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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News, May 26, 2008

Edited by Sue George

Arndt rains supreme in wet finale while Ljungskog collects overall

By Ben Atkins in Limoux, France

Judith Arndt (High Road) and Susanne Ljungskog (Menikini - Selle Italia)
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image)

High Road team leader Judith Arndt took her team's third victory of this year's Tour de l'Aude by outsprinting her three breakaway companions in a rainy final stage at Limoux. The German former World champion proved the fastest from an echapee royale made up of the race's four favourites: race leader Susanne Ljungskog (Menikini-Selle Italia), Nicole Cooke (Great Britain) and Trixie Worrack (Nürnberger Versicherung).

Cooke officially contested the result with the race's commissaires, claiming that Arndt had moved off her line, but the head of the race jury – who had been right behind the incident – ruled that Arndt had kept to a straight line and it was the narrowing finishing straight that made Arndt get closer to the barriers.

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Cyclingnews will cover the 60th edition of the Dauphiné Libéré live as of stage 4 on Wednesday, June 10, at approximately 15:00 local Europe time (CEST)/ 23:00 Australian time (CDT)/ 9:00 (USA East).

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The four had escaped on the main obstacle of the day, the first category Côte de Villardebelle – halfway through the stage – as Worrack attacked. The Nürnberger Versicherung leader was still angry at having lost her third place to Irene Van Den Broek (AA Drink) on the stage at Castelnaudary and this attack was intended to take back at least the six seconds that she needed. She was quickly followed by the other three – but crucially not Van Den Broek – and continued to apply the pressure right to the finish. The main peloton finished 59 seconds back.

"I think I'm having a good season so far," said Arndt to Cyclingnews, "but if you don't do good at the Olympics, the whole season was s**t, so I hope I do a good race there – if I get nominated.

"Hey, but I'm not too happy about today," she continued, "because it doesn't feel to good to win like this, when somebody does protest and everything. Then I'd rather I don't win." Arndt got to sit in the breakaway as she was working in the interests of High Road team-mate Ina Teutenberg, the holder of the green points jersey. Her tactic was executed with the hope that they might be pulled back in so that Teutenberg cold win the stage and keep the jersey, but it didn't work and Teutenberg lost her points leader's jersey.

Nicole Cooke wasn't happy with the finish
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image)

Race winner Susanne Ljungskog can finally relax as she now keeps the jersey she has held since stage four's finish in Osseja, almost a week ago. "Feels very good, I'm happy and I feel a little bit tired now!" she smiled.

With Ljungskog's main goals this season coming later, an emphatic victory such as this may be seen as peaking a bit too early. For Ljungskog though, the result comes simply as a morale boost on the long road towards those objectives. "I don't think I'm too good," she said, "because now I'm going home to take it easy for some days, and I will not be too happy about this because I knew that this was just a big bonus.

"I want to be the winner the Giro and I want to make a good Olympics, and for sure I want to be World champion again. That's my really big goal. This victory is very nice, but I have to be focused on the rest of the season."

See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the final stage of the Tour de l'Aude.

Uran is back

Gustavo César Veloso (Karpin-Galicia) may have won the final overall ranking of the 88th edition of the Volta a Catalunya, but Columbian Rigoberto Uran of the Caisse d'Epargne team was just as happy with second overall, just 16 seconds behind Veloso. Andalucía-Cajasur's José Luis Carrasco won the final 122km stage six of the Volta a Catalunya from Pallejá to Barcelona.

"I have to be happy with the second place but in fact I am really satisfied with what I did in this Volta and most of all with the progress I realized since my operation" said Uran. "It was not easy for me to come back and I am still following a re-education program for my right hand, but all the sacrifices I did the last weeks were really worth the while.

Looking ahead, Uran said, "Now I will prepare myself for the Tour of Switzerland where I hope to win a stage, the same way I did it last year."

See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the final stage of the Volta a Catalunya.

Piepoli crashes out

Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval - Scott)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Saunier Duval-Scott's Leonardo Piepoli withdrew from the Giro d'Italia during Sunday's stage 15 after a fall on the Falzarego, just 15 kilometres before the finish line.

Initial test suggested that Piepoli sustained no serious injuries; however, the rider was complaining of a strong blow in his ribs that prevented him from breathing properly.

"The pain was so strong I couldn't breathe," said Piepoli after the race. "It's tough for me to leave the Giro like this, especially because I still had important things to do in Italy this year, and I know I could've done them. In any case, I fell behind before crashing, so I couldn't have helped [third placed Riccardo Riccò] today."

After a strong ride Sunday, team-mate Riccò said, "I can say I'm really happy with what I did. I'd promised to attack and I did so, stealing some precious seconds from my rivals. Above all, I've proved to myself I can make a difference in this kind of stages. Now I'm 33" behind the overall leader, a gap I can still bridge, and I can't help but think that hadn´t it been for that fall in the ITT in Urbino, I'd be wearing the maglia rosa."

Thinking of his fallen team-mate, the young star said, "The bad news of the day was Piepoli's withdrawal. He's been a powerful ally; I'll miss him in what's left of this Giro. About tomorrow's mountain time-trial, I don't think it'll be very decisive with regard to time differences between the favourites, unless someone plunges down. If [Emmanuele] Sella rides like he did today, my bet is on him. My goal will be snatching some more seconds off my rivals and get the rest in the last week."

See Cyclingnews' complete coverage of stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia.

Local racer to lead Milram Tour de France favorites in Bavaria

Bavarian racer Sebastian Schwager of Ansbach will wear the blue jersey of Team Milram during the International Bayern Rundfahrt, a 2.HC tour running through his home region from May 28 to June 1. For his second start in the race, Schwager will be joined by two team-mates who won stages in the 2006 edition of the race, Björn Schröder and Ralf Grabsch.

"Of course I am very much looking forward to the Bayern Rundfahrt," said Schwager. "I have trained very well in the last few weeks and even spent two days in the mountains. My form is right and I hope for good results. Plus, the second stage finishes in my new home, Neusäß, and the races ends on Sunday in Erlangen, which is near to my hometown of Ansbach. You can bet that gives me a lot of motivation."

Milram will field a strong team including five racers who hope to contest the Tour de France. In addition to Schröder and Grabsch, Tour pre-selections Christian Knees, Martin Müller and Dutch youngster Niki Terpstra will be racing in Bavaria under the guidance of Directeur Sportif Jochen Hahn. In addition, Artur Gajek will return to racing after a long break due to injury. In the middle of April, in the Tour of Turkey, he suffered a painful bruise on his bottom.

Team Milram for Bayern Rundfahrt: Artur Gajek, Christian Knees, Björn Schröder, Martin Müller, Ralf Grabsch, Sebastian Schwager , Niki Terpstra.

Veilleux wins first NRC race

David Veilleux (Kelly Benefit) takes the win
Photo ©: Todd Leister
(Click for larger image)

Canadian David Veilleux of the Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast team showed the kind of sprinting yesterday that made him U23 2006 Canadian road race and time trial champion. He won Baltimore's Kelly Cup after a hundred meter sprint for the line in front of title sponsor John Kelly and a "home" crowd from Kelly Benefit Strategies.

"It's always great to win," said team performance director Jonas Carney, "but to win in front of our title sponsor Kelly Benefit Strategies in their home town was something special. Our team is building some real momentum going into Somerville Monday, CSC next week and of course Philly Week. David did an amazing job of keeping our roll going."

The team rode the 40-lap criterium around Baltimore's Patterson Park aggressively and was well represented in the breaks. Mid way through a seven man breakaway formed that included Jonny Sundt and David Veilleux from Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast. But with less than ten laps to go the break split, Sundt returned to the field and Veilleux was left in a four man break. In the end, the win came down to a sprint between Veilleux, Dominique Rollin (Toyota United) and Kyle Wamsley (Colavita/Sutter Home). Veilleux went into the last 100 meters on Rollin's wheel and sprinted for the line taking Rollin and holding off Wamsley for the win.

Veilleux's win continues his team's winning momentum. It has claimed podiums in every race entered in the past month including Andrew Bajadali's King of the Mountains jersey at the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic last weekend and Veilleux's own second place at the Bank of America Wilmington Grand Prix the same day.

See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Kelly Cup.

Cappelle signs as stagiaire

Dieter Cappelle will begin his career as a stagiaire with Landbouwkrediet-T÷nissteiner effective August 1. With his new team, Cappelle will be hoping to do well and earn himself a professional contract.

Armstrong takes fundraising to Quebec

Lance Armstrong will take his fight against cancer to Quebec, Canada, this coming September in support of the Cancer Care Mission of the McGill University Health Centre, in collaboration of the Cedars Cancer Institute.

Armstrong will lead a 100km private ride for an exclusive group of donors/fundraisers in the Mont Tremblant region on September 12. A team dinner will follow. Interested participants should contact Jeff Shamie at the Cedars Cancer Institute at (514) 843-1606 or at jeff.shamie@muhc.mcgill.ca.

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