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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for September 15, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones and Hedwig Kröner

Dave's big day out

David Zabriskie (USPS-Berry Floor)
Photo ©:
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American David Zabriskie (US Postal p/b Berry Floor), who suffered setbacks the last two years following hard crashes that nearly prematurely ended his cycling career, won today's 11th stage of the Vuelta in Caravaca de la Cruz after a massive solo breakaway. Zabriskie rode alone for 162 of the stage's 165 kilometres to finish 1'11 ahead of the charging peloton. It was by far the biggest result in his young career.

In May 2003, Zabriskie suffered a broken leg and wrist after being hit by a car while training in Utah. Six months ago, he crashed heavily on rough roads at the Redlands Classic and needed a lot of rehab to get himself back into shape.

"I am especially happy for him," said USPS team sports manager Johan Bruyneel. "After all he has gone through the last two years - the big accident and then the crash at Redlands - it's amazing for him. He has been riding very strong and the performance of today, the athletic performance, is a huge one. He attacked from the start and got a free ticket from the peloton thanks to circumstances behind him, as Valverde had crashed and the whole peloton slowed down for a long time. Then they started chasing but he still stayed clear, and today was a hard course to be alone all day.

"Everybody is really happy for him. He has worked hard to come back and has come back to a good level, but to win a stage at the Tour of Spain, it's huge for him and the team. He deserves it."

Zabriskie was a bit shell shocked after the stage as a result of his enormous effort. "I wasn't too sure I was going to stay away until the last kilometre," he said. When asked about his strategy today, he said, "Usually the attacks go from the gun here and I was at the front and wound it up waiting for the attacks. I had about 500 meters and was waiting for the attacks to come from behind but then Valverde crashed and the peloton slowed down out of respect for him. Floyd helped slow it down as well. I was off the front when it happened so I just kept going."

Zabriskie added that the team's assistant sports manager Dirk Demol had a lot to do with his performance today. "Dirk kept yelling into my radio - 'Believe in yourself, believe in yourself.' It helped a lot. I tried not to get too excited and knew there was a long way to go. I just tried to keep it steady. I still quite can't believe it."

Floyd Landis (USPS)
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Zabriskie tried similar moves at the Tour of Belgium in May and at the Championship of Zurich last month but both were brought back. "I can do those kind of attacks but they aren't necessarily the smartest things to do," he added. When asked what was thinking about the time off the front, he added, "I had a Guns 'n Roses song in my head. I'm not sure which one, though. It's the one where he says - 'They can't catch me, I'm innocent.'"

On the rest of the Vuelta, Zabriskie said, "It looks like it will get really hard so I will have to take it day by day. Floyd is really motivated and it's blowing through the rest of the team."

Johan Bruyneel concluded that, "The Spanish climbers are getting closer but we are still in the lead. Floyd feels good. He's not feeling tired and feels strong and is going to fight for it. It will be difficult as there is a lot of climbing to come, but I think he will be very good. It's going to be difficult to win but they still need to take it away from him."

Vuelta Stage 11 - Full results, report & photos, Live report
Stages & descriptions
Start list

No serious injuries for Valverde

Alejandro Valverde (Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme)
Photo ©: AFP
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Alejandro Valverde's crash early in Stage 11 did not result in any broken bones for the Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme rider, who is lying in second place on GC, 9 seconds behind Floyd Landis. Valverde was nursed through the stage by his teammates and managed to finish in the peloton, not losing any time.

Race doctor Juan María Irigoyen declared that Valverde did not break any bones, although he did have contusions on his ribs and knee as a result of the crash. He was later taken to the Torre Cárdenas hospital in Almería for precautionary X-rays.

The director of Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme, Vicente Belda, thanked the peloton for its attitude in waiting for Valverde when he crashed, commenting that Valverde gets on well with everyone. "He is always smiling and he is a good person and that's why people love him," said Belda.

One of Valverde's closest rivals for the GC, Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros), said of his crash that, "It was a pity. I hope the day of rest will be enough to help him recover. The peloton slowed down the pace to wait for him. It's the human side to cycling. We are in solidarity."

Vandenbroucke looks forward to less pressure

After signing a contract with on Monday night, Frank Vandenbroucke may have finally found a place to ride without being pressured to win big races. His new contract, which is effective immediately, gives him a chance to race until the end of the season with the Belgian squad, and he sealed it with a win in a kermis in Zvevegem yesterday.

"The pressure in the team will not be as much as with the other teams that I have ridden for," said Vandenbroucke to Sporza. "And I want it to be like that for the rest of my career. That could last six, seven or eight years."

After a recent domestic dispute with his wife Sara Pinacci, Vandenbroucke is no longer living with her, although the pair are still married. But it seems to have helped Vandenbroucke. "My life is again on the right track and that means things can move quickly with me. The condition is not as bad as I expected."

Vandenbroucke maintained that he wasn't fired by Fassa Bortolo. "I asked and received my freedom. But wait, that means give up. I didn't want to do that, I wanted to race."

It's possible that Vandenbroucke can ride his first race in MrBookmaker colours as early as this Friday in the Koolskamp, but failing that, he will race on Sunday in Isbergues.

Farm Frites-Hartol restructuring without Melchers and Van Poppel

Team Farm Frites-Hartol will continue cycling in 2005 but without their leader Mirjam Melchers and directeur sportif Jean Paul van Poppel. The two have decided to leave the squad after talking to manager Michael Zijlaard, who intends to build up more young riders next year with the help of his wife Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel. For that purpose, the team is negotiating with a new sponsor and intends to employ Ingrid Haringa as trainer/sports director.

The decision of Melchers and Van Poppel to leave the team was then taken, as the two of them also had a different racing schedule in mind. According to the statement, their future is uncertain at the moment, as they would prefer creating a new team instead of having to change to a foreign squad.

TQ Ladies Cycle Race well established

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

The TQ Paper International Ladies 2-day Cycle Race around Dublin Airport, Ireland will hit the road this weekend, September 18-19. The race has been promoted by the Dublin Wheelers Cycling Club annually since 1992, with the backing of TQ Papers, and has overcome its early difficulties.

According to Paddy Fitzsimons, the race's safety officer who was in at the start many years ago, "The Wheelers felt there was a need to promote ladies racing. The early years were tough. It's like any business attempting to break the mould and get their product up front. With a sponsor who was willing and able to give financial backing it made life a little less difficult. Plus we had the volunteers that gave us a commitment and have stayed the distance."

Over the years, the race grew bigger and attracted more and more international competitors. "Last year we turned the corner when over 60 competitors turned up to do battle on the roads around North Co. Dublin," Fitzsimons explains. "Also at the beginning, the locals were winning, but in the last few years with the influx of visitors from abroad, the title has been winning its way to mainland Europe.

"Personally, I don't see that as a bad reflection, but I feel the tide is about to turn in our favour and that this year we will reverse the role with the main prize staying at home," he said hopefully, adding that, "The ladies who participate on the domestic circuit are now at the cutting edge where they can mix it with the visitors, thanks to the many initiatives undertaken by the Ladies Commission. There is a series of league events during the summer and Cycling Ireland teams are now regulars at the big meets all over Europe."

Susan O'Mara, the race director, will also be a participant this weekend. She won the race in 1997, but her chances of a second victory are small, competing against strong athletes such as the new national time trial champion from Cork, Siobhan Dervan. With the Corkonians now on a high after their dramatic hurling win last week in Croke Park when they defeated the red hot favourites Kilkenny, the tide is with her.

Stage one (64 km) on Saturday morning is followed by a time trial of 2 km in the afternoon. On Sunday, 74 km will take the winner to the finish.

USA Junior World's team

USA Cycling has announced the complete junior team that will compete at the upcoming UCI Road World Championships in Verona, Italy between September 27-October 3. Also announced was the long team from which the U23 athletes will be selected from.

Receiving automatic nominations based on their overall standings in the USA Cycling Junior National Road Selection Series are Zach Taylor (Marietta, Ga.) and Zach Bolian (Nashville, Tenn.). Taylor took top honours in the eight-race series after winning the selection series races in both Redlands, Calif. and Burlington, Wis. Taylor's accumulated point total was also boosted by two stage wins and a third place overall finish at the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic and a silver medal at the USCF Junior National Time Trial Championships.

Bolian was the runner-up in the series standings thanks to consistent performances throughout the season including a win in the selection series stop in East Troy, Wis. Bolian's 2004 resume also includes top-five finishes in stage one and the overall classification in Fitchburg and both the road race and time trial events in Redlands.

Joining Taylor and Bolian through discretionary nominations on the 2004 U.S. Junior World Championship Team are Chris Stockburger (Fort Collins, Colo.), Adam Switters (Folsom, Calif.) and Alexander Boyd (Oxnard, Calif.).

Current USCF Junior National Road and Time Trial Champion, Rebecca Much (Chicago, Ill.), will be the lone junior women's representative for the U.S. Much's two national titles automatically qualified her to contest both events in Verona.

The U23 athletes nominated to the long team are currently racing in Europe and include Timothy Duggan (Boulder, Colo.), Steven Cozza (Petaluma, Calif.), Kevin Bouchard-Hall (Shelburne, Vt.), Blake Caldwell (Boulder, Colo.), Saul Raisin (Dalton, Ga.), Darby Thomas (Montpelier, Vt.), Dan Bowman (Farmington Hills, Mich.), Ian MacGregor (Boulder, Colo.), Matthew Crane (Old Greenwich, Conn.), and Tyler Farrar (Wenatchee, Wash.). The five riders that will make the trip to Verona will be formally selected following the conclusion of their European campaign on September 26.

The only rider to secure an automatic nomination is Farrar, earning a spot for the time trial as the USCF U23 National Time Trial Champion. Like the juniors, the final time trial spot will be decided following the G.P. des Nations.

Junior Men Road Race

Zach Taylor
Zach Bolian
Chris Stockburger
Adam Switters
Alexander Boyd

Junior Men Time Trial

Chris Stockburger *TBD

Junior Women Road Race and Time Trial

Rebecca Much

U23 Road Race - Long Team (5 riders)

Timothy Duggan
Steven Cozza
Kevin Bouchard-Hall
Blake Caldwell
Saul Raisin
Darby Thomas
Dan Bowman
Ian MacGregor
Matthew Crane
Tyler Farrar

U23 Time Trial

Tyler Farrar

Laurent Thirionet at Paralympics

The disabled cyclist Laurent Thirionet will be participating at this year's Paralympic Games starting in three days. The Frenchman holds two World records: the hour (41,031 km/h) and the kilometre (1'20" 14.) as well as two World Champion titles. He has also been European Champion eight times and National Champion three times. The rider has been backed by Cofidis since 1998 and will now participate at the Paralympic Games for the second consecutive time, competing on the road as well as on track.

12th Tour de Pakistan

The 12th Tour de Pakistan cycle be held from December 18-30 this year. The 2200 km event will commence from Quetta and conclude at Bab-e-Khyber Peshawar. "We are extending invitations to the foreign teams to make the event more competitive and thrilling," Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF) secretary Idris Haider Khawaja said to Pakistan's Daily Times.

1 million rupees (17 300 USD) in cash prizes will be put up for the event, which is regular annual activity and attract leading riders of the country. WAPDA's Zahid Gulfan is the defending champion.

Freeride Contest at Lake Constance

In less than two weeks time, Meersburg will open its historic old town for the international freeride elite, who will meet in the small town at Lake Constance, Germany between September 24-26 for the first ever Ride to the Lake contest. Meanwhile, Competition Manager Cory Moore is looking forward to seeing riders from around the world fly over his massive constructions.

"I can't wait to see the riders on the course", says Moore, who got the project Urban Freeride Contest going two years ago. "I don't know what tricks the riders will show, but I know it will be great. My objective during construction was to make the riders happy, so I hope they will enjoy the obstacles, as this will benefit everyone."

In the meantime, the list of invited freeriders has grown by a dozen. Local hero Guido Tschugg has confirmed his participation as well as Axel Lehmkuhl, Cameron McCaul, Antoine Botella, Ben Kijak, Bruno Penone, Michal Marosi, Kamil Tartarkovic, Nicholas Duye, Gee Atherton, Jan Stoetzer, Fabien Pedemanaud, Daniel Trenkle, Christopher Hatton, Georg Engel, Ben Stoclets and Mick Hannah. There will be nine nations at the start in Meersburg (USA, CAN, FRA, GER, GBR, SWI, AUT, CZE, AUS).

The biggest concern at this point seems to be the choice of bike. "The guys always ask me whether they should bring a fully or a hard tail," said Tarek Rasouli, who has been co-organising the event. "But you can use any bike on the course. You should chose whatever you feel most comfortable with. That's the beauty of this contest, it will bring the two different kinds of riders together and the route is versatile enough for everyone to show great performances and styles."

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(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)