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Latest Cycling News, October 8, 2008

Date published:
October 08, 2008, 1:00 BST
  • Swift Racing launches "Own our team" initiative

    Article published:
    October 08, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    Britain's top professional women's team invites supporters to own a share of its success via an...

    Britain's top professional women's team invites supporters to own a share of its success via an innovative Internet venture.

    "Our title sponsor, Swift Motorhomes, to whom we owe a great deal of gratitude and support, have decided that because of the economic climate they cannot sponsor us next year. This means that there is a risk we may not be able to race next season and the team will have to fold," the team said in a press statement.

    "In order for Swift Racing to continue next year, we need to raise funds now and we're turning to our fans and supporters who have backed."

    Swift Racing was the UK's first professional women's cycling team in 2006 and has grown every year since, developing and showcasing the women's international cycling. The team is allowing its supporters the donate money and own part of its operation.

    "Until we find our next title sponsor, we will be called Team You."

    Those interested can donate directly to online via PayPal using info@teamswiftracing.com Alternatively, cheques can be made payable to Global Racing Limited and sent to the following address: 15 Stuart Road, Barton-le-Clay, Beds MK45 4ND, UK

    The team offers options multiple levels of donations. For all enquiries about Team You and the campaign, please contact Team Manager Stefan Wyman at stefan@teamswiftracing.com

    (Additional editorial assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer and Laura Weislo.)

  • World Champ Ballan adds horsepower via Ferrari

    Alessandro Ballan, 28, holds the rainbow jersey
    Article published:
    October 08, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    Alessandro Ballan gifted himself a Ferrari F430 for his win in the World Championships one week ago....

    Alessandro Ballan gifted himself a Ferrari F430 for his win in the World Championships one week ago. The Italian, 28, confirmed to Cyclingnews the purchase of the car made by the famed car producer of Modena, Italy.

    He purchased a Ferrari F430 with dark grey exterior and red leather interior. Estimated cost on the F430 Coupe is €137,700.

    Ballan won the World Championships in Varese, Italy, thanks to strong teamwork. In the last lap the Italian team had three men in the escape group – Ballan, Damiano Cunego and Davide Rebellin. Ballan attacked out of this group with three kilometres remaining and won solo. His teammate, Cunego, took second ahead of Denmark's Matti Breschel.

    World Champion Alessandro Ballan arrives home

    For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

    Images by Roberto Bettini/www.bettiniphoto.net

    • Alessandro Ballan celebrates his Worlds victory with daughter Stella and wife Daniela.
    • The city of Castelfranco Veneto, northeast Italy, welcomes Ballan home after winning the Worlds.
    • World Champion Alessandro Ballan arrives home with a big welcome.
    • World Champion Alessandro Ballan, 28, welcomed home with a banner.
    • Alessandro Ballan, 28, holds the rainbow jersey of...
    • Questions over UCI's biological passport

      Article published:
      October 08, 2008, 0:00 BST
      By:
      Gregor Brown

      Despite the implementing of a biological passport system this year, it is the French anti-doping...

      Despite the implementing of a biological passport system this year, it is the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) who is catching the sport's biggest names and not the International Cycling Union (UCI). The AFLD, who controlled the Tour de France, announced the positive control of German Stefan Schumacher and confirmed Italian Leonardo Piepoli this week.

      The UCI is normally in charge of anti-doping controls for all major cycling events, but organisers of his year's Tour de France refused to hold the race under the aegis of the UCI due to the two parties' pre-existing feud. The French Cycling Federation (FFC) sanctioned the race and the AFLD carried out doping controls.

      Despite the conflict between the UCI and the Tour organisers – Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) – the AFLD made the results of the Tour de France doping controls, including the most recent blood tests, available to the UCI for inclusion in the biological passport. The UCI may not yet have a use for the data. "The biological passport was introduced this year and will soon be fully operational," it said in a statement yesterday.

      The UCI began testing riders at the start of the year, with the intent that regular blood and hormone values taken from each rider could allow experts to detect the effects of doping by examining fluctuations in these values over the course of the season. The UCI said that it had irregular values for 23 riders and a "top rider" under suspicion in May. At the end of that month, Milram fired Igor Astarloa for "irregular blood values."

      The UCI announced in June that it was ready to act on a "no start" rule for riders with suspect passports, but it never formally stated it subjected any rider to the rule.

      The UCI is targeting certain...

    • Tour positives bring strong reactions

      AFLD confirmed Leonardo Piepoli positive for CERA on Monday
      Article published:
      October 08, 2008, 0:00 BST
      By:
      Gregor Brown

      Monday's announcement by the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) that it had found three riders...

      Monday's announcement by the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) that it had found three riders positive for EPO-CERA based on Tour de France samples produced strong reactions from riders and team staff. Swiss Mauro Gianetti, Team Manager of Scott-American Beef (ex-Saunier Duval), was not surprised by the announcement of two new positive controls for Riccardo Riccò.

      "I'm not surprised by the other two positives Riccardo [Riccò], because the CERA lasts a month and then it was unusual that he had been caught only twice," he said of his former rider, according to Tuttosport. "That of Leonardo [Piepoli], however, is a matter that affects me deeply ..."

      Gianetti fired Piepoli in July for breaking the team's code of ethics after being unsatisfied with his response to the earlier positive of Riccardo Riccò. "I thought that Piepoli could become a director of our team, one that could explain to new recruits how to stay afloat for many years with commitment and professionalism. It was a grave mistake that I made.

      "Piepoli and Riccò did all the damage. In the past I gave a great opportunity to David Millar [after Millar confessed to EPO use and served a two-year suspension] and I do not regret it. Cycling has betrayed me so disgracefully, nullifying years of working with youth and humanitarian initiatives in the third world. I am really disgusted."

      "This is dramatic because it shows that cycling is far away from achieving a change of consciousness," Thomas Bach, International Olympic Committee Vice President said, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine. "The stupid boldness apparently is continuing."

      "I hope that this isn't the last nail in the coffin, which will seal the fate of cycling. It is still only the A sample and we have to wait for the B sample. If it is true, then this is a tragedy of the largest proportions," said Jens Voigt of Team...

    • AFLD reveals Riccò positive again

      Article published:
      October 08, 2008, 0:00 BST
      By:
      Gregor Brown

      The French anti-doping agency (AFLD) revealed that Riccardo Riccò tested positive for CERA on two...

      The French anti-doping agency (AFLD) revealed that Riccardo Riccò tested positive for CERA on two other occasions during the Tour de France, making a total of four positive controls for the Italian. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, his samples from before the Tour – July 4 – and the rest day – July 15 – were positive.

      The Italian cycling federation (FCI) gave Riccò a two-year suspension last week. He will not face further punishment for the latest results, as all four positives were for the same substance at the same event.

      The AFLD is testing blood samples this week after some urine tests taken during the Tour were inconclusive. Riccò's urine samples taken on July 8 and 13 tested positive for CERA and he was ejected from the Tour on July 17 as a result.

    • German federation confirms two positives

      BDR confirms Stefan Schumacher, two days in yellow at the Tour de France
      Article published:
      October 08, 2008, 0:00 BST
      By:
      Gregor Brown

      The German Cycling Federation (BDR) confirmed Tuesday that it had received the papers concerning...

      The German Cycling Federation (BDR) confirmed Tuesday that it had received the papers concerning Stefan Schumacher and opened its investigation into the case. The BDR said that it had received the documents from the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) and it had immediately contacted Schumacher to present his position.

      Schumacher, 27, tested positive for a third generation of EPO – CERA (Continuous Erythropoietin Receptor Activator) – based on controls taken at the Tour de France, July 5 to 27. The French anti-doping agency (AFLD) tested blood samples from the race this week after urine samples were inconclusive during the race.

      He must return his response to the BDR within five workdays after he receives the notification, "or request the opening of the B sample within this time period. After his response or the analysis of the B sample, proceedings can be opened."

      Team Gerolsteiner confirmed it received official documents from the BDR about two positive A-samples. "He tested positive for EPO (CERA) on July 3 and July 15, 2008." (SW)

    • Tour boss Prudhomme expects more positives

      Tour director Christian Prudhomme expects AFLD to announce more positive controls
      Article published:
      October 08, 2008, 0:00 BST
      By:
      Gregor Brown

      Tour de France director, Christian Prudhomme, expects more positives to come from the French...

      Tour de France director, Christian Prudhomme, expects more positives to come from the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) blood testing. The Frenchman thinks there will be one or two more riders, according to Reuters.

      "I imagine there could be one or two more cases but we are a long way from the list announced by some," he said, referring to media reports that AFLD might reveal up to 14 positive controls.

      The AFLD is testing for a third generation of EPO – CERA (Continuous Erythropoietin Receptor Activator) – on the blood samples it took during the Tour de France, July 5 to 27. Monday it announced the positive controls of German Stefan Schumacher and Italians Leonardo Piepoli and Riccardo Riccò.

      "The police seem to be ahead of thieves, which is something we could not have imagined a few years back. ... Those who have cheated must tell themselves that they will get caught."