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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for May 13, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

David Lopez continues

After the unfortunate exit of Alberto Lopez de Munain, who crashed in stage two of the Giro d'Italia, Euskaltel-Euskadi almost lost David Lopez in yesterday's fifth stage. After spending much of the day in the breakaway, Lopez crashed with 10 km to go, and looked to be down for the count. But he did manage to remount and finish the stage, 11 minutes behind the winner.

Lopez was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a haematoma on his pelvis and had 13 stitches to his tibia. He will try to start today's 6th stage.

Tour de Picardie starts today

The 59th edition of the three day, ASO organised Tour de Picardie begins today (Friday) with a 178 km stage between Montdidier and Fère-en-Tardenois. It finishes on Sunday with two half stages: 94.5 km between Feuquières and Fressenneville in the morning, followed by 81 km between Fressenneville and Mers-les-Bains in the afternoon. The general terrain is suited to flatlanders who can ride well in the wind.

The race is considered a "transition race" between the spring classics as the major stage races leading up to the Tour de France. As such, it will have six ProTour teams out of a total of 18 teams at the start. It will also mark the return of "Tornado" Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) to racing after a one month break. Boonen followed a similar plan last year and immediately won a stage in Picardie on his return.

The stages

Stage 1 - May 13: Montdidier - Fère-en-Tardenois, 178 km
Stage 2 - May 14: Château Thierry - Clermont, 192 km
Stage 3 - May 15: Feuquières - Fressenneville, 94.5 km
Stage 4 - May 16: Fressenneville - Mers-les-Bains, 81 km

Teams

Quick Step-Innergetic (Boonen, Cretskens), Davitamon-Lotto (Mattan, Roesems), Cofidis (Casper), Française des Jeux (Eisel, McGee), Bouygues Telecom, Crédit Agricole (D. Nazon, Bodrogi), Chocolade Jacques-T-Interim (Eeckhout, Caethoven), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago (Dierckxsens, Capelle), MrBookmaker-SportsTech (Gardeyn, Hunt, Vandenbroucke), Ag2R-Prévoyances (JP Nazon), Jartazi-Revor), Miche, Agritubel (Brard), RAGT-Sémences, Team LPR, Navigators, Bretagne-Jean Floc'h and Auber 93.

Big change for Tour of Japan

By Miwako Sasaki

The 9th edition of the Tour of Japan, a 2.2 race on the UCI's new Asia Tour (2.2), will run from May 15-22. Three of the six stages are renewed, including an individual time trial on Mount Fuji, and only two stages will suited to the sprinters (Stage 1 and Stage 6). The race will thus be hillier and harder, even though the total distance has been reduced to 732.55km.

The first new stage will be held on May 18 in South-Shinshu, the mountainous middle part of Japan, and the course consists of 12 laps of a hilly circuit. The most important stage will be an individual time trial on Mount Fuji on May 20, and the riders must climb 11.4km, from 800m to 2000m. Before the finish in Tokyo, there will be also a new mountain stage in Izu.

A total of 16 teams of six riders will start on Sunday, including last year's winner Shinichi Fukushima (Team Bridgestone Anchor). His younger brother and teammate, Koji Fukushima will be also an important rider for the race. Koji is called the "Asian Jacky Durand" by the French media, as he finished fourth in the Trophée des Grimpeurs on May 1 after a long breakaway, and he was second on GC in the Circuit de Lorraine (April 27-30) as a result of a breakaway in the first stage, where he finished third. Koji has had an excellent season this year, he also won a stage of the Tour de Langkawi and wore the leader's jersey for five days.

Eight foreign teams will come to Japan, including Team Barloworld - Valsir (Felix Cardenas, Matteo Carrara and David Plaza), Team Konica Minolta (James Perry). Kazakh Cycling Team Capec will be also important team for the race, including ex-Telekom rider Andrey Mizourov.

The stages

Stage 1 - May 15: Senboku Circuit, Sakai City (Osaka), 140.8km
Stage 2 - May 16: Todaiji Temple - Nunome Dam Circuit, Nara, 146.2km
Rest day - May 17
Stage 3 - May 18: Iida Station - Shimohisakata Circuit - Matsuo Stadium, South-Shinshu, 155.3km
Rest day - May 19
Stage 4 - May 20: Mount Fuji ITT, 11.4km
Stage 5 - May 21: Japan Cycle Sports Center - Japan Cycle Sports Center, Izu 130.35km
Stage 6 - May 22: Hibiya city - Ooi Wharf Circuit, Tokyo, 138.5km

Teams

Aisan ind. Racing Team, Australian National Team (Sutton, Sanderson, Goss, Clarke, Rex, Meadley), Casino Filipino - Pro Cycling Team, Cycling Team Capec (Mizurov, Wacker, Baigdinov), Kinan CCD, Miyata - Subaru, Nakagawa AS K'Design, Nalsima Frend, Purapharm (Kam Po Wong), Shimano - Memory Corp (Abe, Kano, Nodera, Hirose, Ouchi Tuji), Sumita Ravanello Pearl Izumi, Team Barloworld - Valsir (Cardenas, Carrara, Celli, Serri, Plaza, Cheura), Team Bridgestone Anchor (Shinichi and Koji Fukushima, Suzuki, Tashiro), Team Konica Minolta (Perry), Team Nippo (Ribolzi, Wiesiak, Manabe, Okazaki), Wismilak International Team (Susanto, McKenzie, Bradford, Thuaux).

Memorial service for Wisconsin rider Monday

The family of Matt Wittig, the 20 year old Wisconsin cyclist that crashed in a race on May 8, announced Thursday that Matt has now passed on after being declared brain dead earlier in the week. His organs are being donated to as many people as possible in accordance with the wishes of the family. Members of the Wisconsin cycling community are encouraged to attend services in Mequon, Wisconsin, and to wear their bike jersey.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Lance Armstrong Foundation in Wittig's memory.

Wake
When: Sunday 5/15, 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Where: Schmidt-Bartlett
10280 N. Port Washington Rd
Mequon, WI

Funeral Service
When: Monday 5/16, 10:00 a.m.
Where: St. James Church
2700 W. Mequon Rd
Mequon, WI

Ceremony
When: following service, Monday 5/16
Where: Resurrection Cemetery
9400 W. Donges Bay Rd.

Young Dutch cyclist dies

13 year-old Dutch cyclist Ron Gerritse has died after being hit by a car during training on Wednesday, May 11. Gerritse was riding with a few of his JVR De Batauwers clubmates on his new bike when the accident happened. He was taken to hospital in Utrecht in a critical condition, but died during the night.

Gerritse rode in Category 1 and had a number of friends among other young cyclists. His parents, Henk and Midia, have been very active within the organisation of De Batauwers.

The staff of Cyclingnews extends its deepest sympathies to Ron's family and friends. Condolence messages can be left at www.jeugdwielrennen.nl/condoleance.php.

New Zealand announces Commonwealth Games long team

The New Zealand cycling federation, BikeNZ, has announced its "long team" for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. These riders have been nominated in accordance with the Games nomination criteria as endorsed by the New Zealand Olympic Committee. The team can be added to or deleted from at the discretion of the BikeNZ High Performance Panel. But any cyclists who are aiming for selection in 2006 will have to be on the long team.

Women

Tamara Boyd - WR
Toni Bradshaw - WR
Johanna Buick - WR
Sonia Foote - WMTBXC
Melissa Holt - WR
Michelle Hyland - WR
Rosara Joseph - WMTBXC
Joanne Kiesanowski - WT
Michelle Kiesanowski - WR
Katri Laike - WT
Catherine Sell - WT
Jennifer Smith - WMTBXC
Dale Tye - WT
Sarah Ulmer - WR
Paddy Walker - WT
Elizabeth Williams - WT
Carissa Wilkes - WMTBXC
Robyn Wong - WMTBXC

Men

Jason Allen - MT
Clinton Avery - MMTBXC
Daniel Beatson - MT
Heath Blackgrove - MR
Richard Bowker - MT
Anthony Chapman - MT
David Cresswell - MT
Julian Dean - MR
Josh England - MT
Hayden Godfrey - MT
Justin Grace - MT
Tim Gudsell - MT
Matthew Haydock - MT
Greg Henderson - MR
Peter Latham - MT
Kashi Leuchs - MMTBXC
Fraser MacMaster - MR
Glen Mitchell - MR
Mike Northcott - MMTBXC
Robin Reid - MR
Hayden Roulston - MR
Marc Ryan - MT
Nathan Seddon - MT
Jeremy Vennell - MR

WR = Women's Road
WMTBXC = Women's Mountain Bike Cross Country
MMTBXC = Men's Mountain Bike Cross Country
WR = Women's Road
MR = Men's Road
MT = Men's Track
WT = Women's Track

Australian MTB national champion on home turf

After winning her second Australian National Mountain Bike Title in March, Erica Oldfield will return to racing this weekend at her hometown course at Castle Hill, Blackstone, Queensland. The young U/19 rider will ride up in the elite women's division with current Sunshine Series leader, Lee Schultz from Brisbane. Oldfield has only competed in one of the previous two rounds but is hoping her local track knowledge can be used for a win on Sunday. "I usually have good races at Ipswich, and I know the tracks pretty well," confirmed Oldfield.

Currently third in the series, Oldfield leads the local women's charge with Erin Stoklasa also with a good chance of a top placing in Elite Women. New local rider, Jane Trotter will line up in her second Cross Country race this Sunday in the Sport Women's Division.

Elite Men's Series leader, Andrew Wegener from Brisbane will need to protect his lead from Gold Coast rider, David Whitney. Wegener's club mate, Mark Frendo is currently on equal 3rd place with Under 17 National Cross Country and Downhill Champion, James Maltman from South Brisbane.

Top Veteran rider, Simon Bowen who placed second at the National Championships will miss this round after the recent arrival of a baby boy. Bowen is hoping to be on the start line at Kooralbyn for the Mountain Bike Marathon on 29th May.

The Ipswich course is known as one of the best mountain bike courses in Queensland and is very technical. According to course designer, Gavin Greenhill last year's course was the 'easiest' but this year's will be different again. In planning the circuit, Greenhill had included the notorious 'Pot Hill' which has a challenging descent. However after technical officer, Gillian Duncan, visited the course a decision was made to remove the dangerous descent and leave out 'Pot Hill' altogether. "I'm disappointed," admitted Greenhill, "Ipswich usually offers a demanding and testing course." However Greenhill added, "We've taken out 'Pot Hill' after official advice but it will still be a great circuit."

One 'safe' section of the course will remain in Sunday's 7.5km circuit. Well known to local riders as 'The Lane', it was named after well respected club member Robert Lane who died after suffering years of kidney problems. "He was just a great bloke who was the last up every hill but he had a go. Since then we've always included his section of single track in a State Round like this one," explained Greenhill.

Races will start at 8.30am, 9am and 10.15am. Day licenses are available.

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