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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest News for August 18, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Nardello gets his reward

By Chris Henry

Daniele Nardello
Photo: © Chris Henry/CN

"I enjoy working for others, it's part of my mentality," Daniele Nardello said after his Championship of Zürich victory Sunday. Such is the attitude of a talented rider who is willing to devote his talents to the success of his teammates. Having moved to Team Telekom after several years with the Mapei powerhouse, Nardello has been a quiet force behind the successful German team. But every dog needs to have his day, and the Italian has proven over the years that when given the chance, he is quite capable of winning races.

After coming close to a stage win in this year's Tour de France and missing out on a chance at victory in the opening stage of the recent Vuelta a Burgos, Nardello showed in Zürich that his good form was not to be wasted. Attacking a select group in the final 8km of Sunday's race, Nardello held off a late surge from pre-race favourite Jan Ullrich to enjoy his biggest career win.

"I didn't come to Telekom as a captain, but I have possibilities to ride for wins," he explained.

Now that a World Cup win has been added to his palmarès, what are the races that still inspire Nardello? Italian national champion in 2001, Nardello clearly has a knack for the one day races. The classics, he says without a pause. The spring classics such as the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix always hold in place in the hearts of the talented single day riders, but Nardello is Italian, and dreams equally of a win in the World Cup's final round, the Giro di Lombardia.

Proving that even in the afterglow of his Zurich he will be able to keep his head on his shoulders, Nardello did not include the World Championships as a target for victory. With a country as rich in talent as Italy, the pride of simply being a part of the national team, the "squadra azurra" is a dream in and of itself.

Last year in Zolder, Belgium, Italy put a history of clashing egos and uncoordinated riding aside, rallying behind Mario Cipollini and executing a flawless team race to take the world title. This year's World's in Hamilton, Canada could be a race perfectly suited to Paolo Bettini's talents, and Nardello hopes to play his part in delivering Bettini to the line.

"I have no problem if [national team selector] Ballerini designs a team around Bettini," Nardello commented. "Bettini is a great champion who deserves to have that support."

Somarriba equals record

By winning La Grande Boucle Féminine Internationale for the third time, Spanish rider Joane Somarriba (Bizkaia-Panda-Spiuk-Sabeco) has equalled the record for the number of wins in the "Women's Tour" held by Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo and Italian Fabiana Luperini. For the recently turned 31 year old from Plencia, her three Tour wins and two Giro wins put her right up there with the top riders of women's cycling.

"I have completed my objective and this was simply to win the laurels in the Tour," said Somarriba after her win. "I have achieved this, and although I am in the club of three victories with Jeannie Longo and Fabiana Luperini, I'm not obsessed with breaking the record. I want to shine in the Olympic Games and I'm going to centre all my preparations on the Olympics."

Somarriba's victory in this LGBF was a result of her ability in the mountains, which were all packed into the first week of the race. In every stage where the road went uphill, she took advantage of her slight build to put time into all of her rivals, eventually coming out with a 2'29 lead on the general classification to Swiss rider Nicole Brändli (Prato Marathon Bike). German Judith Arndt (Nürnberger) was the next best, finishing with a 5'05 deficit to Somarriba.

When asked whether this was her easiest victory, Somarriba replied "I don't know if this was more difficult or easier than the two previous ones, but it was more comfortable than I expected. I thought I would have more opposition from Brändli or the Italian Fabiana Luperini. Fortunately my initial predictions were not good and I recognise that made it easier for me."

"The key to everything was in the Alpine stages. The situation remained clearer than we expected and after that I controlled it well. I stood on the final podium, but it was thanks to the great work carried out by my teammates. They completed their work to perfection and I finished it off."

Brief bio

Born: August 11, 1972 in Sopelana Lives: Plencia (Vizcaya) Marital status: Married to Ramón González Arrieta Height: 1.71 metres Weight: 55 kg

Main victories


Emakumeen Bira


Spanish Road Race Championships


Spanish Time Trial Championships


Giro d'Italia Femminile
Giro del Veneto


Giro d'Italia Femminile
La Grande Boucle Feminine


La Grande Boucle Feminine


Durango Emakumeen Saria


La Grande Boucle Feminine

Dekker takes it easy

Dekker's back
Photo: © Dick Soepenberg

Rabobank's Erik Dekker made his return to racing after a three months absence in the Dwars Door Gendringen yesterday in Holland, won by Fassa Bortolo's Alessandro Petacchi. Dekker didn't finish the 197 km race, but did manage to do 170 kilometres before the Rabobank directors pulled him out. They decided not to take any risks with Dekker's knee, as they don't want him doing too much, too early.

"Even getting dropped in a race is better than training alone," Dekker told ANP yesterday. "I really saw that in the only lap I rode. I have to pay attention that I am not too eager after so many months absence, and keep in mind that I can't force it. Here in Gendringen that worked, so it should also be good in the Ronde van Nederland."

Dekker will ride the ENECO Ronde van Nederland which starts on Tuesday, August 19. Despite winning the race on two previous occasions, and coming within four seconds of victory last year, Dekker will not be starting with any ambitions for the overall. "Next week he must only work for the team, he is absolutely not the man for the classement," said team leader Theo De Rooij. "He also really doesn't have the condition for it."

Athens 2004 cycling courses get thumbs up

Beautiful course
Photo: © AFP

After the conclusion of the European U23 Championships in Athens yesterday, Vladimir Holecek (President of the European Cycling Union and Vice-President of the International Cycling Union) gave the courses the thumbs up in light of the Olympic Games next year.

In a press statement, Mr Holecek described the route through the Historical Centre of Athens as, "The most beautiful for Cycling in the whole history of the Olympic Games. It is a difficult event, but the Historical Centre of Athens offers unique images to athletes and spectators. In one word: the event is stupendous. All the people involved in the organisation, especially those in Cycling, have proved they are excellently prepared and briefed for an event of this magnitude."

"We shall certainly live through some exciting moments at the Olympic Games. The experience gained from this event will prove highly significant for the Hellenic Cycling Federation, so that after the Olympic Games it can host a World Championship Road race."

The organisers were justly proud of the praise, with Athens 2004 Executive Director, Spyros Capralos saying that, "A great deal of effort has been made by a team of people so that such an important event can be successful. Volunteers, the Hellenic Cycling Federation, the Police and the Municipality of Athens all worked together for this and the result is that today we can present this image of Athens. People were informed about the special traffic arrangements and few vehicles needed to be towed away."

Athens Mayor Dora Bakogianni also called it "The most beautiful cycling route in the whole world. It is obvious that the world is seeing Greece in flying colours and incomparable light."

Tre Valli Varesine to kick off Trittico Lombardo

This week will see the Trittico Regione Lombardia, made up of the three Italian races, Tre Valli Varesine, Coppa Agostoni and Coppa Bernocchi. Although not a stage race per sé, there is an overall classification awarded to the most consistent finisher in all three races.

The Tre Valli Varesine (UCI 1.1) takes place on August 19, and is celebrating its 83rd edition this year. It will be run over 193 kilometres, starting in Bissone and travelling to Luino, where it will take in three circuits. After leaving Luino, the race will head to Brinzio for the climb, then Varese. The finale consists of four laps of an 11 km circuit around Varese.

Teams: Lampre, Tenax, De Nardi Colpack, Ceramiche Panaria Fiordo, Vini Caldirola, Mercatone Uno Scanavino, Saeco, Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave Ciarrocchi, Fassa Bortolo, Alessio, Gerolsteiner, Phonak, Domina Vacanze-Elitron, Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, Lokomotiv, Flanders-iTeamnova, Colombia-Sella Italia, CCC Polsat and Team CSC.

Lee Godfrey breaks elbow

Australian rider Lee Godfrey has been injured after being hit by a car in Rome, Italy on Sunday. According to a report in the Geelong Advertiser, he has a broken elbow and internal bleeding, and is currently in Rome hospital. He will fly home to Australia once his injuries have stabilised, expected to be within a week.

The 20 year old who rides for the AIS Mapei Aqua team was hoping to take part in the World Championships in Canada, but will now have to refocus on the Australian summer season and his build up for 2004.

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