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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

Latest Cycling News for January 25, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones

Discovery presents life after Lance

After winning seven Tours, a couple of Vueltas and a Giro d'Italia, Discovery Channel is one of the most successful teams in the peloton. But without Lance Armstrong, who retired last year, where do they go now? Mark Zalewski reports from the team presentation in Beverly Hills, California.

The 2006 Disovery Channel team.
Photo ©: Mark Zalewski
(Click for larger image)

Coinciding with its celebrity nature, the 2006 Discovery Channel team presentation took place in Beverly Hills, California - right next to Hollywood on Tuesday. And the biggest stars of the team were on hand to tell the world what they have in store for 2006: winning races like Paris-Roubaix and contending for the overall in the Grand Tours.

Even though Lance Armstrong has hung-up the bike, he still remains as involved as ever, joining the team onstage and joining team director Johan Bruyneel in a press Q & A.

Right away, the questions came flying - who is taking over for Lance? "There is never a competition on the team who is going to be the leader. Everybody has his objectives. We have a strong leader for the Giro, he won the race two times. And a few strong riders who are going to support them there. There are three or four other riders who will have an opportunity to be a leader in the Tour de France. But there is never a competition within the team to decide who is the leader. I think everybody knows we have three or for guys who can be in the top ten. We will start with that goal. Then deciding on how the race goes - who is stronger than the other, what the race situation decides. In general, the problem is solved by the race."

Click here for the full feature

Millar wants to set an example

British cyclist David Millar is set to return to racing in June this year after a two year ban for admitting to the use of EPO. Millar has signed a contract with ProTour team Saunier Duval, and is determined to come back as a clean rider to set an example to others that they can compete without doping.

During his ban, Millar worked with young riders in Britain, as he explained in an interview with Spanish daily AS. "Yes, politically it wasn't very correct, as I was still sanctioned for doping. But my idea was to get across to them that the sport can be clean."

Millar admitted that taking EPO was a "wrong decision" and realises, "For some, my name will never be clean. But for those who can understand it, in this second stage of my career, I want to show with results that I can be a clean athlete...Competing without external help, to become an icon of clean cycling and use my case as an example for the young. There are many idiots who believe that you can't win without drugs, and we must convince the new generations that this isn't the case."

Millar's ban runs out on June 23. His first race will be the Tour prologue in Strasbourg, a race that suits his abilities, even if he has a lack of race condition. "I'm going to train hard for that day. I'm even preparing a special bike. I know that it's going to be very difficult, but it's a short distance and I have a chance to win."

Di Luca awarded

The first ProTour winner, Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas-Bianchi) has been awarded at an event on Tuesday, organised by Monica Baldi, member of Italian Parliament and president of the national parliamentary cycling team. The Liquigas captain was awarded with a silver medal by president of the Chamber of Deputies, Pierferdinando Casini. Paolo Bettini and Franco Ballerini, director of the Italian national cycling team, were also awarded.

"An unusual but pleasant day," Di Luca commented. "I've seen how passionate many members of Parliament are about cycling. Mr Casini, who awarded me, has especially proved to be skilled at our sport."

During the event, a preview of a film dealing with the story of Gino Bartali was shown. "I believe it will be a success: as far as we can realise, the great richness of Bartaliís sport and personal story will emerge for sure."

De Waele has sore knees

Landbouwkrediet-Colnago rider Bert de Waele is suffering from sore knees. Team doctor Michael Dick has ordered De Waele to rest for two days and then to follow an individual training program. He will remain at the team's training camp in Italy, and if things don't improve before Monday, a deeper examination will be performed. De Waele will not be starting in the GP Ouverture or Etoile des BessŤges races, and will be replaced by James Vanlandschoot.

Pantani monument on Mortirolo

The Italian Professional Riders Association (ACCPI) will erect a monument to deceased climber Marco Pantani on the Mortirolo, one of the toughest climbs that is used in the Giro d'Italia. The monument will take the form of a sloping steel platform attached to the wall of one of the most demanding bends of the Mortirolo. A three-dimensional figure of Marco Pantani in racing crouch will sit on top of the platform, looking at his rivals as they come up the mountain.

The monument will be the work of Michele Biz, Alessandro Broggio and Alberto Pasqual, and is the result of a contest promoted by the ACCPI. The winning entry was chosen by ACCPI President, Amedeo Colombo, Felice Gimondi, Gianni Bugno, Claudio Chiappucci, Marino Vigna and members of the Municipality of Mazzo di Valtellina, led by Councillor Bombardieri.

"It wasn't easy to choose: we have looked at eight proposals, every one was very good," said Andrea Colombo. "In the end, the great majority of the jury chose the idea of Biz, Broggio and Pasqual. Now we will try to unveil the monument before May 27, when the Giro will pass over the Mortirolo."

Biz, Broggio and Pasqual aim at "remembering Pantani in a simple and direct way, through the purity of the gesture characterising the Pirata, avoiding any kind of rhetoric."

New Zealand's Commonwealth Games team announced

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has announced that New Zealand is sending the maximum number of cyclists allowed to represent the country at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Included in the 33-strong cycling team are 15 road cyclists, 12 track cyclists and 6 cross country mountain bikers. Some riders will ride in both road and track events.

The team

Jason Allen (Blenheim)
Clinton Avery - MTBXC (Rotorua)
Richard Bowker (Auckland)
Tamara Boyd (Christchurch)
Toni Bradshaw (Auckland)
Fiona Carswell (Christchurch)
Sonia Foote - MTBXC (Rotorua)
Timothy Gudsell (Te Awamutu)
Justin Grace (Auckland)
Hayden Godfrey (Christchurch)
Melissa Holt (Cambridge)
Greg Henderson (Dunedin)
Logan Hutchings (Papamoa)
Michelle Hyland (Cambridge)
Rosara Joseph - MTBXC (Wellington)
Joanne Kiesanowski (Christchurch)
Peter Latham (Te Awamutu)
Kashi Leuchs - MTBXC (Dunedin)
Gordon Mccauley (Auckland)
Glen Mitchell (USA)
Mike Northcott - MTBXC (Taupo)
Robin Reid (Blenheim)
Hayden Roulston (Ashburton)
Marc Ryan (Timaru)
Nathan Seddon (Dunedin)
Catherine Sell (Wanganui)
Adam Stewart (Christchurch)
Alison Shanks (Dunedin)
Sarah Ulmer (Cambridge)
Paddy Walker (Auckland)
Elizabeth Williams (Auckland)
Susie Wood (Nelson)
Robyn Wong - MTBXC (Wellington)


Michael Flynn - Section Manager
Terry Gyde - Head Track Coach
Tim Carswell - Track Sprint Coach
Jacques Landry - Head Road Coach
Susie Pryde - WomeníS Endurance Coach
John Lee - MeníS MTB Coach
Paul Holloway - Physiotherapist
Tessa Sollart - Physiotherapist
Steve Wallis - Mechanic
Selby Marshall - Mechanic

Can you beat Tyler Hamilton?

The Tyler Hamilton Foundation will be the charity beneficiary of the upcoming Austin, TX, hill climb event, the 3rd Annual "Rio" King of Jester. Hamilton is challenging cyclists across the USA to participate and record their best times in the March 5th race. Hamilton will travel to Austin later in 2006 to take on the hill, trying to better the top 10 riders who will also be invited back to race.

"THF is honoured to be chosen as the beneficiary of this fun event and I personally look forward to racing against the winners," Hamilton said. "I welcome the challenge and appreciate the generosity of all involved. This is another example of how the sport of cycling can make a difference in the lives of others. We believe in the power of cycling to heal and the power of cyclists to help."

The "Rio" King of Jester challenges runners, cyclists, and many others to take on Jester Blvd, Austin's steepest hill. The King and Queen of Jester will be crowned based on the results of the time trial - a half mile climb that is over 20% grade. There are divisions for cyclists, runners, and alternate human power (like in-line skates and unicycles). And at the bottom of the hill, there will be a huge party with music, food, and product demos.

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