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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News, May 12, 2008

Edited by Bjorn Haake

German women's coach optimistic

Dornbusch says that doping in women's cycling is less widespread than in the men's races
Photo ©: Bjorn Haake
(Click for larger image)

German national women's coach Jochen Dornbusch is optimistic about women's cycling in general and German women's cycling in particular. Cyclingnews' Susan Westemeyer caught up with him to find out his thoughts on the state of the sport and the upcoming Olympics in Beijing.

"In the last few years there have been great changes in women's cycling in Germany," he said. "We have professional, well-led teams, good appearances and good races. But what is missing is a bigger media presence. More reports on television are desperately needed, in order to help find sponsors for women's cycling."

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There are only two German-registered teams in the peloton this year, Equipe Nürnberger and Team High Road. High Road has only five German women, but they include two of the biggest names, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and former World champion Judith Arndt. The Equipe also boasts such top Germans as former World champion Regina Schleicher and Trixi Worrack. Dornbusch can also count on Hanka Kupfernagel, if he chooses to do so – she delivered a gold medal in the Worlds in Stuttgart last year.

Dornbusch has been the national women's coach since 1999. He came to the sport from its roots, saying that "I grew up in a bike shop, so I had a relationship with cycling already as a child. I was never a good rider, but I started working as a mechanic at the age of 20, to be able to finance my studies."

There are far fewer doping cases in women's cycling. Why this difference to men's cycling? "Women's cycling doesn't involve big money, like men's cycling. Therefore, those responsible in the background aren't financially motivated. A treatment by [Eufemiano] Fuentes costs about 30,000 euro, according to media reports. For the women, there are maybe only 10 percent of the peloton who earn that much. The rest have a lot less."

But it is not just for financial grounds, Dornbusch emphasised. "Besides, the women also see the theme of doping ethically and morally differently then their masculine colleagues. And, especially in Germany, we have seen in the last few years that it is possible to bring in very good results without doping."

There are a number of good young women coming along, he noted, giving hope for continued good results for the future. "With Romy Kasper, Corinna Thumm and Lisa Brennauer, to name only a few, we have some very good young riders, who are still developing. When you see such outstanding riders as Marianne Vos and Marta Bastianelli, then you know that anything is possible in cycling for young athletes."

Turning to the Olympics, he said that the road course "is, in my opinion, very challenging. But the women must ride the closing round only two times, and so I think there are a number of riders who will be near the front. Perhaps even a sprinter." Non-German favourites here are "naturally Marianne Vos, Nicole Cooke, Noemi Cantele, Marta Bastanelli, Giorgia Bronzini and so on."

Read the full feature with Dornbusch.

Davis happy to be back in the action

By Bjorn Haake

Allan Davis (Mitsubishi-Jartazi) is happy to be back racing in Europe
Photo ©: Bjorn Haake
(Click for larger image)

Australian Allan Davis was unable to secure a contract after the Discovery Channel folded, having to race in Australia this winter. Finally, in March he was able to get back to Europe, after Mitsubishi-Jartazi signed the rider. He was quite relieved, telling Cyclingnews that "I was quite desperate to find a new team. It's not a good a feeling to be out of a job in any aspect of life. You have to make a living for your family."

He was quite surprised with the difficulty of finding an employer. "To be honest, I don't understand why it took so long to find a new team." The Australian was all the happier to be able to line up at the start of the recent Rund um den Henninger Turm on a nice, sunny day. "It turned out OK. The form is coming [along]."

While Davis didn't have a team until the spring, he could keep in shape. "It was summer over there while it was winter here and it was nice to be back home in Australia. It's a bonus having good weather!" He also enjoyed spending Christmas at home, in an atmosphere he is used to. Having the great weather allowed him to get the kilometres in that usually transfer to a good season start. "It always worked well for me – I always started the season well."

This year was different, but now he is looking forward to making an impression. And while so far in the races for his new team, he didn't really "get a chance for a sprint," he is eager to deliver when the circumstances are right. Davis is comfortable with the situation for now. With Guennadi Mikhailov "we have a rider who has been around; he has a lot of experience and he has looked after some sprinters over the years."

Davis is definitely eager to get some results for the team. "For now, I just worry about this year ... I will weigh my options later in the year for sure," he made clear that getting back to a ProTour team, with the ability of riding the bigger races again, would be a nice option.

But with the concern for the immediate tasks at hand, he rolled towards the finish line to check out the last 500 metres. "I am just about to have a look. It looks like a good finish for me [the last 500m were slightly uphill - ed.]. But the problem is, there are 179 kilometres before that," he laughed.

Unfortunately for Davis, those 179 kilometres through the hilly Taunus area proved to be too hard for many, with only 55 riders seeing the finishing line.

Mountain goats trump time trialers in Colombia

Arthur Garcia beat Rafael Montiel in an exciting sprint finish on stage 1
Photo ©: Colombia Es Pasión Coldeportes
(Click for larger image)

After a dominating start of Rock Racing in the prologue, with the team occupying the first four places via Santiago Boero, Victor Hugo Peña, Oscar Sevilla and Tyler Hamilton, the first hilly road stage was a different affair. The stage was won by Venezuelan Arthur Garcia of Loteria del Tachira, who beat Colombia es Pasión's Rafael Montiel in a sprint of a four-man group. The best Rock racer in the vertical affair was Oscar Sevilla, in eighth place and almost a minute behind the day's winner.

Rock Racing had to initiate the chase, once a group of some 20 riders had a lead of over six minutes. But they couldn't close the gap all the way to the front runners, who left the escape group before they were caught by the US team.

Montiel said after the stage that "I was feeling very well the whole way; I found myself in the break that got a lead of over six minutes to the main bunch and in the finale I responded in the descent to Bucaramanga... I lost by a small margin and I want to thank all the riders and the staff on the team, who have done an excellent job today."

Carlos Ospina of Gw Shimano - EPM is the new leader in the overall, with Montiel in fourth, while Sevilla slipped down to sixth place. The Spaniard has still all the chances, as his 48-second deficit is not impossible to make up in the hilly stages ahead.

The Vuelta a Colombia runs until May 25.

Rojas happy with Dunkirk result

José Joaquín Rojas (Caisse d'Epargne) did well in France and won the points competition
Photo ©: Antonio J. Salmerón
(Click for larger image)

José Joaquín Rojas of Caisse d'Epargne was all smiles, as he finished the 4 Jours de Dunkerque in fourth place overall. What's more, the Spaniard took out the points classification and was runner-up in the final young rider standings.

In his first appearance at the French race, Rojas only missed the podium by eight seconds, with a crash in the penultimate stage not helping. Rojas recognised that "the crash affected me a lot and I had to ride all day counterintuitively [holding the bars differently - ed.]."

Despite not able to achieve his objective of a stage win, the rider from Cieza was satisfied with his race and was grateful to his team-mates, who "did a lot of work every day so I could rest as much as possible in the final kilometres of the stage. For that work, they would have merited a victory through me, but even though I intended that very badly, it wasn't meant to be," Rojas lamented as the French race concluded.

Mosquera does well in Spain

Ezequiel Mosquera (Karpin Galicia) during the final stage and ready to secure the overall win
Photo ©: Karpin Galicia
(Click for larger image)

Ezequiel Mosquera of Karpin Galicia won the overall classification of the two-day, three-stage Clásica Internacional de Alcobendas. The race started well for him, as he took stage 1 solo, by over a minute over Polish rider Tomasz Marczynski (Ceramica Flaminia).

He defended his lead in the second stage, coming into the finish with a big group that were all on the same time, except for Baden Cooke, who took the stage with a two-second margin. The final stage was another bunch sprint affair, which allowed Mosquera to take the overall with 1'11 in hand.

Directeur Sportif Álvaro Pino was very content despite the difficult task of defending the jersey. "It was difficult after the first stage. One minute and 11 seconds is a lot, but then you are not free to attack ... and you have to do a lot of work. The stage was more complicated because of the wind... [These were] moments when Ezequiel was a bit nervous."

Pino added that "this triumph will give Ezequiel confidence that he is on of the best stage racers in the international peloton. And we also know he has a good team at his side."

Weylandt crashes in Derny race

Wouter Weylandt of Quick Step crashed in the Europacup derny race, near his home in Gent. The young rider, who was enjoying a good season so far, stayed on the ground for several minutes, according to Sportwereld. He was then brought to hospital, where no fractures were found.

He did receive stitches in several areas in the face, among others on his chin and cheek. He will get a more thorough check in the coming days.

Conclusion of Pan-American Championships

The Elite men had the final race in this year's Pan-American Championships, which took place in Montevideo, Uruguay. Home rider Richard Mascarañas was able to win the sprint against Mexican Luis Macias and Gonzalo Garrido of Chile.

A nine-rider group was left to contend the victory in a sprint to the line, after having completed 20 laps of an 8.4-kilometre loop. The rest of the bunch had splintered, with around two thirds of the 81 men who took the start finishing the race.

Priority Health Tour de Leelanau taking shape

The 2008 Priority Health Tour de Leelanau will be led by a record participation of 17 teams in the Men's field and 11 teams in the Women's field and will take place on Sunday, May 25th, 2008.

The Men's race will include the Bissell Pro Cycling Team of defending champion Garrett Peltonen, who is looking to repeat in a race that is very important to their Grand Rapids, Michigan, based sponsor. Bissell has been on a hot streak recently, winning stages at the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico and the Joe Martin Stage race in Arkansas as well as leading the National Race Calendar (NRC) series.

The main competitors to Bissell will be Team R.A.C.E., lead by 2007 Tour de Leelanau runner up Ryan Roth and former Canadian National Champion, Mark Walters, as well as the BMC Pro Cycling team. Other pro teams competing are; Rite-Aid Pro Cycling, Team Inferno Pro Cycling, Successful Living and Jet Fuel Coffee.

The Women's race will feature the deepest field yet for the Priority Health Tour de Leelanau. Headlining the event will be the Colavita-Sutter Home team of defending champion Tina Pic and two time race winner Mackenzie Woodring.

This year's edition of the Women's race promises to be the most exciting with challenges coming from teams such as Cheerwine, ValueAct Capital, Team TIBCO, Equipe Cascades and Priority Health.

The Priority Health Tour de Leelanau is sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and USA Cycling, and is one of the sixteen events that make up the 2008 USA Cycling Pro Tour" series

More information is available by visiting www.tourdeleelanau.com

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