First Edition Cycling News for April 23, 2007
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
A boost for Rebellin
Gerolsteiner's Davide Rebellin, who came in second behind his teammate Stefan Schumacher at the Amstel Gold Race yesterday, has showed he is in top form for the Ardennes Classics. Rebellin achieved a historic triple by winning all three events (Amstel Gold Race, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallonne) in 2004, and even though repeating this feat will not be possible anymore this year, the Italian is looking forward to the next two races, hoping he will score another victory for his German squad.
"My form is good and I hope to take advantage of that at the Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday and in Liège next Sunday," said the new ProTour standings leader. "My goal is a win in the Ardennes Classics."
In the finale of the Dutch event, Gerolsteiner was represented by three riders in the lead group. "Because we were three up there, it was clear that we had to take the initiative," Rebellin continued. "If it had come down to a sprint, I would have been up against Valverde and Bettini. Wegmann sacrificed himself first, then Schumacher attacked at precisely the right moment. He is a very intelligent rider, he reads a race very well," the 35 year-old added.
Bettini hopeful for Liège
World Champion Paolo Bettini (Quick-Step) finished in seventh place in the ProTour race around Valkenburg on Sunday, but was nevertheless very happy about how the race turned out for him. The small Italian took the right decisions at the right times, following the decisive breakaway initiated by the later winner Stefan Schumacher at the top of the Kruisberg, with 23 kilometres to go. But as the Amstel Gold Race served as preparation for Il Grillo's true goal, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Bettini wasn't disappointed that he didn't make it on the podium in Valkenburg.
"The win would of course have been beautiful, but for that I would have had to focus on it beforehand," he told Belgian media after the race. "I want to retain two positive things from this race: I was able to race with the best up front, and I didn't crash. These are two important factors ahead of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. To win there wearing my rainbow jersey would be a dream to me. My legs make me hopeful, and I've also become older and wiser - two qualities that will certainly help me on Sunday."
Rabobank in Flèche Wallonne, Posthuma better
Rabobank team director Erik Breukink has completed his team for the upcoming Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday. The Dutch team will line up the following eight riders at the first of the two Belgian Ardennes Classics: Thomas Dekker, Theo Eltink, Robert Gesink, Koos Moerenhout, William Walker, Oscar Freire, Pieter Weening and Bram de Groot.
Sébastian Langeveld and Thorwald Veneberg are on the reserve list.
Meanwhile, Joost Posthuma who crashed badly last week during a training ride, is feeling better, although he might not be able to race the Tour de France this year because of the setback.
"It will still take some time until I'll be back to a good level," Posthuma said. "Fortunately there is no pressure from the team. And I don't put myself under pressure, either; I will listen to my body." The time trial specialist was hit by a car driving above the speed limit, smashed into the windshield and was catapulted back from the vehicle. "It was a 80km/h road and police have said that the car was driving too fast for it - you can imagine what a smack that was," he added.
Posthuma's injuries could have been worse. He 'only' suffered a bruised body, rib and left ankle contusions and injury to his upper leg muscle. Asked about his participation in the Tour de France, he said, "Never say never, but if you're realistic then you'll know that I probably won't be there." The Rabobank rider will begin rehabilitation in a few days.
Rujano breaks bones
In the finale of the Amstel Gold Race, Venezuelan climber José Rujano crashed while he was riding in the chase group around Fränk Schleck (CSC). The Unibet.com rider broke his left collarbone and several ribs, according to tuttobiciweb. The 2005 Giro d'Italia podium finisher could therefore not participate in the Italian Grand Tour this year, even if his team Unibet.com was to be invited by the organiser.
Domestic squads on par in Georgia
With ProTour teams forced to split their top riders between the Spring Classics in Europe and America's Tour de Georgia, many of the domestic teams had a chance to steal the spotlight, reports Cyclingnews' Kirsten Robbins.
American ProTour squad Discovery Channel was clearly the dominant team at the 2007 Tour de Georgia. However, results suggest parity across the remaining teams, both ProTour and domestic.
With many of Europe's Classics taking place during the month of April, and with the Tour de Georgia under financial uncertainty less than a month before the start, it was difficult for the ProTour teams to commit all of their top riders. Team CSC's team director in Georgia Dan Frost elaborated on the decision for some teams to keep their GC riders in Europe. "The Spring Classics and the races in Europe now are our main focus for this time of year," Frost said. "I think that makes a big difference in terms of which ProTour riders are available to come to Georgia. We have come here for the last four years and we love this race. It's a hard race and the organization is much better every year. This year it was our decision to bring a couple of strong riders and a mix of development riders because Georgia is a good place to introduce racing to them."
Team Slipstream-Chipotle was among the domestic teams represented in several of breaks throughout the course of the event and its director Jonathan Vaughters commented that the placing of the event within the European calendar as being in the best place it can be, given the number of races each year. "I think it comes down to the time of year and nothing more than that," Vaughters said. "We are right in the middle of really important Classics plus coming upon the Giro and the Tour. This race is a little bit harder course-wise and it is a great race but it is in a tougher time slot. During February, at the time of the Tour of California, there is nothing else going on and the weather is great compared to European conditions so teams can send their A squads. At this time of the year teams are split racing all over Europe."
To read the full feature on the Tour de Georgia, click here.
Bayern Rundfahrt announces teams
17 teams will take on the Bayern Rundfahrt in Southern Germany from May 30-June 3, for a total of 119 riders, the largest field ever for the UCI 2.HC race. The 761 km event will feature five ProTour teams - Milram, Astana, Gerolsteiner, CSC and T-Mobile. They will bring such big name riders as Jens Voigt, Fränk Schleck, Andreas Klöden, Erik Zabel, Markus Fothen and Gerald Ciolek. Last year's winner, Jose Alberto Martinez Trinidad, will also be in attendance with his French team Agritubel.
Teams for the Bayern Rundfahrt: CSC, Chocolade Jacques, Astana, Gerolsteiner, Milram, Team Lamonta, Volksbank, Agritubel, Regiostrom-Senges, Elk Haus, T-Mobile, Barloworld, Benfica, Serramenti PVC-Selle Italia, Intel-Action, Heinz von Heiden and Tenax.
Volksbank for Giro del Trentino
Gerrit Glomser will lead Team Volksbank in the Giro del Trentino, starting Tuesday. The captain of the Austrian Professional Continental team is still suffering from rib injuries from a training crash last week. The team is still without Gerhard Trampusch, who has ended treatment for Lyme disease and has resumed training.
Volksbank for Giro del Trentino: Gerrit Glomser, Pascal Hungerbühler, Andreas Matzbacher, Harald Morscher, Patrick Riedesser, Florian Stalder, and Maruisz Witecki.
Coming up: Oceania Championships in Queensland
Olympic Gold Medal Cyclist Kathy Watt and Australian Time Trial Champion Peter Milostic will be joined by over 300 competitors next weekend at Murwillumbah, as Cycling Queensland gets set to host the Oceania and the Australian Under 19 Road Cycling Championships, beginning on May 3.
These Elite competitors will be joined by over 45 competitors from New Zealand, Guam and South Africa along with 200 athletes from all over Australia.
The Oceania Championships are for the Elite Men and Women, the Men Under 23, the Under 19 Men and Women and the event is also serving as a selection event for the Australian Junior Team for the Junior World Championships.
Cycling Queensland CEO Mrs Wendy Sanders said she was thrilled Cycling Queensland had been awarded the Oceania Championships. "It is a wonderful honour for Cycling Queensland to be the host of this International event and we are looking forward to three fantastic days of competition," Mrs Sanders said. "The Oceania Championships provides our cyclists with a wonderful opportunity to compete against top athletes and associate with a number of key figures in the industry."
The event will moreover be attended by high-ranking UCI officials. "We are pleased to welcome the Head of the Road Cycling Commission Mr Philippe Chevalier who has been sent to Queensland by the UCI, to look at the Continental teams that will be competing," Mrs Sanders added.
The Championships kick off with the Australian Junior and Oceania Individual Time Trial Championships at Pottsville Beach on Thursday 3 May from 11.30am.
Inaugural Tour de Cure to raise funds for cancer research
A brand new annual charity event, the Tour de Cure, has been announced, with a view to raising $2 million over the next four years in the fight against cancer. Australia's first Tour de Cure will start on May 28, 2007, when a team of 23 Australian men and women will hit the road from Brisbane to Sydney, riding some 1,100km over 10 days, to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Camp Quality.
The 2007 Tour de Cure will kick off from Myer, Queen Street in Brisbane to continue down the east coast stopping in Tweed Heads, Ballina, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle and Gosford before being welcomed home at Myer, Pitt Street Mall in Sydney on June 6, 2007.
Each Tour de Cure cyclist must commit to raising $10,000 in donations in order to enter, as well as taking time out to not only participate in the 10 day event, but also to train aggressively in the months leading up to it. This is no mean feat for the 11 Tour de Cure cyclists are CEOs, directors or owners of their respective companies and the 13 that are parents to some 24 children between them.
Cyclists vary in age from 23 to a very young 50 and have been gathered together by 34 year-old Tour de Cure mastermind, Geoff Coombes. "Some of our team members have family members or close friends that have been affected by Cancer, but all are committed to taking time out from their busy professional and family lives to ride for a cure," said the marketing professional, who dreamed up the idea for the Tour de Cure while cycling across America with a friend some ten years ago.
Corporate Australia is also putting its money where its mouth is to support the Tour de Cure with Myer, New Idea, Vittoria Coffee, Dencorub, Sydney City Lexus, Ella Bache, The Pratt Foundation, Intelligent Investor and Choice Hotels all on board as major partners of the 2007 event.
"The whole concept of the event Tour de Cure is wonderfully innovative and is set to be a memorable event for so many people - both the participants, as well as the beneficiaries, the many Australian women and men who have been and will be diagnosed with cancer in the future," said Susan Murray, Chief Executive Offer of the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
To donate or to find out if the Tour de Cure is hitting a town near you, please visit www.tourdecure.com.au.
Symmetrics publishes comic book
The Symmetrics Pro Cycling team will be releasing a 16-page, full colour promotional comic book in early June. The book was written and created by Matt Hansen, Editor in Chief of Marvel Comics' Dabel Brothers line and PR writer for Symmetrics. To pencil the comic, Hansen chose Eduardo Ferigato, a professional comic artist from Glass House Graphics, an art studio known for its work with several famous Marvel and DC titles like Spiderman, X-Men, or Superman, to name a few. Matt Moylan, who has worked with many notable franchises, including "The Transformers" comic books, will color the book.
The team will be giving these comics away at all the big races throughout the US, such as Philly Week, BC Superweek, the National Championships, to name but a few.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2007)