The Week That Was...

News & Results

01/25/2005| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin
The 88th Giro d'Italia was presented in a much hyped 1hr presentation on Italian prime time TV. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
The 88th Giro d'Italia was presented in a much hyped 1hr presentation on Italian prime time TV. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

New Discovery Channel rider, Paolo Savoldelli fell last week, fracturing his collarbone.  The former Giro d?Italia winner will be forced into a one-month rest.  Savoldelli switched to the new US team after an unsuccessful period with the German T-Mobile squad.


Savoldelli?s team leader, Lance Armstrong, was last week stung by yet another doping probe launched by the French prosecutor Philippe Drouet of the court in Annency.  The latest probe is aimed at investigating Armstrong?s entourage and its involvements in doping allegations reported French newspapers Aujourd'hui and Le Parisien.  The investigation has been given the green light after the Paris drugs squad interviewed Armstrong?s former Soigneur, Emma O?Reilly, who accused Armstrong of using her to pick up drugs whilst she was in the employment of the US postal team.  A French attorney, Thibault de Montbrial, who has previously represented discredited Festina directeur sportif Bruno Roussel and is counsel to one of LA Confidential?s authors, Pierre Ballester, accompanied O?Reilly during her questioning.



In a statement released at the end of his teams latest Californian training camp, Armstrong said, "Let me make one thing emphatically clear, I believe in clean and fair competition. As I have said before, I do not use - and have never used - performance-enhancing drugs. I am disappointed in the judge's decision to open this investigation without having talked to me first. I will make myself available anytime and anywhere to meet with the investigators in this case. They are also welcome to review my long history of tests for performance-enhancing drugs, which I have never failed. Last year alone I was tested 22 times by ASO, the UCI, WADA and USADA. I will be competing in Paris-Nice in March. I am confident my name will be cleared, and I look forward to racing in France for years to come."


The case has been moved to the province of Annency due to the existence of a witness from the area.  It has been reported that this witness is Dr. Beno?t Nave, D.O., a former Volvo-Cannondale Mountain Bike Racing team doctor.  Nave treated Armstrong following his crash in the 2003 Dauphine Libere.  "I have worked on several occasions with Lance Armstrong since October 2002," Nave told L'Equipe. "At that time he had already won the Tour four times. We met in San Francisco and he had a nutritional consultation. So there is nothing to hide in all this, and it is always interesting for me to work with people like Armstrong."


According to the French daily, L?Equipe, Italian fast man Alessandro Petacchi will not be riding in the 2005 Tour de France.  Instead, he will concentrate his efforts on the Giro d?Italia and then the Vuelta a Espana which he believes will better prepare him for the World Championships in Madrid.


In a much hyped 1hr presentation on prime time TV, the 88th Giro d?Italia was launched on Sunday from Milan?s Mazda Palace on RAI.  The race will begin with a 1.150 km sprint in Reggio Calabria along the strait of Messina, otherwise known as the most beautiful kilometre in Italy.



As beautiful girls clad in tight pink suits danced to the sound of ?Light my fire? by The Doors, the assembled guests got there first chance to view the 2005 Giro route, beginning on Saturday, May 7th.  Last year's winner, Cunego said, "It's a beautiful course; very good for climbers and I think it's good for me."  He went on to add that his teammate in the new Lampre-Cafitta team, Gilberto Simoni, would be "united with me" in trying to win the race for the team....Hmmm, only time will see!


Cunego?s major rival this year is tipped to be Team CSC?s Ivan Basso who finished second in last years Tour de France.  "I hope to do even better in the Giro than the last time I rode it five years ago; since then, I have done three Tours [de France] since. So my challenge will be to find the same level of fitness as I had at the Tour last year, more than just beating Cunego."



The full Giro stage listings are as follows:

Saturday May 7 - Prologue TT: Reggio Calabria, 1,150 m

Sunday May 8 - Stage 1: Reggio Calabria - Tropea, 208 km

Monday May 9 - Stage 2: Catanzaro Lido - S.M. del Cedro, 177 km

Tuesday May 10 - Stage 3: Diamante - Giffoni Valle Piana, 210 km

Wednesday May 11 - Stage 4: Giffoni Valle Piana - Frosinone, 197 km

Thursday May 12 - Stage 5: Celano - L'Aquila, 215 km

Friday May 13 - Stage 6: Viterbo - Marina Di Grosseto, 154 km

Saturday May 14 - Stage 7: Grosseto - Pistoia, 205 km

Sunday May 15 - Stage 8: Lamporecchio - Firenze ITT, 41,5 km

Monday May 16 - Stage 9: Firenze - Ravenna, 139 km

Tuesday May 17 - Rest Day-Ravenna

Wednesday May 18 - Stage 10: Ravenna - Rossano Veneto, 212 km

Thursday May 19 - Stage 11: Marostica - Zoldo Alto, 150 km

Friday May 20 - Stage 12: Alleghe - Rovereto, 178 km

Saturday May 21 - Stage 13: Mezzocorona - Ortisei, 217 km

Sunday May 22 - Stage 14: Egna - Livigno, 210 km

Monday May 23 - Stage 15: Livigno - Lissone, 207 km

Tuesday May 24 - Rest Day - Lissone

Wednesday May 25 - Stage 16: Lissone - Varazze, 207 km

Thursday May 26 - Stage 17: Varazze - Limone Piemonte (Colle di Tenda), 194 km

Friday May 27 - Stage 18: Chieri - Torino, ITT 31 km

Saturday May 28 - Stage 19: Savigliano - Sestriere (Le Valli Olimpiche), 190 km

Sunday May 29 - Stage 20: Albese con Cassano - Milano, 121 km

Total race distance: 3,465km


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Until next week,

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