First Edition Cycling News for August 4, 2006
Edited by Jeff Jones & Hedwig Kröner
Tour of Germany stage 2 wrap-up
The eternal attacker's reward
Team CSC's Jens Voigt today again demonstrated that well-placed attacks have a chance of coming through, even if the odds are against them. By winning stage two of the Deutschland Tour, Voigt brought another ProTour victory to his palmarès and enjoyed the cheers of his homeland fans, as his breakaway of three saw the peloton only five seconds behind on the finishing straight in Goslar.
Jumping away from the main field on the last climb with 25 kilometres to go, Voigt was joined by Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) and Andrey Kashechkin (Astana), who placed second and third.
The stage saw Ronny Scholz (Gerolsteiner) on a first, 107 km long breakaway, but the German rider was caught at 50 km from the finish, just in time for the final two climbs. A break of eight riders including Voigt and Kashechkin emerged on the summit of the first, but couldn't hold its gap on the final ascent.
A truly motivated Voigt then broke away again, taking the last downhill to the finish together with Rebellin and Kashechkin, and proved in the end that he was the best-prepared for the finale, as well as the most consistent in his belief that victory was possible.
Race leader Vladimir Gusev (Discovery) retained the yellow jersey before tomorrow's bumpy stage from Witzenhausen to Schweinfurt, where another breakaway group could get clear.
Click here for the Full results, report & photos.
Vino "better than I thought"
In the currently ongoing Deutschland Tour, the Kazakh team Astana is doing a good job: the team took their first victory ever as sprinter Assan Bazayev raced to victory in stage 1, and in today's stage 2, Andrey Kashechkin got third. The national champion of Kazakhstan demonstrated that he is one of the riders to bear in mind with a view to the general classification.
The leader of the Kazakhstani pack, Alexandre Vinokourov, meanwhile feels better than he had expected after missing out on the Tour de France. "I'm here to get into the pace of competition," Vino said. "I'm not completely fine yet, but it is normal after so much time without competing. I need more time, but I'm better than I thought."
After the Tour of Germany, Vinokourov expects to ride the Clasica San Sebastian, the Vuelta a España and the World Championships. "I will go to the Vuelta without pressure, but if I see that I am okay, I'll go for the final general classification," he added. "If not, I will prepare for the World's."
With the team slowly but steadily coming out of its pre-Tour de France turmoil, and the management being taken over by a new company to clear the way for a four-year ProTour license, the spirit of its Kazakhstani team members is on the rise. "The team is going to continue forward," Vinokourov declared. "There has been much talk of it disappearing, but I count on obtaining a ProTour license for the next four years. This season I couldn't be in the Tour of France, but I'm going to fight to participate in it in 2007. I believe that I have one last opportunity to win it."
His countryman Bazayev's victory, meanwhile, gives the team an extra boost. "Bazayev's victory is a good sign for the future," he added. "It is good for Assan and also for the team, it gives us so much morale."
Oscar Pereiro interview
Starring from the second row
Oscar Pereiro's second place in the Tour came as a surprise to most, including the rider himself, despite his two previous top-ten positions. An opportunistic escape on stage 13 put him into the yellow jersey, which Pereiro fought hard to keep. If Floyd Landis is found guilty of a doping offence then Pereiro will inherit the win, a situation that does not excite the Spaniard. Hernan Alvarez Macias spoke to Pereiro about the Tour, the Landis situation and his plans for the rest of the season.
The French air agrees with Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne - Illes Balears), even though he is Spanish and he obviously feels at home on French roads. Pereiro demonstrated that he was born to shine in the Tour de France. He finished second overall, narrowly behind the winner Floyd Landis (Phonak). He also wore the maillot jaune for six days, including the second rest day in Gap.
It is not by chance that Pereiro has appeared prominently in the last three Tour TV highlight reels. He performed strongly in the 2004 Tour, finishing tenth. In 2005 he improved, not only by finishing tenth overall in Paris but by also winning stage 16 in Pau. He also finished second on stage 15 in Saint-Lary behind the USA's George Hincapie.
If Floyd Landis's B sample proves that the American doped in the Tour, Pereiro will be crowned the 2006 Tour de France winner. Landis could be the first winner to be disqualified, handing Pereiro the win - albeit without receiving the precious dark cup on the Champs-Elysées. The Spaniard showed this year that the leader's jersey suits him. On the rest day in Gap he was still wearing it and was happy to pose for photographers.
After three exhausting weeks around France (and also the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain and Belgium), Pereiro got back to his home town of Mos in the northern Spanish region of Galicia. Cyclingnews caught up with him a few days after the Grande Boucle when the Landis affair was already underway.
"We, the team [Caisse d'Epargne - Illes Balears], went to the Tour very excited, but what happened to Alejandro Valverde in Valkenburg [he broke his collarbone in a crash on stage 3, ed] changed the plan a little bit," said Pereiro "My team supported me a lot." When asked about the beginning of the Tour he added, "our plan A was to support Alejandro [Valverde]. I was prepared to follow that plan."
Click here for the full interview
Landis B sample testing under way
Floyd Landis' Tour de France stage 17 B sample was opened on Thursday at the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory in France in the presence of landis' Spanish legal counsel Jose Maria Buxeda, experts from the US Anti-Doping Agency, and the UCI. Landis himself was not present and is at home in California, contrary to our earlier incorrect report. Analysis of the sample is expected to take two days, and Landis should know on Saturday whether his high testosterone:epitestosterone level is confirmed.
"We continue to maintain the same line of defence: the positive must be due to an endogenous production of testosterone, and in addition we understand that the detection method is not trustworthy in proving whether the origin is exogenous," said Luis Sanz, who, along with Buxeda and Howard Jacobs, forms part of Landis' legal defence.
According to an AP report, the Landis' legal camp has also proposed that dehydration may have led to the high T:E ratio. "Maybe a combination of dehydration, maximum effort," Buxeda was quoted as saying.
But Professor Christiane Ayotte, director of Montreal's anti-doping laboratory, poured cold water on that theory. "If dehydration was the case, then marathon runners would be testing positive all the time. Tennis players would be testing positive all the time. Dehydration is a medical condition that requires hospitalisation. It has been invoked in the past, but not one case - to my knowledge - has been successful in this argument."
Nevertheless, Landis continues to maintain his innocence and denies having taken any banned substances. "It would be a true legal aberration to strip him of his victory in the 2006 Tour de France, even if the result is confirmed," said Sanz to EFE. "Once the results are known, the process will continue through the American authorities, and while there is no firm sanction, Landis is innocent."
Courtesy of Antonio J. Salmerón
Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case
29, 2009 - French authorities summon Landis and Baker
Astarloza moves to Euskaltel
By Antonio J. Salmerón
One of the Spanish riders at AG2R, Mikel Astarloza, will leave for Euskaltel-Euskadi at the end of the season, after reaching an agreement on Thursday. The 26 year-old has signed a two-year deal with the Basque team. Astarloza made his debut as a professional with the French team in 2002, for which he rode during the last five seasons and with which he participated in, and finished on four occasions, in the Tour of France. Astarloza also won the Tour Down Under in 2003. Euskaltel-Euskadi thus continues supporting a team that this week has also signed Iñaki Isasi and David López from next season until 2008.
Vierhouten and Tjallingii extend
Skil-Shimano riders Aart Vierhouten and Maarten Tjallingii have extended their contracts with the Dutch team for another year. The pair have collected several wins between them this year, including Tjallingii's victories in the Tours of Belgium and Qinghai Lake, and Vierhouten's wins in the Noord-Nederland Tour and a stage of the Ster Elektrotoer.
$40,000 raised for Ride for Life
By John Kenny
Yesterday's Trust Ride for Life corporate lunch raised over $40,000 for Sydney's Prince of Wales Oncology department and was attended by Commonwealth champion Ben Kersten and Olympic gold medallist Steve Wooldridge. The Ride for Life program starts at 7.50am on Saturday.
Kersten made his first public appearance following surgery when he launched the event in front of 160 guests. He spent a week in St Vincent's Hospital after he had scar tissue removed and bulging disc shaved in his back two weeks ago.
Hundreds of NSW's most promising cyclists will contest events including the Open Sydney championship and the State junior championship. There is a separate race for masters and women. Also on the program is a 30 kilometre corporate race, a family fun ride and a novice five-kilometre schools championship.
The Trust Ride for life raises funds for cancer research and rehabilitation and Professor Firedlander, head of POW Oncology said that he is delighted with the response to date and the more than $130,000 raised.
More information can be found at www.rideforlife.org.au
Driver in Rhyl CC tragedy fined
The driver of the car which skidded on black ice and ploughed into members of Rhyl Cycling Club in the UK, killing four of them, has been fined for having defective tyres. The man had lost control in a curve on the road near his home on January 8, 2006, where 12 cyclists were on a training ride.
He was fined £180 for three counts of driving with defective tyres at Llandudno Magistrates' Court, where magistrates said that the defective tyres "were not a contributory factor." The police investigation found that the defective tyres - the front pair and rear nearside - were not the cause of the crash.
"The crown took the decision that in the circumstances, tyre tread is there to displace liquid debris from the road to give a better grip," prosecutor Diane Williams told the BBC. "In this situation, the examination has found there was no liquid there - it was black ice, consequently the defective tyres couldn't have been a contributory factor to the collision."
After the court case, a spokesman for Rhyl Cycling Club said: "We are content to let the due processes of law deal with these matters and we are satisfied that the families directly affected by the tragedy have the benefit of expert legal advice and support."
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)