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Wednesday’s EuroFile: Hamilton vows vindication; Beloki signs with Liberty; World Cup ‘cross may come to U.S.

Hamilton vows vindication after sackingAfter being fired by the Swiss Phonak team, Olympic medalist Tyler Hamilton has promised once again that he will eventually be cleared of blood doping charges. “I know I will be vindicated,” Hamilton told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “My hope is to get this past me as soon as possible. We're just waiting to have this hearing, which at the moment they haven't even set a date.” Hamilton, who tested positive for blood doping at the Vuelta a España in September, plans to contest the results at a January hearing in Colorado. He

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By Staff and wire reports

Hamilton vows vindication after sacking
After being fired by the Swiss Phonak team, Olympic medalist Tyler Hamilton has promised once again that he will eventually be cleared of blood doping charges.

“I know I will be vindicated,” Hamilton told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “My hope is to get this past me as soon as possible. We’re just waiting to have this hearing, which at the moment they haven’t even set a date.”

Hamilton, who tested positive for blood doping at the Vuelta a España in September, plans to contest the results at a January hearing in Colorado. He faces a possible two-year ban if found guilty.

“As for me and my family, we’re ready,” Hamilton told the AP. “The sooner the better…. I’ll be vindicated and I’ll be racing in 2005.”

Beloki joins Liberty Seguros team
Joseba Beloki has confirmed his signing with the Liberty Seguros team for 2005, rejoining Manolo Saiz, his old boss at the now-dissolved ONCE squad.

“My aim is to be the rider that I once was during the Tour (de France),” the 31-year-old Basque rider was quoted as saying by Spanish sports daily Marca on Wednesday. “After many days of uncertainty and anxiety about my future at last I will be able to sleep well.”

After making the Tour podium thrice, Beloki has suffered through a long string of injury and illness since crashing out of the Tour in 2003. His stint with the French Brioches la Boulangere squad ended in June after an Achilles tendon injury and allergy problems that hindered his training, and he missed this year’s Tour altogether. He joined Saunier Duval in time to start the Vuelta a España, but dropped out on stage 16, lying 81st overall.

UCI considers World Cup ’cross in U.S.
The UCI’s cyclo-cross coordinator will fly to the United States on Thursday to discuss the details of bringing a World Cup race to the States in 2005, according to Het Laatste Niews.

“We will not earn a lot of money, because only the flight ticket and the accommodations will be financed. “The luggage will be restricted – only two bikes, two wheels and no mechanical assistants. But if we can promote cyclo-cross, it will be a pleasure to participate,” said ’cross coordinator Peter Van den Abeele.

Van den Abeele, who joined the UCI in December 2003 to help invigorate and streamline the sport with a newly structured World Cup schedule, told VeloNews in September that expanding the sport beyond its hotbed in Belgium and Holland is the next natural step, with the United States playing a big role in the future.

“I would like to see a World Cup race in USA sooner, maybe even next season, and why not the world championships?” he said. “Cyclo-cross is really growing in the United States and I’d like to take the world’s there, but maybe not until 2009 or 2010.”

Erwin Vervecken, who has raced in the United States, said a series of American races spread over three weeks “would be really worthwhile.”

“I already participated in two races, one at the East Coast and one at the West Coast,” he said. “The nine hours of difference in the West is difficult. I remember that I was half as good as usual.”

The timing of the event would be crucial, too, racers said.

“For example, not straight after the world championship,” said Sven Nys. “There would only be cyclists who are not motivated and eager to celebrate.” – Marcel van Hoecke and Andrew Hood, VeloNews European correspondent