First Edition Cycling News for May 11, 2006
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
Petacchi successfully operated on
Alessandro Petacchi underwent surgery in the San Rossore Clinic in Pisa
on Wednesday. The two-hour operation was successful, the team announced,
and healing time has now been estimated at five weeks. In three weeks'
time, x-rays will show if the bone is regenerating properly.
Coming up on
Cyclingnews will cover the 60th edition of
the Dauphiné Libéré live
as of stage 4 on Wednesday, June 10, at approximately 15:00 local Europe
time (CEST)/ 23:00 Australian time (CDT)/ 9:00 (USA East).
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"The operation was more complicated than usual, but it seems all went
very well," said Petacchi, who received a local anaesthetic. "Being awake
while operated on did have a certain effect on me - they talked to me
as if they weren't doing something delicate. I didn't feel any pain, but
it was strange not to feel my legs anymore. I will have a splint and walk
with crutches for five weeks, and I hope that the control in three weeks'
time will allow me to anticipate a bit. I have a big desire to return
to racing and winning, but I don't want to compromise my recovery. I still
have some years ahead of me in my career."
Gutierrez eyes Pontedera TT
Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne)
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
Caisse d'Epargne's Ivan Gutierrez was a little disappointed at his performance
in the Giro d'Italia's first
stage, the time trial by many falsely interpreted as a 'prologue'.
After his two stage wins in the Tour Méditerranéen and the Vuelta a Murcia
this spring, the Spaniard came down with 'flu in the first stage of Tirreno
Adriatico, which put his level of fitness down. But now, Gutierrez' form
is on the rise again, and he intends to make the most of it in the coming
"I hadn't raced since Critérium International, but I have to say that
my form is not bad at all," the 27 year-old said on the Giro's first rest
day back in Italy. "It's true that I was disappointed not to have won
the first day's time trial, because I had really dreamed of that pink
jersey. But I remain optimistic. I feel good and in stage
three, the one that ended in Namur, I was in front with those who
were fighting for the victory [Gutierrez finished eighth - ed.]. Maybe
I should have gone with Rubiera when he attacked, but often just one moment
of hesitation is fatal and costs you the victory! Maybe I could have caught
them afterwards, but there was Bettini and the others behind me and as
nobody wanted to lead, there was nothing much I could do."
Gutierrez hopes that there will be other opportunities for him in the
Giro. "That's racing!" he continued. "Sometimes you win, sometimes you
lose. The most important thing is to be part of that small circle of riders
who can actually go for it. I have no doubt that my time will come. It's
still a long time before we get to Milan, and there will be that 50km-individual
time trial in Pontedera on May 18 - it's on a circuit that suits my characteristics,
and I will totally concentrate on that once the team time trial is over."
Asked which goals he had for the team race against the clock after the
rest day, Gutierrez replied, "Maybe we're not the favourites on paper,
but I'm still certain that we will be amongst the first." The Spaniard
and his whole team reconnoitred the course on Wednesday, and while Gutierrez
already had the opportunity to test the team's new TT bikes by Pinarello
on stage one, all of his companions will be riding the new equipment on
Thursday. "It's great to have the new bikes now - the only inconvenience
is that my teammates will use it in the race without having the time to
adapt to it."
Looking further ahead into the season, Gutierrez didn't hide his biggest
dream as a cyclist: the Time Trial World's. "I know I have the capacity
to win it one day, and I will not be satisfied until I do it in the pro
category, just as a did 1999 in Treviso as an amateur," he said.
Hulsmans breaks collarbone
After crashing during a training session, Quick.Step's Kevin Hulsmans
has fractured his right collarbone. Hulsmans was out training between
Nice and Monte Carlo along with World champion Tom Boonen when it happened.
"After two hours of training in the hills surrounding Monte Carlo we
were riding the last few kilometres on the road that leads from Nice back
to Monte Carlo at a speed of about 40 km/h," Boonen related. "All of a
sudden a child on roller-skates shot out and crossed the road in front
of us; Kevin fell in order to avoid colliding with the child."
Hulsmans was taken to Nice hospital where they diagnosed the fracture.
The team’s medical staff have agreed that Hulsmans will be returning to
Belgium on Thursday morning to receive further examination at the Herentals
Clinic in order to determine whether surgery is required.
Bakker banned for life
Mountain biker Erwin Bakker was given a life-long ban from racing by
International Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausanne. Bakker was
tested positive for performance-enhancing products twice last year: once
in March in the Vuelta a Valladolid for testosterone, then again in Canada
in June for EPO. He is currently sitting out a two-year ban for his offenses,
but competed nevertheless in the Vulkan Bike Marathon in Germany last
week-end, under the name of his brother Jarno, and won the race. A German
journalist recognized Erwin Bakker on the podium picture later, and the
game was up.
Moriarty out of FBD Insurance Rás
By Shane Stokes
Irish national criterium champion Eugene Moriarty has been forced to
withdraw from this month’s FBD Insurance Rás following the diagnosis of
a broken collarbone. The MyHome.ie/Cycleways rider crashed on the opening
stage of the Ras Mumhan race back in mid-April but despite x-rays taken
then, the initial medical assessment was that the problem was a soft-tissue
injury rather than a fracture.
He underwent intense physiotherapy in an effort to recover in time for
this year’s Rás but a lack of progress prompted a new assessment by a
specialist last week, when the true extent of the injury was determined.
"I went to a specialist in Limerick last Thursday to get it checked
out again," Moriarty said on Wednesday. "I was originally going to get
an MRI done as the doctors thought it was my ligaments and tendons which
were damaged. However the specialist send me for x-rays just in case;
when they did that, they discovered what is called an "undisclosed break".
That means the collarbone is broken but still in place - normally with
a break, one part of the bone ends up overlapping the other. Normal x-rays
didn’t show this up but the specialist had asked for this x-ray to be
taken at a higher resolution and from a different angle, so that is how
we found out what is wrong."
"I am very disappointed to miss the FBD Insurance Rás this year, especially
as there are two stages in Kerry and one of them finishes in my home town
of Killorglin. Aidan Crowley will now take my place on the team."
The reigning national criterium champion was Ireland’s number one ranked
rider in 2005 and has been one of the best Irish domestic competitors
in the Rás in recent years. He wore the King of the Mountains jersey for
four stages in 2005, finishing twelfth overall and placing second in the
best county rider classification behind Tim Barry. Moriarty had also taken
several top ten stage placings in recent years, winning the Cuchulainn
crystal award as best Irish finisher on three stages in 2005 and six other
occasions in total. He was also named Kerry Sports Star of the Month on
three separate occasions.
His success in the FBD Insurance Rás coupled with his goal of taking
a stage prompted Moriarty to prepare strongly for the 2006 season. After
competing in Australia and New Zealand at the end of last year he trained
hard for the new season, spending time in California as he got ready to
return to racing.
"Having two stages in Kerry, including a finish in my home town of Killorglin
made me very motivated to do well," he said. "I was training very hard,
and when I won my first race of the season I thought I was on track. Unfortunately
I’ll miss the race now, so I am very disappointed. Hopefully now that
I know the full extent of the problem, I can recover soon and get back
to racing as quickly as possible."
Bianchi's special release for the Giro - and the Cyclingnews Fantasy
The grand prize
Photo ©: Bianchi
With registration still open until stage 6, today's rest day in the Giro
is also an excellent opportunity for budding team managers to assemble
their respective dream teams and enter the 2006
Giro d'Italia Fantasy Game.
We have been hinting at it all week, and now we can reveal more about
the Grand Prize in this year's Giro d'Italia Fantasy Game: it is a special-edition
bicycle from Bianchi, the legendary Italian firm of Treviglio, released
just in time for this year's edition of the Grand Tour.
Called the 'Via Nirone 7 Alu Carbon Mirage', it is painted in the same
colour-scheme of ProTour and Giro team, Liquigas, which will be looking
to support its lead rider Danilo Di Luca as the race hits the mountains
Photo ©: BBB
HED Stinger wheels
Photo ©: HED
Photo ©: Giro
Speedplay Zero pedals
Photo ©: Speedplay
Photo ©: Santini
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
Maxxis Courchevel tyres
Photo ©: Maxxis
In fact, the Via Nirone is so new it is not even in the Bianchi 2006
catalogue - it is purely "a special version available in some Bianchi
shops to celebrate Giro", said a Bianchi spokesperson. The special model
has an excellent design and development pedigree, as it comes from the
'Reparto Corse' division of Bianchi (its racing bicycles area) and bristles
with many new features.
Of particular interest is the first application of Campagnolo's new
'Ultra Torque' 10-speed Mirage compact crankset (34/50T) with integrated
bottom-bracket. The Via Nirone 7 is the only bicycle on the market to
feature this new release from Campagnolo.
The frame is made of aeronautic-grade 7000 series aluminium, with double-
and triple-butted tubes smoothly TIG-welded and with a carbon monostay
rear-end to smooth out the road vibes.
Bianchi describes the frameset as having relaxed geometry to allow for
long days in the saddle, while retaining relatively quick steering. It
also features a saddle d'Italia. The Via Narone 7 also features Campagnolo's
new 'Khamsin' wheelset, as well as a Selle Italia saddle and an ITM stem
and handlebar. For full details, including the frame geometry chart, you
The Bianchi is only one of many great prizes in this year's Giro d'Italia
Fantasy Game. Other great prizes include:
Parts, our daily stage winner will win the official sports glasses
of the Quick.Step-Innergetic professional cycling team.
Called "BSG-23 Winner Team Quick-Step" the glasses have a durable, flexible
and lightweight Grilamid frame; adjustable metal nose piece for a perfect
fit; and interchangeable polycarbonate lenses with 100% protection against
harmful UV rays, up to UV 400nm.
The glasses are matte silver with the Quick.Step logo on the band and
come with smoke blue revo lenses. They also come with three extra lenses;
orange, yellow and clear with a flash mirror coating, and a carrying case
so that you have a lens for all types of weather.
A pair of HED's Stinger wheels - the HED
Stinger 50 is an all carbon wheel ideal for road racing. With a 50mm
rim depth, it is more aerodynamic than a traditional alloy rimmed road
wheel. While this rim depth is more aerodynamic, it is not too deep that
handling will be compromised in crosswinds or a crowded peloton;
Three Giro Atmos helmets - from Giro.
We have three Atmos helmets, the same model worn by some of the best riders
and teams in this year's Giro d'Italia;
Three sets of Speedplay's Zero pedals - from Speedplay.
We have three sets of its Zero pedals, as used in the Giro d'Italia by
teams like CSC and Phonak;
Team replica cycling clothing by Santini
- several of the teams in this year's Giro are wearing clothing supplied
by Italian company Santini, and Cyclingnews has three complete sets of
team clothing on offer as prizes in the Fantasy Game;
Three fi'zi:k saddles - some of the best saddles in Italy come from
and we have three of them as prizes in the Fantasy Game;
10 sets of Maxxis Courchevel road tyres - the Courchevel road tyre from
is one of cycling's best road racing tyres. It is a completely new design
from Maxxis, from the rubber to the casing. The Courchevel features 'Triple
Compound Technology' to provide long wear life, great traction and a better
transition from compound to compound.
Play for FREE in the Giro 2006 game
Remember you can play for free for the first 5 stages! Try the game
out and see how best to play. It's easy to play the Tour games - all you
need to do is pick your dream team of 15 from the riders racing in this
year's Giro start list. Then each day pick 9 riders to race for your fantasy
team from these 15. You'll need a good combination of climbers, sprinters
and general classification riders. For more details go to the
rules section of the site for more info. It's a great way to follow
the Giro 2006.
To register your teams for the game go to
The Fantasy Cyclingnews Team
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)