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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest Cycling News for May 12, 2004

Edited by Chris Henry

Gilmore withdraws from Track World Cup

World Cup risk too great, focus on World's

By Karen Forman

Being selected to represent your country at an international event in your chosen sport is one of the greatest moments an athlete can ever experience - especially when that event is going to be held on home soil.

Then being forced to withdraw from that team less than 10 days after your selection, for reasons over which you have no control, is nothing short of devastating, not to mention stressful. Given the choice of staying in and possibly letting your team down is one thing. But staying in and risking your health and future performances in even more important events is quite another.

Australian rider Rochelle Gilmore knows all about that. The 22 year old was over the moon when her name was added to the national team to contest this weekend's Sydney round of the UCI Track World Cup after the national championships two weeks ago - particularly when she was disappointed with her performance in that event, due to illness.

That illness had been lingering for several months and flared not long after her return to Australia earlier this month after a heavy international racing and traveling program. When doctors recommended her withdrawal from the team, Gilmore hit the ground with a great, devastated thud.

Speaking to Cyclingnews by phone from Adelaide, where she is training with the AIS for the World Championships in Melbourne, Gilmore said she had only made the decision three days ago not to compete sydney.

"It wasn't because i couldn't perform well, but because there was a big chance competing could affect my performance at the World's," she said.

"Sure, I could probably go reasonably well (in the scratch race), it's only 12 minutes. But more traveling, anxiety and interruption to the training program just wasn't worth taking the risk. My goal for this year is to do well at the World Championships. I was second last year and this year I would like to take the gold medal."

In Gilmore's place, national points race champion Alex Rhodes will ride the points race in Sydney and the scratch race with national silver medallist Rebecca Ellis. Gilmore is confident the duo will do Australia proud. As for herself, she likened herself to Nicole Cooke. "I am aiming toward the race and anything else a bonus," she said.

Still, Gilmore admitted it wouldn't be easy sitting in her room in Adelaide while her peers are racing at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome in Bankstown in the final World Cup event from Friday through Sunday.

"It's really difficult to handle knowing I could race the World Cup at home, especially for my sponsors," she said.

"Like Speedy Wheels - I am on the last year of my four year contract with them and it would have been great for them to see me race at home. And Hi Five nutritional supplements, too. I just have to keep telling myself that it's a disappointing thing to happen, especially in an Olympic year, but that I have the World's to look forward to."

Although she hadn't been feeling well since the week before Manchester World Cup - and had been struggling badly every since - she didn't get an answer to her health problems until after the Sydney track nationals two weeks ago, when the AIS sent her to Adelaide to consult Olympic team doctor Peter Barnes.

"I had been feeling really lethargic and tired and I basically was struggling really badly since Manchester, especially after traveling home," she said. "In retrospect, in Sydney, I shouldn't have raced. The coaches recommended I didn't, but I decided to and of course regretted it afterwards, especially after the scratch race.

"I felt terrible after it. Basically I spent the next two days flat on my back with terrible fatigue. Everyone was saying i was very pale."

Arriving in Adelaide "absolutely exhausted", Gilmore was finally diagnosed with medical problems including low iron levels and a hormonal problem. She was given some medication and - much to her shock given that she was three weeks out from a World Championships - ordered to bed.

"I laid in bed a week and was basically only doing walking on the beach .. no cycling at all," she said. "I was lucky because the weather was beautiful but it was very hard psychologically, especially with the World's only three weeks away."

Feeling better

"I think the medication is really starting to kick in," she said. "For the past week. Dr Barnes has been calling me every single day and for the last three days I have had some good training sessions. We are just deciding how far to take it now. If I pull up ok tonight I will do some hard stuff tomorrow... We'll go to the track and start on the ergo, probably just some five minute efforts and maybe some motorbike stuff."

Dr Barnes has warned Gilmore that she probably wont be at 100% fitness for the World's, but she hopes she can still win the scratch race with what fitness she has. "I came second last year and a win would be fantastic."

Her schedule doesn't lighten up any after the Melbourne racing. "I fly to the US to race in Philadelphia and meet my Danish team straight away, then I will prepare for the Giro with the AIS in Italy. Then there will be some World Cups at the end of the year... I would like to win one or two of the last ones."

T-Mobile injuries continue

T-Mobile's crash-and-injury woes continue, according to the team's website. After Paolo Savoldelli broke his arm in Rund um Köln, the next to go was Sergej Jakowlew. He crashed near the end of the third stage of the Peace race, cutting his right wrist badly. He was stitched back together but couldn't continue the next day.

Worse luck has struck mountain specialist Giuseppe Guerini. While on a training ride in his native Italy, a pedestrian ran into him, knocked him from his bike, and fled. Other passersby helped Guerini and called an ambulance, but were unable to stop or locate the man who knocked him down. The first diagnosis: a broken jaw and nose. It is unclear whether he will be able to ride the Tour of Switzerland next month, where he finished an outstanding second overall last year. After this episode, and the famous crash with the photographing fan on Alpe d'Huez in the 1999 Tour de France, Guerini should now be very wary of people in the street.

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Bad back for Capelle

Belgian Ludovic Capelle (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) continues to suffer from severe back pain since his return from the United States, where he competed in the Tour de Georgia in April. Capelle, winner of the Dwars door Vlaanderen classic last month, is uncertain of his participation in the Tour de Picardie after having spent more than a week off the bike. He began training again on Monday with a five hour outing, but the pain returned once more to his back.

"The most annoying thing is that nobody knows where [the pain] comes from," Capelle told La Dernière Heure. "Maybe it was caused by the long flight, because I haven't crashed and I haven't changed my position on the bike.

"I would like to get fixed," he added. "I'm going to have x-rays taken and an MRI. I'm waiting to see what the doctor decides. I'm hoping this goes away as quickly as it came."

Nazon skips Picardie

Jean-Patrick Nazon (Ag2r-Prévoyance) will not take the start in the Tour de Picardie this weekend. Nazon managed three second place finishes in the Four Days of Dunkirk last week but has decided some rest is in order before a heavy racing schedule in the coming weeks.

"Since I'll also be racing the Tour of Belgium, the Tour of Germany, and the Route du Sud, I thought the schedule was a bit tough," Nazon told l'Equipe. "These races take a lot out of you and I don't want to drag out my fatigue."

Cofidis for Tour de Picardie

After the Four Days of Dunkirk, Cofidis will send another roster to a race not far from the company's home territory in northern France. Dunkirk stage winner Jimmy Casper will return for Picardie, alongside Arnaud Coyot, Christophe Edaleine, Bingen Fernandez, Damien Monier, Luis Perez, Staf Scheirlinckx and Guido Trentin. Francis Van Londersele will serve as directeur sportif.

Giro blood controls

Thirty four riders underwent blood controls Wednesday morning at the Giro d'Italia. Riders from Ceramiche Panaria, Colombia-Selle Italia, Chocolade Jacques and Lotto-Domo were tested at 7:30am, before the start of stage 4. All riders were declared fit to compete.

Play the Cyclingnews Giro Fantasy Game and win a Campagnolo wheelset

The Proton wheelset
Photo ©: Campagnolo

The prizes roster for the Cyclingnews' 2004 Giro d'Italia Fantasy Game has received a major boost with the addition of a Campagnolo wheelset joining the stellar line-up of prizes on offer to all the budding direttore sportivi out there. The Campagnolo's Proton wheels - one of the best value, high-quality wheelsets on the market - will join our lead prize from Specialized, which is the S-Works E5 frameset, the very same frame that is being ridden by the Domina Vacanze team. Other prizes on offer are sourced from CycleOps, Mavic, Pearl Izumi and Rudy Project.

Campagnolo's Proton wheels are a low-profile pair of hoops that offer great performance. Proton's special asymmetric rear rim improves wheel dish and overall rigidity. Proton has oversize light alloy hub shell and a light alloy axle mounted on high-precision adjustable bearings. Laced with butted spokes offering a variable cross-section, Campagnolo's Proton wheels offer great performance, light weight and excellent reliability.

Play the Cyclingnews Fantasy Giro

Click here to sign up and pick your team. You can try out as many teams as you like for stages 1-5. You only need to pay for the teams you want to enter in the competition by the beginning of stage 6 (May 14). Thus, there is no disadvantage to entering a team once the Tour is under way.

For more information on joining, see the rules section.


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