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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for August 22, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

Valverde back, but out of the Vuelta

Alejandro Valverde (Illes Balears) returned to competition in Sunday's Clásica a los Puertos, which was won by his teammate Xabier Zandio, who beat Carlos Castaño (Andalucia-Paul Versan) in a two man sprint. Valverde finished a creditable 10th, but doesn't consider himself in good enough shape for the Vuelta and will not start in Granada on Saturday.

"I had good feelings," he told AS. "I was always in front and that is positive. This has served for me to return to competition and to see a little improvement in the injury. The knee wasn't bad at all, but when forcing it on the Alto del León and Navacerrada and cooling down on the descent, it started to bother me. But OK, it's better than it was at the Tour."

Simoni in Lampre-Caffita for the Vuelta

Lampre-Caffita has named its line up for the Vuelta a España, and it includes Giro runner-up Gilberto Simoni, who had doubts about participating. "We will go to the Vuelta with a complete and competitive team: Simoni, helped by Vila, Szmyd and Marzano, for general classification and Figueras, Glomser and the sprinter Bonomi for the stage wins," said team director Maurizio Piovani.

Simoni has raced in three Vueltas and won two stages in 2000 and 2001. "The Vuelta is a very particular race: the stages are short, nervous and very animated," he said. "Usually the competition is hard for the climbers because the Spanish riders are natural climbers and they want to do well at home. It is difficult to invent something and attack from a long way out because their teams used to control it - but maybe this will change with the Pro Tour. In the first week I want to see how I am and understand how my rivals are. Then, I hope to do well!"

Lampre will travel to Spain on Wednesday for the Saturday start.

The full team is: Gilberto Simoni, Giuliano Figueras, Giosuè Bonomi, Juan Fuentes, Gerrit Glomser, Marco Marzano, Andreas Matzbacher, Sylwester Szmyd, Patxi Vila. Directors: Maurizio Piovani and Bruno Vicino

Hushovd leads Crédit Agricole in Vuelta

Norwegian Thor Hushovd, winner of the green jersey in the Tour de France this year, will lead his Crédit Agricole team in the Vuelta a España. Hushovd's main goal will be to use the Spanish stage race as preparation for the World Championships in Madrid at the end of next month.

Accompanying Hushovd in the green team will be Francesco Bellotti (Ita), Alexandre Botcharov (Rus), Julian Dean (NZl), Sébastien Joly, Eric Leblacher, Christophe Le Mevel, Benoît Poilvet and Nicolas Vogondy (all Fra).

Armstrong asks Bush for cancer funding

Seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong asked US president George Bush for more money for cancer research during the "Tour de Crawford" on Saturday. The pair rode their mountain bikes for two hours over 17 miles (27 km) around the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas, and Armstrong paid tribute to Bush's skills as a rider. "That old boy can go," Armstrong told ABC's This Week. "I didn't think he would punish himself that much, but he did."

While talking politics wasn't high on the agenda on Saturday, Armstrong did use the opportunity to push his favourite cause: raising money for cancer, the disease that Armstrong overcame to win his seven Tours. "I've never asked someone for so much money before," Armstrong said on This Week.

The pair were accompanied by a group of staff and secret service agents and a Discovery Channel TV crew. Afterwards, everyone received T-shirts with "Tour de Crawford" and "Peloton One" printed on the front and back, as well as a pair of presidential red, white and blue cycling socks.

Baguet down for the count

Belgian champion Serge Baguet (Davitmaon-Lotto) has injured himself by falling down a stone stair at home on Saturday. Baguet told Sportwereld.be that he needed "30 stitches" to treat a wound in his left shin. "It was an unbelievably stupid accident that will cost me the start in the Dokter Tistaertprijs in Zottegem and the Druivenkoers in Overijse."

Baguet does hope to be back in time for the GP Ouest France in Plouay this weekend. "In principle, I can resume training in a couple of days," he said.

Klöden recovering

T-Mobile's Andreas Klöden is back on the bike again for limited training, and should hear this week what the next step is in his recovery from injuries suffered in the Tour de France, he reports on his website, www.andreas-kloeden.com. He can ride for a two-hour light training, he says. "That's not a whole lot, but at least I can do something for my muscles and circulation." This week he is scheduled to visit the team's medical staff in Freiburg, Germany, for an examination of the fractured hand bone suffered in a Tour crash. "Then it will be decided whether the plaster cast can finally be removed and/or I get a splint for the hand or or or..."

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Pevenage can't ride along

Rudy Pevenage, personal advisor to T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich, won't be sitting in the team car accompanying the team captain during today's Deutschland Tour time trial. Sitting next to Director Sportif Mario Kummer will be team manager Olaf Ludwig. "I will sit there," Ludwig said, noting, "In the races leading up to the Tour, Rudy sat in the team car during time trials. But not during the Tour or afterwards - that is what we agreed on."

Pevenage, who is paid directly by the sponsor and not by the team, said that, "It would probably be better for Jan's motivation if I were directly by him."

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Yaxley and Rhodes arrive home

Australians Alexis Rhodes and Louise Yaxley have arrived home to continue their recovery in the wake of last month's tragic road accident in Germany. Rhodes touched down at Adelaide International Airport on Sunday morning and was transferred by ambulance to her home. She was accompanied on the flight by her mother Jenny Rhodes and a doctor who monitored her condition throughout the trip.

"She is obviously a bit tired but she handled the flight really well and managed to get some sleep on the plane," said Jenny Rhodes. "I can't stress enough how great Qantas was from the ground staff to the pilots. The way they looked after us was incredible.

"Alexis doesn't want to speak with the media yet as she is focussed on her recovery," said Mrs Rhodes. Rhodes was resting at home after the flight. Doctors this week will determine a schedule for her continuing treatment and rehabilitation.

A schedule for Yaxley will also be put in place this week after she arrived home in Launceston this morning. Yaxley was also accompanied by a medical escort as well as her boyfriend Mark Padget and her mother Annette. Her trip was also incident free and a media conference with her is likely to be organised for later this week.

Yaxley and Rhodes were the last two injured riders to return to Australia.

Amy's family and Cycling Australia have established the Amy Gillett-Safe Cycling Foundation to honour her memory. The Foundation will assist with the recovery of her injured team mates, fund a sporting and academic scholarship program for promising female cyclists, and promote road safety awareness amongst cyclists and motorists. People wishing to donate to the Foundation should visit the Cycling Australia website at www.cycling.org.au and follow the links from the home page.

Related stories:
August 18: Rhodes and Yaxley bound for home
August 14: Yaxley and Rhodes continue to make progress
August 8: More support for Gillett-Safe Cycling Foundation
August 3: Rhodes and Yaxley out of intensive care
July 29: Amy Gillett's life recalled in moving service
July 28: Rhodes and Yaxley recovery 'amazing'
July 24: Yaxley improving, Rhodes still unconscious
July 21: AIS head 'optimistic' about recovery; 'Brownie' tries his best
July 19: Unprecedented carnage in Germany
July 18: Amy Gillett dead after crash in Germany

Quinziato to Liquigas

Manuel Quinziato (Saunier Duval) is set to sign a two year deal with Liquigas-Bianchi next week, according to tuttobiciweb.com. The 26 year-old time trialist has spent this season in Saunier Duval colours, following on from three years with Lampre. Liquigas team manager Roberto Amadio is currently on holidays in Brazil, but when he returns on August 24, will make the deal with Quinziato a reality.

Quick.Step for upcoming races

The Quick.Step-Innergetic team will ride the two Belgian races this week with the following teams:

GP Zottegem (Dr Tistaertprijs), August 23: Dimitri De Fauw, Ad Engels, Nick Nuyens, Wouter Weylandt, Michael Rogers, Jasper Melis, Kevin Neyrinck. D.S.: Patrick Lefevere

Druivenkoers Overijse, August 24: Dimitri De Fauw, Ad Engels, Nick Nuyens, Wouter Weylandt, Michael Rogers, Jasper Melis, Kevin Neyrinck. D.S.: Patrick Lefevere.

World hour record for 65+ beaten

According to Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, the World Hour Record for riders aged 65+ was beaten in Alkmaar on Saturday evening. Onne Nijboer, a 66 year-old bike shop owner from Medemblik, improved the mark from 37.4 km to 38.75 km. He was convinced to do it last year by some of his skating friends, and he took up the challenge. For the record attempt, he used a borrowed bike and skinsuit, which he had to return afterwards, before celebrating with beer until 1:30am.

Australian National's entry date extended

The closing date for entries for the Australian National Road Championships to be held on the Sunshine Coast between September 3-11 has been extended until midnight on Wednesday, August 24. Online entry is available at usmevents.com.au/series/NRCC/online.cfm. For information on the Championships, including course maps and start times, visit the event website: usmevents.com.au/series/NRCC/home.cfm

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