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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for April 22, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

Tour de Georgia stage 3

Landis the Emperor in Rome

"Lend me your ears"
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Click for larger image

Floyd Landis (Phonak) has captured the leader's jersey in the Tour de Georgia after winning the difficult stage 3 time trial in Rome. Riding in wet conditions, Landis beat countrymen David Zabriskie (CSC) by 19 seconds and Christopher Baldwin (Navigators) by 22. Overnight leader Robert Hunter finished 15th, and conceded his leader's jersey to his teammate Landis.

The course, which contained a tough climb, suited the Lancaster, Pennsylvania born Landis. "We reconnoitred the course, which has plenty of nasty corners, in detail in the morning," said Phonak's sporting director René Savary, who added that Landis was riding the latest BMC time trial machine: "The bike has perfect aerodynamics, supports an optimised airflow, and permits the ideal transfer of power."

"I feel completely happy," said Landis. "Everything was just right. The 19 seconds lead over Zabriskie are no pillow to lean back on though." Coming up are four hard climbs on Friday and the notorious ascent of Brasstown Bald on Saturday, where the GC will be decided.

Defending champion Lance Armstrong certainly did not have the best time trial of his career, finishing in ninth at 1'46. "Clearly disappointed," Armstrong revealed right after the race. "I didn't feel great, but I thought I would do better."

"I think something to consider with Lance is that it's his first time trial this year," Director Sportif Johan Bruyneel explained. "Last year [prior to the Tour de Georgia] he did a long time trial in [Vuelta ao] Algarve and Criterium International." Nonetheless, this performance will be noted around the professional peloton. "Today was definitely not a great ride from him and you can definitely see he didn't have it."

Results, report & photos
Live coverage

Levi Leipheimer Diary

Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
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Every day, Gerolsteiner’s Levi Leipheimer sends his impressions of the Tour de Georgia to Cyclingnews. On Thursday, Levi finished sixth in the time trial:

"I was happy with my ride, but not so much the weather. More times than not I find myself time trailing in the rain. It was slippery and dangerous, especially on the descent halfway through the course. I rode it a bit too conservative but I was still going 100k/hr. Floyd told me he went all out down Mt Alto. He's great when it comes to descents (and ascents); if you didn't know, he was formerly a pro mountain biker. I felt good in my new position and just worked with Steve Hed on making some more tweaks to the bike. I ended up in sixth - now sixth in the GC too. But the real hard racing will start tomorrow when we hit the climbs."

Click here for the full diary entry.

Rebellin ready

Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) hopes to put an end to the run of Danilo Di Luca in the hilly classics by successfully defending his title in this Sunday's 91st Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Last year, L-B-L served as the crowning race of Rebellin's season, as he became the first rider to win the Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege in the same year. According to his director sportif Christian Henn, Rebellin was "incredibly cool" in the finale, where he was with Michael Boogerd and Alexandre Vinokourov, capitalising on Boogerd's willingness to chase down Vino on the final uphill into Ans and comfortably beating him in the sprint.

"The race is certainly one of the hardest, because the climbs are tougher and longer than in the other classics," said Christian Henn. It gets hard after the turnaround point in Bastogne at kilometre 107, and the riders have to tackle nine climbs (out of a total of 12) in the last 90 km. Key climbs include the Côte de Stockeu (1.1 km at 11.6%). Côte de la Redoute (2.3 km at 7.4%) and the Côte de Saint-Nicolas (0.9 km at 11%), which is just five kilometres before the finish. "If you aren't there on La Redoute, it's too late," said Henn, who doesn't want to see Rebellin at the front until that climb, which falls at 35 km to go.

"Davide is going well," said Henn. "He has done nothing wrong so far. And his form is constantly going up, which is shown by his results." Rebellin was fourth in the Amstel and third in La Flèche, and he hopes to get to the top step of the podium once again in Liege.

Gerolsteiner's lineup: Davide Rebellin, Marcus Fothen, Andrea Moletta, Ronny Scholz, Marco Serpellini, Beat Zberg, Markus Zberg, Fabian Wegmann

Euskaltel and Illes Balears for Liege and Romandie

The Euskaltel Euskadi team will ride Liège-Bastogne-Liège this Sunday, April 24, with a seven man line up, consisting of Iker Camaño, Unai Etxebarria, Koldo Fernandez, Markel Irizar, Iñaki Isasi, Iñigo Landaluze and Samuel Sanchez.

In the Tour de Romandie, Euskaltel will have Igor Antón, Mikel Artetxe, Koldo Fernández, Aitor González, Iñigo Landaluze, Antton Luengo, Aitor and Josu Silloniz. Team director Julian Gorospe said that he has confidence "in the quality of an experienced rider like Aitor González. He is a great time trialist, and there are two opportunities in this tour, the 3.4 kilometre prologue and the last phase, over 20 kilometres. The importance of this race and the proximity to the Giro d'Italia makes us believe that Aitor will play a great role, he is tuned up and is ready. Iñigo Landaluze comes from the Belgian classics, where he has been great form, and he can also do something good."

Team Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne has entered the following riders for Liege-Bastogne-Liege: José Luis Arrieta, Chente García, Cayetano Julià, Francisco Mancebo, Vicente Reynés, Alejandro Valverde, Xabier Zandio, Aitor Osa.

Illes Balears has also announced its lineup for the Tour de Romandie: José Luis Arrieta, Daniel Becke, Sergi Escobar, Iván Gutiérrez, Cayetano Julià, Francisco Mancebo, Xabier Zandio, Aitor Osa.

Liberty for Romandie and Giro

Liberty Seguros-Würth will line up in the next ProTour stage race, the Tour de Romandie, from April 26-May 1. Team manager Manolo Saiz has chosen a very strong team, with Joseba Beloki, Alberto Contador, David Etxebarria, Roberto Heras, Jörg Jaksche, Sergio Paulinho, Marcos Serrano and Ángel Vicioso. Of those riders, only Joseba Beloki will ride then the Giro de Italia, along with René Andrle, Dariusz Baranowski, Giampaolo Caruso, Koldo Gil, Jan Hruska, Javier Ramirez Abeja, Nuno Ribeiro and Michele Scarponi. The latter just finished a training camp in Sierra Nevada, where he has been from April 2-20.

The Fassa Bortolo team has also been announced for the Tour de Romandie, consisting of Fabio Baldato, Paolo Bossoni, Mauro Facci, Dario Frigo, Massimo Giunti, Alessandro Petacchi, Kanstantsin Siutsou, and Matteo Tosatto.

Rabobank is taking the two Dekkers, Erik and Thomas, along with Pedro Horrillo Muñoz, Denis Menchov, Joost Posthuma, Niels Scheuneman, Rory Sutherland and Pieter Weening. Reserves: Maarten den Bakker and Remmert Wielinga.

UIV Cup on again

The Union International des Velodromes (UIV) Talents Cup for Under 23 riders will be organised for the third time this coming winter. UIV president Henrik Elmgreen said, "We have had so much positive response from riders as well as coaches and federations about the two first years of the Cup, that we nearly feel obliged to continue."

In total, 95 riders from 12 nations participated in the UIV Cup in 2004/2005. Past competitors include Iljo Keisse, Mark Cavendish and Alex Rasmussen, who have all gone onto greater things on the track.

The Cup will be organised as part of the Six Day races organised by members of the UIV:

October 17-22: Amsterdam (Ned) 3-Days
October 27-November 1: Dortmund (Ger) 3-Days
November 10-15: Munich (Ger): 6-Days
November 22-27: Gent (Bel): 6-Days
January 5-10, 2006: Rotterdam (Ned) 3-Days
January 12-17: Bremen (Ger): 5-Days
January 19-24: Stuttgart (Ger): 3-Days
January 26-31: Berlin (Ger): 6-Days
February 2-7: Copenhagen (Den) 6-Days

South Australians protest against hit-and-run death

An alliance of South Australian cyclists called "Wheels of Justice" is planning a protest ride from Adelaide's Victoria Square to Parliament House on May 7 at 9:30am. The group is outraged at the verdict in a recent hit-and-run case in South Australia, where lawyer and ex-police prosecutor Eugene McGee was fined just $1250 after he hit and killed cyclist Ian Humphrey in the Barossa Valley on November 30, 2003.

McGee did not stop at the scene, but later admitted in court that he had been involved in the crash, even though he claimed not to have seen Mr. Humphrey before the collision. He also admitted that he had drunk "less than a bottle of wine" with his brother at lunch, but was not breath tested by police. He was given a charge of "driving without due care" after the more serious charges of "death by dangerous driving" and "driving in a manner dangerous to the public" were thrown out by the court.

The Wheels of Justice group is urging cyclists to come and support their rally, seeking to raise "education, enforcement and accountability in the protection of our rights to ride our bikes safely on the streets of South Australia." Cyclists are encouraged to write messages on an old water bottles and leave them on Parliament's steps.

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