The Week That Was...

News & Results

04/4/2006| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin
Jan Ullrich. Photo copyright
Jan Ullrich. Photo copyright

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

Leading US professional team, Health Net presented by Maxxis, will later this year make their first foray into European racing.  The team begins its spell in April with the Troph?e des Grimpeurs in France. 

Following this race, their schedule includes the Four Days of Dunkirk from May 3rd to 7th and then ends with the Peace Race, in the Czech Republic, from May 13th to 21st.  In its former guise, this race was one of the most feared on the world Amateur racing circuit. 

For the past seasons, Health Net have led the way in their domestic racing calendar and have regularly mixed it at the business end of races with some leading European counterparts.  This trip will provide them with an opportunity to show whether or not they have what it takes to step up to the next level of competition.

The seriousness of Jan Ullrich?s knee injury appears to slowly be seeping its way into the news.  Having been played down just last week by his team, the German has pulled out of what was planned to be his first race, Circuit de la Sarthe. 

In an interview on German television, he said that he was still ?actually optimistic? that he would be in good form to start the 2006 Tour de France in July.

He went on to add that "If I can ride there without pain, then maybe I will start on May 6 as planned at the 2006 Giro d'Italia."

In the meantime, until his niggling injury has cleared up, his training is consisting of ?just rolling, with a low wattage.?

Oh Jan, haven?t we been here before?..

After months of bitter feuding, it appears as though the stand-off between the UCI and organizers of the Vuelta, Tour and Giro may be finally over. 

In Bruges, Belgium, at the weekend, Paolo Dal Lago of the Liquigas team spoke on behalf of all ProTour team sponsors.  "The work group has settled on an agreement paper which will now be given to the responsible persons of the parties involved.  The time is not yet right to be announcing the details. There is still a lot of work to be done but the important thing is there is an agreement of some kind."

German claims that when the majority of ProTour licenses are due to expire in 2009, the number of teams will be reduced to just 18.  This will allow organizers of the ProTour events to invite a greater number of Continental teams to their events.  There is also mention of an easier team promotion/relegation system to allow smaller teams to move up into the top level of the sport.

Following the successful appeal by German rider, Danilo Hondo, in a Swiss Civil court to over turn his doping suspension, Spaniard Roberto Heras is expected to soon launch a similar bid through the Spanish legal system.  Heras has already had one appeal rejected by a court in Castilla y Leon.

Heras' lawyer Jos? Maria Buxeda says the next step is the civil courts. "The (civil) court did not basically deny it had jurisdiction," he said Monday. "We will plead if necessary before the civil courts."

Finally this week, when you?ve finished reading, take a quick look at a new site just launched. fills the information void for professional cycling teams and their athletes throughout North America. This is an informative website for fans, journalists, team managers, and event organizers. combines information for all UCI North American teams in just one central location.

Until next week,


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