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First Edition TdF Cycling News for June 28, 2005

Edited by John Stevenson

Simoni skips Tour

Gilberto Simoni (Lampre-Cafitta)
Photo ©: Sirotti
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The Lampre-Caffita team has announced its final line-up for the Tour de France - without 2003 Giro winner and 2005 runner-up Gilberto Simoni. No detailed explanation has been forthcoming from the team, which simply said in a statement that its technical staff had acknowledged, "Simoni's request not to participate in this year's Tour de France."

In Simoni's absence, Eddy Mazzoleni will lead the Tour team, which will consist of GianLuca Bortolami, Salvatore Commesso, Gerrit Glomser, David Loosli, Evgeni Petrov, Daniele Righi, Alessandro Spezialetti, and Gorazd Stangelj.

Simoni will return to racing at the Brixia Tour, July 22-24 and the Tour of Portugal, August, 5-15. He will treat the latter as preparation for the Vuelta a España and the end of season classics.

Fassa reveals Tour line-up

The Fassa Bortolo team has announced its final line-up for the Tour de France. The team will field Lorenzo Bernucci, Paolo Bossoni, Fabian Cancellara, Claudio Corioni, Juan Antonio Flecha, Dario Frigo, Massimo Giunti, Volodymir Gustov, and Kim Kirchen.

Scanlon to miss Tour

By Shane Stokes

Almost twelve months after lining out in his first Tour de France, Mark Scanlon has confirmed that he will miss this year's race. The Sligo man performed solidly in the 2004 event, helping to set up team-mates Jaan Kirsipuu and Jean Patrick Nazon for stage wins, but has been hampered by illness and injury problems this season.

Scanlon had been a possible starter after the withdrawal of AG2R-Prévoyance team-mate Cyril Dessel due to appendicitis but, because of his disturbed race programme this year, stated yesterday that he would prefer not to do the Tour this year. He was somewhat relieved to hear the news today that this would indeed be the case.

"When you haven't the preparation done, you haven't the preparation done," he said. "It is a very tough event and there are no miracles. If I did it, I might go okay for seven to ten days but then after that, there would have been a very, very slim chance of finishing. And even if I did that, the chances are that my season would be over."

"The start of this year was a bit messy," said Scanlon. "I had a problem with a tendon earlier this season, which was caused by the ratchet system on a new pair of cycling shoes. Then, more recently, I had tonsillitis and was on antibiotics for ten days."

With the first half of his season a bit of a write-off and the Tour off the agenda, Scanlon is now looking forward to the second half of the year which he hopes, "will be better. I'll do the one day Tour du Doubs next weekend and after that, would like to give the Tour of Denmark a rattle and the Tour de la Région Wallonne. If I prepare well enough, there is no reason why I can't get up in a couple of French classics such as the GP d'Isbergues. And doing a good ride in the Worlds is definitely an objective."

Tactics for Fantasy Tour

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This year's Fantasy Tour Game is underway. You can begin building your teams now! There will be over 25 opportunities to win prizes in this year's game. Be a professional team manager for the 2005 Tour de France. Based on the live racing action, you will take up the challenge of using your knowledge and tactical skill as a race team manager to compete with managers from around the world. Follow the races live and use your skill and knowledge to win prizes. Follow the races live and use your skill and knowledge to win prizes. For more info go to the fantasy site.


Manager 'Suts the Mut' from the UK, who came third in last year's Fantasy Tour game, shares some of his tactics for this year's game:

"Keep an eye on as much cycling news as possible in the run up to the Tour de France, be it websites, magazines or TV coverage. This will ensure you're up to date with who's hot and who's not. If you want to do well in the competition you'll have to find a 'dark horse' who will score well. Picking Armstrong, Ullrich and McEwen is sensible but commonplace. For me last year, my dark horses were Andreas Kloden, who had convincingly won his national championship, and Jose Azevedo. Both were acting as 'lieutenants' to their team leaders, and were economical purchases.

"Unfortunately in this year's competition many of the 'lieutenants' are a little more expensive, but are still worthy of consideration. The balance of the team should favour GC contenders, as they'll also score well on the Points and Mountains competitions. Indeed, given that stage points go all the way down to 15th position this year its not inconceivable that GC contenders trying to stay out of trouble in the sprints may pick up a few points here as well.

"Finally, my secret weapon last year was lots of time to consider my selections. At the time I was stuck in bed with a triple fracture to my left leg. I wouldn't recommend going that far, but don't leave it till the last minute!" - Darren.

Darren is from Solihull, West Midlands, UK.

Prize list

These great prizes have been confirmed, with more still to come.

First Prize: a TREK Madone Discovery Team bike.

Stage by Stage Prizes : Specialized - 21x pairs of sunglasses

Runnerup Prizes:

Bontrager - 2x pairs Bontrager Race X-Lite Aero wheels, 1x Race X Lite OS handlebars, 1x Race XXX Lite OS carbon stem, and 1x Race X Lite Pro saddle.
DMT - 3x pairs of Flash shoes
Speedplay - 4x pairs of CSC pedals
CTS - Signature coaching package
fi'zi:k - 5x Team issue Arione saddles

New Rules

In conjunction with feedback and suggestions from players of the game over three years, we have developed a new points system for the Tour games. We've awarded more points to a greater number of riders and given back more emphasis to GC placings. Thanks to all of you who helped us develop the new points system. Have a look for yourself in the points section.

How to Play

You can begin creating your team/s now. You can play the first 8 stages for FREE! We will be adding additions to the startlist on a daily basis. The Tour games are easy to play, all you need to do to manage your own team is select 15 riders from the live start list then select 9 of these riders to race each day throughout the Tour. You score points according to how well each of the riders place each day in the Tour. So try your team today and see if it's for you. It's a great way to follow the Tour. Create your teams now at fantasy.cyclingnews.com.

Good luck!

The Fantasy Cyclingnews Team

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