Latest Cycling News for May 2, 2005
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
More line-ups for Giro
Team CSC has revealed its rider selection for the Giro. Team director Bjarne Riis has opted for Brian Vandborg as the last man for his Danish roster, since Jakob Piil has not been selected after a spring season plagued by injuries. "I'm not ready to take any risks with Jakob regarding the Tour de France," said Riis. "In the Tour he is a very important part of the team, and by selecting him to the Giro in his current shape, his chances of being on form for the Tour are not good. We also need riders who are 100 percent fit and ready to help Ivan win the Giro." These riders therefore will be: Michael Blaudzun, Giovanni Lombardi, Peter Luttenberger, Andrea Peron, Frank Schleck, Christian Vandevelde and David Zabriskie. "I think we have a strong team, and I know for sure that all our riders are extremely motivated to go all out for Ivan. No doubt the competition in the Giro will be tough, but we are well prepared, and everyone knows their role in this team," Riis continued.
Spanish team Saunier Duval-Prodir has also announced its team composition for the Giro d'Italia 2005: Juan Manuel Garate, Joaquin Rodriguez, Francisco José Ventoso, Ruben Lobato, Marco Pinotti, Oliver Zaugg, Manuele Mori, Angel Gomez, Ivan Ravaioli.
French team Crédit Agricole will be represented in Italy by: Pietro Caucchioli, Francesco Bellotti, Julian Dean, Patrice Halgand, Christophe Le Mevel, Yannick Talabardon, Jaan Kirsipuu, Dmitriy Muravyev and Bradley Wiggins.
Francesco Casagrande has decided to call it a day. The Italian has participated in his last race as a professional cyclist on Sunday, namely in the Giro di Toscana. Initially, it was planned for the 34 year-old Naturino-Sapore di Mare rider to be the team's captain at the Giro d'Italia, but as the Professional Continental Team was not given a wildcard by the event organiser RCS, Casagrande now opted for retirement.
The Italian is leaving a beautiful palmarès behind: a Clasica San Sebastian double, Tour de Suisse, Flèche Wallonne, three Giro d'Italia stages as well as a handful of Italian one-day races. In 1999 however, he was suspended for five months for testing positive for a banned substance.
Zabel back in the game
After finally scoring his first victory this season at the Rund um den Henninger Turm one-day race in Frankfurt, Germany, T-Mobile sprinter Erik Zabel now looks at a triple victory in this race on his long list of successes. And although that made him very happy, the 34 year-old pondered his winning chances publicly yesterday. "In the sprint, I can't move ahead of riders like Petacchi or Freire anymore, so I modified my racing tactics anyway," Zabel said. "I decided to start the sprint early [in Frankfurt - ed.], with 300 metres to go before the line. It feels great that I succeeded to put everybody behind me again - I think I still must be the best one-day racer in Germany yet!"
His T-Mobile squad is also very satisfied with Zabel, as it now counts two victories this season after the impressive win of Alexandre Vinokourov in Belgian Liège last Sunday. "Of course, we were under pressure," Zabel admitted after the race. "It's good to know that an old man like me can still win here!" Zabel, who wants to stay with T-Mobile to finish his career - an exact time has not yet been revealed - is therefore under contract negotiations with his team.
The new contract is planned to include a commitment to the German mobile phone company even beyond his career as a professional cyclist. "That will be a decisive factor," Zabel told German website Radsport-News.com. "I had such an agreement with team Telekom, but the bosses of that time are now in early retirement," he continued. However, the negotiations that will take place over the next there weeks to be finalized before the Bayern Rundfahrt seem prospective. With his victory at the Henninger Turm, Zabel "delivered good arguments" to his wife, who is also his agent. "A change to Gerolsteiner would be dumb. I would only take the pressure with me to another German team," said Zabel over rumours that he might change teams.
Tour de l'Aude 2005
The biggest women's cycling stage race, the French Tour de l’Aude will get underway in ten days. Scheduled from May 12-22, the Tour de l'Aude parcours is planned around that French region around Carcassone, in the extreme South of the country, close to the Spanish border. The race organisers have announced that the 2005 route might leave the overall winner's identity open until the very last day, as the female peloton will finish the race on top of the ski station Mijanes-Donezan. The 21st edition of the race will depart with a 3.9 km prologue in Gruissan, for which 19 teams have been announced.
The participating teams are: Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung, Vlaanderen-Capri Sonne-T Interim, Team S.A.T.S., Team Pruneaux D’Agen, P.M.B. Fenixs, Nobili Rubinetterie-Menikini-Cogeas, Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team, Therme Skin Care, Van Bemmelen-AA Drink, Vrienden Van Het Platteland, Univega Pro Cycling Team-Arbö Askö Graz as well as national selection from Germany, Belgium, Canada, Spain, United States, France and New Zealand.
The favourites for this year being German Trixi Worrack (winner of the 2004 edition) as well as her teammate Judith Arndt (winner in 2003, 2nd in 2004), the Dutch teams will line up strong contenders like Sara Carrigan, Suzanne De Goede, Mirjam Melchers and Suzanne Ljungskog.
Cycling veteran Middelkamp dies
Former professional cyclist Theo Middelkamp passed away at 91 years of age. Middelkamp was the first Dutchman to win a Tour de France stage - in 1936, and also the first Dutchman to win a World Road Championship - in 1947. In the 30s and 40s, he won several Dutch National championships.
Ricardo van der Velde joins Rabo Continental Team
Starting October 1, 2005, Ricardo van der Velde will join the cyclo-cross squad of the Rabobank Continental Team. The 18 year-old Van der Velde will stay with the team of Nico Verhoeven through the 2006-2007 cyclo-cross season.
In 2003, Ricardo van der Velde was Dutch national cyclo-cross youth champion. At the recent World Championships in Sankt Wendel, Germany he placed fifth, the best Dutch result in the Junior race. Van der Velde also showed his talents at the European Championships, last season in Vossem, Belgium, which he finished in second place. The winner of the 2005 overall Super Prestige classification for Juniors has already won a number of cyclo-cross races in both Holland and Belgium last season: Dudzele, Woerden, Wortegem-Petegem, Ruddervoorde, Oudenaarde, Niel, Asper-Gavere, Gieten and Zolder. Ricardo van der Velde is the son of Johan van der Velde, former teammate of Joop Zoetemelk in his 1980 Tour de France victory.
SBO and NCNCA partner up
Sports Base Online (SBO) has announced the formation of a partnership with the Northern California/Nevada Cycling Association (NCNCA) as its preferred online registration provider.
SBO has been the leader in innovative online registration for cycling events. Athletes enjoy easy navigation through the registration processes with the added benefit of being able to view, in real time, pre-registered riders in each event and category.
"Sports Base Online received great reviews from the Tour de Nez and the Nevada City Classic - two of the premier races in Northern California/Nevada - and they also offered a great opportunity to tailor existing services to fit the needs of our race promoters," Josh Kadis, marketing director for NCNCA, said.
Bontrager visits Missouri and Kansas for Fundraising
In the last couple of years Keith Bontrager has been pretty busy. As chief designer for Bontrager Wheelworks and Components, Bontrager has equipped Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France winning bikes with race winning gear. The bike manufacturer is touring the Midwest this month giving a series of presentations on cycling’s history and future, and his involvement with the Tour de France winner. Bontrager will appear on Tuesday, May 17 at the Trek Bicycle Store in Kansas City at 7:00 p.m. and Thursday, May 18 at the Trek Bicycle Store in St. Louis at 7:00 p.m. Each event will also include a charity raffle to raise money for local cycling trails.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)