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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest Cycling News for October 14, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones and Hedwig Kröner

Aitor Gonzalez signs with Euskaltel

Euskaltel team director Miguel Madariaga has pursued contract negotiations with Aitor Gonzalez in Madrid today, and finally reached a agreement with the 2002 Vuelta a España winner. The Fassa Bortolo rider will be riding for the Basque Euskaltel team as of 2005. Contract negotiations were in the air since his abandon of this year's Vuelta, which he had to leave due to viral gastroenteritis (see story).

Gonzalez' current team manager, Giancarlo Ferretti from Fassa Bortolo, was not satisfied with the Spaniard's performances and spoke out against the rider in the beginning of September, saying, "Gonzalez really needs to show us now what he can do. He hasn't done this since 2002." In response to this, Gonzalez criticised Fassa's team structure around top sprinter Alessandro Petacchi, stating that this was the reason of his lack of results in the last couple of years. Gonzalez did show his good form this summer when he won the 14th stage of this year's Tour de France from Carcassone to Nîmes.

Quick.Step team roster for Giro di Lombardia

Belgian team Quick.Step has announced its lineup for the last World Cup race of the season, the Giro di Lombardia, on Saturday October 16. The selected riders are: Paolo Bettini, Davide Bramati, Wilfried Cretskens, Kevin Hulsmans, Michael Rogers, Patrik Sinkewitz, Bram Tankink and Jurgen Van Goolen.

Paolini undergoes hand surgery

In the late afternoon of yesterday, Luca Paolini (Quick.Step) underwent a surgical operation to consolidate the scaphoid fracture of his right hand. The bronze medallist in Verona 2004 was involved in a crash in the last kilometers of Paris-Tours last Sunday. The surgery was performed in Antwerpen, Belgium. Paolini will take up his usual winter training in view of next season after a period of rest.

An interview with Sara Carrigan

Golden girl

When Sara Carrigan breezed into the Cyclingnews office it was obvious that the buzz of winning an Olympic gold medal was a long way from wearing off. Despite being deep in the post-Athens media whirl she gave Gerard Knapp and John Stevenson an inside look at her medal-winning Olympic ride.

Sara Carrigan
Photo ©: Paul Mirtschin
Click for larger image

Olympic gold medallists get special treatment but the attention hasn't gone to the head of road race winner Sara Carrigan. The 24-year-old originally hails from the new South Wales country town of Gunnedah and country Australians just don't let little things like being the best in the world at something go to their heads. Very much one of Australia's most promising talents in the last few years, Carrigan's palmares includes two Australian time trial championship victories, and a round of the 2003 World Cup, but the Olympic road race was far and away her biggest win.

Since then, she's been a bit busy.

Cyclingnews: What have you been doing since the Olympic race?

Sara Carrigan: It's been very busy travelling to different places, meeting up with different friends and family and doing all those things you can't really do while you're on the road like coming down to Sydney for a couple of days. It's been fantastic and the support I've received from everyone, even people that I don't know - it's been great.

Click here for the full interview

Pro Tour TTT takes shape

Next year's Pro Tour team time trial will be held between the Dutch cities of Eindhoven and Helmond on June 19, according to De Telegraaf. The race will be 51 km long, starting and finishing in the centre of Eindhoven, and organiser Marlies van Gerwen is aiming to attract the riders that will start in the Tour de France in July. The fact that it passes through Helmond, the home town of UCI president Hein Verbruggen, has not gone unnoticed. "It's perhaps not completely accidental," said Van Gerwen. "But we didn't have too many options."

Dierckxsens 40 and still going

Ludo Dierckxsens (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) is celebrating his 40th birthday today. The Belgian pro cyclist is nearly the oldest rider in the peloton, topped only by Mario Cipollini's roommate and lead out man Mario Scirea, who turned 40 on August 7, 2004. Dierckxsens wants to continue racing in 2005, mainly for his two children, 7-week old twins Mauro and Xander.

"I want to win at least one other race for them," said the proud father, feeling up to the challenge. Asked if his legs would still be fast enough, he replied, "What do you hear of the riders that quit cycling? Nine out of ten are physically capable of continuing, but can't provide the mental strength to get out and train every day, and then ride the same races all over again next season. After 15, 16 years of professional cycling they're tired mentally. But I'm not," said the Belgian, whose only problem is a missing contract for next year. "But that'll be fine," he says. "Of course it's easier to find a team when you're 29 instead of 40, but my manager is working hard on it, and I will know more at the end of next week. It's not very pleasant to wait, but I'm not the only one."

Swindlehurst signs on with Team Seasilver

Burke Swindlehurst has made the switch to Team Seasilver after a five year run with the Navigators Pro Cycling Team. Swindlehurst has achieved seven victories in 2004 and finished several UCI races in Europe, including the Peace Race, the Tour of Denmark, two pre-Giro warm up races in Italy, the Giro D' Abruzzo and the Settimana Ciclista.

"We are very proud to have signed a rider of such quality and integrity to be the corner stone of our program," says Greg Bourque, Director Team Seasilver. "Our team is in the process of expanding for 2005 and Seasilver USA is a company with a vision to make Team Seasilver a fixture in American cycling for years to come."

For more information please visit

Colavita signs more riders

The Div. III team Colavita Olive Oil, after announcing that it would continue its engagement in professional road racing in 2005 with most of the current team members including Mark McCormack, and adding to its team ex-Saturn rider Frank McCormack as sports director, has now formally confirmed the signing of two other riders, Jonathan Page and Derek Wilkerson, after signing former Alessio pro Davide Frattini just last week.

Cyclo-cross racer Jonathan Page, 28, has won the U.S. Elite National Cyclocross Championship for the past two years. However, though he has specifically focused on that off-road discipline over the last two seasons, Page is also a highly accomplished road racer. A two-time Junior National Road Champion and member of several World Road Championships teams, Page won the overall titles in the Grand Prix of Bermuda and the Green Mountain Stage Race in 2002, as well as the Points Jersey in the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, in 2002.

Derek Wilkerson, 25, also comes to the Colavita Olive Oil squad from the dirt, having spent much of 2004 racing mountain bikes for Hillenbrand/Specialized. But Wilkerson also feels comfortable on the road: winner of the 1999 U.S. Elite National Criterium Championship, Wilkerson turned pro that year for Mercury, before heading on to stints with Jelly Belly and the U.S. Under-23 National Team. An all-rounder with a fast finish, his 2003 road results include 2nd in a stage of the Valley of the Sun, as well as 5th overall in the recent CycleFest National Racing Calendar event.

Team Director Frank McCormack is positive about the new team members. "Mark and I have spent years racing against Jonathan all over New England," he notes, "and we know just what a talented and determined competitor he is - Jonathan does everything pretty well. And Derek, he's one of those invaluable types who's both an accomplished domestique and a winner in his own right. Combined with Juan Jose (Haedo), Derek should really help us in the sprints."

The Colavita Olive Oil Professional Cycling Team will be announcing one additional racer signing in the immediate future.

Motu kicks off NZ Multisport Series

The North Island’s premier multisport race kicks off the annual New Zealand Multisport series this weekend. The Motu Challenge's course takes competitors on a 171 km of mountain biking, running, road cycling and kayaking through the historic Motu region, with a total of 117 km spent cycling (65km mountain bike and 52km road).

Close to 800 competitors from all ends of the country are expected at the Opotiki start line for Saturday’s race. With a bigger prize pool and similar entry numbers, this puts the Bay of Plenty event on a par with the Speights Coast to Coast. Both races are part of the national series, which will have new leaders after this weekend on the Motu.

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