PIC © TIM DE WAELE Gutirrez hospitalised Caisse d’Epargne rider Jos Iv n Gutirrez was hospitalised after crashing in the finishing sprint of stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico. The Spaniard injured his thorax in the fall, and was taken to Prouse hospital for observation for two days. Ricardo Serrano (Tinkoff), Geoffroy Lequatre (Cofidis) and Moises Aldape (Panaria) were also taken to hospital after the crash. The stage was won by Alexander Areekev (Acqua & Sapone). Fight over Ullrich’s blood continues The German investigation into whether Jan Ullrich defrauded T-Mobile by doping has been slowed by the Ullrich camp. According to a report in El Pais, Ullrich has asked the Spanish constitutional court to block the transfer of blood bags seized in Operaci¢n Puerto to the investigators in Germany. The blood would be used for a DNA comparison with a sample of Ullrich’s own DNA. But now, the matter could take years to resolve. Ullrich’s lawyers have not officially confirmed the story. Ex-Lotto members to be questioned 19 people involved in the Belgian Lotto team 10 years ago have been summonsed by a Belgian court in a ‘new’ doping affair. The investigation began when ex-Lotto sprinter Djamolidine Abdoujaparov tested positive for Clenbuterol at the start of the 1997 Tour de France. The result ended Abdoujaparov’s career, but it started a long term probe into his team. It is now complete, and 19 people, including seven riders but not Abdoujaparov, face doping- and fraud-related charges. Former team director Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke and his wife will be questioned over the use of Lotto’s sponsorship money within the team. Riders Thierry Marichal and Peter Farazijn have also been summonsed. Marichal, who had to stop racing in Paris-Nice, will be questioned about whether he used and/or sold the pot belge drug cocktail. Farazijn, now retired, will be asked about possession of banned drugs. The hearings will take place in Tournai on March 30. BT to sponsor Acqua e Sapone When Alexandr Arekeev won the second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico yesterday, there was a British Telecom (BT) logo clearly visible on his jersey. Procycling confirmed with Acqua e Sapone manager Palmiro Masciarelli that the team has signed a deal with BT, which will be made official on March 23. Masciarelli said that BT has big interests in Italy, particularly through its subsidiary Albacom, which it acquired in 2005. Albacom is no stranger to cycling either, having co-sponsored the Mercatone Uno team when Marco Pantani was riding. And as so often happens in sports sponsorship, the man behind that Albacom deal is now with BT, and is a keen follower of cycling. Racing roundup: Santarem and El Salvador Spanish sprinter Javier Benitez (Benfica) won the opening stage of the Volta de Santarem in Portugal. Benitez outsprinted Robert Hunter (Barloworld) and Tom Veelers (Rabobank) at the end of the 206km leg between Fatima and Torres Novas. In the women’s GP of Santa Ana in El Salvador, Ukrainian Tatiana Stiajkina (Chirio Forno d’Asolo) won a six-woman sprint after being led out by her teammates Sabrina Immasi and Caroline Kloiber. Stiajkina beat local rider Evelyn Garcia (Dila Guerciotti-Cogeas) and Frenchwoman Edwige Pitel (Bicimania-Uniqa) at the end of the 99km race. The women are now competing in the Vuelta Ciclista Femenina a El Salvador, which runs between March 15th and 20th and covers nearly 500km. In the 4.2km prologue in Huizucar, Marta Vilajosana (Dila Guerciotti-Cogeas) triumphed in a time of 6’30, beating Stiajkina by two seconds and Garcia by three seconds. Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.
José Iv n Gutiérrez injured his thorax after crashing in Tirreno-Adriatico. Also, Ullrich tries to