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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for September 28, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

Boonen looking forward to a break

Tom Boonen
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
Click for larger image

Today (Wednesday), Tom Boonen will be operated on in a Belgian hospital, and thus will finally get some rest after his very busy schedule of the last couple of days.

During a press conference in Antwerp, which was held on the Flandria boat on Tuesday afternoon, Boonen told the press that he is actually looking forward to getting some sleep. "The last 48 hours were so hectic. I'm almost happy that I'll get knocked-out on the operation table on Wednesday - that way I'll finally get some sleep. I might even ask for some extra anaesthesia," the newly crowned World Champion joked.

The press conference started with images of the WC finale. "It's the first time I saw the sprint," Tom commented afterwards "It felt quite odd. Normally, I never watch my races; don't really have the time to do that. But the images give a slightly distorted view. In fact, the front group never had that much lead. It feels good to see myself become World Champion anyway."

Tom's Rainbow Jersey was considered 'lost' after a wild night on the town in the city of Madrid. "I thought I had lost it in a night-club in Madrid, but I received an sms saying the shirt has been returned," Boonen confessed, slightly embarrassed. Apparently Boonen had trouble remembering that he had given the precious piece of clothing to two "less intoxicated" Belgian fans to safeguard it for him. On Tuesday, the jersey was returned to him as promised.

"The party on Monday night in Balen was kept short though. I got to meet with the King this morning. I spoke to him for a few minutes. We didn't talk politics or about other important things of life, just simply about the race.

"I've seen all the newspapers yes, and it's really crazy. I got so many smses, too much to read all of them, really. I just made the effort to read those sent by people I know; I've left the others untouched as yet. It gets a bit too much of a good thing."

The new World Champion
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
Click for larger image

Boonen realises very well that it will be nearly impossible for him to equal this year's results next season. Also, he will be a marked man in the peloton, having the rainbow colours on his shoulders. "I can't be more marked than I was this season, can I?" he asked. "And as far as 'the curse of the World Champion's jersey is concerned: if I don't perform well next season, that's entirely my fault, not the jersey's!

"More than likely; my program for 2006 will look the same as this year's. That means that I will start with the Tour of Qatar, then probably will ride Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico. I prefer Paris-Nice myself. Not much will change. I want to win the same races I won this year. Maybe, as an extra feat, win the Green Jersey in the Tour de France. But to better than this year will be extremely hard," Boonen concluded.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Luc Claessen/

Di Luca in Zurich to settle ProTour

"In Zurich I can settle the Pro Tour 'affair'. I like the route and my condition is very good," said Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas-Bianchi), four days before the Züri Metzgete (Championship of Zurich). "A good placing could be enough for me but I won't race as an accountant. If I can, I will look for the win. I would like to make it mine definitely to race the last classic, the Giro di Lombardia, only concentrating on the day's result."

On Sunday in Zurich, Di Luca will be supported by Dario Andriotto, Michael Albasini, Patrick Calcagni, Mauro Gerosa, Vladimir Miholjevic, Andrea Noè and Charles Wegelius. Stefano Zanatta will serve as team director.

At the same time, starting on September 29 and finishing on October 2, the Liquigas-Bianchi team will take part in the Circuit Franco-Belge with the following riders: Mauro Da Dalto, Alberto Di Lorenzo, Nicola Loda, Marco Milesi, Luciano Pagliarini, Marco Righetto, Gianluca Sironi and Marco Zanotti. Team manager: Mario Scirea.

Liberty Seguros-Würth in final ProTour races

After celebrating Roberto Heras' victory in the Vuelta a España, the Liberty Seguros-Würth team has named its rosters for the final three ProTour races of the season.

Championship of Zurich (October 2): Carlos Barredo, Giampaolo Caruso, Allan Davis, David Etxebarria, Jan Hruska, Isidro Nozal, Michele Scarponi and Ángel Vicioso.

Paris - Tours (October 9): Carlos Barredo, Allan Davis, David Etxebarria, Jan Hruska, Isidro Nozal, Jose Joaquín Rojas, Michele Scarponi and Ángel Vicioso.

Giro di Lombardia (October 15): Carlos Barredo, Giampaolo Caruso, Allan Davis, David Etxebarria, Isidro Nozal, Michele Scarponi, Marcos Serrano and Ángel Vicioso.

The team also reports that Aaron Kemps, who was down to ride these races, suffered a fracture of his clavicle while he was training last weekend. On the other hand, Jose Joaquín Rojas will make his ProTour debut in Paris-Tours. He comes from the Würth-Liberty Seguros under 23 team, and is the second rider, after Jose Antonio Redondo, who has made the jump to the top team this year.

Asian wind in Japan Cup

By Miwako Sasaki

After the European season finishes, the 14th Japan Cup will be held on October 23 in the far east. It is the only top class one day race in Japan, and for Japanese fans, it's a rare chance to see the European riders. But this year, only four Pro Teams (Quickstep, Lampre - Caffita, Saunier Duval-Prodir and Illes Balears) will come to the Japan Cup, as a result of the changes in the UCI calendar.

The race has become a 1.1 category one day race as part of the new UCI Asia Tour this year, and the participation rules have been changed. Six top European trade teams came to the Japan Cup up until last year, but it has decreased to four. Dutch professional continental team Shimano-Memory Corp also will participate the race, but the team will be made up of Japanese riders.

The change also influences Japanese local teams. Only UCI registered teams (Asia Tour Continental Teams) can participate in the Japan Cup, therefore only five Japanese teams (Bridgestone-Anchor, Team Nippo, Kinan-CCD, Sumita Ravanello-Pearl Izumi and Miyata Subaru Racing Team) will start the race, and one Japanese national team will be formed too.

Not many European riders, not many Japanese riders, but a new wind will blow in the race. For the first time, seven Asian national teams will be invited to the Japan Cup. Although it isn't confirmed yet which countries will be invited, the organiser said 90 riders from various countries will compete in Japan's Autumn race.

Petacchi to "Memorial Cimurri"

Alessandro Petacchi will lead the Fassa Bortolo line up in the "Memorial Cimurri", on October 1 in Reggio Emilia. He'll be joined by Andrus Aug, Fabio Baldato, Paolo Bossoni, Massimo Giunti, Alberto Ongarato, Matteo Tosatto and Marco Velo. Team director: Mario Chiesa.

Sanderson to Davitamon-Lotto

The Davitamon-Lotto team has added another Australian rider to its ranks: 21 year old Nicolas Sanderson. The young sprinter finished third in the junior men's road race at the 2002 World Championships in Zolder.

John Ibbotson dies

Former British rider John Ibbotson has died unexpectedly on Tuesday morning, aged 27. According to early reports, he collapsed at his home in London, and paramedics were unable to save him. The cause of his death is unknown. It's expected that his funeral will be sometime next week.

Ibbotson rode with the RDM-Flanders team in 2002 and the team in 2003, before returning to the UK to ride for the Pacific RT squad in 2004. This year, he started a coaching business called Fit-For. His friends and family said that he had a zest for life and that he will be deeply missed.

Cyclingnews sends its condolences to John Ibbotson's family and friends.

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Milostic aiming for Victorian open

New South Wales rider Peter Milostic aims to snare three titles at the inaugural Victorian open road cycling championships in Mansfield, Victoria, Australia, this weekend. Milostic, 31, is based in Sydney but makes frequent successful trips interstate to compete in cycling events.

Milostic has won the New South Wales time trial championship five times, the Victorian version twice and the Australian club title, held in Queensland, on three occasions. His other interstate prizes include two stages of the Tour of Sunraysia, the 2002 Tour of the Tamar in Tasmania, and an eye-catching third placing in the 2005 Tour of Gippsland.

Milostic will contest the criterium, time trial and road race over the three days of the Victorian open championships, a new event on the Australian cycling calendar. The championships will be held from September 30 - October 2, and will feature a total of six races for men and women.

"This is a great concept and I am very keen to support it," Milostic said. "The best racing in Australia is the very well organised events in Victoria. They make you hungry for success."

The championships will open on Friday with criteriums in the Mansfield township, followed by time trials from Mansfield to Howqua/Jamieson on Saturday, and road races over laps of a 7.9 km circuit in Mansfield on Sunday.

Milostic will face hot opposition in all three events, especially from 19-year-old Victorian rising star Simon Clarke, winner of the recent Tour of the Murray River. Goulburn to Camden winner David McKenzie, runner-up in the 2004 Herald Sun Tour, has entered the criterium and road race, and former world junior time trial champion Josh Collingwood, of South Australia, will tackle the time trial and road race.

Full program

Friday, September 30

11am: Victorian Open Women's Criterium Championship 1pm: Victorian Open Men's Criterium Championship

Saturday, October 1

10am: Victorian Open Women's Time Trial Championship 1pm: Victorian Open Men's Time Trial Championship

Sunday, October 2

8am: Victorian Open Women's Road Championship 11am: Victorian Open Men's Road Championship

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