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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for June 5, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

Heras wants to prove himself

Roberto Heras will lead the Liberty Seguros-Würth team in the Dauphiné Libéré, which starts tomorrow in Chambéry with a time trial. The Bejarano, who yesterday finished a reconnaissance of the Tour's critical stages, comes to the Dauphine in good form and without pressure to get results.

"Now I'm not obsessed about being 100 percent, because there is still so much time until the Tour and even more until the mountains," said Heras. "I have been in competition since last month and what I want is to prove myself a bit and to confirm that I am good enough with regard to the others."

In May, Heras has dedicated himself to training in the mountains. He spent 15 days in his home town of Béjar. "I was there because in these mountains you can do several long climbs, which is what I was interested in," he said.

After spending some time in Girona, Heras continued with a recon of the Pyrenean and Alpine stages of the Tour. "I have been impressed by this year's stages. It will be a very hard Tour, especially with this 55 km time trial in St. Etienne that is also difficult."

Heras hopes to complete his preparation by riding the Dauphiné. "The objective in coming here is also to ride on similar climbs to those of the Tour, to find the necessary rhythm, to prove myself a bit, and to see how I am with regard to my rivals...because the majority of them will be thinking the same: we want to see each other, but many will be absent this year because they preferred to go to the Tour de Suisse."

Dauphiné Libéré coverage:

Main & preview
Start list
Past winners
Stages

Giro del Trentino Alto Adige-Sud Tirol

The 12th edition of the Giro del Trentino Alto Adige-Sud Tirol will take place between June 15-19 in the northern part of Italy. This women's stage race is considered an important lead up for the Giro d'Italia femminile, and is run over a challenging parcours. Starting in Trento on Wednesday, June 15, the first stage is a fairly flat 121 km, finishing in Monzambano. Stage 2, from Luna to Cembra (84 km) is a hilly stage finishing with the climb of Feado. The third stage, from Condino to Bedizzole (88 km) is an undulating one finishing with several circuits. Stage 4 from Lavis to Ruffrè Mendola (86.5 km) is the toughest stage, finishing on the Passo Mendola. The last stage takes the riders from Vipiteno to Innsbruck in Austria over 95 km, and is not particularly tough, finishing outside the Imperial Palace of Innsbruck.

There are 132 riders in 19 teams, representing 27 countries, on the start list. Favourites for the overall victory include German Judith Arndt and her teammate Tina Liebig (Nürnberger), who won this race last year. 30 year-old Lithuanian Edita Pucinskaite (Nobili Rubinetterie), Russian Svetlana Boubnenkova (PMB Fenix), and Belarusian Zinaida Stahurskaya (SS Lazio Cicli Ladispoli) will present a strong foreign challenge, while local Italian hopes will rest with Luisa Tamanini (Team Aliverti Bianchi), Fabiana Luperini (Team FRW), who has five wins in this race, Tatiana Guderzo and MTB queen Paola Pezzo.

The stages

Stage 1 - June 15: Trento-Monzambano (Mantova), 121.3 km
Stage 2 - June 16: Roverè della Luna - Cembra (Trento), 84 km
Stage 3 - June 17: Condino (Trento) - Bedizzole (Brescia), 88 km
Stage 4 - June 18: Lavis - Ruffrè Mendola (Trento) 86,5 km
Stage 5 - June 19: Vipiteno (Bolzano) - Innsbruck (Austria), 95 km

Past winners

2004 Tina Liebig (Ger) Equipe Nurnberger
2003 Luisa Tamanini (Ita) Team 2002 Aurora
2002 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Edil Savino Anusca
2001 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Edil Savino Anusca
2000 Pia Sundstedt (Fin) (Ita) Sport Team Gas
1999 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Sport Team Gas
1998 Monica Bandini (Ita) Edil Savino
1997 Pia Sundstedt (Fin) (Ita) Sanson
1996 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Sanson
1995 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Sanson
1994 Imelda Chiappa (Ita) Merate

MerlanDuo-Be One in the hurt box

MerlanDuo-Be One team manager Ralf van Heugten hasn't had the best start to the weekend's MTB World Cup in Willingen, Germany, as six riders of his team are injured. The Willingen World Cup was supposed to be one of the highlights of the season for the ambitious Dutch/Belgian team. "This is just one big disappointment," said van Heugten. "Unfortunately, injuries are closely linked to sports, but six at the same time? That is something I could never have imagined happening!"

The injured riders include downhill riders Bas de Bever (knee injury) and Canadian Claire Buchar with concussion and a torn muscle. On the cross country side, Jimmy Thielens and Rudi van Houts are recovering from a hand and collarbone fracture, respectively. Jelmer Pietersma and Sander Bouwens are both suffering from knee injuries. Pietersma was injured during last week's world cup in Houffalize, Belgium. He hopes to have recovered in time however for the Tour de France for mountain bikers, which commences next week in Paris.

Consequently, two Belgian riders will appear at the start in Willingen for the MerlanDuo-Be One team: first year espoir Bjorn Brems and Belgian champion downhill Nico Vink. The latter is a candidate for a great result, as he has been in good form of late.

Ralf van Heugten hopes that his riders recover soon. "I have accepted the circumstances but I will remain positive once everybody has recovered. The season is definitely not over for MerlanDuo-Be One!"

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