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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for September 20, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones, Kyle Mackay and Greg Johnson

Classical flavour for this year's World's

By Jeff Jones

2005 men's RR winner Tom Boonen (Belgium)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Click for larger image

The 2006 World Road Championships are being held in Salzburg, Austria this year between September 20-25. Split into two disciplines (time trial and road race) across three categories (U23 men, elite women, elite men), the championships will decide six rainbow jerseys in the city of Mozart. Both time trial and road courses look to be challenging enough to decide worthy world champions.

Wednesday, September 20 will see the championships kick off with the elite women's and U23 men's time trials. The races start on Schwarzstrasse and finish in Mirabellplatz, with the women's being run over 26.12 km and the U23 men over 39.54 km. The outward leg features two climbs, and takes the riders from 422m up to 575m. The return run is mostly downhill, but heads back into Salzburg via a different route.

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/

In the women's race, defending champion Karin Thürig (Switzerland) will be up against the likes of Zulfiya Zabirova (Kazakhstan), Nicole Cooke (Great Britain), Nicole Brändli (Switzerland), Kristin Armstrong and Christine Thorburn (USA), Christiane Soeder (Austria) and Judith Arndt (Germany), with the perennial Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (France) also a likely top finisher.

The U23 men will also feature the top three from last year: Mikhail Ignatiev (Russian Federation), Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukraine) and Peter Latham (New Zealand), with Lars Boom (Netherlands), Dominique Cornu (Belgium) and Mark Jamieson (Australia) ones to watch.

The men's race will run on Thursday, September 21, and will pit the top testers in the world against each other over a longer course of 50.83 km. Look for the in-form David Millar (Great Britain) to challenge triple world champion Michael Rogers (Australia) and try to put the icing on the cake after his two year suspension for admitting to doping. Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara was close to Millar in the Vuelta's first time trial, and is definitely a contender in Salzburg.

After a day's rest on Friday, the racing resumes Saturday with the elite women's and U23 men's road races. The road course is 22.2 km long, starting and finishing in Mirabellplatz. At Zilling after 8.4 km, the top of the first climb (545m) is reached, and is followed by a short descent and then another sharp climb/false flat up to Elixhausen (km 13.2). The final 9 km of the circuit is mostly downhill, and attacks on the last two climbs could well decide the race.

The women will do six laps of the circuit for a total of 132.6 km, the U23 men do eight laps for 176.8 km. On Sunday, the elite men race over 12 laps for a total of 265.2 km, and it's always considered the main event of the World Championships.

Live coverage

Cyclingnews will be covering each race of the UCI world championships live from start to finish. The opening race is the women's TT at 12:00 CEST (Europe)/6:00 EDT (USA east)/3:00 PDT (USA west)/20:00 AEST (Australia east).

Click here for the preview, map, program & results and start lists/maps for the women's TT and U23 men's TT.

Brajkovic to miss TT

Slovenian rider Janez Brajkovic will miss the elite men's time trial at the World Championships on Thursday in Salzburg. The Discovery rider gave a press conference in Ljubljana today where he said he still had chest pain after finishing the Vuelta a España. Although one of the favourites for the race against the clock (he won the U23 title in 2004), he still intends to join his teammates in the road race on Sunday.

Courtesy of Mitja Smid Bricelj

UCI decisions in Salzburg

The UCI Management Committee met on Tuesday in Salzburg (Austria) on the eve of the 2006 Road World Championships. During the meeting, president Pat McQuaid discussed the audit of cycling with the Management Committee, which in turn approved the replacement of Manolo Saiz by Roger Legeay in the UCI ProTour Council.

The UCI awarded the following World Championships:

BMX 2009: Adelaide (Australia)
Junior 2009: Moscow (Russia)
MTB Marathon 2009: Graz (Austria)

The committee also approved the introduction of three new events for the Track World Championships (men omnium and women team sprint from 2006-2007, women team pursuit from 2007-2008; both women team events will be programmed at the Track World Cup legs as well), and the calendars for Road 2007 (Continental Circuits Women and Junior), BMX 2007, MTB 2007, and MTB UCI World Cup 2007:

UCI World Cup XCM #1 - March 17-18: Gran Canaria (Spain)
UCI World Cup XCO #1 - April 21-22: Houffalize (Belgium) / Madrid Spain)
UCI World Cup DHI/4X #1 - May 12-13: Vigo (Spain)
UCI World Cup XCO #2: May 26- 27: Offenburg (Germany)
UCI World Cup XCO #3/DHI/4X #2: May 9-10: Champéry (Switzerland)
UCI World Cup XCO #4/DHI/4X #3: June 23-24: Mount-Sainte-Anne (Canada)
UCI World Cup XCO #5/DHI/4X #4: June 30-July 1: Angel Fire Resort (USA)
UCI World Cup XCM #2: July 7-8: Dolomiti Superbike (Italy)
UCI World Cup DHI/4X #5: July 7-8: Schladming (Austria)
UCI World Cup XCM#3: August 25: Lillehammer (Norway)
UCI World Cup XCO/DHI/4X #6: September 15-16: Maribor (Slovenia)
UCI World Cup XCM #4: October 11-12: Fréjus (France)

XCO = Cross Country Olympic Format
XCM = Cross-Country Marathon Format 2007
DHI = Individual Downhill

First pro win for Weylandt

Twenty-one year-old Belgian rider Wouter Weylandt (Quick.Step) has recorded his first win as a pro in the kermis in Vichte, Belgium. The sprinter beat Niko Eeckhout (Chocolade Jacques) and Dennis Flahaut (Flanders) in a small bunch sprint.

"In recent weeks, I've had placings one after the other, now there is the victory at last," he told Belga. "Since the Eneco Tour, the condition is quite good. But it just didn't really happen until today. I started this sprint from a long way out, because I wanted to surprise guys like Eeckhout. I could get to the front and kept going full out. Nobody was able to get past me.

"On Saturday, I will ride the Delta Profronde. Maybe I can also take a stage in the Franco-Belge. With this form, it should happen."

Three riders extend with CSC

Team CSC has extended the contracts with three of its riders who have just finished the Vuelta a España: Iñigo Cuesta, Volodymir Gustov and Marcus Ljungqvist have all signed for an extra year.

"All three of them have done well throughout the season and it is only natural for us to sign them up for another year," said Bjarne Riis on team-csc.com. "They are newcomers to the team this year, but they all fit in well with the other riders and also with the way we do things at Team CSC. During the Vuelta they've each made a very solid effort and also made results on their own during the season."

Gutiérrez aims for '99 repeat

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Spaniard Jose Iván Gutiérrez, who won the silver medal at the last World Championships in Madrid, seems convinced he will finish on the podium in Salzburg next Thursday's time trial race. He assured that "I like the circuit. It does not matter for me if it rains; the layout is not difficult for me, but after inspecting the circuit, it suits the Swiss Fabian Cancellara´s characteristics very well." Gutiérrez hopes to repeat his under-23 victory from 1999 at this year's time trial. For that reason, Gutiérrez skipped last week's Vuelta a España, in order to better prepare for the time trial World Championships. The Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears ride is looking forward to the race concluding, "I do not know what can happen, but I am very motivated."

2007 Vuelta a Asturias in doubt

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Tuesday's edition of La Nueva España announced that the 2007 Vuelta a Asturias is in serious doubts after striking financial difficulties. According to the Spanish newspaper,"The organization remains without a major sponsor and now, the responsibility falls to the regional government," in order to be registered on the national cycling calendar at the end of this month. "The Vuelta a Asturias is in danger of disappearance," warned the Asturian race director, Julio Alvarez Mendo. The Vuelta a Asturias celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, but is now in doubt following Cajastur's withdrawal as the event's major sponsor. Cajastur's withdrawal has left the Asturian Government as the event's only major sponsor. Cajastur had provided approximately 40% of the event's budget, with the rest provided by city councils and other sponsorships.

Bike Wales West challenge

By Gerry McManus

Sunday October 1 will mark the third in this year's Challenge Bike Wales series backed by the Welsh Assembly Government and Welsh Cycling and organised by The Events Group. The event will consist of three rides of 32, 52 and 109 miles respectively which all start and finish in front of the National Waterfront Museum of Wales in the centre of Swansea. The 32 mile (51.5km) Bronze ride starts at 11am taking in Gowerton, Llanmorlais, Burry Green and Pennard.

The 52 mile (83.7km) Silver ride starts at 10am taking in Clydach, Pontardawe, Ammanford, Gorseinon, Llanmorlais, Burry Green and Pennard. The 109 mile (175.4km) Gold ride starts at 9am using the Silver route up to the Brynamman area and then sweeping away into the Black Mountains before descending to Llandog, Llandovery, Rhandar-Mwyn, Pumsaint, Llandeilo and Gorseinon before rejoining the Silver route back to Swansea. The routes have been specially selected by local cyclists on quiet roads in the lush countryside, and the views from the tops of the climbs will be spectacular, weather permitting.

All events will have computer-chip timing and finishers will be ranked within each category. All finishers will receive a BikeWales Certificate of Achievement to remember the day. There will be plenty of support along the way with a mechanical support service, medical support, drinks stations and a 'broom' wagon for those who can't quite make it. Entry forms are available from www.bikewales.org

USA women's team aims for World Championship glory

The United States women's team riders, Kristin Armstrong, Amber Neben and Christine Thorburn, have reported they're in medal-winning form following a final training session on Tuesday ahead of this week's UCI Road World Championships.

"The course suits me well," commented Armstrong, who recently won the Euregio Ladies Tour. "It's very technical in the beginning and the climbs are short and steep and not super long. Last year was a big result or me, and it's only natural to want to do even better."

The trio are under no illusions about the task ahead. Despite finishing in the top eight at last year's World Championships, the women acknowledge Austria's reigning title holder Christiane Soeder will be difficult to beat on home soil. "It's all going to come down to who has the perfect day," added Armstrong. "Christiane had a really good time trial in France last week (at the Chrono Champenois) where she placed second to Karen by less than a second in a 45-minute race. Usually nobody comes that close to Karen in a time trial, so both Karen and Christiane are both going really good right now."

The Thorpedo gets involved in Goulburn to Sydney Cycle Classic

The 2006 Goulburn to Sydney Cycle Classic will be run this Sunday, September 24. Thorpedo Foods, the company behind five-time Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe, has come on board in response to the worsening drought in and around Goulburn as a symbolic gesture of support to the region. The Olympic swimmer responded immediately by organising water to be supplied to the competitors throughout the race. “It’s terrible to see what is happening in rural [Australia] and I ’m happy to be involved,” Mr Thorpe said. “I would like to see all Australians conserve water where possible. It’s good to see that the cycling fraternity is sensitive to the needs of the community that is affected by the drought.”

This year the NSW Police Commissioner, Ken Moroney will also be observing race proceedings and will be present at the Camden finish. Race Ambassador, Simon Poidevin said, “Last year’s race was without incident and it was good to see a warm and cordial relationship between the riders and the police.” Organisers are encouraging spectators to get along and watch along the race route or go to one of the participating townships and cheer on the riders to the finish. “It’s not everyday you’ll see athletes of this calibre passing through the town, so please make them feel welcome.

The riders loved the race last year because of the encouragement from the communities. Let’s build on what we started last year,” Mr Poidevin said. Race entries are already up on last year with Victorian, Michael Ford, the 2004 World Champion and Sean Finning, the 2006 Commonwealth Points Race Champion leading 150 competitors into Camden. In the teams classification, No. 1 team Porsche-Drapac will be favourites to win.

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