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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for July 22, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones & Shane Stokes

Cancellara to CSC

Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara will ride for Team CSC for the next three years, Cyclingnews has learned. Currently with Fassa Bortolo, which will stop at the end of the year, Cancellara should be a valuable ally to Ivan Basso and co., and will certainly strengthen the team in the team time trial.

Three CSC riders extend

Team CSC extended the contracts of three of its riders on Friday: Nicki Sørensen, Kurt-Asle Arvesen, and Giovanni Lombardi. All three have signed deals until the end of 2007.

"At the moment we're trying to set up the team for the next couple of years, and it's really important to reward and hang on to the riders who have helped bring us to the level we're at now," said Bjarne Riis. "Throughout the last few years we have created a foundation, consisting of riders who can win races as well as contribute in a major way to our work towards a bigger goal. This is true for the three riders, with whom we've chosen to extend."

Cunego satisfied with restart

Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Caffita) has had a good return to competition, taking the bunch sprint for fifth place in the first stage of the Brixia Tour on Friday. The stage was 170 km between San Vigilio di Concesio and Toscolano Maderno, and had three climbs, the last one at 10 km to go. Davide Rebellin won the stage ahead of Emanuele Sella and Igor Astarloa.

"I'm not brilliant as I'd like to be, but it is normal," said Cunego. "The race was very animated and I tried to stay as long as possible on Astarloa's wheel. Then I took my own pace. I'm happy with this result, let's see now what's gonna happen on the Time Trial of ValPalot."

Zabel still undecided

By Susan Westemeyer

Veteran T-Mobile sprinter Erik Zabel still hasn't decided where he will ride next year. The team has made him "a good offer", he said as commentator on German television during yesterday's stage, "but after 13 years, I have earned a very good offer." He also noted that he has "another offer, that is just a little better."

It's rumoured the T-Mobile offer is a two year deal with a modest pay cut, followed by another year as a press officer. Domina Vacanze, which recently acquired Alessandro Petacchi, is believed to be the other team courting Zabel.

Zabel said that all interested parties will sit down together Monday and talk it over. "The decision doesn't have to be made then, I have time," he noted. He expects to announce his decision no later than the HEW Cyclassics race in Hamburg on July 31.

He admits that being left off the T-Mobile Tour team was painful: "That was a kick in the place where it hurts most. First I had to get over that. It is known that I have offers from other teams. On the other hand, after 13 years with the team, I feel committed to it. That is also important. I have to think about all of that."

Aldag leads team in Wallonia

One day after the Tour de France ends in Paris, another veteran Rolf Aldag will lead another wave of T-Mobile riders in the five day Tour de la Région Wallonne in Belgium.

Aldag has been working on the Tour as a co-commentator for the TV station ZDF but with every second day off, has used that free time to get in some important training. He will be joined in Belgium by newly-crowned Russian champion Sergey Ivanov, plus the climbing specialists Sergey Yakovlev and Paco Lara. Torsten Hiekmann and neo-pro Marcus Burghardt complete the squad, which will be directed by Giovanni Fidanza.

The 2.HC ranked Tour de la Région Wallonne begins on Monday with a 172 kilometre stage from Brussels to Soignies. Thursday's fourth stage is likely to be the most difficult due to the four first category climbs en route to Houffalize. A number of strong teams will take part, including CSC, Fassa Bortolo, Phonak, Quick. Step and Davitamon-Lotto.

T-Mobile sport director Mario Kummer won the race in 1984 and 1987.

The stages

Stage 1 - July 25: Bruxelles (Atomium) - Soignies, 172 km
Stage 2 - July 26: Lessines - Nivelles, 220 km
Stage 3 - July 27: Perwez - Amay, 155 km
Stage 4 - July 28: Chaudfontaine - Houffalize, 198 km
Stage 5 - July 29: Wanze - Namur, 151 km

Fracture for Gonzalez de Galdeano

Liberty Seguros rider Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano has been diagnosed with a broken coccyx (tailbone), 12 days after he pulled out of the Tour de France. The rider underwent a new MRI scan this week due to the persistent backaches he has suffered since his bad crash on stage nine of the race.

The Liberty Seguros rider must take a break and allow the injury to heal, with rest the only treatment for the fracture. Manolo Saiz will wait for him to recover before designing his program for the rest of the season. In theory, the Vuelta a España is a big objective, providing he can get into condition for the race.

Redondo makes pro debut in the Villafranca de Ordizia

In other Liberty news, Jose Antonio Redondo will make his pro debut in the Gran Premio Villafranca de Ordizia on Monday. Born in Alcazar de San Juan (Ciudad Real), the 21 year old has been competing this year with the Würth-Liberty Seguros under-23 squad and took a victory in Ororbia (Navarra).

Also on the team for Monday's race are Carlos Barredo, Koldo Gil, Jesus Hernández, Aaron Kemps, Daniel Navarro, Isidro Nozal, Sergio Paulinho, Javier R. Abeja and Iván Santos.

Kemps, Nozal and Paulinho will then go on to ride the G.P. of Hamburg on July 31, together with Allan Davis, Koen de Kort and Jan Hruska.

World Champion Michael Rogers to Race in Britain

Double world time trial champion Michael Rogers has the chance to bounce back from his Tour de France disappointment when he lines out in the Tour of Britain on August 30. The Quick.Step rider will be aiming to get back to the sort of form which saw him hold the leader's jersey in the Tour of Switzerland.

The six man ProTour squad will also include fellow Tour de France riders Stefano Zanini, winner of Tour of Britain stage 1 last year, and Wilfried Cretskens.

Three strong riders complete the team, namely Filippo Pozzato, Davide Bramati and Nick Nuyens. Between them they have won stages in the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, plus the prestigious Paris-Brussels and Het Volk events.

Tour of Britain race director Tony Doyle today welcomed the news of Michael Rogers's participation. "This is a great coup for the Tour of Britain," he said. "Having an elite rider like Michael is testament to the quality of the Tour of Britain. Michael is a tremendous rider, and to have a reigning world champion in any race is a sign of quality. He and the Quick.Step team will come into the tour with the view and mission statement for success."

Yorkshire Tour ride

A mass-participation ride has been launched to coincide with the Tour of Britain. Called the Yorkshire Tour Ride, it's a three-route ride open to all cyclists and will be run on August 28. Entrants will receive transponder timing, mechanical and nutritional back-up, full signposting and the backing of British Cycling.

The three routes are as follows:

Holme Moss Humdinger - 140km (87 miles)
Challenge Distance
Through northern Britain's cycling heartlands, with classic climbs of Holme Moss and Snake Pass along the way.

Snake Pass Pedal - 80km (50 miles)
Intermediate Distance
Miss the monster climb of Holme Moss, but tackle the Snake Pass and enjoy the best scenery of the ride in the closing miles through Derbyshire.

Le Bradfield Bicyclette - 30km (18.5 miles)
Fun Distance
Ideal for beginners and those at the early stages of building up their cycling fitness, this is an easy drift through the dales and valleys of the Bradfield area on the endge of the Pennines.

More information: www.bcrides.co.uk

Funeral arrangements for Amy Gillett

A funeral and memorial service for Australian Amy Gillett, who was killed in Germany last week, will be held in her home town of Ballarat, Australia on Friday, July 29. A further memorial service will be held in Adelaide on Friday, August 5. More details will be available next week.

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