Latest Cycling News for May 12, 2006
Edited by Jeff Jones
Lampre-Fondital meets expectations in TTT
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Damiano Cunego's Lampre-Fondital team acquitted itself well in Thursday's
time trial between Piacenza and Cremona. The boys in blue and fuchsia
finished eighth, 1'04 behind Team CSC - a gap that they had predicted
before the race.
"We knew that we should have to play in defence," said team manager
Giuseppe Saronni. "We hoped to limit the gap to 40-45 seconds, we got
20 seconds more: that is not a problem. We have to consider that we arranged
a team perfect for the climbs, and other teams have cyclists that are
perfect for the time trial. We will see the results at the end of the
Quick-Step's Remmert Wielinga didn't start in the team time trial, as
he was suffering from fever. After the team transferred to Italy on Wednesday
evening, Wielinga had breathing problems, and woke with a sore throat
and stomach pain. "I thought it was a cold, and it didn't seem too bad,"
he told ANP. "But during the course of the morning, it kept getting
Wielinga said that he had no strength to ride, then he lay in bed for
several hours with fever. "This can happen to anyone, but it's of course
really a pain."
Giro diary watch: Three rest days in a row?
The Gerolsteiner riders were nervous going into the team time trial.
Not only did they have the leader's jersey, "We had never before ridden
a team time trial with this group of riders," noted Ronny Scholz. And
it didn't quite go according to plan for him. "After 2 km I rode into
a pothole and my saddle slid down. It was a lot harder to ride in this
position than in my usual position." (ronnyscholz.de)
His teammate Robert Förster says that his teammates infected him with
their nervousness before the start but that he soon discovered that he
was in good form. "It was a really good time trial - and I don't say that
very often...but it really was fun." (radsport-news.com)
"A team time trial - that the is the discipline that everybody, except
maybe Jens Voigt - wants to have behind them as quickly as possible,"
says Rabobank's Grischa Niermann, who was satisfied with his team's 14th
position. He also shared some more of Voigt's philosophy: "According to
the theories of my aforementioned colleague Jens Voigt, we actually have
three rest days in a row. Yesterday the real rest day, today the team
time trial - with 9 riders on a team and 35 km, that makes 4 km in the
wind per rider, so that's a rest day - and tomorrow a flat-as-a-pancake
sprinter stage, which is also a rest day even though it is 225 km long.
That's all according to Jens Voigt, who, by the way, I greatly admire
for his morale and attitude!" (grischa-niermann.de)
Landis visits teammates at the Giro
Phonak's Tour de France captain Floyd Landis paid a visit to his teammates
at the Giro d'Italia. Four of Phonak's Giro riders are part of the 12
man Tour team as well: Victor Hugo Peña, José Enriqué Gutierrez, Martin
Elmiger and Axel Merckx, and Landis wanted to see how they were going
in the first week of the Giro.
Team manager John Lelangue is determined to give Landis the best possible
environment in which to prepare for the Tour. Landis will take part in
various training camps in addition to the Dauphiné Libéré, while Lelangue
will look after the organisational concerns. "If we manage to work with
even more concentration and focus than last year, and we're able to implement
what we've learned from the first two Tour appearances, then we'll have
done everything possible, and then anything will be possible athletically
as well," said Lelangue.
An interview with Baden Cooke
Finding top gear again
It's been quite some time between drinks for Unibet.com rider Baden Cooke.
After the highs of the 2003 Tour de France, the Australian has found wins
hard to come by, something he's aiming to rectify. Cyclingnews’ Shane
Stokes found out more during Ridley's media day at the Zolder racetrack.
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
Baden Cooke took the maillot vert as best sprinter in the 2003 Tour de
France, but since then he’s found it tough to reach quite the same heights.
A leg injury was partly to blame, but a re-motivated Cooke seemed to be
back on the right track late in 2005 and early in 2006 when he won two
stages of the Herald Sun Tour and triumphed in the Grand
Prix Ouverture La Marseillaise.
At the end of last season Cooke changed teams from Française des Jeux
to Unibet.com. Although moving from a ProTour team to a Continental Professional
outfit, he maintained hope that the team would make it to at least one
of the Grand Tours, ideally the Tour de France. However, when the wildcards
were announced for the Giro, Vuelta and Tour, Cooke and the rest of the
Belgian squad were shocked to discover that their ticket to ride had been
lost along the way. They had been overlooked for each of the three races.
The 27-year-old had gone into the season with a different focus, though,
and while he was still very disappointed, his new approach softened the
blow slightly. Like sprinters such as Sean Kelly and Johan Museeuw before
him, he was aiming to convert that fast-twitch final-kilometre horsepower
into classics strength. Cooke had certainly shown in the past that he
was more than just a galloper, winning races such as the Tro Bro Leon,
Herald Sun Tour and a sixth place overall in the Tour de l’Avenir.
He worked hard during the winter, and while it didn’t quite pay off with
a classics win, Cooke posted several solid results which suggest that
he’s got a future in this discipline. After taking 10th in the Grand
Prix E3 as a warmup to the bigger races, he was 14th in Gent-Wevelgem,
17th in Paris-Roubaix
and 21st in the Tour of Flanders.
for the full interview
WADA considering banning altitude tents
By Jeff Jones
The World Anti-Doping Agency is considering banning altitude tents,
devices used by athletes that create hypoxic (low oxygen) conditions in
order to stimulate the production of more red blood cells. Such devices
are "probably contrary to the spirit of the sport," according to WADA's
ethics committee, and they will be one of the subjects of discussion at
WADA's upcoming meeting on May 13-14 in Montreal.
In a pre-meeting briefing, WADA president Dick Pound said, "We have
an interesting discussion forthcoming with respect to the whole issue
of hypoxic chambers and the whole concept of artificially induced hypoxic
conditions. This has been an issue that has gone back and forth in the
sports community and the business community for a number of years.
"Our medical authorities agree that the creation of these conditions
can be performance enhancing. Our ethics and education committee has concluded
that the use of these devices is probably contrary to the spirit of sport,
and it will be up to the executive committee to decide how it wants to
proceed with it.
"If the executive committee wants to get further input on it, I think
one of the possibilities will be to add this to the draft list that will
be circulated with respect to 2007. As you know, that is a list that is
widely circulated for consultation, reaction and response to something
in excess of 1500 stakeholders and others involved in laboratory work
and so forth, so we'll get additional input on that before deciding definitively
in September whether or not it goes onto the list."
Currently, many of the top professional cyclists use altitude tents,
which up until now have always been legal. Training and living at altitude
is also legal, and presumably will remain so. But if WADA does decide
to ban hypoxic tents, then it will have to consider the issue of enforcing
the ban. Bedroom raids or an honesty system, anyone?
Philly-week gets new sponsor life
By Mark Zalewski, North American editor
Slowly but surely, the now Triple Crown of Cycling, commonly referred
to as Philly-week, is taking shape for 2006. A new title sponsor, Commerce
Bank, was announced on Thursday and fills a major financial hole left
by former sponsor Wachovia. The new sponsorship will run for at least
four years and joins the state in supporting the three race venues in
Lancaster, Reading and Philadelphia.
As previously reported
on Cyclingnews, the UCI status of the new race in Reading is still
unknown and not having the USPRO championship is affecting participation
by ProTour teams, having a title sponsor will ensure the money is there
to support all of the events.
"We congratulate Commerce Bank for stepping in to help preserve this
great community asset," said Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell.
"Thanks to Commerce Bank's support, this series of outstanding pro cycling
races will continue to excite fans from across our state and the nation
and benefit the region's local economy in many ways."
"On behalf of Pro Cycling Tour, we can candidly say that without our
Governor's leadership in recognizing the importance of this event to the
region and to the country, we would not be able to boast that Pennsylvania
is the epicenter of American pro cycling," said Threshold Sports CEO David
Quick Step to Volta a Catalunya
Quick.Step-Innergetic has named its squad for the Volta a Catalunya
ProTour race, that runs between May 15-21. Filippo Pozzato will be at
the helm, supported by, Hubert Schwab, Bram Tankink, Guido Trenti, Kevin
Van Impe, Cedric Vasseur, Davide Viganò and Geert Verheyen. The team's
sports directors will be Luca Guercilena and Wilfried Peeters.
Barloworld looking forward to Peace Race
The Giro d'Italia is underway but there are plenty of other races keeping
Team Barloworld busy in Europe. One of the most prestigious and fascinating
is the Peace Race that starts on Saturday, May 13 in the Czech Republic
and ends on May 20.
Before the fall of the Berlin wall, the Peace Race was considered the
most important race of the season for the amateur riders of the Eastern
Bloc. Following the changes in the world and the changes in cycling, the
race is now considered an prestigious event for talented young riders.
Team Barloworld intend to be in the thick of the action and directeur
sportif Valerio Tebaldi will have a strong team in the race, with Giosue
Bonomi, Felix Cardenas, Giampaolo Cheula, Ryan Cox, Mads Christensen,
Rodney Green, Jeremy Maartens and Tom Southam wearing the Team Barloworld
red jersey. The team will hoping to do well in single stages and in the
Wiesenhof-Akud for the Peace Race
Austrian Gerhard Trampusch will be leading Team Wiesenhof-Akud when
the Peace Race (Friedensfahrt) starts Saturday in his native land. Trampusch
is the team's leading candidate for a podium place, but are also counting
on Torsten Schmidt and Lars Wackernagel, who won the first stage of the
race in 2004 and wore the leader's jersey for three days. The team is
also looking for sprinter Steffen Radochla to do well in the sprint stages.
"The race will be hard because the Pro-Continental teams - like us - will
be looking to stand out. Everyone will be going all out from the first
meter," said directeur sportif Jochen Hahn.
Wiesenhof-Akud for the Friedensfahrt: Tim Klinger, Steffen Radochla,
Torsten Schmidt, Corey Sweet, Lubor Tesar, Gerhard Trampusch, Lars Wackernagel.
USA Mountain Bike Nationals move to Sonoma
USA Cycling has announced that Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California
will host the 2006 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships, July
13-16, as part of the Infineon Technologies Cougar Mountain Classic.
Originally planned for the following weekend, the 2006 USA Cycling Mountain
Bike National Championships have been moved up one week after a record
amount of snowfall forced the event's relocation from Mammoth Mountain
Initially designated as the fifth round of the 2006 National Mountain
Bike Series, the event has been removed from the series calendar and will
no longer factor into the overall series standings. Instead, the event
has been designated as the stand-alone, American-only national championship
for all levels and disciplines of mountain biking.
"Infineon Raceway is one of a handful of established venues capable
of hosting a national championship-caliber event in a short amount of
time," commented Steve Johnson, chief executive officer of USA Cycling.
"We had hoped to maintain the original date that was designated for our
national championships, but ultimately a decision had to be made so that
we can move forward with the organization of an event consistent with
the level of quality that our membership has come to expect. After discussions
with several potential venues, it was determined that Infineon Raceway
the new date provided the best-possible scenario."
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