December 21, 2006
Landaluze cleared for LNDD error; hope for Landis?
The Court of Arbitration of Sport yesterday rejected a final appeal by the UCI to sanction Inigo Landaluze for a postive testosterone case, citing malfeasance by the same lab that in July tested Tour de France winner Floyd Landis.
Inigo Landaluze, who won the 2005 Dauphiné Libéré for Euskaltel-Euskadi, was suspended for tests performed during that race. In May 2006, the Spanish cycling federation overturned the suspension (saying it was "not in accordance with all applicable legal requirements"), and the UCI appealed to the CAS.
Here's the CAS press release, but the nut graf is:
It has been indeed established that the person who conducted the analysis of the B sample was also involved in analysis of the A sample, thus in violation of the international standard applicable to the accredited laboratories. The Panel considered that the violation of this technical direction was likely to affect the results of the analyses. The Panel has considered that the non-compliance with this standard constituted a procedural flaw serious enough to cause the invalidation of the anti-doping test.
That's at the same Labaratoire National de Dopistage du Dopage (LNDD) at Chatenay-Malabry that committed a boatload of procedural errors in the Landis case.
I'll give Floyd himself the last word:
Going through what I am now, I feel personally for Landaluze and hope that everyone recognizes that it has taken him 18 difficult months to clear his name from what was revealed to be a grievous error by the LNDD ... The track record of scientific misconduct at Chatenay-Malabry seems to grow by the day.
December 19, 2006
Landis vs. Lance in Leadville?
According to the linked PR Newswire release, Floyd Landis has accepted an invitation to race at the Leadville Trail 100, a 100-mile mountain bike race in Colorado in August 2007.
Landis raced mountain bikes until 1998. His hip resurfacing, in mid-September, went well, and he's been back on the bike, including at a charity event on Sunday remembering his father-in-law and five firefighters who died fighting the Esperanza fire in October.
Former Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has already committed to the 2007 edition of the race.
If the release is on the level, and Landis hasn't been cleared of pending dope charges and resumed road racing, it would be Landis's first race since the 2006 Tour.
It would certainly pump up interest in the race to have two former Tour winners fighting it out on dirt.
Go Clipless was one of the first to report this rumor.
Lots of Levi love
Leipheimer reiterated his surprise at Discovery Channel signing Ivan Basso, after it looked like he would be the team leader for the '07 Tour, but Ken says:
... he hasn't given up his hopes for the Tour de France. Noting that many teams run with two leaders, Levi seems to be taking a two-phased wait-and-see approach: wait and see if Basso/Discovery survive the current uproar, and wait and see who is the strongest come Tour time.
Also, one question concerned a new time-trial position Leipheimer has worked out with extremely low drag, but that Leipheimer says he can only ride on straights, for now.
There's also footage discussing the competitive legal status of altitude tents, which WADA's Dick Pound has suggested confer an unfair advantage and should be outlawed.
Is it just me, or does Leipheimer look more like Lance Armstrong every year?
Photo by Ken Conley.
December 07, 2006
Tour of California '07 route unveiled
San Francisco, Sausalito, Santa Rosa, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara are again host cities for starts or finishes, and Sacramento, Stockton, Seaside, Solvang, Santa Clarita, and Long Beach (that's right, only one host city that doesn't begin with “s”) host for the first time during the 2nd annual run of the first big stage race of the season in the United States.
Sixteen teams will take the start, including a number of ProTour teams. Already committed are Discovery Channel, Team CSC, and Predictor-Lotto (formerly Davitamon-Lotto). Participating riders won't be announced until race time approaches, but one rider who looks unlikely to participate is 2006 Tour of California champion Floyd Landis, who is defending himself against doping charges as a result of a doping test after Stage 17 of the Tour de France.
Versus (formerly the Outdoor Life Network) will televise 14 hours of race coverage.
Race director Jim Birrell:
“Last year, the design of the courses were challenging enough to complement where riders were in their training schedules. What we learned is that we put the time trial too early into the Tour. We found out that our overall winner was determined in mid-week. One of things you see in 2007 is that not only have we moved the time trial from Wednesday to Friday, but we've shortened it. One of our overall goals is to see that the overall leader's jersey changes daily so that the storyline is always compelling.”
- Prologue: San Francisco - essentially a repeat of last year's 1.9-mile prologue along the Embarcadero, then up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower.
- Stage 1: Sausalito to Santa Rosa - Almost 100 miles, encompassing Mt. Tamalpais State Park, and the climb of Coleman Valley Road, then finishing with three laps of Santa Rosa.
- Stage 2: Santa Rosa to Sacramento - Santa Rosa is the only city to host a finish and a start. Passes through Davis before 3 laps in Sacramento, finishing at the State Capitol.
- Stage 3: Stockton to San Jose - Farm day, passing through Livermore, and including the toughest single climb, up Sierra Road in San Jose. It's 94.6 miles in all.
- Stage 4: Seaside to San Luis Obispo - Featuring oceanside Highway 1, the longest stage of the race goes more then 130 miles with three King of the Mountain primes. Passing Hearst Castle, finishing at Osos and Monterey in San Luis Obispo.
- Stage 5 ITT: Solvang - Solvang hosts one of the biggest centuries in the U.S. The riders only have to cover 14.5 miles, with the start and finish two blocks apart. Last year's ITT was hillier, longer, and earlier, running on Stage 3.
- Stage 6: Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita - 105 miles, 4 KOM climbs, 2 sprint lines. Start near the beach in Santa Barbara, through Ojai, Santa Paula, the Balcom Canyon that was a fan favorite last year, and 3 circuits in Santa Clarita.
- Stage 7: Long Beach Circuit Race - Covering part of the course of the Long Beach Grand Prix, 10 laps of 7.8 miles for a 78-mile day.
December 06, 2006
Minneapolis hosts Tour photo exhibitIf you're in Minneapolis, near Minneapolis, or visiting Minneapolis between now and February, do yourself a favor and visit the One on One Bicycle Studio for Caroline Yang's “Jaune+Rouge,” an exhibit of her 2006 Tour de France photos. Yang does a great job; here are a few of my favorite '06 Tour shots that she captured:
The exhibit runs from this Saturday, December 9th, through February 17th, 2007. Be there.