Latest Cycling News for June 15, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones
An interview with Cadel Evans
Final countdown towards Tour debut
After a spell of bad luck long enough to make some question their place in the sport, Cadel Evans has bounced back in 2005 with a new team, a clean bill of health and plenty of Australian teammates. A strong Classics campaign preceded yet another break of his collarbone, forcing him to skip some pre-Tour races; but he's back into preparations for the Tour de France and tells Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes how it's all going.
Although the race wasn't originally on his 2005 programme, the Tour of Switzerland is an important benchmark for Cadel Evans. The Australian cracked a collarbone in recent weeks when he hit the deck while training in the Pyrenees, but is hopeful that his target of a strong Tour de France is still on track. The Davitamon-Lotto rider had just two days completely off the bike and then returned to the grind on an indoor trainer. Shortly afterwards, he got back out on the road and resumed his preparations for the Tour, with the biggest disruption coming from a re-jigged racing programme.
Evans had been planning on riding the Tour of Catalunya and then moving on to the Dauphine Libéré, where he would have been able to compare his form against the likes of Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and several other big guns. Recovering from that spill meant that his programme was changed on both accounts; the 28-year-old now set to do just the Tour of Switzerland before heading to France on June 27th.
"I am happy with the way the first part of the year has gone," said Evans of his spring. "I've had no victories, but all went pretty much according to plan. I was always there where I wanted to be. In Paris-Nice and the Classics I was good - possibly good enough to win but, for one reason or another, it didn't happen. But I was up there. Overall things are building up well towards the Tour."
Click here for the full interview
When your captain is wearing the leader's jersey, your team's biggest problem is controlling the pace, stopping breakaway groups and so on, right? Wrong, at least for T-Mobile Team yesterday. In his online diary, Jan Ullrich cites come of the "other" problems. Yesterday [Stage 4] started out with a long transfer from St. Anton to Vauduz, in Liechtenstein, and apparently everybody was on the road at the same time. "In the beginning it went quite fast, but soon we were crawling at snail pace on clogged roads up to Liechtenstein. Just 20 minutes to the start of the race, our bus arrived. That was pretty close! Fortunately, Mario Kummer and the mechanics had prepared everything perfectly, so we got up on our bikes coming straight from the bus."
He also mentions another problem, this time one for the TMO soigneurs. Apparently the Tour de Suisse management hadn't expected Ullrich to lead the race, or they didn't know what size jersey he now wears. "So far, the tour organisers in Switzerland had only one jersey in my size available."
So the TMO washing machine is putting in overtime in order to get Ullrich to the starting line each morning, clean, shiny and yellow.
Andreas Klöden is apparently not disappointed with his performance at the Dauphin Libéré, calling it "an important test for me" and saying that, "it went almost exactly as I had expected."
On his website, www.andreas-kloeden.com, he writes, "I wasn't at the Dauphine to compete with Lance and co., but rather to track down the remaining problems, in order to concentrate on resolving them with the right training in these last days before the Tour." He also said that he plans to ride the German championship on June 26. He won the German title last year.
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer
Vinokourov talking to Discovery Channel?
French newspaper Le Parisien/Aujourd'hui is reporting that T-Mobile's Alexandre Vinokourov is on Discovery Channel's short list as a replacement for Lance Armstrong. Both the team and the rider have gone directly in to the "neither confirm nor deny" mode.
Team Manager Johan Bruyneel said, "Every great rider at the end of his contract interests us." Armstrong said, "Ask Johan." Armstrong's manager Bill Stapleton said, "There exists a list of riders, but we can't tell you if Vino is on it or not."
Vinokourov is equally noncommittal: "It's hard to say. It's true that I'm at the end of my contract with T-Mobile but for the moment, I'm not committed. Come what may, I'm going to wait to see the results of the Tour to make a decision."
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer
Illes Balears to stop title sponsorship
The Illes Balears team will be looking for a new major sponsor and a new name again, having been dumped in favour of basketball. The regional government announced that it would withdraw its naming rights sponsorship of the cycling team and put its money in the Menorca basketball team, which will enable the team to financially qualify for the first league. The government will not totally abandon the cycling team, and will remain as a smaller sponsor, acknowledging that this is "bad news, but at this time is is necessary to make decisions."
It is speculated that current co-sponsor Caisse d'Epargne, a French financial institution, will take over as name sponsor, and is requesting the signing of as many French riders as possible. When Caisse d'Epargne came on board earlier this year, it was thought that the team would be called Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne until at least the end of 2006, but it appears that Illes Balears has decided to step back sooner, rather than later.
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer
Fassa Bortolo and Lampre for Eindhoven
The inaugural ProTour team time trial in Eindhoven (Netherlands) this Sunday, June 19, will be ridden by teams of six riders each. Fassa Bortolo has announced its lineup for the 48.6 km race, consisting of Paolo Bossoni, Claudio Corioni, Mauro Facci, Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni, Massimo Giunti, and Roberto Petito. The team director is Bruno Cenghialta.
Lampre-Caffita is sending Alessandro Ballan, GianLuca Bortolami, Paolo Fornaciari, Enrico Franzoi, Eugeni Petrov, and Alessandro Spezialetti. The team director is Giuseppe Martinelli.
Giro del Trentino Alto Adige starts today
The 12th edition of the Giro del Trentino Alto Adige-Sud Tirol Femminile starts today (Wednesday) with a 121 km stage between Trento and Monzambano. The 2.1 classed women's race will feature five stages in total, finishing on Sunday, June 19 in Innsbruck (Austria).
The organisers have confirmed that 19 teams and 125 riders representing 27 countries will be on the start line. The favourites include German World Champion Judith Arndt (Nürnberger), her teammate Trixi Worrack, Russian Svetlana Boubnenkova, recent winner of the Emakumeen Bira), British Nicole Cooke, Swiss Nicole Brändli, Lithuanian Edita Pucinskaite, Italian Fabiana Luperini, who has won this race five times, Tatiana Guderzo, Luisa Tamanini, and Paola Pezzo.
Stage 1 - June 15: Trento-Monzambano (Mantova), 121.3 km
RAAM competitors face up
With the start of the 24th edition of the Insight Race Across America set to begin on June 19, it's expected that the 3000 mile/4900 km ultra-endurance event will be a battle between Slovenian military man, Jure Robic, and the quietly spoken software engineer, Mike Trevino, of Fort Dodge, Iowa. Trevino proved last year that he has the endurance, and with his 25.7 mph (41 km/h) average speed for the 273 mile (437 km) crossing of Iowa on May 9, he also has the speed. But Robic is the UCMA 24 hour world record holder* on the road, having ridden 522 miles (835 km) in September last year, and may have the upper hand with his endurance.
Among the veterans, Rob Kish (50) of Port Orange, Florida, will compete in his 20th consecutive RAAM this year. Two old rivals of Kish's have entered and will aim to make his 20th race a close-fought one. Bob Breedlove (53) of Des Moines, Iowa, and David Kees (50) Grass Valley, California, compete in Kish's age bracket, and there may be some old scores to settle. Breedlove finished second to three-time winner Kish in 1994.
On the other end of the age spectrum, 18 year-old Ben Couturier from Anchorage, Alaska, is hoping to become RAAM's youngest finisher, bettering the Chris Kostman, who set the record in 1987 aged 20.
The women will be represented by Catharina Berge, of Uppsala, Sweden (and more recently Visalia, California) who will be the sole entrant in the female field. A very strong competitor, Berge may finish among the top 10 men. Berge is not the only female competitor in RAAM, as the mixed two-person division features Lubbock, Texas, residents Shanna Armstrong and Dr. Guy Wells. Armstrong (30) was the 2003 Ultraman world champion, and has competed in 11 Ironmans since 1999.
Equally impressive are grandparents, Marvin and Pamela Atwood, aged 54 and 52, respectively, who become the first known husband/wife grandparents to compete in RAAM, riding for the Landis Cycles team out of Phoenix, Arizona.
* British rider Andy Wilkinson has actually officially ridden further in 24 hours, holding the British record at 525 miles.
More information: www.raceacrossamerica.org
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)