Latest Cycling News, October 13, 2008
Edited by Bjorn Haake
Goss doubles up
Matt Goss of the CSC-Saxo Bank team, won the opening stage of the Herald Sun tour in a bunch sprint. Like in the prologue, which does not count toward the overall, Baden Cooke ended in second place. And just like yesterday Goss attributed a large portion of his win in the 130km trek from Traralgon to Inverloch to the work of his teammates, particularly Stuart O'Grady, who broke away from the peloton with 65km remaining only to be caught 15km from the finish.
"It was pretty windy all day but we always had someone in front and Stuey [O'Grady] made it easy because we didn't have to do anything for the last 50 to 60km because everyone was just chasing him," said a jubilant Goss. "It was a hard day and it was good to finish off well. It's nice to get a win here, even though yesterday was good, this is even better."
With CSC-Saxo Bank having only five riders in the race the experienced O'Grady decided the best option for them was to go on the attack and force the others to chase. He broke away to get a maximum lead of almost four minutes. At one stage it looked like the 35-year-old would pull off a stunning win, only to ride into the teeth of a ferocious head wind 20km from the finish that almost instantaneously halted his dash to the line.
"It was the head more than anything telling me to attack and it was a moment when everyone looked pretty hammered," O'Grady said. "In the end I probably bit off a bit more than I could chew. But you've got to give it a crack. The conditions were just too tough for me. It was just a massive headwind the whole way and it was just too much in the end."
Once O'Grady was caught by the chase - led by the Toyota-United and Barloworld teams - there was still plenty of team support for the 21-year-old Tasmanian Goss in the hectic run to the line. "There was a stack in the finish but I'm not really sure what happened because it was just behind me," Goss said. "I was just trying to keep near the front. The Toyota boys hit out at around 600m to go and [teammate] Brad McGee followed those guys and I jumped on the wheel.
Full results, report and photos are here
Svein Tuft's journey to Worlds silver
It is a long way from Langley to Varese and a difficult journey from mountain biking Canada's outback to stomping a top-flight field in the World Championships time trial, but that is just what Svein Tuft accomplished. The enthusiastic Canadian explained to Gregor Brown of Cyclingnews his journey and plans for the coming season with Team Garmin the day after he made his mark on European cycling with a silver medal performance.
"We are kind of pretty far out of town and so we did not really do anything too crazy. I hung out with all my friends here on the national team. We drank some vino – it was nothing too wild," explained Tuft, 31, of the evening that passed since we last saw him as the happiest looking of the three men on the Worlds time trial podium.
Tuft crossed the line in Northern Italy's Varese a quarter past three in the afternoon with a time of 52:44. He set a provisional best but was quickly topped by Germany's Bert Grabsch. However, his performance held against Sylvain Chavanel, Marco Pinotti, David Millar and David Zabriskie. USA's Zabriskie gave him the biggest scare, but fell nine seconds short.
After Levi Leipheimer rolled in as the final time trialist on the 43.7-kilometre parcours and judges confirmed the top three, Tuft emerged as the day's surprise. He finished second behind Grabsch, who won the 2007 Vuelta a España time trial in Zaragoza and ended the Worlds three weeks later in fourth place. Tuft was ahead of Zabriskie, who the Tour de France's maillot jaune in 2005.
"The Beijing Olympics was a big confidence builder. I then did Tour of Missouri [where he finished third - ed.], and I had a good ride there. It was a good motivator and I came here confident," said Tuft, who even seemed to surprise himself, judging by his grin. One day after, his mind was on returning home British Columbia, Canada, and concluding his season. "I am travelling home to Langley, BC. I will go mountain biking up in the Kootenays."
Read the full feature
Gilbert becomes rare Wallonian Classics winner
Not that many Wallonians have won great classics in recent years and before Philippe Gilbert, one of the more famous ones was Claude Criquielion, who raced in the 1980's. Criquielion won Flèche Wallonne twice (1985 and 1989) and the Ronde van Vlaanderen in 1987. Criquielion thinks that Gilbert now has his head clear to take out other important classics.
Criquielion didn't miss the final kilometres of yesterday's race. "Those are the most interesting ones," the former World Champion explained to Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure.
Criquielion was quick to assess that Française des Jeux rode a perfect race. "Placing a teammate up there in the front, that is often seen in the mountains of the Grand Tours. But in a classic, it is really hard to accomplish, even if the directeurs sportifs can imagine the scenario beforehand. Because without Delage up front, I don't think the break would have succeeded. The peloton was really close in those final metres."
Criquielion was happy for a fellow Wallonian to take the victory. "It's a great win for Philippe Gilbert. He is showing those guys who thought he wasn't capable of holding up on a distance over 250km. Now, with this great victory, he will be liberated in the future. And he can tell himself if he can win one, he can win others!"
Gilbert's family anxiously followed race on TV
Philippe Gilbert's family was following his win in Paris-Tours on TV yesterday. His parents and brother were anxiously watching the final kilometres, hoping for a better outcome than in previous editions. Gilbert was in good moves in the past, but got caught close before the finish.
His parents followed the action at home. "It was just the two of us watching the race. We knew he would attack. But the last kilometres were hard to follow, as we didn't want to re-live the scenarios from the last couple of years on that course," Gilbert's mom told La Dernière Heure.
Philippe Gilbert's parents didn't believe in the victory until their son crossed the line with his arms in the air. "Then we had tears of joy in our eyes. Like I have had every time he wins a big race. His two victories at Het Volk, obviously, but also after his very first victory, in the regional championships of the beginners, in Manhaihant."
Father Jeannot couldn't sit still. "I screamed 'Go! Go! Go!'," he smiled. In the end the peloton was so close. I was annoyed when I saw him with Pozzato. He shouldn't have gone with him..." Last year, Gilbert, Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas) and Karsten Kroon (Team CSC-Saxo Bank) were in a promising move, but got caught with 500m to go. Pozzato had refused to work in the end, which doomed the move.
Philippe Gilbert's brother Jérôme watched the race at home with his girlfriend. "How stressful, but how joyful!" he summed up the race. "I was calculating with my watch. With Philippe, after the races, we often calculate the seconds he would need at certain points in the course. Here, he had 13 seconds before the last climb, and he would need ten at the top."
Jérôme Gilbert was confident then. "With his attack, when he left Pozzato and Freire behind, I knew it was possible. Especially with the work by Delage... I knew it was good."
The family then got together at the Cheval Blanc (White horse) tavern in Remouchamps. It was a long night of celebrating, Jérôme explained. "There was champagne... One thing is clear, we didn't sleep!"
No easy season for Boonen
Tom Boonen of Quick Step did not have an easy season, missing the Tour de France due to testing positive for cocaine in an out-of-competition test. His year ended on an equally low point, when he couldn't win the World Championships and finished 10th in Paris-Tours.
Despite the drawbacks, Boonen thinks he can come back even stronger. "2008 wasn't an easy season, but I have learned a lot," Boonen said in an interview with the Belgian TV programme, Sportweekend.
As to the charges about his alleged cocaine consumption, he answered simply, "I can't say much, the investigation is still running. But where the cocaine came from, I do not know. Was I tricked? I don't know."
"I am just a normal person, and sometimes even a very weak person," Boonen continued. "But I am completely strong in what I do - my sport."
Regarding the latest illegal doping product to hit the peloton, CERA, Boonen noted that "I had never heard of it." He said it was good that "they start to catch" the riders using it. "And it is also good that they get them so quickly."
The Quick Step rider noted that he "really thought that I could win the World Championship. That I didn't is not the fault of the other Belgians, but in the first place has to do with me." He made the remarks in an interview with the Belgian TV programme. (SW)
Hansen already planning for 2009
By Susan Westemeyer
Adam Hansen of Team Columbia is happy with his 2008 season and already making plans to improve in 2009. He hopes to start out by repeating his win in the Australian national championships in January. winning the Australian
The 27-year-old was not totally satisfied with his performance in the World Championshps, but, "I think I have come a long way, and for sure, two years ago I wouldn't have thought I'd be where I am now."
Hansen added he had made progress in some of the races he participated in. "I did races I wouldn't even dream about and I can't be anything but happy with my season." Two of those races included the Giro d'Italia, which he finished for the first time, after having to abandon last year due to an injury after a crash. The second race was the Tour de France, which he rode for the first time.
Instead of singling out single races, though, Hansen put the emphasis on his consistency. "Starting so early and racing all the way till the Worlds at a good level" was another highlight for him.
Hansen is currently on vacation in Japan. " Now it's been a while since I touched my bike, not since the Worlds, and I will start my base training again a few days after my holiday. That will be the earliest I have ever started, but I have bigger hopes and goals for next season and I'm very eager to start again."
But there is one more stop, and more racing, for him before training starts. First he will head to the Nürburgring [Formula One race track] in Germany, with Thomas Lövkvist, a Columbia teammate and others. "We won't be there to race our bikes like they did in 1927, when the first world cycling championships were held there, but driving around in cars. I've been told it's a pretty wild drive!"
After that, things will get serious for the Australian. He will start training at his European home in the Czech Republic. "I won't head towards Australia until four weeks before the national championships, which will be one of my main goals for next season.
"Four weeks will be heaps of time for getting used to the heat and switching from my cross training to bike training. I'm also planning to spend a bit more time there in Australia, maybe a month after the Tour Down Under, but that will depend on my race program. We will see."
Ciolek calls Schumacher positive a "slap in the face"
Gerald Ciolek of Team Columbia called Stefan Schumacher's recent positive doping tests "a slap in the face. You have to ask yourself how someone can be so irresponsible, dumb and disrespectful." Previously, a positive doping test affected only the rider involved, but now "all of cycling, starting with the enthusiastic junior riders, to mechanics and other personnel, and up to all other pro cyclists, have to bear the consequences."
The 22-year-old said, "the current cases weren't surprises. Of course I know it is a very narrow line, after all you can't say that every success is suspicious. But some earlier results that were more or less positive should make people more attentive."
Ciolek wasn't entirely satisfied with his own 2008 season, with only three victories this year; two stages in the Bayern Rundfahrt and one in the Deutschland Tour.
For a sprinter, Ciolek would have hoped to be atop of the podium more often. "Overall I think that I have increased my level of performance. But I would have liked to get a better results."
He also rode the Tour de France for the first time, "It was a special race and it is noticeable that the Tour is the biggest race. It gets the most attention. You can feel that on every kilometre you ride through France," he said on his website, geraldciolek.de.
The highlight of the season for him was winning "a hard stage in the Deutschland Tour. And the experience of riding the Tour de France and the Olympics was very important for me."
The downside of the season was Milano-Sanremo. "That was a bit of a letdown, since I was so strongly motivated and wanted to ride well, and then had to drop out of the race pretty quickly because I was sick."
After his vacation, Ciolek will start training again "early to mid-November." The question of what team he will be riding for next year, though, has not yet been settled. Columbia has let it be known that it is not planning with him in 2009 and he is said to be courted by Team Milram, but so far nothing has been announced. (SW)
Sastre guests at Volvo Ocean Race
Carlos Sastre used his off-season to visit the Volvo Ocean Race and was invited onto the catamaran of Tommy Hilfiger. Sastre visited the boat race on the Mediterranean, near Alicante in southeastern Spain, last weekend.
For Sastre it was an unforgettable experience to join the race at its official kick-off. The Tour winner was invited as guest of honour onto the Dutch Delta Lloyd boat, with co-captain Tommy Hilfiger.
Sastre was accompanied by his wife and two children when he navigated the catamaran on Friday. On Saturday, Sastre was on board of the Delta Lloyd when it made its way to the start line in the Alicante port.
The boat's captain, Randy Smith, gave Carlos Sastre an introduction into navigation and taught him all about the equipment of the boat. The 11-member boat will be out for about nine months.
Cyclingnews online production editor required - Australia
Work on the world's leading cycling web site
Cyclingnews, the world's leading cycling web site, is expanding and is looking for a full time online production editor based in Sydney, Australia.
The position requires applicants to have a keen interest and thorough knowledge of competitive cycling, as well as editorial or writing experience with excellent English skills. The position will involve producing reports, results, photos and features from the world of cycling, so fluency in a second language is also an advantage, as is a familiarity with online production techniques, experience in journalism and attention to detail.
The applicants will need to be self-starters as the position involves regular liaison with production editors in all Cyclingnews offices. As Cyclingnews is a 24/7 daily news operation, the position will require regular weekend work. The weekend duties are handled on a rotating shift basis with other production editors, so the applicant must be flexible in their work schedule. However, the majority of work will be done during normal business hours on week-days.
The online editors will be required to have familiarity with online production applications (a good working knowledge of HTML and Photoshop are important skills) and could also be required to attend major cycling events in each region. However, the primary responsibility is the production of content for publication on the web site. Training in online production techniques can be provided to the right applicant, ability to handle the technical processes involved and an ability to communicate are required.
Please send your CV with a covering letter via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Cyclingnews online editing position - " in the subject line. Deadline for applications is October 15, 2008.
(Additional editorial assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer.)
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