Latest Cycling News for July 12, 2006
Edited by Jeff Jones
Dr Allen Lim: UCI aero rule cost Landis time
By John Kenny
Floyd Landis (Phonak)
Photo ©: Sirotti
Phonak's Floyd Landis' forced positional change before Saturday's time
trial might have cost him at least 30 seconds, according to Dr Allen Lim,
Landis' training advisor.
Landis was forced to stop during the time trial to change bikes after
his aerodynamic handlebars broke. The handlebar change came after the
UCI ruled that the angle of the bars had to be set lower. "I not
only lost a lot of time as a result of that. I also had to find my racing
rhythm again right away," said Landis who had lost only 17 seconds
by the first intermediate time check.
"Well, [Landis] had a little bit of a mishap, breaking his time
trial bars and having to change his bike...," said Lim. The bike
change and being forced to change his aero position combined to cost Landis
time, "If we factor in the time lost in the stop and if we also consider
the aerodynamic changes that occurred with the bicycle [his final time
was affected]," said Lim. "In fact, had he not had those mishaps,
I think he would only have been 22 or 23 seconds down on first place,"
he added. Landis ended up finishing one minute behind winner Serguei Gonchar
The full interview with Dr Allen Lim can be found here.
Schleck waiting for uphill
By Hedwig Kröner in Dax
After two weeks filled with bad luck and other difficulties, Amstel
Gold race winner Fränk Schleck is looking forward to the last two remaining
weeks of the Tour de France, where he hopes he and his team will be able
to become real protagonists.
Despite perfect form prior to the Tour, the Luxembourger has been struggling
with injuries he suffered in a crash barely one week before the race.
"I was training on my time trial bike, and came off a sidewalk," he told
Cyclingnews. "Then I heard a cracking noise and looked down to
see what it was - and my front wheel just came out of the fork. I didn't
stand a chance and fell on my face full on. If someone had seen me after
that crash, they never would have thought that I would make it the Tour.
I had broken two front teeth, received 12 stitches to my upper lip, broke
my nose and right cheekbone. I can still feel my nose - either it's swollen
or it is bent, I don't know..." he added, picking up his humour.
It hasn't been easy for Schleck, as he is of course still suffering
from his injuries during the first part of the Tour. "Last week, I had
a lot of headaches, also during the race," he explained. "I don't know
where it comes from, my nose or my cheek. It doesn't get any easier with
the heat - I can't breathe through my nose." On top of this, Schleck crashed
twice in the early flat stages of the Tour, and is having problems with
his back again. "The first week was fast and nervous," he added.
Of course, this also influenced the state of his form. "I rode a very
good Tour de Suisse and was very confident, and then there was this crash,"
Schleck continued. "I couldn't eat for four days, couldn't train for five.
I just didn't come to the Tour at 100 percent.
"But that's the way it is at the Tour, it's a roller coaster - it goes
downhill, then uphill again. So I'm waiting for the uphill...," he smiled,
aware of the ambiguity of his wording.
So what were his personal ambitions at this Tour? Will he have the right
to ride on his own account, too, whilst still protecting Carlos Sastre,
the new GC leader at CSC?
"If I'm in a breakaway in the mountains, I think I do have my card to
play," he replied. "But we have to see how the race evolves. We are here
to win the Tour, that's still the same goal. I'm convinced that Carlos
can go very far, and we'll be giving a 100 percent of ourselves for that.
On a sporting level, the first week of racing wasn't for us, but we are
not frustrated or anything like that. We might have been unlucky, but
we gave our very best - and that's what we're going to do for the rest
of the Tour, too. I don't know how far we'll get and what we'll do, but
I know for sure that we'll give everything we've got."
McEwen keeps an eye on Freire
After finishing second in Dax yesterday behind Oscar Freire, green jersey
wearer Robbie McEwen is keeping a close eye on the Spaniard in the battle
for the sprinters prize. McEwen currently holds a healthy 23 point lead
over Tom Boonen and 30 over Oscar Freire, but he considers the climbing
talents of Freire to be better than Boonen's.
"I did increase my advantage over Boonen and Bennati for the green,
but it's Freire who is my most important rival for the jersey," McEwen
told Sportwereld.be. "He can easily get over the cols and can therefore
eat into my lead. The hardest work is yet to come."
"The ninth stage was the flattest of the whole Tour 2006," says Fabian
Wegmann. "No surprise, that the sprinters took it over." The Gerolsteiner
rider had a free day. "I could move freely within the field, had no particular
assignments for the team. Was that good for me? I don' really know. About
13 km before the finish there was a crash. I could stop in time, but those
behind me pushed me right into the middle of it. I didn't crash, but 'dismounted'
over the handlebars. They broke and I had to wait a few minutes for a
Wegmann has some plans for Wednesday's stage. "I would like to pick
up some mountain points, but I know, of course, that I'm not the only
one who wants to." (fabianwegmann.de)
The mountains bring new jobs to teammate Ronny Scholz. "I couldn't help
much with the sprints in the flat stages. But now I'll be responsible
for helping our captains over the mountains as well as possible and making
sure they are well provided with food and drinks." (ronnyscholz.de)
One of those captains is Georg Totschnig. "The Pyrenees are right in
front of us and you can really feel the tension. We all had to work hard
in the first nine stages - the question now is, who can put those exertions
behind him best. Tomorrow there won't be any more just riding along, no
more hiding. Everyone will have to show what they have ... I'm eager to
see how I will do." (www.step2web.at/totschnig)
Swiss doping official not surprised at Ullrich
"To be honest, I have expected such a case with Ullrich," said Gerhard
Walter, President of the Swiss Olympic Committee's doping section. In
an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung, he says he was suspicious
of the German rider's performance this spring - "from somewhere behind
in 80th place to the sudden time trial win in the Giro." Ullrich stands
to not only lose his license, but also to be banned for a long time. "We're
talking about blood doping, that means two years."
Walter apparently doesn't consider it a problem that there is no positive
doping test or a confession. "We had the Balco scandal in the US, there
was also no positive test there," he noted. "The reports out of Spain
indicate a seemingly clear situation, therefore it's up to the athletes
to exonerate themselves." If Ullrich, for example, doesn't make a DNA
test, then I assume that the charges are true."
He also seems to expect things to move quickly, saying, "I assume that
we will rule on him soon."
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'
May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
May 15, 2009 - Valverde not welcome in Denmark
May 14, 2009 - Spanish federation wants proof in Valverde case
May 13, 2009 - Spanish Olympic Committee defends Valverde
May 12, 2009 - Valverde responds to sanction
May 11, 2009 - Italian tribunal delivers Valverde two-year suspension
May 8, 2009 - Valverde case: Italian Olympic Committee defends Torri
May 7, 2009 - Valverde to take legal action against CONI prosecutor
May 5, 2009 - WADA and Spanish federation join CONI and UCI on Valverde
May 1, 2009 - International Cycling Union joins in on Valverde's hearing in Italy
complete coverage of Operación Puerto
Freire stays with Rabobank
Triple world champion Oscar Freire, winner of two stages already in
this year's Tour, will remain with Rabobank for the next two seasons,
reports De Telegraaf. Despite having a big offer from Saunier Duval,
Freire wanted to stay at Rabobank because he felt comfortable there.
Vanderaerden to DFL-Cyclingnews
By Shane Stokes
Former top Tour de France sprinter and Classics hardman Eric Vanderaerden
has been confirmed as joining the DFL-Cyclingnews.com team for 2007 as
The Belgian had a glittering pro career, taking 138 victories between
1983 and 1996. These included five stage wins plus one Maillot Vert in
the Tour de France, stage victories in races such as the Vuelta Espańa,
Paris-Nice, the Tour de Suisse and the Tour of Holland, as well as big
one day successes in Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix,
Gent Wevelgem and the Belgian road race championships.
Vanderaerden feels that this background will be invaluable as regards
his new role as directeur sportif, taking over from fellow Belgian - and
former multiple TdF stage winner, Daniel Willems. "I think my main impact
will be due to my experience as a rider," he told Cyclingnews on
Wednesday. "I did the Tour de France 9 times, finishing it on 7 occasions,
so I think I have enough experience to work with the younger guys."
The 44 year old retired from racing in 1996. Following a break from
the sport and then a couple of years working with an amateur team, he
spent two seasons as coach/directeur to the Mapei – Quickstep squad, staying
with them until the team stopped. He currently has a directeur sportif
role this year with the Yawadoo - Colba – ABM setup, but says he is excited
about his new opportunity.
"The goal was that I wanted to work in a big ProTour team or else with
a developing squad. The Cyclingnews team wants to move to a higher level
so that is a motivation for me," he stated. "Gilbert De Weerdt contacted
me about the position, having already done that a year or two ago. I have
decided that the time is right now."
"I will start next season as directeur sportif, but this year I will
do some work with the management, relating to the lineup for 2007. Most
of the riders currently with the team will stay and we will also look
at the possibility of taking on some more Belgian guys. Gilbert De Weerdt
is on holiday now but when he comes back, we will sit down for a couple
of hours and make a list of the riders we want. I will then talk to them
and see if we can get an agreement."
Vanderaerden may also accompany the team to the Jayco Herald Sun Tour
The DFL – Cyclingnews.com squad has had some good results this season,
with probably the most significant being Russell Downing's victory in
the Triptyque Ardennais. Past winners included Danilo Di Luca and Ivan
Basso. Downing's stage win in the Tour de Beauce is also a highlight,
as are the team's four Belgian Pro Kermesse wins and third place in the
Tour of Chong Ming Island. They are due to line out in the 2.HC Tour of
Qinghai Lake later this week.
Managing Director Nick Collins has big plans for the future. "I regard
this year as a trial run, developing a ‘team template' for the years to
come in which I expect the team to step up a level to Pro Continental
status," he said. "Cycling already has a high profile on mainland Europe
and I believe that there remains huge opportunity within the UK.
"The eventual inclusion of a UK registered team within the Pro Tour
ranks would open new and exciting marketing opportunities not only to
UK sponsors but also to the UCI and organisers of the three Grand Tours.
How much more value could be added to their brand with the UK market fully
exposed? There are huge opportunities as yet untapped."
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)