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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for April 13, 2007

Edited by Laura Weislo

Teams begin finalising Roubaix rosters

T-Mobile hoping for continued success

Burghardt and Hammond
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

With the 105th edition of Paris-Roubaix just days away, the team rosters are starting to take shape for this epic race. After a huge success in Gent-Wevelgem, the T-Mobile team is riding high on the momentum built by Marcus Burghardt and Roger Hammond's one-two punch. Burghardt might have just won his first professional race, but he's no stranger to the cobbled Classic. The big German placed fourth in the Espoir version of Paris-Roubaix in 2004, and considers the race one of his favourites.

Roger Hammond is no stranger to Paris-Roubaix, either. The 33-year-old Briton scored one of his best career podium placings in Roubaix in 2004, taking third behind Magnus Backstedt and Tristan Hoffman - and in a twist of fate, Hoffman is the current T-Mobile team director. "Paris-Roubaix is one of his big season objectives and he is ready," said Hoffman.

Hammond played perfect team tactics in Wevelgem, allowing his lanky team-mate to take the win, and now he's hoping to have a repeat performance on Sunday. "Wednesday’s race was really good for the confidence. I am really looking forward to Paris-Roubaix; it’s an absolutely massive race and a great race to get on the podium. We have a really strong team and many cards to play. Tactically, the sporting managers got it spot on yesterday, so let's see what they have planned for us in France."

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One rider who is on the roster, but might not be able to start is Servais Knaven. The Dutchman was one of the many crash victims in Gent-Wevelgem. "Servais suffered bruised ribs, which are giving him pain," said Hoffman, but plans are to give Knaven time to recover before deciding on his start and keep US rider Aaron Olson as a standby replacement.

T-Mobile for Paris-Roubaix: Eric Baumann, Lorenzo Bernucci, Marcus Burghardt, Bernhard Eisel, Roger Hammond, Bert Grabsch, Andreas Klier, Servais Knaven, Aaron Olson (reserve). Director sportif: Tristan Hoffman and Brian Holm

Wiesenhof to make the most of wildcard slot

Steffen Wesemann (Wiesenhof-Felt)
Photo ©: Gregor Brown
(Click for larger image)

Steffen Wesemann and Team Wiesenhof-Felt are thankful for a wild-card invitation to Paris-Roubaix and intend to make the most of their chance. "I'll do everything I can to provide a big surprise on Sunday," the Swiss rider promised. "As a pro cyclist, you have to experience Paris-Roubaix. It is one of the most difficult races and absolutely the most fascinating," Wesemann said. "I am glad that we got the invitation from the ASO because I don't think I'll have many more opportunities to ride one of my favourite races."

Ronny Lauke, director sportif of the Professional Continental team, called the race "one of our big season highlights. It can't be compared with any other race and is therefore always especially interesting."

Wiesenhof-Felt for Paris-Roubaix: Steffen Wesemann, Bas Giling, Robert Wagner, Jörg Ludewig, Steffen Radochla, Felix Odebrecht, Olaf Pollack and Artur Gajek.

Kopp to lead battered Gerolsteiner squad

David Kopp will lead Team Gerolsteiner Sunday in the 105th edition of Paris-Roubaix, the team has announced. Also on the team will be Heinrich Haussler, who is still suffering from a bruised knee, shoulder and elbow, caused by a crash in this week's Gent-Wevelgem. "Heinrich will grit his teeth and give it a try," said director sportif Christian Henn.

Gerolsteiner for Paris-Roubaix: Thomas Fothen, Oscar Gatto, Heinrich Haussler, David Kopp, Sven Krauss, Tom Stamsnijder, Carlo Westphal, and Peter Wrolich.

No Zabel or Petacchi for Milram

Milram will have to ride "the Hell of the North" without captain Erik Zabel, who is still recovering from injuries received in a crash in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, while their other sprinter, Alessandro Petacchi, prefers to avoid the dangers of the cobbled menace. The team will instead count on their other Alessandro - Italian Alessandro Cortinovis - to be a factor.

Milram for Paris-Roubaix: Alessandro Cortinovis, Volodymyr Diudia, Ralf Grabsch, Brett Lancaster, Martin Mueller, Niki Terpstra, Marcel Sieberg and Fabio Sabatini.

Injury and illness report continued

The peloton continues to be impacted by injuries and illnesses that have plagued the European professionals all season long. In Spain, three of the Quickstep-Innergetic riders pulled out of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco race due to health problems. Bram Tankink, who was sitting in second place in the overall classification after stage three was forced to pull out this morning because of intestinal problems.

Part way through the fourth stage, Giovanni Visconti pulled out of the race because of respiratory problems, and mid-way through the stage Serge Baguet also abandoned the race. "I really struggled today," Baguet said, "unfortunately I had to slow down my training programme due to the back pain I was suffering with last week. Thankfully my back isn't a problem anymore, but I just wasn’t ready today to face such an hard race."

Wilson: 'Kemmelberg descent could be sealed'

The crash on the Kemmel
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

The list of injured riders from Gent-Wevelgem continues to grow. Cyclingnews got word from Australian Matt Wilson, who was involved in the crash on the second descent off the Kemmel. He was taken to the hospital with a suspected broken wrist, but x-rays did not detect any break. However, he will have to wait for the swelling to go down before having further tests.

Wilson added his voice to criticism of the inclusion of the treacherous cobbled descent that felled so many riders. "Has anyone considered sealing the descent? It's yet another example of the riders being put last. Pat McQuaid said 'Danger is part of cycling' and 'it would change the character of the race to remove the Kemmel'... Say that to Jimmy Casper who is today getting his lips and tongue sewn back together."

Wilson wouldn't be upset to see the road paved or taken out of future editions of Gent-Wevelgem. "I don't think that sealing the descent would change much except give the photographers less carnage to take pictures of. The truth is the blood and guts gets ratings. It's one of the most dangerous sports in the world, we all accept that, but the race organisers are the ones who can minimise those risks if they really want to."

Team LPR goes one-two

Solari and Marcato
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Following a similar team tactic that T-Mobile used in Gent-Wevelgem, the Professional Continental Team LPR scored a great one-two victory in the GP Pino Cerami, a Belgian race named after the Italian winner of the 1960 Paris-Roubaix. The win was an important morale boost for the squad, which took their bid for the Professional Continental status to the courts after their application was turned down by the UCI late last year.

Team LPR's Luca Solari won the race with a solo attack from a small breakaway, which also contained his team-mate Marco Marcato. Marcato was able to follow Landbouwkrediet's Bert de Waele and T-Mobile's veteran Marco Pinotti when they tried to bring Solari back in the final kilometre, and then rode away from the pair to take second place.

"We rode really well," said Solari, "we got into all the moves, and controlled the race from the start. In the final circuit of the race, my legs felt very good." The 27 year-old Italian described the solo move as risky, but said "Things went my way, and this is the happiest hour." Solari dedicated the win to his family, saying "my fiancée Annalisa and the team has helped in these two hard years, they've always supported me.

Director sportif Enrico Paolini was also satisfied with the team's performance, and said, "the boys interpreted the race to perfection. To compete on these roads is never easy, but today we have demonstrated that we are able to race on par against anyone."

Valverde prepares Amstel

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Caisse d'Epargne leader Alejandro Valverde applauded his team after the fourth stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. The team put in an enormous effort to help their leader dispute the victory, however, the best Valverde could do was third. "The team worked very hard in the final part of the stage, but it was impossible to catch Voigt because the gap was too big. I am very happy because the entire team was great today, especially the ones who had to be in front."

With his spring targets, the Amstel and Leige-Bastogne-Leige, Valverde is happy with his increasing form, and said, "Personally I feel each day better, finding the right rhythm and right sensations. I am very satisfied because this is the perfect preparation for the classics, with mountains every day and long stages which are also very fast. There are still about ten days before the Amstel Gold race and I hope to be at the start at hundred percent of my condition."

Hansen "disappointed" with ProTour debut

By Susan Westemeyer

Adam Hansen is disappointed with his debut in the ProTour. The Australian dropped out of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco during the third stage, and said that "my first ProTour race isn't a good memory." Part of the reason for his withdrawal, the T-Mobile rider told Cyclingnews, is a sore foot. He crashed during a training camp recently and stretched a ligament. Then in a crash during the first stage in Spain, "I landed on it and it's swollen again, but a few days off will help it."

There's more, though. Between crashing and flat tires before the climbs even started, there "was all a combination of things that went against me." Hansen is honest about what went wrong. "But in the end, I didn't prepared well enough, and I was just struggling. I felt it would be better to drop out than to push to the end and still be tired for future races. So by pulling the pin I can relax, get back to normal and try and do something special in my future races. I hate not finishing races, so it wasn't an easy thing to do."

He remains optimistic, though, saying, "I will be better for future races."

Milram in Spain

The eight Milram riders who are riding in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco will stay on in Spain for Sunday's Klasica Primavera. It is a one-day, 171 km race featuring six climbs in its last half.

Milram for the Klasica Primavera: Igor Astarloa, Mirko Celestino, Sergio Ghisalberti, Carlo Scognamiglio, Andrey Grivko, Matej Jurco, Bjoern Schroeder, Sebastian Schwager.

Volksbank for Drenthe

Team Volksbank is heading to the Profronde van Drenthe this Saturday, with Rene Weissinger and Gerrit Glomser leading the Austrian Professional Continental team. Weissinger recently finished ninth in Rund um Köln.

Volksbank for the Profronde van Drenthe: Gerrit Glomser, Werner Riebenbauer, Pascal Hungerbühler, Sven Teutenberg, Rene Weissinger, and Mariusz Witecki.

USA development team heads to Georgia

USA Cycling announced the eight-member squad that will represent the USA Cycling National Development Team at the Tour de Georgia April 16-22. The team will include Chad Beyer, Sheldon Deeny, John Devine, Caleb Fairly and Eric Riggs from the VMG Racing team, and Brice Jones and Nick Reistad of Jelly Belly, along with Eric Keim of the AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork team.

Cannondale recalls integrated carbon cranksets

Cannondale has voluntarily issued a Safety Recall Notice with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The products affected in the recall include 2007 and a few 2008 Cannondale bicycle models that are equipped with 2-Piece, Road and Mountain System Integrated Cranksets. 3-Piece System Integrated Hollowgram Cranksets and 3-Piece Carbon System Integrated Cranksets are not affected.

Cannondale has learned from FSA (Full Speed Ahead is the manufacturer of these cranks) that a manufacturing process error caused a defect in the aluminum spindle portion of the crankset. "A small percentage of spindles were essentially overcooked during heat treatment causing very small cracks in the wall of the spindle," says Chris Peck, VP R&D at Cannondale.

"It’s important to note that this was a manufacturing error on a limited run of goods. The manufacturing process itself is not flawed, nor is it a design flaw," continues Peck. "The System Integrated, oversized BB30 compatible spindle has been in the Cannondale line since the year 2000 without issues. It is race-proven at the highest level and has passed the highest fatigue testing standards in the industry when manufactured correctly."

"FSA is a valuable partner, has taken full responsibility for the error in manufacturing and worked quickly to make the necessary changes to correct it," Peck said.

The Safety Recall Notice has been distributed to all Authorized Cannondale Dealers in conjunction with specific inspection procedures. Additionally, Cannondale is conducting a mailing direct to consumers. FSA has put appropriate control procedures in place to ensure quality prior to shipments. Cannondale has also added appropriate incoming Quality Control procedures in order to detect this problem in the future prior to assembly.

"Rider safety is of paramount importance with this recall. We urge anyone that has purchased one of these bikes to contact their dealer immediately and have your bike inspected," says Peck.

Cannondale reports that at this point no injuries have been reported. It is estimated that approximately 2300 bicycles may have the defective spindle. Replacement parts will be provided and installed free of charge to individuals affected by this recall.

For information on specific bicycle models affected, the notice has been posted at or call the company at 1-800 BIKE USA in the US and +31 541573580 in Europe.

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