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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for October 18, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones

Filippo Pozzato: The Natural

Pippo Pozzato
Photo: © Olympia

One of Italian cycling's emerging talents, 23 year-old Filippo Pozzato already has 19 pro wins in his five years in the cash ranks, a clear indication of his natural ability and class. But life hasn't always been easy - Cyclingnews' European Editor Tim Maloney sat down with the likeable Pippo to discuss his problems at Fassa Bortolo, his new team and life in general.

Like his friend Damiano Cunego, Italian pro cyclist Filippo Pozzato is a member of what Italian cycling aficionados call the "classe di '81"; a group of emerging young riders born in 1981. Many of these talented young riders, like Pozzato, Fabian Cancellara and Bernard Eisel, are alumni of the Mapei TT3 development team, and others, like Kolobnev and Gryschenko, are Eastern Europeans who have found a home in the pro peloton.

Pozzato has been a big talent since his junior days and after several difficult seasons at Fassa Bortolo, the powerful, rangy rider from Sandrigo showed his class and talent with a big win at the 2004 Tour de France on Stage 7 in Saint Brieuc.

When the Mapei team folded in 2002, Pozzato had enjoyed a superb year, with 14 pro wins under his belt. Signed by Fassa Bortolo, Pozzato's 2003 season started out like gangbusters, but after a crash took him out of Milano-Sanremo, the talented young rider could never seem to synch-up with the Silver Train again. 2004 went much the same for Pippo, and last month, Fassa Bortolo released Pozzato from his contract and he and teammate Guido Trenti signed with Quick.Step.

Cyclingnews: What did you think of the World Championships in Verona?

Filippo Pozzato: It was a Mondiale that was lacking the riders that everybody was expecting... I was saying that for a while before the World's. Everyone was expecting Bettini and Cunego to attack in the last two laps... up until then, everyone would go easy, for sure. So the World's was, even if it seemed hard, pretty simple. The first three riders were sprinters...then O'Grady...in the first five or six riders, there were some of the best sprinters in the world. So in the end, it seemed pretty simple. Bettini wasn't there - I think if he had been there, the race would have been different, harder for sure. He would have made the pace harder on the climbs. Too bad for Italy, but that's the way it went.

Click here for the full interview

Boogerd proud of his season

After finishing second in a World Cup race for the third time this year, Michael Boogerd took some time to reflect on his season. Although he didn't actually win a race this year, he showed himself to be a contender in hardest one day races as he explained in his diary in De Telegraaf:

"With a second place in the Tour of Lombardy I have finished my season with a good feeling. Of course you're upset at first when you just miss the win and are second again. Certainly because I was convinced that I could beat Damiano Cunego. In the spring, Davide Rebellin was definitely better than me on two occasions, but in Lombardy I was without doubt the man of the race. Cunego was dropped again on the last climb. I felt so strong that I even dared to lead out, but I consciously waited until he went. Maybe I messed up that last corner, but you can discuss that for a long time afterwards.

"Again I've shown that I can be with the best in the world on the hardest parcourses. The fact that I made the race at its hardest point and dared to fight; that performance gives me a certain satisfaction. On this terrain I'm always the only Dutchman with the world's elite and that also gives me a certain satisfaction. I have shown again in the last year that the hardest classics, and by those I mean the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Amstel Gold Race, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Giro di Lombardia, are my terrain."

Walker and Menzies keep feet on the ground

By John Trevorrow

William Walker has had a stellar season. Just to ride and finish in the Tattersall's Cup, the Sunraysia Tour and the Melbourne to Warrnambool at 18 years of age is quite an effort. But to win them all is nothing short of amazing. Now he is riding the Malaysia Airlines Herald Sun Tour where he is in 24th overall.

"A race like this helps you realize that there are much bigger events than the normal races in Australia," Walker told Cyclingnews after finishing 9th in Stage 6. "Although it's great to win at home, it's the Tour de France, the World Champs and the major Euro races that I hope to be taking part in someday.

"The Herald Sun Tour is a big step up even from the Warrnambool. I'm slowly getting used to the intensity and today was a better result and hopefully I can continue to improve. It has been a fantastic experience to ride in an event as big as the Herald Sun Tour. I didn't seem to be going at my best for the first few days but I'm feeling a bit better each day.

"I had the chance to sit back in the bunch today as we had two riders in the break. I had good legs up the climb and managed to get into the top 10 in the stage finish. My Jayco teammate Simon Gerrans is riding really strong and he finished fourth today. I think that the next few days will see the race split apart and I'm hoping this tour will unfold in team Jayco's favour."

Although Walker won the 300km Melbourne to Warrnambool recently, he is certainly not confident of winning a stage in the Sun Tour. "A stage win would be unbelievable but I'll keep things realistic for now," he said.

Karl Menzies has had a sensational start to the Herald Sun Tour. Back in yellow after a tough 178 km through the Otway Ranges, we caught up with him in Colac as he washed the grime from his legs. "I was just happy to finish today," said the Tasmanian. "They told me to try and get in a move if it went and that's what I did and it paid off."

Menzies is definitely not one of the lightweight brigade, but climbs surprisingly well, in the mould of Robert McLachlan. "For every up hill there is a down hill, so the sooner I get up it the quicker I get to go down," he quipped. "Seriously I don't mind the climbs. I come from Ulverstone and there aren't too many places to train around there without hitting plenty of hills. I know it was my weakness so I've worked on it. I grew up racing all these little whippets who can climb quick."

Seeing as he is climbing so well we asked Karl if he thought he could win overall, but got one those famous cliché replies. "I'll just take it one day at a time," quoth Karl. "I've got a real strong team and they have so much experience. Dave Macca, Henk and Scott just seem to know what's going to happen. They are full of info and they just tell me what to do. It is really inspirational. It motivates me to get out there each morning."

Winter Six Day season kicks off in Amsterdam

The 12th Six Days of Amsterdam, between October 18-23, marks the first of the winter Six Day races. It also heralds a new era for track cycling, as from now on track cycling at the elite level will be run as a winter sport, including the World Cups and World Championships. With a more compact calendar, most of the important track races will take place between October and March.

The Amsterdam Six will see 13 teams take the start, headed by last year's champions, Dutchmen Robert Slippens and Danny Stam. Also present are the in-form Swiss Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart; Italian duo Marco Villa and Giovanni Lombardi; Australian/Swiss combo Scott McGrory and Franco Marvulli; and some interesting road-track combinations with Max van Heeswijk and Jimmi Madsen, and Frank Vandenbroucke and Matthew Gilmore pairing up. Vandenbroucke will ride in Amsterdam, Munich and Gent this season, and will certainly be a big crowd puller.

In addition to the paired teams, there will also be a sprint competition - the Grand Prix Jan Derksen - featuring World Champion Theo Bos. In May this year, Bos became the first Dutch World Spring Champion for 33 years and went on to take the silver medal at the Olympics in Athens. His opponents in Amsterdam will include Germans René Wolff and Jan van Eijden, and Bos' compatriot Martin Benjamin.

The Union Internationale des Velodromes will again be promoting the UIV Madison Cup for Under 23 riders, with the first leg to be run in Amsterdam.

The teams

1 Robert Slippens/Danny Stam (Ned)
2 Bruno Risi/Kurt Betschart (Swi)
3 Marco Villa/Giovanni Lombardi (Ita)
4 Stefan Van Dijk (Ned)/Franz Stocher (Aut)
5 Scott McGrory (Aus)/Franco Marvulli (Swi)
6 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned)/Jimmi Madsen (Den)
7 Matthew Gilmore/Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel)
8 Aart Vierhouten (Ned)/Andreas Beikirch (Ger)
9 Francis De Jager/Jens Mouris (Ned)
10 Jan Pronk/Jos Pronk (Ned)
11 Peter Schep/Jean-Pierre Van Zijl (RSA)
12 Gerd Dörich/Christian Grassmann (Ger)
13 Iljo Keisse/Wouter Van Mechelen (Bel)

Source: uiv.dk

Van der Poel to train U23's

Adri van der Poel is set to take over Kees van der Wereld's job as the Dutch national U23 cyclo-cross coach, according to ANP. Although a contract has not yet been signed, it's expected to happen soon after some details have been finalised between Van der Poel and the Dutch federation.

"I did a lot with the young riders for the federation, thus looking after the U23 riders is a logical consequence for me," said Van der Poel. "I'm aiming to train these boys to a higher level. I also hope that the whole group can connect to the top layer. We'll hold clinics for novices, juniors and U23's."

One of the most decorated cyclo-cross riders, Adri Van der Poel retired as a rider in 2000. Since then he has been head of the UCI cyclo-cross commission where he has focused on the World Cup courses. This season, he will share that role with Peter van den Abeele.

Anna Millward hosts trivia night

Retired top female cyclist Anna Millward is hosting a Cycling Trivia Night in Melbourne, Australia on November 13 to raise funds for the National Stroke Foundation. The event will take place at the Angel Hotel (corner of Dandenong and Glenferrie Roads, Armadale), starting at 7:00pm. The $50 entry fee includes dinner with drinks at bar prices.

There will be plenty of prizes to be won in the trivia contest, as well as the auction of an Ultegra equipped Millward bike valued at $3299.There will also be memorabilia from athletes competing at Athens and the 2004 Tour de France; Cycling-elated artwork; and a VO2 max test.

With 48,000 Australians suffering a stroke each year, the National Stroke Foundation is working towards the prevention of stokes. This trivia night will help the National Stroke Foundation continue its work.

Places must be reserved by Friday 5 November 2004, in tables of 10 or as individuals. Reservations can be made by sending a cheque to:

Anna Millward, c/o Deacons
GPO Box 4592
Melbourne, 3001

For more information, email annarw@tpg.com.au.

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