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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for April 19, 2007

Edited by Greg Johnson & Ben Abrahams

Cavendish: 'I want to be the next McEwen'

Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

Great Britain's Mark Cavendish has said he has the utmost respect, and hopes to emulate the success, of Australian rival Robbie McEwen, after out-sprinting the Queenslander to take victory at yesterday's Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen. The T-Mobile rider was a surprise victor at the Belgian event, expected to be dominated by some of the peloton's older riders.

"I am happy with the team roles this year, and this is the first time I had a free role," said Cavendish after the win. "I grew up respecting Robbie, and I just hope I can be the next Robbie McEwen."

While Cavendish, who turns 21 next month, was already marked as a rider to watch for the future, his quick rise to the rostrum's top step came as a surprise even to T-Mobile sporting director Allan Peiper.

"I knew that Mark has what it takes to win big races," noted a delighted Peiper, "but I didn't think that he could take the big scalps so soon!

"This result was the fruit of a massive team performance," added Peiper. "This is exactly the kind of race profile that suits Mark's talents, so the team did their bit to set him up and lead him out.

Yesterday's victory was the first of Cavendish's professional career with the T-Mobile ProTour squad.

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:

Speedy Bruyneel caught

Discovery Channel team boss Johan Bruyneel has incurred the wrath of the Tour de Georgia's race organisers, after being caught speeding during stage three. According to the official race comminiqué, Bruyneel was driving in excess of 90 miles per hour (150 km/h) and is now prohibited from driving the team car during stage five. He was also handed a fine of 200 Swiss francs.

It wasn't all bad news for Discovery though, as the American squad put both Janez Brajkovic and Gianni Meersman into the breakaway, with the latter taking the stage win in Chattanooga.

Click here for the full results, report & photos from stage three.

Rabobank counting on experience in Amstel Gold

Michael Boogerd and Oscar Freire will spearhead Rabobank's charge at the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday where the Dutch team has a history of both victories and near misses. Boogerd, the current Dutch road race champion, has ridden the race on 11 occasions, beating Lance Armstrong for the win in 1999 and making the podium in the last four editions.

Milan-San Remo winner Freire will also be one of the favourites for victory atop the infamous Cauberg, having made the top-10 three times in eight attempts. In fact, the eight members of Rabobank's roster bring the experience of 36 participations to the start in Maastricht. And if that wasn't enough, directeur sportifs Frans Maasen and Erik Dekker are both on the race's roll of honour in 1991 and 2001 respectively.

Rabobank for Amstel Gold: Michael Boogerd, Oscar Freire, Juan Antonio Flecha, Thomas Dekker, Bram de Groot, Pieter Weening, Koos Moerenhout and Jan Boven. Reserves: Theo Eltink and Leon van Bon.

Pose with Landis, at a price

Fans of 2006 Tour de France winner Floyd Landis have stumped up their hard earned cash to buy the American's signature and a photo opportunity with the 31 year-old, with Landis reportedly charging fans 25 dollars for the privilege at a Dallas bicycle shop. The outlandish fundraising idea comes as he attempts to raise the funds to continue a legal battle to clear his name.

"We can't undo the damage that's been done. We can't fix it," Landis told AFP. "But we don't want the next person to have to go through this."

The former Phonak rider was found to have a higher than allowed testosterone to epitestosterone ratio after his superhuman storm through Stage 17 of last year's Tour de France.

The French anti-doping laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry commenced analysis of the B-samples taken from Landis during the 2006 Tour de France earlier this week. The samples, which are being analysed at the request of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), were found to be negative during the A-sample analysis, and were taken on different days that the one sample which was found to have a high testosterone to epitestosterone ratio.

Landis and his lawyers fought the testing of the B-samples, but a panel granted USADA its request to have the analysis performed at the Châtenay-Malabry lab last week. The results cannot be used to pursue any new doping charges against Landis should they come back positive, but Landis objected to the testing being performed at the same lab that he says botched the original test results.

"I didn't do anything to cause this," Landis said at the store appearance. "I was clearly convicted in the court of public opinion."

In the meantime Landis will continue to raise funds for his legal bills, which have reportedly exceeded one million dollars.

Hondo still waiting for decision

Danilo Hondo
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

In the latest round of Danilo Hondo's court case saga, Wednesday's hearing before the Swiss 'Kantonsgericht' (cantonal court) in Lausanne lasted about two hours before being adjourned without a ruling. The judge explained that he needed time to write up background from the case and the basis for his decision, although no announcement was made as to when that would be.

Hondo, who currently has a contract with Tinkoff Credit Systems, had hoped for a swift return to racing although it now appears that may not be the case. Writing on his website,, the German said: "This means that I won't be able to start at the Giro d'Abruzzo (April 19-22), but I am optimistic that I will be able to start again soon,"

A small amount of the prohibited drug Carphedon was found in Hondo's system during the Vuelta a Murcia in March 2005, while he was riding for Gerolsteiner. In June that year, the Swiss Cycling Federation issued a two year ban, but with one year to be suspended followed by a five year probation period. The Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) ruled in January 2006 that Hondo deserved a two year ban, thereby extending his ban by one year per the advice of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

A Swiss court subsequently overturned that ban and allowed Hondo to return to racing, but the Swiss Supreme Court reinstated his suspension in January 2007. Earlier this month, the CAS issued a clarification that the ban must be 'effectively' served, and the UCI subsequently ordered the suspension to run through January 2008.

Hondo has subsequently appealed that decision in the Swiss courts.

Crash and injury update

By Susan Westemeyer

Joost Posthuma (Rabobank)
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

Rabobank's Joost Posthuma was injured on Wednesday when he was hit by car whilst out training in Germany. Posthuma and the car collided when the cyclist wanted to make a left hand turn. He flew onto the hood of the car and into its windshield.

The Dutch rider was taken to the hospital in Enschede, Netherlands, and his team announced that afternoon that he had been diagnosed with "severe muscular bruises in both his right ankle and his left thigh." He will remain in the hospital overnight.

Milram's streak of injuries continued, as Elia Rigotto crashed just 12 kilometres into the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen on Wednesday, breaking his collarbone. "Fortunately it's a clean break that probably won't need surgery," he said on He will return home to Italy on Thursday for further examinations and hopes to be back on the bike by early May. "My dream is to start at the Giro d'Italia," he revealed.

Andy Cappelle of Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner was one of the victims of the Kemmelberg in last week's Gent-Wevelgem. And as if a broken shoulder and elbow weren't enough, he has now been diagnosed with a break in his right hip bone.

No Beloki for Astana

Team Astana has announced that at this time it does not intend to hire any additional riders. Astana's announcement follows reports earlier this week that said it had made Joseba Beloki an offer to join the squad, a report which the team stated "were only rumours".

"The report is absurd and false!" the team said, noting that it would only hire riders who fit into the squad's philosophy on both sporting and image grounds.

The Basque rider was amongst those implicated in the Spanish authorities Operación Puerto investigation during 2006, but was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing. The 33 year-old rode for Manolo Saiz's Liberty Seguros - Würth Team last season until the squad collapsed as a result of the investigation.

Allar delighted after first major victory

By Greg Johnson

Erica Alar (Fuji) is happy
Photo ©: Trish Albert
(Click for larger image)

Team Fuji/Salamander Racing's Erica Allar is delighted after taking the first big win of her career at Monday's Komen Central Georgia Cycle for the Cure race, ran in conjunction with Tour de Georgia's opening stage. Allar, who took victory from Colavita/Sutter Home's Tina Pic, was lucky to even contest the event, with a mix-up in scheduled surgery allowing her to race.

"To be honest, I nearly missed out on the weekend of racing in it's entirety due to the discovery of stage two pre-cancerous cells in my cervix that I have to get removed," said Allar. "The initial date I was supposed to get the procedure for removal done was April 9, but there was a mix up at the doctor's office and they had to reschedule me for April 26.

"I am happy that the office made a mistake, if I didn't reschedule I would not have been able to race this weekend at all!," she added. "I am very lucky."

Allar, who is coached by Jame Carney, made the most of windy conditions at the criterium to get her first victory against some of the best American domestic riders, like Pic and Laura Van Gilder.

"This is my first big win of my cycling career against the nations best," noted Allar. "My coach said to me that sometime this year I would have the opportunity to race against and beat the best racers like Laura and Tina. I didn't expect the opportunity to present itself so early in the season!"

Iron Horse caps entries

The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic will implement a cap on the number of riders in the Durango to Silverton road race and tour this year. The total number of riders allowed in both the road and tour will be capped at 2,500, while the cap doesn't effect the downtown criterium which will take place on May 27.

"We are announcing the cap locally first because many locals wait until the Friday before the event to register and this year that may not be an option," said race director Gaige Sippy. "We will be distributing this information locally first and then regionally and nationally."

The decision to cap numbers was taken after the consideration of several factors - including safety and community impacts.

In the past three years the event's rider numbers have grown steadily, with some 2,300 riders taking part in last year's event. Entries for this year's race are already above 1000.

The classic kicks off on Saturday May 26, with the Durango Coca-Cola road race and McDonald's Tour. Go to for more information.

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