Latest Cycling News for October 3, 2007
Edited by Bjorn Haake
Flèche Wallonne Champ Rebellin close to Gerolsteiner contract renewal
By Gregor Brown
2007 Flèche Wallonne Champion Davide Rebellin is close to renewing his contract with Team Gerolsteiner. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the 36 year-old Italian from Veneto stayed an extra day in Germany following the Worlds to speak with Team Manager Hans-Michael Holczer regarding the 2008 season.
Rebellin stormed the World Championships course on Sunday, setting up for team-mate Paolo Bettini's win with an attack on the long Birkenkopf climb during the penultimate lap. In addition to this year's Flèche, the rider who has spent the last six years with the mineral water company has won the 2004 Amstel Gold Race, Flèche and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, plus stages in Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico.
"... With the years passing I have come to know myself very well," explained 'Tin-Tin' to Cyclingnews after winning Flèche in the spring.
"If I keep getting results, I will go on," he continued. "The desire is there; maybe I will go on through 2009; if I can train well and limit my courses to these one-day races. So I think I can continue in this manner."
Bettini heads into final year
Paolo Bettini announced that 2008 will be his final year as a professional cyclist. It will be another big year for the little Italian, who wants to not only defend his Olympic title in Beijing, but also is eyeing a third consecutive rainbow jersey at home soil, in Varese. And to finish off his career with a win in the race of the falling leaves, in Lombardia, would be a good end to an illustrious career. He had won in Lombardia in 2005 and 2006.
"That will be it," confirmed Quick.Step-Innergetic's Press Officer Alessandro Tegner to Cyclingnews.
Press agency sid had reported that Bettini declined a two-million dollar offer to ride for two more years. "I will start for the last time at Lombardia in 2008. One has to find the right moment to quit. It would be nice to finish with a success," said Bettini.
Busy Wegmann happy with Worlds
Fabian Wegmann is satisfied with his country's job at the World Championships in Stuttgart - with the German team's result and the race itself. Despite all the discussions of doping and excluding riders, he revealed on his web site, fabianwegmann.de, that the mood in the team was good and that the race was great. The race was especially good for the spectators as there was a lot of suspense until the last centimetre. "I think with Bettini as World Champion, cycling can live," he said. "Kolobnev second and 'Schumi' Stefan gets bronze in his hometown area. What else could you want?"
A question he immediately answered himself. "Good question, because after the race I wasn't quite happy with my ninth place. Sure, a top ten in such a difficult Worlds race is great, but my form and motivation was just like the spirit in the audience -- terrific."
In the end, though, he was happy what the team had achieved and placed Schumacher on the podium. He also acknowledged the performances of his other Gerolsteiner team-mates, who did well. Italian Davide Rebellin was in a breakaway, in the next to last lap, and still finished sixth, while Swiss rider Beat Zberg ended his career with a good 17th place.
Fabian Wegmann spent the time after his win in the Altstadtrennen in Nürnberg as planned in his domicile in Freiburg. He then traveled to the team hotel in Stuttgart with a slight cold, as he revealed on his web site, fabianwegmann.de. After the Worlds it was back to his home in Freiburg (200 kilometres), where he spent a few hours before heading off again, to his hometown area in Münster for the Münsterland Giro.
Instead of heading to Freiburg right after the race, Wegmann got together with his team-mates and Italians, Dutch and some other riders in a disco on Sunday night, to "just celebrate and finally forget all the stress and tension of the last weeks."
He will head to Münster, where he and the other local boy, Linus Gerdemann of T-Mobile, "will have the honour of signing the Golden Book [book where guest of honours sign in] of the city." After the Münsterland Giro he'll do a few races in Italy, before trying to do as well as in 2006 in the Giro di Lombardia. "I wouldn't have objections against winning, either."
Franco Belge has winners and retirees
The last stage race of the European calendar kicks off in the Wallonian city of Mouscron on Thursday, and 14 teams that participated in this year's Tour de France will take the start at the four-day race Franco-Belge (October 4-7). Four stage winners will be present with Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto), Gert Steegmans (Quick.Step - Innergetic), Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) and Cédric Vasseur (Quick.Step - Innergetic).
Four of the riders who will participate in the race are planning their retirement at the end of this season. Vasseur, Nico Mattan (DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed), Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) and Carlos Da Cruz (Française Des Jeux) will put the feet down at the end of the 2007 campaign.
Mattan and Vasseur have planned good-bye races. Vasseur will wave au revoir at his annual race with friends near Lille on October 27. And Nico Mattan will have his final race this Saturday, October 6, in Poperinge, Belgium.
De Jongh wins another race
Steven De Jongh (Quick.Step - Innergetic) is having a good fall of the season. After winning the GP Briek Schotte, and the Omloop van het Houtland Lichtervelde, he now also took the Omloop van de Vlaamse Scheldeboorden. The Dutchman won ahead of Frenchman Jean-Patrick Nazon (Ag2r Prévoyance) and compatriot Stefan Van Dijck (Wiesenhof-Felt), with a one -second advantage.
Earlier in the year De Jongh had also won the Mijl van Mares and the team trial with Quick.Step-Innergetic in the Tour of Qatar.
Orbea team adds three riders
Spanish outfit Orbea Oreka SDA, a Continental team, has announced three signings for the upcoming season. Daniel Sesma will come from Caja Rural. Eriz Ruiz de Erentxun and Aitor Olano move over from Bidelan Kirolgi to the blue road team for 2008.
Those three will join the four previously announced additions of Jonathan Castroviejo, Mikel Nieve, Sergio de Lis and Miguel Minguez. Only three riders will remain from the 2007 season. Those three are David Martín, Iván Melero and Igor Romero, to form the 10-rider formation for the coming year.
The directeur sportif will be Álvaro González de Galdeano, Spanish road champion in 2000 and brother of Igor.
Ceramica Panaria – Navigare looking forward to home race
Italian team Ceramica Panaria – Navigare is looking forward to the third edition of the Memorial Cimurri – Gran Premio Bioera, on October six. The orange outfit will be trying to win on home roads for the first time, but one thing they made clear, as the team put it in a statement. "It's a fantastic memorial race, and we want to make a spectacular race."
Team Manager Bruno Reverberi acknowledged that the event will take place in the shadow of Italy's big triumph in Stuttgart. "We can't create special emotions for the race on Saturday, because we are reduced in status by the extraordinary victory of Paolo Bettini." The whole Worlds team will take the start and will be the centre of attention, with Bettini being the main attraction of the day.
Nonetheless, Reverberi talked about the way his team wanted to try everything to repeat a podium, achieved through Paride Grillo in the first edition of the race in 2005. "Saturday we will try again with all our men, specifically Baliani, Sella, Laverde e Mazzanti."
But along the almost 200 kilometres the team does not only vie for victory, but also to animate the race. Reverberi emphasized that "it's our responsibility is also to make it spectacular. It's true that in cycling only winning counts, and there is won based on points, but here we always want to ride in the front and honour in the best possible way this beautiful Memorial race. The course is pretty, with the climb of the Pavulli and the possibility for the people of Reggiano to watch the fight in the end in the historical centre."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by www.panariasport.it/ www.panariasport.it
Ceramica Flaminia closes season in Italy and Mexico
Italian team Ceramica Flaminia will close out the season with races at home in Italy. But there is also one part of the squad heading to Mexico. Adriano Angeloni, Tomasz Marczynski, Maurizio Varini, Adam Wadecki, Gianluca Geremia and Tony D'Aniello will leave Friday morning across the pond to participate in the Vuelta Chihuahua Internacional, from October 7 to the 14th.
Team Manager Roberto Marrone is well aware of the difficulty of the task at hand. "The race won't be easy. We know the South Americans-- they are strong climbers. In the easier stages we can count on the qualities of Angeloni and D'Aniello. Tomasz Marczynski, who came out well from the Worlds in Stuttgart, can do something on the climbs." There won't be a lack of competitiveness, either, as Marrone pointed out that "there are seven European teams. It won't be a promenade for us."
Those who stay home will participate in the Memorial Cimurri on Saturday, October 6, Eroica on the ninth and in the Coppa Sabatini on the 11th. Two more races, the Giro dell'Emilia and the GP Beghelli on Sunday the 14th will bring to an end the long season. The riders who will be participating in those races are Raffaele Illiano, Cristian Gasperoni, Stefano Boggia, Manuele Spadi, Hubert Krys, Domenico Quagliariello, Wladimir Duma and Mikhaylo Khalilov. Marrone emphasized that "Especially Khalilov, Quagliriello, Krys and Spadi will have the opportunity to shine."
NSW Criterium Championships - an International affair
With $10,000 on the podium for the main event, the 2007 NSW Criterium Championships looks to set Sydney's Olympic Boulevard alight. Sponsored by one of Sydney's largest car dealerships, McCarroll's, the event has brought some big names out to play.
Cameron Meyer, a three-time junior World Champion and 12-time Australian Champion, will participate in the event. He is fresh off a stage win at the Tour of Tasmania. Meyer is possibly one of the best talents Australia has seen in recent years.
Dutch based South African rider Raynold Smith was the 2005 winner of the elite/neo prof event at the famous Acht Van Chaam, one of Hollands biggest criteriums. He also took the Omloop van de Hoeksewaard, the Ronde van Honselersdijk and finished third in the prologue of the Tour of Slovakia.
Nash Kent was last year's winner and has been in unstoppable form this season, winning the Sydney Road Titles, Ride for Life and Mudgee Open, also with many other places including a sixth at the recent Goulburn to Citi.
Blair Martin is the current NSW Road Champion and looks to maintain his standing as the NSW roadman of the year. Martin has made a huge impact on the domestic racing scene this year, coming from a running background to win the Canberra Tour and getting fourth in the Grafton to Inverell.
Along with the main event there will be Criterium races for all categories from juniors to masters over the weekend of October 20 and 21.
Entries close this Sunday October 7 and the promoters are encouraging all cyclists to come out and have a race to help boost the profile of Sydney based racing, so don't miss out.
Canadian Wrubleski overcame fall for ninth place
Despite a fall in the last lap, Alex Wrubleski of Regina finished ninth on Saturday in the 113.7-kilometre women's elite road race at the world championships in road cycling being held this week in Stuttgart, Germany.
Marta Bastianelli of Italy won the gold medal with defending champion Marianne Vos of the Netherlands second. Giorgia Bronzini of Italy was third. Wrubleski and Erinne Willock of Victoria, who was 17th, were in the same pack within six seconds of the winner.
"With a bit more experience, Alex could have done even better because she was in good position for the sprint. Despite that unlucky fall it's still a superb result," said Kris Westwood, the Canadian team manager.
In her fall, Wrubleski also brought down former world champion Judith Arndt of Germany as both were among a 15-rider pack. It was Arndt's second fall of the day. Earlier, she was one of those affected by the barriers that got blown into the course by the wind.
At the time of Wrubleski fall, Willock made an attempt to catch Bastianelli. The Italian was alone at the front and ended up winning the race.
Leigh Hobson of Toronto was 32nd (1'09" behind), while Anne Samplonius of Montreal did not finish.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2007)