Garate checks over key stage of Giro route, Bak finds his pain is explained by four broken ribs, WAD
Quick Step’s Spanish champion, Juan Manuel Garate, fourth at last year’s Giro d’Italia, spent Wednesday looking over the roads of the 19th stage of this year’s Giro (Pordenone-Passo San Pellegrino), climbing the Fedaia, Pordoi and San Pellegrino passes. “It was a beautiful day,” said Garate. “The landscape is impressive and for the first time in my life I have seen a solar eclipse at 2000 metres! The Passo Fedaia will select the group, and I think only the best will remain in the front. The Pordoi is a more regular climb, but the last six kilometres of the San Pellegrino will make the difference. It’s a very steep climb and I think the riders will finish one by one.”
– CSC’s Lars Bak, who crashed at Tirreno-Adriatico a couple of weeks ago has found out he has four broken ribs having undergone x-rays in Luxembourg earlier this week. “I’ve had quite a lot of pains. I underwent an examination when I got back to Luxembourg after the Criterium International, and now I know why I was in so much pain for the past couple of weeks,” the Dane explained. “I’ve been able to deal with the pain, so I didn’t think anything was broken. I can still work out on my home trainer, but I’m not racing for a while, as I can feel every little bump in the road, and it would be too dangerous to crash again with four broken ribs. I hope to be back on the road in about 10 days.”
– The International Cycling Union has lifted the suspension it had imposed on its own medical officer, Mario Zorzoli, who was revealed to have given the results of doping controls undertaken by seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong to French newspaper L’Equipe. The paper went on to publish allegations that Armstrong had used the blood-boosting product EPO at the 1999 Tour. “Armstrong said that he had no concerns with what had happened and that he had nothing to hide,” commented UCI press officer Enrico Carpani, who added that Zorzoli had received many letters of support during his month of suspension, including one from Armstrong.
– The World Anti-Doping Agency is considering making a request to a Swiss court to reconsider its decision to temporarily lift the doping suspension imposed on former Gerolsteiner sprinter Danilo Hondo after the German tested positive for the stimulant carphedon at last year’s Tour of Murcia. Hondo was banned for two years for the offence, but has taken advantage of a clause in WADA’s statutes that allows Swiss residents to make an appeal against suspensions in the civil courts. His action led to a Lausanne court lifting his ban from April 1, while it further considers his case.