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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for October 6, 2004

Edited by John Stevenson

Bettini's knee okay

Paolo Bettini before the world's road race
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

A magnetic resonance imaging examination of his knee has revealed no lasting damage from the collision with a car door that effectively ended Paolo Bettini's chances in the men's world championship road race in Verona on Sunday.

The check-up, conducted at the Sports Traumatology Department in the Hospital of Lucca, revealed a deep contusion, but ruled out any more serious damage.

"I'm very satisfied about that," said Bettini in a statement from his Quick.Step-Davitamon team. "I have been very lucky. This morning I trained for a couple of hours without forcing my knee. Now I'm starting anew for the last seasonal aim: I want to overcome Rebellin and win my third World Cup."

Rebellin back at Paris-Bourges

As part of his preparation for this weekend's Paris-Tours World Cup, Gerolsteiner's Davide Rebellin will ride the French semi-Classic Paris Bourges tomorrow. The race was not originally on Rebellin's schedule, but after missing out on the men's world championship road race because his Argentine passport did not arrive in time, Rebellin feels the need to get some racing in his legs.

Paris-Tours will be the next round of Rebellin's ongoing World Cup series battle with Olympic champion Paolo Bettini, whom he currently leads by just six points. With two races left, the series looks likely to go right to the wire unless either Rebellin or Bettini has a disaster this weekend.

Renäng third Swede for Liquigas

Reigning Swedish Champion Petter Renäng has signed a two-year contract with Liquigas-Bianchi and thus joins fellow Swedes Magnus Bäckstedt and Marcus Ljungqvist on the reborn Italian team.

"It's a dream come true. This is a team on the highest level and I will get a chance to ride the biggest races", said a happy Renäng.

The young Swede has had five season for the Swedish Team Bianchi Nordic run by Tommy Prim. On his palmares are this year's Swedish road championships, the criterium title plus a second place in the ITT. On the international level he won the Paris-Barentin this spring and finished 15th overall in the Tour de l'Avenir after having been forced off the bike due to an operation the two weeks proceeding the race. Renäng is a strong all rounder, lightly built and is expected to do well in stage races.

Cofidis for Paris-Bourges

The Cofidis team has announced the riders that will race tomorrow's Paris-Bourges. Under directeur sportif Bernard Quilfen, the team will field Frédéric Bessy, Jimmy Casper, Bingen Fernandez, Christophe Edaleine, Jimmy Engoulvent, Peter Farazijn, David Moncoutie, and Cédric Vasseur.

Tour of Hope in Denver

Lance Armstrong
Photo ©: Joe Hughes
Click for larger image

Between one and two thousand people turned out in the Denver suburb of Aurora Colorado on Monday October 4 to welcome Lance Armstrong and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope to the University of Colorado Cancer Center.

The UC center is one of the biggest cancer research facilities in the US and in his address to the crowd, Lance Armstrong emphasised the importance of research in beating the disease.

Paying tribute to Tour of Hope rider Joey Steele, a physician and and a cancer survivor, Armstrong said, “If it wasn’t for clinical trials, and the people who participated in them, there would be no six Tour de France victories, in fact there would be no Lance Armstrong story. I am alive today because of those clinical trials and the people that came before me.”

Images by Joe Hughes

For more information on the Tour of Hope see www.tourofhope.org.

Colavita signs Frattini

The US Colavita team has signed 26-year-old Italian rider Davide Frattini for the 2005 season. Frattini rode for Alessio in 2002 and 2003 after winning the 'Baby Giro' - the under-26 edition of the Giro d'Italia - in 2001.

This year Frattini rode for the US-based team Monex, won the overall title at Vuelta de Bisbee and was third overall at the Tour of the Gila. Colavita directeur sportif Frank McCormack is looking forward to having Frattini aboard. "Davide is a proven and savvy all-rounder and good fit with our team," said McCormack. "With us, he'll be able to challenge anyone in the North American stage races."

In addition to signing Frattini, Colavita has re-signed the majority of its 2004 squad. Returning to race in Colavita Olive Oil colours next season will be team captain Mark McCormack, the 2003 USPRO Champion, as well as Sebastian Alexandre, Gustavo Artacho, Juan Jose Haedo, Todd Herriott, Aaron Olson, and Tyler Wren.

French champion to UK cross

World cyclocross champion and former world mountain bike champion Laurence Leboucher will take the start at next weekend's round of the British Cycling National Trophy Cyclo-Cross Series in Pittville Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. It's the fifth year the series has come to Cheltenham and Leboucher's attendance indicates the event's growing international standing.

Organisers are expecting up to 300 riders in seven categories from under-12s to veterans. Racing starts at 10.30am, with the final race at 2.15pm. The course is described as "deceptively tough, with mostly open and fast tracks, and the occasional rollercoaster ride across the undulations of the parkland. There are also technically challenging sections alongside some of the trees, combined with strength sapping climbs."

Last year's opening round of the series saw a second victory in three years for Matt Ellis, his sole appearance in the UK before he headed off to Belgium. Live commentary will be provided by Hugh Porter, well known to viewers of the BBC's Olympics cycling coverage.

Big week of 24-hour racing

Top events in Moab & Canberra

The next two weekends see two of the world's biggest 24-hour mountain bike races as Moab, Utah, USA and Australian capital Canberra host the Granny Gear 24 Hours of Moab and the Mont Australian 24 Hour respectively.

The Moab event is now in its tenth year and expecting 500 teams (of between 1 and five riders) for a total of 4,500 riders and support crew. Despite Australia's rather smaller population base, the Mont is shaping up to be similarly huge, with over 500 teams registered and 2000 riders expected, plus support crews.

The Moab event will be a milestone for component designer Keith Bontrager who turns 50 at the end of this year and clocks up his 50th 24 hour race at Moab. "It happened accidentally - very little that I have ever done has been part of a plan," explained Bontrager. "I was adding up the races that I'd done in my head one day and realized that I could get to 50 with a pretty typical race calendar this year. I'd been riding as many as ten 24-hour races a year and, even with a personal boycott of the AdrenalinT series, there were plenty of good races to go to."

However, Bontrager says he may race, but that doesn't make him a racer. His attitude is typical of participants in these increasingly popular endurance MTB events. "I like to be fit. It's a good feeling, maybe one of the most important reasons for doing this sort of thing," said Bontrager. "I have no idea whether fitness pushes back the effects of aging. It does push back the effects of being fat and lazy though, and I'll be happy if it works that way for a while longer."

Inspired by US 24-hour events such as Moab, the Australian event started in 1999 and has grown every year since, with several other 24-hour, 12-hour and 8-hour races springing up in its wake as enthusiasts and race organizers saw the popularity of these participation-oriented mountain bike events. This year's Mont - as it's universally known - takes place among the pine trees of Kowen Forest outside Canberra, a venue that was adopted after the original course at Mt Stromlo was destroyed by bushfires.

For more information see: the Mont 24 Hour website and 24 Hours of Moab website.

Paris-London ride celebrates entente cordiale

As part of the centenary celebrations of the Franco-British Entente Cordiale, the weekend of October 23 and 24 sees a major fund-raising ride from Paris to London to raise money for cancer research.

Three hundred French and British riders, including some major figures from both countries, will set out from Paris on the Saturday to ride the 300km to London, arriving on Sunday October 24.

The Entente Cordiale was a historic agreement between France and Britain that resolved long-standing disputes between the UK and France in their various colonies round the world and brought to an end centuries of intermittent hostilities between the two countries.

Tour de Nez on TV

Claimed to be the fastest-growing race on the US National Racing Calendar schedule, Nevada's Mighty Tour de Nez criterium gets a second showing on OLN this Friday at 11am eastern time, 8am western.

OrganicAthlete wants riders

The OrganicAthlete team is now accepting applications for the 2005 season. OrganicAthlete supports a grassroots cycling team with a mission to promote healthy living, ecological responsibility, and compassion for all life.

For more information, see www.organicathlete.org.

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