EDDY MERCKX NOT WELCOME AT WORLDS
The list of unwelcome stars in the 2007 World Championships grew rather longer on Wednesday morning when it emerged that cycling legend Eddy Merckx had not received an invitation from the Stuttgart organising committee to be present at the race.
Merckx, together with Germans Dietrich Thurau and Rudi Altig, not to mention double World Champion Gianni Bugno have all been declared persona non grata.
?We wanted to make an example.? World?s spokesman Jorg Kopfler said in the Belgian press.
?The people who have not received an invitation belong to an epoch when there was greater tolerance as regards doping. We should promote cleaner cycling. It?s in no case a personal attack.?
Eddy Merckx reacted to the non-invitation in his usual uncompromising style: ?There are idiots everywhere and that includes Germany.?
?I wasn?t going to go to Stuttgart anyway, I haven?t been on holiday for years so that was my top priority.?: Merckx is now heading for Egypt with his wife Claudine.
The declaration that Merckx cannot race contrasts sharply with Germany?s willingness to accept Erik Zabel?s participation in the World Championships.As for Alejandro Valverde, his controversial possible exclusion will be resolved later today in Switzerland.
Danilo Di Luca?s participation in the World Championships was looking complicated on Wednesday after his alleged implication in different anti-doping investigations was once more brought up in the Italian media. The 2007 Tour of Italy winner is still on the Italian start list, but may not finally race.
Meanwhile reigning World Champ. Paolo Bettini has insisted that he had signed the UCI?s anti-doping charter this summer - albeit with an extra document refusing to hand over a year?s salary in case of implication in a doping affair.
Bettini?s alleged refusal to sign the anti-doping charter, an accusation which emerged from the UCI on Tuesday, has caused yet another minor storm in the troubled build-up to the World Championships. However, Bettini at least is definitely heading for Stuttgart.
2007 ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS NEWS
Bettini denies supplying drugs to Sinkewitz
Valverde can race at World Championships
Eddy Merckx not welcome at Worlds
Cooke out of Worlds, Brailsford names GB squad
British team get extra places for U23 Worlds
Boonen out of Worlds
Should Valverde ride the Worlds?
2007 ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS COVERAGE
2007 Road World Championships preview
Elite Men Time Trial: full start list
Elite Women's Time Trial: Pooley takes eighth,
Under-23 Time Trial: Boom takes second world title in 2007
TV guide: World Champs on British Eurosport
TV guide: World Champs on BBC
2007 ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS PHOTO GALLERIES
Elite Women's Time Trial World Championships
Men's Under-23 Time Trial World Championships
2006 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
World Champs 2006: Cancellara nets gold in TT
World Champs 2006: Cooke blasts to bronze in Salzburg
Official 2007 Road World Championships website: www.radwm2007.com.
Union Cycliste Internationale: www.uci.ch.
Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.
Your Apple Watch is about to become a truly viable cycling smartwatch
The US tech giant is boasting connectivity to peripherals such as power meters in its new Watch OS 10
By Joe Baker • Published
You could own a Giro edition EF Education-EasyPost Pro Cycling team bike
Bicycle manufacturer Cannondale has partnered with the Los Angeles Bike Academy to raffle off Jonathan Caicedo's race bike from the 2021 Giro d'Italia.
By Henry Lord • Published