Credit Agricole's Jonathan Vaughters says that he feels strong for the Tour de France this year, after finishing ahead of David Millar by three seconds to win the time trial in the Dauphine Libere last week.
"My specialty is uphill time trials, but this year is my year for the Tour," predicted Vaughters. "I have had bad luck the past two years with crashes that kept me from finishing the Tour, but I expect stronger results this year. Between the climbs and the time trials, I have to stay vertical and give a good performance for the team."
Vaughters suffered a concussion after taking a spill in Stage 10 of the Tour de France last year. In 1999, he fractured his chin in a crash during Stage 2 of the race.
"There was not an intent to win the Dauphine. Instead, the time trial in the Dauphine was a test of my time trial fitness on the rolling flats and hills. I dug deep and was pleased with the outcome. Each race between now and the Tour will have a specific purpose and that was a great indicator at Dauphine," he added. "I plan on being a contender for the Tour this year and each race now offers step-by-step preparations for the big one."
Vaughters finished 12th in today's 6th stage of the Volta a Catalunya, and is lying in 16th overall.
Dutch CSC-Worldonline rider Tristan Hoffman will not be riding the Tour for Bjarne Riis' Danish team, due to lack of form. In Saturday's stage 1 of the Route du Sud he finished over 23 minutes behind the peloton, and things didn't improve from there. He lost a little time in both stages on Sunday (Road Race + TT) before coming in 18 minutes down on Monday in stage 3.
"I am not riding super bad, but the condition needs to be found normally," said Hoffman. "But as long as I'm suffering here, the Tour will be too fast. I don't think that I have found it [my condition]."
Andrei Tchmil is another rider who will miss the great circus in July. He told reporters after stage three of the Route du Sud that "The Tour is not for me. It would be crazy for me to take the place of a teammate who is really looking to ride...I am not a Tour rider."
Tchmil's aims are for the "important one day races from August to October."
The Lotto team is as follows:
Mario Aerts (Bel)
Rib Verbrugghe (Bel)
Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel)
Serge Baguet (Bel)
Jeroen Blijlevens (Ned)
Paul Van Hyfte (Bel)
Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus)
Fabien De Waele (Bel)
Steve Vermaut (Bel)
Thierry Marichal (Bel)
Glenn D'Hollander (Bel)
Belgians Marc Wauters and Gert Verheyen will be in the Rabobank Tour team, which will have a hard act to follow after four stage wins last year. If Erik Dekker is up to his early season form, then anything is possible, and Wauters and Verheyen will be valuable support riders.
Ludo Dierckxsens (Lampre) has been given the all-clear to ride in this Sunday's Belgian championship road race in Halle. The 1999 champion had to visit the hospital in Herentals yesterday for the first of four physio sessions on his back. He was forced to retire from the Volta a Catalunya on the weekend because of the pain.
"I hope that I will look after myself in Halle and then depart for the Tour," said Dierckxsens.
On Friday, June 29, the Spanish Time Trial championships will be held starting from 1730. A total of 18 professional riders are enrolled, including three former champions (Alvaro González de Galdeano, Melchor Mauri and Santos Gonzalez).
José Iván Gutiérrez (ONCE - Eroski)
Santos González (ONCE - Eroski)
Alvaro González de Galdeano (ONCE - Eroski)
David Navas (iBanesto.com)
Jon Odriozola (iBanesto.com)
Javier Pascual Rodríguez (iBanesto.com)
Benjamín Noval (Relax Fuenlabrada)
Imanol Ayestarán (Relax Fuenlabrada)
Andrés Bermejo (Relax Fuenlabrada)
Gorka Arrizabalaga (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
Toni Tauler (Kelme)
José Luis Martínez (Jazztel)
David Plaza (Festina)
Pedro Horrillo (Mapei)
Melchor Mauri (Milaneza MSS)
Victoriano Fernández (Milaneza MSS)
José Manuel Maestre (Jodofer Aboboda)
Australian Farm Frites-Hartol rider, Margaret Hemsley, will leave the hospital in Bilbao and fly to her husband Greg in Frankfurt. There she will spend several weeks resting before climbing back on the bike.
Margaret crashed in the recent Emakumeen Bira in Spain in what Greg described as a "fairly routine crash at 45 km/h. However, when she attempted to remount her bike to ride to the finish, she heard a loud crack. She was instantly in a lot of pain and couldn't stand up and couldn't walk due to her hip. Apparently the hipsocket had a small crack in it and when Margie attempted to remount her bike the head of her thigh bone swivelled and opened up the fracture and made it far more serious."
This is in addition to breaking her collarbone, which will take comparatively less time to heal. She hopes to be able to build her season up again to peak at the World's in October.
This Thursday, June 28, will see a monument to former Tour de France director and founder of L'Equipe, Jacques Goddet, erected at the summit of the Tourmalet. The statue will be made of granite, and is constructed by Breton artist Roger Joncourt. It depicts Goddet at his post in command of the Tour.
François Fortassin, president of the Conseil Général of the Hautes-Pyrénées, will help with the ceremony which starts at 1130 am, along with Mrs Goddet and current Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc. The Tourmalet was chosen because according to Goddet, it was one of the three mythical climbs of the Tour, along with the Galibier and the Izoard.
Jacques Goddet died last year on December 15, aged 95. He directed the Tour from 1936 to 1987. His monument will be passed during stage 14 between Tarbes and Luz-Ardiden on July 22.
On the second rest day of the Tour de France (July 23), the plaque dedicated to Wim van Est will be unveiled two kilometres before the top of the Col d'Aubisque. The Conseil Général of the Pyrenées-Atlantique and the Société du Tour de France gave their permission to the Dutch request.
On July 16 it will be 50 years since Wim van Est became the first Dutch rider to lead the Tour de France. One day later, he abandoned after a fall in the descent of the Aubisque. This Col isn't part of the route this year, as on July 22 the peloton finishes in Luz-Ardiden and starts on July 24 in Pau.
If his health allows, Wim Van Est will be there in person. Former cyclists Rini Wagtmans and Belgian Roger de Cock, who witnessed the fall in 1951, will be there too.
Giro boss Carmine Castellano is visiting all the starting and finishing places of the 2002 Giro outside of Italy. He started in Groningen, in the Netherlands, and advised them to change the finish of the prologue. It should not be close to the Martini hall on the outskirts of the city, but in the centre of Groningen near the Groninger Museum. The museum was designed by the Italian architect Alessandro Mendini, and Michele De Lucchi, Philippe Starck and Coop Himmelblau.
"The finish place has to be characteristic, so the whole world knows the Giro is in Groningen," said Castellano.
The next day he met the mayor of Groningen, Wallage, who agreed with Castellano. So the finish will now probably be in the centre of Groningen.
When Castellano heard about the plans to start in Holland a few years ago he wasn't initially enthusiastic. "It was difficult to justify a start in Groningen," he said.
The introduction of the Euro brought the solution. "But the real stimulus came from the interest of other European cities."
There was criticism in Italy about the choice for a start abroad. La Gazzetta dello Sport didn't like the idea. "That is because this paper has a lot of readers in Southern Italy," said Castellano. "So they will sell less papers in that region next year."
This year's edition of the Grand Prix des Nations time trial (September 22) will take place around a 37 kilometre circuit in Havre, according to organisers, the Société du Tour de France. The start and finish will be in Saint-Romain-de-Calbosc near Tancarville, and the parcours will be quite undulating.
Norwegian Fred Magne Hval managed to break the record from Trondheim to Oslo, 540 kms, by almost an hour. The new record is 14.32.43 (37.24 km/h). The weather was good all the way with sun and very little wind from the start at 8 pm to the finish next morning. The beginning of the ride was slower than scheduled and Hval passed the highest point at Dovre at some 1200 metres above sea level with two thirds of the route left, four minutes behind schedule but picked up speed on the latter part, downhill to Oslo.
Major Races and Events
September 7-29, 2002: Vuelta a España (GT) - Preview, stage list
May 11-June 2, 2002: Giro d'Italia (GT) - Preview, stage list, photos
July 6-28, 2002: Tour de France (GT) - Full preview & official route details
December 8: Superprestige Rd 5 (Cat. 1) - Erwin Vervecken
November 29-December 4: Six Days of Noumea (6D) - Sassone/Neuville victorious
November 26-December 1: Six Days of Zurich (6D) - Day 6 - McGrory/Gilmore/Schnider win
December 1: Melbourne Cup on Wheels (IM) - Scott Moller, Keirin, Sprint, Support races
December 2: Cyclo-cross World Cup #2 (CDM) - Sven Nijs again
November 24-December 3: Juegos Deportivos Centroamericanos (JR) - Final results
December 8-9: Frankfurter Rad-Cross (Cat. 2) - Alex Mudroch, UK National Trophy Series #4 (Cat. 3) - Roger Hammond, Grote Prijs Industrie Bosduin - Kalmthout (Cat. 1) - Bart Wellens, Int. Radquer Obergösgen (Cat. 2) - Björn Rondelez, Trofeo Mamma e Papa Guerciotti (Cat. 3) - Enrico Franzoi, Premio Egondo (Cat 3) - David Seco, Irish cyclo-cross championships - Robin Seymour
Results: local racing
Australia - CycleWest Promotions Omnium Series #2, Eastern Suburbs Summer Criterium Series, Carnegie Caulfield Tuesday criterium, Southern Cross Junior Track Open & Madison Cup, Manly Warringah CC, George Town Track Carnival, Carnegie Caulfield CC, Randwick Botany CC, Gold Coast CATS CC, Caesar's Illawarra CC, Caesar's Illawarra (track)
Denmark - Danish cyclo-cross Post Cup #3
Italy - Gran Premio Città di Bassano
Luxembourg - GP De Kopstal
New Zealand - Cyco Criterium series
Spain - Elorrio cyclo-cross
USA - Georgia Cross Series Championship, Chimborazo Grand Prix cyclo-cross, Boulder Cross Rd 6, New Mexico State Cyclo-x Champs, Sorrento Cyclo-x & California State Champ's, Boulder Cross Rd 5, Verge New England series, Northampton CC Cyclo-cross Championships, Chris Cross International CycloCross
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