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Latest Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Date published:
June 16, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Lissavetzky labels Valverde sanction questionable

    Alejandro Valverde's suspension by CONI means he'll likely miss the Tour de France this year.
    Article published:
    June 16, 2009, 7:30 BST
    Cyclingnews staff

    Operación Puerto a clear message in fight against doping

    Spanish sports minister Jaime Lissavetzky believes "there are a number of doubts and questions" over Alejandro Valverde's suspension from racing in Italy by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) and has questioned the fairness of the decision.

    CONI imposed the two-year sanction on Valverde 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.

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) has not yet decided whether to extend the sanction to all competition, although Lissavetzky is unsure of whether it will be extensible or not. Additionally, the French sports minister has declared that the current Spanish national champion is not welcome at this year's Tour de France.

    According to news agency Europa Press Lissavetzky said in an interview to Spanish national radio, "there are a number of doubts and questions" regarding whether the Italian authorities have overstepped their line of responsibility, calling into question the justice of the sanction. He added that the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is the one true barometer of Valverde's innocence in the matter.

    Spanish authorities have long defended Valverde's role in any possible association with Fuentes, and Lissavetzky maintained this stance, declaring that Valverde was not included in the list submitted by the Spanish judge who oversaw the associated Operación Puerto proceedings in court, adding that the Spanish rider was never a part of Operación Puerto "from a judicial point of view".

    When Spanish sports authorities requested that all relevant files on those cyclists implicated in Operación Puerto be opened, the judge at the centre of Spanish investigations refused, citing that the case was for...

  • Cofidis announces Tour roster

    David Moncoutié (Cofidis) in the red mountains jersey.
    Article published:
    June 16, 2009, 8:54 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    A team of climbers for Moncoutié

    French ProTour team Cofidis has announced its roster for the upcoming Tour de France. To help the squad's most prominent climber, David Moncoutié - who just won a stage in the Dauphiné Libéré - the team's manager Eric Boyer decided to send several riders with good climbing skills. Together with Moncoutié, who has the Tour's polka dot jersey in mind, Amaël Moinard, Rémi Pauriol and Christophe Kern will be the team's mountain goats at the race.

    For the flat stages, Cofidis will count on breakaway specialist Stéphane Augé, 2008 Tour de France stage winner Samuel Dumoulin as well as Colombian sprinter Leonardo Duque. Frenchman Sébastien Minard and Spaniard Bingen Fernandez will also add to the team.

    In case one of these riders should miss out on the Tour's Grand Départ in Monaco on July 4, Boyer appointed three reserve riders, in alphabetical order: Jean-Eudes Demaret, Hervé Duclos-Lassalle and Julien El Farès.

    The full Cofidis roster for the Tour de France is as follows:

    Stéphane Augé, Samuel Dumoulin, Leonardo Duque, Bingen Fernandez, Christophe Kern, Sébastien Minard, Amaël Moinard, David Moncoutié and Rémi Pauriol.

  • Sastre recons Alpine Tour stages

    Article published:
    June 16, 2009, 9:21 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    2008 Tour champ joins Cervélo training camp

    Carlos Sastre is currently fine-tuning his form in Switzerland at a pre-Tour de France training camp with his Cervélo TestTeam. The Spaniard flew out to Geneva on Monday evening to join his team-mates in what will be the team's last camp before the Tour.

    "The riders who will be competing in the Tour will do long distance rides," Sastre said. "And personally, I would like to recon some of the Tour climbs that I don't know yet."

    After the Giro d'Italia, the Spaniard rested for two weeks in order to obtain peak form come July. "I hope to get to the start in Monaco in the best condition, because the route of this year's Tour includes complicated stages right from the very first week," he said.

    Before the Grande Boucle, Sastre may still take part in the Spanish Championships in Cantabria, but the Cervélo TestTeam leader has not made up his mind yet. "I will make a decision once this training camp is over," he said. "It would be nice to race them [the road race as well as the time trial - ed.]."

  • Ster Elektrotoer a sprinter's feast

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step)
    Article published:
    June 16, 2009, 11:02 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Dutch stage race features world-class sprinters

    Dutch stage race Ster Elektrotoer, taking place from June 17-21, will feature top sprinters such as Tom Boonen, Allan Davis (Quick Step), André Greipel (Columbia), Danilo Napolitano (Katusha), Robert Hunter (Barloworld) and Robert Förster (Milram).

    Over five days of racing in the Netherlands and in Belgium, the fast men will have to counter top breakaway specialists such as Philippe Gilbert, Leif Hoste (both Silence-Lotto) and Simon Gerrans (Cervélo TestTeam). Belgian squad Silence-Lotto will be particularly eager to score after a less than stellar start to the season.

    Last year's winner, Enrico Gasparotto, will not participate as the Lampre rider is currently racing in the Tour de Suisse.

    The event will start on Wednesday with a 6.9km prologue in Gemert, Netherlands, and finish in Helmond next Sunday. The race's queen stage on Saturday from Verviers to La Gileppe in Belgium will be a decisive one, as the route includes parts of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic, notably the Côte de la Redoute climb.

    The stages outline as follows:

    June 17: Gemert prologue (6.9 km)
    June 18: Eindhoven - Sittard-Geleen (175 km)
    June 19: Schimmert - Schimmert (179 km)
    June 20: Verviers - La Gileppe (189 km)
    June 21: Beek - Helmond (179 km)

    The participating teams are:

    Barloworld (Hunter, Froome), Rabobank (Brown, Langeveld), Quick Step (Boonen, Davis), Silence (Gilbert, Hoste), Columbia (Greipel, Hansen, Renshaw), Katusha (Napolitano), Milram (Förster, Knaven, Terpstra), Saxo Bank, LPR (Ongarato), Cervélo (Gerrans, Hammond, Deignan, Roulston), Contentpolis, Landbouwkrediet (De Waele, Nys), Skil (Wagner, Veelers), Topsport (Bakelants), Vacansoleil (Bozic, Leukemans), Cycling Jo Piels, Krolstone and Van Vliet.

  • Scarponi signs new Diquigiovanni contract

    Michele Scarponi (Diquigiovanni - Androni) has now won his second stage of the 2009 Giro d'Italia.
    Article published:
    June 16, 2009, 11:18 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Gianni Savio's team builds for 2010 with Michele Scarponi

    Michele Scarponi, winner of two Giro d'Italia stages last month,  has re-signed with Gianni Savio's Diquigiovanni team for the 2010 season.

    "We re-launched Michele Scarponi's career with the best results and we are convinced that in 2010 not only will he repeat but that he'll go even better," said team manager Savio.

    Scarponi, from Italy's Le Marche region, has had his best season to date with two Giro d'Italia stages - Mayrhofen and Benevento - and a stage and overall win at Tirreno-Adriatico in March. The Mayrhofen stage win came after 193 kilometres in an escape group, from which he rode solo for the last 10 kilometres.

    He finished 32nd overall after three weeks of the Giro d'Italia, over one hour behind winner Denis Menchov (Rabobank). This spring, Scarponi beat Stefano Garzelli and Andreas Klöden to win the seven-day Tirreno-Adriatico.

    Diquigiovanni won its third stage at the Giro d'Italia with Leonardo Bertagnolli, who left team Amica Chips-Knauf to join Savio prior to the race start.

    Savio has a good mix of talent, from Francesco Ginanni to Gilberto Simoni and his riders have won 22 times so far this season.

    Ginanni, José Serpa, Jackson Rodriguez have already signed for 2010. Contract talks are ongoing for other riders, like Simoni and sprinter Mattia Gavazzi.