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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for August 27, 2007

Edited by Sue George

Palomares happy about Regio

By Monika Prell

Stage winner Adrian Palomares Villaplana
Photo ©: Bjorn Haake
(Click for larger image)

Valencian cyclist Adrián Palomares won Sunday's final stage of the Regio-Tour.

The happy Fuerteventura - Canarias rider said after the event, "I have never expressed myself so much on a bicycle. I broke away with three kilometres to go, and I never got a gap bigger than 16 seconds. I knew that Milram was coming quickly because they were preparing for the sprint for Alessandro Petacchi, so I had to suffer until the last meter. I even could not celebrate because I had Petacchi close on my heels."

The Spaniard laughed when he thought of the image of his finish. "The funny thing is that it seems like I won the sprint ahead of Petacchi, but in reality it was different. I could never beat Petacchi, no chance. I don't even have to try it!

"I attacked on the last mountain, and I went with another rival, until we had reached Kiryienka," said Palomares. "He was very strong, he won in Burgos, but he did not work with us, so at three kilometres to go, I tried to get away."

Palomares had plenty of experience in breaks to draw upon for this win. "That's really a recompense for me, because in the Volta a Portugal, I was in a break all total more than 430 kilometers, but in none of the three stages where I off the front could I win. They always caught me with only a few meters to go. Therefore I am so happy to have reached the finish line some meters in advance to the peloton and even in front of a cyclist of Petacchi's class."

Petacchi showed his respect for the Valencian winner. "Just after crossing the finish line, he came to me and congratulated me on the stage we'd done," said Palomares.

Weylandt collects first ProTour win at Eneco

Weylandt gets congratulated
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

Wouter Weylandt got a second chance at victory in stage four of the Eneco Tour on Sunday. He fared better this time and collected his first ProTour victory.

In stage two won by T-Mobile's Mark Cavendish, Weylandt had also contested the final sprint, but he was relegated from third to 140th after being cited for "irregular sprinting." However, Weylandt got his turn at success in Sunday afternoon's stage by winning another controversial sprint ahead of Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) and CSC's Matthew Goss. The Belgian and the big Norwegian bumped shoulders shortly before crossing the finish line.

"This is my revenge," proclaimed the 22 year-old blond Belgian. Referring to the second stage in which he was relegated, Weylandt said, "I wrongly took the incorrect line. I have admitted that. That just makes it more beautiful to take this [stage four's] sporting revenge."

"Afterwards three riders came up to complain to me, but the only one who might have a right to do that was Hushovd. I bumped against him when I made my jump," Weylandt said. "The other two just complained because they know I was disqualified in Knokke."

"Are you crazy?" Gerolsteiner's David Kopp had shouted to Weylandt after the finish.

Weylandt won the sprint after the peloton chased down a break including Stephane Poulhies (Ag2r), Roberto Longo (Lampre), Niko Eeckhout (Chocolade Jacques) and Dmitry Grabovskiy (Quick.Step Innergetic). The trio had built up a lead of over seven minutes, but were caught with 30km to go.

Monday's fifth stage will stay in the Netherlands, running 179.8 flat kilometers from Terneuzen to Nieuwegein.

Unusual day of racing finishes off inaugural Tour of Ireland

By Shane Stokes

Three breakaway riders
Photo ©: Aidan Collins
(Click for larger image)

Race leader Stijn Vandenbergh ( finished up the final stage of the inaugural Tour of Ireland in ninth place and secured his overall victory ahead of closest rivals Marcus Ljungqvist (CSC) and Aaron Olson (T-Mobile), who ended up second and third respectively.

A break of three riders Marco Marcato, Thomas Berkhout (Rabobank) and Irish national road race champion David O'Loughlin (Navigators) took the top three spots Sunday. In an unusual stage race occurrence, the trio actually lapped the main field during the short, 2.4km finishing circuits.

The main bunch seemed to miscalculate their effort to reel back in the break, and it hit the finishing circuit over two and a half minutes back. Although 24 kilometres remained at this point and it was mathematically possible for the peloton to overcome that time deficit, the break lapped the bunch and guaranteed that victory would go to one of the three.

The main field was instructed to remain behind the break and the trio fought it out for victory among themselves at the finish. Berkhout attacked on the final lap and the Italian Marcato gambled that O'Loughlin would ride to bring back the Dutchman. That's just what happened, and Marcato capitalised on this by waiting, then coming off his wheel to close the final metres to Berkhout before attacking and hurtling up the finishing straight to take the win, his first of 2007.

Team CSC's Kim Andersen had nothing but praise for the first-year event. "Tour of Ireland has been a very positive experience and the organizers have managed to put together a brilliant race," said Andersen on the team's website,

Rasmussen in the Pyrenees in June?

Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

According to the Danish paper Berlingske Tidende, Michael Rasmussen sent a fax to the UCI on June 26 telling them that he would be in the Pyrenees June 27-29. The paper said it has a copy of the fax which explained that Rasmussen would try to ride the 13th and 14th stages of the Tour de France. Those stages travelled through the French part of the Pyrenees.

Rasmussen did not state clearly where he was going, only that he was going to take a look at the two stages. Afterward, he indicated he would be in Denmark to prepare for the national championships which took place July 1.

According to, it's not clear whether Gripper failed to receive the fax or was unaware that those two stages were in the Pyrenees.

Rasmussen never made it a secret that he was in the Pyrenees; he mentioned it on his website and also talked about it in interviews during the national championships.

Inconsistencies in Rasmussen's reported and actual whereabouts played a role in his firing from Team Rabobank during the Tour de France. The team fired Rasmussen, who lied to them as to his true location when he missed his out of competition tests in June. "Wrongly reporting whereabouts is a flagrant violation of UCI rules and is unacceptable," read the original statement by the Rabobank team.

Vuelta participation in doubt for González

By Monika Prell

Karpin Galicia rider Santos González's participation in the Vuelta a España is seriously in doubt after the cyclist suffered an injury while training according to Todociclismo. González has a one centimeter long and three millimeter deep cut in one of his quadriceps.

This is bad news for his team; González is the squad's best rider available for Sport Director Álvaro Pino's to select to race in the Vuelta a España. In fact, González was a potential leader for the team given his prospects for the overall classification. In the past, he's finished fourth and eleventh in the Vuelta.

Pino is optimistic about the participation of González. "If he was a football player, for example, the injury could mean definitively that he would not be able to participate, but in a sport like cycling, from time to time, the muscle could grow back together, even if in use. That is the hope we have at the moment."

Karpin Galicia has already selected seven cyclists for the Vuelta: Ezequiel Mosquera, David García, Gustavo César Veloso, Gustavo Domínguez, Carlos Castaño, David Ferreiro and Eduard Vorganov. The eighth rider should be Santos González. The ninth spot will be decided between Ramón Troncoso and Serafín Martínez, but if González won't be able to ride, both will get their chance to compete in the Vuelta.

Hunter and Van Wyk left off South Africa worlds team

Robert Hunter (Barloworld)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Robert Hunter (Team Barloworld) and Ronel Van Wyk (Team Konica Minolta) are two names not on the list of riders selected by South Africa for the team the nation is sending to the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, September 27-30. The federation announced its squad on its website August 24. No reason was given in the announcement for the omission of Hunter or Van Wyk.

Hunter became the first South African to win a Tour de France stage in July. He also finished second in the green jersey (sprint) competition. Van Wyk is the 2007 South African road race and time trial national champion.

South African National Team for the UCI World Road Championships
Elite Men: James Perry, Daryl Impey, Darren Lill, David George, Ian McLeod
U23 Men: Nolan Hoffmann, Jay Thomson, Jacques Janse Van Rensburg, Jacobus Venter
Elite Women: Marissa Van Der Merwe, Minette Naude, Yolandi Du Toit, Anriette Scuhoeman

Vuelta a España 2009 to the Netherlands

Additional details on the plans to start the 2009 Vuelta in the Netherlands have been announced. According to ANP, Jos Vaessen, the President of the Vuelta foundation indicated that the Spanish Tour will likely spend four days in the Netherlands in 2009.

The Vuelta a España prologue is scheduled for a time trial circuit in Assen. The first stage may start in Drenthe in Assen and finish elsewhere in the province. The second stage would start in Twente, maybe visit Enschede, and continue on to Venlo. In the third stage, riders would go from Venlo near Luik. The peloton would then fly to Gerona a day later to continue racing in Spain.

Vuelta Ciclista Venezuela to kick off 14 stages of racing

The Vuelta Ciciclista a Venezuela is set to start Monday and run through September 9. 153 riders from nine nations will race 14 stages, 2,121.5km over an average 151.5km per day. Along the way, they'll tackle one individual time trial, 58 sprints and 16 mountain hot spots.

Six foreign and 21 national teams are set to contest the race which will visit Sucre, Monagas, Anzoategui, Guarico, Cojedes, Portuguesa, Barinas, Tachira, Merida, Zulia, Trujillo, Lara, Yaracuy, Carabobo, Aragua and Distrito Capital.

Teams for Vuelta Ciciclista a Venezuela: Symmetrics Cycling Team (Canada), Cinelli Endeka OPD (San Marino), Cuban National Team, Ecuador National Team, Mexican National Team, Trecolli Bono Ciclismo (Columbia), Diquigovanni Selle Italia Venezuela, Ndeport Portuguesa, Gobierno Bolivariano De Carabobo, Seleccion Carabobo, Gobernacion Del Zulia Bod Selección Zulia, Loteria Del TÁChira Banfoandes, Alcaldia De Nirgua - Fundacion Diaz, Gobernacion Del Edo, Anzoategui, Indeportes Paez Guasdualito Apure, Gobierno De Trujillo Satrud, Amigos De Ciclismo Pdvsa Norte, Alc. Bolivariana Paez Alcalde Jose Alvarado, Gobernación Indeda Delta Amacuro, Alcalda De Cabimas Bod, Gobierno De Barinas - Hussein Sport, Fundadeporte Carabobo, Club Malave Salazar Carupano, Kino Táchira Banfoandes, Fecez Ejercito Gobierno De Barinas, Pdvsa Norte Amigos De Ciclismo Punta De Mata.

Singlespeed cyclo-cross worlds to Portland

First there were mountain bike singlespeed world championships. Now cyclo-crossers will get their own version.

The Portland Single Speed Collective announced it will host the inaugural Singlespeed Cyclo-cross World Championships in conjunction with a Cross Crusade event on November 11-12.

Day one will include a qualifying 'cross time trial, a relatively uncommon event although the AVA Cyclo-cross Stage Race has been holding one at the Alkek Velodrome for the past three years. At the Portland event, time bonuses will be given for "sketchy aero bar descending", fastest saddle-less lap, fastest saddle-less lap while on aero bars, fastest steep hill climb, and best six-pack bunny hopping.

Day is the Grand Boucle of Singlespeed 'cross, a 60-minute race around the notorious Estacada Bowl. One woman and one man will be crowned Singlespeed Cyclo-cross World Champion.

For more information, visit

Fantasy Vuelta Game tips!

Looking for some tips on who to select in your fantasy team? Manager Payson Speed from Riverton (Utah, USA) won the third place runner-up prize last year (a pair of Speedplay Zero pedals and a pair of Maxxis Courchevel road tyres. Total value - US$334). Here's what he had to say about his selection strategy:

"I initially selected a team based on the pre-race favorites for the GC and Sprint competitions. Over the first week, I made changes based on who was scoring points and riding strongly. Having a mountain stage during this time was quite helpful as it showed who among the GC contenders was riding well. Vino didn't look good on the climb but given his recent lack of racing, I hoped he would find his legs as the race progressed. Danielson also struggled but seeing as the Vuelta was his big shot at proving he could ride as team leader I picked him as a rider who would improve with time. I also chose to gamble a bit and selected Millar in the hopes that he would score points in each of the individual TT stages. Overall my team was great, and my only regret is that I could have managed it a bit better!"

If you've not taken part already in this year's games, you'll find it's a great way to follow the Grande Tours in more detail. Be a professional team manager for the 2007 Vuelta and create your own dream team from any of the real life riders in this year's race. Based on the live racing action, you will take up the challenge of using your knowledge and tactical skill as a race team manager to compete with other virtual managers from around the world. Follow the races live, and use your skill and knowledge to win some great prizes.

How to Choose your Mountains and Sprints Riders

Manager Payson Speed
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
(Click for larger image)

If you are relatively new to the Grande Tours it can be a daunting prospect choosing your 15 riders. Fear not! The new ranking system can tell you some of the answers you need to know. Here's some direct links to last year's high scoring riders:

Go to the Top Pro Riders page and click on the "How to find top climbers/mountains and sprinters/points riders..." link at the top of the page to find out more.

Try the game for free!

Try the game out and see how best to play in stages one through four. It's easy to play the Grand Tour games - all you need to do is pick your dream team of 15 from the riders racing in this year's Vuelta start list. Then each day pick nine riders to race for your fantasy team from these 15. You'll need a good combination of climbers, sprinters, and general classification riders. For more details go to the rules section of the site. It's a great way to follow the Vuelta.

There's plenty time to join in the fun at this year's Fantasy Vuelta game at Cyclingnews. You can join until stage 4 begins on Tuesday, September 4.

Good luck from everyone at Fantasy Cyclingnews.

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