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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for June 14, 2006

Edited by John Stevenson & Les Clarke

Tour de Suisse stage 4 wrap: Vicisio foils the sprinters

Angel Vicioso (Würth)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Angel Vicisio brought some desperately-needed good news to the team formerly known as Liberty Seguros when he won the hilly fourth stage of the Tour of Switzerland in La Chaux-de-Fonds yesterday.

The Würth rider escaped from the peloton with 6 kilometres to go, accompanied by Euskaltel-Euskadi's David Herrero. They hacked out a 16 second margin in the next kilometres and worked together to hold off the charging peloton, powered by the Lampre-Fondital and Rabobank trying to set things up for their sprinters.

With the peloton breathing down their necks as the finish line came in sight, the two duked it out in a one-on-one finale. Vicisio celebrated as he hit the line first while Herrero banged the handlebars in frustration.

Afterwards, Vicisio dedicated the victory to his former team manager Manolo Saiz, who has stood aside while he is being investigated by Spain's Operation Puerto. "I'm very happy to have won the stage and I dedicate it to Manolo Saiz," Vicioso said. Along with three others, including former Kelme team doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, Saiz was arrested on May 23 while allegedly in possession of €60,000 in cash.

"Everybody in our team is going through a difficult time but this win is a boost to our morale and shows we're determined to stay focused and do well."

Vicisio's victory moves him up to fifth place on general classification, 14 seconds behind race leader Nick Nuyens (Quick Step-Innergetic). Nuyens finished 11th on the stage after struggling a little on the steeper sections.

"It wasn't easy, especially on the final climb," he said. "But my team was there for me from the start, and so I could defend the yellow jersey."

Click here for the full results, report & photos.

Gerdemann in form

By Shane Stokes in La Chaux-de-Fonds

As was the case on Monday, Linus Gerdemann was very impressive on the hills of the Tour de Suisse on stage four. The talented young T-Mobile rider had finished second to Nick Nuyens on Sunday's third stage and did what he could to move into yellow one day later, racing clear with Jose Angel Gomez Marchante (Saunier Duval) with 26 kilometres to go. The quick-climbing duo overhauled leaders Rik Verbrugghe (Cofidis), Sylvain Calzati (AG2R Prévoyance) and Marco Fertonani (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears) and then continued ahead, opening up a 20 second lead. However they were finally brought back with 16 kilometres remaining.

Speaking to Cyclingnews after the finish of stage 4, Gerdemann seemed happy with his performance and his form. "I tried to take the jersey but Nick Nuyens was able to come back to us. But I think my legs are okay. I feel I am stronger on the climbs than last year, so I am happy."

T-Mobile appear to have a couple of good riders once the race moves into the mountains on Wednesday. When asked if he would be one of the team's GC riders, he suggested everything would be 100 percent behind Jan Ullrich. "I think Jan was very strong today… we will see," he said.

Wegelius tired but quick

By Shane Stokes in La Chaux-de-Fonds

British rider Charly Wegelius (Liquigas) had a good go on stage four of the Tour de Suisse, attacking in the final 25 kilometres and getting halfway across to the leading break of Linus Gerdemann (T-Mobile) and Jose Angel Gomez Marchante (Saunier Duval). Wegelius was finally hauled back but his aggression is a further confirmation that he is continuing to develop well as a rider.

As he did earlier in the race, he stressed that he was very tired after the Giro d'Italia. "Since the Giro I don't really feel good but I am riding quite quickly. Stefano [Garzelli] said I could go on the last hill, when he lost a little bit of time. I don't really want to take a chance like that and just sit in the group… perhaps I should have done it on the last little hill instead.

"I got to within ten seconds of them. But then the group behind was going so quickly that it didn't matter anyway," he said.

Belda appeals to Spanish minister

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Communidad Valenciana team manager Vicente Belda has appealed for help to Spanish secretary of state for sport Jaime Lissavetzky after Tour de France organisers withdrew his team's wildcard invitation to the race yesterday.

Speaking to the EFE press agency, Belda said, "Lissavetzky says that there is tolerance zero [for drugs in sport], but he has also been alongside Spanish sportsmen who have sacrificed themselves."

With respect to the dossier of Operation Puerto and Lissavetzky's role, Belda said, "Lissavetzky knows what is in the dossier, and that there are no Comunidad Valenciana riders implicated. He should inform the French authorities and defend the interests of Spanish sportsmen."

Communidad Valenciana assistant director sportif José Ignacio Labarta was one of the five people arrested in the May 23 Operation Puerto raids.

Lejarreta announces Astaná-Würth Tour 'long team'

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Marino Lejarreta, the designated director of the Astaná-Würth team for the next Tour of France, has announced the 12 riders from whom he will choose the final nine who will make up the team when the Tour starts in Strasbourg on July 1, provided the fall-out from Operation Puerto does not result in the team being barred from the race.

The Astaná-Würth 'long team' for the Tour is therefore: Carlos Barredo, Assan Bazayev, Joseba Beloki, Alberto Contador, Allan Davis, Jorge Jaksche, Andrey Kashechkin, Isidro Nozal, Sergio Paulinho, Aitor Osa, Luis León Sánchez and Alexander Vinokourov.

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

T-Mobile for Holland and Spain

It will be a busy week for the T-Mobile team, competing at the UCI International Team Time Trial event in Eindhoven (June 18) while also sending a squad to ride the Subida a Naranco (June 14) and the Vuelta a Asturias (June 16-20) throughout Spain.

T-Mobile starts Sunday's event in Eindhoven with seven riders instead of eight, after Bram Schmitz was forced to withdraw. The Dutchman has a nasty bout of diarrhoea and will miss the latest ProTour race, which disappoints the Dutchman as he lives just five kilometres from the race route, in Aalst-Waalre.

"Of course I am disappointed. I was really looking forward to the race, especially as so many friends and relations had promised to come out and support me," said Schmitz, who also rode the event last season. Olaf Pollack and Frantisek Rabon now lead the T-Mobile challenge on the 45km course in and around Eindhoven. André Korff, Jörg Ludewig, Stephan Schreck, Daniele Nardello and Dutchman Bas Giling round out the seven-man roster.

T-Mobile sporting director Frans van Looy said the team will be aiming for the win, albeit one man down. "We will be going flat-out on the scorching fast course," he said. "But as we are a man short, we will have to rely on team cohesion on Sunday."

Tour candidates Serhiy Honchar and Oscar Sevilla lead the T-Mobile Team at the 50th Vuelta a Asturias, which starts and finishes in the regional capital of Oviedo. The experienced duo, in northern Spain to sharpen their form ahead of the Tour de France, will also be eyeing a place on the GC podium at the 868km category 2.1 race.

But before that they'll ride Wednesday’s Subida a Naranco (cat. 1.1), where both Honchar and Sevilla will be able to show more glimpses of their current good form from recent weeks. Sevilla finished 11th overall at the Dauphiné Libéré and enjoyed strong performances over the Cols de Galibier and Izoard; while Honchar impressed at last month’s Giro d'Italia, where he spent two days in the race leader's pink jersey before being forced to abandon due to a crash. The 35-year-old is now fit and targeting a top ten finish in Asturias.

T-Mobile will be looking to sprinter André Greipel to take something on the flat stages, and Thomas Ziegler will also be looking for any opportunity to take a stage win during the five days.

T-Mobile for International Team Time Trial in Eindhoven: Bas Giling, André Korff, Jörg Ludewig, Daniele Nardello, Olaf Pollack, Frantisek Rabon, Stephan Schreck. Sporting director: Frans van Looy

T-Mobile for Vuelta a Asturias: Serhiy Honchar, Oscar Sevilla, André Greipel, Thomas Ziegler, Sergey Ivanov, Andreas Klier, Steffen Wesemann, Matthias Kessler.

Barloworld for Subida al Naranco and Vuelta Asturias

Team Barloworld manager Claudio Corti is confident his squad can come away with strong results when they take part in the Subida al Naranco (June 14) and Vuelta a Asturias (June 16-20) in Spain, going so far as to say they could take a win in either race.

“We’ve set our sights on success and are going back to Spain with a competitive team and riders who are all in excellent form,” said the experienced Italian manager. The team will be led by directeur sportif Valerio Tebaldi, who is also confident in the strength of the squad going to Spain. “The team for Asturias is especially strong,” said Tebaldi. “All the riders are motivated and this gives us the belief that we can get a good result.”

Barloworld for Subida al Naranco: Pedro Arreitunandia, Felix Cardenas, Gianpaolo Cheula, Ryan Cox, Alex Efimkin, Rodney Green, Hugo Sabido and Amets Txurruka

Barloworld for Vuelta a Asturias: Pedro Arreitunandia, Felix Cardenas, Igor Astarloa, Ryan Cox, Alex Efimkin, Mauro Facci, Hugo Sabido and Amets Txurruka

Bonus for MDonnelly Junior Tour

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

A month before the start of the MDonnelly Junior Tour and the wheels of the organisation headed by Alice Sherratt are well and truly rolling. Starting on July 12 in County Mayo, the tour will have stage starts in some of the principal towns of the county, and during the last few days the organisation has received a major boost with Ballina's Streets and Arts Festival showing their support.

Sherratt is confident of the event running smoothly, and said recently that, “Everything is coming together and I’ll be announcing teams in the next week or so. It's a great opportunity for the Irish juniors to have competition of this calibre,” said Alice.

Those interested in the festivities can log on to for more information.

Irish MTB series continues this weekend

Team WORC is staging the fourth round of this year’s Irish National Points Series MTB XC series in Ballinastoe Woods, near Roundwood, County Wicklow this Sunday, June 18 - the event will be based at the Luggala entrance to the forest on the Sally Gap Road.

In past years this event has been promoted as the Pog Chase, a very long, single lap, mass start race that had proved very popular as a 'change to the norm'. This time around, however, the event has UCI E2 status and as a result has to conform to the more usual multi-lap format with separate start times for the various classes.

The elite men’s race will feature another encounter between perennial favourite Robin Seymour of the promoting club and young pretender, Niall Davis, racing for IMBRC. Both competitors have been competing abroad in recent weeks and have scored some impressive results.

Seymour has secured a sponsorship deal this year with the UK-based Endura Voodoo Singletrack Team that means he'll ride the British National Points Series plus the Trek Marathon series, events that are held on consecutive days of the same weekend. Two weeks ago at Margam Park in South Wales, a fifth place in Saturday’s cross country was followed by an excellent second in the marathon event the next day. The women’s elite race is perhaps more open, depending on who makes the start. Tarja Owens (Team WORC), Jenny McCauley (Bray Wheelers) and Beth McCluskey are all capable of winning on their day.

Sign-on starts at 10am, with underage and sports classes starting at 12pm. All other classes begin at 1:30pm.

Cronulla International Criterium programme announced

After announcing the first Cronulla International Criterium to be held on December 16, 2006, in Cronulla, NSW, the event programme has been released by event organisers John Scott and Phill Bates. Featuring all grades of racing and some of Australia's best riders including Robbie McEwen, the day kicks off at 9am with the masters race and finishes with the showcase 40km event at 1pm.

The full Cronulla International Criterium programme:

9:00am: Masters - 20km
9:40am: Men B Grade - 27km
10:15am: Junior U/17 - 16km
10:45am: Junior U/15 - 12km
11:10am: Men A Grade - 34km
12:10pm: Elite Women - 24km
1:00pm: International Elite Men - 40km

Edinburgh's Bicycle Film Festival

As part of Scotland's National Bike Week, the capital city, Edinburgh will celebrate bikes in films with a Bicycle Film Festival, which runs from June 23-25.

Films feauturing during the week include Hell on Wheels, Overcoming, Kid Joe on a Stingray and Belleville Rendez-vous. All films will be shown at the Filmhouse on Lothian Road, with matinee sessions at £4.20 (£2.70 concession), evening sessions at £5.40 (£3.90 concession) and main evening sessions at £5.90 (£4.30 concession).

Bookings can be made by phoning 0131 228 2688 - for more information go to

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