Cyclingnews - the world centre of cycling Cyclingnews TV   News  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   BMX   Cyclo-cross   Track    Photos    Fitness    Letters   Search   Forum  

Recent News

January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008

2007 & earlier

Recently on

Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for June 11, 2007

Edited by Gregor Brown

Vinokourov stays cool

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Photo ©: Shane Stokes
(Click for larger image)

After disputing the Volta a Catalunya, Alexander Vinokourov is now taking part in the Dauphiné Libéré, in which he will compete with his potential rivals for the 2007 Tour de France. "I feel very well. This race will allow me to get better as well as it is a more important test for me," said the Kazakh leader of Astana to Cyclingnews.

He is aiming for the general classification of the Tour de France, although he assured, "I don't feel any pressure, because I was already on the podium in 2003, so I know exactly what to do to get on it again. Since then I have gained more experience, and so I can do better. Mentally, I'm very motivated."

When he finishes his participation in the Dauphiné Libéré, he will dispute the national championship in Kazakhstan. Vinokourov refused to talk about doping. "Only cycling, competitions, my rivals..." concluded the 33 year-old.

T-Mobile's battle of the sexes

By Susan Westemeyer

Eisel takes one for the men
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

The women are winning the battle of the sexes at Team T-Mobile. The combined teams have victories in 30 UCI ranked races so far this season, with 18 of those going to the women's team. The women also have eight wins in non-UCI ranked races.

The trend continued last week in North America. In Le Tour du Grand Montréal Judith Arndt won one stage and Oenone Wood won two stages, giving herself the overall Tour win. Down in Pennsylvania at the Philadelphia Triple Crown, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg achieved a hat-trick and won all three races in Reading, Lancaster and Philadelphia. She was the first woman to pull off such a hat-trick. By contrast, T-Mobile's Bernhard Eisel won the first two races in the series (Lancaster and Reading) but he finished only third in the finale in Philadelphia.

Four individual riders have won 17 of the 18 UCI ranked races for the women's team, with one being the victory in the Tour de l'Aude team time trial. Arndt has the most wins with seven. For the men, the 12 wins are divided between five riders, with British sprinter Mark Cavendish outpacing his teammates with five wins.

Haedo ready for vacation after win

JJ Haedo
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
(Click for larger image)

Team CSC took the one-two in the Philadelphia International Championship, preventing a sweep of the three-race Commerce Bank Triple Crown Series by T-Mobile's Bernhard Eisel, who won the first two races, but finished third on Sunday.

"It was a perfect day for us – we were part of all the breaks and what a pay off!" said Directeur Sportif Scott Sunderland on the team's website, "JJ has been having a bit of a tough time lately. He was a bit disappointed about his performance in Giro d'Italia and hasn't regained his strength in the first couple of races over here. But I said to him to try and make a couple of the early breaks and then see what happens. Later on he was told to get ready for the sprint, while almost everybody was up to something. The team work today was superb.

"In the end Goss joined Haedo in the sprint and he did well enough for them to take the first and second place," he concluded. "So now JJ has truly earned the two weeks vacation, which he'll be taking in Argentina."

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:

Rabobank's Dauphiné prologue

Team Rabobank "failed to play a prominent role in the prologue to the Dauphiné Libéré," as the team's website,, delicately put it. But team leader Erik Breukink wasn't too upset with the prologue results, since most of the riders are aiming more for the upcoming mountain stages. "The boys cycling here will definitely get a chance in the coming days."

One who might have been expected to do well in the 4.2-kilometre race was Marc De Maar but he "began suffering from both stomach and intestinal complaints on Saturday evening and they persisted on Sunday." De Maar finished about 35 seconds down, 140th out of 149 riders. "That was, despite being ill, still nine seconds better than (last-place finisher) Leonardo Piepoli who was one the Giro's defining cyclists," the website added optimistically.

Breukink cast his eye on another rider, 21 year-old Robert Gesink, who won a stage in last week's Tour of Belgium, leading to his "discovery" by the Dutch media. "Robert is a plain person and handles that very well. I did notice that he allowed last week's attention to distract him a little bit but he is still young and I am sure that he will do better next time. I am looking forward to seeing how he will perform here. The competition here is obviously better than it is in Belgium. But he is also looking forward to it and that is a good thing."

Di Luca makes post-Giro rounds

Di Luca after Liège
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

Danilo Di Luca is savouring his Giro d'Italia win with a serious of criterium appearances. Yesterday, the 31 year-old rider from Abruzzo was in Chieti for a scratch race that he won over Gilberto Simoni and Filippo Pozzato.

"The win in Liège [Liège-Bastogne-Liège] gave me respect from the experts. The Giro win gave me the gift of popularity," explained Di Luca to La Gazzetta dello Sport. He had spent a lot of his time signing autographs for some of the 20,000 fans that arrived to watch the race.

"It is almost an assault," 'The Killer' continued of his popularity. "In Pescara [home town - ed.] I am almost not able to leave the house. And elsewhere, as soon as I stop, if it at a newsstand or store, I am immediately recognised, pointed at and, sometimes, followed. ... It makes me happy."

The parade lap will soon be over and Di Luca will focus on his end-of-season objectives: the Worlds and the ProTour overall. "Now I am back on the bike - ten days of 'stop' was sufficient to restore the desire to start again. I will return to race in the Brixia Tour, July 26 to 29. Objective: the Worlds."

Simoni in Suisse

Gilberto Simoni will compete in the upcoming Tour de Suisse. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the winner of the Giro d'Italia's Monte Zoncolan stage will take part in the nine-day stage race that departs June 24th from Bern. The 35 year-old rider from Trento will seek to put his Giro-form to good use.

The last Italian to win the Tour de Suisse was Francesco Casagrande; he took the 1999 Tour over Laurent Jalabert and Simoni.

Giuseppe Muraglia positive for hCG

Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo rider Giuseppe Muraglia has been confirmed "Positive for hCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin)" by the UCI. It signalled the Italian Olympic Committee's (CONI) anti-doping prosecutors of the results based on a test that was done after the 27 year-old from Andria (Puglia) won the 22nd Clasica de Almeria, March 4.

Because of Muraglia's Almeria test result and his involvement with 2004's Oil for Drugs raids he has been asked to appear in Rome this Wednesday, June 13. Muraglia rode for Formaggi Pinzolo in 2004 when he, along with other riders suspected to be involved with Doctor Santuccione, was woken from his room during a NAS (Italy's Anti-Narcotics Group) raid. (For more on Oil for Drugs, read NAS blitz nets nada and NAS raid Giro again from 2004.)

Saunier suffers in Euskal Bizikleta finale

A wave from Saunier Duval
Photo ©: Christine Grein
(Click for larger image)

The final stage of the Euskal Bizikleta proved to be too much for Spanish ProTour Team Saunier Duval-Prodir. The team led the race starting with Friday's stage with Alberto Fernández De La Puebla. Arkaitz Durán was the only 'red-bird' present for the team in a 20-man escape, from which Constantino Zaballa (Caisse d'Epargne) won the stage and overall.

"The truth is everything turned upside down early in the race, with the breakaway," noted Joxean 'Matxin' Fernández after the race. "We bet on Arkaitz Durán, but he punctured so we decided to withdraw him and push from behind. Actually, it was [David] De la Fuente and [Javier] Mejías who we expected would join the breakaway; they could have won the race.

"Then we did what we were supposed to do; put in a lot of effort and try all the way to the line. Unfortunately, there were other teams who performed better than us - hats off to Caisse d'Epargne and Tino [Constantino Zaballa], who developed an effective strategy. Pity... we really wanted to take this legendary summit. But we must think positive; we've claimed a stage win.

"Now we must face the Tour de Suisse craving for victory, to get our own back."

The team was satisfied with the news of Jesús Del Nero's health. He fell in Saturday morning's stage and sustained serious injuries but didn't suffer any fractures. This was checked at a nearby healthcare centre in Galdakao. The Madrid-born rider, who had very good form, will now have to recover from the accident that affected his back and hip.

Cox and Barloworld in a spat over health problems

Team Barloworld and rider Ryan Cox have had a public spat about his health problems and the best treatment for it. Everyone seems to agree that he needs surgery, but the question is when.

The South African rider has chronic problems with his left iliac artery, which cause pains in his leg and back. Surgery can fix it. The team doctor, Doctor Mantovani, studied the results of tests, but according to Cox's website,, he is not familiar with this sort of problem.

The team recommended that he see an Italian doctor for a second opinion, Cox wrote the end of May. In the meantime he was to ride the Euskal Bizikleta and the GP Internacional CTT Correios de Portugal.

Only a few days later, he wrote on his website, "I really need the team to tell me my next step. Do I carry on racing, like this? Or do I do the operation. It's just all up in the air at the moment and not knowing my next step is quite frustrating. I hope I know soon as carrying on like this is just no good. I need a plan of action."

This did not sit well with the team, which responded on its website,, that he "has recently published information on his personal website about his health problems that are incorrect and blame the team management for the lack of proper planning of his racing programme considering the problems he is facing." The team noted that the rider and the team management had agreed that he would ride the two Iberian races and then, during the ensuing race break, undergo the surgery, if needed.

"I think the things Cox has written on his website are wrong and childish because he agreed his race programme with us," team manager Claudio Corti said. "Rather than create further problems, he should try and find out if an operation will effectively help him in the long-term. In recent races Cox has shown some good form despite complaining about pain in his left leg."

Cox reacted to this with an apology. "There has been a big misunderstanding with myself and the team," he wrote. "I have been in contact with my team throughout all my tests and I think there must have been some misunderstanding with the language barrier. My Italian is good enough to understand but not always good enough to get my point across. So I would like to apologise if anything was misread, but I was just getting my frustration across.

"We are working as a unit, me and the team, to solve this problem together. I would just like to get it sorted out as soon as possible. I will carry on racing like agreed to until we, as a team, decide when is the best time to have this operation."

Caisse d'Epargne for the Tour

By Antonio J. Salmerón

According to the Belgian newspaper Het Laastste News, the Spanish Caisse d'Epargne has already decided which riders will travel to London, Saturday, July 7, to dispute the Tour de France. In fact, it will be led by Oscar Pereiro, Alejandro Valverde and Vladimir Karpets, and, according to the paper, they will be accompanied José Vicente Garcia, Xabier Zandio, Luis León Sánchez, Francisco Pérez, Florent Brard and Nicolas Portal.

Holczer expects "something big" at ProTour meeting

Gerolsteiner Team Manager Hans-Michael Holczer expects that "something big will happen" before the Tour de France starts, in relation to the list of riders allegedly involved in Operación Puerto. The ProTour team managers are scheduled to meet with UCI President Pat McQuaid June 19.

T-Mobile's technical director, Luuc Eisenga told the dpa that "it could be that the UCI has evaluated the 6000 page document from the Spanish investigators."

The Kölner Express newspaper said that it is expected that the UCI will announce after the meeting which riders will not be allowed to ride the Tour this year because of their involvement in Operación Puerto. There is allegedly a list of 53 to 58 riders. It is further speculated that others who are not involved in the Spanish doping affair but who have confessed to being involved in the Telekom 1990s doping scandal, could also be rejected from the Tour - for example, Erik Zabel of Team Milram, Sport Director Rolf Aldag and Directeur Sportif Brian Holm of Team T-Mobile, and CSC Team Manager Bjarne Riis. Also mentioned in Walter Godefroot, advisor to Team Astana, who has denied any involvement with the Telekom 1990s doping scandal.

Fasching ready for RAAM

Wolfgang Fasching is riding his eighth and last Race Across America, 11 years after his premiere. He has not only won the race three times, but ended up on the podium every time he has ridden it. The race started Sunday in Lake Henshaw, California and will run for an expected eight to nine days for about 5000 kilometres to Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Fasching is one of the favourites to win the race, along with Daniel Wyss, who won last year, and Jure Robic, who has won the race twice. "But there are some young riders who could make our life difficult," he said. "Like for example Larry Optis from Canada or John Jurczynski and Brett Walker. The Australian Richard Vollebregt is also very strong."

The Austrian rider took it easy just before setting out. On Saturday, "Wolfgang took a break, had some medical examinations," said his manager, Doris Fasching. "There were also some tactical discussions on the agenda. He feels fit and can hardly wait for the start."

BikeNZ searches for head track coach

BikeNZ is looking for an experienced high performance track coach to lead the New Zealand track programme through the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics.

BikeNZ is the umbrella organisation covering road and track, mountain bike and BMX competition in New Zealand. "We have full time National Coaches for road, track and BMX and Terry Gyde has been the Head Track Coach for BikeNZ since early 2005. He resigned last month to concentrate on personal coaching," noted BikeNZ.

Cycling is one of the five favoured sports supported by SPARC, the largely Government funded agency that supports sport and recreation agency, and has a target of three medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. BikeNZ has a new High Performance Director starting on June 18; Mark Elliott comes from a successful background with triathlon and snow sports, where he has lead their high performance programmes.

Terry resigned to allow a new head coach to come in now with sufficient time to lead what is expected to be a successful campaign through to the Beijing Olympics. The position is based in New Zealand, but does involve extensive travel with the World Cup circuit, World Championships and other international events.

Previous News    Next News

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2007)