First Edition Cycling News for August 28, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones & Hedwig Kröner
Vuelta stage 1 wrap
Alto de la Alhambra: 35°
Denis Menchov (Rabobank)
Photo ©: Sirotti
Russia's Denis Menchov (Rabobank) won the first stage 7 km time trial
in a time of 9 minutes and 45 seconds, and becomes the first overall leader
of the 2005 Vuelta a España. Defending champion Roberto Heras (Liberty
Seguros) ended up seventh, while Rik Verbrugghe (Quick Step-Innergetic)
was second in 9'46 and Bradley McGee (Française des Jeux) third, just
three seconds behind Menchov.
"I actually didn't expect to win today," said Menchov. I knew I could
do well, but I failed a lot in the last time trials. This year I felt
better in the time trials, but I hadn't clocked good times up until now."
About his current form, Menchov said, "after the Tour de France, I spent
a rest week in Russia and I think that helped me a lot".
It was a typical summer's day in Granada: hot and very dry. The temperature
was around 35 degrees celsius as the riders pushed up the Cat. 3 climb
to the most important buildings in Spanish history: the Alhambra. Team
CSC achieved a fine result as Carlos Sastre finished fourth, and the Danish
squad ended up best team under the blazing hot sun, leading the team classification.
"It was definitely a good result because it was a really tough test
today, where only those riders who are in shape had any chance of doing
well," said CSC's satisfied sports director Kim Andersen after the stage.
"Apart from Carlos, who was excellent, Vandevelde showed that his fine
performances in Benelux Tour and Clasica San Sebastian weren't flukes.
But also Jakob Piil and Linus Gerdemann did well out there today.
"This promises well for Carlos' chances in the rest of the race. We
had a feeling he'd be in top shape after finishing well in the Tour and
later having the time to prepare himself and spend time with his family
without being troubled by injuries, illness or stressful contract negotiations.
But just before a race starts you always get a little nervous anyway,"
But other teams were struggling: Gerolsteiner's Uwe Peschel as well
as Sven Montgomery were experiencing stomach problems. "We asked ourselves
if a Uwe starting actually made sense," said directeur sportif Reimund
Dietzen, who manages the team during its first participation in the Vuelta.
"Monty was feeling so bad on Friday that he couldn't even attend the team
presentation. But both of them are a little better now." Peschel finally
finished 45th, only 36 seconds slower than the winner.
On top of that, Gerolsteiner's Matthias Russ crashed and René Haselbacher
had a rear wheel mechanical. "That wasn't the debut we had hoped for,"
Dietzen added. "But we have to look at the positive side: It can only
get better now!"
Stage 1 full results,
report & photos
Stages & results
An interview with Denis Menchov
"Today I showed what I could do"
Denis Menchov (Rabobank)
Photo ©: Sirotti
Rabobank's Denis Menchov today confirmed the talent which brought him
results such as the best young rider in the 2003 Tour de France and the
overall classification of the 2004 Vuelta a Pais Vasco, winning the opening
stage of the Vuelta a España in Granada. The 27 year old overhauled
longtime race leader and prologue specialist Rik Verbrugghe (QuickStep)
by a single second, with another dab hand against the clock, Brad McGee
(FDJeux), taking third. Shane Stokes reports from Granada.
"I didn't expect to win this time trial," admitted Menchov after the
stage. "I did badly in recent time trials. I knew I could do well, but
I didn't expect to do quite as well as this!"
The Russian has come into this race hoping for redemption after a highly
disappointing Tour de France campaign. He moved to the Rabobank squad
over the winter with the intention of leading their charge in the Tour
de France, and seemed to be on track when he took third overall in the
Tour of Romandie. However, July was a different story. While teammate
Michael Rasmussen was scrapping it out against the likes of Lance Armstrong
and Ivan Basso, winning a stage and taking the king of the mountains jersey,
Menchov was battling a throat infection. He performed well below his usual
level in the mountains and eventually trailed home a weary 85th in Paris.
here for the full interview
Ex-USPS soigneur speaks
Ron Jongen, a former soigneur with the US Postal team until 2000, has
expressed further allegations concerning the 1999 Tour de France, and
possible doping practices within the American squad. Armstrong's masseur
told Dutch newspaper Limburgs Dagblad that he was present when
team director Johan Bruyneel made comments about the riders' hematocrit
levels before the 1999 Tour de France prologue.
At the last team meeting before the race, the 42-year old Dutchman from
Kerkrade recalled, "Bruyneel said: they're just under 50 [Jonathan
Vaughters noted this too - ed.]. When he saw that I heard what he
said, he put his finger on his lips immediately: I wasn't supposed to
say anything about it." While Jongen said that he was still on good terms
with Armstrong (having e-mail contact as recently as at the 2005 Tour
de France), the former masseur also talked about "strange, very strange
things that went on in France that summer."
Jongen also recalled that three Spanish doctors visited the team's hotels
in a green station wagon. "It was the only car that wasn't branded US
Postal," the former soigneur said. "All the team cars parked in front
of the hotels, but this car always parked at the rear entrances. The strange
thing was that these doctors always slept on another floor," Jongen added,
also saying that these doctors followed the team also at the Vuelta, but
that they used the main entrance then.
But former USPS team manager and current Discovery Channel team manager
Johan Bruyneel denied the soigneur's statements. "Mr. Jongen has a rich
imagination," Bruyneel countered. "There was one doctor in our team, no-one
else, and I never saw that green station wagon - it's all nonsense. And
I never said anything that should stay secret."
Saunier signs Koldo Gil
Liberty Seguros' Koldo Gil will ride for Saunier Duval-Prodir in 2006,
team manager Joxean Fernández Matxin has announced. The 27-year old winner
of the Vuelta a Murcia 2005 has signed with the Spanish squad for two
years. According to website todociclismo, Saunier Duval also signed
to additional riders: José Alberto Benítez from Continental team Spiuk
(three year-contract) and Polish rider Piotr Mazur (two years-contract).
Another two riders from the Saunier Duval U23 team, Alberto Fernández
and Javier Mejías, have also made the leap up to the pro ranks.
CSC extends Roberts, Peron and Johansen contracts
Team CSC has extended the contracts of Australian Luke Roberts, Italian
Andrea Peron and Danish Allan Johansen. Roberts has signed a two-year
deal, while both Peron and Johansen received one-year extensions.
"Luke has done very well and been a good help for the team, especially
in the Tour de France," said team manager Bjarne Riis about the Aussie.
"In his first full year on the road he's gained some extra power, so it'll
be interesting to follow him for the next couple of years.
"We all know Andrea's strengths," he continued on the capabilities of
the Italian rider. "He's been with Team CSC for four seasons now and he's
a very solid all-rounder." As for the Danish Johansen, "Allan has proven
his worth, primarily with a string of good performances in the spring
classics where I think, he'll be even better next year, but also with
the stage win in Sachsen Tour. They're three really good riders and I'm
very happy, we'll be working together next season as well," Riis concluded.
So far, team CSC has signed with these 22 riders for the oncoming season:
Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Lars Bak, Ivan Basso, Michael Blaudzun, Matti Breschel,
Linus Gerdemann, Allan Johansen, Bobby Julich, Giovanni Lombardi, Christian
Müller, Andrea Peron, Jakob Piil, Luke Roberts, Fränk Schleck, Andy Schleck,
Nicki Sørensen, Jens Voigt, David Zabriskie, Fabian Cancellara, Martin
Pedersen, Karsten Kroon and Marcus Ljungqvist.
Gerolsteiner for Plouay
German team Gerolsteiner has announced its line-up for the GP Plouay
on Sunday. "Our focus lies on Davide (Rebellin) and Fabian (Wegmann),"
said manager Hans-Michael Holczer before the race. "Marcus Zberg has been
good in Plouay before, too," he added.
The following Gerolsteiner riders will start in Plouay on Sunday: Markus
Fothen, Sven Krauss, Andrea Moletta, Davide Rebellin, Fabian Wegmann,
Peter Wrolich, Beat and Markus Zberg.
Last-minute changes to Plouay line-up
The organisers have announced that Quick.Step's Filippo Pozzato will
not be participating in the Grand Prix Ouest-France in Plouay, Brittany,
on Sunday. German Patrik Sinkewitz will take the Italian's place.
Also not starting will be Bobby Julich (CSC), according to German website
Radsportnews. The winner of Paris-Nice and Tour of Benelux did
not give any reasons for his withdrawal.
Still time to join Fantasy Vuelta game
There's still time to join in this year's Fantasy Vuelta Game at Cyclingnews.
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Be a professional team manager, with many opportunities to win prizes
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