First Edition Cycling News for March 9, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones
Broken finger doesn't stop Horrillo
Spanish rider Pedro Horrillo (Quick.Step-Davitamon) didn't let a broken finger slow him down in today's selective second stage of Paris-Nice from Chaville to Montargis. Horrillo made the all-important front group when CSC and US Postal split the field at around 60 km to go. Horrillo was fortunate to have Bram Tankink, Kevin Hulsmans and Michael Rogers with him, and opted for an early sprint to try and win the stage.
"During the final, my teammates did a fantastic job helping me," said Horrillo. "I knew that if I was amongst the top three at the last corner I would have been able to win. I launched myself into a sprint and it paid off. It was a tough race today."
Horrillo's broken left index finger was a result of a crash during the Vuelta a Valenciana.
Davis ready for more success
By Chris Henry
Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros) may have missed his chance for a bunch sprint in stage 2 of Paris-Nice, but the young Australian is ready for more success after a flying start to the year in Mallorca at the Challenge Illes Balears. Davis confirmed his growing talents as a fast finisher by twice beating Erik Zabel to the line. Cyclingnews spoke to a relaxed and ready Davis before the stage start Monday morning as he fielded autograph requests in a variety of languages.
"I feel good, but at the moment it's a bit of an unknown," Davis said of his current fitness. "I haven't raced in a little while so I don't know how I'm going to go in this race. I feel healthy, I'm looking forward to it and we have a good team, so we'll see what happens."
What happened Monday was an unexpected series of splits in the peloton which turned a seemingly typical sprinter's stage into a potentially decisive day for the general classification. Either way, Davis knows his time is now and he's ready to take advantage. His success in Mallorca wasn't a complete surprise, and a winter of tough training has provided the perfect boost for the morale.
"I worked well in the off season to start the year in good condition, and yeah, I've had a couple of good wins and some team victories as well, so I'm really happy," Davis added. "I basically just planned to start in good condition and whatever happened after that would happen... "
Cyclingnews Paris-Nice coverage
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Museeuw set for Tirreno-Adriatico
Johan Museeuw (Quick.Step-Davitamon) is starting to feel better after a minor back injury caused him to miss Paris-Nice. The Lion of Flanders trained for four hours today, including an hour of motorpacing. He has also been having physiotherapy sessions. "This evening, Johan will be having another physiotherapy session," said team doctor Yvan Van Mol. "If everything goes well over the next few hours, Johan will be able to fly to Italy tomorrow ready for the Tirreno Adriatico."
Quick.Step for Tirreno-Adriatico: Paolo Bettini, Laszlo Bodrogi, Davide Bramati, Servais Knaven, Johan Museeuw, Nick Nuyens, Luca Paolini, Stefano Zanini. Directors: Serge Parsani, Luca Guercilena.
Valverde jumps up UCI rankings
Thanks to his wins in the Vuelta a Valenciana and Vuelta a Murcia, Alejandro Valverde (Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme) has boosted his individual UCI ranking from eighth to fourth. Valverde now has 1807 UCI points, and if he continues on in this vein he could challenge Zabel, Bettini and Petacchi for the number one spot. 380 of his points have come since the start of the season, and Valverde is by far the most successful rider of 2004.
In the teams rankings, Rabobank has a clear gap to Cofidis and CSC, although the latter will be in line for a few points after Paris-Nice, no doubt. In Division II, Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme leads the way with a big break to Colombia-Selle Italia and Domina Vacanze.
UCI rankings as of March 7, 2004
Individuals 1 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile Team 2134.75 pts 2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon 2077.00 3 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1934.00 4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 1807.00 5 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco 1726.00 6 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team 1640.50 7 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service-Berry Floor 1591.00 8 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 1548.00 9 Iban Mayo Diez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 1425.00 10 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 1421.00 11 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 1371.20 12 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Lampre 1277.00 13 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 1258.00 14 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Saeco 1239.00 15 Isidro Nozal Vega (Spa) Liberty Seguros 1150.00 16 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1140.00 17 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Domo 1138.00 18 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco 1135.00 19 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto 1121.00 20 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Lotto-Domo 1105.00 Best riders of 2004 1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 380.00 pts 2 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Lotto-Domo 245.00 3 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank 228.00 4 Candido Barbosa (Por) L.A.-Pecol 225.00 5 Antonio Colom Mas (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto 210.00 6 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com 194.00 7 Freddy Excelino Gonzalez Martinez (Col) Colombia-Selle 185.00 8 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros 177.00 9 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile Team 176.00 10 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance 165.00 Men's Division I 1 Rabobank 952.00 pts 2 Cofidis, le credit par Telephone 641.00 3 Team CSC 621.00 4 Quick.Step-Davitamon 518.00 5 US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 461.00 6 Illes Balears-Banesto 442.00 7 Alessio-Bianchi 432.00 8 Fassa Bortolo 424.00 9 Saunier Duval-Prodir 415.00 10 Lotto-Domo 394.00 Men's Division II 1 Kelme-Costa Blanca 785.00 pts 2 Colombia-Selle Italia 363.00 3 Domina Vacanze 341.00 4 L.A.-Pecol 270.00 5 Team Barloworld-Androni Giocattoli 259.00 6 Costa De Almeria-Paternina 207.00 7 Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo 173.00 7 Cafes Baque 173.00 9 Ceramiche Panaria-Margres 157.00 10 Team L.P.R.-Piacenza Management SRL 94.00
Plenty of competition for the Irish in Giro del Capo
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
A five man Irish team is in South Africa to contest the Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Giro del Capo, which will be run between March 9-13, starting in Capetown. The team includes David McCann, David O'Loughlin, Paul Griffin, Eugene Moriarty and Ciaran McMahon, all of whom, with the exception of McMahon, took part in the recent Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi.
Performances in Langkawi suggested that these riders are capable of putting together back-to-back results and that a stage victory is not out of the question. In particular, McCann and Moriarty were in superb form in the 10 day Asian event and the possibility of McCann landing the overall classification in South Africa cannot be ruled out. He is a good stage competitor and performs well in time trials, especially in a short time trial such as the one in the Giro del Capo.
The best of the ten foreign teams already committed to the Giro would appear to be the crack Wiesenhof Leipzig outfit. It includes top grand tour riders such as Jens Heppner and Enrico Poitschke, as well as versatile sprinter Lars Wackernagel. The Wiesenhof riders are regulars at the Giro del Capo and the 2.5 UCI-ranked five day stage race will present them with few concerns.
The South African teams will be in great form. "No other local line-up can currently match the Barloworld team, and it is too early in the year for the foreign teams to be anywhere near their best," said SA team manager Tony Harding.
Experts predict the race for individual honours will be at least a four way fight between Langkawi runner-up Ryan Cox, his Barloworld teammate David George, who is a former Giro winner and Langkawi top ten finisher this year, Nick White, who came fifth in Malaysia, and a third Barloworld rider, Tiaan Kannemeyer, who was fourth.
White, known to Irish cycling fans as a stage winner in the FBD Milk Ras, has won the decisive hill climb stage twice, feels the Giro is decided largely on the hills. "But in cycling anything can happen and I have a good all-round team (HSBC) to back me up. The guys will be Neil McDonald, Ian McLeod, Daniel Spence and Jeff Howes. We'll definitely be there or thereabouts and we'll play it by ear."
Asked about the overseas challengers, White echoes Harding's feelings that "It is too early for them but they'll always be up there and they could certainly take a stage or two."
White rates the Czech Republic's Lubor Tesar (e'D System-ZVVZ) as possibly the best of the "Foreign Legion". "He has been here for a while and he could be up for a stage win."
Apart from the "usual suspects," the HSBC captain says cycling enthusiasts should not overlook Microsoft's Jeremy Maartens and Jaco Odendaal, Minolta's Reinhart du Plessis, Eckhard Bergh and Adriaan Maaske. He also rates Excel's Alex Galvin and Dennis van Niekerk. "They'll all be fighting for a top ten spot."
Route announced for 54th Vuelta a Colombia
The Colombian Cycling Federation has announced the route of the Vuelta a Colombia, which will celebrate its 54th edition in 2004. The two week long race will start with a prologue in Pasto, Nariño, on June 6 and finish with a circuit in Bogota on June 20. The race will also visit the municipalities of Jardín and La Estrella in Antioquia as well as Tebaida in Quindío.
The Vuelta a Colombia is traditionally a mountainous affair, and the Alto de la Línea, the finishes at Jardín, Jericó, Anserma and Funza and the time trial on the Alto la Y will certainly suit the climbers.
"We have sought to decentralise much of the race and I believe that those municipalities deserve to see the best Colombian races," said Colombian Cycling Federation president Ettore Sangiovanni.
Prologue - June 6: Pasto
Montreal World Cup nominated as best tourist event
The Montreal Women's World Cup of Cycling has been awarded the Ulysse Prize for the "Best tourist event - budget under $500,000 in the Montreal area" for the second year in a row. The prize was given out on March 4 at the Grands Prix du Tourisme 2004 gala evening. The Montreal Women’s World Cup Cycling is now a finalist for the national Gala des Grands Prix du tourisme québécois, which will be held at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal on May 14.
Montreal is the only city in the American continent(s) to host a round of the road World Cup. This year, the seventh edition of the Montreal Women's World Cup of Cycling will be held on May 29, while the third edition of the Greater Montreal Tour will take place from May 31 to June 2.
Florida gears up for marathon road race
The final preparations are being made for the Bike Across Florida, which will be held on April 18. The 267.2 km race will start at 6:30am in Cocoa Beach and finish seven and a half hours later at Crystal River City Hall in the west of the state. The elite field will be made up of approximately 80 pro and amateur riders, and there will also be a further 500 participants in the marathon event.
More than 130 police officers from 15 different agencies will be involved in ensuring the safety of the riders as they make their way across Florida. 20 motorcycle units from the GWWRA, the Central Florida chapter of the Goldwing club, will be assisting in the elite pack as well as the marathon cyclists.
The 500 marathon cyclists will be supported by seven stations along the route which will be staffed by community groups and charity groups such as the Police Unity Tour, Brothers Keepers, the Boys Scouts of America and the Special Olympics. Marathon cyclists riding the same distance have 12 hours to complete the ride.
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