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

Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News for April 21, 2006

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

An interview with Alejandro Valverde: Mr. Versatility

In claiming his first major classic on Wednesday, April 19, Alejandro Valverde Belmonte once again demonstrated his incredible versatility on two wheels. The question now being asked is: 'Does he also have the capability to challenge for victory at the Tour de France?' Brecht Decaluwé found out his plans at the post-race press conference.

Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) becomes only the second Spaniard ever to win Flèche Wallonne
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

Cyclingnews: First of all, congratulations with your victory. This race looks like it's made for a rider like you.

Alejandro Valverde: It's only the second time I've competed at this race. The 'Mur' pleased me [last year] and I wanted to come back here. Yesterday, we did a reconnaissance ride with the team and I liked it even more!

CN: In those last kilometres, we saw attacks from Steegmans and Etxebarria. How did you interpret the finale?

AV: My main focus was to win this race, nothing else, but there were a lot of other guys aiming for the same goal. It was a very fast race, but I had very good legs. I tried to wait as long as possible, as the CSC train constantly brought everybody back. When Etxebarria attacked, I just followed him. When I saw that Sanchez and Kroon were coming back on us, I accelerated at my maximum.

Click here for the full interview.

Bettini recons Namur; De Weert out of Doyenne

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:

On Thursday, April 20, Quick.Step's Paolo Bettini has reconnoitred the third stage of Giro d’Italia which will finish in Namur on Monday, May 8, 2006. Together with teammate Juan Manuel Garate, the Italian classic specialist climbed the final ascent of the Citadelle (2.3 km) twice.

"The final is perfectly suited to my characteristics," Bettini said. "The pavé road will make the climb more difficult. It will be important to begin the climb in the first positions."

'Il Grillo' put attention to detail during the reconnaissance. "In these arrivals it’s important to underestimate nothing," he said. "Every meter is important because the climb will be fast and you cannot make any mistakes. The last 500 meters are on asphalt. I believe that the race result can be decided by the last right curve up to the finish line."

Bettini also called his teammate Nick Nuyens about the climb, as the Belgian has won twice at the Citadelle in the G.P. Wallonnie. "Nick's suggestions will prove valuable," Bettini concluded.

Meanwhile, Quick.Step has announced that Kevin De Weert won't take part in Liège-Bastogne-Liège next Sunday. "After the injuries to my left shoulder I tried to quickly recover to be ready for the Vuelta al Pais Vasco," de Weert said. "But at the Flèche Wallonne I understood that I’m not at 100 percent yet, which is why I decided to leave my slot to a teammate in better condition than me." Young Swiss rider Hubert Schwab will join the team in Liège this evening to take the start in the Doyenne this weekend.

T-Mobile with "plenty of options"

The Spring Classics season enters its last lap with Sunday's Liège- Bastogne-Liège, the oldest of cycling’s five monuments. After convincing but unsuccessful performances at the Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne, T-Mobile is now looking to the third and final round of the Ardennes Classics series to score a victory.

The German squad, which won the team classification at the other two hilly classics, have moved up to second spot in the ProTour ranking. "With our strong squad, the odds are good for Liège," said Patrik Sinkewitz, who finished in fifth in the Netherlands and Belgium respectively. For Sunday’s looping 262km trip through the steep pine-wooded valleys and high plateaux of the Ardennes, ‘Sinki’ will be accompanied once again by Matthias Kessler, Kim Kirchen, Thomas Ziegler and the two veterans Eddy Mazzoleni and Steffen Wesemann, who was a strong runner-up at the Amstel Gold Race.

Reigning ITT World Champion Mick Rogers and climbing specialist Bernhard Kohl round out the eight-man magenta roster. "Of the five biggest cycling monuments, Liège is certainly the toughest," said sports director Valerio Piva, who believes the race has come at the right time for his team. "Patrik, Steffen, Matze or Eddy Mazzoleni, too - the riders have proved that the form is just fine and we have the right option for every situation," he added.

"This is going to be the toughest race in the series," confirmed the 25 year-old Sinkewitz. "The climbs are longer, albeit not that steep. Plus, there’s no time for rest."

Matthias Kessler, who finished 12th last year after working hard for teammate and race winner Alexander Vinokourov added, "You are always at the limit and need to be constantly on the lookout, or you’ll be instantly dropped on some of the climbs."

The T-Mobile roster in Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday, April 23 will be: Matthias Kessler, Kim Kirchen, Bernhard Kohl, Eddy Mazzoleni, Michael Rogers, Patrik Sinkewitz, Steffen Wesemann and Thomas Ziegler.

Lampre, Phonak for Liège

Italian outfit Lampre-Fondital has announced its selection of riders for the upcoming classic Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Alessandro Ballan will be focusing on scoring more ProTour points in Belgium on Sunday, while Damiano Cunego will head to Belgium after a possible victory in the Giro del Trentino, which he leads prior to the final stage on Friday. Cunego had achieved a good result at the 'Doyenne' last year, finishing ninth behind winner Alexandre Vinokourov.

Joining the two riders at Lampre will be Salvatore Commesso, Ruggero Marzoli, Giuliano Figueras, Evgueni Petrov, Gorazd Stangelj and Tadej Valjavec. Directeur sportif Fabrizio Bontempi will guide the team in the Ardennes.

Swiss Phonak Hearing Systems have also announced their choice of riders for Liège: Patrik McCarty, Axel Merckx, Koos Moerenhout, Steve Morabito, Uros Murn, Victor Hugo Peña, Miguel Angel Perdiguero and Steve Zampieri will represent the squad directed by John Lelangue.

Anti-doping raid in Italy

Italian NAS anti-doping inspectors have intervened in a drug trafficking affair involving several cyclists and cycling-related persons on Wednesday, April 19. The police officers arrested seven suspects in their homes, including Daniele Masiani, directeur sportif of the Continental team OTC Doors-Lauretana, Leonardo Guidi, former professional and brother of Fabrizio, Michele Scotto d’Abusco of the Ceramica Flaminia team and Clemente Cavaliere of team Endeka.

In the search, several pharmaceutical products were seized, many of which are not allowed for sale in Italy. These products were reported to be Chinese and prohibited on the European market.

Meanwhile, Masiani has issued a statement suspending himself from the function of sports director for OTC Doors, saying that the affair regarded only himself and not the team. The decision was taken, according to Masiani, "in order not to harm the team and its riders which would undoubtedly be associated with the trial but have nothing to do with it."

Team Ceramica Flaminia has also reacted by suspending its rider Michele Scotto d’Abusco. The 23 year-old had been sacked before - in June last year when he was with Lampre - as blood test carried out by the UCI revealed abnormal values.

Barloworld for Giro dell’Appennino

Team Barloworld continues its season on several fronts with riders competing in Belgium and in Italy. While the team led by Igor Astarloa and directed by Alberto Volpi is competing in the Ardennes classics, other Barloworld riders - after completing the Giro del Trentino in Italy on Friday - will ride the Giro dell’Appennino this Sunday (April 23) and the Criterium Levante in the Ligurian town of Chiavari on Saturday morning (April 22).

Directeur sportif Valerio Tebaldi will guide Diego Caccia, Felix Cardenas, Mads Christensen, Alexander Efimkin, Rodney Green, Jeremy Maartens, James Perry and Amets Txurruka at the Giro dell’Appennino, while Green, Maartens, Perry and Tom Southam will ride in Chiavari.

Ontario Track Championships this weekend

The Ontario Provincial Track Championships will be run this weekend at the Forest City Velodrome in London, Ontario. This event will bring together the best Track & Road racers in the Province and Northern United States to compete for the right to represent Ontario at Track Nationals later in the Summer. "We have planned for 50-60 riders to compete in the many events over the weekend," said the organiser, who is trying to get the National Championships to London in the next two years. "This will be the largest Ontario Track event held in the Province in over 15 years." Rider entry fees are $35, covering all races for the weekend.

The program will run over three days beginning on Friday Night with the Senior men & Juniors competing in the 1,000m Time Trial also called the "Kill-o-Metre". Masters, Velo-Kids & Women will contest the 500m TT also on Friday. The racing starts at 7pm.

Racing will continue all day Saturday with preliminary round action in the Sprints and Pursuits, with event finals at 7pm. On Sunday, the Japanese style Keirin racing will begin in the morning, with the Points Race scheduled for early afternoon in all categories. Spectator admission will be $10 per night or a weekend pass for only $15, which covers all three days of racing.

Bike Chicks host 'Come and Try Cycling' day

Bike Chicks Cycle School, a new initiative for young women in Central Queensland, Australia, aimed to increase the number of women engaging in cycling, is hosting a ‘Come and Try Cycling Day’ on Sunday, May 28,2006 from 10am-4pm for young women aged 13-17 years who want to know more about the sport. The school is also focused on providing ‘off the bike skills’ to improve the quality of these young women's lives through sport and physical activity.

The program is being developed and administered by two local female cyclists; Anouska Edwards and Alex Bright. Edwards and Bright are both products of similar types of development programs, Edwards in (2003) with the Queensland Academy of Sport and Bright in 2002 with the Australian Institute of Sport.

Edwards and Bright have had success at the elite level since being a part of their respective programs. Edwards is a two time Queensland track representative and QAS representative at the Geelong Womens Tour and Geelong World Cup in February 2006. Bright is a team National Gold Medalist, three time Queensland track representative and Australian representative at the 2004 Oceania Track Championships.

But both women's introduction to cycling occurred at a late age, and Edwards and Bright know that the implementation of a structured development program at a younger age can provide many fantastic opportunities in cycling. The most recent achievement is Phillipa Hindmarsh, a two time Australian Junior Sprint Champion and a product of the QAS and School of Health & Human Performance Talent Identification Program run out of Rockhampton in 2003.

"The Rockhampton Cycling Club’s registered number of junior female riders is very low and we hope that Bike Chicks will assist in increasing the number of women cyclists, whether it be for fitness, recreation or to compete," said a partner of the School, Anouska Edwards. "The Come and Try Cycling Day is merely a taste test of how much fun cycling is and all you need is your own bike and a helmet to take part!" added Bright.

The Come and Try Cycling Day will lead in to a 5-6 month cycling school aimed at developing higher level cycling skills in the girls as well as education on bike safety, nutrition, good health and well being.

Bike Chicks Cycle School will be held at Central Queensland University and costs $25 which includes a goodie bag, lunch, cycling information, cycling sessions, guest speakers and video displays. For more information or a registration form, e-mail


By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent is the latest recruit to the sponsorship of a cycling team which augurs well for the domestic scene in Ireland. Since the beginning of 2006, there has been an unprecedented interest in the sport as they have joined who have been heavily involved in cycling for many a year.

"The opportunity came about as a result of the interest that has been shown in the Sean Kelly Racing Team and the Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn Group that were launched in last couple of months," said Aidan Crowley of "Okay, we might not be in the same league for starters, but hopefully we can progress to that stage. It will afford us to travel to a number of events abroad, but basically we'll be looking at the FBD Insurance Ras and the Championships in various disciplines which are held in June/July onwards.

"This sponsorship in conjunction with Cycleways, hopefully will promote the sport of cycling and raise awareness of the many facets of the sport, both competitive and non competitive from road racing through to mountain biking, touring and the leisure side of the sport," he continued. "The team will be led by Philip Cassidy, no stranger to the sport. Also included in the 14 person squad will be Brian Kenneally, an extremely talented young man and Miceal Fitzgerald, who I would regard as an ace sprinter. Miceal has already got the team off to a great start with a stage win last weekend in the Credit Union Ras Mumhan."

Next Sunday at the Shay Elliott Memorial, hopes are high that Kenneally, winner of the trophy in 1999, could oblige. "As I would say, 'watch this space,'" added Crowley.

Previous News    Next News

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