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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News, August 21, 2008

Edited by Bjorn Haake

Evans out of Vuelta

Australia's Cadel Evans will not race the Vuelta
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Cadel Evans' knee problems are more serious than first reported and he will therefore have to sit out the Vuelta a España and probably the rest of the season, Team Silence-Lotto announced Wednesday evening.

Team doctor Daniel De Neve spoke with the Italian doctor handling Evans and reported that the lesions are more serious than first thought. Surgery is not being considered at this time, but healing and rehabilitation will take six to eight weeks "so Cadel's return to top-level competition this year might be impossible," the team said.

After the Olympic time trial in which the Australian finished fifth, it was disclosed that he had suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). He injured himself when he was celebrating his second-place finish in the Tour de France, an injury which at first was denied.

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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Evans is the second high-profiled rider to not start the Spanish Grand Tour, after Denis Menchov decided to skip the race. This will make it even more likely that the winner will come from the host nation of Spain. Three of the five riders who formed part of the successful Spanish Olympic road team. Alberto Contador (Astana), Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) and Carlos Sastre (Team CSC-Saxo Bank) have all good chances of taking out the overall win.

Olympic champion Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) will ride the Tour of Poland in order to prepare for the World Championships in Varese.(SW)

Surgery for optimistic Terpstra

By Susan Westemeyer

Niki Terpstra will have surgery on his elbow
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Niki Terpstra's Olympic adventure came to an abrupt end last Sunday morning, when he went down in the Beijing traffic on his way to the Velodrome. According to Team Milram, the youngster broke both elbows and his right wrist is also very swollen. He is scheduled for surgery on Thursday morning in Breda, Netherlands, but the Dutch 23 year-old is already looking to the future.

"They will operate on my left elbow and put screws in it. But they are only doing that because I am a pro cyclist and absolutely need to use that joint," he told Cyclingnews. "For a hobby cyclist they would let it heal without an operation."

"The only good thing, if you can say that at all, is that the season is as good as over," he continued. "I hope it heals quickly so that I can start next season fit and pain-free."

Rain causes Olympic schedule changes

Heavy rains in Beijing have required the organisers to reschedule the remaining BMX events as well as the women's cross country mountain bike race. Both the BMX and the mountain bike parcours were too muddy for the events to be held in fair conditions.

The BMX semifinals and finals of both the men and women's events have been rescheduled to Friday. The women's cross country mountain bike race has been postponed to Saturday. The race will be started very early at 10am local time in Beijing. The race was previously scheduled for Friday, 15:00 local time. The men's race stays unchanged, Saturday at 15:00.

Ralf Schäuble, husband and coach of medal contender Sabine Spitz, was not happy about the move. "A postponement never happened before. Our planning was timed for Friday. If we had known we would have had to train much harder on Tuesday. But of course nothing has changed about Sabine's goal. She wants to win gold," Schäuble told dpa.

The weather is expected to warm up again for Saturday, which may be an advantage for Spitz. The German likes the warm temperatures.

Cyclingnews will cover the women's race live in its new slot on Saturday, 12:00 Australia (EST)/ 4:00 European time (CEST)/ 22:00 (USA East Coast). The men's race will be covered as scheduled on Saturday, 15:00 local Beijing time/ 17:00 Australia (EST)/ 9:00 European time (CEST)/ 3:00 (USA East)

Equipe Nürnberger in weekend races

Trixi Worrack (Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung) wants to defend her Albstadt title
Photo ©:
(Click for larger image)

Equipe Nürnberger will be dividing its troops this weekend, sending one squad to the Albstadt-Etappenrennen in Germany and another to France for a World Cup race.

Trixi Worrack, freshly returned from the Olympic Games in Beijing, will look to defend her title from last year in the Albstadt race in southern Germany. The race features a four-kilometre prologue Friday evening, followed by a 90-kilometre stage on Saturday and 84 kilometres on Sunday. Worrack will be supported by Christina and Charlotte Becker, Larissa Kleinmann and Marie Lindberg.

On Sunday, Suzanne de Goede will lead the team in Plouay, France, for the tenth of the season's eleven World Cup races. The dutch rider is currently second overall in the World Cup ranking. She will be backed up by Eva Lutz, Claudia Häusler, Edita Pucinskaite, and Modesta Vzesniauskaite.

The Equipe continues to do without former World Champion Regina Schleicher, who is still recovering from a bad crash in the World Cup in Sweden. However, she is expected to return to racing before the end of the season.(SW)

Vandenbergh to Katusha?

It looks like Stijn Vandenbergh will be signing with the new Russian team Katusha for the coming season. Although he is still waiting to sign a contract.

Vandenbergh, currently with AG2R, told, "I reached an verbal agreement with the Russians. In principle the deal is done."

There is one hang-up, though – he still hasn't received the contract. "I'm a little worried," the 24 year-old admitted. "They had promised I would get the contract last week. That hasn't happened yet. I still hope everything works out, as was agreed."

Katusha is the follow-up team to Team Tinkoff, and is being put together by Andrei Tchmil and Oleg Tinkov. If Vandenbergh signs with the team, he will ride with fellow Belgians Gert Steegmans and Kenny Dehaes.(SW)

Hectic travels for Jennings

Jennings also spent some time in Gent during his world tour
Photo ©: Cameron Jennings
(Click for larger image)

In his newest diary entry Cameron Jennings recaps the travel odyssey he had with his Irish team Pezula Racing just getting to China for the Qinghai Tour.

Well, last time I wrote I was sitting patiently in the Heathrow airport waiting to see if our Plan G, by this stage was going to work. Dublin airport had been shut down the day before due to radar malfunction and our flight to London and then China had been canceled then subsequently missed.

Our flight was then changed to the following day and phone calls were made to all the right people and we landed in Xining, China 8pm Friday evening, missing the prologue, but allowed to start the first stage the next morning. Was tired that night and eventually slept well, but the idea of racing the first stage of a 10-day Tour at 2200m with the finish of the stage being at 3300m, accompanied with jet lag and the fact we had been sitting around hotels and airport lobbies for almost three days before the race kept me uneasy. Not recommended

So we turned up at breakfast the next day to a range of bewildered looks from the other riders. Met a few of the old friends in the form of Matt Rice and Rhys Pollock and headed back to my hotel room that I had just acquainted myself with in a matter of hours before and got ready.

I knew from previous editions (fourth time to Qinghai) how my body was going to react and how long it needed to feel anything like close to normal and that was usually five to seven days at this altitude. So with this in mind we all headed out on the first road stage from Xining to Qinghai Lake Hotel via 40km or so of climbing...

Well, first day down and we all got through. Apart from feeling completely void of any strength and some dizzy spells some five kilometres from the top of the climb I found my group along with Martin and Willy and got to the finish. Ciaran and Kieren had a better day and finished only three minutes down on the front and Morgan and Derek lived to fight another day. For the next couple of days I just continued to go through the motions and get to the line each day. Doing a little bit here and there, but nothing more should or could have been expected of us.

Read his full diary entry.

Clarke threatens Murray Tour upset

Tasmanian cyclist Nathan Clarke threatens to cause an upset in the 2008 Timbercorp Tour of the Murray River and prove that to be good you don't have to be a full-time professional.

Thirty-year-old Clarke, works 40 hours a week in his father's painting business at Latrobe on Tasmania's North West Coast and struggles to ride more than 400 kilometres a week in training. Most young cyclists in national and state institutes of sport teams train over a minimum of 1000 kilometres weekly.

Clarke starts work at 7.00am each day and it is usually about 5.15pm before he hits the roads around his home town. Most of his training is done in the dark. Despite the limitations on his training capacity, he is returning to some of the best results of his career.

He won the criterium championship and a stage of the recent Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland and was prominent throughout the three days of the Australian Cycling Grand Prix at Ballarat last weekend.

These performances have propelled Clarke into fourth position in the Scody Cup, Australia's most important road cycling series.

Clarke has accumulated 73 points from the Tour of Gippsland and Ballarat Grand Prix – only nine points behind joint leaders – Geelong's Leigh Howard and fellow Tasmanian Bernard Sulzberger.

"I am surprised to be in such a prominent position and I reckon I've got a really good chance of winning the Tour of the Murray" Clarke said. "I've ridden this event about five times before and it is a great race. I guess I like it so much because there aren't any serious hills, although I have been climbing pretty well".

Clarke took up cycling at the age of fourteen. His most important victory was in Belgium in 2002 when he won the prestigious Gent-Eiger Classic which carried a 1.1 ranking on the international Cycling Union's calendar.

His performance caught the attention of several European trade teams but he chose to return to Tasmania and resume work in his father Dennis' business.

Clarke finished second in the 1999 Tour of the Murray River to Queenslander Cameron Hughes and looks to be in the same form. The eight-day tour, which starts in Echuca on August 31 and ends in Mildura on September 7, suits Clarke's powerful riding style in big bunch stage finishes.

Opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime Olympic-style experience

Cyclists of all abilities aged 30 or older can enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime Olympic-style experience at the Sydney 2009 World Masters Games, the seventh edition of the world's largest multi-sport event for which registrations have opened.

Cycling is one of the 12 Sydney 2009 World Masters Games sports competitions that will take place at a Sydney 2000 Olympic Games venue. The Dunc Gray Veldrome will stage the track and women's criterium events, with other sites hosting the individual time trial, road race and men's criterium events.

The Sydney 2009 World Masters Games, the international multi-sport event at which ordinary people can have extraordinary experiences, will see competitors from more than 100 countries go for gold in 28 sports, including cycling, at more than 70 excellent venues throughout the city over nine days, October 10-18, 2009 .

"Sydney began the decade by staging the best Olympic Games and will end it by staging the best World Masters Games," said Shane O'Leary, Chief Executive Officer of the Sydney 2009 World Masters Games Organising Committee.

"None of the previous six World Masters Games host cities had a list of venues as good as those that competitors, particularly cyclists, will encounter in Sydney.

Open to people of all abilities and most ages – anyone can compete provided that they satisfy their sport's minimum age criterion – the Sydney 2009 World Masters Games are all about being fit, fun and forever young. Registrations are open until 31 July 2009, with competitors able to sign up online at

(Additional editorial assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer.)

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