June 30, 2007

Jaksche admits Puerto link, discusses widespread doping

ESPN | Cyclist: Doctor in Spanish probe assisted doping

Former Telekom, ONCE, and Liberty Seguros rider Jörge Jaksche has admitted he was a client of Eufemiano Fuentes, and said he has used performance-enhancing drugs since 1997.

Jaksche spoke to the German newsweekly Spiegel. He has promised to provide information on doping to the World Anti-Doping Agency, the UCI, and national authorities.

He confirmed that he is the rider identified in investigators' files as Number 20 and “Bella,” the name of his dog, and that his blood is among the bags recovered from Fuentes' clinic.

“I believe it's important for the future of the sport that someone comes out and says, ‘OK, this is how it happens here.’ ”

Former Jaksche teammate Alexandre Vinokourov, the favorite in this year's Tour de France, dismissed Jaksche's allegations that doping was “either actively conducted by the team leadership or tolerated:”

“Jaksche was contacted by Der Spiegel and offered lots of money. It's easy to give evidence when's there's a big cheque being dangled in front of you.

“If you're given €5 000 to dish the dirt on someone, you're not going to do it. But if its €100 000, you'll find a story to justify the amount.”

Vinokourov also spoke to L'Equipe about his ties to former Lance Armstrong trainer Michele Ferrari. “Ferrari has never offered me any medication. He is just my physical trainer and if I'm talking as openly as this it's because I've nothing to hide,” Vinokourov said.

Update (7/3): Cyclingnews.com offers a lengthy story detailing Jaksche's Der Spiegel interview.


Spiegel Online | Jaksches Dopingbekenntnis: Das Geständnis von "Bella" (in German) | rough Google translation

VeloNews | 'Bella' speaks; Vino' concedes Ferrari link

cyclingnews.com | Jaksche admits taking banned substances & blood doping

Posted by Frank Steele on June 30, 2007 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Doping, Jorg Jaksche, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 29, 2007

Jaksche to "speak out" on doping

IHT.com | German rider Joerg Jaksche offers to speak out on doping to WADA, UCI and justice officials

Jörg Jaksche, who rode for Telekom from 1998-2000 then worked for Manolo Saiz at ONCE and at Liberty Seguros, is set to speak to the press and anti-doping officials.

Jaksche offered no details of the testimony he would provide, but he is among the riders suspected of involvement in Operación Puerto, and was held out of the Tour de France last year.

His first interview will be with Germany's newsmagazine Der Spiegel, but he promises to also speak to officials of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the UCI, and German justice authorities.

As recently as June 20th, Jaksche told cyclingnews.com:

...he will not join the ranks of riders who have confessed to being involved in the Telekom 1990s doping scandal or Operación Puerto, in which his name had arisen. "I have nothing to confess," he said.

Jaksche signed with Tinkoff Credit Systems this spring, but was held out of the Giro d'Italia when Giro organizers asked teams not to include racers who appeared in the files of Operación Puerto investigators.

Jaksche, 30, has also ridden for Polti and CSC, and started 6 Tours de France.


VeloNews | Jaksche ready to talk

cyclingpost.com | Jaksche ready to reveal truth: “The rider's attorney announced that Jaksche will not only be admitting to the use of forbidden substances; he is also willing to witness against others.”

CyclingHeroes.com | Jörg Jaksche: no team without investigation

cyclingnews.com | Interview with Jörg Jaksche, December 7, 2006

Posted by Frank Steele on June 29, 2007 in Doping, Jorg Jaksche, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 06, 2007

Michaelsen, Jaksche to retire

Eurosport | Michaelsen to retire

Michaelsen @ 2006 Tour de Georgia

Lars Michaelsen
by Frank Steele.

CSC's Lars Michaelsen, 38, will retire after Paris-Roubaix next month. Michaelsen won Ghent-Wevelgem in 1995, a stage of the Vuelta in 1997, and a stage of the Tour de Georgia (into Macon) last year, giving him the overall race lead at that point.

Also expected to retire is Jorg Jaksche, unable to find a new team after being named in the Operacíon Puerto investigation. Jaksche, 30, rode for ONCE, CSC, Liberty Seguros, Astana, and two other teams, and has ridden in 6 Tours de France.

He once looked likely to sign with Volksbank, the team that last week signed Jan Ullrich as an adviser, but Eurosport reports that Tour of Germany organizers pressured the team to avoid Jaksche.

He's among 7 riders suing ActiveBay, the management company that ran Liberty Seguros, for back pay.


cyclingnews | Interview with Jorg Jaksche, December 7, 2006

Posted by Frank Steele on March 6, 2007 in Jorg Jaksche | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 10, 2007

Taking the DeLorean back to 1998

Peleton 3
Peleton 3,
originally uploaded by conibonjovi.
Somebody posted photos from the Tour's 1998 visit to Ireland today. That was, of course, the Tour made infamous by the Festina affair, and eventually won by Marco Pantani.

I see a few recognizable faces here, and in shots of the body of the peloton here and here. It would be very cool if you could tag the photo with notes of riders you recognize.

Also, does anyone know which stage this is? I think that's Chris Boardman in yellow, which means it's Stage 1 or the beginning of Stage 2, when he crashed out. The pictures are marked as “March 2004”, which is obviously wrong.

Some help: the 1998 review from letour.fr, including team rosters.

I promise no more games like this once there's some actual racing...

Posted by Frank Steele on January 10, 2007 in Bobby Julich, Erik Dekker, Erik Zabel, George Hincapie, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, Magnus Backstedt, Marco Pantani, Mario Cipollini, Photo galleries, Robbie McEwen, Tyler Freaking Hamilton, Viatcheslav Ekimov | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 01, 2006

Why the 9 riders were suspended

procycling | What the Puerto dossier revealed

What made T-Mobile so quickly sever its relationship with Jan Ullrich? What's been shown to teams so far is the 38-page summary of the 500-page Spanish Civil Guard report, and it turns out that Spanish Civil Guard authorities had phone and SMS records that appear to show a chain of communications between someone calling himself “Rudicio” and Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes.

Late on May 17, Fuentes got an SMS message from “Rudicio,” trying to set up a conversation. The next day, around noon, he got a call from the same number, and told the caller he was busy, and could talk that evening. “But there's a time trial,” the dossier quotes the caller as saying. Ullrich's longtime trainer is Rudy Pevenage, and on May 18, Jan Ullrich won the Giro time trial.

Additionally, the codename ‘Jan’ (and I hope we somehow find that these guys weren't so dumb as to think ‘Jan’ is a good codename for someone named, um, ‘Jan’) is 4 times listed in a lab document concerning stored blood, human growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor, and testosterone patches.

At Ignacio Labarta's home, police found documents on Francisco Mancebo's annual training regimen, with symbols the police recognized from other lab documents as relating to blood transfusions and medicines, and which the Civil Guard claims identifies Mancebo as client number 17 on the numbered blood bags.

Oscar Sevilla, Santiago Botero, and Jorg Jaksche were allegedly seen arriving with Fuentes and Labarta at an apartment where “four bags of blood were refrigerated.” I don't know if they mean the four bags were found when the raids went down, but I assume that's the implication.

As for Basso, the case against him seems more circumstantial: Investigators claim Labarto referred to him, and José-Enrique Gutierrez, on the phone with Fuentes as Fuentes clients, and the Civil Guard then made the link with the codename “Barrillo,” Basso's dog's name.

Manolo Saiz apparently established the relationship between Roberto Heras and Dr. Fuentes. When he was questioned May 24, Saiz told Spanish officials that Heras insisted on using Fuentes as his team doctor, over the objections of Saiz. That seems a little strange, given that Heras is out of the sport, but Saiz was still involved with Fuentes.

Finally, officials claim they found references to Joseba Beloki in a lab document with notations for HGH, IGF-1, testosterone patches, EPO, anabolic steroids, and blood transfusions.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 1, 2006 in Doping, Francisco Mancebo, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, Jose Enrique Gutierrez, Joseba Beloki, Manolo Saiz, Santiago Botero | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 30, 2006

It's official: Vinokourov, Astaná-Wuerth out

www.cyclingnews.com | Tour de France News Flash

Astaná-Würth is out of the Tour. Active Bay, which manages the team, announced the withdrawal this afternoon, when it became apparent they wouldn't have enough riders to take the start tomorrow morning in Strasbourg.

“This measure does not concern the team's riders of the Tour de France that are not included in the dossier: Alexander Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Carlos Barredo and Luis León Sanchez. Nevertheless, the withdrawal of the riders that appear in the above-mentioned dossier implies that the Tour of France team will not have the minimum number of riders demanded by the UCI rules, which means the team will not be able to take the start tomorrow morning in the Tour de France.”

Posted by Frank Steele on June 30, 2006 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Doping, Jorg Jaksche, Joseba Beloki, Manolo Saiz, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Another shoe for Astaná: Contador, Davis, Paulinho

Eurosport | UCI add names to official list

So the road for Astaná-Würth just gets steeper. The UCI reported today that in addition to Joseba Beloki, Jorg Jaksche, Isidro Nozal, and Aitor Osa, that Allan Davis, Alberto Contador, and Sergio Paulinho all appear in the Operación Puerto report. Osa is a reserve, and Paulinho isn't on the Tour list, but if the team voluntarily excludes riders listed, and no replacements are allowed, the team would be left with only its three Kazakhs (Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, and Assan Bazayev), plus Luis Sanchez. Unfortunately for Vinokourov, UCI rules require every team to start a grand tour with at least 6 riders. Here's the official UCI statement.

Posted by Frank Steele on June 30, 2006 in Alberto Contador, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Jorg Jaksche, Joseba Beloki, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Who's out: Which riders won't start?

There are only 10 riders from the provisional Tour start list on the list of names under investigation in Spain, including 1 reserve. All will be withdrawn from the Tour.


  • Isidro Nozal
  • Jorg Jaksche
  • Joseba Beloki
  • Reserve: Aitor Osa
  • Added Friday: Alberto Contador
  • Added Friday: Allan Davis

Update: Astaná-Würth withdrew from the Tour on Friday afternoon. That adds Vinokourov, Kashechkin, Bazayev, and Sanchez as riders from the provisional start list not on the final start list.


  • Ivan Basso


  • Francisco Mancebo


  • Jan Ullrich
  • Oscar Sevilla

Some mainstream press reports have “dozens of others being excluded from the Tour, but that's not the case. There are almost 40 riders named in the 500-page report, but only these 10 were on their team's provisional Tour roster, so only they can be excluded from the Tour.

Posted by Frank Steele on June 30, 2006 in Andrey Kashechkin, Doping, Francisco Mancebo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, Joseba Beloki, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 26, 2006

ASO withdraws invitation to Astaná-Wurth

VeloNews | ASO wants Astaná-Würth out of Tour

Two Spanish newspapers report that Tour de France organizers faxed Astaná-Würth co-manager Pablo Antón and the UCI that the team is not welcome at Saturday's start in Strasbourg.

Antón said he would appeal immediately to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. His team is participating in the Tour under the auspices of the UCI ProTour, and as recently as Thursday, the UCI maintained it doesn't have sufficient evidence to exclude the squad.

Apparently, Tour organizers decided to withdraw the invitation late Monday, after the story in El Pais that claimed 15 members of the team were involved in the blood doping operation of Eufemiano Fuentes in Madrid.

I can understand the Tour's reluctance to have a team under a cloud in the race, but I don't think it's right to exclude a team on the basis of a newspaper story, even a well-sourced and believable one. When this story first hit, there were reportedly 200 riders involved — that's already been whittled down to 58.

Posted by Frank Steele on June 26, 2006 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Doping, Jorg Jaksche, Manolo Saiz, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 22, 2006

Astaná-Würth cleared for Tour start

Eurosport | Vino team cleared for Tour

Alexandre Vinokourov's Astaná-Würth team was officially cleared by the UCI to participate in the 2006 Tour de France, starting a week from Saturday in Strasbourg. The team is partially owned by Manolo Saiz, who was arrested for being a possible customer of a doping ring under investigation in Spain. Saiz turned over day-to-day management of the squad to 3 men (Neil Stephens, Marino Lejarreta, Herminio Diaz Zabala). The Tour organization has expressed some displeasure about the team's involvement, but can't exclude them because they're riding based on their ProTour license. The Tour would have to break its agreement with the ProTour, or the UCI would have to break its agreement with the team, to keep it from starting. Alexandre Vinokourov, who has played the crazy Kazakh in the last few Tours for T-Mobile, finally will get a chance to see what he can do riding for himself.

    Astaná-Würth 2006 Tour de France roster:

  • Alexandre Vinokourov
  • Andrey Kashechkin
  • Luis Sanchez
  • Jorg Jaksche
  • Joseba Beloki
  • Allan Davis
  • Alberto Contador
  • Assan Bazayev
  • Isidro Nozal


  • Aitor Osa
  • Carlos Barredo
  • Dariusz Baranowski

Posted by Frank Steele on June 22, 2006 in Alberto Contador, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Jorg Jaksche, Joseba Beloki, Luis Sanchez, Tour de France 2006, Tour news | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 17, 2006

Contador takes Suisse Stage 8

Astaña-Würth's Alberto Contador attacked 33 kilometers out on the last major climb of the day to take the last road stage of the Tour of Switzerland.

Cadel Evans tried to bridge up, attacking on a 4th category near the finish line to gap the surviving leaders, but never got within 20 seconds of Contador. He was joined by Euskaltel's David Herrero maybe 2k later. The pair was able to hold off T-Mobile's chase to the finish, and Herrero led Evans in for 2nd perhaps 3 seconds ahead of Gil, Ullrich, and the other leaders.

Stage Results:

1) Contador
2) Herrero
3) Evans
4) Moos
5) Gil
6) Botcharev
7) Ullrich
8) Gerdemann
9) Jaksche

Gil holds 1st on the GC. Jose Gomez didn't finish with the leaders, and will fall out of 6th overall. Cycling.TV's Brian Smith thinks Discovery Channel's Janez Brajkovic is a rider to watch tomorrow; he has a chance to move up against weaker time trialers.

Posted by Frank Steele on June 17, 2006 in Alberto Contador, Cadel Evans, Frank Schleck, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, Top Stories, Tour de Suisse | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 16, 2006

Freire takes cagey win at Tour de Suisse

Oscar Freire took a shortcut to a stage win on Friday.

Freire survived a 20-rider break that went off around the 50-kilometer mark, along with Matthew White of Discovery Channel. T-Mobile's Michael Rogers and Lampre's Salvatore Commesso were in a six-man group that bridged up shortly later.

Commesso and Rogers went off the front at 12 kilometers to ride, and Freire and White bridged 5 kilometers later, to create a high-quality break, with Commesso notably avoiding any work.

Then, with only about 5 kilometers to ride, and Davitamon-Lotto and QuickStep driving the peloton nearer and nearer, Freire bunny-hopped up onto and across a median as the break took the long way around a divided highway.

By the time the break went right, straight, and back to the left to join the lane Freire had followed, the triple world champion had 5 seconds on the trio, and rode all out to the line. His breakmates were absorbed in the last kilometer, and the peloton was breathing down his neck, but Freire took the win, with just enough time in hand to zip his jersey.

Daniele Bennati, Erik Zabel, and Sebastian Hinault led in the field 3 seconds back.

Sixteen riders exited the race today, with Michael Rasmussen not taking the start, and Paolo Bettini, Robbie McEwen, Marco Velo, and Dario Cioni, among others, not finishing. Six Team LPR riders exited, leaving only Mikhaylo Khalilov in the race for the Italian squad, which was apparently hit by il virus intestinale.

There was a gap in the field, so Koldo Gil lost 4 seconds from his lead in the overall.

Current GC:
1) Koldo Gil,Saunier Duval-Prodir, in 33:22:21
2) Jorg Jaksche, Astaná-Würth, at :30
3) Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, at :50
4) Angel Vicioso, Astaná-Würth, at 2:03
5) Jose Gomez, Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 2:15
6) Frank Schleck, Team CSC, at 2:22
7) Janez Brajkovic, Discovery Channel, at 2:36
8) Giampaolo Caruso, Astaná-Würth, at 2:45
9) Linus Gerdemann, T-Mobile Team, at 3:30
10) Alexandre Botcharov, Credit Agricole, at 3:42


CyclingNews Stage Summary | Results | Photo Gallery

Posted by Frank Steele on June 16, 2006 in Erik Zabel, Frank Schleck, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, Linus Gerdemann, Oscar Freire, Top Stories, Tour de Suisse | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 15, 2006

Tour de Suisse Stage 6 underway

Simon Gerrans of AG2R is alone ahead of Rabobank's Michael “Spider” Rasmussen nearing the top of the final climb, long descent to La Punt to come.

Jan Ullrich and Kim Kirchen of T-Mobile, Koldo Gil and José Gomez of Saunier Duval and Jorg Jaksche of Astaná-Würth are chasing. José Gomez goes off the front, gets 25 yards, and Ullrich matches it, but loses Kirchen off the back. Now Koldo Gil takes his turn, and he's immediately put 10 seconds into Gomez, Ullrich, and Jaksche.

Now Gil and then Gomez, Jaksche and Ullrich have pulled by Michael Rasmussen as if he's riding backwards. Only Gerrans is still up the road.

Overall leader Angel Vicioso is about 1:40 back of Gerrans, but Gil is less than 20 seconds behind with 2 kilometers to climb. Ullrich's group is maybe 30 seconds behind Gil.

Gerrans is caught. Now it's just Gil riding for the stage win and race leadership. He's got 1:36 on Vicioso's group, and :37 on Ullrich, Jaksche, and Gomez, who is occasionally getting gapped off the back of the German pair.

Jaksche has 6 seconds on Gil in the GC, but Gil has gone out to 40 seconds on the road. Gerrans has caught on with Ullrich, and now Gomez and Gerrans are dropped. It's Ullrich and Jaksche attacking together as Gil goes over the top of the climb.

Vicioso, Giampaolo Caruso, Frank Schleck and  Janez Brajkovic of Discovery Channel go over the top at 1:50, working together but losing time on the half-dozen riders ahead of them. We'll see if anyone can make up time on the 7 kilometers left to descend.

Ullrich and Jaksche are at 34 seconds with Gil at 4 kilometers to ride.

Looks like Gil will stay away, and will take the race lead — the Germans are at :35, with the yellow jersey group with Vicioso at 1:56, while Gil is in the last 2 kilometers.

Gil is riding hard all the way to the line, pumping hard in the last 100 meters to get every second, and he takes the stage win. Meanwhile Jaksche has attacked to gap Jan Ullrich. He's got 3-4 seconds on Ullrich, and he comes in around 36 seconds. Ullrich is at :40. Here comes Gomez for 4th at 1:39; Gerrans 5th at 1:48, Schleck is leading in the yellow jersey, at 2:07 with Brajkovic, Caruso, and Vicioso.

Linus Gerdemann is coming in with another Saunier Duval - he'll fall back out of his 3rd overall, coming in at about 3:28.

The overall top 5 will be Gil, Jaksche at :34 Ullrich at :54, Gomez at 2:00, Vicioso.

Ullrich is right where he needs to be. Even though he's 3rd overall, he can probably take all the necessary time out of Gil and Jaksche on Sunday's time trial, and there's still a lot of racing before that.

Posted by Frank Steele on June 15, 2006 in Frank Schleck, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, Linus Gerdemann, Michael Rasmussen, Tour de Suisse | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 14, 2006

Tour de Suisse Stage 5 underway

With 5 kilometers to ride, Discovery Channel's Jurgen Van Goolen and Phonak's Steve Morabito have almost 2 minutes on the surviving pack.

T-Mobile is driving a peloton that's constantly shrinking, but still has 30 or so riders. Jan Ullrich is here, Giuseppe Guerini is doing a lot of work for T-Mobile. Race commentators aren't sure if Linus Gerdemann is here — he's 2 seconds out of the race lead right now.

With just over 3 k, Morabito launches, but Van Goolen matches his effort.

Still in no-man's land is Kjell Carlström of Liquigas and Alexandre Usov.

Usov is caught. Calrström has only 15 seconds on the T-Mobile train.

The 2 leaders are down to 1:16 lead with less than 3 kilometers to ride.

Leaders go under 2 k and back in the field Alberto Contador launches! He's caught Carlstöm, and they've formed a duo. Carlstöm's out of gas, he's no help for Contador.

A Saunier Duval rider has attacked across to Contador. The two leaders have less than a kilometer to ride.

Morabito is lead wheel, Van Goolen comes alongside, now Morabito sits in on Van Goolen, and with less than 300 meters, Morabito slingshots powerfully away from his breakmate, and it's a win for the Swiss!

Van Goolen barely survives to take 2nd ahead of a charging Alberto Contador. Ullrich is 6th, Bettini is here, Frank Schleck is among the leaders, Angel Vicioso, yesterday's winner, Jorg Jaksche, and Gerdemann are all here, but no race leader Nick Nuyens, so Astaná-Würth's Vicioso moves into the leader's jersey, ahead of Jaksche and Gerdemann.

By the way, Astaná-Würth is still riding in the “We're not Liberty Seguros” jerseys, with the white chest and Würth on the stomach, side panels, and sleeves.

Posted by Frank Steele on June 14, 2006 in Alberto Contador, Frank Schleck, Jorg Jaksche, Linus Gerdemann, Tour de Suisse | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 12, 2006

Nuyens takes Suisse Stage 3 and race lead

VeloNews.com | Nuyens moves into Swiss Tour lead

QuickStep's 26-year-old Nick Nuyens kept the freshest legs in a late-stage breakaway Monday to take the 3rd stage of the Tour de Suisse.

As a teammate of Paolo Bettini, also in the selection, Nuyens didn't work as hard to make the break stick, and easily outkicked T-Mobile's Linus Gerdemann, Astaná-Würth's Jorg Jacksche, and Saunier Duval's Koldo Gil.

T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich was near the front for most of the day, and he, Bettini, Cadel Evans, Frank Schleck, David Canada, Giampaolo Caruso, and the 4 who would break away formed a superstrong group of 10 with about 20 kilometers to ride.

Michael Rasmussen, Bradley McGee, and Robbie McEwen were shelled by the high tempo, and came in around 4 minutes back.


cyclingnews.com | Stage 3 Photo Gallery

Posted by Frank Steele on June 12, 2006 in Bradley McGee, Cadel Evans, Frank Schleck, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, Linus Gerdemann, Michael Rasmussen, Paolo Bettini, Robbie McEwen, Top Stories, Tour de Suisse | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 25, 2006

Bombshell: Liberty Seguros ceases sponsorship of team

procycling | Liberty Seguros pulls plug on Saiz! The Spanish arm of Liberty Mutual will stop sponsoring one of Spain's premier cycling squads, after the team's director was arrested in connection with a blood doping probe. Six riders from Liberty Seguros are still contesting the Giro, but ProCycling quotes a release from the parent company that they are ceasing sponsorship as of today. The Boston-based company had modified its sponsorship after team rider Roberto Heras tested positive for EPO during last year's Vuelta a España, and cited the tighter anti-doping terms in ending its sponsorship:

"The implications of Manolo Saiz's detention are highly alarming: they damage our name and cycling's name," the statement continued.

Among the team's riders are Alexandre Vinokourov, Alberto Contador, Davide Etxebarria, Andrey Kashechkin, and Allan Davis; the fate of the riders' contracts is currently up in the air. Also: VeloNews.com | Liberty pulls plug on sponsorship VeloNews quotes from this L'Equipe story (in French | Google English translation) that a Spanish radio network is reporting that Jan Ullrich was among Fuentes' clients, along with about 200 others, after claiming Tuesday that Basso was. Both riders have previously worked with Luigi Cecchini, mentioned in some stories as a friend and collaborator with Fuentes. Like Basso, Ullrich denies receiving medical support from Cecchini, but says the doctor has assisted with his training. In any case, Ullrich said on the T-Mobile web site: “I have never worked together with Fuentes.” VN also reports that Vinokourov says, characteristically, that he's riding the Tour, team or no team. cyclingnews.com | Liberty Seguros terminate contract

Posted by Frank Steele on May 25, 2006 in Alberto Contador, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Doping, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, Joseba Beloki, Luis Sanchez, Manolo Saiz, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 18, 2005

Leipheimer takes Tour of Germany lead

ESPN.com | Leipheimer wins stage, leads Tour of Germany

Gerolsteiner's Levi Leipheimer took Stage 4 at the Tour of Germany Thursday, jumping into the overall race lead.

Leipheimer's teammate Georg Totschnig was 15 seconds back for 2nd on the day, a 171.6-km stage finishing atop Austria's Rettenbachferner. T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich was 3rd, losing only 55 seconds to Leipheimer.

It was the highest mountaintop finish of the Euro season, at 2670 meters (8,760 feet) above sea level. Leipheimer called it “the most difficult climb of all the races we've done, including the Tour de France.”

Leipheimer and Totschnig's group shed Tadej Valjavec, Marco Fertonani (survivor of an earlier break), and Jorg Jaksche, leaving the two Gerolsteiners riding with one and a half T-Mobiles (Ullrich and Evans, who joins the team for 2006). Two kilometers from the top, the wasser boys began to gap Evans, and pushed the pace. When Totschnig couldn't hold on, Leipheimer rode away from his teammate late on the climb to try to gain maximum advantage on Ullrich ahead of Monday's time trial.

"I feel a little bit guilty because I know Georg wanted to win, but I felt so strong and I know he won a stage in the Tour," Leipheimer explained in the finish. "I hope he will forgive me. I hope to repay him in the next few days.

Top 10 overall after Stage 4:
1) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, in 19:17:02
2) Georg Totschnig, Gerolsteiner, at :18
3) Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, at :56
4) Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, at 1:22
5) Jorg Jaksche, Liberty Seguros, at 1:28
6) Tadej Valjavec, Phonak Hearing Systems, at 1:51
7) Saul Raisin, Credit Agricole, at 2:56
8) Fabian Jeker, Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 3:16
9) Patrik Sinkewitz, Quickstep, same time
10) Wim Van Huffel, Davitamon-Lotto, at 3:58


cyclingnews.com | Deutschland Tour Stage 4 | Photo gallery

Posted by Frank Steele on August 18, 2005 in Cadel Evans, Georg Totschnig, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, Levi Leipheimer, Patrik Sinkewitz, Saul Raisin | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 14, 2005

Stage 11 wrapup

I found myself wanting Discovery Channel to chase Vinokourov down Wednesday: they still had 5 or 6 strong guys on the Galibier, and I think they could have closed a 2 minute gap. Glancing through Bob Martin's Stage 11 summary, though, they clearly did exactly the right thing.

Just four guys made time on Armstong Wednesday: Vinokourov got 1:45, Botero 1:32; Christophe Moreau got 8 seconds; José Azevedo got 2 seconds.

Botero and Vinokourov are potentially dangerous guys, but their damage was contained, and the rest of the field has lost one more day's opportunity to put Lance Armstrong under a hammer. Armstrong's retirement is now 10 stages and 11 days away.

It's clear Iban Mayo, Roberto Heras, or Brad McGee won't be knocking Armstrong off the podium; Heras lost another 17 minutes, Mayo 22:35, and McGee almost 40 minutes. The performances of Heras and Beloki have led Liberty Seguros to reportedly make Jorg Jaksche the team captain for the rest of the Tour.

Today, Discovery will mostly work to keep GC contenders out of any successful break: If Basso tries to go off, they'll chase. On the other hand, there are so many riders facing disappointing Tours, and lowly placed, that it shouldn't be hard to find a quality break and let it go. Especially after Vinokourov's break succeeded Wednesday.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 14, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Bradley McGee, Christophe Moreau, Iban Mayo, Jorg Jaksche, Joseba Beloki, Santiago Botero | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 12, 2005

Valverde takes Stage 10; Armstrong smokes the field!

It may have been a look at the past, present and future of the Tour on Stage 10. Alejandro Valverde, the next big thing in Spanish cycling, was one of only 3 men who could stay with Lance Armstrong's acceleration after the Discovery team thinned the herd with a wicked tempo. Yaroslav Popovych showed why Discovery sees him as Armstrong's successor: He was the last support rider for Armstrong, and lifted the team's pace high enough to spit out all but about 15 riders. When Armstrong moved to the front, he instantly dumped 10 more, including T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich and Andreas Klöden. Ivan Basso was able to ride with Armstrong for a while, but Armstrong lifted the tempo in the last few miles of the climb, and found himself with Rabobank's revelation Michael Rasmussen and two Illes Balears riders, Francisco Mancebo and Alejandro Valverde. In the last kilometer, Rasmussen tried a few probing attacks, easily countered, and then Armstrong went hard along the right barricades. Valverde was the only rider who could hold him, and he rode Armstrong's wheel right to his first career Tour de France stage win. 1) Valverde 2) Armstrong, s.t. 3) Rasmussen, at :09 4) Mancebo, same time 5) Basso, at 1:02 6) Levi Leipheimer, at 1:15 7) Eddy Mazzoleni, at 2:14 8) Cadel Evans, same time 9) Andreas Klöden, same time 10) Andrey Kaschechkin, same time 11) Floyd Landis, s.t. 12) Leonardo Piepoli, s.t. 13) Ullrich, s.t. 14) Jorg Jaksch, at 2:19 Rasmussen is sitting 2nd with lots of mountains still to climb. He's got to be considered a real GC threat. Valverde will probably move into the top 5. Roberto Heras lost more than 10 minutes on the day. Mark him done.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2005 in Alejandro Valverde, Andreas Klöden, Andrey Kashechkin, Cadel Evans, Floyd Landis, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Stage results, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (16)

Stage 10 underway

First rider to drop out on the day was Lampre's Gerrit Glomser; he's the 16th rider out, leaving 173 in the race.

An opportunistic break was allowed to get 13:30 out in front; the biggest name and highest placed rider to make that break is Laurent Brochard, the former world champion, sitting 49th, 7:58 back this morning. Brochard, of course, has the peloton's worst mullet.

So much for "making CSC control the pace": Discovery is still doing most of the work on Cormet de Roselend. Discovery looks to be performing to expectations: Their pace is sending more than just pack fodder off the back: Iban Mayo has fallen off, and yellow jersey Jens Voigt is at the back of the lead group. Beltran is doing the pacemaking, and even Padrnos is still in the lead group, shadowing Voigt.

Brochard's group is 4:45 up the road from Armstrong, Ullirch, Leipheimer, Landis, Pereiro, Julich, Moreau, Vinokourov, and others. Voigt has yo-yoed off the back of the lead group and rejoined.

Over the top of the Col de Roselend, Pereiro attacks, and is joined by Jorg Jaksche of Liberty Seguros. The Brochard-to-big guns gap is 3:43 at the summit.

Popovych crashed on the descent, apparently with a team car, but got a new bike, and is chasing back onto Armstrong's group. Looks like he hit CSC's team car, and may have tangled and lost with the front fender of one of Discovery's Subarus.

The peloton has grown as riders dropped on the first climb chase back on. Discovery is still doing all the pacemaking.

Jaksche and Pereiro have caught the break, which is now composed of Brochard (Bouyges), Jaksche (Liberty), Pereiro (Phonak), Luis Sanchez (Liberty), Gianluca Bortolami (Lampre), Mauro Facci (Fassa Bortolo), Yuriy Krivtsov (AG2R), Inaki Isasi (Euskaltel), and Joost Posthuma (Rabobank). Pereiro started 5:12 behind Voigt this morning.

Discovery has brought back everyone from the early break except Jaksche, Pereiro and Brochard, and it won't be long on those three.

Roberto Heras and Denis Menchov are toasted and off the back. Mayo reportedly likewise, Beloki is off the back. CSC finally is making a move, sending Sastre off the front. Discovery lets him dangle off the front, but he doesn't have the legs to go.

Guerini off the back, Moreau off the back, Vladimir Karpets off the back. Horner off the back. Julich off the back. Botero off the back. Five Discovery riders up front. Only about 20 riders in total still in contention. Sastre falling off this group, paying for his attempted break.

Leipheimer, Vino, Landis, Ullrich, Basso all are still in Armstrong's group. Valverde is also there. Discovery has started to pay for the pace; Popovych is the only Discovery left. Vinokourov is back at the back of the group of 16 riders; Mancebo is there. Vinokourov is dropped! T-Mobile has Klöden and Ullrich up front.

Popovych is popped, and IT'S ON! Armstrong blows the group of 14 into a group of 5 or so: Armstrong, Basso, Valverde, Rasmussen, and Mancebo! Goodbye, Klöden, Ullrich, Leipheimer, Julich, and Landis. They've still got 10 kilometers to ride!

Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2005 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Cadel Evans, Christophe Moreau, Denis Menchov, Francisco Mancebo, Iban Mayo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Jens Voigt, Jorg Jaksche, Joseba Beloki, Lance Armstrong, Laurent Brochard, Michael Rasmussen, Roberto Heras, Santiago Botero, Vladimir Karpets, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

June 20, 2005

Gerolsteiner names Tour 9, CSC and Liberty Seguros close in

procycling.com | Shorts:

Levi Leipheimer will lead
Gerolsteiner's Tour squad.
  Photo by Frank Steele.

Gerolsteiner has finalized its Tour de France squad:

Levi Leipheimer
Georg Totschnig
Michael Rich
Sebastian Lang
Fabian Wegmann
Robert Förster
Ronny Scholz
Beat Zberg
Peter Wrolich

CSC's near-final squad:

Ivan Basso
Kurt-Asle Arvesen
Bobby Julich
Giovanni Lombardi
Carlos Sastre
Nicki Sorensen
Jens Voigt
David Zabriskie
Jakob Piil or Luke Roberts

Two Americans, with Christian Vande Velde home recuperating and looking toward the Vuelta in September.

Liberty Seguros is down to 11 Tour candidates:

René Andrle
Joseba Beloki
Alberto Contador
Allan Davis
Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano
Roberto Heras
Jörg Jaksche
Luis Leon Sanchez
Marcos Serrano
Angel Vicioso
Jan Hruska

Cycling4All.com probably maintains the most complete provisional Tour start list.

Posted by Frank Steele on June 20, 2005 in Alberto Contador, Bobby Julich, Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie, Fabian Wegmann, Georg Totschnig, Ivan Basso, Jens Voigt, Jorg Jaksche, Joseba Beloki, Levi Leipheimer, Roberto Heras | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 10, 2005

Cancellara takes Stage 4, overall lead at Paris-Nice

Eurosport | Cancellara takes yellow

Swiss heartthrob Fabian Cancellara, who took the prologue and wore the leader's jersey at the 2004 Tour de France, took over the lead at Paris-Nice with a stage win over Estonian sprinter Jaan Kirsipuu.

Cancellara made a crucial break late with Fassa Bortolo teammate Juan Antonio Flecha, CSC's Bobby Julich, 2004 Paris-Nice winner Jorg Jaksche of Liberty Seguros, and Phonak's Nicolas Portal.

Cancellara and Flecha now lead the overall, with Flecha 15 seconds back. Then it's Bobby Julich at 20 seconds, Tom Boonen at 31 seconds, Erik Dekker at 33 seconds. CSC's Arvesen, Voigt, and Gusev are riders 7 through 9. CSC looks set up for a very nice overall.

Tomorrow's stage, to Mont-Faron, finishes with two 2nd-category climbs and a 1st-category up to the finish line.

Stage results

1. Fabian Cancellara, Fassa Bortolo, 2:11:03
2. Jaan Kirsipuu, Credit Agricole, same time
3. Juan Antonio Flecha, Fassa Bortolo, @ 2 secs
4. Bobby Julich, USA, CSC, @ 5 secs
5. Nicolas Jalabert, Phonak, @ 5 secs
6. Jorg Jaksche, Liberty Seguros, @ 5 secs
7. Iker Camano, Euskaltel, @ 8 secs
8. Nicolas Portal, AG2R, @ 10 secs
9. Paolo Bossoni, Fassa Bortolo, @ 22 secs
10. Tom Boonen, QuickStep, @ 32 secs

Overall standings

1. Fabian Cancellara, Fassa Bortolo, 10:09:50
2. Juan Antonio Flecha, Fassa Bortolo, @ 15 secs
3. Bobby Julich, CSC, @ 20 secs
4. Tom Boonen, QuickStep, @ 31 secs
5. Erik Dekker, Rabobank, @ 33 secs
6. Vicente Reynes, iBanesto, @ 35 secs
7. Kurt-Asle Arvesen, CSC, @ 36 secs
8. Jens Voigt, CSC, @ 37 secs
9. Vladimir Gusev, CSC, @ 40 secs
10. Philippe Gilbert, Francaise Des Jeux, @ 47 secs

Posted by Frank Steele on March 10, 2005 in Bobby Julich, Fabian Cancellara, Jaan Kirsipuu, Jorg Jaksche, Paris-Nice '05, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 24, 2005

CSC unveils 2005 squad

Bike.com | Basso Leads Challenge For Giro, Tour : CSC Names 2005 Roster

Team CSC also had its official unveiling on Monday, with a decidedly American accent to the new introductions. Joining Bobby Julich will be Dave Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde, who is likely to make sure all his papers are in order.

They'll join Ivan Basso, Jens Voigt, Carlos Sastre, and Jakob Piil on what was probably the most aggressive squad at last year's Tour, placing Basso 3rd overall. Basso said Monday that the Giro is the initial goal of his season.

Arveson, Guidi, Peron and Luttenberger also return, but Jorg Jaksche is now with Liberty Seguros, and Michele Bartoli has retired.

Posted by Frank Steele on January 24, 2005 in Bobby Julich, Christian Vande Velde, Ivan Basso, Jens Voigt, Jorg Jaksche | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 29, 2004

CSC signs 6 riders, Jaksche to Liberty Seguros

VeloNews | Vande Velde, Zabriskie to CSC Team CSC announced its 2005 squad, and Bobby Julich, fresh from his bronze in the Athens time trial, is still in the saddle, while Americans Dave Zabriskie (ex-US Postal) and Christian Vande Velde (ex-Liberty Seguros) join Bjarne Riis' squad, whose Tour GC threat remains Ivan Basso. Germany's Jorg Jaksche returns to DS Manolo Saiz, for whom he rode from 2001-2003. He'll ride for Saiz' Liberty Seguros squad next season.

Team CSC in 2005: Ivan Basso, Michele Bartoli, Fabrizio Guidi, Giovanni Lombardi and Andrea Peron (I); Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor); Lars Bak, Michael Blaudzun, Matti Breschel, Thomes Eriksen, Lars Michaelsen, Jakob Piil, Nicki Soerensen and Brian Vandborg (Den); Handbook Calvente and Carlos Sastre (Sp); Vladimir Goussev (Rus); Tristan Hoffmann (Ned); Peter Luttenberger (A), Andy and Frank Schleck (Lux); Jens Voigt (G); and Bobby Julich, Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie (USA).

Posted by Frank Steele on October 29, 2004 in Bobby Julich, Christian Vande Velde, Ivan Basso, Jens Voigt, Jorg Jaksche, Manolo Saiz, Top Stories, Tour news | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 29, 2004

Jaksche out of Tour, Peron in for CSC

Daily Peloton | Cycling News Roundup June 28, 2004

Daily Peloton reports that Jörg Jaksche broke his elbow on a training ride today, and will be replaced on CSC's Tour squad by Andrea Peron.

If they're right, the CSC lineup is:

• Kurt-Asle Arvesen
• Ivan Basso
• Michele Bartoli
• Bobby Julich
• Andrea Peron
• Jacob Piil
• Carlos Sastre
• Nicki Sørenson
• Jens Voigt

That's one of the strongest groups in the peloton, but the loss of Jaksche, who won Paris-Nice in March.

Posted by Frank Steele on June 29, 2004 in Bobby Julich, Jens Voigt, Jorg Jaksche, Tour news | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 13, 2004

Paris-Nice: Menchov a smart victory, Jaksche holds overall

VeloNews | Menchov takes Stage 6 at Paris-Nice; Jaksche defends jersey

After three riders gapped the field with about 6 miles to go, 2003 Tour white jersey winner Denis Menchov crossed over to the three — Floyd Landis of US Postal, Samuel Sanchez of Euskaltel-Euskadi, and Dave Bruylandts of Chocolade Jacques — then took the 4-man sprint at the line, aided when Landis threw a chain in the final hundred meters.

"One of the things that helped me achieve this was the fact that I hadn't really worked that hard for most of the day," the 26-year-old Russian said afterward. "I quietly stayed in the peloton so that I could approach the end of the stage in a relatively fresh state. As I felt good, and I remembered the course a bit from the Tour de France last year, I thought I'd try my luck."

Friday's stage was considered the hardest of the race, which ends Sunday. CSC's Jorg Jaksche, the overall leader, said he's still not comfortable with 14 seconds on Davide Rebellin:

"It's not over even if I think that today was the most difficult," said the German. "I fear above all Sunday's stage, the last day. Vandenbroucke is getting stronger and stronger, and I would have liked to have a bit more of a lead on Rebellin."

CSC remains bunched atop the standings, with Jaksche first, Bobby Julich 3rd at 42 seconds, and Jens Voigt 4th at 46 seconds. Among the non-CSC riders, Gerolsteiner's Rebellin is 2nd at 14 seconds, US Postal's George Hincapie is 5th at 48 seconds, then Frank Vandenbroucke is 6th at 58 seconds.

Posted by Frank Steele on March 13, 2004 in Bobby Julich, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Jorg Jaksche | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 08, 2004

Paris-Nice stage 2: Horrillo the stage, Jaksche maintains overall

VeloNews | CSC takes charge at Paris-Nice

Great race day reporting from VeloNews Euro correspondent Andrew Hood:

It was a day of heavy damage in Monday's second stage of Paris-Nice.

No, no one crashed, but a half-dozen favorites were all-but-eliminated when Team CSC and U.S. Postal Service collaborated to drive a deep five-minute wedge into the eight-day race.

Five Postals and the entire CSC team drove a lead group of 36 into Montargis in the windy 166.5km stage across rolling farmland south of Paris.

Among the castaways were T-Mobile's Alexandre Vinokourov, who won this race in 2002 and 2003, Rabobank's Erik Dekker, Laurent Brochard, and Alex Zülle, who finished with a group 5:15 back of the leaders. Quote of the day has to go to Dekker:

"I can only blame myself," said Dekker, who started the day tied for second four seconds back to Team CSC's Jorg Jaksche. "It was stupid, stupid, stupid. I came here to win this race, but now I don't know what to do. I have no excuses, I just missed it. I am the stupidest rider here today."

Among those helped by the separation was CSC's Bobby Julich, who had to chase into the lead group, but now sits 3rd overall, 18 seconds behind teammate Jorg Jaksche, who won yesterday's time trial and finished with the leaders today.

Also with the winning break today were 5 US Postal riders: George Hincapie, José Azevedo, Victor Hugo Peña, Benjamin Noval, and Viatcheslav Ekimov.

Tyler Freaking Hamilton finished in the gruppetto, way back at 13:55.

Posted by Frank Steele on March 8, 2004 in Bobby Julich, Jorg Jaksche, Tyler Freaking Hamilton | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Graham Watson Paris-Nice TT photo gallery

Click through for full-size shots of (L-R) Tyler Freaking Hamilton, Bobby Julich, Floyd Landis, and stage winner Jorg Jaksche, among others.

Posted by Frank Steele on March 8, 2004 in Bobby Julich, Floyd Landis, Jorg Jaksche, Photo galleries, Tyler Freaking Hamilton | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Paris-Nice: Jaksche wins opening TT

Sunday's EuroFile: Jaksche takes P-N opener; Valverde wins overall at Murcia

Paris-Nice is probably France's second-biggest stage race, after Le Tour. Sunday's kick-off time trial was won by Jorg Jaksche, the German who joined Team CSC after Tyler Freaking Hamilton left for Phonak. Davide Rebellin of Gerolsteiner and Erik Dekker of Rabobank were 4 seconds back, and Scotland's David Millar of Cofidis was 13 seconds back.

Team CSC also had American Bobby Julich in 7th at 16 seconds, and Jens Voigt, 9th at 22 seconds.

Hamilton, who had suggested as late as Friday that he would probably sit out Paris-Nice, started, and was 29th on the day:

"It was important for me to be here with the team. I did OK considering the circumstances," said Hamilton, who finished 29th at 38 seconds slower. "I'm not here with major goals. It's the first race of the season, but I want to get some racing kilometers in my legs and be with the team. If I feel a little better each day, I'll be OK by the end of the week."

Instead, Hamilton said he'll support teammates Alex Zülle, who posted a strong ride with sixth at 14 seconds slower, and Spanish rider Oscar Pereiro, who came through 12th at 23 seconds slower.

Among the US Postal contingent, Floyd Landis was 19th at 29 seconds, George Hincapie was 25th at 35 seconds, and David Zabriskie and Benjamin Noval were 37th and 38th at 43 seconds back.

Rounding out the Americans, Levi Leipheimer took things cautiously on the wet course, finishing 35th, 40 seconds back:

"I didn't take any risks. I lost more time than I wanted to today so it will be difficult now for the GC," Leipheimer said.

Rabobank will likely throw its weight behind Erik Dekker, third at just four seconds back. The 33-year-old veteran is back in top form following two injury-riddled seasons and is extremely motivated to do well here.

"I had a good feeling today but I was a little bit unsure because I lost some time in the first climb," Dekker said. "I must have made up the time in the last section. We'll see how things go in the next few days, but I feel good."


Eurosport | Jaksche time-trials to win

Daily Peloton | Paris-Nice Stage One - Updated (with full results)

Posted by Frank Steele on March 8, 2004 in Bobby Julich, Floyd Landis, Jorg Jaksche, Oscar Pereiro, Tyler Freaking Hamilton | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack