The Week That Was...

News & Results

03/21/2004| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

Oh Erik!   Erik, Erik, Erik...   What have you done!   ?Zabel had the legs today but he made a mistake,? understated Oscar Freire, Rabobank rider and winner of the 2004 Milan-San Remo yesterday.   ?If he hadn?t raised his arms I don?t know if I would have won.  That?s hard to say, but what matters is who crossed the line first.?   A dejected Erik Zabel explained, ?I thought I had won.   I realized my mistake right away when Freire passed me.   But I prefer to look on the bright side of things; people have said I?m on the decline but I beat Petacchi.? ? Yes Erik, but you?re missing the point here.   You may have beaten Petacchi but you lost Milan-San Remo because you made an error that would embarrass even the most in-experienced junior!   <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
?s Stuart O?Grady crossed the line in 3 rd place to open his spring campaign with a very solid result for his new employers, Cofidis.


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One rider missing from this year?s results in
San Remo
was former World Champion, Mario Cipollini.   After pulling out of Tirreno-Adriatico last week, Cipo commented that, ?I don?t know if it?s mental or physical.   I?m 37 years old; maybe I?m paying for my age.   All I can say is that my concentration right now isn?t letting me push any harder.?  


Last week, Italian news agency ANSI released a statement from Dr Giuseppe Fortuni into the death of Marco Pantani.   ?The death of Marco Pantani was caused by acute cocaine intoxication.   Acute cocaine intoxication provoked a pulmonary and cerebral edema (accumulation of liquid), which were the cause of death.   There are no concrete elements to support the hypothesis of suicide.?   A full report is due to be released in the next two weeks.


Staying in
, Professor Francesco Conconi, has been acquitted of all charges of sporting fraud being filed against him.   The five-year case investigated claims that Conconi and his colleagues allegedly provided EPO to a host of top cyclists including Gianni Bugno, Stephen Roche, Tony Rominger and Evgeni Berzin.   The case was dropped due to insufficient evidence.    Another rider formally coached by Conconi is CSC Director Sportif, Bjarne Riis.   In a report from the Reuters news agency this week, Riis was quick to squash the rumors behind his teams early season success and the comparisons to the former all-conquering team of Gewiss-Ballan of which he himself was a member.   "I've heard some things about us that concern me.    Journalists will say anything. I can say that we have worked very hard together with the 25 riders of CSC in ten-day training camps. Nobody worked like we did. We may have done the same number of kilometers as other teams, but ours were good kilometers!"


Lance Armstrong has been tipped by Spanish great, Miguel Indurain, to go on this July and win number six.   ?I can see, as can his rivals, that


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