First Edition Cycling News for October 17, 2006
Edited by Greg Johnson & Kyle Mackay
Wegmann reflects on his season
By Susan Westemeyer
The Giro di Lombardia reflected Fabian Wegmann's whole 2006 season: he rode well, but... "I was close in a lot of races this season and had nothing in the end," the Gerolsteiner rider writes on his website. But, he adds optimistically, "I seldom rode poorly, have [had] a few successes and placements to show and go on vacation with the feeling that I can do well in the big one-day classic races."
In Saturday's Lombardia, Wegmann finished third, becoming the first German to be on the podium (had there been a podium ceremony). He was the only one who could follow when eventual winner Paolo Bettini made his decisive break. "Although I just missed out on second place, I can end my season with a clear conscience and leave on Tuesday for vacation."
He also pays tribute to Bettini. "He had an unbelievable will and rode with his eyes on the road as in a trance. I am glad he won, not just because of the tragical death in his family, which probably motivated him." He adds, "Bettini is a great cyclist for whom I have the greatest respect."
Meanwhile, Wegmann is preparing to take it easy for a while. "It hasn't been easy to be a cyclist in this year of big scandals. Now the pressure is off, now I throw my bike and cell phone in the corner, fly far, far away to the other end of the world and climb out for four weeks."
Mayo on Saunier Duval Prodir move
By Antonio J. Salmerón
Iban Mayo explained the reasons why he signed with Saunier Duval Prodir until 2008 during a press conference on Monday to confirm the announcement. "Sabino Angoitia has been a big influence in my personal and professional life, because he is the person who knows me best," explained Mayo. Speaking of the motivation necessity, new objectives and different stimulations Mayo confessed: "I consider that, in these two last years, I have not obtained the sport expectations that I had set in previous years."
On the other hand, he also wanted to make clear that he did not refuse to sign the Euskaltel-Euskadi's 'ethical code': "I have signed previously, and I will always sign the ethical codes imposed by the UCI and the ProTour teams". While Mayo conveyed his gratefulness to Saunier Duval Prodir's "great economic effort," he admitted that Euskaltel-Euskadi had offered an even greater financial incentive to stay with the team. Facing next season, the Spaniard rider did not want to advance his calendar. "In the last years, I wanted to participate in the Giro," he concluded.
Team CSC head to South Africa
ProTour outfit Team CSC has announced it will head to South Africa for a 10-day visit during December. The trip will be used as a team building exercise ahead of the 2007 season and also see the outfit announce its 2007 rider lineup during its stay in Cape Town "South Africa is a perfect destination for team building and training," explained team manger Bjarne Riis. "You have world-class facilities and accommodation, fantastic roads and cycling terrain and an ideal climate. You also have a very passionate local cycling following whom we believe will be excited to have Team CSC in the country."
The team is also offering 100 cyclists the chance to interact with the team's 30 riders and 40 support staff during a three-day package ride commencing December 8. "We believe Team CSC's visit to South Africa will inspire South African cyclists of all races to achieve international success," added Team CSC's managing director of South African operations Martin Vergunst. "It is our intention is to use Team CSC's visit to boost local talent by giving our local CSC cyclists and other talented riders the opportunity to learn from the world's top team."
Karpin Galicia grows
By Antonio J. Salmerón
Spain's new Pro-Continental cycling team, Karpin-Galicia, has announced the signing of four riders ahead of its 2007 debut. Former Comunitat Valenciana team riders Ezequiel Mosquera and David Blanco were announced in addition to Gustavo Domínguez and Ramón Troncoso as the team's third wave of signings. Karpin-Galicia had already announced the signing in Vigo of four neo-professional riders, Juan Mourón, Gonzalo Rabuñal, Serafín Martinez and David Abal, who are expected to sign their contracts next Tuesday.
The new additions take Karpin Galicia's count to 11 riders, with a further five to seven riders expected to join the ranks. Among those currently in negotiations with the team is David Herrero, Daniel Moreno, Carlos Castaño, Gustavo Caesar Veloso, Álex Marque and Luis Fernandez Oliveira.
Totschnig calls it a day
By Susan Westermeyer
Georg Totschnig has announced his retirement, after 13 years in pro cycling. He has ridden for Gerolstiener the last few years. His biggest accomplishment was a stage win in the Tour de France 2005, the first ever for the team and the first ever for an Austrian rider.
"After long and intensive consideration, the time has come to put this wonderful but hard part of my life behind me," the 35-year-old said in a press conference on Monday in Salzburg. "Now I want to start something new and can end my career the way I always imagined I would: healthy, satsified, successful, happy and I had some good offers to keep on riding."
His first priority now is to spend more time with his wife Michaela and their three children, Emma, 8, Max, 2, and Josef (six months). He will continue to ride in his free time but also stay professionally involved with the sport. He will work for Tour of Austria sponsor Hervis, participate in a fitness program with his personal sponsor Palfinger and help the Austrian cycling federation (ÖRV) with its youngsters. "It would be careless of us not to use the potential of Georg Totschnig," said ÖRV general secretary Rudi Massak.
Totschnig also received praise from Gerolsteiner team manager Hans-Michael Holczer, who called him a "strong, level-headed rider." He also recalled how he experienced the highlight of the Austrian's career: "I sat in the auto behind him on the way to his Tour stage win; that was the most moving moment that I have experienced in sports."
Sport director leaves Team Milram
Jan Schaffrath will not be one of the sport directors of Team Milram in 2007. On his request, Jan Schaffrath and Team Milram agreed to dissolve his contract as sports director. A personal motivation was cited as dictating this choice. Team Milram will start the next season with the following sport directors: Antonio Bevilacqua, Vittorio Algeri, and Oscar Pellicioli. Gianluigi Stanga will be the Team Manager.
VDB: 'I want to be ready for 2007'
Acqua e Sapone's Frank Vandenbroucke has said he will train hard through the winter with little rest so he can be fit and ready as soon as the season starts, according to sporza.be.
Vandenbroucke was missing from the last round of the ProTour in Lombardy last Saturday due to tendonitis in his knee. "I felt the pain rise the previous Saturday in the Giro dell'Emilia," said VDB. "The feeling didn't improve during the course of the week. For this reason I stayed away [from Lombardy] on the side of precaution," he added.
By Sunday, however, Vandenbroucke was already back on his bicycle, despite the continuing discomfort in his knee. "I want to keep moving," he said. "In the winter I will not rest too much; I want to start 2007 and be standing ready immediately."
Melbourne to Warrnambool hits record
Organisers of the world's longest one day bike race, the Melbourne to Warrnambool, have announced this year's event will play host to a record number of riders. The classic will be contested by some 192 competitors - the largest field since the race's inception in 1895.
Among the riders contesting this weekend's event is Chris Jongewaard, who just last weekend finished a close second to Simon Gerrens in the Sun Herald Tour. Also tackling the grueling course will be women riders Stephanie Frawley and Kate Nichols."I think the Warrnambool is one of the best run and safest bike races I have ever done and I think that it should be recognised for that," explained Nichols who is competing for the second time with her father Kevin.
Tour de Freedom Tasmania
This Saturday around 100 cyclists will depart Devonport for a 774km ride to Hobart to raise awareness of the work of ONE80TC - one of Australia's most recognised and effective drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.
The Bicycling Australia Challenge, now in its sixth year, is an annual charity ride to raise support and funds for ONE80TC in its effort to restore the broken lives of young people overcoming drug and alcohol addictions.
"We have made a commitment to raise $1 million dollars for ONE80TC," said Phil Latz from Bicycling Australia. "With little government funding, it is the support of events such as the Bicycling Australia Challenge that enables ONE80TC to keep its doors open."
The Bicycling Australia Challenge commences in Devonport and visits Launceston, St Helens, Swansea and Richmond before arriving in Hobart on Tuesday.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)