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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for February 19, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones & John Stevenson

An interview with Tom Danielson

The whispers get louder

If Tom Danielson had a nickel for every time someone asked his thoughts about replacing Lance Armstrong as America's next grand tour hope, he wouldn't need to race for money anymore. But he still would - just for the love of the sport. And as Cyclingnews' Mark Zalewski found out at the Discovery Channel team presentation in Beverly Hills, Danielson is ready to begin his ascendency towards that spot left vacant by Lance.

Danielson climbs Brasstown Bald
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Click for larger image

Is Tom Danielson the next Lance? Those whispers became louder last April as Lance announced his retirement one day, and seemingly the next was riding in support of Danielson while the young American won the 2005 Tour de Georgia. He went on to start his first grand tour, the Giro d'Italia, helping teammate and overall winner Paolo Savoldelli during the first week before abandoning due to knee problems. He had a strong season with fifth overall at the Tour of Austria and a fifth place in the Vuelta prologue, going onto finish seventh overall, confirming his belief that the grand tours are for him - a focus he brings into 2006 after a year of learning.

"I definitely grew with the team a bit over the year, learned a lot from the great riders around me," says Danielson. "I spent some time with the directors, learning and training in the races. I took a lot of experience from last year, both on and off the bike. The confidence has helped me in my training and preparation for this year, and has pushed my work ethic to another level." Danielson also wants to continue to learn from the wealth of knowledge on the Discovery Channel team - a team he considers more like family after a tough stint at Fassa Bortolo in 2004. "I'd like to grow as much as I can with this team. This is my family and I'd like to have as many in-work experiences with them as possible - to grow and bond, which should make for a better career overall."

Click here for the full interview

Italian coaching great Martini turns 85

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

Alfredo Martini, left, with his successor Franco Ballerini at the 2005 world championships
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

Born 85 years ago today in Firenze, Italy, Alfredo Martini was the Commissario Tecnico for the Italian National road team from 1975 to 1997. In twenty-two years, Martini guided the squadra azzuro to 6 world titles by riders like Francesco Moser, Giuseppe Sarroni, Moreno Argentin, Maurizio Fondriest and Gianni Bugno, who took two World Championships for Martini. And then there were "i piazziamenti" (placings); seven silver medals and seven bronze, 30 percent of all the medals awarded during the two decades and change that Martini ran the Italian Worlds squad.

Known as a smart, tenacious "passista-scalatore", Martini was a professional rider from 1941 to 1957. His best year was 1950, when he won Stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia, and wore the Maglia Rosa for one day later in the race, eventually finishing 3rd behind Koblet and Bartali, but ahead of Swiss rider Ferdi Kubler. Martini also won the Giro del Piemonte and was second in the Italian championship that year, where he lost to speedy Tony Bevilaqua in a close sprint. Later on in 1950, Martini was again second to French sprinter DuPont in Paris-Tours. Of the 14 Giros d'Italia that he rode, Martini was in the top 10 six times. Above all, Martini was a precious "gregario" for Fausto Coppi on the Bianchi squad, for whom he rode for in two Tour de France wins ('49 & '52) and Fiorenzo Magni. Besides his talents as a rider, Martini was valued for his ability to read a race, something that served him well as direttore sportivo for the Ferretti and Sammontana teams between 1969-1974.

Click here for the full feature.

Teams for Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo

RCS Sport has announced the team lineups for the 41st Tirreno-Adriatico (March 8-14) and 97th Milan-San Remo (March 18), the two biggest Italian early season races. In both races, there will be 25 teams of eight riders, with a maximum start list size of 200.

Tirreno-Adriatico starts in Tivoli on March 8 and finishes in S.Benedetto Del Tronto on March 14. The full stage list is:

Stage 1 - March 8: Tivoli - Tivoli, 167km
Stage 2 - March 9: Tivoli - Frascati, 171km
Stage 3 - March 10: Avezzano - Paglieta, 183km
Stage 4 - March 11: Paglieta - Civitanova Marche, 219km
Stage 5 - March 12: Servigliano - Servigliano ITT, 20 km
Stage 6 - March 13: S.Benedetto Del Tronto - S. Giacomo (Monti Della Laga), 164km
Stage 7 - March 14: Tappa - Campli - S.Benedetto Del Tronto, 166 km

Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo teams: Davitamon-Lotto, Quick Step-Innergetic, Team CSC, AG2R, Bouygues Telecom, Crédit Agricole, Cofidis, le Crédit par téléphone, Française des Jeux, Gerolsteiner, T-Mobile Team, Barloworld, Panaria-Navigare, Acqua & Sapone, Lampre-Fondital, Liquigas, Milram Team, Naturino-Sapore di Mare, Rabobank, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne, Liberty Seguros-Wurth Team, Saunier Duval-Prodir, Discovery Channel, Phonak Hearing Systems, Team LPR.

Lampre-Fondital for Volta a la Comunidad Valenciana

Lampre-Fondital direttore sportivo Guido Bontempi is not exactly optimistic about his squad's chances at this week's Volta a la Comunidad Valenciana (Spain, February 21-25). "This edition of the race is harder than the ones of past years," said Bontempi in a team announcement. "Looking at the stages' characteristics, I think we could aim to win once with Bennati."

Daniele Bennati will be accompanied in the Spanish race by Alessandro Ballan, Salvatore Commesso, Paolo Fornaciari, Danilo Napolitano, Evgueni Petrov, Daniele Righi, and Patxi Vila. Giuliano Figueras, and Marius Sabaliauskas will be reserves.

Australian MTB champ injured

Australian national mountain bike champion Chris Jongewaard was a non-starter in yesterday's final of the Australian national series after injuring himself in training on Friday. Jongewaard sustained a nasty gash in his right knee that will require stitches - eventually.

They said it was mainly a flesh wound," said Jonewaard. "They're going to keep it open just in case some infections start up. I'll get it stitched up in the next few days. I'll be back on the bike and back into training and preparations for Commonwealth Games."

The national series final was the last outing for local riders on home soil before the Commonwealth Games MTB race in Melbourne on March 23. But first, there's the Oceania Championships in Rotorua, New Zealand on 4 March, where the men's team has a very strong chance of victory, especially if they work together. Then that teamwork will need to carry through to the Games.

"We'll be looking out for each other," said Jongewaard. "Sid [Taberlay]'s definitely a good guy to work for. I've worked with him many times before. We're just trying to get the best result for Australia."

The reserved Taberlay said, "Chris and I are pretty good chances. Chris has just had an injury. We'll see how that goes. There're probably a few stitches required. So hopefully it won't upset things too much."

"It's going to be a race where we definitely need both of us there working as a team to be able to win the race," confirmed Taberlay. "Hopefully if all goes great we should be in for a medal."

According to national mountain bike cross country coach, Damien Grundy, "The Australians still have strong competition from Britain and Canada Liam Killeen (England) and Geoff Kabush (Canada). The Australians all have the capacity and so do three or four other riders," he said.

Operation for Criquielion

Mathieu Criquielion (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) has undergone an operation on his back, and was not able to take part in the Tour du Haut-Var today. His place was taken by James Vanlandschoot, who will also ride tomorrow's Classic Haribo. The operation went well, and Criquielion will be able to resume training this weekend.

Landbouwkrediet's Nico Sijmens, who is recovering from a knee problem, has been training in Benidorm along with his compatriot Steven Kleynen. He is not 100 percent yet, as he still has some pain in his knee.

Jittery Joe's invites world round for a beer

The Jittery Joe's team will be having its second annual team launch party on March 4 at the Jittery Joe's Coffee Roasting Company in downtown Athens, Georgia - and everyone's invited. The entire team will be present for the occasion, which is part of the team's training camp held from March 3 to 7. Retired bike race announcer turned stand up comedian Bill Davis will be the Master of Ceremonies.

The team will be signing a limited edition poster and talking about the big season to come. After team camp, the whole team will be flying to Fresno, California to race in their first national calendar race of the season, the Central Valley Classic.

As well as the team presentation, music and drinks, the Terrapin Beer Company will be serving its new Jittery Joe's Coffee Oatmeal Stout, which the team says is a rich high-gravity beer that is sure to win over any beer connoisseur.

The Jittery Joe's launch party will also see the unveiling of the first production samples of team co-sponsor Zero Gravity's new lightweight cranks and bottom bracket, and bike and clothing sponsor Louis Garneau will be showing off the new team kit and the new LG 6.4 team bike.

Tickets will be available in advance at any Jittery Joe's coffee shop in Athens, @The Hub Bikes in Athens, or online at www.hubbikes.com. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students) and include food, drinks and door prizes from Louis Garneau, Maxxis and other sponsors.

Fast Freddie trains juniors

With the Tour of California rapidly approaching, Freddie Rodriguez (Davitamon-Lotto), took the opportunity on Friday to meet some of the Bay area's junior cycling elite at the CompuTrainer MultiRider centre in Endurance Mill Valley. As the rain poured down outside, Rodriguez talked about training and racing at the top level, and went for a spin on the CompuTrainer in the dry indoors.

Talking to the 20 junior racers assembled, Rodriguez explained the benefits of indoor training for the serious cycle racer - which he noted, except in times of injury, is best used as a key supplement to outdoor training, not as a replacement.

"I remember as a junior I was pre-selected for the national team for the world's, but I got injured in an accident and couldn't train outdoors," he said. "So I rode an indoor trainer for a month before the world's. I had one of the best results of my career (Rodriguez finished with a silver medal).

"Since then I have understood the value of indoor training. if the weather is cold and rainy I don't feel I need to train outdoors. You increase your chance of illness and injury, and you generally don't ride as hard in those conditions."

A new Bortolami

The recently retired Gianluca Bortolami already has a reason to celebrate post-cycling. His wife Michèle gave birth to a baby boy on Friday at 17:30. The boy's name is Eros, and he measures 49cm and weighs 3.22 kg. He was born in Ieper, Belgium, near to where Gianluca and Michèle live.

New endurance sports event firm launched

Four highly experienced event producers, with over 50 years of collective experience in sports marketing, technical planning, operations, marketing and sponsorship of endurance athletics and integrated corporate hospitality programs, have joined forces to launch a new sports event company, g4 Productions.

Robin Morton, Alice Armstrong, Joan Hanscom and Kristen Reiss have founded g4, an outfit that specializes in the creation, production & management of professional and amateur cycling, running and multi-sport events as well as integrated corporate hospitality programs.

g4 Productions senior partner Robin Morton, who was the race director for the top cycling events in North America like Philadelphia's USPRO Championship, the inaugural Dodge Tour de Georgia, KMart Tour of West Virginia and BMC Software Classic among others told Cyclingnews, "With our new venture g4 Productions, Alice, Joan, Kristen and I will all bring our unique skills and perspective to the table. Together we've got a complete package for any company or organization that wants to reach out to get involved in cycling or other active lifestyle events. Many companies and organizations are trying to reach this group and with our extensive experience in endurance event marketing, the g4 team has unparalleled expertise to deliver this market for our clients."

Dan D'Armond, director of community and government relations for BMC Software, gave the new outfit the thumbs-up, saying, "I have worked with the founders of g4 Productions for years and each of them is among the best of what they do. From event management to promotions to sponsorship activation, they have a proven track record at developing and executing successful programs and events that meet the needs of organizers, athletes and sponsors."

For further info on g4 productions please visit www.g4events.com

Advil and ChapStick to sponsor U.S. women's team

Wyeth Consumer Healthcare is sponsoring a new U.S. women's team through its brands Advil® and ChapStick®. Team Advil-ChapStick will be based in Northern New Jersey and will compete in both regional and national races, with a focus on the East Coast NRC races.

"We're very fortunate to have a sponsor as supportive as Wyeth Consumer Healthcare. They've been great to work with, and we hope this is the start of a long relationship," said team captain Heather Labance. "Both Advil and ChapStick products are popular among active, outdoor oriented people, and as a team we're very proud to be representing them. The team has been training together for 2 months now and we're very excited about the 2006 season. We're expecting results both regionally and nationally."

Click here for the full announcement and roster

Club One Fitness / Performance Max Racing

The Club One Fitness / Performance Max Racing Team is returning for a third year after completing a successful 2005 cycling season. The team will be retaining the title sponsors from the past seasons with the addition of a new frame supplier for 2006. Bianchi USA will be supplying Reparto Corse frames to meet the teams racing and training needs.

Click here for the full announcement and roster

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(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)