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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for October 15, 2005

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

Bettini out for Lombardia win

Winning in Zürich: Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Click for larger image

Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step), after what may have been one of his greatest moments at the Züri Metzgete not even two weeks ago, is now looking to win the last ProTour race of the season, the Giro di Lombardia. Italian website spoke to "Il Grillo" on the eve of the event, and Bettini affirmed that he felt much better at this time of the year than in 2004, where he finished 1.40 minutes off the winner, Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Caffita).

"It's a race that I like very much and where I feel I can play a part in," Bettini said. "Compared to 2004, I'm in much better condition: then, I was tired mentally. Not that I'm all fresh now, but we're all in the same state at the moment."

Asked who he felt his biggest rivals were at the race, Bettini replied, "Simoni, Schleck, Celestino and Rebellin, in that order. I haven't seen much of Valverde lately, but it seems to me that the course is too difficult for him."

But the Quick.Step rider also thought that the 2004 winner, Damiano Cunego, could be a threat even though he has been suffering from mononucleosis the larger part of the season, and is only getting back to his Giro d'Italia 2004 form slowly. "It will be hard for him to find the strength to emerge again, but he could be very dangerous on the Ghisallo: if he succeeds to get to the front they could play team games with Simoni and condition the race."

Bettini, who also added that the Giro di Lombardia had very little to do with the Züri Metzgete with respect to the parcours and its difficulty, responded to the question of his racing tactics with a little smile. "Tomorrow, we'll all ride for Petacchi...," he concluded.

Illes Balears to Montjuïc

The famous climbers rendez-vous Escalada a Montjuïc in Barcelona, Spain, is taking place for the 42nd time, this year on Sunday, October 16. Spanish team Illes Balears will be present at the race involving one road race and one time trial with three riders: Iván Gutiérrez, Joan Horrach and Alejandro Valverde.

A total of 32 professional riders will participate, including such other high-level names as Juan Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo), Carlos Sastre (CSC), Oscar Sevilla (T-Mobile), Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel), Miguel Angel Perdiguero and Oscar Pereiro (both Phonak).

One more stage for Gerrans

Simon Gerrans (AG2r) slips into Yellow
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Click for larger image

Victorian cyclist Simon Gerrans (Ag2r) has it all before him as the 2005 Jayco Herald Sun Tour enters its seventh and final day with a criterium in Carlton today, starting and finishing in Lygon Street. After winning the Tour's third stage from Bendigo to Shepparton on Tuesday, Gerrans waited for his moment before pouncing on his rivals during the tough 11 km individual time trial climb up Mt Dandenong yesterday.

Having taken over the leader's yellow jersey by 14 seconds, Gerrans now has the opportunity to become only the third Australian in the last 20 years to win one of the country's most prestigious road cycling events. Meanwhile, unlucky Baden Cooke (Francaise des Jeux) is determined to win his third stage of the 2005 Tour in front of family and friends in the heart of Melbourne's restaurant district, also famous for its cycling connections.

Racing gets under way at 10.20 am and will feature 50 minutes of top quality cycling action, culminating in three fast and furious laps to complete the 54th edition of the event.

Brixia Tour growing

The organisers of the Brixia Tour in Italy have announced that the UCI has granted the race one more race day, making the event held in Lombardy a grow from three to four days in July 2006. The sixth edition of the 2.1 rated race will thus be held from July 20-23 next season.

"The decision of the UCI is worth a lot to us," said a happy Team Brixia organiser Giuseppe Bresciani. "Our race gets bigger year after year. It needs a greater amount of engagement but also offers our partners better and better opportunities." The Brixia 2006 parcours is not yet decided, the only official itinerary detail being the start of the first stage in Concesio.

Zabel rides Sixdays again

Erik Zabel on the 2005 Paris-Tours podium
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) has confirmed his intention to participate in two Sixdays track racing events this winter after having won the Paris-Tours recently. The World-class sprinter will be at the start at the Dortmund Sixdays from October 27-November 1 and in the famous event in München from November 10-15.

"I didn't work out that much this summer, so my batteries aren't completely empty yet," the German explained with a smile, alluding to the fact that he had to omit this year's Tour de France. Zabel now wants to use the winter time before starting over again on the road with his new team, Milram. "It was my decision alone to ride Sixdays again," he added.

Zabel has participated in several of the track racing & entertainment events in the past. In 2001, he won the Dortmund Sixday with his T-Mobile teammate and good friend Rolf Aldag, who will end his career as a professional cyclist after this season. Aldag will be Zabel's partner in the two-men Sixday team in Dortmund again, but it is not yet known who will be at his side in München.

Superprestige starts Sunday

The 24th edition of the European Superprestige Cyclo-cross series starts this Sunday in Ruddervoorde, Belgium with the first of eight races. The last winner of the series, Rabobank rider Sven Nys will be at the start again this year to defend his title. A total of 42 riders - 27 Elite and 15 Espoirs - will be competing against each other in the same races as last year:

October 16, 2005: Ruddervoorde, Belgium
October 30, 2005: Sint-Michielsgestel, Netherlands
November 6, 2005: Hamme-Zogge, Belgium
November 20, 2005: Gavere, Belgium
November 27, 2005: Gieten, Netherlands
December 24, 2005: Diegem, Belgium
February 5, 2006: Hoogstraten, Belgium
February 18, 2006: Vorselaar, Belgium

The Elite riders with a confirmed start in all eight races are:

Belgium: Sven Nys, Bart Wellens, Erwin Vervecken, Sven Vanthourenhout, Tom Vannoppen, Davy Commeyne, Bart Aernouts, Wim Jacobs, Jan Verstraeten, Tim Van Nuffel, Peter Van Santvliet, Arne Daelmans
Netherlands: Richard Groenendaal, Wilant van Gils, Maarten Nijland, Camiel van den Bergh, Gerben De Knegt
Italy: Enrico Franzoi
Czech Republic: Kamil Ausbuher, Martin Zlamalik, Radomir Simunek
France: John Gadret, David Derepas
Poland: Mariusz Gil, Dariusz Gil
USA: Jonathan Page
Germany: Malte Urban

The U23 riders listed for the Superprestige read as follows:

Belgium: Niels Albert, Jan Soetens, Kevin Pauwels, Tom Van den Bosch, Dieter Vanthourenhout, Jan Van Dael, Rob Peeters
Czech Republic: Zdenek Stybar, Ondrej Zelinka
Netherlands: Ricardo van der Velde, Eddy van IJzendoorn, Thijs van Amerongen
France: Clément L’Hotellerie
Luxemburg: Jean-Pierre Drucker
Switzerland: Lucas Flückiter

Prizemoney for the Superprestige is the same for the Elite riders as last year, 66,500 Euros. In the U23 category, a significantly smaller sum of 5,000 Euros can be won, and the Juniors will be awarded up to 9,000 Euros worth of prizes.

Bubba Memorial Series kicks off

Big Shark Bicycle Company of St. Louis, Missouri, has announced the return of the Bubba Memorial Cyclocross Series. This year's eight-race series starts Saturday, October 15 with the Ronde von Evergreen in Carbondale, Illinois, and continues the next day at Tilles Park in St. Louis, Missouri. Bubbas will thereafter be held on Sundays until the end of November.

The Bubba Memorial is unique in the world of Cyclo-cross because each race is held in memory of a dog that isn't dead yet. All racers will get the opportunity to meet Bubba, the aforementioned not-yet-dead dog, at the start of the A, B, C, and women's races, and they will also compete for over $5000 in cash and Bianchi prizes.

The complete Bubba Memorial schedule:

Bubba #1: October 15 - Evergreen Park, Carbondale, Illinois
Bubba #2: October 16 - Tilles Park, St. Louis County
Bubba #3: October 23 - Faust Park, West St. Louis County
Bubba #4: October 30 - Queeny Park, St. Louis County
Bubba #5: November 6 - Creve Coeur Park, St. Louis County
Bubba #6: November 13 - Faust Park, West St. Louis County
Bubba #7: November 20 - Queeny Park, St. Louis County
Bubba #8: November 27 - Creve Coeur Park, St. Louis County


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