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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for October 2, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones, with assistance from Susan Westemeyer

Boogerd couldn't do any more

Michael Boogerd (Rabobank)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) had to settle for fourth place in yesterday's Züri Metzgete after making it into the winning breakaway of six riders with some 32 km to go. But with riders like Sanchez, O'Grady and Rebellin in the group, Boogerd found himself in the unenviable position of neither being the best sprinter, nor the best climber. In the end, he attacked on the Wetzwil climb with 12 km to go, but was countered by Sanchez, who had the legs to go to the finish alone. Boogerd was beaten in the sprint for second by O'Grady and Rebellin.

"I could have won only through a miracle," the Dutchman commented to De Telegraaf. He described his final attack as "my only chance to get away, but Sanchez came from behind. I didn't have the power to follow him any more."

Boogerd had a positive assessment of his season, which will finish on October 14 with the Giro di Lombardia. "In all the races that I have aimed for, I have been in the finale," he said. "But to be honest, I'm lacking the one win to crown it. In the Giro di Lombardia in two weeks, I have one more chance."

Volksbank "gained important experience" in Zürich

Austrian Continental Team Volksbank knew that the Championship of Zürich was going to be a hard race, and hoped either to do well or to go down "with banners flying." But it didn't really turn out that way. "After a great start, we had trouble keeping up," said captain Gerrit Glomser. "Afterwards it was a little quieter, but the field got continually smaller. When 20 riders got away in the third lap, there was a lot of uncertainty. Everybody looked at each other but nobody reacted!"

Glomser ended up in a 30-man following group with teammates Pascal Hungerbühler and Andres Matzbacher. The group gradually fell apart in the cold and wet weather, and both Glomser and Matzbacher dropped out of the race after 200 km. "There wasn't any sense in going on. I had cramps and could hardly keep my bike under control," said a disappointed Glomser. "I had so much planned, and I can't explain this breakdown. I'm healthy, my form is good, I feel well, and then something like this happens."

Team Manager Thomas Kofler wasn't too disappointed. "It was an enormous torture, but we gained some important experience. The team's mood was good." And most importantly, "Now we know what we have to work on this winter."

Lelangue unsure of future

Phonak team manager John Lelangue is unsure of his next job as his team is stopping at the end of the season. Lelangue was named as a team director for Unibet.com, which is hoping to get into the ProTour next year, but the Belgian has not yet signed anything. He does have an offer to go back to the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the organisers of the Tour de France.

Unibet.com have contracted Russians 21 year-old Alexander Khatuntsev and 20 year-old Sergey Kolesnikov, both of whom have had good seasons in the U23 ranks this year.

Azevedo, Ribeiro and Benítez to Benfica

By Antonio J. Salmerón

The Spanish sprinter Javier Benítez (Grupo Nicolás Mateos Murcia) is one of the last riders to sign for the new Benfica team. Sergio Ribeiro (Barbot) and José Azevedo (Discovery Channel) will lead the Portuguese professional continental cycling team directed by Orlando Rodrigues, who is working on an intensive international calendar of approximately 85 days of racing in 2007. Benfica is still not completed, and it's possible that some Spanish riders from the defunct Comunidad Valenciana and Kaiku teams will join.

Chuzhda under the knife

Ukrainian cyclist Oleg Chuzhda has undergone surgery to fix one of his knees that has been giving him problems in the last few months. The Comunidad Valenciana rider described the operation as a success, saying that he has no pain now. "If everything goes to plan, the idea is that I can start training again in three weeks, so I am going to start the pre-season like all the others. In the last few months of the season, I was hindered by the injury. I spoke to [doctor Carlos] Barrios and we decided to end the season early and undergo surgery in October in order to be back in November."

Two other Comunidad Valenciana riders had similar injuries that required operations: Javier Cherro and Rubén Plaza.

Landbouwkrediet for Münsterland Giro

the Landbouwkrediet-Colnago team has been named for Tuesday's Sparkasse Münsterland Giro: Nico Sijmens, Johan Verstrepen, Sjef De Wilde, Jurgen Van Loocke, Jean-Paul Simon, Sven Renders, Grégory Habeaux and David Verheyen. DS: Jef De Bilde.

World champions in Trofeo Cittŕ di Borgomanero

Recently crowned world champions Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step) and Fabian Cancellara (CSC) will be among the starters in the Trofeo Cittŕ di Borgomanero in Italy on October 15. The race is a two man time trial and there are 13 teams enrolled so far. Bettini will be partnered with his teammate Matteo Tosatto, while Cancellara will ride with either Ivan Basso or Andrea Peron. Serguei Gonchar and Eddy Mazzoleni (T-Mobile) and Luca Paolini/Stefano Zanini (Liquigas) are also down to start, as are Danilo Di Luca, Rinaldo Nocentini, Andrea Tonti and Vincenzo Nibali.

As far as Basso's situation is concerned, the organisers are hoping that he will be able to ride, pending his status in the Operacion Puerto investigation. At the moment, he is still suspended by his team and the UCI pending the outcome of the investigation, even though the Italian Olympic Committee has been looking at dismissing any charges against Basso due to a lack of evidence. Although the Trofeo Cittŕ di Borgomanero is not a UCI sanctioned race, Basso's presence could attract the ire of the world governing body, who could move to suspend other professionals taking part in it.

The teams so far

Paolo Bettini/Matteo Tosatto (Quick Step)
Fabian Cancellara/Ivan Basso or Andrea Peron (CSC)
Danilo Di Luca/Alessandro Spezialetti (Liquigas)
Vincenzo Nibali/Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas)
Luca Paolini/Stefano Zanini (Liquigas)
Franco Pellizotti/Andrea Noč' (Liquigas)
Rinaldo Nocentini/Andrea Tonti (Acqua&Sapone)
Fabio Sacchi/Marco Velo (Milram)
Leonardo Bertagnolli/Cristian Moreni (Cofidis)
Sergei Gonchar's/Eddy Mazzoleni (T-Mobile)
Ruslan Pidgornyy/Gabriele Bosisio (Tenax)
Mauro Gerosa/Denis Shkarpeta (Miche)
Paolo Longo Borghini/Maurizio Varini (Ceramica Flaminia)

UCI status for new NZ women's race

Despite losing a round of the women's world cup in 2007, New Zealand will still be able to host the top female cyclists in the world with a new five day stage race taking place in March, 2007. The 470 km race will be held in the Wellington region, starting the Hutt Valley on March 7 and finishing with a criterium in downtown Wellington on March 11. It has been granted a 2.2 status by the UCI.

Promoter Jorge Sandoval said, "This is great news for our sport and the region. We may not have a one day world cup race but we now have a five day top international cycle tour instead.

"In order to keep the momentum built up by the world cup and women's tours, we will run a bigger women's Tour of New Zealand in the Wellington and Wairarapa area in March 2007. I already have requests from European teams wanting to come back to Wellington in 2007 and ride the Trust House sponsored event."

The race will send the field up the steepest hill climb in the Wairarapa: Admiral hill - previously used only by their male counterparts. This will be hard introduction to the tour as it will happen after just one day of racing and it will be particularly tough for the for the European riders who come to New Zealand early in their season.

"We want to bring the elite and grass roots of New Zealand cycling together, and this is the only way that our up and coming riders get to race against top overseas riders right here in our country," added Sandoval.

The stages

Stage 1 - March 7: Hutt City Criterium, 35 kms
Stage 2 - March 8: Martinborough - Masterton, 99 km
Stage 3 - March 9: Tour of the Wairarapa: Masterton - Pahiatua, 70 km
Stage 4 - March 9: Pahiatua - Masterton, 60 km
Stage 5 - March 10: Masterton circuit, mountain top finish, 125.3 km
Stage 6 - March 11: Scorching Bay ITT, 14km
Stage 7 - March 11: Wellington Criterium, 35 km

More information: www.cycletournz.com

BikeNZ appoints new Finance Manager

Stephen Connell has been appointed Finance Manager to BikeNZ. Prior to his appointment, he worked as a finance director with the Colgate-Palmolive company. During his 14 year career with Colgate, he held financial positions in a number of their international subsidiaries including New York, India, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. He has also had experience working with the major chartered accounting firms in the world.

As a cyclist, Stephen is a member of two Wellington cycling clubs and he has competed for over 20 years on the road-bike and has raced at an amateur level in Europe, USA and Latin America.

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