Cyclingnews - the world centre of cycling Cyclingnews TV   News  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   BMX   Cyclo-cross   Track    Photos    Fitness    Letters   Search   Forum  

Recent News

January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008

2007 & earlier

Recently on

Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for December 4, 2005

Edited by Hedwig Kröner, Anthony Tan & Les Clarke

Cioni fuming over Giro's final day

By Anthony Tan

Dario Cioni, fourth overall in the 2004 Giro, is unhappy with the race organiser RCS' decision to proceed with a double-stage on the final day of next year's race despite strong opposition
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

With the Tour de France off his race schedule next year, Liquigas-Bianchi rider Dario Cioni will be placing all his Grand Tour eggs in one basket at his home event. However, after attending the presentation of the 89th Giro d'Italia in Milan a little over two weeks ago, the normally placid Italian walked away an angry man.

It wasn't so much the presentation itself, held amidst typical Italian fanfare at Milano's Mazda Palace auditorium. It was the controversial double stage - rejected by the Professional Riders' Association (CPA), the Italian Professional Riders' Association (ACCPI) and CSC's Jens Voigt, active riders' representative within the UCI ProTour Council (CUPT) - which, despite significant disapproval, has still found its way on the 2006 parcours.

"I'm not happy about that, not at all," a steaming Cioni told Cyclingnews.

"Let's remember, they're asking us to race twice on the last day of a three-week stage race, one of these stages being a hill climb. I'm not sure we're going to ride that; not only because of the riders' association, but also the team managers and sporting directors are not happy either - the only people that are happy about this are the Giro organisers and some retired riders, who don't remember how hard it was racing."

Fourth overall at the 2004 Giro, Cioni remarked that with the last eight stages in the mountains, the final week of the 2006 Giro is tough enough and will invariably decide the race outcome, irrespective of the climb up the Madonna del Ghisallo. Despite the intentions of the race organiser RCS to make the final day visually exciting, as well as paying tribute to the museum at the top of the climb, Cioni fears what one will see is an extremely tired majority trying to make the time limit.

"I don't think that would be very spectacular, do you?" asks the recently turned 31 year-old. "Let's remember, we've still got a 130 kilometre stage to ride to Milan, so I'm sure a solution can be found.

"The rider's health is such a big issue now," Cioni said with a sigh. "I don't think this is really healthy for the riders. It's not a double-stage on the first day of the Giro - it's the last day - and we've already been on the bike for 20 days in a row. The last rest day is ten days before, anyway, and we've already done 3,500 kilometres and who knows how many climbs before that."

If the organisers still want to run a double stage, said Cioni, do it halfway through, not on the last day. "There's also a [unwritten] condition that says the last day is like a parade; they do it at the Tour - I can't see why we can't do it at the Giro."

Look out for the interview with Dario Cioni tomorrow.

Date set for Pantani hearing

By Tim Maloney - European Editor

Following the news of proposed jail sentences for those individuals complicit in the death of Marco Pantani, a Rimini court has set May 4, 2006 as the next hearing date for the inquest into the death of the 1998 Giro and Tour de France winner. Judge Carlo Masini will hear arguments for the defense of Russian dancer Elenia Korovina and Fabio Carlino. No word yet on the sentencing of other defendants Fabio Miradossa, Ciro Venerus and Peruvian Alfonso Gherardo Ramirez Queva.

Armstrong-Simeoni hearing date postponed

By Tim Maloney - European Editor

A court in Latina, Italy has delayed to December 14 the date it will bring the case brought by Filippo Simeoni against Lance Armstrong for defamation forward or throw the entire case out. Judge Nicola Ianfidi will rule then whether the Latina court even has any territorial jurisdiction in the Simeoni case, as Armstrong's allegedly defamatory comments were in a French newspaper.

Phonak extends sponsorship

Phonak Cycling Team owner Andy Rihs and General Manager John Lelangue have announced that current main and naming sponsor Phonak Hearing Systems is extending its contract for another year. Also maintaining their partnership with the squad will be Swiss bicycle company BMC. In addition, Rihs and Lelangue expect an agreement with a presenting sponsor to be signed in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the 2006 Phonak Cycling Team has already had its first gathering. After the Giro di Lombardia, team members spent one week in Malaga, Spain, for an introductory meeting. The first joint training camp of the new year will be held from January 9-19 in Mallorca.

The official team presentation will then follow on January 20 at the Phonak Hearing Systems headquarters in Stäfa, before the new season starts one week later with the GP International Doha, Qatar. Lelangue is looking forward to the new season, in which Phonak will aim to keep its second place on the ProTour calendar. "On top of the Tour de France as the season's highlight, we also want to play a decisive role at all of the other important races," he said. "In addition, there's the second-place team ranking to defend."

The 26 riders of the 2006 Phonak Cycling Team are as follows:

Aurélien Clerc (Swi), Martin Elmiger (Swi), Gregory Rast (Swi), Johann Tschopp (Swi), Alexandre Moos (Swi), Sascha Urweider (Swi), David Vitoria (Swi), Steve Zampieri (Swi), Florian Stalder (Swi), Steve Morabito (Swi), Axel Merckx (Bel), Koos Moerenhout (Ned), Luis Fernandez Oliveira (Spa), José Enrique Gutierrez (Spa), Ignacio Gutierrez (Spa), Miguel Martin Perdiguero (Spa), Santiago Botero (Col), Victor Hugo Peña (Col), Floyd Landis (USA), Jonathan Patrick McCarty (USA), Ryder Hesjedal (Can), Bert Grabsch (Ger), Nicolas Jalabert (Fra), Uros Murn (Slo), Robert Hunter (RSa) and Fabrizio Guidi (Ita).

Van Petegem targets Flanders or Roubaix

Davitamon-Lotto's Classics rider Peter Van Petegem is hoping to score another big victory in 2006, according to team director Marc Sergeant. After winning the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in 2003, Van Petegem will again focus on these two races next season, but first has to recover from the mental blow inflicted on him by fellow Belgian Tom Boonen, Sergeant told Belgian Sporza.

"Van Petegem won his last race in 2003, with Paris-Roubaix," said Sergeant. "He has been criticised a lot since then, but I won't let him down. He got us up again in 2003 after a terrible season start. He lost a great deal of confidence after the classics in 2005 when Boonen shook him off in the Ronde van Vlaanderen; it really got him down."

The Belgian team's director will now take greater care of Van Petegem. "Before, we never had to be busy with him, but now, we do. I feel that he needs our support and attention. I hope that he can score another win in 2006, but Peter 's not interested in ten victories per season; he's going for the Ronde or Paris-Roubaix," Sergeant explained.

McEwen lean and hungry for Grand Prix success

By John-Michael Flynn in Brisbane

McEwen was relaxed
Photo ©: John Flynn
(Click for larger image) McEwen was relaxed on home turf

Australian Cyclist of the year Robbie McEwen is eyeing this weekend's race one of Queensland's Grand Prix Criterium Series as the first serious hitout in his preparation for the 2006 road season.

Returning to his hometown of Brisbane, McEwen and Davitamon-Lotto team-mate Henk Vogels were guests of honour overnight at an invitation only dinner to launch the Team Spirit Sporting Fellowship initiative.

Hosted by former Olympic swimmer Duncan Arsmtrong, the evening turned out to be a treat for members of Brisbane's cycling community, as the two local heroes spoke candidly and at length about life in the professional peloton. Robbie's sprinting style proved a popular topic during the question and answer session with the two riders. "I just be believe I'm the person who deserves to be on that wheel," McEwen said of his sometimes controversial but often effective sprint tactics. "You don't give it up for anybody."

McEwen and Vogels both appear leaner and sharper, having been back in training now for nearly a month. "I'm seen as a contender for the classics," Vogels said of his 2006 plans. "My team needs me to be ready for then."

Hometown boy McEwen and Vogels who calls the nearby Sunshine Coast home will race before a parochial crowd numbering in the thousands when they hit the circuit around the city's Southbank precinct.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by John Flynn/

Injured Bui on hand to accept Liquigas Cup award

By Tim Maloney - European Editor

Despite another recent operation on his right foot, Marco Bui was still on hand in a wheelchair Friday for the presentation of the Liquigas Cup national mountain bike series prizes at the Museo Santa Giulia in Brescia, Italy. Bui won the Liquigas Cup national MTB challenge this season ahead of world and Olympic champion Julien Absalon, accepting his first place award to thunderous applause. But the bright moment will certainly give Bui encouragement in his long and difficult period of rehabiliatation; Monday December 5th, the Full Dynamix rider will have yet more reconstructive surgery on his right foot, crushed in his accident on September 14.

Tuscan training for Team Miche

Bulgarian Professional Continental team Miche has announced its 2006 roster to be complete. The team is going to unite 14 riders next year, which will get to know each other in the first pre-season meeting in Terranuova Bracciolini, Tuscany, from December 16-18. After having checked out equipment and solved the last bureaucratic formalities, the team's members will meet again from January 7-10, in Fontebussi, Chianti valley, for a first fitness evaluation.

Just before returning to competition, a third meeting will be organised, this time for almost one week (January 16-22), on the Italian Riviera. The following riders will race for Team Miche next year:

Alejandro Borrajo (Arg), Maurizio Carta (Ita), Antonio D'Aniello (Ita), Mauro Gerosa (Ita), Bo Hamburger (Den), Sewerin Kohut (Pol), Slawomir Kohut (Pol), Yuri Metlushenko (Ukr), Pasquale Muto (Ita), Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol), Armando Rupa (Ita), Denis Skharpeta (Uzb), Alberto Tacconi (Ita) and Arkadiusz Wojtas (Pol).

Team Victory Brewing women's team announces roster

Going into 2006, American Women's team Victory Brewing has announced its final roster led by Great Britain's Rachel Heal, who will race a full season in the US after being team leader of 2004 Team SATS from Denmark.

"I'm really excited about joining the Victory Brewing team for 2006,
having guested for them in 2005 I know and like how the team operates," Heal said. "Racing a full US season will be a new challenge for me as I've raced mainly in Europe for the past five years, but it is a challenge I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into. Being English, the Commonwealth Games are a big target for me next year, but with the training I've done to get to good form in March I should hit the US racing already flying, so I'll be hoping for some good results in the early races."

Team Victory Brewing's racing schedule will be focusing on NRC races along with a couple of world cup races. The full roster includes: Rachel Heal (GBr), Chrissy Ruiter (USA), Lauren Franges (US), Leigh Hobson (Can), Kirsten Robbins (Can), Katherine Carroll (USA), Kate Sherwin (USA), Laura Bowles (USA), Brenda Lyons (USA) and Laura Yoisten (Can). Espoirs riders are Kim Geist (USA) and Lauren Trull (USA). Tara Ross (Can) will be the squad's only cross rider.

For more information, visit Team Victory Brewing's website

Barbosa Portuguese cyclist of the year

Cândido Barbosa has been named Portuguese Cyclist of the year 2005 by the readers of Portuguese website Cyclolusitano. The LA Alumínios-Liberty Seguros rider beat the young talented riders Hugo Sabido and Sérgio Ribeiro, in a poll carried out from November 1-21.

Cândido Barbosa, who was European Champion in 1996, won three stages at the Tour of Portugal this year, finishing second overall behind Russian Vladimir Efimkin. Past winners of the title are Sérgio Paulinho (2004), Nuno Ribeiro (2003) and José Azevedo (2002 and 2001).

Previous News    Next News

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)