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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for June 17, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones & Hedwig Kröner

Tour de Suisse stage 6 wrapup

Horner shines, Ullrich falters, Rogers takes yellow

Chris Horner (Saunier Duval)
Photo ©: Sirotti
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A beautiful piece of tactical riding by Chris Horner (Saunier Duval) has given him the victory in the sixth stage of the Tour de Suisse, 159 km between Bürglen UR and Arosa. On a tough stage containing two big mountain passes, Horner attacked the yellow jersey peloton with 28 km to go on the final climb to Arosa, taking Vincenzo Nibali (Fassa Bortolo) and Jonathan Gonzalez Rios (Illes Balears) with him. Nibali went solo with 24 km to go, and looked to be riding well enough for the win, until Horner came back to him at 19 km to go, then dropped him 11 km later to ride away for a big win, and a likely spot on Saunier Duval's Tour de France team.

"It was just tactical, pure tactics," Horner explained to Cyclingnews post-stage. "Today was simple: I was three minutes down on GC and the leaders, if you take the top 10 on GC, the leaders had no-one [left] on the climb to pull me back - so it's logical to think: 'Okay, we're not going to use energy to chase Chris Horner.'"

Nibali hung on for second at 1'12 while Michael Rogers (Quick.Step) took third, just a few seconds behind, and moved into the yellow jersey. Jan Ullrich did not have one of his better days in the mountains, and lost 34 seconds to the Rogers group in the final 3 kilometres. That cost him the yellow jersey, which his team has defended since the second stage, but might give them some relief, as Giuseppe Guerini had to do most of the tempo work on the final climb by himself today.

"Although wearing it is a special honour and I would have liked to defend it," Ullrich said. "Now there's less pressure on our shoulders - and that's not the worst thing in the face of the upcoming tough stages."

Also see:

Stage 6 - Full results, report & photos
Live report
Main & preview
Start list

Past winners

An interview with Dave Zabriskie

Dancing salsa with Dave

Photo ©: Sirotti
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Talking with Dave Zabriskie is like learning how to dance with a new partner; it takes some time getting used to, but as you step from side to side, figuring out one's personality through their footsteps, you gradually get to find out a little more about them, and learn to like what you have in front of you. Cyclingnews' Anthony Tan attempts a little verbal salsa with him.

One would think the last thing on Dave Zabriskie's mind after finishing his first Giro d'Italia two Sundays ago was to ride his bike the very next day - but that's exactly what he did.

"Yeah... you look up and you see it's a really nice day and you really want to go riding, but you know the smart thing to do is to try and rest," he says from the home in Girona, Spain. "Your body is asking you to go for a ride, but really you should take a rest."

Now, this may seem like a case of someone who just loves to punish himself - and maybe he does - but it's also the reason why riders still ride on the rest day during a Grand Tour, and why riders have a little trouble stopping once it's all over.

Sean Yates, a very successful former pro, now Discovery Channel's team manager at the Giro, summed it up best: "You're hyped up for three weeks and then all of a sudden, it's over. It almost feels like you can go another three weeks."

It took the 26 year-old three days before rest finally came into the equation, but when his body did rest, Dave Z practically went into a coma. In fact, probably the only thing that got him out of bed was knowing his girlfriend Randi was about to arrive later that week. "I've been a little... out of it," he mumbles.

Click here for the full interview.

No Tour for Zabel

Erik Zabel (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: Andrea Hübner
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Even before the official announcement of the T-Mobile Tour de France roster on June 22, the German squad revealed that Erik Zabel will not be part of the team's line-up in July. The team management thereby ended the speculation surrounding the sprinter's participation that has been going on in Germany for months.

"Of course I'm disappointed," Erik Zabel said, as he had still hoped to be nominated. It would have been his 12th participation in the Tour de France. "But I'm pro enough to accept the decision of the team management, he added. "I was aware of this being an option. Each year, it had been somebody’s turn. This time it’s me."

Zabel said he will now look for other goals to achieve this season. "We have not taken this decision lightly," said T-Mobile sports director Mario Kummer. "It is as tough a decision for us as it is for Erik. With six green jerseys and twelve Tour stage wins, he has left his mark on the Tour like hardly any other German rider," said the future team manager Olaf Ludwig. But with three riders in the team who have already stepped on the podium in Paris (Klöden, Ullrich, Vinokourov), "we are clearly aiming for yellow."

However, Zabel and T-Mobile will remain committed to each other in the future, as the German mobile telephony company has made the 34 year-old an offer beyond his career as a professional cyclist. Details of the contract will be announced only after the signing, with talks agreed to be finalised prior to the HEW Cyclassics on July 31. "This way, Olaf Ludwig [the team manager - ed.] can fully focus on the Tour preparations, while I can use the break to plan my future," Zabel said.

T-Mobile will name the following 13 riders to the tour organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) on Friday, June 17: Rolf Aldag (36), Giuseppe Guerini (35, Italy), Sergey Ivanov (30, Russia), Matthias Kessler (26), Andreas Klöden (29), Paco Lara (28, Spain), Daniele Nardello (32, Italy), Bram Schmitz (28, Netherlands), Stefan Schreck (26), Oscar Sevilla (28, Spain), Tobias Steinhauser (33), Jan Ullrich (31)and Alexandre Vinokourov (31, Kazakhstan). Of these, nine riders will be picked and announced on June 22.

T-Mobile and Liquigas for G.P. Eindhoven

The T-Mobile team is bringing a mix of young and experienced riders to the new ProTour team time trial in Eindhoven, Netherlands, on June 19. The race will be a home game for the Dutchmen Bas Giling and Bram Schmitz. Especially Schmitz is looking forward to the competition.

"I live only five kilometres away from the course in Aalst-Waalre. There will surely be many friends coming to cheer us on," he said. Six riders will tackle the 48,6 km loop on Sunday at 2 p.m. Apart from the duo Giling/Schmitz T-Mobile directeur sportif Valerio Piva pins his hopes on young gun Marcus Burghardt, Torsten Hiekmann as well as the sprint specialists André Korff and Olaf Pollack. Neo-pro Marcus Burghardt expects a high-speed race on the pancake flat motorway course. "It can get as fast as 60 km/h at the max," said Burghardt with regards to the profile.

Bram Schmitz, who bagged his first season win for the squad in early June at the Tour de Luxembourg, doesn't consider his team as contenders for the podium as the race on his home ground is more of a "training under race conditions" according to him.

A total of 25 teams will be participating. Apart from the 20 ProTour teams, the organisers have given five wildcards to other squads. The fans alongside the course may even see Lance Armstrong perform - the American is on the provisional roster of his Discovery Channel team. As for Liquigas-Bianchi, the Italian team has announced the following line-up: Magnus Bäckstedt, Marcus Ljungqvist, Mauro Gerosa, Devis Miorin, Marco Righetto and Gianluca Sironi.

Bäckstedt, the "Engine" as he is called by his team, will be the captain of the squad. "I'm not yet at the top of my condition," he said, aiming especially at a good Tour de France. "But I think that on Sunday our team will be competitive. In team time trials it’s not enough to have strong riders: it’s also important to get on well together and that’s exactly what we do."

Directeur sportif Roberto Damiani will lead the Italian team in Holland after one week’s training camp in Salsomaggiore Terme. "We have worked hard to get ready to this trial requiring specific training. Next Sunday we will see the results of our work," he said.

Galletti: heart attack confirmed

After an autopsy was performed on the body of the deceased this morning, doctors of the Oviedo, Spain, hospital have confirmed that the cause of Alessio Galletti's tragic death at a Spanish road race yesterday was a heart attack. Nevertheless, it is reported that it will take several months before the cause of his heart failure will be found. "They have to take a number of complementary factors into account, whose assessment will take months," Naturino-Sapore di Mare directeur sportif Fabio Becherini said. The body of Alessio Galletti will be transported back to Italy on Sunday.

Meanwhile, German cycling site reports that the ambulance at the Spanish race where Galletti died was located in front of the leader's group, while Galletti was riding in a gruppetto behind. The ambulance was not allowed to return on the parcours, which is why another ambulance had to be ordered from Oviedo, which arrived half an hour later.

Killing the Kilo and 500: the UCI explains

One of the UCI's more unpopular decisions has been to remove the kilometre and 500m time trial from the track program at the 2008 Olympic Games. Cyclists, coaches, fans, politicians, and journalists from all over the world have protested the decision by means of an online petition, which has so far gathered 7000 signatures and will be presented to the UCI and IOC in Switzerland next week.

The UCI has responded to the outrage by issuing a statement explaining its decision. "The International Olympic Committee had approved the introduction of the BMX in the program of the Olympic Games on the only condition that it would not increase the number of medals awarded globally to cycling." This effectively meant that two events would have to be sacrificed from the track program, as both the road and mountain bike programs are already small. There was speculation that the points or the madison would go, or even the keirin, but the removal of the kilo and 500 took many by surprise.

The UCI statement continued, "The decision to remove the events in question ensues exclusively from a detailed study led by the UCI, to whom thus returns the whole responsibility of this choice. Any other interpretation of the situation does not correspond to the reality, and must be considered erroneous.

"The UCI also reminds that this decision was taken in the view to protect the chances of participation to the Olympic Games to the largest number of athletes, given that the specialists of these disciplines are regularly registered also in the events of individual and team sprint."

Park City Cycling Festival starts June 21

Scheduled for June 21-July 2, the Park City Cycling Festival will feature the nation’s top riders at the junior, U23, elite, master and paralympic levels as they battle it out for national titles in road racing, time trials and criterium events throughout the 12-day span. As the epicentre of competitive cycling in America during this time, the resort town will play host to Olympic and world championship medalists, Pan American and national champions, and a collection of world-class riders in the elite divisions.

Competition opens Tuesday on Antelope Island State Park where many of the nation’s top athletes will compete in the time trial events. Several marquee names are confirmed for the elite men’s division including recently crowned USPRO Champion Chris Wherry (Durango, Colo.), 2003 U.S. National Champion Chris Baldwin (Boulder, Colo.), and 2004 U.S. Olympic Team member Colby Pearce (Boulder, Colo.). The elite women’s field features even more depth as 2004 Olympian and defending champion Christine Thorburn (Menlo Park, Calif.) highlights a list of distinguished riders that also includes perennial favourites Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho), Kimberly Baldwin (Boulder, Colo.) and Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.).

In the Paralympic events, the duo of Karissa Whitsell (Springfield, Ore.) and Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will compete in the tandem class. The pair captured four medals at last year’s Paralympic Games in Athens, including a gold medal in the 3km pursuit.

On Wednesday, the action shifts to road racing as elite men will race 123 miles and elite and U23 women will ride 77 miles for the right to wear the stars and stripes jersey that goes to the national champion. With professional riders ineligible for the elite men’s road race, the country’s best amateur riders will be featured including defending champion Chris Walker (Goleta, Calif.) and all-around talent Kenny Williams (Kirkland, Wash.).

Given the altitude and terrain of Park City, the climbers will likely have the upper hand in the elite women’s race leaving Thorburn, Armstrong, Baldwin and Neben as the favourites and opening the door for a possible dual national champion in both the time trial and the road race.

The first week of competition also features the cycling stars of tomorrow as junior and U23 riders compete in time trial, road race and criterium events. During the second week, the attention turns to master categories where amateur riders between the ages of 30 and 99 will compete for one of the 125 total national championship jerseys available.

The Park City Cycling Festival also holds special significance as several automatic nominations to represent the United States at this summer’s World Championships are on the line. The winner of the elite women’s time trial and road race will earn nominations as will the winner of the men’s U23 time trial. The winner of the junior men’s 17-18 road race will earn a nomination to the long team from which the final roster will eventually be selected. Automatic nominations will also go to the winners of the junior women’s 17-18 road race and time trial and the junior men’s 17-18 time trial.

As a lead-in to the road cycling festival, USA Cycling is also hosting a world-class mountain bike event as round three of the Shimano NORBA National Mountain Bike Series gets underway at Deer Valley Resort in Park City June 16-19. As the premier off-road cycling series in the Unites States, the Shimano NORBA National Mountain Bike Series is also used for selection of American athletes in all disciplines for the 2005 Mountain Bike World Championships set for Livigno, Italy, from August 30-September 4, 2005.

For a complete schedule of events, course maps and profiles, visit the online event program at

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