Latest Cycling News for May 14, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones
Petacchi on Stage 5
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo)
Photo ©: Olympia
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) was surprisingly not a factor in
the sprint to decide Stage 5 of the Giro d'Italia in Spoleto. The winner
of two stages already, Petacchi found himself squeezed against the barriers
with 500m to go by his own teammate.
"I really risked finishing up on the ground today," he commented. "I
was behind while my teammate Matteo Tosatto was pulling, and when he moved
from the front of the bunch, I was coming up from behind, thus risking
a crash. I'm really sorry that I couldn't finish the work done by my team.
On the other hand, I felt really good on the climb despite the fast pace."
Stage 5 was won by Robbie McEwen ahead of Olaf Pollack and Marco Zanotti.
Petacchi will get another chance in today's sixth stage from Spoleto to
Valmontone over 164 km.
Cipo still wants a stage win
Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze)
Photo ©: Sirotti
Mario Cipollini, the all time record holder of stage wins in the Giro
d'Italia, is determined to remain in the Giro for as long as possible
in order to try for another stage win. The Domina Vacanze captain was
badly banged up in a crash in Stage 4, which left him with 10 stitches
in his shin and 4 in his elbow. He managed to survive the fifth stage
(although he didn't contest the finale) and is looking forward to a new
opportunity to win in Stage 6.
"My objective is to win at least a stage, it's not possible to abandon
without succeeding," Cipollini told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Team director Antonio Salutini said that, "Mario slept well enough [Thursday
night], while the other night he could not close his eyes. The first day
after a fall is always the most critical. Now I am hopeful for the rest
of the race. It won't be a stroll, but he should go better than yesterday."
Cyclingnews Giro d'Italia coverage
Stage 5 Full results &
Stage 5 Live report
Stage by stage
Final Start List
Dr Ferrari's view
Pantani death: Four arrested
Italian police have arrested four people suspected of selling drugs
to Marco Pantani, who died in a hotel room in Rimini, Italy on February
14 of a cocaine overdose. Police in Rimini are searching the homes of
those arrested, as well as those of several other suspects in the case.
The coroner's report ruled that Pantani's death was from a "acute cocaine
poisoning", however suicide was deemed unlikely. An investigation was
opened shortly after he died.
USPRO Championships gearing up for 20th anniversary
By Cyclingnews staff
June 6 will mark the 20th anniversary of the USPRO Championship road
race in Philadelphia, PA. The 156 mile/251 km race will take place over
laps of a 14.4 mile/23 km circuit, including the tough climb of the 17%
Manayunk Wall each lap. In a USPRO conference call, the CEO of promoting
body Threshold Sports, Dave Chauner, said that the 20th anniversary of
the race will be the "biggest year yet...We have a lot of activities planned
to celebrate the 20 year anniversary. We are bringing back many of the
past winners of the race as well as other cycling greats, and they will
participate in the legends ride which will start at the Lehigh Valley
velodrome and travel the 65 miles to the start line of the USPRO Championships.
Phil Liggett will be here and will join in. For the Sunday we will have
one of the biggest fields ever."
The race serves as the US national championships for professional riders,
however, it is one of the few national championships that allows foreign
riders to compete which leads to situations such as last year, when the
US national champion did not actually win the race. But Chauner maintains
that, "This will always be an international race. We certainly hope that
it will also continue to be the USPRO championships as well."
Chauner explained further, "The thing is, 20 years ago, there was no
USPRO championship, and we thought it would elevate the sport of cycling
to have one. When we started the race, pro and amateur cycling was very
different structurally. Pros were not even allowed to race in the Olympics.
Instead of have a USPRO championships with only seven licensed US pro's,
we thought we'd bring the foreigners over.
"Now that is all changing. Now we have 14 American Pro teams. The question
is 'How can we continue the success of the pro championships and continue
the good relationships with USA Cycling?' We are in discussions with USA
Cycling about how it should work."
The CEO of USA Cycling, Gerard Bisceglia, commented that, "We should
definitely have a situation where the winner of the race is recognized
for accomplishing an extraordinary thing. We don't want to have one eclipse
US cycling is about to lose its biggest sponsor at the end of the season
with the withdrawal of the US Postal Service, but Dave Chauner doesn't
see this in a negative way. "A lot of people think that a big sponsor
like that leaving will be the demise of the sport. But we are seeing a
lot of new teams with a lot of new sponsors in the sport. A number of
companies are very interested. It's a cyclical expected situation. The
fact that USPS was involved for so long is a great tribute to the sport."
The USPRO Championship is run in conjunction with the women's Liberty
Classic, which was once on the UCI's women's World Cup calendar. Chauner
is doubtful whether it will be run as a World Cup again. "Being a world
cup has certain requirements: One being fitting into the UCI World Cup
calendar," he said. "It is a larger financial commitment. The distance
also has to be longer which is a problem for us. We are happy with the
race now and we still get international teams showing up. The fact that
the race is shorter makes it more competitive and good for the development
of women's teams in the US. This year the women's race is the biggest
ever. There are 150 registered riders from 28 teams. Eight of those teams
Nally for FBD Milk Ras
By Shane Stokes, Irishcycling.com
FBD Milk Ras race director Dermot Dignam today released the start list
for this year's race, with a field of 144 riders confirmed to take part.
A surprise addition to the field is Paternina-Costa de Almeria professional
Dermot Nally, who will line out as part of the Galway team for the race.
The 2002 Irish Under 23 champion has been taking part in many big one
day events and tours since turning pro last season. He seldom returns
home to race in Ireland but given the level he has been competing at in
Europe, should be in a position to really make his trip worthwhile. The
overall classification and stage wins will both be a realistic target
for the Spanish-based Corkman.
Also likely to figure will be the Thornton's Recycling Team Ireland
squad of David O'Loughlin, David McCann, Tommy Evans, Denis Lynch and
Eugene Moriarty. O'Loughlin and McCann showed their good form by taking
first and sixth in the Lincoln Grand Prix last Sunday.
A total of sixteen foreign teams will line out in the race, over half
the field. These teams are Kazakhstan, Great Britain, Wales Stena Line,
Scandinavia Team Bianchi Nordic, Slovenia Team Perutnina Ptuj, Germany
Team Comnet Senges, Germany Team Stevens Von Hacht, USA Team Stelvio Teamwear-Orbis
Prop, USA Team CRCA/Sakonnet Technology, USA/Britain, Liverpool Century,
North Wales Team Energycycles/Principia RT, North East England, Yorkshire
Team Murphy and Gunn and Surrey Racing League. This array of good squads
shows the task facing the home riders aiming for success in the race.
Amongst the Irish riders lining out on May 23 will be the in-form Cycleways
riders Phil and Mark Cassidy, first and third in last weekend's Noel Hammond
Memorial in Ballyboghil. Phil Cassidy, who won the FBD Milk Rás in 1983
and 1999, had previously declared that his 2002 participation would be
his last. However, the chance to compete alongside his son and impart
some of his experience was too good to miss. Cassidy senior's change of
mind will see the first ever father-son participation in the event and
provides another unique angle to the race.
Those studying the start list will notice the space left beside number
94. This place was due to be occupied by Brian Lennon, the Dundrum rider
to guest with the Orwell-Dundrum Shopping Centre squad for the duration
of the event. However Lennon passed away suddenly last week.
"When we were drawing up the final start list I wasn't sure if Orwell
were planning on drafting in a last minute replacement or not," said race
organiser Dermot Dignam. "However even if they had, as a tribute to Brian
we had decided to retire the number 94 for this year's race. If a fifth
rider had come in we would have given them another number instead. Brian's
loss is a big shock to all in cycling."
Thomas Dekker to Rabobank's top team
U23 Rabobank rider Thomas Dekker will make his debut in the pro team
next season, signing a two year contract this week. The talented 19 year
old finished third in the GP Pino Cerami (1.3) and rode well in the Volta
ao Algarve (2.3) earlier this season, making a good impression on the
"It's great for Dutch cycling that we have been able to keep Thomas
on the Rabobank Cycling Team," said Rabobank's cycling CEO Theo de Rooij.
"A rider that was been doing as great as Thomas over the last months is
drawing lots of attention. Thomas is highly talented. I think Thomas has
all the skills to perform as a professional as well."
In 2002, Dekker made his debut in the Rabobank junior team. In his first
year, he was national time trial champion and won the overall standings
in both the Heuvelland Tweedaagse and the Drei Etappen Rundfahrt. In his
first year for Rabobank's Trade Team 3 (2003) he was a dual Dutch champion
in both the road race and the individual time trial. At the World Championships
in Hamilton, Canada, Dekker won the bronze medal in the road race.
This season, the TT3 directed by Nico Verhoeven is practically unbeatable.
Dekker, who most often has to compete with his team members, has won six
races so far: A stage win and the overall in the Tour de Normandie, Triptyque
des Monts et Chateau and the Thüringen Rundfahrt.
Thomas Dekker was born on September 6, 1984 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
and now lives in Dirkshorn. He is 1.88m tall and weighs 69 kilograms.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)