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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for October 10, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

Gilbert wouldn't settle for second

Belgians Philippe Gilbert (FDJ) and Stijn Devolder (Discovery) had the chance of their lives to win a major classic in Paris-Tours yesterday, but tactics dictated that they lost in the last 200 metres. The pair had escaped with 25 km to go, building up a one minute lead at one point that was whittled down to around 20 seconds with 2 km left. At 1 km, it was still 11 seconds, but Gilbert found himself leading Devolder all the way to the finish, and he naturally slowed down. The result: the bunch caught the duo with 200m to go and neither finished with a place.

Both were frustrated with the non-result, with Gilbert showing it with an internationally known one armed gesture aimed at Devolder just before the finish, and a can of coke hurled on the ground. "What should I have done?" asked Devolder. "I gambled and lost. If I'd known that we had just 11 seconds in the final kilometre, I would have done one more turn. We didn't understand each other well.

"I have proved that I can ride a perfect race, really until 250 metres to go. If I'd ridden the last kilometre flat out, then I would have heard again that I'm a stupid rider."

Devolder also said that he was riding under instruction from team director Dirk Demol, who told him not to take a turn in the final kilometre as Gilbert was the faster sprinter. "I'm very frustrated, even if I had theoretically less chances than Philippe to win a two man sprint.

On Gilbert's part, the Wallonian rider said, "I believed I could be the winner until 200 metres to go. But Devolder refused to take a turn and that put an end to our initiative...If Devolder had ridden that last kilometre, then we would have both been on the podium. Now we've both got nothing.

"At the World Championships in Madrid, we stayed in the same room. It didn't work out the best. In the three days in Madrid, we maybe exchanged four words. Yet we have to go further with each other for years. It won't ever be the same between us."

It was a contrast to last year's race, when Matthias Kessler and Erik Dekker were away with a similar margin, but Dekker - who had been in a day long break - and Kessler both worked inside the final kilometre, with the result that Dekker won and Kessler finished seventh. But the latter gained some satisfaction this year as his teammate Erik Zabel took line honours in Tours for the third time in his career.

Paolini out for the season

Luca Paolini will not be able to finish the season with Quick.Step in Lombardy, after crashing during Sunday's Paris-Tours and injuring his right hand. Paolini was chasing back onto the peloton with 60 km to go when he hit a T-Mobile car, and fell hard on the same hand that he broke a year ago. He is still waiting for the results of a CAT scan, but fears that something is broken.

Fassa Bortolo for upcoming races

The Fassa Bortolo team has picked its riders for the two major Italian races this week. In the Giro del Piemonte on October 13, the silver team will be represented by

Paolo Bossoni, Claudio Corioni, Massimo Giunti, Gustav Larsson, Vincenzo Nibali, Alberto Ongarato, Kanstantsin Siutsou, Marco Velo, and director Alberto Volpi.

In the Giro di Lombardia, Lorenzo Bernucci, Marzio Bruseghin, Massimo Codol, Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni, Massimo Giunti, Kim Kirchen, Vincenzo Nibali, Kanstantsin Siutsou and director Alberto Volpi will form the team.

Boonen and Tankink extend

World Champion Tom Boonen has extended his contract for another three seasons with Quick.Step, where he has spent a very fruitful past two years. Dutchman Bram Tankink has also re-signed for Lefevere's team, reaching a two year deal that will take him up until the end of 2007.

Beloki extends

Joseba Beloki has extended his contract with Liberty Seguros for another year. 2005 marked Beloki's first season back with Manolo Saiz after leaving ONCE in 2004 for Brioches la Boulangère and Saunier Duval-Prodir. He took part in all three Grand Tours this year, but was a long way off his Tour de France podium form of 2000 and 2002, having never seemingly recovered from his terrible crash in the 2003 race.

David Etxebarria has also extended his contract with Liberty Seguros.

ProTour points system to be revised

Sprinters will be more competitive in next year's ProTour, with a new points system to be introduced by the UCI next week benefiting the fast men. The changes will affect stage wins in the grand tours, with 10 points being awarded for a win in a Tour de France stage compared with just 3 this year. In the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España, stage winners will gain eight points. In other ProTour stage races, the daily winner will get three points, whereas this year it was just one.

It's expected that the points gained for, e.g. winning a classic (50 points), Tour de France (100 points), Giro or Vuelta (85 points), will not change.

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split

October 4, 2008 - New ASO chief to maintain values
September 26, 2008 - UCI declares peace, appoints new VP
August 30, 2008 - UCI re-signs five ProTour races
August 22, 2008 - ProTour: Bouncing back or lame duck?
August 19, 2008 - Stapleton analyses 'world calendar'
August 18, 2008 - Feedback on 'world calendar'
August 18, 2008 - UCI announces 'world calendar'

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split

Kachalka out for two years

Ukrainian rider Nataliya Kachalka (A.S.Team FRW/G.S.Top Girls) has been given a two year suspension by the Ukrainian Cycling Federation after testing positive for furosemide during this year's Giro del Trentino on June 19. She was disqualified from the race and her suspension will run between July 30, 2005 and July 30, 2007.

Heras bike auction up to €20,000

The Heras golden bike
Photo ©: Liberty Seguros
Click for larger image

The charity auction for Roberto Heras' golden BH Global Concept bicycle, which he rode to victory in Madrid during the final stage of the Vuelta a España, has already topped the €20,000 mark. Heras opened the auction last Friday on eBay, putting a starting bid of €10,000 on the bike. His team manager Manolo Saiz joined in the bidding later on with an impressive €18,000 bid, but since then it has climbed to €20,700 with over six days remaining in the auction. All proceeds will go to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

At a press conference at eBay's Madrid HQ, Heras said that he was "very proud to be able to collaborate in this charitable act for people who are in need." Heras also admitted that he would have liked to keep the bike and that it makes him sad "to say goodbye to it, because it has a great sentimental value for me, but I do this with happiness for our cause."

Saiz added that the bicycle has "a very great sentimental value, besides which we are not going to make any more bicycles like this one, which is already a collector's item with some parts coated in pure gold. Besides, it is a bicycle for top competition, with a weight between 6,850 and 6,900 grams, which Roberto used to do the last stage of the Vuelta 2005.

"I remember that when we sold the bicycle of the Centenary Tour, a multimillionaire, who could at least ride a bike, bought two. When we asked him why he was buying two, he explained that one was for his winter house and the other was for his summer house. I'm going to bid for it because I would like it to remain in Würth's Bicycle Museum, although I also would be glad if it goes to someone else because it would mean that we have reached the aim of collaborating with a good cause."

The auction can be found at: cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7187570856

Park City Academy accepting applications

The USA's Park City Cycling Academy is now accepting applications for the 2006 season. The PCCA is a developmental program that allows young riders the opportunity to move to the mountains of Park City, Utah, for the summer and race and train in a professional team environment. The Academy provides a foundation for riders to develop under the mentorship of top elite and professional cyclists while racing some of the top races in the country.

In 2005, PCCA competed in several National Races including Cascade Classic Stage Race, Mt. Hood Stage Race, Boise Twilight Criterium, Univest Grand Prix, Tour of Utah Stage Race, Excel Boulder Stage Race, US Nationals, High Uintas Stage Race and the Elkhorn Classic Stage Race among many others.

For more information, visit www.parkcitycycling.com

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