First Edition Cycling News for October 18, 2006
Edited by Greg Johnson
NZ get Tour Down Under invite
New Zealand's national men's road cycling team has been awarded a slot
at the 2007 Tour Down Under, making it the first non-Australian national
team to receive an invite to the prestigious event. "A start in the
Tour Down Under is some of the best news New Zealand cycling has received,"
explained BikeNZ high-performance director Michael Flynn. "It is
the most important road race in this part of the world and to be allowed
to start New Zealand's national team is a great honour."
Speaking of the announcement South Australia's Tourism Minister Dr Jane
Lomax-Smith said: "This gives us an opportunity to showcase the best
of South Australia to people who travel from New Zealand to watch the
event as well as those who watch from their lounge-rooms." The Tour's
growing profile has resulted in 15,330 event specific international and
national visitors attending the 2006 event, generating an economic benefit
to the State of at least $16.25m," added Dr Smith.
While the NZ team's coach Jacques Landry dubbed the announcement as
"an amazing coup," Flynn also suggested: "With the recent
pro signings of Tim Gudsell and Greg Henderson this will further exhibit
to young athletes that with a great deal of hard work there are very real
rewards to be gained."
The announcement is yet another boost for the event which last week revealed
SA's Stuart O'Grady would take part in his home event, which commences
on January 16.
Schaffrath goes back to T-Mobile
Jan Schaffrath Photo ©: Elmar
By Susan Westemeyer
Jan Schaffrath will be a Directeur Sportif with Team T-Mobile for the
2007 season, it was announced the day after the revelation that his contract
as DS with Team Milram was dissolved. He left Milram for "personal
reasons," the team explained in a statement.
The 35-year-old rode for T-Mobile from 1998 to 2005, when he left to
join his friend Erik Zabel at the new Milram team. Schaffrath is said
to have participated in the T-Mobile's team meeting earlier this week
in Lugano but T-Mobile refused to comment on the claim.
Ullrich parts ways with Krohme
By Susan Westemeyer
Jan Ullrich has laid off his personal physiotherapist Birgit Krohme,
the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung has reported. She
was considered part of Ullrich's inner circle, along with his brother
Stefan, a mechanic with Team T-Mobile, and Rudy Pevenage. The newspaper
concludes from this move that Ullrich is giving up hope of returning to
racing. He met Krohme in South Africa in 2001 and made her his personal
physio after his doping suspension in 2003.
Peña to Unibet.com for two years
By Gregor Brown
Colombian Victor Hugo Peña has signed a two year contract with
Unibet.com, according to Team Manager Jacques Hanegraaf. The 32 year-old
will leave Phonak when the team disbands at the end of this season and
ride for the Belgian squad in 2007 and 2008. Unibet.com is expected to
receive a ProTour license starting in 2007.
Peña, pro since 1997, came to attention with his time trail win
in the 2000 Giro d'Italia while riding for Vitalicio Seguros. The following
year he signed with US Postal, where the Colombian spent the next four
seasons with the American team, including 2003, where he wore the Tour
de France leader's maillot jaune for three days.
Erik Zabel CAREs
By Susan Westemeyer
Erik Zabel and Team Milram are offering a box of goodies to be auctioned
on the German version of E-Bay for the benefit of the CARE charitable
foundation. He is one of ten German celebrities participating in the action,
which celebrates CARE's 60th anniversary. "I am very happy to have
been asked to support this action to celebrate the 60th birthday of CARE
with my personal CARE package, because this organisation continues to
do some much for the poorest people in our world, continually and in an
impressive manner," he said. "Therefore, I hope that the cycling
fans will show as much enthusiasm for this project as the do on the race
course, when they root for me and Team Milram."
The auction runs through October 26, and contains an invitation to meet
with Zabel at a race, a signed Milram jersey, a personally dedicated autograph
card and various team souvenir items.
Cayetano Juliá is optimistic
Jose Cayetano Julia Photo ©:
By Antonio J. Salmerón
After two seasons racing in Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears, Cayetano
Juliá is now looking for a new team for 2007. "It is a difficult
task because the cycling market is saturated [due to] the disappearance
of so many teams from Spain," the Spaniard rider told Cyclingnews.
Juliá joined Caisse d'Epargne Illes Balears from Comunitat Valenciana-Kelme
at the same time as Alejandro Valverde.
The sporting yield of Juliá was never to the liking of Eusebio
Unzué, Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears' director. Juliá believes
his future could be in the fledgling Portuguese market. "Why not?
Many Spanish riders are finding new opportunities there, so I am optimistic
with my continuity."
Juliá's only two wins came in Portugal and the 2003 Vuelta, and
Juliá is hopeful this could open doors to him.
Haselbacher for the 4000 m Individual Pursuit
By Susan Westemeyer
Rene Haselbacher will ride his last race in the Gerolsteiner jersey on
the track after a ten-year absence from track racing. He will ride the
4000 metre individual pursuit in the Austrian Championships in Vienna
on Thursday evening. He last rode on the track in the 1996 World Championships
in Manchester. "Paris-Tours last week was supposed to be my last
appearance for Gerolsteiner," said the Austrian rider, who has signed
for Team Astana for the coming season. "Now I've added the track
championship." He is looking forward to the challenge: "In my
time as a junior rider, I was an outstanding pursuer. I can simply do
this discipline well."
"The biggest difference will be in the distance," he notes.
"A road race lasts hours and can go over 240 kilometres. On the track
it's all over after four and a half minutes." Haselbacher also has
the 2008 Olympic games in the back of his mind. "Who knows, if it
goes well, then I could imagine starting the 4000 metres in Peking. One
thing is clear, though, road racing is my number one priority, the track
comes in second place."
Codol joins Acqua & Sapone
Massimo Codol has decided to continue his career into 2007. The 33 year-old
rider from Lecco (Lombardia) signed a contract with Palmiro Masciarelli's
Acqua & Sapone according to tuttobiciweb.com.
The Lecchese started his career with Mapei in 1998 and then had his best
year to date in 2000 with Lampre, where he won the Japan Cup and a stage
in the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco. After racing for two years (2004-2005)
in the services of Alesandro Petacchi at Fassa Bortolo, Codol signed with
Tenax-Salmilano in 2006. He will use his skills to help the younger riders
on the Acqua & Sapone team.
Lampre-Fondital announce Japan Cup riders
Team Lampre-Fondital has announced the riders which will lead the team
in this weekend's Japan Cup. Marco Marzano, Ruggero Marzoli, Morris Possoni,
Sylwester Szmyd and Hong Kong's Wu Kin San will take part in Sunday's
races with Fabrizio Bontempi overseeing the outfit's efforts as sport
"In the past seasons we obtained a many victories in Japan," explained
Bontempi. "Also this year we could aim to the victory with Marzano, Marzoli
and Szmyd, but Possoni and Wu Kin San too want to end the season in the
best way. However, this Japanese experience will be for sure great; the
fans are outstanding and they will support Lampre-Fondital, maybe the
most beloved team in Japan."
Warrnambool set to expand
Organisers of the Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic are currently
planning a second cycling event to run in conjunction with the classic,
the Warrnambool Standard reports. Details are limited on the tourism-focused
event expected to take place between Warrnambool and Apollo Bay next year.
"It's creating opportunities for more local riders in the region
to go on a little less arduous ride," said organising committee chairman
Geoff Rollinson. The announcement comes off the back of Victorian State
Government pledging 30,000AU$ in funding for the event, which takes place
While details on the new component to the event will take "some
months to develop," Victorian State and Regional Development Minister
John Brumby revealed it will go some way to "help improve the sustainability
of the [Melbourne to Warrnambool] Classic." Just yesterday, Classic
organisers announced the largest ever field for the 111-year-old event.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)