Francesco Moser "it is about time to look for a serene approach to find a way out of this quagmire."

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11.11.2006/ Francesco Moser is part of the jury who will decide which rider wins the prestigious Belgian cycling award "De Flandrien". In the final round there are only three riders left: Paolo Bettini, Tom boonen and Alexander Vinokourov. Moser spoke with about the 2006 season, the ongoing powerstruggle between the UCI and the grand tour organizers, Puerto and didn't make a secret about which rider will become his vote.

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Paolo Bettini (picture: Cyclingheroes)

Francesco Moser told "For me Paolo Bettini is the Flandrien". Moser continued by saying: "It was a bad year, a black page for cycling".

The former winner of the Giro d'Italia was making a holiday on the Caribbean island Curaçao when he spoke with "This is a region where I like to be, a bit further, in San cristobal in Venezuela i became world champion in 1977."

Speaking about the past season moser said: "Bettini, Boonen, Valverde, Cancellara and Pozzatto gave the season it's highlights. Except for 'Il Grillo' and Vinokourov they are all relatively newcomers. The Kazach was wrongly a victim of all the dirt that came to light. But  I find that after the chapter called Armstrong there has been fought many a war but international cycling is still looking for a new pope. After the Landis affair in the Tour there isn't even a 'intermediate' pope. Tom Boonen  proved that he is a great 'coureur' as a world champion, he grabbed the yellow jersey for four days but he is not a real Tour rider. Fabian Cancellara won Paris-Roubaix and became time trial world champion but he might be to heavi because of his body mass to dream for more in the grand tours. There still is Pozzatto."

Moser isn't sure if there will ever be a rider again who will be able to rule like a pope. He said: "Pro-Tour winner Alejandro Valverde seems to me the only one who has the capabilities to be good in everything. Although I doubt that in this world of specialization there will ever be a rider who can rule as a pope. I like it that guys like Bettini, who has to much limitations in the grand tours, Boonen and Valverde try to peak three times a year, although I think that's no longer possible".

Speaking about DNA samples: "And than you still have Ullrich and Basso. I don't know what to think of it all anymore. I am president of the Professional Cyclist Association CPA. I tell you: the riders will never agree collectively with the ethical code  of the Pro-Tour teams in the way it is now. You would only be able to sign a contract if you as a rider agree that a DNA sample will be taken from your blood to compare it at a possible doping case. Friday (yesterday, Cyclingheroes) we will have a meeting about that. Sorry but the ethical code does not confirm with the law. DNA research is not even automaticly used at serious crime. With us it would be included just like that. Come on. Some have made conclusions that Moser is an advocate of legalizing doping. That is perverting the facts. I am an advocate of more stringent doping laws for all sports and equal treatment  by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA, Cyclingheroes)."

Talking about the handling of Puerto, Moser said: "Manolo Saiz, the central theme recieves without engagement a new license by the UCI. Do you understand that? I have lost it. The biggest problem of cycling is that they have a fancy and overhasty way to handle critical situations like 'Operacion Puerto'. Cycling succeeds over again to get a disaster in the neck, although other sports are not better or worse.... I even think that cycling is better of. On the other hand i notice that everybody is interfering with everything. That is wrong. The UCI ist the government. They have to establish the rules and take care of their being abidid by. An organizer should organise. Do you think it is normal that the president of the Tour organisation is teaching everybody a lesson at the presentation of the Tour for two consecutive years ? That is the real problem of a sport which absolutely did not have a good year. "

Moser continued: And than i didn't even talk about the conflict between the Pro-Tour and the three grand tours. The closed system of the Pro-Tour is wrong. In my own country (Italy, Cyclingheroes) i see more race organisers dissapearing every year because they are not part of the Pro-Tour and only get second choice teams at the start. The solution of all these problems will not be an easy job, but it is about time to look for a serene approach to find a way out of this quagmire."

Related stories:

Operacion Puerto: evidence seems sparse and quite vage (part 1)

Operacion Puerto: evidence seems sparse and quite vage (part 2)

Bruyneel about Basso and Basso about Discovery

Basso to Discovery

Ullrich: "i feel with both feet firm on the ground"

Ullrich case: "Swiss cycling is not in charge"

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Hasslacher: "first rate pre-judgement"

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Puerto: investigators under suspicion

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Pro-Tour manager allows Manolo Saiz to keep Pro-Tour license

Ullrich to Volksbank?

Puerto: Ullrich not a suspect - UCI attacks ASO

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Are the Puerto documents falsified?

Ullrich: "character assassination campaign"

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Ivan Basso: CONI dropped charges

Operacion Puerto: "The cases have to be dealt with so they are either sanctioned or cleared"

Puerto hearing in Italy : Basso says he will return soon

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Swiss Cycling Federation: no suspension of Ullrich

Maybe in his next life

Swiss cycling federation: Ullrich doping case likely to be tough battle

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Operation Puerto

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