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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for August 22, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones and Hedwig Kröner

Evans reigns on top of the Feldberg

By Hedwig Kröner

Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto)
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

Australian Cadel Evans showed in today's seventh stage of the Deutschland Tour that he is back to his best level, by winning the exciting mountain finish finale ahead of Saunier's Fabian Jeker and Liberty's Jörg Jaksche. The 28 year-old outsprinted his rivals in the last kilometre, with race leader Levi Leipheimer finishing fourth. T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich lost some time again and now has to make up 1'26 in tomorrow's time trial if he still wants to win this race.

"Towards the end, Ullrich got dropped and Totschnig was dropped. They were in second and third so it was in my interest to ride," said Evans after the cold, wet and windy stage which couldn't have been nastier. "I saw my chances at 600m to go. I went with everything from there." The former mountain bike rider was really happy with his win. "I've had a good season, and been in a good position for the races. But it's been a long time to wait for a win. I hope this is a start to return to my own level."

For Gerolsteiner's Levi Leipheimer, it was a good day, even if he dropped off the pace a little at the end. The important thing was that he put time into Jan Ullrich, who is the best time trialist on paper, although things may turn out differently tomorrow. "That was a really hard day today," said Leipheimer. "For a long time, we didn't know if our tactic would work. But it did. And now it's become a little more realistic that I can win this tour."

Jan Ullrich, meanwhile, is still struggling with a cold but still take his chance tomorrow. "I feel pretty handicapped by the rain," 'Der Kaiser' said. "At eight degrees, I was cold and those just aren't the conditions for top performances." Speaking about his illness, he said, "That won't make the victory tomorrow any easier for me. Our team worked well today, but none of us are really healthy - and Gerolsteiner is very strong. But we're not giving up."

Alberto Contador (Liberty Seguros) was leading the race by more than one minute when the main contenders hit the final climb up the Cat. 1 Feldberg. But he 22 year-old got reeled in by the overall contenders in the last couple of kilometres, before Evans outsprinted his rivals Jeker and Jaksche.

The main breakaway of the day saw Christian Müller (CSC), Carlos Barredo (Liberty Seguros), Rory Sutherland (Rabobank) and Volodymir Gustov (Fassa Bortolo) attack after 15 kilometres, but they, too, were caught as another first-rated mountain had to be mastered 20 kilometres before the finish on the Feldberg.

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

Ullrich dreams of yellow

Hi, I'm Jan.
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich also still dreams of winning the Tour de France again, even if he can no longer beat arch rival Lance Armstrong. In an interview in Die Zeit magazine, he said, "The dream of winning doesn't spur me on only in the moment in which I must dig down deep to overcome myself. It carries me through the whole year, it constantly forces me to overcome my own limits. Every race from November on is concentrated on this single goal."

Ullrich also added, "I want to live my own life, to be myself." He admitted to having made mistakes in the past, such as the episode of the Ecstasy pills in the Munich disco in 2002. "The most difficult part of this for me was the loss of my privacy," he said, while admitting he enjoys the public acceptance and fame. "But in order to feel good, I don't have to be in the public eye. On the contrary! One of the reasons I moved to a small town in Switzerland is the quiet and seclusion I find there, and which I need in order to charge myself up again."

Ullrich lamented the "extremely painful dissolution of our small family," noting that "At the moment it seems that the Tour dream and the dream of an intact family can't be realized simultaneously. All my efforts go into my sport, the other dream will have to wait. One day I will realize that I can no longer compete for the victory, and then I will have the time to devote myself to the other dream."

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Boonen OK

After yesterday's crash in the Tour de Rijke, Quick.Step's Tom Boonen managed to train for around 100 kilometres on Sunday morning. "This morning I woke up a little bit worried about the potential consequences of yesterday's fall during the G.P. De Rijke, where I hurt my knee," said Boonen. "Fortunately the knee was not swollen. When I started to ride my bike, I understood that the problem was not serious as I feared. I trained for around 100 kilometres without problems, forcing and doing some tests on the knee. Tomorrow I will do a long training ride and then Wednesday, as scheduled, I will fly to Granada. In the Tour de France I was unlucky, yesterday not."

Farrar finalises Cofidis deal

By Shane Stokes

Tyler Farrar has achieved his goal of securing a ProTour contract for 2006 with the news that he will line out it the colours of the Cofidis squad next season. Farrar is seen as one of the most promising young US riders, with a stage win in last year's Tour de L'Avenir to his credit, as well as national under 23 titles in the 2004 criterium and time trial championships.

In addition to competing on the North American circuit with Health Net, Farrar has raced with the US national team in Belgium for several seasons. This year he won the Trofee van Haspengouw and the Challenge de Hesbaye, as well as stage 4 of the Ronde de l'Isard d'Ariege in France. These results attracted the attention of several teams, with Discovery Channel amongst those believed to have courted the young American for his signature. But it was the long-term interest shown in him by the French team which secured his decision.

"I talked to a few teams. In the end, I weighed up my options and felt that for me, Cofidis was the best place to go," he told Cyclingnews. "I have been talking to them on and off since last fall. They made contact after I won the stage at the Tour de l'Avenir last year and just kept in touch through the winter. I had a pretty good spring over in Europe, so they decided that they wanted to give me a shot.

"They have really shown an interest in me and checked on me throughout the winter, asking me how the preparations were going and other things. So that really made me feel good. They were looking at me for the team for some time, and I just feel it is the best match for me."

A strong sprinter and time trialist, Farrar is seen by some as a rider in the mould of George Hincapie. However, in the past he has named another rouleur as an inspiration - Stuart O'Grady - and he is set to join the Australian at Cofidis. He seems excited by the prospect.

"It is definitely cool. I have always looked up to Stuart O'Grady, since I started bike racing. So it will be really cool to be on the same team as him - that is kind of exciting.

At this point, Farrar's 2006 program has only been loosely sketched out but he has been told that he will ride some ProTour races as well as French Cup events. "They said that they are going to give me a good program for development. Hard pro races, but maybe not quite the biggest. I don't know the exact schedule yet but it should be pretty good.

"I am hoping to go over there next year and just do my job, whatever it’s going to be. I hope I am going to be there and help in the lead-outs for O'Grady, because I am a sprinter. So hopefully I can learn as much as I can for the first while, helping out wherever I can."

Before then, Farrar has some more targets he's chasing this season. He lines up in the US Pro criterium championships today as one of Health Net's protected riders, and will be aiming to improve on his second place of last year. The Tour de l'Avenir is another big goal, especially after his success there last year, while the profile of the world under 23 championships in Madrid should suit his talents. He is hoping to ride both the time trial and road race there.

Watch out for a full feature on Tyler Farrar in the next few days.

Van Goolen to Discovery

Jurgen Van Goolen (Quick.Step) will join Discovery Channel's growing ranks of Belgians next season. The 24 year-old signed a preliminary contract with Johan Bruyneel's team and described himself as very satisfied with the deal, although he bears Quick.Step no ill will.

"It was good for both parties that I looked for a change of air after four years in the same team," Van Goolen told Sportwereld.be. "No bad words about my current team. On the contrary. I will leave for the Vuelta with a clear head and will ride flat out for Tom Boonen for the first 12 days with pleasure. Sometimes I lack a bit of self confidence. Demol seems to me to be the perfect man to help young riders."

Goulburn to Sydney on television

Australia's historic Goulburn to Sydney Cycle Race Classic (The Goulburn) will be broadcast on SBS TV courtesy of the Campbelltown Catholic Club, the major sponsor of the race. 'The Goulburn' is one of Australia's oldest annual sporting events, having been first staged in 1902. It was last held in 1999 but stopped for financial reasons.

This year's race will run on September 25 over a 170 km course between Goulburn and Camden, in Sydney's southwest. Camden will be closing its streets for a day long festival to honour the riders as they arrive at around midday. Up to 200 riders are expected to take part, including Olympic gold medallist Stephen Wooldridge.

Former rugby great, and one of Goulburn's favourite sons, Simon Poidevin is this year's race ambassador. He thanked the Campbelltown Catholic Club for backing 'The Goulburn'. "It's fantastic support from a club that supports local area initiatives. This just shows what a great club they are," he said.

Poidevin also paid tribute to the event's organisers, including volunteers from the Macarthur Collegians, Southern Highlands and Goulburn cycling clubs, who spent more than a year and over 2,000 volunteer hours to rejuvenate the race.

Paul Hillbrick, from the Macarthur Collegians Cycle Club, said the race will be a wonderful spectacle where the infamous Razorback Range of Picton will shape the race finish in Camden. "I encourage everyone to come out on the morning of September 25 to cheer the riders on," he said.

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