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Cycling News
Scroll down to read these articles from L'Equipe.  Translated by Walt Ballenberger  
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Armstrong will not be prosecuted- 07/30/05
Moreau signs with AG2R- 07/30/05
Pitallier : “There is an unease” - 07/28/05
Vino Goes to Liberty Seguros- 07/26/05
Dauphiné Libéré- The Fastest Time for Botero- 06/08/05
Dauphiné Libéré- Dumoulin the New Leader- 06/07/05
Dauphiné Libéré- Hushovd Wins the Stage- 06/06/05
Dauphine Libere- Hincapie Sets the Tone- 06/05/05
Dauphine-Libere- The Dare of Armstrong- 06/04/05
Tyler Hamilton Appeals- 06/02/05
Tour of Italy- The Reactions- 05/30/05

Armstrong will not be prosecuted- 07/30/05

The prosecutor of Lucques decided not to prosecute the American Lance Armstrong, seven
time winner of the Tour de France, against whom the Italian Filippo Simeoni sued him in
2004 for insults.

Giuseppe Quattrocchi concluded that the affaire was not criminal but in the domain of sport.  
Simeoni had sued Armstrong in 2003 after the latter called him a “liar” in the press with
respect to his testimony in the affair of the sports doctor Michelle Ferrari, who was the object
of a suit regarding doping in his country of Italy.

This doctor, supposedly close to Armstrong and who worked for a long time with professional
cycling teams before setting up his own business, was given a suspended sentence of one
year for fraud and abusive exercise of the pharmacy profession, but was acquitted of
distribution of dangerous doping products.  During the stage of Lons-le-Saunier in the 2004
Tour de France, Simeoni, who was in a chase group behind the escape riders of the day,
saw Armstrong leave the peleton and find his slip stream and caused him the possible loss
of the stage.  The Italian rider was provoked by the other riders in the group to go back to
the peleton in order to avoid the peleton catching up to their escape group and thus ending
the possible success of the effort.

Simeoni said among other things that Armstrong insulted him during that stage in the Jura
(region of France), which the American denied, countersuing Simeoni for defamation.  In
addition, the Italian rider Mario Cipollini, who just retired from cycling, was called before the
court to testify.  He was suspected to have exerted pressure on his team to have Simeoni,
his teammate on the old Domina Vacanze team, taken out of certain races.  The prosecutor
Quattrocchi concluded that this was a private dispute among individuals and not a civil
offense.


Moreau signs with AG2R- 07/30/05

Christophe Moreau, who finished the Tour de France as the highest Frenchman, will rejoin
the team AG2R next season, announced the French organization led by Vincent Lavenu.  
Moreau and AG2R agreed on a contract of 2 years.  Age 34, the French rider wore the
colors of Credit Agricole since 2002.

“He will have a leadership position” declared Vincent Lavenu, who is also looking for another
rider to share that responsibility as plans are made for participation in the next Tour de
France and for eventual integration in the Pro Tour circuit.  Moreau has finished as the top
Frenchman in the Tour for the past 3 years (8th in 2003, 12th in 2004, 11th in 2005).  He
was let go by his current team who had criticized his comments in the last week of the Tour.

The rider spoke out against the management of his team expressing surprise at having
learned of Credit Agricole’s interest in the Kazakh rider Alexandre Vinokourov in the press.  
Professional since 1995, Moreau notably won the Tour prologue in 2001 (wore the yellow
jersey for two days).  The highlights of his accomplishments include also the Dauphine
(2001), the Four Days of Dunker (2003), and the Tour du Languedoc-Roussillon (2004).

Pitallier : “There is an unease” - 07/28/05

The president of the French Federation of Cycling, Jean Pitallier, stood behind French riders
who sometimes expressed their discontent in the last Tour de France.  With a sole stage
victory and results that keep getting worse (a sole rider, Christophe Moreau, in the top 25
places), French cycling went through its tour in a state of relative sullenness.

As the backdrop, the difference in performance with respect to several other foreign teams
has fed speculation of different preparation, in other words, doping.  A pretext or reality?  
For Jean Pitallier, the discomfort exists for sure.

How does the French Federation react to the unhappiness of these riders?
“It is behind them, and I give them my support.  The French riders seem to be distraught.  
They are being reproached for not achieving good results in the Tour.  For me, I saw
Brochard, Casar, Chavanel, Da Cruz, Pineau, and others take part in numerous escapes.  
They were not able to finish the effort successfully, however, that is the problem.”

What were the reasons for this?
“They were not able to hold the effort until the end.  It was Hinault who attacked in the last
climb of the Revel stage and who blew up in the finish straightaway.  I don’t want to speak
about cycling at two speeds, but I ask myself the question.”

About doping?
“Yes. I wonder if other countries apply standards as strictly as we do.  I would favor sanctions
for the team leaders.  It is necessary to hold team managers accountable and to suspend
them if need be.  The suspicious climate that exists is very disagreeable although cycling is
without doubt the most controlled sport.”

Are the controls good enough?
“Everyone knows the limits of classic drug controls.  There must be more unannounced
testing, which is what I have been asking for so that everyone is on equal footing.  There is a
level of discomfort.  The French riders are not as bad as everyone says.”

Is it only a problem of doping that explains the mediocre results?
“People speak about insufficient training.  I am not close enough to know, but it seems to me
that it’s an argument that might be valid for the young riders.  Riders like Brochard or Rous
have experience, they know how to train.  As for the younger riders, if there is a problem with
training, it is perhaps the fault of poor management.”

You are blaming the team leaderships…
“I am not blaming anyone in particular.  I am only saying that at the junior level things work
rather well.  But, when the young riders go pro they are not at the highest level most of the
time.  On can ask: is the leadership at fault?  I know young riders on pro teams who do not
have formal training programs.  I have the impression that in certain cases the riders are on
their own.”

Vino Goes to Liberty Seguros- 07/26/05

Alexandre Vinokourov has made his choice:  he will wear the colors of the Spanish team
Liberty Seguros next season, despite appeals from two French teams, Credit Agricole and
AG2R.  In any case that is what he confided to the journal l’Equipe in an interview this
Tuesday.

The Kazakh, fifth in the last Tour de France and winner of two stages, made known his
intentions to quit the T-Mobile team in order to have a real chance to challenge for the
victory in Paris without the heavy cloud of the Germans Jan Ullrich et Andreas Klöden.  He is
thus heading for Spain and the team of Manolo Saiz, “the team which has the best
prospects”, according to Vinokourov.

“This is the best organized and most experienced team.  They have the best climbers and
are among the top in the team time trial.  My choice is made, naturally, with the Tour de
France in mind”, he explained to the daily sports publication.

The champion of Kazakhstan makes no secret about his ambitions.  “I want to win the Tour in
the next two years.  We have already spoken about my race schedule for 2006 and I have
the assurance to be totally free to schedule all my efforts around the Tour de France.  At
Liberty I will be the sole team leader in July.”

In order to win the “Grand Boucle” (big loop, or the Tour de France), he will have at his sides
his compatriots Andreï Kashechkin from Crédit Agricole et Sergeï Yakovlev.  Vinokourov
hesitated between chosing Liberty Seguros or AG2R, where he would have been reunited
with Vincent Lavenu, who brought him into the pro ranks with Casino in 1998.  He chose
Spain, however, to try to become the successor to Lance Armstrong.

Dauphiné Libéré- The Fastest Time for Botero- 06/08/05

The third stage of the Dauphiné Libéré, an individual time trial of 46.5 kilometers raced
around Roanne, was won by the Phonak team time trial specialist, Santiago Botero.  The
Columbian beat out the surprising rider of the Gerolsteiner team, Levi Leipheimer, by just
one second.  The American took over the lead in the race.

As for Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel team), still in training with a month to go before
the Tour de France, he only managed third place, 26 seconds behind the day’s winner.

The leading French rider, Didier Rous (Boutgues Telecom team), came in thirteenth place at
over two minutes behind.

Dauphiné Libéré- Dumoulin the New Leader- 06/07/05

The rider from the AG2R team Samuel Dumoulin won the second stage between Givors and
Chauffailles, a distance of 187km, in front of two other Frenchmen, Anthony Charteau
(Bouygues Telecom) and Frédéric Finot (Française des Jeux).  Dumoulin also became the
new leader of the 57th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré

A child of Givors, the departure town, the stage winner was even more impressive since he
won it from a breakaway group, since generally he is known to be a sprinter.  “I was always
being mocked, from the time I was in school until I entered the peleton.  But little by little my
opponents saw that I wasn’t so bad”, he stated.  “Now I’m recognized”.

Coming from Vienne, on the other side of the Rhone, Samuel Dumoulin doesn’t always like
to talk about his size:  5’2 1/2”, which makes him the smallest rider in the peleton.  But the
emphasis he gives to the “and a half” inch proves how much he has had to put up with for 24
years.

Samuel Dumoulin in fact attacked twice, and at the 25th kilometer four Frenchmen found
themselves at the head of the race, Dumoulin, Anthony Charteau, Frédéric Finot et Frédéric
Bessy.  This tricolor solidarity was such that the escapees attained a maximum lead of 19’
50”.    

Confident and Fearful-
“I thought of the yellow jersey.  I was confident and tense at the same time” he confided.  “I
didn’t know if I should start the sprint.  I was thinking of my mishap of last year and the four
months I lost because of a crash I had on the Tour because of a dog”, declared Dumoulin.

But the firey temperment of the “little big man” took over  He did in fact launch the sprint,
surprising Anthony Charteau, who was feeling strong.  Charteau regretted not having taken
off by himself at the moment where the group came together.  In the end the manner in
which he “came to die” for the victory gave him the 8th victory of his career.

The peleton came in 3’16” behind and included Lance Armstrong, who was already thinking
about the stage tomorrow: an individual time trial of 47 kilometers around Roanne.  “This
race will be the best test before the Tour de France, and I’m crossing my fingers”, stated the
six time winner of the “Grand Boucle” (big loop- nickname for the Tour de France).

Dauphiné Libéré- Hushovd Wins the Stage- 06/06/05
The Norwegian Thor Hushed (Credit Agricole team) in a sprint won the first stage of the 57th
Criterium of the Dauphiné Libéré on Monday, which counts towards the Pro Tour standings,
and which took place between Aix-les-Bains and Givors.  The American George Hincapie
kept the leader’s gold and blue jersey.

Dauphine Libere- Hincapie Sets the Tone- 06/05/05
The riders of the Discovery Channel team were sharp for the last big test before the Tour de
France.  The American George Hincapie took the prologue, an individual time trial of 7.9 km
raced in the streets of Aix-les-Bains on Sunday.  And his leader Lance Armstrong finished
5th at six seconds behind.  Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner team) finished second.

Dauphine-Libere- The Dare of Armstrong- 06/04/05
For the first time under the Pro-Tour label, the 57th edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné  will
have special importance this Sunday as it begins in Aiz-les-Bains, as Lance Armstrong is
entered for the 6th time, and the Discovery Channel leader will make his second appearance
in a French stage race.

The American returns to an event he likes to use as the first measure of his conditioning for
the Tour de France which starts four weeks later.  The mountain climbs are similar, and
other elements put the event into a similar ambiance as in the Grand Boucle (Great Loop, or
the Tour de France).

Armstrong will Refine His Conditioning
The star, having abandoned his reconnaissance in the Pyrenees, is late in his conditioning
program for the Tour de France where he is seeking a 7th victory.  Also, there is speculation
that Lance Armstrong will be content to build his conditioning between Aix and Sallanches as
he did last year taking 4th, rather than trying to win it again for the third time (in 2002 and
2003).  At the age of 33 years, he knows how to manage his training and his effort.

This strategy will of course be observed by his rivals, all present except for the Italians who
raced int the Tour of Italy, including the German Jan Ullrich, the American Bobby Julich and
last year’s winner, the Basque Iban Mayo, anxious to make a statement before the grand
start in Noirmoutier.

Besides Lance Armstrong, two other past winners, the Frenchman Christophe Moreau and
the Kazak Alexander Vinokourov, will be at the starting gate in the event organized by
Thierry Cazeneuve, which will include, most notably, a finish on the Mont Ventoux, as well as
a second to last stage between Albertville and Morzine-Avoriaz, boasting six climbs, (Forclaz,
Bluffy, Croix-Fry, Colombière, Joux-Plane et Ranfolly) with 3870 meters of ascension.


Tyler Hamilton Appeals- 06/02/05

The American cyclist Tyler Hamilton appealed his suspension of two years for blood doping
to the Court of Arbitration for Sport , announced the court.

“Hamilton appealed to the CAS to cancel the decision and to exonerate him of all sanctions,
considering he committed no anti-doping offense”, declared the court.  The CAS is the last
court of appeal with sport jurisdiction and will announce its decision in four months.

Tyler Hamilton was accused of blood doping the day after his victory in the individual time
trial in the Tour of Spain in 2004 on Sept. 11, and he was immediately suspended by his
Swiss team, Phonak, and was fired from the team.

Tour of Italy- The Reactions- 05/30/05

Paolo Savoldelli
(ITA/Discovery Channel), winner of the Tour of Italy
“I won this Giro because I knew how to lose it.  I was working to stay as calm as possible for
as long as possible and keep calm.  I’m a rider who thinks a lot, I know my limits.  In this Giro I
managed my race well.  At the finish at Frosinone (4th stage), I fell and lost 43 seconds.  I
thought about that on the col de la Finestre (Saturday).  To think that I almost lost the Giro
because of an idiotic fall!  Also, I felt a bit weak at the final in Livigno (14th stage).  For the
moment I’m going to savor this pink jersey.  As for the Tour de France, I’m going there to
help Lance (Armstrong).  He is the strongest and I’ll work for him.  I’m not even thinking of
the yellow jersey.  On this team we also have the rider of the future, (Yaroslav) Popovych.  
The team has great faith in him for the future.”

Alessandro Petacchi (ITA/Fassa Bortolo), winner of the stage:
“Erik (Zabel) congratulated me after the finish.  Between us there is great respect.  For now I’
m going to take some rest, I’ll come back in the Wallonie at the end of July.  I feel fatigue in
my legs, this was the most difficult Giro in the last few years.  I will not ride in the Tour de
France, that’s a choice made to better my chances in the World Championships, which is my
big objective for the year.  As for the future of the team, we’ll know more in the days ahead.”

Gilberto Simoni (ITA/Lampre), 2nd in the final classification:
“I only needed this second place to have taken every podium position.  I cannot say exactly
where I lost the Giro.  No doubt I paid a price for having raced so much since the beginning
of the season.  The same can be said for Damiano (Cunego).  As soon as he started
struggling, the balance shifted over to the bad side.  With a rider of his abilities, I was sure to
be able to finish the race.  Finally, I had to be both the captain of the team and the attacker.”

José Rujano (VEN/Selle Italia), 3rd in the final classification:
“To win a stage, take the best climber classification and be third on the podium, it’s a
dream!  My stage victory at Sestrieres is a fantastic memory.  I’m very very happy with my
Giro.”

Danilo Di Luca (ITA/Liquigas), 4 in the final classification:
“I could have been on the podium in the Giro.  In that regard, it’s a disappointment.  But, at
the same time, I’m very satisfied with my Giro.  I did better than I thought I would.  I
understood that to win this race was a possibility.  I am not a climber, but I did well this year
even though the course was extremely difficult.  Next year I’ll have another approach.  From
the beginning of the season I’ll be thinking only about winning the Giro.”
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