Latest Cycling News for August 16, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones
Simoni doubtful for Vuelta
Gilberto Simoni (Lampre-Caffita) is not certain of starting in the Vuelta a España, complaining of tiredness and stress. The runner-up in this year's Giro d'Italia raced in the Volta a Portugal, which finished on Monday, but found it hard going. "If I'd known [how hard it would be] beforehand, I wouldn't have come," he told Marca about the Volta. This is a very important race for the Spanish and Portuguese teams, every day we raced flat out, always at high speed. On the third day I thought of abandoning, but when the heat reduced I decided to finish."
In light of the Vuelta, which starts in less than two weeks, Simoni said, "I'm going to see what happens, mainly what the Spaniards will do, as they are very strong in the Vuelta. But for now I feel very tired and I only want to recover."
CSC for the Vuelta
Team CSC has announced its nine riders for the upcoming Vuelta a España, the final grand tour of the season. Led by Carlos Sastre, the team includes Christian Vandevelde, who won the climber's jersey at the Eneco Tour, Jakob Piil, Nicki Sørensen, Manuel Calvente, Linus Gerdemann, Andrea Peron, Giovanni Lombardi and Vladimir Gussev. Kim Andersen and Tristan Hoffman will serve as directeurs sportifs.
"To me it's the strongest Vuelta team we've ever had," said Andersen on the team's website, team-csc.com. "It's a good team with lots of diversity. Of course it's Carlos we have the highest ambitions for in the overall standings and everything is pointing towards him having found the form for yet another great stage race. He can climb with the best of them and has furthermore developed his skills in the time trials, making him hard to compete with. We'll provide good back up for him and at the same time we have a string of very motivated riders who have the potential to take some stages along the way."
Voigt until 2007
Team CSC's German star Jens Voigt has extended his contract by an extra year, meaning that he will be with the team until at least the end of 2007. Voigt has won eight races this year and figured in the front running of many more, as well as wearing the Tour's yellow jersey. A strong rouleur, Voigt excels in the classics and shorter stage races, but also puts himself at the service of his teammates when necessary.
"It was the logical thing for me to extend, 'cause I couldn't imagine riding for another team," said Voigt on the team's website, team-csc.com. "I'm perfectly happy where I am. The move to Team CSC has given my career a boost, for which I'm very grateful. I like our way of doing things and I really get the chance to achieve some great results. It's a pleasure to ride for a team, where the riders are willing to work hard for each other. Really that's only possible, when you have true friendships and I've found this from the beginning on Bjarne's team."
Team manager Bjarne Riis added, "Jens is simply a dream rider, whom we'd naturally want to extend with. He delivers continuous results, but most importantly he has a motivation and an eagerness to race like no other. Jens is a unique rider. He's a team player and at the same time a winner. There aren't make many like him within the cycling sport and it's a pleasure to be able to extend our contract with Jens."
More contract news
Jurgen Van De Walle (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) will ride for Belgian ProTour team Quick.Step for the next two seasons.
Xabier Zandio has renewed his contract with Illes Balears for two years, while Stuart O'Grady has done the same with Cofidis.
Italian rider Leonardo Piepoli has renewed with Saunier Duval-Prodir for another season, as has sprinter Francisco Ventoso. Clasica San Sebastian winner Constantino Zaballa is still in negotiations with Saunier Duval about a contract renewal.
Moncoutié favourite in Limousin
French climber David Moncoutié (Cofidis) will be one of the top favourites for the 38th Tour du Limousin, which starts on Tuesday, August 16, and runs through until Friday, August 19. Moncoutié, winner of a stage in the last Tour de France, should enjoy the inclusion of La Bourboule, the first climb of over 1,000m that has been used in the race. In addition to Moncoutié, Christophe Mengin (Francaise des Jeux) and Hans Dekkers (Rabobank) are tipped to do well in the four-day, 700 km race, which is suited to an all rounder.
Teams: Bouygues Telecom, Française des Jeux, Agritubel, Auber 93, RAGT Semences, Bretagne Jean Floc'h, Equipe de France Espoirs, Rabobank, MrBookmaker.com, AG2R Prévoyance, Landbouwkrediet, Colnago Jartazi Revor, Crédit Agricole, Cofidis, Bridgestone Anchor.
Jayco Tour of Tasmania this week
By Rod Morris in Launceston
Tattersall's Cup leader Robert McLachlan can expect plenty of pressure in this week's Jayco Tour of Tasmania (Australia), which starts in Launceston on Wednesday, August 17. McLachlan performed well in the recent Tour of Gippsland, winning four of nine stages, but finishing 33rd overall because of a chain mishap in Stage 6. With the top 10 riders in the Tattersall's Cup earning automatic starts - plus financial incentives - for the Tour of Queensland in late October, this week's tour will be hectic.
In a change from previous years, when the series was based around one-day races, this year's Tattersall's Cup features three tours, climaxing with the Tour of the Murray River from August 31-September 4. The Tour of Tasmania will include nine stages, encompassing 428.3 km and including 61 intermediate sprints and 14 hill climbs. The tour will start at the Launceston Silverdome and head on a short but testing 49.8 km stage towards Grindelwald, and in the afternoon, riders will be tested further with a 93.9 km stage from Grindelwald to Bridport - the longest stage of this week's event.
Thursday's schedule of the tour will include a criterium in Scottsdale and a 41.2 km stage from Scottsdale to Lilydale. On Friday, riders will be challenged severely from Deloraine to Sheffield, a 54.9 km stage which includes the infamous "Heartbreak Hill."
There will be little respite for the field with an afternoon kermesse around the streets of Sheffield. Day four will include a criterium in George Town and a 47.5 km "sprint" from George Town to Beauty Point and the tour will conclude on Sunday afternoon with a 34 km criterium in Launceston around an area known as the Brickfields Reserve.
A field of 84 riders has been attracted for the tour, including McLachlan, who represented Australia at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the recent winner of the Tour of Gippsland, Gordon McCauley of New Zealand, Australian champ David McKenzie, Athens gold medal Olympian Peter Dawson, ace Victorian Robert Tighello and top NSW rider Peter Milostic.
But if the mainlanders and the New Zealand visitors think they are going to get everything their own way, they'd better think again. 20 Tasmanian riders are amongst the entries, including Matt Goss who was added to the field only yesterday. Goss, a winner of two junior world track medals last year, upstaged a class field in December when he won the third annual Launceston International Classic. He has just returned to Australia from an extensive overseas campaign, including a bold showing in the Tour of China.
Joining Goss to carry the Tasmanian flag will be the Sulzberger brothers, Bernard and Wesley, who finished fifth and ninth respectively in the Tour of Gippsland, Matthew Rice, who scored two third placings in the same event and Caleb Manion, who will be extra keen to atone for a fall in the opening tour a fortnight ago.
Friends rally around 'Toona rider Sarah Scott
Teammates and friends of injured Tour de Toona rider Sarah Scott have mobilized quickly around the paralyzed 29 year-old racer. A website with a photo gallery, message board and fundraising event listing has been created to help with Scott's rehabilitation. According to the web site [www.sarah-scott.com], Sarah is currently at Moss Rehab in Philadelphia. An account has been set up in Sarah's name and donations for her rehabilitation and equipment needs may be sent to:
Sarah Scott Fund
Also, donations may be made via secure online payment through Pay Pal.
Alan Factory Team ready for 'cross season
The Alan Factory Team, presented by EMG (Euromedia Group) has announced its final rosters and sponsor lineup for the 2005/06 U.S. Cyclocross Season. Based in Minneapolis, MN, but covering 10 regions around the US, the team will be led by elite team riders with grassroots programs in each of the regions. New additions included former Junior World Champion, Matt Kelly, former Sierra Nevada Pro Chris McGovern and runner-up to Junior National Champion Bjorn Selander, Nick Weighall.
Matt Kelly (Madison WI) - Elite Racer (Former Jr. World Champ)
Grassroots sponsorships are still available nationwide and some regions are still open for elite team leaders. Contact EMG at: 1.866.623.3073 (within USA) for more information or email Euromedia@comcast.net
Euromedia Group - www.euromediagroup.us
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