Cyclingnews - the world centre of cycling Cyclingnews TV   News  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   BMX   Cyclo-cross   Track    Photos    Fitness    Letters   Search   Forum  

Recent News

January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008

2007 & earlier

Recently on

Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for April 20, 2006

Edited by Hedwig Kröner, with assistance of Sabine Sunderland

When leaders become helpers: Teamwork at CSC

Rodriguez and Basso
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Coming up on

Cyclingnews will cover the 60th edition of the Dauphiné Libéré live as of stage 4 on Wednesday, June 10, at approximately 15:00 local Europe time (CEST)/ 23:00 Australian time (CDT)/ 9:00 (USA East).

WAP-enabled mobile devices:

The Danish formation of "General" Bjarne Riis is on a roll. With a more quiet start to the season than in previous years, Riis and his troops have shown that it was worth the wait.

The demonstration of team play which the CSC riders gave during the Flèche Wallonne yesterday was meaningful: One of the biggest favourites for the overall win in both Giro d'Italia and Tour de France, Ivan Basso, worked hard to bring his team captain for the day, Karsten Kroon, in the best possible position. Kroon transferred from the Dutch Rabobank team end of last season in order to have more chances of going for top results instead of working full time for Rabo team leaders Boogerd and Dekker. The Dutchman couldn't quite believe it himself that he had some of the biggest names of today's cycling working for him.

"I'm very satisfied with the race and it's a big deal to end up on the podium in a classic like Flèche Wallonne," Kroon said. "It was such a luxury to have a world-class team behind me, and when riders like Sastre, Basso and Voigt sacrifice themselves to help me, it's nice to get the job done in the end. On the wall in Huy there wasn't time to ponder on tactics, it was about giving your all - which I did. Valverde was clearly the strongest rider today, but I did well in the finish even though it wasn't my favourite."

Because of the fine result in Flèche and his two classics victories already this season, Bjarne Riis is logically looking forward to the next ProTour event on Sunday, 'La Doyenne' Liège-Bastogne-Liège. "We did really well in this race, and it was a pleasure to see Karsten on the podium after he has consistently delivered good results for a long time now," said the Danish team director. "He truly deserves a result at this level. We chose the right tactics for this race and managed to take advantage of the fact that we had a strong and top motivated team. Everyone did a great job out there and it was impressive to see Ivan sacrifice himself for his teammates. Our efforts today do justify a certain amount of optimism ahead of Liège-Bastogne-Liège."

Breukink: "Cycling's no computer game"

Rabobank's Pieter Weening finished 24th in the Flèche Wallonne and was the best rider of the Dutch team at over half a minute behind Spanish winner Alejandro Valverde. According to team director Erik Breukink, it wasn't a surprise not to have one of his riders in the top of the rankings.

"We had a good team here, but a team without a real specialist for that last climb," Breukink explained. "So we had to try something else. Oscar (Freire) wanted to try and surprise the rest. He was given the liberty to do so, but unfortunately only one man went with him, Moos. And on top of that Liquigas reacted immediately. The gap didn't increase quickly enough and then you know it's done."

Oscar Freire (Rabobank)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

It hadn't been a planned tactic to let Freire break the race open and let the competition work. "Not consciously," added Breukink. "It doesn't work like that. On television it comes across as if it were a computer game. The team director presses a button and the riders get up on the pedals. It doesn't work like that at all. People within racing, the real insiders, will experience the race completely different to how it shows on television."

For the Rabobank team, it didn't turn out to be the best day. "You could notice it the whole day," Breukink continued. "The boys were having a hard time in this race. No-one had an explicit top day and that's what you need to finish high up here. Erik Dekker can do this work for sure, but Erik didn't have super legs. The same goes for Thomas Dekker. Thomas really wanted to ride here but he admitted honestly afterwards that he didn't have a top day. It's not fair to put everything on a 21 year-old boy all the time anyway. It just wasn't meant to be for us today. You have to be realistic, you have to accept that."

Things don't always go the way it was expected, and that's not only so for Rabobank. "It's no different for other teams," the Rabobank team director said. "Quick.Step worked so hard for Bettini today, but he couldn't go with the best in the finale. It's just something that can happen. That's cycling. If we had another guy in the front with Michael Boogerd last Sunday in Amstel Gold Race, everything would have been good. It should have been Oscar Freire, but he didn't have a top day. Then you don't get any prizes, but that doesn't mean that the team's approach wasn't good."

Erik Breukink expects that Liège-Bastogne-Liège might see a similar result. "The difference is that we will have a specialist there of whom we know he is riding well at the moment," he commented. "If we can escort Michael into the finale properly, then he is another candidate for a top classement, but whether he'll win is another thing. Everybody grants him that big classic. We will do everything possible. Boogerd deserves to have such a top classic on his palmarès and to be honest, his name won't look bad on the list of honour of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, most certainly not!"

"A small disaster" for Vanhuffel

A respectable 19th placing for Chris Horner (Davitamon)
Photo ©: Brecht Decaluwé
(Click for larger image)

Belgian team Davitamon-Lotto was playing a home match again on the roads of the Flèche Wallonne yesterday, but unfortunately things didn't pan out the way Marc Sergeant's squad had hoped. American rider Chris Horner finished 19th, and Leukemans and Aerts, both favourites, came in over a minute down on winner. Evans, who prepared for the Wallonne Classics and called them his first goal for the 2006 season, rolled in as 122nd at over nine minutes.

Wim Vanhuffel didn't have a great day at the office either, as he had to abandon the race prematurely with a bad stomach. "I slept bad and couldn't get any food in the morning," Vanhuffel explained in HNB. "I already felt during the first climb of the Mur of Huy that my legs were flat. I felt really bad, it wasn't an option for me to continue."

As Cyclingnews reported yesterday, the Flèche Wallonne was an important date for Vanhuffel, who aimed to finish in the top of the rankings and defined this race as a moment of truth. "This is a small disaster," a disappointed Vanhuffel said, "and it happens at a bad moment. Hopefully I can get through this illness quickly and start in the Tour of Romandie next week. I had the same thing happening to me before Paris-Nice and the Brabantse Pijl went up in smoke too. For now it's not my year."

Meanwhile, team manager Marc Sergeant kept his cool. "There's no reason to panic," he comforted his men and the Belgian press. "Evans was the only one really with an off-day. Sunday, when there's less wriggling, he (Evans) will come out better. That also goes for Mario Aerts. The Flèche Wallonne is a very specific race. Everyone gets scared even before the Mur de Huy has to be dealt with. I can't disagree with Leukemans, who attacked before the Mur already."

Sergeant didn't like the sight of Vanhuffel sitting in the back of the bunch but reacted mildly when he heard about his rider's health problems. "It surprised me when I saw him constantly hanging off the back," the team manager admitted. "I didn't understand. I do now. With almost 38 degrees Celsius body temperature and an upset stomach, you can't ride a Flèche Wallonne. Wim has got enough time to get ready for the Giro. I assume that he will be fully recovered by next Tuesday to start in the Tour of Romandie."

Baguet pleased with form

Belgian National Champion Serge Baguet told Cyclingnews he was quite happy with his form yesterday. Since the start of the season, spectators have seen that the 36 year-old Baguet is still very capable of working like a horse for his team captains at Quick.Step. Baguet was mostly spotted in the front of the bunch, attentively keeping an eye on everything that moves and putting in some fantastic efforts with Boonen or another team leader in his wheel.

"With someone like Bettini in the team, you can't doubt," Baguet said. "Even though there is no guarantee for the victory, you still go flat out. On the Bohissau, Paolo yelled vai! [meaning Go! in Italian - ed.]. Well, that's what I did, hey!"

The Tour de France stage winner is happy about his role within his Quick.Step team: He makes it no secret he'd like to add another couple of seasons to his career within the ranks of team boss Lefévère, as a domestique. Even though it was clear that Baguet was one of the stronger riders in the race on Wednesday, he didn't mind sacrificing his chances for Bettini.

"I'm enjoying riding in service of guys like Boonen and Bettini," explained Baguet. "It's better than finishing anonymously somewhere in 15th or 20th position. When you are riding for a world champion or an Olympic champion you don't even think about riding your own race; it is a real thrill to ride for them. I'd be crazy not to work for them.

"Before the season, I was nervous about showing this tricolour jersey enough. But it's going well, I think I have been doing a good job so far and that people have seen that the Belgian National Champion helps to make the races. The positive attitude of the rest of the team is very rewarding in itself."

Armstrong in NY marathon

Lance Armstrong has announced yesterday that he will be participating in the New York Marathon on November 5, 2006. "We were looking at the Chicago Marathon, but a conflict arose with the date, and New York seems to fit our schedule better," Armstrong said. "I've been training some, but I wouldn't call it serious. It's just something to fill a void in my life after I quit competing as a professional cyclist."

Fellow former pro cyclist Laurent Jalabert has already achieved the feat last year, finishing in the top 500 of the approximate 8000 participants of the famous marathon. His time for 42.195 kilometres: 2:55:15, more than 45 minutes down of Kenyan winner Paul Tergat. But Armstrong has a greater experience in the discipline, as the seven-times Tour de France winner first started his career as a triathlete.

NSCC Mace Cycle Racing Team presented

The Men's Elite and Development Team
Photo ©: Thomas Joynt
(Click for larger image)

The Northern Sydney Cycling Club based in New South Wales, Australia, has announced a new elite men's, development men's and elite women's cycle racing team for 2006. Team NSCC Mace powered by Up & Go Energize was launched on Wednesday, April 19, in front of over 100 attendees including the President of Cycling NSW, Kerry Ruffles, and CEO Kevin Young. The team boasts riders such as two-time Australian Champion, Jennifer Manefield, Dave Treacy, 33rd in the 2006 Commonwealth Games Road Race for Malta and Jayson Austin, the 2004 UCI World Masters 1 Champion in the 30km points race.

Major Sponsor Matt Campbell of MACE said the team was "built on a passion for cycling and growing the profile of cycling." The team will be racing the Open calendar in NSW and other targeted events around Australia.

Click here for the full roster and announcement.

2006 Sunrise Sports Cycling Team

With the official Michigan racing season starting on April 29, the Sunrise Sports Cycling Team has announced its roster for 2006. Based out of Ann Arbor and Southeastern, Michigan, USA, the team will be racing throughout Michigan and the Midwest. The team is composed of USCF Category 1&2, Category 3, and Junior 16-18 Men and is associated with the Ann Arbor Velo Club, one of the largest USCF racing clubs in Michigan.

Additionally, the Sunrise Sports Junior Men's team is one of only six programs nationwide to be selected by Jittery Joe's Coffee Roasting Co. to receive their Junior Development Program sponsorship. With the support of Jittery Joe's, the team will be sending its Juniors Team to race at the USCF Junior National Road Championships in Silver Springs, Pennsylvania, from July 5-17, 2006.

Click here for the full roster and announcement.

2006 Independent Fabrication/Channel Café

Independent Fabrication and Channel Café have announced its sponsorship of a USCF Men's Elite Amateur cycling team for the 2006 cycling season. The 8-man squad will be based out of New England, USA, and feature a schedule that includes top cycling events along the Eastern seaboard, a UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Marathon, as well as a selection of National Race Calendar (NRC) events.

The Independent Fabrication/Channel Cafe team is registered as a non-profit and will be raising funds for The Joseph P. Howard Scholarship Fund for graduating seniors at the Muriel S. Snowden International School, a Boston Public School.

The roster of Category 1 and 2 riders includes a strong U23 contingent as well as a backbone of top New England veterans. The riders bring a long list of diverse and impressive results from last season, including: Podium finish and top ten overall at NORBA NCS Marathon, Top 25 finish at the Monte St. Anne UCI World Cup Marathon, Verge New England Cyclocross Series Amateur Champion, North Eastern Collegiate Cyclocross Champion, the Maine State U23 Time Trial Champion, as well as several strong regional and collegiate road racing podiums.

For the full roster and announcement, please click here.

Previous News    Next News

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)