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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition News for June 17, 2003

Edited by Chris Henry

Florencio at home Catalunya

Xavier Florencio (ONCE-Eroski) emerged as an unlikely race leader from a team well suited to shine in the Volta a Catalunya. In the opening team time trial, ONCE demonstrated why it is consistently a threat in the team discipline, beating US Postal Service by three seconds over 22.9 km. "It might seem surprising for us to beat the strong US Postal team, but it's no surprise for those who follow us," he said of his ONCE team, quoted in Todociclismo.

First across the line, Florencio assumed the first jersey of race leader, on equal time with six of his seven teammates, as Alvaro Gonzalez was dropped and lost 22 seconds. "I don't know how long I'll hold the jersey," Florencio said. "I would like to finish with it, but I know there are other riders that count more than me. They say that it makes you feel stronger every day, but for now I'll be happy to keep it tomorrow."

Florencio's donning of the leader's jersey was particularly important, as the race finished close to his doorstep near Tarragona. "I asked my teammates to let me finish first in the team time trial," he explained, "because I have dreamed of becoming the leader near the town of Montroig where I live."

Millar goes two better

On the podium
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

David Millar (Cofidis) showed his work paid off after solo and team training camps in the past few weeks to claim third place overall in the Dauphiné Libéré. Millar exceeded his own expectations of a top five result, and was quite pleased with the race outcome. The Cofidis leader fended off challenges from Francisco Mancebo ( and Christophe Moreau (Crédit Agricole), each of whom showed improved climbing form in the second half of the week-long race.

"I'm really happy to have got third overall," he commented on his personal web site. "Top five was my main objective for the race and I achieved it. I was beginning to feel tired over the last couple of stages, the Galibier was so hard and I lost it a little towards the top. I'm really pleased with my form though so I feel good, just very tired."

Millar has his eye on the future, and besides hinting at podium ambitions in next year's Tour de France, he also intends to tackle the world hour record held by Chris Boardman. Before this year's Tour he plans to hit the mountains once again to cap his preparation for the Grande Boucle.

Three degrees of separation for Dunlap

Unlucky Dunlap
Photo: © Andy Lee
Click for larger image

2001 World MTB Champion Alison Dunlap (Luna Chix) will have to take a short break after suffering a third degree separation of her shoulder following her crash in the second round of the NORBA series on Saturday. Dunlap hopes to be back in time for the fourth round of the series, which takes place on July 24 in Schweitzer Mountain, Idaho.

Nicole Cooke back on the bike

Great Britain's star of the women's peloton, Nicole Cooke, is back on the bike after her crash in stage 2 of the Tour du Grand Montréal on June 3. Cooke had stitches removed from her left knee last Thursday, and was on the bike Saturday for a test ride near her home in South Wales.

"The stitches came out easily, and the skin has healed well," Cooke explained on her web site. "I rode for just over an hour [Saturday], not fast. There's no problem bending my knee, but there is a pain just below the scar as I pedal so I'll take it carefully for now."

Cooke returns to Italy this week to prepare to race in Trentino, before returning home to defend her title at the British championships on June 28.

The multi-talented Cooke also made her broadcast debut for BBC Wales, providing commentary for the Five Valleys Road Race in South Wales on June 15. "It was certainly different to see racing from another angle, and I'd forgotten how beautiful this area is," she said of the experience. "You don't always appreciate that when you're racing!"

Tour images on display

An exhibit showcasing images of the Tour de France has opened at the Tour of Flanders Centre in Oudenaarde, Belgium. To celebrate the Tour's centenary this year, 100 images from the race have been put on display, including works from photographers Cor Vos, Graham Watson, Bruno Bade, and the Photonews Agency. The images are accompanied by text from journalist Rik Vanwalleghem. The Tour of Flanders Centre, closed Mondays, will host the exhibit through August 31.

A similar exhibit is also open to the public across the France/Belgium border in Roubaix. "Tour de France, 100 years of legend" will display 100 photographs from French sports paper l'Equipe at the Centre des Archives du Monde du Travail (CAMT) in Roubaix. This exhibit will be open Monday through Friday from 1pm to 6:30pm, as well as the first Saturday of each month during the same hours, until November 15.

Northampton Criterium benefits disabled

Racing returns to Northampton, Massachusetts July 4 with the Downtown Northampton Criterium for Equal Access. The day of racing is set to benefit All Out Adventures Inc. of Easthampton, a program dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities through inclusive outdoor programming.

Racing will begin at 9:00am, including a 30km Women's race, the handcyclist race at 1:00pm, and the 50km Men's Pro/1/2 race at 1:30pm. Equal prize money will be awarded to the men's, women's, and handisport fields from the $4,500 in cash prizes. Races will be held for all USCF categories, in addition to a kid's race.

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