First Edition Cycling News for July 10, 2006
Edited by Jeff Jones, with assistance from Susan Westemeyer and Sabine
Stage 8 wrap-up
Calzati takes second French victory on Le Tour
Sylvain Calzati (AG2R)
Photo ©: AFP
Young AG2R rider Sylvain Calzati took out this year's second French
victory of the Tour de France by winning today's stage 8 to Lorient. Part
of the decisive breakaway, the 27 year-old made a beautiful solo move
just at the right time with 31 kilometres to go, as the peloton loomed
close. He made it through, and won ahead of Kjell Carlström (Liquigas),
who battled out his second placing against Patrice Halgand (Crédit Agricole).
Davitamon's Robbie McEwen won the sprint of the bunch, seconds later.
"I am completely overwhelmed," said Calzati in the finish. "This is
absolutely excellent. I thought a lot about my wife and my little girl,
who are my luck charms. I was able to take my chance today, and then continued
on with a huge final effort. And I made it!"
The breakaway of the day saw Dave Zabriskie (CSC), Matze Kessler (T-Mobile),
Sylvain Calzati (AG2R), Mario Aerts (Davitamon), Patrice Halgand (Crédit
Agricole) and Kjell Carlström (Liquigas) escape the bunch after 45 kms
of racing, increasing their lead to a maximum of 7'30. But the peloton
led by Phonak did not want to let them get too much advance. As the sprinters
smelled their opportunity, the race was on, but the timing of Calzati's
attack was perfect, and he even gained some seconds on the chasing bunch,
which then let him be.
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An interview with Sylvain Calzati
French, but with a heart for Italy
Today's winner in Lorient couldn't have been more popular. But a few
hours before the World Cup football final, there's something Sylvain Calzati
needs to tell everyone. Brecht Decaluwé finds out what that is.
Q: What was going through your mind when you were doing that last
Sylvain Calzati (AG2R)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Sylvain Calzati: There was so much going through
my mind then. I thought about everybody; my family, my trainers... also
about the past year. 2006 was a terrible year for me due to my illness
and a fall early on in the season [at the Etoile de Bessčges - ed.]. I'm
very happy to be back at my level of 2004.
Q: What was it like to win a stage in the Tour de France?
SC: It was a dream for me and tomorrow it will be
amazing to see myself on television. Then I'll probably realise more what
I did. Now, I can't really say what I'm feeling, as I'm living in a dream...
I'm mainly capturing the moments and thinking about my family.
Q: Can you explain why you attacked where you did?
SC: Vincent Lavenu [team manager of AG2R] told me
that there was a little climb in the next village. Explaining why I attacked
there is impossible, it was intuition, I think. What I did know is that
when I was alone on top of that climb, I could keep on going.
here for the full interview
Despairing Boonen gives up green
Tom Boonen (Quick.Step)
Photo ©: Sirotti
In the sprint for fifth, Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) again came up short,
going from too far out and getting swamped by McEwen and co. to eventually
finish ninth. The world champion expressed his despair to Sporza
radio right after the finish of today's stage.
"I can't sprint anymore; I'm not going to sprint anymore I think! I
really want to wait and see if it comes back in the coming days. I'm not
going to mix in the heat of things in the coming stages. Today I was feeling
ok; well, actually feeling less than what I have been up till now in the
Tour. I saw a sign saying '200m' while I had already started sprinting,
again a mistake! I can't believe I did that! Something's seriously wrong.
"I really think I'll have to say a few prayers, because Murphy's law
is definitely at work. I know I can win a sprint, but I think the stars
are wrong for me right now; I'll have to look at my horoscope I think
(laughs) and hope it's better for next week!
"Right now, I really couldn't care less about the green jersey. A few
days in the middle of the peloton will do me good and that's what I want
to do - and lash out when I actually feel like it, do my own thing. I
don't have to do anything. I've been pressured and having to do things
way too much this year already. I just want to do what I feel like now."
Team director Wilfried Peeters confirmed that it looks like Boonen has
been discouraged by the mistakes made by himself and the team in the sprint.
Peeters also thinks that the pressure put on the team's shoulders before
and during the first week of the Tour has definitely taken its toll.
"Tom has got the legs to win the Tour of Flanders, but maybe the pressure
is getting too much," Peeters said during an interview with Belgian National
radio. "Boonen has been wanting to show himself a worthy world champion
from the start of the season - he has been riding at the highest level
since January. He wants to keep on winning, and this brings a lot of pressure
with it. He told me that he is not the kind of man who only sprints for
fourth place, although that is needed to take green. He is a winner and
when he is passed in the sprint for only a losing spot, he lets go.
"I think that we'll have to expect Boonen in a different stage than
a pure sprinter's stage. It's not as silly as you think to go for some
points in those. Anyway, we'll look at how things evolve in the coming
days. For now, we have to take some much needed rest, enjoy the peace
tomorrow and discuss what happened later."
Laurent Jalabert said on Veloclub on Franc 2 that there is no
doubt that Boonen can still win the sprint in the Tour's coming stages,
and advised him not to despair. "Boonen is a victim of doubt right now.
I'm sure if he grounds himself and regains his confidence that he'll be
Zabriskie on the attack
David Zabriskie (CSC)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
After a rather disappointing performance in the TT, American David Zabriskie
(Team CSC) showed some good form during stage 8. He went in the decisive
break during the 181-kilometre stage from Saint-Méen-le-Grand to Lorient.
Along the way, he was stung by a bee, requiring some treatment from the
race doctor, but he was soon back in business driving the break.
30 kilometres before finish Sylvain Calzati (AG2R) attacked and after
Zabriskie's hard work during the previous kilometres, he didn't have the
legs to follow Calzati's move. In the overall standings Zabriskie moved
up one spot to a ninth place, thanks to 10 bonus seconds he gained in
the intermediate sprints.
"We tried everything today. Jens [Voigt] took it easy in the TT yesterday
so he was very active in the beginning," said team director Kim Andersen
to team-csc.com. "He wasn't allowed to stay away, so Dave tried
his luck and made it in the decisive break. He couldn't keep up when Calzati
attacked in the end, but at least he did advance in the overall standings,
and he showed he's able to do well in a break"
"It was great racing today and it was nice for us to be part of the
action. It was also good to see a break lasting all the way for a change."
Ullrich's manager plays waiting game
Jan Ullrich's manager, Wolfgang Strohband, has given the T-Mobile Team
an ultimatum: "We've been waiting for a week now for a written explanation
from T-Mobile as to why Jan was suspended. We have now set them a date
for that," he told www.sport1.de.
The team announced on Sunday that it had fired Rudy Pevenage, directeur
sportif and Ullrich mentor, effective as of June 30. Rumours are racing
through the German media on Sunday evening concerning Ullrich's future.
The German Spiegel magazine and Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper
will carry stories on Monday containing what they claim is further information
damaging to Ullrich. It cites the transcript of a telephone call allegedly
from Pevenage, citing "the third person" who unexpectedly won a time trial
on that day, May 18 (the date of the Giro time trial). Another telephone
call transcript from May 20 cites Pevenage as saying "the third person"
wanted "to have more, even if it just the half," according to Spiegel
The products involved had the nicknames "Vino, Nino, Ignacio and PCH",
which the Spiegel and SZ translate as blood, growth hormones,
insulin and (IFG1) and testosterone. The person identified only as "Jan"
allegedly paid 2970 Euros for this package.
Strohband refused to comment to sport1 on the newest charges,
saying "I don't know anything about it. I have to have it all in writing
before I can say anything."
Gerolsteiner's team manager, Hans-Michael Holczer, told sport1,
"Those are the things that the UCI showed us before the Tour. I saw the
different telephone numbers on the papers. Otherwise T-Mobile would not
have reacted so hard."
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