Latest Cycling News for March 8, 2007
Edited by Gregor Brown
CSC's anti-doping programme approved by UCI
By Susan Westemeyer
The UCI has given its seal of approval to Team CSC's anti-doping programme, lead by Rasmus Damsgaard and the Bispebjerg Hospital. The team also announced that it has conducted more than 300 out of competition test since the project started more than three months ago, all of them negative.
According to the team's website, team-csc.com, the UCI's approval means "among other things, that the programme is recognized as an anti-doping authority and with that follows the necessary legal authorization regarding sanctions and the acquisition of test results for official use."
Damsgaard said that the UCI's approval "means the project will receive the status it deserves due to the ambitions which Bjarne Riis and the team have had from the beginning." He also noted that the "UCI has indicated to us that they have used our programme as a model for their own future initiatives, which means a great deal to us, because it gives our sport an even better chance to fight doping on a scientifically sound level."
"It's been our vision all along to create a project, which would set new standards and now we have it on paper," said Bjarne Riis. "Our main ambition has been to show how the sport can regain full credibility and at the same time give the riders the opportunity to win a lot of races without suspicion of doping. We're proud that the UCI is now giving our project their seal of approval and hopefully this will also inspire our colleagues on other teams."
Tinkov happy with Ronde van Vlaanderen invite
Tuesday, it was announced that Tinkoff Credit Systems would form part of the 25 teams for the Ronde van Vlaanderen, and team owner, Oleg Tinkov, could have not have been more satisfied. The team fought hard for the selection, taking out four wins in this season with its riders Pavel Brutt and Mikhail Ignatiev.
"I am very pleased and proud to have my team participate in the Ronde van Vlaanderen," the 40 year-old Russian commented to Cyclingnews Wednesday, March 7. "I am also quite happy about my team's performance and it has been a good start to the season. Thanks to Orlando Maini, our great Sport Director whose efforts are greatly appreciated.
"I will be even happier when our team wins a so called 'ProTour' race. For that to happen, we need more wild-card invitations to races, and our whole team, headed by Stefano Feltrin, is working tirelessly on this goal."
Along with the team of Oleg Tinkov will be the 20 ProTour teams and four other wild cards; Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner, Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen, Skil-Shimano and Wiesenhof-Felt.
Teams announce line-ups for Paris-Nice
By Susan Westemeyer
Bobby Julich and Fränk Schleck will be leading Team CSC in Paris-Nice, the Danish team has announced. "With the experience that Bobby has with this race and the form which Fraank demonstrated in Valencia, we ought to be very much in competition for the leader's jersey," said Directeur Sportif Alain Gallopin on the team's website, team-csc.com
CSC's line-up: Bobby Julich, Karsten Kroon, Fränk Schleck, Christian Vande Velde, Luke Roberts, Andy Schleck, David Zabriskie and Alexandr Kolobnev.
Liquigas General Manager Robert Amadio is looking for his team to play a strong role in the race. "Pellizotti and Paolini did well in the Tour of California, and Fischer could aim at a stage win too," he said. "Our goal is a stage win, but Pellizotti, who was ninth in California, could make the 'top ten' at Paris-Nice, too."
Liquigas: Franco Pellizotti, Luca Paolini, Patrick Calcagni, Murilo Fischer, Roman Kreuziger, Aleksandr Kuschynski, Matej Mugerli and Alessandro Vanotti.
Gerolsteiner's Davide Rebellin will be leading the German team in France, but it is counting on Bernhard Kohl and Oliver Zaugg in the mountain stages. The team also features Markus Zberg, who won the final stage of the race last year.
Gerolsteiner: Heinrich Haussler, Bernhard Kohl, Volker Ordowski, Davide Rebellin, Matthias Ruß, Ronny Scholz, Oliver Zaugg and Marcus Zberg.
And, finally, Caisse d'Epargne will send the following squad: Vicente García Acosta, David López García, Aitor Pérez Arrieta, Francisco Pérez, Nicolas Portal, Vicente Reynes, Joaquím Rodríguez and Luis León Sánchez.
Barloworld for Milano-Torino
Team Barloworld is looking to repeat its last year's success in Milano-Torino this weekend. Although 2006 winner Igor Astarloa is no longer in the team's ranks, it is sending a strong line-up, with two riders who finished in the top ten in the Swiss races last weekend, Pedro Arreitunandia and Kanstantsin Siutsou. In addition, the team is also sending Mauricio Soler, who won the climbing competition in the GP di Lugano.
Barloworld for Milano-Torino: Pedro Arreitunandia, Kanstantsin Siutsou, John-Lee Augustyn, Giosuè Bonomi, Diego Caccia, Giampaolo Cheula, Enrico Degano, Paolo Longo Borghini, James Perry and Mauricio Soler.
Casper flies the Unibet.com name in GP Samyn
In the mist of legal battles between the ASO, UCI and team Unibet.com, it is nice to see solid racing action, and what's more, a win by Frenchman Jimmy Casper, who rides for the very team caught up in controversy. Yesterday in Belgium, he took the victory in the Belgian Semi-Classic GP Samyn from a five-man sprint.
"It is the best way to react," said the 28 year-old to ANSA, regarding the exclusion of his team from the Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico. "To participate in the Three days of West-Vlaanderen is not really the same thing."
Casper, winner of Tour de France stage one, nipped Philippe Gilbert (Française Des Jeux), Bas Giling (Wiesenhof-Felt), Roger Hammond (T-Mobile) and Staf Scheirlinckx (Cofidis). It was the second year running for Belgian Gilbert to finish runner-up.
Rojas nets home region victory
By Monika Prell
José Joaquín Rojas, winner of the first stage of the Vuelta a Murcia, is very happy about his victory. "A victory in your region is like two. It's a success that has a special worth because we are here in my region." He dedicated the victory to his brother Mariano, who also was a professional cyclist before passing away in 1996.
Rojas explains that "the sprint was easy because of the falls. I had a lot of luck, but you have to recognise that my team was one of the most active teams today, and it was not an easy day due to the wind."
The 21 year-old Caisse d'Epargne rider presented his goals to todociclismo.com. "We are having a great season start with the victories of Luis León Sánchez in Mallorca, [Iván] Gutiérrez in the Tour Méditerranéen and [Alejandro] Valverde in Valencia. In Murcia we will give it all to maintain the run of luck of this first phase of the season, and in my region it's me who wants the victory."
In the crashed that occurred 500 meters to go were also some Spaniards, like David Herrero (Karpin-Galicia) and Aitor Galdos and Iñaki Flores (both Euskaltel-Euskadi), who all had to abandon the five-day race. Isasi is reported to have a fractured left collarbone.
The race continues today with stage 2, from Totana to Fortuna.
T-mobile tops in New Zealand
By Susan Westemeyer
The women's T-Mobile Team continues to dominate the Trust House Women's Tour in New Zealand, winning the first two stages. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg won the first stage and was able to defend her leader's jersey as teammate Oenone Wood won the second stage.
Teutenberg won the sprint in a 10-woman strong breakaway group in the first stage, a sprint prepared by Judith Arndt, who finished sixth. "It was a very windy day today. Judith was very strong and did all the work for me in the escape," Teutenberg said on the team's website, t-mobile-team.com.
On Thursday, it was Teutenberg who prepared the sprint for her teammate Wood. "The team rode a very strong finale in the last few kilometres and so I didn't have to do anything more than hold on and cross the finish line," said Wood about her first win in magenta.
The women are now leading in the T-Mobile internal battle of the sexes, with four season wins against only one for the men's team.
Barloworld dominates South Africa
By Susan Westemeyer
Team Barloworld put its stamp on the Giro del Capo Wednesday, finishing first, second and third in stage one. Félix Rafael Cárdenas won the stage and took over the leader's jersey.
He was joined on the podium by teammates Hugo Sabido, second, and Alexander Efimkin, third. Sabido won the mountain jersey, and the team won the team ranking.
"I have selected the best riders in our team to compete in this race, and they have achieved their objective today," said Director Sportif Claudio Corti. "We wanted a podium finish, but with all three Team Barloworld riders lining the podium and securing top positions, we will have our work cut out for us, in ensuring we continue to be victorious."
David George of CSC Marcello finished fourth, and vowed to keep fighting. "I am not going to give them a tour victory on a platter," he told cyclingnews.co.za. "They will have to work for it. I think tomorrow's stage around Vissershok and the hill climb time trial is where the tour is going to be won or lost."
Di Luca slowly rising
Danilo Di Luca was the king of 2005, with wins in the Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne, Pais Vasco, two stages of the Giro d'Italia and the overall ProTour classification. 2006 saw the Liquigas rider struggle with form in his home tour but he ended the season with a stage win in the Vuelta a España and a supporting role in Italy's World Championship win.
He has been training and watching the results from his home in Abruzzo, notably his new teammate's wins. Filippo Pozzato, signed over the winter, has taken wins in Haut Var and the Semi-Classic Omloop Het Volk. "It is still not yet the moment for me, but I want to start to make myself seen at the front," commented the 31 year-old to Luigi Perna of La Gazzetta dello Sport. "In the first five races I started out well, I was was with the favourites.
"Pozzato's objectives are at the first part of the season, with Sanremo and, above all, Flanders. It is normal that all the attention is now on him, given the results. But soon there will also be me; starting with Pais Vasco or maybe at Tirreno-Adriatico, where I would like to win the stage to San Giacomo."
Di Luca will take a double pronged approach to 2007, focusing on the Ardennes Classics and then the Giro. One of his main rivals for Amstel, Flèche and Liège, Paolo Bettini of Quick-Step, has already put a win on the board. "I do not watch all the victories of the others. I did this when I was young, not at 31 years. It is a situation that does not bother me. Bettini will be a rival for Liège-Bastogne-Liège with [Alejandro] Valverde, but not only them.
"For me it is normal, it is a question of maturity," said Di Luca regarding his training without being in the winning spotlight. "If you are pointing towards a grand objective then it is like that. And for me there is also the Giro d'Italia. But with respect to Ivan Basso I am a little more present in the spring and at the end of the season."
He will make his way back into racing with the Milano-Torino, followed by the Tirreno-Adriatico and the Milano-Sanremo. Any hopes for a win on the Via Roma are quickly quashed. "I will be there to the end, but I will not have the legs to attack on the Poggio and win. If I am able to I will help Pozzato."
The contract between The Killer and Liquigas ends with 2007 but he does not wish to change teams. "In this team I am good and I am not searching for an alternative." For the future he added, "I am relaxed ... In the next years I will continue to grow. ... Expecting more from myself."
Young Ullrich remembered
By Phill Bates AM, Organiser Commonwealth Bank Cycle Classic 1982-2000
Jan Ullrich came to Australia to contest the Commonwealth Bank Cycle Classic as the recently crowned Amateur World Champion. We had many World road champions compete in the Classic but none as young at just 19 years of age and with such incredible ability.
Ullrich was quite unbelievable - he could time trial, climb, bridge big gaps by himself and sprint with the very best and the bike was a natural extension of his body. He never appeared to panic.
For the many people that were associated with the race in those years, they all knew that Jan Ullrich was something special and we knew that it would not be long before he would race professional and be standing on the Tour de France podium.
Jan was impressive not just as a cyclist but as a person, and despite limited English in his early years, you never left meeting him with any doubt of how genuine he was.
It was not surprising to see Jan Ullrich return again the following year and enjoy the country criteriums before competing in the Classic. Out of the Grand Prix series, staged over four rounds, Ullrich won three of the four rounds and finished third in the other behind great sprinters Max Van Heeswijk and Jeremy Hunt. Some of Australia's best road sprinters and many national champions, including the likes of Robbie McEwen, Jay Sweet, John Den Braber, Bob Rasenberg, Chris Lillywhite, Thomas Brozyna, Dave McKenzie and many others couldn't match his sprint ability - a feature we rarely saw in his professional career.
But in 1994, Jan Ullrich showed how supportive he was of his own teammates and worked relentlessly for Jens Voigt to win the race. It was the same loyalty displayed in the 1996 Tour de France when he helped Bjarne Riis win the Tour.
I well remember a press conference that Ulrich had after his win in the 1997 Tour de France and he was asked what was his favourite country - he replied that Germany was a wonderful place because he was born there, he loved the food of Italy, France had made him a very special person but he loved Australia the most.
It was great having him compete in events in Australia and was fantastic to see him when he returned in 2000 to win the gold and silver medal at the Olympics. I followed his career with great interest and know that many of his competitors from all round the world will salute a great champion in more ways than one.
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