First Edition Cycling News for August 15, 2005
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
Deutschland Tour starts tomorrow
By Hedwig Kröner
The Deutschland Tour (Tour of Germany), a nine-day ProTour stage race, will start in Eastern Germany's Altenburg on Monday, August 15. Covering a total of 1,530 kilometres, the parcours forms a 'U'-shaped loop down South into the hills of the Bavarian forest, before crossing the Alpine border to Austria. With two Hors Catégorie climbs, three Cat. 1 and several other hills to master, this year's race is definitely suited for climbers, with the 'Rettenbachferner' mountain (2,684 m) on stage four to Sölden being the second highest ascent taken on by the European professional peloton this season, and certainly a very difficult one: its average gradient exceeds ten percent. A second mountain finish will await the riders on stage seven to the 'Feldberg' (1.280 m) in the Black Forest, before a 30 kilometre time trial will decide on General Classification on the penultimate stage to Weinheim. The event finishes in former German capital Bonn on Tuesday, August 23.
One major favourite for this year's Deutschland Tour is T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich, who has announced his aim for overall victory after placing third at the 2005 Tour de France last month. "For me, it’s not a build-up race for the Tour any more," he said about the race, which has been rescheduled from June to August to suit the UCI ProTour calendar. "So instead of having to save energy, I can give it my best shot."
Defending champion Patrik Sinkewitz (Quick.Step) will also be participating, and up against such big names as Alexandre Vinokourov (T-Mobile), Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner), Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto), Bobby Julich (Team CSC), Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank), Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas-Bianchi), Jörg Jaksche (Liberty Seguros) and Jens Voigt (Team CSC).
The 2005 Deutschland Tour outlines as follows:
August 15 - Stage 1: Altenburg - Plauen, 170 km
Menchov feeling ready for Vuelta
After what was a disappointing Tour de France for Rabobank's Denis Menchov who had aimed for a top five placing but finished only 85th, the Russian rider has found his form again at last Saturday's Clásica San Sebastian. Mingling with the top group in the race finish, Menchov got dropped only with ten kilometres to go and led the chase to the race favourites, finishing 43 seconds down. "I felt good and it's a shame that I didn't win," he told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. "But I'm glad that my form is back after my problems at the Tour."
Menchov, who won the 2003 Tour de France Best young rider jersey, is now looking forward to the Vuelta a España. "What I've shown [at the Clásica San Sebastian] is good for my self-confidence," the 27 year-old said. "I can't deny that I was feeling down after the Tour. That's why I wanted to be good in San Sebastian, also to see where I stand with a view to the Vuelta. But I'm not going to make any predictions anymore. We'll see how far I get, but I feel like I'm ready for the Vuelta."
Erik Breukink, Rabobank's team director, is also impressed with the Russian's recent performance in Spain. "I have to admit that I didn't think he would ride that well," Breukink said. "He was the strongest rider in the field. Menchov needs that kind of confirmation to do well - it's a good sign for the Vuelta." As to the rider's objectives at the Grand Tour, Breukink remained reasonable. "He may focus on some stages, and then we'll see where he stands in the classification."
Savoldelli faces surgery
Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel) is facing the prospect of surgery to remove a saddle sore, which will effectively end his 2005 racing season. "I will be operated on to remove an annoying cyst," he told Tutto Bici. "I believe my season at the highest level is over." The Giro d'Italia winner will have to rest for a while before thinking about his future in 2006. "Right now I have to rest and recover from the season," he said. "What will happen in 2006 is still to be decided."
Liquigas lines up in Germany and 'Triptych'
Italian squad Liquigas-Bianchi will participate in the upcoming Deutschland Tour and in the Italian 'Triptych' Tre Valli Varesine, Coppa Agostoni and Coppa Bernocchi. ProTour points leader Danilo Di Luca hopes to consolidate his placing at the Deutschland Tour, where he will lead his team lining up Michael Albasini, Dario Cioni, Vladimir Miholjevic, Marco Milesi, Devis Miorin, Luciano Pagliarini and Marco Righetto.
As to the Tre Valli Varesine on August 16, Liquigas-Bianchi will be represented by Dario Andriotto, Kjell Carlstrom, Stefano Garzelli, Enrico Gasparotto, Oscar Mason, Andrea Noč, Gianluca Sironi and Charles Wegelius.
At the Coppa Agostoni on the very next day, the team roster will consist of Kjell Carlstrom, Stefano Garzelli, Mauro Gerosa, Oscar Mason, Andrea Noč, Franco Pellizotti, Gianluca Sironi and Charles Wegelius.
And finally, will partake on the Coppa Bernocchi on August 18: Dario Andriotto, Enrico Gasparotto, Mauro Gerosa, Nicola Loda, Oscar Mason, Matej Mugerli, Gianluca Sironi and Marco Zanotti.
Team LPR in Italy
Swiss Professional Continental team LPR is also participating in the next Italian one-day races. Its line-up includes: Ivan Fanelli, Elio Aggiano, Daniele De Paoli, Aitor Hernandez, Giuseppe Muraglia, Luca Nardello, Pavel Tonkov and Daniele Contrini. The team has also confirmed the contract renewal of Dmitri Konishev, Elio Aggiano, Giuseppe Muraglia as well as Mikhaylo Khalilov for next season.
Marchante stays with Saunier
Contrary to previous reports, José Angel Gomez Marchante will stay with his current team Saunier Duval until the end of 2007. According to Belgian website wieleruitslagen.be, the Spaniard has renewed his contract, so the rumours of him joining Discovery Channel finally proved to be just that.
Cyclist dies in hit-and-run accident
Alejandro Campos Gonzalez died on Tuesday, August 9, when he was ran over by a truck while training for a triathlon in Loma Linda, California. The 28 year-old nurse at Community Hospital of San Bernardino passed way soon after the accident in Loma Linda University Medical Center as a result of his severe head and chest wounds.
Richer Gosseline, 49, of Yucaipa was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of being the driver of the Salvation Army truck, which at first stopped at the scene of the accident, and then left again according to witnesses. Gossline is being held at the Central Detention Center in San Bernardino.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)