Tour de Langkawi Cycling News for February 4, 2006
Edited by Anthony Tan
Gene's still a keen bean
Bates puts Comm Games behind him; now it's time to think about La Primavera
Photo ©: Shane Goss
"Not at all" disappointed after hearing the news of only making
the shadow team for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Melbourne,
former under 23 Australian champion Gene Bates will simply focus on holding
his good early season good form and aim for a stage win at the Tour de
Langkawi in Malaysia, his objective being to prove his worth for a place
at the team's first major outing of the year, Milan-San Remo. Cyclingnews
correspondent at the Tour de Langkawi, Anthony Tan, reports.
"I actually didn't get notified of that, but I guess the selection only
came out yesterday. I think it would be fantastic to ride the Commonwealth
Games. I've always watched it since I was a kid and it means a lot to
Australians, but realistically, if I can forge a career in Europe first,
that's far more important," Gene Bates told Cyclingnews at the
start of the second
stage of the Tour de Langkawi in Tanjung Malim.
"There's plenty of racing to do without coming back to Australia. If
it was the Olympic Games, then maybe it'd be a different story," he said
when asked if he was disappointed. "So I don't think so... nah, not at
This year marks the 24 year-old's first year as a professional, despite
earning the U23 green and gold stripes two years ago at the 2004 Australian
open road championships in Ballarat, Victoria. Last year, Bates rode with
one of Italy's top amateur teams, Zalf-Desiree-Fior, where victory at
the Piccola San Remo and almost 20 podium finishes saw him as the number
one-ranked amateur in the country for two months, bringing his name to
the attention of his current squad, LPR.
here to read the rest of the story.
David hoping to be George of the jungle
By Anthony Tan in Sitiawan
His team-mate Ryan Cox may be receiving most of the attention here in
Malaysia, but 29 year-old David George is another capable of taking out
the 2006 edition of the Tour de Langkawi after making yesterday's crucial
And quite possibly the hungriest. One of a handful of riders who got
shafted in the Team Barloworld's reshuffle late last year when team manager
John Robertson was replaced by Claudio Corti, George begins the season
still without a team. "Absolutely," said George to Cyclingnews
about his added motivation in light of the circumstances.
"Coming into this year, this is one of only two objectives that I had,
so for me it's a good opportunity to show myself - so yes, I am hungry
and we are here to do a big result."
Along with Navigators Insurance and Colombia Selle Italia, the South
Africans gained the greatest benefit from the opening
stage to Rawang, who are now in the enviable position of having two
riders that can win overall. Said George post-stage: "These stages are
always tricky ones, and to have both our GC contenders there, that's perfect
for us, that's what we wanted. Both of us can win the race overall, so
we're in a good situation."
"Really, the race is down to a group of 24 and there's only a handful
of guys that can win this race, so I think tomorrow might be a bunch sprint
and the first true selection with the climbers will happen on Sunday.
It's not a hugely difficult climb, but it goes up 1,500 metres, so it's
hard enough to show which guys have got good condition."
Speaking about his own condition, George said that apart from what went
on with his former team, he's enjoyed a fairly solid preparation over
Christmas and the new year. "[I'm] possibly in as good condition I can
get and morale is as good as it can get, so we just need a little bit
"I had a reasonably good season last year, and I was hoping for a little
bit more from the team than what I got," he said. "So ya, it was a relatively
difficult time, but one gets over it, and what doesn't kill you makes
you stronger - so you come back a little bit more hungry and with a little
bit more to prove."
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)