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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for February 20, 2006

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

Ullrich back in Europe

After another extensive training camp in South Africa, Jan Ullrich is travelling back to Germany on Monday, February 20. Together with T-Mobile teammates Andreas Klöden, Matthias Kessler and Giuseppe Guerini, the 1997 Tour de France winner enjoyed the warm weather of Cape Town to train five to six hours a day. Whereas 2004 Tour de France second-places Klöden will take up racing again at the GP Chiasso on February 25, the when and where of Ullrich's return to the international peloton is yet to be decided.

"We want him to be able to really dig in there when he starts racing again - we want him to do more than just to roll along with the bunch," said T-Mobile director Rudy Pevenage, who accompanied the riders in South Africa. Ullrich's next stop will instead be another training camp in Tuscany, beginning on March 1. His main rival in July, Team CSC's Ivan Basso, will line up for the first time in 2006 at Tirreno Adriatico on March 8. Another contender for the first French Grand Tour after Lance Armstrong, Alexandre Vinokourov, is scheduled to start in Paris-Nice on March 5.

Petacchi in all three 2006 Grand Tours

First season kisses for the 'Ale-Jet'
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Alessandro Petacchi has reiterated wanting to participate in all three Grand Tours in the 2006 road cycling season. The Milram sprinter, who was in close competition with World Champion Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) at the Ruta del Sol a few days ago, also explained to Spanish media outlet AS that his first goal in the months ahead will be the classicissima Milano-San Remo.

"At the moment, all I do is think about this race," Petacchi said about the event scheduled for March 18. "It's my main goal this season to win it again. I still lack a bit to be at my best physical condition." At Milano-San Remo, the Italian will be supported by four-times winner Erik Zabel in a concerted team effort to beat Boonen, who is also strongly eyeing the event.

"After that, I want to increase my form for the Tour of Flanders and Gent-Wevelgem," Petacchi continued. "Then, I would like to participate in the three Grand Tours: Giro, Tour and Vuelta." When confronted with the assumption that he would certainly not finish the three-week-races, 'Ale-Jet' replied, "Of course not. To do three weeks in each of them would be too much. I don't know yet, we'll see how things go. The last stage of the Giro is very hard and I might not do it all. My motivation is to participate in all three and win at least one stage in each of them."

Baumann breaks bones

T-Mobile's Eric Baumann was diagnosed with broken tibia and fibula bones after crashing heavily in the Volta ao Algarve's last stage. The 25 year-old sprinter attempted to go for the win in Portimao, but touched wheels with his teammate Thomas Ziegler and came to a fall.

"It was a kamikaze finale," said Baumann, who was transported back to Freiburg, Germany, to undergo surgery. "There had been crashes shortly before, too. Thommy led the sprint for me but had to swerve to avoid colliding with the rider in front of him. I touched his wheel and hit the curb hard. I guess that’s a sprinter’s lot..."

The rider from former East Germany will have to rest for approximately sic weeks before being able to resume training.

Australia announces Junior World's track team

Cycling Australia has announced the track team to contest the UCI Junior Cycling World Championships staged in Belgium from August 5-13, 2006. The track competition will be contested in Gent from Saturday, August 5-Tuesday, August 8. The road team for events in Belgian Spa-Francorchamps, taking place from Thursday, February 10-Sunday, February 13 will be announced in May.

The team includes a host of gold medallists from the recent Australian Track Cycling Championships in Adelaide, led by 17 year-old Tess Downing, who was crowned Champion of Champions. The Victorian teenager took out the U19 points race title despite crashing midway through the race. She got back on her bike and continued racing but was later taken to hospital suffering concussion. Downing missed the ceremony for gold and her naming as the Champion of Champions for her three individual gold medals in the scratch race, points race and keirin as well as her silver in the individual pursuit.

West Australian Cameron Meyer is back for his second World Championships after scoring four gold medals in Adelaide. He claimed wins in the U19 individual pursuit and teams pursuit and earned the Ride of the Series award for his victory in the points race. Meyer also teamed with his brother Travis, also selected in the team, to pick up the U19 Madison crown.

Scott Sunderland (WA) and Daniel Ellis (ACT) were part of the junior team that claimed bronze in the teams sprint event at the 2005 Junior World Championships in Vienna and hope to improve on that in 2006. Sunderland is also hoping to better the bronze in the kilometre time trial and fourth place in the sprint that he posted in Vienna last year.

Victorian Leigh Howard has also earned a place in the squad in his first year in the junior ranks. The 16 year-old has been a sensation on the Australian wheelrace circuit, upstaging far more experienced rivals with the speed of his finishing sprint. Howard claimed the scratch race crown in Adelaide as well as medals in the teams pursuit, keirin, Madison, individual pursuit and kilometre time trial.

In the women's sprint events Sydney's Kaarle McCulloch's earned selection through gold medal rides in the U19 500m time trial and the sprint in Adelaide.

The full Australian track team for the Junior World Championships

Jack Bobridge (Mt Pleasant, SA - 13.07.1989)
Josephine Butler (Lesmurdie, WA - 23.08.1989)
Byron Davis (Oxenford, QLD - 30.10.1989)
Tess Downing (Warranwood, VIC - 10.05.1988)
Daniel Ellis (Ngunnawal, ACT - 07.10.1988)
Leigh Howard (Geelong, VIC - 18.10.1989)
Hayden Josefski (Boonooroo, QLD - 15.06.1988)
Kaarle McCulloch (Gymea Bay, NSW - 20.01.1988)
Cameron Meyer (Helena Valley, WA - 11.01.1988)
Travis Meyer (Helena Valley, WA - 08.06.1989)
Peta Mullens (Traralgon, VIC - 08.03.1988)
Scott Sunderland (Busselton, WA - 16.03.1988)

Teams for Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

The organisers of Belgian semi-classic Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne have announced the participating teams for their event, scheduled for February 26. A total of 25 teams have been invited, including 14 ProTour squads, although UCI rules stipulate that 1.HC/2.HC- as well as 1.1/2.1-rated events may only line up a maximum of 50 percent ProTeams in the UCI Europe Tour Continental series.

At the moment, the following outfits are planned to participate in the 1.1 races: ProTeams Quick.Step, Davitamon-Lotto, Française des Jeux, Bouygues Telecom, AG2R, Crédit Agricole, Cofidis, Milram, T-Mobile, Discovery Channel, Rabobank, CSC, Phonak, Liquigas; as well as Continental teams Yawadoo-Colba, Fondas, Agritubel, Flanders,, Chocolats Jacques, LPR, Landbouwkrediet, Jartazi, Skil-Shimano and Ubbink-Syntec.

Mt. Hood Women's Cycling Classic offers travel grants

The Mt. Hood Cycling Classic has announced a new partnership with Taco Del Mar restaurants to offer travel grants to all Pro 1-2 women’s teams planning to compete at this year’s event, taking place from May 31-June 4. The grants are $500 cash and are available to Pro 1-2 women’s teams of 5 or more. A total of 12 grants will be distributed for this year’s event to assist in travel costs and expenses.

"We are excited at the tremendous opportunities in the U.S. for men’s cycling with the Tour of California and Tour of Georgia along with a number of other great races. Unfortunately Pro/Elite women have not had those same opportunities," said Mt. Hood Cycling Classic event director Chad Sperry. "We have a real passion to grow women’s participation in the sport and maximize opportunities for women. This event is just too good not to get more elite women involved."

This year’s Mt. Hood Cycling Classic will span over five days and six stages as competitors cover 20,000 feet of climbing, with NRC points and nearly $10,000 up for grabs. For more information regarding the grant program or to receive an application, contact women’s race coordinator Joanie Thomsen at or, for more information on the race, log on at

Sea Otter teams up with Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The 16th Annual Sea Otter Classic, held April 6-9, 2006 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California, has joined forces with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, to give cyclists and spectators an opportunity to raise money through a fundraising program called "Make Cures Happen". Money will be raised in honour of Joshua Alfaro, an 8-year-old boy with leukemia, who lives in Salinas, CA.

Through 'Make Cures Happen,' cyclists and spectators of the Sea Otter Classic can make donations to help blood cancer patients across the country: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society invests in research and patient services. As an added fundraising incentive, anyone who raises over $600 will be invited to a VIP party during the event and will be included in a drawing of many adventure trips and bicycles, including holidays in Costa Rica and GT bikes.

"We are grateful that the organizers of the Sea Otter Classic have made The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society their charity of choice," said Greg Becker, President of the Board of Trustees of the Society's Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area Chapter. "The cyclists and spectators who raise money through 'Make Cures Happen' are funding cancer research that will help hundreds of thousands of people battling leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma."

Spectators and cyclists who would like more information on "Make Cures Happen" can visit

Great Karri Ride on again

The Medibank Great Karri Ride in Western Australia’s South West is taking place again from March 4-5, 2006. The 100 km MTB ride will see teams of up to five cyclists compete in a region known as a botanical 'hot spot' abundant with eucalyptus, especially the majestic Karri.

The touring event is laid out for all levels of riders, from weekend work-out to elite, with an additional ride for kids. For more details, please go to

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