First Edition Cycling News, July 10, 2008
Edited by Sue George
Cavendish: Full steam ahead for Manx Express
By Brecht Decaluwé in Châteauroux
When Mark 'the Manx Express' Cavendish crossed the line in Châteauroux, it was clear he had pulled off something extraordinary - he had added a Tour stage victory to his palmarés at the young age of 23. Already the winner of two Grand Tour stages at the Giro d'Italia, the Team Columbia rider was exhilarated by his stage five finish.
"Oh my god," Cavendish screamed as he came to a stop. A gleam of pride shone in the Brit's eyes as he looked around and saw all the TV-crews sprinting towards him. Unimpressed by the media scrum, Cavendish spotted his Austrian team-mate Bernhard Eisel and gave him a big hug. He spotted several other team-mates like George Hincapie and thanked them for their lead-out work. "This was great guys, brilliant work," Cavendish shouted before he was pulled away towards the podium for the ceremony.
A few moments later the curly haired Brit hopped in the musty interview truck next to the finish line in Châteauroux. Cavendish still couldn't believe what he had just achieved. "Although I won quite a lot in the past, the only thing that mattered was a win in the Tour de France. I was anxious to do it. Today I'm proud to be on top of the podium. Even though I am only 23, this means a lot to me."
Cavendish was sure to give full credit to his team for the stage win. "When you have a team like I have, it's impossible not to win. We've got such a diverse team. We had a lot of top-5 finishes. We're able to switch positions. In the end we had the whole team - all nine riders - in front," he said.
That confidence in his team was evident at the Columbia team presentation in Brest, where he weighed his chances at a stage win. "People should be happy if they beat me. I just say what I think. If I think that I am the fastest, I'll say it," he smiled. "I don't have fear to lose a sprint, but I am just a bad loser. Honestly with such a team behind you - they do so much for me - I see it as a failure if I don't win a sprint."
Read the complete feature.
Lövkvist happy in white
By Shane Stokes
He was mentioned by Andy Schleck before the race as a rival for that classification, and would like to take it all the way to the end of the Tour if it is possible.
"I am very happy with the jersey," he told Cyclingnews at the start of stage five. "It is a great thing, I have never been in a jersey in a Grand Tour before, so it is very nice. I will try to keep it as long as possible, until Paris if I can. But it is a long Tour and there are a lot of good riders here, so it will be hard. I will do what I can and see where it is going to take me."
He feels that team-mate Kim Kirchen has a strong opportunity to take the yellow jersey at Super Besse, and could also be in the fight for the final overall victory.
"I think Kirchen has a very good chance, it [Super Besse] is a very good climb for him. It has a small dip at the end and then the last kilometre is uphill. I think he will be a very strong contender for that.
"As regards the overall, everything is possible. He climbs very well and now he time trials super-good too. Everything is possible and we have great faith in him."
Garmin Chipotle considers possible signings
By Shane Stokes
One team that is still undecided is Garmin Chipotle H3O; team manager Jonathan Vaughters told Cyclingnews that he may sign one or two new riders, but that this was uncertain.
"We won't be able to do much [this year] because most of our guys are on two-year contracts and, as a Pro Continental team, we have a 25 rider limit," he said this week. "We will take maybe one guy, perhaps two there won't be more than two. And I don't really know who that would be right now it would have to be somebody who obviously fits into what we have already made. It would be a carefully thought-out signing, that is for sure."
As a team with a very strong anti-doping culture, Vaughters knows he has to be certain he is signing a rider who subscribes to this stance. The huge volume of internal tests carried out makes it crucial that nobody strays over the line. Any new signing would also have to sync with the personalities of the riders and management, so that too is a consideration.
Right now, he is not certain what he will do. "If we are going to get somebody new on the team, there are two ways that I would go. We are either going to get a completely very young rider who is a big talent that we want to develop, or else a big-name.
"We have got a lot of really solid guys like Will [Frischkorn] or Danny [Pate], so I am sort of more on the scout for either a pure young talent or a sprinter who can win stages for us. Or maybe a GC rider. But honestly, if you asked me who that was, I haven't got too deep into that yet. Like I said, I really only have one place, so I'm really waiting for the right moment and the right person.
"I am going to take my time and see if somebody pops up that I want. I will also do my due diligence on them."
Yellow jersey changes hands in Austria
The yellow jersey changed hands during the 183.7km third stage of the 60th Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt - Tour of Austria. Thomas Rohregger (Elk Haus - Simplon), who finished third, took over the general classification lead from Chris Anker Sørensen (Team CSC). Ukrainian Ruslan Podgornyy (LPR Brakes) won the stage by just three seconds ahead of Robert Gesink (Rabobank) and Rohregger.
Podgornyy, who finished the 2006 edition of the Tour of Austria in second, dedicated his stage win to his daughter, who was celebrating her sixth birthday Wednesday. Following his win, he said he sees himself as a favourite to win the overall.
"The team of Rohregger is a strong, but the victory will be decided in the time trial on Saturday," predicted Podgornyy. "If everything is running normal, I should be able to make up the seven seconds to Rohregger, and I am convinced I'll be able to outclass riders such as Vladimir Gusev."
The Austrian Rohregger showed his climbing prowess throughout stage three, with its five mountains. "It's like a dream. I will wear the yellow jersey," said an excited Rohregger. "For the next stages, lots of work awaits my team. We are going to fight for the yellow jersey the next two days and I will do my best performance in Podersdorf."
On Thursday, racers will tackle the longest stage, number four, over 212.8km from Lienz to Wolfsberg over 216.8 km.
South African event invited to join UCI ProTour
The UCI ProTour Council continued its efforts to expand the ProTour globally by inviting the Worlds View Challenge in South Africa to join the ProTour beginning in 2010. The Pietermaritzburg event has been staged as a UCI 1.1 event. The race's new status is expected to draw the best pro teams. The 2009 event is scheduled as a series of three one-day races, from February 13 through 15.
The inaugural Worlds View Challenge, owned and managed by Treble Entertainment, was made up of five one-day races staged in February of 2008. ProTour Teams Liquigas and Milram raced on the African Continent alongside others such as Barloworld and Pezula Racing.
The UCI ProTour kicked off in 2005 with 27 events and 18 ProTour teams. In 2008, the ProTour took its first step outside of Europe by adding the Tour Down Under in Australia to the calendar.
"This really is an amazing development especially if you consider that we have only staged one edition of the event to date," said Event Director, Alec Lenferna. "However, we know that the event was a great success, a first for this country and one which impressed the top teams and resulted in positive feedback to the pro peloton in Europe as well as the UCI.
"It is an honour to be asked to join the UCI ProTour and we will go back with renewed vigour and stage the 2009 event to meet the exacting standards, demands and regulations outlined by the UCI."
Treble Entertainment is also organizing a 2009 and 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, a 2009 BMX World Cup and 2010 BMX World Championships.
Trio of Australians to lead Team CSC at Tour of Britain
Stuart O'Grady, Bradley McGee and Matthew Goss will lead the number-one ranked Team CSC - Saxo Bank to the Tour of Britain in September.
O'Grady, who is currently riding the Tour de France, is no stranger to British roads having won the PruTour in 1998 and clinched gold in the road race at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
Fellow Australian McGee, who has won stages at both the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia and worn the leader's jersey in both races, will be riding The Tour of Britain just two weeks after having competed in the Beijing Olympics.
Backing up O'Grady and McGee will be a third Australian, Goss. The 21 year-old wore the Tour of Britain's yellow jersey for a day in 2006, though had to abandon the race through injury. A year later Goss took victory at the end of stage three into Wolverhampton.
A trio of young Danes, Anders Lund, Andre Steensen and Kasper Klostergaard, will fill out the roster for the team, which has ridden every edition since the race's re-birth in 2004.
The team's most successful year came in 2006 when it won the race with Martin Pedersen (who also won the first stage), the King of the Mountains jersey with Andy Schleck, as well as the overall team classification.
"We are very pleased to welcome Team CSC - Saxo Bank back to The Tour of Britain," said Tour of Britain spokesman Paul Rowlands. "The race is now five year's old, and Team CSC - Saxo Bank have supported us right from the start, sending a strong and competitive squad every year to the race, and I'm sure 2008 will be no different."
Two teams confirm for Tour of Ireland
Team Columbia and Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30 will race the Tour of Ireland from August 27 to 31. Although the Garmin-Chipotle team has not yet announced its line-up, Team Columbia released a provisional roster.
Top British sprinter Mark Cavendish and former triple world time trial champion Michael Rogers of Australia will head the team also including Austrian Bernhard Eisel, German Bert Grabsch, Swede Thomas Lövkvist, Australian Adam Hansen and 2008 Giro d'Italia final stage winner Italian Marco Pinotti.
GE Marco Polo to Qinghai Lake
China's only professional cycling team since 2005, the GE - Marco Polo Team presented by Trek will take part in China's ten-day Tour of Qinghai Lake from July 11-20. The team, one of 21 total squads, will include a mix of Chinese and experienced international cyclists contesting the1,342km event.
Xing Yan Dong and Fuyu Li (both from China); Leon van Bon (Netherlands); Rhys Pollock and Jai Crawford (both Australia); Loh Sea Keong (Malaysia) and Sergey Kudentsov (Russia) will line up for the start in Xining.
Fuyu Li, who raced for the Discovery Channel Pro Tour team in 2007, qualified for China's Olympic Road Race team, and it's likely that he will be the only Chinese athlete in the Beijing men's road race.
"I am still not sure if I can race the whole race at Qinghai Lake, but I will be sure to support my team and use the race to prepare for the Olympics! I hope to be named officially as China's rider for this race soon," said Li.
Xing Yan Dong will be going for the title of best Chinese rider. "It will be a big challenge for me to try and get the blue jersey of best Chinese rider, but I will try hard. I have raced some high level races like Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia and Tour de Georgia in the US this year, so I feel confident to be at least one of the best Chinese riders."
"We are confident the team will do well in the Tour of Qinghai Lake," said Team Manager Gudo Kramer. "There are fast guys on our team for the sprints and climbers that can do well in the mountains."
Newly named Mt. Hood race to expand in 2009
Oregon's Mt. Hood Cycling Classic will see some changes for 2009 including a new name and more stages. The six-year old event will be called the Oregon Pro Cycling Classic, and it will stretch out over eight stages over eight days, covering 600 miles and 50,000 feet of climbing.
"It will hands down be the most difficult stage race in the US," Tre Hendricks said to The Oregonian. "We want to build the reputation of the race so that the best riders in the world want to come here."
For next year, the race will likely convert to an invitational-only format for the men's race while seeking to recruit American's best teams as well as a few European teams. The extension to eight days means the race will match the Tour of California in length and exceed the length of the Tour de Georgia by one day.
Organizers' biggest challenges are expected to come from increased budget requirements. Hendricks estimated that the two-day extension of the race will have the effect of tripling the race budget. To offset the increase, the race hopes to expand media coverage and attract more sponsors. In 2008 Comcast stepped in to replace Full Sail, a Hood River brewery as title sponsor.
Looking ahead to 2010 and beyond, the race may grow further to also reach areas such as Crater Lake and the Wallowa Mountains.
The six-stage 2008 edition was held from May 13 to 18 this year and won by Rory Sutherland (Health Net/Maxis) and Julie Beveridge (Aaron's Professional Women's Cycling Team).
Karpin Galicia preparing for Vuelta a la Comunidad de Madrid
Karpin Galicia's riders have been training together as part of a team training camp for the upcoming Vuelta a la Comunidad de Madrid on July 18-20.
Working under Director Álvaro Pino, racers David García, Gustavo Domínguez, Serafín Martínez, Alejandro Paleo, Alberto Fernández, Vladimir Isaychev, Carlos Castaño and David Herrero have been preparing along with back-ups Delio Fernández, Ramón Troncoso, Juan F. Mourón and Gonzalo Rabuñal. Ezequiel Mosquera, was absent the first day of the team's camp, but arrived in time for a 130km ride between Gondomar and Tui (San Antoniño).
After observing his riders during two training sessions, Álvaro Pino said he was satisfied by the team's camaraderie and excellent attitude. A third team training session will happen Thursday in Negreira and Santiago, where the U23 Spanish championships will be disputed on Friday and Saturday.
US Tandem Sprint Nationals to Lehigh Valley this weekend
Eleven tandem teams will flock to the Valley Preferred Cycling Center on Friday, July 11 for the annual Tandemonium event, which will double as the USA Cycling Tandem Sprint Nationals.
Teams will include New Zealand national sprint team members Simon VanVelthooven and Edward Dawkins; Hall of Fame member Gil Hatton and team-mate Matt Diefenbach; Australia's Pete Fitzpatrick and Trinidad and Tobago's Hasseem Maclean; Argentine junior sprint champion Demis Aleman and fellow countryman Leandro Bottasso; Mike "Speedy" Beers and partner Kurt Begemann along with a number of other riders from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Ben Barczewski and Andy Lakatosh broke the flying one lap record at last year's event, and this year's teams will give it another go.
In addition to the tandem events, a host of champions of yesteryear will take to the track for a "Legends of the Track" event. Among the long-time T-Town favorites to race will be Bobby "the Baltimore Bullet" Phillips, Jim "Asphalt Beaver" Alvord, Art "the Dart" McHugh, Gil "the Bear" Hatton, Pat "Master of the Mad Dash" Gellineau, Mark "Big Bird" Cracji, Dave "Buff" Bonser, and Tom "Arm the Charm" Armstrong.
Big Wheels to raise money in Boulder
Boulder's Pearl Street Mall will be visited by adults riding big wheels as part of the Boulder Big Wheel Rally on Saturday, July 12 to raise money for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Denver's Saint Joseph Hospital.
Participants of the 27th almost-annual rally will meet between 5:00 and 6:30 pm at The Walrus Saloon (11th & Walnut Streets in Boulder), and then head east, canvassing various watering holes along the Mall. The evening's complete itinerary will include a full- throttle night of ramps and stairs, plastic and power slides, impacts and drags.
For more information, to register or to donate, visit www.BigWheelRally.com.
Even more Tour: Video highlights and podcasts
Just can't get enough of the Tour? Well fear not because Cyclingnews has expanded its coverage once again this year to bring you video highlights of every stage plus daily podcasts courtesy of Bikeradar.com and Procycling magazine. Our video comes directly from Tour de France owners Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), and will be online shortly after the finish of each stage. We've also got highlights from classic Tours of the past so click here to see the full archive.
Check out the podcasts page in our Tour de France section for a full round-up of news and views from the Tour. In Sunday's podcast, Procycling's Ellis Bacon and Cyclingnews' Ben Atkins discuss the latest bikes on display this year, providing a glimpse of what's to come in our tech section in the coming days.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing Limited 2008)