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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition News for June 10, 2004

Edited by John Stevenson

Serious head injuries for Pichon

Mickael Pichon
Photo: © Daniel Schamps
Click for larger image

Brioches la Boulangère rider Mickael Pichon has suffered serious head and facial injuries after falling about 15 metres into a ravine during stage 3 of the Dauphiné Libéré. The crash happened on the descent of the Col de Mezilhac, approximately 150 km into the stage which started in St. Etienne.

Cofidis rider David Millar spotted Pichon in the ravine and asked for a helicopter to be sent to rescue the fallen rider. Race doctor Gerard Porte told Reuters that Pichon was unconscious when he was found.

"He gradually returned to his senses. He was taken to hospital by helicopter and was fully conscious when he got there," Porte said. He added that Pichon had also suffered multiple fractures to the legs, collarbone and ribs.

Latest reports on Pichon's condition are that he is stable in hospital in Grenoble.

Relentess Ventoux awaits Armstrong

By Tim Maloney in Saint-Etienne

Before a hot and hard stage three on Wednesday, Lance Armstrong (USPS-Berry Floor) told Cyclingnews in a brief interview that, "I feel good and I'm really motivated for Ventoux. But (Iban) Mayo will be hard to beat because he's really motivated now too."

Where the use of new materials are concerned in looking for the fastest way up the climb, Armstrong explained, "yeah, all the little things are important nowadays...weight on the wheels, weight on the bike. It's important that all the material works, but I have to be focused, warm up properly, have to use the right tactic, the way my effort is regulated and I have to be strong. There's no pretending on the Ventoux."

Lance Armstrong (USPS-Berry Floor)
Photo ©: CN
Click for larger image

When comparing le Mont Ventoux to l'Alpe d'Huez and the fact that Armstrong considers Ventoux to be the more difficult of the two, he laughed and said, "the Ventoux is longer, but don't get me wrong, they're both really hard. They are different in that (l'Alpe d'Huez) has a lot of bends so you have a little recovery in the corners, but the Ventoux is relentless."

Armstrong has no plans to recconoiter le Mont Ventoux on Thursday morning. "No", he said with a sardonic smile. "I know it." Instead, Lance will fine tune his position on his Trek Madone protoype, which has a pair of incredibly light Bontrager carbon fibre tubular climbing wheels and new Bontrager carbon fibre aero handlebars.

Also see: Our special feature on le Mont Ventoux

Mayo backs Lance

Euskaltel-Euskadi rider Iban Mayo has spoken up in defence of Lance Armstrong in the wake of an article published by Le Monde recently, that alleged Lance Armstrong suspected Spanish riders of using illegal blood boosting products. "We believe Lance," Mayo was quoted by Sporza as saying. "We know that Le Monde has pursued him for five years with all sorts of untrue stories. It was also the newspaper that wrote in 1999 that he used forbidden products. But they forgot to say that he had a medical certificate for them."

O'Grady keeps pace in the mountains

By Tim Maloney in Aubenas

Following on from fellow Australian Bradley McGee's efforts in the Giro d'Italia, where the prologue winner finished seventh and kept up in the mountains, another Australian 'trackie' is also showing good form in the mountains.

Winning the group sprint for fourth in stage three of the 56th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré today, Cofidis man Stuart O'Grady had donned the Maillot Vert as points leader and was also holding down seventh overall on general classification. He is Cofidis' leading rider in this important French race and he's surrounded by climbers on GC.

"I'm feeling really, really good; my form in the last few weeks has been even surprising to me. It's called confidence...I've been lacking it for quite a while, with all the turmoil of the season. But the last five races, I haven't finished any further back than fifth, so it's kind of snowballing now. It's been a tough middle of a season and now I can't wait for the Tour De France."

Cyclingnews asked O'Grady if his ambition in the French tour was focused on wearing the Maillot Vert there, and his ambitious answer was brimming with confidence. "Hopefully I'll have a shade of Yellow (Jersey) before and then a Green one...the Tour De France is a special race and I'm not going in with any obligations. You just give it 100 percent whenever the opportunity arises and hopefully the results will follow that."

Beloki: Armstrong is the favourite

In an interview with As, Joseba Beloki has reiterated that he will ride this year's Tour de France, and tipped Lance Armstrong as face favourite. "Lance is the favourite because he has won for so many many years," said Beloki. "Then there is Ullrich, who has also won it. And then there are important contenders, such as Mayo and Hamilton. Heras has never been tested against Armstrong, but he is also a candidate."

Beloki expects to arrive at the Tour in good shape after the Route du Sud, the Spanish championships and a training camp in the Alps, but if he is not a protagonist in the Tour, he'll seek consolation in the Vuelta.

"I have always seen the Vuelta as a race for people who had problems during the year. It hasn't mattered to me before, but of course if I do not go well in the Tour I will look to the Vuelta."

Lampre for Tour de Suisse

The Lampre team has been named for the Tour de Suisse, which starts this Saturday, June 12. The squad includes Francesco Casagrande, who led the Tour de Suisse for several days last year and is now on the comeback trail after a long period out of competition with an Achilles tendon injury.

"The race will serve to get a complete idea of his capabilities and actual condition," said Lampre's team manager Giuseppe Saronni. "Knowing Francesco, I think that he will do his best to be at the front in the stages best suited to him."

Despite the presence of Casagrande, the Lampre team is likely to be mainly working for its two Giro d'Italia top-10 finishers, Wladimir Belli and Juan Manuel Garate. "We will be attentively protecting the classifications," said Saronni.

The full team is: Sergio Barbero, Wladimir Belli, GianLuca Bortolami, Simone Bertoletti, Francesco Casagrande, Alessandro Cortinovis, Juan Manuel Garate, Patxi Vila.

Quick.Step-Davitamon for Tour de Suisse

Led by Paolo Bettini, the Quick.Step-Davitamon team for the Tour de Suisse also includes recent Tour of Germany winner Patrik Sinkewitz, who will no doubt try to capitalise on his good form in the mountains.

The full team is: Paolo Bettini, Laszlo Bodrogi, Davide Bramati, Aurelien Clerc, Luca Paolini, Patrik Sinkewitz, Bram Tankink, Jurgen Van Goolen

Horrach out of Tour

Illes Balears-Banesto rider Joan Horrach will not be able to take part in the Tour de France, as he is still suffering from a boil at the base of his spine that has prevented him from riding properly. Horrach has undergone medical tests in Palma de Mallorca conducted by team doctor Jesus Hoyos, who has opted to perform surgery next Tuesday to remove the boil and clean the infected area. Horrach will need two to three weeks to recover, thus will not be able to take part in the Tour.

Arvesen likely for Tour despite crash

Norwegian CSC rider Kurt Asle Arvesen may miss the Tour de France as a result of injuries sustained in a crash in the Tour of Germany on Sunday. Arvesen crashed and hurt his hip, and while he didn't break any bones, his first thought was about July. "When I landed and it hurt like hell I was thinking: 'Now I'll miss the Tour'," he told the Aftenposten newspaper.

CSC directeur sportif Bjarne Riis says Arvesen is nevertheless likely to be named to the team's Tour squad. "He's a hot candidate. Kurt Asle has done a great job for the team this season," Riis said.

Giro d'Italia tests all negative

The UCI's Antidoping Commission has reported that the analysis of all the urine samples taken at the 2004 Giro d'Italia had negative results for any banned substances, including EPO and NESP.

Fewer Athens sprint places than expected for Germany

The Bund Deutscher Radfahrer (BDR) has announced that Germany has qualified for fewer start places than expected for the track sprint events at the Athens Olympics. According to news agency dpa, Germany has secured only one place in the sprint and keirin competitions, rather than the two that the BDR previously believed were in the bag.

After the world championships in Melbourne last month, the BDR thought it was able to sent two riders for each of the disciplines to Athens, but the UCI's interpretation of Olympic qualifying regulations says this is not the case.

"Both interpretations are possible from the wording of the regulations, as far as we can see," said BDR sport director Burckhard Bremer. "An appeal seems hopeless to us, so we must accept this decision."

The BDR is nevertheless investigating the possibility of a wildcard place for sprinter René Wolff, who fell during training at Melbourne.

NORBA round four this weekend

The fourth round of the NORBA National Mountain Bike Series kicks off today in Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia with the first of the four main disciplines, the marathon. Saturday sees mountain cross and cross country racing and the weekend concludes on Sunday with the short track and downhill contests.

Leading the cross country standings are Travis Brown and Jimena Florit in the men's and women's categories respectively while Chris Sheppard and Katerina Hanusova lead the short track events.

With many of the USA's top riders pursuing their goal of making the Olympic team, the NORBA National at Snowshoe plays a key role in selection. The U.S. team is partly decided based on accumulated UCI points and with Snowshoe holding an E2 classification in both the cross country and short track events this year, the event will factor into the tight race that exists among the upper echelon of American mountain bikers in the chase for UCI points.

Highlighting the cross country start list for the weekend is hometown favorite and one of the current leaders amongst Americans in the UCI standings ranked sixth in the world, Sue Haywood (Davis, W. Va.). Haywood is also the defending U.S. national champion in the short track. Alison Dunlap (Colorado Springs, Colo.) also returns to Snowshoe, the place where her chances to make the Olympic team took a turn for the worse last year. In 2003, Dunlap crashed during a descent in the cross country race and separated her shoulder. The injury required surgery and ended her 2003 mountain bike season.

For the men, the current leaders to grab one of the two Olympic start positions are Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo.), Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va.), and Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.).

Thursday's marathon race, an ultra-distance affair, will be used for selection for the Marathon World Championships next month in Austria. The winner of the men's and women's race each receive an automatic nomination to the team that will represent the United States.

Alaric Gayfer, 1956-2004

By J. Alain Ferry

The cycling community has lost one if its heroes; Alaric Gayfer died June 8. Alaric was diagnosed with a grade IV brain tumor (glioblastoma, the worst kind) in October 2002.

Alaric was a very close friend; I will miss him dearly. He gave us all so many wonderful memories that will keep him close in spirit and thought forever. My sympathies go out to Alaric's wife Colleen and their daughter Brianna.

There will be a memorial service for Alaric at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome on Saturday, June 12 at 5:00pm.

Born in London, England, August 20, 1956, Alaric Gayfer was a seven-time British National Track Cycling Champion. He was head coach of the Air Products Developmental Cycling Program for 10 years at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome and director sportif of Future Champions Cycling Club, Trexlertown. He was also director sportif of East Coast Velo Cycling Club, Trexlertown, since its inception and a master mechanic for Mavic at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Atlanta, Ga.

Lehigh Valley BRL Finals and Mid-Atlantic Points Race Championships

The Lehigh Valley Velodrome has announced the schedule of events for the Friday, June 11 Bicycle Racing League Finals presented by Wachovia, KidsPeace and the Nicole Reinhart Memorial Fund. The gates are to open promptly at 6pm with racing kicking off at 7pm.

The Bicycle Racing League (BRL) is designed to teach racing skills to children ages 10-18 after their successful completion of the Air Products Developmental Cycling Program.

International events to be featured on June 11 for the men include a 1-km Final, Miss-and-Out, and the 60 Lap Mid-Atlantic Points Race Championship. Women's International events for the evening include a 3-Mile Final, Miss-and-Out, and 1-km Final.

Top riders expected to compete include two-time Olympian Jame Carney (Northwestern Mortgage Cycling Team), 2003 National Champion Bobby Lea (T.E.A.M. Fuji), former national champion Kyle Wamsley (T.E.A.M. Fuji), 2003 National Champion Dan Larson (Cycle Science), and 2003 Women's The Morning Call Rider of the Year Becky Conzelman (Frisco Cycling Club).

For more information see

Yoplait women's cycling summit to focus on team issues

The Yopliat Women's Cycling Summit Conference in Minneapolis on Friday, June 11, will focus on these three issues relating to running women's cycling teams: team management when the budget is small; giving value to sponsors; and getting media coverage for women's cycling.

The first session will comprise a group discussion of the issues facing small-budget teams, and strategies to cope with limited budgets.

The second session of the Yoplait Summit will focus on ways to give more value to sponsors, with the aim, it's hoped, of solving the small budget problem by attracting more money. Panelists for this session include: Chris Brandt, Senior Brand Manager of Nature Valley; Tom Shuler of Team Sports; Mike Cofrin of USA Speed Skating; and Robert Paul of Cuneo Advertising.

Finally, media relations will be discussed by a panel that includes: Rick Fuentes of WCCO TV; Tim Nelson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press; Neal Rogers of VeloNews; Giana Roberge of Quark Cycling; and Julie Swenson of Abbas Public Relations.

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