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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for June 2, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones

Van Petegem leaves Davitamon-Lotto

It's official: Peter Van Petegem will leave the Davitamon-Lotto team, where he has ridden since 2002. The team management stated that it has decided to invest in more young talent, as well as keeping its current crop of successful foreigners like Robbie McEwen, Chris Horner and Cadel Evans. While riding for Davitamon, Van Petegem won some of the most prestigious classics: Het Volk (2002), Ronde Van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix (2003). However, he has not won a race since his famous Roubaix victory three years ago.

Given his strong Belgian roots and his desire to ride for a Belgian ProTour team, the most logical choice for Van Petegem is Quick.Step-Innergetic. "I can't deny that we have talked with Van Petegem," said Quick.Step manager Patrick Lefevere to VRT. "On a sporting level, were are interested, but the financial aspect must also work. We will see what comes out of it. Soon, I'll also have a talk with my sponsors. If they are prepared to do it, then we can negotiate a transfer. Personally, I am not in a hurry."

Ullrich and Rogers at Tour de Suisse

Jan Ullrich and Michael Rogers
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Jan Ullrich has been confirmed to ride the Tour de Suisse as part of his build-up to the Tour de France. Michael Rogers will also use the Swiss stage race, which starts in Baden on June 10, to fine-tune his form ahead of the Tour, which starts on July 1 in Strasbourg.

Ullrich had kept open his pre-Tour race program for as long as possible. In the end, he chose the extra racing days that the TdS provides over the Vuelta a Asturias. "It will be four more race days for Jan and he will benefit from the tough Tour de Suisse parcours to sharpen his form," said the team's manager Olaf Ludwig.

"The fact that I have enjoyed success in this race in the past and that I feel at ease there also influenced my decision," added Ullrich.

Rogers had also originally penciled the Tour of Asturias into his race program. The world time trial champion, who abandoned the Giro d'Italia on stage 13 with severe toothache, has now altered his plans and is set to join Ullrich in Switzerland. Following treatment at the University Clinic Freiburg, Rogers has been given a clean bill of health and is looking forward to the "challenge in the Swiss Alps".

Having opted for the Tour de Suisse, T-Mobile's Tour de France core team have now scratched their plans to scout the Tour's Alpine stages in June. "The visit would have been purely for training purposes, and that is no longer necessary," said Tour D.S. Rudy Pevenage.

Meanwhile, Jan Ullrich will use the time between now and the start of the TdS to do intensive physiotherapy sessions designed to build up his muscle strength. The Swiss race will be the first time he puts in race kilometres alongside Andreas Klöden. "I am really looking forward to that," said Ullrich, who was always confident that the 2004 Tour runner-up would recover from his shoulder injury in time.

Lorenzo Bernucci, Giuseppe Guerini (both Italy), Kim Kirchen (Luxembourg), Sergey Ivanov (Russia), Linus Gerdemann and Patrik Sinkewitz (both Germany) complete T-Mobile's provisional roster at the nine day tour (1468 km) through Switzerland. The final roster will be announced by the middle of next week.

Leipheimer leads Gerolsteiner in "the little Tour de France"

Levi Leipheimer will lead Team Gerolsteiner in the Dauphiné Libéré, and his directeur sportif Christian Henn expects "at least another top ten placing." Last year the American finished third overall in "the little Tour de France," as the team calls it. The race goes over some of the same roads as the bigger Tour, but more importantly, "It's our chance to see where we are for the Tour." According to Henn, "We want to know where we stand. This is not training for us, but a race. And one in which we want to play an important role."

For the expected sprint finishes in the first two stages, the team will be looking to David Kopp and Peter Wrolich. After that the climbers will come into their own - Fabian Wegmann and Ronny Scholz, and especially Leipheimer.

Gerolsteiner for Dauphine Libéré: Frank Høj, David Kopp, Sebastian Lang, Levi Leipheimer, Andrea Moletta, Ronny Scholz, Fabian Wegmann, and Peter Wrolich.

Gerolsteiner for the weekend GPs

The winners of the last three GP Schwarzwald are now riding for Team Gerolsteiner - Torsten Hiekmann (2003), Markus Fothen (2004) and Fabian Wegmann (2005) - and the team will be looking to continue that tradition. Someone else will have to win it, though, as none of those three will be competing. Instead, the team is looking to Georg Totschnig and Stefan Schumacher. "I'm interested to see what Georg will do," says directeur sportif Christian Wegmann. "And we all saw in the Giro what Schumi can do."

The next day, Gerolsteiner will send all four of its Swiss riders to the GP Kanton Aargau in Gippingen, Switzerland. Two of them can look back to good results in the race. Markus Zberg finished second in 2004 and eighth last year, and Marcel Strauss was third last year. The other two Swiss riders are Beat Zberg and Sven Montgomery.

Gerolsteiner for the GP Triberg-Schwarzwald: Thomas Fothen, Heinrich Haussler, Sven Krauss, Sven Montgomery, Volker Ordowski, Matthias Russ, Stefan Schumacher, and Georg Totschnig.

Gerolsteiner for GP Kanton Aargau: Thomas Fothen, Heinrich Haussler, Sven Montgomery, Matthias Russ, Marcel Strauss, Georg Totschnig, Beat Zberg, and Markus Zberg.

Astarloa in America

Team Barloworld will spend eight days racing in the USA in early June, riding the Triple Crown in Pennsylvania. The Team will ride the Lancaster Classic on Sunday June 4, the Reading Classic on Thursday June 8, and then the Philadelphia International Championship on Sunday June 11.

The team will be led by directeur sportif Chris Andersen, with Spain's Igor Astarloa team captain. The races also will be suited to sprinters Enrico Degano and Giosuè Bonomi. They will be supported by Diego Caccia, James Perry and Tom Southam.

"American cycling is very different to that in Europe but it's always an interesting experience" Barloworld team manager Claudio Corti said. "The race in Philadelphia is the most important. It's 240 km long and on a tough circuit where Astarloa could do well. The other races are shorter and easier."

Visiting the home of the Vespa

The Vespa goes to war
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
(Click for larger image)

The Giro d'Italia's eleventh stage Pontedera time trial was important not only for the crucial fifty-kilometre race against the clock, but also for the 89th Giro d'Italia visiting the original home of the Piaggio Vespa scooter, which is currently celebrating its 60th year.

With the Italians known for their style, the sala stampa (press centre) was held in the Museo Piaggio, which, apart from housing a room full of sweaty journos and photographers on a humid Tuscan day, showcased the company's most significant models from its inception in 1948 right through to today.

Click here for Anthony Tan's pictorial look at Vespa history

Annette Beutler joins Buitenpoort - Flexpoint

Swiss rider Annette Beutler has signed for Jean-Paul van Poppel's Buitenpoort - Flexpoint team, switching immediately from RC Elk Haus-Tirol Noè. Beutler is a stage winner in the women's Giro, and last weekend finished fourth in the World Cup race in Montreal. She also is also currently ranked fifth in the World Cup standings. Her first race for Buitenpoort will be the Ster Zeeuwsche Eilanden, a Dutch Topcompetitie race for women between June 15-17.

Wells Fargo Twilight Criterium offers big bucks for 20th anniversary

The Wells Fargo Twilight Criterium in Boise, Idaho, USA, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Saturday, July 22, 2006, has upgraded its prize purse to $25,000 in cash and merchandise.

"We believe the purse for our event is the largest on the West Coast for a one-day cycling event," said Mike Cooley, race director. "We'll be awarding over $15,000 in cash prizes for the Men's Pro 1/2 event and over $6,000 in cash for the Women's Pro 1/2/3."

The course consists of a one-kilometre rectangular loop, with four left-hand turns. Organisers predict close to 20,000 spectators will turn out to watch the race.

Competitors can register for the event from 1:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on race day at the start/finish line located near Main and 8th Streets in downtown Boise, or online at

For more information, visit

Technocycle Brc looking for riders for Reading Classic

Technocycle BRC is looking for category 1/2 riders to participate in the upcoming Commerce Bank Reading Classic Men's event on Thursday June 8th in Reading, Pennsylvania, USA. Housing, clothing and race fees and support provided. Please contact for further information.

SEQ Tour Team to represent Queensland in cycling "State of Origin"

Tripleplay (sports clothing) and the SEQ Tour (South East Queensland race series) have created an elite men’s road team to compete in the 2006 Australian National Road Series (NRS). The 10 rider strong Tripleplay SEQ Tour Team is the only Queensland Team in the NRS, and will therefore represent Queensland on the national stage against the best cycling teams from NSW, Vic, SA, Tas and WA.

The Tripleplay SEQ Tour Team will be a serious contender in what is to become a “Cycling State of Origin” and boasts some the Queensland’s best cycling talent including David and Jeremy Betts, Craig Mackie and Matt Newlands.

The NRS consists of 12 races conducted around Australia and is contested by Australian Continental UCI teams, State Sports Academy teams and sponsored teams. For the first time in 2006, the competition incorporates a teams competition, similar to the SEQ Tour. Teams registered in the NRS included South, Drapac Porsche, Savings and Loan, and FRF Couriers-Caravello.

The Tripleplay SEQ Tour Team will be launched this weekend at the Brisbane Metropolitan Criterium Championships, which will be held at the Murrarie cycle track in Brisbane at 11.00am on June 3.

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