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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for October 23, 2006

Edited by Steve Medcroft & Gregor Brown

Tour de Langkawi in trouble?

A traditional welcome in the 2006 Langwaki
Photo ©: Shane Goss
(Click for larger image)

The Tour de Langkawi organization committee talks broke session early on Thursday over discrepancies in the appointments of several companies to undertake projects for the Tour. After initial fears that the internal struggles would compromise the race for 2007, Malaysian National Cycling Federation president Abu Samah assured yesterday that the national body will deliver a race worthy of its Hors classe status.

In a report in the New Sunday Times online edition, Samah was quoted as saying "We have found solutions to our problems and all our differences have been settled. We are now a team and all decisions that we’ve made have been agreed to by the whole executive committee."

The trouble arose when it was discovered that Samah had appointed Red Revolution Sendirian Berhad as event manager without the full agreement of the MNCF board. That, and other appointments (including decisions on steering-committee board members), were invalidated at the meeting.

"I had thought that the (board) had agreed to it and I proceeded," Samah said. "The problem is that I attended the task force meetings alone and maybe there was some misunderstanding."

Samah is reported to be working with the board, who have established a new steering committee. "I think we should move forward," said deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad. "We have to regain the credibility of the race and make sure that we don’t betray the trust that the Government has in us. We’re ready to forget what had happened."

See also: 2006 Tour de Langwaki

Fearless Roulston wins NZ road championship despite heart condition

At the 2006 Comm Games
Photo ©: Rob Jones
(Click for larger image)

In our First Edition Cycling News for August 31, 2006, Cyclingnews reported that Health Net/Maxxis pro rider Hayden Roulston retired from cycling because of a heart condition. The 25-year-old had been diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD), which leaves him sometimes short of breath when resting, according to the New Zealand Herald. The condition can be fatal for sufferers under stress.

"This is the worst news anyone could ever get," Roulston told One News at the time. "Being told they can't do what they love, especially for me. It's all I know." Roulston said he hoped to stay in cycling, and was considering a career in coaching, but his dream or representing New Zealand at the 2008 Olympics was shattered. "All I wanted to do was go through to Beijing, 100 per cent, and now I can't do it. It's a huge shock," he said.

Apparantly, Roulston, who won the 2006 New Zealand National Championship road race on Sunday, is convinced he is completely cured. He said in an interview on Auckland News Talk 89.4 that he has used an alternative-medicine treatment method called Reiki and that the irregular heartbeat is totally gone now and he has no trouble at all.

See also: A 2004 interview with Hayden Roulston

Tactical Nys grabs 30th world cup victory

By Brecht Decaluwé

The podium
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

The reign of Sven Nys (Rabobank) in cyclo-cross continues with a solid win in Kalmthout, Belgium. The UCI-leader - who also won the first world cup in Aigle - got away from a large lead group with Francis Mourey ( and Zdenek Mlynar (AC Sparta Praha) in the closing laps of the second UCI world Cup for 2006. Mlynar was subsequently set aside after a crash and Mourey couldn't keep up in a devastating last lap by Nys.

"This is a hard race to win," Nys said after the finish. "To have a partner in crime comes in very handy over here. I encouraged Mourey to work along with me." Was Nys never afraid that he could've been beaten by Mourey? "We were pretty equal during the race but my technique allowed me to win here," he said.

The win proves that Nys' form is as good as it was last year when he won most of the world cup races. "I don't want to speculate on a possible maximum amount of wins. There's always the possibility of illness and crashes," the Belgian held away the pressure.

For results and a full race report from the UCI cyclocross World Cup #2, click here.

Corti comments on Basso offer

Basso in the Giro
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Ivan Basso, since being allowed to continue racing by the Italian Olympic Federation (CONI), has been linked with several teams, and one of those teams is Claudio Corti's Barloworld. It would be somewhat of a surprise move since Barloworld is a non-ProTour squadra but one that has some foundations.

Corti, at 51 years-old, has a long relationship with cycling. During his racing days he was an amateur World Champion (1977), then as a pro he was twice Italian champion (1985 and 1986). After his time on two wheels, the Bergamasco joined the management of Chateau d'Ax (1990), a team that included Gianni Bugno and Tony Rominger in the ranks. Corti found his way from the couch company to the caffè company, Saeco, in the late 1990's. While at Saeco he was associated with many top names: Mario Cipollini, Paolo Savoldelli, Danilo Di Luca, Gilberto Simoni and Damiano Cunego, and most recently working with Igor Astarloa at Barloworld.

Speaking with, Corti, regarding Ivan Basso, explained "I feel that it is better a rider expresses himself on the bike. And if there is not a guilty judgment you should be able to do this."

"I did not think in these terms," said the Italian when asked if signing Ivan Basso could negatively impact Barloworld's entrance into the ProTour. "I made an offer to Ivan because I believe that he can be a rider for us."

Speaking about Barloworld's pro continental status and the alleged offers from other ProTour teams, Corti noted, "I am not able to say, because I don't know about the other offers. ... To be among the top level teams would give the certainty of riding in the Giro and Tour." Further adding, that with Barloworld "Basso would be able try again at winning the Giro."

Corti is continuing to build his squad for the 2007 season. "Fifteen [riders]. We will be expecting Ivan, even if Discovery remains the big favourite."

Bettini wins in Valencia, Pereiro outpaces camel

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Pereiro gets a run for it
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Road racing world champion Paolo Bettini has been proclaimed absolute winner in the XVII Criterium Ciudad de Valencia-G. P. CAM.

Bettini's main rivals in the race were 2006 Tour de France runner-up Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears), Giovanni Lombardi (CSC) and David Etxebarria (Astana), among other 21 other processionals.

One of the most peculiar moments of the day was carried out by Oscar Pereiro, who raced against a dromedaries -a kind of camel. The Spanish rider, when finalizing this peculiar duel, was able to ride on the animal.

"It has been a great honor to count on Pereiro and Bettini," said Javier Castellar, President of Podium Sport Events and organizer of this criterium.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by AFP

Boonen thinks twice about motorcar race

Tom Boonen has decided to skip racing a Porsche 996 in a 10-hour endurance motor race after cooler heads at his Quick Step team talked him out of it. The former world champion was due to compete in the November 11 race at the Zolder race track.

According to published reports, Boonen's Quick Step team has persuaded him not to take the risk.

Volksbank signs two

By Susan Westemeyer

Team Volksbank announced two new signings for the coming season, Gerhard Trampusch and Rene Weissinger. "Both fit in well with us," said Team Manager Thomas Koffler. "Trampusch is a complete rider and a guarantee for good results in stage races, as he has already shown at Wiesenhof and Acqua & Sapone. Rene can be a Classics rider, he's a fast sprinter."

Both riders signed one-year contracts with the Austrian Professional Continental Team. Trampusch, 28, won the mountain time trial on the Kitzbühler Horn in the Tour of Austria (Hervis Tour) in 2005. This season he won a stage in the Bayern Rundfahrt and finished 15th overall, and seventh in the Tour of Austria. "The team, the environment and the mood at Volksbank are ideal," the Austrian said.

Weissinger previously rode for Volksbank from 2003 to 2005, before leaving for a year at Skil-Shimano.

Wedding bells at Milram

By Susan Westemeyer

Team Milram celebrated two weddings on Saturday. Christian Knees and wife Nathalie were married in the St. Ulrich Church in Sindorf, Germany, before departing on a honeymoon in the Caribbean. Björn Schroeder and wife Peggy had a civil ceremony in Berlin, with a honeymoon in the Canary Islands.

Pollack looking and frustrated

By Susan Westemeyer

On the podium at the Tour of California
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
(Click for larger image)

Olaf Pollack would have liked to remain with Team T-Mobile. "I would have liked to have gone with them on the new way that the team has introduced, because I think it's the right way," said the 33 year-old German. But T-Mobile had told him in August that they were planning for 2007 without him, and the sprinter is now looking for a new team.

Pollack is not altogether satisfied with his two years at T-Mobile, and notes that if had been possible to foresee Danilo Hondo's suspension, he "might have decided otherwise" and remained at Gerolsteiner, to become their top sprinter. But, he admits, he made mistakes, without going into specifics, saying "I opened my mouth when the young riders didn't and should have. That may have bothered some people."

He also explained to Lausitzer Rundschau Online that his biggest disappointment was Erik Zabel, his fellow T-Mobile sprinter in 2005. "He is doubtless a world class rider with a perfect eye for the situation. I had hoped to learn from him. But Erik only took -- he never gave," said Pollack on the German, who has since moved to Milram.

"I believe I am the most underestimated sprinter in Germany," Pollack continued. "I never had the trust of others, always had to prove myself." Self-critically, he notes, "Perhaps I needed a little more self-confidence."

In his search for a new team, he doesn't eliminate the possibility of going to a continental team. He notes, too, that, "I should have looked after my contract negotiations more myself. I left that too much to others." He also noted the possibility of returning to the track. "Yes, I've thought about that. I can time trial; I've proved that often enough."

Bigen Fernández renews with Cofidis

By Antonio J. Salmerón

The French Pro Tour team Cofidis has seemingly reversed the decision to do without Spaniard rider Bingen Fernandez for the 2007 season. Although it was reported during the past Lombardia Tour, team manager Eric Boyer recently told Fernández that the team would allow him to renew for 2007.

The Basque rider will be the lone Spanish racer on Cofidis in 2007 after the team opted to not review the contract of Luis Pérez, its best GC classified rider in the Vuelta. Pérez continues to search for a team for 2007.

Registration open for Canadian 'cross championships

Registration for the Candian Cyclo-cross National Championships opened this week through the online registration service Riders eligible for and interested in participating in Canadian Nationals can register only until 7:00pm on November 9th. Mail registrations will also be accepted at Island-Multi-Sports, #3-5767 Turner Road, Nanaimo, B.C., V9T 6L8. No fax entries will be accepted and any mailed entries must be received by Thursday, November 9th.

See also: 2005 Canadian National Cyclo-cross Championships.

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