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Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for June 2, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

USPRO Champ endures adversity in Philly

By Mark Zalewski in Lancaster

It seems that for Fred Rodriguez (Davitamon-Lotto), racing on U.S. soil is a treacherous task - more so for his equipment than for the current USPRO champion. Last year in Trenton, Rodriguez spent multiple laps of the race hanging on to the team car adjusting his seat. At the New York City Championships in 2004, his front brake lever broke making it extremely difficult to brake around the tight Manhattan course.

Bad luck struck again on Tuesday in Lancaster. First was the fact that the majority of his team was slowed down by travel problems from Belgium, including his flying Aussie lead-out man Henk Vogels. Thirty-five hours in the air and sitting in airports meant that his teammates would have been little use to him. "We had some difficulties getting the team here from Europe - something like a thirty-five hour trip, so we decided to rest [most today] so they could be as strong as they can for Sunday," said Rodriguez. "We were all in the hurt box - we wouldn't have been any help for him," said Vogels. "It would have been good to be there for him to kick off the week with a win, but [Thursday] is another day."

But that was not all Murphy's Law had in store for Rodriguez. This time the problem came in the form of a pedal malfunction. In the middle of the race, the left pedal broke and Fast Freddy needed to do some fast thinking. Complicating matters was the fact that he did not have a team car in the race, and only a couple of teammates.

"I needed a bike change and we didn't have a car, so I had to grab a pedal from the neutral support, put it in my back pocket and go to the hill where my [other] bike was sitting - drop my bike off with the mechanic and say, 'Switch the pedal!' Then get back in."

Simple, right? Not so fast, said Freddy. "On my way back trying to get my bike that was changed I was trying to get to the climb first so I could have time, and somebody wasn't paying attention hit me from the back and tore-off my derailleur. So I was coasting into the climb, got stuck half way up and had to run up the hill. Finally the mechanic came and pushed me up a little so I was off the back. I got my bike and had to sprint all the way back into the cars. And that's when the attacks started going - my teammates killing themselves trying to get me back. But other than that it was typical." (laughs)

After all this, Rodriguez still managed to make the decisive break and hold a strong position into the final sprint, just missing the win by a few centimetres. Look for Fast Freddy to defend his title on Thursday in Trenton, this time with an entire team, including a strong Henk Vogels.

Downing down for the count

Fred Rodriguez was not the only one to have misfortune in Lancaster. British rider Dean Downing ( XPower/Litespeed) broke his right collarbone and thumb in a crash during the race. He hit a 6-inch deep grate with both wheels at 60km/h, destroying the wheels and sending him to the ground.

Those of you wishing to send Deano a message of support can do at: . At the bottom of the page there is a link to email him.

Ullrich in action in Germany; Pollack and Klier in Luxembourg

Jan Ullrich will make his 2005 German debut this Saturday in the GP Schwarzwald. With his eyes set firmly on the Tour de France, Ullrich will use the race as an opportunity to fine-tune his climbing skills under race conditions. Two weeks ago, the 31 year-old showed form in the Volta a Catalunya, where he finished 18th overall. With five weeks remaining until the Tour starts on July 2, Ullrich's focus is now on developing his climbing potential to the max. Thus, riding one of the most demanding German one-day races with a mountainous circuit around Triberg seems appropriate. Seven 23.2 km laps for a total of 4,000 m in altitude gain and an overall distance of 162,4 km roughly equals the demands of a mountain stage at the Grand Boucle.

Alongside Ullrich, young talent Marcus Burghardt returns back to racing after a short break in his otherwise fully packed spring racing schedule. The same goes for Stephan Schreck, who rode with Ullrich in Catalunya. Rounding out the T-Mobile roster are the experienced André Korff, Daniele Nardello, Tobias Steinhauser and Steffen Wesemann.

Sergey Yakovlev, who finished fifth in 2004 as the best T-Mobile pro and the 2003 winner, Torsten Hiekmann, will not compete at the GP Schwarzwald. Instead the duo will ride the Dauphiné Libéré (June 5-12).

T-Mobile will also be in action in tomorrow's ProTour stage race, the Tour de Luxembourg, with a seven man line up. The team will focus on its sprinters Olaf Pollack and Eric Baumann, who will aim for a stage win. For Pollack it is the first race after his abandon in the Giro d'Italia. "The troubles caused by a light concussion like nausea, dizziness and headaches are gone by now," said Pollack. "So I am looking forward to my next race in Luxembourg."

Lining up with the two sprinters are Dutch duo Bram Schmitz and Bas Giling, and German veteran Rolf Aldag, who is coming back from a broken arm sustained in La Flèche Wallonne in April. "I will take things slowly at my first race after the injury," said Aldag.

Rounding out the roster for Luxembourg are Sergey Ivanov and Andreas Klier, the latter also on the recovery road after crashing in Gent-Wevelgem and suffering concussion. "I'm not back at 100 percent yet," said Klier. "In Bavaria it went better day by day. Training is already okay and with more race kilometres in my legs I will get in shape for the autumn classics."

The Tour de Luxembourg was first run in 1935. Apart from two interruptions in 1940 and 1944 for the Second World War, the race has been held continuously.

Six riders per team in Eindhoven

The ProTour team time trial in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, on June 19, will only have six riders per team taking part. It was originally planned to have eight or nine riders per team, but the team managers were against the idea, and were backed up by the UCI.

"Up until the last moment we defended our concern," said organiser Gerrie van Gerwen. "We wanted eight or nine riders to make it a really ultimate test for the team time trial in the Tour de France, but we came up against a veto from the team leaders. They wanted teams of no more than six riders. The UCI ruled in their favour."

The television production of the race will be managed by the Belgian VRT, which is considered one of the best in the world at covering cycling. Rival bidder Dutch View was not happy with that decision, as VRT is a subsidised broadcaster, while Dutch View is a private enterprise.

Finally, the UCI intends to use the Eindhoven team time trial as an example for other ProTour organisers, who have all been invited to The Netherlands to watch the event.

Universal Caffè Styloffice registered

The UCI has finally registered the Italian continental team Universal Caffè Styloffice, which has 17 riders on its roster. The team contains riders such as Raivis Belohvosciks, Giuseppe Di Grande, Vladimir Duma, and Gabriele Missaglia, and is managed by Antonio Iacovozzi with Giuseppe Lanzoni as sports director.

Full team roster: Niklas Axelsson (Swe), Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat), Simone Bertoletti (Ita), Lorenzo Cardellini (Ita), Davide Cavana (Ita), Ivan De Nobile (Ita), Giuseppe Di Grande (Ita), Vladimir Duma (Ukr), Fabio Gilioli (Ita), Leonardo Giordani (Ita), Domenico Loria (Ita), Daniele Marziani (Ita), Gabriele Missaglia (Ita), Dmitri Nikandrov (Rus), Igor Pugaci (Mda), Volodymyr Rybin (Ukr), Davide Torosantucci (Ita).

Cycling Ireland appoints new general manager

Cycling Ireland, the governing body for cycling in Ireland, announced the appointment of Tamara O'Driscoll to the position of General Manager on Wednesday. Following the departure of Stuart Hallam as CEO last March, Cycling Ireland decided against selecting a replacement officer and opted to create the post of General Manager instead.

O'Driscoll has spent over six years working in the sports industry in the UK. She has knowledge in sports PR, sponsorship, development and events gained during her involvement with The English FA, Manchester United FC, BBC Sport and SportsAid. She also has many years experience working in the third sector which will prove invaluable when dealing with volunteers.

In her new role, Tamara will oversee the day to day running of the federation as well as being responsible for policy implementation, insurance issues and development. She will also act as the main point of contact for the Irish Sports Council, private sponsors and the media.

"I am very pleased to take on the role of General Manager," said O'Driscoll in a statement. "There were several key factors that attracted me to the post. I had always intended to return to Ireland and bring with me some of my experiences gained in London and Manchester over the past years putting them to good use for the benefit of Irish Sport. This seemed like the ideal opportunity.

"Cycling has a great history in Ireland, there is a real passion and interest in the sport. The Irish Sports Council has invested heavily in cycling and the results of Ciaran Power in Athens, Mark Scanlon's endeavours in the Tour and more recently the opening of the High Performance training centre in Belgium were great boosts for the sport.

"I think coming in from the outside gives me a wonderful opportunity to actually be fresh eyes and fresh ears for the sport. Working together with both the board and our wonderful band of volunteers this should prove a very exciting time for Cycling Ireland."

Miceal Concannon, Honorary President of Cycling Ireland, said, "Having worked with a CEO for the past four years, Cycling Ireland decided to return to the format of running the federation under a General Manager. This enables the candidate to concentrate on the nuts and bolts of the organisation. The office itself is the back bone of the federation and its smooth running is imperative to the future progression of Cycling Ireland. It needs a complete overhaul to become more time and cost effective, giving greater value to our members and we are confident we have found the right person for the job."

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