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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

Latest Cycling News for April 28, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones

Suisse c'est bon, says Horner

Porrentruy, Switzerland is a heck of a long way from Oregon, USA, but it's little surprise to hear our new Tour de Romandie leader Chris Horner say he's beginning to develop a certain affinity with the land of snow-capped mountains and blowing bugles, writes Anthony Tan.

That winning grin!
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
(Click for larger image)

"Yes, Switzerland has definitely treated me very well, last year and this year, too," he admits.

In fact, Horner found the surroundings so comfortable at yesterday's press conference, despite having a translator present, one of Davitamon-Lotto's two resident Americans (the other being Fred Rodriguez) chose to use some of the French he learned when riding for Française des Jeux. Which wasn't too bad at all for someone who now rides for a Belgian team and doesn't speak the language all that often.

"Je suis très content avec les courses en Suisse; courses pour les montagnes c'est très bien avec moi... pour le moment," Horner joked. [I am very happy with the parcours in Switzerland; the mountain stages are very good with me... for the moment.] "Peut-être demain, c'est le different histoire." [maybe tomorrow, it will be a different story.]

Click here for the full story.

Tour de Romandie Stage 3 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).

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As the peloton heads due south from Bienne to Leysin today, mild, cloudy conditions can be expected en route to the base of the final climb of Le Sépey, with forecast temperatures in the range of 14-16°C. Winds will be coming from the northeast for virtually the entire journey, so it will be a cross-tailwind from the riders' left shoulders.

Naturally, conditions will change 1,318 metres above sea level at the top of Le Sépey, where a range of 6-8°C is likely along with a variable wind speed of 15-40 km/h.

Bonne étape, le peloton!

Toothache for Tom

Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) is once again suffering from a toothache, reports The World Champion had to visit the dentist yesterday in favour of a photo shoot with clothing sponsor Le Coq Sportif. "Tom went to the dentist," said Quick.Step director Wilfried Peeters. "He diagnosed an inflammation for which Tom is now taking antibiotics. Tom also had to get two teeth removed. Then they can't affect him any more this season."

Boonen's tooth problems manifested themselves before the Tour of Belgium last year, and also during the Tour de France, when he needed to get two abscesses removed.

Liberty Seguros-Würth for Giro d'Italia

Liberty Seguros-Würth has named its line-up for the Giro d'Italia, which begins in just over a week's time in Liège (Belgium). The riders selected are Dariusz Baranowski (Pol), Giampaolo Caruso (Ita), Koen de Kort (Ned), Dani Navarro (Spa), Unai Osa (Spa), Javier R. Abeja (Spa), Michele Scarponi (Ita), Marcos Serrano (Spa) and Sergey Yakovlev (Kaz). Assan Bazayev (Kaz), Aaron Kemps (Aus) and Iván Santos (Aus) are the team's reserves, while Marino Lejarreta will be the sports director.

Zabel looking to defend Henninger crown, with Petacchi's help

Team Milram is counting on Erik Zabel to repeat his victory in the Rund um den Henninger Turm on Monday in Frankfurt. He will be supported by none less than sprinter Alessandro Petacchi, the team announced. This will allow Petacchi to prepare with the German Milram riders for the Giro, and will help Zabel, because in this race the Italian sprinter will ride for the German sprinter, according to the team.

After the team's spectacular successes in the Niedersachsen Rundfahrt and Rund um Köln, it hopes to collect the Henninger title, too. "We hope that the riders can build on their performance in the Niedersachsen Rundfahrt and that we will be able to control the race for our two sprinters," said Directeur Sportif Jan Schaffrath. Zabel noted, "It would be great to continue our winning streak. But you shouldn't underestimate this course. It will be a difficult job."

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Haselbacher: "I needed that"

Gerolsteiner's Rene Haselbacher wears number one in the Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt and today he proved that he deserved it, by winning the second stage and taking over the leader's jersey.

"I needed that," said "Hasi," taking his first victory since another stage win in Rheinland-Pfalz in 2003. The Austrian, who finished third in the first stage, leads T-Mobile's Thomas Ziegler by 8 seconds. "In the sprint I didn't want to make the mistake of waiting too long. So I brought the thing home."

Austrian Gerhard Trampusch (Wiesenhof) finished third in the sprint behind Haselbacher and Ziegler.

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Latest UCI continental rankings

There were few changes to the leaders of the five UCI Continental Tours last month, according to the latest rankings issued by cycling's governing body. The only leadership change occurred in the America tour, where Manuel Eduardo Medina Marino (Venezuela) took over from Pedro Pablo Perez Marquez (Cuba). In the other rankings, South African Rupert Rheeder holds the top spot in the African tour, David George (Relax-Gam) leads the Asia tour, Niko Eeckhout (Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen) has kept the Europe tour lead, and William Walker (Rabobank) is on top of the Oceania tour.

In the teams rankings, Cycling Team Capec (Africa), Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni (America), Giant Asia Racing Team (Asia), Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen (Europe), and (Oceania) are on top of their respective tables, while South Africa (Africa), Brazil (America), Kazakhstan (Asia), Spain (Europe), and Australia (Oceania) are the top nations.

Rankings as of April 26, 2006

1 Rupert Rheeder (RSA)                                               189 pts
2 Bakhtiyar Mamyrov (Kaz)                                            101
3 Pavel Nevdakh (Kaz)                                                 96
4 Rabaki Jeremie Ouedraogo (Bur)                                      90
5 Thomas Desvaux (Mri)                                                70
1 Manuel Eduardo Medina Marino (Ven)                                 168 pts
2 Pedro Pablo Perez Marquez (Cub)                                    150
3 Juan Carlos Rojas Villegas (CRc)                                   133
4 Jose Serpa (Col) Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni             105.66
5 Gregorio Ladino (Col) Tecos De La Universidad Autonoma De Guada    104
1 David George (RSA) Relax-Gam                                       178 pts
2 David Mc Cann (Irl) Giant Asia Racing Team                         148
3 Robert McLachlan (Aus) Drapac Porsche                              143
4 Omar Hasanein (Syr)                                                113
5 Kam-Po Wong (HKg)                                                  105
1 Niko Eeckhout (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen          292 pts
2 Sergey Kolesnikov (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo Moscow                     264
3 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare                      233
4 Ricardo Serrano Gonzalez (Spa) Kaiku                               226
5 David Bernabeu Armengol (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana                 191
1 William Walker (Aus) Rabobank Continental                          117 pts
2 Dominique Perras (Can) Kodakgallery.Com-Sierra Nevada Pro Cycli     76.2
3 Russell Van Hout (Aus) Savings & Loans Cycling Team                 75.2
4 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus)                      71.2
5 Timothy Gudsell (NZl)                                               62.66
Full rankings: individuals, teams, nations

Chris Witty coming to Richmond

Five-time Olympian Chris Witty will be the featured guest at the USA's CapTech Classic kick-off dinner to benefit Greater Richmond SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) on the evening of Wednesday, May 31, the night before the CapTech Classic. Proceeds from the dinner will support SCAN's child abuse prevention and treatment services.

Witty is one of only nine Americans who have competed in both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. As a speed skater, Witty has competed in the 1994, 1998, 2002, and 2006 Winter Games. She's medalled three times as a speed skater, including winning silver (1000m) and bronze (1500m) medals at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan; and winning the gold medal in the 1000m in World Record time at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. The 2006 U. S. Olympic Team elected Witty as the flag bearer to lead the American delegation into the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

Witty also competed as a track cyclist at the 2000 Olympic Summer Games in Sydney, Australia, where she placed fifth overall in the 500m cycling time trials. She was the U. S. national cycling champion at 500m in both 1996 and 1998.

After the Salt Lake City Games, Witty revealed that she suffered from childhood sexual abuse. Witty is now an advocate for child abuse prevention.

"We are delighted that Chris Witty is coming to Richmond to become a part of the 2006 CapTech Classic," said Tim Miller, the event's executive director. "Chris is an amazing athlete who not only has achieved world class success in both cycling and speed skating over the past several years, but who also has gained the world's respect."

"We respect Chris Witty for her athletic achievements, but also for her bravery in speaking out about her history of abuse," said SCAN Executive Director Jeanine Harper. "She demonstrates how important it is to remove the secrecy around abuse, particularly child sexual abuse, in order for victims to heal and in order for the community to truly keep children safe."

The CapTech Classic is scheduled for June 1st and is kicking off its fourth year in Downtown Richmond, Virginia, a city with a rich professional cycling tradition including the Tour DuPont/Tour de Trump and the 1983 Tour of America. The CapTech Classic is continuing the tradition of world-class cycling in the heart of the city. The race also features a marketplace expo, kid's activities, live music, food, and more.

The Kick-Off Dinner will take place at the Omni Richmond Hotel in historic Downtown Richmond on May 31 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased at beginning on May 4, or by calling Michelle Davis at +1 804-257-7226. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit Greater Richmond SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now).

The 28th La Vuelta de Bisbee

100 years ago, dreamers flocked to the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco in hopes of striking it rich in the rugged Mule Mountains surrounding Bisbee, Arizona, USA. This weekend, riders will have four stages in three days to work the same hills for fame and fortune.

LVdB's history includes cycling legends Greg Lemond, Bob Cook, Alexi Grewal and Jeannie Longo, and this edition features Nathan Mitchell (TIAA CREFF), Phil Zajicek (Navigators) and Mari Holden (T-Mobile). But race director Albert Hopper likes to emphasize the grass roots/working class atmosphere surrounding LVDB. "I like to see no-name younger riders win the race. They've gotta start somewhere and this is a great opportunity for them."

The 28th La Vuelta de Bisbee gets underway Friday afternoon, April 28, with the Mule Pass Individual Time Trial. The 2.8-mile uphill burner starts in the heart of Old Bisbee and climbs 837 feet to the "Top of the Divide." Malcolm Elliot holds the men's record of 9:18, set in 1993, with Leslie Schenk holding the women's mark of 10:33, posted in 1987.

Saturday starts with the Stage 1 Sulphur Springs Road Race. The Pro 1-2 field will complete a two-lap circuit that heads east from Bisbee and into the high desert of South Eastern Arizona. The 79-mile course includes 2300 feet of climbing.

The Stage 2 Warren Time Trial Saturday afternoon heads directly south to the U.S./Mexico border and back. The 8.3-mile course totals 400 feet of climbing.

The Stage 3 Tombstone Road Race on Sunday April 30th packs 6427 feet of climbing into the 87-mile course (58.4 miles for the women). The fields will test the "basin and range" geography of Arizona and the riders' legs as they climb out of Bisbee and head West into the San Pedro River valley. Windy conditions, very open terrain and 17 miles of climbing in the last 21 miles of the stage (including two 5 mile 6% grade climbs in the last 15 miles) will likely determine the overall winner of La Vuelta de Bisbee.

More information:

The Murphy and Gunn boys on a roll

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

The Murphy and Gunn/Newlyn Group team
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
(Click for larger image)

The Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn cycling team are certainly on a winning roll. The last two weekends have demonstrated that the sponsors have been shown the green light when it comes to clocking up results. The opposition they have encountered was strong, but they blew them away, particularly last Sunday when they won the most prestigious single day event on the Irish calendar, the Shay Elliott which lists as former winners some very distinguished competitors in their day.

Andy Roche, a former winner of the FBD Ras, coasted home to a well deserved victory in the race and now is looking forward to a tilt at the Ulster Three Day, scheduled for this weekend. Also on the team is Paul Healion, who at Easter won Ras Mumhan Credit Union.

According to Paul, "It's looking good for the team this weekend. The last two weeks have been top drawer stuff. Hopefully we can continue to show the sponsors that our aim is to keep clocking up those wins. With the FBD Insurance Ras around the corner, we have to continue the momentum."

Paul will renew rivalry with Martin O'Loughlin of the Dan Morrissey/Carrick Wheelers CC in Ulster this weekend. Both club teams are doing very well, but as already indicated the Murphy boys are in the driving seat. Paul and Martin were the principals in Munster over the Easter period and whereas Paul will have the might of the club behind him, Martin will be missing two key links in the chain of command. Timmy Barry and Rory Wyley are competing in the Tour of Turkey and this possibly will minimise Martin's hopes of outright victory, but a stage win is very likely. Interestingly, Martin took time out last Sunday bypassing the 'Elliott' as preparation for Ulster.

Kanturk Credit Union Cycling Club, which has been very instrumental in promoting the sport in Co. Cork, is promoting the Corkman Three Day over the Bank Holiday period. Organiser, Dan Curtin has waived the pre-entry deadline and those wishing to participate can do so, prior to the start on Saturday.

Down the years there has been great rivalry between themselves and the Killorglin boys, but on this occasion it looks as though the silverware will be heading across the border on Monday afternoon, courtesy of Theo Hardwick, who looks the clear favourite to win the event. Theo was an exceptional junior, but two years ago he opted out of the sport. This year he came back with a bang and is a favourite for this popular event, which has been making steady progress in the last number of years.

Also participating will be the winner of the Bertoni Gorey Three Day, Declan Byrne and no doubt he'll be keen to get another victory for his sponsor, the Dundrum Town Centre.

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