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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for August 20, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones and Hedwig Kröner

Deutschland Tour stage 5 wrap

Bennati strongest sprinter in Germany

Daniele Bennati (Lampre)
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

Italian Lampre-Caffita rider Daniele Bennati has won his second stage in this year's Deutschland Tour when he crossed the line in front of Briton Roger Hammond (Discovery Channel) and Australian Baden Cooke (Française des Jeux) in stage five's bunch sprint finish in Friedrichshafen today.

Bennati thereby also took the red points jersey from Filippo Pozzato (Quick.Step). "I'm 'felicissimo' with this second stage victory," the 24 year-old said. "But I really have to thank my teammates who did a wonderful job for me today - I only finished off their work." Averaging 45.6 km/h despite a Cat. 1 climb to master in the middle of the parcours, the riders came into the finish way ahead of schedule.

No changes occurred on general classification, where Levi Leipheimer still leads by 18 seconds ahead of teammate Georg Totschnig, with Jan Ullrich 56 seconds back in third place. Tomorrow's stage six will take place on 171.3 rather flat kilometres from Friedrichshafen to Singen, where another bunch sprint finish is expected before the overall leaders battle it out again on Sunday at the race's second mountain summit finish, the 'Feldberg'.

Full results, report & photos
Main, Stages & results, Map, Start List, Photos

Voigt attacks...Barredo

German breakaway star Jens Voigt (Team CSC) was part of the six-rider front group in stage five of the Deutschland Tour today, which led over 219 kilometres from Austrian Sölden to German Friedrichshafen. Cristian Moreni (Quick.Step), Alessandro Bertolini (Domina Vacanze), Carlos Barredo (Liberty), Dario Cioni (Liquigas) and Johann Tschopp (Phonak) as well as Voigt had jumped after 30 kilometres of racing, and held on to their lead for a total of 185 kilometres. Finally, they got caught by the raging bee-swarm bunch under the red flag indicating the last 1000 metres.

After crossing the line, the tall German was unhappy with that tight a finish, which could have had another outcome according to him. "If the athlete from Liberty had participated, we would have made it maybe," Voigt fumed to reporters, meaning the 24 year-old Barredo. "But he wanted to be smart and win in the end, but that's exactly that last little bit that we missed in order to get through."

Nevertheless, the 33 year-old living in Berlin also admitted that the break's chances weren't great in the first place. "It was clear from the very beginning that several teams wanted a sprint finish. They never gave us more than five minutes, and on a stage like that, you need eight or ten minutes to be sure to make it. So I was skeptical the whole time, and when some guys didn't take their turns completely any more...especially the guy from Liberty. In the finish we all paid for his 'smartness'," Voigt continued, still annoyed.

But Voigt's morale got better within seconds, and gave the Spaniard a little credit. "Surely, he was given instructions from the team car, like either go for the win or nothing. Well, we got nothing out of that!" he said, laughing. Asked if he hadn't thought about going on an attack himself too, Voigt admitted, "If this would have happened one month or two months ago, yes, but my gas tank is almost empty now... Otherwise I would have gone with Moreni and we would have finished it off together. [Moreni attacked the breakaway with 15 km to go - ed.] But I'm not doing as well as wished for, and I'm glad that the season's over soon."

Boonen's last test before the Vuelta

Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) will be taking part in the Tour Beneden Maas (GP De Rijke) on Saturday, the last race before he races in the Vuelta a España. The young Belgian star is looking forward to the next month of racing, which culminates in the sprinter-favourable World Championships in Madrid.

"Last week I was training in the Ardennes," he said. "My physical condition is improving day by day but clearly I'm still not at 100 percent - it's a bit early for that. I've recently done training sessions of 4-5 hours with long climbs that will be of use to me during the Vuelta.

"I've really not got any particular ambition for tomorrow's G.P. De Rijke, only to find the feeling of competition again. As I have often said, as far as I am concerned there is only one important race from here until the end of the season, the World Championships of Madrid. I want to be at the championships in the best possible form with great legs and a clear head.

"I'll be riding the Vuelta without any stress, without worrying about the end result. Of course, a win would do wonders for my morale and give me a great motivational kick, but I feel it will be more important to race against the most dangerous competitors for the World Championships, to be up front battling, watching their technique, learning from their movements, and generally just getting as much information as possible on how they ride.

"As far as technical preparation is concerned, my lead up to the World Championships will be very similar to the preparation I did in getting myself in top form ready for the Tour of France. Intense training, work on quantity as I did for the Tour of Switzerland and then during the final phase, quality work linked to the acceleration and spurts needed during the final sprints. I hope my hard work pays off."

Quick Step-Innergetic will field the following riders at the Vuelta a España: Paolo Bettini, Tom Boonen, Kevin De Weert, José Antonio Garrido, Juan Miguel Mercado, José Antonio Pecharroman, Guido Trenti, Jurgen Van Goolen and Rik Verbrugghe. Team directors: Wilfried Peeters and Serge Parsani.

Valverde to ride Clásica de los Puertos

Alejandro Valverde will form part of the Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne team in the Clásica de los Puertos on Sunday, August 21. Valverde, who has been suffering from a knee injury recently, will be able to test himself in this race, although his Vuelta start is still very much in doubt.

The full roster: José Luis Arrieta, José Luis Carrasco, Imanol Erviti, Cayetano Julià, Iker Leonet, Francisco Mancebo, Alejandro Valverde, Xabier Zandio. Director: José Luis Jaimerena

Back to racing for the women in Wales

Wood leads the battle with four rounds to go

By Kristy Scrymgeour

Oenone Wood (Equipe Nürnberger)

Photo ©: Mitch Friedman

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After what seems like a two month hiatus from major women's racing on the International circuit due to the cancellation of the Route de France Féminine and the sad accident in Germany, which turned the Thüringen Rundfahrt into more of a memorial ride, the women will be lining up again this weekend for Round Eight of the 2005 Women's World Cup series.

Instigated by the fact that Wales is home to one of the World's better female riders, Nicole Cooke, it is the first time a round of the World Cup will be held across the English Channel. Newport, Wales will do the honours of hosting the race, but injury will prevent the home town hero from competing this weekend. On her personal website, Cooke expressed her disappointment of not being able to start due to the ongoing knee problem that has plagued her season for most of this year and last. "The World Cup in Newport was one of my big target races this season and I am devastated to miss racing in front of my home crowd. I had hoped my knee would recover but the medical advice is that more recuperation time is needed."

The course, which starts outside the Celtic Manor resort is a 38km loop that will be completed three times for a total of 114km. Each lap consists of two difficult climbs; the first being at Wentwood and the second being the short sharp climb of Belmont Hill. Race organizers expect big crowds to welcome women's World Cup racing to British soil.

Click here for the full preview

Nobili Rubinetterie Menikini Cogeas on two fronts

The Nobili Rubinetterie Menikini Cogeas women's team will be racing on two fronts in the coming days. Tomorrow will see the riders in blue contest the GP of Wales World Cup, with Joanne Kiesanowski, Sigrid Corneo, Anna Gusmini, Modesta Vzesniauskaite, and Miho Oki on the roster. Another team will compete in France in the Trophée d'Or, which runs until August 24. Edita Pucinskaite, Oxana Kostenko, Evelyn Garcia, Silvia Valsecchi, Milena Pirola and Ombretta Ugolini will represent Nobili Rubinetterie there.

Also, on Tuesday, August 23, the 8th Gran Premio Nobili Rubinetterie will be run for professional men in Arona. The race program will also include the election of Miss Piemonte.

Downhill and 4-Cross World Cup this weekend

This coming weekend sees the second last round of the MTB World Cup in the disciplines of Downhill and 4-Cross. It takes place in Pila, Valle d'Aosta (Italy), and more than 280 riders were training on the course on Friday. Both Downhill and 4-Cross tracks are difficult, but spectacular, with viewing areas along the 'Pista del Bosco' and 'Baby Gorraz'.

The 4-Cross track is 380 metres long and is explosive from the start, while the downhill is 2,600 metres long and is very technical and steep. The Downhill World Cup has already been won by South African Greg Minnaar, who wants to put the seal on his victory in Pila. The fight is still open for the second and third positions between Nathan Rennie (Aus), Cedric Gracia (France) and Fabien Barel (France), the World Champion. But there are also some outsiders like Britain's Steve Peat.

Among the women, the ever popular Sabrina Jonnier (France) leads Brit Tracey Moseley by a few points, but they are chased by Swiss Marielle Saner and Kiwi Vanessa Quin.

The American Brian Lopes leads the 4-Cross but the Czech Michal Prokop and the Frenchman Cedric Gracia are still threatening for the final win. Among the women there will be a head-to-head fight between the Dutch Anneke Beerten and the American Jill Kintner.

After training on Saturday morning, the 4-Cross competition will start at 7:00 p.m. The downhill finals will start at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.

More information:

Blaudzun for two more

CSC continues to reinforce its roster for the future, with its Danish Time Trial Champion, Michael Blaudzun, confirming for another two years with Bjarne Riis' squad. Apart from the Danish Championship this year, Blaudzun won the GP Herning as well as top 10 placings in the Tour of Georgia, Sachsen Tour and most recently a fifth place in the Benelux Tour ProTour race.

"Michael has always been a vital part of the team, and we are of course pleased to extend our contract with him," said Riis on the team's website He's really impressed this year - both as an excellent helper in Giro d'Italia, but also with the results he's delivered so far this season."

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