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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for July 28, 2004

Edited by John Stevenson

Jan not happy

Jan Ullrich
Photo: © Caroline Yang
Click for larger image

Jan Ullrich has responded to criticism levelled at him by T-Mobile team manager Walter Godefroot, saying he will discuss the matter with Godefroot at the HEW Cyclassics round of the world cup in Hamburg this weekend.

After Ullrich failed to make the podium in the Tour de France, Godefroot questioned his commitment, saying that six-time winner Lance Armstrong "lives for cycling" while Ullrich merely "cycled to live". In an interview with Le Figaro, Godefroot said Ullrich lacked the necessary "killer instinct" and added, "we all focused on Jan. He wanted to win the Tour but did not even win a stage."

Speaking on a German TV talk show on Monday, Ullrich responded, "I cannot let that go. You should ask the people who I work with and not someone like Walter Godefroot who I speak to on the telephone twice a year -- if at all."

Ullrich said his Tour had been derailed by illness. "I couldn't attack the yellow jersey. I was ill, with a fever. Normally I should have spent a week in bed. To attack Lance Armstrong was impossible, but if I had been healthy, things would have been different." Ullrich said he had picked up an illness from his one-year-old daughter.

Ullrich added, "I will clear up what [Godefroot] said. If he says it to my face I will take the appropriate steps."

T-Mobile team spokesman Olaf Ludwig said he did not know what Ullrich meant by this. "I don't know whether he means that generally or personally," said Ludwig. "The situation is this: Godefroot gmbh has a contract with T-Mobile and Jan is under contract until 2006."

Italian police question Simeoni

Filippo Simeoni yesterday spent three hours in the company of investigators from the Italian drug squad answering questions about the incident in stage 18 of the Tour de France in which Lance Armstrong chased down an attack by Simeoni.

According to a report from AFP, the investigators are considering bringing charges against Armstrong for sporting fraud, violence, and intimidation of a witness.

Simeoni gave evidence in 2002 in the investigation and trial of Italian sports doctor Michele Ferrari, after himself being questioned by the Italian drug squad in 1999 after raids found substances in the houses of several Italian riders. After initially saying he had obtained "other medications" in Switzerland, Simeoni later claimed Ferrari had prescribed him EPO.

In an interview with Le Monde in April 2003, Lance Armstrong, who has consulted with Dr Ferrari, accused Simeoni of lying. Simeoni subsequently said he had initiated legal action for defamation against Armstrong.

In stage 18 of this year's Tour de France, Simeoni bridged across to the early break (which subsequently stayed away and contained the stage winner) but was chased down by Armstrong. When the other riders in the break asked Armstrong to return to the peloton so that they'd have a chance of staying away, he said he would only do so if Simeoni returned to the peloton as well. Both riders dropped back to the main bunch.

Dr Ferrari discussed the case at length in this Cyclingnews interview.

Dean's Tour highlight

Julian Dean
Photo: © Jan Ullrich
Click for larger image

The only New Zealander to ride the Tour de France in recent years, Julian Dean (Credit Agricole) says his most vivid memory of this year's Tour is of the fans' love for a rider who struggled where he'd been expected to soar.

"We were about 30 minutes behind the leaders on stage 13 in the Pyrenees on our way to Plateau de Bielle," Dean told the New Zealand Herald. "Among our bunch of 36 riders, with 90 up the road ahead of us, was Iban Mayo. As a Spaniard riding the stage closest to the Spanish border he really wanted to do well. But he was having a difficult day.

"For him, being this far back was particularly hard. He pulled his hat down and had his sunglasses covering his face. He felt he had let his fans down. They did not see it that way. "Their enthusiasm and passion for Iban in those circumstances was very humbling. I really felt for him.

"You quickly realise in a situation like that how everyone is feeling. Cycling has its own language. It can be very emotional. At that moment the huge crowds on the side of the road showed just what respect there is for cycling. It was a moving experience."

Dean added that his Credit Agricole team had been happy with its performance in this year's Tour. Sprinter Thor Hushovd - for whom Dean had ridden as a lead-out man - was second in the points competition and Christophe Moreau was 12th overall and best-ranked French rider.

Carmichael reveals Armstrong strategy

Lance Armstrong's coach Chris Carmichael has revealed some of the techniques and training tips that Armstrong used to in his preparation for his sixth consecutive victory in the Tour de France. In a column distributed by the Associated Press, Carmichael identifies two factors that he says contributed to Armstrong's success this year: weight control and optimized use of training time.

"Lance's preparation became more about what he wasn't doing than about what he was," wrote Carmichael. The first thing Armstrong didn't do, he says, was to put on weight over the winter. "While some of Lance's rivals gained a lot of weight during the winter, he didn't because the process of spending the entire spring losing weight takes away from an athlete's ability to train effectively," said Carmichael.

Fine-tuning Armstrong's diet for the amount of training he was doing allowed him to keep the weight off, with the US Postal leader consuming almost half as much carbohydrate in January as the 1000 grams per day he was putting away during the Tour itself.

Carmichael's next focus, he says, was to make sure none of the time on the bike was wasted. Rather than sending his rider out with imprecise "old-school" goals, Carmichael says he made sure Armstrong did only as much work as necessary. "Lance doesn't waste time on his bike," he says. "He knows the goals of the day's workout before he leaves the house, and once his power meter tells him he has ridden long enough to accomplish those goals, he goes home. Extra time on the bike isn't necessary and just leads to more fatigue and longer recovery periods."

If it seemed that Lance Armstrong was everywhere this spring, attending functions with girlfriend Sheryl Crow and being filmed for ads for his various sponsors, that was a side benefit of the extremely focused regime, says Carmichael. "Increasing the efficiency of Lance's training and nutrition programs also simplified his Tour de France preparations, giving him more time to relax and concentrate on his life outside of training," he concludes.

Rabobank for forthcoming races

The Rabobank team has announced its riders for several imminent races.

The team for July 31's Luk Challenge in Germany will be Robert Bartko and Marc Wauters.

For the HEW Cyclassics world cup, August 1, the team will field: Erik Dekker, Oscar Freire Gomez, Robert Hunter, Roy Sentjens, Steven de Jongh, Mathew Hayman, Karsten Kroon, and Grischa Niermann.

At next week's major stage race, the Post Danmark Rundt, August 4-8, Rabobank will be represented by Robert Hunter, Roy Sentjens, Mathew Hayman, Steven de Jongh, Kevin de Weert, Joost Posthuma, Jan Boven and Remmert Wielinga.

Finally, the team brings out the big guns again for the Clasica San Sebastian, August 7: Michael Boogerd, Erik Dekker, Karsten Kroon, Pieter Weening, Marc Wauters, Oscar Freire Gomez, Levi Leipheimer and Michael Rasmussen.

Dutch rider hospitalized after crash

By Gudo Kramer, Marco Polo Cycling Club

Last Saturday July 24, Henri Ebben crashed hard during the masters 40+ race in the Groesbike Festival in The Netherlands. Henri will never walk or ride a bike again.

The organisation of the race regrets that Henri had this terrible crash in this race and supports the call from Henri's family for support from the cycling community.

Henri and his family hope to receive support from cyclists, maybe in the form of a nice postal card. Cards can be sent to:

Henri Ebben
Radboud Ziekenuis
Afdeling A41
Postbus 9101
6500 HB Nijmegen
The Netherlands

(For Dutch readers: Henri cannot be visited in hospital, at least not for the next few weeks.)

Irish bank holiday racing

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent/Evening Herald/Sunday Independent

Realt Tuam CC and Western Lakes have combined their efforts over the Bank Holiday weekend, starting Friday and finishing up on Monday to put a festival of racing. First on the menu is the Willamstown Festival for all categories with a race start of 7.15 over 30 miles on a town circuit.

It moves on Saturday to Dunmore for another evening start. But the mileage is slightly up but this will not deter those hankering about coming to this festival race.

On Sunday, Western Lakes come into the promotion stakes with the Lough Glynn Carnival event with a start up time of one o'clock in the afternoon.

The curtain comes down on the proceedings with the Brian McNamara Trophy event. This event will be held on a 3 mile circuit but the organization have signalled that the race is over an hour and a half plus three laps on August Monday.

Padraig Marrey is hoping that they'll have a good entry. "The two clubs here in Connacht deserve good fields and who knows maybe the man of the moment Philip Finnegan of Cycleways-Lee Strand will attempt to add to his tally of wins," said Padraig.

Free admission to Lehigh Velodrome

Spectators can gain free admission to the Nestor's Keirin Cup and Hall of Fame night at Lehigh Valley Velodrome on Friday July 30 providing they fill one small condition: the Velodrome is asking for each fan to bring at least one non-perishable item to donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Allentown.

"The Velodrome is a family and community facility. We try and help as many people as possible and that is why we're holding another Second Harvest Food Drive here for the Nestor's Keirin Cup and LVV Hall of Fame Night," said Jacob Burns, Lehigh Valley Velodrome marketing director.

The Nestor's Keirin Cup and LVV Hall of Fame night will feature a special ceremony to induct the 2004 class of Hall of Fame Inductees. Inductees this year include Miji Reoch, Nicole Reinhart, Art McHugh, Gordon Singleton, Bruce Donaghy, and Hubert Schleh.

For more information see www.lvvelo.org.

Haywood appeals

USA Cycling has announced that Sue Haywood will appeal the recent ruling of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) that named Mary McConneloug to the U.S. Olympic mountain bike team.

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