First Edition Cycling News for July 22, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones & Shane Stokes
Moreau unhappy with Vino rumours
Frenchman Christophe Moreau has been riding better than all of his countrymen in this year's Tour de France. The Credit Agricole rider was as high as third overall in the race and has been sitting inside the top ten ever since. But he is feeling pretty unappreciated of late, following the news that his team is one of those bidding for the signature of Alexandre Vinokourov.
Moreau poured out his frustration in Thursday's issue of L'Equipe, saying that he feels "deceived" by team manager Roger Legeay. According to him, things seemed hunky dory on the Tour's first rest day, but since then all has not been well.
"I began talking about my contract with Roger Legeay on the first rest day in Grenoble," he said. There, he talked to me about continuing while I expressed my loyalty to a team where I have felt at home for four years. On the second rest day I brought up the subject again but Roger Legeay had become more evasive."
Moreau says that it is not easy to get a straight answer out of his directeur sportif. "Roger Legeay is somebody who has a strong character and with whom dialogue is not always easy. This lack of communication and this stalling in the negotiations shows this to be true. It makes me think that the arrival of Alexandre Vinokourov is a realistic possibility."
Moreau is 34 years old but has no intention of retiring yet. He says that he's had contact with several teams but prefers the thought of staying with Credit Agricole. However, even if he is offered a new deal there, he says that being on the same team as Vinokourov is not a realistic option. "The arrival of Vinokourov would be an ejector seat for me," he stated, rather bluntly.
Cyclists to gather to help AIS women injured in Germany
Riders at this year's Ride for Life charity race will be asked to donate half their entry fee to members of the AIS women's team involved in Tuesday's horrific accident. The decision was made as Trust, the event's major sponsor, and the network of smaller sponsors passed the organising committee's plans for monies to be donated as a means of assisting the five women with their rehabilitation.
These same sponsors will then donate half their sponsorship funds to the cause in what will be a massive display of solidarity by all members of the cycling community, with over 800 riders expected to participate in this year's event. This gesture is particularly pertinent as Kate Nichols, involved in the crash in Germany, raced exceptionally well in the Sydney event last year with her father Kevin. Head of the Medical Oncology Department at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Professor Michael Friedlander, who was instrumental in arranging the donation said that "it is the least that we can do."
Prominent riders such as Ben Kersten and Athens Olympic gold medallist Steven Wooldridge believe the decision is definitely the right one, with Wooldridge having recently experienced the high level of medical care offered in Germany after a fall during racing in France. He said "it's a wonderful gesture from Professor Friedlander and I am sure that the girls will appreciate whatever help they can receive." Commenting further on the impact of the accident, Wooldridge said "it's been a devastating time for our sport - we have already lost a very special person in Amy and the other girls will have a tough time ahead."
The day doesn't lose its focus on cancer survivorship, however, as cyclists will dedicate their ride to loved ones and friends who have fought the battle with cancer by wearing 'I'm a Survivor', 'To Honour' or 'In Memory of' tags. 'Ride for Life' orange silicon bracelets are also available to support the cause at most bicycle shops and at the event. For details on the day's programme, or for application forms visit www.rideforlife.org.au or contact (02) 9382 2589.
Good line-up for 5th Brixia Tour
Damiano Cunego and Gilberto Simoni will lead a strong field at the start of the Brixia Tour today, which begins with a 170.6 kilometre stage to Toscolano Maderno. Also lining up are Davide Rebellin, Mirko Celestino, Igor Astarloa, Giuliano Figueras, Emanuele Sella, Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio and the new Italian Champion Enrico Gasparotto.
Last year's winner Danilo Di Luca will miss the race because of injury, as will Milan San Remo champion Alessandro Petacchi.
The first stage includes three categorised climbs, including the final one in Salo which should have a big effect on the race. Averaging 8% for 5 kilometres, the hill comes with 15 kilometres to go and is followed by a technical descent, then a short, flat run-in to the finish.
The stage will be followed by a team presentation tomorrow evening in the Terme di Boario. Starting at 8.30 pm, it will be open to the public.
Stage 1 - July 22: San Vigilio di Concesio - Toscolano Maderno, 170.6
Gasparotto makes tricolore debut
Enrico Gasparotto will make his debut in the Italian tricolore tomorrow, enjoying his first race as champion of Italy. He recently spent nearly three weeks of training at altitude in Livigno, and hopes that this will help produce some strong form in the weeks ahead.
Gasparotto says that the Italian champion's jersey will give him additional motivation, but also greater responsibility. He's like to ride strongly in the Brixia Tour but is not sure how his form will be. "I have just come back from a period of training at high altitude, working at temperatures quite a bit lower than those I will experience in the next few days" he said. "My rivals have done many races recently, while I have dedicated myself to a intense period of training. This should pay off for me in the future, but might leave me feeling a bit blocked in the short-term."
Despite that, Gasparotto will grab any chances which may come his way. Looking past the next few days, he says that he wants to ride well in support of team leader Danilo Di Luca in the Hamburg Cyclassics, then aim for the Benelux Tour.
Injury for Petacchi
Star sprinter Alessandro Petacchi tore a muscle in training yesterday, forcing him to pull out of the Brixia Tour. "While I did a sprint in training this morning I felt something go in the left quadriceps near the femur," he said. "I returned home and had an ultrasound which verified I tore a muscle in that area."
The Fassa Bortolo rider will have a couple of days complete rest before repeating the scan. The result of this will determine if he competes in the Tour de la Région Wallonne from July 25-29.
Andriotto out of Brixia tour
Liquigas Bianchi rider Dario Andriotto was also due to take part in today's first stage of the Brixia Tour but hit the deck out training yesterday morning near Gallarate. He suffered multiple cuts and bruises and was treated in the local hospital before returning home. His place in the race has been taken by Andrea Noè.
Hunter out of action
Phonak's South African sprinter Robert Hunter will be out of action for quite some time. After a recent examination at the university hospital in Tübingen, Germany, Hunter was diagnosed with peritendinitis, or inflammation of the inner tissue of the lower leg, directly below the knee. It's not yet known how long he will be out of action for, but he is optimistic that he will be back in action in three weeks.
"The injury will be treated with anti-inflammatory injections and physiotherapy," said Phonak doctor Thomas Klimaschka.
Hunter was disappointed that he couldn't help his team more in the Tour de France. "The team has a high morale and I was there to support them in coming up with good results," he said. "The most important thing now is for the injury to heal. But I hope to take part in the Tour of Germany, which starts in mid August."
Preparations being made to take Amy Gillett home
Three days after the tragic accident which claimed the life of Amy Gillett and left five of her team-mates in hospital, her husband Simon Gillett has arrived in Germany to bring her remains back to Australia. According to a media update released today by Cycling Australia and the Australian Sports Commission, Mr Gillett and Rod Katz, the President of the Bicycle Federation of Australia who is travelling with him, were met at the airport by Cycling Australia National Performance Director, Shayne Bannan, the Australian Ambassador to Germany, Pamela Fayle and members of her staff and Australian Institute of Sport Counsellor, Ruth Anderson.
Lorna and Desley Graham, mother and sister of the injured rider Lorian Graham, were on the same flight. They were driven by the Ambassador to the Uni Klinik in Jena to see her.
Embassy staff and Ms Anderson have escorted Mr Gillett and Mr Katz to another hospital where Amy's body was taken after the accident. Mr Gillett has also visited the site of the tragedy where a simple wooden cross bearing his wife's name was placed by mourners during the memorial service
After Mr Gillett has seen her Amy's body will be transferred to Frankfurt in preparation for the flight back to Australia. Her casket will be draped with an Australian flag for the trip home on the weekend. Amy Gillett's (nee Safe) family have confirmed a funeral will be held for her in Ballarat next Friday July 29th followed by a memorial service. Further details will be published in next Wednesday's newspapers.
Mr Bannan says Mr Gillett was 'as you would expect after a tragedy like this' when he arrived in Germany.
"He's been through so much but Simon says he wants to visit the injured girls in hospital who were his wife's team mates and friends," said Mr Bannan. "He also wants to see some of other Australian riders who are here for the Thüringen Tour who have trained, travelled and raced with Amy over recent years as part of the Australian team.
Those riders include Sara Carrigan, Oenone Wood, Olivia Gollan, Emma Rickards, Rochelle Gilmore and sisters Kate and Natalie Bates who have been to the hospital several times to visit their injured compatriots.
Natalie Bates says everyone is pulling together and taking strength from each other.
"It's been amazing but that's not surprising because we are such a strong little family here in Europe," said Ms Bates. "We have a bit of a cry but then we have a bit of a laugh and we're supporting each other to get through this."
Ms Bates says she is encouraged by the resilience of her injured friends.
"They are so amazing and are being so strong, so brave and are talking a little bit about what's happened and about what they saw," said Ms Bates of Katie Brown, Kate Nichols and Lorian Graham who are sharing a room in the hospital which has become an Australian outpost. "There are so many people here now with the families and friends it's turned into a bit of a party which is keeping everyone's spirits up.
"We make sure they always have someone around to talk to and Katie Brown was even cracking her own jokes as they wheeled her back into the room yesterday after an arthroscopy," she said. "Her brother Graeme was telling bad jokes but it was a really positive experience to be there and it made us feel good afterwards."
Ms Bates says they have not yet been able to see the two riders who remain in intensive care, Alexis Rhodes, 20, and Louise Yaxley, 23, but they have seen Alexis' parents and that has helped.
"They were so strong and so positive. "We took strength from them and we are all optimistic about their recovery," said the Sydney cyclist and physiotherapist. "The hospital staff are great even when we walk in massive numbers, seven or eight of us at a time, they just work around us and are really welcoming and supportive.
"It's a really good hospital and the doctors and so competent so we're positive they are in good hands."
Australian Sports Commission Chairman, Peter Bartels, and Australian Institute of Sport Director, Professor Peter Fricker, met with doctors again tonight (AEST) to receive an update on Rhodes and Yaxley and report their condition is unchanged.
"It will probably be Monday before there is any change," said Mr Bartels.
Condolences and tributes
Cyclingnews has now published three pages of tributes from cyclists and supporters from around the world who've been affected by this tragedy. Please see: Amy Gillett: Tributes, Part 1, and More tributes to Amy Gillett, 1976-2005 and Part 3 (posted July 21).
Cycling Australia has also established an email link for people who wish to send condolence messages to the family of Amy Gillett or to pass on their thoughts and wishes to those injured. Go to Cycling Australia's web site and follow the link on the home page.
Klondyke Cup preview
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
The Merry-Go-Round is in full swing again for the Navan/Avonmore Cycling Club.
"I suppose we in the Navan club are gluttons for punishment," said Noel Clarke. "We got the season off to a flier back in March and here we are again propping up the calendar of events. I was disappointed last Saturday when we ran the Bellivor Grand Prix and no commissaire (referee) turned up. Talk about professionalism! We had good prizes, and no person in chare of the event. Anyway, that's beside the point. It is pleasing to put something back into the sport. I had great enjoyment in my day," said Noel Clarke.
On Sunday, Noel is back at the drawing board and this time out of the blocks will be the Klondyke Cup in Robinstown. "This is the 27th occasion that the race has been organised. But the real significance for Irish cycling is that 19 years ago, it opened the window of opportunity for cyclists from the different organisations in the country to come together and race."
"All winter they trained and socialised together, but once the racing season got under way, they went their separate ways. It was 19 years ago that the inkling of breaking down the barriers manifested itself. Only 12 turned upon the day for the 'Cup' but it was sufficient."
"Two weeks later Joe McCormack, who is hospitalised at the moment, ran another event and from then on there was no going back," said Noel.
Racing on Sunday gets under way at mid day for the underage with all the other categories under starters orders at two o'clock. It is expected that the Cycleways.Com team will start as favourites, with Aidan Crowley regarded as the main contender.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)