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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

Latest Cycling News for June 8, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

White hits truck, but on track for 2005 TdF

Matt White (Cofidis) Photo ©: Christine Grein
Click for larger image

"I thought, 'this can't be happening'," was how Cofidis professional, Matt White, recounted his thoughts while he was waiting to be driven to a medical centre in Spain after colliding with a semi-trailer last Sunday.

After completing the 2005 Giro d'Italia, the Australian rider was out on his first training ride last Sunday, June 5. A semi-trailer had overtaken him as he approached the town of Denia, about 80km from his home in Valencia. But the truck driver was overly ambitious and had to brake hard for a set of traffic lights, cutting sharply in front of White, who couldn't brake in time and collided with the rear of the truck.

White split his head open and also damaged the same right shoulder he broke only four hours before the start of the 2004 Tour de France.

'Whitey' had hoped to finally make it to his first Tour de France on July 3, 2004, but crashed before the prologue and broke his right collarbone. (Cofidis had to scramble to find first reserve, Peter Farazijn, who was drinking beer and watching a rally in Ypres at the time).

The memory of missing that start of last year's Tour has haunted the courageous Sydney-sider even since, and he certainly made up for lost time by being an integral part of teammate Stuart O'Grady's victory in the Hew Cyclassics World Cup race in Hamburg that followed the TdF last year.

This time around, White told Gennie Sheer, Cycling Australia's public relations manager, that despite colliding with the truck and falling to the ground, the cars behind him simply drove around him and left him bleeding on the ground.

The rider walked to a nearby bar where staff gave him a towel to stem the bleeding, and then drove him to a medical centre, where a physician put four stitches in his head-wound, without anaesthetic. Yesterday, White got back on his bike and successfully completed a three-hour training ride, and his right shoulder is sore but functioning.

He is still on track to make the start of the Tour de France in Fromentine on July 2.

Davitamon-Lotto for Tour de Suisse

The Davitamon-Lotto team will have a strong Belgian/Australian focus in the upcoming Tour de Suisse, which starts on Saturday, June 11. The team will be based around climber Cadel Evans, sprinters Robbie McEwen and Fred Rodriguez, and Nico Mattan and Gert Steegmans as time trial specialists. Wim Vansevenant, Leon van Bon, and Nick Gates make up the rest of the team, which will be directed by Herman Frison and Hendrik Redant.

Lampre fires Scotto d'Abusco

The Lampre-Caffita team has sacked its rider Michele Scotto d'Abusco, who, along with Liberty's Isidro Nozal, returned a high hematocrit before the start of the Dauphiné Libéré. "On the basis of our internal regulations and in the absence of health justifications, the rider has been dismissed with immediate effect," said the team in a statement.

Davitmon-Lotto wants Alti-Trainer back

Davitmon-Lotto's team doctor Daniel De Neve has started a legal process to reclaim his Alti-Trainer, that was seized by Italian police during the Giro for its alleged blood boosting properties. Under Italian law, any artificial method to increase blood values for sport competition is prohibited, although the manufacturers of the Alti-Trainer make no claims that it changes an athlete's blood values.

De Neve hopes to be able to have the device back in his possession by the Tour de France, as it is legal to use it in France.

Source: VRT Teletekst

Philips to take over from Fassa Bortolo?

Reports in La Gazzetta dello Sport have fuelled speculation that the Dutch electronics giant Philips could take over from Fassa Bortolo as the main sponsor of Giancarlo Ferretti's "silver team". La Gazzetta has reported that ex-Rabobank manager Jan Raas has been acting as an intermediary between Philips and Ferretti for the last three months, and a yay/nay sponsorship decision is expected next week. Raas has dismissed the rumours.

Ferretti has already applied for an extension of his ProTour licence for another three years, but the question as to which colours Alessandro Petacchi will ride in next year is still up in the air.

NASA engineer to compete in RAAM

47 year-old NASA aerospace engineer Kevin Walsh will be one of 26 solo competitors in the Race Across America (RAAM), which begins on June 19. Walsh is an aeronautical propulsion engineer at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, and is aiming to complete the 3,000 mile (4800 km) course in 10 days.

"I am competing in the Race Across America because it is the ultimate endurance bicycle race," said Walsh. "RAAM has been one of my life goals since the first one was held in 1982 when it was called the Great American Bike Race. I want to compete before I get too much older. I believe I'm ready.

"I have been averaging over 450 miles of riding per week since February to prepare for the race. I have competed in a number of cycling competitions, including multiple double centuries (200 miles). I won an event during which I rode 410 miles in 24 hours, and cycled 360 miles during a recent weekend in the heat near Las Vegas."

"I believe my chance of completing the race is very good. Training has been excellent and I have an exceptional crew of six who are very motivated to get me to Atlantic City."

Training for this race has Walsh in the best physical condition of his life. He is 6'2" (188cm) tall and weighs 170 pounds (77 kg). He hopes to gain four or five pounds before the RAAM, when he expects to lose a pound each day. Walsh hopes to maintain his energy during the race with a special diet of liquid foods, supplements, fruit and light solid food. His long hours on the bike have also helped him adapt to the sleep deprivation that will occur during the race.

The Race Across America begins in San Diego. The competitors will cross 13 states, climbing and descending 109,880 feet (33,500 m) before reaching Atlantic City, N.J. That means riding up to 22 hours per day, with no designated rest stops and no drafting behind other cyclists or vehicles. The route is shared with normal traffic on secondary roads with an occasional venture onto a freeway.

4th Cox Charities Cycling Classic

Sunday, June 12 will see some of the USA's best professional cyclists visit Station Park in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, for the 4th annual Cox Charities Cycling Classic. Held on a 1 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 purse. Held one week after the Wachovia US Professional Championships in Philadelphia, the event offers riders a chance to stay on the East Coast and make the short trip to New England to take advantage of their form and compete for a sizable prize list.

There will be plenty of side activities organised in Station Park on the day as well, with food vendors and exhibitors including HBO, Showtime, WWE, ESPN, NBC Universal, Discovery, and IFC. Rhode Island Rock Gym will once again provide a rock wall for amateur climbers and Scooby Doo will appear between 11:00am and 3:00pm. Mike Siedley, the US champion trials rider in mountain bike stunt riding will be on hand to demonstrate some of his stunts and trick riding. In addition, the Narragansett Wheelmen, a cycling group from Rhode Island, will be on hand with a display of antique bicycles.

At 12:30pm. Providence Mayor David Cicilline will hose the Mayor's Challenge with elected local and state officials and members of the media racing for a $1,000 Cox Charities grant award to the charitable organization of his or her choice. Last Year's challenge was won by South Kingstown School Committee Member David Cote.

The men's pro race begins at 1:00pm and will be run over 40 laps of the 1 mile circuit. Riders will include former US Professional Road Champion Mark McCormack (Colavita/Sutter Home) and Oscar Pineda (Guatemalan National Team), a 2000 Sydney Australia Olympian. Pineda finished second in 2003 and third in 2004 in this race. In addition, a number of amateur cyclists who recently returned from military duty in Iraq will participate.

The race will benefit Cox Charities New England, with funds raised going towards supporting programs and organisations dedicated to the education of youth in the area.

More information:

Mont 24 Hour team entries closed

After only one week of entries going online, the MONT 24hr Australian Mountain Bike Championships is full. 500 teams have entered into what is reportedly the world's largest 24hr mountain bike race. Over 2200 riders will be competing for $60,000 worth of prizes, and it's expected that a total of 6000 people will attend the race. The lucrative solo category includes Australian Championships jerseys, paid airfares to Canada and cash prizes.

Race Director, David White, was astounded at the speed of entries. He said that, "It shows very strong support for this fantastic race" and commented that he was disappointed for the 80 teams that have missed out.

The race will be conducted over the weekend of 8/9 October in Kowen Forest, Canberra. Solo riders can still enter until September 1.

More information:

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