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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for September 3, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones & Hedwig Kröner

Vuelta stage 7 wrap up

Ain't no puncture bad enough... for Van Heeswijk

Max van Heeswijk (Discovery Channel)
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

Max Van Heeswijk (Discovery Channel) proved his excellent form once again today by winning stage 7 of this year's Vuelta a España from Teruel to Vinaros. After 212.5 kilometres of racing, the Dutchman was the strongest rider in the coastal finish town, taking the victory just ahead of German Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) and Italian Alberto Ongarato (Fassa Bortolo) in a bunch sprint finish.

What's more, Van Heeswijk, who won two stages of the Eneco Tour earlier this month, punctured before the finale with 15 kilometres to go.

"It was very impressive of Van Heeswijk," CSC sports director Kim Andersen explained. "He bridged back to the peloton all by himself after his puncture and still had strength left over for the sprint, even though the pace was high towards the end of the stage. Christian Vande Velde crashed during the final descent, but he wasn't seriously hurt and managed to finish in the main peloton, while Linus Gerdemann lost some time because he's suffering from a back ache."

Flat stage favourite Alessandro Petacchi was nowhere to be seen in the finale, also because of a mechanical. But Petacchi was unable to rejoin the bunch and finished 152nd, 3'10 behind. Overall leader Roberto Heras secured six more bonus seconds by winning the last intermediate sprint on the parcours.

German team Gerolsteiner was also happy with today's result: Young talent Heinrich Haussler got eleventh in the bunch sprint. "Heinrich really got a great result out of that situation," DS Raimund Dietzen said. "He was practically left on his own [after teammates were waiting for Haselbacher, who also punctured] - the boy is a lot of fun to watch!" The Australo-German is racing his first Grand Tour.

A six-man break composed of Iñigo Cuesta (Saunier), Eladio Jimenez Sanchez (Comunidad Valenciana), Rik Verbrugghe (Quick.Step), Ignacio Gutierrez (Phonak), Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel) and Benoît Poilvet (Crédit Agricole) was away for most of the stage, but on the second half of the route, which was all downhill, it was easy for the peloton to reel them in again.

Also see:

Stage 7 full results, report & photos
Live report
Stages & results
Start List

More post-stage comments

Unai Yus, the Basque rider from Bouygues Telecom, is currently ninth on the GC. "I have prepared myself for the beginning of the Vuelta," said Yus "I am in good condition, but I know perfectly well that the last part of the race will be really tough for me. The roads were very dangerous today, not only for the corners, but also for the asphalt that was uneven. The roads were in very bad condition."

Miguel Martin Perdiguero (Phonak) told the press post-stage, "It was really funny. With so many nerves and everything, myself and some riders decided to relax and laugh for a while." Referring to the World's, he is taking things seriously though: "That's different. When you have to work, you have to. If Alejandro [Valverde] is not there, I will have more responsibility, but I can handle it. Besides, it's in Madrid [his native city - ed.]."

Unzue impressed by Heras' condition

By Hernan Alvarez Macias

Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros)
Photo ©: Unipublic
Click for larger image

Illes Balears team director Eusebio Unzue made comments about week one of the Vuelta España to Spanish TV, the race's official broadcasters. He was impressed by Liberty's Roberto Heras' performance, and said that "until yesterday [Thursday], there wasn't a chance to see how the favourites were. I think we have seen the best Heras that I have ever watched in the last few years. He was very well assisted by his team. However, there is two thirds of the race left. There are five, six very important stages. It's clear that Heras has come here very fit, but the further development of the race will give us his true measure."

Unzue left space for his riders as well as for surprises on the Vuelta. "In the Vuelta there are surprises," he continued. "Many times this race went against logic. Many times and in many years. We will see what happens in the time trial on Sunday and also in the Pyrenean stages."

Saunier Duval director Joxean "Matxin" Fernandez also gave his version of Heras' superiority. "He showed the reasons why he is the favourite," Fernandez said. "There are many stages left on the race, but he made a strong impact, a morale blow to the rest. So far, Liberty and Heras have demonstrated superiority."

Like Unzue, Matxin does trust in his team and added, "We will try being a fighting team, looking for stage wins up to the end."

Verbruggen candidate for UCI presidency again

UCI received candidacy two months ago without going public

By Hedwig Kröner

The current president of the International Cycling Union (UCI), Hein Verbruggen, is running for the presidency again. After several months of turmoil surrounding the upcoming elections, where former president of the German cycling federation Sylvia Schenk filed complaints with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Ethics Commission, this comes as a surprise to those who thought Verbruggen's favourite candidate, Irishman Pat McQuaid, would surely win the electoral run in front of his two rivals, Malay Darshan Singh and Spaniard Gregorio Moreno.

As was revealed by Dutch media, Verbruggen wrote a confidential letter to the presidents of the five Continental Federations on July 29, where he announced his candidacy, which was initially filed with the UCI as far back as June 25. Following this move, the Spanish Cycling Federation has filed a new complaint with the Ethical Commission of the IOC, as well as with the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), as this served as another proof of the unfair and undemocratic electoral process, according to Gregorio Moreno. The organiser of the Vuelta a Burgos counts on the support of his national federation as well as the Vuelta a España, Unipublic, and is therefore also linked to French Tour de France organiser ASO and Italy's Giro d'Italia management RCS.

This seems to be the most important reason for Verbruggen's fourth run for president, as the Dutchman wasn't sure enough of McQuaid's firmness in the process. "There were three candidates instead of one," Verbruggen wrote in the letter to the federation presidents on July 29, 2005. "In the last three remaining months until the election, there is a risk that McQuaid could opt out of the electoral process (because of misfortune or personal matters). That would leave two other candidates which I do not consider having the authority for this function. Under these circumstances, and after consideration with the Dutch Cycling Federation, I have decided at the very last moment to become a candidate. Chairman J. Atsma and vice-Chairman P. Zevenbergen were both addressed in this matter. On Saturday, June 25, the UCI received my application."

Pieter Zevenbergen, member of the UCI Management Committee and president of the UCI Ethics Commission, therefore knew of Verbruggen's renewed bid for his function as head of the UCI when he hosted the meeting of the Ethics Commission on Friday, August 19. "At the sitting," Schenk said yesterday, "Chairman Zevenbergen said nothing about the so-called fourth candidate. How can we trust a Commission which conceals that sort of important information on purpose?"

Verbruggen, meanwhile, does not intend running against Pat McQuaid in the electoral process. Oddly enough, he continued the letter to the federation presidents by saying, "If the election turns out in the way that I hope, we will have three eligible candidates on September 23. I have great trust in who will win in that case. If McQuaid is not able to run for the election, then I will engage in the fight with the two other candidates on behalf of the UCI."

As for Pat McQuaid, he was quoted by German website on Wednesday Radsportnews as saying, "I will pursue my candidacy unless Hein Verbruggen runs for office again."

Cyclingnews coverage of the UCI elections

September 24 - Spain's perspective on UCI election result
September 24 - Darshan Singh retires
September 23 - A wonderful moment for McQuaid
September 23 - McQuaid wins UCI presidential election
September 22 - IOC rejects complaints; Election to go ahead as planned
September 21 - World's opens, Spanish federation explains
September 20 - UCI committee exits Madrid
September 18 - Conflict between Schenk and UCI goes on
September 15 - Moreno not a Grand Tour stooge
September 8 - Baguet explains, Singh files third complaint
September 6 - McQuaid still UCI choice
September 3 - Verbruggen candidate for UCI presidency again
August 31 - Verbruggen nominated for UCI president
August 25 - UCI Ethics Commission meets
August 17 - Darshan Singh protests against UCI elections
Interview with Pat McQuaid: Next in line? Part II
Interview with Sylvia Schenk: Continuing her quest for Law & Order. Part II
August 6 - Moreno aims for presidency role
July 31 - UCI attacks Sylvia Schenk
Interview with Pat McQuaid: ProTour & Phonak, New teams & the UCI succession. Part II

New German Pro team in 2006

German media is reporting the creation of a new professional team for next season. Continental team sponsor Wiesenhof will change teams and become the co-sponsor of Akud, German champion Gerald Ciolek's team. The contracts have been signed already. The new team, which will run under the name of Wiesenhof-Akud, will therefore have a big enough budget to apply for a Professional Continental team licence with the UCI. Team manager will be Raphael Schweda, with Jens Heppner working as directeur sportif.

The young German team, who signed German champ Ciolek for another two years, wants to continue with developmental riders as well as a new roster yet to be determined.

A new team in Belgium too?

Former pro racer Johan Capiot is hopeful about a new Belgian Pro Continental team, too. According to newspaper Het Belang van Limburg, he is on the verge of signing a deal with several sponsors, providing him with a budget for it. "Within a couple of weeks, I might be able to officialise everything, including the name of the main sponsor," said Capiot, who has been a directeur sportif of several Belgians teams before (TVM-Farm Frites, Bankgiroloterij, Chocolade Jacques).

"It all came to life after the Eneco Tour. The municipality of Charleroi [also sponsoring french RAGT team, which is stopping after 2005] contacted me and we agreed rapidly. With bike manufacturer Orbea, too, everything went very fast. With Insurance company Delta Loyd the agreement is settled to 90 percent. And the negotiations with the main sponsor, whose name I can't say, are looking very good. We need a budget of at least 1.5 Million Euros," he added.

Farazijn looking for contract

Peter Farazijn's contract with French Cofidis team will not be renewed for next year. Earlier, Matthew White, Jans Koerts and Scheirlinckx were already told they weren't productive enough within the team throughout the year, and that they were free to go and look for another employer.

"I have to try and find another team, but I don't want to race just for a jersey and a pair of knicks," Farazijn told "If I get a decent proposal I'll think about it and will add another year. If there isn't one coming my way, that will be the finish of my career."

Courtesy of Sabine Sunderland

Lampre in mourning

Italian Lampre-Caffita team and the Galbusera family have announced the premature death of Fernando Cortinovis, a friend and collaborator to the squad. Cortinovis died on the morning of Friday, September 2, at San Raffaele hospital in Milan from an incurable disease. The 49 year-old journalist was in charge of the Lampre cycling team press office since 2000.

"Today we have lost a very special person, who has always worked with the team with a positive, humble and dedicated spirit," said the President of Lampre Group, Mario Galbusera. "Fernando was sincerely close to our family and we will remember him forever."

The Italian press agents working in professional cycling have also expressed their deepest sympathies with the family of Fernando Cortinovis. "We have lost a colleague and a friend whose humanity and cheerful personality we have known very well for years. We will miss his unique style and his ability to work and live with enthusiasm. We offer our condolences to his family and to all who had the luck to know him in cycling world and outside it," they stated.

The funeral will be on Monday, September 5, at 3.30 p.m. in Cesano Maderno (Mi), where Fernando Cortinovis used to live with his wife Cinzia.

Twin Cities auto dealership announces sponsorship of Cyclocross Series

Thane Hawkins Burnsville Subaru announced today it has secured the title sponsorship of the Minnesota Cycling Federation (MCF) 2005 Cyclocross Rider of the Year (CRY) Series. The announcement coincides with Burnsville Subaru's opening on September 2, 2005. The new Subaru dealership is located near the Burnsville Center at 14900 Buck Hill Road in Burnsville.

"Cyclocross is really coming into its own, and gaining a title sponsor will certainly add to the visibility of the sport here in Minnesota," said Mike Lyner, President of the Minnesota Cycling Federation. "The MCF has a strong commitment to the CRY series. We're pleased to have found a partner like Burnsville Subaru. It's a great fit for our event."

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