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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest Cycling News for April 26, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones

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).

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Davitamon hoping for a lucky Lotto-ry in Romandie

By Anthony Tan in Payerne, Switzerland

Davitamon-Lotto team manager Hendrik Redant
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
(Click for larger image)

After Liège-Bastogne-Liège, team manager Marc Sargeant said they need a 'striker' - someone that can finish off the job once in the winning move. Directeur-sportif Dirk De Wolf has found Cadel Evans' performances so far 'disappointing'. To make matters worse, Davitamon boss Marc Coucke is also getting antsy.

To say there isn't pressure on his Belgian ProTour team to notch a win in Romandie today would be an understatement. However, when we spoke with another of Davitamon-Lotto's managers, Hendrik Redant, he defended his team's ability to take that next step.

"Well, last week at the Tour of Georgia, we had a win with Fred Rodriguez so that was lucky for us, but indeed, we would like more," Redant told Cyclingnews in Geneva yesterday. "We have one chance tomorrow with Robbie because it's a sprint, and let's hope that Chris Horner and Cadel [Evans] and [Wim] Van Huffel will get some form in this race, because the last four days are quite hard. But I think our best hope is tomorrow with Robbie McEwen."

Since Evans claimed to be diagnosed with the recessive affliction known as Hunter's syndrome, the 29 year-old Australian has undergone a series of tests, with the initial prognosis indicating he has nothing to worry about. "He's still busy on that, he's not sure," said Redant.

Click here to read the full story.

German teams for Rheinland-Pfalz: Gerolsteiner's race?

By Susan Westemeyer

Team Gerolsteiner has a special relationship to the Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt, which starts today, and not just because it is held in the homeland of the team's sponsor. Last year the team finished first and second, and the team can count many stage wins and podium finishes, by current riders, former riders and even directeurs sportifs - for example, in 1988, DS Christian Henn won the race, while DS Udo Bölts came in third.

But Gerolsteiner is not looking strictly to the past. Bölts, now in the team car instead of on the bike, says, "I expect the guys to give their maximum. And when their performance is good enough, then the results will be good, too." The team has not nominated a captain for the Tour. "We don't need to concentrate on just one rider, that lets us manoeuvre better," says Bölts. "Such races are often decided by a large group, that arrives at the finish with a large time advantage. So we have to stay at the head of the peloton and be in the escape groups, with several riders. That means we have to pay attention, then anything is possible."

Bölts and Henn were of course not riding for Gerolsteiner when they won, but for Team Telekom, now Team T-Mobile. Unlike its national counterpart, T-Mobile has a captain for the race, Andreas Klier, who will be supported by a team made up of veterans (including Daniele Nardello, who won the race in 2003) and youngsters. Two of the latter, Andre Greipel and Bas Giling, are particularly expected "to show what they have," says DS Frans van Looy.

The Gerolsteiner connection continues with Professional Team Wiesenhof-Akud, with Captain Torsten Schmidt, who until this year rode for the bubbly water team. "With Torsten Schmidt we have a rider in our ranks who has already won three stages in this tour, and I believe that all the others can win a stage, too," says DS Markus Schleicher. "The guys are well off, no question. Because there is no time trial this year, it is very important for us to ride an offensive race. When no team with a time trial specialist controls the race, then escape groups can get away and decide the race."

Even little Continental Team Lamonta can offer a big former Gerolsteiner name: Danilo Hondo. But is also has another distinction: it offers the only native Rheinland-Pfalzer to be riding the race, Björn Glasner, who took the overall win in 2004. Although the route is more for climbers than sprinters, Glasner sees chances for his team's new sprinter. "We can attack, but don't have to, because with Danilo we have a trump card."

Gerolsteiner: Markus Fothen, Thomas Fothen, Rene Haselbacher, Heinrich Haussler, Frank Høj, Sven Kraus, Volker Ordowski, and Marcel Strauss.

T-Mobile: Bas Giling, Andre Greipel, Andreas Klier, Daniele Nardello, Olaf Pollack, Frantisek Rabon, Bram Schmitz and Thomas Ziegler.

Wiesenhof-Akud: Artur Gajek, Tim Klinger, Christian Leben, Torsten Schmidt, Corey Sweet, Lubor Tesar, Gerhard Trampusch, and Lars Wackernagel.

Lamonta: Matthias Friedemann, Björn Glasner, Uwe Hardter, Stefan Heiny, Erik Hoffman, Danilo Hondo, Christoph van Kleinsorgen, and Sören Petersen.

Capelle cleared

Belgian rider Ludovic Capelle has been cleared of using EPO by the Disciplinary Council of the Flemish Community on Tuesday. Capelle tested positive for the substance at a race in Gullegem in June last year, and was given an 18 month suspension. However, he appealed to the State Court, which overturned the decision on the basis of procedural errors: On the sign in sheet in Gullegem, it was stated that the riders would be tested randomly, which didn't happen.

Capelle can now race again, although he does not have a team.

Cox aims for Larciano and Toscana

Team Barloworld is set for a Tuscan weekend of racing at the Gran Premio Industria e Artigianato on Saturday April 29 and then the Giro della Toscana on Sunday April 30. After the Ardennes classics in Belgium and the Giro dell’Appennino in Italy on Sunday, Danish directeur sportif Christiaan Andersen will have a strong combined team available for the two races made up with the following riders: Pedro Arreitunandia, Felix Cardenas, Gianpaolo Cheula, Ryan Cox, Mads Christensen, Tiaan Kannemeyer, Tom Southam and Amets Txurruka.

A good performance is expected from the talented South African climber Ryan Cox. He is now close to his best performance yet, after racing with his national team at the start of the season and showed his ability with an solid performance at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, where rode in the early breakaway for much of the day and finished 97th.

Johansson moves to Plowman Craven Racing Team

By Gerry McManus

Freddy Johansson
Photo ©: Gerry McManus
(Click for larger image)
PCA's Tony Gibb
Photo ©: Gerry McManus
(Click for larger image)

Multiple Swedish cycling champion Frederik Johansson has joined Britain's top cycling team Plowman Craven Associates (PCA) for the rest of the season. The former Team Mälarenergi rider joins former world and commonwealth track medallist Tony Gibb and former Tour of Spain green jersey winner Malcolm Elliott in their pursuit to keep hold of the top spot in the British Cycling ranking for 2006.

The 20-year-old made contact with the team through former team mate Magnus Backstedt after the former Paris – Roubaix winner met Tony Gibb at one of the Revolution track meetings in Manchester this year. Johansson has built a reputation against the clock but his national titles gained in his junior years were earned across road, criterium and time trial disciplines.

"I was always in the Swedish national squad when I was junior and I have raced in the U23 squad this year too," said Johansson: "Last year wasn't a great season for me because of many reasons but I am looking forward to racing with PCA this year."

Johansson will be based with his friend Backstedt in Cardiff where the big man has already taken him down to Newport for a taste of track racing. "I'm going to train on the track for a couple of months before I compete in my first track race," said the youngster from Koppaberg in Sweden. "I will be concentrating on the pursuit."

Johansson's debut for PCA will be in the forthcoming Chas Messenger 3-Day in Southern England starting on Saturday with a criterium at the Hillingdon Circuit in London. There may be some expectations of the Swedish youngster in Sunday's short time trial that precedes the afternoon road stage in Buckinghamshire but Johansson plays down his chances of a debut stage victory. "Hopefully I will do well but my legs are not on top form at the moment but maybe. I have raced already raced in 15 events this year and have managed to get into a break every time. I have also completed the Vuelta Mallorca earlier which was pretty hard but it was a great experience to race in the mountains.

"My key targets for this year are getting a medal in the Swedish time trial championships and a top five place in the U23 European championships and of course to help PCA win events. Living with Magnus will be really good experience. He is one of the top riders in the Pro Tour and it will be great to see how he works. And of course I can't forget to say thanks to Plowman Craven and Magnus for creating this opportunity for me."


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Gerry McManus

Capitol Classic for Autism Awareness

The inaugural Capitol Classic: A Bicycle Ride & Race for Autism Awareness ( ), takes place on Sunday, June 4 in Saint Paul, on the streets surrounding the Minnesota State Capitol. Besides cycling, there will also be live music, healthy food and a wellness expo. All proceeds will benefit the Autism Society of Minnesota.

The 2006 Capitol Classic will include criterium racing, but will feature several other cycling events for riders of all abilities. For those who want to spectate only, all the cycling action will be visible from the start/finish line, located just off the south steps of the Capitol.

Capitol Classic event manager Jay Dworsky, of Minneapolis-based Circuit Global Sports Management, is the father of two-year-old Leo, who is autistic. "We are looking forward to a great turnout and an energetic event on June 4," Dworsky said. "Community response and support has been outstanding to this point, and everyone's looking forward to a fun day of cycling. The Capitol Classic is about enhancing autism awareness; supporting the children, adults, and families who live everyday with autism; and putting health and wellness on an up-close and personal stage for everyone. It will be a great event and day in Saint Paul."

Jalabert does the London Marathon

In between working for France télévisions, former top French cyclist Laurent Jalabert has been keeping himself in shape by running. Jalabert competed in the London Marathon last Sunday, and finished 932nd of the men with a time of 2:57:39. It was his second attempt at a marathon, after running in New York last year, where he took 2:55:00.

New Director of Operations for Scottish Cycling

Scottish Cycling has appointed Jackie Meekison as its new Director of Operations. She will take up her position on May 1.

Jackie has worked with Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade as a senior occupational fitness adviser for 13 years. She is responsible for working with employees on their fitness as well as being involved in policy development. The 36 year old is also president of Triathlon Scotland, where she has developed skills in management, HR, finance and communication.

Jackie believes that the new role will allow her to combine these talents with her love of sport. "I want to help take Scottish Cycling forward to a new level," she said. "I believe the key to achieving that is engaging the membership and trying to rid the sport of some of its historical baggage.

"My predecessor in the role, Toni Whight, has made a lot of progress in that respect and I want to continue her work. I am also keen to engage the youngsters in the sport and to capture their enthusiasm."

In addition to her involvement in sport as an administrator, Jackie is an active triathlete. She is also a former South of Scotland Schools sprint champion.

Fantasy Spring Classic 2006 competition results

The big prize
Photo ©: Specialized
(Click for larger image)

The results from this season's first fantasy game, the Spring Classics 2006, have been finalised. Up for grabs in this year's competition were 18 prize positions with 40 individual prizes on offer worth $US10,000 in total. The Grand prize goes to manager Hercules III (USA) with 1516 points. He wins a Specialized Roubaix Pro bicycle (complete), with a Specialized Decibel team replica helmet and a choice of one Specialized optics from their eyewear range - a total prize value of US$4700.

Have a look at his team selections and how his teams faired in each of the seven races:

Liège - Bastogne - Liège
La Flèche Wallonne
Amstel Gold
Paris - Roubaix
Ronde van Vlaanderen
Milan-San Remo

The 1st runner-up prize goes to manager "Pinocchio" from Denmark with 1513 points. He wins a set of HED's 'Bastogne' wheels, worth US$600, plus a Craft Pro Cool Mesh sleeveless base layer (yes, exactly like what the pros choose to wear), and a set of Maxxis high-performance Columbiere road tyres - total prize value of US$714.

The three second runner-up prizes go to managers "PaterHoyng" from the Netherlands, "Tobermorit" from Denmark, and "Jaylew" from the USA. They win a Giro Atmos Helmet in their choice of colour, a Craft Pro Cool Mesh sleeveless base layer, plus a set of Maxxis high-performance Columbiere road tyres - a total prize value of US$399 each.

The three third runner-up prizes go to managers "Wheelsuckers" from the USA, "Mountain to Climb" from the UK, and "GrayStratus" from the USA. They win a set of Speedplay Zero stainless steel pedals from the Californian company that equips ProTour teams like Team CSC and Phonak with their super-light, and super-adjustable pedals, plus a Craft Pro Cool Mesh sleeveless base layer, plus a set of Maxxis high-performance Columbiere road tyres - a total prize value of US$399 each.

The three forth runner-up prizes go to managers "Red Zinger" from the UK, "Road Runners Inc." from Denmark, and "FomleFinn" from Norway. They each win an ultra-comfortable yet high-performance fi'zi:k saddle from the team issue - limited edition range, such as the Di Luca Killer & Cunego Piccolo Principe, plus a Craft Pro Cool Mesh sleeveless base layer, and a set of Maxxis high-performance Columbiere road tyres. The total prize value for this placing comes to US$399 each.

The full top 50 managers in the overall competition can be viewed here.

Per Classic competition results

In addition to these prizes, the per classics prizes consisting of seven pairs of Reactor Max, Team CSC replica eyewear from Smith Optics worth US$169 each were awarded for the highest scoring team in the following individual races:

Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Manager "jaylew" (USA) with team "triroadie" scoring 265 pts.

La Flèche Wallonne: Manager "Hansemann" (NOR) with team "some of the rest" scoring 280 pts.

Amstel Gold: "GS Emanuel" (CAN) with team "Squadra Seganfreddo" scoring 231 pts.

Paris- Roubaix: "Dr Ernesto Crankarm" (USA) with team "disco fever" scoring 268 pts.

Gent-Wevelgem: Manager "Sonja Ståhle" (DEN) with team "DandyHorse44" scoring 234 pts.

Tour of Flanders: Manager "Dr. Jay" (USA) with team "MoJo2" scoring 278 pts.

Milano - Sanremo: Manager "VeloEspresso" (USA) with team "Via Milano" scoring 217 pts.

Joining the Giro 2006 game

We will shortly be launching the next game of the season the Fantasy Giro D'Italia 2006. The Tour games are slightly different to the Spring Classics. Remember you can play for free for the first five stages! Try the game out and see how best to play. Find out more in the of the site rules section. It's a great way to follow the Giro 2006.

To register your teams for the game go to

Good luck!

The Fantasy Cyclingnews Team

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