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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for May 4, 2006

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

The paper and bike war that birthed the Giro

Like the Tour de France, the Giro was born out of the need for a struggling sport newspaper to build circulation. But there was also an element of bitter bike company rivalry, as Les Woodland relates.

Sweet and loveable person though you are, I bet once, just once, you've fallen out with your boss. And while you don't talk about these things, you've even taken a little revenge.

1914 winner Alfonso Calzolari
Photo ©: AFP Photo
(Click for larger image)

Well, you're not alone. Because that's how the Giro d'Italia got started.

Angelo Gatti used to work for Bianchi, the bike people. Then bitterness boiled over into an arm-waving, throat-tearing row and he stormed off and started a rival company, called Atala. He went to the Bologna cycle show to sell his bikes and there he learned from a friend called Tomaselli that Bianchi was one of three partners in a venture to run the equivalent of the Tour de France in Italy. Bianchi would look after the cycling side, the Touring Club Italiano would do the organising based on its the round-Italy car rally, and the Corriere dello Sport newspaper would look after the cash and the publicity.

Happy to create mischief, Gatti slapped Tomaselli on the back and went off to see another friend, Tullo Morgagni, who was editor of a new daily sports paper, the Gazzetta dello Sport. Persuade Morgnani to run his own race and Gatti could upend Bianchi and Morgnani could upset the rival Corriere dello Sport.

The trouble was that in 1908 the Gazzetta was so short of cash that printers and journalists never knew if there'd be pay for them at the end of the week. That made the shock all the greater for Armando Cougnet, who edited the paper's cycling pages. He was on a business trip to Venice when he got a telegram: ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL FOR THE PAPER YOU ANNOUNCE IMMEDIATELY THE CYCLING TOUR OF ITALY. MORGNANI.

Click here to read the full feature.

Saunier Duval for Simoni

The Saunier Duval-Prodir squad is getting ready to participate in the 2006 Giro d´Italia. The riders selected to race the Italian event and support Gilberto Simoni in his quest for a third victory are: Guido Trentin, Manuele Mori, Marco Pinotti, Ángel Gómez "Litu", Aaron Olson, Peter Mazur, Leonardo Piepoli and Rubén Lobato. The team will gather in Belgium on Thursday, May 4 for the final preparation and the official presentation.

Belgian Giro stages goal for Rebellin

Gerolsteiner's Davide Rebellin is eager to make amends for his lost opportunities at the 2006 Northern Classics - caused by a stomach bug and an injured rib. Therefore, the king of Amstel Gold, Flèche and Liège of two years ago is especially keen on the first three stages of this year's Giro d'Italia to be staged in Southern Belgium. "Davide said he'd really like to ride the Giro," said Gerolsteiner's directeur sportif Christian Henn. "We want to try and achieve something with Davide at the beginning of the race."

Of course, the Italian climber also wants to make a good showing later on in Italy, but the stages from Perwez to Namur on May 8 and from Wanze to Hotton on the following day suit Rebellin's abilities. Once the event gets onto Italian soil, Gerolsteiner hopes for some good placings or even a surprise, just as in 2004 when Fabian Wegmann won the Giro mountains classification. "We don't have any tactical constraints," Henn continued. "We can take to the start without pressure, feeling free. But of course, a stage win would be great - I would organise a big party!" If Gerolsteiner scores a stage victory at the Giro d'Italia, the German team would have collected wins at every one of the three Grand Tours.

For Stefan Schumacher, the Giro will be a first, which is why there will be even fewer expectations of him. "Of course, we have to wait and see how he will come along," Henn said. "I don't really expect him to make a placing."

French line-ups for Giro

As more and more teams announce their line-ups for the Giro d'Italia, some last minute changes have been made. At French team Cofidis, for example, Hervé Duclos-Lassalle will finally not be part of the Giro roster, as his team management opted for his Colombian teammate Leonardo Duque instead. Duque came out of the Tour de Romandie in better condition than the son of Gilbert.

AG2R has had to replace Philip Deignan with Mark Scanlon in its Giro roster, as Deignan has come down with pyelonephritis (kidney infection). The Irishman will have to rest at least for one week. AG2R's rider roster at the Giro d'Italia therefore will be: John Gadret, Hubert Dupont, Carl Naibo, Inigo Chaurreau, Mark Scanlon, Yuriy Krivtsov and Tomas Vaitkus.

Another French outfit, Française des Jeux, has communicated its nine riders to take the start in Seraing. Bradley McGee, Sandy Casar, Carlos Da Cruz, Mickael Delage, Philippe Gilbert, Gustav Erik Larsson, Cyrille Monnerais and Jussi Veikkannen will be aiming at stage victories - of which the prologue, which could suit McGee.

Armstrong in Belgium

According to Het Laatste Nieuws, Lance Armstrong will be visiting his Discovery Channel team at the start of the Giro d'Italia in Belgium next week. The Belgian paper reported that there are plans for the seven-times Tour de France winner to support his former teammates in the team car with directeur sportif Johan Bruyneel on Tuesday, May 9. After the stage from Wanze to Hotton, Armstrong is believed to fly back to the United States.

Garzelli aims at Tour de France

Stefano Garzelli (Liquigas) will not line up in Seraing this Saturday to start the Giro d'Italia, which he won in the year 2000. Instead, the Italian climber who just took German 1.HC race Rund um den Henninger Turm in a bunch sprint (!) will take a short break from racing throughout May, then come back at the Tour of Luxembourg, taking place from May 31-June 4. In doing this, Garzelli is working towards a peak of shape for the Tour de France in July. He will be testing his qualities for the French Grand Tour at the Tour de Suisse and the Italian Road Championships beforehand.

Gerolsteiner names 15 for July

The team management of German outfit Gerolsteiner has announced a first rider selection for the Tour de France in July. Hans-Michael Holczer and Christian Henn have named 15 riders for a possible participation - the final roster will be decided upon after the Tour de Suisse. These 15 are: Markus Fothen, Robert Förster, René Haselbacher, Torsten Hiekmann, David Kopp, Sebastian Lang, Levi Leipheimer, Andrea Moletta, Ronny Scholz, Stefan Schumacher, Georg Totschnig, Fabian Wegmann, Peter Wrolich, Beat Zberg and Markus Zberg.

Roche Jr. close in 4 Days of Dunkirk

By Shane Stokes

Following a solid 20th place in Sunday’s Trophée des Grimpeurs, 21 year-old Irish professional Nicolas Roche has shown further good form on Wednesday’s opening stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk in France.

After 60 of the day’s 161 kilometres had elapsed, Roche went clear with Claudio Cucinotta (Tenax-Salmilano), Mathieu Sprick (Bouygues Telecom) and Niels Brouzes (Auber 93) and built a maximum lead of 6 minutes and 40 seconds. However several teams gave chase and managed to bring back the break. Roche and Brouzes left the other two but were caught inside the final 600 metres, denying the Irishman his best career result. He placed 26th, finishing in the same time as Francesco Chicchi (Quick Step-Innergetic) in the bunch sprint into Gravelines.

However, time bonuses picked up in two of the day’s primes mean that the Cofidis rider, son of the 1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche, ends the day seventh overall of the 173 finishers. He is 18 seconds behind Chicchi, who took a large time bonus for winning the stage. The Irishman is also third in the young rider’s classification, fifth in the King of the Mountains and seventh in the points ranking. The 2.HC ranked event continues on Thursday with a 204 kilometre stage from Arques to Le Cateau Cambrésis.

Roche’s father Stephen won the race in 1990.

Track World Cup 2006-2007

The International Cycling Union UCI has announced the Track World Cup for the 2006-2007 season. The series features four events which will take place as per the following program:

# 1: November 17-19, 2006 - Sydney, Australia
# 2: December 15-17, 2006 - Moscow, Russia
# 3: January 19-21, 2007 - Los Angeles, USA
# 4: February 23-25, 2007 - Manchester, Great Britain

Boston Bike Film Festival calls for films

Organizers for the second annual Boston Bike Film Festival have asked filmmakers with a penchant for cycling to submit their work to be shown this October at venues in and around Boston. Among other benefits to acclaimed and amateur filmmakers, the Festival offers a chance to get their films in front of cycling-sensitive audiences.

"Last year's near-sellout crowds was a wakeup call for me," said Cat Bryant, executive director of the Festival. "That the Boston bike community showed so much interest by filling theaters both nights was an action louder than words. Bolstered by the success of the first Festival, we hope to reach an even wider audience this year."

Film concepts from last year's festival ranged from documenting a spectacular crash to illustrating life in "SUV City," to exposing political bias against cyclists both during and after the Republican National Convention held in New York City in August 2004. Types of films included animated shorts, digitally enhanced clips, and feature length documentaries.

Submissions for preview should be 30, 60, or 90 minutes long and either VHS or DVD. Early-bird submissions must be postmarked by August 18 and all submissions must be received by September 24, 2006. Signed Submission and Release forms should accompany each entry.

Festival information, clips from last year and details for submissions can be found at

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