You know it’s getting late in the season when it’s announced that the final major European stage race of 2006 is about to start, and there are only three more ProTour one-day events remaining – indeed Fall is nearly upon us (unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere of course). The waning season provides much for news though: Floyd, Ulle, Zabel, Hondo, and MUCH More!
Ullrich Can Get A License
Unfortunately for the Swiss Cycling Federation, they still have no info relating to Jan Ullrich from Operation Puerto, meaning that if Ullrich applies for a license in 2007, he can get one. Previously, it seemed only a matter of time before Ullrich would be tried and delivered a hefty suspension, instead, nothing has come to the Swiss Federation, so there’s nothing on Ullrich except massive speculation.
President of the Swiss Federation, Lorenz Schlaefli, notes with irritation: “If Ullrich submits an application, he’ll get a license. For a disciplinary hearing you have to have certified documentation. That’s written into the Swiss Law…at the moment we do not have a doping case in Switzerland.”
Ulle’s manager, Wolfgang Strohband, confirmed the fears: “Of course we’ll apply for a license.” Unfortunately for Ullrich, it’ll be hard to find a spot on a ProTour team due to the ProTour Ethics Code, which forbids teams from signing a rider under suspicion of doping.
300,000 Euros Worth Of Dopage
In a fitness center in Bergamo, Italy a freight vehicle was stopped by police and inside 300,000 Euros worth of doping products were found.
Italian media reports that the stop was related to the Italian investigation into the Operation Puerto Affair.
That’s a lot of drugs…
Elisa Basso And Luca Paolini Searched
The homes of both Ivan Basso’s sister, Elisa Basso, as well as Italian Worlds Team member, Luca Paolini were searched this week according to La Gazzetta Dello Sport.
Both were apparently visiting fitness centers in Bergamo, and of course, 300,000 Euros worth of dope were found outside of one of these, so there was indeed reason to have a look through the houses of Elisa Basso and Luca Paolini.
La Gazzetta reports that initial findings in the two houses were nill.
From Floyd Landis’ website:
Tour de France winner Floyd Landis, who will have hip replacement surgery on September 27, received notice that the Anti-Doping Review Board (ADRB) has recommended that the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) move forward in the disciplinary process related to Landis’ alleged positive drug test of July 20, 2006. Howard Jacobs, attorney for Landis, will request an open hearing by the American Arbitration Association to contest potential sanctions against the athlete.
Despite the ADRB’s recommendations, Landis’ legal team is poised to bring a very strong case to arbitration. Last week’s motion for dismissal provides the foundation for an appeal that uses fact-based science to support Landis’ innocence. Landis is confident that the hearing will reveal the truth and he is looking forward to clearing his name in an open and public forum.
While his legal team prepares for arbitration, Landis will focus on his upcoming hip replacement surgery. “Floyd is going to undergo a state of the art procedure that will maximize his chances of returning to racing at the top level,” said Brent Kay, M.D., Landis’ physician and assistant clinical professor of medicine at Loma Linda University Medical Center.
Following surgery, Landis will go through physical therapy to regain strength and range of movement in the hip. As part of his physical rehabilitation program, Landis will begin training in earnest for the 2007 season when he hopes to defend his Tour de France title.
Tour Boss Has A Go
Tour de France top dog Patric Clerc commented to L’Equipe in an interview on Wednesday that Landis is guilty and he’s harming the sport of bike racing.
“For me, the sermon has been read. Landis did not win the Tour because he cheated.”
For Clerc, Landis has done more harm than just his own personal case, Clerc claims that Floyd has “gravely affected the credibility of his sport.”
Unsurprisingly, “Anything that goes in the direction of the fight against doping is fine by me. There are often facades of discussions, but no action follows. I want to believe that the will exists today.”
Petacchi’s Fantastic 2006
Alessandro Petacchi busted his hand against the Lampre bus after a sprint late in the Vuelta – a misguided punch that broke his hand, and all because he was pissed off about a sprint. True, you get mad, but punching inanimate objects that aren’t punching bags or Jell-O is not an intelligent practice.
The hand breaking incident ended up putting an end to Petacchi’s hard, mean season which pretty much ended in early May.
To throw a little more mud into Peta’s face, his house was nearly robbed a few days ago, but apparently his security system managed to deter the thieves.
Hondo To Italia
Danilo Hondo, who returned from a one-year doping ban this year, and then managed to have his suspension lengthened, then shortened, and even still the case is in the courts – (stay with me on this long sentence) is moving on from his German Lamonta squad to the team of Russian bajillionaire, Tinkoff, and his Tinkoff Credit System Team, which will be based in Italy.
Along with Hondo, former U23 TT World Champ and podium finisher this year, Mikhail Ignatiev, is a confirmed rider for the team.
Hondo: “I’m happy about this new challenge. The goal of the new team is to do races of the highest calibre.”
New Zabel Comments
On Monday, PEZ reported on Erik Zabel’s comments post-World Championships where he said that if he had won, he would have retired and become a family man, instead he has two more years of suffering in front of him.
Some new quotes have been released since then…
First, German Cycling Federation President, Rudolf Scharping, “Zabel is in any case on our roster for the 2008 Olympics.” Zabel will only be 38-years-old for the Beijing Olympics, hell, he’s 36 right now. 2nd Place in Salzburg ain’t bad at all.
As far as his better half, Zabel joked that continuing for two more years means another “two years of bad sex.”
Wanna Ride With Bobke And Hincapie?
Imagine the thrill of a bike ride on a crisp, October day – sounds invigorating, right? Imagine sharing that ride with George Hincapie and Bob Roll – two legends of the cycling world – for one amazing trip!
On Friday, Oct. 13, be one of a select group of cyclists to join Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team’s George Hincapie and Tour de France cycling commentator Bob Roll on a brisk 30-mile ride during the third annual Bicycles, Inc., Cycle for Science. This is your opportunity to ride shoulder-to-shoulder with two cycling champions while supporting the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. The ride is limited to just 45 participants, giving you unprecedented access to two of the sports’ biggest names.
Two participation levels are available for this exclusive opportunity – Yellow Jersey Individual Sponsor for $2,000 per rider and Green Jersey Participant for $500 per rider. Each level includes one spot in the ride, an 8”x10” autographed photo of George Hincapie, complimentary admission tickets and an experience to remember. The Yellow Jersey Individual Sponsor also includes dinner for two with Hincapie and Roll on Thursday before the ride. Proceeds from the event will benefit educational programs at the Museum of Science and History.
Before the ride, meet Bob Roll in a special appearance at Bicycles, Inc. at 5125 Granbury Rd. in Fort Worth on Oct. 12 from 3 to 4 p.m.
Hincapie was hailed as “America’s premier classics rider” following his tremendous second-place finish at Paris-Roubaix in 2005, the highest ever placing for an American rider. This ten-time Tour de France veteran’s popularity skyrocketed following the 2006 Tour de France. He became only the fourth American cyclist in history to don the yellow jersey after Stage 1, and placed 32nd overall. He is the only teammate to have played a pivotal role in all seven Lance Armstrong victories.
Roll, known to friends and family as Bobke, pronounced “boob-ka,” is the entertaining and devil-may-care Tour de France commentator on the Outdoor Life Network, a job he’s held since 2000. He is a real character, and often his two-wheel accomplishments are overshadowed by his zany antics. Bob joined America’s first real super cyclist team, Team 7-Eleven, in 1985 and rode in four Tour de France, three Giro d’Italia, three Tour de Swiss, seven Paris-Roubaix and five Coors Classics. He later switched to racing mountain bikes through 1998 and rode for Greg LeMond’s Z Team. He is also a member of the U.S. Cycling Hall of Fame.
For registration information, go ONLINE, call 817-255-9408, or pick up a brochure at either the Museum or all Bicycles, Inc. locations.
For more fun, head to TheBikeGame Dot Com