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Cycling News Extra for July 14, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones and John Kenny

Stage 11 post-race quotes

By Hedwig Kröner, Brecht Decaluwé, Jean-François Quénet & Anthony Tan in Pla-de-Beret

Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner, 2nd)

Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner)
Photo ©: Sirotti
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"Well, it was great, but I'm so ... I wanted to go to the last turn first, but I misjudged it a little bit. Menchov's got a pretty good kick. I don't wanted that.

"Yesterday, I was a little bit low on fuel. So I made sure I ate a lot today, and I felt great.

"[Coming back like this today] means a lot because I've had to fight a setback last week and when that happens, it's hard mentally to come back. You doubt yourself a little bit... I really wanted to win today, and it just didn't happen. I came so close.

"Floyd and Cadel and Menchov were doing a lot of work and they, of course, had a lot to gain. As I'm quite a ways down [on GC], I wanted to go for the stage. I wanted to put everything in an attack to win - I really thought I was going to win, but I just couldn't get through that last turn first. I knew it was going to be tight and to come so close, it just hurts."

Cadel Evans (Davitamon, 4th at 0'17)

Cadel Evans finished fourth in today's stage but in the end he had to let go of Menchov, Leipheimer and Landis. Evans appeared to be strong enough to follow the leaders, but lost 17 seconds at the line. "I really wanted to follow Leipheimer and Landis but I was just unable to follow in the end. Landis did a lot of work, so I think he was the strongest. It was a pretty good day for me as we were gaining a lot of time on the other contenders."

Andreas Klöden (T-Mobile, 9th at 1'31)

Andreas Kloden (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: Sirotti
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Your team attacked at the penultimate climb. What was that about? "We wanted to reduce the group, and succeeded. Unfortunately, at the end of the last climb, I cramped, so I couldn't keep up," he said. "Maybe we attacked a little too soon; at the end there was only Mike and me left. Then, unfortunately, I cramped, so that wasn't so good."

What was your impression of the other favourites? "The ones in front of me were stronger."

How do you feel now? "Exhausted."

Michael Rogers (T-Mobile, 12th at 3'06)

"It was so hot and hard today! I did some good work for my teammate, so I'm happy with my ride. Also because we could defend our chances for the GC quite well.

"On the second last climb, we did a pretty hard attack and to tell the truth I never recovered from it. My lights went out in the last ten kilometres."

It looked like Andreas Klöden couldn't quite match it with the other favourites today, so maybe Rogers could be in contention to become the new team leader. "One day you're good, one day you go bad. Every day, somebody else might have a bad day. But certainly it's not over yet as it's still a long way to Paris. It was a hard day!"

Cyril Dessel (AG2R-Prevoyance, 18th at 4'45, 2nd on GC)

Cyril Dessel (AG2R)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
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"I gave it everything I had. It's a big disappointment but I don't have any regrets, as I couldn't have done any better. I really dug the last remaining energy out of my body, and unfortunately I wasn't rewarded as I lost the yellow and also the mountains jersey. It's a real pity, especially for my teammates, who supported me all the way."

Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Fondital, 33rd at 10'03)

"At some stage, I thought I could win today. Unfortunately, it wasn't the case.

"I was struggling to stay on the wheels; that's why I tried to go away when I came back in the group, but I didn't manage to stay away. I climbed the last hill at my speed, without forcing; I will try again another time.

"Here, the level of the athletes is very high; I'm happy to be at the Tour de France. I have learned new things that I didn't know before. I've realised how hard the Pyrenées are, not because of the gradient, but because of the road conditions.

"It's been a nice day of sport, and I'm happy to take the Tour de France day by day."

Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel, 50th at 23'04)

Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel)
Photo ©: Sirotti
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"For sure, today it's a defeat, but it's not a surprise. I didn't come here for riding GC, I knew since the start of the Tour that it was impossible to ride both the Giro and Tour for GC.

"If I hadn't won the Giro last year, I could have been Discovery Channel's captain for the Tour, but I was the defending champion at the Giro, so I had to do it [again].

"I came here for a stage win; I'll still hope to make it. I was feeling good today. In our team, there wasn't any leader of the level of Lance Armstrong; it's impossible to find another one like him. These days, we are paying for the tension [because we don't know who to watch]."

Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom, 78th at 33'47)

"Unfortunately, I am not Richard Virenque.

Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
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"I didn't manage to bridge the gap between the two guys away. If I had chosen to suck wheels all day, I wouldn't have lost 33 minutes today, but I'm happy with what I did. It was a nice feeling to ride aggressively, in the front, in the Pyrenées again, like two years ago."

Gert Steegmans (Davitamon, 160th at 44'20)

"I'm completely f***ed up. Even the speed of the bus was almost too fast for me."

Wrong strategy for T-Mobile?

By Brecht Decaluwé in Pla-de-Beret

The T-Mobile team took the race in their hands in stage 11, but in the end they appeared to have hurt themselves. Andreas Klöden was unable to follow the group when Menchov attacked and finished one and a half minutes down by the finish.

However, Klöden still appeared happy with the performance of himself and the team: "Our tactic was a gamble, but it proved to be quite successful, as the Discovery riders and some other contenders have been eliminated," he said. "Sadly enough, I got cramps when Menchov accelerated. That's why I couldn't go along with them."

T-Mobile took the initiative in the race, but it was another team that proved to be the strongest in the end, which Klöden admitted: "Rabobank appeared to have the strongest team, with the likes of Menchov, Boogerd and Rasmussen."

World champion demands honesty in doping

By Brecht Decaluwé in Pla-de-Beret

Behind the heroics in the front of the race, the 'bus' gathered and tried to make it to the finish of stage 11 within the time limit. One of the 'passengers' in the bus was world champion Tom Boonen, but Cyclingnews found him in a fury when he crossed the finish line in Pla-de-Beret.

"I've been riding on my bike for seven hours, I've climbed five cols; tomorrow, there's a stage of 212 kilometres, and after that, a stage of 230 kilometres... I think that's just great," he said sarcastically.

"This is scandalous, it's over the top. They are just shouting that they want to fight against doping, but then they give us a program like this," said Boonen, referring to either the UCI or Tour organisers ASO, or perhaps both.

"I'm also supporting the battle against doping, but with these sorts of stages, the battle will never be won," Boonen said, riding off back to the hotel in an effort to recover from today's stage.

Stage 11 Round up

By John Trevorrow

As the Tour de France headed into Spain, the real contenders stepped up out on the steep slopes towards Val dÁran.

Cadel Evans rode steadily all day and looked in control until the final few kilometers. He just couldn't react to the final attack of Russian Denis Menchov about three kilometres from the finish. Evans finished fourth only 17 seconds back and lies in fourth spot one minute 17 seconds behind new leader American Floyd Landis.

Although Evans seemed to be at his limit towards the end, but last year his best mountain days were towards the end of the tour.

Michael Rogers was also strong until the final 10 kilometres, where he started to struggle. Rogers lost over three minutes in the stage and is in seventh spot, 3 minutes and 22 seconds from the lead. Obviously, the T-Mobile team had decided that Kloden was to be their protected rider as Rogers spent a fair bit of time on the front. In the end that was to no avail as Kloden faltered soon after Rogers and finished in sixth place at 2 min 29 seconds.

Simon Gerrans rode a tremendous race spending much of the stage on the front setting the pace for his AG2R teammate and maillot jaune Cyril Dessel. The young Frenchman rode well above himself and gallantly refused to give in on the final climb to only lose the lead to the American by eight seconds.

Robbie McEwen and Stuart O'Grady booked themselves on the grupetto bus and managed to make it inside the time limit, but not by much. "That was definitely the queen stage of the Tour," O'Grady said. "That one gets locked into my memory bank as one of the top three hard core stages I have ever ridden. As it turned out we had to dig in pretty deep towards the end as we were in danger of being outside the time cut. There was a bit of panic over the airwaves and we came in about 44 minutes down and the cut off was 46.30 seconds."

McEwen managed to take the first sprint before the climbing started and extended his lead to 29 points.

Volte-face for USA Cycling on USPRO crit champs

By Shane Stokes

Following the news earlier this week that next month's USPRO criterium championships would be limited to US citizens on professional teams, USA Cycling issued a press release on Thursday saying that they have reversed the controversial decision.

"USA Cycling announced today that foreign riders who are members of UCI-registered teams will be eligible to compete at USA Cycling's USPRO Criterium Championships in Downers Grove, Ill. Aug. 20, contrary to earlier reports in the cycling media," stated the press release.

"Both U.S. and foreign riders on UCI-registered trade team rosters will be allowed to compete, as has traditionally been the case when the event was on the UCI international calendar."

"USA Cycling has discussed plans for the USPRO Criterium Championships to be limited to U.S. citizens only, but that had not been communicated to riders and teams."

None of the team directors or riders had heard of the change when Cyclingnews contacted them about the story, with Navigators Insurance DS Ed Beamon commenting that the issue was not even brought up at a recent USPRO board meeting.

Chief executive officer Steve Johnson said that poor communication was at fault. "We apologize for any confusion and angst caused by the lack of clarity on the part of USA Cycling," he said. "The decision to run an American-only national championship was made more than six months ago. However it came to our attention in the last couple of days that it was not properly communicated to the professional teams and riders."

The news will come as a relief to the team mangers who had expressed their frustration to Cyclingnews, stating that they had never heard of the proposed rule change. One of those who was against the limitation was Navigators Insurance DS Ed Beamon, who has a strong contingent of foreign riders.

"The fastest guys in [American criterium racing] are not Americans, so it really devalues the race," he previously told Cyclingnews' Mark Zalewski. "One of the caveats of the event is that you have the best teams in America competing in a UCI race, and the bonuses for winning the event outright were great. That jersey doesn't carry as much weight anywhere else. And as a standalone event I don't think they will get the same response. What has kept that event alive and given its significance is that you have the best teams going there because it was a prestigious event to win."

Following the decision to retain the original format, Beamon said that he was happy. "It's good that they came to their senses and decided to keep the race as an International field for 2006," he said on Thursday. "I think it would have created a big stir, and possibly finished the race if they had forced it into being a USA only event."

The decision means that the strongest possible field is once again guaranteed for the August 20 race in Downers Grove, Illinois.

Sastre climbs within distance of the podium

Team CSC has put the loss of Ivan Basso on the eve of the race behind them with a strong showing in the Pyrenees yesterday. Carlos Sastre has climbed his way into fifth overall after finishing in fifth place on Thursday's epic, five-climb stage.

The Spaniard finished 17 seconds behind winner Denis Menchov after just losing contact on the final climb. CSC's Frank Schleck also had a good day, finishing eighth on the stage.

"It was a fantastic day for Carlos and the team. It was really great to see him up front and well protected by his team mates. It was very important for us to do well in this stage, and I definitely think we did. I'm really satisfied," said Bjarne Riis.

David Zabriskie, who started the day in 12th place as CSC's best-placed rider, lost contact with the lead group over the Tourmalet. Other CSC riders also had a tough day on the Tourmalet. Stuart O’Grady had an ill-timed puncture while veteran Giovanni Lombardi withdrew from the race on the hors category climb.

"It's obviously a big loss for us, as Lombardi was an important rider for the upcoming stages, but we'll just keep on fighting and hopefully look forward to a big result,” Riis continued. “There's no doubt in my mind, the last part of the race will be extremely exciting."

Team Barloworld to ride Brixia tour before Protour event

Brescia-based Team Barloworld will be riding on home roads during the Brixia Tour, held on July 20-23 before heading to Germany in August for the HEW-Cyclassics-Cup in Hamburg.

"[The Brixia tour is a] good and interesting race with a quality field. We want to do well and get a good result," said Directeur sportif Valerio Tebaldi. Barloworld's team for the Brescia race includes Pedro Arreitunandia, Igor Astarloa, Diego Caccia, Felix Cardenas, Ryan Cox, Enrico Degano, James Perry and Amets Txurruka. Barloworld hope to have nominated a balanced team that can perform well in the sprints and in the hills.

Team Barloworld will face a challenging August riding in races including the Hamburg ProTour race. The German organisers have invited Team Barloworld after their solid results last year and through this season. "All the riders that will be riding the race are in good form, and [the Brixia tour] will better prepare Astarloa and the team for the key races in August," Tebaldi said.

Big names to ride the Brixia tour

Some of cycling's big names will take part in the five-stage Bresciana stage race, the Brixia tour on July 20-23. Emanuele Sella (Panaria) and David Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) will ride alongside Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto), Igor Astarloa (Barloworld), Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) and Giuliano Figueras (Lampre-Fondital). 160 riders from 20 nations will take part.

The Tour organisers also plan to pay homage to the memory of three past champions, Marco Pantani, Alessio Galletti and Denis Zanette. Organisers will also make donations to local charities, the Centro Sociale di Rovato and the Centro Don Orione di Bergamo.

The race includes some tough mountain stages and has a split stage on Saturday.


Stage 1 - July 20: Concesio - Toscolano Maderno, 178 kms
Stage 2 - July 21: Brescia - Buffalora - Passo Maniva , 169kms
Stage 3 - July 22: Pisogne - Darfo Boario Terme, 102 kms
Stage 4 - July 22: Pian Camuno - Saviore dell'Adamello, 62 kms
Stage 5 - July 23: Bassano Bresciano - Manerbio - Palazzolo sull'Oglio, 178 kms

Clinger in jail after barroom brawl

Former continental professional David Clinger was jailed this week in Berks County Prison on charges of disorderly conduct, harassment, defiant trespass and resisting arrest. The 28 year old was arrested about 1 am on Monday after a disruption inside Toad Creek Bar, Topton, where it is alleged he touched a woman and was harassing patrons inside the bar. He is also alleged to have wrestled bar patron Kristi Lauback to the floor and fought with police when they tried to handcuff him.

Clinger rode for several big teams in the past, including Festina, US Postal Service and Domina Vacanze, and is a past winner of the First Union Invitational plus a stage of the Tour de Beauce. In 2000 he took five top fifteen stage placings in the Vuelta Espańa and finished 71st overall.

He competed for the Webcor team last season but clashed with team management after he got a large facial tattoo. Clinger reportedly paid over $15, 000 to have the tattoo removed, but was eventually let go by the team.

Oley District Judge Victor M. Frederick IV jailed him on Monday in lieu of $5,000 bail. A hearing is expected shortly

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