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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for January 9, 2006

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

Cycling tragedy in Wales

Four riders killed

A group of 12 cyclists, all members of the Welsh Rhyl Cycling Club, were riding on the A547 Ludland Road when a car spun sideways into their path near Abergele, killing four of them, including a boy. Thomas Harland, 14, Maurice Broadbent, 61, Dave Horrocks, 55, and Wayne Wilkes, 42, died on the scene of the accident shortly after 10am on Sunday morning.

The driver of the car apparently lost control of his vehicle because of icy road surface in a left hand bend, striking a wall and rebounding into the road. He is not reported to have exceeded speed limits. "Our best estimate at the moment is that the car was driving at something like 50 miles per hour," Chief Inspector Lyn Adams from North Wales Police told British media. "And on a road like this, that isn't excessive speed. Every road traffic collision is treated as a crime scene and tests have already been carried out. However, there is nothing to suggest the driver did anything but lose control and on the face of it this seems to be a terrible accident."

Thomas Harland's father suffered a broken leg, and the four other adult riders and three children in the group were uninjured. it appears that there was a another accident on the same road an hour previously after a car lost control on the ice.

Cyclingnews extends its condolences to the family and friends of the riders.

Cyclo-crosser Zlamalik positive

Czech cyclo-crosser Martin Zlamalik has had a positive A test for the banned stimulant ephedrine after the Budvar Cup round five in Plzen, on November 19, 2005.

Zlamalik, who placed fourth that day, has applied for the B sample to be tested. "I don't want to point to anyone or anything in excuse, but I don't understand it," the 23 year-old said on Friday, January 6, 2006. "That is why I've asked for the B sample to be examined but I don't know the result as yet."

The 2003 European U23 champion denied the use of the doping substance. "I believe that the A sample will turn out to be an error and that I will not face any punishment," Zlamalik said.

Rebellin stays Italian

L-B-L 2004: Davide Rebellin achieved the first triple of this kind ever
Photo ©: Elmar Krings

Gerolsteiner rider Davide Rebellin has finally opted to leave his plans of becoming Argentinean behind. The Italian had started to apply for Argentinean citizenship in 2004, as Italy's national selector Franco Ballerini had not appointed him to the roster participating at the World Championships in Verona, close to Rebellin's home. The now 34 year-old could not participate in the men's road race at the time, nor in the 2005 event in Madrid, Spain, but is keen to represent his country again in this year's World's in Salzburg, Austria.

"I've ditched the paperwork for Argentinean citizenship," Rebellin told Italian website "I'm open to take up the dialogue with Ballerini again because the Austrian course suits my capacities. I really want to participate."

The man who won the Amstel Gold Race, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallonne in one beautiful week in 2004 experienced a less successful season last year, but is ready to start anew. "In mid-February, I'll start at the Volta ao Algarve - from there, I hope to find good form to come up with something [in Milano-Sanremo] to prevent a sprint finish," Rebellin said.

The classics leader of German team Gerolsteiner hasn't decided on his participation in the Giro d'Italia yet. "It's clear that I will give the maximum in these races [meaning Amstel Gold, Liège and Flèche - ed.]," he continued. "I'll only decide subsequently if I can participate in the Giro to aim for stage wins and maybe even wear the Maglia rosa again like I did ten years ago." For the season's end, Rebellin also named the Giro di Lombardia as one of his major goals.

2006 Tirreno Adriatico with 21 teams

The organisers of stage race Tirreno Adriatico, taking place from March 8-14, have announced the invitation of 21 teams to their event in 2006. Although the status of the race is uncertain as it is managed by RCS, one of the Grand Tours organisers are currently seeking to create a series of their own, RCS has selected all of the 20 ProTour teams to be invited, as well as Continental Pro team Panaria-Navigare.

The 41st edition of Tirreno-Adriatico will again overlap with French "race to the sun", Paris-Nice taking place from March 5-12, 2006.

Team Milram to be presented

The new Italo-German merger Team Milram will host its official presentation in Bremen, North Germany, on Tuesday, January 10. At the sponsor's headquarters, all of the 30 riders - including 15 Italians, 10 Germans, two Ukrainians, one Kazakh, one Dutchman and one Slovakian - will be revealed to the public.

Mainly structured around its two star leaders Alessandro Petacchi and Erik Zabel, the team is bound for great sprint victories but also has a classics hunter among its ranks: Mirko Celestino, who will be aiming for one day races such as the Giro di Lombardia and the HEW Cyclassics in Hamburg. "We have a well-structured squad which suits the level of the team's champions," said General Manager Gianluigi Stanga. "We hope to bring on good results, above all in the sprints. But we also have a group of young riders in which we believe very much - I expect them to do well this year already."

The last addition to the now complete roster is German Dennis Haueisen from Continental team RSH. His father, Lutz Haueisen, achieved two World Championships in the points race on the track.

Sinkewitz limited by knee infection

Patrik Sinkewitz is not able to start the season with his new T-Mobile Team the way he wanted to: an infection under his kneecap is severely limiting his training at the moment. "I can't put my full weight on the knee," Sinkewitz said on the team's website.

Team doctor Lothar Heinrich put the blame on a new pedaling technique Sinkewitz had been trying. The pain started over the holidays, after the winner of the 2004 Deutschland Tour had returned from three weeks' training in South Africa with teammates, including Jan Ullrich, but before he traveled to Mallorca on January 1. Heinrich prescribed limited training for the young rider, saying, "Patrik is very ambitious, we have to hold him back so that he doesn't begin too soon with intensive training."

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Signings at GT team

By Steve Medcroft

Early this week, GT Bicycles announced the re-signings of U.S. Cyclo-cross National Champion Todd Wells and mountain-biking patriarch Hans Rey and the signing South African Burry Stander to their 2006 MTB roster.

Stander rides cross-country and short-track MTB and 2006 will be his first year as a pro. Career highlights include being the South African Junior XC champion in 2003, 2004 and in 2005. Also in 2005, Stander took first at the Sandpoint XC and STXC races as well as the Snowmass STXC competition.

"My highlights in 2005 were definitely the three NORBA Junior races that I won on my first trip to the states," Stander said. "In 2006 I hope to finish in a top 5 position in the NORBA STXC or XC Series." Stander announced that he will be racing "all the NORBA's, Sea Otter, Commonwealth Games, South African Championships and a few World Cups."

Wells returns to GT after a season capped by a win at Cyclo-cross Nationals and with an ambitious schedule for 2006. His 2005 highlights (as well as the 'cross championship) include first at the Park City NORA short track, third at the Brain head short track, second in both the U.S. cross-country and short track national championships, second overall at the Tour of Connecticut Stage Road Race, first in the Tour of the Gila criterium and first at the USGP 'cross race in San Francisco. Whew!

Hans Rey, the consummate performer and the Godfather of Freeride, returns to the GT squad in 2006 for his 20th year. Rey was also featured on 20 magazine covers in 2005 and launched his charity, 'Wheels 4 Life'. "My other 2005 highlights were my two main Adventure Team trips to Copper Canyon, Mexico and the Alta Rezia (in the Swiss/Italian Alps) Freeride," he said.

Rey's plans are to focus on Adventure Team trips in 2006. "I'm looking at several possible destinations, including the Philippines, Greenland, and Turkey," he said. "I will also continue working closely with my sponsors, doing trials shows, workshops, and other PR-related stuff."

For more information on GT's athletes and bikes, visit their website at

Marsal a DS at Nobili Rubinetterie

French former cyclist Catherine Marsal will join Italian team Nobili Rubinetterie Menikini Cogeas as a directeur sportif this upcoming season. After finishing her career in 2004, Marsal became a DS at Danish Team SATS last year. The roster of women's team Nobili Rubinetterie includes Edita Pucinskaite, Olga Slyusareva and Olivia Gollan, which Marsal will direct together with Walter Zini.

Baker's Confederation co-sponsors AG2R

The new ProTour team AG2R has announced it will be co-sponsored in 2006 by the French National Baker's Confederation, which will appear on the team jerseys next season. The Confederation represents 34000 bakers in France, and its president, Jean-Pierre Crouzet, was happy about the deal. "We had to find a sport uniting all of the small businesses represented by our confederation," Crouzet said.

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