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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for September 13, 2005

Edited by John Stevenson & Les Clarke

Vuelta rest day wrap: Heras takes control and Petacchi makes it four

By Les Clarke

The Heras train about to leave
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

It's been a short stint since the first rest day, but in between there's been action aplenty; another win for Alessandro Petacchi, a crash for Heras and mountain drama galore in the high country of the Asturias. Euskatel-Euskadi delivered on the promise they always show with a win to Samuel Sanchez on stage 13 and second to the same rider on stage 15, and Communidad Valenciana forgot about their troubled times of late with a win to Eladio Jimenez on the tough stage 14.

There have been more riders abandon the race, many of whom have left to concentrate on their world championship campaigns, while others have just found the going too tough after a hot first week, then a punishing stint in the mountains which hasn't finished yet. Belgian ace Tom Boonen is one of the higher-profile abandonments, clearly having one eye (or even two) on his form for Madrid on September 25. Belgian sprinter Tom Steels was flown to hospital after a nasty crash on stage 13, and obviously had to forego his place in the race - thankfully, the Davitamon-Lotto rider didn't suffer any lasting injuries. Discovery Channel's Jose Azevedo didn't take to the start of stage 13, and Saunier Duval local boy David De la Fuente decided he wanted out on stage 14.

Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears)
Photo ©: Sirotti
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Carlos Sastre, Francisco Mancebo and Denis Menchov now find themselves fighting for second place after Roberto Heras' amazing burst on stage 15 to establish a lead of four minutes and 30 seconds - this after crashing heavily on stage 12. Heras' knee was badly cut in the accident, which occurred after 95 kilometres and forced CSC's Jakob Piil to abandon the race. Resting in the pack while always keeping Menchov in his sights over the stages following his accident, Heras appears not to have suffered any lasting ill-effects of the crash, apparent during yesterday's stage. The three-time Vuelta winner rode a perfect mountain stage to put over five minutes into previous leader Denis Menchov (Rabobank).

Heras' team has worked in a similar fashion to the way he and his former team, US Postal, worked for Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France. Heras has been the clear team leader, rarely left isolated on climbs, particularly after his nasty fall. Michele Scarponi and Joseba Beloki have used all their ability to keep Heras well in the hunt - for Heras it was then a matter of picking the right time to attack, which happened to be in the rain of stage 15.

But with two more heavy climbing stages, some hectic sprinting and an individual time trial to come in the run to Madrid, anything and everything is possible in what has been an intriguing race so far. Let the intrigue continue!

Click here for the full rest day round-up

Also see:

Stages & results
Start List

Landis to stay with Phonak

By Susan Westemeyer

Floyd Landis will remain with Phonak next year, team manager John Lalangue announced on Monday. "Floyd told me that he wants to stay with us, although he had several offers from other teams. That is naturally a big compliment and motivation for us," said Lalangue. The addition of Landis brings the team up to 22 riders for next year, and since UCI rules stipulate that a Pro Tour team must have at least 25 riders, management has stated that Lalangue is negotiating with additional riders to fill the roster.

The Phonak Cycling Team's 2006 roster as at September 12 is therefore: Aurélien Clerc (Swi), Martin Elmiger (Swi), Gregory Rast (Swi), Johann Tschopp (Swi), Alexandre Moos (Swi), Sascha Urweider (Swi), Steve Zampieri (Swi), Florian Stalder (Swi), Axel Merckx (Bel), Koos Moerenhout (Hol), Luis Fernandez Oliveira (Spa), Santos Gonzalez (Spa), José Enrique Gutierrez (Spa), Ignacio Gutierrez (Spa), Miguel Martin Perdiguero (Spa), Santiago Botero (Col), Victor Hugo Peña (Col), Floyd Landis (USA), Bert Grabsch (Ger), Nicolas Jalabert (Fra), Uros Murn (Slo), and Robert Hunter (RSA).

Erik Dekker sits out Tour of Poland

Erik Dekker did not start in yesterday's first stage of the Tour of Poland. The 35-year-old Rabobank veteran is currently suffering from a bout of the flu and decided it wouldn't be best to start in Poland. The race was supposed to be Dekker's return to competition after breaking his collarbone at the Tour De Rijke on August 20. After recovering quickly from that injury in order to make the Dutch world championships team, this is another setback he could do without so close to the September 25 race in Madrid.

Dekker sent Dutch national coach Egon van Kessel a text message on Monday morning about the extent of his illness. "Erik is a healthy fellow, but it's normally difficult to get rid of this type of fever," van Kessel said. "It's a pity that he now looks in doubt for the world championships. I hope that Erik can recover by later on this week, as we want him to ride GP Wallonie on Wednesday and then GP d'Isbergues on Sunday - we now just have wait and see how it goes."

Drama galore for CSC in Poland

With teams missing the start, high speeds and a crash near the finish, the Tour of Poland has already thrown up its fair share of drama - and that's just on day one. Baden Cooke (Francaise des Jeux) took the opening stage, and although he had put himself into a strong position, CSC's Lar Michaelsen had to forego any chance of a stage win after a crash near the front of the peloton.

CSC's directeur sportif for the race, Alain Gallopin, described the stage start as 'chaotic', but once racing got underway there were no breaks in the peloton. He was naturally disappointed Michaelsen couldn't make the front of the bunch sprint finale, but thankful the Dane, who recently rode a strong race in the Tour of Britain, wasn't hurt in the fall.

Australian world's team

Cycling Australia has announced the team that will represent Australia at the world championships in Madrid, Spain, September 21-25.

The men's road team will be very much centered around sprinter Robbie McEwen. McEwen is considered Australia's best chance for the win on the Madrid course which is relatively flat and has what Italian team coach Franco Ballerini describes as "a 'McEwen corner' with 600 metres to go."

Meanwhile, McEwen himself has been doling out cheeky advice to Belgian national team coach José De Cauwer, advising him to select more of McEwen's Davitamon-Lotto team-mates for the Belgian team. "They know better than anyone else how to guide a sprinter to the finish line. And the Belgians do want Tom to become World Champion, don't they?" said McEwen after Sunday's Paris-Brussels.

While McEwen is the team favourite to contend for victory in Madrid, Australia will also field two other sprinters in Allan Davis and Baden Cooke. Davis has shown flashes of brilliance this year, while Cooke signaled a return to form yesterday when he won the first stage of the Tour of Poland.

In the time trial, world champion Michael Rogers will defend his title, while Bradley McGee and Ben Day will also tackle the TT.

World Cup champion Oenone Wood will head the women's team and, along with Sara Carrigan, will also ride the time trial. A slightly surprising omission is top sprinter Rochelle Gilmore, who was second ahead of Wood at Sunday's World Cup final in Nurnberg, but who has been named only as a reserve. Gilmore has had a season dogged by injury, but Sunday's ride indicates the form that won her the first round of the women's World Cup back in February has returned.

However, it seems Gilmore's return to form was just too late for her to make the team. Cycling Australia spokeperson Gennie Sheer told Cyclingnews, "The cut off date for selection performances was originally August 24 but this was extended to September 4 to provide further opportunity for riders pushing for selection to meet the criteria. The cut off date for nomination of the team to the UCI was September 6. Any results after the September 4 are not eligible for consideration in selection."

Australian 'Cyclones' team for Road World Championships

Elite Men: Baden Cooke (RR), Allan Davis (RR), Ben Day (TT only), Cadel Evans (RR), Matthew Hayman (RR), Robbie McEwen (RR)
Brad McGee (RR & TT), Michael Rogers (RR & TT), Rory Sutherland (RR), Henk Vogels (RR). Reserves: Nick Gates, Simon Gerrans, Aaron Kemps, Brett Lancaster, Matthew Wilson

Elite Women: Katherine Bates (RR), Natalie Bates (RR), Sara Carrigan (RR & TT), Olivia Gollan (RR), Helen Kelly (RR), Oenone Wood (RR & TT). Reserves: Rochelle Gilmore, Emma Rickards.

U23 Men: Mark Jamieson (TT), James Meadley (RR), Nicolas Sanderson (RR), Christopher Sutton (RR), William Walker (RR & TT) . Reserves: Jonathon Clarke, Joel Pearson, David Tanner.

Reus to ride TT & RR at world's

Young Dutch rising star Kai Reus will ride both the Under 23 road race and individual time trial at the world championships in Madrid, September 21-25. National coach Egon van Kessel has also selected Thom van Dulmen for the time trial. Reus will be joined in the road race by Lars Boom, Robert Gesink, Sebastian Langeveld and Marc de Maar.

Colombian world's team

The Colombian cycling federation has announced its elite men's team for the world championships in Madrid, Spain, September 21-25.

Colombia will send five riders to the world's: Víctor Hugo Peña, Mauricio Ardila, Leonardo Duque, Juan Carlos López, and Luis Felipe Laverde. The whole team will ride the road race on September 25, while Víctor Hugo Peña and Juan Carlos López will also ride the September 22 individual time trial.

Rubiano to Panaria

In other Colombian news, Miguel Rubiano has signed a two-year contract to make his professional debut with the Ceramica Panaria team. Rubiano, who will be a member of Colombia's under-23 team at the world's, has been riding in Italy for the last six months for the Riviera-Adriatic team and has amassed seven espoir victories including the Giro del Veneto.

Mixed emotions for RAGT Semences

With a final stage win in the Tour de l'Avenir from Sébastien Minard and sixth overall to Eric Berthou in the same race, struggling French team RAGT Semences has pronounced itself extremely pleased with the performances of its young squad. The team is folding at the end of this season, but with plenty of talented young riders on the roster, strong performances are vital at contract negotiation time.

Berthou is one of the riders looking to secure an employer for 2006, and sixth place overall won't hurt his chances. The young Frenchman says he learnt a lot during the tour. "From a personal point of view, I have learnt to ride out front," he said. "It's the first time I found myself in that situation and I have to admit that I liked it. I've learnt to cope with the pressure." B

erthou found the going tough, but also learnt that's something riders have to deal with. "Towards the end, even if I had sore legs, I also had a bit of a headache. When you race for the overall positions, you have to be especially vigilant. The slightest mistake in positioning can turn out to be fatal." he said.

After a challenging season it's now time to focus on next season, but Berthou is optimistic. "I've got one or two things to follow up, but nothing that clear yet. With this place, I may have attracted the attention of one or two sporting directors. I've had all sorts of physical problems this year. I've been taking things steady for the past month and it looks like it has paid off. As for my future, you know, until I've seen the signature at the bottom of the page..." he said.

Sporting director Julien Jurdie was extremely pleased with his squad's performance in Avenir, yet mindful of the fact the team won't exist next season. "We have run a great Avenir from start to finish," he said. "Both team and staff were in perfect harmony, each doing their very best. All of the riders really did what they could, running the race in the lead. Eric Berthou finished sixth overall and Sébastien Minard won. Now I have got over the excitement of it all, of course, I'm sad that the team is folding. It really is a pity."

RAGT Semences squads for upcoming races

GP de Wallonnie, September 14: Eric Berthou, Renaud Dion, M. Drouilly, Xavier Hérine, Kevin Ista, Yoann Le Boulanger, Benjamin Levêcot, Ludovic Martin, Nicolas Reynaud, and Christophe Rinero.

Tour de la Somme, September 16-17: Guillaume Auger, Emilien Benoit Bergès, Olivier Kaisen, Benjamin Levêcot, Roman Luhovy, and Eddy Seigneur.

GP d'Isbergues, September 18: Eric Berthou, Renaud Dion, Nicolas Dulac, Hubert Dupont, Yoann Le Boulanger, Ludovic Martin, Sébastien Minard, and Christophe Rinero.

Quick Step-Innergetic for Desselgem & Wallonie

The Quick-Step team has announced its line-up for two races this week, today's Desselgem event and tomorrow's GP Wallonie.

In Desselgem, the team will field Wilfried Cretskens, Mads Christensen, Dimitri De Fauw, Ad Engels, Melis Neiyrinck, Patrik Sinkewitz, Wouter Weylandt, and Ivan Santaromita.

For the GP Wallonie, the following riders will line-up: Tom Boonen, Wilfried Cretskens, Ad Engels, Nick Nuyens, Patrik Sinkewitz, Wouter Weylandt, and Ivan Santaromita. Rik Van Slycke will be directeur sportif for both races.

Lanbouwkrediet-Colnago for GP Wallonie

The Lanbouwkrediet-Colnago team has announced its line-up for the GP Wallonie, Wednesday September 14. Under directeurs sportifs Claude Criquielion and Gérard Bulens, the team will field Nico Sijmens, Bert De Waele, Maxime Monfort, Geert Verheyen, Jurgen Van De Walle, Johan Verstrepen, Sergey Lagutin, and Steve Cummings.

Cyclist charged with manslaughter

An Oregon man has been charged with manslaughter after he allegedly rode through a stop sign and hit and killed a 71-tear-old woman, according to a report from the Associated Press. Christopher A. Lightning, 51, was charged with manslaughter and reckless driving after the death of Jean Calder in Good Samaritan Hospital. Calder was hit on Friday night as she crossed a street at an unmarked crosswalk, Corvallis police Capt. Ron Noble said.

"A car and a bicycle are both vehicles and if they are operated in a way that could be criminal, then charges are filed equally in both situations," Noble said. "He was going right through a stop sign."

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