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Photo ©: Swift

Latest Cycling News for September 20, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones

Intermezzo in Andalucia

By Martin Hardie

Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros)
Photo ©: Unipublic
Click for larger image

Following last Wednesday's rest day in Almeria, La Vuelta arrived at its intermezzo, the shorter bridging period before the final push to Madrid. The intermezzo was played out entirely within Andalucia, with its stark desert like landscapes, which gradually appear more fertile the further we headed towards the ancient capital of Granada. Andalucia is the home of tapas, flamenco, the grand bullfighters of history, the Spanish Moorish heritage and the sun.

These four days included three that yielded crucial selections and gave us the first concrete indications as to who might be contesting the GC over the final few days.

Click here for the full rest day 2 wrap up

Ballerini names 15

Italian national selector Franco Ballerini has named his team of 15 riders, 13 of which will compete in the elite men's road race at the World Championships in Verona. Like Spain, Italy also gets a 13th starter in the form of Olympic champion Paolo Bettini. The remaining riders, including reserves, are Damiano Cunego, Leonardo Bertagnolli (Saeco), Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola), Ivan Basso (CSC), Dario Cioni, Dario Frigo and Roberto Petito (Fassa Bortolo), Luca Mazzanti and Emanuele Sella (Panaria), Cristian Moreni and Franco Pellizotti (Alessio), Daniele Nardello (T-Mobile), Luca Paolini (Quick.Step-Davitamon), and Filippo Simeoni (Domina Vacanze).

The squad is well balanced with Bettini as captain and Cunego as an alternative. The remainder of the team should have the strength to control the race on the tough Verona circuit.

Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti

Spanish World's team nearly complete

Spain's national selector Francisco Antequera is getting close to forming the Spanish elite men's team for the World Road Championship in Verona in under two weeks time. Spain is allowed to start 13 riders (including defending champion Igor Astarloa) and 10 have already been selected: Igor Astarloa, Oscar Freire (Rabobank), Alejandro Valverde (Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme), Juan Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo), Francisco Mancebo and Iván Gutiérrez (Illes Balears), Jose Luis Rubiera (US Postal-Berry Floor), Santiago Pérez (Phonak), Marcos Serrano and Isidro Nozal (Liberty Seguros). Gutierrez and Nozal will do the time trial and the road race.

As it stands, there are four riders (Astarloa, Freire, Valverde and Flecha) who are capable of winning a World Championship calibre race, and with three World Champions in the last five years, Spain will again be the team to beat.

There are plenty of candidates for the three remaining places: Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros), Eladio Jiménez, David Blanco and Pablo Lastras (Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme), Rubén Plaza and Constantino Zaballa(Saunier Duval), Carlos Sastre (CSC) and Pedro Horrillo (Quick.Step-Davitamon). The final list will be announced this coming Thursday, September 23.

Voskamp and Posthuma to ride TT for Dutch

Dutch selector Gerrie Knetemann has named Bart Voskamp and Joost Posthuma as the two elite men who will contest the time trial at the World Championships in Bardolino, Italy on September 29. Knetemann chose the pair after Erik Dekker declined to ride (N.B. Thomas Dekker is still an U23 rider). Knetemann has yet to name the team for the road race, but expects to do so by the end of the week.

"I don't know yet whether Michael Boogerd is going," he was quoted in Algemeen Dagblad as saying. "The plan is that he'll call me on Tuesday." Boogerd is trying to recover his form after crashing in Paris-Brussels last week, but hopes to start in the World's.

Van Petegem says yes

Peter Van Petegem has decided to compete in the World Championship road race on Sunday week in Verona. The Belgian has determined that although his condition is not perfect, he has enough time to work on it over the next two weeks to be in good shape for the World's.

"Van Petegem told me that he rode 150 km at the head of the peloton in pursuit of a breakaway in the GP Isbergues," said Belgian coach José De Cauwer to Sportwereld.be. "According to him there is still work to do, but he should be able to overcome his lack of condition in the two weeks that he has left."

Van Petegem was suffering from a stomach virus recently, and hasn't been able to race at full capacity in the second half of the season.

Barthe still looking

Stéphane Barthe (Oktos) is still looking for a team next season, despite an earlier report that said he would sign for MrBookmaker.com.

Jittery Joe's announces junior sponsorship plan

The Jittery Joe's Roasting Company has announced plans to sponsor a certain number of junior teams throughout the U.S. in 2005. The sponsorship plan will be similar to that used for the Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling Team. Junior teams will purchase a special blend of dark roast coffee and re-sell the coffee to make money for their team.

"We hope that this will be a way for some of these young riders to raise a few more thousand dollars for their teams," said Charlie Mustard, owner of the Roasting Company. "Jittery Joe's Roasting Company has made a major commitment to American cycling and we are excited to be able to help out the young riders that may make it to our pro team in a couple of years."

Junior clubs that are interested in applying for the sponsorship can request more information by sending an email to mail@thebeanteam.com. Between three and five teams within the U.S. will be selected. Only clubs with at least five full-time junior members can apply for the sponsorship.

NARC Racing 'cross roster

U.S. based North Atlanta Riding Club (NARC Racing) has announced its 2004 Cyclocross Team. The team will be headed by reigning Southeast Champion Tim Barrett (Elite), Dub Smith (Masters), Mike Barman (Elite), Scott Cochran (Masters), TR Maloney (Masters), Jonathan Trapp (3-4), Kyle Cochran (Juniors), Sean Cochran (Juniors), Quint Smith (Juniors).

The team plans to compete in the Georgia Cross Series as well as other select races in Eastern USA. Sponsors include Free-Flite Bicycles, 5 Seasons Brewing, Active Cycle Tours, Atlanta Orthopedic Specialists, MIS Associates and WorkplaceRx.

Riders wanted for East Coast Velo

The U.S. based club East Coast Velo is currently looking for 5-10 riders for its women's racing team for the 2005 racing season. The team is looking for road and track riders, and is planning to compete in local and NRC series races up and down the east coast of the U.S.A. The club is also looking for riders of all levels (juniors/espoirs/seniors) as well. For more information, go to eastcoastvelo.org and contact David Fischer at jakobsno1@aol.com.

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