Phonak (cycling team)

Phonak (cycling team)

Phonak Hearing Systems ("UCI Team Code:" PHO) was a Swiss professional cycling team active from 2002 until 2006. The Phonak team was one of the 20 teams invited to the first UCI ProTour for the 2005 season, where the team showed consistency. Though only winning one overall race in Santiago Botero's victory in the one-week race Tour de Romandie, the team finished second in the team ranking on the 2005 ProTour circuit.

On June 16, 2006, it was announced that presenting sponsor iShares (a subsidiary of Barclays Global Investors N.A.) had signed a three-year contract to become the team's title sponsor beginning in 2007. Thus, the team's name was to become iShares. However, on August 15, 2006, Andy Rihs, owner of Phonak Hearing Systems, stated that the deal had been called off after team leader Floyd Landis tested positive for high levels of testosterone, and that the team will be disbanded at the end of the 2006 season. [cite news |url=
title=Owner set to disband Landis' team|publisher=BBC Sport|date=2006-08-15

During the 2004 season it centered on giving Tyler Hamilton the best possible support for winning the 2004 Tour de France. When he crashed and then withdrew from that race, and later was suspended for blood doping, the support riders got a chance to prove their worth in other races. Unfortunately, Tyler Hamilton was not the last rider to be removed for doping, causing the main sponsor Phonak to be disinclined to continue its sponsorship beyond the 2006 season.

The riders accused of the 2004 doping are Tyler Hamilton (appeal dismissed, now banned from competition until September 22, 2006), Santiago Pérez (positive, two-year ban [] ), Oscar Camenzind (positive, ended his career), Fabrizio Guidi (acquitted, active on Phonak) and Sascha Urweider (fired by the team after he tested positive [] and now awaiting trial).

On August 5, 2006, the Phonak team dismissed 2006 Tour de France winner Floyd Landis after confirmation that a urine sample taken immediately after his win twice tested positive for banned synthetic testosterone as well as a ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone nearly three times the limit allowed by World Anti-Doping Agency rules. [cite news |url=|title=Backup Sample on Landis Is Positive|publisher=New York Times|date=2006-08-05] After a review of Landis' appeal, his Tour de France title was stripped by the UCI on September 20, 2007. [cite news |url=|title=Landis stripped of Tour title; appeal uncertain|publisher=Velonews|date=2007-09-20]

Team Rankings

Phonak Hearing Systems won the team classification at the following events:
* 2006 Giro d'Italia – "Trofeo Fast Team" and "Trofeo Super Team" (points)
* 2006 Volta a Catalunya
* 2006 Tour of Qatar
* Paris-Nice 2006
* 2006 Tour de Georgia

Roster for the 2006 Season

Prominent riders

* Santiago Botero, born 1972, COL
Santiago Botero is a specialist Time-Trialist who came 2nd in stage 11 of the 2005 Tour de France behind Kazakistan's Alexander Vinokourov (Astana).
* Nicolas Jalabert, born 1973, FRA
* Axel Merckx, born 1972, BEL
Axel Merckx is the son of Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx. He got the bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic road race.
* Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero He won the Tour of Catalunya in 2004 and finished 5th of the Amstel Gold Race in 2005.
* Fabrizio Guidi (ITA) He is still competing (Barloworld Team) in 2007. He is a sprinter and has won several stages at the Tour of Austria and at the Tour of Poland in 2006 as well as the General Classification of the Tour des Regions Wallones (in addition to 2 stages.
* Aurélien Clerc (SWI) Today, he races with the French Team Bouygues Telecom and has won one stage of the Classica de Alcobendas in 2006 as well as one stage of the Vuelta a Burgos in 2004.


External links

* [ Official site]

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