No place for Aitor in Euskaltel’s nine, Brard cleared of doping wrongdoing, home success for Hushovd
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The Euskaltel team has announced its line-up for the Tour de France and, as expected, there is no place for Tour of Switzerland winner Aitor Gonzalez, who is focusing on this weekend’s national championships and August’s Vuelta. The nine riders selected by team directeur Julian Gorospe are: Iban Mayo, as team leader, David Herrero, Iker Cama¤o, Haimar Zubeldia, Mikel Artetxe, Unai Etxebarria, Egoi Martinez, Iker Flores and Dauphin Libr winner I¤igo Landaluze.
– French rider Florent Brard, who tested positive in 2002 and was banned for six months and sacked by his Crdit Agricole team, has been cleared of the offence by the French Council of State. Now with Agritubel, Brard appealed against the ban, saying that he had been quite open about the medical treatment he had received following a bad crash at the 2002 Midi Libre, but had simply forgotten to take his medical card with him to his family doctor when he received a pain-killing injection containing the banned substance betamethasone.
“This is a real surprise,” Brard told L’Equipe. “I just wanted to defend myself against the charges. I am not bitter and of course I have already completed the six-month ban. I knew what had happened but nobody wanted to listen to me.”
– Thor Hushovd (Crdit Agricole) won the Norwegian time trial championship on Wednesday, beating CSC’s Kurt-Asle Arvesen by 29 seconds over a 50-kilometre course. Knut Anders Fostervold was third.