Latest: Astana OK; Chƒtenay-Malabry; Zabriskie

The Astana team has been guaranteed a spot in the three major tours, whether it gets a ProTour licen

The Astana team has been guaranteed a spot in the three major tours, whether it gets a ProTour licen
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM The Astana team has been guaranteed a spot in the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espa¤a, despite not yet being a ProTour team. That's according to ASO boss Jean-Franois Pescheux, who let team director Mario Kummer know. The three major tours decided on Tuesday that they wanted their own selection criteria, and Astana could be the first beneficiary. Astana could still become a ProTour team, as the UCI's licensing commission has yet to determine the final spot. Team manager Walter Godefroot told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad that he was optimistic of getting a licence. "There was indeed that negative advice from the licensing commission, but our dossier wasn't ready then. Now it is. It would be logical that Astana keeps its ProTour status. We have fulfilled all criteria." Godefroot also reacted to UCI president Pat McQuaid's comments about Astana not having a chance at the ProTour. "McQuaid has only been president for one year. Maybe he still has to learn his job." Chtenay-Malabry lab to get increased security The French anti-doping lab at Chtenay-Malabry will receive a security upgrade after its computer system was hacked in October. The lab has come under fire from cyclists such as Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong for sloppy procedures. At the end of October, a hacker broke into the lab's computer system and emailed sensitive documents relating to the Landis case to several major sports organisations. The president of the French Anti-Doping Agency, Pierre Bordry, said that the Prime Minister's defence advisory council had approved the security upgrade. "We have reached an agreement to bring it up to standard," Bordry said to AP. "I am surprised measures were not taken earlier." Bordry said that he had no evidence to link the hacker to someone from the Landis camp, despite an allegation in L'Equipe to this effect. Biological profiling Pierre Bordry also outlined the Chtenay-Malabry lab's plans to develop dope testing based on biological profiling. The World Anti-Doping Agency has donated US$240,000 to fund projects of this nature. "This is one of the lines of scientific inquiry that we are looking to finance," said WADA boss Dick Pound. "If there is a sudden change in the parameters you may have to say: 'All right, how do you explain the sudden change in your testosterone level?'" Zabriskie to set an hour record Dave Zabriskie (CSC) will set a brand new mark for the American hour record on December 17. The American will do it on a traditional "Eddy Merckx style" track bike at the San Diego Velodrome. There is no pre-existing record for this discipline in the USA. "A couple of months back some fire fighters perished in a forest fire in the Los Angeles area," he said. "This time record is part of a big event to raise money for their families. "It's not so much a cycling event, but more an event to raise some money and the audience has been informed of the fact that I've just flown in from South Africa the day before, so regardless of my efforts they will be cheering, I hope." Apart from Zabriskie, a couple of athletes and some other celebrities will also be participating. Zabriskie's season will start properly next February, where he will be one of the big profiles in Tour of California. And he does feel he has something to make up for after a not so successful 2006 season. "I've been working on a few things in order to improve myself for the oncoming season," says Zabriskie, who did not want to point to any specific aims. "My goal is to continuously better myself." Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum.
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