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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for May 14, 2005

Edited by Anthony Tan

Ullrich unafraid of Catalunya

For the first time this year, 1997 Tour de France champion Jan Ullrich will test himself in a ProTour event, commencing this coming Monday at the Volta a Catalunya.

Once again, the 31 year-old has started off the season gradually, riding in low-key races like the Circuit de la Sarthe and Tour of Aragon in April, where he finished 10th and 8th overall respectively. However, with the Tour de France less than two months away, along with his ambitions to win the race, the German has decided to step up a gear, with the difficult, week-long stage race in Spain to be his first real test of how he's progressing.

"I am already at 60 to 70 percent of my Tour form," said Ullrich, who has been enjoying a much smoother Tour build-up when compared to last year. "I was in terrible shape then, and at the beginning of May, I had to start again from scratch."

Ullrich has spent the last four weeks on an intensive training schedule in Tuscany as well as at his home in Scherzingen, Switzerland. In Italy, together with Tobias Steinhauser and his coach Rudy Pevenage, he worked on tweaking his form, before returning to the highest level of competition next week.

"I have trained very hard in the last few days, and do not have a fear of the first big mountains," wrote Ullrich on his website, www.janullrich.de.

Added his sporting adviser, Rudy Pevenage: "Jan goes into the race with a good feeling, but he does not go into the race with the idea of winning." Commenting on the stage to Arcalis, which rises to 2,200 metres and was where Ullrich laid the foundations to win the '97 Tour, Pevenage noted he won't be aiming to keep up with the climbing specialists yet, but rather he will use to race with a view to reaching top form in July.

With 37.2 kilometres of time trials - which includes a 20.1km opening team time trial and a 17.1km mountain time trial - and a mammoth 237.7 kilometre stage finishing atop the Category 1 Coll del Pal-Arinsal on Thursday, May 19, the T-Mobile Team will certainly have their work cut out for them, whichever way they decide to ride the race. However, 'Ulle' will have solid support in the form of Spanish climbing specialists Oscar Sevilla and Paco Lara on the gruelling Pyrenean climbs.

After Catalunya, Ullrich will race back-to-back one day races at the GP Schwarzwald on June 4 in Germany and the GP Kanton Aargau/Gippengen the following day in Switzerland. The following week, he will defend his title at the Tour de Suisse, his last race before the Tour de France.

Team roster: Torsten Hiekmann, Sergey Ivanov, Paco Lara, Stephan Schreck, Oscar Sevilla, Tobias Steinhauser, Sergey Yakovlev, Jan Ullrich
Directeurs sportifs: Mario Kummer, Frans van Looy

Euskaltel heads to Volta with Mayo as leader

By Martin Hardie

Led by Iban Mayo, Euskaltel-Euskadi will line up with a block of eight riders for the 85th Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. It will be Mayo's first race since the Klasika Primavera a month and half ago. Julian Gorospe will direct the team, which along with Mayo, will be composed of Iker Flores, Gorka González, Iñaki Isasi, Aketza Peña, Aitor Sillóniz, Joseba Zubeldia and Egoi Martínez.

It will be Martinez first race since the fall that caused him to retire from the Vuelta Pais Vasco in April. The Volta will be the 13th test of the Pro Tour calendar, being run concurrently with the second week of the Giro. The Volta, which starts on Monday May 16 and runs till Sunday, features an attractive route, including a 20km team time trial as its opening stage, a mountain finish in the high Pyrenees of Pal on the fourth stage and a 17km cronoescalada (mountain time trial).

Liquigas, Gerolsteiner, Illes Balears for Catalunya

Liquigas-Bianchi sends a diverse team to contest the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, from May 16-22. Leading the team will be big Swede Magnus Backstedt, who shall make his return to racing after a solid spring classics campaign, and Enrico Gasparotto, who finished third overall in the International UNIQA Classic earlier this month.

Liquigas-Bianchi team roster: Magnus Backstedt, Daniele Colli, Enrico Gasparotto, Marcus Ljungqvist, Nicola Loda, Oscar Mason, Devis Miorin, Gianluca Sironi
Directeurs sportifs: Roberto Damiani, Dario Mariuzzo

Gerolsteiner team roster: René Haselbacher, Heinrich Haussler, Sebastian Lang, Davide Rebellin, Matthias Russ, Ronny Scholz, Peter Wrolich, Beat Zberg

Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne: José Luis Arrieta, David Arroyo, Jonathan González, Chente García, Iván Gutiérrez, Aitor Osa, Mikel Pradera, Alejandro Valverde
Directeur-sportif: José Luis Jaimerena

De Angeli positive for EPO

Colombia-Selle Italia's Luca De Angeli has been sacked by the team after testing positive for EPO at the Settimana Ciclistica Internazionale Coppi-Bartali in March. De Angeli was fired as soon as the team received official confirmation of the test result.

Selle Italia's team manager Gianni Savio said that the bad news would not affect the team's status in the Giro d'Italia. "What happened to De Angeli has nothing to do with our participation in the Giro," Savio told Reuters. "He was never going to be selected for our Giro team because he had not won any races or ridden well this year. Unfortunately he is not the first rider to test positive and will not be the last."

Evans breaks collarbone - again

Davitamon-Lotto's Friday 13 celebrations were tempered by the bad news that Cadel Evans has broken his collarbone during training in the Pyrenees. Evans was riding with teammate Mario Aerts with the aim of scoping out a few of the Tour stages, when he crashed on a descent. He was transferred to Belgium where doctor Toon Claes, who treated Mario Aerts for the same injury a few weeks ago, examined him. Dr Claes will probably perform an operation so that Evans can resume training again, but it means that his Tour preparation has been seriously hampered, and it could mean missing the race altogether.

It's not the first time that Evans has broken his collarbone, either: in 2003, he did it three times.

Teams announced for CSC Invitational

18 men's teams have been confirmed take to the start line at this year's CSC Invitational criterium on May 29, 2005. One of a series of races that culminates in the Wachovia USPRO Championships on June 5, the field will host a strong line-up of former podium finishers and current and former USPRO champions, as well as a number of foreign national champions.

Confirmed Pro teams: Team CSC, Jelly Belly /Poolgel, Navigators Insurance, Health Net presented by Maxxis, Jittery Joes/Kalahari, Colavita Olive Oil/Sutter Home, McGuire/Langdale, TIAA-CREF, Advantage Benefits-Endeavour, Kodak Easyshare Gallery-Sierra Nevada, Subway, Team Snow Valley/Seal-On, Webcor, Aerospace Engineering-VMG, Monex

Amateur teams: Texas Roadhouse, Cobblestone/Natures Path, Louis Garneau

Racing begins at 8am with two amateur men's races, followed by a women's race. The men's pro race will begin at 12 noon and will feature 100 kilometres of racing on a kilometre-long, five-turn course. The CSC Invitational is part of USA Cycling's National Racing Calendar (NRC) and is the second event on the American Criterium Championship Series (ACCS).

First Endurance prize winners

For those Cyclingnews readers who entered our First Endurance competition, the 10 lucky winners have now been drawn, with John Dawson-Edwards taking out first place and the grand prize of a Gerolsteiner jersey signed by Levi Leipheimer, as well as a plethora of goodies from First Endurance. We'll be in contact with all the winners shortly, notifying them of their prizes and when they can expect them. Thanks to everyone who entered.

The 10 winners are listed below, by place, name and prize awarded

1st place: John Dawson-Edwards - 1 Gerolsteiner jersey signed by Levi Leipheimer, 1 Optygen, 1 container Ultragen, 1 E3, First Endurance hat, First Endurance Visor, First Endurance t-shirt, Five First Endurance water bottles
2nd place: Yann Deville - 2 Optygen, 2 Ultragen, 2 E3, First Endurance t-shirt & water bottle
3rd place: Steve Lund - 2 Optygen, 1 Ultragen, 2 E3, First Endurance t-shirt & water bottle
4th place: Jeff Williams 1 Optygen, 2 Ultragen, First Endurance t-shirt & water bottle
5th place: Ferdi Dijk 1 Optygen, 1 Ultragen, First Endurance t-shirt & water bottle
6th place: Richard Stein 1 Optygen, 1 E3, First Endurance t-shirt & water bottle
7th place: David Foster 1 Ultragen, 1 E3, First Endurance t-shirt & water bottle
8th place: Justin Maciekowicz 1 Ultragen, First Endurance t-shirt & water bottle
9th place: Ray Horner 2 E3, First Endurance t-shirt & water bottle
10th place: Chris Mavrangelos 1 E3, First Endurance t-shirt & water bottle

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