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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for May 11, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones

McGee happy to get Maglia Rosa back

Bradley McGee (FDJeux.com)
Photo ©: Sirotti

Prologue winner Bradley McGee (FDJeux.com) overcame his disappointment at losing the Maglia Rosa to Olaf Pollack in stage 1 by recapturing it on the tough second stage from Novi Ligure to Pontremoli. The Australian finished second in the stage behind Damiano Cunego, while Pollack was dropped on the final climb and finished 2'39 down. McGee now leads Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) by 32 seconds, thanks to an extra 12 seconds time bonus for finishing second in the stage.

"I was disappointed to have lost the jersey in Alba but I couldn't do anything about it there, Pollack deserved it," McGee told L'Equipe. "I knew that this stage could suit me, the profile was favourable. Gilbert gave me a good lead out in the sprint and I even thought about winning the stage before Cunego passed me."

McGee will try and keep the pink jersey in today's mountaintop finish to Corno Alle Scale, although he admitted that, "I want to hold the Maglia Rosa for as long as possible. It will be difficult with a summit finish, but maybe it's possible. In the Tour de Romandie I gained confidence in the mountains. I was good over the small cols in this stage. Whoever wants the pink will have to fight for it."

More on Petacchi's stolen rig

After his masterful stage win in Alba on Sunday, Alessandro Petacchi's Pinarello Dogma bike was stolen. Luckily, it was not his race bike, but "only" his training rig. The story goes like this: Ale's dad Lucio, who had come up from Tuscany to see his kid win yet another Giro d'Italia stage had brought Alessandro's SRM equipped Dogma along to drop off with Fassa Bortolo's mechanics to go over. The star sprinter had been using the bike a lot prior to the Giro and it needed a tune-up.

At about 7pm, Papa Petacchi handed over the Dogma at the team truck, but someone took their eyes off it for a minute and "poof", it disappeared, SRM and all. Price for a replacement? Let's see...Pinarello Dogma, $6000, SRM, $2000...but Petacchi was more upset about the mechanic who let the bike get nicked, saying "It's too bad about that since it was a nice bike, but I feel sorry for the mechanic who is in plenty of hot water."

Fausto Pinarello and his team in Treviso have already assembled another Dogma training bike (with heavier clincher wheels than the race bike) and it will be delivered to the Fassa Bortolo truck on Wednesday in Civitella.

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UCI rankings: Bettini back to number one

By a slim margin of a little over 5 points, Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step-Davitamon) has reclaimed the UCI number one ranking from Erik Zabel (T-Mobile). Zabel took over the top spot at the beginning of the season, but Bettini - thanks to an injury free spring - has been able to keep within striking distance of the German. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) is less than 100 points behind Bettini, but he'll need to better his 2003 performance of six stage wins in the Giro if he is to increase his points. Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) is in fourth spot as well as being the season's best performed rider to date.

The main movers and shakers in the rankings include Iban Mayo (Euskaltel), who jumped up from 18th to 10th after winning the Clasico Alcobendas (and nearly taking all three stages); Danilo Hondo (Gerolsteiner), who leapt from 75th to 37th after a solid performance in Dunkirk; Sylvain Chavanel (Brioches) who jumped 41 places to 44th after winning the Four Days of Dunkirk; and Damiano Cunego (Saeco), who went from 103rd to 73rd after winning the GP Larciano (his Giro stage win was not included in these rankings).

In the division I teams rankings, CSC has taken back the top spot from Rabobank, while Gerolsteiner is now in 3rd place (up from 5th). Phonak Hearing Systems jumped from 20th to 10th, courtesy of its dominating performance in the Tour de Romandie.

UCI Rankings as of May 9, 2004

Individuals
 
1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon                         2235.00 pts
2 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile Team                                   2229.75
3 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                          2137.00
4 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                               1942.00
5 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme     1873.00
6 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 1752.00
7 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco                                      1417.00
8 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team                         1381.50
9 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                                   1324.00
10 Iban Mayo Diez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                          1186.00
11 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie       1171.00
12 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank                               1164.75
13 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team                                 1162.00
14 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC                                       1155.60
15 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Lotto-Domo                                  1153.00
16 Isidro Nozal Vega (Spa) Liberty Seguros                         1150.00
17 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Saeco                                      1133.00
18 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC                                       1062.50
19 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto             1039.00
20 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com                                    1036.00
20 David Millar (GBr) Cofidis, le credit par Telephone             1036.00
 
Teams
 
Men's Division I
 
1 Team CSC                                                         3610.00 pts
2 Rabobank                                                         3319.00
3 Gerolsteiner                                                     2983.00
4 T-Mobile Team                                                    2939.00
5 Quick.Step-Davitamon                                             2630.00
6 US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor                       2263.00
7 Illes Balears-Banesto                                            2150.00
8 Saeco                                                            2098.00
9 Fassa Bortolo                                                    2010.00
10 Phonak Hearing Systems                                          1995.00
 
Men's Division II
 
1 Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme                                       1355.00 pts
2 Domina Vacanze                                                   1227.00
3 Ceramiche Panaria-Margres                                         810.00
4 Costa De Almeria-Paternina                                        621.00
5 Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo                                      618.00
6 L.A.-Pecol                                                        486.00
7 Team Barloworld-Androni Giocattoli                                433.00
8 Colombia-Selle Italia                                             398.00
9 Vlaanderen-T Interim                                              388.00
10 Cafes Baque                                                      330.00
 
Full rankings: Individuals, Teams, Nations

Carmichael: Armstrong on track for six

High performance is the name of the game for Chris Carmichael of Carmichael Training Systems, whether it's designing a training program for Lance Armstrong, coaching the Tour Of Hope Team Of Twenty for their cross-country odyssey this fall or helping any cyclist or runner get the most out of their experience. While in Georgia recently to work with Armstrong in his Tour de Georgia win, Carmichael spoke to Cyclingnews European Editor Tim Maloney about Lance Armstrong's chances in this year's Tour de France, and his new CTS Performance Center in Philadelphia, PA.

Chris Carmichael signs a book for a fan at the Cadence grand opening
Photo: © Cyclingnews
Click for larger image

Nicknamed "The Kid" at the beginning of his cycling career, Carmichael still has the friendly, open face and articulate enthusiasm we remember when we met him two decades ago when he was on the 7-Eleven cycling team.

Cyclingnews: After winning the Tour de Georgia, how does Lance Armstrong look to you as he prepares for his attempt to win his sixth straight Tour de France in July?

Chris Carmichael: Lance is looking good in Georgia. He was strong there and is on the right track to be ready for the Tour in July. The next two months will be full of hard, specific preparation for Lance. To win the Tour is never easy.

CN: What will LA be doing in the next month leading up to the Dauphine Libéré to prepare for the Tour?

CC: Lance will ride the Tour du Languedoc-Rousillon [formerly the Midi Libre] along with the Dauphine Libéré to prepare for the Tour. This will be the core of his final preparation but his training will focus on climbing at specific training intensities and pedal cadences to increases his repeatable climbing power while reducing the muscle stress (watts per-pedal stroke) at this specific power output.

CN: Can you talk about Lance's specific preparation for the ITT on l'Alpe d'Huez?

CC: Lance will be testing new technology in preparation for this Tour stage. He will also be focusing on the landscape, each turn, change in grade, and sustainable power for specific time periods, pedal cadence. The duration of sustainable power is critical for the ITT up l'Alpe d'Huez, meaning it is not simply a "flat line" of average power the entire time trial. It will vary given the grade and duration of each section of the TT.

Click here for the full interview with Chris Carmichael.

Can Mayo do it again in Naranco?

After a crushing win in last weekend's Clasica Alcobendas, Iban Mayo (Euskaltel) will start in today's Subida a Naranco as the favourite. Mayo won the mountain stage, the bunch sprint and was second in the time trial in Alcobendas, so if he has recovered sufficiently in two days, he will be tough to beat in the 38th edition of this 162 km race that finishes atop the Alto del Naranco.

Other favourites include Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros), who is starting to find the right kind of form in the mountains, as well as Felix Cardenas and Hernan Buenahora (Cafes Baque). There's also Mayo's teammate Samuel Sanchez, who would like a win on home ground.

In addition to the final 5.5 km climb, the race also includes the climbs of Orlé, La Colladona, El Padrún and La Manzaneda.

Vandenbroucke recovered

Frank Vandenbroucke (Fassa Bortolo) has recovered from his illness that kept him from riding the Giro d'Italia, and is now back in training. "Frank trained again on Monday and everything went OK," Fassa's team manager Giancarlo Ferretti told Het Nieuwsblad. "He is even feeling very good. There are no problems at all."

Jef D'Hont retires

FDJeux.com soigneur Jef D'Hont will retire at the end of this season, after a 40+ year career as a soigneur. D'Hont has decided to stop on account of the new regulations in France that require teams to employ accredited physiotherapists.

Symmetrics Cycling adds Svein Tuft

Experienced Canadian cyclist Svein Tuft has joined the Symmetrics Cycling Team for the 2004. Tuft is a multiple Canadian National Championship medalist in the time trial, and winner of the criterium event at the 2003 Canadian National Championships. On the international front, Tuft has won stages in the GP Cycliste de Beauce and the Tour de 'Toona, and competed in the Tour de l'Avenir and Tour de Langkawi.

Tuft's racing program will mainly consist of British Columbia and Pacific Northwest races including the BC Cup Road Series, the GP Cycliste de Beauce, NRC Cascade Cycling Classic, BC Superweek, and the Canadian National Road Championships. Tuft will begin racing this coming weekend at the Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race in Enumclaw, WA, USA.

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