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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

Latest Cycling News for September 8, 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).

WAP-enabled mobile devices: http://live.cyclingnews.com/wap/

Edited by Anthony Tan, with assistance from Susan Westemyer

Carpe Diem for Paolini

Luca Paolini said he had just one goal prior to commencing the 61st Vuelta a Espańa: to prove himself one last time. Making the decisive 12-man break after roughly 80 kilometres before creating the winning move with four kilometres to go, the Liquigas rider accomplished exactly what he set out to achieve in Stage 12.

"I was able to seize the decisive moment," said Paolini in a team statement. "When I started this stage race, my precise goal was to win one stage to prove my good form one more time."

"This is my first win in one of the Grand Tours and that is why it's special. It's the fourth time I've taken part and, after several unfortunate experiences, at last I've had luck. Now, I'm optimistic about the last part of the racing season. Above all, I'm thinking about Salzburg," he said.

Astana justifies the chase

With Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears' David Arroyo making the decisive 12-man breakaway in Stage 12 of the Vuelta a Espańa, the team of race leader Alejandro Valverde is now one of two teams along with Astana to have three riders in the top fifteen overall.

When the break's lead reached its maximum advantage, Astana realised the threat and began chasing to prevent Arroyo becoming a threat on general classification. "When they had approximately 12 minutes' advantage, I ordered to my riders to work, because I did not want to take risks," said Astana directeur-sportif Herminio Díaz Zabala in a team statement. "We waited to see if Milram or Lampre would working for a sprint [finish], but when that didn't happen, I did not want to put our [future] options in danger."

Zabala justified his strategy by saying it was not an excessive effort: "Only four riders worked - Kemps, Bazayev, Yakovlev and Redondo. There were not many kilometres [left], and besides, it is the first time that we had worked [chasing a break] in the Vuelta. It is not so bad."

While the top ten on the overall classification did not change, Caisse d'Epargne's Arroyo was the day's biggest beneficiary on GC and is now 13th overall, 5'23 behind his team-mate Valverde.

Other opp's for CSC

Although Team CSC weren't represented in yesterday's twelfth stage of the Vuelta a Espańa, directeur-sportif Kim Andersen says it wasn't a case of not trying, and today presents another opportunity.

"[On Stage 12], Kurt Asle was in a break from the beginning, but unfortunately they weren't allowed to go on. A shame because it would've been a perfect finish for him," said Andersen on team-csc.com.

"Astana took control of the peloton after a while, but the decisive break was given quite a bit of leeway, which meant Caisse d'Epargne had another rider advance in the overall standings. [Stage 13] should present another opportunity for a break, and of course we'll try and be there again," he said.

Meanwhile at the Tour de Pologne, the team lacks a sprinter, and are therefore anxious about the hillier terrain to be encountered over the weekend. "We didn't have anyone who could do the sprint, so we'll have to see what we can do later on when we hit more hilly terrain and the sprinters are unable to follow," said CSC DS Alain Gallopin after the fourth stage from Bydgoszcz to Poznań.

Bennati looks to defend lead

It was a perfect day for Lampre-Fondital in yesterday's fourth stage of the Tour de Pologne, as the team controlled the race throughout the day before bringing their sprinter in position for the sprint, duly won by Daniele Bennati. With victory, Bennati also took the race lead from Fabrizio Guidi of Phonak.

"Today [Thursday], I accomplished a very good sprint, also thanks to the work of my team-mates," said Bennati in a team statement, who took his sixth season victory and sixteenth career win.

"The victory and the leader jersey makes me very happy; tomorrow, I will try to defend my lead in the overall standings."

Squadra Azzurra named September 15

Next Friday in Milan at the EICMA bike show, Italian national selector Franco Ballerini will officially announce the 'Squadra Azzurra' that will be participating at the 2006 world's in Salzburg, Austria.

And from September 18-20, the town of Varese will host a training camp for the Elite and U23 riders selected by Ballerini. The Italians will also get a head-start for their 2008 world championship campaign, as Varese - scene of the 2008 world's - will also host next year's training camp for the Squadra Azzurra.

New Zealand sends five to world's

After crashing out in the second stage of the Tour of Poland on Tuesday, Julian Dean has left New Zealand's elite men's hopes at the world road championships in shreds. The 31 year-old was expected to have two riders sent to Salzburg to work for him, but with at least two broken bones in his hand, the country doesn't appear to have a worthy substitute.

"More than our plans, the injury has thrown Julian's plans into disarray," said NZ high performance director Michael Flynn to stuff.co.nz. "His form was coming good after a terrible start to the year with sickness and problems with his knee. I don't know how much bad luck a bloke can possibly get."

Greg Henderson, who worked for Dean in last year's world championships in Madrid, was the only real alternative, but the US-based Health Net/Maxxis pro has chosen not to race this year in favour of resting and preparing for the upcoming track season.

"With the Commonwealth Games, and track and road commitments, Greg has had a long tough year," said Flynn. "He was shattered by the Games result and after the broken hip, he had to take time off and then come back."

Sarah Ulmer was another expected to do well at the world's, but a recurring back and leg injury has sidelined her for the time being. Consequently, Joanne Kiesanowski will be leading the women's team, supported by Toni Bradshaw, while time trial bronze medallist Peter Latham forms part of the U23 men's team, along with Tim Gudsell and Logan Hutchings.

The Under 23 and elite women road races will be held on September 23, with the Under 23 road race course 176.8km long and the elite women's course 132.6km long. The Under 23 men's time trial will be held on September 20, on a 39.54km long course.

New Zealand team for road world's:

Logan Hutchings (Papamoa) - Under 23 men
Peter Latham (Te Awamutu) - Under 23 men
Tim Gudsell (Te Awamutu) - Under 23 men
Joanne Kiesanowski (Christchurch) - Elite women
Toni Bradshaw (Auckland) - Elite women

Luttenberger keeps world's hopes alive

Peter Luttenberger flew home to Austria after crashing out of the Tour of Poland's third stage. X-rays in Graz on Thursday gave him the good news that no bones in his hand were broken, and that he got away only with bruises. The doctors ruled that his start at the world's later this month is not in danger.

Luttenberger's manager Jürgen Pauritsch said: "The Poland Tour would have been the perfect preparation for the world's. Now Peter is thinking about starting in the Hessen Rundfahrt. The question now is not whether he will start in the world's time trial on September 21 in Salzburg, but how he can best prepare for it."

Klöden: "Keep the faith"

"There are black sheep, and there probably will also be in the future, but I want to do what I can to support our sport and urge our fans not to lose their faith in a fair sport," Andreas Klöden wrote on his Web site.

Speaking out doping issues, he emphasised "I strongly condemn doping and strongly support what the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer [German cycling federation], among others, is currently doing."

"We are required the whole year to let [the national federation] know where we are. Next to the doping controls that regularly take place during competition, we must also undertake spontaneous controls throughout the year. For example, this year I was tested several times at a training camp in South Africa.

"What I want to say, is that there is a system that works and that all pro cyclists have to obey. I don't make any secret of the fact that it is sometimes a bother, when for example, you are tested a half an hour before a race stars, but I also say, that it has to be!"

Klöden also announced some happier news: he and longtime girlfriend Bettina will be married next month in October. The couple has two daughters.

Return to form for Deignan

By Shane Stokes

Irish rider Philip Deignan had his best result of the season on Thursday in finishing second on the mountainous eighth stage of the Tour de l'Avenir. The AG2R Prévoyance rider was outsprinted by fellow pro Rémy Di Gregorio (Française des Jeux) for the win, but will be greatly encouraged by what is an upswing in form after a season blighted by injury and illness.

Deignan crashed in his first race of the season, breaking his collarbone. He recovered and was down to do the Giro d'Italia, but then had to withdraw beforehand due to a kidney infection. It was later discovered that he had glandular fever and he spent much of the summer trying to shake off the last effects of the disease.

Deignan recently returned to racing. He lost time early on in the Tour de l'Avenir but is clearly coming into good condition, picking up points on each of the day's climbs, winning the final intermediate sprint and placing second at the line.

Meanwhile compatriot Nicolas Roche heads into the final two days in sixth place overall. He won stage four and will hope to improve his overall classification place before the race ends on Saturday. Moises Duenas Nevado of the Agritubel team is currently in yellow.

The Tour de L'Avenir continues on Friday with a 24.5 kilometre time trial from Chamonix-Mont-Blanc to Finhaut ITT. It concludes on Saturday with a 145.5 kilometre road race Saint-Nicolas-La-Chapelle to Marcinelle-en-Montagne.

T-Mobile women on a late-season roll

As the season draws to a close, the women's T-Mobile Team are in confident mood going to the start line for this weekend's final leg of the 2006 World Cup, the Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt.

"We had a fantastic year - with some ups and downs, of course," said team manager Andrzej Bek. "We started very well, taking great results in Australia and New Zealand and then carried that fine form through the spring races in Europe and North America.

"Injuries and sicknesses set us back somewhat in the summer, but the athletes bounced back with great results in August and then last week's top performances in Holland," added Bek, referring to Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Judith Arndt's stage wins in the Holland Ladies Tour and Teutenberg's victory at the Rotterdam World Cup.

"We did pretty good for the first year," said Teutenberg. "We had hoped to end the season on a strong note," says Teutenberg. "But we never imagined scoring four wins in one week.

"We grew together as a team and won a lot of races. It was difficult at first, which is normal for a new team, but then everything started to fall into place," said the 32 year-old German.

Having a sponsor like T-Mobile is beginning to improve the perception of women's cycling said Teutenberg: "The more competitive teams that come on board, the better that is for the development of women's cycling in general," she said, "but there is still much room for improvement."

Teutenberg now has the season's final World Cup race in Nuremburg in her sights, where she'll be supported by Arndt, Kim Anderson, Kimberly Baldwin, Amy Moore and Christina Becker. "Usually, Nuremberg boils down to a sprint finish. Since the course is very fast, it's relatively tricky for a breakaway to succeed. We'll see how the legs are on Sunday and how well I have recovered from the races in Holland," she said.

UK traffic: "There will always be situations"

The rider protest that occurred on the penultimate stage of last week's Tour of Britain was in fact the second time the race has been faced with such action as a result of traffic problems.

On the opening stage around Manchester in 2004, race officials sent a number of riders the wrong way inside the final kilometre. This year, on the fifth stage from Rochester to Canterbury, riders initiated a go-slow after officials let oncoming traffic onto the parcours, and chose to race only the final 30 kilometres.

"There are always going to be situations on our roads," said Tour of Britain chief executive Hugh Roberts to The North West Enquirer. "We had 1400 volunteers who came out to work on the race. We are doing as much as we can to create this in as safe an environment as possible."

With Liverpool set to host the start of the regional stage in next year's Tour of Britain before hosting the final stage in 2008, a number of figures in the cycling community are questioning the organisers' ability to stage of race of this calibre on Britain's heavily trafficked roads.

Event director Tony Doyle told the The North West Enquirer that total road closure - like the situation in virtually all European stage races on the UCI calendar - is an unlikely scenario. "Obviously we would like that to happen," said Doyle. "But with the laws of the land, it's not an easy thing to do - you've got to pass an actual Act of Parliament. The French have already passed theirs."

"We've taken on board the comments that the riders, media and general public have made, and now we're going to do everything to make sure that the route is safe [in future]," Doyle added.

A day to forget for Gerolsteiner

Thursday's stage of the Vuelta was just one of those days when (almost) nothing went right for Gerolsteiner. "Three men dropped out, a broken-down bus, broken-down material, an injured mechanic and a broken tooth," Robert Förster told www.radsportnews.de

The race started off poorly for the team as Sven Montgomery and Andrea Moletta dropped back from the peloton within the first kilometres. Later, on a climb, youngster Markus Fothen dropped back to the team car to pick up a rain jacket and never reached the peloton again.

At least not on his bike: "A fully loaded team car came by us, with our three guys in it. They didn't look happy," recalled Förster.

The only highlight of the day was Heinrich Haussler's top ten finish after being in the right escape. But that was really the only good news of the day: two belts in the team bus' engine were torn, as was one in the mechanic's vehicle; the air compressor and the high-pressure cleaner were also broken down; a mechanic hurt his back; and Rene Haselbacher broke a tooth on an olive at dinner. Exclaimed Förster: "That was really not our day!"

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