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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Latest Cycling News for September 26, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones, with assistance from Susan Westemeyer

Cancellara happy with his gold

The new world champion
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

CSC has a world champion in its ranks now with Fabian Cancellara, the Swiss strong man who pummelled all the opposition to win the men's world time trial championships last week. Cancellara, who also won Paris-Roubaix this year, described the win to as "...a major relief. I've been working towards this for so long. It's my specialty, so of course I've pushed myself to the limit in order to be the best in this particular discipline."

Cancellara was a dual time trial World Champion as a junior rider and also won a silver medal in the U23 championships. At the finish in Salzburg, Cancellara didn't even need to sprint across the line, as he did a couple of weeks ago in the Vuelta, where David Millar beat him by less than a second.

"I'd received reports from Kim Andersen in the sports director's car during the race," he added. "A couple of kilometres before the finish, he said I could raise my hands whenever I felt like it, because my lead was so big. But I just told him, that I didn't wanna know, after my narrow defeat in Spain."

During the race, Cancellara opted for a high cadence, and his ascent of the Gschaiderberg was a marked contrast to the other competitors as he spun his way up the climb. "I always try to keep a high cadence instead of riding in a big gear, but lots of people have told me, the cadence was really high on Thursday. I haven't seen the race on TV yet, but I will when I get back home to Switzerland. After my second place in the Vuelta time trial, I worked on getting the perfect position on the bike and the right cadence and some other things, and it all came together nicely and it was just a perfect day."

Cancellara said that he was more surprised by how well he did in the road race on Sunday, where he made several attacks in the lead group towards the end. "The race started out quite bad for me, I felt like I hadn't recovered well from the time trial, but tactically I did the right thing, and then my legs were great in the end," says Cancellara, who with about 10 kilometres to go, tried to split the lead group ahead of the final climb.

"I felt so good, I just had to do something, cause I knew I wasn't able to win a bunch sprint, so I went full gas and hoped the other riders wouldn't be able to follow me. In the Tour of Denmark I won a stage the same way, but unfortunately it didn't work out this time."

Cancellara will probably end his season in his home country in Sunday's Züri Metzgete. He finished by thanking all his fans: "There were lots of fans from all the Nordic countries and from Switzerland, who all supported me in Salzburg. It was incredible to see so many Team CSC fans and fans from Switzerland - it was a very beautiful day."

Boonen already planning for next season

Tom Boonen (Belgium)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Tom Boonen, who finished his season with a ninth place in the world championships road race, will probably not change things much next year. The Belgian, who typically races for eight months of the year, indicated to Sportwereld that he could include the Amstel Gold Race on his program. "Thereby my pre-season would be lengthened by a season," he said. His favourite cobbled classics will remain the highlights, of course, as well as the Tour de France.

The world championship road race in Stuttgart is an unknown at the moment, as national coach Carlo Bomans believes the course is a lot harder than Salzburg. "Something for riders who suit Fleche Wallonne," he said. "For Tom, it will be a tough job."

Boogerd annoyed

Dutchman Michael Boogerd, who finished 28th in the world championship road race, blamed Rabobank's team doctors for not taking care of him in the lead up to the race. Boogerd had an inflamed throat for some time, and it affected his training. "Something like that makes it all just a bit harder," he said in an interview with Sportweek. "That I told my team a month ago that I had problems and nothing happened."

Who's on T-Mobile's 2007 roster?

Who will be riding for T-Mobile next season? Some big names will not be with the team next year - such as Jan Ullrich, Oscar Sevilla and Andreas Klöden - and rumours are rampant in Germany as to which current riders have and haven't been offered new contracts, as well as to who might be joining the team.

The mystery should all be explained Wednesday, when the team will hold a press conference at T-Mobile Headquarters in Bonn, Germany. The team says it will explain how its efforts to restore confidence in cycling are going, as well as "announce which riders are moving to the team and other details around the 2007 T-Mobile Team campaign."

One of those "new" riders may be a familiar name - Axel Merckx. He started his career with the then Team Telekom in 1993, before going to Motorola, Polti, Mapei, Domo and Davitamon, before riding this year for Phonak. At one stage, he was planning on retiring after this season, but then decided to continue on for one year. He had been negotiating with Unibet and CSC, but has now decided to go to T-Mobile.

Panaria looking for success in Memorial Cimurri

This Saturday's 2nd Memorial Cimurri Premio Bioera will be an important race for "home" team Ceramica Panaria-Navigare. The squad directed by Bruno and Roberto Reverberi will try to improve on its second place last year, where Paride Grillo was beaten by Murilo Fischer (Naturino) in a bunch sprint. The race will be held in Reggio Emilia along roads that are very familiar to the Panaria riders, and it's expected to be a tougher course than last year.

"We are close to this race and we have a duty to really be competitive in it," said Roberto Reverberi. "It's a responsibility that we will take and that will make it twice as hard to get a big result, because everyone else will be watching our moves. The route is harder and this should be able to create a bigger selection and eliminate at least the most dangerous sprinters."

In saying that, Reverberi confirmed that "Grillo will be there - he is our man for a bunch sprint, but we also have Perez, Mazzanti, Pozzovivo as well as Sella, although he is sick, to make the race hard form the start and to try to make the decisive attack. In the first edition of the race, we got in all the breaks, including the right one. We just missed out on celebrating the victory at the finish. For starters, on Saturday we not only want to confirm our role as protagonists in the race, but to improve the final result."

Team rosters for Franco-Belge

The circuit Franco-Belge takes place this week, starting on Thursday, September 28 and finishing on Sunday, October 1.

Quick Step-Innergetic has named its line-up for the stage race, including Wilfried Cretskens, Steven De Jongh, Servais Knaven, Nick Nuyens, Sebastien Rosseler, Kevin Van Impe, Jurgen Van de Walle and Wouter Weylandt. Sports directors will be Wilfried Peeters and Rik Van Slycke.

Landbouwkrediet-Colnago will be going with Frédéric Amorison, Johan Verstrepen, Bert De Waele, Nico Sijmens, Andy Cappelle, James Van Landschoot, Kevin Neirynck, and Mathieu Criquielion.

Nobili Rubinetterie finishes season in El Salvador

Italian women's team Nobili Rubinetterie Menikini Cogeas will finish its racing season with the Vuelta Ciclistica El Salvador, which runs between September 27 and October 2. The team dominated last year's race, Edita Pucinskaite, Evelyn Garcia, and Sigrid Corneo making a clean sweep of the podium, and seven Nobili riders finishing in the top 10. Evelyn Garcia also won the 2004 edition, while riding for a different team.

Garcia will lead the squad this year, and will have the support of Olivia Gollan, Marta Vilajosana, Emanuela Azzini and Eloide Touffet. After the race finishes, the team will stay on to race the 100 km Coppa di Santa Ana on October 4.

Track stars expected at Manchester World Cup

The British leg of the track World Cup competition will take place in Manchester from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th February. It will be the finale to the four event series that will have travelled around the world from Sydney in November to Moscow in December and Los Angeles in January. The sport's elite riders from the top 30 ranked countries will gather for the final showdown that decides the overall series winners in each cycling discipline and the award for the top nation.

The Manchester event will have extra importance, being the last major competition before the UCI track world championships in Palma de Mallorca in March. Each nation is expected to field their best medal prospects in preparation for their world title bids. The teams will be announced by their national federations around a month before the event.

Britain has high hopes for medals in both the men's and women's events. Former world champions Chris Newton and Rob Hayles are likely to head up the strong British men's pursuit team renewing old rivalries with their Australian counterparts. Chris Hoy will be a likely contender for the kilo crown, proudly wearing the world champion's rainbow jersey that he won this year in Bordeaux for the specialised discipline.

Britain's Victoria Pendleton has become one of the top women's sprinters in the world, and will certainly be looking for revenge over Natallia Tsylinskaya from Belarus after she took her world championship sprint crown this year in France.

Ticket prices start at £12 for adults and £6 for under 16, with plenty of discounted options available.

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