Di Luca booted from ProTour; T-Mobile women; Tour of Utah on

'Oil for drug' catches up with ProTour leader. Three new riders for T-Mobile women, and Tour of Utah back after '07 no-show.

Di Luca excluded from ProTour

The UCI has announced that Italian Danilo Di Luca has been excluded from its ProTour competition, despite leading it.

Di Luca was recently suspended for three months by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) after being linked to a 2004 doping affair. His suspension started on October 16th, and according to UCI rule 1.2.133.1, he is no longer eligible for the ProTour. His exclusion means that Australian Cadel Evans assumes the lead with just one race in the series remaining, Saturday's Tour of Lombardy, which Evans will ride.

Evans has 227 points, and with Alberto Contador (191) not riding and 50 points for he win, he can only be caught by Alejandro Valverde (190 pts) or Oscar Freire (182 pts).

T-Mobile women for 2008

T-Mobile have announced their complete women's team roster for 2008. The squad will keep 10 members from this year's team intact and add three new riders: US National Road Champion Mara Abbott, German Road Champion Luise Keller and young rider Madeleine Sandig.

T-Mobile's highlights this year included Chantal Beltman's World Cup win in Sweden, Judith Arndt's overall win in the Thuringen-Rundfahrt and three stage wins at the Giro d'Italia Femminile, with the team racking up a total of 31 victories. It finished the season ranked number one on the UCI rankings, and is hoping to build on its success next year.

Team director Anna Wilson is confident that this will happen. "I am very excited about next year as the team gelled together better and better as this season unfolded and I think we're now ready to hit the ground running in 2008," she said.

"We will be aiming to win the early World Cups of the season and maintain our status as the
number one team in the world. That is a huge feather in our cap and one that we are very proud of as we place teamwork as the most important pillar of the team."

Joining Anna Wilson as a second team director is Ronny Lauke, who is coming from the men's Wiesenhof continental team. The team is keeping its existing manager Kristy Scrymgeour and coach Petra Rossner.

Full roster: Mara Abbott (USA), Kim Anderson (USA), Judith Arndt (Germany), Kate Bates (Australia), Chantal Beltman (Netherlands), Luise Keller (Germany), Emilia Fahlin (Sweden), Alex Rhodes (Australia), Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Germany), Madeleine Sandig (Germany), Linda Villumsen (Denmark), Anke Wichmann (Germany), Oenone Wood (Australia).

Tour of Utah is go for 2008

Next year's Tour of Utah will go ahead, according to a press release from the organisers. Scheduled for August 13-17th, it's being billed as "America's toughest stage race", featuring five days of racing over 342 miles with 30,000 feet of climbing.

Financial concerns stopped this year's Tour of Utah from happening. But the promoters say they have "restructured financial operations, downsized the race to five stages from a proposed seven, and focused on attracting domestic teams by virtue of an increased purse and possible NRC status."

"The purse is $75,000, which includes a brand new automobile," said tour director Terry McGinnis. "We're expecting more than 120 cyclists from the best teams in North America. This tour draws national attention, top-tier athletes, and will hopefully be one of only twenty five USA Cycling National Race Calendar [NRC] events."

The official name of the race is the 2008 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Presented by Zions Bank. The stages are as follows:

August 13, Stage 1: Nephi to Nephi, 101 miles
August 14, Stage 2: Salt Lake to Ogden, 84 miles
August 15, Stage 3: Downtown SLC Criterium, 90 minutes
August 16, Stage 4: Deer Valley to Snowbird, 99 miles
August 17, Stage 5: Miller MotorSports Park Individual TT, 18 miles

More information: www.tourofutah.com

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