Road news: Leukemans, Matzbacher, Teisseire, Fertonani

Doping and death in the peloton

Belgian cycling team Predictor on Wednesday sacked rider Bjorn Leukemans after he failed a drugs test.

"Today, the Predictor team received the result of the B sample which confirmed that Bjorn Leukemans tested positive for banned substances on September 26, 2007," said a team statemenmt.

The team had already suspended the cyclist after his A sample tested positive for high levels of testosterone four days prior to the UCI World road race championships in Stuttgart where he finished 13th.

Austrian cyclist killed in car accident
Austrian cyclist Andreas Matzbacher has been killed in a car crash, the Austrian Cycling Federation (ORV) announced on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old Team Volksbank rider died after suffering fatal head injuries in a road accident that took place on Monday in the Province of Styria.

"The Austrian Cycling Federation mourns the loss of one of its greatest talents and an important pillar of the domestic cycling community," Federation chief Otto Flum said in a statement on the ORV website.

French cycling great Teisseire dies
Former Tour de France stage winner Lucien Teisseire has died, a family source said Wednesday.

Teisseire was 88 when he died at his home at Plonevez-Porzay near Finistere, on France's extreme north-west coast, just before Christmas.

A professional cyclist between 1942 and 1955, Teisseire participated in eight editions of the Tour de France, winning four stages.

He also won a number of prestigious races, including Paris-Tours in 1944, and the Paris-Nice (1946) and Dauphine Libere (1953) stage races.

He also finished runner-up in the 1945 edition of Paris-Roubaix, a huge result in the one-day classic known as the 'Hell of the North'.

A year later, he finished runner-up to Italian legend Fausto Coppi in the Milan-San Remo one-day classic.

Fertonani suspended two years for positive drugs test
Italian rider Marco Fertonani was on Friday handed a two-year suspension by the Italian Cycling Federation after controlling positive for testosterone, announced cyclingnews.com on December 21.

The 31-year-old Caisse d'Epargne rider was in July provisionally suspended following a positive result from an A sample in February at the Tour of the Mediterranean, in which he finished fourth.

And team officials had stressed their wish for the presumption of innocence to apply until the result of the second test is known, they said.

However they added that if Fertonani was confirmed a cheat, he would be
immediately sacked.

Fertonani protested his innocence throughout the hearing by the Italian
Olympic Committee (CONI) accusing the Parisian laboratory, where the samples were controlled, of making "a mistake".

© BikeRadar 2007

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