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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for February 22, 2005

Edited by John Stevenson

Pozzato fined & Guerini censured in Simeoni hearing

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

The disciplinary commission of the Italian Federation has censured Guiseppe Guerini and fined Filippo Pozzato €3,000 in a hearing arising from an incident in stage 18 of the 2004 Tour de France.

The commission found that Pozzato and Guerini had insulted Fillippo Simeoni after Simeoni returned to the peloton in stage 18. Simeoni had been in a breakaway that was chased down by Lance Armstrong, whom Simeoni is suing for libel in fall-out from the Ferrari case.

After the verdict, Pozzato told Cyclingnews, "I'm not happy but that's the way it came out. We're looking to see if now, this might become part of the official case [of Simeoni Vs. Armstrong]." Avv. Pasqualin, who defended Pozzato today in front of the disciplinary commission told Cyclingnews, "Frankly, we're perplexed with the entire situation. We think the decision is unjust. Fillippo offended no one; he didn't say anything directly to Simeoni and was sharing his opinion with the other riders in the group." Pasqualin, who primarily works with soccer players like Alessandro Del Piero of Juventus, added, "I have a lot of experience representing athletes who are being disciplined and I've never heard of any case like this in any sport." Pozzato, who is recovering from a cough and looking to get back on the road will likely head to the warmer climes of Tuscany for some training with his Quick.Step team leader Bettini.

Liberty Seguros aims for the Tour

"The best team in the world"
Photo ©: AFP Photo
Click for larger image

Liberty Seguros team manager Manolo Saiz has one aim for 2005: the Tour de France. Speaking at the team's launch in Seseña (Toledo) yesterday, Saiz said, "We are going to try to win the Tour. The line-up last year was of great quality and this year it has been made even stronger."

Liberty Seguros certainly boasts an impressive array of talent for 2005, including Roberto Heras, Joseba Beloki, Igor González de Galdeano, Michele Scarponi and Portuguese rising star Sergio Paulinho.

"We are going to be the team to beat," said Saiz, "the team that provides an example, as Miguel Indurain said, a beacon in the world of international cycling. We are the best team in the world. We have the right mixture of youth and experience."

Sergio Paulinho (L), Roberto Heras (C) and Nuno Ribeiro (R)
Photo ©: AFP Photo
Click for larger image

Roberto Heras, set to be the rider that Saiz pits against Lance Armstrong in the 2005 Tour de France, said he planned to arrive "fresh" in France in July to try and end Lance Armstrong's run of victories.

"The ambition of any sportsman is always to beat his greatest rival," said Heras, who is glad the six-time winner will ride this year's Tour. "It would not be good if Armstrong was in form but did not ride the Tour," he said.

Heras added that the UCI ProTour would not affect his preparation for the Tour de France. "I want to arrive at the Tour fresh physically and mentally," he said. "We have to learn from the mistakes [of last year]."

Heras intends to ride the Semana Catalana, Estella, Vuelta a País Vasco and Amorebieta as preparation for the Tour de France, where he will be supported by Liberty's latest acquisition, Joseba Beloki.

Beloki said he felt like a prodigal son returning, "home, where they look after me well and I get better results. I have extra motivation. I hope that I have all the problems of 2004 behind me. It was very hard not to be in the team last year, but now I am back, knowing that Roberto is the leader."

Heras being designated as the team's Tour contender "takes the pressure off me," said Beloki. "That Armstrong will ride the Tour is no surprise."

Beloki will ride the Vuelta a Murcia, Tirreno Adriático, Semana Catalana and Giro d'Italia in a fairly busy first third of the season. "I am going to race a lot because I need competition to regain my form," he said.

See the full team roster in the Cyclingnews teams database.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by AFP Photo

Carrigan thinking about track return

Australian Sara Carrigan's recent stint of track racing at the Australian championships was supposed to be a one-off, but after finding it's had beneficial effects on her road form, the Olympic champion is considering spending more time on the boards.

"A bit of that track intensity, it's lifted me more than I imagined," Carrigan told Roger Vaughn of AAP. "The thing is, I really enjoyed it too and that's the first part of it. If the possibility is there, I'd really like to do it again. Also, when I'm finished with all my road goals, I want to give it a real go."

Carrigan has been preparing for today's opening stage of the Geelong Women's Tour and Sunday's opening round of the women's World Cup, also in Geelong. These will be her first races with her new team, Van Bemmelen-AA Drink and she'll be joined by one of her rivals at the track nationals, Australian pursuit champion Kate Bates, as well as Bates' sister Natalie and Dutch rider Suzanne De Goede.

Capelle and Bracke in Haribo car incident

Landbouwkrediet-Colnago riders Ludovic Capelle and Tony Bracke are recovering from injuries sustained in Sunday's Classic Haribo when they were hit by a car. Capelle and Bracke were attempting to chase down the 19-rider break when the collisions happened; neither were seriously hurt.

Both riders were due to undergo medical examinations yesterday. Bracke appeared to have injured his bottom in the fall, and was complaining of head-aches after the crash destroyed his helmet, while Capelle seemed to have escaped with a bruised knee.

Sinkewitz guests at Deutschland Tour presentation

Quick.Step rider Patrik Sinkewitz will be the special guest at the presentation of the Deutschland Tour (Tour of Germany) today. This year's event is scheduled for August 15-23 as part of the UCI's top-level ProTour series.

Sinkewitz won last year's edition and says he will be back for this year's race. "For me it's an honor to be invited to this presentation, he said in a team statement. "This year the Deutschland Tour will start in August. My physical condition in that period will depend a lot on the races that I will do before August, but surely I will take part [in] the race to defend the victory of last year."

Who is Hugo Sabido?

Hugo Sabido
Photo ©: João Dias
Click for larger image

By Christian Lagneaux,

Volta ao Algarve winner Hugo Sabido (Paredes R.M.-Beirata) is one of a rising generation of Portuguese riders, along with talents such as Olympic road race silver medalist Sergio Paulinho and Nuno Ribeiro (both Liberty Seguros). Sabido clinched victory in the Volta ao Algarve in fine style, attacking 2.5km from the finish on the Alto do Malhão and leaving behind race contenders such as José Luis Rubiera (Discovery Channel) and Stuart O'Grady (Cofidis).

Born December 14, 1979, Sabido won several races as a junior and turned pro in 2002 for the Porta da Ravessa team. He took his first professional victory almost immediately in the GP Abimota. He moved to Barbot in 2003 and while he didn't win any races that year he had a solid season, finishing third in the Volta a Alentejo and posting good results in some Portuguese races. Last year he joined Milaneza where he was second in the Portuguese time trial championship behind after Paulinho and won a stage of the Tour of Poland, finishing second overall.

An all-rounder who can sprint, climb and time trial, Sabiso has stepped into the leadership role at the Parades Rota dos Móveis - Beira Tamega Continental team this year, and Portuguese fans will be hoping for great things to come from the 25-year-old who took both the mountains and overall classifications in the Tour of Algarve.

Fassa Bortolo for Vuelta Valenciana

The Fassa Bortolo team has announced its line-up for the Vuelta Valenciana, February 22-26. Under directeurs sportifs Alessandro Giannelli and Bruno Cenghialta the team will field Fabian Cancellara, Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni, Andrej Hauptman, Alberto Ongarato, Alessandro Petacchi, Fabio Sacchi, Matteo Tosatto and Marco Velo.

Teams for Geelong Tour

The Netherlands-based Buitenpoort - Flexpoint team has announced the riders it will field for the Geelong Women's Tour, which starts today. The team will be: Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel, Susanne Ljungskog , Tanja Hennes-Smidt and Linda Melanie Serup.

Meanwhile, the Nobili Rubinetterie will be represented by Daniela Fusar Poli, Sigrid Corneo and Silvia Valsecchi.

Lincoln Grand Prix celebrates fiftieth edition

The 2005 edition of Britain's Lincoln International Grand Prix on Sunday May 8 will the race's fiftieth, and to celebrate race organiser Ian Emmerson is arranging for as many as possible of the event's previous winners to attend as VIP guests.

At least seven previous winners are expected to ride this year's edition. Malcolm Elliott, John Charlesworth, Mark Walsham, Kevin Dawson, John Tanner, Chris Newton and Mark Lovatt are all due to line up as part of a 100-strong contingent of elite British riders who will be joined by 40 or so overseas competitors.

The Lincoln International Grand Prix began in 1956 as the Witham Valley Grand Prix and was organised by Mike Jones on behalf of a new cycling club called the Witham Valley Road Racing Club. That club is now part of the Velo Club Lincoln since the amalgamation of the City's clubs in 1968 and a resultant name change to The Lincoln Grand Prix. Club and event names may have changed over the years, but Jones has remained involved and enthusiastic. This year he will be at the finish line for the 50th time when he takes on his judging role at the event.

Forty-one riders have won the 49 editions to date, the most successful being Paul Curran of Stockton on Tees with four wins, in 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1991. Sheffield's Malcolm Elliott won in 1983 and has already confirmed that he will ride in 2005, having finished third in 2003 and 2004. Elliot is now 43 but still competes in all the UK's major events on both road and track.

The race became international in 1999 when Lithuanian Saulius Ruskis (Oktos - MBK) won. Ruskis has gone on to become a substantial professional rider who now rides for the French Agritubel team.

Irishman David O'Loughin was the most recent winner, beating Robin Sharman in 2004. Now riding for the Navigators Insurance team in the US, O'Loughin hopes to return to defend the title.

World Cup Cycling team

The World Cup Cycling team of Mechanicsburg, PA, USA has announced its 2005 cycling roster and sponsors. The World Cup Cycling Team seeks to be one of the dominant teams racing in Pennsylvania and the Northeast region. In 2004 team riders claimed prestigious placings including 12th place overall in the World Duathlon Championships, 4th place Elite Turkey Hill Cycling Classic, 3rd place Norristown Circuit Race, 1st overall Tour de Christiana Category 3, 8th and 11th overall in the Pennsylvania Elite Best All Around Rider Series standings.

Click here for the full roster.

North Atlanta Riding Club

North Atlanta Riding Club (NARC), Atlanta's oldest cycling club, has announced its 2005 racing program. The club's racing teams will be made up of a masters racing group, a junior development road/track group, an MTB group and a strong group of Cat 2, 3, 4 and 5 racers.

Click here for the full roster.

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