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Tour de France Cycling News Extra for June 30, 2006

Date published:
June 30, 2006, 1:00 BST
  • More prizes for le Tour Fantasy Game!

    Giant TCR Advanced
    Article published:
    June 30, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Cyclingnews are pleased to announce that we will be providing six sets of Santini team wear for the...

    Cyclingnews are pleased to announce that we will be providing six sets of Santini team wear for the lucky runners-up of the Fantasy le Tour game this year. Register now! You can join until stage 6 begins and there plenty time to learn how the game works. Many of the favourites in this year's Tour will be wearing Santini kit, from teams such as Milram, Saunier Duval, Liquigas and Lampre. The jerseys feature short sleeves with a 14cm zipper. The fabric is 40% polyamide and 60% polyester with three back pockets. The bibshorts with white mesh braces and Coolmax Techno padding (fabric is 22% lycra and 78% polyamide). The prize kit also includes: racing gloves with anti-sliding palms. The outer face is made of lycra net and with sweatband cotton sponge on the thumb; Cotton-Lycra socks, and Cotton racing caps.

    Updated rider list Whilst it looks like there will be no replacements for those riders suspended, we will not update the fantasy game start list until this is confirmed and an official start list released by the ASO. We expect that this will be resolved later this evening (European time).

    Fantasy Game even more exciting! Remember you can change your 15 riders right up until stage 6 begins so there is no need to worry too much about the recent changes to the start list. The good news is that the recent suspensions will open up the game to those who are really in-the-know about the form of those riders outside the obvious top 10 selections - it's going to make for an even more exciting game to play this year!

    Even better prizes! The top prizes on offer are even more attainable to this year's Fantasy managers. Much like the Tour itself...

  • McQuaid: Saddened rather than shocked

    Article published:
    June 30, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    By Shane Stokes Contacted by Cyclingnews today at the UCI offices in Aigle, Switzerland, UCI...

    By Shane Stokes

    Contacted by Cyclingnews today at the UCI offices in Aigle, Switzerland, UCI president Pat McQuaid has said that he is "saddened, but not surprised" by what has happened today at the Tour de France.

    "I’m sad that some of our top riders find themselves implicated in a doping affair but, on the other hand, if they are eventually proven guilty, then cycling is better off without them – we must insist on a clean sport," he stated.

    "This development is not a shock, because it is something that we knew was coming. We have known about this affair for several weeks, I have been down in Madrid and spoken to the Spanish minister. We have had indications as to who is going to be involved, and now we have the actual facts.

    "Now it is a question of clearing up the sport. There have been some courageous decisions taken by T-Mobile to exclude their riders and likewise there were courageous decisions taken by the teams today to exclude any rider involved on the list of names which has emerged. It is on the basis of the code of ethics of the UCI ProTour that they are excluding the riders."

    McQuaid did underline the need for caution until further facts emerge. "No riders have been sacked, they have all been suspended until this affair is over."

    "I have to stress that everything we are dealing with at the moment is allegations. Everybody is innocent at the moment, until we go through a process which proves them guilty. That has got to be stated. These riders that are being sent home from the Tour de France today are being sent home on the presumption of innocence, but because their name is implicated in this report, they have been suspended. They have not been fired, they will continue to get paid, they have been suspended."

    However, he says that if they riders concerned are found guilty, they deserve to be punished. "From the sport's point of view and the Tour de France’s...

  • Team CSC: Ignorance or bluff?

    Team CSC
    Article published:
    June 30, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Anthony Tan in Strasbourg Although not available for comment after today's dramatic news, Team...

    By Anthony Tan in Strasbourg

    Although not available for comment after today's dramatic news, Team CSC was less tight-lipped at yesterday's press conference.

    Asked about the problems stemming from 'Operacion Puerto', the now excluded team leader Ivan Basso replied: "My opinion is that I work hard for this Tour, and I think only about this race. My job is to ride the bike fast, and after the Giro, I put 100 percent [effort into] the Tour de France. I only read what has been written... I don't know more."

    Said team manager Bjarne Riis: "I think it's obvious it's not good for cycling, but I'm in a situation where I cannot do much about it. I really don't know what to do or say about it... it affects us all, and it's bad for us all. Whether one should be doing this Tour or not, again, it's not up to me to decide that.

    "As I said before, it's never good when things like this happen in cycling, in any sport. So... I don't know - you have to wait and see what comes out, and know what the situation is. There has been a lot of rumours, a lot of talking, a lot of noise... and it's been very difficult to handle; it's frustrating for us all, for the teams, for the press. I think a lot of positive things came out of '98... I don't know, let's wait and see."

    Riis didn't have to wait long. Less than 24 hours later, the Tour de France world - in fact, the entire sporting world - has been turned upside down. Following a meeting between the French and Spanish ministers of sport this morning, and confirmed by race organisers A.S.O. at noon today, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Oscar Sevilla, Francisco Mancebo, among at least 16 others, have been withdrawn out of the 2006 Tour de France, and will not be replaced.

    One of Team CSC's American riders, Bobby Julich, was the victim of a similar situation at the 1998 Tour de France, when the Festina doping scandal overshadowed a podium finish in Paris. Yesterday, Julich showed either ignorance or...

  • Leblanc: "An open Tour with clean riders"

    Tour de France general director
    Article published:
    June 30, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Tour de France director Jean-Marie Leblanc has appreciated the actions taken by various teams in the...

    Tour de France director Jean-Marie Leblanc has appreciated the actions taken by various teams in the light of the serious accusations against some of their riders. T-Mobile suspended its leader Jan Ullrich, on Friday morning, which Leblanc called "a courageous move and a good example for the other directeurs sportifs."

    The former bike racer and journalist, wo was already in his current position in 1998 when the Festina scandal rocked the race, was ready to 'clean up the peloton' if the teams did not do it by themselves. "We will ask the teams concerend to apply the ethical charter that they've signed and to expel the implicated riders," Leblanc continued. "If they don't, we will do it ourselves."

    Even though this will mean that many teams will be reduced in number - as excluded riders will not be replaced - the Tour de France will get underway tomorrow, Saturday. ""Why shouldn't it?" asked Leblanc. "If the Spanish judiciary told us that, of the 200 riders starting in the Tour, there were 150 riders on their lists, we would have to think about it. But at the moment, there are only 5 or 6 riders (sic) that are concerned."

    Leblanc still looks forward to the Tour de France, which will be his last one as director of the race. "I hope we can all start serenely on Saturday," he continued. "This is an organised mafia that spreads doping practices. I hope we can clean up everything now; all the cheats should be kicked out. then, maybe, we will get an open Tour with clean riders; a Tour in which there is space for ethics, sport and entertainment."

  • More riders named by UCI

    Article published:
    June 30, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Anthony Tan in Strasbourg

    After the Spanish sports minister and Tour de France organiser ASO officials, the International...

    After the Spanish sports minister and Tour de France organiser ASO officials, the International Cycling Union has also been given the detailed report on Operación Puerto, which links many pro cyclists of the international peloton the Madrid-based doping ring. The UCI has issued an official statement on Friday afternoon, saying that it "assumes that the following riders, registered to participate in the 2006 Tour de France, are involved in the affair: Sergio Paulinho, Isidro Nozal, Allan Davis, Alberto Contador, Joseba Beloki, Francisco Mancebo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla."

    Four more cyclists (Paulinho, Nozal, Davis and Contador) thus join the list of five riders that have already been refused the right to start the race tomorrow. According to the UCI, "The involvement [of these riders] does not mean that an anti-doping violation has been established. However, the indications of the mentioned report are serious enough."

    At this point, it is not clear whether 'only' these nine riders will be excluded from the race; or if there will be more. The fate of team Astana-Würth is also still not known - even though the International Court of Arbitration for Sport yesterday ruled that the team was granted the right to participate, ASO has refused to accept that decision. Moreover, it is highly unlikely that the team should start with only four riders, as five of them seem to be caught up in the doping affair and that it is said that none of the excluded riders will be replaced.

    Later during the evening, ASO is expected to issue the new, official start list of those cyclists that will take on the Tour de France tomorrow.