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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest Cycling News for October 5, 2004

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

Antequera praises Spanish team spirit

Spanish national team coach Francisco Antequera is pleased with his team selection. Oscar Freire's victory in the World Championships road race demonstrated once more "the union and companionship of the Spanish riders," Antequera said, and "all of them are doing very well."

Upon his arrival in Madrid, the team coach praised his riders to the media, saying, "Freire is a real winner, and Alejandro Valverde was fantastic, because in the end it was him who had to start the sprint." About the teamwork, the Kelme rider declared that "we all knew what to do. It was clear that he could win."

For Antequera, the fact that Freire felt so good before the competition was what motivated the riders most. "For example Isidro Nozal," the coach pointed out. "He felt tired during the time trial, but on day of the road race, he had extra-strength. He pushed himself to the limit for his teammate, to take him as far as possible in the race. All of them worked very hard."

Luis Perez (Cofidis) also commented on the race, confirming that "Freire's success was the work of the whole team. The medal is for one only, but ideally it is for all of us."

Belgians disappointed

The Belgian performance at this year's World Championships was not one of its better ones, with Dominique Cornu's fourth place in the junior men's time trial the country's best result. In the Elite Men's Road Race, Peter van Petegem was the best placed Belgian in 29th, but it was a far cry from his bronze medal from last year.

National coach Jose De Cauwer evaluated his team's performance after Sunday, telling the Belgian press that, "I'm not satisfied: we have no-one in the results and we also didn't dictate the race. Actually we knew this beforehand. I think that it was the same for all the young guys: a parcours like this is still too hard. We should be realistic and say that we are now balancing between two chairs. One generation has retired while the other is not yet ready to take over. I'm no Ballerini, who can permit himself to leave say Simoni at home."

De Cauwer did have good words for Johan Van Summeren, who did a lot of the tempo work in the early phases, along with the Spaniards. "Only Johan Van Summeren gets ten out of ten," said De Cauwer. "He rode fantastically. Vansummeren was formidable for his age. Nuyens also rode well, but he had a mechanical. He punctured at the same time as the race exploded. The other guys were already behind, but that shouldn't have happened. It's a lesson for the future."

Simoni Austrian soon?

Gilberto Simoni (Saeco), who had not been selected to ride for the Squadra Azzurra at the World Championships, might be changing nationalities and becoming an Austrian. Like his countryman Davide Rebellin, now officially Argentinean, Simoni wants to apply for citizenship in Austria and has already met with Austrian Federation president Otto Flum last Saturday in Verona.

"Simoni has a lot to give to Austrian cycling," said Flum to Austrian newspaper Der Standard. "But we not only want him to start for our country at the next World Championships; he should also become an active member of our cycling scene."
Flum wants Simoni to take the decision rapidly and called the meeting "positive".

Bettini on Armstrong/Simeoni

Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step-Davitamon) has been heard as a witness in the Armstrong/Simeoni case in Florence, Italy yesterday. According to Italian Daily Gazzetta dello Sport, Bettini said about the events that took place at this year's Tour de France on stage 18, "I saw Simeoni attack, and I saw Armstrong's reaction. I also saw that the group slowed down. But after that, I had a bike change so I didn't see anything."

Lance Armstrong had personally set out to catch the Italian Filippo Simeoni, who had counter-attacked to join a breakaway in front. "In the context of the race," the rider added, "his [Armstrong's] response was senseless. When I saw Simeoni come back disappointed, head down, I gave him a tap on his shoulder." Four other riders, all Domina Vacanze, will be questioned by Nas police officers investigating the case today.

Meanwhile, Bettini is feeling better after his bad luck at Sunday's World's road race when he hit his knee on the team car door and was forced to pull out of the race later because of the pain. "It's already much better since Sunday," the Italian said. He hopes to be able to ride the last two World Cup races, Paris-Tours next Sunday and Giro di Lombardia on October 16.

Longo by herself

Edwige Pitel of the French national women's team has not hidden her anger at Jeannie Longo Ciprelli after the World Championship road race. Asked how the team's spirit was, she replied, "All is good between the five girls. But with Longo, I'm not going to be a hypocrite - we don't talk to each other. All she did [at the road race in Verona - ed.] was to shout at me. She didn't even ride for the team as she came after me to take the four other riders back onto my wheel. And when I didn't take turns after that, she accused me. If that's what you call team spirit..." Pitel finished 23rd at the World's road race, Longo 21st.

Courtesy: velo101.com

Felix Cardenas to Barloworld

According to the French website velomania.net, the Colombian rider Felix Cardenas has signed with Team Barloworld for next season. Cardenas, who is still riding for Cafes Baque, won the mountains jersey at this year's Vuelta a España.

Herrero to Euskaltel

David Herrero (Costa de Almeria-Paternina) has signed an agreement with Euskaltel-Euskadi team manager Miguel Madariaga to ride for the Basque squad for the next two seasons. Herrero's contract will be official once he gains a release from his current team.

Two more young riders for T-Mobile

The T-Mobile Team has added two more young riders to its ranks for next season. 22 year old Austrian rider Bernhard Kohl (Rabobank TT3) and 21 year old German Marcus Burghardt (Wiesenhof) have both signed two year contracts with T-Mobile.

"We want to give the two young riders their chance and allow them time and space to develop within the team," said team spokesman and future manager Olaf Ludwig. "We have had lengthy discussions with them both, and we have concluded that they would be a great addition to our squad."

Marcus Burghardt impressed when he rode for T-Mobile as a stagiaire at the recent International Tour of Rheinland-Pfalz. Andre Korff won the closing stage of the tour after Burghardt had led him out in the final sprint. "We are not expecting any overnight success from these young riders - we have recruited them for the future", says Ludwig.

Burghardt won the climbers' jersey at the 2004 Thüringen Rundfahrt, had a spell in yellow at the Giro delle Regioni and captained the German U23 team at the World Championships in Verona, where he finished 42nd.

Bernhard Kohl has been part of the Rabobank development team since 2003 and is a recognised climbing specialist. Earlier this season the Vienna born rider celebrated his first win as a professional, by winning the three day Tour de Pyrenees in France. "After some health problems in the early part of the year I recaptured my form as the season progressed," said Kohl whose win in France attracted the attention of the T-Mobile scouts.

Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series

The Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series in the U.S. gets underway in just two weeks time. The season-long Verge NECCS has taken a step forward this year, with Cat. 1 events in Gloucester and Northampton, as well as a new round in Sterling, MA, bringing the total number of races to seven. In addition, the two NECCS races in Gloucester (Oct. 30th and 31st) will double as the middle rounds of the Crank Brothers U.S. Grand Prix of Cyclo-Cross.

All of the NECCS events are UCI sanctioned races. Riders expected to be competing will be last year’s overall series winners Mark McCormack (Colavita-Bolla-Clif Bar) and Olympian Mary McConnelough (Seven Cycles), former National Champions Marc Gullickson (Redline) and Todd Wells (Mongoose/Hyundai), under-23 National Champion Jesse Anthony (Cyclocrossworld.com), and last year’s 3rd place overall finisher Ben Turner (TIAA-Cref/Clif Bar). On the women’s side, Cyclocrossworld’s Mo Bruno goes up against national champions Marianne Stover (Independent Fabrication) and Maryann Martinez (CCB), as well as former national champion Katrina Davis (Richard Sachs). Also interesting will be the performance of Rona’s Anna Milkowski as she comes off her first full season as a professional road rider.

The series schedule is:

Round 1: Downeast Cyclo-Cross (ME) Oct. 16 UCI Cat. 2
Round 2: Michelob ULTRA Gran Prix of Gloucester #1 (MA) Oct. 30 UCI Cat. 2
Round 3: Michelob ULTRA Gran Prix of Gloucester #2 (MA) Oct. 31 UCI Cat. 1
Round 4: Chainbiter 6.0 Cyclo-Cross (CT) Nov. 13 UCI Cat. 2
Round 5: Cycle-Smart International Cyclo-Cross (MA) Nov. 14 UCI Cat. 1
Round 6: Gearworks Bay State Cyclo-Cross (MA) Nov. 27 UCI Cat. 2
Round 7: W.E. Stedman Co. Grand Prix of Cyclo-Cross (RI) Dec. 4 UCI Cat. 2

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