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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News for June 10, 2007

Edited by Sue George

Hoy: Out of thin air

By Steve Thomas

Hoy with the last kilo gold
Photo ©: AFP Photo
(Click for larger image)

Before bidding farewell to the 'kilo', which has been dropped from the Olympic events for track cycling, Chris Hoy made one last ditch effort to break the World kilometre record at altitude in La Paz, Bolivia. Hoy, the 'maestro of the kilo' talked about missing the record by a heartbreaking 0.005 seconds and his future plans.

Chris Hoy set out for the last kilo ride of his life in a lonely, empty velodrome in La Paz on May 13, 2007. Absent were the cheering voices he'd grown accustomed to in his years of racing that brought Olympic gold, the sea-level world kilo record, and seven world championships, and he was left in a hollow, solitary battle against hypoxic agony that is the one kilometre time trial.

"It was very strange, it was empty, which I was not used to," Hoy recalled. "If it had been a track meeting you would have heard voices and cheers, and you also know that you are racing against other people, and the conditions are the same for them. This was a real solitary and emotional experience. I'd altered my race plan, and started slower. I had no idea what was happening until a lap after I'd crossed the line, when I saw the score board.

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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).

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"It would have been easier if I'd been way off the mark, but it was 5/1000th of a second off, which was just unbelievable. It would have been emotional either way, a real turning point in my career, but at least I'm glad I gave it a go."

Following that trip to South America, Hoy packed up his gear and headed off to a holiday in the Maldives. A summer holiday is a luxury track cyclists can afford, as it is prime off-season recovery time for a top track sprinter. "It was my first opportunity to take a real holiday in five or six years, a holiday without my bike. I just rested, lay on the beach and recovered," commented Chris Hoy. "I'm just about to start getting back on the bike and back to the gym now, preparing for the new track season."

To read the complete feature, click here.

Nude cyclists protest around the world

By Susan Westemeyer

A man prepares for the World Naked Ride day
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)
"As bare as you dare" was the motto Saturday for cyclists around the world who rode in major cities worldwide wearing as little they wanted.

"We face automobile traffic with our naked bodies as the best way of defending our dignity and exposing the unique dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians as well as the negative consequences we all face due to dependence on oil and other forms of non-renewable energy, according to protest organizers on their website,

Around 300 riders participated in Madrid, and some 400 in Paris, although most of the French riders were either fully clothed or merely topless. Over 200 bared all in Brighton, England, freeing themselves from their clothing as drivers should free themselves from their cars, according to a local organizer. Similar demonstrations were held Friday in Manchester, York, and Southampton.

The protest stretched beyond Europe, with protests also planned over the weekend in Mexico City, eight locations in Canada, and a multitude of cities in the US. Southern hemisphere nude riders could strut their stuff in March of this year.

According to the website, the ride is organized by a variety of groups, who "are only connected by their determination to all be naked on their bikes on WNBR Day, riding in celebration, jubilation to deliver a vision of a cleaner, safer, body-positive world to the masses. We have many great reasons to be celebrating, with all the glory of naked two-wheel sanity. It's time to join hundreds of naked compatriots in a free, non-sexual, fun bike ride!"

The dress code was up to the individual. "You decide what you are comfortable with. No one is excluded or discriminated against based on levels of clothing, body paint, or anything else for that matter!"

Rich says good-bye

By Bjorn Haake

Michael Rich (Gerolsteiner) at his last race in Nürnberg, Germany
Photo ©: Florian Schaaf
(Click for larger image)

Friday evening marked the end of the career of one of the greatest German time trial racers. Michael Rich's hometown club RVC Reute (near Freiburg in southwest Germany) hosted an evening event filled with fun, music, laughter and the occasional racing in-between.

Several thousand spectators made their way to the city hall in Reute, where the festivities were held. Former and current racers also came to say good-bye and spice up the race activities. Well known professionals in attendance included Jens Voigt, Uwe Peschel and Fabian Wegmann, the latter a Freiburg resident.

The race activities started out with a 45 minute criterium. The top 10 of this race qualified for a Derny race with drafting off motor bikes strictly allowed. Fabian Wegmann won the race in the end. Starting at the Dauphiné Libéré on Sunday, Wegmann is a man on form.

Jens Voigt, who had shared a room with Rich for six years when traveling together with the German national team, finished second, while Rich got third.

After the racing there was time for everyone to hang out and wish Rich the best of luck. As the speakers were blasting "Time to say good bye", Rich had a few tears running down his cheek.

Rich demonstrated that he liked all the teams he rode for by wearing a special jersey that was made of four sections for the four major outfits he rode: The green-and-white of his hometown club Reute, the red Saeco colours, the colours of Öschelbronn and the blue of Gerolsteiner. Rich will stay with the latter and work as a talent scout and material wizard - after all, he learned the trades of an industrial mechanic and knows a thing or two about materials.

One of the highlights in his career was the win of the Olympic Gold Medal in the 1992 Games in Barcelona in the four-man team trial over 100km, an event that is no longer part of the Olympic program. But Rich said wins in smaller races gave him satisfaction, too.

The races he liked the most are Paris-Roubaix and the Bayern Rundfahrt. The latter he won three times.

Stormy weather halts TT at Euskal Bizikleta

By Sue George

Vladimir Efimkin won
Photo ©: Christine Grein
(Click for larger image)

Saturday's second stage of the day in the Euskal Bizikleta was stopped near the end due to a downpour and strong winds. The race was cancelled with six riders still left to go: David De la Fuente (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Eladio Jiménez (Karpin-Galicia), Oscar Sevilla (Relax-GAM), Gómez Marchante (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Fernández de la Puebla (Saunier Duval-Prodir), and Vladimir Efimkin (Caisse d´Épargne).

The fastest rider already done with his time trial was Rigoberto Urán (, who will be considered the stage's winner; however, none of the results today will count toward the GC.

Given the decision to call the stage, Vladimir Efimkin kept his overall lead, two seconds ahead of Fernández de la Puebla and eight seconds over a trio made of Oscar Sevilla, Eladio Jiménez and a José Ángel Gómez Marchante. Efimkin won the first stage of the day.

Sunday's third stage and final stage is the major one, the queen stage. Racers will cover seven mountains during 152.5 kilometres from Iurreta to Arrate. With only 2.4km between the last climb and the finish, a GC shakedown is expected.

For complete coverage of the Euskal Bizikleta, click here.

UCI & ProTour teams to meet

UCI President Pat McQuaid is scheduled to meet with team managers of the 20 ProTour teams on June 19 in Geneva. According to information obtained by the Cologne Express and reported by Radsport-Activ, the meeting will touch on the documents coming out of Spain for Operación Puerto and discuss riders who may not be allowed to start in the Tour de France due to their connection to Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes.

Hans-Michael Holczer, Gerolsteiner team manager, could not confirm the agenda, but thought the meeting related to the "image of cycling," according to the dpa. He asked for proof for any riders involved in the doping scandals and pointed to DNA testing which would have to be done quickly before the July 7th Tour de France start in London.

On June 13, the Association of Professional Cyclists (AIGCP) is scheduled to meet in Lyons.

Two Kazakhs to lead Astana for Dauphiné Libéré

The Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, from June 10 to June 17, serves as a key step in the preparation of many teams for the Tour de France, and Astana is no exception. The race runs for 1,140 kilometers and has hilly stages, including high mountains, and finishes at Mont Ventoux and Valloire.

Kazakh duo Alexander Vinokourov, who has won the race in 1999 as well as a stage in 2005, and Andrej Kashechkin, who also made a strong impression in 2005, will lead Astana. They will be assisted by such experienced Spaniard Antonio Colom and Russians Sergueï Ivanov and Guennadi Mikhailov. Vinokourov is among the favorites for the Tour de France.

Astana for the Dauphiné Libéré: Antonio Colom, Maxim Iglinskiy, Sergueï Ivanov, Andrej Kashechkin, Guennadi Mikhailov, Steve Morabito, José Antonio Redondo, and Alexander Vinokourov. Manager: Adriano Baffi.

Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for complete coverage of the Dauphiné Libéré.

Quickstep for Dauphiné Libéré

Team Quickstep - Innergetic has announced their line-up for the Dauphiné Libéré. The squad will be lead by Tom Boonen who showed recently that he is recovered from physical problems and on form with a win in the final stage of the Tour of Belgium.

Quickstep for Dauphiné Libéré: Tom Boonen, Steven De Jongh, Dmytro Grabovskyy, Kevin Hulsmans, Kevin Seeldraeyers, Gert Steegmans, Kevin Van Impe, Cedric Vasseur. Team Managers: Wilfried Peeters, Luca Guercilena.

Telekom past comes back to haunt Hundertmarck

By Susan Westemeyer

Kai Hundertmarck
Photo ©: Jeff Jones / Cyclingnews
(Click for larger image)

The Telekom 1990s doping scandal is making itself known in other sports. Kai Hundertmarck, who rode for Team Telekom from 1996 to 2003, changed to triathlon after leaving cycling. Now he will no longer be participating in the Ironman Germany, a decision reached separately by him and by the organizers.

Hundertmarck had announced that he would not be in the race, to be held July 1 in Frankfurt, as an aftereffect of the Telekom doping confessions. He said that he felt that the race organizer Kurt Denk, was conducting a witch-hunt against him. "He said that he was particularly interested to see whether I would give the required affidavit that I had not doped. That took all the fun out of the race for me," Hundertmarck told the dpa press agency. Denk had required the affidavit from all the professional athletes participating in the race this year. Hundertmarckt signed an affidavit, but said that he felt it was aimed against him as a former Team Telekom rider.

Denk denied this. Hundetrmarck had arbitrarily changed the wording in the affidavit, the organization claimed, and "thereby made the complete remaining text worthless."

"Under these circumstances, we will not give Kai Hundertmarck permission to start in another Ironman race in Germany," said race director Kai Walter.

"It would have been great for me, as a local boy, to present myself in my new sport to my fans here at my house door. But the fun has gone out of it because of the position of the organizer," Hundertmarck said. He now plans to start in the Ironman Austria in Klagenfurt one week later.

Milram for GP Gippingen

Erik Zabel will lead Team Milram for the 44th GP Gippingen, a category 1.HC race on Sunday, June 10. The one-day race starts and finishes in Gippingen, running ten laps of 19.6 km each. It passes through the Swiss canton Aargau.

Milram for GP Gippingen: Erik Zabel, Björn Schroeder, Ralf Grabsch, Sebastian Schwager, Mirko Celestino, Sergio Ghisalberti, Elia Rigotto

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