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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for June 9, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones & Hedwig Kröner

Coming up on

Cyclingnews will cover the 60th edition of the Dauphiné Libéré live as of stage 4 on Wednesday, June 10, at approximately 15:00 local Europe time (CEST)/ 23:00 Australian time (CDT)/ 9:00 (USA East).

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Dauphiné Libéré stage 4 wrap-up

Menchov tames the Ventoux again; Leipheimer in yellow

Denis Menchov (Rabobank)
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

For the second time in his career, Russian Denis Menchov has won the Dauphiné Libéré's Mont Ventoux stage, beating Christophe Moreau (AG2R) and Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner) to the summit of the legendary Giant of Provence. Menchov also won the stage in 2002, while riding for Banesto, and the Vuelta a España winner proved that he was on the right track for the Tour de France.

Levi Leipheimer, who finished third at 15 seconds, took over the leader's jersey in the process, and said that he intends to defend it over the coming days. "I definitely want to win the Dauphiné," he said. "Last year I let it slip through my fingers (the day after the Ventoux, he let a breakaway go with Axel Merckx and eventual winner Iñigo Landaluze, ed.). It's a beautiful race. I would love to win it. I will give everything."

The 186 km stage between Tain-l’Hermitage and Le Mont-Ventoux saw a nine man break go clear early on, containing Joost Posthuma (Rabobank), Cédric Vasseur (Quick Step) and Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), among others. But they were only allowed a maximum of six minutes as Française des Jeux (for leader Gilbert) rode tempo. At the foot of Ventoux, they had less than three minutes, and were quickly swallowed by the bunch. After Oscar Sevilla attacked first, it was the turn of José Azevedo (Discovery Channel), who gained 45 seconds by Chalet-Reynard with 6 km to go. But then Leipheimer led Menchov and Moreau up to the Portuguese rider, and the four fought it out for the stage honours.

Click here for full results, report & photos

Post-stage quotes

By Jean-François Quénet in Vaison-la-Romaine

Christophe Moreau (AG2R, 2nd)

Christophe Moreau (AG2R)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

"I've never climbed the Ventoux as well as today. For a 35 year-old, I had good feelings. It confirms what I did in the Tour of Catalunya (he finished 3rd - ed.). I would have been happy with a second place this morning but at the end of the day, it's frustrating to miss the stage win. Paco (Mancebo) wasn't feeling super and he told me to attack."

Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux, 38th at 5'43, 3rd overall)

"My team did a good job keeping the gap reasonable between the breakaway and the bunch. We thought that Phonak and Gerolsteiner would work at the end. Phonak did it. I didn't want to push myself too far on the Mont Ventoux. I was in 40th position at the beginning of the climb. I was riding at my speed. Passing riders who had exploded was good for my morale, for example when I saw Floyd Landis.

"For the last 7 or 8 kilometres, Sébastien Joly did a lot of work for me. He protected me from the side wind. We didn't know how he had recovered from the breakaway two days ago, but he was ok again after suffering during the time trial. I've never had a guy helping me as much as he does. There are two more difficult days to come. I'll try to limit the damage as well as today."

Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis, 55th at 9'22)

"It was my first time on the Mont Ventoux and I was disappointed that didn't see the Tom Simpson memorial. I looked for it but I didn't know exactly where it was and I suppose it was hidden by spectators."

Saiz steps aside

The manager of the 'new' Astaná - Würth team, has voluntarily stepped aside from his position in the team, and will leave the organisation up to his technical staff. Saiz, who is one of those implicated in the 'Operacion Puerto' affair, made the decision "in order to safeguard the continuity of the team to the maximum, and for the good of cycling in general," according to a team statement.

"Astaná - Würth is fulfilling the sporting commitments that had undertaken this season, under the authority of the directors, and it is going to continue doing it in the future, in the medium and long term."

Saiz will not appear at any of the events that the team takes part in, and will also absent himself from the UCI ProTour council for the time being.

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'

May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
May 15, 2009 - Valverde not welcome in Denmark
May 14, 2009 - Spanish federation wants proof in Valverde case
May 13, 2009 - Spanish Olympic Committee defends Valverde
May 12, 2009 - Valverde responds to sanction
May 11, 2009 - Italian tribunal delivers Valverde two-year suspension
May 8, 2009 - Valverde case: Italian Olympic Committee defends Torri
May 7, 2009 - Valverde to take legal action against CONI prosecutor
May 5, 2009 - WADA and Spanish federation join CONI and UCI on Valverde
May 1, 2009 - International Cycling Union joins in on Valverde's hearing in Italy

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of Operación Puerto

Evans extends with Davitamon

After several riders of the Belgian Davitamon-Lotto team have committed to stay for 2007 and 2008, the team's leader, Australian Cadel Evans, has also extended his contract with the outfit. Even though he was courted by other ProTour teams, the former mountain biker opted to stick to Davitamon after having spent fruitless years with German T-Mobile before leaving for Davitamon last year.

The team management is very satisfied with Evans' performances, who despite a collarbone fracture managed to finish eighth in the Tour de France 2005. This season, the 29 year-old has already proven his worth at the Tour de Romandie, where he won the time trial as well as the general classification.

Evans is currently preparing for the next challenge, the Tour de France, where Davitamon-Lotto expect him to improve his 2005 placing. The team has also announced that Bert Roesems has also signed on with Davitamon for another two years.

Milram for Tour de Suisse

Italian squad Milram has announced its rider line-up for the upcoming Tour de Suisse. Headed by Erik Zabel, the following riders will help the German: Simone Cadamuro, Mirko Celestino, Marco Velo, Ralf Grabsch, Enrico Poitschke, Björn Schröder and Giovanni Visconti.

ProTour licensing process opened

As the ProTour licences for the teams Phonak, T-Mobile and Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears are due to expire at the end of 2006, the registration process for the candidature files for a UCI ProTour licence have been opened. The following candidatures will be submitted to the Licences Commission: Olaf Ludwig Cycling GmbH (T-Mobile Team), ARcycling AG (Phonak Hearing Systems), Abarca Sports S.L. (Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears), Foundation Bvba (Unibet), Graybell Management Ltd (Barloworld), San Marco Srl (merger between 3C Casalinghi Jet Androni and LPR).

In T-Mobile's case, "We wanted to extend it last year, but they told us we had to wait until this year to apply for the extension," said team manager Olaf Ludwig. "We did it on the due date of May 31." When the ProTour started in 2004, T-Mobile applied for only a two-year licence, as did teams Phonak and Illes Balears.

The Licences Commission is also to take a decision concerning the request of Saunier Duval and Team Milram, whose ProTour licenses will finish in 2008, and who applied for an extension until 2010.

'Baby Giro' under way

On Friday, June 9, the 35th Giro d'Italia for professionals under 26 years of age will kick off in Caserta with an individual time trial over 8.5 kilometres.

22 Italian and eight foreign teams will participate to make up a peloton of 180 riders of 22 different nations. U23 World Champion Dimitry Grabovskyy is amongst the better-known names of participants. The 'Baby Giro' will end in Boleano on June 18 after ten days of racing and 1,251 kilometres.

Scottish Cycling appoints National Development Coach

Scottish Cycling has announced the appointment of Gary Willis as its National Development Coach. Willis will work with the Scotland junior team as well as being involved in developing a youth team capable of competing nationally and identifying individuals with the talent to be involved with Great Britain squads.

The current youth development coach at Scottish Cycling takes up his position on June 12. "Through our work with regional academies, the Go-Ride scheme and schools throughout the country, we have identified a number of riders with the potential to do well in the sport and possibly to follow the likes of Chris Hoy, Craig MacLean and Kate Cullen and compete at the highest level," Willis said. "My success in the job will be measured by the number of Scots who get onto Great Britain squads. It’s a great honour for me to be handed the opportunity to help these youngsters develop and I can't wait to get started in my new role."

Willis' other duties will include working with coaches at the regional academies throughout Scotland to help promising young riders to achieve their potential. This will incorporate education and fitness testing and working with bodies such as the Great Britain World Class Performance Plan, Scottish Institute of Sport and Sportscotland.

Newbridge CC/Ena Loakman in clover

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

Newbridge Cycling Club, by a strange quirk of timing, has avoided the log jam of events each and every Sunday prior to the FBD Insurance Ras. This Sunday, they have the calendar to themselves, albeit at late notice.

Together with the Newbridge Credit Union & Ena Loakman Remax First Choice, they will stage one of Ireland’s toughest cycling events over the hills of Boston and Dunmurray. The Newbridge GP will provide tough racing for the competitors as they battle it out over a gruelling six laps of a 13 mile circuit. "We will cater for all categories," said race organiser John Malone, who only got a last minute sanction from Cycling Ireland to stage the event.

Senior 1 racing will commence at 12.30pm and will be neutralized out to the Milltown circuit, with the senior 2 event following suit at, followed by senior 3, juniors, veterans and ladies at 12.45 pm. All finishes will be in the Rathbride area on the edge of the Curragh and the first event is expected to finish around 3pm.

The Ena Loakman Remax First Choice Team of Seamus Kelly, Daire O Sullivan, Cormac O' Shea, Jonathan Malone, Damian Mitchell, Kenny Buck and Owen Fitzsimons will be hoping for success on behalf of the promoting club, whilst the organiser has high hopes of keeping the silverware in the club. The opposition descending on the town of Newbridge will have a different agenda.

Limerick CC’s Bob Murray certainly gave the Shannon-side city plenty to cheer about last weekend in the Bayview Hotel Ras Dun NanGall. Winning the third stage was a real bonus, "Unfortunately, I did have the misfortune to crash on stage one, but the win on the third stage was simply magic. We'll give it another go on Sunday," said Murray.

Other good news for the Newbridge club is that Mark Fitzsimons, who only took up road racing after a transition period of mountain biking, has been selected to travel to the Sean Kelly Racing Academy in Belgium.

"The Grand Prix was not listed on the official Cycling Ireland handbook, so we are making a big drive to make sure everyone knows that there is a race this Sunday and also on Wednesday evening the 21st of June, when the Paddy Flanagan will be staged in Kildare town," said race organiser John Malone, who makes a significant contribution to cycling, particularly on radio and the print media in the Kildare area.

TIAA-CREF gets 'adopted'

Jason Getchell accepts the award
Photo ©: Theresa Kirby
(Click for larger image)

John Boccella, the mayor of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, USA has proclaimed the TIAA-Cref cycling team to be the official "Home Team" of his Borough. One day after visiting students and staff at Conshohocken Elementary School, the community’s leaders were so impressed that they decided to honour the team.

"In honour of their service to the youth of Conshohocken I, mayor of the Borough of Conshohocken hereby adopt the TIAA-CREF Professional Cycling Team as Conshohocken’s Official 'Home Team' in Pennsylvania’s 'Commerce Bank Triple Crown of Cycling Benefiting Fox Chase Cancer Center' and the team’s other races throughout the world," read part of the mayoral proclamation.

Jason Getchell, a first grader at Conshohocken Elementary School, accepted the award on behalf of the team, who were preparing for the following day's race over an hour away in Reading. As one of the students who benefited from TIAA-CREF’s act of service, Jason was more than happy to get dressed up and help the team.

Cronulla International Criterium

Australian race organisers John Scott and Phill Bates, AM have announced the first Cronulla International Criterium to be held on December 16, 2006, in Cronulla, NSW. The day will feature masters racing, graded men's racing, some of Australia’s top women cyclists, under 17 and under 15 races, culminating in an elite professional race featuring many of the Tour de France stars headed by Robbie McEwen. The 1.34 kilometre circuit is located between Wanda and Elouera, has the Ocean as a backdrop, and will offer a total of $10,000 in prizemoney for the cyclists.

Organisers are also working towards staging a charity bike ride from the AJC Centre at Randwick to Cronulla via La Perouse and Kurnell, to coincide with the day of cycling activities. Sutherland Shire Council are also keen to promote the region and the event will be staged one year after the riots that did so much damage to the image of Cronulla.

Who will win the World Cup?

By Susan Westemeyer

The Dauphiné Libéré, the Tour de Suisse, even the Tour de France - these are all secondary sporting events in Germany right now. The burning question is actually: Who will win the World Cup? The world's football championship is being hosted by Germany this year, and the German ProTour teams are naturally eager to voice their opinions as to who the eventual winner will be. Who the German riders want to win is obvious: the home team. But who do they think actually will win? Brazil.

Gerolsteiner and T-Mobile informally polled their teams. The Germans Olaf Pollack, Hans-Michael Holczer, Christian Henn, Markus Fothen, Stefan Schumacher and Robert Förster all pick Brazil as the likely winner, as do the Italian Giuseppe Guerini and the Swiss riders Beat Zberg and Sven Montgomery. Mick Rogers' heart beats for his home team of Australia, and the Netherlands' Bas Giling roots for the Orange team. Austrian Peter Wrolich, with no national team in the World Cup to cheer for, looks for Argentina or England to win.

And who says that women don't understand football? Judith Arndt is the only one who has picked the real winner: "The best team, because in football you are only successful as a team. Just like in cycling."

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