VeloNews reports on the recently-concluded Tuscon Bicycle Classic:
"Working all day in a breakaway paid off for Fly V Australia’s Phil Zajicek, who grabbed the overall win at the Tucson Bicycle Classic by a single second over Jonathan Chodroff (Jelly Belly-Kenda). Eric Marcotte (Pista Palace) won the stage from the break, and slotted into third overall." Read more.
[UPDATE: This post is based on the musings of a reader, and is not an implication of anyone. That's why there is a poll, by which you can register your opinion. So that it's less controversial, we'll include a second poll, below...] Again quoting VeloNews:
The International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected Alejandro Valverde’s challenge to his two-year suspension from competition in Italy.
Valverde, who finished second in last week’s edition of Paris-Nice, may also have that suspension imposed globally if the UCI opts to pursue the case.
In May of last year, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) imposed a two-year ban on the Spanish rider, barring him from competing on Italian soil until May of 2011. As a result, Valverde was forced to skip last year’s Tour de France, which briefly crossed Italian territory on the 16th stage. Valverde then went on to win the Vuelta a España in September.
CONI investigators had acquired blood samples seized as part of the ongoing Operación Puerto case in Spain and were able to compare DNA to another sample Valverde submitted to Italian anti-doping officials when the Tour visited Italy in 2008.
An analysis conducted on the blood seized in the Puerto case not only matched Valverde’s later sample, but also contained evidence of EPO use. As a result, the Italian panel imposed a two-year ban on the Spanish rider.
That suspension, however, has not translated into a world-wide ban. By upholding the Italian suspension, it’s assumed that Valverde will likely face a worldwide ban. The UCI already tried in vain to keep Valverde out of the 2007 worlds based on alleged Puerto links, but CAS ruled then to allow Valverde to compete.
In this latest appeal, the three-member CAS panel ruled that CONI had jurisdiction to impose the suspension and concluded that evidence presented in the case was not only admissible but also relevant and could reasonably lead to a two-year suspension. Read more.
UPDATED AGAIN: Thanks, Steve, who left the first comment, focusing on Valverde. I hope that there is someone who'll take the opposing position and debate him based on the facts. If not, you can read a spirited, 7-page Valverde discussion over in The Clinic at Cyclingnews.com Forum. And thanks to everyone who has voted thus far in both polls. I'll leave them up through the weekend for sure, just in case there are any developments of Friday-afternoon press releases that slip under the radar... I personally think Valverde doped, and that 1st ≠ 1st, but hey - why listen to me after all...
UPDATED YET AGAIN: Just saw the results of the third stage of the San Dimas Stage Race and thought another poll might spice things up. Enjoy (and congrats if you read down this far)!