First Edition Cycling News for May 6, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones
Cunego ready for the challenge
Defending Giro d'Italia champion Damiano Cunego (Lampre) said that he is looking forward to the challenge in this year's race, especially after his performance in the Tour de Romandie, where he finally found his legs. "The stage win in Romandie freed me from the pressure of getting a result that hadn't happened yet," Cunego told Datasport. "I had good feelings in the Lausanne time trial, obviously my condition is not yet at the top. I believe that my condition can still improve, and the first stages will serve to build it a little."
On this year's route, Cunego commented, "It seems to be to be a difficult route, with a lot of ascents, surely a route for the climbers, therefore I should say that I like it." He named "Basso, the Spanish teams and Liquigas" as his main rivals, while as far as his teammate Simoni is concerned, "All that matters is that a Lampre rider wins."
Steels thinks he can beat Petacchi
Tom Steels is one of two top sprinters in the Davitamon-Lotto Giro line up, along with Robbie McEwen. The Belgian champion told Sporza Radio that they will play it by ear to see who to ride for in the finales. "It's not the case that Robbie is the first sprinter and I'm the number two," said Steels. "We'll see that, no matter how chaotic the sprints are. Fassa Bortolo will want to control it, but there are plenty of other competitors in the field. I think that I can beat Alessandro Petacchi. Yes, every sprinter is beatable.
Steels added that he wanted to finish the Giro, with the aim of doing the Tour de France next season.
Igor Antón in for Joseba Zubeldia
Euskaltel-Euskadi's line up for the Giro has undergone a slight change, with Igor Antón coming in for Joseba Zubeldia. The latter spent Wednesday night vomiting and with diarrhoea and was forced to withdraw from the team. Neo-pro Antón took part in the Tour de Romandie, where he showed he could handle racing at that level.
An interview with Jens Voigt
The escape artist
A relentless fighter with a reputation for solo attacks, Jens Voigt has had one of the most successful early seasons of his career and is now taking a break to recharge his batteries before the Tour de France. When she asked him about 'his' Liège, the rise and fall of breakaways, a change of strategy and his 2005 Giro tip, Cyclingnews' Hedwig Kröner found out Voigt talks just as he races: once you've got him going, there's nothing you can do to stop him!
Team CSC's Jens Voigt has had a pretty successful spring this year. At the Tour Méditerranéen, he won two stages as well as the general classification; he took the prologue at Paris-Nice and finished fourth after helping his teammate Bobby Julich to overall victory; he was the first to cross the finish line at stage five of Pais Vasco and secured another stage win at the Etoile de Bessèges. Just recently, the man whom the French call 'the German Jacky Durand' impressed with a second placing behind Alexandre Vinokourov at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, after performing one of his dreaded solo kamikaze rides just a few days prior at Flèche Wallonne.
Cyclingnews: Let's talk about your breakaway with Vinokourov in Liège. When did you think that the two of you would actually make it to the finish in front of the chasers?
Jens Voigt: Well, I actually believed in that break very soon. I'm an optimist by profession! [laughs] On Wednesday [at Flèche Wallonne], I was in the lead group for 150 km, including the 50 km on my own, and I almost made it then, too. In Liège, I had Vinokourov with me, who is an excellent rider, a similar fighter as I am. He was in good form and can ride long distances at high paces. Plus, that made one team less to chase in the back, as T-Mobile's Kessler was there too and the team was pretty active that day.
As we gained a minute on them, I thought we'd make it, also because you could sense that they weren't agreeing in the chase behind. The favourites looked at each other, and as T-Mobile and CSC had made the race a fast one before, Di Luca for example was on his own - he didn't have a teammate anymore in the group because they had had to work a lot before. Of course, the leader of a team doesn't want to work in the front, as he usually gets brought to the place of his attack by a teammate. So nobody knew what to do anymore - 'Should I go after them now or wait until a teammate bridges up to me?' they asked themselves. That was our chance to go for victory.
Click here for the full interview
Despite finishing the second stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk, Frank Vandenbroucke (MrBookmaker.com) will not take part in the third stage. Team manager Hilaire Van der Schueren told VRT "It was planned that Frank would give up after two days. We stuck to that. Frank didn't ride badly today, but crashed and then had two punctures. But he made progress, and that offers us more prospects again."
Vandenbroucke said that he was "not dissatisfied with these two days. We'll see how it goes, but I have hope."
Peat in the clear
Despite being arrested under suspicion of vandalism after winning the Downhill World Cup in Spain on the weekend, British rider Steve Peat has been released, according to his team Orange. "Evidently someone claimed he'd been involved and [he] was arrested based upon that 'evidence'," said Michael Bonney, Orange's communication manager, to bikebiz.co.uk. "Steve was released without charge on Tuesday morning." There were three other people arrested at the time who were also released without charge.
In a statement on team's website, Peat said, "I haven't done anything, it was horrible being in the cells without anyone telling me what was happening...It was the other people in the street that caused the damage. I didn't see anything. Now I'm free. I apologise, and feel bad for the mountain bike organization because this is not the image we want to project of mountain biking."
TIAA-CREF in Route du Sud
Jonathan Vaughters' US development team TIAA-CREF has received an invitation to participate in the Route du Sud. After solid results in both the Tour of Normandie and the Tour de Georgia, the organization of the Route du Sud decided to invite The American based Continental team to the race, whose former winners include Laurent Jalabert and Levi Leipheimer. This will be the major summer objective for Team TIAA-CREF, and will hopefully give a few of its riders the opportunity to perform in front of ProTour teams looking for young talent.
Vaughters, a former Route du Sud winner, has high hopes for the French race. "Route du Sud will be a good entry point into high level racing for a team like ours," he said. "The top riders tend to be reserved at Route du Sud as they are preparing for the Tour de France, so it allows a young team like ours to perform. With Mike Lange and Craig Lewis, I think we have some climbers capable of top 20 finishes in the Pyrenean stages, but whatever happens, it is a big honour to get to do a race of this level in France."
Also see: The Team TIAA-CREF diaries
Melchers and Ljungskog lead Buitenpoort in Castilla y Leon
The second and fourth placed riders in the World Cup, Mirjam Melchers-van Poppel and Susanne Ljungskog, will lead the strong Buitenpoort-Flexpoint team in Sunday's sixth round in Castilla y Leon. Joining them will be Linda Melanie Serup (Den), Amber Neben (USA), Tanja Hennes-Schmidt (Ger) and Lada Kozlikova (Cze). The team will be directed, as usual, by Jean-Paul van Poppel and Klas Johansson.
Hutchison to lead BMW-Bianchi in Liberty Classic
The BMW-Bianchi team has announced that Athens Twilight winner Shannon Hutchison (L5 Flyers) will be joining Mandy Lozano, Patty Shoaf, Cara McCauley, Laura Weislo, Nancy Lux, Katharine Carroll and Daniele Staskal for the Wachovia Liberty Classic in Philadelphia on June 5, 2005.
Fantasy Giro 2005 game has begun!
Brought to you by Wilier Triestina, this year's Fantasy Giro d'Italia game marks the third year of fantasy games at Cyclingnews. Wilier Triestina are offering a team Cofidis Le Roi bike for this year's grand prize. A bike company with a long and noble tradition of Italian craftsmanship, Wilier is also bang up to date with the carbon fiber Le Roi, the bike of the Cofidis team. With a frame weight of just 950g and 7.2kg all up, the fully Campagnolo Record equipped Le Roi is ready for everything from the rigours of the Spring Classics to the mountains of the Giro - and beyond.
The Le Roi comes with a suite of high-quality finishing components to complement its frame and group, including ITM carbon bar and stem, Mavic Ksyrium wheels, Selcof carbon seat post, Selle Italia SLR saddle and Look Keo pedals.
Campagnolo is also offering its record component group to the first runner-up. Campagnolo's Record component group is the ultimate in light weight and pro quality durability, with carbon and titanium parts and sub-components to shave weight, and Campagnolo's famous reliability to keep you roiling down the road however tough the going gets.
High-performance features of the Record group include carbon fiber crank arms; carbon fiber brake/shift levers; titanium rear derailleur bolts and carbon cage; carbon fiber front derailleur cage; carbon fiber seatpost; aluminium hub axles and much, much more. It adds up to a group that's still the most successful racing component ensemble of all time.
Join for free!
You can begin creating your team/s now. We will be adding additions to the startlist on a daily basis. The Tour games are easy to play, all you need to do to manage your own team is select 15 riders from the live start list then select 9 of these riders to race each day throughout the Giro. You score points according to how well each of the riders place each day in the Giro. You can play the first 5 stages for FREE! So try your team today and see if it's for you. It's a great way to follow the Giro. Create your teams now at fantasy.cyclingnews.com.
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