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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for March 20, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones and Hedwig Kröner

96th Milan-San Remo

Petacchi gets it right

Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo)
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

With a powerful sprint up the Via Roma with 250m to go, Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) has claimed victory in the 96th Milan-San Remo, the first time that he has ever won the classicissima. A group of around 50 riders made it over the Cipressa and Poggio to contest the finish, and Petacchi kept his head all the way, not panicking when Bettini led out early to try to induce him into a long sprint.

"I am happy, I realised the dream of my life," said Petacchi after crossing the finish line. "I was at my best for this race and even though the sprint was not what I imagined because Bettini moved over in the last 250 metres leaving me in the wind. I did a long sprint, as I had decided, and rode everyone off the wheel and did it."

In second place was German sprinter Danilo Hondo (Gerolsteiner), who held off a fast finishing Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole). But there was no catching Petacchi today.

Post-race comments

Cyclingnews' Anthony Tan spoke to several riders at the finish line in Milan today, before they dashed off to their respective team buses. Bradley McGee (Francaise des Jeux), who got 64th today inside the chase group, was impressed with the speed of the race. "Oh, it's always faster than you remember - it's unbelievably fast. As soon as you get to the coast, it gets faster and faster..." he said. The crash before the Cipressa "sort of changed the face of the race a bit," he continued. The crash split the peloton in parts, and those left behind saw their chances of finishing in a good spot vanishing with the riders in front.

Cofidis' Matt White passed the line on the Via Roma more than four minutes later than Alessandro Petacchi. "Same shit as always," he told Cyclingnews, clearly annoyed with at this result. "Those nervous last couple of hours... [Speaking about the crash] I had to bridge across on my own: I had to stop for the crash, walk through the crash and chase; I got on, but I went so deep, I got dropped at the top of the Cipressa. But that's how it goes, mate - I've got good form, but there's nothing I could do about it today."

Dig Captain America!
Photo ©: CN
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American champion Fred Rodriguez (Davitamon-Lotto) finished nine seconds down. The sprinter clearly could have done better in this sort of race situation, but still felt the effects of his last race, Paris-Nice. "I crashed in Paris-Nice, and I haven't recovered from that yet," he said. "My left leg's not working - I've been getting therapy, but it's not recovering. I felt it in the last 20 km: when you're putting full gas, I don't have 100 percent yet."

German Danilo Hondo, meanwhile, couldn't be happier with his performance of today. "I am very satisfied," the Gerolsteiner sprinter said after placing second. "To lose against Petacchi in his current form is nothing to be ashamed of. But he is not unbeatable, I've seen that at Tirreno-Adriatico. I'll be back next year to win!" he concluded.

Philippe Gilbert (Francaise des Jeux) was able to finish sixth, which he was happy with. "I was well positioned. Also on the Poggio, but I didn't attack there. I waited to the sprint, but Oscar Freire and Danilo Hondo were riding dangerously there. I'm not really a sprinter, so I can be really happy with this placing.

Tom Boonen (Quick.Step)
Photo ©: Marco Bardella
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Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) did everything right but ended up eighth after missing Petacchi's jump with 200m to go. "Everything was going well, but because of a stupid manoevre I couldn't sprint," said Boonen. "On the Cipressa, I was doing it easy, on the Poggio it was a bit harder but it was OK. Just before the sprint I was on Petacchi's wheel, it was perfect. I saw the finish coming: Bettini wanted Petacchi to start the sprint, but he waited and that's why I jumped. But then four riders came next to me and I was boxed in. I was stuck. As a team, we did everything we had to. Of course this is hard.

Milan-San Remo coverage

Full results, report & photos
Live report
Photos

CAS refutes Bouyer's appeal

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled that Bouygues Telecom rider Franck Bouyer cannot take a drug named Modafinil for therapeutic reasons. Bouyer had appealed to the CAS after the UCI's decision not to authorise the rider's medical use of the drug because of its performance-enhancing effects. However, the French rider suffers from an illness called narcolepsy, resulting in sudden sleep attacks, and is not able to practise cycling without the medication.

The CAS argued that for an authorisation to be given, it has to be proven that the therapeutic use of the drug will not result in an increase in performance other than that of the rider's return to normal health. The judges concluded that Bouyer could not prove that the intake of Modafinil would not increase his capacities. Furthermore, the hearing of experts established that the dosage of the drug is difficult to control - to verify the respect of non-performance-enhancing condition - as a method for doing so does not exist at the moment.

Galdeano and Beloki ill

Liberty Seguros' Igor González de Galdeano has finally found out what has been weakening him these last weeks, resulting in his abandon of Paris-Nice. The medical analyses carried out a few days ago have indicated a cytomegalovirus (CMV), a viral infection similar to mononucleosis. The doctors have prescribed Galdeano antibiotics and a rest for two weeks to fully recover.

Meanwhile, Giampaolo Caruso will take his place at the start of the Setmana Catalana. Liberty Seguros will also have Roberto Heras, Marcos Serrano, Alberto Contador, Nuno Ribeiro, Koldo Gil, Dariusz Baranowski and Isidro Nozal at the Spanish stage race taking place from March 21-25.

Joseba Beloki is also ill at the moment, suffering an allergic infection. Although his condition is already improving, he will not race until the Tour de Romandie, which he will use as preparation for the Giro d'Italia.

Basso checks out Giro stages

Young Italian stage race talent Ivan Basso (CSC) will reconnoitre the route of the eleventh stage of this year's Giro d'Italia on March 22. Joined by his teammate Andrea Peron and Bjarne Riis, team manager of CSC, Basso will ride the course of the difficult mountain stage from Marostica to Zoldo Alto/Dolomiti Stars in the province of Belluno, involving two climbs (Prasso Cereda at 1369 m, Prasso Duran at 1601 m) and the final climb to the finish in Zoldo Alto (1514 m).

On the following day, Basso will also ride the route of the 13th stage, another decisive mountain stage of 217 km from Mezzocorona to Ortisei/St.Ulrich.

GP Castenaso on March 20

Postponed because of bad weather last March 6, 2005, the ninth Grand Prix of Castenaso will take place this Sunday, March 20, just one day after the Primavera Rosa, the only Italian round of the World Cup. The International women's race will see one hundred starters near Bologna, riding a circuit of 6.1 km for a total of 109.8 km. The main contenders will be German sprinter Regina Schleicher, Italian champion Fabiana Luperini, Russian Svetlana Boubnenkova, Lithuanians Edita Pucinskaite and Modesta Vzesniauskaite as well as Giorgia Bronzini, winner on March 6 in Brissago. Italian time-trial champion Giovanna Troldi was victorious in Bologna last year.

T-Mobile at GP Rudy Dhaenens

The series of three one-day races in Belgium continues on Sunday with the GP Rudy Dhaenens (UCI Cat. 1.1). The 188 km circuit race, in and around the town of Nevele, honours the late Rudy Dhaenens, world champion in Japan in 1990. Seven ProTour teams will participate, namely T-Mobile, Quick.Step, Davitamon-Lotto, La Française des Jeux, Bouygues Telecom, Cofidis and Rabobank.

The German T-Mobile team has announced its roster. Eric Baumann, who placed fourth at Nokere-Koerse in East Flanders on Wednesday, is eyeing a podium finish this weekend. Again joining him are three neo-pros (Marcus Burghardt, Bas Giling and Bernhard Kohl), as well as Tobias Steinhauser and Jan Schaffrath. Dutchman Bram Schmitz will also return to racing since finishing Paris-Nice last Sunday.

"The riders do ten laps of a 19 km circuit - it could come down to a hectic sprint finale," said T-Mobile Team press officer Luuc Eisenga. In this case, T-Mobile sports director Frans van Looy will be looking to Eric Baumann: "He is in good form and only missed the podium by a whisker on Wednesday. Maybe it will work out this time," he said.

T-Mobile for GP Rudy Dhaenens: Eric Baumann (24), Marcus Burghardt (21), Bas Giling (22), Bernhard Kohl (23), Jan Schaffrath (33), Tobias Steinhauser (33) and Bram Schmitz (27).

Olympic rematches in L.A.

The 2005 UCI Track Cycling World Championships from March 24-27, in Carson, California will draw together the world’s finest track cyclists including 27 Olympic medallists, dozens of Olympians, 11 defending world champions and three world record holders, resulting in a number possible 2004 Athens Olympic rematches within the new ADT Event Center throughout the event.

In addition this, there are a number of 2004 defending world champions who will be in attendance. Riders looking to continue their reign as world champion include: Chris Hoy (GBr - Men's 1km TT World Champion), Sergi Escobar (Spa - Men's Individual Pursuit World Champion), Olga Slyusareva (Rus - Women's Points Race World Champion), Anna Meares (Aus - Women's 500m TT World Champion), Jamie Staff (GBr - Men's Keirin World Champion), Theo Bos (Ned - Men's Sprint World Champion), Juan Esteben Curuchet (ARG - Madison World Champion), Greg Henderson (NZl - Men's Scratch Race World Champion), Clara Sanchez (Fra, Women's Keirin World Champion), Mickaël Bourgain and Arnaud Tournant (Fra - Men's Team Sprint World Champions), and Stephen Wooldridge (Aus - Men's Team Pursuit World Champion).

2004 Athens Olympic medalists slated to compete include: Anna Meares (Aus - Gold Women's 500 m TT, Bronze Women's Sprint), Lori-Ann Muenzer (Can - Gold Women's Sprint), Chris Hoy (GBr - Gold Men's 1 km TT), Stefan Nimke (Ger - Gold Men's Team Sprint, Bronze Men's 1km TT, 2000 Silver Men's 1 km TT), Rene Wolff (Ger - Gold Men's Team Sprint, Bronze Men's Sprint), Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus - Gold Men's Points Race), Olga Slyusareva (Rus - Gold Women's Points Race, Bronze Women's Road Race, 2000 Bronze Women's Points Race), Joan Llaneras (Spa - Silver Men's Points Race, 2000 Gold Men's Points Race), Natalia Tsylinskaya (Blr - Bronze Women's 500 m TT), Sergi Escobar (Spa - Bronze Men's Individual Pursuit, Bronze Men's Team Pursuit), Tamilia Abassova (Rus - Silver Women's Sprint), Theo Bos (Ned - Silver Men's Sprint), Jose Escuerdo (Spa - Silver Men's Keirin), Belem Guerrero Mendez (Mex - Silver Women's Points Race), Arnaud Tournant (Fra - Silver Men's 1 km TT, Bronze Men's Team Sprint, 2000 Gold Men's Team Sprint), Erin Mirabella (USA - Bronze Women's Points Race), Shane Kelly (Aus - Bronze Men's Keirin, 2000 Bronze Men's 1km TT), Steve Cummings (GBr - Silver Men's Team Pursuit), Rob Hayles (GBr - Silver Men's Team Pursuit, Bronze Men's Madison), Paul Manning (GBr - Silver Men's Team Pursuit, 2000 Bronze Men's Team Pursuit), Guido Fulst (Ger - Bronze Men's Points Race, 2000 Gold Team Pursuit, 1992 Gold Team Pursuit), and Karin Thurig (Swi - Bronze Women's Individual Time Trial).

Previous Olympic medalists registered include: Marty Nothstein (USA - 2000 Gold Men's Sprint, 1996 Silver Men's Sprint), Oxana Grishina (Rus - 2000 Silver Women's Sprint), Matthew Gilmore (Bel - 2000 Bronze Men's Madison), Robert Bartko (Ger - 2000 Gold Men's Individual Pursuit, Gold Team Pursuit), Chris Newton (GBr - 2000 Bronze Men's Team Pursuit), and Jason Queally (GBr - 2000 Gold Men's 1 km TT).

Current world record holders, Arnaud Tournant (Fra - Men's 1 km TT, 58.875), Anna Meares (Aus - Women's 500 m TT, 33.592), and Olga Syusareva (Rus - Women's Sprint, 10.831) are all competing.

Colombian MTB riders to Italy

The Colombian mountainbike riders Leonardo Paez, 2004 Panamerican U23 champion and Colombian number one, and Julian Rodas, 2003 time trial U23 road champion, Colombian number two will join Italian pro MTB team L'Arcobaleno-Carraro next week. Italian-born Andrea Bianco, Colombian national MTB coach, will travel with them to make life easier during the first months in the new country.

Second Annual Foothills Classic

The Stokes County Arts Council has presented the Second Annual Foothills Classic, taking place on April 10, 2005, in North Carolina and Virginia, USA. The 60-mile or 100-mile course will begin in historic Germanton at 9:00 a.m. and continue through the Sauratown Mountains, Danbury, and the Snow Hill Community, where the course will split. The 100-mile course will take riders along Highway 58, entering the historic Reynolds Home Place before heading on to the town of Critz, Va. The ride continues through the base of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, past the headwaters of the Mayo and Dan Rivers, and on to Mayo Mountain before beginning the descent back in to Germanton, North Carolina.

Registration is $35 before April 1 and $40 after. Five rest stops, SAG support, a T-shirt and post-ride meal will be provided.

For more information, route map or to register on-line, please visit www.foothillsclassic.com

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