Latest Cycling News for February 22, 2006
Edited by Jeff Jones
Tour of California stage 2 wrap up
Hincapie takes lead with time bonus
George Hincapie (Discovery Channel) is the new leader in the Tour of California after winning the second stage between Martinez and San José. Hincapie powered across the line ahead of Davitamon-Lotto pair Chris Horner and Josep Jufre Pou, with overnight leader Levi Leipheimer coming in just behind them. Hincapie, thanks to a 10 second time bonus, took over the leader's jersey from Leipheimer with tomorrow's 27 km San José Time Trial expected to shake thins up even more.
The stage was marked by the tough climb of Sierra Road at 30 km to go. The early break with Michael Creed (TIAA-CREF), Ben Jaques-Maynes (Kodakgallery.Com-Sierra Nevada) and Mads Kaggestad (Credit Agricole) was chased down halfway up the climb, as the GC riders tried to crack each other. Leipheimer, Floyd Landis (Phonak) and Bernard Kohl (T-Mobile) opened up a small gap over the top, but were chased down by Hincapie and his Discovery Channel cohorts, and Team CSC.
At the finish, Hincapie was given a perfect lead out by Michael Barry, and was able to hold off Horner and Jufre for his first win of the season. "It was tough," Hincapie told Cyclingnews just after the race. "Those guys were going pretty good. My climbing is not as good as [Levi] right now. We stayed pretty close, and I knew it was a long way from the top of the climb and to the end. It was really steep."
Team CSC still in the hunt
Team CSC was also well represented in the Stage 2 finishing group, with David Zabriskie, Bobby Julich and Christian Vande Velde all in the cut. All are in the top 10 going into tomorrow's time trial, with Julich the best placed in third at nine seconds.
"The stage could have turned out differently had Zabriskie been able to bridge up on his own," said team manager Bjarne Riis on team-csc.com. "But when he didn't, we did everything we could in order to catch the Leipheimer group and bring the first peloton back together again. The team did a tremendous job, and we managed to turn things around. This means we still have the opportunity to decide the race in tomorrow's time trial."
Levi Leipheimer diary: Keeping watch over tomorrow
It was a big day today - with George taking the jersey - but I think I'm still in a good position. I'm four seconds behind, and tomorrow the time trial is 27km so I think that four seconds should be ok. After a good prologue on the opening day, I'm fairly confident going into tomorrow, and I think on the climb today I showed I was the strongest rider so I'm pretty confident.
I wish the time trial were a little more hilly then I would be very confident; but there's a big part of it that's flat and straight and windy, so we'll see. My legs are feeling good after today, and the guys in the team did an absolutely perfect job out there - we started off conservatively, and it ended up that only two of them had to ride the whole day. Everybody on the team is riding well right now, and their legs are feeling about as good as mine are. Fabian [Wegmann] was sick the first couple of days but he's pulling out of it now, and he's getting back to where he wants to be.
Discovery came to the front and they tried to push the pace a little today but it didn't really work - then we were at the last climb and immediately the field split down to a small group with only three of us at the top. It was just Floyd [Landis], myself and Bernhard Kohl from T-Mobile - we gave it a good go, but the group came back to us as once we got to the bottom where the roads were flat and straight, and it was easy for the field to come back to us with about five kilometres to go.
Click here for the full diary entry.
Sprinter Danilo Hondo is feeling optimistic again and hopes to return to pro cycling shortly, despite his recently announced two-year ban for doping. The Swiss Kantonsgericht has agreed to hear his appeal of the decision handed down by the CAS on January. Hondo's attorney, Michael Lehner, said that he filed the appeal in the Kantonsgericht instead of the Swiss national court because all the parties involved were located within Kanton Waadt. Lehner and Hondo asked the court to set the CAS decision aside entirely. They have also asked the court to allow Hondo to ride professionally again until it issues its decision.
In anticipation of a favourable court decision, Hondo has already asked agent Toni Rominger to look for a team for him, the Lausitzer Rundschau reports. "Toni is holding discussions and checking out the situation for me," he said. "I am optimistic again and hope to be able to race again as of April 1. It would be nice to be with a Pro Tour team - but it's not necessary. I could also imagine to ride for a German GS-II team."
Hondo has just returned from South Africa, where he trained with T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich, Giuseppe Guerini, Matthias Kessler, and Andreas Klöden. While there he was hit by a car, but not seriously injured.
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer
Steinhauser to direct Bayern Rundfahrt
Former T-Mobile rider Tobias Steinhauser has been named sports director for the Bayern Rundfahrt. "Bavaria is my home and the best German tour takes place exactly there," he said, adding that organiser Ewald Strohmeier is the main reason he accepted the job. "I didn't hesitate long when he called to offer me the job." The Bayern Rundfahrt (Tour of Bavaria) takes place May 24 to 28. Steinhauser rode professionally from 1996 to 2005, for, among others, Mapei, Gerolsteiner, Coast/Bianchi and T-Mobile.
His last team, T-Mobile, has announced that it will ride in the Bayern Rundfahrt, and hopes to send Patrik Sinkewitz. "It's still a little early to be definite, but there's a good possibility that he will start there," said T-Mobile's Sport Director Mario Kummer.
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer
Davis and Barredo on the hunt for more wins
The Liberty Seguros-Würth Team is currently racing in the Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana, which had its first stage today. The Liberty squad is very similar to that which rode in the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, with Luis León Sanchez and Iván Santos being the absent riders. The in-form Allan Davis and Carlos Barredo are leading the team, supported by Aaron Kemps, Koen de Kort, Jose Antonio Redondo, Jose Joaquín Rojas, Eladio Sanchez and Sergey Yakovlev.
After Valenciana, Liberty Seguros will ride the Classica Almeria on Sunday, February 26. with Allan Davis, David Etxebarria, Javier R. Abeja, Carlos Abellán, Dariusz Baranowski, Iván Santos, Marcos Serrano and Ángel Vicioso. It's almost the same team that will do the Vuelta a Murcia from March 1, where Alexander Vinokourov will make his debut for the team in place of Davis.
Sydney hosts final track World Cup
193 riders from 35 countries, including four reigning World Champions, are headed to Australia for the final found of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics Series being staged at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome from March 3-5.
The team to beat in Sydney will be the series leader, The Netherlands, headed by 2005 kilometre time trial World Champion and Olympic sprint silver medallist, Theo Bos. The Dutch team, who arrived in Sydney last week to prepare for the round, also boasts current keirin world champion, Teun Mulder and dual bronze medallist from last year's Los Angeles World Championships, Yvonne Hijgenaar.
Volodymyr Rybin of the Ukraine will come into the event wearing the rainbow jersey of world champion in the points race while his team mate Lyudmyla Vypyraylo leads the World Cup standings in the women's scratch race competition. The American team has benefited from recent competition at the Australian Track Cycling Championships, where reigning Christian Stahl claimed silver in the men's sprint and Jennie Reed picked up bronze in the women's sprint.
New Zealand's team will be using the event as final preparation for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games with Greg Henderson, the 2004 gold and 2005 silver medallist at the World Championships in the scratch race, a strong favourite. Vera Carrara, a past World Cup Series Champion in the points race, is currently racing in the Geelong Tour and will contest the Geelong World Cup on the road before flying to Sydney to join the Italian track team.
The French team will boast multiple World and Olympic medallist, Arnaud Tournant while reigning scratch race World Champion, Alex Rasmussen, will feature for Denmark.
The Sydney World Cup will also be the final hit out for Australians Ben Kersten, Anna Meares, Shane Perkins and Sean Finning before they line up in the Commonwealth Games ten days later in Melbourne.
The Australian Cyclones team boasts a host of gold medallists from the recent Australian Track Cycling Championships. 2003 junior world champion and newly crowned Australian elite points race champion, Miles Olman from Queensland will add his weight to the teams pursuit line up and team with fellow South Australia.com - AIS team member, Simon Clarke for the Madison. Last weekend the pair claimed the Australian Madison Title in Melbourne.
500 metre time trial Australian Champion, Kristine Bayley, and junior rider Tess Downing, who claimed four gold and one silver at the Australian Titles earlier this month will feature in the women's events for Australia.
The countries competing are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Belarus, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Paraguay, Poland, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Uruguay and the United States of America.
Tickets to the Sydney World Cup are available through Ticketmaster - Tel: +61 1300 136 122 or at the venue.
IMAX teams up with new women's squad for Wired to Win premiere
With the premiere of the new IMAX film Wired to Win on February 23, fledgling women's team Chase Smart Mercedes-Benz will launch its squad at Melbourne's IMAX theatre at 7pm the same evening to coincide the release of the film. As a special for Cyclingnews readers, mention the Chase Smart Mercedes-Benz women's team on arrival and receive tickets for $12.50 instead of the normal $17.00 admission.
The production, which is made by Partners HealthCare and nWave Pictures and has support from Ortho McNeil Neurologics and the U.S. National Science Foundation, features Australian sprinter Baden Cooke as he rides to a green jersey at the 2003 Tour de France. It examines a rider's ability to handle pain and compete in what is arguably one of world's toughest sporting competitions. It's sure to provide a fascinating insight into what it takes to succeed and the extent of riders' mental and physical limits.
See http://www.imaxmelbourne.com.au/ for more details
Irish season commences
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
Two clubs steeped in the tradition of cycling at all levels are set to ignite the 2006 Irish cycling season this coming Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday, Bray Wheelers will host a race in Co. Wicklow starting at 11:00 from the Wheelers' clubhouse in Bray. All categories will be catered for, but to make it interesting and fair, the race is being run on a handicap basis. If everything goes to plan, the handicapper should be rewarded with the scratch group making the junction and making it a spectacle for the public at the finish. The distance is 65 km and the finish is at Fassaroe, where the survivors will have to negotiate a sharp incline. Down south in the Kingdom of Kerry, the scene is set again for the Lacey Cup the following day. The organisers, the Earl of Desmond/Tralee Bicycle Club, state that it's not a race for the favourites, rather an early season form tester. The wind, occasional rain and rolling countryside of the Dingle Peninsula should take its toll on the riders as they begin another racing season. Sign on is from 10:30 at the KDYS hall, Denny Street Tralee. The race will be neutralised at 12:00 to the Dingle Road start line.
Like Bray, this event is also handicapped and the Earl of Desmond Club has an uphill finish to sort everybody out. It benefits the judges in sorting out the finishing order and avoids controversy about placings.
Whilst Bray has no obvious favourite to keep the title in the club for the Saturday event, the Earl of Desmond is in a much cosier position. Paul Griffin from Tralee, who is now with the Giant Asia team and has three tours in his legs, the most recent being the Tour de Langkawi, has to be the odds-on favourite to keep the spoils in Tralee. Paul will also have the support of the local club, and in particular Sean Lacey. The defending champion Rory Wyley is an early season specialist, and according to informed sources has been getting in the training miles.
Cyclingnews' WAP service delivers the Tour of California and more
As the Tour of California winds its way south from the San Francisco Bay area to the greater Los Angeles area, cycling fans don't have to miss the action thanks to Cyclingnews' free WAP service.
Just go to live.cyclingnews.com/wap on your handheld device or WAP-enabled phone and you can follow all the action of the 2006 Tour of California.
Cyclingnews publisher Gerard Knapp explained how the WAP service allows users to follow all the action. "All efforts have been made to ensure our Cyclingnews WAP service works really well, and after a lot of testing and research, we know it's far superior to SMS updates - we're the only web site in the world offering a free WAP service. Anyone with a WAP compatible handset or handheld device can get our WAP service link and watch live coverage free of charge from CN, although users may require a data package/browsing rate from their mobile phone company."
Any of Cyclingnews' live coverage can be followed via this free service.
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