First Edition Cycling News for October 22, 2007
Edited by Sue George
Youngster wins in Kalmthout
By Brecht Decaluwé in Kalmthout
Czech rider Zdenek Stybar made his mark with a win at the first cyclo-cross World Cup Sunday in Kalmthout, Belgium. The 21 year-old Stybar was helped by his Fidea team-mates, who protected his lead.
"I never looked back and rode as hard as I could," Stybar pointed out how he attacked the bunch. "I thought someone would bridge up to me but the gap always grew bigger. Suddenly I heard a beep from my watch and realized there was another 30 minutes to go, and I said to myself – oh no – I thought I would lose strength."
"Luckily my fans were going wild and supported me through that tough moment," Stybar said. "During the last lap I was full of emotions, winning here as a neo-professional makes me extremely happy."
Home country favorite Sven Nys (Rabobank) waited too long to bring Stybar back, but he still finished second, as the top Belgian at the race. Frenchman Francis Mourey finished third and rounded out an international podium.
"I could've won today but Stybar has shown good form recently so he's certainly the deserved winner," Nys applauded Stybar for his efforts after commenting on the lack of help he received from others in chasing down the eventual winner.
At the beginning, Mourey took the hole shot as the fastest of 55 starters ahead of Nys and Bart Wellens, who later assumed the lead of a six-man group at the front.
Czech youngster Zdenek, who was U23 World Champion in 2005 and 2006, made his move just after the bunch crossed the finish line the first time. Nobody responded and he soon gained 18 seconds over the bunch paced by Dutch champion Lars Boom.
Zdenek's Fidea team-mates marked all attempts to chase him back. Team-mate Wellens lent a helping hand by popping to the front ahead of Christian Heule just before a series of technical and slow zig zag corners on lap five. Once Wellens was in position, he touched his brakes and rode through the corners like an old man. After five laps, Stybar had a seemingly insurmountable 46 seconds and with four laps to go, he had over one minute.
All in all, it was a good day for Fidea considering that race favorite and world champion Erwin Vervecken never overcame his poor start and had chain problems and changed bikes. He ended up 22nd. Wellens finished sixth and Kevin Pauwels came in eighth.
Evans lands ProTour success
By Shane Stokes
Cadel Evans won the ProTour classification on Saturday after a consistent stream of steady results over the past four months. Before the Giro di Lombardia, he talked about his performances in the Vuelta a España and world road race championships, the Tour Down Under's graduation to the ProTour calendar, his plans for the months ahead and his Olympic aspirations.
After his strong ride in the Tour de France, Evans flew to Beijing and did the pre-Olympic trial events there. He won the time trial, beating compatriot Michael Rogers by 24.74 seconds and Kazakhstan's Alexsandr Dyachenko by 58.6 seconds, and was fifth in the road race behind the victor Gabriele Bosisio of Italy. The combined result saw him win the overall classification and also gave him a good taster of what to expect next August.
"I had to decide before the Tour if I was going to go there or not, and in the end it worked out to be quite a tiring trip with jetlag and so on," he said. "But I really want to do something at the Olympics next year and so it was probably a worthwhile thing to do. I went there with next August in mind. It will be a tough race - both the time trial and road race will be. They are both on the same circuit, so it's going to be hard."
After those results, he came back to Europe, readjusted to the time zone, did some training and then lined out in the Vuelta a España. He rode well throughout the race and was lying second overall up until the end of stage 18. One day later he slipped to third and, batteries starting to run out, he finished sixth in the penultimate day time trial and ended the race fourth overall.
"I liked the race," he said, looking back. "Menchov was by far the strongest. I think that he and Sanchez were the riders in front who were good and who really based their seasons around that race. Of course, I was disappointed to miss the podium by 10 seconds in the end, to be so close and yet so far was disappointing. But I didn't go into the Vuelta with a big expectations after travelling to China and doing the post-Tour criteriums and everything. I wouldn't say that I was especially fresh and well-prepared.
"At the end I was having some health problems which were to do with fatigue. People seem to have forgotten now that I was fighting it out with Contador and Rebellin back in Paris-Nice. It's been a long season."
"It was the first time that I had done two Grand Tours in one year. It was a bit of a steep learning curve for me. I know my body but am still always learning new things. I had to wait and see how things would turn out. It could have been good, it could have been bad. Fortunately it was good."
Evans kept his powder dry but on the final lap he was one of those who was involved in the centre of the action. He had the strength to respond to a series of attacks, most notably by defending champion Paolo Bettini, and this ensured that he was in the running for a medal right up until the last few metres of the race.
To read the complete feature, click here.
Moreno wins in Montjuïc
By Antonio J. Salmerón
Spanish climber Daniel Moreno (Relax - Gam), who was fresh off winning a stage in Mexico's Vuelta a Chihuahua, won the Escalada a Montjuïc Sunday. The race included a 24.4km road race and a 10km hill climb individual time trial.
Moreno, Carlos Sastre (Team CSC) and Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel - Euskadi ) arrived at the same time at the end of the road race, the first part of the event. They had a five second advantage over Igor Antón (Euskaltel - Euskadi), who won in 2006, and even more time on everyone else. Local Predictor-Lotto's Josep Jufré followed 16 seconds later.
With the trio going into the second part of the event all at the same time, the promising 26 year-old Moreno did not think of victory in the time trial; yet he capitalized on his peak form and won in 15'52" with a two second advantage over the Asturian Sánchez. Sánchez may have been feeling the effects of his third place finish in the Giro di Lombardia the previous day.
"This is a very important race with many important riders who came here for winning, so that it was very difficult to think on getting the victory," Moreno explained to the media after the event.
Sánchez overtook Sastre for second in the overall classification. The event also marked the end of the career of Spaniard Angel Edo who has raced for the Portuguese Vitoria ASC team.
Wilson wins Sun Tour
By John Trevorrow in Melbourne
Australian Matt Wilson (Unibet), so often a worker, stepped up and produced the ride of his life in stage seven to hang on to his three-second advantage over Swiss Steve Morabito (Astana ) and win his first Jayco Herald Sun Tour overall.
"This is just unbelievable," an overjoyed 30 year-old Wilson said. "It has been a tough road over the past couple of years and I knew I had to produce a good ride this week."
Although Wilson was obviously excited, that was nothing compared to his mum Lesley who was crying tears of joy and shaking with emotion when her son crossed the line. "This is just beautiful and it couldn't happen to a nicer young man," a proud Mrs. Wilson said.
"This is my best ever win and it has attracted some attention from interested teams." Wilson produced his most impressive performances up the slopes of Falls Creek and in the penultimate time trial. "I have shocked myself a few times in this race and I am starting to believe in myself a lot more. [Team-mate] Baden [Cooke] has always said I could win a lot bigger races and now I'm starting to believe it too."
Wilson's best mate Cooke was the happiest man in Melbourne after the finish. "I can tell you that if you had given me the choice before the start, of either Matty or I winning this Tour, I would have said Matty without a moment of hesitation. Matty has helped me over many years and given up his own chances, to help me in big events.
"We have been mates since we were quite young but we got really to be close when we raced together in Italy on the AIS [team]," said Cooke. "Then we both had our problems with me having a year out with tendon problems and Matty having a much more serious battle with cancer." Wilson overcame Hodgkin's disease and briefly quit the sport.
"I then got a contract in the states with Mercury and as soon as Matty came good he joined me on the team. We have been racing together ever since and I can't believe it's about to stop. Our Unibet team is finishing and I have a deal with Barloworld and as yet there isn't a place for Matty. I think we'll just have to try and change that," finished Cooke.
Queenslander Aaron Kemps (Astana) bookended the event after sprinting away from his two breakaway opponents, American Scott Zwizanski (Bissell-Priority Health) and Dutchman Camiel Deni (Netherlands' National Team). Kemps also won the pre tour criterium in Bendigo as well as the third stage into Beechworth.
Lombardia winner Cunego races paired time trial
After his day of glory winning the Giro di Lombardia Saturday, Italian Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Fondital) got spent some time further back in the results on Sunday at the Trofeo Città di Borgomanero where he matched up with team-mate Francesco Gavazzi to take 12th place in the paired time trial. There was no word on whether Cunego's performance Sunday was influenced by fatigue from Saturday's race or the likely celebrating afterward.
First place went to Team Liquigas with Vincenzo Nibali and Roman Kreuziger in one hour, two minutes and 31 seconds 49 seconds ahead of Alberto Ongarato and Marco Velo (both Team Milram) and 1'11" ahead of world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara and his CSC team-mate Leonardo Bertagnolli.
One-year suspension recommended for Bernucci
By Susan Westemeyer
The Monaco Cycling Federation has been given a recommendation that Lorenzo Bernucci be given a one-year suspension for his use of Sibultramine, an appetite suppressant. He tested positive during the Deutschland Tour and was fired by T-Mobile Team during the Vuelta a Espana when the case was made public.
Bernucci said that he had been using the product, which he bought over the counter in Italy, for four years and did not know that it had been added to the WADA's list of prohibited substances in 2006.
The Italian rider lives in Monte Carlo and rides with a Monaco license. A first violation for use of the product, if it is ruled not to have been used for performance enhancement, carries a punishment ranging from a warning to the one-year suspension sought in Bernucci's case. The federation expects to make its final decision this week.
Sieberg to T-Mobile
Marcel Sieberg will be leaving Team Milram and joining the T-Mobile Team, he has announced. "I have closed a two-year contract with them," he told the Ruhr Nachrichten.
The tall German was evidently more successful than his team-mate Erik Zabel in being released from the last year of his contract with Milram. Zabel had said that he expected to be released from the contract, but last week Milram announced that he would ride for them again in 2008.
Milram did not comment on Sieberg's transfer, saying it would not comment before presenting its 2008 team at the end of this week or the beginning of next week. T-Mobile could not be reached for a comment. T-Mobile announced its 2008 team the end of last month, with three places still to be filled.
Sieberg turned pro in 2005 with the Continental Team Lamonta, and rode for Team Wiesenhof-Akud in 2006 before joining Milram this season.
Brentjens & Beerten named Dutch mountain bikers of the year
Bart Brentjens (Dolphin Bike Team) was named Dutch mountain biker of the year Sunday according to telesport.nl. He was selected by a committee of five. In 2007, Brentjens won the Dutch national title and finished second at the Beijing Olympic test event.
Rudi van Houts (Dolphin Bike Team), winner of the Tour de France for mountain bikers, was named Talent of the Year. 4X racer Anneke Beerten (Bikepark.Ch Tui) won the women's award. She won the World Cup overall in 2007 after winning the final round in Maribor, Slovenia.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2007)