First Edition Cycling News for April 8, 2004
Edited by John Stevenson
Boonen blasts to win in Wevelgem
Tom Boonen (Quick.Step-Davitamon) won yesterday's 66th edition of the semi-classic Gent-Wevelgem in fine style, battling back to the lead group twice after punctures and crashes, and using the protection of his powerful team to position himself perfectly for the finale.
Nevertheless, the 23-year-old sprinter was feeling the pressure in the last few hundred meters. "I was stressed," Boonen said, "because the last year I spoiled my sprint, because the preceding year I bumped a photographer. This time, it all went almost perfectly."
Boonen paid tribute to the rider who has mentored him for the last two seasons, Johan Museeuw. "There is no better master than Johan, he has taught me to take it easier in chases."
Boonen's breakthrough ride came in the 2002 edition of Paris-Roubaix when he finished third while riding for US Postal. Being young, Belgian, talented and capable in the Classics has inevitably led to comparisons with team-mate Museeuw, but Boonen cheekily rejects the idea that he's the new Museeuw. "No," he says, "Museeuw never won Gent Wevelgem."
Legeay resigns from AC 2000
Crédit Agricole manager Roger Legeay has resigned from the French professional cyclists' organisation AC 2000. Legeay, who was due to be named president of AC 2000 at the organisation's annual general meeting on Saturday, says he is trying to force "a reflection on the attitude of certain teams about the problem of doping."
No personnel from Credit Agricole would attend the AGM, Legeay told Reuters, adding, "I respect the rules of the UCI, the French federation and sponsors and ministry. There are other teams that act like mine. There are a lot of responsible people [in cycling]; there are many clean riders, but there are still abnormalities that I refuse to be associated with."
Legeay particularly deplored the way certain teams have not complied with new rules regarding team technical assistants (soigneurs) who must now have diplomas.
Sunderland to ride Roubaix - for the first time
Alessio rider and Cyclingnews.com diarist Scott Sunderland will ride this weekend's Paris-Roubaix. Surprisingly, given the 37-year old, Belgian-based Australian's fifteen-year pro career in Europe, this will be the first time he's lined up in Compiègne for the 260km trip to the Roubaix velodrome.
"This race has not been on my program simply because it's not my race; I am not really the right type of rider for it," says Sunderland. "I'm a lightweight all-rounder, with a preference for hard, long climbs. I have been up there with the best in other World Cup races, finished 5th in Milan-San Remo, twice in the top 10 of the GP Zürich, 11th in Tour of Flanders, and enjoyed many more top 20 placings in the World Cup events."
Other races that suit him better have also clashed with Paris-Roubaix in the past, such as the Tour of the Basque Country which was "a vital conditioning tour for the world cup races which come later: Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Amstel Gold; races I did target to do well in."
But for 2004, likely to be his penultimate year as a pro, Scott just can't resist the chance to experience the Hell of the North. He asked his team management if he could ride it and "as my form is excellent at the moment, they will give me a go."
He has no illusions about winning, though. "My main job is to go with the early attacks and if successful, I will try to get as far as possible on the cobblestone sections," says Scott. "If the breaks don't succeed in staying out of the grip of the peloton and get caught back, I will be working to keep Fabio Baldato, Andrea Tafi and Magnus Backstedt in a good position. After that, I think I might have to call it a day, as I don't know yet how my back will hold up on those long stretches of cobbles."
More cobbles in Paris-Roubaix
Paris-Roubaix organiser ASO has announced the details and level of difficulty of the cobbled sections in Sunday's Paris-Roubaix. And to make the Hell of the North even more hellish, two difficult sections have been restored to the race at Haveluy and Mons-en-Pévèle.
The 102nd Paris-Roubaix will include a total of 50.2km of the feared cobbles, starting after 99.8km with a 2200m section at Troisvilles and finishing as the riders approach the Roubaix velodrome. That final 300m of pave is not significant, but it demonstrates the unrelenting nature of the queen of the Classics.
Paris-Roubaix cobbles sections 2004
('O' = difficulty; 'O' is easiest, 'O O O O O' hardest)
26. Troisvilles (km 99,8 - 2200 m) - O O O
Cooke, Vasseur out of Paris-Roubaix
Baden Cooke (Fdjeux.com) will not start Sunday's Paris-Roubaix. Cooke pulled out of yesterday's Gent-Wevelgem because of the knee injury that he sustained in a fall in the Tour of Flanders, and has decided to allow the injury to heal before returning to racing. He has been unable to train since the fall.
Cedric Vasseur (Cofidis) has been pulled from the team's roster for Paris-Roubaix. Vasseur is one of the riders questioned by police in connection with alleged doping offences by current and former members of the team. The decision to take Vasseur out of the team for Paris-Roubaix was taken by François Migraine, the owner of the Cofidis company, with the agreement of the team's manager Alain Bondue.
Teutenberg back after big break
Retirement postponed after recharging batteries
By Kristy Scrymgeour
Ina Yoko Teutenberg is back in the saddle and will start her first race for the season this weekend at Novilon Internationale Damesronde van Drenthe in the Netherlands. Teutenberg, who took four and a half months off the bike at the end of last season, was unsure as to whether she would race this year, but after four months of hanging out on the slopes in Park City, Utah, she couldn't stay away from the bike any longer.
As Teutenberg was sitting in the airport on her way to her home down of Mettmann in Germany, Cyclingnews caught up with her to find out why she changed her mind and what her plans are for the future.
"For me it was simple," said Teutenberg about her return to cycling. "After not riding for over four months, I had the urge to ride again."
At the end of 2003 and with 20 years of racing in her legs, Teutenberg was starting to think she had had enough of cycling. "I think I was burnt out mentally," she said. "I didn't want to race at all so I didn't really try to look for a contract for 2004. But by the end of January, after 50 days on the slopes I got bored and decided to ride again."
After spending the winter snowboarding and enjoying her time as a proud mother of a new puppy, Glacier, Teutenberg now joins up with the German National team for a full schedule of racing in Europe. She is looking forward to enjoying the racing without putting a lot of pressure on herself. "It's going to be fun with all the young kids in the team," said Teutenberg. "I can teach them a few things and I really think I will enjoy racing for a while, not being on a pro team where there is so much pressure to get results all the time. On the National team it is a bit more relaxed."
With the Olympics coming up, Teutenberg says she will certainly try to make the team but explains that it will be difficult at this point.
"There are only three spots available for the Olympics and a lot of the girls are already riding so well. As a nation we have some strong riders so it's tough to gain selection, especially with a late start to the season," said Teutenberg. "It is also unlikely that they will take more than one sprinter and we have four world-class sprinters in Germany."
"There's always a chance though," she added, even if I am getting a late start. I'm just not putting a lot of pressure on myself at this stage. I'm not going to stress.
Teutenberg says that she just loves cycling and as for the future she can probably see herself riding for another three or four years. "From now on I'll go from year to year," she explained. "Hopefully I'll sign with a team mid way through this year or at least by the end of the year."
As for racing in the US, where Teutenberg has lived and raced since 2001, that is her preference. "Well I live here and I love living here," Teutenberg said of Park City. "If I can find a US team that will offer me a good schedule and a good salary then I'd definitely prefer to stay here and race. In the mean time, Jodo [German National coach] is giving me the chance to go to Europe and do a full schedule of racing, so I will race in Europe to get back into it."
Arndt's lucky escape
By Kristy Scrymgeour
Judith Arndt (Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung) told Cyclingnews today that she was very lucky after her fall in the women's Tour of Flanders on the weekend. According to other cyclists in the race who witnessed her crash, it was spectacular, as Arndt flew meters into the air above the peloton. Arndt joked that she is now considering a career in gymnastics.
Arndt, who was one of the favourites in the race, said that immediately when she crashed she thought she had broken her back. After the fact, however, it became evident that it is her hip that is hurt. "I was so damn disappointed when I crashed", she said, adding that it was the worst crash in her career so far. "I have strong bones through," she said smiling.
Arndt will decide on Friday morning as to whether she is recovered enough to start Ronde Van Drenthe on Friday. "I hope I can," she said. "I was so much looking forward to these next few races."
Youth recruitment drive by Cycling Ulster
By Shane Stokes, irishcycling.com
A major drive to promote youth recruitment will be launched the summer in the Cycling Ulster area, beginning with a cycling skills programme and progressing to spins with ten participating clubs. The Fintona, Emyvale, Cookstown Harps, Clann Eireann, Banbridge, Castlereagh and Lakeland Cycling Clubs have all committed to the projects, along with the Omagh, Newry and Orchard Wheelers.
The project will also involve CU's Youth Development Officer John Bann-Lavery, who will visit schools to promote the initial stage of the process. He will coordinate a 6 week cycling skills programme, with particular emphasis on the safety aspects of cycling, bike handling and, importantly, promoting the fun element of the sport.
The next stage will see the young riders embark on club-based fun "Bike Spins". These will be short and non-competitive, providing a base from which the riders can further their involvement in and appreciation of the sport.
Senior club members leading the Bike Spins will become accredited Cycling Ireland Bike Leaders before the initiative begins within their club, through the new Cycling Ireland course.
The Bike Skills Programme will begin this May and June. The model has been tried and tested by the Dundalk Cycling Club over the past few months and has proven to be a huge success, with 25 young cyclists taking part each week.
For further information contact John Bann-Lavery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trexlertown women's clinic returns
The second Trexlertown Women's Cycling Clinic will run this year on the weekend of May 1 and 2. The clinic is designed for beginning women cyclists who may have raced or are just thinking about it, and aims to be a comprehensive, fun weekend that provides beginning women riders with cycling information, techniques and skills in a safe, supportive environment, according to the organisers.
The T-Town Clinic provides riders the opportunity to learn both road and track skills in and around the Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown, PA. Track bike rentals are included in the cost of the clinic.
The clinic covers skills such as getting more comfortable on the bike; close riding to others-in a pack or paceline; cornering; pedaling efficiently; bike fit, season and training plans; beginning racing strategy; and track skills such as riding a fixed-gear bike, how to enter and exit the track properly and handling the 27 degree banking.
Instructors include Karen Bliss, 7-time U.S. road and track national champion; Kendra Wenzel, professional cycling coach, author and owner of Wenzel Coaching; Sue McDonough, 'multi-tasking queen' who at one time was an elite racer, full-time job holder and mother; Lori Hoefer, master bike fitter at Serotta; and Selene Yeager, fitness author.
For more information, contact: Nancy Seay, Lehigh Valley Velodrome @ 610-395-7128, www.lvvelo.org, email@example.com
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)