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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for June 14, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

No pussy-footing expected at 20th Tour de Beauce

Preview by Matt Hansen

Health Net's John Lieswyn is a favourite after his Nature Valley victory
Photo ©: Caroline Yang
Click for larger image

International cycling returns to St. Georges, Quebec, as teams from Canada, U.S.A, Poland, Australia and Germany get set to take on the twentieth edition of the Tour de Beauce Bell. This year sees a slightly different six days of riding, omitting the über-epic Mont Megantic stage. In its stead, however, are several days that are bound to sting even the toughest of legs that couple the long climbs and rough, straight roads of the Beauce region. In years past the racing often began passively with the big guns seeming to wait until the Megantic stage, allowing long breakaways that didn't affect the GC. With that factor removed most followers of the race agree the aggressive riding should begin from the gun, and continue until Sunday.

Despite a recent heat wave in the Eastern parts of Canada, the Gods of Beauce seem content to shower the stages with thunderstorms; the forecast for the first three stages week is rain, rain, and more rain. That being said, the group of possible contenders for the overall should already be small by the time the time trial stage (27km) starts the double day on Friday. Following the late-night criterium, riders will hit a very selective Saturday circuit race in downtown Quebec city. If that's not enough, the final stage is another difficult hilly circuit race of 12 laps with a flat, fast finish.

Favourites for the event should include both Health Net, coming off a 6-week road trip that includes wins at the USPRO champs, with 2003 winner John Lieswyn leading the green team; and a Euro-hardened Navigators team, led by Chris Baldwin. is a last minute addition to the event-its debut at the race-with guys like Glen Alan Chadwick, Cameron Jennings to ready to represent down under. And don't discount the Canadian pro team Symmetrics, led by 1995 Beauce winner and time trial star Eric Wohlberg, to be in the hunt for both stage wins and the overall.

Also see:

Start list
Past winners

An interview with Vasilli Davidenko

A cyclist's life - in three acts

Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

Hailing from the former Soviet state of Georgia, Vasilli Davidenko has experienced plenty of changes when it comes to the environment he races in. Moving from Russia to the United States and becoming a father again are two of them, but this hasn't stopped the 35-year-old from enjoying an excellent 2005 so far. Cyclingnews' Steve Medcroft discusses these changes with one of the quickest men on the US domestic racing scene at the moment.

Cyclingnews: After the win at Athens, you've won stages in the Tour of Connecticut and been part of the action at every top US race. You're having an exceptional year. Did you do anything different from years past to prepare?

Vasilli Davidenko: I've done basically everything differently and things am going better than previously. The last two years I had complications; interruptions in my training during the winter. Ever since I moved to the United States, in 1999, I've been working hard to make my life comfortable. This last year, I finally got my family and myself comfortable - we have our house and our first child (almost two years old), and my wife is pregnant again and gave me some really good news before I raced in Athens - that our second baby is a boy. In the past two years, in the winter time, I was doing different jobs, taking care of another business and coaching. I had too many things to take care of. And to me, if I get sick in the winter, if I take antibiotics or I miss some time, then I feel it during the season.

Click here for the full interview.

Bettini unwell

Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step), who finished 4th in the first stage, was forced to pull out of the Tour de Suisse after suffering gastric problems on the night following stage 2. The Olympic Champion thought it best not to start in stage 3, especially as the weather wasn't particularly nice either. "A shame, the condition is good, but with this rain and wind, I don't want to risk anything. The most important thing is to recover quickly.

Cunego in doubt for the Tour

Damiano Cunego's presence at the Tour de France is looking increasingly unlikely after he was diagnosed as getting mononucleosis in the second half of April. His team director and mentor Giuseppe Martinelli was quoted in La Gazzetta dello Sport as saying, "In one way, this news reassures me, because we have found an explanation for the failure of Damiano in the Giro, but on the other hand, we didn't need that."

Cunego, who won the 2004 edition of the race, finished 18th overall in the Giro, 24'05 behind Paolo Savoldelli. He will undergo more tests before deciding whether to take part in the Tour de France.

Where is Nose?

By Susan Westemeyer

Tomasz Nose, neo-pro with Team Phonak, may or may not be suspended after the team may or may not have found doping products in his possession. The Swiss magazine BLICK reported that the team discovered drugs in his possession during the Tour of Georgia and released him.

Interviewed yesterday on German television during the Tour de Suisse, Director Sportif Rene Savary said that they came across the problem with Nose during "internal controls" and confirmed that the rider had been suspended - not fired - from the team.

But Phonak's Team Manager John Lelangue has denied the story - at least part of it. "Nose has not been fired and we continue to pay him every month," said Lelangue. "His contract runs out the end of the season." However, he admitted, "Nose is a rider who has had problems since the start of the season. He is difficult to integrate into the team."

Lelangue did not address the doping allegations and the team has not commented further when contacted by Cyclingnews.

Martinello to supervise Italian national team

Italian six-day star Silvio Martinello has been appointed to the position of supervisor of the Italian national track team, announced the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI). Martinello has been assigned the task of restructuring the program, as Italian track cycling has fallen into a hole in recent years.

The FCI also stated that this year's Italian track championships will be held in San Vincenzo (Livorno) between September 6-8.

Gollan elected President women's CPA

Australian Olivia Gollan (Nürnberger Versicherung) has been elected President of the newly formed Management Committee of the women's Association of Professional Cyclists. Gollan was elected at a meeting of 92 of the world's top female road cyclists last month in Valladolid, Spain. 11 women of differing nationalities have been elected to the Committee which will act on behalf of the athletes in the administration of their sport.

More cyclists recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

In addition to cycling commentator Phil Liggett being awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, several other members of the cycling community have also been acknowledged. David Brailsford, the head of Britain's World Class Performance Plan for cycling, also received an MBE, while Cycling Australia President, Mike Victor, along with gold medal winning pilots at the Athens Paralympics, Robert Crowe and David Short have been awarded Order of Australia Medals (OAM).

Keller joins Buitenpoort-Flexpoint

German rider Luise Keller has signed for Buitenpoort-Flexpoint, with team manager Jean-Paul van Poppel making good use of the transfer period that the UCI allows in June. The team can use the extra rider, as it was not allowed to start in the Omloop door Middag-Humsterland because it didn't have a team of five riders.

Keller is 21 and rode well in the Tour de l'Aude this year, where she finished second in a stage and second in the overall young rider classification. She also has several German road and track titles to her credit.

Highland Fling: marathon racing in NSW's southern highlands

The inaugural Highland Fling will take place on November 13, 2005, consisting of 100km of mountain bike marathon racing in the Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia, starting and finishing in Bundanoon.

Much of the course has now been finalised, and organiser Huw Kingston test rode it on Monday: "Yep, the old body is creaking and groaning but riding the course was a very satisfactory way to celebrate the Queen's Birthday (although us Celts prefer not to doff our caps to the monarch!). I'm really pleased with how the course is shaping up with great variety in the riding - singletrack, open paddocks, native forest, pine forest. In fact the only thing there isn't much of is Roadie Base! (about 2km).

"Apart from the Start/Finish 'straight' the course doesn't traverse the same tracks twice and really is a Grand Tour of the best the Southern Highlands offers. From the popular singletrack in Penrose State Forest to the deep gullies of Wingello State Forest, open farmland to ice creams at Wingello shop! The full 100km will challenge the most elite riders as the ups and downs take their cumulative effect on legs and lungs - they certainly did on mine but that's from an old codger."

There will be more than the 100 km option available: Riders can do half of the Fling (doing Stages 1 and 3 for a total of approx. 53km), or do it as a Relay Fling as team of 3 (Stage 1 27km, Stage 2 47km, Stage 3 26km).

Entries should be open in late July on

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