My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

Rossi denies using CERA; Ricco denies having given the drug to her

Category: Cycling

Vania Rossi says she has not doped herself. Why would she use CERA while she was breastfeeding her son? How is it possible that she has tested positive? I want to know what she thinks. The problem is that she just denies everything. She wants us to believe that she would never use dope while breastfeeding her son.

"I’ve never taken banned substances and I especially haven’t done it now because I’m a mum and I’ve been breast feeding my baby boy since last July."

"People who know me and know my past, understand only too well that the whole thing is absurd. I’d never risk my son’s health for a bike race. That Sunday, while I was waiting for the control, I breast fed my son. If I’d taken CERA or anything else, I’d deserve to be put in jail."

It was CONI that conducted the exam on January 10th during the Italian championship in cyclo-cross. She finished second.

Rossi's partner, Riccardo Riccò, tested positive for EPO CERA in 2008 Tour de France. He will start competing again in March. In the beginning I felt that he deserved another chance, but the more I think about it, the more I feel that he is a skunk. Riccò admitted doping, and now his partner has been caught in a doping control for the exact same doping substances. How is it possible?

Riccardo Ricco says he has not met his girlfriend in three months. He has trained with Flaminia-Bianchi team, in Tuscany. He says he is upset and does not understand how this has happened. Naturally, he denies that he has given her the drug. Perhaps he tells the truth.

“What’s happened? I know as much as anyone else. I’ve been away from home for three months but now everyone will put two and two together and ask ‘Who gave it to her? I’ll be guilty again,” Ricco said.

“I trust her. If she tells me something, I believe her. I don’t think she tells lies. At least I hope so because otherwise it a mess, especially with a baby involved.”

Somehow, it sounds like he believes that she has taken the drug. It may not sound like the world's best relationship. He has a rather old-fashioned view of girls racing bikes. And it seems that he actually want her to quit cycling. Could he be so cruel to her that he gave her the dope? No, let's hope now.

“When I was found positive, I confessed everything. I was honest. I hope she does the same. People know I don’t like her racing, you can imagines what I think about her taking anything. Cycling isn’t for women, it hurts too much,” Ricco said.

I personally believe that it was her own choice. Perhaps some cyclists will learn this: A person who take drugs will be caught. She should have known it herself, she really should.

“The thing that bothers me is what people will think. I didn’t need this but I can’t go and kill myself. I’m going to carry on training. It’s a strange situation but it’s nothing to do with me. We’ll do the counter-analysis but in the meantime I’ve been splashed all over the newspapers.” Ricco said.

Ps. Taking CERA while breastfeeding is absolutely not. The drug is passed on to the baby via the mother’s milk. So the mother should certainly avoid taking medicines.

Contador knows he can win the Tour de France, but he is not sure he will

Category: Cycling

The Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador says he is in much better shape this year than last year. Sounds good, huh?

The Tour de France will be hs main goal this year. He is well aware that other riders want to win the race. And that others can win the Tour de France.

"The big goal is to repeat my victory in the Tour de France. But I know it won’t be easy because there are lots of other riders who also have the same goal. I think there are eight or maybe ten riders with a real chance but both the team and I will be giving everything to win it," Contador said.

"I don’t like saying that I’m the big favourite. There are other favourites because of their physical strengths and because of tactical factors, such as the strength of the teams. If I had to say one name of someone who could cause me trouble in the mountains, I’d say Andy Schleck because he was second last year."

Lance Armstrong is also a possible rival. The Spanish cyclist seems to be glad that Armstrong has left Astana Team. Racing with Armstrong last year certainly made Contador a tougher rider. It was a good experience to him.

Anyway, it suits the two riders to race with different squads. In Astana the focus will be to make Contador win. The squad don't have many leaders, so they will avoid many fights. Alexandre Vinokourov and Oscar Pereiro have promised to help the Spanish rider as much as they can. They will back him 100 percent.

"We have a very good team at Astana and I think we’ll have a great season. The team has worked hard in training and I am pleased with everybody’s motivation and the commitment they are putting in. That's the key." Contador said at the Astana team presentation.

Will there be any Moroccan races in February?

Category: Cycling

I don’t know how much knowledge you guys have about Moroccan cycling, but why not ask anyway. Do you know if there will be any cycling races around Marrakech between February 23rd and 26th? If you know, please tell me, because it would be fun to see some Moroccan cyclists.

This is not well known, but the Moroccans are proud of their talented cyclists. Recently Abdelaati Saadoun was named Morocco's Sportsman of the Year. He won ahead of football player Marouane Chamakh and track athlete Amin Laalou.