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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News for July 30, 2004

Edited by Chris Henry

Injuries revealed for McEwen

Broken back? No worries
Photo ©: CN
Click for larger image

After suffering through more than two weeks of the Tour de France with injuries sustained in a stage 6 crash, Robbie McEwen learned the extent of the damage done after a hard fall in the final kilometre of the run-in to Angers. McEwen clinched his second green jersey in Paris, but not without a good deal of suffering along the way.

"I crashed within the last kilometre and landed on everything," said McEwen, who also crashed the day before and again during a mountain stage in the Pyrénées.

"I had skin off from head to toe and then something hit me in the back," he said. "I'm not sure if it was a bike or a rider but it left a couple of very nasty bruises and fractured my L1 and L2 lumbar vertebrae."

A visit to the hospital for x-rays after the Tour confirmed the presence of two fractures, which McEwen figures were best not mentioned while the race was still in progress.

"We decided it was probably better not to know for sure until after the Tour because with or without treatment the injury would heal itself eventually," he explained. "The pain was bad and I was really suffering in the last days of the Tour but I didn't want to tell anyone because I didn't want my rivals to get a sniff of it. Victor Popov (McEwen's physiotherapist) was able to work on everything around it to get me good enough to start each day but after one big sprint my back was stuffed again and for the last sprint in Paris I could hardly ride.

"The two fractures are in the bones which are like little wings that come off your vertebrae," he added. "The scan also showed that new bone is forming so the healing process has begun."

With time to recover and the good form which helped him fight successfully for the green jersey, McEwen is confident for the upcoming Olympic Games in Athens.

"Hey if I can ride the Pyrénées, the Alps and the Champs Elysées and win the green jersey with a broken back, then one day in Athens is no problem."

Popovych close to Discovery

Ukrainian talent Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) is close to joining the Discovery Channel cycling team next year. Belgian TV channel Sporza reported that, "It is as good as certain that Yaroslav Popovych, the tour talent from the Landbouwkrediet-Colnago team, will become a teammate of Armstrong's in the new Discovery Channel team."

Sporza also reported that Popovych's teammate Volodomir Bileka will follow him, while Danilo Di Luca and Axel Merckx are in negotiations with Discovery Channel.

Canadian trio for Athens

Eric Wohlberg of the Sierra Nevada team will join Michael Barry (US Postal Service) and Gord Fraser (Healthnet/Maxxis) on the three-man road team for the Athens Olympics. Wohlberg completed the men's road selection, and if Canada is granted a last minute berth in the time trial, he will compete in that event as well.

Aug back in action

After recovering from a tough tumble in stage 6 of the Giro d'Italia, Estonian Andrus Aug returns to competition this weekend at the HEW Cyclassics race in Hamburg, Germany. The Domina Vacanze rider, part of Mario Cipollini's leadout train, suffered numerous injuries including a fractured clavicle, broken finger, and fractured pelvis.

"My recovery was accelerated," he said of the return to riding form. "Now I have to find my rhythm. My goal is to be competitive in the Olympics in Athens. It'll be hard but I want to try."

Illes Balears for Getxo

The Illes Balears-Banesto team will line up for the Circuito de Getxo in Spain this Saturday, with Tour de France white jersey Vladimir Karpets a star attraction. Karpets will be joined by sprinter Isaac Galvez, Ivan Gutierrez, José Antonio Lopez, Denis Menchov, David Navas, Aitor Osa, Mikel Pradera, and Xabier Zandio.

New velodrome for Edinburgh

Sport Scotland has announced that more than ten years of lobbying and fundraising have paid off with secured funding for a covered velodrome in Edinburgh. The new facility will replace an existing 250m track built for the Commonwealth Games in 1970, resurfaced for the 1986 edition of the games also held in Edinburgh. Additional funding for the new construction will be provided by the City of Edinburgh as part of a larger sports centre development.

The new velodrome will share a roof with another sports facility designed for the Edinburgh Football Academy. The Scottish Cycling administrative offices will also move in, with room to spare for a BMX track, mountain bike training trails, and a weight room. Scheduled completion is targeted for 2008 and the new venue will be a key component of Edinburgh's bid for its third Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Moriarty and Crotty Cups

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

The Gene Moriarty Cup 70 mile (112km) Senior Cycle race takes centre stage on the Irish cycling scene this Sunday, August 1 with a start time of 1pm in the town of Listowel, most notably associated with the late JB Keane known the world over for his writings and stage work.

The event is firmly established as one of the top one-day races in the country and invariably attracts the leading cyclists in Ireland. They know that they'll be assured of a well organised race. After all, they have been in the business of promotions for the last 22 years.

Listowel Cycling Club are the promoters and it is held in memory of one of Kerry's top grass track cyclists of the late 1940's and early 1950's and an administrator and promoter of the sport for many years. Current Irish international, Eugene Moriarty, who won the race in 1996, is the grandson of the legendary cyclist who is highly thought of in the area.

Among the favourites this year will be the evergreen Philip Cassidy, winner of the inaugural event and now trying for an elusive third victory, Vincent Gleeson riding in the West Clare colours, Philip Finnegan who has two wins in the past week, and David Peelo who won in Carrick last week. Also in contention for the title will be Denis Lynch, home from France, Mark Quigley from Westport, John Horgan from Cork and Gabriel Howard, who will send a strong Stamullen team from Co. Meath led by Craig Sweetman.

The Kerry flag will be flown by the Earl of Desmond squad and the Concannon brothers from Killorglin. Eugene Moriarty will make a comeback to racing in Listowel after a lay-off due to illness after the Milk Rás, where he was part of the Irish team that took both individual and team honours. He has not been able to compete on home ground due to international commitment for the past four years. Colm Bracken always enjoys his trips to Kerry and was runner-up last year. Timmy Barry will also line up after his trip to Belgium with the national team.

However, the man they all have to beat is last year's winner, Aidan Crowley from Midelton. He is flying at the moment with several wins and he will have the backing of his Lee Strand Cycleways teammates Cassidy, Finnegan, Moriarty and Stephen O'Sullivan if needed.

The Race will take place over the usual seven laps of a 10 mile circuit, which has been used on 17 of the previous 21 editions of this great race.

There will also be a supporting race for Senior 3, Juniors, Ladies and Vets - The 50 Mile Rás Lios Tuathail. There will be an international flavour to this race with participation from junior teams from the USA and South Africa, who are taking part in the Junior Tour the following week.

The Crotty Cup

The day after Listowel, riders will take the ferry from Tarbert to Kilimer for the West Clare promotion, The Crotty Cup. This is the 69th time the famous Cup will be awarded, having been used in other sports in addition to cycling.

Local man Vincent Gleeson will try again, having been close on a few occasions including 3rd to his friend and teammate in this year's FBD Milk Rás, Kieran McMahon, who tragically lost his life in a traffic accident recently. Also missing from the line up is another top rider Brian Lennon from Dublin, who is no longer with us either.

The Crotty Cup caters for seniors, juniors, vets and ladies and starts at 12:30pm. Sign on is at Crotty's Bar in the Square in Kilrush town.

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