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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for September 6, 2007

Edited by Sue George

Freire sees double

By Gregor Brown and Hernan Alvarez

The Freires
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Oscar Freire took his second stage win for this Vuelta a España Wednesday with a win in the final sprint. The three-time World Champion collected his win at the end of the 157.4km stage five from Cangas de Onís to Reinosa ahead of sprinters Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Fondital) and World Champion Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step). Both rivals have already won a stage each.

"Everything went perfectly well for me," said Freire following the finish, which he crossed first after launching his sprint from the final corner. "I think I got the right position in the sprint; there were some riders who got ahead of me in the last turn, but in the end I was fine. I knew there were few metres to sprint and during the whole stage I suffered to reach those last metres in good condition."

"I think today was a great day for me. Achieving the win here [in his home region] is doubly important," finished Freire, who also won stage two.

General classification leader Vladimir Efimkin (Caisse d'Epargne) kept his lead after safely making the only the only climb of the day, the Puerto de la Palombera and finishing with the main pack.

Efimkin said he had a quiet day. "It was really nice to start this morning with the golden jersey on my shoulders. The stage was animated by many attacks but in spite if that, the day was quite an easy one for me. My team-mates of Caisse d'Epargne perfectly controlled the race and in the final, we could reckon on the help of the teams of the sprinters. We saved the day and I hope that it will be the same tomorrow evening."

Kroon and Gomez Marchante attack

Karsten Kroon (CSC) dives downhill
Photo ©: Unipublic
(Click for larger image)

One of the highlights of Wednesday's Vuelta a España stage five was Team CSC's Karsten Kroon's break with Ángel Gómez Gómez (Saunier Duval-Prodir). It resulted from a 10-man move that was originally formed at 60 kilometres out. After his break partner sat up, Dutchman Kroon worked hard on his own, but it wasn't enough to stay away until the finish with the sprinters' teams in hot pursuit.

Kroon, a Classics rider, was finally caught with four kilometers to go. His manager, Kim Andersen said after the stage according to, "Karsten really did all he could and it was definitely a serious attempt at what would've been a fantastic stage win.

"He's almost peaking and luckily it wasn't all for nothing out there today, because thanks to his hard work the rest of the team was able to take it easy at the back of the peloton and let the other teams do most of the work," said Andersen looking on the bright side.

José Angel Gomez Marchante (Saunier Duval-Prodir) also launched a move from the front of the peloton on the way up the Palombera in an attempt to catch Kroon, but he ended up in no-man's land, behind Kroon and in front of the gruppo. His position as a GC favorite doomed his attack, and he was caught with 21 kilometers to go.

However, Gómez Marchante seemed happy with his day. "We hadn't mentioned the possibility of attacking where I did, but "Matxin" told me that we could try and attack in the pass. We really wanted to stand out because this is our homeland and we were all really motivated.

"I made an attempt to catch Kroon, but I couldn't. Well, at least we were aggressive and we offered a nice performance. This is the way I like to ride and I won't give up. Yesterday, I wasn't happy but today I am."

No Poland for Klöden

Klöden at the Tour
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Andreas Klöden had planned a return to racing at the Tour of Poland from September 10 to 16 following a training crash that caused him to miss the GP Plouay.

"Of course I am disappointed," said Klöden in his newsletter. "However, despite this renewed setback, I will continue to work consistently in preparation for the World Championships," which will be held in Stuttgart September 23.

Klöden didn't break any bones in the accident, but reported he was suffering in his hip and was not able to stand while attempting to train soon after the accident.

17 teams set for Coppa Placci

The peloton at the 2006 edition of the Coppa Placci
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Seventeen teams and 134 riders will line up for the start of the 57th annual Coppa Placci on Saturday, September 8.

The race departs from the Imola 3elle and ends in the Republic of San Marino. Participating teams include Ag2R, Astana, Liquigas, Lampre Fondital, Milram, Acqua & Sapone, Team LPR, Serramenti Diquigiovanni, Barloworld, OTC Doors, Tenax Menikini, Panaria Navigare, Ceramica Flaminia, Tinkoff, Elk Haus, Universal Caffe' and Kio Ene.

Italian Rinaldo Nocentini (Acqua e Sapone) won the 2006 edition.

Liquigas has announced its team for the Coppa Placci and also for the Giro di Romagna on September 9. The squad will have more than one captain and be under the direction of team manager Dario Mariuzzo. The team's favorites include Luca Paolini, Andrea Noè, Enrico Gasparotto and Manuel Quinziato.

Liquigas for Coppa Placci: Luca Paolini, Andrea Noè, Enrico 0Gasparotto, Manuel Quinziato Quinziato, Francesco Failli, Matej Mugerli, Roberto Petito and Frederik Willems.

Zijlaard-Van Moorsel hosts third Dutch Ladies' ride

Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel will be on hand for the third Leontien's Ladies Ride in the Netherlands on Sunday, September 16. Joining the quadruple Olympic champion and nine-time world champion will be Ella Vogelaar, Ellemieke Vermolen, Nada van Nie and Daniele Overgaag.

In three years, Leontien's Ladies' Rides have developed into the largest one-day women's bike events in the Netherlands. Up to 7,000 women are expected for rides of 39 or 69 km. Women should show up between 9:30 and 10:00 local time in the center of Den Bosch and expect a start with Zijlaard-Van Moorsel around 10:30.

Time trialing improvements for Euskaltel-Euskadi

By Monika Prell

Euskaltel-Euskadi is not known as a team of top time trialists, but they are working to improve their skills against the clock.

This winter, Samuel Sánchez, Igor Antón and Haimar Zubeldia travelled to San Diego, California, to work in a wind tunnel. The team also worked with different riders, including Haimar Zubeldia, Aitor Hernández and Igor Antón, on the velodrome in San Sebastián.

Now some members of the squad will return to San Sebastián. On Thursday, Mikel Astarloza and Gorka Verdugo will undergo some testing at the famous Velódromo de Anoeta. On Friday, Amets Txurruka and Rubén Pérez will follow their example, working to improve their aerodynamics.

Together with Juan García López, the biomechanics expert for the team, and Igor González de Galdeano, the technical expert, the four riders will undergo different aerodynamic tests.

García López is professor of the Physical and Sporting Education at the University of León, and together with González de Galdeano, he will organise several tests and exercises to help the four improve their position on the bike in order to gain seconds in future time trials.

Two renew with Saunier Duval-Prodir

By Monika Prell and Sue George

Marchante away solo in the 2007 Vuelta Stage Five
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Saunier Duval-Prodir renewed the contracts of 27 year-old José Ángel Gómez Marchante and 22 year-old Alberto Fernández de la Puebla for two more years.

Gómez Marchante has had the best results of his professional career while on the squad. In his two years with Saunier Duval-Prodir, he's place fifth in the 2006 Vuelta a España and won the 2006 Vuelta al País Vasco (ITT and overall GC) and the 2007 Subida a Urkiola. The latter victory came just a few weeks ago.

After his bold solo move in Wednesday's Vuelta stage five, Gómez Marchante, said, "It [the renewal -ed.] shows "Matxin" and the whole team have always trusted me. I'd like to thank them for their support both in words and on my wheels, as I've always done."

Climber Fernández de la Puebla, who turned pro in 2006, joined the yellow-clad team last year. Following his good results at the Euskal Bizikleta and the Vuelta a Asturias, where he scored his first stage wins as a professional, the team gave him a more satisfactory contract for the next two years. He already had a contract until the end of 2008.

Skil-Shimano extends with Goesinnen and signs Veelers

Floris Goesinnen (Skil-Shimano)
Photo ©: Bert Geerts
(Click for larger image)

The Skil-Shimano cycling team extended the contract of Floris Goesinnen for another year and signed Tom Veelers for his professional debut.

23 year-old Dutchman Goesinnen had turned professional in 2006, after the Olympia's Tour. Since then, he's logged some fine performances in his first season among the pros. Goesinnen was a regular starter in the spring classics. He finished Paris-Roubaix as the best placed Dutch rider.

Another Dutchman, 22 year-old Veelers penned a one-year deal. Veelers, who now rides for Rabobank's Professional Continental Team, won the young riders versions of the Paris-Roubaix and Olympia's Tour in 2006. His best performance this year was a victory in the OZ Wielerweekeinde. Veelers is known for his fast finishes, which are well suited to tough one-day races.

"I'm delighted to have attracted such interest from Skil-Shimano. I'll have the chance to develop in the team and I'll be able to ride a good programme. There's also a great spirit in this team, which will definitely have a good impact on my performances," said an excited Veelers.

Euskaltel-Euskadi continues with its three directors

By Monika Prell

The team Euskaltel-Euskadi announced that contrary to some rumours that appeared in the Spanish media Wednesday, they will continue with their three Directors from this year: Gorka Gerrikagoitia, Xabier Carbayeda and Jon Odriozola.

Spanish media had published news that the team would not extend its collaboration with Xabier Carbayeda, but the team rebutted the news in a press release, "Never, ever, has the team thought of stopping the collaboration with any sport director."

The team suggested that the rumoured news was intended to "damage the functioning of the team and to generate controversies that prejudice against the team."

Euskaltel-Euskadi will continue its collaboration with the three Sport directors "if they have no other offer that proves more interesting with regard to their professional future."

Racing returns to downtown Allentown

Racing will return to downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania, on September 9 with the Tour de Brew. The new event will feature veteran racers and rising junior racers competing in a series of criteriums along with a special feature event, the Allentown Brew Works Fat-Tire Challenge, an hour-long competition of up to 15 laps around the 900 blocks of Hamilton, Linden and Walnut streets. On ten of the laps, a field of 50 racers will actually pedal through the new Allentown Brew Works. Spectators will be able to enjoy the race from safety zones near the bar.

Tour de Brew will feature seven separate races throughout the day, including Street Sprints on Hamilton Street for children ages 4 to 12. It is part of an effort to revitalize the downtown. "We are sure this event will quickly become an Allentown tradition and increase the visibility of bicycling as a sport and a healthy recreational activity throughout the Lehigh Valley and beyond," said Dean Smith, President of the International Cycling Center.

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(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2007)