The Week That Was...

News & Results

11/22/2005| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

Forbes.com last week announced Lance Armstrong?s record-breaking seven straight Tour de France victories to be the second greatest sporting achievement of our time.   Armstrong was beaten into second place by Roger Bannister, who broke the four-minute mile in 1954. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

"In truth, there is no clear-cut number-one choice.   You could make a reasonable case for a dozen different achievements,? said Bob Costas, a journalist on the Forbes.com panel whose role it was to select the top twenty sporting event of our time before the sites editors and readers voted to rank them.  

In third place came Jesse Owens who broke four world records in 70 minutes at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.

With 2006 just weeks away, one of the now traditional season openers, the Tour de Langkawi, may be cancelled.   Despite Telekom <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
Malaysia
announcing its continued support of the race, several teams claim to have still not received their prize money from this year?s event.   According to UCI events, this prohibits next year?s event from taking place.

One of the biggest losers are the South African Barloworld team.   Having won the race overall this year with 26 year-old Ryan Cox, the team also finished first in the Mountains competition, Team competition and won the testing stage to Genting Highlands.  

Other teams reportedly still missing money includes
Selle-ItaliaColombia, Navigators and
Wismilak.

Having endured several high profile doping scandals in the past 18 months, Swiss team Phonak have also been blighted throughout 2005 with a black mailer threatening to reveal further cases if team manager, Urs Freuler, didn?t pay him 20,000 Swiss Francs.

The guilty party was caught in a police operating at the ?hand-over? which had been arranged at
Zurich Airport.  While not releasing the man?s identity, he has been sentenced to 12 months behind bars.   It is believed that the 49 year-old previously raced alongside Freuler as an amateur cyclist.

As we have recently reported, rumours have abated within
Germany
about a new clause within the contract of Jan Ullrich over his weight for the 2006 season.   While T-Mobile continue to deny its existence,
Hamburger Abendblatt reports that the clause has been set with an upper threshold of 79kg.   Should Ullrich return to the pre-season at a weight above this, he is reported to lose financial bonuses.

The newspaper printed the following table, listing the dates of Ullrich's season start, his weight at that first race, and his subsequent placing in the Tour de France:

Year   First Race                             Weight TdF placement  
1997   March 22, Milan-San Remo      75 kg    1

1998   April 6, Basque Country            80 kg    2

1999   March 17, Volta a  Portugal      80 kg    DNS

2000   March 10, Tirenno-Adriatico   79 kg    2

2001   April 16, Rund um K?ln           77 kg    2  

2002   May 22, Bayern Tour               74 kg    DNS

2003   April 11,  Sarthe                       73 kg    2

2004

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