First Edition Cycling News for October 3, 2007
Edited by Greg Johnson & Paul Verkuylen
Di Luca gets date with CONI
Danilo Di Luca will face the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) on October 16, he will then find out if the four months suspension that the public prosecutor demanded in light of the Oil for Drugs investigation will be implemented. The anti-doping prosecutor made public his decision that the Giro d'Italia champion would face a four month suspension on September 27. When Di Luca heard the news, he immediately with drew himself from the Italian team for the World Championships in Stuttgart.
The Oil for Drugs investigation was opened in 2004 by the public prosecutor in Rome and revolves around the relationship between the controversial doctor Carlo Santuccione and various athletes that he supposedly supplied with doping products.
Lefevere pleased with Bettini
Patrick Lefevere is pleased with Quick.Step-Innergetic co-team leader Paolo Bettini, after he successfully defended his 2006 world title in Stuttgart on the weekend. "[Bettini is] without a doubt the best rider of the past 10 years, finally the champion that he always wanted to be," Lefevere proclaimed to Sportwereld.be.
Lefevere believes that his rider was in the best possible form during the race on Sunday and that he could immediately see that Bettini was riding well. "As a rider Paolo is a nervous mouse," he said. "I saw on Sunday immediately that he was comfortable. He rode away with the title again, never looked in trouble and rode like he had eyes in the back of his head.
"He is the best rider of the last 10 years, because unlike a lot of other riders, he races from January until October," he added.
Lefevere believes that Bettini's career really stared to gain momentum some eight years ago. "The day that his leader Bartoli broke his knee in the Tour of Germany in 1999 was the beginning for him," noted Lefevere. "He began with Liège in 2000 and from there he built his palmarès little by little."
As for Bettini's chances in his home tour, the Giro, Lefevere says that if he wasn't such a nervous rider and if he didn't want to win all the time, he has the talent to finish top five. "If Bettini wasn't such a nervous rider, then he could ride to a top ten in a Grand Tour," he said. "He can't concentrate on that sort of classification for three weeks. He always wants to go with the moves, he wants to win. He has a top five in the Giro in his legs. But then he couldn't ride Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-Sanremo and the Ronde van Vlaanderen to win, and he doesn't want to do that."
"After Stuttgart he has finally become the hero and the champion that he always wanted to be," added Lefevere. "In Athens Bettini took the gold, but in Italy he was still only seen as support for Cunego and Di Luca. Until Salzburg in 2006 and a week later when his brother Sauro had his accident, through his impressive win in Lombardy he became a hero."
Roulston to continue comeback in Australia
Having made an impressive return to cycling at the weekend's UCI World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, New Zealand's Hayden Roulston will continue his comeback at this month's Herald Sun Tour in Melbourne, Australia. The former Discovery Channel rider was forced out of the sport after being diagnosed with a arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD), a heart condition which doctors warned could be fatal if he continued racing.
The 26 year-old turned in a strong ride at the Worlds, despite not finishing the event. The ride backs his win this spring in the Tour of Wellington.
Roulston will support the Hayden Godfrey-led New Zealand squad at this year's Herald Sun Tour. Godfrey has had his own battle with health problems this season, having suffered from an iliac artery blockage for most of 2007, severely restricting his performances, but has now made a complete recovery.
The Herald Sun Tour will be used to help condition New Zealand's track endurance squad as preparations for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games kick into gear.
"Some teams and riders are winding down after a long road season, but for our guys this is the beginning of their Olympic campaign," revealed BikeNZ high performance logistics manager Bryan Simmonds. "The race is great preparation for the Oceania track championships (in Invercargill, New Zealand from 15-17 November) and the four track World Cups that lead up to the track worlds in Manchester in March next year."
"We need the points from the world cups and the world champs to qualify for the Olympics, so the Tour is a very important part of our preparations and we will certainly be aiming for a number of stage wins with our sprinters," Simmonds said.
The New Zealand squad will be sponsored Mitchelton Wines, the Victorian vineyard that has hosted a stage of the Herald Sun Tour for the past two years. "We are pretty excited about being able to support a team of the calibre of New Zealand," said Mitchelton Winery Manager John Beresford. "They work hard, are down to earth and strive for excellence in what they do. All qualities that fit perfectly with Mitchelton and the style of wine we are making in Victoria."
"Mitchelton have been Tour supporters for three years now," he added. "This year, our sponsorship of the New Zealand Team adds a further dimension to Mitcheltons association with the Tour. We are looking forward to bringing the spirit of great Trans-Tasman rivalries to one of the world's fastest growing sports."
Mitchelton Wines - New Zealand for Herald Sun Tour: Jason Allen, Hayden Roulston, Timothy Gudsell, Hayden Godfrey, Marc Ryan, Logan Hutchings and Aaron Tuckerman.
Barloworld signs trio
Team Barloworld has signed three new riders for 2008, adding to the 11 competitors already announced for next year's roster. Spain's Moisés Dueñas Nevado, Switzerland's Patrick Calcagni and Italy's Francesco Bellotti have all inked agreements with the British-registered, Italy-based, South African squad.
Dueñas Nevado, who won the Tour de l'Avenir in 2006, showed his strength at August's Regio Tour where he took a stage victory and the overall classification for his current Agritubel squad. The 26 year-old climber finished 39th in the 2007 Tour de France.
Calcagni joins the Professional Continental squad from Italian ProTour team Liquigas. The former Swiss Time Trial Champion is expected to act as one of Robert Hunter's lead out men.
Bellotti will leave French ProTour squad Crédit Agricole to join Barloworld. The 28 year-old finished runner-up in the 2006 Tour de Langkawi.
Italians ride spares
The entire Italian squad at the UCI World Road Championships, including now double World Champion Paolo Bettini, rode the outfit's spare bikes during Sunday's race. Thieves broke into the garage of the hotel where the Italian and the Brazilian team were staying and stole both teams' bikes on Saturday evening. The stolen bikes have been estimated to be worth approximately 50,000 euro.
The theft was the second to take place during the worlds in Stuttgart, Germany, with the Canadian squad losing most of its bikes earlier in the week. Canada's national team were lucky enough to have German ProTour squad Gerolsteiner allow it to use the squad's Specialized bikes for the worlds races.
Riders for Circuit Franco-Belge
By Susan Westemeyer
Mark Cavendish of T-Mobile Team will look for his 11th season victory in the upcoming Circuit Franco-Belge, as he leads a strong sprinting team in the four-stage race. Rival German Team Gerolsteiner will have sprinter Robert Förster leading its team in the race, which covers a total of 738,8 km.
"I am really looking forward to this race," admitted Cavendish. "I have had some great experiences in Belgium this year, winning at both Scheldeprijs and the ENECO Tour, and I have got a great group of riders around me for the four days here too. It is always great to ride with Roger – he has been responsible for many of my wins this year and hopefully he can help me get number 11 here."
T-Mobile: Eric Baumann, Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel, Roger Hammond, Andreas Klier, Servais Knaven, and stagiaires Ian Stannard and Marcel Beima.
Gerolsteiner: Robert Förster, Thomas Fothen, Thomas Frank (stagiaire), Heinrich Haussler, Sven Krauss, Volker Ordowski, Tom Stamsnijder and Thomas Wagner (stagiaire).
Quick.Step-Innergetic: Wilfried Cretskens, Steven De Jongh, Kevin Hulsmans, Sébastien Rosseler, Gert Steegmans, Cedric Vasseur, Wouter Weylandt and Maarten Wynants.
Unibet.com: Jimmy Casper, Arnaud Coyot, Gorik Gardeyn, Markus Eichler, Jonas Ljungblad, Laurens ten Dam, Stijn Vandenbergh and Marco Zanotti.
Meyer brothers make Tassie history
Cameron and Travis Meyer have claimed a unique piece of Australian cycling history, by becoming the first siblings to claim a stage quinella at the Tour of Tasmania. The opening day started with a morning criterium followed by a 90.1 kilometre stage, won by Junior World Track Champion Cameron Meyer.
Cameron took the solo victory, 16 seconds ahead of brother Travis in second place. The result put the pair in first and second respectively on general classification, a position Cameron at least is determined to hold on to.
"I won a stage of the Tour of Gippsland in August in the first round of this series, but was never really in contention for GC honours," said the SouthAustralia.com-AIS rider. "That [winning GC] is my goal this week and I know I've got the team around me to do it."
Holding on to the general classification lead won't be an easy task for Meyer. The Tasmanian race is only in its early stages, with another five days of racing and nine stages remaining in the race. The West Australian will face stiff competition from defending champion Kristian House, who sits third on GC having taken second place on the opening stage and finished in the main bunch at two minutes on the second stage.
The peloton will face another criterium and road race today, with the 36 kilometre criterium in Ulverstone followed by a 78.5 kilometre race from Ulverstone to Penguin.
Barloworld to close season in Italy
Professional Continental squad Team Barloworld will see out its season in Italy, where it will contest the Memorial Cimurri and the Monte Paschi Eroica. The squad the team will send to Saturday's flat 198.2 kilometre Memorial Cimurri is nearly identical to that which will contest the inagural Monte Paschi Eroica, with the only exception Pedro Arreitunandia will replace Fabrizio Guidi for the latter event.
Memorial Cimurri: Diego Caccia, Felix Cardenas, Gianpaolo Cheula, Alex Efimkin, Fabrizio Guidi, Paolo Longo Borghini, James Perry and Hugo Sabido.
Monte Paschi Eroica: Pedro Arreitunandia, Diego Caccia, Felix Cardenas, Gianpaolo Cheula, Fabrizio Guidi, Paolo Longo Borghini, James Perry and Hugo Sabido.
East Bay to become InfoVista
North Californian outfit East Bay Cyclists, which currently races under the EMC²/Vellum Cycles name, will now be known as InfoVista Cycling Team following the signing of the new title sponsor for the 2008 season. InfoVista has signed on as the club's primary sponsor having been a second tier sponsor in 2007.
As InfoVista Cycling Team the club will continue to organize, develop, and seek out talent for the Road, Mountain, Cyclocross, XTERRA, and Triathlon bike community. Building on the success of the 2007 season the now InfoVista Cycling Team will work to send Juniors, Women, and Masters Men to National and International competitions, stage races, Xterra Worlds, and USA Cycling development programs.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2007)