Latest Cycling News for October 7, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones
Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Caffita) is contemplating the end of the season, which has been tougher than last year's after he got mononucleosis in April. Cunego finished yesterday's Coppa Sabatini in 37th place, nearly eight minutes behind the winner. It's clear that his form is still not close to his best.
Cunego's team director and mentor Giuseppe Martinelli commented to tuttobiciweb.com that Cunego was "...not on a good day yesterday. I insisted that he didn't abandon, I wanted him to finish the race, also out of respect for the guys that had worked for him from the start of the Coppa Sabatini. At the end, however, Damiano did not have the legs and didn't get into the group of 21 that played out the race."
Speaking about the last races of the season, Martinelli said, "In Zurich on Sunday I saw a lot of riders who were going really strongly, Bettini above all. Those will be the ones who will figure in the last races. With regard to Damiano, I think he's on the wane. Most likely, he is thinking of next year, considering what happened this year. I think in September, he has not raced enough and that he's lost a little bit of his edge. Four races is not really enough. He trained hard, because he knew that all the other riders were racing. In the end, I think it would have been better to race more and train less. Perhaps it would have been better if Damiano did a stage race like the Tour of Poland in September."
Martinelli also noted that after coming back from mononucleosis, Cunego was in good form in August, but the disease would have made it difficult to maintain his peak. The young Italian will, however, finish his season with the Japan Cup on October 23.
Bennati leads Lampre in Paris-Tours
Sprinter Daniele Bennati will head the Lampre-Caffita line-up in this Sunday's Paris-Tours, the second last race in the ProTour. Only six riders will make up the team, with Alessandro Ballan, Giosuè Bonomi, Salvatore Commesso, Samuele Marzoli and Daniele Righi supporting Bennati. Guido Bontempi will act as sports director.
Bennati raced the Coppa Sabatini yesterday, but didn't finish. "Yesterday I had great feelings, especially on the climbs," he said. "I feel now better after the flu I had last week and I think I'll be ready, at 100 percent for Sunday, my last target of the season. I know the race, I did it in 2002 with Mario Cipollini and I really like it. The wins I had this season give me confidence and the team trusts me, I go there to win."
Illes Balears for Paris-Tours
Alejandro Valverde will spearhead the Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne team for Sunday's Paris - Tours. Valverde, the silver medalist in the World Championships, will be backed by a solid team, including Imanol Erviti, Jose Vicente García Acosta, Jose Iván Gutiérrez, Joan Horrach, Pablo Lastras, Mikel Pradera, and Vicente Reynés. Eusebio Unzúe will serve as sports director.
Huy in 2006 Tour
The Wallonian town of Huy will be the starting point of the fourth stage of next year's Tour de France. Huy is best known for hosting the spring classic La Flèche Wallonne and it's famously steep Mur. The organisers of the Tour (A.S.O.) decided that the proposed fourth stage between Valkenburg and St-Quentin would be too long, and moved the start to Huy.
"The Tour will officially be presented on October 27, but we can go so far as to say this," confirmed the mayor of Huy, Anne-Marie Lizin. "All preparations have been made." Huy also hosted the Tour in 1995 and 2001.
Alessandro Bertuola will change teams from Naturino-Sapore di Mare to Tenax next season, according to Tuttobiciweb.com. The 26 year-old has ridden one year as a pro.
Belgian sprinter Steven Caethoven has extended his contract with Chocolade Jacques-T-Interim for another season.
Fabien Sanchez (Française des Jeux) will ride for Cofidis next season, the team has confirmed. The 22 year-old comes from the track, where he won the national individual pursuit championship and finished sixth in the Olympic Games in that discipline in 2004.
U.S. rider Kirk O'Bee is looking for a new team after his contract with Navigators Insurance was not renewed. O'Bee has been a professional since 2000, riding for US Postal and Navigators, scoring 11 victories at home and in Europe, including the GP Rennes (2002), GP Pino Cerami (2002), and USPRO Criterium Championship (2001).
Hoffman to finish on October 16
Ludo Dierckxsens will not be the only pro with a retirement race on October 16. Dutchman Tristan Hoffman, who has moved into a director's role with Team CSC after a knee injury forced him to cut short his career, will have a race in his honour in Groenlo, The Netherlands on that same day.
The program of the Dwars Deur Grolle is as follows:
Parcours - Groenlo centre - 1 lap is 1.35 km
13:00-14:15 Criterium A-amateurs
The Dutch power tool company Skil will not continue its sponsorship of continental team Skil-Moser next season. The squad lasted only one year, a somewhat lower key appearance than the Skil team of the 1980s.
Perth to Sydney record broken
The record for the 4000 km distance between the Australian cities of Perth and Sydney has been broken by 23 year-old Tristan Barnes, from Perth. Barnes took nine days, nine hours and 17 minutes to complete the marathon, bettering the previous record set in 1999 by 14 hours.
Mundane matters in Ireland
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
Roger Aiken, the current Irish Cyclo-cross champion, turns his attention to this discipline on Sunday. Roger was certainly a star on the road this season. He put time and effort into the road season and based himself at the Kelly Academy in Belgium for much of the year. Instead of going down under with a team to compete in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, Roger will be in Lurgan where hopefully the weather will be fine, but temperatures will be down. Robin Seymour will unfortunately be away when the Lurgan race takes place.
The first cyclo-cross of the season promoted by Apollo CT will be held at Lurgan Park, Lurgan on Sunday, October 9. Underage racing starts at 12 noon with the main event at 1 pm. Changing and sign on are at the Waves Leisure Centre, Lurgan from 11 am.
Cyclo cross is booming in Ireland at the moment and this season looks set to continue. After a meeting by the 'cyclo-cross committee' including Andy Laythe Geoff and Robin Seymour, Robbie Lamont, it has been decided to try and do a way with the handicap style of racing. With races attracting up to 60 or 70 riders last season, it was getting much harder to sort the handicap out. Therefore it was suggested to run it the same way as in England, where there is an open race and prizes for each category: senior, vets, ladies, juniors, and possibly an MTB prize and a Cat. 3 prize.
Ride with the pros in Tour of Marin charity event
The Tour of Marin in California, USA, is a fun ride that takes place on October 30. The tour is being organised to raise funds for Marin Country Day School's (MCDS) Indexed Tuition program, which provides tuition assistance to families at the school, and to support at least one community partner organisation. This year, MCDS will donate 25% of the fall 2005 Tour of Marin Half Century proceeds toward hurricane Katrina relief efforts. To that end, $50 from each entry fee will be contributed to the American Red Cross to support its efforts in providing aid and comfort to victims of hurricane Katrina.
This year's 50 mile (80 km) event will see several of America's top professional riders present in an effort to raise awareness for the ride. Tour of Germany winner Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner), Tour de France stage winner David Zabriskie (CSC), and three time U.S. Pro Champion Fred Rodriguez (Davitamon-Lotto) are the big names, along with the Webcor Women's Professional Cycling Team, including Christine Thorburn and current U.S. National Champion Katheryn Curi, and members of the AMD Masters Cycling Team, including Ken Carpenter, Mike McCarthy and Larry Nolan.
The entry fee for the Tour of Marin is $200, which includes the ride, post-ride brunch at the school, and a commemorative t-shirt. The ride is limited to 200 participants. Registration and additional information are available online at www.tourofmarin.org. Prior to the event, registration can only be done online, with registrations possible on the morning of the event, subject to space available.
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