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Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for July 26, 2005

Edited by John Stevenson

Post-Tour ProTour rankings

His victory in the Tour de France has moved Lance Armstrong into second place behind Italian Danilo Di Luca in the UCI's season-long ProTour ranking. Of course, Sunday was Armstrong's last day in the saddle as a professional cyclist, so Di Luca's lead is under no threat from the seven-time Tour champ who accumulated 109 points during the Tour for his overall win, and stage victories. There were 100 ProTour points for the overall win in the Tour, plus points for the first three placings in each stage, and Armstrong's tally moved him up from 49th in the competition.

Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso also rocketed up the rankings as a result of their Tour podium finished. Ullrich goes from 34th to 6th and Basso from 80th to 12th. Alexandre Vinokourov also moves up, taking third place after his hard-fought fifth Tour spot.

The Phonak team has made the ProTour teams ranking one of its season goals, and remains in the lead ahead of Rabobank and CSC.

Italy remains top nation on 540 points ahead of Spain and the USA.

1 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                                184 pts
2 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team             139
3 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team                             136
4 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step                                          120
5 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                              111
6 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team                                       98
7 Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col) Phonak Hearing Systems                95
8 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank                                     94
9 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team             92
10 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team             89
1 Phonak Hearing Systems                                               245 pts
2 Rabobank                                                             235
3 Team CSC                                                             232
4 Davitamon-Lotto                                                      231
5 Saunier Duval - Prodir                                               200
6 Credit Agricole                                                      194
7 Liberty Seguros - Würth Team                                         187
8 Fassa Bortolo                                                        183
9 Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team                                   180
10 T-Mobile Team                                                       178
1 Italy                                                                559 pts
2 USA                                                                  417
3 Spain                                                                352
4 Germany                                                              279
5 Belgium                                                              231
6 Australia                                                            221
7 Kazakhstan                                                           140
8 France                                                               121
9 Netherlands                                                          115
10 Ukraine                                                             101
Full rankings: ProTour, Teams, Nations

T-Mobile celebrates

By Susan Westemeyer

Big Jan is watching!
Photo ©: Susan Westemeyer
Click for larger image

The German mobile phone giant celebrated its most popular employees Monday - the eight T-Mobile riders who arrived in Paris Sunday afternoon. Today they made their triumphal entry into corporate headquarters in Bonn, Germany, tired but happy. They were greeted by a large and enthustiastic crowd of employees and fans, including many children taking advantage of the short summer school holiday.

A DJ fired up the crowd with plenty of music and flashing lights, games and prizes. After a short Tour highlights film, Rene Obermann (T-Mobile International CEO) welcomed the fans and noted the team's successes: three first stage wins, three second places and two thirds, plus the team ranking. He lamented the absence of the injured Andreas Klöden and acknowledged his dubious achievement of the closest second place finish (0.8cm on stage 9) in Tour history.

Walter Godefroot, retiring team manager, said he hadn't been sad yesterday when he arrived in Paris with the Tour for the last time, but "satisfied and proud".

Giuseppe Guerini
Photo ©: Susan Westemeyer
Click for larger image

Stage winner Guiseppe Guerini, looking gaunt and tired, received a big hand. Friday "was simply a perfect day," he said, describing his stage 19 victory. "I turned on the turbo and went for it." Tour novice Stephan Schreck admitted to nerves before each stage, but not during the racing itself, saying "When you're not nervous at all, then something is wrong." Tobias Steinhauser admitted that the team had celebrated well Sunday, opening the first beer shortly after crossing the finish line.

Super masseur, Dieter "Euele" Ruthenberg
Photo ©: Susan Westemeyer
Click for larger image

Alexandre Vinokourov, very "Joe Cool" in his dark glasses, said he was impressed with the crowds in Paris - "a chill ran down my spine." And the stage yesterday? "I only wanted to secure the fifth place in the GC and ended up winning the stage." Team star Jan Ullrich was noticeably relaxed and happy - happy to have made the podium, happy that the remaining eight riders made it to Paris in good health, happy that the Tour is over.

A special tribute was paid to "the team behind the team" and long-time masseur Dieter "Euele" Ruthenberg was brought on stage with the team for a group photo. It was even suggested that next year "Eule" should have his own autograph cards. It was then time for the tanned but tired riders to face perhaps their biggest challenge of the last three weeks: hordes of autograph-seeking and camera-pointing fans.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Susan Westemeyer

Images by Mani Wollner/

Injured Australians on the mend

South Australian cyclist Alexis Rhodes, 20, is sitting up in bed and talking to family and friends a day after regaining consciousness in the intensive care unit of the University Clinic in Jena, Germany.

But Australian Institute of Sport Director, Professor Peter Fricker, says she will be in intensive care for at least another day or two.

"She's quite alert and chatty and is being cheeky which is good," said Prof. Fricker. "In a day or so the doctors will assess whether she can be transferred to a general ward but all the indications are positive.

"Doctors won't put a time frame on her release from hospital at this stage but they are pleased there are no signs of neurological damage," said Prof. Fricker. "She has been kicking her legs up and down and carrying out passive movements as requested by the doctors."

Tasmanian Louise Yaxley, 23, who regained consciousness on Saturday, may undergo more surgery as early as today to treat her arms and one leg.

"Louise is reasonably well orientated but still fairly uncomfortable with her injuries but so far there are no signs of complications," said Prof. Fricker. "She is really still coming round from the sedation and anaesthetics and she'll be in intensive care a little longer.

"Perhaps tomorrow she'll undergo more surgery by way of skin grafts to both arms and one leg," he said. "Doctors may also replace, if possible in the same operation, the fixation device in her right elbow with one that is hinged and allows some more movement."

Meanwhile Sydneysiders Kate Nichols, 20, and Katie Brown, 21, along with team mate Queensland's, Lorian Graham, 27, have begun planning their return home.

"All three will be heading back to Australia over the next two weeks or so and will continue their rehabilitation at home," said Prof. Fricker.

How to donate to the Amy Gillett-Safe Cycling Foundation

The Amy Gillett-Safe Cycling Foundation has announced details of how donations can be made to the fund which was announced yesterday by Simon Gillett, husband of Australian rider Amy Gillett who was killed when the Australian team was hit by a car in Germany on Monday of last week.

As mentioned yesterday, the foundation will initially help support the rehabilitation of Amy Gillett's five injured team-mates and in the long term will establish a scholarship program for young women cyclists and support and promote projects aimed at road safety awareness amongst cyclists and motorists.

Donations to the fund can be made:

By cheque payable to: CA Amy Gillett-Safe Cycling Foundation
PO Box 7183
Bass Hill NSW 2197

By credit card by calling Cycling Australia on (02) 9644 3002/+61 2 9644 3002 or faxing (02) 9644 3006/+61 2 9644 3006 (the latter number in both cases for readers outside Australia)

By direct deposit:
Commonwealth Bank
BSB: 062 314
Account No: 1007 8992
Please e-mail with "Foundation'" in the subject line to advise of your contribution amount, time of deposit and contact details so the organisation can record and respond to your valued support.

Cycling Australia, on behalf of its members, has contributed an initial donation of $5,000 to start the fund.

Condolences and tributes

Cyclingnews has now published four pages of tributes from cyclists and supporters from around the world who've been affected by this tragedy. Please see: Amy Gillett: Tributes, 1976-2005, Part 1, and Part 2, Part 3 (posted July 21) and Part 4 (posted July 22).

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.

Related stories:
July 25: Alexis Rhodes conscious and chirpy; Amy Gillett-Safe Foundation launched
July 24: Yaxley improving, Rhodes still unconscious
July 21: AIS head 'optimistic' about recovery; 'Brownie' tries his best
July 19: Unprecedented carnage in Germany
July 18: Amy Gillett dead after crash in Germany

Velo Club de Londres returns to Herne Hill

British Cycling has announced that Velo Club de Londres has agreed to work with the organisation to operate the Herne Hill Velodrome. Herne Hill was recently saved from possible closure when landowner Dulwich Estate agreed to renew Southwark Council's lease on the site for a further three years.

Velo Club de Londres (VCL) has a long-standing association with Herne Hill and was formed with its base at the velodrome many years ago with the aim of becoming a successful 'youth orientated' cycling club. VCL has grown from strength to strength but, in recent months, members have found themselves without a home and have had to spend much of their time trying to get the younger members to other tracks to race and train, which has limited any further club development work.

British Cycling plans to develop facilities at Herne Hill for a thriving community club at the heart of the velodrome. The organisation says that with Velo Club de Londres now stepping forward to work with it to this end, both the short-term, and hopefully long-term future and regeneration of Herne Hill are now secure.

Tour de l'Ain

The Tour de l'Ain/La Route du Progrès returns to the international cycling calendar for 2005 after missing a year in 2004. The four-day race starts August 7 in St Vulbas and finishes August 10 at Lelex Monts Jura. It has traditionally favoured climbers with Christophe Oriol winning in 2002 and Ludovic Turpin en 2003.

The biggest test for any rider with ambitions of winning will be the Col du Grand Colombier, which makes its return to the race this year after being missed for the last two editions. With sections of 14 percent gradient it will provide a tough finish to stage 3 as it climbs to the finish at 1501m altitude.

The final stage is also a big one, with four categorised climbs including the Col de la Faucille (1340m altitude) and Menthières (1136m).

Teams signed up to ride this year's race include Discovery Channel, Quick Step, Lotto ­ Davitamon, Bouygues Telecom, Credit Agricole, Francaise des Jeux, AG2R Prevoyance, RAGT Semences, Cofidis, Rabobank, and Agritubel.

The Tour de l'Ain will be accompanied by the Mozaic Tour, for under 16 riders in teams of five.

Tour de l'Ain 2005 stages

  • Stage 1 - August 7: St Vulbas - Lagnieu Plaine de l'Ain, 147 km
  • Stage 2 - August 8: Pont d'Ain - Ceyzériat Vallière, 165 km
  • Stage 3 - August 9: Belley - Culoz Grand Colombier, 140 km
  • Stage 4 - August 10: St Genis Pouilly - Lelex Mont Jura, 126 km

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