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Ruta del Sol- Victory to Quesada- 02/16/06
Pettachi Doubles- 02/15/06
Davitamon team- McEwen is leader- 02/13/06
Tour Mediterranean- Dessel Wins- 02/12/06
Doping- The CAS Rules Against Hamilton- 02/11/06
A Royal Circuit- 02/09/06
Doping- Heras suspended for two years- 02/08/06

Ruta del Sol- Victory to Quesada- 02/16/06

The Spaniard Carlos Garcia Quesada (Unibet.com) won the Ruta del Sol after the fifth and final
stage between Olvera dn Seville.  The stage was won by the Belgian Tom Boonen (Quickstep) in a
sprint finish.

Pettachi Doubles- 02/15/06

Already the winner of the 3rd stage on Tuesday, the Italian rider Alessandro Petacchi (Milram),
also won the 4th stage of the Ruta del Sol, which took place on Wednesday over 162.1 km.  The
Spaniard Carlos Garcia Quesada (Unibet.com) kept the overall lead.

Davitamon team- McEwen is leader- 02/13/06

The Belgian team Davitamon, which did not see many changes during the off-season, will rely
above all on experience and also on its Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen in order to shine on
the routes of the ProTour in 2006.

Presented to the press on Monday in conjunction with the Six days of track racing of Hasselt, the
team of 26 riders, led by the manager Marc Sergeant, have ambitions to do well in the spring
classics and during the Tour de France.  “The tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix are the
indisputable objectives of our Belgian supporters, and the Grand Boucle (Tour de France) is a
priority in terms of visibility”, explained Marc Coucke, head of the firm Omega Pharma (owner of
the Davitamon brand of vitamines).

Although letting both Azel Merck (Phonak) and the Belgian champion Serge Baguet (Quick Step)
leave for competing teams, the Belgian team still has sufficient strength that it could meet its
goals.  To begin with, McEwen is said to “be brimming with confidence” now near the end of
winter.  “I feel much better than I did last year at the same time.  My 2005 spring was messed up
with health problems.  This time I think that I’m going to take on the classics in my best form”,
predicted the man who has already won four races this year on the roads of Australia and Portugal.

Objective Primavera
“If the green jersey of the Tour de France is still just as much of an obsession for me as in the
past, I dream of winning the Het Volk and Milan-San Remo”, affirmed McEwen.  “Yes, I say it loud
and clear, I want to win the Primavera.  I know that the press is saying it will be a duel between
Tom Boonen and Alessandro Petacchi.  But I now have sufficient experience to take the victory”,
he continued.  McEwen, who will also race in both the Tour of Italy and the Tour de France, is not
the only trump card for Davitamon.  His compatriot Cadel Evans is looking for “a top 5 finish in the
Grand Boucle which looks to be a very open race”.  

The Belgian Peter Van Petegem, at the age of 36 years, assures people that he is still capable of
“a monumental win”.  The winner of Gand-Wevelgem last year, Nico Mattan promises to go all out
to bring in another big success despite the fact that his winter preparation was disturbed by a
bacteria infection in his prostate.  As for Wim Van Huffel (26 years of age), who was a revelation
on the climbs of the last Giro (he finished in 11th place), he will try to confirm all the good words
that the Belgian press has said about him during the Wallone classics and in the Grand Tours.

Tour Mediterranean- Dessel Wins- 02/12/06

Six years after Laurent Jalabert, the Frenchman Cyril Dessel (AG2R) on Sunday won the 33rd
Tour Mediterranean at the end of the 6th and final stage, a loop of 111 km with the start and finish
in San Remo which was won by the Italian Elia Rigotto (Milram) in a sprint.

At 32 years of age Dessel beat the German Jens Voigt, the winner in 2005, to take the victory.  
“This victory was not easy since although the stages were short, I never had a large margin for
error.  I really was savoring my success in the last meters of the Italian stage”, explained the AG2R
rider, who was congratulated by Vincent Lavenu, his sporting director.

“Cyril was in good condition.  After a poor season in 2005, he had the desire to shine this year.  
This success in the Tour Mediterranean is reassuring for him”,  Lavenu stated.  “He took risks,
notably in the descent of the Madone pass (Friday).  He was opportunistic, and the team did the
rest“, he commented at the finish line and then announced that Cyril will take part in the Tour du
Haut-Var on Saturday.

Dessel’s name was written on the list of winners of this event by the sea, which on Sunday during
the final stage was animated by a group of five riders, including the Frenchman Yannick
Talabardon (Crédit Agricole).  Having escaped at kilometer 40, these five riders were caught at the
beginning of the last difficulty of the day, the climb of the Poggio (at kilometer 100), a climb which
is part of the Milan-San Remo classic.  Several riders were in position to win the stage with 5
kilometers to the finish.  The Italian Elia Rigotto, 23 years of age, finally took the victory in front of
his compatriot Daniele Bennati (Lampre) and the German Erik Zabel (Milram).

Doping- The CAS Rules Against Hamilton- 02/11/06

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected the appeal of the American Tyler Hamilton,
reigning Olympic champion in the individual time trial, and confirmed his two year suspension for
doping which was given him in April of 2005.

Convicted of blood doping in September of 2004 the day after his victory in the individual time trial
in the Tour of Spain- a first such conviction in the fight against doping-, several weeks after his
Olympic victory, Hamilton was suspended for two years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency
(USADA) on April 18, 2005.  Hamilton, 34 years of age, then appealed this decision to the CAS in
June of 2005.

In its communication the CAS explained that the HBT test given to Hamilton at the Tour of Spain on
11 September 2004 was reliable.  On that day his blood contained two types of red cells, and this
indicated doping by blood transfusion, a method which is contrary to the rules of the International
Cyclist Union (ICU).  “Conforming with the rules of the ICU and according to justice”, the CAS
determined, however, that the suspension should have begun on September 23, the date on
which Hamilton accepted a voluntary provisional suspension, and not on April 18, 2005.  Thus his
suspension will be over on September 22, 2006.

The CAS indicated that it will soon make public its decision concerning the gold medal won by
Hamilton during the individual time trial race at the Olypmic games in 2004 in Athens.  This
decision was asked for by the Russian Olympic committee and Viatcheslav Ekimov, who was
second behind Hamilton.

A Royal Circuit- 02/09/06

The prologue of the Tour de France 2007 will make a lap around Buckingham Palace before
following a very symbolic course.  Ken Liviingstone, the mayor of London, announced today the
exact route of these 8 kilometers.  The riders will take off on July 7 from Whitehall, near the
residence of the Prime Minister, before passing in front of Parlement and visiting Hyde park before
finishing on the avenue of the Mall which leads to Buckingham Palace.  They will not yet have
finished with their guided tour, since on the next day they will follow along the Thames, will pass in
front of Big Ben, St. Paul’s cathedral, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge before finding their
route to Canterbury in Kent.

Livingstone already is promising a fantastic welcome for the riders in his capitol: “When the Tour
takes off next summer, it will receive the best welcome possible from the city”.  Recalling the fact
that the start will be held on July 7th, he underlined that “there will be sadness when we remember
the events of the month of July of last year, but we will come together, in fact, at the moment of this
prologue.  This will be an occasion to show the world that terrorism will not triumph, that it will not
change our city and it will not discourage us”.  And he added, “There will not be a better way to
celebrate the unity of mankind than this gigantic sporting event which comes to us under the eyes
of millions of people, happy and secure”.

Doping- Heras suspended for two years- 02/08/06

The axe has fallen.  Roberto Heras has been suspended for two years by the Spanish Federation,
with an exclusion from competition in the ProTour for four years.  The Spaniard was also stripped
of his victory in the Tour of Spain 2005, the fourth in his career (2000, 2003, 2004).  The title
therefore goes to the Russian Denis Menchov (Rabobank), who was second in the general
classification.  Heras has one month to file an appeal of his decision.  At 32 years of age, this
probably means the end of his career.

The Spaniard tested positive for EPO during the second to last stage of the last Vuelta (Tour of
Spain), an individual time trial between Guadalajara and Alcala de Henares.  When this information
was revealed in November, his team, Liberty Seguros, immediately suspended him.  The former
teammate of Lance Armstrong always claimed his innocence, first claiming that there was a mixture
of samples in the laboratory, then claiming that the tests has errors.

He could appeal
It is very probable that he will appeal the case since he stated he would after the confirmation of
his positive test.  “I must accept the result but I have my doubts about it”, he stated at the time.  “I
am convinced that the method of analyses of EPO has its problems.  I have never administered
doping substances to myself”.  

Heras became the first rider to win the event four times.  He thus loses this record as well and will
now be tied in the record books with the Swiss rider Tony Rominger, winner in 1992, 1993, and
1994.