First Edition Cycling News for September 23, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones & John Stevenson
Danielson to Discovery
Tom Danielson has confirmed rumours that he will ride for the Discovery Channel team (currently know as US Postal) in 2005. "I've signed the letter of intent to ride for two years with Discovery, which is basically the same as signing the new contract," Danielson told Cyclingnews. "I'm out of my existing contract with Fassa - we came to an agreement and that's how it is. I don't have any hard feelings against them at all, and I thank them a lot for everything they have taught me this year."
After dominating US domestic racing in 2003 with Saturn, Danielson moved to Italy in 2004 to ride for Fassa Bortolo, but - while the affable Coloradan is too polite to criticise his current employers - it's clear the experience hasn't lived up to his expectations. Danielson had hoped to ride the Tour de France, and when that didn't materialize was told by the team he would be sent to the Vuelta. But he was not named to Fassa's Vuelta squad, with the team apparently preferring to concentrate on supporting Alessandro Petacchi to stage victories than go after a general classification or mountains placing.
Danielson therefore jumped at the chance to go the team of six-time Tour de France winner lance Armstrong.
"Johan Bruyneel and Discovery came to me in August with the dream," said Danielson. "I was more than excited by it, and the first time I got off the phone I told myself that I needed to make this happen, even though it might not be the easiest thing. But with Johan Bruyneel, Dirk Demol, Sean Yates and of course Lance Armstrong... the whole infrastructure of the team, it all became clear to me that this was where I wanted to go."
Look out for a full interview with Tom Danielson on Cyclingnews in the next couple of days.
Cardenas & Heras turn the screw
Colombian Felix Cardenas (Cafes Baque) won yesterday's 17th stage of the Vuelta a España as the race moved into its endgame and Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) secured his lead, putting two minutes of daylight between himself and Alejandro Valverde (Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme).
Cardenas hadn't even expected to be riding this Vuelta as just 15 days before the start he underwent an operation to repair a broken arm, and still has four screws holding the damaged bone together. "I really didn't want to ride in the Vuelta," said Cardenas. "I fell two weeks before the start and had an operation on a bone in my arm. I didn't feel too good but with a sense of self sacrifice, assuming my responsibilities and the help of my team it has come off."
His solo attack on the climb to the ski station at Covatilla split the leading breakaway, while behind him the peloton split, leaving the previous day's second-placed rider Alejandro Valverde struggling to limit his losses, and handing an advantage to Roberto Heras. Heras has proven to be the most consistently strong climber in a Vuelta dominated by the home country's mountain specialists who currently make up the entire top ten on general classification.
Valverde cracked 6km from the finish and afterwards said, "It was a terrible day. It is possible that I lost the Vuelta today."
Hearing that Valverde was in trouble, Heras turned on the pressure. "When my team-mate told me Valverde was suffering I decided to attack," he said. "I have taken a huge step towards winning the Vuelta though there is still a way to go."
Armstrong on Hamilton
At home in Austin, Texas preparing for upcoming events Tour Of Hope and Ride For The Roses, Lance Armstrong commented to Austin American-Statesman reporter Suzanne Halliburton about the news about his friend and Girona, Spain neighbor Tyler Hamilton.
"I'm surprised, but I also know this is the beginning of a long process," Armstrong said, referring to the tests needed to be done on Hamilton's B samples. "From my experiences with Tyler, he's as honest and straightforward as anyone I know. He's a friend of mine, and I'm just as surprised as anybody else is about this."
Top veteran wants better doping communication
On August 25 this year, Swede Thomas Åberg experienced a sweet but short joy. At the World Masters Road Championships in St. Johann, Austria, the 2001 and 2002 world time trial champion took his third world title, this time in Class 3 (for riders between 45 to 49 years old), and immediately went back to his apartment to celebrate with friends.
Unlike his two previous world titles though, Åberg was asked to participate in a UCI doping control, but missed it because, he says, he was busy celebrating. After hearing his side of the story, Gabriella Ekström questions the harshness of the punishment in light of the non-routine nature of drug testing in masters' racing.
Åberg's story seems to be one of disorganized systems and riders who are inexperienced in being subjected to doping controls, as most veteran racers don't have the elite background that provides experience in dealing with the doping control systems. He says he'd like to see more doping controls at top veteran events. "I think it would be good if there were frequent tests, because then the routines would be better. I realise that it is a matter of money, and that's why we aren't tested so often. I am convinced that there's no doping in veteran cycling, because at least in Sweden, there's no money to make in it. We are just happy, enthusiastic people who like to ride our bikes."
Kazakhstan world's team
The Kazakhstan Cycling Federation has announced the four riders that will represent the country in the men's elite road race at the world championships in Verona, Italy September 27-October 3.
Alexander Vinokourov will be team leader, supported by his T-Mobile team-mate Sergey Yakovlev. Rounding out the four will be Andrey Kashechkin (Credit Agricole), the Kazakhstan cyclist of the year, and Dmitriy Fofonov (Cofidis). While Kashechkin and Fofonov are less well-known than Vinokourov, they have both shown good form recently, taking first and second places respectively in the GP Fourmies.
Steels ends season
The Landbouwkrediet-Colnago team has announced that Tom Steels will not ride any more races this season. Steels was scheduled to ride the Omloop van het Houtland - Lichtervelde on September 30, but has been released from that obligation while he recovers from a cold he picked up at Tour de Poitou-Charentes and prepares for an operation he needs on his foot.
Interbike to host fourth Yoplait Women's Cycling Conference
The Interbike trade show (Las Vegas, October 4-8) will play host to the fourth Yoplait Women's Cycling Conference, which will focus on making bike shops more welcoming to women, and on ways women's organizations can work more effectively with sponsors from the bicycle industry.
The conference will be held in room Casanova 503 of the Venetian hotel from 3:00 to 4:30 PM on Thursday, October 7 and is open to everyone who supports women's cycling.
One of the goals of the conference is to provide shop owners and staff with the information they need become more "woman-friendly". The panel will include national experts in retailing to women along with shop owners who have learned their secrets. This topic should be of particular interest to bike shop owners who can see their profits rise by creating a more positive environment for their women customers.
For more information contact David LaPorte at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.WomenCyclists.com.
Roger Hammond at Cycle 2004
British national champion Roger Hammond will be appearing on the Tour of Britain stand at the Cycle 2004 show in London, which starts today and finishes Sunday. Hammond, who will ride for lance Armstrong's Discovery Channel team in 2005 is flying in specially for the show and will be available to meet fans and sign autographs.
For more information see www.cycleshow.co.uk
Quick-Step for Circuit Franco-Belge
The Quick-Step Davitamon team has announced the riders that will line up for this weekend's Circuit Franco-Belge (September 23-26) Under directeur sportif Serge Parsani the team will field Frederic Amorison, Paolo Bettini, Tom Boonen, Davide Bramati, Wilfried Cretskens, Servais Knaven, and Nick Nuyens.
Lampre for the weekend
The Lampre team has also published its rosters for this weekend's three major Italian events.
Coppa Sabatini (Italy, September 23): Sergio Barbero, Wladimir Belli, Simone Bertoletti, Marco Marzano, Marco Pinotti, Andrej Hauptman, Michele Scotto d'Abusco and Romans Vainsteins. Direttore sportivo: Maurizio Piovani.
Giro dell'Emilia (September 25): Sergio Barbero, Wladimir Belli, Marco Marzano, Andrej Hauptman, Marco Pinotti, Michele Scotto d'Abusco, Romans Vainsteins and Patxi Vila. Direttore sportivo: Maurizio Piovani.
G.P Beghelli (September 26): Sergio Barbero, GianLuca Bortolami, Paolo Bossoni, Marco Marzano, Marco Pinotti, Andrej Hauptman, Romans Vainsteins and Patxi Vila. Direttore sportivo: Maurizio Piovani.
Cofidis for Paris-Correze
The Cofidis team has announced the riders who will start the Paris-Correze stage race, September 24-26. Under assistant directeur sportif Alain Deloeuil the team will field: Frédéric Bessy, Christophe Edaleine, Dmitriy Fofonov, A. Moinard (stagiaire), David Moncoutie and Damien Monier.
Fassa for the weekend
The Fassa Bortolo team has announced the riders that will line up for the weekend's two major Italian races.
For the Giro Dell'Emilia, September 25 the team will field Fabian Cancellara, Massimo Codol, Thomas Danielson, Luca De Angeli, Mauro Facci, Dario Frigo, Gustav Larsson, and Matteo Tosatto, with Giancarlo Ferretti and Alberto Volpi as directeurs sportifs.
At the following day's G.P. Bruno Beghelli, Fassa will be represented by Francesco Chicchi, Massimo Codol, Thomas Danielson, Luca De Angeli, Mauro Facci, Juan Antonio Flecha, Roberto Petito, and Filippo Pozzato
Friday Night Track finale
The Friday Night Winter Track racing series at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome has its season finale tomorrow night with over AU$6000-worth of cash and prizes up for grabs.
The evening's feature event will be the Campagnolo 1.5km Wheelrace, with a pair of Campagnolo Pista wheels on offer for the winner with added attractions including the Red Bull girls and Red Bull Mobile Energiser team, ready to hand out an energy boost to anyone who needs one.
Driven by the seemingly boundless energy of local promoter Paul Craft, the series has helped in the preparation of numerous successful Australian riders in the last two years, including Paralympic champions Janelle Lindsey and Lindy Hou, masters world champion David Willmott, and Australian under-19 criterium and road champion Skye-Lee Armstrong.
Racing starts at 5:45 with junior development events and will be followed by the post-series party and presentations at the Handlebar Tavern. "The presentation in the Handle Bar Tavern at the end of the night is always a great celebration of the series," said Craft. "I encourage everyone, riders, spectators, family members, husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends and secret lovers to come along."
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)