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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for February 23, 2005

Edited by John Stevenson

An interview with Erik Zabel

"If I could beat Petacchi once more..."

Ete Zabel
Photo ©: Hedwig Kröner/CN
Click for larger image

No edits are necessary when you transcribe a chat with Erik Zabel; one of the best sprinters in the world is also a very eloquent talker. Well, at least in German, the language Cyclingnews' Hedwig Kröner spoke with "Ete" at T-Mobile's team presentation in Bonn.

Erik Zabel is still annoyed at the ongoing discussions about his participation in the Tour de France. His team-mate and Tour podium finisher Andreas Klöden had brought about the issue in public when he told journalists at the end of last year that "in order to win the Tour de France, you need one captain and eight helpers," indirectly questioning Zabel's participation. Both Zabel and Klöden are saying they had a reconciling conversation about it, but the attending media representatives were eager to know more.

"It's OK to have different opinions and to think about different strategies," Zabel acknowledged. When asked if one of the reasons should he be excluded would be his (unconfirmed) poor team time trial qualities, he said: "At the moment, there are 15 riders on the roster for the Tour, and the management will pick nine of them in June."

Click here for the full interview

T-Mobile Team cool on Guerini verdict

By Susan Westemeyer

Giuseppe Guerini apparently doesn't have to worry about any repercussions from his T-Mobile team after his reprimand by the Italian disciplinary commission. T-Mobile press spokesman Luuc Eisenga says that the team sees the situation as non-event, barely worth commenting on. "I think that the verdict shows that Guerini didn't do anything wrong. He told me that he didn't talk directly to Simeoni, and Simeoni has expressly confirmed that to Guerini." Then why was he punished for something he didn't do? "I can't speculate on that," said Eisenga.

Does Guerini plan to appeal the ruling? "I don't think so," said Eisenga, "it's not a serious situation and reacting to it would make it bigger than it deserves to be. He didn't do anything wrong." Does the team plan to take any action against its rider? "What should the team do? I don't think it is fair that Guerini was called in this case in the first place. He didn't talk directly to Simeoni, merely expressed his thoughts to ONE other rider, and why should he not be allowed to do that?" And finally, why was Italian rider Daniele Nardello not involved in the hearing? "Probably because he rides on a Swiss license," said Eisenga meaning that the Italian commission wouldn't have any authority over him.

Tour of Germany announced

Details of the 2005 Deutschland Tour - the Tour of Germany - were announced in Frankfurt yesterday. The seventh edition of the race will take place in August instead of June this year and has been extended to nine instead of seven stages because of its new ProTour status. The international peloton will head from Altenburg to Bonn from August 15-23, completing 1510 km on their way to the finish line.

The organisers of the German stage race hope to attract the main Tour de France contenders to make the event a 'Tour rematch'. Taking place three weeks after the French race and three weeks before the Vuelta a España, the Deutschland Tour is well-positioned in the calendar to achieve that goal. It also features the highest point of this year's ProTour races, as the 2684 m high Rettenbachferner mountain finish on stage four is not topped by any other parcours. Other stages favouring riders with good climbing abilities are stage two with the 1118 m high Brettenmais and stage seven, including several climbs up to 1280 m on the Feldberg.

2005 Deutschland Tour stages

Stage 1 - Monday, August 15: Altenburg - Plauen, 170 km
Stage 2 - Tuesday, August 16: Pegnitz - Bodenmais, 180 km
Stage 3 - Wednesday, August 17: Bodenmais - Kufstein, 232 km
Stage 4 - Thursday, August 18: Kufstein - Sölden/Rettenbachferrer, 175 km
Stage 5 - Friday, August 19: Sölden - Friedrichshafen, 215 km
Stage 6 - Saturday, August 20: Friedrichshafen - Singen, 175 km
Stage 7 - Sunday, August 21: Singen - Feldberg/Schwarzwald, 173 km
Stage 8 - Monday, August 22: Ludwigshafen - Weinheim, ITT 30 km
Stage 9 - Tuesday, August 23: Bad Kreuznach - Bonn, 170 km

Astarloa off the bike for two to three months

Igor Astarloa has undergone surgery to repair his broken left arm after he was involved in a crash in Sunday's Classic Haribo in France. The 2003 world champion is expected to be out of competition for two to three months, though doctors say he will be able to resume training in 30 days.

Astarloa sustained a complex fracture of the forearm and wrist in the crash, which required a titanium plate and screws to rejoin the bones. The surgeon who performed the operation, Mikel Sánchez of the Clínica USP La Esperanza in Vitoria, said that it had gone well and no complications were expected that would hinder Astarloa's rapid recovery.

Alexandre Zinoviev, 1961-2005

Alexandre Zinoviev
Click for larger image

Former top Soviet cyclist Alexandre "Sasha" Zinoviev died on Monday at University Hospital Cincinnati from gastric cancer. He had been fighting the disease since June 2004.

Zinoviev was born in Velikie Luki, Russia, May 3, 1961. A world champion as part of the Soviet team time trial squads in 1983 and 1985, Zinoviev was a world class cyclist between 1975 and 1992 and was awarded a Medal for Outstanding Achievement from the Soviet government after the Soviet team won the teams contest in the Peace Race. His individual victories included a stage of the Giro d'Italia, stages of the 1984 Milk Race in the UK, the 1985 Tour of Cuba and stages of the 1985 Tour de l'Avenir.

Zinoviev came to the US in 1990 as part of a Cycling Sister City exchange between Cincinnati and Kharkiv, Ukraine and became a US citizen in 2001. For the last several years of his life he worked as a Senior Systems Analyst at United Medical Resources.

Zinoviev leaves a wife, Lora and ten-year old child, Polena.

The visitation will be Wednesday February 23 from 12:00-2:00 with the funeral and burial at 2:00. The location is the Nurre-Mihovak-Rosenaker Funeral Home, 10211 Plainfield Road, Blue Ash. The Rest Haven Cemetery and the funeral home are just north of the Blue Ash Golf Course on Plainfield.

Van de Walle sidelined

After a strong start to the season with sixth place overall at the Tour de Langkawi, Landbouwkrediet-Colnago's Jurgen Van De Walle will miss the start of the European season. The 28-year-old Belgian is suffering from bronchitis, and will skip the early Belgian semi-classics.

Fullana and Orbea part

Spanish mountain biker Marga Fullana and her sponsor for the last several years, bike manufacturer Orbea, have parted company, according to Europa Press.

The team announced Monday that it would not renew its support of Fullana, which goes back to 2002, citing "differences of opinion in sporting philosophy." The team said it was "difficult" to make this decision "only a few days after the official team presentation" on February 16, "but we believe it is the best solution for the two parties."

In 2002 Orbea was virtually unknown outside Spain and Fullana was a recent world champion, winning the title in 1999 and 2000. Since then Orbea has expanded outside of its Spanish base, while Fullana has concentrated mostly on Spanish races. Fullana previously rode for Specialized, but was let go by the team at the end of 2001 after riding only four of that year's eight World Cup races.

Cárdenas to Barloworld

Colombian Félix Cárdenas has signed for the Barloworld team for the 2005 season, with an option to extend the contract into 2006. Cárdenas, who has ridden for the last two years with Orbitel and Café Baques, will make his 2005 European debut at the Vuelta a Murcia, according to Marca.

Parra to Orbitel

Meanwhile, Cárdenas' former team Orbitel has acquired the services of Colombian former ONCE, Kelme and Café Baque rider Ivan Parra.

Sea Otter fights childhood obesity

The Sea Otter Classic has announced the creation of a charitable arm, the Cypress Youth Fund, which will initially concentrate on funding programs that aim to combat childhood obesity.

"The mission of the Sea Otter Classic is to make peoples lives better through participation in sport and recreation, and through celebration of an active outdoor lifestyle," said Frank Yohannan, President and CEO of Sea Otter Classic, LLC. "If we can inspire children at a young age to embrace an active lifestyle and form good eating habits, just maybe the tragedy of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and other potentially fatal conditions can be avoided or significantly reduced," he added. "Cycling in particular can be enjoyed as a lifelong activity that supports a healthy lifestyle. It's the perfect sport for children - of all ages!"

Sea otter Classic initiatives to support the Cypress Youth Fund aims include a school outreach program in which pro riders visit local schools to promote cycling and encourage kids to take part in cycling events; the Mountain Bike Ride Zone at Sea Otter where young riders are encouraged to improve their riding skills under the supervision of pro riders; the Kids bike Rodeo; and free entries to all recreational events at Sea Otter for riders under 12 years old. This year 300 Junior Mountain Bike Cross Country racers will receive complimentary race entries courtesy of the Sea Otter Classic and the Napa Sheriff's Activities League.

Australian women cross Tasman

A record contingent of Australian riders will nip across the Tasman sea to New Zealand for next month's Trust House Women's International Tour and the New Zealand round of the women's World Cup, according to organiser Jorge Sandoval. A total of 27 Australians will start the tour on March 2 and the March 6 World Cup race.

Sandoval believes the women's contingent will be looking to repeat the success of their male counterparts at last month's Trust House Classic. "The Aussie men won the tour, the King of the Mountains competition, two stages and placed riders in every stage, now it is the women's turn," he said.

Australian teams include the national road squad, plus regional teams from the institutes of sport in Queensland, Victoria, Canberra and Western Australia. In addition, several top Australian riders will be riding in the colours of their European trade teams, including Sara Carrigan (Ton Van Bemmelen AA Drink), Oenone Wood and Olivia Gollan (both Nurnberger).

"The Australians have been racing full-on since January," said Sandoval, "they are race fit and in a hilly course, like we have prepared for the World Cup right in the middle of Wellington, only the fittest will survive."

The Trust House Women's Tour starts Wednesday March 2 with the Hutt City Criterium around Fraser Park. The second day, riders will travel by bus to the start of stage two a 117km from Featherson to Masterton in the morning and the Masterton criterium in the afternoon. The final stage takes place on Friday morning, with riders completing a 12km individual time trial in Miramar.

The Women's World Cup starts at 10.00am on Sunday March 6 from the Parliament Buildings in Wellington.

Vitamin Cottage Cycling Team 2005

The Vitamin Cottage Cycling Team, Pro-1-2 winner of the American Cycling Association's 2004 Best All Around Team Competition, has announced its 2005 rider and sponsor lineup. In 2005, The Vitamin Cottage Cycling Team will continue its focus on being the top Elite Amateur Team in the Colorado Region. The team will also target selected National Racing Calendar Events. Vitamin Cottage will look to continue its numerous Win/Podium Finishes in the Master's and Category 3 and 4 fields.

Click here for the full roster.

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