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  1. #1
    don d.
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    Cofidis Reloaded

    Cofidis has jettisoned some of their more prominent Belgian riders for next year and taken on a trio of top sprinters, two of which are English speakers, to replace them. Cofidis now has Stuart O'Grady, Julian Dean, and Jimmy Casper to stick their noses out for the finishing tape. Along with English speaking Matthew White and David Millar, the team looks dangerous for the classics and shorter tour points competitions, as well as the Green Jersey in the TDF. Overall, I think they've strenthened their team.

  2. #2
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    Cofidis has made the biggest improvement of any pro team. That's quite a trio of sprinters.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laggard
    Cofidis has made the biggest improvement of any pro team. That's quite a trio of sprinters.
    Yes and yes. This line-up should be scoring UCI points all season long.

  4. #4
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    Not to mention three World Champions (Millar, Astorloa and Brad Wiggins)

  5. #5
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    Make that 4 World Champions. Stuart O'Grady won the 4000 m teams pursuit in 1993 at the World Championships and set a (then) world record also.

    Just looking out for Stuey our home town legend.

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    I'd rather be riding.

  6. #6
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchy
    Make that 4 World Champions. Stuart O'Grady won the 4000 m teams pursuit in 1993 at the World Championships and set a (then) world record also.

    Just looking out for Stuey our home town legend.

    CHEERS.

    Mark

    G'DAY

  7. #7
    don d.
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    Stuey all Charged up

    Stuey did a recent interview in cyclingnews in which he claim to be all charged up to do well in the early spring classics. All the best Stuart. Those are hammerin' rides.

  8. #8
    MaNiC! NZLcyclist's Avatar
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    GO JULZ!!! go julian ya good thing! yehaa big ups for the man from Kiwi land! He wants to ride le Tour...BAD! he wants to win some stages... and he is capable of it.

    Brendon
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  9. #9
    Elitist Jackass Smoothie104's Avatar
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    Confidis Re"LOADED"?

    from cyclingnews.com


    French police raid Cofidis team headquarters

    Ex-Cofidis rider Rutkiewicz arrested


    The French Cofidis team has been thrown into the center of a new doping investigation, after former team member Marek Rutkiewicz, 23, was arrested at the Charles de Gaulle airport Monday by French police. Rutkiewicz remains in custody, following a day when Cofidis' team headquarters were also raided by police earlier in the afternoon, seizing certain medical files but finding no banned substances on site, according to a report in Tuesday's l'Equipe.

    French police found suspected doping products in Rutkiewicz's luggage after he arrived from Poland Monday, and likewise seized several items from his home in Hyères, France. The materials have been sent for testing to determine whether or not they are indeed doping substances.

    "I'm just learning that our service course was searched," Cofidis manager Alain Bondue told l'Equipe Monday evening. "And the office of [team doctor] Jean-Jacques Meneut as well. As far as that's concerned, I'm not worried. As for Rutkiewicz, he was a good guy and we never had any reason to complain. He's no longer in the team because of his results, not because of any suspicions of doping."

    Rutkiewicz turned professional with Cofidis in 2001, and this year is due to ride with RAGT Semences-MG Rover, which succeeds Jean Delatour. Pending the outcome of his arrest and the police investigation into possible trafficking of banned substances, the Polish rider's future appears less certain.

    "As is often the case in cycling, we sign riders based on advice we're given," RAGT directeur sportif Jean-Luc Jonrond commented, adding that it was on the advice of Cofidis' Polish soigneur Bogdan Madejak that RAGT offered Rutkiewicz a contract. "Now I'm told [Rutkiewicz] is implicated in a scandal like this, and I don't even know his last name! Seeing as Marek is just 23, I thought that was a guarantee against doping. I guess I was wrong."

    The Cofidis team, including manager Bondue, is currently at a training camp in Spain following the team's official presentation Friday in Paris. No other Cofidis riders have been interviewed by police. Rutkiewicz himself had made a special trip back to Poland, leaving an RAGT training camp early, to receive an award for best young rider in his home country. His arrest is said to correspond with suspicions of drug trafficking which could implicate other riders in the professional peloton

  10. #10
    Elitist Jackass Smoothie104's Avatar
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    More trouble for Confidis

    Sassone arrested in French drugs case
    Rutkiewicz suspended by team
    French police have arrested another ex-Cofidis rider - dual track World Champion Robert Sassone - in relation to the latest cycling doping investigation in France. Wednesday's edition of L'Equipe reported that police searched Sassone's home in Hyères, finding a significant quantity of illegal drugs, including "amphetamines, erythropoetin (EPO), growth hormone, testosterone and other anabolic steroids."

    Sassone rode professionally with Cofidis for four years before joining St Quentin-Oktos this year. He won the World Madison Championship in 2001 and the World Scratch Race Championship in 2002.

    The quantities of drugs present led L'Equipe to speculate that they were more than for just "personal use", and Sassone is suspected of being involved in a larger drug trafficking ring which has Bogdan Madejak, the current trainer of Cofidis, as its leader. Madejak, together with his wife and one of his daughters, have also been placed in police custody, where they remained on Wednesday morning. Another of Madejak's daughters was released on Tuesday afternoon.

    Meanwhile, ex-Cofidis rider Marek Rutkiewicz has been suspended by his new RAGT Semences-MG Rover team, pending the outcome of the investigation. Rutkiewicz was the first rider to be arrested in the affair when he was stopped by police at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on Monday, allegedly in possession of banned drugs. Cofidis' team headquarters were also raided by police on Monday, but no banned substances were found.

  11. #11
    Elitist Jackass Smoothie104's Avatar
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    The Polish soigneur for Cofidis, Bogdan Madejak, remains in prison and has been charged with illegally possessing and supplying drugs and contravening French drug laws, as the French investigation into an alleged doping ring continues.

    Madejak's wife and his daughter (a pharmacist) were released late Wednesday, while former Cofidis rider Marek Rutkiewicz, who was the first to be arrested in the affair, was also charged but was later released on bail. Another ex-Cofidis rider, Robert Sassone, is still in custody and has been questioned in court over the stock of banned substances found after his home was searches. According to L'Equipe, Robert Sassone has reportedly admitted taking illegal drugs, but blamed his former team for putting pressure on him to get good results.

    Team Cofidis has had its headquarters searched and medical files seized by police but denies any involvement in the affair. In addition, Cofidis' World Champions Igor Astarloa, David Millar and Laurent Gané are not under suspicion, say police.

    The investigation, which was opened in Nanterre in July, 2003, is gathering momentum. Police estimate that up to 30 professional riders will be questioned by investigating magistrate Richard Pallain.

    The affair has put professional cycling - not only in France - on the defensive again as it tries to come to terms with doping in the sport. French sports minister John François Lamour was quoted in Le Figaro as saying "I feel anger. It's distressing to see these irresponsible people, criminals putting back the progress - which is essential for the evolution of sport - of the fight against doping. There is such a culture of doping in cycling that it will take one or two generations for things to really change."

  12. #12
    Elitist Jackass Smoothie104's Avatar
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    The two most recent cyclists to be questioned by French police in the ongoing doping investigation surrounding members past and present of the Cofidis team have each been released from police custody. Philippe Gaumont and Cédric Vasseur, both current members of Cofidis, were taken for questioning by French police Tuesday as they returned to Paris from the team's training camp in Calpe, Spain. Both appeared before a judge to face questioning concerning their possible involvement in either the use or transfer of prohibited substances.

    Gaumont was the first to be released from police custody, but according to a l'Equipe report Thursday, he has admitted his own use of prohibited substances in competition. No charges have been filed against Gaumont, who stated to police that use of doping substances was habitual, even as recently as the 2003 Tour de France. Notably, Gaumont admitted to the use of EPO.

    His confession is said to be prompted by statements by former Cofidis rider Robert Sassone, the third person to be arrested in the widening investigation, implicating Gaumont. This is the second drug investigation in which Gaumont has been called for questioning, the first being the case surrounding Bernard Sainz and Frank Vandenbroucke in early 2002.

    Cédric Vasseur was held an extra 24 hours by police, before appearing before a judge Thursday morning. He was not charged after questioning, and his lawyer affirmed his innocence in the affair, saying "For now he has not been charged with anything. I found him to be relaxed despite the pressure of the questioning. When you're capable of riding Paris-Roubaix, you can stand up to an interrogation."

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