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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for September 7, 2007

Edited by Laura Weislo

Hats off to Freire in Spain

Freire waves to the crowd
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Oscar Freire garnered a spectacular hat-trick win in Logroño, taking perhaps his finest bunch sprint victory on the sixth Vuelta stage. Freire powered to the line ahead of Koldo Fernández (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Angelo Furlan Crédit Agricole), leaving the usual stars Alessandro Petacchi, Tom Boonen and Allan Davis in his wake in a high-speed dash to the line with the wind.

The stage was defined by a long breakaway of four men, José Antonio López, Magnus Backstedt, Yuriy Krivtsov and Stéphane Augé, who stayed at the front of the race from the first kilometres until just seven to go when Milram's train finally brought them back for Petacchi. Despite the team's efforts, Ale-Jet just wasn't firing on all cylinders, and Freire was able to get his third win of this year's Tour of Spain.

Team manager Erik Breukink was pleased with the win, especially since all the top sprinters were there at the finish, unlike the previous hillier days where many joined the autobus before the stage finish. "Every victory has its own story," Breukink said on the team's website. "Yesterday's victory was special because of the toughness of the stage, the first one because of the uphill finish were he beat Bettini, and today in a real mass sprint. Oscar just wins in all possible ways."

Breukink was also pleased that Freire is getting his wins now, because he aims to drop out before the Vuelta reaches Madrid in order to improve his form for Worlds. "With Stuttgart in mind, he will have to improve his condition because he will have to ride 260 kilometres there. So he is not super-super."

The Rabobank manager felt the day went just perfectly for the team. "There was no pressure on us," he said. "And we have already worked a lot. We first rode for Oscar, then for his leader's jersey, then for Denis, and then for Oscar again. We had worked enough; the initiative was with the others.

The team has one larger objective, and that is an overall victory by its leader Denis Menchov, who inherited the 2005 Vuelta win after Roberto Heras tested positive for EPO. "The guys had to do a lot anyway to keep Menchov out of the wind, because of the side wind and the nervousness," Breukink explained. "A special compliment for Sébastian Langeveld and Pedro Horrillo who both helped Freire stay in front during the finale really well."

The stage was simple on paper, but Caisse d'Epargne's Oscar Pereiro explained that the day is often very nervous, and the team had to work hard to hang on to Vladimir Efimkin's amarillo jersey. "The stage of Logroño is always an important one in the Vuelta a España, most of all because of the wind and the echelons that can break the bunch. It happened also this year but we knew that we had to be very careful, and we did. And doing so we saved Vladimir's jersey."

"The stage was a very dangerous and nervous one and I think that tomorrow we will have more or less the same scenario. All the riders of the team realised a great job, one more time, and I hope that tomorrow will be as good a day as it was today."

Koldo Fernández between joy and rage

By Monika Prell

Fernandez and Boonen denied
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Koldo Fernández de Larrea (Euskaltel-Euskadi) finished second in the sixth stage of the Vuelta a España - his best result since his stage win in Tirenno-Adriatico. He admitted that getting second produced a mix of emotions."Actually I feel a mix between joy and rage, in equal shares," he said. "Being second in a Vuelta stage is good, is important, but in the cycling world the only thing that counts is a win. The most positive aspect of this result is that I showed again that if I do a good sprint I am able to win. Logroño was a finish especially for sprinters and I was close to the victory. This gives me a lot of morale, I will continue to try it."

He analysed the last kilometre: "I made an error of positioning in the last kilometre, I lost a lot of places and to come back to the front when you ride together with so many riders of this level is difficult. In the last 150 meters I was able to overtake five or six rivals. I came very fast, but it counts for nothing to say that I had won if the finish line was 50 meters more far away. The white line is for everybody at the same place and I have to work on my positioning. When I reach this, I will have more chances to win."

The 26 year-old Basque is full of admiration for his rival Óscar Freire: "Freire is untouchable, he is very good. I think that he sees the sprint in slow motion, his quality allows him to follow the progression of the finish in a slowed-down way. For the rest of the sprinters, there are things that happen so fast that we even don't notice, we have already enough things to do with ourselves. I believe that Freire has enough time to observe everything and for this reason it's seldom that he does not win when he is in form."

Still, the Euskaltel-Euskadi rider won't give up. "As long as there is life, there is hope, and there are still some stages. Tomorrow in Zaragoza we will have the next opportunity. Freire is super good and the biggest favourite, but I will try to overcome him. Everything is possible when you are motivated, when you are keen on winning and when you have forces. I will give all to win a stage in the Vuelta, this would be a real nice decoration as well for the team as for me," declared Fernández de Larrea.

UCI's whereabouts system defended

Michael Rasmussen's last day in yellow
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

The UCI's sometimes contentious whereabouts system received a much needed boost of legitimacy today when a Spanish court threw out a case brought by the Spanish rider Carlos Roman Golbano in Almería. Golbano had contested the UCI's right to require the whereabouts information, and also questioned the competence of the UCI's antidoping procedures and regulations.

The whereabouts system spelled disaster for Michael Rasmussen during the Tour de France, when his Rabobank team fired him while he was wearing the yellow jersey and sent him home from the Tour. The team viewed discrepancies about Rasmussen's whereabouts in June as deception on the Dane's part regarding his availability for out of competition doping controls.

More recently, Alejandro Valverde received a warning e-mail from the UCI, questioning his whereabouts information from June 23. The UCI antidoping agents showed up at Valverde's house, only to find him missing, but it turned out that Valverde had made a last minute decision to attend the Eindhoven Time Trial, had faxed the UCI about his change of plans, and had even been subjected to a doping control at the event.

The UCI admitted its error in Valverde's case, but complaints from riders about the intractability of the whereabouts system are widespread. Still, the Spanish court dismissed Golbano's claims, saying that the UCI had the right to draw up its own antidoping regulations and require that they are respected by all affiliated parties.

The ruling also established that the implementation of the rider whereabouts programme did not breach any individual rights guaranteed by the Spanish Constitution, and confirmed the UCI's right to carry out unannounced out-of-competition testing.

The Court in Almería recognised the benefits and effectiveness of the actions undertaken by the UCI in the fight against doping. The Court also confirmed the UCI's right to carry out unannounced out-of-competition testing.

Melbourne to host worlds?

Australia may get a much deserved confirmation of its status as a world cycling power by hosting the UCI World Road Championships in 2010, according to the Melbourne Herald Sun. The Australians have been dominating track events on the world stage for years - Melbourne hosted the UCI World Track Championships in 2004 - but the Tour de France podium finish of Cadel Evans has given the country's road program an even higher status.

The 2010 World Championships bid is being headed up by the Victorian State Government's major events unit, and a final decision will be made when the UCI meets at this year's event in Stuttgart at the end of September. The Worlds were last held outside of Europe in 2003 when they took place in Hamilton, Canada.

According to the Herald Sun, Bahrain is Melbourne's only competitor, and its bid is under question as the promoter is facing legal problems.

Potential courses include the Geelong circuit which makes up the annual women's World Cup, but the Botanic Gardens area, site of the Commonwealth Games road race in 2006, has been deemed too easy for the Worlds.

Vuelta Stage 6 reactions

By Monika Prell

Óscar Freire (Rabobank):
"The one who wins in the Vuelta has nothing to do with the World championships. Now it's the year when I won the most races, but it is not my best year, in 2004 (Verona) I felt better. Everybody wants to win and it seems easy, but it is not easy. Cycling is a dangerous sport, but if you intend to sprint you have to be there at 100% because you can't sprint half-hearted," said the Cantabrian according to todociclismo.

Unzue in 2006
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
(Click for larger image)

Eusebio Unzué, team manager, Caisse d'Epargne:
"The first week was the week of Óscar Freire. He is impressive, it's impossible to beat him if he is not boxed. He wins with authority." About his protégé Vladimir Efimkin he commented: "He begins to like the feel of the gold jersey. What he did is no accident, it's a result of his competitive form. The day after tomorrow will be another thing. He has not done well in the time trials, but he is motivated. In Zaragoza we will get an idea of what this man could achieve in the Vuelta. He is very clever and we will see him in the time trial and in the Pyrenees.

José Ángel Gómez Marchante (Saunier Duval):
The Spaniard admitted that he "was left in the dust, but I did not become nervous. The reason for this was that I went to the car to arrange the radio and later I had to hurry up to enter the first group. I came back very fast."

Joxean Fernández Matxin (Saunier Duval):
"It was a boring stage, too calm for my liking. We said all that mattered was, eating, drinking and staying on the wheels. Tomorrow´s stage will be as calm as today's, just one day closer to the time-trial. We know that Piepoli will make us lose time but this can be good in the long run. And with Marchante we'll try to do everything we can to fight for a place on the GC. Only if his performance in the time-trial is not as good as expected will we set a different goal."

Luis Pérez (Andalucía Cajasur):
The team's leader was conscious of the fact that his team-mate José Antonio López, who formed part of a breakaway group, would not reach the finish line with this group. "It was very difficult for the breakaway group with my team-mate to reach the finish line because the sprinters could not miss the chances they have and for them it was hard to chase them. The wind of today's stage and of the stage of Zaragoza is difficult and complicated."

Álvaro Pino talks about Russians

By Iker Rioja

Yesterday, Karpin-Galicia's manager Álvaro Pino spoke about the team's interest in hiring Russian riders as their main sponsor is the firm of ex-Russian footballer Valery Karpin. Pino explained that the current Vuelta leader was one of the team's prospects. "We tried to hire Vladimir Efimkin last winter, but he was quite expensive for us," explained Pino.

"The appearance of Tinkoff [Credit Systems team] stopped us from bringing riders like Ignatiev or Brutt," he added. He also stated that Alexander Efimkin, Vuelta's leader's twin brother, is in his last year of his contract with Barloworld, and is at the top of its list for recruiting. "He could be a great rider for us, but he may continue in his current team. We already have Eduard Vorganov and we are quite happy with him," declared Pino.

Milram, Astana and Barloworld in Italy

Astana hits the road
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Team Milram will send three veterans and three Italian stagiaires to the Giro di Romagna on Sunday. The race runs 200 km through northern Italy. Milram's team for the Giro di Romagna includes Dennis Haueisen, Ralf Grabsch, Andrey Grivko, Luca Barla, Luca Orlandi, and Efrem Salvi

Astana will also take to the Italian races this weekend, sending a strong team to the The 57th Coppa Placci, a 197 km long race between Imola and San Marino, on Saturday September 8. Eight riders, including Paolo Savoldelli, who hasn't raced since the Tour de France, and Spaniards Antonio Colom and Daniele Navarro, Swiss rider Thomas Frei, Frenchman Julien Mazet and Kazakhs Alexey Kolessov, Dimitri Muravyev and Yevgeny Sladkov will make up the team. The same line-up will take part in the Giro della Romagna on Sunday.

Team Barloworld will send a squad directed by Valerio Tebaldi, with Pedro Arreitunandia and Felix Cardenas leading the team in both races, while Kastantisin Siutsou will focus only on the Coppa Placci and Alex Efimkin only on the Giro di Romagna. The rest of the team will include James Perry, Gianpaolo Cheula, Fabrizio Guidi, Paolo Longo Borghini and Ramiro Rincon ­ the 20 year-old stagiaire from Colombia who made his debut at the recent Trittico Lombardo.

Astana for Poland

Missing its star rider, Andreas Klöden, the Astana team will nonetheless attack the Tour of Poland with a team determined to grab stage wins, beginning with the 3km team time trial in Warsaw on September 10. Sprinters Assan Bazayev and René Haselbacher will then take over in the hunt for stage wins on the first four flat stages.

The Astana team will consist of Maxim Iglinskiy, Assan Bazayev, Koen De Kort, Maxim Iglinskiy, René Haselbacher, Andrey Mizurov, Steve Morabito, Gregory Rast and Sergey Yakovlev under the guidance of Alexander Shefer.

T-Mobile Brits to Tour of Britain

Team T-Mobile will send its three British riders to their home race, the Tour of Britain, starting Sunday. Young sprinting star Mark Cavendish will be joined by Roger Hammond and stagiaire Ian Stannard.

The 22 year-old Cavendish, who already has eight wins on the season, may be slightly handicapped, as he just had his wisdom teeth pulled. "The operation is affecting me a bit, but it's always special to come back and ride your home tour," he said. "It gives you extra motivation and extra confidence and hopefully I can do something."

Cavendish has ridden the previous two editions of the Tour, but has not yet won a stage. Hammond has also ridden both previous Tours, and won a stage in each.

They will be joined by Tour de France stage winner Linus Gerdemann, veteran Servais Knaven and youngster Frantisek Rabon.

The Tour opens Sunday with a prologue in London, followed by six stages around the UK and winding up in Scotland on September 15th. (SW)

Hunter heads to Britain

After a historic Tour de France stage win by Robert Hunter and the overall of the Vuelta a Burgos with Mauricio Soler, the Barloworld squad is ready to hit the shores of the UK to take place in the Tour of Britain starting September 9.

The British-registered team will be on the prowl for stage wins with South African sprinter Hunter, who is on form and focused after recently extending his contract with Team Barloworld for another year.

The team also hope local hero Geraint Thomas can also do well on home roads, and will be testing out stagiaire Ben Swift for the race. The team will also include Italians Giosuè Bonomi, Diego Caccia and Enrico Degano completing the six-rider team that will be directed by Alberto Volpi.

Revolution announces season five and more

By Ben Atkins, UK Editor

The Revolution turns five
Photo ©: Nick Rosenthal
Click for larger image

The Cycling Revolution will return to the Manchester Velodrome for season five this autumn with four new dates announced today. The next event – Revolution 17 – will be on Saturday October 20th, just two weeks after the British National Championships. The rest of season five's events will be on November 17th, January 12th, and February 23rd and will provide fans and riders alike with a steady build up for the World Championships – also to be held in Manchester, between March 27th and 30th.

In addition to the usual Manchester racing, new events in the southern hemisphere are being added to the track calendar with the creation of "Revolution Australia," in Melbourne. James Pope from race promoters, Face Partnership explained: "The Revolution brand is growing. We have established a partner to develop Revolution in Australia with an official launch scheduled for the beginning of October."

As well as racing for senior riders, the Revolution will be building on the work done with junior riders at the DHL Sprint Schools. October 13th and 14th will see a new international event for the younger generation of riders, held at Newport Velodrome in South Wales. As Pope continued: "The Future Revolution, which has been developed in partnership with DHL, has been set up for juniors providing an exciting race programme for British juniors to take on their international counterparts.

"[It] will also be an important part of our development projects. It will provide a link between the DHL Sprint School and Revolution Future Stars giving the opportunity for riders to progress through to the Future Stars and hopefully beyond."

Tickets for Revolution on October 20th are available from the Revolution website at or by calling 07005 942 579 or 0161 223 2244.

Victoria gets women's track series

CycleSport Victoria has announced a Women's Track Cycling Skills Series which will aim to increase skill and ability levels of current Victorian female cyclists, giving them new found confidence to begin track racing on the Victorian club and open level scene.

The 7 week program will feature sessions on time trials, pursuits, sprint derbies, scratch races, handicaps, motor pacing, keirens and general racing tips, techniques and etiquette.

Run by highly accredited coaches and overseen by Development Officer Luke Mason, the series will be held at the Darebin International Indoor velodrome in Thornbury.

Participants do not require anything other than a 2007 ACF Full or Ride It licence, their own helmet, shoes and cycling clothes. Track bikes can be hired from CSV.

The entire course costs just $100 per participant, and is great value for all female riders wishing to hone their skills on the track and take their cycling to the next level.

The series runs Sunday afternoons from 2pm–5pm from September 23rd to November 4th. For more information, contact CSV Development Manager Luke Mason at or 03 8480 3000.

Dave Z wants Bikes for Kids

David Zabriske
Photo ©: Jonathan Devich
(Click for larger image)

US National time trial champion Dave Zabriskie has lent his name to a Utah charity which aims to bring 1,000 new bicycles for underpriveleged children. The Bikes for Kids Utah event will include the "Yield to Life Dave Zabriskie Time Trial Challenge", with proceeds going to benefit underprivileged children in Utah and bicycle awareness advocacy.

Bikes for Kids Utah will provide new bicycles for 1,000 pre-qualified, underprivileged second graders along with helmets, t-shirts and bike locks through proceeds accrued from sponsorships, a fundraising dinner (with silent auction), and bicycle rides, including a ride with Salt Lake City native Dave Zabriskie.

The Yield to Life Dave Zabriskie Time Trial Challenge on October 5 will pit the average citizen against the time trial champion in a handicapped race up Salt Lake Valley's famed Traverse Ridge. The 3-mile time trial has an elevation gain of more than 1,300 feet with 10 percent to 12 percent grades in some locations.

The event will be followed by a dinner and silent auction on Friday night, and a recreational ride on Saturday, which includes 100km, 50km and 5km fun ride options. The top 50 donors who contribute $1,000 or more will ride Saturday with Zabriskie.

For more information, visit or call 801-523-3730.

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