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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for October 17, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

An interview with David Zabriskie

How bizarre

David Zabriskie
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Click for larger image

A bizarre chain of events put an end to what was a dream run for Dave Zabriskie. Cyclingnews' Anthony Tan talks to the man himself in an effort to make sense of it.

Up until July 5 this year, Dave Zabriskie was living a dream. A stage victory at the Giro d'Italia, a call-up to his first Tour de France, and then winning the opening stage of La Grande Boucle, where he became the fifth North American to wear the coveted maillot jaune.

After three days in yellow, the next day's team time trial was always going to be a test of nerves. Zabriskie and defending champion Lance Armstrong were separated by just two seconds, and sure, the Discovery Channel team had a point to prove - but so did Team CSC.

"I think we'll ride fast tomorrow. It's our goal to win this [team] time trial," said CSC team manager Bjarne Riis, as the mind-games began playing out before the media the day before in Tours.

The first two-thirds of the 67.5 kilometre parcours from Tour to Blois were virtually flat and non-technical, and having driven the course behind Davitamon-Lotto that morning, it was obvious the final 20 kilometres or so would decide the day.

Click here for the full interview

Lefevere more than happy

Quick.Step team manager Patrick Lefevere has shown that he has the best one day riders in the world at his command, after Paolo Bettini's late season victory in the Giro di Lombardia. "Whoever wins five of the former World Cup races in one year, as well as having a World Champion [two, counting the T-Mobile bound Michael Rogers], and has been in the firing line from January to October, can speak of a huge year," said Lefevere to Het Nieuwsblad.

The other main Belgian team, Davitamon-Lotto, finished fourth in the ProTour team rankings (compared with Quick.Step's 12th) and won Gent-Wevelgem, among many other races. Although Davitamon-Lotto's team manager Marc Sergeant said that his team ranking was "better than we could have ever hoped for", Lefevere pointed out, "Go tomorrow to the Grote Markt in Brussels and ask who was fourth in this year's ProTour team ranking. There'll be no-one who knows. No, I can calmly say that we have the best team in the World. And it wasn't just Boonen and Bettini. Also Nuyens, Pozzato, Mercado..."

Grillo breaks wrist

Panaria sprinter Paride Grillo will have to rest for a few weeks after breaking his right wrist in a crash during the Giro di Lombardia. The 23 year old sprinter was diagnosed with the fracture in the hospital in Lecco.

Dierckxsens says goodbye

Ludo Dierckxsens rode his last race on Sunday in Tessenderlo in front of a huge crowd of fans. Of course, he was allowed to win the race after attacking the peloton on the last lap. The recently turned 41 year old finished a 12 year professional career that was marked as much by his aggressively fun character as it was by his results. He turned pro at age 29 with Saxon, and in 1996 started to show himself with a seventh place in the Omloop Het Volk. In 1997 he scored his first victories: in the Grand Prix Denain, Zellik-Galmaarden, and Hasselt-Spa-Hasselt, also finishing second in the Belgian championship that year.

Dierckxsens signed for Lotto in 1998 and performed even better, winning Paris-Bourges, finishing 2nd in the Grand Prix Ouest France and a stage of the Vuelta a España, 3rd in the Hew Cyclassics Cup, and 12th in Paris-Roubaix. He changed to Lampre in 1999 and scored his biggest wins: stage 11 in the Tour de France along with the Belgian road championship. But he was then suspended by his team for not telling the team doctor about a corticosteroid treatment and spent some time out of competition.

In 2001, still with Lampre, he had a good season without any wins. He finished 2nd in a stage of the Tour de France, 6th in Paris-Roubaix, and 8th in the Ronde van Vlaanderen. In 2002 he was 2nd in the Tour of Belgium, 3rd in a stage of the Tour de France, and fourth in the GP Rik van Steenbergen. He signed for LAndbouwkrediet-Colnago in September 2002 and spent the next three seasons with them. He had two wins during that period: GP D'ouverture La Marseillaise in 2003 and a stage in the Tour of Austria in 2004.

His 2005 season was always going to be his last, and he had intended to stop in June, but a crash in Paris-Roubaix damaged the ligaments in his right hip. He decided to recover and race the latter half of the season before finishing his career today in front of an adoring public.

Casero hangs up the bike

Angel Luis Casero (Comunidad Valenciana) will finish his career at the end of this season, according to The winner of the 2001 Vuelta a España has had a career lasting 12 seasons, with mixed success. His Vuelta win was the absolute highlight, snatching victory away from Oscar Sevilla on the final day, a 38 km time trial in Madrid. But that turned out to be his final success, as the last three years have been injury and problem filled. He spent 2004 out of competition due to contractual and licence problems, and this year only managed to finish seven of the 13 races that he entered - not good enough for another contract with Comunidad Valenciana.

Casero also tasted success in 1998 and 1999 with Vitalicio Seguros, winning the Spanish Championship and the prologue of the Volta a Catalunya both years, and finishing fifth in the Tour de France in 1999. He also has the 1997 Vuelta a Castilla-Leon on his palmares, while he was riding for Banesto.

The future of the 33 year-old is not certain yet, although todociclismo reports that he will stay active within Valencian sport.

Contract news

Belgian Staf Scheirlinckx will remain with the Cofidis team for at least another season, reports Het Nieuwsblad. Scheirlinckx described himself as "very happy" with his current arrangement.

American Saul Raisin (Credit Agricole) has extended his contract with the French team for another two seasons, reports Raisin had his best ever season this year, winning the mountains competition and finishing second overall in the Tour de l'Avenir, as well as ending 9th in the Deutschland Tour and riding in the early breakaway during the World Championships in Madrid.

Italian Massimiliano Maisto will turn pro with Universal Caffé next season, signing a two year contract, reports This year, the 25 year-old Maisto rode with the Tecninox Camel Podenzano Brunero team, winning nine races, including a stage in the Baby Giro and the Bassano-Monte Grappa one day race.

"Finally the big day has arrived," said Maisto. "I'm happy, I hope to repay the trust that's been placed in me and to obtain good results next season."

Sydney Thousand aiming at track rebirth

The re-birth of the historic Sydney Thousand bicycle race - first held at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1903 - will have a significant impact on the future viability of track cycling as a public attraction in Australia's largest city. Last held at Camperdown Velodrome in 1985, the Sydney Thousand has found a new home at the $42 million Dunc Gray Velodrome and is the centre piece of an afternoon of racing which has rarely been matched in the past century and a quarter of two wheeled competition in the NSW capital city.

Set down for a November 27 afternoon, the Sydney Thousand carnival features the best line-up of local and overseas track racing talent seen anywhere in the world, barring Olympics and World Championship events. It will provide organisers with a test to determine whether track cycling at one of the world's great venues, and featuring action packed racing on a wood surfaced track with wall of death turns, can pull in crowds as the original Sydney Thousand did when 54,000 people turned up to watch.

"Looking at the program, I believe the riders on show are the best possible available in the world today and will give Sydneysiders an opportunity to see not only top class quality, but in quantity never before matched," stated NSW Institute of Sport Cycling Head Coach, Gary Sutton.

Like everyone in cycling, Sutton, winner of a World Title in 1980 and two Sydney Thousands, is enthused at the clash of Perth's dual Athens Gold Medallist, Ryan Bayley, and German World Sprint Champ Rene Wolff, in what is being billed as 'The Match Race of the Century."

"This particular clash will have world-wide significance as it brings together our Olympic Champ Bayley and the German Wolff, who won at the World's when Bayley was robbed of a start through injury," added Sutton. "These riders have similar styles based on power, endurance and determination, so the 'entertainment' is expected long before the bell lap.

"Outside of that, the carnival features Australia's best domestic performer in the past track season, Ben Kersten, the AIS male and female squad members, NZ's fastest pedaling female, Liz Williams, Wolff's German team mate Mathias John as well as State and National Champions," Sutton said.

Of particular interest will be the men's and women's keirin races staged behind a motorcycle.

Tickets are $20.00 and can be obtained through Cycling New South Wales on +61 (0)2 9738 5850.

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