Cyclingnews - the world centre of cycling Cyclingnews TV   News  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   BMX   Cyclo-cross   Track    Photos    Fitness    Letters   Search   Forum  

Recent News

January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008

2007 & earlier

Recently on

Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for April 18, 2007

Edited by Greg Johnson and Ben Abrahams

No Scheldeprijs for Boonen

Boonen in Roubaix
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

Intestinal problems have forced Tom Boonen out of Wednesday's Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen in Belgium where the Quick.Step man was hoping to repeat last year's success in front of a hometown crowd. "I had to stop my training because of these problems," said Boonen in a team statement on Tuesday. "Together with the team medical staff we decided to not take risks."

On Monday evening the Belgian was involved in a minor car accident caused by a wandering cat. "I was driving my car in the neighbourhood of Balen. Near a traffic light a cat crossed the road. I avoided the cat but the car finished in the road. I damaged the front part of my car [yellow Lamborghini - ed.] but fortunately the cat is still alive."

The Scheldeprijs is typically Boonen's final event of his first period of racing before taking a break to recuperate for later season objectives. "I cannot take the start but I want to be in Antwerp and Schoten to say hello and thanks to all my supporters and to support my team-mates during the race," he said.

Boonen will follow the race alongside directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters in the team car while Serge Baguet will take his place on the Quick.Step roster.

Valverde gunning for Amstel Gold

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

After a solid showing at the Vuelta al País Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country), Alejandro Valverde has the form to win Sunday's Amstel Gold Race, according to his Caisse d'Epargne director Eusebio Unzúe. "Valverde has demonstrated many times before that once he reaches peak form, he is capable of winning any race," Unzúe told Cyclingnews.

Of the three remaining Spring Classics, Unzúe believes that Valverde would prefer victory at Amstel over repeat wins in either Flèche Wallonne or Liège-Bastogne-Liège. "It would be the Amstel," he said. "Because Valverde has still not won it. The difficulty of its finale suits him very well."

Caisse d'Epargne were hoping for more success in the Basque tour but weren't expecting such a strong field at the ProTour event. "It is true that we went there to win a stage or reach the podium," continued Unzúe. "But not all these objectives could be satisfied, because our rivals were already in an advanced state of form; circumstances that had not happened before. Valverde was there purely to prepare for the Spring Classics."

Caisse d'Epargne's roster for the remaining Classics has not yet been finalised, although Unzúe expects Joaquím Rodriguez to support Valverde after his strong performance in Liège-Bastogne-Liège last year.

Euskal Bizikleta to go ahead

By Monika Prell

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:

Many Spanish races like the Vuelta a Aragón had to be cancelled this year due to lost sponsors and less interest from television networks, and cancellation also threatened the Basque race Euskal Bizikleta. But now, the race's running is assured, even if the event will only consist of three stages instead of five, from June 8-10.

In an interview with, Javier Etxekopar, the press chief of the Euskal Bizikleta, commented: "Thanks to ETB (the Basque television channel), we have enough money to pay for three days. We also had offers for five days, but we did not think that ProTour riders would attend. The Giro d'Italia stops on June 3 and the Dauphiné Libéré starts on June 10. So we had money but no cyclists."

As Etxekopar affirms, 17 teams, each with eight riders, will participate. Amongst those confirmed are Euskaltel-Euskadi, Saunier Duval-Prodir and Caisse d'Epargne. The organisation is reportedly talking to some other ProTour teams like Lampre, Liquigas and Crédit Agricole. Other Spanish teams participating are Relax-GAM, Karpin Galicia, Fuerteventura Canarias and Orbea.

On Friday, June 8, the race will begin from its traditional starting point in Eibar and end in Tolosa. On Saturday, there will be two stages: one from Tolosa to Abadiño in the morning and in the afternoon an individual time trial around Abadiño. On Sunday, the race will start from the ETB building in Iurreta and end with an uphill finish to Subida a Arrate.

Broken hand for Wilson

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

Aussie Matt Wilson was one of 13 riders caught up in crashes on the Kemmelberg during last Wednesday's Gent-Wevelgem, and the Unibet rider has now been diagnosed with a broken hand.

"It's broken in three places," Wilson told Cyclingnews. "I'm out for at least four weeks. Bloody Kemmelberg!"

The carnage on the cobbled descent prompted some riders to call for its removal from the race while Wilson suggested the surface could be sealed. However, UCI president Pat McQuaid said at the time that getting rid of the 'Kemmel' would change the race's character too much and that dangerous descents were simply part of professional cycling.

DFL-Cyclingnews in the wars again

Professional Continental squad DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed have already had their fair share of injuries this season but the team suffered another setback last Thursday when Sven De Weerdt crashed out of the GP Pino Cerami in Belgium. De Weert sustained an open elbow fracture plus some ripped off tendons and will be out of action for a significant part of the season.

British champion Hamish Haynes and Gert Vanderaerden both crashed at the team's opening race, the Tour Méditerranéen. Haynes has returned to racing while Vanderaerden is back in training.

ASO introduces new cyclo-sportive

Due to the overwhelming success of its 'L'Etape du Tour' cyclo-sportive event which allows amateur riders to tackle a stage of the Tour de France, organisers ASO are introducing a similar event, 'Etape de Légende', scheduled to take place on September 23. The new event will follow the route of one of the great stages in Tour history, from Strasbourg to Ballon d'Alsace where Raymond Poulidor lost all hopes of victory during the 1967 race.

As with 'L'Etape du Tour', the 8500 expected participants will enjoy fully closed roads, medical backup, feeding zones and entertainment along the 210km parcours. Those who were unsuccessful in gaining a place for L'Etape in July will be given priority in registration until April 20.

More information on the new event can be found at

Cycling NZ announce new selectors

The Cycling New Zealand Council's president Mark Ireland has announced the appointment of Mark Lucas as one of the organisation's national selectors. Lucas has been appointed to fill the void left by outgoing selectors Guy Halewood and Brian Broad.

Lucas, who has a background in cycling, team management and coaching, joins recently appointed Graeme Hunn as CNZ's representatives on the panel of four selectors, with the remaining two positions held by BikeNZ members.

"A special thanks goes to outgoing selectors Guy Halewood and Brian Broad," noted Ireland, "who continued to carry on in the role well beyond their original term while the new terms of reference for selectors were negotiated with BikeNZ."

The announcement means CNZ now has selectors based on both the North and South islands, helping it keep its eyes on talent from both ends of the country.

B2B's growth spurt continues

The B2B (Blayney to Bathurst) Cyclo Sportif Challenge continues to grow, with organisers of the Blayney to Bathurst event stretched to the limit at last weekend's event. A record field of almost 1000 cyclists turned out at the Blayney start line to take on the 110km long course and 70km short course challenge. Both courses ended with a gut-busting effort up Bathurst famous Mt Panorama Motor racing Circuit.

The open men's long course race was dominated by Drapac-Porsche and FRF/NSWIS riders, with the latter's Peter Mcdonald taking line honours from Drapac-Porsche's Robbie Williams. Meanwhile in the women's category, rising star Katie Jones of North Sydney took honours from Commonwealth Games triathete Heather Evans, and defending Champion Judith May.

The event also incorporated the New South Wales Hillclimb Championships, which was also taken out by Peter Mcdonald in a record-setting climb up 'The Mountain'.

Previous News    Next News

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2007)