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Scroll down to read these articles from the web site of L'Equipe.  Translated by Walt
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Victory to Raisin- 02/05/06
Tour of the Etruscan Coast- Petacchi OK- 02/04/06
Tour of Qatar- Always Boonen- 02/03/06
Discovery Channel Team- Looking for a Leader- 02/01/06
Tour of Qatar- Still Boonen!- 02/01/06
Tour of Qatar- Boonen wins- 01/30/06
Liquigas- Di Luca and Garzelli Leaders- 01/28/06
GP Doha: Tom Boonen the winner- 01/27/06
Doping- Rumsas sentenced- 01/26/06

Victory to Raisin- 02/05/06

The American Saul Raisin (Credit Agricole) won the third stage of the Tour of Lanndawi
on Sunday in Malaysia by beating out the new leader, the South African David George, in
a sprint.  Twenty international teams, including the French teams AG2R, Crédit Agricole,
Bouygues Telecom, and the Belgian team Landbouwkrediet, are participating in the
Malaysian event, the most important race in Asia.
Results of the 3rd Stage:
1. Saul Raisin (USA/Crédit Agricole) 150.6 km in 4h03'55"
2. David George (RSA) s.t.
3. Darren Lill (RSA) at 17"
4. David McCann (IRL) 32"
5. Gabriele Missaglia (ITA) 37"

General Classification:
1. David George (RSA/South Africa) 9h47'06"
2. Gabriele Missaglia (ITA) at 40"
3. Cesar Grajales (COL) 2'22"
4. Francesco Bellotti (ITA) s.t.
5. Walter Pedraza (COL) s.t.

Tour of the Etruscan Coast : Petacchi OK - 02/04/06

The Italian Alessandro Petacchi (Milram team) won the 11th Edition of the Grand Prix of
the Etruscan Coast in a sprint on Saturday over a distance of 193 kilometers in
Donoratico in Tuscany.

Tour of Qatar- Always Boonen- 02/03/06

This has been a dream week for the world champion Tom Boonen.  The Belgian from the
Quick Step team won the Tour of Qatar after winning the 5th and final stage on Friday.  
This was another day where he ended in a sprint finish in front of the German Eric Zabel
and the Italian Fabrizio Guidi

Winner of three earlier stages- he was only beaten in the fourth stage by the Austrian
Bernhard Eigel- Boonen finished at the head of the general classification in front of Zabel
and the Swiss Aurelien Clerc.

“Because of the wind that made escapes difficult, this Tour de Qatar was not that difficult
to control.  My teammates worked efficiently and controlled the race.  It was up to me to
finish the job in the sprints”, stated Boonen, who feels that he is far from his top form.  
“The Tour of Qatar was above all a good test for the team in the sprints.  As for my
personal development, it permitted me to improve my conditioning. I assure you that I am
not yet in my top form”.

Results of the 5th stage:
1. Tom Boonen (BEL/Quick Step), 151.5 km in 3h36'48" (average speed: 41,928 km/h)
2. Erik Zabel (GER) s.t.
3. Fabrizio Guidi (ITA) s.t.
4. Bernhard Eisel (AUT) s.t.
5. Robert Hunter (RSA) s.t.
6. Matti Breschel (DEN) s.t.
7. Gorik Gardeyn (BEL) s.t.
8. Aurélien Clerc (SWI) s.t.
9. Stuart O'Grady (AUS) s.t.
10. Peter Wrolich (AUT) s.t.
16. Lilian Jegou (FRA) s.t.
21. Nicolas Jalabert (FRA) s.t.
22. Camille Bouquet (FRA) s.t.

General Classification:
1. Tom Boonen (BEL/Quick Step) in 17h02'20"
2. Erik Zabel (GER) at 11"
3. Aurélien Clerc (SWI) at 30"
4. Robert Hunter (RSA) at 40"
5. Fabrizio Guidi (ITA) at 40"
6. Matti Breschel (DEN) at 41"
7. Steven de Jongh (HOL) at 41"
8. Nicolas Jalabert (FRA) at 43"
9. Nick Ingels (BEL) at 44"
10. Aart Vierhouten (NED) at 44"
49. Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (FRA) at 16'24"
52. Lilian Jegou (FRA) at 17'44"

Discovery Channel Team- Looking for a Leader- 02/01/06

The American team Discovery Channel, former team of Lance Armstrong, can count on
three or four possible team leaders in the next Tour de France, according to its sporting
director Johan Bruyneel.  “We have a strong leader for the Giro with Paolo Savoldelli,
who has won it on two occasions, and we have three or four other riders (Azevedo,
Hincapie, Popovych and Rubiera) who have a chance to be the team leader during the
Tour”, stated Bruyneel during the presentation of his team on Tuesday in Beverly Hills
near Los Angeles.

“We will see as the race develops how strong each rider is at that time.  In general, the
problem resolves itself during the race”, added the Belgian sporting director, who has
won the Tour seven times with Armstrong since he has held his position.  “Now the
situation has changed.  The Giro is an important race, as are the Classics, especially
Paris-Roubaix.  The Tour of California, a new race, is important for us, but the Tour is still
the Tour”.

The 2006 Team :
José Azevedo (POR), Michael Barry (CAN), Manuel Beltran, Egoi Martinez, Benjamin
Noval et Jose Luis Rubiera (SPA), Fumiyuki Beppu (JPN), Volodymir Bileka and Yaroslav
Popovych (UKR), Janez Brajkovic (SLO), Tom Danielson, George Hincapie and Jason
McCartney (USA), Stijn Devolder, Leif Hoste, Jurgen Van de Broeck and Jurgen Van
Goolen (BEL), Viatcheslav Ekimov, Vladimir Gusev and Guennadi Mikhaïlov (RUS),
Roger Hammond (GBR), Benoît Joachim (LUX), Trent Lowe and Matthew White (AUS),
Pavel Padrnos (CZE), Paolo Savoldelli (ITA), Max Van Heeswijk (NED).

Manager : Johan Bruyneel

Sporting Directors: Dirk DeMol, Seran Yates and Lorenzo Lapage.

Tour of Qatar- Still Boonen!- 02/01/06

Tom Boonen had his third consecutive success in the Tour of Qatar on Wednesday at
the end of the third stage in Doha.  The leader of the Quick Step team beat out the
German Erik Zabel and the Dane Matti Breschel in a sprint.

The Flemish rider recognized that his third success was not as easy as the previous
ones: “It was difficult in the last four kilometers with the wind in the face.  Fabian
Cancellara took off at the red flame (1 km to the finish).  Over a kilometer, he is faster
than I am.  But the work of my teammates, Guido Trenti and Steven de Jong, was very

The race was marked by several escapes, all of those doomed to failure because of a
changing wind, to the disadvantage of the attackers.  The Belgian holds onto the yellow
leader’s jersey with an advantage of 12 seconds over Zabel.  Thursday the fourth stage
(144 km) will take place between Al Zubarah à Doha.

Results of the third stage :
1. Tom Boonen (BEL/Quick Step), 160 km in 3h34'50"
(avg. speed: 44.686 km/h)
2. Erik Zabel (GER) s.t.
3. Mickael Breschel (DEN) s.t.
4. Paride Grillo (ITA) s.t.
5. Robert Förster (GER) s.t.
6. Steven de Jongh (NED) s.t.
7. Wouter Van Mechelen (BEL) s.t.
8. Nico Eeckhout (BEL) s.t.
9. Stuart O'Grady (AUS) s.t.
10. Bernhard Eisel (AUT) s.t.
20. Nicolas Jalabert s.t.
21. Hervé Duclos-Lassalle s.t.
40. Tristant Valentin s.t.

The General Classification :
1. Tom Boonen (BEL/Quick Step) in 10h0'00''
2. Erik Zabel (GER) at 12"
3. Aurélien Clerc (SUI) at 18"
4. Robert Hunter (RSA) at 26"
5. Matti Breschel (DEN) at 27"
6. Steven De Jongh (NED) at 27"
7. Nicolas Jalabert (FRA) at 29"
8. Fabrizio Guidi (ITA) at 30"
9. Nick Ingels (BEL) at 30"
10. Aart Vierhouten (NED) at 30"
39. Lilian Jegou at 12'53"

Tour of Qatar- Boonen wins- 01/30/06

The reigning world champion, the Belgian Tom Boonen (Quick Step) won the first stage
of the Tour of Qatar on Monday (Asian circuit- 1st category) between the stadium Khalifa
of Doha and Al Khor Corniche.

At the finish of 131 kilometers of a race ridden for the most part into a violent wind,
Boonen, 25 years of age, beat out the German Eric Zabel and the South African Robert
Hunter.  The Belgian rider took the yellow jersey of leader in the general classification.

The first stage :
1. Tom Boonen (BEL/Quick Step), 131.5 km in 2h56'34”
(avg. speed: 44.686 km/h)
2. Erik Zabel (GER) s.t.
3. Robert Hunter (SAF) s.t.
4. Fabian Cancellara (SWI) s.t.
5. Fabrizio Guidi (ITA) s.t.
6. Aurélien Clerc (SWI) s.t.
7. Nick Ingels (BEL) s.t.
8. Sebastien Lang (GER) s.t.
9. Aart Vierhouten (HOL) s.t.
10. Steven de Jongh (HOL) s.t.
11. Nicolas Jalabert (FRA) s.t.

General Classification :
1. Tom Boonen (BEL/Quick Step) en 2h56'24
2. Erik Zabel (GER) at 4“.
3. Aurélien Clerc (SWI) at 5“.
4. Robert Hunter (SAF) at 6“.
5. Steven de Jongh (HOL) at 7“.
6. Nicolas Jalabert (FRA) at 9“.
7. Fabian Cancellara (SWI) at 10“.
8. Fabrizio Guidi (ITA) s.t.
9. Nick Ingels (BEL) s.t.

Liquigas- Di Luca and Garzelli Leaders- 01/28/06

The Italian team Liquigas presented its team for the 2006 season on Saturday at the jazz
club Blue Note in Milan, headed by the incontestable leaders Danilo Di Luca et Stefano
Garzelli.  The team of club president Paolo Dal Lago, managed by Roberto Amadio and
the former rider Stefano Zanatta, and equipped by the Bianchi brand which is part of
Campionissimo Fausto Coppi, includes 28 riders from eight different countries, and four
of those are new to the professional ranks.

The four newcomers, Elio Capecchi, Mario Da Dalto, Francesco Failli and Daniele Colli
have on several occasions stood out in the amateur ranks.  One part of the group will
assemble on February 1st and go to Majorca where they will compete in the challenge of
Majorca from the 5th to the 9th of February.  The rest of the group will come together in
Tuscany from the 1st to the 9th of February for training.  The group will make its race
debut on February 14th in the Laigueglia trophy on the Italian Riviera.

The team will unite under two natural leaders, the Italians Danilo Di Luca, first winner of
the ProTour circuit, and Stefano Garzelli, former winner of the Giro (Tour of Italy).

Di Luca, who has a number of important victories, including the double of Amstel Gold
race and Fleche Wallonne, and 2 stage wins in the Tour of Italy, will spearhead the team
in the spring classics, including Milan-San Remo, Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-

He will take part in the Tour of Italy as well, where he will probably be one of the stars
despite his limits in the high mountains.  Outside of those races, Di Luca also dreams
especially of winning the World Championships in October which will be on the Austrian
circuit of Salzburg.  

As for Garzelli, who only had one victor in 2005 in the Trois vallees varesines, he will
focus his training on the Tour de France, which is his major objective, along with the
Swede Magnus Backsted and the Italian Luca Paolini.

The 28 Riders:
Michael Albasini (SWI), Dario Andriotto (ITA), Magnus Backsted (SWE), Patrick Calcagni
(SWI), Eros Capecchi (ITA), Kjel Carlstrom (SWE), Dario David Cioni (ITA), Danielle Colli
(ITA), Alberto Curtolo (ITA), Mario Da Dalto (ITA), Danilo Di Luca (ITA), Francesco Failli
(ITA), Stefano Garzelli (ITA), Enrico Gasparotto (ITA), Roman Kreuziger (CZE), Nicola
Loda (ITA), Wladimir Miholjevic (CRO), Marco Milesi (ITA), Matej Mugerli (SLO), Vincenzo
Nibali (ITA), Andrea Noè (ITA), Luca Paolini (ITA), Franco Pellizotti (ITA), Manuel
Quinziato (ITA), Marco Righetto (ITA), Alessandro Spezialetti (ITA), Charles Vegelius
(GBR), Stefano Zanini (ITA).

GP Doha: Tom Boonen the winner- 01/27/06

The Belgian Tom Boonen (Quickstep), current world champion, won the Grand Prix de
Doha on Friday in Qatar.  He beat the South African Robert Hunter and the German Erik
Zabel in a sprint.

In his first official outing wearing the rainbow jersey of world champion, Boonen (25 years
of age) did not disappoint.  To achieve this performance, he was helped by the
remarkable work of his team.  The men of the Quick Step squad first of all led the pursuit
of three riders who escaped in the first hour and then set up the sprint perfectly for their
leader at the end of the course of 108 kilometers.

“It is a very special feeling to win while wearing the world champion jersey.  I was a bit
nervous before the race.  Now I know that my condition is good”, stated Boonen.

Doping- Rumsas sentenced- 01/26/06

Raimondas Rumsas, the Lithuanian who was 3rd in the Tour de France 2002, was given
a suspended sentence of four months in prison by the court of Bonneville (Haute-Savoie
region of France) for the importation of illicit medications which could be used for doping.

His wife Edita was also hit with a four month suspended sentence, as well as a fine of
3,000 euros for the same reasons, while the Polish doctor, Krzysztof Ficek, accused as
the person who prescribed the drugs, was given a suspended sentence of 12 months.  
The prosecutor for the Republic requested a prison term for the doctor during the
hearing on November 23rd.  He argued that as a “specialist”, the doctor was the
“principal person responsible” in this affair.  He requested suspended sentences for
Raimondas and Edita Rumsas of eight and six months respectively.

However, they were also hit with a customs fine of 1,1510 euros, twice the value of the
imported merchandise which was held as contraband.  They must also pay fines of 1,000
and 750 euros to the French Cycling Federation (FFC), which had entered a civil suit in
this affair.

The ICU Could Take Action
The FFC stated on Thursday its hope that the International Cycling Union (ICU) would in
turn also take action against Raimondas Rumsas.

“This sanction is dissuasive as a penalty, but we think there should also be disciplinary
action”, stated the attorney for the FFC, Paul Mauriac.  “We are now waiting to see what
the ICU wants to do in this matter, as they are the only group which can initiate
disciplinary actions”.

A Large Quantity of EPO
On July 28, 2002, while her husband was finishing 3rd in the Tour de France, Idita
Rumsas was stopped and questioned by customs agents near the Mont Blanc tunnel and
was found to be in possession of a large quantity of the pharmaceutical product EPO as
well as a box of syringes.  The customs agents also found in the trunk of her car an
apparatus which could measure red blood cell count.

This incident was the start of a number of actions against Edita Rumsas, including a total
of 75 days of detention in France.
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