First Edition News for May 21, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones & John Stevenson
86th Giro d'Italia news
Post stage wrap-up: Arvesen takes stage, Simoni the opportunist
Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) used a well timed attack and a perfectly executed plan to westle the maglia rosa from the shoulders of Stefano Garzelli. Simoni arrived in Faenza with a group of four, and thanks to a time bonus for his third place finish and the gap over the chase group, he was able to assume the race lead by just two seconds over Garzelli.
"When I made my move," said a delighted Simoni post-stage, "I thought I made a mistake. I was feeling good and I went because I wanted to have some bagarre, to cause some confusion. However, was lucky enough to get the jersey by a little bit. It was a big risk and it could have gone the other way, but even if the others in the break were tired, they were very motivated to get to the finish. It was a surprise, sure, but it worked."
On an extremely difficult and undulating course of 211 km, a large break of 16 riders kept the pace high and shaped the majority of the stage. However as the final few climbs began to take their toll on the leaders and chase groups alike, Simoni attacked the main field while at the same time his teammate Leonardo Bertagnolli began to pressure the lead escape. Simoni climbed superbly and closed down the gap to the leaders, who began to crumble as the break exploded. Eventually Simoni emerged with a strong group of four, which including Bertagnolli, Paolo Tiralongo (Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo), and Norwegian champion Kurt Asle Arvesen (Team fakta).
Despite a desperate chase from Garzelli, Casagrande, and the other GC favourites, Simoni's group managed to stay clear to the end, where Arvesen used his fast finish to take a well-earned stage win.
"I thought this would be a good stage for me from the beginning of the Giro so I went for it and it went well," said a happy Asle-Arvesen.
Stage 11 Preview
May 21: Faenza-San Dona' di Piave 222km
A flat, windy 11th stage up along the Adriatic coastline, past Venice and into San Dona' di Piave. Another day for the sprinters with a great chance for Cipo to take his 43rd career stage win in the Giro. With a tailwind likely over the last 30km, this will keep things together until the 5.4 km finishing circuit. The last kilometre is a flat, wide-open finish with a 90 degree turn at 400m.
Yes to Cipo and Ullrich, no to Jean Delatour
The overwhelming majority of cyclists want to see both Mario Cipollini and Jan Ullrich riding this year's Tour de France, with an equal number in favour of excluding French team Jean Delatour.
The Cyclingnews.com survey was based on the May 19 announcement of the four remaining wildcard entries for the Tour. The Tour organizers, ASO, selected three French teams - Ag2r-Prevoyance, Brioches La Boulangère and Jean Delatour - as well as Spanish squad Euskaltel-Euskadi to fill the remaining four places.
However, ASO has left the door open for a possible 22nd team to be invited, and so far Cyclingnews readers believe that final spot should go to Ullrich, not the big Italian sprinter.
Cyclingnews visitors were asked if Domina Vacanze should be invited and which team should be excluded; as well as which team should be given the 22nd spot if it is made available.
So far Cyclingnews.com has received some 1500 responses to its survey on the Tour de France wildcards. If you have not yet stated your opinion, please visit the page as it will be closed at noon tomorrow and then the full results tabulated and published on the site.
The survey closes at noon May 22, Sydney time (7pm, May 21 US West Coast/10pm East Coast/4am May 22 Europe) and we'll publish the results shortly afterwards.
South Africans too good for 'B' World's road races
South Africa has selected four riders to represent it at the 'B' World Championships in Aigle, Switzerland, July 5-9 - but the UCI has refused entry to two of them because they're too good.
The UCI has told the SA Cycling Federation that Ronel van Wyk and Anriette Schoeman cannot start the road races because, with three and five UCI points respectively, they're overqualified. For the women's races, the B World's is open to "National federations ranked below 20th place in the UCI nations ranking on 1 January of the current year," according to UCI rules. However van Wyk and Schoeman are excluded under the next part of the entry requirements: "riders included in the UCI individual rankings of 1 January of the current year may not take part."
The two other riders selected are Dianne Emery and Anel Wasserman. Van Wyk will still be able to ride the Points Race in the track events, and the South African selectors have opted not to substitute the two riders for the road race and time trial.
In other SA news, Schnetler Kapp has been appointed as team manager for the junior team at the Junior World Track Championships in Moscow, August 20-24.
Former champions to line up for Vuelta a Colombia
No fewer than five previous winners of Colombia's national tour will be on the start line in Rodadero on June 16 when the two-week-long race starts with a 6.6km individual time trial to Santa Marta.
The roster of champions goes right back to 1991 with Álvaro Sierra who will ride for the 'orgullo paisa' team. The Lotería de Boyacá squad will include 1996 winner Miguel Sanabria while Colombia's two Division II teams will field three riders with five previous victories between them. 05 Orbitel's Carlos Contreras and Hernán Buenahora won in 1999 and 2001 respectively, while 1997, 1998 and 2002 winner José Castelblanco will roll out in the colours of the Colombia Selle Italia team.
Lance Armstrong has added another gong to his trophy cabinet, the 2003 Laureus World Sportsman of the year award. It's Armstrong's second Laureus trophy: in 2000, he won the Laureus World Comeback of the Year award.
Compass Bank Elephant Rock ride for Down Syndrome
Claimed to be the Rocky Mountain region's largest cycling event, this year's Compass Bank Elephant Rock Ride in Castle Rock Colorado on June 1 gives riders the opportunity to add a worthy cause to the day's fun: raising funds for The Rise School of Denver, a new, state-of-the-art preschool serving all children, with a special focus on youngsters with Down Syndrome and other developmental disabilities.
"This partnership gives people the chance to enjoy a great event and support a great cause at the same time," said Greg Holm, president of The Rise School.
Seven thousand riders are expected to take part in this year's event, which offers six road and off-road routes from 8 to 100 miles. Road riders can choose 100 mile, 62 mile ('metric century') 50 mile or 25 mile routes, plus there's a 26-mile off-road route and an 8-mile family option.
All rides begin and end at the Events Center at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, where riders can camp the night before the ride, and enjoy the 'Party at the Rock' picnic and cycling expo after the ride. At the party, riders can enjoy a free massage, a healthy lunch, sample products and check out the latest cycling trends and innovations from the event's industry supporters such as Deuter biking backpacks.
For more details see www.elephantrockride.com.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)