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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for May 14, 2004

Edited by Chris Henry

McEwen plays it cool

Robbie McEwen
Photo ©: Olympia

With his first stage win in this year's Giro d'Italia, Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Domo) put a damper on Alessandro Petacchi's plans on a third sprint victory in the opening week. McEwen survived a difficult finishing circuit to place himself on the wheel of Petacchi's teammates, jumping clear and winning ahead of a fast-moving Olaf Pollack while Petacchi found himself hopelessly boxed in behind.

"The finale was tough, with the climb on the finishing circuit," McEwen said after the stage. "I followed Velo, who normally leads out Petacchi. I had no idea Petacchi was boxed in.

"He's very strong, but nobody's unbeatable," McEwen said of his rival. "Everyone talked about a Petacchi-Cipollini duel. Now that want to make it a duel between Petacchi and me. That doesn't change anything for me... There are ten or twelve sprinters who can win a stage."

McEwen, who is intent on a good performance at this year's Tour de France, won't necessarily finish the Giro, and makes it clear that the points jersey (which he took over after his stage win) is not a priority. "I'd like to make it to Milan," he said, "but I've already raced a lot this year and I need to think about the Tour de France."

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Contador stable

Alberto Contador (Liberty Seguros) remains in stable but guarded condition at a hospital in Spain following a heavy fall in Wednesday's opening stage of the Vuelta a Asturias. Contador fractured his jaw and sustained other injuries in the crash, but more importantly developed a blood clot in his head which has concerned doctors and kept him under observation since the accident. On Thursday doctors were able to rule out any neurological damage, though the full extent of the problem is not yet known.

Legeay back at AC 2000

Crédit Agricole director Roger Legeay, who resigned his position as president of AC 2000, the association of French professional teams, was voted back into the position Thursday at the group's general assembly. Legeay had expressed his discontent over the apparent approach toward the fight against doping, announcing his departure from AC 2000 on April 7. His colleagues' confidence has evidently helped lure Legeay back to the president's chair.

De Waele extends

Bert De Waele has extended his contract with the Belgian Landbouwkrediet-Colnago team. De Waele, 28, has enjoyed good form this season and claimed victory at the Grand Prix de Cholet.

Phonak for Languedoc-Roussillon

Phonak Hearing Systems has announced its roster for the Tour du Languedoc Roussillon (May 19-23). Riders honing their form for a possible ride in the Tour de France will include Gonzalo Bayarri, Oscar Camenzind, Cyril Dessel, Martin Elmiger, Nicolas Jalabert, Gregory Rast, Johann Tschopp, and Alex Zülle.

Slovenians to FBD Milk Ras

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

The strength of the international opposition in the FBD Milk Ras has soared skywards with the news that Slovenia will be represented for the first time ever when the grueling 8 day international cycle race moves off from the GPO next Sunday. In a surprise announcement, Srecko Glivar, directeur sportif of Division III Team Perutnina PTUJ, has confirmed his team of Slovenian riders will take part in the race. The team is led by experienced 36 year old Valter Bonca and includes Igor Kranjec, Mitja Mahoric, Massimo Demarin and Miran Kelner.

The decision by Team Perutnina PTUJ means the Irish national team of David O'Loughlin, Tommy Evans. Eugene Moriarty, Denis Lynch and David McCann now faces the formidable challenge of pro teams from Slovenia, Germany and Scandinavia, as well as national and regional teams from Britain, Kazakhstan, Wales, Germany and the USA.

The race starts from the GPO at 12:30pm on Sunday, May 23 and finishes in the Phoenix Park the following Sunday. Stage finishes will draw huge crowds in Trim, Oranmore, Charleville, Cahirciveen, Millstreet, Seskin Hill near Carrick-on-Suir and Tullow.

Milk Ras Route

Almost thirty major mountain climbs, a marathon 181 kilometres from Charleville to Cahirciveen and a premier category mountain top stage finish in Carrick-on-Suir are the highlights of a very challenging and demanding route for this year's FBD Milk Ras. The National Dairy Council and FBD Insurances again, for the 22nd year, sponsor the race. In a one thousand kilometres anti-clockwise course around the country the top class field of 145 riders will contest thrilling stage finishes in Trim, Oranmore, Charleville, Cahirciveen, Millstreet, Seskin Hill Carrick-on-Suir, Tullow and the grand finale in the Phoenix Park on Sunday, 30th May.

In a rare break from the traditional town centre stage finish Seskin Hill, straddling the Tipperary/Waterford boundary less than two kilometres from the centre of Carrick-on-Suir, provides the setting for a mountaintop finish to Stage 6 on Friday, 28th May. After 151 kilometres from Millstreet on mainly flat roads giving fast, attacking racing, the steep 1.5 kilometre Seskin Hill, made famous by the exploits of Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche during the Nissan Classic, will present an awesome finish.

On paper the course for this year's tough encounter seems to favour the mountain climbing specialist with the likes of Kerry's Coonanaspig and Coomakista, Cork's Inchee Mountain, Carlow's Corrabutt Gap and Mount Leinster, and of course Seskin Hill, included as first category climbs. However, the sprinters will have their opportunity of building up valuable wins and time on the fast, reasonably flat stages to Trim, Oranmore and Charleville, as well as the Phoenix Park on Sunday, 30th May.

South Carolina driver indicted

The driver who struck and killed South Carolina cyclist Garrett Wonders in March has been indicted on a charge of reckless homicide. Ted Borck faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine for the accident. Wonders, considered one of the state's biggest cycling talents, was struck by a wooden bed which protruded from Borck's truck.

Courtesy: The Post and Courier

Lehigh Valley Velodrome anthem auditions

Tryouts will be held Tuesday, May 25 at 6:00pm at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome for national anthem singers for the 2004 International Race Season. To audition, singers must call the Velodrome to place their name on the tryout list. Registration opened Thursday, so potential National Anthem singers should call soon to ensure a tryout position.

For more information about singing the National Anthem at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome, visit the Velodrome website at www.lvvelo.org.

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