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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for November 1, 2006

Edited by Sue George & Greg Johnson

Pantani Rediscovered: Il Pirata-l'orgoglio ritrovato

By Gregor Brown

Actor Rolando Ravello as Marco Pantani
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

Italian Bibi Ballandi is directing a fictional film based on the life of Marco Pantani, winner of the 1998 Giro d'Italia and Tour de France, who passed away on February 14, 2004. Il Pirata-l'orgoglio ritrovato will star Rolando Ravello as Marco Pantani and will be aired on Italian television this spring.

Filming was underway the this last week in Pantani's hometown of Cesenatico, where Ballandi was working with his film crew to reproduce the "Pantani Day," from eight years ago, on August 12th, when Marco Pantani was celebrated after returning from winning the Tour de France. Ravello, dressed in street clothes to resemble Il Pirata, was surrounded by yellow and pink-clad fans for the scene.

"I feel a great responsibility," said Ravello in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Pantani is not like Bartali or Coppi; his record is still fresh in the eyes of everyone...It is a very delicate story."

Filming in Cesenatico
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

"I was a huge fan of his," continued Ravello. "For me he was like a rock legend. It was him who made me passionate for cycling." The main actor described how he played the role of Pantani,"The jacket, the jeans with the pockets, the open shirt...I lowered the cap, I slimmed down, and adopted his posture."

Ballandi's film has taught Ravello about cycling and "the experience of pain and love for fatigue. When they would ask Pantani why he went so strong on the climbs he would respond, 'So the agony will end earlier.'"


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti

IOC pins hopes on new Spanish laws, while German teams hold the front

By Susan Westemeyer

New laws in Spain may enable the cycling federations to use the Operación Puerto documents, according to Thomas Bach, Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Chairman of its Sports and Law Commission. "The new health law goes into effect in November," said Bach. "In contrast to the current regulations, it specifically gives the exclusive responsibility for doping proceedings to the sports federations, and could cause the court to release documents."

Although last week the Spanish court ruled that the national federations may not use the Operación Puerto documents, the status of such riders as Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich remains unclear. At the moment, neither has signed with a team, and the ProTour teams, in a meeting on October 25 in Paris, reiterated their opposition to the signing of riders who are under suspicion.

"The front stands as before," remarked Gerolsteiner spokesman Mathias Wieland. Luuc Eisenga, Technical Director at T-Mobile Team, also gave his thoughts to Cyclingnews. "Our position remains unchanged, the peer pressure must persist," added Eisenga. "If everyone would be as professionally positioned as the ProTour teams, the front would be much harder."

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'

May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
May 15, 2009 - Valverde not welcome in Denmark
May 14, 2009 - Spanish federation wants proof in Valverde case
May 13, 2009 - Spanish Olympic Committee defends Valverde
May 12, 2009 - Valverde responds to sanction
May 11, 2009 - Italian tribunal delivers Valverde two-year suspension
May 8, 2009 - Valverde case: Italian Olympic Committee defends Torri
May 7, 2009 - Valverde to take legal action against CONI prosecutor
May 5, 2009 - WADA and Spanish federation join CONI and UCI on Valverde
May 1, 2009 - International Cycling Union joins in on Valverde's hearing in Italy

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of Operación Puerto

Nys to tackle Koppenberg Cross today

By Brecht Decaluwé

Sven Nijs (Rabobank)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Today, cyclocrossers will race the The Koppenberg-cross, officially the GP Willy Naessens. The Koppenberg is the first event of the "Gazet van Antwerpen-trofee," and has been won previously three times by Sven Nys (Rabobank).

A crowd of 15,000 is expected up and around the Koppenberg, a hill featured in the legendary Tour of Flanders. In April, it was the place where Tom Boonen (Quickstep) and some happy few were the only riders to actually ride up the hill.

Going into today's race, Sven Nys is confident. "I've won my races during the previous weeks, but still the Koppenberg-cross is something really special. The GvA-trophy is again a goal for me so I want to win immediately."

A real classic, riders who fail to perform well in this race often do poorly for the rest of the season. "It's the first race where you can't hide," said Nys.

The UCI points leader can expect opposition from Bart Wellens (Fidea), and John Gadret (AG2R), who finished third last year. Younger riders like Niels Albert (Palmans) and Zdenek Stybar (Fidea) will compete in the elite race, in contrast to most other races where they compete in the U23 races.

Rain has afflicted the region for most of the night which will create exciting conditions for the racers and fans.

Simoni to make Revolution-ary track appearance

Italian cycling star and double Giro d'Italia winner Gilberto Simoni will make an appearance in yet another cycling discipline this season.

The ProTour road rider surprised fans when he ended his road season early this year to race his mountain bike. Simoni was crowned Italian Marathon Mountain Bike Champion. Now he will turn in his mountain bike shoes and head for the track. He will join teammate David Millar on the track for the next round of the Revolution series at the Manchester velodrome.

Simoni and Millar will not be the only roadie pro in attendance. Others will include Bradley Wiggins and Roger Hammond. Organizer James Pope said the Revolution "will provide a unique opportunity to see some top road riders on the track."

The road pros will face tough opposition from the British track specialists with experienced riders such as Tony Gibb and James Taylor and junior stars including Points Champion Peter Kennaugh.

Hansen leaves hospital after surgery

By Susan Westemeyer

Adam Hansen (T-Mobile) was released from the hospital in Freiburg, Germany, after a successful operation on his nose and sinuses Friday. The 25-year-old Australian had polyps removed from both sinuses, and the doctor also removed swollen nasal mucous membranes. This will allow him to breath better.

"Adam is doing well and is already on his way with his girlfriend to their home in the Czech Republic," said team doctor Stefan Voigt. If all goes well, Hansen should be able to start training again at the end of next week. He expects to fly home to Australia on November 9th. Hansen recently signed a one-year contract with T-Mobile for the upcoming season.

Raceineurope announces ambitions

The German-based development team has unveiled its future strategy. The team aims to become a professional continental team by 2008. Raceineurope attends top amateur-level races including interclub races, national calendar races, and UCI events throughout northern Europe including Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Denmark.

This year, the team's roster featured seven riders including four Australians and one rider from South Africa, but it will expand for 2007. attributes its succes to how it invites and treats riders. Team members cover their own costs for staying with the team in Europe, but they are fully supported with equipment such as bikes, kits and technical support The team is sponsored by Italian manufacturer Daccordi and the German carbon company Emporelli. Interested riders should visit the teams website

Bru reinforces Euskaltel

By Antonio J. Salmerón

The Euskaltel-Euskadi ProTour team signed Spanish rider Jon Bru for the 2007 season. Bru was born in the Basque town of Bera de Bidasoa, in 1977, and has earned five victories during his professional career after turning pro in 2002 with the Portuguese squad LA-Pecol. After riding for three years with LA-Pecol, Bru rode for Kaiku.

"I am very happy for signing with a Basque team and one of the best ones of the world. Now, I can participate in the most important international races," said Bru. "Racing in the pretigious Liège-Bastogne-Liège or the Flèche Wallonne is a dream made reality for a rider of my characteristics. I will have extra motivation for preparing this kind of races."

Grupo Nicolás Mateos signs Juliá and Buendía

By Antonio J. Salmerón

The Spaniard rider Cayetano Juliá, who raced in the Caisse d'Epargne Illes Balears during the two last seasons, and the neo-professional Jesus Buendía, who made his debut in 2006 with the 3 Molinos Resort Murcia Turística, have both signed contracts with continental Spanish team Grupo Nicolás Mateo.

Cayetano Juliá won two stages in the 2004 Tours of Portugal and Spain. On the other hand, Jesús Buendía earned his reputation asa domestic this season.

Grupo Nicolás Mateo boasts sixteen racers going into 2007, and its squad is built around team leader Sergi Escobar, who won the final General of the Vuelta a Madrid in 2006.

NZ announce track teams

BikeNZ has taken the wraps off the teams of riders that will represent the country in track cycling throughout for the remainder of 2006 and into '07. Two teams included in the announcement will represent New Zealand in the opening two rounds of the 2007 UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Sydney, where it will focus on meeting qualification criteria for world championship and Olympic events, and Moscow, which will be approached with the aim of developing its riders. The third team will contest the 2007 Oceania Track Championships in Melbourne this November.

Sydney World Cup team
- Jason Allen (Blenheim), Hayden Godfrey (Christchurch), Marc Ryan (South Canterbury) Pete Latham (Te Awamutu), Westley Gough (Waipukurau), Greg Henderson (Dunedin)
Women - Alison Shanks (Dunedin), Catherine Cheatley (Wanganui)

Moscow World Cup team
Darren Shea (Christchurch), Westley Gough, Sam Bewley (Rotorua), Jesse Sergent (Feilding), Marc Ryan

2007 Oceania Track Championships
Elite Men
- Jason Allen (Blenheim), Tim Bennett (Putaruru), Neil Campbell (Auckland), Adam Coker (Auckland), Ian Densie (Christchurch), Greg Henderson (Dunedin), Pete Murray (Morrinsville), Glenn Rewi (Christchurch), Nathan Seddon (Dunedin), Adam Stewart (Christchurch), Damian Wiseman (Auckland)
U19 Men - Eddie Dawkins (Invercargill)
Elite Women - Catherine Cheatley (Wanganui), Juliet Earle (Christchurch), Rosy McCall (Auckland), Jocelyn Rastrick (Christchurch), Alison Shanks (Dunedin)
U19 Women - Rachel Chester (Christchurch), Sequoia Cooper (Invercargill), Cathy Jordan (Invercargill), Phillipa Swain (Christchurch)

Rojo renews with Relax Gam

Spanish Professional team Relax-Gam has renewed the contract of Spanish racer Nacor Burgos Rojo for one more year. Rojo, who turned professional in 1999, crashed out of this year's Vuelta a España on stage 16 but achieved third with the outfit during this year's Tour of Qinghai Lake in China, a UCI Asia Tour round.

Webcor-Platinum signs three new women

Webcor-Platinum Women's team has unveiled its 2007 rider line-up, featuring two Olympians and five National Champions. The women's outfit's new signings for 2007 include Olympian Rachel Heal, dual Australian worlds team member Helen Kelly, two-times American U23 National Champion Mara Abbott, Laura Yoisten and Beverley Harper.

"This is the best and most balanced team we have ever had!" said team manager Karen Brems, herself an Olympian. "I am really excited to have the opportunity to develop new talent like Mara and Amber, and also to be able to rely on the strength and experience of riders like Christine and Rachel. Best of all, everyone is 100% committed to the team effort - we will win races and have a lot of fun along the way!"

In addition to the new signings Christine Thorburn, Katheryn Curi, and Amber Rais will all return for another year with the outfit.

Danielson to raise money for ACA Juniors

Tom Danielson of the Discovery Channel Professional Cycling Team and Lee's Cyclery will hold a benefit to raise money for American Cycling Association's Junior Spring Cycling camps in Colorado. The event, to be held on Thursday, November 9 at Lee's Cyclery south store (931 E. Harmony Road, Fort Collins, Colorado), will be free admission with raffles, silent auction and door prizes running throughout the night. The night kicks off at 6pm with Danielson being interviewed by Dave Towle an hour later, before answering questions from the audience.

Danielson will also lead a group ride the following Saturday in Fort Collins from 1030 hours. The 35km ride, which requires a $100 donation, is limited to 30 entrants - who will also have their photos taken with Tom.

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