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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Cycling News Extra for June 27, 2006

Edited by John Stevenson & John Kenny

Haselbacher considering his future

By Susan Westemeyer

Rene Haselbacher recovered from a beesting in the throat well enough to start in the Austrian national race on Sunday, but didn't ride it to the end, dropping out in the sixth of nine laps. "As a single competitor, it's very hard in such a race against the strong Austrian teams. Actually it went very well, but unfortunately I missed the right break in the fifth round. After that nobody rode in the field, the race was over," he wrote on his website, www.haselbacher.com. "You ride the championship race to get the jersey. Today there was no chance of that, so I dropped out."

The Austrian criticised the race organizers, saying, "In some of the descents, cars came toward us. That shouldn't happen."

For the second year in a row, Haselbacher was not selected to Gerolsteiner's Tour de France team, a fact which "makes me sick," he told www.sport1.at. His contract with the team expires this year, and, he said, "in this current situation, I have my doubts as to whether it would make sense" to stay with the team. "Fortunately I have drawn attention to myself with some good results. I already have some offers. But I won't deal with that for until the next few weeks. First comes vacation."

Simoni extends with Saunier Duval-Prodir

Gilberto Simoni has extended his contract with Saunier Duval-Prodir through 2007, the team announced yesterday. His strong Giro performance, his invaluable experience and his strong personality were cited as the reasons for the contract extension by team manager Mauro Gianetti.

Skil-Shimano get Vattenfall Cyclassics wild card

The Skil-Shimano team has been handed the first of three wild cards for the Vattenfall Cyclassics (Germany, July 30; formerly the HEW-Cyclassics-Cup - Hamburg). The Dutch-based pro team has achieved good results this season helped by Maarten Tjallingii's overall victory in the Tour of Belgium and a stage win by Paul Martens in the Tour of Luxembourg. Last weekend, members of the team finished second and fifth in the Dutch and Japanese Championships.

Race organizer, Frank Bertling, said, "First and foremost, by allocating wild cards we show that the UCI ProTour is in no way a rigid league that cannot be accessed from below. Furthermore, we are delighted that a young yet exceptionally professional Pro Continental team like Skil-Shimano will be starting the Vattenfall Cyclassics, which can throw up a sporting surprise from outside the 20 ProTeams."

Skil-Shimano team managers Iwan Spekenbrink and Arend Scheppink said in a joint statement, "We are delighted with the invitation to the Vattenfall Cyclassics for several reasons: first, the race is one of the highlights of the season for us; second, the wild card underscores our efforts to establish ourselves internationally and if nothing else it is recognition of the work we have put in."

The Skil-Shimano team is made up of 21 riders from the Netherlands, Japan, China and Germany.

Kohl "unbelievably proud"

T-Mobile's Bernhard Kohl is "unbelievably proud, to be able to call myself Austrian champion." The little Austrian won the title Sunday as his very first pro victory. "I realized what the win meant, when I heard them play the national anthem for me. That is something special, to stand on top of the podium and hear the national anthem," he wrote on his personal website, www.bernhardkohl.at.

Kohl also recently finished third overall at the Dauphine Libere, but his real season high point is yet to come. "I hope that my good form holds on and that I can do just as well at the Tour of Austria, which starts next week."

Brazil race gets UCI America points

Organisers of July's Brazil tenth International Cycling Challenge hope that the UCI America Tour points on offer will attract the best Brazilian, United States and South American pro teams.

Races will be held at the Goiânia International Autodrome on July 15 and 16, with UCI points available for riders in Sunday's event.

Last years event, won by Armando Camargo (Memorial-Santos) attracted 180 competitors.

The race will be broadcast live and on pay-per-view television and also includes lead-up races for women, juniors and masters.

Top U.S. west coast juniors gather for camp

Juniors gathered last week at Sonoma State University for USA Cycling's annual West Coast Junior Development camp. Twenty-two riders were invited to attend after demonstrating talent and commitment to the sport of cycling over the last twelve months. Claire House of Occidental, CA directed the camp with assistance from head coach Michael Engleman and assistant coach Robert Fuller.

The riders were challenged daily with field tests, time trials, racing and endurance rides. An overall placement similar to a stage race format was implemented to rank the riders. This scoring was designed to assess ability and experience which would then help determine selection to the endurance camp at the Olympic Training Center in July and/or placement with the national junior team at Canada's premier junior stage race, the Tour de l'Abitibi.

To supplement the time spent on the bike the campers attended lectures on various race related topics. The guest speakers included USCF official Tom Simonson, track coach Farid Abraham, sports psychologist Carrie Cheadle and veteran mechanic Ian Sherburne who provided first hand information regarding pro rider etiquette while buttressing the overall activity of the camp.

The riders, who come from Alaska, Nevada, Texas, California, Washington and Oregon, demonstrated a wealth of ability and maturity impressing the local pros from the Victory Brewing, Colavita-Cooking Light, and Maguire teams who all volunteered their time to ride with the campers. "What a great group of riders all of whom seem amazingly accomplished for being so young," said Colavita-Cooking Light's Sarah Tillotson. "It will be fun to see how far these guys go in the sport."

Lehigh Madison Cup rescheduled

The Lehigh Valley Acura Honda Madison Cup Presented by East Penn Bank track meeting, originally planned to run last Friday, has been rescheduled for this Friday June 30.

The 16 teams competing for the Bob Rodale trophy will include Australian duo Jeff Hopkins and Pete "Fitzy" Fitzpatrick. Representing the host nation will be Mike Friedman and Brad Huff and the pairing of Dave Clinger and Mike "Speedy" Beers. Argentina will be represented by Colavita Pro team's Guido Parma and Gabrielle Brizula.

For the women, world champion Sarah Uhl (USA) will be back in T-town to showcase her skill and speed, along with multiple world medalists including Kim Geist also from the USA.

For more information see www.thevelodrome.com.

More Fantasy Le Tour 2006 Game Tips

BBB's BSG-23 Winner Quick-Step World Champion glasses
(Click for larger image)
Speedplay Zero pedals
(Click for larger image)
Deda Alanera handlebars
(Click for larger image)
fi'zi:k saddles
(Click for larger image)
DedaTre RS Corsa clincher tyres
(Click for larger image)
Reynolds SV KOM carbon wheels
(Click for larger image)

With under a week until the 2006 Tour de France kicks off, now is a good time to start thinking about your strategy for your team selection for the Le Tour Fantasy Game. Fantasy manager "Kharris21" won a pair of Bontrager Race X-Lite Aero wheels, 1 pair DMT Flash shoes, 1 Giro Atmos Helmet, 1x Race X Lite Pro saddle, and 1x Race XXX Lite OS carbon stem in last year's game. Here's what he had to say on his winning 2005 selection:

"After reading the information from Cyclingnews's past winners, as well as expert previews on various websites and reviewing the point totals for the various categories, I selected my teams trying to pick the two riders I thought would finish highest in each of the sprint and mountain classifications. Additionally, I was trying to select five riders to finish high in the general classification, keeping in mind those riders that would be high on gc and also potentially win stages, such as Armstrong, Basso and Vinokourov. Additionally, it helped selecting more than one team for the competition."

"At the last minute I added Paolo Salvodelli to round out the roster since he was low cost and was awarded the stage win in the team trial. I had him active in a number of stages and for some inexplicable reason, when he won 15 I had him selected on all my teams except the one that finished third. UGH!"

Rider list update

We have the most recently confirmed riders on the game site at the moment ready for your selection. We have based the points for each of the riders on a merged list of ProTour points from both the end of last year and the end of May this year (post Giro 2006). More information on the Rider Reference details can be downloaded in Microsoft Excel format here.

The Grand Prize will be announced shortly and you can read on to find out about our runner up prizes.

Registration has already begun. Be a professional team manager for the 2006 Le Tour and create your own dream team from any of the real life riders in this year's Tour. Based on the live racing action, you will take up the challenge of using your knowledge and tactical skill as a race team manager to compete with other virtual managers from around the world. Follow the races live and use your skill and knowledge to win some great prizes.

Le Tour Fantasy Game prizes

Daily prize from BBB Parts. We are pleased to announce that we are once again providing a daily stage prize from BBB Parts! This time, a pair of BBB's BSG-23 Winner Quick-Step World Champion glasses designed for Tom Boonen, will go to the manager with the highest scoring stage team each day during the Tour de France.

The glasses have a durable, flexible and lightweight Grilamid frame; adjustable metal nose piece for a perfect fit; and interchangeable polycarbonate lenses with 100% protection against harmful UV rays, up to UV 400nm.

The glasses are white with the World Champion rainbow stipes on the bands and they come with smoke blue revo lenses. They also come with three extra lenses; orange, yellow and clear with a flash mirror coating, and a carrying case so that you have a lens for all types of weather. They also have a special shaped lens with the BBB logo on the lens.

Set of wheels from Reynolds. From Reynolds we have a pair of Cirro SV KOM carbon wheels. The KOMs are ultra-light wheels specifically built for hilly road races or time trials. Pros choose to ride them when flight or explosive acceleration is their goal. More than 100 grams lighter than Cirro MID-Vs, KOMs are genuine racing wheels, not merely kind-of-light "all-purpose" wheels.

Ten pairs of tyres from DedaTre. The ten runner-up winners will win a pair of DedaTre's RS Corsa clincher tires in black. The clinchers have a dual compound, a nylon casing and a puncture resistant belting. They are 23mm in width and weight 210grams.

Handlebars from Deda Elementi. Also from Deda we have a very nice looking Alanera Integrated full carbon fibre handlebar to fit high end racing bikes.

Three Giro Atmos helmets. Winners will have a choice of three new edition helmets: Discovery Team Atmos, a Livestrong Atmos or a Polka Dots Atmos helmet. The Atmos is the most aggressive silhouette Giro has ever created; a state of the art cycling helmet equipped with cutting-edge features. In-mold shell and carbon fiber reinforcements, as well as Super Fit Sizing, a Roc Loc4 adjustable fit system, 26 vents with Giro's proprietary Wind Tunnel internal channels and the full internal Roll Cage reinforcement. With all of these features, the Giro Atmos Team Issue helmet weighs in at an incredible 240 grams. No wonder it's worn by the best.

Three sets of Speedplay's Zero pedals. Speedplay are continuing to support the Fantasy game with three more sets of their Zero pedals - the same style of pedal used by ProTour teams such as Team CSC and Phonak. The stainless steel model is on offer and it will provide years of faithful service. It allows you to choose either a fixed position or up to 15 degrees of float. Zero pedals maintain the traditional feel of a fixed system while incorporating all the well-known advantages of Speedplay X Pedal Systems.

Three fi'zi:k saddles. fi'zi:k are also continuing their support of this year's games with three of high-performance road racing saddles. You'll have the choice from the fi'zi:k range, such as the Arione, Aliante or (appropriately) the Pave model. Or, you could choose from its limited edition, team replica saddles, including the new 'Di Luca Killer' and 'Cunego Piccolo Principe' models.;

Play for free in the Fantasy Le Tour 2006 game

Remember you can play for free for the first 5 stages! Try the game out and see how best to play. It's easy to play the Tour games - all you need to do is pick your dream team of 15 from the riders racing in this year's Le Tour start list. Then each day pick 9 riders to race for your fantasy team from these 15. You'll need a good combination of climbers, sprinters and general classification riders.

For more details go to the rules section of the site. There's also some great tips and tricks in the downloads and winners sections of the site. It's a great way to follow Le Tour 2006.

Good luck!
The Fantasy Cyclingnews Team

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