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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for November 20, 2005

Edited by John Stevenson, Les Clarke & Anthony Tan

Loose ends from Langkawi

2005 Tour de Langkawi winner Ryan Cox and his Barloworld team are still waiting for their share of prize money
Photo ©: Mark Gunter/Cyclingnews
Click for larger image

A week and a half ago in Kuala Lumpur, previous title sponsor Telekom Malaysia announced its commitment to the Tour de Langkawi race in 2006, continuing a partnership that began since the race's inception a decade ago. However, Cyclingnews has since discovered prize money is still owed to four of the five best-performing teams at this year's race, among them the team of race winner Ryan Cox, which - according to UCI rules - prevents next year's race from going ahead. Anthony Tan reports.

"If some of the teams like us haven't been paid, then it's not really fair," Ryan Cox said to Cyclingnews, this year's Tour de Langkawi victor trying his best to relax with the season now at a close. "It's not fair that they can do the race again if the bills haven't been paid."

Barloworld appointed two riders from their team to try and claim monies owed to them, which Cox claims to be around 2,000 Euro per rider. As well as the general classification, Barloworld won the mountains and teams classifications and the stage to Genting Highlands, where the 26 year-old South African took control of the race three days from the race finish on February 6, 2005.

"We're missing a fair bit of coin from that race," said Cyclingnews diarist Trent Wilson, one of the seven men who represented the team from Colombia-Selle Italia. Before the team's star rider Jose Rujano finished on the podium at the Giro d'Italia, the Venezuelan finished second overall to Cox at the Tour de Langkawi. American Pro Continental Team Navigators Insurance is also in the same boat, according to team manager Ed Beamon: "I'm square with everything else, but we still waiting on prize money," he said.

"I keep getting positive responses, but I haven't seen it yet. The guys did pretty good prize money-wise; Panaria cleaned up most of the dollars, but Barloworld and ourselves were probably the other two teams who really did well there, so yeah, it is a fair amount of money."

Wismilak team manager Scott Guyton told Cyclingnews, "I definitely know the prize money hasn't been paid. I definitely know the prize money was supposed to come into my account and it hasn't come yet." Guyton, a former professional from New Zealand, also believed the team had not yet been reimbursed for their airfares to Malaysia, which had to be paid in advance due to logistical problems on behalf of the race organisers. "We were sitting at the airport and we were arguing to get on the plane because we knew we had to get on. I think we ended up buying four business class seats just to get on the fricking plane. As a manager at my first race, it was an absolute nightmare."

Click here to read the full story.

Astarloa and Etxebarria aim for Classics

Igor Astarloa wins the 2003 worlds
Photo: © Sirotti
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Basque riders David Etxebarria (Liberty Seguros) and Igor Astarloa (Barloworld-Valsir) have both had fairly quiet years, with neither seeming able to regain the form that saw Etxebarria win two Tour de France stages in 1999 and Astarloa win the 2003 world championship.

In an interview with cyclismag, both riders conceded their 2005 seasons had been less than stellar. "I started the season well," said Etxebarria who won the GP Primavera in April, "but finished less than average." Astarloa, whose case of the 'curse of the rainbow jersey seems to have lasted far longer than the usual year, said he has broken his wrist at the Classic Haribo. After two months off the bike, Astarloa said he was unable to get back into the rhythm of racing, though he did win a stage of the Vuelta a Burgos in August.

Both riders said they were hoping for better things in 2006. Etxebarria will target the early season classics, "the Amstel, Fleche and Liege, but I will also chase wins at the Tour of the Basque Country, that is important for me. And of course I will try for as many points as possible in the ProTour."

Astarloa is looking forward to a return to the very top level in 2006 with the Lampre - Fondital team. "With my new team I will be able to take part in all of the races of the ProTour, which was not the case this year with Barloworld," he said. "My objective will be the Classics, as early as Milan-San Remo. But before I look to do well in the final classification of the ProTour it's is necessary for me to look for a victory. After that, the rest will come naturally. To win a classic would really be the best!"

As for the grand tours, Etxebarria said he already knows he will not be part of Liberty Seguros' squad for the Tour de France. "I will do the classics in August and the Tour of Germany," he said.

Astarloa is optimistic. "Lampre - Fondital will have to ride the three big tours and it is foreseen that I will do some of them. But again nothing has been decided [for definite].

Zabel looking forward to riding TdF with Petacchi

By Susan Westemeyer

Erik Zabel says that he is looking forward to riding the Tour de France with Milram teammate Alessandro Petacchi. "Two leaders at the season highlight would be no surprise to me, and I wouldn't have a problem with it," he said.

It had been assumed that Petacchi would ride the Giro d'Italia and let Zabel be captain for the TdF team, but Petacchi recently said he would rather not ride the very hilly 2006 Giro. Zabel says he feels it is important to support the team and the sponsor in its first year.

"When a German company, in the year that the [football] World Cup is being held in Germany, goes against the trend and supports a cycling team, then it has earned the support of everyone involved." The Tour will not be their first joint appearance. "It is already clear, that Petacchi and I will both ride Milan-San Remo," Zabel said.

And when the two start sprinters start the same race, who will ride for whom? "Our rivals can assume that we have more than one plan in mind."

Armstrong's Tours voted second best

In a list of great individual sporting achievements, what tops Lance Armstrong's seven consecutive victories in the three-week-long Tour de France? According to, Roger Bannister's four-minute mile run in 1954 is the greatest individual athletic achievement of all time.

"In truth, there is no clear-cut number-one choice," conceded Bob Costas, a journalist and NBC commentator, who was one of the experts on the panel that helped select the 20 sporting achievements that the sites editors and readers then voted on. "You could make a reasonable case for a dozen different achievements."

Bannister's record stood for just six weeks and the mile record now stands at three minutes 43.1 seconds.'s top 20 individual sporting achievements

1 Roger banister breaks four-minute mile
2 Lance Armstrong wins seven consecutive Tours de France
3 Jesse Owens' four world records in 70 minutes
4 Nadia Comaneci's seven perfect 10s
5 Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak
6 Muhammad Ali's three heavyweight titles
7 Mark Spitz's seven gold medals
8 Gertrude Ederle's English Channel record swim
9 Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climb Mt. Everest
10 Babe Ruth's 60 home runs in a season
11 Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game
12 Bob Beamon smashing world long jump record
13 Michael Jordan: Ten Seasons At The Top
14 Bobby Jones: Golf's Grand Slam
15 Wayne Gretzky: 2,857 Points
18 Martina Navratilova's 20 Wimbledon Titles
17 Bill Russell's 11 NBA Championships
18 Don Larsen's 1956 perfect world series game
19 Eric Heiden's five individual gold medals
20 Gordie Howe's 33 professional hockey seasons

Team OTC Doors - Lauretana gathers

The OTC - Lauretana comntinental professional team, which includes British rider Jamie Burrow, will gather for its first pre-season training camps in November and December.

From November 28 to December 4 the squad will be at Marina di Massa, and will spend the following week at Graglia di Biella, in the surroundings of the factory of sponsor Lauretana, a mineral water company.

OTC Doors - Lauretana is also about to announce its website.

Gran Canaria Marathon returns

After a successful inaugural event in 2005 with 70 participants from 11 nations, Gran Canaria will present its second mountain bike marathon on March 18 next year. With 10,000 Euro in prize money thanks to new sponsor Spanish department store group El Corte Ingles, the 2006 edition will be the opener for two race series as well as offering an early-season training camp.

Gran Canaria will open a new Bavarian marathon series, despite being 2,500km from the rest of the races, and the Austrian TREK Mountainbike Challenge. "Let's be honest. The Alps are stunning, but in March mountain bikers are better off if they visit us," said Canaria organiser Petra Wonisch who lived many years in Southern Bavaria herself.

Wonisch is hoping for 300 participants in this years race and there will be two distances on offer. The demanding 80 kilometre long circuit from Maspalomas to Roque Nublo has a total of 2500 metres in elevation gain and is full of breathtaking views and scenic highlights. The route leads through several climate and vegetation zones; it passes reddish Canyons, spectacular rock formations, century old pine and laurel woods, striking plateaus and deep ravines. Alternatively riders can chose the 45 kilometre distance with 1200 metres in elevation gain.

For more information see

A thank you letter from Sarah Scott

On July 29, Philadelphia bicycle racer Sarah Scott was paralyzed in a racing crash in Altoona, Pennsylvania. A website,, has been established and several fund raisers held -- the most recent on November 5. The following is an open letter from Sarah to the cycling community.

Dear everyone,

It has been about 3 and a half months since my accident and subsequent reentry into this new life of mine. The outpouring of support, both emotionally and financially has kept me grounded and forward moving while struggling to make sense of what has happened to me. I was so grateful and proud to have such a caring group of people rallying to my side. To give you a sense of just how much support there was, every day, several times a day when I was at Moss the nurses would bring in bouquet after bouquet after fruit basket after cards etc etc and never, in any of their experience had they witnessed such a massive effort for a patient. Making Moss history aside, it kept my spirits high and kept me going when I was just starting to really feel emotionally what the rest of my body already knew. I want to reiterate to everyone that I am lucky to be alive and grateful for it, and your support has meant the world to me.

Thanks to everyone who turned out for the ride and/or the auction. I was pleasantly overwhelmed by the amount of participation and support that was received. It was great for me to get to see everyone - I only wish I could have had more time with each of you. One of the more difficult aspects of my recovery has been feeling so distant from the life I had prior to July 29th. I miss everyone so much, so each event has been a chance for me to start getting that back by seeing everyone and showing that it's still me, wheelchair and all. And wow, what a turnout and spectacular success each event has been. Thank you all for your hard work in putting this together for me.

These days I'm doing outpatient therapy, working on getting stronger, and always focused on getting back to where I was before the accident. My immediate plans are to transition back to work as soon as I can manage it. Up next is also driving lessons with hand controls - and once that is all set up, I plan on making the rounds and seeing everyone some more.

I miss you all so much! Thank you for everything!!!


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