First Edition Cycling News for February 19, 2005
Edited by Hedwig Kröner & Jeff Jones
Klöden and Vinokourov ready for Valencia
T-Mobile stage race specialists Andreas Klöden and Alexandre Vinokourov will lead the eight-man squad that will contest the 2005 Tour of Valencia from February 22-26. The five day race through Spain's eastern region is the first competitive outing of the season for Tour runner-up Klöden and the Kazakh Vinokourov. For a stage and teams preview, click here.
The hilly race (UCI cat. 2.1) includes numerous climbs and one mountain top finish (Alt Del Campello), so the parcours is likely to favour all-rounders with good climbing skills. Spanish duo Paco Lara and Oscar Sevilla will also participate, with sprinter Erik Zabel and young guns Torsten Hiekmann, Christian Werner and Matthias Kessler completing the T-Mobile line-up.
Despite going to the race with what looks like a strong team on paper, T-Mobile Team sporting manager Frans van Looy is playing down the team's chances. "Andreas, Vino and Matthias will arrive straight from a tough training camp. I am not yet expecting any top performances or top results from them yet," he said in a press release.
Defending champion Alejandro Valverde (Illes Balears) will be keen to follow up his string of good results at the recent Majorca Challenge, while sprint specialists Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) and Oscar Freire (Rabobank) will be chasing more early season wins in the races' two likely bunch finishes. T-Mobile's Erik Zabel will also be motivated to notch up an opening season win in Valencia.
No Valverde at Luis Puig
Alejandro Valverde (Illes Balers) will not be able to participate in the Trofeo Luis Puig on Saturday, February 19. The Spaniard is ill with the flu and will be replaced by a young rider named Imanol Erviti at the race, his team announced.
Will be riding for Illes Balears at Trofeo Luis Puig: Daniel Becke, Iker Leonet, Xabier Zandio, Toni Tauler, Cayetano Julià, Isaac Gálvez, Joan Horrach and Imanol Erviti.
Garzelli starts season
Stefano Garzelli’s 2005 season will start in Spain on Saturday. The 2000 Giro d’Italia winner will race the first time for his new team Liquigas-Bianchi at the Trofeo Luis Puig alongside Franco Pellizotti, back from a good second place in the Trofeo Laigueglia, and the Swedish Magnus Bäckstedt. Sprinter Luciano Pagliarini, Dario Andriotto, Mauro Gerosa, Marco Milesi and Gianluca Sironi will complete the team, also taking part in the Vuelta Comunidad Valenciana from February 22-26 and in the Clasica de Almeria on February 27.
"I feel quite good, even if a stomach ache has spoiled my last days of training," Garzelli said. "By now my purpose is to find the right rhythm and these Spanish races are ideal for me. I must not repeat the last year’s mistakes when I attained my best between March and April. I want to reach the top for the Giro d’Italia."
Liquigas-Bianchi in French weekend
Italian Liquigas-Bianchi team has announced its weekend roster for the two French races Tour du Haut Var and Classic Haribo: Kjell Carlström, Daniele Colli, Enrico Gasparotto, Nicola Loda, Marcus Ljungqvist, Vladimir Miholjevic, Matej Mugerli and Marco Righetto.
Rebellin on for Tour du Haut Var
French UCI rated 1.1 races Tour du Haut Var and Classic Haribo also coming up this weekend, the 2005 racing season is slowly getting on its way. The 37th Tour du Haut Var is a mountainous 181 km-long race in the Southern region of the Var around Draguignan, featuring numerous climbs among which the Col de Mons and the Col de St. Andrieu.
Gerolsteiner directeur sportif Christian Henn is looking forward to the race, where he said the team's captain Davide Rebellin will be testing his early season form further. "Davide has always been in front in the Tour de Haut Var. Surely he will be this time around too, as his form is getting better and better," Henn stated. Rebellin, who has won the race in 1999, will be accompanied in his efforts by his teammates Frank Høj, Volker Ordowski, Ronny Scholz, Andrea Moletta, Marco Serpellini, Beat Zberg and Thomas Ziegler.
Other teams participating in the race are: Crédit Agricole, Quick.Step (Paolo Bettini, Michael Rogers, 2004 winner Marc Lotz), Cofidis, FdJeux, Gerolsteiner (Davide Rebellin), Bouygues, Liquigas-Bianchi, Lampre-Caffita, Fassa Bortolo, Saunier Duval-Prodir, AG2R , RAGT Semences, Agritubel, Bretagne-Jean Floc'h, Auber 93, Miche, Acqua & Sapone, Chocolade Jacques, Phonak and Team Barloworld (Igor Astarloa).
Aussies and Dutch on top in Sydney World Cup
Australia and the Netherlands claimed all the spoils on day one of the Sydney Track Cycling World Cup Classic, the fourth and final round of the 2004-2005 series being staged at Dunc Gray Velodrome.
For the Australians, Sydney's Rochelle Gilmore, 23, was unstoppable in the women's 20km points race, Ben Kersten, 23, smashed his personal best to claim the kilometre time trial series title and Anna Meares notched up sprint gold to get the home team off to a flying start.
After winning the points race, Gilmore said, "I thought it would be a lot harder, it would be a lot more attacking, there were a lot of names I didn't know, so I didn't know which ones to chase," explained Gilmore. "This whole series has been about getting a ride at the Worlds and having a good ride and proving to Ian McKenzie (National Endurance Coach) that I could have a good ride when I'm in good form."
In the kilometre time trial, Ben Kersten scorched over the four laps to stop the clock in 1:01.645. It earned him the gold medal and the title of 2005 kilometre World Cup Champion. He was almost a second clear of silver medallist Tim Veldt, 21, (Ned) who posted 1:02.615 with Frenchman François Pervis, 20, third in 1:02.711.
It was great riding here tonight with family and friends - it's just such a special feeling," said Kersten who placed third in the Los Angeles World Cup in December and second in last month's Manchester round where he cracked the 62 second mark for the first time. "I did that PB in January and I thought 'what the hell's going on?'
"I trained a whole year (in 2004) and didn't do that once and now I've done it twice," said Kersten who has his eyes on the podium at the Los Angeles World Championships in March. When asked how much faster he can go the Sydney rider was optimistic. "Who knows - heaps I hope."
Olympic and World time trial champion and Athens sprint bronze medallist Anna Meares, 21, (Qld) also signaled she's on track for LA when she took out the women's sprint event. Meares qualified fourth fastest but her nous saw her down the fastest qualifier, Yvonne Hijgenaar (Ned), in the semis before deposing Chinese sensation Shuang Guo in the final.
"Guo has an awful lot of talent and I think we will see a lot more of her in the future," said Meares. "It's good to see them come down to competitions here in Australia, and it's good to have some new blood in the mix as well."
The Dutch run of gold was led by Sprint World Champion and Olympic silver medallist Theo Bos, 21, who proved the worth of his two weeks of advance preparation in Sydney when he sailed home to win the men's keirin final. Past World Champion, Laurent Gané, 31, showed he still has the speed to come home in second with Czech rider, Pavel Buran, 31, third.
"We've trained very hard here and done a lot of kilometres on the road," said Bos who escaped the Northern Hemisphere winter. "The weather has been great."
Bos will contest the sprint and the kilometre time trial in Los Angeles. "The keirin and kilometre are on the same day so I'll stick to the kilo," he said. "The keirin can sometimes be a lottery."
In the men's 15km scratch race the Dutch success continued as Wim Stroetinga, 19, sprinted home for gold ahead of Denmark's Alex Rasmussen, 20, with reigning World Champion, New Zealand's Greg Henderson, 27, third. "I just wanted to wait till someone went past me and get on their wheel before attacking," said Stroetinga who will race the scratch event at the Los Angeles World Championships.
The sixth gold medal of the night went to another Dutchman Levi Heimans, 19, who caught Great Britain's Edward Clancy a kilometre from the finish in the men's 4km individual pursuit. Bronze went to Russian Ivan Kovalev.
Sydney Track World Cup coverage
Pendleton tries Kilo at Revolution 8
The speed levels will be taken up a gear at Revolution 8 on February 26 as British sprint star Victoria Pendleton will attempt to beat the women’s Kilo world record. Pendleton is clearly on form following her two silver medals at the Manchester World Cup, in the Sprint and 500 m TT, as well as a gold medal in the Keirin at the LA World Cup.
Making the step up will be difficult for Pendleton, but she has been training hard over 500 m and hopes that she will have the speed and power to last the Kilo. "I've been training over 500 m and Craig MacLean has been helping me to improve my power," she said, adding, "I haven't actually done a Kilo so it is going to be interesting!"
The current record was set by Sally Boyden at the Manchester Velodrome back on September 5, 1995. Pendleton hopes to shave a couple of seconds off Boyden’s time of 1m 14.180 secs but realises it won't be easy. "I am going to aim to go about 2 seconds faster than the record so I'm hoping for about a 1.12. It’s going to be tough but it will be great going for it at Revolution. There should be a big crowd so hopefully they will get behind me and spur me on."
Pendleton’s record attempt will be one part of the Revolution 8 programme, also including a Great Britain versus Germany Team Sprint and all star Revolution Madison. Unfortunately, one absentee from the Madison will be Olympic medallist Bradley Wiggins. Due to Brad’s extensive road race programme he will be unable to ride as previously announced and will be riding Het Volk instead.
Tickets are available to purchase in advance from www.cyclingrevolution.com or by calling 07005 942 579. Tickets are also available to purchase on the night.
UCI doping news
The UCI has announced that the following riders have been sanctioned for doping offences:
Moises Alfredo Morais Leboso (Spa) tested positive for triamcinolone acetonide during the Circuito Montañes (Spa) on June 21, 2004, sanctioned by the Real Federacion Española De Ciclismo, fine of €601 (art. 64 AER).
Markus Fothen (Ger), tested positive for prednisolone during the GP Schwarzwald (Ger) on August 22, 2004, acquitted by the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer.
Shane Perkins (Aus), tested positive for metamphetamine during the World Junior Track Championships (USA) on July 29, 2004, sanctioned by Australian Cycling Federation, suspension of 6 months from November 16, 2004 to May 15, 2005, disqualification of the race.
Iban Uberuaga Natxiondo (Spa), tested positive for triamcinolone acetonide during the Bira (Spa) on July 2, 2004, sanctioned by the Real Federacion Española De Ciclismo, fine of €601 (art. 64 AER).
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)