TOP STORY: The Tour ’98 Dopers
As promised, the French Senate has released the names of the riders who showed traces of EPO in the 1998 Tour de France. They were: Andrea Tafi, Erik Zabel, Bo Hamburger, Laurent Jalabert, Marcos Serrano, Jens Heppner, Jeroen Blijlevens, Nicola Minali, Mario Cipollini, Fabio Sacchi, Eddy Mazzoleni, Jacky Durand, Abraham Olano, Laurent Desbiens, Marco Pantani, Manuel Beltran, Jan Ullrich and Kevin Livingston.
Also there is a list of suspicious riders: Ermanno Brignoli, Alain Turicchia, Pascal Chanteur, Frederic Moncassin, Bobby Julich, Roland Meier, Giuseppe Calcaterra, Stefano Zanini, Eddy Mazzoleni, Stephane Barthe, Stuart O’Grady and Axel Merckx.
The tests were undertaken by the French Anti-Doping Agency, the samples from the 1998 Tour de France were tested in 2004. The 30 mentioned riders will not lose any results or face any sanction as it was too long ago and the test does not follow the strict rules around the tests.
Looking through the lists there are not any real surprises, it might have been interesting to see which riders were tested and showed to be clean, how many they tested and what the percentage of clean riders were.
To me there was only one surprise; Alain Turicchia. He was 4th on stage 3, 8th on stage 20, 10th on stage 22 and 14th on stages 14 and 15, finishing 74th on GC in the ’98 Tour. He had a good run in the 1999 Tirreno-Adriatico and was 51st in the 2000 Amstel Gold Race. Not great palmarés in his short four year professional career. It makes you wonder if it was worth it as EPO is not that cheap, if he was dabbling with the blood booster he would have wanted more return on his investment.
Some Tour ’98 action:
Tour de Wallonie 2013
BMC Racing Team’s Greg Van Avermaet earned his first victory of the season on Monday by winning Stage 3 of the Tour de Wallonie.
Van Avermaet out-sprinted Tom Van Asbroeck (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Jean-Pierre Drucker (Accent Jobs-Wanty) while teammate Daniel Oss finished fourth. It was Van Avermaet’s first win since his victory at Paris Tours in October of 2011 and his fourth career stage win in six participations in the race he won overall in 2011. “I’m really happy that I finally got a win,” Van Avermaet said. “I have had some good results, but for a rider, the important one is to win. I tried to stay quiet and wait for my chance and then give it everything in the sprint.” The final 30 kilometres of the 168.5-km race, the BMC Racing Team was aggressive, with Taylor Phinney, Oss, Van Avermaet and Yannick Eijssen all launching attacks. Eijssen’s attack, which was marked by Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Pieter Serry, was most productive. The pair got away with 18 km to go and built a lead of 37 seconds before being caught with 5 km to go. “Yannick’s move really took the pressure off of us,” BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Jackson Stewart said. “Everyone really played their role today, with Sebastian Lander and Klaas Lodewyck doing a lot of work to help bring back a three-man breakaway that had a pretty good lead (six minutes) at one point,” Stewart said. Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) kept the overall lead with two days to go while Van Avermaet is fourth overall, 22 seconds back.
Thanks to Sean Weide at BMC.
Tour de Wallonie Stage 3 Result:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC in 4:14:53
2. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
3. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty
4. Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC
5. Paul Martens (Ger) BelkiN
6. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
7. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM
8. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ
9. Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis
10. Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin Sharp.
Tour de Wallonie Overall After Stage 3:
1. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha in 13:42:36
2. Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ at 0:06
3. Stijn Devolder (Bel) Radioshack Leopard at 0:18
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:22
5. Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Europcar at 0:28
6. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty at 0:31
7. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol
8. Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:32
9. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:33
10. Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack Leopard.
Kenny Dehaes won Stage 4 of the Tour de Wallonie. In the stage of 197,1km from Andenne to Clabecq the 29 year old sprinter came across the finish line before Nizzolo and Napolitano. Four riders were in a long breakaway and had a maximum advantage of almost 14min on the bunch.
From the start at 11:30 several riders tried to escape. Also Tim Wellens made an attempt at the first climb of the day to ride off together with Machado, but they were caught. Eventually six riders managed to break away: Pichot, Prémont, Gilbert, De Winter, Declercq and Ghyselinck. Because Declercq and Ghyselinck were a threat for the GC, they were forced back into the bunch after the first intermediate sprint. When the gap between the four remaining leaders and the bunch went up to 13 minutes, Lotto Belisol rider Jurgen Van de Walle speeded up the pace in the peloton, so the advantage decreased rapidly. At 13km from the finish the last escapee Prémont was caught. During the final climb of the day at a bit less than 6km from the finish several riders tried to attack but it was clear the race would end in a bunch sprint. Lotto Belisol offered the perfect lead out and Dehaes sprinted to his fifth victory this year after perfect team work.
Kenny Dehaes: “When the leaders had an advantage of 13 minutes I asked the team to step up the pace. My legs felt good so Jurgen Van de Walle increased the speed in the bunch. Together with Omega Pharma – Quick-Step we managed to get closer to the leaders.”
“During the last climb I started to have some difficulties but Gert Dockx assisted me in the descent. Jonas van Genechten made a perfect lead out and I could finish the fantastic work of the team. It already is my fifth victory this year. Moreover, a lot of fans were standing at the side of the course. My goal is to win some more races this year. I participate in the Tour of Denmark and after that in several one-day races.”
Thanks to Lotto Belisol for the race info.
Tour de Wallonie Stage 4 Result:
1. Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol in 4:57:15
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack Leopard
3. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Accent Jobs-Wanty
4. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
5. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM
6. Davide Appollonio (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
7. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha
9. Olivier Chevalier (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles
10. Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis.
Tour de Wallonie Overall After Stage 4:
1. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha in 18:39:51
2. Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ at 0:06
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:22
4. Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar at 0:28
5. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty at 0:31
6. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol
7. Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:32
8. Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis
9. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:33
10. Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack Leopard.
BMC Racing Team’s Greg Van Avermaet won his second stage in three days on Stage 5 – as teammate Daniel Oss finished second – and time gained in Van Avermaet’s solo victory earned him the overall crown for the second time in three years.
Van Avermaet overcame a 22-second deficit heading into the final stage by attacking at the base of the finishing climb and earning a 10-second time bonus for the stage win while finishing far enough ahead of past race leader Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha Team), who struggled with a technical problem, and Anthony Geslin (FDJ.fr), who was in second place but was dropped on the climb. “I was just trying to win the stage,” Van Avermaet said. “From zero to three victories, this is really great for me. I’m very happy with my Tour de Wallonie. It is a parcours that suits me and it’s good for my confidence for San Sebastian (on Saturday).” Before his win on Monday, Van Avermaet’s last victory had come at Paris-Tours in October of 2011. In the final overall standings, Geslin finished second, 10 seconds back, while Kolobnev slid to third, at 12 seconds, and Oss was fourth, at 20 seconds.
BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Jackson Stewart said the formula that helped Van Avermaet win Stage 3 on Monday worked equally as well at the end of the 144.7-kilometer stage after a breakaway was brought back with 17 km to go. “It was impressive,” Stewart said. “It was the same thing we’ve been doing all week. Everyone did everything perfectly. Taylor Phinney came to the front and put Greg right there at the bottom. When Phinney pulled off, Greg just lit it up on the cobblestones and stayed on the gas the whole way up.” After the race, the BMC Racing Team received more good news when Alessandro Ballan was released from the hospital where he had been under observation since Sunday night after complaining of stomach pain. The former world road champion competed in Stages 1 and 2 before withdrawing from the race.
Thanks to BMC.
Tour de Wallonie Stage 5 Result:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 3:27:59
2. Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC at 0:03
3. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM
4. Olivier Chevalier (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles
5. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty at 0:07
6. Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin
7. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol
8. Laurent Evrard (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles
9. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
10. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Crelan-Euphony at 0:11
Tour de Wallonie Final Overall:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC in 22:08:02
2. Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ at 0:10
3. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha at 0:12
4. Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC at 0:20
5. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM
6. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty at 0:26
7. Olivier Chevalier (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles
8. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol
9. Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin at 0:30
10. Laurent Evrard (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles.
The final stage 5:
Aalst Criterium 2013
Unsurprisingly the Tour de France winner; Chris Froome (Sky) won the first post-Tour criterium in Aalst. It followed the usual script with attacks and chases to keep the big Belgian crowd happy. With two laps to go Froome and his right hand man Richie Porte attacked and rode to the finish with Froome crossing the line first in his sparkly Yellow jersey. Tour stage winner Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) won the sprint for third from Oscar Gatto (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia), just behind them Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil-DCM) brought in the bunch in fifth.
Aalst Criterium Result:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 2:02:26
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:03
4. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
5. Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:07
6. Bert De Backer (Bel) Argos-Shimano
7. Stefan van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Wanty
8. Steffen Radochla (Ger) Euskaltel-Euskadi
9. Laurent Didier (Lux) RadioShack Leopard
10. Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Crelan-Euphony.
OK this is not that Aalst crit, but it was the same day:
Schleck’s for Trek
As we reported the other day; Andy Schleck has signed a contract with the Trek team for next year and as expected his brother Fränk will be joining him. Fränk commented; “they (Trek) supported me throughout the rough period I have been through – from the people on the road to the top management. We wanted to return this confidence and trust by signing on to their new project.” Andy added that “I’m happy to re-sign with the Trek family and be a part of this project. The jersey of the team may be different but I’m happy that a large part of this team will remain intact.”
Stuart O’Grady Announces Retirement
Press Release: Stuart O’Grady has announced his retirement from the professional peloton today. While Australia’s first Classics champion, six-time Olympian and inaugural Tour Down winner had originally stated his intention to retire next year, O’Grady has opted to readjust his plans on the heels of a historical Tour de France for ORICA-GreenEDGE.
“I’ve always wanted my career to end with something truly special and this year’s Tour de France has given me that,” explained O’Grady. “We’ve had a great race, and I’m really proud of what we accomplished. Winning a stage and standing on the podium with all my teammates after the team time trial in Nice was a dream come true for me this late in my career, and to be able to defend the yellow jersey for Simon [Gerrans] and Daryl [Impey] was special. I’m extremely happy to have had a chance to do that one more time before I retired.”
“Having done all this, I’m happy to say that I’ve had my run,” O’Grady continued. “Originally, I wanted to keep going, but I’ve kept thinking that this is the year. We reached big goals as a team at the Tour, and I’m proud to finish my career after an amazing experience with an incredible team. I’m turning 40 very soon, and I’ve realized there are things in my life that I want to prioritize. My family has helped me make this decision. It’s been 23 years of top level performing and 19 years of professional racing, so it’s time to move on.”
O’Grady has appeared in every Tour de France since he made his debut at La Grand Boucle in 1997. He started a record-tying 17th Tour de France in Corsica in June and has 15 finishes, three stage wins and nine days in yellow to his name.
“I have a lot of great memories to look back upon, and I’m happy to pull the pin at a point where I still feel strong, healthy and competitive,” said O’Grady. “I’ve had some bad crashes along the way, but it’s the great moments – like this year’s Tour de France – that I’ll always remember. Above all, I would like to thank all the fans, my team and my family for always cheering for me and for all the great support throughout my career. It has made me feel appreciated and has given me profound joy for simply doing my job.”
Although O’Grady’s personal victories have diminished in the twilight of his career, he remains a familiar figure on the front of the bunch. The South Australian played an integral role in Simon Gerrans’ Tour de France stage victory in Corsica and the team time trial win in Nice. He was instrumental in the team’s ability to defend the yellow jersey during the first week of the Tour.
“It’s impossible to sum up everything that Stuart has given cycling, but a few things stand out,” said General Manager Shayne Bannan. “His commitment to the sport and to his team has been immense. He’s been a huge resource and a fantastic rider for us to work with. To have that kind of dedication at this point in his career shows a lot about his character. He’s a unique person and an incredible athlete. His experience and status in the peloton has been one of the key elements to our success.”
“We respect his decision and even if we wanted to keep him, we knew that he had been thinking this after the team time trial win,” Bannan added “Bowing out after a legendary career like his has been a hard decision for him, but we’re proud to say that he was part of starting up this team and set the bar for high ambitions from day one.”
Ciolek extends contract with Team MTN-Qhubeka
Press Release: Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung is pleased to announce the contract extension of Gerald Ciolek. The team captain has revealed his satisfaction in this environment and has opted to stay with Africa’s first Professional Continental team through 2015.
“We’re delighted that Gerald has extended with us,” team principal, Douglas Ryder. “He’s made a huge impact on our team not only with his results but also with mentoring the younger riders. They’re excited to have a captain that is down to earth and takes the time to share his experience. We now look forward to increasing our race program as we build towards our first Grand Tour.”
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung races to raise awareness for the Qhubeka foundation, an organisation raising funds to mobilise people on bicycles in Africa. Racing for a higher purpose was one of the main attractions for Ciolek.
The 26 year old attracted the attention of several teams after he took the biggest victory of his career in March, Milan Sanremo.
“I always said I would like to stay with this team,” Ciolek said. “As a professional cyclist you always look for other options but in the end I am really happy that I can go forward with this team. When I first found out about the team last year, I discovered a great team with great character and performing on a high level and I really like this.
“I think we had a really good year and now we want to build to go to an even better level next year. We are very ambitious as a team and want to grow and become the first African team to race the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.”
After making its WorldTour debut in 2013 and finishing on the podium of Milan Sanremo and several top tens in Tirreno-Adriatico, the team has made clear its ambitions to race a Grand Tour in 2014.
“We have a very competitive team for a Grand Tour already. If we get all the guys into good shape I think we have the potential to go to a three-week stage race and do well. Not just the experienced guys but even the younger guys. It’s amazing working with the younger riders and how they follow the advice of the more experienced riders 100%. It gives us, the more experienced riders, confidence when they follow our advice,” Ciolek concluded.
Serame Taukobong, MTN’s Chief Marketing Officer added, “We’re very excited that a world class rider like Gerald has extended his stay with Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung. As an organisation we are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve and the team mimics that. In Ciolek we’ve acquired one of the best riders, a true ambassador for our brand. With our support we have managed to bring him into an African environment and he has flourished which shows how the continent is growing.”
To date, the team boasts eleven victories for the season. More announcements regarding plans for 2014 will follow in the weeks to come.
Photo (left to right): Gerald Ciolek, Serame Taukobong, Douglas Ryder.
Two Climbs with Contador
On Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th of August, Alberto Contador will be on the starting line of the climbs the Gavia and Mortirolo, in two days of biking where fans can register for free. On Friday, August 2, at 18:00 pm Alberto Contador will hold a press conference in which he will present this special weekend of cycling in Bianzone. Zerorh+, brand supplier of glasses and backpacks of Team Saxo-Tinkoff and personal sponsor of Alberto Contador, has organized these days of biking to climb these two mythical peaks of the Giro d’Italia from both sides at the same time, to meet cyclists at the top.
On Saturday, fans can choose the Gavia climb from Bormio or from the famous Ponte di Legno. At the summit they will proceed to the inauguration of two separate busts of two great characters of Italian cycling, the ‘Campionissimo’ Fausto Coppi, who won five Tours of Italy and two Tours de France, and Vincenzo Torriani, legendary ‘patron’ of the Giro d’Italia.
On Sunday, the Mortirolo may be climbed from Grosotto or from Monno, which will, as wanted by the initiative of the sponsor Alberto Brignone, general manager of Zerorh+, twinning of the provinces of Sondrio and Brescia. This is the first edition of the so-called ‘rhxdue Contador’, which for the moment has now over a thousand cyclists registered. The inscriptions, free and compulsory, are still open and can be formalized at this address: www.rhxdue.com where you will find all the details of the event.
Orice-GreenEdge-150th Backstage Pass
Yes; 150 episodes of the ORICA-GreenEDGE Backstage Pass, here you can take a look back at some of the team’s best moments right up to the final day of the 2013 Tour de France. The Australian team has the best “inside the race” videos and, for sure, the funniest!
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
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