Latest Cycling News for March 22, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones
Ludo's long day out
Ludo Diercksens (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago)
Photo ©: Sirotti
Landbouwkrediet-Colnago now has two options for the early suicide break
with Jacky Durand and Ludo Dierckxsens, both experts in this sort of attack.
While Durand tried but failed to get in the early move on Saturday, Dierckxsens
succeeded in making the five man breakaway that went after 64 km. After
spending the next 202 km out in front, Ludo was the last man to be caught
by the peloton, right at the foot of the Cipressa.
"I think that this was my longest attempt," Dierckxsens told Het
Nieuwsblad. "202 kilometres. It was a long, but beautiful day. This
Milan-San Remo was also a bit special. The best remains the Tour stage
to St-Etienne in 1999 that I won in the national champion's jersey. And
the Belgian championship in Geraardsbergen, where I was in front from
the first lap, and rode the last 65 kilometres solo. OK, the 2001 Ronde
van Vlaanderen was very good. More than 100 kilometres on the attack and
still eighth. Or Paris-Roubaix in 1998, where I went in the first break
and was hauled in by Ballerini with 30 km to go and could still hang on."
At the finish, Ludo had no regrets at all about his race. "The legs
are a little sore, but the congratulations compensate for that a lot.
The supporters called me up as if I had won Milan-San Remo. Ludo lives
again, that was what was going around. I am not empty and I'm not tired
of racing. I want to do another year. The Lion of Kasterlee is not yet
Dierckxsens' main goals will be the classics in April, but his sponsor
Colnago is interested in having him race the Giro d'Italia in May. "Yes,
as a sort of watchdog for Popovych," said Dierckxsens. "I'll first look
at how I come out of the important month of April. I expect a lot from
Van Petegem satisfied with MSR
Peter Van Petegem (Lotto-Domo) finished 10th in Milan-San Remo and described
himself as satisfied with the result, without being overjoyed. "I've trained
well in Italy," he told Het Nieuwsblad. "No more than that. The
most important thing is that I came to the finish without a scratch. I
felt that I had the power to anticipate. I was sitting at the cruising
speed for my races.
"The team did excellently, even though it was said here and there that
we weren't riding well. That's wrong. From Merckx to Marichal to Vansevenant,
everyone did their job. That McEwen didn't sprint for the win was logical
after his bodily misery. And Van Bon, who was riding very well, was slowed
down through the crash."
Boonen misses out
Tom Boonen (Quick.Step-Davitamon) was at the wrong end of the bunch
on the descent of the Poggio, and ended up being caught behind the split,
finally finishing 75th. "I have learned from experience," he said. "I
crossed the top of the Poggio in around 25th place. I thought that that
was good, but on the descent I was held up and a gap of five metres opened.
And no-one was able to close it. Next year I'll slip a little further
Team manager Patrick Lefevere commented that, "Boonen should be angry
at himself above all. As someone who was putting everything on a sprint,
he was too quickly in front on the first climbs. On the Poggio he sat
too far back."
Moser: Make it shorter but harder
After the 95th Milan-San Remo ended in a bunch sprint on Via Roma, the
inevitable questions were raised as to how to make the race harder. Italian
Francesco Moser, Milan-San Remo winner in 1984, called for a revolution
[ed: presumably televised] in cycle racing. "Things like this are attractive,
but it's necessary to account for the fact that times change," said Moser
to ANSA. "Seven hours of racing in Sanremo ended in a photo-finish,
attractive but not for the show. It's necessary to realise that perhaps
it doesn't make a lot of sense to have four mountain passes in a race
of over 200 km. It would be better to have three, hard ones, in 100."
Full Milan-San Remo coverage:
results and report
Milan-San Remo diary
VDB backs up in Setmana Catalana
Frank Vandenbroucke (Fassa Bortolo) will be back in action on Monday
in the five day Spanish stage race, Setmana Catalana. After helping to
pilot the Fassa Bortolo train for Alessandro Petacchi in Sam Remo on Saturday,
VDB was disappointed that Petacchi didn't win. However, team boss Giancarlo
Ferretti said that, "Frank did his job" and that from now on, he will
get a chance to go for the victories himself.
The Fassa squad for Setmana Catalana also includes Aitor Gonzalez, Vuelta
winner in 2002, and American Tom Danielson, who is finally able to race
in Europe after overcoming visa problems.
The full team: Marzio Bruseghin, Fabian Cancellara, Dario Cioni, Thomas
Danielson, Juan Jose’ De Los Angeles Segui, Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez, Volodimir
Gustov, Frank Vandenbroucke.
Mayo and Laiseka with Euskaltel in Setmana Catalana
Iban Mayo and Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) will be in action
again this week in Setmana Catalana, part of the eight member time for
the Spanish stage race. Mayo has already shown good form in the Tour of
Murcia, and this race will mark another step forward in his Tour de France
The full team: Roberto Laiseka, Aitor Sillóniz, Iker Flores, Antton
Luengo, Alberto López de Munain, Egoi Martínez, Iban Mayo and Joseba Zubeldia.
NZ and GB track squads meet in Archer International
The last minute entry by New Zealand for the Archer International GP
in Britain on April 4 means that NZ's track endurance riders will have
a pre World Cup match (albeit over 190 km rather than 4 km) with Great
Britain's track endurance squad in which only Jon Dayus is not an Olympic
and/or World Championship medal winner. The World Cup track meeting is
the following weekend in Manchester.
"The local Thames Valley Police have been very helpful in allowing an
increase in the field to let the six New Zealand riders to be included
without reducing the British participation," said race organiser Stuart
Benstead. "This was in recognition that it is an Olympic Games year. They
will also be providing police assistance at relevant points, although
a mobile police escort is not available."
The Archer International race starts at 11:00am from Hazlemere, near
High Wycombe, and covers three laps of a 20 mile circuit via Gt Missenden,
Cryers Hill, Hughenden Valley, Longdown, and Wendover. From there the
race returns to the 5 mile Penn Street circuit which is covered seven
times before the finish at Winchmore Hill village.
The Brits are led by Chris Newton, who will be one of the race favourites,
having won the Archer event in 1995 when only 22, considered young for
this longest race in the British calendar.
Wales also provides a national team, while Ireland has divided its resources
into three trade/club teams with last year's Archer International winner,
David O'Loughlin, heading a strong six man squad from Totalcycling/Litespeed.
The other teams are the Usher Irish RC and the Cidona/Carrick Wh.
The BRC Kennermerland CRT are regular visitors from Holland with a good
performance record and from Belgium comes the Team Hand in Hand-Baal.
FBD Milk Ras forms due by April 15
By Shane Stokes, Irishcycling.com
Announcing a short extension for the return of preliminary entry form,
the FBD Milk Rás race organiser Dermot Dignam has said that Thursday,
April 15 will serve as the closing date for final entries for this year's
race. The official UCI Enrolment forms will be issued from March 29 to
teams who have already returned the team application forms, and these
must be returned by the mid-April date.
Any other teams wishing to enter must sent their preliminary forms as
soon as possible, so the UCI entries can be issued.
Dignam set the mid-April date in order to enable county teams to select
riders on the basis of their performances in the stage races over the
Easter weekend. He can be contacted at email@example.com for more information.
2004 Tour of Shenandoah
The Tour of Shenandoah returns to the US state of Virginia's Shenandoah
Valley region from June 9-13. The event features a four-day Pro/Am men's
stage race, a one-day criterium/circuit race for other categories, and
a century ride.
The stage race begins on June 9 with a return to Massanutten Resort
near Harrisonburg for a 3 mile uphill time trial. The race then moves
south on June 10 to the new venue host city of Lexington for an 85 mile
road race through Rockbridge, Bath and Alleghany counties. Friday, June
11 presents a serious challenge in the form of a 108 mile road race from
The Homestead Resort in Bath County to the City of Waynesboro. Three major
climbs are featured, including the steep Reed's Gap climb used in last
year's final stage. The race will conclude on Saturday with a criterium
in downtown Waynesboro, and there will be races for other categories and
activities for children. There will be a century ride open to all cyclists
on Sunday, June 13 that starts and finishes in Waynesboro.
The event is being held with the cooperation of Team Diabetic, and is
intended to promote cycling and healthy living as ways to control diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association and the United Way - Augusta Chapter
are additional beneficiaries.
More information: www.tourofshenandoah.com
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)