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imbasilical moreon
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Samedi 1er juillet 2006 (that's today)



01/07/2006 - Cycling - TDF

The eye of Jean-François Bernard

Thor Hushovd first leader. (The Team)
Our consultant Jean-François Bernard reconsiders the prologue of the Turn of France, removed by Thor Hushovd (Agricultural credit). The former champion appreciated the performance of the Norwegian and awaits impatiently the duel the opponent with the Belgian Tom Boonen for the Yellow jersey at the time of the next days.



Which is your analysis of this prologue?
The victory of Thor Hushovd is not really a surprise. The Norwegian is well prepared and is not bad in this exercise. The surprise comes more third place of Zabriskie which was the hot favorite. Hincapie confirms its prologue of Dauphiné Libéré and the fact that it is quite present for gains. The other outsiders are placed with good Valverde. Savoldelli is in the blow, Landis also in spite of a problem at the beginning. Only Popovych and Klöden are a little in withdrawal.

Does Thor Hushovd have the means of resisting to Tom Boonen in the next days and of keeping the Yellow jersey?
It is known that Boonen is faster than Hushovd. The Belgian made an excellent prologue (12e at 11 seconds) and appears in great form. That will give us a good match because the runner of the Agricultural credit will fight to defend its shirt and can keep it several days. But one should not forget other specialists who made a success of a good prologue like O' Grady (6th at 4 seconds), Bennati (22e at 16 seconds) or Galvez (26e at 18 seconds). With the play of the allowances, all can go very quickly.

What did you think of the performance of the French on this exercise?
They are in their place. Christophe Moreau, it is not a surprise, was the best (15e). Chavanel missed power in the final one. Dessel and Vaugrenard finish with less than twenty seconds, which is encouraging. One can also note the good return of Brochard after his wound. In any event, that made well a long time that one does not have any more a French to gain prologue, one will see there more clearly after the stopwatch of Rennes. While waiting, not panic.






Hushovd: "a dream!"

Thor Hushovd (NOR/Crédit Agricultural), victorious of the prologue: "I did not dare to believe in the Yellow jersey. I already made good prologues. I finished 5e with the prologue of the Turn 2004. I progressed since, I took confidence too. It is a dream! My parents are there, they follow the Turn for the sixth time. It is well to know them present. That helps me to be relaxed."



The Norwegian in addition showed himself very satisfied with his tactic of race. "I left rather quickly in the first three kilometers, but without being with hundred percent. I especially paid attention to take the turns on the best trajectory. In the second part, I very gave, à.fond. I was informed that I had one second in advance and that I made a super time. That can surprise to see me in front of a specialist like Zabriskie. But I knew that I could gain. I thought of it, I dreamed some. With the prologue of Liege in 2004, I finished fifth. It is the proof that I can succeed in a prologue. I was trustful, I felt lately that the condition was there. I hold the best form of my career."

It confirms finally that all the team will mobilize itself to keep this Yellow jersey. "For the team, it is very important to preserve it longest possible. One will defend it à.fond. There are not many runners which can take it Sunday. One will have the assistance of Quick Step (Boonen) and Davitamon (McEwen) which want that that arrives at the sprint. Now, the Turn left and I hope that that will be a very good Turn of France, that the public follows for environment. One adores this sport which is marvellous. One needs to be supported."






Pitallier: "courageous decision"

"the part is not gained yet but it is a beautiful goal which was marked". It is by these words that the president of the French Federation of cycling (FFC), Jean Pitallier, reacted after the ousting of the Turn of France of several of his favourites, Friday. It is a decision "courageous and salutary", it added.



Partisan of a hard line, Pitallier explains that"one should not have pity for people who cheat. But that should not only relate to the runners. There is also their entourage. When a cheating is proven, should be applied strong sanctions. There are surely other cheaters but that surely will calm their heats ".

(With AFP)



i may have posted this already..........



30/06/2006 - Cycling - Doping

Bjärne Riis faces

In the medium of the storm which shakes the Turn of France to the day before of its departure, Bjärne Riis, the sporting director of the CSC, does not flee its responsibilities. The Dane, victorious of the Outer Loop in 1996, assumes the decision to draw aside his favorite leader and grandissime, the Italian Ivan Basso. He wants to also believe in the future of his sport and his team in spite of this new scandal.



"Bjärne Riis, that did occur precisely this morning?
After the meeting with the other teams, where we took note of the file, we decided, I decided that Ivan would not take part in the Turn of France, because we think that it is not possible for Ivan to concentrate on the race with this history in Spain. In addition, one of our runners is suspecté in a business of doping, we think that it is better for him as for us than it does not make the Turn.

You do not have any concrete proof of the culpability of Basso?
During the meeting with the other teams and the organizers, we could have access to the file sent to the UCI. There is no proven proof of doping for the moment, but it is established that Ivan formed part of the investigation, and that thus it is suspecté. Under these conditions, it is not possible for him to defend and make the Turn in same time. According to the file, Ivan is the only runner of our team concerned with this business. We await the conclusions of the investigation now.

How is it made that you were not well-informed before Ivan Basso was implied in this scandal?
We never have the least indication proving than it could form part of the names concerned. All that we know of Ivan is irreproachable, and we never had problem with the UCI relating to it. There is not the smallest indication of anything. Under these conditions, it is difficult for us to believe that it is implied in some manner that it is. But the fact is that its name is on the list, and one must make with that.

Will Basso be replaced? Is it also suspended of the team?
It will not be replaced. We decided with the other teams that all the runners present on the list, which will thus not take the departure, will not be replaced. In addition, Ivan is suspended of the team until new order, until we have of other information.

How do you see the future of the team?
I work in this team since five or six years now, and I believe that we made very good job until there. Everyone in the team knows the rules, everyone knows the consequences of any failure to these rules. One does all that one can to protect our image, but one cannot control all the details. I believe however in the future of this team, because we decided to comply with the rules. It is very important for me to make believe in my team which we can work in a serious way and which we must continue to work in this direction. Those which do not want to follow these rules can with what leave it. I remain convinced that our manner of working is the maid. It is difficult to say in this moment because Ivan is implied, but I believe in what I do and I would continue to believe in it. I nothing will change because of this history. One cannot make more than what one does, one cannot follow the runners 24 hours a day.

How will react your sponsors who spend of the million dollars to obtain good results and a good image?
Already, let us await the evidence before speaking about the kind, it is necessary for us to be careful in our comments. At the same time, why the sponsors shouldn't come if they are only some runners which enfreignent the rules? Those which cheat logically and will be fortunately excluded. It would be easy for me and the sponsors to leave now while saying: "Enough, I do not want to form part of all that". There I do not need to be. But I am there because I want to create something in which I believe, a project of which I could be proud. I want to fight for this sport, for my team. Perhaps that a day I will be wearied and that I will not want any more. But for the moment, I believe that this sport needs me. And I want to give best myself to advance the things.

Which will be your leader on the Lathe?
I do not know yet, but team CSC will be still very ambitious, and now it is time to concentrate on the race. The team was very touched by what arrived at Ivan, it had great ambitions on this lathe with him. It is my job of remotiver the guy and to give again force to them. It now does not matter which will be our leader, what counts, it is those which will take the departure tomorrow (Saturday)."

Remarks collected by our special correspondents in Strasbourg, Thomas BERTOLINO and Aymeric MARCHAL



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Appropriations photographs: The Team/AFP/Reuters
 
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