First Edition Cycling News for September 9, 2005
Edited by Anthony Tan & Jeff Jones
Vuelta stage 12 wrap-up
A Petacchi show all the way
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) is the man to beat in the bunch sprints in the Vuelta, having notched up his fourth stage win in Burgos today. With just one corner in the last 10 km, it was a perfect sprint for a train like Fassa Bortolo, even if they didn't hit top gear until 3 km to go. In the finale, Petacchi didn't even wait for his lead out man Marco Velo to really get going, and went from a long way out to claim the win by over a bike length from Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) and Marco Zanotti (Liquigas).
The general classification was unchanged today, but a crash with around 30 km to go saw Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) go down and injure his knee. After assistance from the race doctor, he rejoined the peloton and finished with the bunch, but it could have a big impact on his chances of taking time out of Menchov in the weekend's stages.
The day was animated by Relax Fuenlabrada's Luis Pasamontes, who attacked in the opening kilometres, built up a maximum lead of 4'45 or so, and was reeled in by the peloton with 12 km to go. A counter move by Benjamin Noval (Discovery) lasted a couple of kilometres, but no-one was stopping a bunch sprint today.
Fifteen stitches for Heras
Piil out and in hospital; Scheunemann breaks finger; X-rays for Osa
One of crash victims on Stage 12 of the Vuelta was none other than three-time winner and the second-placed rider on the overall classification, Roberto Heras (Liberty-Würth). Jakob Piil (Team CSC), Niels Scheuneman (Rabobank), and Unai Osa (Illes Balears) were some of the other riders hurt from the accident, which saw the Dane leave the scene via ambulance.
Heras sustained two wounds, both around his left leg. Race doctors provided him with medical assistance during the stage, but they had to wait until the end before treating him properly. The Spaniard received ten stitches on the largest wound at the top of his kneecap and five at the site of the second wound, further down his leg. This evening, team doctors applied anti-inflammatory cream and have given him analgesics, and will further assess the situation in the morning.
"The fall happened in the first ten riders in the pack," recalled Heras. "I believe someone got tangled up right in front of me, but I am not sure; I fell down on top of them and couldn't do anything to avoid it. At first, I had a lot of pain and could not pedal, but then doctors have put three bandages on the wound to stop the bleeding and I could continue. It was more difficult at first because we were on a climb, but then I did the final kilometres without too many problems.
"I have a big wound, but I am well and now it is necessary to wait and see how I feel tomorrow. I do not know how these cuts will affect me. I am very motivated and if this does not prevent me from riding tomorrow, I'll go forward. This has only been a small problem in our plans, but also it is necessary to know these things [happen] in a race," Heras added.
Meanwhile, Osa asked for medical help because shortly after, he suffered another crash and hurt his rib. He was due to undergo X-rays after the stage to ascertain if any of his ribs are broken. On the other hand, Piil was definitely wounded after the collision; the CSC rider suffered loss of consciousness and multiple knocks from other riders and was driven to hospital immediately following the accident, where further medical tests will be performed.
"Jakob has got serious concussion and quite a few superficial wounds," said team doctor Joost de Maeseneer on team-csc.com. "This again shows just how important it is that the riders wear a helmet. At the moment there's no sign of any broken bones, but as customary after a bad concussion Jakob is being kept under observation for 24 hours."
Rabobank's Niels Scheuneman was another victim of the crash, and will not be starting Stage 13 on Friday. Scheuneman broke a bone in his left hand, and will be of no further assistance to his team captain Denis Menchov. The Russian is strong individually, but his team is down to just six riders now, and of those, Jukka Vastaranta is not feeling good.
Time out for Gonzalez de Galdeano
Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Liberty-Würth) announced yesterday that he will retire from elite competition at the end of the season. The 31 year-old Spanish rider has worn both the golden jersey in the Vuelta a España and the maillot jaune at the Tour de France, and spoke with Spain's TVE after today's stage in Burgos.
When asked for the reason behind his decision, he said: "I'm going home. I got my ideas very clear. They [older riders who don't think of retirement such as Roberto Laiseka, who is 36] have a career; I had a different kind of career. I think my period is over and this is it."
Added Gonzalez de Galdeano: "It's a bit of everything. I always fought for big goals and when my mind told me these goals started becoming difficult, I decided to abandon all this." Also asked if his decision was irrevocable, he replied: "Every decision must go to the end and this is my way of being."
Gonzalez de Galdeano's other successes include winning the Tour of Germany and the Spanish time trial championship in 2002, winning a bronze medal at the World Time Trial Championships that same year, winning the fastest stage ever in the Vuelta in 2001, and finishing second and fourth overall in the Vuelta in 1999 and 2003.
Bak survives toughest test in Avenir
Team CSC's Lars Bak was able to retain his yellow leader's jersey in the Tour de l'Avenir after a tough eighth stage today. The Danish champion even increased his overall lead as second placed Kai Reus (Rabobank) abandoned the race due to a crash. The stage was won by Bradley Wiggins of Crédit Agricole.
"It was only logical that it was up to us to take control of the race again today and our riders succeeded in doing just that," said DS Scott Sunderland on team-csc.com. "The first serious attack was launched already after 14 kilometres and the fast pace was set for the remainder of the stage. Lars is doing really well on the climbs and he carries the jersey with great authority. We're not out of the woods yet but it certainly looks promising at this point. Lars's team mates are highly motivated to help and with that kind of back up only a disaster would keep us not from triumphing in this race."
Steven Kleynen (Chocolade Jacques) will move to Landbouwkrediet-Colnago for 2006, the team has confirmed. Kleynen has signed a one year deal thanks to the support of his training partner Nico Sijmens. He has ridden professionally for Domo-Fram Frites, Vlaanderen and Chocolade Jacques.
25 year-old Sebastian Lang and 27 year-old Ronny Scholz have extended their contracts with Gerolsteiner until the end of 2008. The management wants these riders on board in order to strengthen the team's core. Both have ridden the Tour de France in 2004 and 2005 and supported Levi Leipheimer in his Deutschland Tour victory last month.
Davitamon-Lotto-VC Ardennes goes continental
The Belgian Davitamon-Lotto-VC Ardennes team will take a step up next year to become a Continental squad, the VC Ardennes club has announced. The team has established a strong identity and structure in Wallonia, and will be linked with Davitamon-Lotto for at least the next three years. Its aim is to develop young riders, focusing on third and fourth year espoirs and the young elite riders. It will also keep its "national" team that will train new espoirs.
Bakker suspended for two years
The Dutch Cycling Federation (KNWU) has suspended mountain biker Erwin Bakker for two years after he tested positive for EPO in Mont Saint Anne this June. Bakker was also fined €1,350.
Vino to lead T-Mobile in Poland
Kazakhstan national champion Alexandre Vinokourov will lead the T-Mobile charge at next week's Tour of Poland, using the race to fine-tune his form in the lead-up to the world road championships in Madrid on September 25.
For the 1,253 kilometre race, which crosses Poland from the Baltic Sea in the north to Poland's giant mountains in the southwest, Vino can count on the support of stage race specialists Matthias Kessler, Bram Schmitz and Stephan Schreck, as well as Classics men Steffen Wesemann and Sergey Ivanov. Rounding out the magenta line-up are Dutch neo-pro Bas Giling and Eric Baumann, the latter rider claiming overall victory in the sprinters' competition at last week's Tour of Britain, and is naturally the team's designated rider for bunch sprint showdowns.
Coming off the back of a solid overall team performance at the Tour of Britain, which saw the team win the team classification from Quick Step-Innergetic and Comunidad Valenciana, directeur-sportif Valerio Piva is confident that the same quintet can continue where they left off in Britain. "The five showed that even after a long season, they still have enough gas in the tank to leave their mark on this race," said Piva. "We will be working for Vino," added Giling, "Vino is our captain, and we will be working for him."
Sergey Ivanov is well acquainted with the Polish race, having won it outright back in 1998 in the colours of Belgian team Fram Frites. The current Russian champion is looking forward to another outing at what he judges to be a very well-organised race in front of a great cycling audience. "It is a quality race and I am delighted that it has gained ProTour status," said Ivanov, who renewed his contract with T-Mobile earlier this week.
Team roster: Eric Baumann, Bas Giling, Sergey Ivanov, Matthias
Kessler, Bram Schmitz, Stephan Schreck, Alexander Vinokourov, Steffen
Gerolsteiner, Phonak to Pologne
Gerolsteiner will certainly be one of the teams to beat at the Tour de Pologne UCI ProTour race, which starts next Monday. San Francisco GP winner Fabian Wegmann and Davide Rebellin are likely team leaders, and can count on strong support in Robert Förster, Markus Fothen, Frank Hoj, Andrea Moletta, Marco Serpellini and Beat Zberg. Christian Henn shall act as the team's manager.
Phonak Hearing Systems also boasts a solid eight-man line-up, including: Aurélien Clerc, Bert Grabsch, Robert Hunter, Uros Murn, Gregory Rast, Johann Tschopp, Sascha Urweider and Steve Zampieri. René Savary and Adriano Baffi will be the team managers at the race.
Ciolek to Univest Grand Prix
Three months after becoming the youngest cyclist to win an Elite German National Championship, 18 year-old Gerald Ciolek will travel to Souderton, Pennsylvania, USA as one of the favourites for the 8th Annual Univest Grand Prix on September 17-18. Ciolek, who turns 19 the day after the Doylestown Criterium, surprised the cycling world when he overtook cycling legend and six-time winner of the Tour de France's Green Jersey Erik Zabel in the closing meters of the German National Championships in Manheim on June 26. Univest will be an important test for Ciolek as he prepares for the Under-23 World Championships in Madrid, Spain on September 24.
Along with four of his teammates from German team Akud Arnolds Sicherheit, Ciolek adds further depth to a field that is already looking like being the best ever assembled for the UCI 1.2 ranked race. It also sets up a sprinters' duel between the German Champion and defending Doylestown Criterium winner Chad Hartley (Team TIAA-Cref).
Moire information: www.univestgrandprix.com
Nature Valley Grand Prix on TV
The USA's Nature Valley Grand Prix stage race will be featured in a TV program that is set to air nationally on the Outdoor Life Network and in the Midwest on Fox Sports Net North.
2:00 PM Eastern Time on Sunday, September 11
Fox Sports Net North:
6:30 PM Central Time on Saturday, September 17
(Check local listings)
The Nature Valley Grand Prix men's race saw an epic battle between veteran John Lieswyn (HealthNet p/b Maxxis) and youngster Shawn Milne (Navigators Insurance). Lieswyn claimed the lead at the Mankato Road Race, then surrendered it to Milne in Minneapolis. Although Richard England (Advantage Benefits/Endeavour) won the brutal Stillwater Criterium in impressive style on the last day, Lieswyn was able to come from behind to take the overall title. With his retirement looming, this is likely to be the final big win of Lieswyn's storied career.
In the women's race, it was a tour de force for Christine Thorburn of Webcor Builders. Thorburn claimed the leader's jersey at the Saint Paul Riverfront Time Trial prologue, then she and her teammates defended it successfully through the Stillwater Criterium. US National Criterium champion Tina Pic (Quark) claimed the women's Freewheel Bike Sprint competition.
The Nature Valley Grand Prix is part of the Great River Energy Bicycle Festival and is one of the top four stage races on USA Cycling's National Racing Calendar. For more information, visit: www.MinnBikeFestival.com
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