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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News for November 30, 2005

Edited by John Stevenson & Les Clarke

An interview with Oscar Pereiro

A brilliant year

By Hernan Alvarez Macias

Oscar Pereiro
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
Click for larger image

After four successful years at Phonak, Oscar Pereiro has decided to move to an outfit from his own country: Illes Balears. With Francisco Mancebo leaving for Ag2R and just one other leader in Alejandro Valverde, the 28 year-old has the opportunity to be one of the stars.

Illes Balears' Oscar Pereiro has enjoyed a tremendous 2005 season. As well as equalling his tenth place overall at the Tour de France, he added an unforgettable victory on the sixteenth stage to Pau.

He also demonstrated excellent teamwork at the world road championships in Madrid, helping his team-mate Alejandro Valverde to a silver medal. A prologue win at the Tour de Romandie and two more top ten places in ProTour stage races rounded out his best year to date.

I caught up with him while he was resting from a long season in Spain. He was in his hometown in Pontevedra (Galicia). "I'm at home and this year with a little one in the family, my first son," says Pereiro with joy and pride. "The truth is that I have to give him time and enjoy him as much as I can, because in January or February, I will have to leave home."

Click here for the full interview.

First meeting for Petacchi with new sponsor Milram

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

Alessandro Petacchi
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Click for larger image

Alessandro Petacchi and the rest of his new Milram team will meet from November 29th through Thursday December 1st at German dairy products giant Nordmilch at company headquarters in Bremen, Germany. It will be the first offical meeting with the management of Nordmilch's Milram brand and the team of Petacchi and Zabel, managed by Gianluigi Stanga. Nordmilch is one of the largest milk processors in Germany and ranks among the top ten inEurope. Milram makes products like Vitality dairy drinks, Burlander cheese and a wide assortment of other dairy products.

Other Milram team sponsors are Colnago bicycles, who delivered Petacchi's first bike earlier this month. “I’ve known Alessandro Petacchi for many years”, Ernesto Colnago told Cyclingnews. “He used to come to our old place on via Cavour when he was a junior and rode our bicycles for many years. We are very happy he is on the Milram team we will sponsor for the next three years.” Colnago reports Petacchi has already taken delivery of a special Colnago C50, and will also have a Colnago Cristallo and Extreme-C at his disposal in 2006.

Boonen awarded Velo d'Or

Tom Boonen has been named 2005 winner of the Velo d'Or award by France's Velo magazine. Boonen beat seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and inaugural ProTour champion Danilo Di Luca in the selection for the prestigious award, which is selected by a panel of journalists selected by the magazine.

Boonen was recognised for his world championship victory and his win at Paris-Roubaix, among others. Armstrong, who has won the award for five of the previous six years, was second with 19 fewer points than Boonen (84 versus 65) and Danilo Di Luca was third on 35 points.

Velo's parallel award for French riders went to mountain biker Julien Absalon for the second year running. Absalon successfully defended his world championship in 2005.

TIAA-CREF/Clif Bar riders heading to Europe

With a successful US race season wrapping up and the all-important national championships looming in early December, four members of the TIAA-CREF/Clif Bar cyclocross team have been selected to join US national cyclocross coach Geoff Proctor at his prestigious Euro Camp III. The riders are Alex Howes and Danny Summerhill as juniors, along with Brady Kappius and Troy Wells in the U23 ranks.

Based in Belgium and running from December 22 until January 5, the camp is intended to give the top tier of US 'cross racers the chance to compete against the world's best in the heartland of cross during the holiday rush of 'cross racing. Each rider will be able to race up to seven times at World Cup, Superprestige, and GVA Series events, with most riders attending the camp going on to compete at the world championships in Zeddam, The Netherlands on January 28-29.

Kersten out of Manchester world cup

Wollongong cyclist Ben Kersten has withdrawn from the Cyclones team to contest the Manchester track world cup round on December 9-11 due to injury. The 24-year-old is suffering two bulging discs in his back at T5 and T9 and will not race again until after Christmas.

"We thought it was a rib because it's up that high that the pain diverts around the side of my body," said Kersten. "So we've been trying to find a rib problem and persisting with the pain for a long time. But I did some damage on Monday [November 21] in the gym lifting weights and doing squats and it seems I've done the lower disc now as well," he said. "There is no power going to my legs so it's no use racing.

Kersten rode at the Sydney Thousand carnival on Sunday despite his injury, and almost pulled off a win in the feature event; but it's now time to focus on recovery. "Doctors say I have three options," Kersten explained. "I can either not ride, get an operation or have a spinal injection which will reduce the inflammation and delay an operation."

Kersten is hopeful the injection, which he plans to have as soon as possible, will bring the discs back in line and, along with physiotherapy, enable him to get back to racing in the New Year. "As far as Commonwealth Games I should be okay but it just means making a later run for the season with the plan to come good around February," he said. "I can still ride the bike enough to stay fit but, at this stage, it's not worth pushing it with racing and gym work at this stage."

Kersten will be replaced in Manchester by Victorian rider Jason Niblett.

The Australian team for Manchester track world cup

Kristine Bayley (WA), Ryan Bayley (WA), Shane Kelly (VIC), Jason Niblett (VIC), Anna Meares (QLD), Katherine Bates (NSW), Richard England (VIC), Sean Finning (VIC)

CSC gathers

During the coming week Team CSC's 2006 squad will gather for the first time. Meetings, socializing and the traditional survival camp will be on the agenda as the team gets together at Danparcs Rønbjerg, Denmark.

"Our first camp is extremely important," said team manager Bjarne Riis. "This is where we lay the foundation for our work together over the coming season. We have a lot of new guys on the team, who all need to get to get to know the rest of the team and become fully integrated."

"We have had great success with this way of doing things in recent years, and I'm very much looking forward to getting the team together in Denmark. Just like last year we've chosen to hold our camp at Danparcs Rønbjerg, where we have the ideal facilities both indoors and out. We are more than 70 people, so there are many things which need taking care of."

Irish riders navigate into 2006

By Tommy Campbell

Irish riders Ciaran Power and David O'Loughlin will be team-mates on the Navigators Continental Pro team in 2006, and according to team manager Ed Beamon, their role will be an important one as the team treks the world next year.

"We are looking forward to another exciting season and happy to have two of Ireland's best cyclists on the squad," said Beamon. "I am also happy to begin the season again next year with the Irish champion." O'Laughlin made it back to back wins in Ireland's premier road event in 2005 and will be riding a specially painted 'Irish Green' Colnago, and wearing Biemme's Navigators imprinted Shamrock jersey.

"David goes into action early January," said Beamon. "His first race will be the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under in which the Irish normally do themselves justice, it must be the crowds and particularly the ex pats who come out to support the event.

"Ciaran will try his hand in the Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi. We have raced there for a number of years and it brings the best out of the boys. At the moment there is a question mark whether or not we get the invite to 'Le Tour.'

"Of late problems have surfaced which I am sure will be resolved. Like Australia, the Irish are involved with the race in Malaysia, both on the organisational front and the competitive side."

Beamon is confident the duo will improve on the previous performances in 2006. "I think David matured a great deal in 2005, and I am expecting some even better things from him in '06," he said. "It looks like Ciaran will have his nagging leg injury corrected over the winter, and he should be able to duplicate the type of form that led to his great ride for Ireland in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. I think we have put together a very strong roster for 2006, but even with many capable leaders, I expect to see both Irish guys in leadership roles at various points of the season."

After the team's stint in the Southern hemisphere, Navigators returns to the team's base in the US. "Tour of California will be a new race in America this February, and an important goal for the team, and I expect at least one of the Irishmen will be on that event roster," said Beamon. ".Both guys should spend most of the Spring in Europe, and then pick up a big block of USA racing before returning to the Emerald Isle for the National Championships. They'll be back in the USA in July, but I expect the team to return to Europe in late Summer, and hope we will see both guys competing with the team at Tour of Britain."

The British Tour is important as a chance to showcase the team to the sponsors. "Navigators Insurance has a strong presence through their offices in London and Manchester," said Beamon, "and also have a very successful office in Antwerp, so we hope to continue to develop the European part of our competitive schedule."

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