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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for March 9, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones

Broken finger doesn't stop Horrillo

Pedro Horillo (Quick.Step-Davitamon)
Photo ©: AFP

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

Australian Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros)
Photo ©: CN

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

Stage 2 - Full results & report
Live blow-by-blow report

Scott Sunderland's stage 2 report
Stages & results
Start List
Photo gallery

Note: We will be providing live coverage of each stage, beginning at approximately 15:30 CET/9:30 EDT/6:30 PST/01:30 AEST

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

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)                            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

Full rankings: Individuals, Teams, Nations

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.

The stages

Prologue - June 6: Pasto
Stage 1 - June 7: Pasto - Ipiales - Pasto
Stage 2 - June 8: Pasto - El Bordo
Stage 3 - June 9: Popayán - Palmira
Stage 4 - June 10: Palmira - Santa Rosa de Cabal
Stage 5 - June 11: Santa Rosa de Cabal - Jericó
Stage 6 - June 12: Jericó - Jardín
Stage 7 - June 13: Jardín - La Estrella
Stage 8 - June 14: Vuelta al Oriente (Medellín)
Stage 9 - June 15: Caldas - Anserma
Stage 10 - June 16: Anserma - LaTebaida
Stage 11 - June 17: La Tebaida - Girardot
Stage 12 - June 18: Girardot - Funza
Stage 13 - June 19: Barrio 20 de Julio - Alto la Y (time trial)
Stage 14 - June 20: Bogotá (Kennedy) Circuit

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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