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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for February 9, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

An interview with Carlos Sastre

Effort, dedication and professional accomplishment

At the 2004 Vuelta
Photo ©: Unipublic
Click for larger image

Entering his eighth season as a professional, Carlos Sastre Candil, whose initials "CSC" are the same as his team name, is maturing as a rider. With already one Tour de France stage win to his credit and several top 10 GC finishes, Sastre will be a valuable ally for Ivan Basso this July, as Cyclingnews' Hernan Alvarez Macias reports.

Winning one stage in the Tour de France is something that many riders desire, but very few are able to achieve. In the second exclusive group there is Carlos Sastre (Team CSC) after his victory in the 13 stage (Toulouse-Domaines) of the 2003 Tour. He prevailed that time in the Pyrenees over big stars like Jan Ullrich, Haimar Zubeldia and Lance Armstrong, who were second, third and forth in Domaines. Besides that, he was among the top ten riders in the last few Vueltas a España.

Sastre's father Victor was very influential in Sastre's sporting career. He taught Carlos the main values for succeeding in cycling. The Spanish rider seems to know how to progress, as his own website (www.carlossastre.com) opens with the words, "effort, dedication and professional accomplishment."

When Cyclingnews caught up with Carlos Sastre, he was in Florence, in the Toscana region training with CSC. By coincidence his initials are the same as his team name: Carlos Sastre Candil. Apart from that, he feels very comfortable in the Danish squad. Together with Ivan Basso they will fight on the front line of the three Grand Tours.

Cyclingnews: How did you start the year?

Carlos Sastre: So far the whole team is here in our training camp in Italy for ten days more or less. My goals are further on in the year and what I want to do now is a good training base to have a good peak later in the Belgian classics: Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Tour of Romandy. And then I will rest a little bit and prepare for the Tour de France, which is my greatest goal.

Click here for the full interview

Davitamon-Lotto presented

Three flying Dutchmen
Photo ©: Bert Geerts
Click for larger image

Belgian team Davitamon-Lotto, which has started the year with a flurry of wins, was presented on Tuesday in Oostende, Belgium. The 27 man squad is mostly a mixture of ex-Lotto-Domo and Relax-Bodysol riders, with 11 of last year's Lotto squad remaining on board. Chief among these are Peter Van Petegem, who will again lead the team in the classics. "Like in my best years I'm in form very early in the season," said Van Petegem. "That is a very good sign."

Robbie McEwen will be the team's main sprinter, complemented by Tom Steels and Fred Rodriguez, allowing the team to function at full strength in all the ProTour races. "The season is long, but it's good to have won already," said McEwen. "I feel that the team is very strong. Maybe I'll ride the three grand tours this year."

Axel Merckx returns to the team, and will be a handy man to have in the hillier classics. And apart from Fred Rodriguez, the team's other main signings are Nico Mattan (Bodysol), Mario Aerts and Cadel Evans (T-Mobile) and Henk Vogels (Navigators).

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by DCP/Bert Geerts

Click here for the full team roster

Quick.Step riders on the Poggio

Some of the Quick.Step riders taking part in tomorrow's Tour of the Mediterranean trained today on the roads of the Ligurian Riviera near Sanremo. Filippo Pozzato, Kevin De Weert, Bram Tankink, Sebastien Rosseler and Jurgen Van Goolen rode for about 90 kilometres. After having tried out the first part of stage 1 (Sanremo-Menton, 130 km) that includes the climb leading to the mountain sprint at Vasia, the five riders carried on and covered the last section of Milano-Sanremo, climbing the Cipressa and the Poggio.

"It is always enthralling riding these sections that represent a monument in cycling," said Filippo Pozzato. "As far as I am concerned this training session has been extremely useful in giving me a clear idea on what lines I'll need to take during the descents. In fact, it was during the descent of the Cipressa two years ago that my hopes of a win went flying out of the window. Over this winter I've done a lot of agility and base work but still haven't done any specific work. During the Tour of the Mediterranean I want to see what point I am at in respect to my competitors and then I'll start working on the change of rhythm."

Graham breaks collarbone

Lorian Graham, the current Australian national women's road champion, has broken her left collarbone after being hit by a car on Monday, February 7. Graham was on her way to gym training in the inner Brisbane suburb of Fortitude Valley when the accident occurred. She is expected to be out of action for three to five weeks.

Cunego wins prize

Damiano Cunego has been awarded the fourth Gianni Brera prize by the province of Milan, which is sponsored by the local council, the region of Lombardy and the Italian Olympic Committee. Cunego won the Giro d'Italia and the Tour of Lombardy last year, as well as finishing the season as the number one ranked UCI rider.

Other athletes were also awarded commendations, including Athens 20 km walk gold medalist Ivano Brugnetti, Paralympian Daila Dameno, and Inter Milan's star player Adriano.

Happy Birthday Colnago

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

Ernesto Colnago
Photo ©: CN
Click for larger image

Cyclingnews stopped by Cambiago, just east of Milano, at Colnago Ernesto & C.'s world HQ to say hello and wish Colnago a Happy Birthday, which he celebrates every February 9. We also congratulated Ernesto himself for some recent victories on his bikes at the World Cyclocross championship, Trofeo Mallorca and even the Australian National TT championships.

At 73 years young, the passion for racing burns bright for Ernesto Colnago. Even though he's seen it all in cycling at least twice, Colnago still closely follows every nuance of road racing. "You know we are sponsoring seven teams this year?" exclaimed Colnago "That's a record for us. We have two ProTour teams this year; of course we are with Rabobank again and will be at least through 2008. They have a great program. Sven Nys is a real 'corridore' (racer; one of Ernesto's highest compliments)...he just won (the Cyclo-cross World Championships) on a special lightweight C50 we made for him. And (World Champion) Freire has already won two races!"

Colnago told us about the two Italian teams he is sponsoring this year. "We have another ProTour team Domina Vacanze and we expect a lot out of this team; it's run by one of the best in the business, Gianluigi Stanga. We are also sponsoring Panaria...did you see that their Australian sprinter Brown just won five stages in Malaysia? Fantastic!" Colnago will also sponsor Continental Pro teams Navigators Insurance from the US, Action from Poland and Shimano MC, a Dutch/Japanese collaboration as well as top woman's squad Team S.A.T.S. from Denmark, and top Italian amateur team Vellutex and Italian men's and women's MTB squads.

"It's a big commitment," frowned a seemingly worried Colnago, who then burst into a smile as he said "But I still want to win!" Then Colnago suddenly reached behind his desk and pulled out a sweet C50 HP World Championship replica frame. "We just finished this frame with the new colours like Freire's bike and now we'll put out a limited edition of 250 pieces," explained Ernesto, who is undoubtedly hoping for yet another Colnago win on his 74th birthday Wednesday. Buon Compleanno Ernesto!

Werner Arnold dies

Former Swiss professional Werner Arnold has died in Basel on February 1, aged 74. As a rider, Arnold was active in the 1950's, winning the Tours of Genfersee and Kaistenberg as an amateur, and the Meisterschaft von Zürich in 1954. He turned pro in 1956 and finished the Tour de France in 86th place and the Tour de Suisse in 30th. After he retired, he went on to manage amateur and professional teams.

Source: SI

No team for Castilla y Leon

The Council of Castilla y Leon will not be funding a professional cycling team, due to the relatively high cost (€6 million) of the project, which would represent 15% of the Council's entire sports budget. While the council claimed that it wished to continue to support cycling, it would only do so to the tune of €1.2 million.

Pure Sweet Hell to benefit U.S. Collegiate Championships

U.S. Women's National Cyclocross Champion and four-time Paralympic Medalist Katie Compton will join filmmaker Brian Vernor for the Midwestern premier of Vernor's cyclocross film Pure Sweet Hell in February, which will be a benefit to support the 2005 U.S. Collegiate National Track Cycling Championships.

Two screenings are planned by the Northbrook Cycle Committee (NCC), organizers of the Championships and the preceding Collegiate Track Camp. The first, scheduled for Wednesday evening, February 16, will take place at 7 p.m. at 1035 West Lake Street, 2nd Floor, in Chicago, with tickets available at the door for $5.

Compton (Cody Racing/ProCycling) is the featured speaker at the second screening at 6:30 p.m. the next evening, Thursday, February 17. Hosted at EJ's Place restaurant, 10027 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, Ill., the event will feature a benefit raffle of merchandise from retailers Bokoo Bikes, Alberto's Cycles, and Turin Bicycle, and distributor Trialtir USA. Tickets are $50 in advance, $75 at the door, and include dinner; reservations can be e-mailed to guerciotti@comcast.net and require payment in advance of the event. Checks should be payable to Northbrook Cycle Committee and sent to NCC c/o Franco Panveno, 515 Hill St., Highland Park, IL 60035.

The 2005 Collegiate National Track Cycling Championships will take place Sept. 29 through Oct. 1 on the newly renovated Ed Rudolph Northbrook Park District Velodrome, located just north of Chicago in suburban Northbrook. The NCC will also host racers from throughout the country at the Collegiate Track Camp, Sept. 11-12, in advance of the Championships.

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