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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for September 3, 2006

Coming up on

Cyclingnews will cover the 60th edition of the Dauphiné Libéré live as of stage 4 on Wednesday, June 10, at approximately 15:00 local Europe time (CEST)/ 23:00 Australian time (CDT)/ 9:00 (USA East).

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Edited by Anthony Tan, with assistance from Susan Westemeyer

Chicchi wins farcical stage in Britain

On Saturday in Canterbury, 25 year-old Italian Francesco Chicchi took his third season victory in the fifth stage of the Tour of Britain, beating Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile) and Aart Vierhouten (Skil-Shimano) in a sprint finish.

However, the stage turned out to be somewhat of a farce. Due to a lack of organisation in closing the race route to traffic, the peloton chose to strike en masse, venting their frustration by riding at 'tourist pace' until 30 kilometres to go.

"The strike at the beginning was not only about the misdirection, but also about the fact that security has been somewhat lacking during the previous days," said CSC directeur-sportif Tristan Hoffman in a team statement.

"The organisers made a guarantee that this would be rectified for the remainder of the race, and then there was no alternative but to continue. There was a lot of debating among the riders on the route, but in the end it did turn into an actual race, and we made sure we got through without taking any chances," said Hoffman.

"The team worked for me today, and I really couldn't go wrong," said Chicchi. "Boonen and then Pozzato both piloted me splendidly. 200 metres from the finish line, I launched myself into the sprint. The thing that surprised me most was the fact that champions such as Boonen, Pozzato and Nuyens put themselves at my disposal. They had faith in me and I repaid them for their trust by winning the stage."

Team CSC's Martin Pedersen will be wearing the leader's jersey going into tomorrow's final stage, which concludes with a circuit of London.

Ullrich's manager denies Hamburg charges

The latest revelations over doctor Eufemiano Feuntes' post-arrest activities in Hamburg, Germany, include a calendar page indicating that 'Number 1' underwent blood extraction and transfusion on June 20 this year.

According to Spanish investigators, this code name refers to Jan Ullrich. However, Ullrich's manager Wolfgang Strohband denied that the rider was in Germany on June 20: "After his victory in the Tour de Suisse on June 18, Jan went straight home to his house in Scherzingen [Switzerland]," Strohband told the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper.

Liquigas takes four aces to Pologne

Starting in Warsaw on Monday, September 4, the Liquigas squad for the Tour de Pologne will be captained by four riders who are in peak form: Stefano Garzelli, Vincenzo Nibali, Manuel Quinziato and Enrico Gasparotto.

All of them want to win a stage and have a good placement on the overall ranking. Said team manager Stefano Zanatta: "We start with good expectations and the riders' morale is at its peak. This race may surprise us till the very end, especially in the last two stages. That's why we'd rather be on guard."

For the four Liquigas 'captains', especially Garzelli and Nibali, the Tour de Pologne is one last chance to demonstrate to Italian technical director Franco Ballerini they deserve a place in the 'squadra azurra' at the world road championships.

The squad is completed by Eros Capecchi, Alberto Curtolo, Mauro Da Dalto and Roman Kreuziger.

Torsten Hiekmann: Sooner rather than later

Torsten Hiekmann won the final stage of the Rothaus Regio-Tour - his first win for Team Gerolsteiner, his first this year, and, as a matter of fact, only his second pro win ever. Cyclingnews' Susan Westemeyer asked him how felt to finally score another win after a three-year drought.

Torsten Hiekmann
Photo ©: Gerolsteiner
(Click for larger image)

Six years as a pro and only one victory - some riders might throw in the towel. Not Torsten Hiekmann. This season he changed from T-Mobile to Team Gerolsteiner, and three years after his first victory in the GP Schwarzwald in 2003, he won again claiming the final stage in the Rothaus Regio-Tour. How did he feel when he won - relieved, or vindicated, or simply happy? "I was proud and happy that I could finally stand on top of the podium again," he said

"My performance on the whole stage was promising, I was pretty sure early on that it would work out that day. That alone is a great feeling - and when you come over the finish line alone in first place, that gives you an extra kick, especially after such a long dry spell," he says, adding wryly, "Now of course, I can only hope that I don't have to wait another three years for my next win!"

Some riders have a favourite race, or a race they make their own. The Regio-Tour seems to be that race for Hiekmann. The 26-year-old has finished second on G.C. in 2003 and 2005, but he doesn't really know what it is about the race that is so good for him.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Top field for Univest GP

Second and third in the USA Cycling National Race Calendar standings, Navigators Insurance and Toyota-United Pro, along with Team TIAA-CREF, recent winners of the USPRO National Criterium Championships, will lead a high-quality, 28-team field for the ninth annual Univest Grand Prix (UCI 1.2).

Scheduled for September 9-10, 2006, the Univest Grand Prix is the penultimate race on the 2006 US NRC Calendar. Navigators' Vassili Davidenko will face tough competition from Argentinian sprinter Juan-Jose Haedo and his team-mate Ivan Dominguez. New Jersey based Colavita Olive Oil will also be sending a powerful team featuring former USPRO Champion Mark McCormack and Italian Davide Frattini.

Strong international professional squads from Mexico, Germany, Poland and Canada will look to take advantage of the in-fighting between the U.S. teams and take the win in Souderton on Saturday and the lion's share of the $20,000 prize list. Last year's second-place finisher Amos Brumble, an Elite with CCB-Volkswagon, will return to the roads of Montgomery and Bucks counties to challenge the professional class of riders.

Sunday's Univest Grand Prix of Doylestown Criterium is tailored for the sprinters. Team TIAA-CREF will arrive in Doylestown with the past two winners of the 50-lap circuit race, Chad Hartley (2004) and Mike Friedman (2005), and will be looking to capitalise on their recent strong showing at the USPRO National Criterium Championships.

More information:

AIS seeks talented track wannabes

The Australian Institute of Sport Talent Search Program is currently looking to identify males with power, speed and determination to succeed in track sprint cycling.

The program is seeking males aged between 15 to 19 years old (parental consent required if under 18 years old) who are fast and explosive and live in Victoria. This initiative aims to identify the most talented males who could potentially represent Australia at the 2012 Olympics Games in London and provide them with the opportunities to become nationally and internationally competitive track sprint cyclists.

The Australian Institute of Sport Talent Search Program will provide coaching from one of the best Track Sprint coaches in Australia (Hilton Clarke: Assistant Cycling Coach: Victorian Institute of Sport), training and education camps, and assistance with access to competition.

A pool of approximately 10 athletes that have the physical and mental power and speed will be shortlisted from the initial intake. The AIS will have one testing session on Sunday, September 17, 2006, but applicants can also get a PE teacher/coach/parent to time them at another convenient time.

More information: (go to Men's Track Sprint TID Project) or email Tammie Ebert:

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