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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for May 7, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones, assisted by Susan Westemeyer

Women's World Cup in Castilla y Leon

By Kristy Scrymgeour

Nicole Cooke (Univega)
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
(Click for larger image)

With round 5 of the Women’s World Cup Series causing quite a stir in the leaderboard two weeks ago, round six is set to be a battle. Zoulfia Zabirova (Bigla) took the win on the day in Berne, but it was winner of round four, Nicole Cooke (Univega) who had enough points at the end of the day to take the series lead from Ina Yoko Teutenberg (T-Mobile). Currently in second position behind Cooke, is two-time World Cup series champion Oenone Wood (Nürnberger).

The course in Spain finishes with five very tough finishing circuits in the town of Valladolid. After 90km of racing the women hit the finish line for the first time and see five, 7.3km laps to go. The laps are technical city laps with a very tricky downhill. The loop climbs steeply to the finish and will suit the climbers in the bunch. Favourites would be Cooke, Judith Arndt (T-Mobile), Oenone Wood and Trixi Worrack (Nürnberger) among others.

Last year a group of four including Arndt, Susanne Ljungskog (Buitenpoort-Flexpoint), Tatiana Guderzo (Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo) and Nicole Brändli (Team Bigla) escaped in the final laps and held their lead until the end. Ljungskog won from Arndt and took the overall series lead from Wood.

Arndt comes straight from winning three stages and the overall at Gracia Tour in the Czech Republic and has the form to do some damage, whilst Cooke held onto her Fleche Wallonne form to win the very hilly Souvenir Magali Pache time trial in Switzerland last week edging out her teammate Priska Doppmann and Zabirova.

T-Mobile "didn't accomplish" its goals in spring

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"I have to say that we didn't accomplish what we set out to do," said Team T-Mobile team manager Olaf Ludwig. "We wanted to win the classics. We didn't succeed." He was more satisfied with the way the team "showed itself" in April, saying it was "on the attack and rode aggressively...I'm aware, though, that ultimately that's not enough."

Ludwig remains convinced that, "The wins will come." He points to the performances of two team newcomers. "Patrik Sinkewitz has been riding very strongly and consistently for many weeks. He absolutely lived up to our expectations. I was surprised by our newcomer Andre Greipel. He won two stages in Rheinland-Pfalz and rode very courageously at his races. That was significant."

He further notes that the team rode well in Henninger and Amstel. "The team can be proud of their performance. By contrast, I was disappointed by the performances at the E3-Prijs Vlaanderen and Gent-Wevelgem. In the decisive moments the team was not concentrated and made small tactical mistakes. I put that point across very clearly to the riders and didn't mince my words."

Hondo: "Positive thinking pays off"

Danilo Hondo (Lamonta)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

"The last two weeks have absolutely proven to me that positive thinking pays off," said Danilo Hondo. The German sprinter, who is riding for Team Lamonta while waiting out the results of his complex doping case, said that he is now more relaxed a few days after Henninger Turm. "The lost chance to win irritated me. It's crazy, for over a year I fought to have the right to race again, and then I'm practically disappointed by a third place at the Henninger Turm. But that's the way it is with us sprinters, especially when we know that we're in good form."

Hondo will now train near his home in Ascona, Switzerland, to prepare for his next race appearances in the Friedensfahrt, Neuseenclassics and the Bayern Rundfahrt.

Selected riders announced for Volta a Catalunya

The 86th Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, a Spanish ProTour race, takes place between May 15-21. Although it clashes with the Giro d'Italia, the organisers have still assembled a strong field for the race. Some of the teams and their key riders include:

Discovery Channel - Max Van Heeswijk, Leif Hoste;
Phonak Hearing Systems
- Santiago Botero, M.A. Martin Perdiguero;
Caisse d'Epargne Illes Balears
- Isaac Galvez, Vladimir Karpets;
- Juan Antonio Flecha, Michael Boogerd;
T- Mobile - Oscar Sevilla, Andreas Klöden;
Team CSC
- Fabian Cancellara;
AGR2 Prèvoyance
- Francisco Mancebo, José Luis Arrieta;
uskaltel -Euskadi - Samuel Sanchez, Josefa Albizu;
Davitamon - Lotto
- Cadel Evans, Fred Rodríguez;
Saunier Duval-Prodir
- Koldo Gil, Luciano Pagliarini;
ouygues Telecom - Thomas Voeckler, Xavier Florencio;
Gerolsteiner - René Haselbacher, Levi Leipheimer;
Team Milram - Eric Zabel, Mirko Celestino;
Liberty Seguros Würth Team - Luis Leon Sanchez, Isidro Nozal;
Credit Agricole - Thor Hushovd, Dimitry Fofonov;
Cofidis-Credit par Téléphone - David Moncutié, Sylvain Chavanel;
Française des Jeux - Freddy Bichot;
Lampre - Fondital - Daniele Bennati, Salvatore Commesso
Liquigas - Luca Paolini, MarcoMilesi;
Quick Step- Innergetic - Filippo Pozzato, Mateo Tosatto;
Comunidad Valenciana - Eladio Jiménez, Rubèn Plaza;
Relax Fuenlabrada - Xavier Tondo, José Miguel Elias
Kaiku - Ricardo Serrano, Dioni Galparsoro
Andalucía Paul Versan - Angel Edo, Jaime Rovira
3 Molinos Resort - Santos Gonzalez, Jan Hruska

Johnson named USAC CEO

USA Cycling's board of directors has officially named Steve Johnson as its chief executive officer on Friday. Johnson has been acting CEO ever since the recent resignation/sacking of Gerard Bisceglia. His main tasks will be the continuation of the programs leading up to the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, as well as the grassroots membership, local association, and promoter incentive programs throughout the USA.

USAC explained its decision in a statement: "After a long, thoughtful and deliberate debate among the entire board, it was felt that even with a search, there would not have been another candidate that exhibits the leadership, knowledge and understanding of athletics, programs, and membership that Johnson does.

"Johnson is well respected by the United States Olympic Committee and the UCI and the board feels that Johnson is the best candidate to continue the growth of the organization.

"There is an annual, rigorous and explicit CEO review process in place for the CEO of USA Cycling and the board is committed to ensuring that the organization's CEO maintains the highest level of performance at all times.

"As a condition of his hiring, Johnson has resigned from his position as Executive Director of the USA Cycling Development Foundation.

"The USAC Board of Directors is excited about the future of USA Cycling and is confident that Johnson is the leader that the organization needs."

Landbouwkrediet bikes stolen

The bikes of six Landbouwkrediet-Colnago riders have been stolen during the Four Days of Dunkirk. The theft occurred at the team's hotel (Novotel) in Lesquin on Friday night, when the bikes were removed from the parking lot.

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