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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for September 6, 2006

Coming up on

Cyclingnews will cover the 60th edition of the Dauphiné Libéré live as of stage 4 on Wednesday, June 10, at approximately 15:00 local Europe time (CEST)/ 23:00 Australian time (CDT)/ 9:00 (USA East).

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Edited by John Kenny & John Stevenson

CPA: Moser doping comment taken out of context

Francesco Moser.
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

The CPA, the professional cyclist's representative body, says that comments made by its president Francesco Moser on doping were taken out of context.

Moser had said on Italian TV, "If all riders can be brought to the same level then we should stick with doping controls. If not, then for the professionals perhaps the solution is [total legalisation]."

The CPA stated in a press release that it was anxious to underline that Moser's declaration should be considered in the context of a discussion that was a lot more complex than the simple sentence that was picked up by the media.

Moser also said that his comment constituted his personal opinion and not the views of the CPA and in no way was intended to weaken the fight against doping.

Hammond to T-Mobile?

Top British rider Roger Hammond is set to ride for the German T-Mobile team next year, according to several sources. The 32-year-old will join countryman Mark Cavendish on the team's 2007 roster.

T-Mobile has also signed Servais Knaven, Bernard Eisel and Jakob Piil for the 2007 magenta brigade, replacing riders of the calibre of Andreas Klöden, Matthias Kessler and Jan Ullrich.

DFL-Cyclingnews and Giant Asia confirmed for Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Organisers have announced that the DFL-Cyclingnews and Giant Asia Racing teams will join Savings & Loans and the defending champions AG2R in the line-up for this year's Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

UCI Continental team DFL - Cyclingnews team heads the list of teams for the 2006 Jayco Herald Sun Tour. The team includes six Australians, led by former Australian under-23 team member, Cameron Jennings from Queensland.

Jennings finished in the top twenty in the 2005 Australian road championships, rode the 2004 Tour of Queensland and 2001 Tour Down Under. He will be partnered by Queensland domestiques Kane Oakley, who was 2003 Queensland Cyclist of the Year and Leigh Palmer.

Talented New Zealander Jeremy Vennell was in the top ten in the early stages of last year's tour and Tasmanian Bernard Sulzberger, was a guest rider for Team Cyclingnews in last year's Jayco Herald Sun Tour before joining the team this year for his first full year as a pro in Europe. His best result this year is 4th place overall in the Tour of Chong Ming Island in China.

Australian's David Harrigan, who was a late withdrawal last year, will get another chance to ride the Tour after appearances in 2001 and 2004 and Tour debutant Grant Irwin (QLD) will round out the seven-rider line-up.

Irish Olympian David McCann - last year's third place getter in the Tour behind winner Simon Gerrans and runner-up Dominique Perras from Canada - will head the Giant Asia line up. McCann will start in his fourth Jayco Herald Sun Tour, hoping to go two spots better than his 2005 effort.

Riding for the Irish national team in 2005, McCann won the 11km time-trial up Mount Dandenong last year to put himself onto the podium.

From Belfast, McCann has collected a stage win at the Tour of Qinghai Lake in China and won the opening prologue time trial at the Tour of Thailand, produced impressive performances at the Commonwealth Games to finished fifth in the time trial and 12th in the road race. He is an Olympic and world championships representative.

For the first time two riders from Iran will participate in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, with 31-year-old Ghader Mizbani Iranagh and countrymen Hossein Askari, also 31, set to create history.

The duo currently sit atop the UCI Asian rankings with Iranagh scoring overall titles at the Tour of Azerbaijan, Tour of East Java and Tour of Turkey in 2006.

Countryman Hossein Askari is an eight-time national time trial champion and has also had a solid season in Asia, finishing second on the general classification at the Tour of Qinghai Lake, Tour of Thailand and Tour of Turkey.

English rider Daniel Lloyd makes his Tour debut. The 26-year-old also won a stage at the Tour of Qinghai Lake and was fourth overall. The former world mountain bike championships representative is a strong time-traillist - finishing third in the 2005 national championships.

Stephen Gallagher finished 13th at the Commonwealth Games in the road race riding for Northern Ireland.

German Tobias Erler, 27, has won the Tour of Korea and was 2nd in the time-trial at the World Student Games in Belgium this year. The team will be rounded out by veteran Irishmen Paul Griffin.

2006 Jayco Herald Sun Tour stages

Stage 1 - October 8: Shepparton criterium, 1hr +3 laps
Stage 2 - October 9: Shepparton - Bendigo, 179km
Stage 3 - 10: Bendigo - Nagambie, 158km
Stage 4 - October 11: Mitchelton Winery (Nagambie) - Benalla, 178km
Stage 5 - October 12: Benalla - Lake Mountain, 183km
Stage 6 - October 13: Studley Park - Yarra Boulevard ITT, 12km
Stage 7- October 14: Lygon St Criterium, 65 km

Jo Planckaert plans comeback

After a three-year suspension for his part in the Belgian Landuyt doping affair, Jo Planckaert is planning a comeback according to

The 35-year-old Planckaert has not ridden competitively for over two years. "The manner in which I in left [professional cycling] in 2004 goes straight to my heart," he said. "Moreover, I must firstly lose weight, [about] ten kilograms."

Mikel Gaztanaga signs for Agritubel

Spaniard Mikel Gaztanaga Echeverria will ride Agritubel for the next two seasons. Gaztanaga has been a professional cyclist since 2003 and will leave Team Atom. This year he posted victories in the Circuito de Getxo and the Tour de Vendée.

Aurelien Clerc to Bouygues-Telecom

Aurelien Clerc has secured a contract for 2007 with Bouygues-Telecom Clerc's current employer, Phonak, will fold at the end of the season. The 27-year-old sprinter is in his second year at Phonak after riding for Quick Step from 2002-2004.

Clerc has had one win this season, the second stage of the Clásica Alcobendas and won Nokere Koerse in 2002.

Canadian women's squad for Tour d'Ardèche

The Canadian women's squad has been announced for the Tour d'Ardèche, which takes place in France from September 6 - 10. The Canadian squad will be one of 18 international teams.

The Canadian team consists of Erinne Willock, Alexandra Wrubleski, Leigh Hobson, Anne Samplonius and Kirsten Robbins.

2007 Trust House Women's Tour route

Race director Jorge Sandoval yesterday revealed the route of the 2007 edition of New Zealand's premier stage race for women, the Trust House Women's Cycle Tour of New Zealand.

"In order to keep the momentum built up by the World Cup and Women's Tours, we will run a bigger Women's Tour of New Zealand in the Wellington and Wairarapa area in March 2007 and hopefully we can attract some top-class bike riders," said Sandoval.

Over the five days of racing riders will complete seven stages with a total of 470 kilometres. The race starts with a circuit in Hutt City on Wednesday March 7, and finishes with a criterium in Wellington on Sunday March 11.

A new feature of 2007's race will be the inclusion of the steepest hill climb in the Wairarapa area, Admiral Hill. This has previously only figured ion the men's edition of the race and will present a tough challenge.

Unlike the previous tour where New Zealand teams where restricted to three, the 2007 version will allow club riders from throughout the country to enter the event as individual or club teams.

"We want to bring the elite and grass roots of New Zealand cycling together, this is the only way that our up and coming riders get to race against top overseas riders right here in our country," said Sandoval.


Stage 1 - March 7: Hutt City Criterium, 35 km
Stage 2 - March 8: Martinborough - Masterton, 99km
Stage 3 - March 9: Masterton - Pahiatua, 70km
Stage 4 - March 9: Pahiatua - Masterton, 60km
Stage 5 - March 10: Masterton Circuit, 125.3km
Stage 6 - March 11: Wellington Individual Time Trial, 14km
Stage 7 - March 11: Wellington Criterium, 35km

Double winner back for fiftieth Southland celebrations

By Alan Messenger

One of the special guests for the 50th Tour of Southland this year will be Stephen Cox , a double winner of the race and one of the tough men of New Zealand cycling in the nineteen seventies and eighties.

Cox won all of the major tours in New Zealand, won the national road championship and represented New Zealand at Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

These days the Waikato man works as a sales manager for brewer Lion Nathan and in his spare time he is a successful cycling promoter. In that capacity he organized two Women's World Cup events and the high profile Hamilton to Whangamata fun ride.

Cox has fond memories of the Tour of Southland, which rode eight times for two wins, two second placings and fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth placings. "Its just the whole environment down there. Everybody knows the race is on. It doesn't matter where you go, and everyone loves to see it. It's the best tour in New Zealand by a long shot," Cox said.

Cox's most vivid memory of the Tour of Southland isn't of either of his two victories, though. "Yes I won it twice in 1981 and 1982 but I always believe that I should have won it for a third time in 1983," he said.

"We had a pretty interesting episode on the side of the road when the police stopped the bunch and not me. We started just out from Invercargill but came through the city on the way to Bluff and it was quite a windy day. I was away on my own and the bunch was all over the road apparently. A policeman pulled up just in front of me but didn't say anything but he stopped the bunch behind me. The gap was only about thirty seconds and I just kept going and virtually rode all the way to Bluff before they convinced me to stop and meanwhile the rest of the race was still sitting just out of Invercargill. There were some lengthy discussions and they ended up actually bringing them all up to where I was and starting us again. They started me twenty seconds in front and we were only a couple of kilometres out of Bluff and then there was the Bluff hill. I'd ridden my butt off into the head wind and they'd all had a free ride from Invercargill in the cars. I lost a lot of time going up the hill. I got most of it back later but I still landed up being only second. It was just one of those things, right or wrong!"

Although there were fewer overseas riders in the Tour in those days, Cox rates the Kiwis of the time as being tops. "In the late seventies and early eighties we had Vern Hanaray, Blair Stockwell, Mike Hughes, Paul Jesson, Eric MacKenzie and Jack Swart.About that time Brian Fowler first rode the Tour as a junior then along came a new bunch headed by Graeme Miller and Paul Leitch," he said.

Cox particularly remembers some fierce battles with his friend and Waikato team mate Jack Swart. "We may have been team mates to some degree but we'd still race our butts off to beat each other," he recalled.

There will no doubt be plenty of other stories bandied about at the Tour this year.

4Wheels4Sean charity contributes $17000 to Paraplegic Benefit Fund

The trustees of 4Wheels4Sean, an Australian charity that raised finds for quadriplegic cyclist Sean Fitzgerald, have decided to close the charity and donate the remaining $17,000 in the fund to the Paraplegic Benefit Fund (PBF).

The PBF delivers education programs to prevent spinal injury and help those who have suffered spinal injuries. It also has close links to the mountain bike world with the gruelling Simpson Desert Classic held in late September each year being a fundraiser for the PBF.

Tony South of PBF said, "The Paraplagic Benefit Fund is a charity that works hard to help reduce the number of new spinal cord injuries each year and to enhance the quality of lives of those already living with the debilitating injury."

"The fund is hugely grateful to receive the surplus funds from 4Wheels4Sean and will use the money in its gifting program. This helps buy equipment such as wheelchairs and computers for people with spinal cord injuries enabling them to live a more independent life. The fund would like to thank 4Wheels4Sean for its generous donation."

Sean Fitzgerald, who was a keen mountain biker and regular participant in MTB events, was made a quadriplegic in 2000. Huw Kingston of Wild Horizons, organizers of the Berghaus Polaris Challenge, Urban Polaris and VAUDE Highland Fling, resolved to raise $50,000 to purchase a specially adapted vehicle for Fitzgerald. The charity 4Wheels4Sean was born in late 2001.

Mountain bikers, cyclists, event organisers and the bike industry got behind the fund and in 2003 the car was presented, making life much easier for Fitzgerald and his family.

Kingston and the trustees expressed their thanks to all of those who contributed to 4Wheels4Sean over the period of its activities.

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