Latest: Unibet not happy; VDB out; Teutenberg wins; Science in Sport-TrekClose
Unibet.com wants the right to be allowed to race in France, and is now taking legal steps. Also, VanPIC BY SCIENCE IN SPORT Unibet not happy Swedish registered team Unibet.com is not happy with the decision made by the UCI, IPCT and the major organisers with regard to the ProTour. The team is one of two, Astana being the other, that is not guaranteed a start in the races organised by ASO, RCS and Unipublic. That includes prestigious events such as the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a Espa¤a and Paris-Roubaix, where the team will gain much of its publicity. The problem for Unibet is that at the moment it is illegal to advertise the company's services in France because it contravenes French gambling law. French organisers who have allowed Unibet riders to race in their normal jerseys have been heavily fined. And in Belgium, the state-run National Lottery is taking action against the Swedish firm because it threatens Lotto's monopoly. ASO, RCS and Unipublic have promised to consider Unibet's wildcard chances "in a positive light." ASO president Patrice Clerc acknowledged this, but pointed out, "French law forbids us to allow Unibet.com into our races. As long as the law remains as it is now, we can't let Unibet start. If the law doesn't prevent us from doing that any more, if some minister grants an exception, I see no problem. Then we will re-examine the affair." Unibet manager Jacques Hanegraaf told the Belgian media, "We will take the organisers and the UCI to court. We have invested many millions via the ProTour to ensure a starting ticket to all the important races, and what do we get for it?" The team hopes to have an answer from a French court within two days, and says that it is willing to ride in non-branded jerseys. It is arguing that it has signed up for the ProTour, and therefore it should be allowed to race. But the ProTour is not above national laws, and the system was also introduced without the agreement of all of the involved parties. Unibet will hold a press conference on Wednesday afternoon to give a more detailed reaction to Monday's UCI/IPCT/organisers decision. Vandenbroucke to miss spring classics Frank Vandenbroucke will not be able to race until at least May, as he continues to recover from an operation on his left knee. "For around fifty days, I haven't been able to fully bend my knee," he told Het Laatste Nieuws. "But I will not start racing before the end of April. The aim is to get ready by the start of the Giro. There are still seventy days, so it should be possible." Vandenbroucke rued his misfortune. "I was ready, tiptop in the head and legs. And now this again. But I'm already 32 and the years are flying by. If I still want to race for five or six seasons, the bad luck can definitely end. Teutenberg in yellow in NZ Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (T-Mobile) won the first stage of Trust House Women's Cycle Tour of New Zealand on Wednesday. The German beat Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine) and Charlotte Becker (German National Team) at the end of a one hour criterium in Lower Hutt. The race was decided at the 45 minute mark when Teutenberg escaped with teammate Judith Arndt, as well as Van Gilder, Hobson and Cheatley (all Cheerwine), Becker (German National Team), Kiesanowski (Trust House), Ljungskog and Gunnewijk (Flexpoint), and Egyed (Australian Institute of Sport). Arndt, Markerink, Egyed and one of the Cheerwine riders ensured that the break stayed away, and Arndt set up Teutenberg for the sprint win at the end. "Judith was strong and did all the work for me in the break," said Teutenberg to t-mobile-team.com. "It is nice to have the first yellow jersey for the season and another 3000 euro for UNICEF." Tomorrow is a 94km road race from Martinborough to Masterton. There is a steep climb at the 65km mark before the race heads downhill towards Masterton for the finish. Stage 1 results 1 Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Ger, T-Mobile Team) 1:10:14 2 Laura Van Gilder (USA, Cheerwine) 3 Charlotte Becker (Ger, German National Team) 4 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl, Trust House New Zealand) 5 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe, Team Flexpoint) 6 Judith Arndt (Ger, T-Mobile Team) 7 Nikki Egyed (Aus, Australian Institute of Sport) 8 Leigh Hobson (Can, Cheerwine) 9 Loes Gunnewijk (Ned, Team Flexpoint) 10 Catherine Cheatley (NZl, Cheerwine) Team Science in Sport-Trek announced British nutrition company Science in Sport and Trek UK are sponsoring a new UK-based elite team this season. Team Science in Sport-Trek will compete across four disciplines, including the Premier Calendar Road series, National Points MTB Series, Cyclo-Cross National Trophy Series and in selected track races. The team boasts current three national champions in Phil Dixon, Ian Bibby and Adam Blythe. "The backbone of this team had a tremendous 2006 season and we have already had a winning start to 2007," said SiS's Peter Slater. "It has always been our aim to build and support a high profile cycling team in the UK. The quality and calibre of the riders we have this year will go a long way in demonstrating this, we have a very good blend of riders in the team who are more than capable of winning races in any cycling discipline." Andrew Griffin of Trek UK commented, "Over the coming season, both on the road and the mountain bike, we expect this team to feature heavily on the podium and further increase Trek's visibility in the sport." The full team roster is Philip Dixon - National Cyclo-Cross Champion, competing in Road, MTB and Cyclo-Cross Ian Wilkinson - Road, MTB and Cyclo-Cross Ian Bibby - U23 National Cyclo Cross Champion competing in Road, MTB and Cyclo-Cross Dave Collins - Road, MTB and Cyclo-Cross Tim Lawson - World Masters Silver Medal 3Km Pursuit, competing in Road and Track Adam Blythe - European Junior Team Pursuit Gold Medallist, National Junior Scratch Race Champion, 3rd National Elite Criterium Championship, competing in Road and Track Richard Kent - Road Jack Woodward - Road Matthew Cronshaw - Road Team Manager : Phil Bibby Assistant Manager Jayne Warburton Team website: www.teamsis.com Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.