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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News for February 8, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

Italians target 32nd Tour Méditerranéen

Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) and Mario Cipollini (Liquigas) will be among the principle stars at the 32nd Tour Méditerranéen, which starts in San Remo (Italy) on February 9 and finishes in Marseille on February 13. Rebellin is a two time winner of the event, taking the overall honours in 1999 and 2001, while Cipollini holds the record for number of stage wins in the five day race, with 14 victories to his credit.

Apart from Rebellin, Gerolsteiner will have sprinter Danilo Hondo at the Tour of Med, while Liquigas-Bianchi will see the debut of Franco Pellizotti. Other riders to watch include Baden Cooke (Francaise des Jeux), Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) and Erik Dekker (Rabobank).

Other team rosters

Ag2r: Sylvain Calzati, Philip Deignan, Cyril Dessel, Stéphane Goubert, Yuriy Krivtsov, Jean-Patrick Nazon, Marc Scanlon, Ludovic Turpin. Reserves: Gilles Mas, Arturas Kasputis.

Quick.Step: Davide Bramati, Kevin De Weert, Luca Paolini, Filippo Pozzato, Sebastien Rosseler, Bram Tankink, Jurgen Van Goolen, Stefano Zanini.

RAGT-Semences Eric Berthou, Renaud Dion, Nicolas Dulac, Benjamin Levécot, Roman Luhovyy, Ludovic Martin, Sébastien Minard, Nicolas Reynaud.

The stages

Stage 1 - February 9: San Remo (Italy) - Menton 130 km
Stage 2 - February 10: Villeneuve-Loubet - Bormes-les-Mimosas, 131 km
Stage 3 - February 11: La Garde - Toulon, 134 km
Stage 4 - February 12: Bouc-Bel-Air - Berre l'Etang TTT, 36 km
Stage 5 - February 13: Cabriès - Marseille, 122 km

Pozzato does Milan-Sanremo; Bettini out of Mallorca

Filippo Pozzato (Quick.Step) will carry out a reconnaissance of the final kilometres of Milan Sanremo on Tuesday, February 8. Pozzato will be joined by a few of his teammates, and take in the famous Cipressa and Poggio climbs.

Quick.Step's Paolo Bettini won't take part in the third stage of the Challenge Illes Balears tomorrow, because of the recurrence of a throat infection that he had in middle of January. Bettini and the team's medical staff will decide tomorrow if he will race to the last two days of the Challenge.

Discovery happy with first outing

Tom Danielson's fifth place overall at the Tour de Langkawi marked a successful race debut for the new Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team. Danielson finished 3'01 behind winner Ryan Cox (Barloworld) after notching up top 10 performances in the race's two key stages, the stage 4 time trial and stage 8 to Genting Highlands.

"This was a very good race for our team to start off the new season," said Discovery Channel assistant sports manager Laurenzo Lapage. "We came here knowing this event would serve as a way to build our base for the early season races. Tom put forth his best performance possible and looks to be ready for a solid season."

Pat McQuaid: Over but not out

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

Pat McQuaid usually gets things done without any fuss and or intruding on any person. So it was after 20 years of race direction, which he made into a fine art with his colleagues, Alan Rushton and Michael Bennett, that the final chapter was written in a career that has seen him as a cyclist and an administrator of the highest quality. On Sunday in downtown Kuala Lumpur, McQuaid oversaw his final event which was the last stage of Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi. There was no fanfare at the wind up of one of the biggest sporting events in Malaysia. His presence will be missed but the show will go on.

It all started back in 1985 in the glory days of Irish cycling, when Pat along with Alan Rushton and Michael Bennett gave not only Irish but European cycling a massive boost. Of course the emergence of Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche made life in the fast lane easy to handle.

The Nissan Classic became synonymous with the sport and as a result of that package, events as far afield as in the Philippines and Malaysia were on the itinerary. Then of course there were the World Cup events in Britain. The great tours of the Kellogg's, Prudential and the City Centre races both in Britain and Ire certainly gave the sport a leg up. It became the norm for this trio to handle any big promotions associated with cycling.

Of course McQuaid and co. were very much responsible for bringing the greatest bike race in the world, the Tour de France to both England and Ireland. They were pioneers and often, people thought they were off the wall when they floated the idea for some of the promotions which came to fruition down the years.

So, it was with a heavy heart that Pat despite his wealth of experience, called a halt. "Life to me is a challenge, the sport of cycling has been good to me and hopefully I can bring that experience to a higher plane," said Pat. "I leave the direction to other people who may follow in my footsteps, but with a new broom things may change."

His former colleagues, Alan Rushton and Michael Bennett lavished praise on Pat, whose family has been associated with the cycling game for more years than they care to remember. "No matter what Pat does, he'll bring flair to the sport," said Rushton. "Working with him was a joy and the respect that he has all over the place is gratifying to us all who have a love of cycling."

"He has a lovely way of doing some of the greatest tasks. Also with the least difficulty. No matter what he turns his hand to hands to, it will work out for him," said Michael.

As for Pat and his future in the sport, he will be a candidate to take the role as President of the Union Cycliste Internationale when Hein Verbruggen steps down in September of this year.

De Cauwer defends himself

Belgian national coach Jose De Cauwer has defended himself from ex-racer Ronny Vansweevelt's accusations, published in Het Laatste Nieuws, that he was a dealer in amphetamines and pot belge. In an interview with Gazet van Antwerpen, De Cauwer said, "I don't know what I was reading. I am no dealer. According Vansweevelt, I made him into an addict. I don't know how many times he came to me begging for amphetamines, which I gave him just once. That I have admitted. My letterbox served as a deposit box for drugs one time only."

De Cauwer described the situation as, "Quite awful. I hope that the judges rule on the basis of facts and don't let themselves be led by popular opinion. The federation will also hold itself to the facts."

More 'cross TV viewers in Belgium

The Belgian Flemish channel VRT had record audience figures last weekend after screening the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in St-Wendel, Germany. Around 1 million TV viewers watched Sven Nys and his two Belgian teammates ride to victory in the Elite race. The figure represents 66.5% of the market share, i.e. two out of every three TV viewers watched the race.

UCI doping sanctions

The UCI has reported that the following riders have been sanctioned for doping offences:

Filip Meirhaeghe, tested positive for EPO at an out-of competition test (WADA) on June 25, 2004, sanctioned by the Belgian Cycling Federation, 48 months suspension, 33 with a suspended sentence and 15 months effective from October 15, 2004 to January 14, 2006, disqualification of results obtained between June 1-30, 2004.

Philip-Nicholas Nielsen, tested positive for prednisolone and metabolites at the Junior Tour de Lorraine (Fra) on May 29, 2004, sanctioned by the Danmarks Cykle Union, warning and fine of CHF 50.

Yuri Demanov, tested positive for hCG at the Masters Road World Championships (Aut) on August 25, 2004, sanctioned by the Russian Cycling Federation, one year suspension from October 30, 2004 to October 30, 2005, disqualification from the race.

Jesus Rosendo Prado tested positive for betamethasone at the Volta a Tarragona (Spa) on June 5, 2004, sanctioned by the Real Federacion Española De Ciclismo, fine of CHF 601.

Team Maxxis 2005

The roster for mountain bike Team Maxxis has been announced for 2005 and with three outstanding riders returning from last year, plus the addition of Mathieu Toulouse, the team is aiming for another successful season.

Geoff Kabush (Canada), who took first place in last year's NORBA series cross country and short track categories, returns for 2005. Kabush won the 2004 Cyclocross Canadian National Championship, and was also selected to compete on the 2004 Canadian National Team at the UCI World Championships, where Canadian team won the gold medal in the cross country team relay. Kabush is also a mechanical engineer, and works closely with the Maxxis research and development team.

Colin Bailey (U.S.A) returns for his fifth year with Team Maxxis. Like Kabush, Bailey gives crucial input to Maxxis engineers, designing the Maxxis Minion DHF and the Maxxis Ranchero. Bailey took fifth place in downhill at the 2004 UCI World Cup in Calgary, BC (Canada) and finished fourth in the downhill category at 2004's Sea Otter Classic.

John Kirkcaldie (New Zealand) will also be returning for a fifth year with Team Maxxis. Always active in promoting his sport, Kirkcaldie took fourth place overall in the downhill in the 2004 NORBA series and sixth place in downhill at the 2004 UCI World Cup Race in Calgary, BC (Canada). John was also the 2004 New Zealand National Champion.

Mathieu Toulouse (Canada) is the newest member of Team Maxxis. A member of the Canadian National Cycling Team since 1997, he was also on the Canadian Team for Mountain Bike and Road at the PanAm Games in 2003. Toulouse placed sixth at the final general classification of the 2004 Sea Otter Classic TT, after placing fourth at the time trial and sixth in the short track and cross country stages. He also finished in eighth place at the Tour de Okinawa UCI 1.5 Road. The multi-talented Toulouse also earned a law degree in 1999.

Team DBL becomes Team Sotheby's

Ocean views
Photo ©: Loyal
Click for larger image

With its acquisition of DBL Realtors, Sotheby's International Realty has also taken over the name of U.S. amateur team Team DBL, which will now be known as Team Sotheby's. The team will continue racing in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles and the Inland Empire. Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is a non-profit group dedicated to providing mentors and friends for children whose lives are missing a primary role model. The team's new motto is, "We Race, Kids Win", and just like last year, every penny of the team's race winnings and prize money will go directly to the BBBS program. In 2005, Team Sotheby's is giving an additional 5% of their 2005 cash budget straight to the kids.

The team just finished a short training camp in the SoCal cycling mecca of Solvang, and will kick off the racing season at Valley of the Sun in Phoenix. The team will focus on regional events, but will also race the California NRC races, as well as Tour of the Gila, CSC Invitational and Superweek.

Equipment sponsors have remained on board for 2005. The team will ride Orbea Onix carbon frames, Oval Concepts forks, bars, stems and posts, and WTB saddles and accessories. New team sponsor Challenge provides handmade racing and training tires in clincher and tubular versions.

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Loyal

Images by Fischer

  • Many teams train in Solvang this time of year. Team HealthNet joins in

Images by Hukee

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