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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

Latest Cycling News for April 27, 2006

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

McGee to try anything

By Anthony Tan in Payerne

Bradley McGee thought he was in with a pretty good chance to take the win in the Tour de Romandie prologue two days ago, but the Sydneysider got beaten by non-specialist Alejandro Valverde and later by eventual winner Paolo Savoldelli, who happens to have a couple of Romandie prologues on his palmarès.

"Ah, I was happy with my ride, I couldn't fault it and nothing stood out as a mistake. But I was pissed not to win," admitted McGee to Cyclingnews. "I was really psyched, I was up, I wanted to do it - but that's it, and that's the way you've got to run with it this time of year."

The 30 year-old isn't known as a person who gives up easily, though, and on yesterday's opening road stage, he bagged a second place at the first sprint prime, earning him two valuable bonus seconds and moving him just two seconds adrift of the race lead. Another two sprint primes are on the menu today, so anything's possible - especially with a rider like Bradley McGee.

"I'll try just [about] anything," he said. "Bonuses, sprints, stages, climbs - and of course, there's the time trial at the end."

Romandie Stage 2 weather report

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: http://live.cyclingnews.com/wap/

Today's second stage of the 2006 Tour de Romandie is held in the heart of the Jura mountains, which provides some explanation for the two Category 1 mountains en route. Yesterday's stage winner Robbie McEwen was hoping for a dry day in the saddle, but unfortunately for him and the rest of the peloton, intermittent showers are expected throughout the stage, with a minimum temperature of 7°C and a maximum of 17. 10-30 km/h winds will be blowing in from the northeast, but gusts of 40-60 km/h are not out of the question.

Zabel to defend Henninger Turm title

The 45th edition of the German one-day race Rund um den Henninger Turm in Frankfurt will take place on May 1, the traditional date of the 1.HC event. Organisers are happy with the international field they were able to attract, assembling 176 riders of 22 teams to battle it out on the shortened loop of 190 kilometres in and around the famous banking metropole.

Participating big names include of course defending champion Erik Zabel (Milram), who was able to sprint to victory three times at the race already: in 1999, 2001 and last year. Also lining up will be Jens Voigt (CSC), Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto), Erik Dekker (Rabobank) and Michael Albasini (Liquigas) - but Zabel will also have to watch out for German Gerolsteiner, who will be at the start with Davide Rebellin, winner in 2003, as well as Stefan Schumacher and David Kopp. Further rivals will come from his former T-Mobile team, which will send Steffen Wesemann and Patrik Sinkewitz.

The peloton will be composed of eight ProTour outfits, twelve Continental Pros and two Continental teams, amongst which Team Lamonta, the new squad of Danilo Hondo, also a threat to Zabel if it comes down to a sprint finish. The following teams will take part in the Henninger Turm race on Monday, May 1: T-Mobile, Milram, Davitamon-Lotto, CSC, Liquigas, Rabobank and Phonak (ProTour), Wiesenhof-Akud, Elk Haus, Vorarlberg, Chocolade Jaqcues, Landbouwkrediet, Kaiku, Barloworld, Skil, Intel, Navigators, Lamonta and Regiostrom-Senges.

Bartko's team separates from sponsor

The "US Financial Team," a German professional track racing team built around world champion Robert Bartko, is no more. "The riders will immediately start racing in the club jerseys without the sponsor's logo," said club leader Werner Otto. "We were very hopeful for this project, because it was an enormous chance for track cycling. In the end it turned out to be an enormous disappointment."

The club and the sponsor separated after financial difficulties dating back to last fall. Bartko is now seeking legal assistance in getting paid by the sponsor, with whom he allegedly has a contract through 2009.

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

2006 Tour de France teams pres on boat

There will be a novelty to the traditional pre-Tour de France teams presentation this year: In Strasbourg, the annual ceremony will not take place on a stage like in recent years, but on boats! As the Eastern French Grand Départ town features numerous canals in its city centre, Tour de France organiser ASO has decided to make the riders float along a prescheduled route so that all Strasbourgers will be able to see them.

This particular presentation will be held in the evening of Thursday, June 29, instead of the traditional pre-Tour Friday because of the Soccer World Cup. The boats will start at the foot of the European parliament and make a stop at the Château de Rohan, where the riders will be presented to VIP guests. The journey will then go on to the quarter of 'la Petite France'. On the following Saturday, July 1, Strasbourg will see the riders off to the 93rd edition of the Tour de France with an - unchanged - prologue.

Kirsipuu back in May

Crédit Agricole's Jaan Kirsipuu will be back to racing at the Tour de Picardie from May 12-14. Suffering several setbacks during this beginning of the season, the Estonian rider has almost healed his left foot injuries from a crash in Tirreno-Adriatico. One month after his unlucky feat, the 36 year-old has started training again last week and already covered 800 kilometres.

He will now intensify his training sessions to get back into shape for his comeback in France's Picardie. Kirsipuu is then scheduled to take part in the Tour de Vendée on May 25, the GP de Plumelec on May 27 and the Boucles de l'Aulne on May 28. His first ProTour race will be the Tour de Luxembourg May 31-June 4.

Cunego at GP Lanciano and Giro di Toscana

The GP Industria e Artigianato di Lanciano on April 29 and the Giro di Toscana on the following day will be the last two races to see Lampre's Damiano Cunego take part before the 'little Prince' will head off to the Giro d'Italia start in Belgium. Cunego will lead the following riders at the two Italian races: Giuliano Figueras, Matteo Bono, Morris Possoni, Marzio Bruseghin, Paolo Tiralongo, Marco Marzano and Paolo Fornaciari. The team will be directed by Giuseppe Martinelli.

Milram, Miche to GP Lanciano

Team Milram has announced its rider roster for the Cat. 1.1. GP Industria e Artigianato di Lanciano on April 29. Mirko Celestino, Volodymyr Dyudya, Volodymyr Gobbi, Matej Jurco, Elia Rigotto, Fabio Sabatini, Carlo Scognamiglio and Giovanni Visconti will be participating for the Italo-German squad.

Italian Continental Pro outfit Miche has also communicated its line-up for the GP di Larciano. The race will see the following Miche riders participate: Przemyslaw Niemiec, Bo Hamburger, Seweryn Kohut, Slawomir Kohut, Antonio d'Aniello, Tommaso Caneschi, Leonardo Caneschi and Pasquale Muto. The same roster will also race the Giro di Toscana, which will start at the team's headquarters in Terranuova Bracciolini.

Greipel's accidental win

What happens when you prepare a sprint for a sprinter who doesn't show up? Well, if you're T-Mobile's André Greipel, you go ahead and win the sprint yourself. That's what he did on Wednesday, winning the first stage of the Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt for his first T-Mobile victory and taking the leader's jersey. "Actually I was supposed to lead for Olaf Pollack," said the 23-year-old, "but he didn't show up, so I pulled on through."

Neither the team management nor Pollack was unhappy with the change of plans, which led to the team's only third win this year. "Going towards the finish line, the street got very narrow and a 'traffic jam' developed," wrote Pollack on his personal website. "I got stuck behind André, Danilo Hondo and René Haselbacher, couldn't get by and finally finished fourth. I was happy for André, he's a good guy."

Directeur Sportif Frans van Looy said, "Andre worked hard for this success and took advantage of his opportunity. In the last few weeks he has delivered consistently good performances and he was rewarded for it today."

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Symmetrics to El Salvador

With top form following victory at the recent Willamette Valley Classic stage race (Eugene, OR), Canadian team Symmetrics will head South for the Vuelta El Salvador. As part of the team's ongoing quest to top the UCI America Tour standings in 2006, the S-Team will race the 8-day Cat. 2.2 stage race, which begins this Saturday, April 29 and runs to May 6. The race totals 1000 km, and includes a prologue and team time trial, both focal points for the team.

Team Symmetrics, made up of strong time triallists, led by three time Olympian Eric Wohlberg, reigning individual time trial champ Svein Tuft, and 2002 National Road Champ Andrew Randell, is especially looking forward to the stage three team time trial as this team effort against the clock is perfectly suited for the squad. Joining the three are Will Routley, Christian Meier, Jeff Sherstobitoff, Andrew "Pinner" Pinfold, and Jacob Erker.

2006 Twilight Turn 2 VIP tickets

Principia Investment Advisors has announced the establishment of The Twilight Foundation, created to help promote and support the Twilight Criterium in Athens, Ga, taking place this week-end, April 29. VIP tickets are on sale now for 10$ The Hub in Five Points. A portion of the proceeds will go to the new Twilight Foundation, a 501c3 corporation focused on making sure the Twilight continues to occur, among other things.

Buffalo's SouthWest Café will be selling shrimp skewers, grilled chicken sandwiches, burgers, chips and salsa, Terrapin Rye Squared Pale Ale. There will be restroom facilities within 20 yards.

A change from years past, Turn 1 is nice, but Turn 2 allows VIPs to see the riders come around Turn 1, and then suffer up the backstretch hill. Also, a few lucky spectators will be chosen to ride in the Pace car for enough laps to make your head spin. Former Pro and multiple Tour of Peru Metas Volantes Jersey winner Steve Sevener will be providing colour commentary for the Men's Pro race.

For further information, e-mail J. Derek Imes at derek@piadv.com. More about the Athens Twilight can be found here: www.athenstwilight.com

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