First Edition Cycling News for April 15, 2006
Edited by Jeff Jones
An interview with Trent Wilson
Learning a lot about 'Willo'
Australian Trent Wilson has spent the last two years in Europe with the Italian Selle Italia-Colombia squad, racing the Giro d'Italia twice. Selle Italia didn't renew his contract for the 2006 season and so Wilson began looking at other options - but not in the US until Jittery Joe's-Zero Gravity called. After a couple of conversations with the staff and Aussie neighbour Jeff Hopkins, Wilson was convinced this would be the right place for that next step in his career. Cyclingnews' Mark Zalewski spoke with 'Willo' at the 2006 team presentation.
Trent Wilson is known for his determination as much as for his unique sense of humour - which makes for a valuable teammate during the long cycling season. For the 2004 and 2005 seasons, Wilson was a domestique for the Selle Italia squad with good friend Russell Van Hout - gaining valuable experience and sacrificing his body in two editions of the Giro d'Italia. The news that the team was not renewing his and four other rider's contracts for this season was about as welcomed as one would imagine. "I was a bit disappointed with that because I rode my arse off for that team. I was on the 2005 Giro team and they kicked five of those guys out, basically saying, 'Thanks for your help making us bigger and better, see ya.'"
While Wilson was contemplating his next move, an unlikely call came from across the Atlantic to come race with a continental team in Georgia, of all places. "I looked at my other options and Jittery Joe's called me and asked if I wanted to come to America. I didn't really consider that an option until Micah Rice rang me, and I was pretty impressed with what he had to say. I was confident it was a good move to come here." Also convincing Wilson was the fact that Jittery Joe's-Zero Gravity has a healthy Australian contingent, including Sydney mate Jeff Hopkins. "I knew Hoppy had ridden for the team - he doesn't live far from me in Sydney, and after speaking with him he had good things to say, too."
Click here for the full interview
Simeoni vs. Armstrong finally finished
Lance Armstrong and Filippo Simeoni have both withdrawn defamation charges against each other, ending a three year-old affair. The case wound up in a court in Latina, Italy on Thursday. It started in April 2003, when Simeoni sued Armstrong for defamation over the American's remarks in Le Monde in relation to Simeoni's role in the Dr Ferrari trial. Armstrong subsequently launched a counter-suit against Simeoni.
Another case that involved the pair in an incident during the 2004 Tour de France was closed earlier this year.
Omloop back with Unibet?
Geert Omloop may find himself racing again with the Unibet.com team, reports Sportwereld. The Belgian was subject to a house search three weeks ago in the framework of a doping investigation. However, he is apparently not guilty of any offence, and once this is confirmed, he could return to Unibet.
Van Huffel replaces Van Petegem
Davitamon-Lotto has changed its line up for the Amstel Gold Race this Sunday, with Wim Van Huffel coming in for the injured Peter Van Petegem.
CSC for Amstel Gold
Team CSC has announced its line up for the Amstel Gold Race this Sunday. Led by Karsten Kroon and Fränk Schleck and buoyed by Fabian Cancellara's win in Paris-Roubaix, the team has decent victory chances in Valkenburg. The roster also includes Michael Blaudzun, Peter Luttenberger, Andrea Peron, Nicki Sørensen, Christian Vande Velde, and Jens Voigt.
Liquigas and Lampre for Giro del Trentino
Liquigas team manager Roberto Amadio has named the squad that will race the Giro del Trentino, scheduled from April 18-21. The team, directed by Mario Scirea, will be captained by Dario Cioni and Franco Pellizotti, and will also include Dario Andriotto, Eros Capecchi, Francesco Failli, Roman Kreuziger, Manuel Quinziato and Charles Wegelius.
Lampre-Fondital will be sending its top man Damiano Cunego to the Giro del Trentino and the Giro d'Oro that precedes it. Cunego is looking at improving his form in time for the Giro d'Italia.
At the Giro d'Oro - the race in which he obtained his first pro victory - Cunego will captain a team containing Paolo Tiralongo, Marzio Bruseghin, Morris Possoni, Matteo Bono, Sylwester Szmyd, Mauro Santambrogio and Marius Sabaliauskas. The team will be led by sports director Giuseppe Martinelli.
Cunego will then head to the Giro del Trentino (which he won in 2004) with the ambition of doing well in the first stage, but not necessarily the overall. That race will see the return of Daniele Bennati, who has recovered from bronchopneumonia that stopped him for several weeks. With Cunego and Bennati there will be Paolo Tiralongo, Sylwester Szmyd, Matteo Bono, Marzio Bruseghin, Morris Possoni and Marius Sabaliauskas. Giuseppe Martinelli and Maurizio Piovani will serve as sports directors.
Berden's new sponsor
Belgian cyclo-crosser Ben Berden will return to racing on January 12, 2007, and has now confirmed his new sponsor. At a press conference in Brussels today, Berden revealed that he would be riding for www.webking.be, a company that builds websites for businesses. He will be the only rider under this sponsor.
Tour of Connecticut to feature new dates, fall foliage
Promoters of the Tour of Connecticut, announced today that the 2006 race will be held over the weekend of September 17 and 18 - a change from the traditional May dates of the event. The new fall date will no doubt be a welcomed change from the spring showers of last year's race, and might even include a few turning leaves. Race promoter John Eustice hopes that new date will benefit from the new USPRO Road Championships taking place a few weeks earlier. "The new date will follow Sparta Cycling’s Univest Grand Prix on September 9 and 10, and the new United States Professional Championship held over the Labor Day weekend," said Eustice. The Tour of Connecticut began as the Housatonic Valley Classic in 2001.
More information on past races can be found at www.tourofct.com
Targetraining to Tour de Georgia
US continental team Targetraining is preparing for the Tour de Georgia, which runs between April 18-23. The team has high hopes for stage wins and a good GC placing with sprinters like Alejandro "Ale-Jet" Acton and Anthony Colby.
"For the Targetraining Cycling Team to be invited to the Ford Tour de Georgia in our first season it is a significant honour," said team manager Tom Schuler. "I can tell you that our guys are excited and motivated to show the event organizers that they made the right decision to pick Targetraining."
Alejandro Acton is fresh off his first ever NRC race win at the Garrett Lemire Grand Prix and is looking to test his speed in Georgia with support from fellow sprinters Frank Pipp and Wes Hartmann. With the Tour de Georgia returning to exciting finishes on the circuits of Alpharetta and Macon, Targetraining will be well represented at the finish.
Targetraining's Time Trial specialist Ryan Blickem will be focusing on the 3rd stage of the Tour with an ITT from Chickamauga to Chattanooga.
Vying for top GC finishes will be the combination of Anthony Colby and National Cyclocross Champ, Todd Wells. Riding in full support of the teams GC hopes will be young team members Dan Greenfield and Dustin Macburnie. Colby is coming off an impressive 9th overall at the Redlands Bicycle Classic and a win at the Humboldt Road Race in Arizona.
"The Tour de Georgia is the perfect place for us to showcase our squad who has been training efficiently under the guidance of Rick Crawford, Targetraining's head coach" said Bobby Bailey, Targetraining's national coaching director.
Konica Minolta at Tour du Finistere and Tro Bro Leon
Team Konica Minolta have confirmed its team for Saturday's Tour du Finistere, a UCI 1.1 ranked event. The team will be led by newly crowned Giro Del Capo champion Peter Velits, who will line up together with his twin brother Martin and teammates Travis Allen, Hanco Kachelhoffer, George Schoonraad, Johann Rabie, Marnus Potgieter, and John Lee Augustyn, winner of the Tour of Lesotho
On Sunday the April 16, the same squad of riders will contest the 1.1 ranked Tro Bro Leon over a distance of 193km.
Record field for Merida 24 Hour
A record field of 450 riders will hit the trail at Kooralbyn in Queensland, Australia on the weekend of April 22-23 when Two Wheel Promotions stages the Merida Weekend Warrior 24 Hour Challenge.
Queensland's (and one of Australia's) biggest 'fair dinkum off-road' cycle events will bring together competitors of every level, from novice to elite, in the ultimate test of off road endurance. More than 70 teams, consisting of two, four or six riders, will take part in the event. The teams will be joined on course by more than thirty individual competitors, who for reasons only they can explain, will go it totally alone, lap after lap, on the demanding Kooralbyn circuit.
"We're delighted with the number of entries, it's great for the sport and we're determined to deliver a top class event," race promoter Bill Van Haren said. "The course has been well prepared and riders can expect a feast of classic single trail, set against the backdrop of Queensland's spectacular scenic rim."
More information: www.twowheelpromotions.com.au
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)