First Edition Cycling News for August 17, 2005
Edited by John Stevenson
Deutschland Tour stage 2 wrap: Pozzato wins by a hair
Filippo Pozzato (Quick.Step) won the second stage of the Tour of Germany yesterday by the narrowest of margins, with race judges needing the finish photo to determine that the Italian had edged out Jörg Jaksche (Liberty Seguros) by a matter of millimetres. Mauricio Ardila Cano (Davitamon-Lotto) was third.
Jaksche made his move about 2km from the finish, breaking away from the 30-strong lead group. With 280 metres to go, Pozzato launched himself after Jaksche catching and - just - passing him on the line.
"When the race had finished no one seemed to know who had won!" said Pozzato "The judges had to refer to the photo finish picture to decide who the winner was. When Jaksche made his move I thought, 'okay, here we go' but decided to wait a bit before making my own move, then when I got to the 300 metre mark I thought 'I better get going' otherwise he would have won the race."
Pozzato said he had worked hard to stay with the lead group. "There were two climb sections during the final," he said, "one of about 10 kilometres long and the other a little bit shorter just a few kilometres from the finish line. It was hard work but I managed to keep up along with the best riders - all in all there were no more than 15 of us."
His win puts Pozzato into second place on GC, behind yesterday's winner and his team-mate Bram Tankink.
"I am very happy with how I rode today," said Pozzato "I'll be putting myself at my team-mate's disposal for the general classifications. I also want to do well in light of the World Championships. If [Italian national coach Franco] Ballerini calls me I'll be ready to accept any role he offers!"
Women's World Cup for Sweden
By Gabriella Ekstrom
Vårgårda Cycling club in south-western Sweden has been granted World Cup status for a women's road race next year. The UCI gave its answer yesterday to the club, which organized this year's Scandinavian Open, and the only thing that remains now is a final approval of the 2006 program by the UCI congress. That decision will be taken during the World Championships in Madrid.
"They normally don't have any objections to the suggestions made by the road racing committee, but we will of course be celebrating when the program is finalized in September," said Hans Jönsson, the race director of the Scandinavian Open.
The Scandinavian Open was run for the sixth time last weekend, and the men's 1.2 category race on Sunday was the crown of the four days of racing outside Gothenburg. Next year, the last weekend in July will be crowned by a women's race instead.
"We're somewhere in the clouds now," Jönsson said. "We have worked so hard for this, and to finally be told that we have succeeded is fantastic."
If there are no objections to the 2006 road racing programs during the worlds, Sweden will get its first world cup road race ever, and it would mean a great deal to the sport in Sweden. It would also be a terrific goal for highly capable Swedish riders like double world champion Susanne Ljungskog, and last year's European Champion Monica Holler.
"This would mean that they get to compete against the whole professional peloton, on home soil. We'll do our best to make it a very memorable event", Jönsson concludes.
An interview with Philip Deignan: So far, so very good
First year Irish professional Philip Deignan has had an encouraging start to his career, winning the Tour du Doubs at the beginning of July, placing fifth in the European road race championships one week later and generally riding well against the pros. Still just 21 years of age, the Ag2R Prévoyance rider has coped well with the transition to the paid ranks; the young Irishman took some time out of his hectic schedule to speak to Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes.
Philip Deignan, from Letterkenny in Co. Donegal, secured a two-year deal with Ag2R Prevoyance after a fine run of performances last season. He won two stages plus the overall in the Ronde d'Isard World Cup stage race and also took several other high placings in the espoir series, including eighth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Indeed he could well have finished on the podium had he not been sent the wrong way while in a promising-looking break with fellow Irishman - and VC La Pomme team-mate - Nicolas Roche. Deignan took a stage of the Tour of Chablais and won the team time trial championship of France with the Marseille-based La Pomme squad.
Click here for the full interview
UCI announces world's team numbers
The UCI has announced the number of riders per country that will be eligible to take part in the men's road race at this year's world championships, Spain, September 21-25.
Under new rules brought in as part of the UCI's restructuring of the sport into the ProTour and Continental tours, several emerging cycling nations will find themselves able to field considerably larger teams at this year's world's than last year in Verona, while the traditionally huge contingents from cycling's national superpowers are somewhat diminished.
The biggest beneficiaries of the new rules are South Africa and Iran which had no riders at all in the men's road race last year. Their position as top nation in the UCI Africa Tour and UCI Asia Tour respectively means they are now entitled to enrol nine, of whom six will actually race. Similarly, Argentina (UCI America Tour leader) and Brazil are entitled to field six riders, up from one and two starters in 2004.
The biggest loser appears to be Russia, which had a 12-man team in the 2004 world's and this year will be able to start just six from a nine-rider roster. Traditional cycling countries such as France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands all qualified this year for the maximum 9 riders (of 14 enrolled) and though that has been reduced from 12 in 2004, the field among the top players still appears to be level.
World championship team sizes by country
ProTour nations Team size (starters/number of enrolled riders) Italy 9 of 14 USA 9 of 14 Spain 9 of 14 Germany 9 of 14 Belgium 9 of 14 Australia 9 of 14 Netherlands 9 of 14 Kazakhstan 9 of 14 France 9 of 14 Switzerland 9 of 14 Russia 6 of 9 Poland 6 of 9 Czech Republic 6 of 9 Portugal 6 of 9 Great Britain 6 of 9 Slovenia 6 of 9 Denmark 3 of 5 Belarus 3 of 5 Lithuania 3 of 5 Ukraine 3 of 5 Ireland 3 of 5 Slovakia 3 of 5 Sweden 3 of 5 Latvia 3 of 5 Bulgaria 3 of 5 Austria 3 of 5 Croatia 1 of 1 Estonia 1 of 1 Norway 1 of 1 Luxembourg 1 of 1 UCI Africa Tour nations South Africa 6 of 9 Burkina Faso 3 of 5 UCI America Tour nations Argentina 6 of 9 Brazil 6 of 9 Colombia 3 of 5 Canada 3 of 5 Venezuela 3 of 5 Cuba 1 of 1 Chile 1 of 1 UCI Asia Tour nations Iran 6 of 9 Japan 3 of 5 Uzbekistan 3 of 5 UCI Oceania Tour nations New Zealand 3 of 5
Lampre-Caffita for Coppa Agostoni
Lampre-Caffita team manager Giuseppe Martinelli says he was "satisfied" with Damiano Cunego's third place in yesterday's Tre Valli Varesine, and has announced the riders that will line up for the next instalment of the Trittico Lombardo, today's Coppa Agostoni.
Cunego was third behind Stefano Garzelli (Liquigas-Bianchi) and Lorenzo Bernucci (Fassa Bortolo) but Martinelli will be looking for a better result today. Coppa Agostoni is a 'home town' race for the team; sponsor Lampre is based nearby at Usmate Velate and company president Mario Galbusera will be present on the race in the team car with Martinelli.
With Martinelli as directeur sportif, the team will field Salvatore Commesso, Damiano Cunego, Eddy Mazzoleni, Morris Possoni, Sylvester Szmyd, Alessandro Spezzialetti, and Andrea Tonti
Infineon Technologies Cougar Mountain Classic
On the weekend of September 9-11, California's Infineon Raceway hosts the Infineon Technologies Cougar Mountain Classic, a multi-sport event with the emphasis on cycling that includes pro men and women's road races, mountain bike cross country and downhill events plus a 15km road/off-road run. This is the 2005 version of the event that last year was called the California Outdoor Sports Championships.
Most of the action takes place on Saturday September 10 and Sunday September 11. Saturday sees road races on the 12-turn, 2.52-mile Infineon Raceway road course, with 90 minute amateur events and two to three hour races for the pro classes.
The same day holds pro class mountain bike cross-country racing on a new 8-9 mile course that uses almost the entire Infineon Raceway facility, and includes a few tough 5-10 minutes climbs. The course is 80 percent new compared to last year's, organisers say. There's more mountain bike action the same day with a four-cross race.
Downhill and endurance racers get their turn on Sunday with a mountain bike downhill on Cougar Mountain and off- and on-road endurance events. Top 10 downhill finishers in all categories will qualify for the NORBA National Championships.
Endurance racers can choose to go on or off-road with eight-hour races on offer on the cross-country and road courses on Sunday. Riders can compete either solo or in teams of four.
For more information see: www.cmclassic.com
SoCal Cyclocross 2005
With the cyclocross season just weeks away, the organisers of the Southern California Cyclocross Cup series have announced the dates and venues of this year's 15-race series.
The series starts on September 18 at Peninsula XC Running Course in Palos Verdes Estates with the first of four urban cyclocross races and finishes with the series finals - dubbed Santa Cross - on December 18.
Organisers say the European-style courses will offer "true cyclocross racing action" as some of the best riders in the state compete for the overall series title. The 2004 series brought out a few big names such as Lance Armstrong and sure to compete for 2005 will be national champion Mark Noble and So Cal cross stars Brent Prenzlow, Dorothy Wong and Chris Gallup.
Wong is also the promoter of the series cup, and says, "The 2004-2005 season was an exciting year for us and we saw some growth in all areas of the sport. The coming season should be bigger and better with new venues and more riders than ever interested in cross. We truly want to promote cyclocross in our neck of the woods and share our awesome courses. We encourage everyone to come out and at least spectate, but hopefully we can convince even more roadies and mountain bike riders to join in. The response thus far is overwhelming!"
For more information see: www.socalcyclocross.org
2005 SoCal Cyclocross Schedule
SoCal Cyclocross #1 - September 18: Urban Cyclocross
Irish track championships this weekend
The Irish national track championships will be held this weekend, August 20-21, at Eamonn Ceannt Park, Sundrive Road, Kimmage, Dublin. Racing starts at 11am both days.
Supported by Terry Dolan frames and Cyclelogical, the event looks set to be a successful on in the light of last weekend's turnout for a charity event on behalf of Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin, where a capacity crowd watched Malcolm Goggin attempt to break the Irish record for the 500m standing start. Irish track commissioner Aideen Collard has been working hard behind the scenes to make sure the championships are just as successful.
Riders must be accredited, have their own track bike and a Cycling Ireland Licence to race. A limited number of small-framed bikes are available for loan to women and juniors.
Bikes for tsunami victims
Component maker SRAM and bike manufacturer Trek have teamed up to found World Bicycle Relief, an organisation that aims to supply bikes to victims of the December 26 tsunami that killed 200,000 and left over a million homeless in the Pacific region.
The appeal aims to buy bike to help with the third and longest phase of the disaster recovery operation - returning affected people to independence and livelihood. "According to feedback from relief organizations in the field, bicycles will measurably assist in returning adult refugees to independence and in re-establishing their livelihood. Bikes will also assist children, many of whom now have increased commutes, to stay in school," says SRAM's FK Day.
In partnership with World Vision, one of the largest non-governmental organisations, and local government, 24,400 men, women and children in greatest need have been selected to receive bikes. The selection process included basic economic and commercial needs, distance to work, and distance to schools. Bikes will be a catalyst that will help this group rebuild their communities, find work and in the case of children, stay in school.
To fund this initiative, World Bicycle Relief is aiming to raise $1.7 million. Donations of more than $10,000 each have already been received from SRAM, Trek, Specialized, Cycle Europe, VivaTerra, Quality Bicycle Products, Giant, Accell Group, Phophete, GT Bicycles, Inc., Bob Perkowitz and Lisa Renstrom, F.K. Day, and Stan Day.
For more information and to make a donation, see www.worldbicyclerelief.org.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)