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 ©: Lavuelta.com
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
"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)
Photo ©: Lavuelta.com
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,
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
Vuelta Stage 11 - Full
results, report & photos, Live
Stages & descriptions
No serious injuries for Valverde
Alejandro Valverde (Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme)
Photo ©: AFP
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
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 MrBookmaker.com 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
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
Junior Men Time Trial
Chris Stockburger *TBD
Junior Women Road Race and Time Trial
U23 Road Race - Long Team (5 riders)
U23 Time Trial
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
"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."
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)