First Edition Cycling News for May 13, 2006
Edited by Jeff Jones
Stage 6 wrap-up: McEwen adds another to his tally; Pollack in pink
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) has added yet another
Giro d'Italia stage win to his total, making it three for this year's
race and 11 overall. After a flat 227 km run between Busseto and Forli,
McEwen powered off AG2R's Tomas Vaitkus's wheel in the final 150m to win
the stage. Vaitkus finished third, while Olaf Pollack (T-Mobile) was second,
taking the maglia rosa off his teammate Serguei Gonchar's shoulders
thanks to the 12 second time bonus.
The stage was a fairly uneventful one otherwise. After 6 km, Andoni Aranaga
(Euskaltel-Euskadi), Sergiy Matveyev (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) and Christophe
Edalaine (Credit Agricole) attacked, and immediately established themselves
as the breakaway of the day. Matveyev was the best placed on GC at 3'43
behind Gonchar, and the break gained as much as 6'16 after 83 km. But
from then on, the work of T-Mobile and Davitamon-Lotto made sure they
were safely back in the bunch with 18 km to go.
The usual battle for position followed, with many teams trying to take control
on the fast run into the finish. In the final two kilometres, there was
a crash that brought down Kessler and Korff (T-Mobile) and Flickinger
(Bouygues), among others, but the sprinters in front weren't disturbed.
Alberto Loddo (Selle Italia) went from a long way out, before Tomas Vaitkus
took over. But the Lithuanian was too far from home, and McEwen was easily
able to pass him and take his third stage win.
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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See also: Stage 6 full
results, report & photos and Live
Cipollini explains McEwen
Milram millkmen sour on Aussie's tactics
By Tim Maloney, European Editor
Mario Cipollini explained today after today's Stage
6 the nuances of sprinting against a rider like Robbie McEwen, who
appears to be unbeatable in the mass finishes at this year's Giro d'Italia.
"To follow McEwen is almost impossible; if you just take his wheel and
expect to come around him, you're already beaten. And even to jump him
early is hard, because he's very explosive. Today was not that fast of
a sprint; McEwen was at 71km/h, while I was at 75 km/h. And he totally
works the other teams."
Fabio Sacchi's secret weapon
Photo ©: Tim Maloney
Robbie has been riding Alessandro Petacchi's strong Team Milram train
to victory since the get-go at this Giro, saying, "Yes, Milram has the
best train at this race", a fact the blue Milram milkmen are fully aware
of. Today after Stage 6, after trying unsuccessfully to their launch young
sprinter Elia Rigotto, Milram's most experienced riders Fabio Sacchi and
Alberto Ongarato exploded with frustration about trying to beat the Magnificent
McEwen. "We did a great job today, but maybe we need Ongarato to be our
sprinter," declared Sacchi post-stage today. And Ongarato added that,
"We can't beat McEwen like this; we have to find a way to beat him...you
have to jump him from behind or something. Anyway, we'll try again when
we get the chance."
Old pros know: Giro predictions from Bugno, Motta and others
By Tim Maloney, European Editor
Roberto Conti and Gianni Bugno
Photo ©: Tim Maloney
One of the great things about a big race like the Giro d'Italia is it
brings out the cycling stars. At the finish of Stage
5 in Cremona, Cyclingnews asked some of the most experienced
names in cycling their predictions for the final winner in the 2006 race.
It's always great to see Gianni Bugno, who is one of the rare riders
to lead the Giro from start to finish and does public relations for Shimano
as well as working as a medivac helicopter pilot. We asked two time world
champ Bugno for his prognostic on Giro glory and he said that, "It's difficult
at this point...still too early." But when we pressed him, Bugno picked
Saunier Duval's Gibo Simoni to win.
Roberto Conti, who was Marco Pantani's faithful lieutenant during his
biggest win, has truffle hunting as a winter hobby, so the ex-Mercatone
Uno rider has a good nose. Conti has sniffed out a win from "Savoldelli...he
looks really good and his pedaling is so easy."
1966 Giro d'Italia winner Gianni Motta is another Savoldelli supporter
and forty years after his Giro win, the still youthful Motta told Cyclingnews
that, "I like Savoldelli a lot to win this Giro. He is a strong smart
rider and very motivated."
Gianni Motta and Mario Scirea
Photo ©: Tim Maloney
Mario Scirea, Liquigas-Bianchi direttore sportivo, was nicknamed "l'Avvocato"
during his career as he was known as a smart, decisive rider who was road
captain for Mega-Mario Cipollini. Although he was at the Giro in an unofficial
capacity ("I'm doing the Tour and the Vuelta, Scirea assured us), the
likeable Scirea was non-committal. "There are five guys who can win this
race (Basso, Savoldelli, Cunego, Simoni and Di Luca) but I don't know
yet...it's too early. But sure, I hope Di Luca is there for the win."
Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears disappointed with TTT
While most teams were either happy or at least satisfied with their
performances in yesterday's team
time trial, Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears had hoped for more. Team
director Eusebio Unzue commented before the start of stage 6 today that,
"It is a fact that we were not up to what we hoped to achieve. We did
not expect to finish more than thirty or forty seconds behind teams like
CSC or T-Mobile. But it would be stupid to dramatise the situation. Things
like that happen in a speciality like the time trial (individual or not).
Nobody is sheltered from a bad surprise. I just hope that our substandard
performance will be nothing else than an anecdotal one, but at the same
time it is a pity because we have not many occasions during the season
to take part in such a race and show what we are really able to do."
Little Prince meets big Prince
Lampre-Fondital's "Little Prince" Damiano Cunego got to meet a real
member of nobility yesterday. In the evening after the team time trial,
Cunego and the team received Prince Diofebo Meli Lupi di Soragna.
Cyclo Cross World Champion in Tour of Japan
By Miwako Sasaki
The 10th Tour of Japan will be held starting next Sunday, May 14, and
will finish a week later on May 21. The stages are almost the same as
the last edition, except that Stage 5 will be a bit shorter, therefore
the total distance also will be shorter (732.55 km for last edition).
Only the first stage in Osaka and the final stage in Tokyo are flat, fit
for the sprinters, and the remaining four stages are all hilly. The key
stage is the climbing time trial that ascends the famous Mount Fuji, which
is scheduled for next Friday. The riders must climb 11.4km, from 800m
Last year's Mount Fuji time trial winner Andrey Mizourov (Capec) will
come to Japan again. The Kazakh will be the biggest favourite for the
race, as he was second overall on general classification in the last edition.
He was also the first Asian ToJ champion last year. Mizourov already won
a stage in the Tour de Bretagne Cycliste (April 25-May 1) in France this
year, and was also 5th overall on general classification.
Italian Universal Caffe-C.B. Immobiliare will come to Japan for the
first time, with Latvian Raivis Belohvosciks. The ex-Lampre rider won
KBC Driedaagse van De Panne-Koksijde in 2003, thanks to his excellent
time trialing skills. The experienced Ukrainian Vladimir Duma will also
come with him.
South Australia.com-AIS team will make its first appearance in the race
too, after many successes by the Australian national team in the ToJ.
All its riders are coming from the national track team, and they will
take the initiative in the flat stages, like last year, when the two flat
stages were dominated by Australians: Matthew Goss in Osaka and Nicholas
Sanderson in Tokyo.
Not only foreign riders will be favourites for the Tour of Japan. Skil-Shimano
also will try to win the race. The Japanese team merged with the Dutch
team since last year, and four Japanese riders had their second season
in Europe until early May. Japanese champion Hidenori Nodera was one of
them, and he got a lot of experience there with his teammate, Tomoya Kano,
Yukihiro Doi and Masahiro Shinagawa, who was the first Japanese rider
in Paris-Roubaix this year. They will try to win the 10th edition of Tour
of Japan, as the only Pro Continental Team of the race.
A final note: Belgian cyclo-cross team Fidea will also come to Japan,
with world cyclo-cross champion Erwin Vervecken and Bart Wellens. Although
there are no muddy roads in the Tour of Japan for them, everybody knows
that an excellent cyclo-cross rider is also an excellent road rider. Will
they be a dark horse for the Japanese race? Veel succes!
Stage 1 - May 14: Senboku Circuit, Sakai City (Osaka) , 140.8km
Stage 2 - May 15: Todaiji Temple - Nunome Dam Circuit, Nara, 146.2km
Rest day - May 16
Stage 3 - May 17: Iida Station - Shimohisakata Circuit - Matsuo Stadium,
Rest day - May 18
Stage 4 - May 19: Mount Fuji ITT, 11.4km
Stage 5 - May 20: Japan Cycle Sports Center - Japan Cycle Sports Center,
Stage 6 - May 21: Hibiya city - Ooi Wharf Circuit, Tokyo, 148.9km
Total race distance: 713.08km
Cycling Team Capec (Mizourov, Dymovskikh, Chernyshov, Dmitriyev, Zaitsev,
Team Konica Minolta (Augustyn, Kachelhoffer, Potgieter, M.Velits, P.Velits,
South Australia.com-AIS (Lloyd, Hutchinson, Ford, Dawson, Finning)
Purapharm (Wong, Wu, Tang, Lam, Chan, Cheung)
Giant Asia Racing Team (McCann, Griffin, Peng, Erler, Lloyd, Lai)
Team Universal Caffe-C.B. Immobiliare (Di Nucci, De Nobile, Belohvosciks,
Duma, Gilioli, Nikandrov)
Fidea Cycling Team (Vervecken, Wellens, Stybar, Van Santvliet, Pauwels,
Skil-Shimano (Kano, Nodera, Hirose, Yamamoto, Shinagawa, Doi)
Team Vang Cycling (S.Fukishima, K.Fukushima, Inoue, Miyazawa, Mizutani,
Aisan Racing Team (Beppu, Tanaka, Shinbo, Hirose, Akita, Ayabe)
Miyata-Subaru (Mifune, Kakinuma, Suzuki, Tsusue, Takano, Nakamura)
Team Matrix-Powertag (Miura, Hashikawa, Nakagawa, Sano, Mukagawa, Nagano)
You Can Specialized Nissyo (K.Suzuki, Hirose, Muroi, Yamane, Y.Suzuki,
Team Bridgestone Anchor (Tashiro, Iijima, Hatanaka, Murayama, Naganuma,
Narushima Frend (Nito, Obata, Yoshida, Sudou, Takanashi, Kimura)
Sumita Ravanello Pearl Izumi (Yoneyama, Iino, Eshita, Asano, Ayers, Taniguchi)
Liberty Seguros-Würth for Catalunya
Herminio Díaz Zabala will be the sports director of the Liberty Seguros-Würth
in the Volta a Catalunya. The team includes Carlos Barredo, who is returning
after fracturing his wrist in the Three Days of De Panne five weeks ago,
Assan Bazayev (Kaz), Aaron Kemps (Aus), Isidro Nozal (Spa), Sergio Paulinho
(Por), Eladio Sanchez (Spa), Luis León Sanchez (Spa) and Iván Santos (Spa).
The race will begin on Monday, May 15, with one 12 km individual time
trial in Salou, and will finish on May 21. Barredo, who missed the Tour
of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix thanks to his fracture, hopes to return
to his best level soon.
Paolini at the Volta a Catalunya
Luca Paolini (Liquigas) will ride his first race since Flèche Wallonne
on April 19 in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (May 15-21). The rider from
Milan will be the captain of a squad featuring Eros Capecchi, Francesco
Failli, Roman Kreuziger, Marco Milesi, Matej Mugerli, Manuel Quinziato,
and Stefano Zanini. Team managers: Dario Mariuzzo and Mario Scirea.
"Volta Catalunya is a Pro Tour race with a field of top riders," said
Paolini. "Many of them are almost in peak form. I regard this race as
an opportunity to find the right tempo again. I've many important upcoming
appointments, like the Tour de Suisse, the Italian championships and,
especially, the Tour de France. Of course, I hope that fortune will smile
on me already in Spain."
Hulsmans operated on
Quick.Step's Kevin Hulsmans underwent an operation to his right collarbone
on Friday morning, following his training crash in Monaco on Wednesday.
The operation, performed by the staff of doctor Toon Claes in Herentals,
went well, but Hulsmans will require between two and three weeks of complete
rest before resuming training.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)