First Edition Cycling News for October 10, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones and Hedwig Kröner
Third victory for Zabel
Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) scored his third Paris-Tours victory today in the Avenue de Grammont, and his last one for the German-based ProTour team which he joined 13 years ago. A breakaway of two, Philippe Gilbert (Francaise des Jeux) and Stijn Devolder (Discovery Channel) was caught by the flying bunch with 200 metres to go, and Zabel came off Daniele Bennati's wheel just in time to win by half a wheel. The Italian Lampre-Caffita rider took second, and Australian Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros) third.
"Magnifique!," Zabel told reporters in the finish. "It's a very good day for me and my team manager Walter Godefroot, as well as for Frans Van Looy. It's last race this season for them, and also for Aldag and myself, so to finish it with a victory here on Paris-Tours is wonderful! Of course, after 13 years of a lot of victories and emotions with Telekom and later T-Mobile, this is a very precious moment."
"The finish here in Tours is very long, possibly the longest in the world. I was behind Daniele Bennati and Allan Davis. Bennati was very strong this year, maybe the strongest sprinter this season behind Petacchi. It was a good sprint, but this one in Tours is very difficult, very special. It's a great moment for me as I was the fastest today," he added.
Second placed Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Caffita) commented, "I took risks starting the sprint from far behind in order not to be closed in. But only a great Zabel passed me in the last 20 metres. I'm a bit disappointed, I would have liked to finish the season with a prestigious win. But it is also a good result thinking about the 'flu I had in the last week: even this morning I was still coughing a lot. Fortunately the good weather helped me today and I felt good in the finale. It is the best result I have ever achieved in a one-day ProTour race, also thanks to my team mates Ballan and Commesso who always stayed with me during the race. I hope this result is a good sign for the future!"
The main breakaway of the 252.5 km-long day saw Joost Posthuma (Rabobank), José Ivan Gutierrez (Illes Balears), Stéphane Berges (Agritubel) get a maximum lead of almost nine minutes at km 110, before gradually being reeled in again by a peloton controlled by Crédit Agricole and Davitamon-Lotto. With a little more than 40 kilometres to go, their move was over, and made way for another.
Philippe Gilbert (Francaise des Jeux) and Stijn Devolder (Discovery Channel) attacked with 27 kilometres to the line, and nearly made victory happen between them, but Devolder - under instructions from Team DS Dirk Demol - played poker in the final kilometre and a half and sat on Gilbert's wheel, with the result that they both lost.
CSC wins ProTour team ranking
With three riders among the 17 best in Sunday's classic Paris-Tours, team CSC secured the title as best team in the UCI ProTour rankings in 2005. Russian Vladimir Gussev placed 12th behind the winner, Erik Zabel, and Danish Lars Michaelsen achieved the 15th position. Matti Breschel, who came in 17th in the end, launched an attack with his future team mate Karsten Kroon (Rabobank) on one of the last climbs during the race, and when the two were about to get caught, Breschel countered again. But in the end the young Dane was also reeled in by the chasing peloton shortly before the final stretch along Avenue de Grammont.
"We tried our best and got away with a decent result," said sports director Alain Gallopin after the race. "We were well represented in the front group, but unfortunately our riders lost momentum, as they were close to getting involved in a crash, just as the two escapees were caught. Once again Matti showed his potential and overall I'm satisfied with our performance, which gave us enough points to win the ProTour team rankings."
In the individual rankings, there were no changes to the top 10 at all with Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas-Bianchi) still leading Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) and Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile), while in the Nations rankings, Italy, USA, and Spain occupy the top three spots.
Rankings as of October 9, 2005
Individuals 1 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 229 pts 2 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 171 3 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 140 4 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 139 5 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team 136 6 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 131 7 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 130 8 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 129 9 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 128 10 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 126 Teams 1 Team CSC 372 pts 2 Rabobank 341 3 Phonak Hearing Systems 337 4 Davitamon-Lotto 318 5 Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 307 6 Saunier Duval - Prodir 291 7 Gerolsteiner 289 8 Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 263 9 Credit Agricole 261 10 Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 246 Nations 1 Italy 661 pts 2 United States of America 559 3 Spain 459 4 Germany 405 5 Australia 307 6 Belgium 304 7 Netherlands 280 8 France 163 9 Luxembourg 156 10 Russian Federation 153 Full rankings: Individuals, Teams, Nations
Van Dijk flees doping control
Stefan Van Dijk (MrBookmaker.com) is risking a suspension from pro cycling. On June 8, 2005, the Dutch rider fled an out-of competition doping control at his home in Oud-Turnhout, Belgium. Reportedly recognising the yellow anti-doping bus in front of his house as he drove home, Van Dijk decided not no attend the control and fled in his Audi A3. The doctor in charge, Hans Cooman, nevertheless recognised the rider and reported the incident.
Although Van Dijk wrote a letter to the Belgian Federation saying that he wasn't home that day, the evidence produced at the sitting last week proved this not to be true. His lawyer, Philippe Carsau, is hoping for a suspended sentence. "It was a reaction of panic," Carsau said. "He said he'd apologise."
Under article 23 of the Flemish decree, refusing a doping control equals testing positive. The commission in charge of investigating the incident will make its decision in two weeks' time. Van Dijk, who participated in the ProTour race Paris-Tours on Sunday and finished 11th, scored several victories this year and is placed second in the European Continental Tour rankings.
Sun Tour stage 1 comments
By John Trevorrow in Williamstown
AG2R Director John Beasley was pleased to be near the lead after day one, with second place behind winners Savings And Loans. "Yeah were really happy. Three seconds is a bit of a bummer and I'm sure if we rode it again we could go quicker, but everyone only gets one go and I'm very happy with the boys."
Cyclingnews.com Directeur Sportif Paul Brosnan reckons his team will be the quiet achievers of this year's Jayco Herald Sun Tour. "I'm as happy as a dog with two tails," said a smiling Brosnan after his team took fifth place. "The boys are motivated and it was a good day. We only lost six seconds and the boys were keen to keep pretty well in touch with the leaders and they have done that.
"The first real stage around Bendigo should see plenty of action and I feel that there will be a lot of attacking and groups going up the road. It's just a matter of making sure the right guys are in those moves. There aren't any time bonuses on the stages so that will suit us. After the Bendigo finish we should have a much clearer idea on what's happening. At the moment it's anybody's race."
Ben Brooks (Jelly Belly, 6th) said, "We tried to keep it together for the first couple of kilometres and then get into it in the headwind. We went OK and only lost eight seconds. Danny Pate seems to be flying, he was definitely the strongest out there today. If we can keep him in reasonable contact by the time trial then he'll go alright. But you never know what it's going to be like over the next couple of days, and with the side winds it could get turned upside down."
Hilton Clarke (VIS Jayco, 8th) was in good spirits. "I've signed for Navigators again," he said. "I had a bit of success in America and I'm really happy to go forward with them." On the TTT, Clarke said, "We gave it a red hot go but we split the team apart on the way back. It was a chance we had to take. In the end it probably cost us time but we had to have a crack at it."
Hilton's teammate Johnny Clarke was slightly disappointed with the time of the Jayco team, which was 12 seconds off the pace of the winners for eighth place. "We went alright but we missed the start a bit. Brett Lancaster was always going to be hard to match and along with Hilton and Brad Norton, they were the driving forces."
Lancaster added, "The boys went alright. For most of them it was their first team time trial, so it's probably going to be their hardest ride of the week. I was a little underdone with six days off the bike with my bike not turning up."
Henk Vogels (Davitamon-Lotto, 9th): "The team went OK. We probably lost a few seconds more than we wanted but it wasn't too bad. But this race is going to be won out on the roads over the next few days. I reckon one day there is going to be a group go away and that will be the tour. We just have to make sure that we get in it.
"Gatesy is going real well and he is the only one here that's just come off a three-week tour. Personally, I was happy with my ride at the World's. It was probably one lap too long for me and one hill too many. We had to bring that move back with two laps to go and it put a dent in me and Cookie and Gerro. If we hadn't had to do that we all might have been able help Robbie in the finish."
Russell Downing (Recycling.co.uk, 12th) said, "We went alright but I think we had a bit of blockage from the flight. But the proper racing begins tomorrow. I guess we are all hoping for a stage, maybe a couple of stages each."
Colombian dies at Clàsico Banfoandes
Colombian rider Ubaldo Mesa died at the Clàsico Banfoandes stage race in Venezuela on Sunday, October 9, 2005, as he was preparing to take the start of the last stage. The 32 year-old, who collapsed and lost consciousness, was taken to hospital immediately, but doctors could not save him. Mesa died of heart failure, the Colombian Cycling Federation announced.
Ubaldo Mesa left behind his wife and kids, as well as his brother Uberlino, a pro rider like him at team Selle Italia Colombia, who was also participating in the race.
Born in Pajarito, Boyacà, Ubaldo Mesa rode in Mexico for the last four years, currently for the team Tecos de Guadalajara. He was placed 10th on General Classification of the Clàsico Banfoandes and wanted to defend his placing, with the Vuelta al Tàchira in January as next goal in mind.
Randwick Botany stalwart dies
Kevin Blanchfield, a long-time member of Australia's Randwick Botany Cycling Club, passed away on October 5, 2005. Until recently, Kevin aged 76, was a regular competitor at Saturday afternoon criterium races at Heffron Park at Maroubra. Swimming was another exercise that Kevin enjoyed, doing laps at the Des Renford Memorial Pool after completing his cycle race. Kevin was also a member of the Clovelly Eskimo Swimming Club for many years swimming each Sunday morning throughout winter.
Kevin, who lived in Kingsford, held a private pilot's licence for most of his life, cutting his teeth on de Havilland Tiger Moth bi-plane then moving on to modern EADS Socata Trinidad and Tobago single engined aircraft.
The executive committee and members of the Randwick Botany Cycling Club, together with the staff of Cyclingnews offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Kevin.
Tri-State Velo looking for riders
The Philadelphia-based team Tri-State Velo/Amoroso's is looking for riders for its Elite/U-23 squad for the 2006 season. The team's goals are to have a strong presence in regional events and to develop younger riders into elite amateur and professional riders. The team will compete in Mid-Atlantic and New England events including the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic, the Univest Grand Prix and the International (Altoona) Stage Race.
U-23 and Elite Nationals will also be a focus for the squad. TSV offers a generous sponsorship package that include clothing, frames, race fees and travel expenses.
Interested Cat 1/2 riders should email resumes and 2006 season goals to the attention of Mike Attie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)