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Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News for August 7, 2006

Edited by Anthony Tan & Jeff Jones, with assistance from Susan Westemeyer

Tour of Germany stage 5 wrap-up

Defending champ back in business; tough-as-nails Voigt takes race lead

By Anthony Tan

Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Triumphing on the first mountain stage, defending champion Levi Leipheimer has put himself in contention to earn back-to-back victories in the Deutschland Tour. With three kilometres to go, the 32 year-old American attacked his two breakaway companions and quickly distanced himself, flying towards the finish in Seefeld and winning by a margin of two seconds over Andrey Kashechkin (Astana) and Marzio Bruseghin (Lampre-Fondital).

"I believe so, I think it was the right thing to do," replied Leipheimer to ARD television on his attack just before the rain-soaked descent to the finish. "You could see how cold and wet it is here, and we were supposed to go to two-thousand metres... it was very dangerous, and it was definitely the right thing to do - it made a great race."

Finishing on the same time was Jens Voigt (Team CSC) and Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Prodir), the former hanging tough on the climb to Mösern, grappling back onto the chase group with three kilometres to go, and finding himself in the leader's yellow jersey by the day's end.

The late change to today's parcours as a result of inclement weather appeared to have little effect on the race outcome, and tomorrow, the peloton face another difficult mountain stage from Seefeld to Sankt Anton, with the finish 1,762 metres above sea level in St. Christoph am Alberg.

Click here for the full results, report & photos.

A winning day for Gerolsteiner

If not much of anything went right for Gerolsteiner in the Tour de France, then just about everything is going right in the races being held in August. Perhaps the team should just try to survive the grand tour and concentrate its energies on the smaller tours. Sunday saw the team take two wins, one in Germany and one in Denmark.

Leipheimer: "I love this race!"

Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

In 2005 Leipheimer used an outstanding performance in the mountains to win the Deutschland Tour. On Sunday he took a stage win in the mountains to push himself up to fourth place overall, with three stages still to go. The stage was shortened by bad weather, with the main climb being taken out.

Leipheimer attacked about 2.5 km before the finish on a short flat stretch and was able to carry a three second advantage to the end. "Winning is always great, now I want to repeat my overall win from last year," he said. "I love this race!"

"Perfect teamwork" in Denmark

Sprinter Robert Förster took his second stage win in the Tour of Denmark Sunday, for his fifth season win. "It was perfect teamwork again," said directeur sportif Christian Wegmann. "It was a perfect duplicate of the stage win on Friday." In addition to the two stage wins, the team can be satisfied with two top fifteen finishers, with Rene Haselbacher finishing 7th overall and Frank Hřj 12th.

Deutschland Tour takes a diversion

The fifth stage of the Deutschland Tour got off to a late start Sunday. Bad weather in southern Germany caused race organisers to change the route, but only after the riders protested.

"It is not yet clear, whether ther riders will start," reported the live ticker at 11:00am. "Apparently, they don't want to ride the Kühtal Pass because of the bad weather."

Shortly thereafter, the pass was removed from the race route, thus losing the HC mountain and cutting about 30 kilometres off the original course.

Said CSC directeur-sportif Kim Andersen, "They didn't want to cross the biggest climb, because they said the descent was way too dangerous in that weather, but that's debatable, I guess. The organisers did underline the fact that the same thing will NOT be happening tomorrow. They'll have to climb all the mountains - including the hors category one," he said.

Austrians under way...

Team Volksbank's appearance in the Deutschland Tour is the first by an Austrian team in a Pro Tour race, and team manager Thomas Kofler was pleased with his team's performance Sunday in a stage which ran through Austria. "Our guys rode well, presented themselves well and were a great advertisement for cycling. This is the Pro Tour, we can't forget that.. We have to get used to things on this level. It's a lot of fun."

Captain Gerrit Glomser had hoped to win the stage, but couldn't match up to winner Levi Leipheimer. "They went up the mountain so fast, I simply couldn't go with them," he said. He was well placed going in to the climb, but needed time to come in his own rhythm. "When I got into my rhythm, they were already gone," he said. "My goal was a place in the top 15, which I haven't achieved. So I really can't be satisfied."

On the other hand, Austrian Rene Haselbacher of Team Gerolsteiner was more than satisfied with his seventh place overall in the Tour of Denmark. "Here I have started my preparations for the Vuelta and the Worlds," he said. "I came to this race direct from training and feel myself stronger than ever in the whole season."

USA Cycling comments on the Landis case

USA Cycling, the national federation responsible for handling the Floyd Landis doping case, has issued a statement following Saturday's news that the B sample analysis confirmed the A result. USA Cycling will start disciplinary proceedings against Landis, and has "referred the case to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as the organisation solely responsible for the adjudication of anti-doping cases involving American athletes in the Olympic movement.

"To maintain the same level of sensitivity and respect for both the rights of all athletes and due process as the Landis case enters the formal disciplinary phase, we will continue to refrain from comment until USADA reaches a final determination and all appeals are exhausted," said Steve Johnson, CEO of USA Cycling.

"As the governing body responsible for the sport of cycling in the United States and American athletes racing abroad, USA Cycling will continue to maintain a zero-tolerance policy for doping in our sport. Fair play is paramount in maintaining the integrity of our sport and the athletes who participate in it at any level and discipline. USA Cycling will simply not tolerate doping in our sport to protect the reputation of all athletes who practice the Olympic ideals. We are committed to working with the United States Olympic Committee, the UCI, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency to ensure a level playing field for all of our athletes."

Únzue waiting for UCI confirmation

Eusebio Unzue, Caisse d'Epargne's directeur sportif, has commented on the Floyd Landis case, which may well see his rider Oscar Pereiro claim the 2006 Tour de France victory. But Unzue wasn't celebrating just yet, telling EFE, "Oscar Pereiro will not feel like the Tour of France winner until the UCI confirmation. It's true that Oscar Pereiro has a hundred percent chance to be the Tour winner, but that is a long process".

Unzue also commented on the damage to Pereiro and his team, who will not gain the full benefit of a Tour victory, even a retrospectively awarded one. "I do not want to speak too much, but it is clear that nobody is going to repay us the damage caused by this," he said. "This Tour had served to recover the pure image of cycling that was lost, and to certify its health, after hard times which are better forgotten."

Finally, Unzue stressed that, "350 controls have taken place in the Tour, and only Landis' one was positive."

Courtesy of Antonio J. Salmeron

Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case

May 29, 2009 - French authorities summon Landis and Baker
September 28, 2008 - Landis takes case to US federal court
September 10, 2008 - Landis signing with current Health Net-Maxxis team for 2009
July 1, 2008 - CAS delivers final blow to Landis legal challenge
June 30, 2008 - Landis loses final appeal
June 28, 2008 - Landis decision due Monday
March 12, 2008 - Landis' judgment day nears
October 21, 2007 - Landis files appeal with CAS
October 18, 2007 - AFLD takes another look at Landis case
Thursday, October 11 - Landis continues fight, appeals to CAS
Saturday, September 22 - UCI officially names Pereiro 2006 Tour champion, Landis case raises issues
Friday, September 21 - Landis' appeal denied, two year suspension levied

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of the Floyd Landis case

Klöden's post-Tour woes

By Susan Westemeyer

Andreas Klöden wanted to ride in front of his German fans after his podium finish at the Tour de France, but will have to wait to do so. And whose fault is that? The team's, according to him.

"I would have liked to greet my fans in Germany, but the team did not allow me to start in the pairs time trial in Bühl, as well as other smaller races and criteriums," Klöden complained on his homepage,

The 31 year-old rode at least one criterium after the Tour, though. He finished second in Graz, Austria, and will also ride the Entega Grand Prix Rund um die Volksbank, held in Lorsch on August 10.

Welt magazine claimed that Klöden and teammate Steffen Wesemann were removed from the starting list for the Cyclassics and the Deutschland Tour due to their expressions of sympathy and support for Jan Ullrich. This support goes against the grain of the T-Mobile Team management, according to the magazine.

However, Klöden noted on his website that he would liked to have ridden the Deutschland Tour, but chose not to. "After my shoulder operation, it cost me a lot of work, strength and morale to start in the Tour de France in top form," he wrote.

"As the captain and rider for the GC, I had to give my all every day and couldn't even rest on the flat stages. I think everyone will understand if I give my body a little peace and quiet and don't immediately ride another difficult stage race.

"My next race will probably be the Regio-Tour (starting August 16), but I will make the final decision at a later time." Klöden's trainer, Thomas Schediwe, assumes he will start that race and told "We will decide at the Regio-Tour what he will race after that."

T-Mobile to introduce new blood test

"Once bitten, twice shy," according to the old saying, and this could apply to T-Mobile Team. All riders will be required to undergo a newly developed test which will be able to determine whether the individual has transfused with his own blood. "We will introduce this blood test to the team," said spokesman Christian Frommert. "These measures will be written into the new contracts with riders. In addition, we will prepared a broader internal program, which we we will present the end of August."

The new test, developed by Professor Walter Schmidt of the University of Bayreuth, is based on the inhalation of a very small amount of carbon monoxide, which binds to the haemoglobin in the blood. It involves a breathing apparatus through which the patient inhales an exact amount of CO. A blood sample is taken from the earlobe both before and after the two minute breathing phase, in order to determine the difference in the carbon monoxide levels in the blood.

Double trifecta for South

In a stunning display of teamwork, the South squad made a clean sweep of the stage and general classification podium on the last stage of the Tour of Gippsland.

The result saw 19 year-old Tasmanian Wesley Sulzberger take overall honours in the race, with Miles Olman and Daniel McConnell second and third respectively. Outside of general classification honours, Sulzberger won the sprint, criterium and most aggressive rider classifications.

On Sunday in Warragul, four members of the team - Sulzberger, Olman, McConnell, and Michael Ford - along with four other riders broke away shortly before the race's midway point, and launched an assault overnight leader Dean Windsor and his Drapac Porsche team could not follow. In the end, McConnell broke away to claim the stage as Sulzberger and Ford took second and third, with all eight a massive five and a half minutes ahead of group of 17 riders that included Windsor.

"It was all on the line in the final stage," Sulzberger said. "My team was fantastic and I really wouldn't have got to this podium position without them.

"There is still a lot of racing to go yet," he continued, "but I'll be trying just as hard in all the others as this one. I was bit rusty early in the week, but got better as the tour went along."

The Tour of Gippsland marked the opening event of this year's Tattersall's Cup cycling series, which is followed by the Tour of Tasmania (August 17-21), Tour of the Murray River (August 31-September 4) and the Australian Grand Prix in Ballarat.

Click here for the full results & report.

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