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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Latest Cycling News for March 16, 2007

Edited by Gregor Brown

Tin-Tin Rebellin commands Paris-Nice

Davide Rebellin tops Paris-Nice
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Davide 'Tin-Tin' Rebellin took over the Paris-Nice leadership after a demanding stage four finale in which he was only bettered by Alberto Contador of Discovery Channel. After a solid first three days and the time gained in stage four, the Italian from Veneto took the overall leader's Maillot Jaune, with six seconds on the Spaniard and 23 on Tadej Valjavec (Lampre-Fondital).

"I did not know this climb," admitted 35 year-old Rebellin to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "But I had seen that it was going to be short and hard; suited to my strengths. When Contador attacked I was not able to go with him. And now I am expecting a lot of attacks.

"I have a good team but to resist will be tough." Tin-Tin is no stranger to overall race wins; last year he won the Brixia Tour and in 2001 he took the final in Tirreno-Adriatico. He clarified to Cyclingnews, "I came here to win, and I feel strong enough for doing so but it's still hard to beat teams like Discovery and CSC. I also have a good team but we'll have to look carefully at every attack."

"I had forgotten about Rebellin," added Contador to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Now he will be the man to beat. There is still time to attack him."

On the road the American team quickly worked out its captain. "At thirty kilometres to go Leipheimer asked me how I was, then he gave me my space to try something. I signed for this team to be one of the captains," finished the 24 year-old.

Arekeev's first - Tirreno toughens

Alexandr Arekeev commands Tirreno but for how long?
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Russian Alexandr Arekeev of Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo nailed his first win in Tirreno-Adriatico stage 2 after four years as a professional. The 24 year-old took the tough road to achieve the victory, which also garnered him the leader's jersey; he spent 202 kilometres off the front of the peloton.

Arekeev, from Izhevsk, the same city of Pavel Tonkov, went away immediately with small group after the race had started. Not satisfied with his chances in a sprint into Marsciano, he dropped his companions at 13 kilometres from the line and finished solo by 29 seconds over Daniele Contrini (Tinkoff Credit Systems).

A final overall winner could materialise today. The riders face a 213 kilometre stage from Marsciano to Macerata. They will cross the Passo del Cornello (813m in height) mid-way through the stage before arriving on the closing circuits, which include four climbs up to Macerata (2600m long, averaging 7.2% gradient, with a maximum of 12%). The final ascent to the finish should see an explosion in the lead pack.

"I am not how I was in California," said World Champion Bettini, who won a stage in the USA race, to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "The crash in Milano-Torino did not give me much pain and this arrival [stage 3] is ideal for me."

Bettini's former teammate, Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas), added, "I want to give it a try. Macerata seems difficult but with the condition I have I am curious how I will go. The most dangerous rider? I say Oscar Freire. He is going strong."

Ivan Basso, in his first race back in Italy since being linked to Operación Puerto, commented, "I am still lacking condition with respect to the others and I am less explosive. I don't know if I can hold their rhythm. ... I prefer the time trial [stage five] and the mountain top finish on Monday [stage six]."

Pozzato and Petacchi talk with Grillo

During the finale of Tirreno-Adriatico stage 1, Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) and Paride Grillo (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) crossed paths and the former was not too happy. After the stage, Alessandro Petacchi, who finished in 11th, commented to La Gazzetta dello Sport, "What matters is respect. I don't understand; he did something senseless and very dangerous in a decisive moment."

The Milram train, and also Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas), were unimpressed by Grillo's jostling for position in the last three kilometres, which they claimed almost caused a crash.

The Het Volk Champion and Vice President of the International Association of Professional Cycling teams (AIGCP) talked with the rider from Como during stage two. "You do not ride like that," said Pozzato. "Petacchi did well not to crash, otherwise he and forty others would have ended up on the ground.

"I went and talked to Grillo during the race and said 'Be calm, you don't have to race like that, you have to give some respect.' And he understood."

Grillo got the last word in. "I am sorry for what has happened," he noted with sincerity. "I made an exaggeration, I made a mistake and please excuse me. I am re-entering after a so so period, and I am a sprinter and I always want to try."

Eisel's mistaken celebration

By Susan Westemeyer

Uh, Eisel? What are you doing?
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Bernhard Eisel raised his fist in celebration when he won the sprint finish in the second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, thinking he had won the stage. Unfortunately for the T-Mobile rider, a four-man escape group had already crossed the finish line.

"When my colleagues see that photo in the papers tomorrow, they will laugh at me," the Austrian rider said in good-humour. He explained to how he came to make the mistake. "On the last climb, about 12 kilometres before the finish, we overtook an escape group of four riders. Unfortunately it wasn't the four leaders, Arekeev, Contrini, Krauss and Baliani, but four who had been following them. I took my radio out of my ear so that I could concentrate on the sprint."

"I'm not too disappointed at missing the stage win," he said. "I can tell that my form is getting better every day and that I have a lot of power in my legs." Eisel is currently tenth overall, 1'07" down.

Meanwhile, he is doing much better than his countryman, Rene Haselbacher of Team Astana, who is suffering from stomach problems and spending more time in the bathroom than in his bed at night. "I had to struggle to make it through the stage today," he said. "I simply feel empty."

Crashes in Tirreno-Adriatico for Gutiérrez and Serrano

By Monika Prell

Spaniards Iván Gutiérrez and Ricardo Serrano and Mexican Moisés Aldape Chavez were tangled in crashes during the finale of yesterday's stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. The peloton was gearing for the sprint for fifth place when the various crashes happened.

Gutiérrez (Caisse d'Epargne) suffered a strong blow to his left shoulder and was taken to the hospital in Perugia. He's still under observation.

Ricardo Serrano (Tinkoff Credit Systems) also visited the hospital but x-rays excluded any fractures. He will be able to start in today's stage even with a tremendous amount of pain in his left shoulder.

28 year-old Aldape Chávez (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare), after landing hard on the right-side of his face, lost conciseness for a few minutes. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, CAT scans were performed at the hospital in Perugia and all systems responded normally. It is not sure if he will start in today's stage.

Niermann breaks ankle

By Susan Westemeyer

A motorcycle ran into Grischa Niermann in the first stage of Tirreno-Adriatico and that promptly caused a mass crash, "with about 40 riders spread out all over the road," including four of his Rabobank teammates. "Somehow I made it to the finish, even if I could barely put any weight on my swollen left foot," he wrote on his website,

The team doctor denied him from continuing the race and sent him home, more or less against his will. "It was good that he told me to go, because I probably would have started the second stage. The pain wasn't really that bad." Back home in Germany, x-rays revealed that there was a splinter broken off of his left ankle. It doesn't need to be operated on but Niermann will have to rest it for a few days before he can start training again. He hopes to back for the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, beginning April 9.

Jaksche clarifies UCI communications

By Hedwig Kröner

Jörg Jaksche clarified to Cyclingnews that there has been a misunderstanding regarding an earlier report that he offered to give a DNA sample to the UCI, but never got a response from the world governing body of cycling.

In an attempt to demonstrate his innocence and return to racing, the Austrian said that he had offered a DNA sample and permission to re-examine his urine samples from the past five years. "Also for substances that they weren't able to look for five years ago," he said to

In fact, Jaksche did get a letter of response and confirmation from UCI President Pat McQuaid, but he doesn't know yet when the test will be carried out. "I just haven't received a notification on the date and time of the testing yet," he said to Cyclingnews.

Amber Rais: Going platinum

Diarist Amber Rais
Photo ©: David Pierce
(Click for larger image)

At twenty-six years old Amber Rais is starting her second season with the women's Webcor-Platinum Professional Cycling Team. Her life had taken her in many unexpected directions before becoming a rising star in North American cycling. Rais had just completed in Merced's first 2007 NRC event when Cyclingnews' reporter Kirsten Robbins caught to find out what led her into the sport of cycling and what lies ahead.

Relatively unknown to fans outside the San Francisco 'Bay Area' where she lives, Rais has been racking up solid results at the national level after taking up bike racing relatively late in life. Like many racers, the sport became an obsession, and quickly took over her previous academic and acquatic way of life. In addition to racing, this ambitious woman will be writing a diary for Cyclingnews during the 2007 season, giving a glimpse what it takes to develop into a professional road cyclist with aspiration of the world championships and an Olympic dream.

"I think adding a personal side to my diary and giving people an idea of what the lifestyle is like as a rider is important," Rais said. "I want to blend a personal side of a cyclist to what it is like being a cyclist on the road and provide behind the scene anecdotes to the life of a cyclist - my life."

After just two seasons of racing, she has her sights set on European racing, becoming a member of the US national worlds team and eventually aiming for the Olympics. "My big picture goals are to be a top international stage racer," Rais said. "I want to get to Europe and be a stage racer there. I eventually want to medal at the world championships and Olympics. But I am focused on my short-term goals first and it can be over whelming and daunting to think ahead so far.

Read the full interview with Amber Rais.

Top Field for Australian Madison Championship

The 2007 Australian Madison Championship will be hotly contested by 12 teams this Saturday, March 17. Mitch Docker (VIC) and Cameron Meyer (WA) will be out to impress the National selectors. They are hoping to secure a ride as the Australian team at the Track World Championships in Majorca, Spain later this Month.

Another group that will be out to catch the eye of the national selectors will be six of the Endurance riders from the National Junior Team hoping to become the Australian Madison team for the Junior World Championships in Mexico later in the year. The Junior combinations are Travis Meyer / Leigh Howard, Thomas Palmer / James Langedyk and Jack Bobridge / Glen O'Shea.

Madison teams for the championship (Riders & colours):
1 Leigh Howard / Travis Meyer (Yellow)
2 Thomas Palmer / James Langedyk (White)
3 Cameron Meyer / Mitch Docker (Royal Blue)
4 Brad Edmunds / Hamish Taylor (White with Red V )
5 Jack Bobridge / Glenn O'Shea (Blue / white / Orange)
6 Kyle Marwood / Phil Stokes (White, Black and Red)
7 Diego Rodriguez / Oscar Rodriguez (White / Grey / Red)
8 None listed - ed.
9 Ewin Williams / Doug Garley (Black)
10 Josh Gundry / Mark O'Brien (Red, Black and White)
12 Peter Johnstone / Jamie Crass (Fluoro Yellow)
14 Leigh Deluca / Warren Knevitt (Pink)
15 Gary Mueller / Adrian Hanson (White/Orange)

Latrobe reverts back to one day

The Latrobe Bicycling Race Club have announced that the 2007 Latrobe Carnival will return to a one day format. After a review of the 2006 carnival, organisers have decided to put the carnival back to one day. Dennis Chugg, Secretary of the Latrobe Bicycling Race Club commented that the two days was quite difficult to manage in order to provide officials for the Carnival.

Reverting back to one day will also allow cyclists a break from racing, as there were quite a few tired bodies come Burnie Carnival. "With [December] 27th being a working day, we found it a bit of a challenge to find officals to help out, reverting back to one day on Boxing Day will be more manageable. It means that we will start the program a little earlier on Boxing Day and finish later in the evening in order to fit the program into one day".

Grant Atkins, President of SCAT is supportive of reverting back to a one day Carnival. "I believe that the 2 day format was worth a try and I congratulate the Club for taking a risk. Reverting back to one day will give all competitors a break which can only benefit their performances."

Fantasy Spring Classics 2007 game begins soon

The Quickstep Specialized S-Works Roubaix
Photo ©: Specialized
(Click for larger image)
The new, improved Fantasy Cylingnews games for 2007 mark the fifth year of cycling fun here at Cyclingnews. This year, amoung other improvements, we will be adding new ways to communicate with your fellow players from around the world in real time as the races unfold.

The prize roster for 2007 looks even more impressive than last year. This year we are kicking off the first of four games with a Specialized S-Works Roubaix bicyle worth $6000 USD!

Be a professional team manager for the 2007 Spring Classics. Based on the live racing action, you will take up the challenge using your knowledge and tactical skill as a race team manager to compete with fantasy managers from around the world. All you need to do to take part in the latest of the Fantasy Games at Cyclingnews is register and, once the provisional race list has been announced, select 8 riders for each of the following races:

Milan - San Remo, March 24th 2007
Ronde van Vlaanderen, April 8th 2007
Gent-Wevelgem, April 11th 2007
Paris - Roubaix, April 15th 2007
Amstel Gold Race, April 21th 2007
La Flèche Wallonne, April 25th 2007
Liège - Bastogne - Liège, April 29th 2007

Follow the races live and use your skill and knowledge to win prizes.

In the next few days we will be releasing more details of the prizes on offer this season with more than 46 prizes available for 18 lucky winners now is the time to sign up to the Fantasy Cyclingnews Games.

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 Spring Classics.

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