Latest Cycling News for June 7, 2005
Edited by Anthony Tan
Zabriskie a chance at the Tour
After his proven performances at the Giro d'Italia, it wouldn't be a surprise to David Zabriskie's name on Team CSC's line-up for the 2005 Tour de France, which is now less than a month away.
However, the 26 year-old Utah native, who now lives in Berkeley, CA, but spends the season in Spain, is playing it cool. "Well, yeah... I don't know when I'll know for sure, but hopefully I'll know soon," he said to Cyclingnews about his chances in riding La Grand Boucle.
In his first Grand Tour for Team CSC, Zabriskie rode beyond expectations, winning the first time trial held in Firenze and finishing third in the final chrono won by his team leader, Ivan Basso. During that time, he was also won of Basso's strongest lieutenants along the flats and in the mountains, before the Italian's stomach problems saw him fall out of contention.
Asked to sum up his experiences at the Giro, Zabriskie said: "Hmm... Overall, a positive experience, though a little hard for the team when Ivan [Basso] faltered a little bit - but I think he came back and showed people what he was capable of, and it re-motivated the team. It turned out OK in the end."
Given the familiarity aspect of knowing he can perform under pressure in a Grand Tour situation - and for three weeks straight - one imagines Basso, who will also be CSC's man for the Tour de France, would be more than happy to have a guy like Zabriskie by his side. However, it seems team manager Bjarne Riis will decide on the final selection after the ProTour team time trial in Eindhoven on June 19.
"He hasn't given us a date, but I think we'll see how it goes in the team time trial for the ProTour, see how I'm feeling, and try and make it into the team," said Zabriskie.
With the importance placed on this event, and his prowess in the discipline, where he acted as Basso's point-man during the Giro, it's hard to see Zabriskie not being selected. However, if he isn't, Dave Z doesn't sound too bummed, casually remarking that he may go back to the States or spend some quality time with his girlfriend, who arrived in Spain a few days ago.
Then there's also the prospect of the world time trial championship title in Madrid, which, after his performances to date, Zabriskie would find hard to ignore. "It's still a ways away; I haven't completely decided on it, but I think it's a good idea," he said.
Look out for the interview with Dave Zabriskie in the next few days.
TTs are what concern Armstrong most
Although it's clear Lance Armstrong is in good shape after the opening prologue of the Dauphiné Libéré, where he finished fifth, he maintains that the lack of racing time trials this year is what concerns him most.
"Yes - less racing, less time trials, and the lack of the time trials is what concerns me the most right now. We have a long one here but not many efforts against the clock," Armstrong said at the press conference before the start of the Dauphiné.
It appears the Texan's sub-standard performance at the Tour of Georgia time trial six weeks ago, where he finished ninth in a 29.9 kilometre race against the clock and conceded almost two minutes to his ex-team-mate Floyd Landis, now riding for Phonak, still bothers him - which makes tomorrow's TT test in Roanne even more important.
In Sunday's prologue, both he and George Hincapie were riding new a time trial bike, badged the TTX, featuring an integrated headtube, reshaped downtube and a new one-piece aero bar and stem, and no doubt this bike will make a reappearance on Wednesday.
Armstrong has already said he intends to go all-out in the 46.5 race of truth; the other stage he is hinting at winning is the following day's ride to Mont Ventoux, a mountain he has never won on, but where he famously 'gave' Pantani the win at the 2000 Tour de France.
And while his desire to win a record seventh Tour comes as no surprise, the 33 year-old also wants to win the opening time trial in Fromentine on July 2. "I can't lie; when I roll down that start ramp on July 2nd, my intention is to win that day and the overall," he said.
Asked what it would take not to start this year's Tour, Armstrong said: "It would take a tragedy for me not to start this Tour. I would have to be incapable of riding: an accident, crash or a serious illness."
But exactly what he will do once the Tour is over is still up for speculation - both for Armstrong and the public, it seems.
"The first thing to do is step away from the bike and relax, head back to Texas and spend as much time with my kids as possible. We will see where life takes me from there. I don't have a lot of pressure."
Schmitz's first victory for 2005
Bram Schmitz's first win of 2005 on the final stage of the Tour de Luxembourg last Sunday was also his first for T-Mobile. Part of a lead group of four riders on the 155 kilometre stage from Wiltz to Diekirch, the 28 year-old outsprinted Jukka Vastaranta (Rabobank) and Fassa Bortolo's Lorenzo Bernucci and Dario Frigo to take the team's fifth victory for the season.
"It was planned that way, since we always had one of our riders in the leading group. That's the way you do it in pro cycling," said directeur sportif Brian Holm on t-mobile-team.com. "Bram rode very strongly; he pushed his luck in the finale and defended his small lead over the chasing field - that was great for our thinned-out team. Seeing how those few riders really gave it their best and were even successful at it was a lot of fun."
Schmitz's victory was T-Mobile's second stage win of the tour; their young sprinter Eric Baumann won the opening stage from Luxembourg to Mondorf and was holding a top 10 position going into the final day, but did not finish. "It doesn't matter. That's a small price to pay for two stage wins!" Holm said.
Ten grand up for grabs in Rhode Island
Held one week after the Wachovia USPRO Championships in Philadelphia, the fourth annual Cox Charities Cycling Classic will take place this Sunday, June 12 in downtown Providence, Rhode Island.
Held on a one mile, seven-corner criterium course in the heart of the city and across from the Rhode Island State House, this year's event will see the pro men's field competing for a $10,000 prize purse. The 40-lap/ 40-mile men's pro race begins at 1:00pm and is expected to include former USPRO champion Mark McCormack of the Colavita/Sutter Home team, who finished seventh in Philadelphia, and Oscar Pineda, a member of the Guatemalan National Team.
Racing begins at 9:00 AM. Riders can register on line at www.bikereg.com, with additional information available at: www.paveproductions.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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