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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News for August 5, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones and Anthony Tan

CSC: Training instead of the Tour

Scott and Alain Gallopin getting ready
Photo ©: Sabine Sunderland
Click for larger image

Each July, while the world's attention is drawn to France, there are hundreds of cyclists racing and training almost anonymously, unnoticed by most people. Some pros might take a short break and enjoy some idle time. This definitely wasn't the case for those Team CSC riders not competing in the Tour de France, as a group of 17 pros gathered in Loipersdorf, South-East Austria, for a week of hard labour. Sabine Sunderland gives us an insight into the spas, pools and massages - oh, and some training too!

The CSC training camp, featuring:

Peter Luttenberger, Andy and Frank Schleck, Matti Breschel, Jacob Piil, Manuel Calvente, Lars Michaelsen, Andrea Peron, Thomas Bruun, Linus Gerdemann, Christian Müller, Brian Vandborg, Vladimir Gussev, Lars Bak, Michael Blaudzun, Allan Johansen, Christian VandeVelde, Tristan Hoffman.

Support personnel:

Frank, Christophe, Gavin, Josep, assisted by Frank DJ, Scott Sunderland (DS on duty) assisted by Allain Gallopin.

Hotel owner Gerald Stoiser invited Team CSC to come and enjoy all the privileges his four star hotel has to offer. The thermal village of Loipersdorf, nestled in a beautiful valley and surrounded by lush green gardens offers just about every health treatment you can imagine. The hotel complex is renowned for the relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere. It's a haven for stressed-out executives, rich pensioners wishing to improve their wellbeing, but also for young families longing for an all-in holiday.

Click here for the full story

Team LPR signs Dario Pieri

Probable début next week

Team LPR has managed to engage the services of 29 year-old Italian Dario Pieri, who currently rides for Lampre-Cafitta. Pieri is expected to begin racing with the team as early as next week, at the Due Giorni Marchigiana.

In his ninth year as a professional, Pieri has not had a result since 2003, considered to be his finest season after finishing second at Paris-Roubaix while riding for Saeco. He also won the E3-Harelbeke semi-classic in Belgium in 2002, finished second at the 2000 Ronde Van Vlaanderen and won stages at the Tour of Langkawi and the Three Days of De Panne in 1998.

"We are assured of an athlete of great talent," said LPR team manager Omar Piscina. "Despite having lean results the last seasons, we have been able to find there is still extraordinary motivation. His victories and formidable placings speak for themselves, and we now set ourselves the task of returning [Pieri] to his 2003 level with maximum conviction."

Barloworld heading to Portugal

Team Barloworld-Valsir will start the 67th Volta a Portugal (Tour of Portugal) on Friday, August 5, with high hopes. Although the team will be without South African champion Ryan Cox, who has had visa problems, team manager John Robertson believes that his riders are capable of a top five overall and a stage win.

"I expect David George to have a good tour," said Robertson. "There are others with good form, such as (Felix-Rafael) Cardenas, (David) Plaza and (Peio) Arreitunandia, and they will be ones to watch."

Arreitunandia, who turned 31 last month, finished third in the recent Brixia Tour in Italy, while George has had a quieter season and been riding in support of his teammates this year. The squad also includes talented Russian neo-pro Vladimir Efimkin as well as the experienced Italian pair of Eddy Serri and Giulio Tomi.

The Tour of Portugal is a 1623km, 10 stage race that loops around the country. It begins with an easy stage from Oeiras to Lisbon and then heads into some testing climbing stages. Regulars to the tour say that Saturday, August 13 will be the most difficult of stages, a 197km monster that includes three stiff climbs in the final 100km. The final stage, a 36km time trial, will suit George, who is a time trial specialist.

Palermo to kick off 2007 Giro?

The Sicilian city of Palermo is one of four candidates in the running to host the start of the 2007 Giro d'Italia. Council member for the city of Palermo, lawyer Stefano Santoro, was told of the news by race organiser Angelo Zomegnan from RCS Sport, a division of Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. Palermo was also in the running to host the 2006 départ, but in the end, the honour went to the Belgian town of Seraing, where the race will begin on May 6 next year.

Tour of Britain's fifth stage announced

The English city of Birmingham will host the fifth stage of the Tour of Britain, a 4 km time trial in the city centre. The TT will be the first of its kind in the Tour of Britain, and should be a popular crowd puller. With time gaps expected to be tight after the first four stages, Stage 5 could prove the decider in determining the overall general classification. The stage will be sponsored by T-Mobile, one of the main sponsors of the ToB.

Current World Time Trial Champion Michael Rogers (Quick.Step) is expected to be a favourite for the stage. "I am really excited about riding for the first time in the Tour of Britain, and especially looking forward to this year's time trial stage. I really believe that with support of Quick.Step, we have great chance of going one further than last year and winning the Tour.

"With the inclusion of a time trial stage this year, it increases my chances of winning, and I am looking forward to using this stage to help boost my chances of defending my time trial World Title in Spain later in September."

After a revival of the UK's only major professional stage race in 2004, an extra leg has been added to this year's race, taking it up to six stages. The ToB begins in Glasgow, Scotland on Tuesday, August 30, and passes through three of England's most picturesque regions - The North West, Yorkshire and the East Midlands, followed by city stages held in Birmingham and London, where the climax will take place right in the heart of Westminster on Sunday, September 4.

16 teams will take part in the race, including ProTour outfits T-Mobile and Quick.Step-Innergetic. The Tour of Britain aims to become part of the UCI's ProTour calendar in future.

The stages

Stage 1 - August 30: Glasgow - Castle Douglas, 185 km
Stage 2 - August 31: Carlisle - Blackpool, 160 km
Stage 3 - September 1: Leeds - Sheffield, 160 km
Stage 4 - September 2: Buxton - Nottingham, 195 km
Stage 5 - September 3: Birmingham ITT, 4 km
Stage 6 - September 4: Westminster, London (Criterium), 60 km

Irish weekend preview

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

Unquestionably, cycling in Connacht has come on in leaps and bounds in the last number of years. This year has been excellent for the province, particularly with the M.Donnelly Junior Tour being staged in the Castlebar and greater area last month and Inter Varsity Championships held in Sligo in April. This weekend it will be no different when Western Lakes CC will host a three-stage two-day event in Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. The two day is being sponsored by Statoil Castlebar Oil Major Fuels.

This stage race is open to Seniors 1, 2, and 3; Juniors; Women; and Veterans. The senior event features three stages. Stage 1 starts at 3:00pm Saturday and is 62 miles, starting in Ballinrobe before proceeding to Partry, Tourmakeady, Finney, Clonbur, Cong, and finishing with eight laps of the 'Ballymartin circuit'. The winner of Saturday's stage will receive the Martin Munroe Memorial Cup.

On Sunday, there are two stages - Stage 2a is a five-mile time trial from Partry to Ballinrobe, starting at 9:00am. Stage 2b is a 63-mile race starting in Ballinrobe at 1pm, and taking riders to Castlebar, Belcarra, Ballyglass and back to Ballinrobe, where they will do five laps of a five-mile circuit. The winner of this stage receives the Garhill Cup.

"Last year, we changed the format of this race to a stage race, and it was hugely successful," said Eamon Marrey, who is joint race director with John O'Halloran. "We had 90 riders and we hope to surpass that figure this year."

The Kieran McMahon Green Jersey will be awarded to the best sprinter over the two days. Kieran was a renowned sprinter and it is hoped this gesture will preserve the memory of a great cyclist who died tragically in a car accident last year. There are also good team prizes over the two days.

Brian Kennealy, from Piltown just outside Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary, was the winner of the Ballinrobe two-day last year. Brian had a minute to spare over second-placed Vincent Gleeson of West Clare CC, who only last Monday won the Crotty Cup in Kilrush, his hometown. Kennealy also won the inaugural Kieran McMahon green jersey as sprints champion.

Ken Norgrove, a winner of the Gene Moriarty Trophy, is certainly now in the reckoning. His win in Listowel last weekend was his biggest success in his career and the word on the grapevine is that, 'he ain't going to wait for another biggie.' Padraig Marrey of the host club Western Lakes CC can be relied to keep the flag flying on behalf of the locals.

Racing returns to Forest City velodrome

After a summer break from racing at the track in London, ON, Canada, racing to the Forest City Velodrome returns for the next month. Saturday, August 6 will feature a Japanese-style keirin competition, along with the usual London Track League events. There is a special $100.00 prize to a rider who breaks the lap record.

The Nas-Track Madison team race will feature teams from the Detroit area against the Forest City Teams. As many as seven teams are scheduled to race in the event.

The track opens for warm-ups at 5:00pm, and general admission seating opens at 5:30pm. Admission for adults is $10.00, seniors $5.00. Children are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Racing begins at 7:00pm.

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