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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News, January 3, 2008

Edited by Gregor Brown and Sue George

Simoni keeps on pushing for third Giro d'Italia

By Gregor Brown

Gibo winning on Monte Zoncolan in 2007 for a career second time.
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

It has been a while since 2001 and 2003 – years that the Giro d'Italia was conquered by Il Trentino, Gilberto Simoni. Since those seasons with Team Lampre and Saeco the Italian from Palù di Giovo (Trento) has switched teams, first to Saunier Duval and now to Gianni Savio's Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli formation; however, at 36 years of age does he have what it takes to win his home tour in 2008?

Simoni would put his name among Hinault, Bartali and Gimondi if he were to score his third Corsa Rosa victory. "Names that leave an impression, but I truly believe that by winning a third Giro I would not be stealing – I have always deserved what I have achieved," he stated in an interview with Tuttosport at the close of 2007.

After two years in the yellow Saunier Duval colours, which include a stage win on the Monte Zoncolan of the Giro this year, he decided to leave to join the Italian Professional Continental Team Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli. It is a smaller setup but should be suitable for obtaining his 2008 goals.

"I will make my debut with the Trofeo Laigueglia, a classic. Then I have two goals above all: the Giro d'Italia and mountain bike [at the Olympics]. The mountain bike is a recent passion that really has me involved.

"I like the new team of Gianni Savio – I have found the right stimulus, riders from Trento [his home region - ed.] with whom I can train, like Leonardo Moser and the two Bertolinis. And then there is a group that will join me on the mountain bike."

The 2008 Corsa Rosa
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

He knows that taking out a third Grand Tour win in the Giro will be difficult; therefore he will have his sights on a stage and then the overall. "My first objective of the Giro is to win on my roads in Pampeago. From there one I will push with all I have. It is a strange Giro, with a lot of transfers and some nervous stages, but it is not selective, the classification will not change much for three-fourths of the Giro."

Last year, he was beaten by an impressive Danilo Di Luca, but this year he figures 'The Killer' will not be up to his usual self. "The combination of Di Luca and [Paolo] Savoldelli at the new Team LPR will be important, but one of the two has to understand that they will lose the Giro. Di Luca has won this last summer, but he was always suffering. It is difficult to repeat these levels, difficult to always go so well. Cunego? He is always the same, not such a factor."

He counts on his old team-mate and the 2007 Giro's maglia bianca as the young guns to beat. "I know [Riccardo] Riccò well," he continued. (Read Riccò aims for Ardennes Classics and Giro.) "We were in the same team – he has character and is growing. He and Andy Schleck represent the future. We will need to see if the Luxembourger will return to Italy. We know little of the foreigners; will they come to the Giro?"

2008 will be Simoni's 15th year as a professional, but he recalls his most brilliant moment as an amateur. "When I dropped [Marco] Pantani on the climbs; it happened a few times during the early 1990s at the Giro del Friuli. I also won the baby Giro d'Italia." As a professional? "My first Giro d'Italia win comes to mind, in 2001. I managed myself with extreme superiority. ... I was not like [Ivan] Basso. But there were times I was able to take sprint wins, and I possessed a crushing superiority."

Ivan Basso dominated the 2006 Giro, which ended with a row between him and Simoni on the penultimate stage that arrived in Aprica. Basso was banned until 24 October for his involvement with Eufemiano Fuentes/Operación Puerto, but will be able to return to racing at the end of the 2008 season.

"I would prefer not to respond to any questions [about Basso] if possible," Simoni commented about Basso receiving a discounted suspension. Instead, Simoni remains focused on his goals of 2008: the Giro and gold.

Navigators say goodbye, and hello to Type 1

By Susan Westemeyer

The Navigators cruising in New Mexico
Photo ©: Casey Gibson
(Click for larger image)

As the saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens – or in this case, when one cycling team ends, another starts. After 14 years, there will be no Navigators Insurance team in the American peloton in 2008, but the team management company and several riders are moving to the new Team Type 1.

In a press release issued January 1, the team noted the end of "America's longest continuous professional cycling team sponsorship." On behalf of the management and the 70 cyclists who have ridden for Navigators over the years, "we want to thank our many fans and sponsors for their enthusiasm, commitment and loyal support. It has been a remarkable and rewarding journey, and a privilege to represent the Navigators Insurance Company on five continents."

Turning to the new season, Edj Sports Management and several riders "will be working with an exciting new American Continental team known as Team Type 1. Beyond its competitive objectives, the team's mission will be to raise awareness for diabetes, and the positive affect of a healthy and active lifestyle in controlling and preventing the long term affects of the disease."

Team manager Ed Beaman and assistant team manager Vassili Davidenko will be at the new team, as will riders Benjamin Brooks, Glen Chadwick and Valery Kobzarenko,

"Thanks for the memories, we hope you'll join us on our new voyage," the press release concluded.

The team announced in September that it was losing its sponsor and ending at the end of the season. It made its farewell to the peloton in the Tours of Britain and Poland.

Team Type 1 Professional team: Emile Abraham, Moises Aldape Chavez, Jesse Anthony, Ben Brooks, Fabio Calabria *, Glen Chadwick, Joe Eldridge *, Tim Hargrave, Dan Holt, Chris Jones, Valeriy Kobzarenko, Ian Macgregor, Shawn Milne, Phil Southerland * and Matt Wilson.

Team Type I Development team (all riders have Type 1 diabetes): Nathan Bartels, Alex Bowden, Matt Brooks, Monique Hanley, Andy Mead, Morgan Patton, Tim Powell, Bob Schrank and Mark Suprenant

Astana's first win is "easy"

By Susan Westemeyer

The new Team Astana has started out the new year with a win. Sports Director Sean Yates won the Southborough and District wheelers 10-mile time trial on New Years Day – 30 years to the day after he first won the race.

When he was given the prize – a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape. "If I keep progressing like this, I might well turn pro one day," he joked. Yates raced as a professional from 1982 to 1996. After drinking half the bottle, according to a team press release, he said, "This cycling lark is piss easy."

Weening has knee problems

By Susan Westemeyer

A knee problem is delaying Pieter Weening's preparations for the coming season. The 26 year-old of Team Rabobank has been struggling with it for nearly two weeks now, according to his website, pieterweening.nl. A physical therapist is now working with him, and he is resting it as much as possible.

The winner of a stage in the 2005 Tour de France doesn't believe that the injury will be serious enough to keep him from his goal of riding both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France this year.

Good start for Cooke

Baden Cooke (deTourMovie.com)
Photo ©: WomensCycling.net
(Click for larger image)

On just the second day of the New Year, Team Barloworld could count its first victory for 2008, thank to Baden Cooke, who won stage 1 of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic in Williamstown, Australia.

His team said it was an unusual success for the Aussie, since he spent most of the final thirty minutes ahead of the peloton.

"It's fantastic. I didn't plan to spend half an hour out there just suffering like that, but as it turned out the race was splitting apart and everyone was being quite aggressive so I though the best form of defence would be to attack," said the Australian National Criterium Champion, who was showing excellent form despite not doing any extra training. Cooke's win came on his new Bianchi team bike, which he received just two days prior to his win.

After the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic, Cooke will race the Australian National Championships on January 13.

For complete coverage of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic, click here.

Australia's sprinters to test legs in Adelaide

Ryan Bayley.
Photo ©: John Flynn
(Click for larger image)

Australia's top sprinters and Olympic sprint hopefuls will clash in a series of high-speed events at the Adelaide SuperDrome for The Advertiser Super-Drome Challenge #2 on the evening of January 5. Ryan Bayley, Anna Meares, Ben Kersten and Shane Kelly are among those expected to compete.

Referring to the Olympic hopefuls attending the Challenge, organizer Mike Turtur said to the Adelaide Advertiser, "They need to race under the conditions with a good crowd to get the feeling and get the hunger. They need that bit of a nervous feeling about performing and also about winning."

Following Saturday night's battle, the Olympic contenders will soon head to Los Angeles and Copenhagen for the next track World Cups. "I reckon the (Australian) selectors will pick the Olympic team after the World Championships in March," he said. "I think we're going to be a strong team at Beijing."

Targetraining Development holds first training camp

Eneas Freyre (Targetraining)
Photo ©: Zui Hanafusa
(Click for larger image)

This past weekend Team Targetraining (U25 and elite riders) held its first training camp of the 2008 road season in Westport, Connecticut. With the goal of the camp to be a "get to know the team and each other" approach, it was attended by returning riders Eneas Freyre, Justin Lindine, Adam St. Germain and Lee Rosenthal. New riders brought on board for next season were there too, including Nathanial Ward, David Hoyle, Will Nowak, Craig Leukens and Ben Zawacki. Only Matt Baldwin was not able to make it since he was enjoying his honeymoon in Mexico.

As riders converged in Westport, Connecticut, where they started the day off with coffee and food during meetings on team policies and sponsor education. The meetings included a very detailed explanation of the team's anti-doping policy, and of the possible random testing throughout the season. The team coaches reviewed training plans and racing programmes with the riders.

After lunch, Team Manager Kyle Wolfe brought the squad to their first task of the weekend with a survival course of hiking, a 150-foot (45.72m) rope rappel and four river crossings at a local park. Many fears were overcome and feet got wet as the team learned to work together and communicate.

After a team dinner, the boys enjoyed a USA football game – the Patriots and the Giants.

On Sunday, the squad took part in a paintball match in Pawling, New York, for what was touted as "extreme stressed based team bonding exercises." Over five hours of paintball combat followed.

The camp ended with encouraging words from Wolfe and plans for another camp, which will including riding bikes, next month.

Investigators reject Franke's speculations

By Susan Westemeyer

The lead investigator in Freiburg, Germany, has rejected Werner Franke's most recent claims of doping against the T-Mobile 2006 Tour de France team. "Speculation doesn't help us," public prosecutor Wolfgang Maier told the dpa press agency. "If he has specific proof, we would naturally be interested."

In a taped radio interview broadcast on New Years Day, Franke claimed that the entire T-Mobile Tour de France 2006 team went to the Freiburg University Clinic for illegal blood transfusions. He did not offer any details or proof to support his claims, or reveal his source, saying only that it was "according to my information."

Patrik Sinkewitz had previously claimed to have driven to the Clinic after the first stage of the Tour 2006 for a blood transfusion, and various German media outlets have since suggested that other riders also participated, without citing specific names or providing proof.

The only two riders from that team who are still riding in the ProTour are Andreas Klöden of Team Astana and Michael Rogers of Team High Road. Both have consistently denied having used doping products or practices, and both continue to enjoy the support of their respective teams.

Trek - Marco Polo team prepares for busy January

The Trek - Marco Polo Cycling Team will line up for Tour of Malaysia from January 7-13 with the goal of competing for stage wins and the GC. Hopes are high for stage wins by Sergey Kudentsov and for Discovery Channel ProTour team rider Fuyu Li is the team's designated performer for the GC. It will be Ken Onodera's first race with the team.

Some riders will be absent from Malaysia while they are busy racing elsewhere. Jai Crawford will be contesting the Australian National Championships and Leon van Bon will be racing the six-day in Rotterdam. Meanwhile Yu Takenouchi will be occupied with two World Cup Cyclo-cross races.

The affiliated Dolphin mountain bike squad racers, Bart Brentjens, Rudi van Houts, Alban Lakata will be in the midst of their next training camp.

Trek - Marco Polo for Tour of Malaysia: Loh Sea Keong, Sergey Kudentsov, Fuyu Li, Xing Yan Dong, Liu Yilin, and Ken Onodera.

CSF Group-Navigare picks men for Malaysia

More than a month before the start of the 13th Tour de Langkawi on February 9, CSF Group-Navigare has already decided its selection for the Malaysian race. Paride Grillo will be the big man for flat stages, while Julio Alberto Pérez Cuapio will have a go in the traditional hilly finish of Genting Highlands stage. In the Asian stage-race - ranked Hors Categorie - Mauro Richeze will make his debut as a pro rider. The race wraps up on January 17.

CSF Group - Navigare for Tour de Langkawi: Paride Grillo, Matteo Priamo, Julio Alberto Pérez Cuapio, Mauro Richeze, Francesco Tomei, and Filippo Savini. under D.S. Roberto Reverberi.

FFCC launches Kudzu.com elite U23 team

Kudzu.com has offered the backing necessary for an elite U23 team under the umbrella of the

The Fulton Flyers Cycling Club (FFCC) launched an U23 team under the title sponsorship of Kudzu.com. The team, which will contest regional pro/1/2 races in the Southeastern US as well as some National Racing Calendar events, continues where the junior development program left off by bringing together a core roster of some of the strongest U23 riders in the southeast.

The team's younger riders are Joey Rosskopf and Oscar Clark, both of whom finished in the top 10 at junior road nationals in 2007 and were part of the powerful Southeast Regional Tour de l'Abitibi team. Rosskopf spent part of the season in 2007 riding for the national team while Clark is fresh off a top 20 finish at the U23 US National Cyclo-cross Championships in Kansas City. The team has more experience in Jafer Beizer and Thomas Brown who are both former members of the FFCC junior team. Beizer is the Georgia State Category two road race champion while Brown has finished in the top-five at the 2007 US National Collegiate Criterium Championships.

"I really look forward to working with these guys", said Jeremy Hutchison-Krupat, Director of the Kudzu.com U23 Team. "I have long been impressed with their talents as individuals, but I have been even more impressed to see the extent to which each of these guys will lay it on the line for one another as team members."

Kudzu.com Elite U23 Cycling Team for 2008: Jafer Beizer, Thomas Brown, Oscar Clark, Joey Rosskopf under D.S. Jeremy Hutchison-Krupat.

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