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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for October 14, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones & Hedwig Kröner

Italians vie for victory in Race of the Falling Leaves

By Jeff Jones

2004 winner Damiano Cunego (Saeco)
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

The Giro di Lombardia, the traditional final classic of the season and the last race of the inaugural ProTour series, will take place for the 99th time on Saturday, October 15. As with last year, the Race of the Falling Leaves will start in the Swiss town of Mendrisio and wind its way around Lake Como before the finish in Como itself. With some modestly sized climbs including the Madonna del Ghisallo (8.5 km) and the nearly 2 km at 10 percent San Fermo della Battaglia near the finish, the race suits the climbers, and it was no surprise that Damiano Cunego won it last year ahead of Michael Boogerd and Ivan Basso.

This year, the tables have turned in Cunego's Lampre-Caffita team, as the 2004 Giro winner has spent most of the season fighting poor form caused by mononucleosis in spring. Instead, Lampre will be riding all-out for Gilberto Simoni, who is finishing the season on a strong note after winning the Giro dell'Emilia last Saturday.

Another rider who has struggled this season, but is certainly hitting peak form now, is the Olympic champion Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step), who is coming off a storming win in the Championship of Zurich nearly two weeks ago. Bettini has never finished on the podium in Lombardy, as it's a race that normally comes too late in the season for the classy Italian. But this year might be different, as Bettini is very motivated, and for once doesn't have to worry about defending the World Cup lead.

Live coverage

Cyclingnews will be covering the Giro di Lombardia live, with coverage starting at 15:00 CEST (Europe)/9:00 EDT (USA East)/6:00 PDT (USA West)/23:00 AEST (Australia East).

Click here for the full preview, map, history, and start list

Journalists charged in Cofidis affair

By Hedwig Kröner

Five French journalists have been charged for breach of secrecy in the judiciary investigation of the Cofidis affair. After the offices of the French magazine Le Point and newspaper L'Equipe were searched by Nanterre court investigators in January this year, three of the former and two of the latter journalists have now been officially accused, as they did not provide the sources of the details of the criminal investigation which they published.

On January 22, 2004, Le Point printed entire transcripts of taped phone calls used in the investigation, and on April 9, 2004, L'Equipe published excerpts of the hearings of several Cofidis riders.

The journalists from Le Point have been subject to observation including tracing their cell phone calls in order to find out where the leak came from. The two L'Equipe journalists' homes were searched. Nevertheless, in article 109 of the French Code of criminal procedure, it is stated that journalists have the right not to reveal their sources, which have not been identified to date.

Many organisations have expressed their dissent with the action take by the Nanterre investigating judge and appealed that the right of the press to reveal its sources be maintained, as it is "one of the pillars of the freedom of the press" according to the European Court of Human Rights.

Sastre tests the legs before Lombardy

Team CSC's Carlos Sastre tested his legs before Sunday's Giro di Lombardia in today's Giro del Piemonte. The 176 kilometre long Giro del Piemonte was decided by a group sprint, but up to that point, Sastre had put his mark on the race when the peloton split half way through the race. Murilo Fischer won the race in a bunch sprint.

"A group of seven riders got away on the hardest climb of the race, and Carlos was really flying," said CSC's team director Kim Andersen on "They didn't manage to keep the peloton behind, but it was a good test before the Tour of Lombardy, where I believe we have a good chance of ending the season with a good result."

Final races for Liberty Seguros: Lombardia and Montjuïc

The Liberty Seguros team will race two more events this season: the Giro di Lombardia, the final ProTour race on Saturday, and the Subida a Montjuïc in Barcelona on Sunday. Manolo Saiz will direct the following riders for Lombardy: Carlos Barredo, Giampaolo Caruso, Allan Davis, David Etxebarria, Isidro Nozal, Michele Scarponi, Marcos Serrano and Ángel Vicioso. Besides these riders, Roberto Heras and Alberto Contador will travel to Italy to be present at the closing dinner of the UCI ProTour 2005 on Sunday.

In the Subida a Montjuïc, Joseba Beloki, Carlos Barredo and Marcos Serrano will race under the direction of Herminio Díaz Zabala.

Valverde leads Illes Balears in Lombardy

The Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne team will line up for the Giro di Lombardia with the following rider: Jose Vicente García Acosta, Iván Gutiérrez, Joan Horrach, Pablo Lastras, Francisco Mancebo, Mikel Pradera, Vicente Reynés, and nominal leader Alejandro Valverde. The team will be directed by Eusebio Unzúe.

Nys OK for Ruddervoorde

Cyclo-cross World Champion Sven Nys is feeling better after the impaired balance he was experiencing on Tuesday has not returned later in the week. The Belgian has been able to train "without problems" and is looking forward to competing in Ruddervoorde, Belgium, this Sunday for the first round of the Superprestige Series, which he won last season.

"On Tuesday, it didn't look good," Nys said. "I got up and felt dizzy so bad that I almost fell. I had to lie down again. I was in bed all day, but I could eat so it wasn't the 'flu. The doctor gave me some medicine that immediately took effect. But the question is where this feeling of dizziness came from - it's a signal from my body, but what?"

The Rabobank rider will get a blood test next week.

Sun Tour riders against the clock

The thrilling fifth stage around the Yarra Valley turned the 2005 Jayco Herald Sun Tour on its head, enabling Canadian Dominique Perras (Bicycle Superstore/HLP) to turn a five second deficit into a 31 second lead. But four other riders are breathing down his neck - his own teammate, David McKenzie; Josh Collingwood (Savings and Loans) who has been sitting quietly in second spot all week; Tour de France mountain stage placegetter, Simon Gerrans (AG2r Prevoyance) and the man who just keeps bouncing back whatever is thrown at him, Baden Cooke (Francaise des Jeux).

Friday's 11 km time trial from Monbulk to Mt Dandenong was always expected to be the crucial stage for this year's Tour and that is exactly how it looks like turning out. It will be a real test of both time trialling and hill climbing. Perras is quietly confident but Collingwood and Gerrans are both very capable in both skills, and no one would seriously write off the chances of McKenzie or Cooke.

One thing is almost certain though - whoever leads the general classification after Friday, is the likely Tour winner, ahead of Saturday's final stage - a criterium around the streets of Carlton.

Start time 11:00 am (first rider), riders leave at one minute intervals, with the last rider overall going first and the race leader leaving last.

Carney in Tasmania again

American Jame Carney in action
Photo ©: Shane Goss
Click for larger image

The Sports Carnivals Association of Tasmania (SCAT) has announced that American cycling Champion Jame Carney will again ride at this year’s Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals. Following his win in last year’s Launceston Wheel Race, Carney declared that he was considering retirement from the sport and unlikely to ride again in Tasmania, where he has been a star at the Carnivals in recent years.

Carney, in his coaching role with the US Cycling Federation, will also bring with him an increased number of American cyclists, including past Carnival performers Bobby Lea, Mike Friedman and Josh Kerkhoff. The new riders this year will include USA National Madison Champion Elliott Gaunt.

For the story on Team America last year, click here. For more on the Tassie Carnivals in 2004, click here and here. For full details of the 2005 carnivals see the SCAT website.

Leblacher to Francaise des Jeux

French rider Eric Leblacher, who had no contract for next year, is going to Francaise des Jeux next season with a one year deal in his pocket. "Without talking clichés, this team was really the one I wanted to ride for in France, because of its human way of working. Especially working with the Madiot brothers, I'm looking forward to it."

The contract will be signed on Friday morning.

Courtesy of

Van Avermaet to Bodysol

Belgian Greg Van Avermaet, who took part in the U23 World Championship road race in Madrid, has signed for the Bodysol-Win for Life-Jong Vlaanderen continental team for next season. Greg Van Avermaet had a very good 2005, winning Hasselt-Spa-Hasselt and a stage of the Triptyque des Barrages.

Sauser to Specialized

29 year-old Swiss cross-country racer and UCI World Cup Champion Christoph Sauser will join Liam Killeen and Sabine Spitz at the Specialized mountain bike team for 2006 and beyond. After 10 years as a pro, Sauser said he was interested in riding on one of the Specialized machines. "Once I saw Liam racing a Carbon Epic this season, I knew I had to connect with Specialized for the future," said the Swiss rider. "Plus, they have a long history of working closely with their racers to develop new products, and that's exciting." Sauser will also rely on Specialized shoes, saddles, helmets and an array of other equipment.

Specialized Team Captain Ned Overend was particularly happy with the arrival of the Swiss star, "With a number of World Cup wins last year, Christoph is definitely at the top of his career," said the 1990 World Champion, "He seems genuinely excited about pulling on a red Specialized jersey and crushing the competition."

Sauser, who is due to finish his successful 2005 season at the Roc d'Azur marathon in the south of France this coming weekend, will have a specific focus on the UCI XC and MX World Cups and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

'Peloton project' raffle for LAF

The Tour Baby! Filmmaker Scott Coady has been using his breakout film to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation in support of his best friend’s daughter, Claire Harding, who was diagnosed with brain and spinal cancer four years ago. Claire was lucky enough to be one of only two kids in the history of Stanford University children’s hospital to beat this rare cancer and today is a very healthy and active 13 year-old girl.

Coady has managed to raise $145,000 for the foundation so far, greatly exceeding his original goal of $100,000. With one week to go in the LAF’s grass root fundraising cycle for this year called the 'Peloton Project', Scott has set a goal to raise an additional $10,000 by raffling off the chance to have Lance Armstrong sign any personal item the raffle winner wants.

When asked why, Coady said, "Last month I lost my mentor and business partner of 12 years, Richard LeKander, to cancer. He discovered too late that he had stomach cancer and died shortly after being diagnosed. The doctors said he had the cancer for 8 or 9 years before, so obviously there is more outreach work to be done to promote early detection of cancer. Delivering the eulogy at his memorial service was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I am making this final fundraising push to honour Richard’s life and to help support the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s important and life saving work."

The winner of this raffle will have the opportunity to send Coady one special personal item which Lance Armstrong will autograph at a personal meeting with Coady, as he is one of the top fundraisers for the LAF this year.

All of the details can be found at

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