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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News for September 28, 2005

Edited by Anthony Tan & Les Clarke

Post-World's, Ale-Jet blasts his critics

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

Alessandro Petacchi: "I am a man, not a machine."
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

After plenty of criticism over his performance in last Sunday's world road championship, Alessandro Petacchi issued a press communique on Tuesday where the Italian super-sprinter gave his side of the story for his disappointing World's performance. Petacchi explained that "I've listened to the analyses of the world championship in silence, filing away plenty of hard criticism on my value as an athlete, ethical lessons about my sporting loyalty, ferocious insinuations about my maturity and harsh comments about my supposed disaffection with the Italian team."

"A lot of people have been talking and have unloaded a lot on me for a world championship that didn't turn out well for Italy. Up until now, I didn't want to say anything. but preferred to take a few days to reflect on what went wrong and make a rational analysis of the situation. I'm not talking to respond to any specific comments, but rather to give my side of the story."

"What happened is pretty simple: I am a man, not a machine. I have enough experience to be able to understand what my condition is during a race, but I don't have a red light on my handlebars that flashes when during the race, I'm about to run out of gas, nor a crystal ball that can tell me if I'll have enough strength to do my best in the final sprint."

"With 10km to go in the world championships, I thought I was feeling 'normal'. I didn't have the same condition as [Milano] Sanremo this year, but with the same feelings, I've won plenty of races this year. Often I've said [to my team-mates] that I'm not at my maximum because I don't feel great, and my team-mates who lead me out know it well. Sunday, I only realised that I wasn't good on the final lap when the climb began. I had less energy and I realised that in the biggest race of the year, I just didn't have the strength to stay with the first riders."

"Anyone who is a cyclist, or for years has written about cycling, knows that this can happen."

"Two years ago at Milano-Sanremo, after the Poggio, I was convinced that I could win. However, when the pace increased, I realised that I would not be up there in the sprint. This year, when the pace went up before the sprint, I wouldn't have bet on myself; however, remember how that Sanremo finished."

"The world championship of Madrid was one of my major objectives of the season, and as always, I prepared for it with the maximum commitment. But I knew that while wearing the Italian national jersey, I would have been really happy if an Italian would have won, above all Bettini."

"To be a leader of our Italian national team is a very satisfying honour, approached with maturity and intelligence, so I can say that I would not have hesitated to help another Italian win. If I had felt at 50km to go that I was 'out of gas', I would have clearly told the team. Unfortunately, it happened with 10km to go, when the final tactics of the race were already established, but I was hoping for a miracle."

"So for that reason, I can accept, as a racer, if they are saying that Petacchi didn't have the strength or class to win the world championship, you can decide for yourself. But as a man, I can't tolerate that someone is implying that I was disloyal to the Italian national team."

"I'm sorry that somebody made me out to be a capricious prima donna, who puts his own interests ahead of those of the Italian national team. I'm just a rider who did his best to win the world championships and unfortunately, I didn't win. It's a bitter ending, but as an athlete, I can accept it."

WADA 2006 Prohibited List published

Following approval by the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Executive Committee on September 20, the 2006 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods is now available on WADA's website. This List will go into effect from January 1, 2006.

First published in 1963 under the leadership of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), WADA is now responsible for the preparation and publication of the List, which has become the international standard for identifying substances and methods prohibited in competition, out of competition, and in particular sports. Substances and methods are classified by categories (e.g., steroids, stimulants, gene doping), and the use of any prohibited substance by an athlete for medical reasons is possible by virtue of a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

To see the 2006 List, the 2006 Monitoring Program and a summary of major modifications, go to:

De Cauwer to Davitamon-Lotto

Belgian TV station VRT has reported that two days after the Tom Boonen's world championship win in Madrid, José De Cauwer has resigned from his post as Belgian national coach, taking a new role with Davitamon-Lotto. Quick.Step manager Patrick Lefevere recently voiced complaints that De Cauwer favoured the Davitamon-Lotto team, and in light of this new appointment, the issue has become highly controversial within the realm of Belgian cycling.

Before he takes up the position, De Cauwer also has a court case involving his alleged supplying of doping products on October 4; he is accused of supplying former rider Ronny Vansweevelt with amphetamines via De Cauwer's mailbox. His lawyer is arguing that since the events happened 10 years ago, the case should be dropped.

Courtesy of Sabine Sunderland

Commesso leaves Lampre

Lampre's Salvatore Commesso has announced he will ride in the colours of Giancarlo Ferretti's new team in 2006. The 30 year-old Italian has twice been champion of Italy, in 1999 and 2002. Commesso will join two-time Giro winner Gilberto Simoni and Australian Stuart O'Grady at the new squad, which is the 'reinvention' of the existing Fassa Bortolo outfit. Speculation is that Sony Ericsson will sponsor the team, and according to O'Grady, the new sponsor is engaged in a long-term deal.

Wiggins to Cofidis

Crédit Agricole's Bradley Wiggins has agreed to terms for a two-year contract with the another French team, Cofidis. The 25 year-old British rider turned pro with Francaise des Jeux in 2002 before joining Credit Agricole in 2004, with perhaps his greatest success coming at the Athens Olympics, where he won gold in the individual pursuit. Wiggins enjoyed a strong finish to the 2005 season, with a stage win at the Tour de l'Avenir and seventh in the world championship time trial.

Schmitz to lead T-Mobile in season's final stage race

T-Mobile is sending a mixed squad of sprinters, classics specialists and neo-pros into action at this week's Circuit Franco-Belge, which starts tomorrow in Belgium and concludes this Sunday, October 2. The four-day stage race (UCI 2.1) mainly takes place in the south-western part of Belgium, but also makes its way over the French border.

Dutchman Bram Schmitz is the magenta team's designated GC man, while sprinters Eric Baumann and Andre Korff will fancy their chances in bunch finishes. "Andre Korff rode a solid Vuelta, so if he can carry his form from Spain and the legs oblige, he will be up there fighting for stage wins. He can also count on the support of Eric Baumann," said Frans von Looy, who will be the team's directeur sportif for the race.

"Bram Schmitz likes this race and this terrain and he is our leader in the GC battle," added von Looy. Neo-pros Bas Giling and Bernhard Kohl are back in the saddle after recent outings in Poland and the Vuelta, while Stephan Schreck will be winding down a long season in Belgium. Rounding out the magenta roster is the Czech rider Tomas Konecny, whose focus is still geared towards getting race miles under his belt after missing most of the current season with a broken leg.

720 kilometres are on the programme for the 19 teams (including 11 ProTour teams) that have signed up for the traditional race, which combines two flat stages with two lumpier classics-style stages. The notorious Belgian cross-winds are sure to make it a tricky race. Said van Looy: "Unsettled weather can make this race a very tough one for the peloton. Crosswinds and heavy rain often combine to blow the field apart."

Last year, the race served as a World's warm-up for riders like Paolo Bettini and Tom Boonen, who won three stages between them. This year, the race falls after the World's and while that might leave the race short of some star names, it is unlikely to dull the competitive edge of those competing. The race is important to the Belgians in particular, and buoyed by their country's success in Madrid on Sunday, the Quick.Step, Lotto, Chocolade Jacques T-Interim and Mr will be keen to stamp their authority on the race and monopolise the podium places.

Team roster: Eric Baumann, Bas Giling, Bernhard Kohl, André, Korff, Tomas Konecny, Bram Schmitz, Stephan Schreck Directeur-sportif: Frans von Looy

Quick.Step for Franco-Belge

Quick.Step Innergetic are sending the following eight riders to contest the Circuit Franco-Belge:

Team roster: Wilfried Cretskens, Dimitri De Fauw, Kevin De Weert, Kevin Hulsmans, Nick Nuyens, Bram Tankink, Wouter Weylandt, Stefano Zanini Directeur-sportif: Rik Van Slycke

Phonak for upcoming races

The Phonak Hearing Systems Team will field the following riders for Züri-Metzgete (Championship of Zurich) and Paris-Tours ProTour races, and Paris-Bourges:

Züri-Metzgete, October 2: Martin Elmiger, Uros Murn, Miguel A. Perdiguero, Oscar Pereiro, Gregory Rast, Aurélien Clerc, Sascha Urweider, Steve Zampieri Team management: John Lelangue, René Savary

Paris - Bourges, October 6: Aurélien Clerc, Nicolas Jalabert, Uros Murn, Viktor Rapinski, Gregory Rast, Daniel Schnider, Sascha Urweider, Steve Zampieri Team management: Jacques Michaud

Paris - Tours, October 9: Aurélien Clerc, Martin Elmiger, Nicolas Jalabert, Uros Murn, Miguel A. Perdiguero, Viktor Rapinski, Gregory Rast, Sascha Urweider Team management: John Lelangue, Jacques Michaud

Interbike underway

Continuing the trade show festivities is Cyclingnews' coverage of Interbike in the never-sleeping desert city of Las Vegas, Nevada, from September 26-30, 2005.

The show kicks off with two days of Outdoor Demo in the scorching sun and searing heat of Bootleg Canyon for some preview test rides of upcoming road and mountain bikes. Afterwards, we'll be retreating into the air-conditioned sensory overload of the Interbike expo for an additional three days of non-stop coverage on upcoming gear from all of the top bicycle, component, clothing, and accessory manufacturers from around the world. We've already covered most of the European manufacturers out at Eurobike and EICMA, so we'll be concentrating on US and Asian companies here in Vegas. Also, keep an eye out for pro-rider interviews and general industry news, along with the requisite party report. Stay tuned here at Cyclingnews for upcoming daily coverage.

Raleigh supports the Revolution

Raleigh, one of the UK's best-known bicycle manufacturers, will sponsor the youth-focused Revolution Future Stars competition, part of the successful Revolution track series held throughout the European winter at the Manchester Velodrome.

This year marks the third season for the popular Revolution series. The Future Stars competition was part of the training ground for Andy Tennant, who after two seasons of riding Future Stars, became a junior world champion. Tennant will this year graduate to the elite racing along with last season's Future Stars winner, Steven Burke, and third-placed Adam Blythe. This leaves the door open for the new emerging talent to make their mark and gain valuable experience in front of the 3000-plus Revolution audience.

"We are committed to youth development in cycling," said Raleigh's Corporate Development Executive Paul Chapman. "Revolution provides an excellent opportunity for us to extend this work and fits perfectly with our existing strategies for developing women's and youth cycling."

The Future Stars competition will kick off at Revolution 9 on October 15, 2005. Tickets are available online at or by calling 07005 942 579 or the Manchester Velodrome on 0161 223 2244.

Manchester Track League starting soon

Racing is set to resume in the second session of the 2005 Manchester Regional Track League. The League was established in 1994 when Manchester Velodrome opened and has been a breeding ground for many current champions.

Tuesday nights focus on endurance events for accomplished track riders and run from October 11 through to December 6, while Fridays offer a more diverse programme and run from October 14 through to December 9, 2005. Racing on both nights starts at 7.45pm and entries on the line are available on Tuesdays only. The League also welcomes assistance from volunteers and race officials to help with the smooth running of the events.

For further details of entry, registration or officiating please contact: (Tuesdays) Carole Leigh, 0161 747 0828, or (Fridays) Pete Lickfold, 0161 487 1212,

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