What's Cool In Road Cycling

Euro Trash – Thursday

All the latest news from Europe: Cipo will now start Vuelta: HGH arrests in Belgium: Mayo extends with Euskaltel: Pechorroman plays down chances: Paris-Tours teams: Milaneza Riders Suspended: Glomser In: Changes continue at CSC: Kelme recall doctor: Another possible Belgian team: Valkenburg:

Cipollini Will Start Vuelta
Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) will start the Vuelta a Espana on Saturday. The Italian sprinter arrived at Бviles airport west of Gijon on Wednesday night. Vuelta organisers Unipublic had expelled Cipollini’s team after he announced earlier this week that he would not start the Spanish tour. Cipollini has not raced since crashing out of the Giro in June and apparently has not trained seriously. Observers in Spain are saying that the Italian may abandon the race immediately in the opening team time trial stage as a demonstration, however not many people are expecting him to stay in the race beyond stage 5 at Zaragoza, where there is an 44 kms individual time trial followed by three tough days in the Pyrenees.

Growth Hormone Searches in Belgium
Thursday morning saw the searching of the homes of several top pro cyclists in the Flanders region of Belgium. The police were looking for evidence of human growth hormones. The residence of Johan Museeuw in Gistel was among the houses searched and a computer was confiscated by police, Museeuw himself went to the police station voluntarily. Several other people were taken away for questioning and various substances were seized and taken away for analysis. The police investigations started when a judical enquiry into growth hormones for agricultural use discovered that a veterinary surgeon from Olstrozebeke was not only supplying animal hormones to farmers but also human growth hormones to cyclists.

Mayo Renews With Euskaltel For Three Years
Iban Mayo renewed his contract with the Euskadi-Euskaltel team until the end of the 2006 season on Wednesday. Euskaltel have now managed to retain their three star riders, Mayo, Haimar Zubeldia and Samuel Sanchez, team manager Miguel Madariaga is delighted to keep the “backbone of the squad” in place and did not rule out the signing of Igor Gonzбlez de Galdeano (ONCE). “Igor is very much in our thoughts and actions”. Galdeano previously rode for Euskaltel between 1995 and 1998 before leaving for the Vitalicio Seguros team and then ONCE.

Pecharroman Plays Down Vuelta Chances
Paternina-Costa Almeria’s team leader Jose Pecharroman who earlier this season won the Euskal Bizikleta and the Volta a Catalunya is playing down his chances of doing well in the upcoming Vuelta a Espana. Pechorroman who will be riding for Quick Step-Davitamon next season told the Spanish media, “I feel the weight of expectation from the fans and press but I am afraid I am not going to be in top form for the Vuelta. I rode very hard in June – probably too hard and finished the Volta a Catalunya with pain behind my right knee, I then aggravated the injury in the Spanish championships and it got worse. I was off the bike for most of July and this has stopped me preparing properly, I fear that I cannot even think about the general classification in the Vuelta but if my form improves day by day I could win a stage.”

Quick Step not in Paris-Tours Line Up
The Quick Step-Davitamon team of world cup leader Paolo Bettini are not among the 25 declared teams for the Paris-Tours world cup race on the 5th of October. It seems that the team have mistakenly not submitted an application to the organisers ASO. Both team and organisers are bewildered, Quick Step boss Patrick Lefevre said, “I do not know what our punishment will be”. There is a meeting being held today (Thursday) in Paris to allow Quick Step to start the race by allowing a 26th team in the event which would mean certain squads starting with only six riders. The 25 teams declared for the 97th edition of the Paris-Tours world cup race on October 5th are:

AG2R-Prevoyance, Brioches La Boulangerie, Cofidis, Credit Agricole, FDJ.com, Jean Delatour, Gerolsteiner, Bianchi, Telekom, Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, Lotto-Domo, CSC, Euskaltel-Euskadi, iBanesto.com, Kelme-Costa Blanca, ONCE-Eroski, US Postal, Alessio, Domina Vacanze, Fassa Bortolo, Lampre, Saeco, Vini Caldirola, Rabobank and Phonak

Milaneza Riders Suspended
Milaneza-MSS riders David Bernabйu (Spain) and Rui Lavarinhas (Portugal) have both been suspended after testing positive during the Paris-Nice race in March. Bernabйu is banned for a year while Lavarinhas in out for six months. The team now has three riders suspended following Francisco Perez’s positive test for EPO during the Tour of Romandie in May. Team director sportif Manuel Zeferino maintained that Lavarhinas had used a substance that was allowed by the UCI but had failed to declare it. The Portuguese cycling federation acquitted the rider but the UCI did not agree and has given Lavarinhas, who recently finished third in the Volta a Portugal, a six month ban. Zeferino says Bernabйu’s suspension is also a case of not declaring medication during the race but Spanish sports magazine Meta2Mil is carrying a different story saying that Bernabйu started a twelve month ban on June 27th after testing positive for corticoids.

Glomser makes Saeco Vuelta squad
Gerrit Glomser made the Saeco squad for the Vuelta a Espana which was announced on Tuesday. The Austrian had a heavy fall in the Altstadt-Kriterium in Salzburg at the beginning of August, suffering concussion and facial injuries which seemed certain to keep him out of the Spanish tour, however he has recovered in time to take his place. Glomser sprinted well in the 2002 edition of the Vuelta taking eight top ten places in stages throughout the race. The full Saeco squad for the race is: Igor Astarloa, Giosuи Bonomi, Antonio Bucciero, Juan Fuentes, Nicola Gavazzi, Gerrit Glomser, Cristian Pepoli, Igor Pugaci and Ivan Quaranta.

Two More In and Three Out at CSC
The in and outs of the Danish CSC team have continued after Monday’s signing of Ivan Basso and departure of Tyler Hamilton. ONCE’s Jorg Jaksche has completed his move to the squad by signing a two year contract, earlier he had looked set to sign for Gerolsteiner. Team Fakta’s Kurt-Asle Arvesen, winner of stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia between Montecatini Terme and Faenza this year has also signed a two year deal with CSC. On the other hand, Paul Van Hyfte, Geert Van Bondt and Tristan Hoffman will not have their contracts renewed, the three riders were Classic specialists and seem surplus to requirements now that Hamilton has departed the team.

Kelme Recalls Doctor Fuentes For Vuelta
The Kelme-Costa Blanca team has recalled last years team doctor Eufemiano Fuentes for the Vuelta a Espana. Fuentes one of the top sports physicians in Spain decided to take a year out of cycling to spend more time with his family in 2003 but has agreed to work for the team during the Vuelta because many of the team’s riders have lost faith in current doctor Walter Viru. Viru seems to have been blamed for the positive test of Javier Pascual Llorente during the Tour de France and also for the fiasco during last months Volta a Portugal when all eight Kelme riders had to abandon the race due to medical problems.

Another Belgian First Division Team ?
It seems possible that there could be a fifth Belgian division one team in 2004. Frans Assez who is the current team manager of Flander-iTeamNova seems to have landed an Italian sponsor who have already paid the 13,400 Euro registration fee for division one teams next year. The team looks set to have an annual budget of 3 million Euros.

Valkenburg Wants the Vuelta
The Dutch town of Valkenburg has put itself forward as a candidate to host the start of the Vuelta a Espana in the years 2009, 2010 or 2011. The town have appointed Dick Heuvelman, who was instrumental in bringing the Giro d’Italia start to Groningen last year, to negotiate with Vuela organisers Unipublic. Heuvelman will travel to Gijon, Spain on Saturday where he will hand over a letter to the President of Unipublic stating Valkenburg’s interest in hosting the Vuelta start. Several large Dutch sponsors such as Randstad and Amstel are involved with the Vuelta and the town thinks this could be an advantage to any bid to host the race.

The Belgian town of Mechelen has registered it’s interest in hosting a stage start or finish if Valkenburg does manage to get the Vuelta start.

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.