First Edition Cycling News for May 9, 2007
Edited by Ben Abrahams & Greg Johnson, with assistance from Susan Westemeyer
CSC want to move on from Basso
Team CSC boss Bjarne Riis has given his reaction to the Basso situation, saying that while he's disappointed in his former protege, it's best for both parties to put the matter behind them. "Both Ivan Basso and I have moved on," Riis told Danish newspaper BT. "I felt let down and sad that I had to fire him. But in the course of a long life, I have also learnt that you are let down sometimes."
At the time of Basso's implication in the Operación Puerto affair, many asked how Riis could be unaware of the Italian's dealings with Dr Fuentes, given the well-publicised close relationship between the Team CSC leader and his boss. "If it happened, it happened," said Riis. "I didn't have a chance in the world to control Ivan more than we did back then."
Team CSC press officer Brian Nygaard admitted the news was hard for the team to accept. "First of all it's a good thing," Nygaard told news agency ritzau, "but it is also a bitter pill to swallow that the team apparently has been fooled. But it is necessary to swallow that pill in order to be able to go on.
"One can say that there have been indications for a long while, and there has never been any good explanation of all the circumstantial evidence. It is very unfortunate, but one has to draw a line under it and make sure that it won't happen again. This we have done with the anti-doping programme we are working on."
Courtesy of Katharina Schulz
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'
May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
Ullrich's lawyer unimpressed
Ivan Basso may have confessed to being involved in the Operación Puerto doping scandal, but don't expect Jan Ullrich to follow suit.
"What should he confess?" asked Peter-Michael Diestel, one of Ullrich's six attorneys, to the dpa press agency. "Ullrich didn't have an affair or otherwise behave wrong. What Basso does is his business."
Diestel said that further developments would depend on those investigating Ullrich. "If charges should be filed, then we will react," he said.
Simoni stronger than 2006
By Greg Johnson
Saunier-Duval-Prodir's Gilberto Simoni is feeling stronger this year than when he took third place at last year's Giro d'Italia, according to team manager Pietro Algeri. The Italian has spent the opening months of 2007 preparing for his home event, only making outings at a handful of road and mountain bike events, including the Tour de Georgia where he finished 19th overall.
"Of course, our prime goal is to see Simoni as the Giro winner," declared Algeri. "I'm sure he can do it because he's become vastly experienced. Moreover, he told me that his physical condition is better now than in 2006."
The 35 year-old's chances of taking his third victory at the Grand Tour are undoubtedly boosted given the absence of the pair that finished ahead of him in last year's edition: Ivan Basso and José E. Gutierrez Cataluna. Italy's Basso and Spain's Gutierrez were both implicated in Operación Puerto doping scandal last year, and subsequently will not contest this year's Giro d'Italia.
"The whole team will work for him, including Riccò, who can learn a lot from Gibo," added Algeri. "This doesn't mean we won't fight for stage wins: Riccò has a good chance to take mountaintop finish stages, and Piepoli or Mayo can win stages with difficult climbs. Then, men like Cañada or Mori in the mountains and 'Litu' Gómez or Bertogliati on flat terrain will certainly be on the front."
At the time of publishing Saunier Duval-Prodir was one of the few squads which haven't made changes to its roster for the May 12-June 3 event, since the publishing of the start list earlier this week.
Saunier-Duval roster for the Giro d'Italia: Gilberto Simoni, Riccardo Riccò, Iban Mayo, Leonardo Piepoli, Manuele Mori, David Cañada, Ángel "Litu" Gómez, Raivis Belohvosciks and Rubens Bertogliati.
T-Mobile juggling Giro line-up
T-Mobile has announced its line-up for the Giro d'Italia, making a major change almost immediately afterwards. Ukranian time trial specialist Serhiy Honchar was removed from the roster shortly after the announcement.
Honchar, who wore the leader's pink jersey for two stages during the 2006 Giro, dropped out of the Tour de Romandie last week with a cold from which he has not yet recovered, the team said.
Without an obvious overall contender, the magenta boys will be concentrating on stage wins. "We don't just want to go along for the ride, if the chance is there to go for a stage win, we will take it," directeur sportif Valerio Piva told t-mobile-team.com.
It has not yet been decided whether Michael Barry or Jacob Piil will take Honchar's place on the team.
T-Mobile for the Giro d'Italia: Lorenzo Bernucci, Adam Hansen, Greg Henderson, Axel Merckx, Aaron Olson, Marco Pinotti, Frantisek Rabon, Thomas Ziegler, and either Jacob Piil or Michael Barry.
Caisse d'Epargne pulls Zaballa and Plaza from Giro
In order to comply with the wishes of Giro d'Italia organiser RCS Sport, that no Operación Puerto implicated riders compete in its race, Spanish squad Caisse d'Epargne has issued a revised Giro line-up without the names of Ruben Plaza or Constantino Zaballa, according to tuttobiciweb.
The pair have been replaced by Alexei Markov and Mathieu Perget.
The changes mean that Caisse d'Epargne brings five riders competing in their first Grand Tour to the start in Sardinia: Eric Berthou, Alberto Losada, Alexei Markov, Mathieu Perget and José Joaquín Rojas. "A rather inexperienced team, but with talented riders who are able to do well in every kind of stage," said directeur sportif José Luis Jaimerena in a team statement.
"José Joaquín Rojas and Alexei Markov will take part in the sprints while David Arroyo and Alberto Losada can do very well in the mountain stages," he continued. "The other riders who form the team will look for oportunities to go with some breakaways."
Caisse d'Epargne for the Giro d'Italia: David Arroyo, Eric Berthou, Joan Horrach, Pablo Lastras, Alberto Losada, Alexei Markov, Aitor Pérez, Mathieu Perget and José Joaquín Rojas.
More bad luck for Isasi
By Monika Prell
Euskaltel-Euskadi rider Iñaki Isasi, who was scheduled to ride this year's Tour de France for the Basque squad, has suffered another bout of bad luck breaking his collarbone in the final stage of the Vuelta a Asturias. The sprinter had already succumb to the same injury earlier this year after a fall in the Vuelta a Murcia.
Medical examinations revealed that the 30 year-old requires an operation and will be out of competion for several weeks.
Flexpoint signs inexperienced Kleinsman
UCI Women's squad Team Flexpoint has signed Netherlands rider Moniek Kleinsman to the squad effective immediately, following the departure of Annette Beutler, who has departed to focus on selection for the Swiss 2008 Olympic Games squad. Kleinsman, who will ride with the squad for the remainder of 2007, will make her race and team debut at her home event, Omloop van Borsele, on May 12.
"It is an enormous challenge," said Kleinsman. "I have never rode a bicycle in competition, so I have a lot to learn: especially on the territory of tactics.
Ridley backs Noosa criterium
Belgian bike manufacturer Ridley has announced a major new sponsorship deal with the Noosa criterium, offering a winner takes all first prize of AUD$50,000. The event, to be renamed the Ridley Dash for Cash, will hit the streets of Queenland's Sunshine Coast on November 3.
With additional financial incentives provided by Cateye, in the form of two AUD$5000 primes, the race has already attracted interest from several ProTour teams, as well as Australia's top professionals who return home after the European season.
"I always enjoy coming back to Noosa each November to ride in the criterium - all the boys do," said Queensland native Robbie McEwen, who first won the event back in 1997. "The $50,000 will attract a super field and ensure that we all stay in shape after a hard European season."
Event organizer, USM Events Managing Director Garth Prowd OAM welcomed the appointment of Ridley as the naming rights sponsor to this significant cycling showpiece on the Australian calendar, and a signature event as part of the Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival program.
"We look forward to working with Ridley to further raise the profile of this event and their investment will attract European teams with interest from several ProTour teams," said Prowd.
Event Manager Geoff Meyer further announced the field would be an invitational race due to the tight circuit, restricting the field to 60 riders. Approximately 40 riders will be issued invitations with the remaining 20 places decided through a regional qualifying series in September.
"Due to the increasingly high demand for places in the Ridley Dash for Cash and our Cycling Grand Prix races, holding qualifying events in regional Queensland will give those communities access to cycling expertise and get the sport into some new markets, ensuring its future growth and development," said Meyer.
The Ridley bike brand has a certain affinity with Australian cyclists, being the machine of choice for Robbie McEwen and Cadel Evans at ProTour outfit Predictor-Lotto, formerly Davitamon-Lotto. The company's first all-carbon frame, the Damocles, was ridden to over 100 professional victories in Grand Tours and Spring Classics, while their 2006 Noah model carried McEwen to three Tour de France stage wins plus the green jersey, and Evans to fifth place overall.
The Ridley Dash for Cash will be the highlight of Super Saturday action at this year's 25th anniversary Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival held from Thursday 1 - Sunday 4 November. For further information go to www.usmevents.com.au.
Ride with a world champ on Bettini Day
Ever dreamed of training with a UCI Road Race World Champion? For those around Bibbona, Italy this June, that dream could well become a reality with the announcement of Paolo Bettini's 'Bettini Day'.
"It will give you the unique opportunity to ride alongside Paolo Bettini with your family whilst taking in the delights of the Tuscan countryside and trying some of the Tuscan specialities that only Bibbona and this area offer," declares the event's promotional material.
The June 9-10 event will start with a training session on Saturday, which will be a proper training session around the roads of La California. Bettini Day will be on the Sunday with a noncompetitive bike ride, music and taste testing in Bibbona in the company of the reigning world champion.
Brasstown Bald injured passes away
The 53 year-old spectator who was injured while attempting to descend the notorious Brasstown Bald climb, after watching the finish of the Tour de Georgia's fifth stage, has passed away, according to a police report filed in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Thomas Kinnebrew never regained consciousness after the accident and past away in late April.
According to Atlanta Authorities, the Helena, Arkansas resident, was wearing a helmet but suffered severe head and spinal injuries after hitting a rock embankment.
British champs return to East Riding
The British National Road Race Championships will be hosted by East Riding for the second year running from June 29-July 1. The event will start with the Elite Men's circuit race in Beverly on Friday, June 29.
The event will continue in Yorkshire, incorporated in the Yorkshire Festival of Cycling, with the Women's National Championship on Saturday, June 30, and the Elite Men's Championship on Sunday, July 1.
Reigning Women's National Champion Nicole Cooke, who recently won the Women's World Cup Tour of Flanders and currently leads the World Cup rankings, will be returning to defend her title.
"This is the biggest event in UK cycling and for Beverley to host the races for the second year running is testament to the work of the council, police, chamber of trade and other local organisations," said British Cycling Yorkshire vice-chairman Michael Boyle.
BikeNZ signs new sponsor
BikeNZ has announced a new sponsorship agreement with banking service RaboPlus with a view towards growing cycling as a sport, recreational activity and means of transport in New Zealand.
"With increasing car use and trends away from physical activity, the development of our recreational membership programme will be another step towards BikeNZ's vision of a nation embracing cycling," said BikeNZ chief executive Rodger Thompson.
The money will be used over three years to market BikeNZ's recreational membership programme to be launched in November this year which aims to provide special deals on equipment and discounted rates for competitions and events.
New Zealand has over 70,000 cyclists although many are recreational not competitive riders, partaking in events such as the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge and Graperide. Bike NZ's recreational membership programme will be designed for these riders.
"Our sponsorship reflects Rabobank's long association with cycling via our Dutch heritage, where Rabobank sponsors cycling at both a recreational and competitive level," said RaboPlus general manager Mike Heath.
Cyclists who would like to register for information and updates regarding BikeNZ's recreational membership programme prior to its launch in November can do so via the BikeNZ website at www.bikenz.org.nz
Giro d'Italia game ready to play!
Register your teams now!
We've updated the start list with the latest riders in this year's Giro. The game kicks off this Saturday, May 12 with the 24km team time trial from Caprera to La Maddalena. You can play for free for the first five stages! Try the game out and see how best to play.
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 Giro 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 2007 Giro.
Zipp join the prizes
In addition to the grand prize, the fantastic Wilier Triestina Izoard Lampre-Fondital team replica bicycle worth $4750 USD, there are 39 other prizes on offer this year. Zipp are offering a set of fantastic prizes for the runner up: Zipp SL handlebars, Zipp 145 stem, and Zipp 300 Crank w/185 Ti Bottom Bracket worth a combined total $1450 USD.
The lightest and stiffest handlebar on the market to pass the DIN+ standard for strength - you never again have to associate lightweight and flex in the same sentence. Made from 160 grams (42cm outside-outside) of lightweight carbon combined with dual cable grooves, tapered top section, and ergonomic 20 degree drop angle make the SL the ultimate in performance handlebars.
Fifty separate pieces of carbon material are used to produce each Zipp 145 stem. At 145 grams (110mm stem) it is the premium stem on the market. A polished aluminum faceplate attached the SL handlebar to the 145 stem via four titanium fasteners. The faceplate utilizes a thin stainless steel insert to increase stiffness.
The ultimate carbon crankset uses cutting edge aerospace technology to eliminate the aluminum spine traditionally seen in carbon cranks. The new bonding process allows Zipp to join CNC machined aluminum lugs with the carbon at three times the adhesion strength of traditional bonding methods. Forgoing the aluminum spine allows 80 grams of additional carbon to further increase the stiffness of the cranks which yield the highest stiffness to weight ratio of any crank on the market.
Full prize roster
- Grande Prize Wilier Triestina Izoard Lampre-Fondital team replica bicycle
There's plenty time to join in the fun at this year's Fantasy Giro game at Cyclingnews. You can join until stage 6 begins on Friday May 18 and you can compete equally with players that have joined earlier in the tour.
To register your teams for the game go to fantasy.cyclingnews.com
The Fantasy Cyclingnews Team
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2007)