliere next year."

    Earlier this week, Rasmussen had promised to announce his new professional squad by week’s end, signaling his return to the professional peloton in Europe.  At the same time, he had mentioned Ruta del Sol, the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España as races in which he is interested for next season.

    Rasmussen has been racing in South America with Tecos-Trek since returning from his two year ban after lying about his wherabouts during his preparations for the 2007 Tour de France.

  • Columbia-HTC pleased with women's season

    Team Columbia-HTC's race leader, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg with team-mate, Chantal Beltman. The GC lead would pass to another team-mate by the end of the stage - Kim Anderson
    Article published:
    October 30, 2009, 21:01 GMT
    Cycling News

    Director Lauke impressed with Teutenberg and others

    The Columbia-HTC Women's Team concluded a successful season in 2009 with 46 total wins.  The team's director Ronny Lauke had nothing but praise for his riders, including Ina Teutenberg, Judith Arndt, Linda Villumsen and Kim Anderson.

    "I'm very proud of the riders for what they achieved, both as a team and in terms of the winning results," said sports director Lauke. "If you look back on the year, we did very well. Equally importantly, we battled through some really difficult times together when key riders got injured or sick. Everybody really stepped up to make sure we stayed united and on track. The team spirit this year really has been amazing."

    "Look at Ina-Yoko Teutenberg," said Lauke. "She won 24 races this season" - more than any other professional bike racer in 2009 - "and she's still progressing as an athlete, winning races like the Tour of Flanders and the overall general classification at Redlands. People always thought that Flanders was too hilly for Ina, but she's proved them totally wrong. She's a dedicated, 100-percent professional, and the results are there for everybody to see."

    After a highly successful 2008, Columbia-HTC's Judith Arndt suffered three major injuries this season, but as Lauke points out "every time, Judith fought back to regain her status as one of the bunch's top riders.

    "She crashed in April, breaking her scaphoid, but still came back to win three stages and the overall of the Bira race in Spain. After that she took a very difficult stage of the Giro as the finale to some amazing teamwork by Columbia-HTC. Then when Judith had another crash in July, breaking her arm, she bounced back again to put in a strong ride at the worlds. Other riders would have cracked under the strain and pressure of so many accidents in one year."

    Lauke singled out Linda Villumsen and Kim Anderson as two of the Columbia-HTC riders who have moved up a level this season. "Linda's victory in the Tour...

  • Planet Energy maintains core roster for 2010

    Martin Gilbert (Planet Energy) sprints to a stage win in Missouri.
    Article published:
    October 30, 2009, 21:46 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Surprises still in store

    Planet Energy is Canada's only Continental team registered with the International Cycling Union (UCI), and it aims to step up to the Professional Continental status by 2011. Next year, the squad will maintain a core group of riders from the previous season, but its focus will expand to include an international array of competition.

    "The goal is to reach Pro Continental in 2011 because we want to raise the bar, and we have one year to do it," said Directeur Sportif Steve Bauer. "Time goes fast. The great thing is that we have good partners behind us and some could easily raise the level for us if they wanted too. If we can't do it with in our own group than the network we've built has grown. We're focused and working hard on that."

    The fast-growing team will continue with financial sponsors Planet Energy, LivClean, Catalyst Capitol Group, Blackberry and Saputo. Equipment sponsors back on board include Canadian bicycle manufacture Argon 18, Shimano, Giro, Oakley and Carboom are among some eleven supply sponsors in total. According to Bauer, his team might see a significant change with in the display of sponsors space on the jersey, to be announced at a later date.

    Further surprises yet to be unveiled could see two, perhaps three new faces added to the squad next year. The core strength of the team will remain in tact with returning riders Martin Gilbert, Kevin LaCombe and Francois Parisien. "The team will be similar to last year, and we will add some," Bauer said. "We are working on the last pieces of the puzzle. Most of the guys that were in the Tour of Missouri will be back."

    Planet Energy capped off a successful season at the Tour of Missouri in September when Gilbert won the seventh and final stage. Gilbert's support teammates included Parisien, LaCombe, Ryan Roth, Bruno Langlois, Andrew Randell, Charly Vives and Guillaume Boivin.

    The squad will kick off the 2010 season in Cuba followed by Mexico's Tel-Mex and the Tour...

  • Valverde would welcome Contador at Caisse

    Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) was one of the stars of the show.
    Article published:
    October 30, 2009, 23:12 GMT
    Shane Stokes

    No clash between Spanish stars

    Alberto Contador may yet opt to stay with the Astana team for one more year but, if he does leave, Caisse d’Epargne are one of the teams most likely to secure his signature. Their current top rider Alejandro Valverde has made it clear that his compatriot would be welcome, even if that would impact on his own Tour de France goals.

    “As I have said in the past, it would really be great if Alberto could join the team. There is a place for him, and I’ve no problem with that,” he told Cyclingnews. “He knows he is really welcome. The key point is if this will be possible; the situation seems rather complicated.”

    Contador has one more year left on his current contract and made it clear in recent months that he would like to leave. The double Tour de France winner has had approaches from several teams, including Caisse d’Epargne, Garmin Slipstream, Quick Step and Liquigas. He appeared to have found a way out when Astana didn’t meet the October 20th deadline for submission of registration documents, as under these circumstances the UCI has a rule releasing riders of their obligations.

    However this week Contador said that the situation remained complicated and indicated that he could end up remaining where he was.

    Last month, Valverde won his first Grand Tour when he triumphed in the Vuelta a España. He made it clear then that the Tour de France is his next objective. Having Contador on the team would undoubtedly complicate that aim but, even so, he underlines that he’d be glad to see him in Caisse d’Epargne colours.

    “Before talking about that [leadership in the Tour] we have to wait and see how things unfold,” he said. “But anyway. I believe his presence in the team would be great. I respect him a lot. He has already won two Tours de France, and I still have to win my first one.”

    In the case that Valverde would end up riding...

  • Cervélo extend Deignan's contract

    Philip Deignan (Cervelo TestTeam)
    Article published:
    October 31, 2009, 9:41 GMT
    Shane Stokes

    Irishman signs a new two-year deal after bumper season

    At the end of his strongest season to date, Letterkenny cyclist Philip Deignan has signed a new deal with the Cervélo Test Team that will see him remain with them for the next two seasons.

    Deignan had one year to run on his existing contract, but his impressive performances throughout 2009 have led to the team replace his current arrangement with a better offer. He'll now compete with the Swiss-registered squad until the end of 2011, remaining alongside the 2008 Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre.

    Last month, Deignan won a stage of the Vuelta a España as he beat top Czech rider Roman Kreuziger into Avila. Deignan, 26, went on to finish ninth overall in the Grand Tour. It was the best Irish performance in a three-week race since Stephen Roche won a stage in the 1992 Tour de France, and placed ninth overall in the 1993 Giro d'Italia.

    "This year was a big step up for me," Deignan said on Friday. "After the last few years were hampered by illness and injury, it's really nice to know the ability is still there. I have taken a lot of confidence from my results this year, particularly my stage win near the end of the Vuelta. That really showed my body is adapting to the stresses of a three week Tour, and that I can compete with the best.

    "I am very happy to commit to Cervélo for another two years. They really showed a lot of faith in me by signing me last year, and I'm happy I was able to repay that faith by getting them some good results this season. The support they gave me all year was great, particularly in the Vuelta, where everyone worked tirelessly to help me secure ninth overall. Hopefully the next two years can be as good, if not better, than this year."

    Deignan has long been regarded as a promising rider and delivered on that in 2009. He showed strong form earlier this year, netting fifth on a mountain stage and seventh overall in the Vuelta a Castilla y León. He was also eighth in the...