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February 15, 2006

Team CSC bringing Tour heavyweights to Tour of California

Team CSC | CSC Announces Tour of California Riders

Team CSC has announced the Tour of California squad, and it's loaded with Tour de France veterans, including 2 of last year's yellow jersey wearers.

New CSC riders Fabian Cancellara, Stuart O'Grady, and Karsten Kroon join Americans Bobby Julich, Christian Vande Velde, and Dave Zabriskie. Rounding out the eight-man squad are Jens Voigt and Lars Bak.

Voigt and Zabriskie both held the yellow jersey during last year's Tour, the only riders not named Armstrong to spend time in the maillot jaune.

“I'm sending a very motivated group of riders who can win the Tour of California,” said Bjarne Riis, owner and manager of Team CSC. “And since the race finishes in Southern California, near the headquarters of CSC, our title sponsor, it's a race we'd clearly love to win.”

The first Tour of California kicks off Sunday with a prologue in San Francisco.

Posted by Frank Steele on February 15, 2006 in Bobby Julich, Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie, Fabian Cancellara, Jens Voigt, Stuart O'Grady, Top Stories, Tour of California | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 11, 2006

Hamilton loses appeal; suspension to run through September

ESPN.com | Cyclist Hamilton's two-year doping ban upheld

It's pretty anticlimactic, but Tyler Hamilton received word today that his 2-year suspension from racing has been upheld. Hamilton was the first rider implicated by a new blood-doping test, and he has fought the suspension and the test since his blood test results turned up positive in September 2004.

His original suspension date was in April 2005, but the CAS ruled that Hamilton voluntarily accepted a suspension when he withdrew from the Vuelta upon being notified of the positive blood test, so he can return to racing in late September of this year.

Still on the table is an appeal by the Russian cycling federation, which wants to see Hamilton stripped of his 2004 Olympic gold, and Viatcheslav Ekimov, currently the silver medalist, elevated to gold.

Posted by Frank Steele on February 11, 2006 in 2004 Olympics, Doping, Top Stories, Tyler Freaking Hamilton, Viatcheslav Ekimov | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 10, 2006

Boonen getting his Cipo on

Yahoo! Sport | Boonen to prove he is a gem

Tom Boonen should be the easiest guy to pick out of the pro peloton this year. In addition to the rainbow jersey he'll wear as reigning world champion, Agence France Presse reports he'll be flashing a custom rainbow helmet “decorated with gold and a single two-carat diamond.”

The new helmet should make its debut this weekend at the Tour of Andalucia.

Posted by Frank Steele on February 10, 2006 in Tom Boonen | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 09, 2006

London Grand Depart details released

24dash.com | Mayor announces London 2007 Tour de France route

Grand Depart diorama
AP Photo/Kristy Wigglesworth

Details of the 2007 Tour de France “Grand Depart” from London were released today.

The Tour's opening ceremonies will be in Trafalgar Square July 6, 2007. The 8-kilometer prologue will start there, and take in Downing Street, Parliament Square, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and Hyde Park, finishing on The Mall near the palace.

Stage 1, a 200-km day for the sprinters, on July 7, will begin on The Mall, passes the London Eye, St. Paul's Cathedral, and the Tower of London, out through Greenwich and finishes at Canterbury.

Discussions are underway on how best to memorialize the 2nd anniversary of the London transit bombings, which were July 7, 2005.

Said London Mayor Ken Livingstone:

"Having the Grand Depart on July 7 will broadcast to the world that terrorism does not win, it does not change a city, it does not shake our faith," Livingstone said. "There will be no better way of celebrating the unity of humanity than this great sporting event in this city on that day."

Also:

BBC Sport | Tour to start in Whitehall in '07 (with maps)

letour.fr | The Tour discovers London in 2007

Monsters & Critics | Whitehall to welcome Tour de France start

Posted by Frank Steele on February 9, 2006 in Top Stories, Tour de France 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Heras suspended for 2 years

ESPN.com | Ex-Armstrong teammate Heras banned for EPO

Spain's Roberto Heras has been banned for two years for EPO.

Heras, who tested positive while riding for a record fourth Vuelta a España win last year, is considering whether to appeal to Spain's cycling federation or directly to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

Said Jose Maria Buxeda, Heras' lawyer:

"We need to study the decision carefully to see where we will take the appeal," Buxeda was quoted as saying by Spanish daily El Pais (link in Spanish). "If we take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport it will take at least five months for a resolution."

The finding hands the 2005 Vuelta title to Denis Menchov of Rabobank, who finished 2nd overall.

Heras, of course, insists he is innocent.

"I never doped myself," he said. "I didn't do it during the Vuelta nor at any other time. I've always won cleanly. I can't allow all my sacrifices to be trampled due to an error. I have to take the result on board, but I question it."

Also:

VeloNews.com | Heras suspended and stripped of Vuelta title

Posted by Frank Steele on February 9, 2006 in Denis Menchov, Doping, Roberto Heras, Top Stories, Vuelta a España | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 03, 2006

Rumor mill was right: Armstrong, Crow split

Statesman.com | Lance and Sheryl are no more

The Austin American-Statesman reports that “a spokesman for Armstrong's agent” confirmed that the pop-singer and the retired 7-time Tour winner have called it quits.

“After much thought and consideration we have made a very tough decision to split up,” the couple said in a joint statement. “We both have a deep love and respect for each other, and we ask that everyone respect our privacy during this very difficult time.”

Also:

ESPN.com | Armstrong, Crow announce they're breaking up

Posted by Frank Steele on February 3, 2006 in Lance Armstrong, Sheryl Crow, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack