Latest Cycling News for September 15, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones
X-rays OK for Valverde
Alejandro Valverde (Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme)
Photo ©: Lavuelta.com
X-rays carried out on injured Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme rider Alejandro
Valverde on the rest day have confirmed that he did not break any bones
in the crash yesterday. Valverde suffered numerous contusions to his leg,
back and arms, including a serious contusion to his knee tendon. Doctors
advised him not to ride at all during the rest day, and so he did not
train with any of his teammates.
Valverde's masseur worked on the injured area and he received treatment
for the inflammation. He reportedly had a good sleep and was in better
spirits today than yesterday.
No textbook sprint for Petacchi
Alessandro Petacchi's win in the bunch sprint that gave him second place
in yesterday's 11th stage of the Vuelta was a little different to his
previous performances, where he was delivered to the final 200 metres
in front of the bunch by his superb sprint train. Petacchi and Fassa weren't
going for the win yesterday, as David Zabriskie had already crossed the
line a minute before the peloton thundered into Caravaca de La Cruz. This
was in part due to the crash of Alejandro Valverde in the opening kilometres,
which slowed the peloton for a long time and gave Zabriskie the time he
needed to pull off an impressive stage win.
"Zabriskie certainly rode very strongly," said Petacchi. "But if it
wasn't for Valverde's fall, I would have been celebrating my fourth stage
win in this Vuelta a España. I'm sorry for all of my teammates, who worked
a lot and deserved another victory. However I shared in their decision
not to pull to the end. It was nice for us in that respect. As pertains
the sprint, I was a little cautious when I was on the wheel of Trenti,
who was a little way behind. I put myself behind O'Grady and waited for
him to launch the sprint. At 200 metres to go I was a little far back,
then I found a way through and I managed to get past in the last hundred.
Certainly I had good legs and thus I consider it a missed victory for
me and for Fassa Bortolo."
Vuelta Stage 11 - Full
results, report & photos, Live
Stages & descriptions
Ullrich to race five times in Italy
Jan Ullrich will ride a series of five races in Italy, according to
radsport-aktiv.de, with a view to testing his form before the World
Championships in Verona, which he is still unsure about riding. "I feel
good and I'm really enjoying the daily work in the saddle," said Ullrich,
who will race this Saturday in the Giro del Lazio and Sunday in the GP
Industria & Commercio di Prato. He will follow that with the Coppa Sabatini
(September 23), Giro dell'Emilia (September 25) and the G.P. Beghelli
(September 26) .
"None of the races are simple, either in length or profile, and there
are real challenges after a long season," he said, adding that the World's
is not yet certain, "We'll see how I get through them. After that, I'll
Official: Menchov to Rabobank
Russian cyclist Denis Menchov has been confirmed as signing for Rabobank
for the next two years, the team announced on Tuesday. Menchov has ridden
for Banesto (now Illes Balears-Banesto) since he started as a stagiaire
in 1999, and has produced some impressive results in that time. In 2001
he won the Tour de l'Avenir. One year later he was the best young rider
in the Midi Libre, and he also won a tough mountain stage to the top of
Mont Ventoux in Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré.
Last week, Menchov won the fifth stage of the Vuelta a España. Earlier
this season he won the overall in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, as well as
winning stages in Paris-Nice, Vuelta a Aragon and Vuelta al Pais Vasco.
He has ridden the Tour de France four times, finishing 11th overall and
taking the white jersey of best young rider in 2003.
"Denis is only 26 years old and he has unprecedented skills," commented
Rabobank's team manager Theo de Rooij. Team director Erik Breukink added,
"Menchov is exactly the guy we were looking for. He has all the skills
to play an important role in next years UCI Pro Tour."
Horrillo as well
Quick.Step's Pedro Horrillo Muñoz has also been announced as joining
the Rabobank team in 2005, reaching two year agreement over a contract
with Theo de Rooij. The Spanish all-rounder turns 30 on September 27 and
has recorded two victories this season, in the second stage of Paris-Nice
and in the final stage of the UNIQA Classic.
"A splendid reinforcement for our team and the ideal rider to start
the sprint for Oscar Freire. But Horrillo can do lots more than just play
trailer for Oscar," said De Rooij.
Koerts to Cofidis
35 year old Dutch sprinter Jans Koerts will sign a one year contract
to ride for the Cofidis team next season. Koerts currently rides for Chocolade
Jacques, but his contract will be up at the end of the year. His job at
Cofidis will be to help Stuart O'Grady. "O'Grady wanted someone who knows
how to do his job with no fuss," said Koerts to ANP. "My concern
will be to put him in the right place in the finales."
Koerts' past experience includes leading out the likes of Robbie McEwen
and Jean-Paul van Poppet. He has ]an Australian wife and spends three
months of the year in Australia. "[Stuart] has often said that I have
to come and ride with him once. Now it will happen, finally."
Strong field for Giro del Lazio
This Saturday's 70th Giro del Lazio, a UCI hors category one
day race in the province of Roma, Italy, has attracted a strong line up.
Defending champion Michele Bartoli (CSC), who is still in search of his
first victory this season, will start with number 1. He and his teammate
Ivan Basso will be up against Olympic champion Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step-Davitamon),
current World Cup leader Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), and the improving
Paolo Savoldelli and Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile). Other names on the provisional
start list include Fred Rodriguez (Acqua e Sapone), Fabio Baldato (Alessio-Bianchi),
Emanuele Sella (Panaria), Filippo Simeoni (Domina Vacanze), Juan Antonio
Flecha and Tom Danielson (Fassa Bortolo), Gianluca Bortolami (Lampre),
Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) and Leonardo Bertagnolli (Saeco).
Watt the favourite in women's Grafton
The inaugural World Heritage Way Ladies Challenge from Grafton to Glen
Innes (Australia) is shaping up to be a hotly contested event as part
of the Eastmon Camera House Cycle Classic, which takes place this Saturday,
September 18. 1992 Olympic gold medallist Kathy Watt will start the Category
1 race as hot favourite after taking line honours last year. Watt heads
into the race in top form after winning the Australian National Road Series
Title on the Sunshine Coast last weekend.
Last year's sprint queen winner Jennifer Finlay looms as a major threat
over the 160km race. Finlay will represent the Hamilton Pines River Club
from Brisbane and is also in good form after finishing second in the time
trial at the nationals. Zoe Southwell has proven to be a strong rider
in past events and will aiming to upset Watt's second title campaign.
Jane Despas will line up in her third classic. The Australian, now based
in the United States, finished third last year and has been constantly
monitoring the build up to the race. Race director Peter Sunderland has
fielded a number of calls from Despas. "Jane seems serious and arrived
in Australia earlier this week - she rates as a big chance," Sunderland
Riding in her first senior year, Kate Nichols is also expected to feature
strongly. Kate is the daughter of Los Angeles Olympics gold medallist
Kevin, who will race in the O-45s race on Saturday.
The WHW is expected to be the most gruelling, longest and highest prizemoney
women's event in Australia. The women's race will start at 7.30am and
this will bring them into Glen Innes around 1pm behind the leading C graders.
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BikeNZ on the hunt for High Performance Director
In the wake of a successful 2004 for its cyclists, the New Zealand cycling
federation (BikeNZ) is searching for a new High Performance Director,
as current HPD Warren Lister does not intend to apply for a permanent
position when his fixed term contract expires.
"The need for a High Performance Director to lead the elite sport programme
in the run up to the 2004 Olympics was recognised by Cycling NZ in December
2002," said BikeNZ CEO Rodger Thompson in a statement. "Warren was appointed
to the position by BikeNZ after a comprehensive international search conducted
by the Empower Group. While it is regrettable that Warren has confirmed
he won't be applying to a permanent position with BikeNZ, we are very
pleased with what he has achieved in the past 16 months when you consider
we have 4 World Champions, 1 Olympic gold, 1 Olympic record, and 1 World
record. Warren has firmly established the position of High Performance
Director and we are now seeking to make this a permanent role."
Thompson also expressed disappointment that some of the NZ Olympic team
had made negative comments about National Track Coach Kurt Innes in the
media when there is a formal review process for every Olympic sport with
the New Zealand Olympic Committee and the New Zealand Academy of Sport.
"The Olympic debrief process is all about reviewing preparation for,
and performance during, the Olympic Games, so that learning points can
be fed into the planning process for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games
and 2008 Beijing Olympics," said Thompson. "It looks at everything from
the high performance and training plans, to the coaching and preparation.
It also involves confidential evaluations and one-to-one interviews with
athletes. This is the proper and constructive place for athletes to give
feedback on Olympic preparations. Overall it was obviously a very successful
campaign and we are very pleased with it."
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)