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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for January 16, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

Landbouwkrediet-Colnago continues youth focus

The Landbouwkrediet team
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
Click for larger image

Belgian team Landbouwkrediet-Colnago presented its squad on Friday in Anderlecht, Brussels. For 2005, the Continental Professional team will maintain its focus on developing young riders to become full professionals. "The ProTour was necessary, but I organised things differently," said manager Gérard Bulens, who could not outbid Omega Pharma and Quick.Step for the two Belgian ProTour licences. "A number of smaller sponsors became the basis for our team. Therefore we give the young riders plenty of chances."

Team director Claude Criquielion, whose son Mathieu is joining as a neo-pro, said that "We're the Belgian team with the most young guys. It won't bear fruit this year, but certainly next year." The team's young guns include 2003 U23 world champion Sergey Lagutin, Tour of Luxembourg winner Maxime Monfort, Sven Renders, James Vanlandschoot, Nico Sijmens and neo-pro's Steven Cummings, Mathieu Criquielion, Gregory Habeaux, Jean-Paul Simon, Jurgen Van Loocke.

That being said, there are still plenty of experienced riders such as Ludovic Capelle, Glenn d'Hollander, Johan Verstrepen and Geert Verheyen, with Ludo Dierckxsens still being a possibility to re-sign with the team. "I will never close the door for him," said Bulens.

Landbouwkrediet-Colnago has lost some of its higher profile riders, such as Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery), Tom Steels (Davitamon-Lotto) and Jacky Durand (retirement). "I'm happy that we were able to give Popovych the transfer that he dreamed of," said Bulens. "Durand is a great guy but he understood that there was no place for him in a young team without the Tour. Steels is really disappointing, because he gave us a lot of publicity."

Click here for the full team roster

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Luc Claessen/Cyclingnews.com/www.actiefotos.be

CSC gets ready

The CSC team will be presented to the press Sunday, January 23 at 16.00 in the historical Villa Medicea in Prato, Italy. CSC Team manager Bjarne Riis is more than happy with the progress of the preparations for the new season. "A new, exciting season is ahead of us, and at the moment the whole team is working very hard in order for it to be yet another great year for Team CSC," he commented on the team's website, team-csc.com.

The team will hold the first of its notoriously demanding training camps in Tuscany shortly, "where the foundation - both physically and mentally - is laid," said Riis. "The previous seasons have shown that our training camps have a huge influence on our achievements as well as our ability to function as a team, so we are extremely serious about them...Last year we had a fantastic spring season, and the riders left the first training camp in excellent shape. I cannot see why this year would be any different. The whole thing is planned in every detail and according to principles based on many years of experience and feedback. I think, we are miles ahead of most teams, when it comes to training, coaching and motivating the riders."

Riis is of the opinion that Team CSC will be even stronger this year than last. "Although our main objective is to go for the big stage races, I think we have the opportunity to make great results throughout the season. We have a very diverse team, which includes experienced riders as well as young talents. We have 11 new riders, and it will of course also be an exciting challenge to get them integrated with our philosophy and the rest of the team. After our survival camp in Denmark in December I am very optimistic about this. It made me very proud to see, how well the group functioned as a team

Omega Pharma won't appeal

Mark Coucke's Belgian pharmaceutical company Omega Pharma says that it will not appeal the decision of the court in Kortrijk to award Quick.Step team manager Patrick Lefevere €1.095 million in owed sponsorship. Two weeks ago, the court threw out Omega Pharma's €7.5 million breach of contract claim against Quick.Step, instead reversing the judgment and finding in favour of Lefevere.

Omega Pharma, which owns the Davitamon brand, was a co-sponsor of the Quick.Step team, but Lefevere broke the contract in July, 2004 after Omega Pharma refused to pay more money to start in the ProTour. But Omega Pharma also stopped paying its share of the initial sponsorship deal. Both parties filed lawsuits.

"We will abide by the decision made in Kortrijk," Coucke was quoted by Belga as saying. "I want to underline that we were right in saying that the contract we had until 2005 was unlawfully broken. On the other points, we did not win. Thus there will be an end between the legal fight between Davitamon-Lotto and the Lefevere group."

Patrick Lefevere commented that "sanity has prevailed. I hope that from today we can concentrate on the cycling teams, that we can race, and that we are spared from further setbacks." from the beginning. That is one of the things, which makes us unique."

An interview with Philip Deignan

Movin' on up

Philip Deignan
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
Click for larger image

One of Ireland's most exciting talents will line out in 2005 in the colours of the Ag2R Prevoyance outfit, taking his place alongside compatriot Mark Scanlon in the ranks of the French Continental Pro team. Shane Stokes speaks to Philip Deignan, another young Irish lad movin' on up into the big time.

Philip Deignan secured a two-year deal with Ag2R Prevoyance after a fine run of performances this season. He won two stages plus the overall in the Ronde d'Isard World Cup stage race and also took several other high placings in the espoir series, including eighth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He could well have finished on the podium had he not been sent the wrong way while in a promising-looking break with fellow Irishman - and VC La Pomme team-mate - Nicolas Roche. Deignan took a stage of the Tour of Chablais and won the team time trial championship of France with the Marseilles-based La Pomme squad.

The Letterkenny rider impressed outside France too. He showed his climbing ability when he placed third on two stages of the Baby Giro, although he missed out on a possible podium placing in the overall standings due to a bad crash on stage two. Earlier in the season, he took two sixth places en route to sixteen place overall in the Tour de Langkawi; strong performances against the professionals continued later in the year when he finished eighteenth overall in the Tour of Britain. Hopes were high that he could land a high placing in the world under 23 road race championships in Verona in October but, fatigued after a long season, Deignan had to make do with 17th place on the day.

Scaling back on training during October enabled the 21 year old to recharge his batteries. He is now building towards what he hopes will be fine first season in the pro ranks. GP d'Ouverture La Marseillaise on February 1st is likely to be his first race, followed by the Etoile de Bessèges and, hopefully, the Tour of the Mediterranean. Starts in the Dauphine Libéré and the Route du Sud are targets later in the season, plus a ride in the Tour de l'Avenir.

Cyclingnews caught up with the prodigious Irishman, checking how things are going as he counts down to the start of his professional career. Deignan was in good spirits and sounded excited about the challenges ahead.

Cyclingnews: So what have you been up to since the world championships?

Philip Deignan: Well, I came back to Ireland for four weeks. I just relaxed and took it easy in that time. Then, I went back over to Marseilles at the start of November and did a training camp up till a few days ago. It was in Villeneuve Sur Lot with the team. It was pretty good. The spins ranged from 90 kilometres to 180 kilometres a day and it was good meeting all the riders for the first time. It was a very relaxed camp, it was good.

Click here for the full interview

Kiesanowski to Nobili Rubinetterie

25 year old New Zealander Joanne Kiesanowski will ride for the Nobili Rubinetterie-Menikini-Cogeas team this year. She will be given the chance to race a dual track and road program by team director Walter Zini, and will start her season with the road World Cups in Australia and New Zealand before heading to the USA for the Track World's in Los Angeles. She will be based in Italy for the rest of the season.

Gilmore breaks vertebrae

Belgian Six Day rider Matthew Gilmore crashed and broke two vertebrae in his back during the Six Days of Bremen in Germany. Although he will undergo further examination by a doctor in Gent, the initial diagnosis means that he will likely be out for the rest of the Six Day season.

Wallers cobbles also out

After the news that the organisers of Paris-Roubaix had removed the famous Arenberg Forest cobbled section from the classic, it appears that the Wallers section that often follows it has also been taken out. The 1,000m mud and rubbish covered sector is not part of the 2005 route, much to the disappointment of the locals, who came out in force to watch the race pass by.

Spinning record

Italian ultra-cyclist Alessandro Colo has set a new record for riding an indoor bike (spinning), doing so for 201 hours, 1 minute and 8 seconds between December 27, 2004 and January 4, 2005. Colo covered 5819 km in his stationary ride, and along the way lowered his previous record time for 5000 km to 174 hours, 12 minutes and 29 seconds. Everything was checked with an odometer and an ergometer and during the rides he only stopped briefly to use the bathroom.

Colo, who conducts spinning classes in Rome, used the attempt to gauge his fitness for the Race Across America, which he plans to do this summer. He competed in the endurance event last year, but did not finish.

All9yards.com/Team EMU racing

All9yards.com/Team EMU racing is a new team based in Iowa, USA. Its elite team will be aiming for victories across the midwest at races including the Iowa City Weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, Nature Valley Grand Prix, Superweek, Kansas City Weekend, and state championship races in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Click here for the full team roster

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