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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for April 20, 2007

Edited by Laura Weislo with assistance from Susan Westemeyer

Boogerd to retire at end of season

Michael Boogerd
Photo ©: Bert Geerts
Click for larger image
Rabobank's Michael Boogerd is retiring at the end of the season, he announced Thursday, but added, "It's not over yet. I am still very motivated to have a couple of beautiful moments in Amstel Gold Race, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Tour de France......"

The 34-year-old has 52 wins so far in his 14 seasons. He said that he chose this point in time, just before Amstel, to announce his retirement because, "I have always had a special bond with that race, as well as with Liège-Bastogne-Liège." He won Amstel in 1999, and has finished in the top ten each year for the last nine years, and in the top five the last five years. And in those same nine years he has finished in the top five in Liège-Bastogne-Liège seven times.

Boogerd has been named Dutch Cyclist of the Year in 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2006, and won the national championship in 1997, 1998 and 2006. He is especially proud of his two stage wins in the Tour de France. He has started that race 11 times, finishing 10 times, and finished fifth overall in 1998 and tenth in 2001.

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"Michael Boogerd is still a fantastic athlete. I love to watch him race, because with him it comes straight from the heart," said team manager Theo de Rooij. "For Dutch cycling in general and for the Rabobank Cycling Teams more in particular it is a pity that the era comes to an end. ‘Boogie’ has given a lot to Dutch cycling."

It wasn't a sudden decision, Boogerd said. "I felt this decision was coming. I'm no longer 29 years of age. I want to avoid the moment where I have to learn to deal with dissatisfying results. This is not a dramatic decision. It has to end someday anyhow. Besides. It is not over yet."

Horrillo has anti-doping 'administrative error'

Rabobank's Pedro Horrillo found himself in a touch of trouble during an anti-doping control after the ‘Brabantse Pijl’. Horrillo, who had a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for asthma medication, had apparently switched to a new medication not covered by his TUE. Horrillo had an exemption for two drugs: Pulmicort (active ingredient: Budesonide) and Serevent (active ingredient: Salmeterol).

However, earlier in the year, his physician had advised him to change to a new aerosol, Symbicort. This medication has the same effect as two aerosols together, and his doctor saw no need to apply for a new TUE with the International Cycling Federation UCI.

Symbicort isn't simply a combination of the two drugs Horrillo had been taking, and contains an additional ingredient, Formeterol, which although in the same family as the other active ingredients, is listed separately on the antidoping list. This means that he was technically required to file a new TUE. Additionally, he failed to notify his team of the change in medication.

Because of the nature of the omission, Horrillo will have to make a statement in front of the Disciplinary Committee of the Spanish Cycling Federation, but is unlikely to face any sanctions over the error. The Rabobank Cycling Team has decided not to suspend Horrillo over the incident.

Moletta in rehabilitation

Andrea Moletta is in the middle of rehabilitation following surgery on his broken thigh, and plans to ride the Vuelta a Espana, Team Gerolsteiner has reported.

"This guy just overflows with optimism," said team manager Hans-Michael Holczer. "The rehabilitation after his operation is in full gear. Every day he has a mix of physical therapy, gymnastics and underwater training. And he wants to make his first try on the bike again in the middle of May and be fit for the Vuelta."

"We would all be very happy if Andrea returns to the team this year before the end of the season. I've had to slow him down a little though in all his optimism, because such a serious injury simply needs a long time to heal," Holczer said.

Moletta broke his thigh in a spectacular crash on the Cipressa in the finale of Milano-Sanremo the end of March.

Broken clavicle for Rigotto

Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Milram just can't get a break this season. Sprinter Erik Zabel suffered a fall in Ronde van Vlaanderen, and missed out on Paris-Roubaix. Zabel made his comeback in the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen, where he finished 7th, but the team was down another rider before the finish after Italian Elia Rigotto (Milram) fractured his right clavicle just after the start of the race. The 25 year-old winner of stage six of the 2006 Tour Méditerranéen is likely to be out of competition a minimum of four weeks.

The Italian now joins his fellow countrymen Marco Velo and Fabio Sacchi, who crashed in Gent-Wevelgem, Dennis Haueisen, who had surgery for abdominal bleeding, and Ukrainian Volodymyr Diudia, who fell in Paris-Roubaix, on the injured list. Rigotto will have to wait until Friday to find out if an operation is necessary. "My dream, even if I know that it will be difficult to realise, is to be at the beginning of Giro d'Italia," said Rigotto.

Teams announce line-ups for Amstel

Team Astana will be going with a two-pronged attack to the Amstel Gold Race, with Serguei Ivanov and Matthias Kessler leading the team. Ivanov has finished in the top 10 three times, and Kessler was sixth in 2004.

Astana for Amstel: Assan Bazayev, Koen De Kort, René Haselbacher, Maxim Iglinskiy, Sergueï Ivanov, Matthias Kessler, Gennady Mikhailov und Gregory Rast.

Team Gerolsteiner will be headed by Davide Rebellin, who won the race in 2004 before going on to win the Fleche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège within a week. The team will also look to Stefan Schumacher, who is recovering from a crash in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco which left him with 10 stitches in his knee.

Gerolsteiner for Amstel: David Kopp, Volker Ordowski, Davide Rebellin, Stefan Schumacher, Tom Stamsnijder, Fabian Wegmann, Peter Wrolich and Markus Zberg.

CSC for Amstel: Lars Bak, Volodymir Gustov, Alexandr Kolobnev, Karsten Kroon, Andy Schleck, Frank Schleck, Nicki Sorensen and Jens Voigt.

Team Milram is sending an experienced all-rounder team to the race, led by Erik Zabel, Igor Astarloa and Mirco Celestino. "It's a very bad time for the whole team Milram. We have had a lot of crashes and are demoralized," said team manager Gianluigi Stanga, who hopes "that we'll have some good luck."

Milram for Amstel: Erik Zabel, Igor Astarloa, Mirko Celestino, Mirco Lorenzetto, Andrey Grivko, Niki Terpstra, Carlo Scognamiglio and Bjoern Schroeder.

T-Mobile Team is also sending a experienced team of classics' specialists and all-rounders, to be led by Michael Rogers, Patrik Sinkewitz and Kim Kirchen. Gent-Wevelgem winner Marcus Burghardt is leading the Classics's contingent.

T-Mobile for Amstel: Michael Barry, Lorenzo Bernucci, Markus Burghardt, Kim Kirchen, Andreas Klier, Patrik Sinkewitz, Michael Rogers and Thomas Ziegler.

Liquigas for Amstel: Danilo Di Luca and Luca Paolini will return to the Classics at the direction of Stefano Zanatta, along with Michael Albasini, Patrick Calcagni, Eros Capecchi, Kjell Carlstrom, Roman Kreuziger and Alessandro Spezialetti.

Quickstep for Amstel: Carlos Barredo, Paolo Bettini, Ad Engels, Bram Tankink, Matteo Tosatto, Jurgen Van De Walle, Cedric Vasseur, Giovanni Visconti

Ballan, Leukemans out of Amstel

Ballan heads to sign in
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Italian Alessandro Ballan (Lampre), winner of the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, will have to sit out Sunday's Amstel Gold Race because of a fever, his team has announced. Ballan is also feeling the draining effects of last Sunday's Paris-Roubaix, where he had a disappointing finish in 61st place, more than nine minutes behind winner Stuart O'Grady.

The team will also be without Slovenian Gorazd Stangelj, who has a hairline fracture in his clavicle following a fall during training.

Predictor-Lotto will be without the strong legs of their Classics man, Björn Leukemans, for Amstel. After finishing just one step away from the podium in Paris-Roubaix, Leukemans has come down with a bronchitis, according to his personal website,, and doesn't expect to be able to compete this weekend.

Haedo is waiting for Giro

By Antonio J. Salmerón

JJ Haedo (Team CSC)
Photo ©: John Pierce
(Click for larger image)

Juan José Haedo is making his comeback to form after crashing in the first stage of the Critérium International earlier this month while racing in the Tour de Georgia, where he finished second on stage two, just behind his former team-mate Ivan Stevic.

"I'm feeling good. I was able to stay in a good position, and I had the legs to win the sprint", the Argentinean CSC sprinter told to Cyclingnews. Haedo is optimistic and has good morale going into his first big career challenge, the Giro d'Itlai. "I will reach my peak of form for the Giro, in which I will make my debut. I'll be going into it to gain experience, but will also be looking for an opportunity for success."

Haedo signed with the powerful CSC team after his strong performances in the American races, and has been treated well by his team so far. "The truth is that all of them give me enough confidence to fight in any race. For me, the human factor is important. It makes you feel good whenever you go to a race."

Haedo has spent time training in Spain, and knows many people there, but he's still new to European racing. "CSC knows that it is my first season in Europe, and I have adapt my mentality in competition, but when I have plenty of strength, I can dispute any race," Haedo concluded.

Downing looks forward to USA racing

Former British road race champion Russell Downing (Health Net – Maxxis) will rejoin his US based team next week after his 7th place finish in the Archer GP in England last weekend. Downing left that race a bit frustrated, but not too unhappy with his finish.

"All the teams were represented in the break so my group didn't want to work and you can’t bring it back on your own," said Downing: "I did a few stints on the front and the group was splitting. But just when I thought we might get a group together across to the break we would go around the corner and everyone would sit up. It was very frustrating and I thought I would wait until the finishing circuit and when our group split again the lead came down to two minutes then went back up to three again. That left a little bit too much for us to do in the end. The weather was brilliant; it was like being back in America."

"I am staying here for a while," said the Doncaster born professional: "I go back to the USA on the 26th and we have got a few criterium races lined up before we go to a training camp in preparation for what was originally the US Pro champs week in Philadelphia. Then we have nine days of racing in Arkansas before we go to Philadelphia where we are looking for a big result."

Downing’s first event back in the USA is the Athens Twilight criterium on the 28th of April. "There should be big crowds there and it should be quite exciting," Downing continued: "I absolutely love it in America and the racing suits me down to the ground. The team is brilliant and everything is really professional."

Building success in the women's peloton

The growth of women's cycling in North America has been tremendous in recent years, and the success is due in part to the US Women's Cycling Development Program (USWCDP), which was founded by Michael Engleman in 2006. Engleman, a former world-class cyclist for Coors Light and former director of T-Mobile has been the face of women cycling development for over a decade. Cyclingnews' reporter Kirsten Robbins talked to Engleman to find out how the USWCDP's growth became so rabid over the previous year.

In just two year's the USWCDP has flourished beyond anyone's imagination, as witnessed by the quality of racing in the recent Redlands Bicycling Classic. On every stage there were several riders that have come out of Engleman's development program in the top ten and on the podium. The riders can easily be picked out in their black USWCDP hats in support of the program.

Mara Abbott, Katherine Carroll and Katheryn Curi are three of the women who had success at Redlands. Abbott and Curi are teammates racing for Webcor-Builders and finished on the podium of several stages of the race, along with second and third placed overall. Aaron's new rider Katherine Carroll finished fifth place in the five-kilometer prologue after racing in her second season as a professional rider.

The USWCDP main goals are to scout and develop talent, answer questions and provide a network for female cyclist to grow. While the program is not involved with the US national team, its ultimate goal for riders sign contracts with professional teams or to be funneled into the national team ranks. "I spend all year on the road looking for the talent," Engleman said. "We accept resumes too. What we also do is match a rider with a team based largely on their talent and personality because it is important for a rider to fit into a team well."

Click here to read the full feature.

USA Cycling opens women's centre in Europe

Brooke Miller (Team TIBCO) leads the break
Photo ©: Steve Cohen
(Click for larger image)

USA Cycling announced that it is opening a training facility in Lucca, Italy for its women's national team and development programs. The Tuscan location for the European residence centre will allow the women close proximity to European races, favourable weather conditions, and excellent training.

The first group of women moved into the residence this week. Kristin Armstrong (Team Lipton), Katheryn Curi (Webcor Builders), Lauren Franges (Team Lipton), Rebecca Larson (Aarons), Alison Powers (Colavita-Sutter Home-Cooking Light), Brooke Miller (Team Tibco) and Christine Thorburn (Webcor Builders) arrived in Lucca after a week of racing in Belgium and the Netherlands.

"The opening of our European residence centre represents the next step in our efforts to develop the next crop of world-class women cyclists," explained Pat McDonough, USA Cycling Director of Athletics. "Right now, our women’s endurance program is enjoying unprecedented success across all disciplines of cycling and the opening of this facility is a crucial component in sustaining that success long after the current class retires."

"In order to replicate the achievements that the men’s program has yielded over the years, and to be able to consistently compete against the world’s top teams and nations, the women we have in the development pipeline need this type of stimuli on a regular basis." McDonough continued. "And, by involving proven veterans at the height of their career throughout this process, USA Cycling is providing the up-and-comers with another valuable resource that is paramount to their long-term success."

First Fantasy Spring Classics Winners Confirmed!

The highest scoring Fantasy team in each classic
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
(Click for larger image)

The first four winning Fantasy Managers of the Spring Classics Game have been confirmed. They each win a pair of BBB's Winner Team glasses for having the individually highest scoring teams in each of the four classics - Milan-San Remo, Ronde van Vlaanderen, Gent Wevelgem, and Paris-Roubaix. The Winner Team glasses are the official sports glasses of the Quick-Step Innergetic professional cycling team 2007. The winning managers and team names are:

Milan-San Remo - Manager: Eufemiano´s syringes; Team: Riis the master04

Ronde van Vlaanderen - Manager: Topper; Team East Cleveland

Gent Wevelgem - Manager: Bob's Friend; Team: t4

Paris Roubaix - Manager: Dr. Do Little; Team: Grinders

With a Specialized S-Works Roubaix bicycle up for grabs
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
(Click for larger image)

There's still time to win a pair of glasses yourself, so enter your teams now! Remember you don't need to have competed in all the previous races to stand a chance of winning a Per Classic prize. You can just play for one race to win a pair of BBB's glasses. There are three races left to compete in this month.

The provisional rider-list for the Amstel Gold race has been updated today with the latest entries. Remember to pick your teams before Sunday's race! We will update this list further once the official final list has been announced by the race organisers. The Amstel Gold race this Sunday marks the fifth of the Fantasy Spring Classics games on offer this year. All you need to do to take part is register and select eight riders before the live race starts on Sunday.

Why should you play this year? - You can win a Specialized S-Works Roubaix bicycle in Quick Step - Innergetic colors equipped with

Shimano Dura-Ace components and S-Works FACT over-sized carbon crank and bottom bracket worth $6000 USD! That's not all you could win in this year's Fantasy games. To celebrate our fifth year of Fantasy games the Spring Classics will also be featuring some top runners-up prizes.

Giro d'Italia Fantasy Prizes Confirmed

Speedplay is back behind the fantasy game
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
(Click for larger image)

Once the Spring Classics are out of the way at the end of April, we will be opening up the game system for the fifth year of Fantasy Giro d'Italia here at Cyclingnews. We are currently finalising the list of prizes on offer for this year's game. We are delighted to announce that Hed, Zipp, Shimano, Giro, Tifosi, Nutrifig are just some of the brands that will be featuring in our prize list for the game this year. The Grande Tours take the Fantasy Game model to the next stage. In the Grande Tours you'll have to manage your team on a daily basis selecting nine riders from your team of 15 every day for the whole three weeks of an individual tour. With the introduction of General Classification, Mountains, and Sprints points the more involved game-play presents even more of a challenge than the Spring Classics games. If you haven't registered already you could be missing out on one of the best ways to follow the key races this season. You can play for free for the first few stages so you can get a feel for the game.

For more details on how to play go to the rules section of the site for more info. To register your teams for the game go to

It's a great way to follow the key races this year!

Good luck!
The Fantasy Cyclingnews Team

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