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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News, July 31, 2008

Edited by Sue George

Evans withdraws from Olympic Time Trial

Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Silence-Lotto's Cadel Evans, who finished second in the Tour de France general classification on Sunday, withdrew from Olympic Games time trial due to injury. He has yet to decide whether he will travel to Beijing to contest the road race.

On Monday, the 31 year-old Evans had dismissed rumours he had suffered an injury that might threaten his Olympic Games campaign, but after the flight home to Switzerland his right knee swelled up and he visited an orthopaedic specialist for precautionary scans.

"I slipped on a wet floor on Sunday night and my team doctor immediately had a look at it and said not to worry," said Evans, who had been at the official post Tour team dinner. "I immediately headed back to the hotel and to bed and on Monday morning I felt a bit sore but didn't feel I'd done any damage.

"But on the flight home my knee began to swell up so I had to consider going to see a specialist who recommended cancelling my ride in the criterium in Belgium in favour of getting some scans done," said Evans. "It's not a major injury but it's something I will have to manage carefully.

"I recognised I might not be at my absolute best in the race against the clock but I can still make a significant contribution to the team effort for the road race," said Evans. "I'll be training and getting treatment over the next few days to confirm my participation by Monday.

"But I will not take a place in Beijing if everything doesn't go according to plan," said Evans who would not elaborate on the details of the injury. "I don't want to go into the details, I just want to focus on overcoming it so I can race in China."

This week, Evans will undergo further treatment.

He will be replaced in the Olympic time trial by three-time World Champion, Michael Rogers, who was second at the Good Luck Beijing road cycling test last year. Australia has qualified one starting position for the men's time trial at the Olympic Games.

Ivanov wins Tour de Wallonie while favorites mark each other

Astana's Sergey Ivanov at the Russian National Championships
Photo ©: Chris Baldwin
(Click for larger image)
Russian Champion Sergey Ivanov took the overall victory in the Tour the Wallonie in Belgium on Wednesday. He brought his Team Astana its seventh overall victory in a stage race this season after finishing third in the 175km final stage behind Patrice Halgand (Crédit Agricole) and Rik Verbrugghe (Cofidis).

Ivanov, Halgand and Verbrugghe had broken away earlier in the stage with Christophe Edaleine (Ag2R), Scott Nydam (BMC) and Sébastien Minard (Cofidis). Ivanov, the highest ranked GC rider in the front, was only 33 seconds behind yellow jersey Greg Van Avermaet.

"Initially, the other five riders in the leading group didn't want to go further with me, as I was dangerous for the GC," said Ivanov. "They feared that the peloton would not let us go. I convinced them to try it. The overall victory would be for me, the stage victory for one of the others. We could take advantage as well of the rivalry in the peloton between the teams of Paolo Bettini (Quick-Step) and yellow jersey Greg Van Avermaet (Silence-Lotto). They didn't want to work for each other."

"It was a bit weird really," said Team CSC-Saxo Bank's director Scott Sunderland on "Quick Step and Silence-Lotto seemed to have everything under control all day and Quick Step had even secured bonus seconds for Paolo Bettini so he could take the overall victory in a final sprint. But all of a sudden the break had gone too far and Ivanov took it all instead."

After winning the Russian Championships, it was Ivanov's second win of the year. He's also finished seventh in the Amstel Gold Race, third in the Tour of Belgium and 11th in the Tour of Switzerland.

"Since the end of May I have been racing really well. I worked hard to obtain these results, and they came just in time. I am negotiating a contract for 2009. Victories are the best things to convince people."

Ivanov heads next to the Clásica San Sebastián on August 2.

Team BMC's Steve Bovay secures King of Mountains and Most Combative Prize. It was BMC's third KOM jersey of the season after winning the KOM in the Tour of California and Tour of Picardie.

Bastianelli to appear before Italian Olympic Committee

Marta Bastianelli (Fiamme Azzurre)
Photo ©: Davide Tricarico
(Click for larger image)

Road World champion Marta Bastianelli will appear before the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) on August 5 after testing non-negative for a banned substance according to CONI's website.

The 21 year-old is contesting her elimination from the Italian Olympic team, saying her positive test for the dietary aid flenfluramine, during a routine doping control at the European championships held in Italy in June.

Bastianelli has said she took the product to lose some weight. She said she did not believe it was a banned substance, but rather an herbal product.

"I am sorry," Bastianelli had told Reuters. "I hope the investigation brings out the truth. I want to show everyone this is not technical doping."

Pitel's Olympic team appeal rejected

Edwige Pitel
Photo ©: Fabrice Lambert
(Click for larger image)

Edwige Pitel's appeal to be part of the French Olympic team competing in Beijing was denied by an administrative tribunal in Grenoble on Wednesday. She had not been selected to the French team, which was named to include road riders Christel Ferrier-Bruneau, Jeannie Longo, and Maryline Salvetat. Longo and Salvetat have also been picked to contest the time trial.

A judge considering the circumstances found no serious doubts as to the legality of the decisions made in naming the squad.

Pitel's lawyer André Soulier had argued on behalf of his client, who third in the time trial at the French National Championships in Semur-en-Auxois, that "the decision disregarded selection criteria," due to "conflict with a national coach, who also coaches one of her competitors," according to the AFP.

Cretskens leaving Quick Step

Wilfried Cretskens
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

Wilfried Cretskens will be leaving team Quick Step after six years in order to race with Philippe Gilbert at Silence-Lotto in 2009.

"The decision came in recent days," said Cretskens. "It was a painful decision. Quick Step is like a family to me. In this group I've grown professionally and I've spent the better part of my career side by side with extraordinary champions with whom I've shared victories that I will always carry in my heart."

"A few days ago Philippe Gilbert called me and told me that there would be a possibility to race together next year. I'm 32 years-old and this could be my last chance to try a new challenge, a new professional adventure. That's why I've chosen it," said Cretskens, who thanked his team-mates, sponsors and support staff.

"We're sorry to be losing Wilfried," said the team's manager Patrick Lefevere. "He's been racing with me since 2001 and he's always shown himself to be a great team player. But, I respect his will too. I wish Wilfried all the best and hope he can still enjoy a lot of personal success. Maybe this is just a 'see you later' and not a good bye."

Cunego to Clásica San Sebastián

Damiano Cunego, Team Lampre's captain, who had to abandon the Tour de France following a crash in stage 18, will return to competition at the Clásica San Sebastián, set for August 2. Cunego will wear the jersey of Pro Tour leader during his comeback.

"Cunego's wounds are getting better. He could train lightly today and pedalled for five hours to test himself before the race," said director Maurizio Piovani.

"The team will be competitive, too, and we'll try to be in the important moments of the race. "Six riders have just finished Tour de France, so their condition will be good; (Paolo) Bossoni and (David) Loosli will be ready, too."

Team Lampre for Clásica San Sebastián: Alessandro Ballan, Matteo Bono, Paolo Bossoni, Marzio Bruseghin, David Loosli, Paolo Tiralongo and Daniele Righi under DS Maurizio Piovani.

Team Caisse d'Epargne for Clásica San Sebastián: David Arroyo, Vladimir Karpets, Pablo Lastras, Alberto Losada, Luis Pasamontes, Joaquím Rodríguez, Alejandro Valverde and Xabier Zandio under DS Eusebio Unzúe.

Team Caisse d'Epargne for Subida A Urkiola: David Arroyo, Imanol Erviti, Joan Horrach, Pablo Lastras, David López, Luis Pasamontes, Fran Pérez, Marlon Pérez, Joaquím Rodríguez and José Rujano under DS Alfonso Galilea.

Pollack injured

Olaf Pollack of Team Volksbank, who has had nothing go easily lately, received another setback in his Olympic preparations. He crashed in the second stage of the Dookola Mazowsza race in Poland and ended up with a deep cut on his thigh, as well as losing a lot of skin. "We hope that the wound won't get infected," said his trainer, Michael Max.

Pollack is scheduled to ride on the track in Beijing for Germany. He and partner Roger Kluge won the silver medal in the Madison at the World Championships in March.

The 34 year-old had to drop out of the Tour de Suisse with bronchitis, and shortly thereafter was hit by a car while training, which caused him to skip the Österreich Rundfahrt.

Belated birthday present for Bongiorno

One day after celebrating his 30th birthday, Ruben Guillermo Bongiorno (CSF Group-Navigare) gave himself the present of a stage victory at the Tour of Denmark by winning the 175km stage one sprint. Swiss champion Markus Zberg finishes second while Sebastian Siedler ended up third.

"I launched my sprint just a little before 200 metres to the finish line in anticipation of the other sprinters. I'm very happy because I have missed winning for a long time and losing the sprint in a photo finish to (Alessandro) Petacchi in Turkey was a real shame."

With his win, the Argentinean sprinter leads the GC and points classification going into stage two.

Unfortunately, Bongiorno's team-mate Mauro Abel Richeze didn't start after being involved in an accident involving a motorcycle during training before the race.

"We were at 30 km/h speed but we were in a corner and I didn't have time to brake," said Richeze. "The others could start today, but not me, because I can't clasp my handlebars. I have pain in my left arm, ribs, leg and knee."

CSF Group Navigare also announced its rosters for the Giro dell’Appenino races on August 1 to 3.

CSF Group Navigare for GP Industria e Commercio Artigianato Carnaghese: Domenico Pozzovivo, Emanuele Sella, Fortunato Baliani, Julio Alberto Pérez Cuapio, Federico Canuti, Andrea Pagoto under DS Roberto Reverberi

CSF Group Navigare for G.P. Nobili Rubinetterie: Domenico Pozzovivo, Emanuele Sella, Fortunato Baliani, Julio Alberto Pérez Cuapio, Federico Canuti, Andrea Pagoto under DS Roberto Reverberi.

CSF Group Navigare for Giro dell'Appennino: Domenico Pozzovivo, Emanuele Sella, Fortunato Baliani, Julio Alberto Pérez Cuapio, Federico Canuti, Andrea Pagoto under DS .Roberto Reverberi

Barloworld to Giro delle Tre Regioni with proven racers and stagiaires

Team Barloworld will field a young, but competitive team with several riders from the Tour de France and two new stagiaires, in the Giro delle Tre Regioni triptych in Italy from August 1 to 3.

The G.P. Carnaghese, the G.P. Nobili Rubinetterie and the Giro dell’Appenino races have combined for a new format this year and for a new place on the calendar, creating creating three days of intense racing in the Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria regions of northwest Italy.

For the first two races, directeur sportif Alberto Volpi will direct a team that includes strong climbers Chris Froome, Giampaolo Cheula and John-Lee Augustyn. Augustyn was the first rider to the summit of the Col de la Bonette, the highest climb in the 2008 Tour de France. Sprinter Robert Hunter will also be in the line-up in case of a sprint finish, while Austrian National Champion Christian Pfannberger is also well suited to the difficult race route.

23 year-old climber and Italian Michele Gaia (UC Bergamasca), who finished second in the 2007 Under 23 Italian Road Championship, and Australian David Tanner (Velo Club La Pomme Marseill), who was recommended by Baden Cooke for his all-round ability, will join the team as stagiaires.

Froome and Cheula showed their form in the mountain stages of the Tour de France and will play their chances at the Giro dell'Appennino, with its selective route including the Passo della Bocchetta, which almost always decides the race.

Big money draws big peloton to Charlotte

By Kirsten Robbins in Charlotte, North Carolina

The field relaxes before the start of the 2007 edition
Photo ©: Emory Ball
(Click for larger image)

The richest single day criterium in America will return to the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina on Sunday, August 2 for the 2008 Presbyterian Hospital Invitational. The pro men will compete for US$50,000 and the women for $25,000 plus a series of lucrative lap primes for a prize purse totaling $100,000.

Money is not the only attraction to the event. The race is also a component of three prominent cycling series including the National Racing Calendar, the USA Crit series and the Women's Prestige series.

The defending champion from 2006 and 2007, Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home) will be looking to add a third consecutive victory to her palmarès. In addition, Katharine Carroll (Aaron's Pro Cycling Team) will pursue her lead in the Women's Prestige series.

Other notable riders include NRC leader Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine), Lara Kroepsch (Value Act Capital), Jen McRae (Advil-ChapStick) and Laura McCaughey (Juice Plus).

After the women's 36km event is complete, the elite men will line up at sun down for an 80km twilight speed fest. The men's peloton includes the defending champion Frank Pipp (Health Net-Maxxis). He will test his legs against some of the fastest men on American soil. Also in attendance will be the 2006 winner, Shawn Milne (Team Type 1), who will no doubt want to add a second victory to his resume.

But the peloton is packed full of other notable sprinters that include the current US national criterium champion Kirk O'Bee (Health Net-Maxxis), Rahsaan Bahati (Rock Racing), Kyle Wamsley (Colavita-Sutter Home), Jeff Hopkins (Inferno), Ricardo Escuela (Successful Living), Mark Hekman (Toshiba) and Dave Fuentes (Battley-Harley Davidson).

The showcased criteriums are expected to attract more than 35,000 fans onto the Charlotte's city streets. The two-kilometre circuit has kept its traditional dumbbell shape, through the city centre, with some slight changes for the 2008 edition.

According to Thad Fischer, event director, the bi-directional finish area is on the main drag. "However, the two boxed ends of the course have tighter turns and are expected to create more opportunities for breakaways this year," he said.

The Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas (BTFC) has sponsored the event for four years. BTFC is a non-profit group founded in 2003. It funds cancer research and is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the impact of brain tumors.

"In our past four years of this event we have raised over 1 million dollars for this cause," said Fischer. "We feel our event serves both our community and the sport of cycling – We are proud of that."

Proposed Edmonton velodrome worries neighbors

Although the Edmonton City Council has approved a Can$32-million indoor velodrome in their Argyll Park near the Mill Creek Ravine, local residents are trying to put the brakes on the plans. The new indoor velodrome would replace the one constructed for the 1978 Commonwealth Games. It would laso house a running track, indoor sports courts and a gym.

Residents are complaining about the project's size and the effects of likely increased traffic travelling to and from the new facility.

"I'm dead against it," said Lee Currie to the Edmonton Journal, who has lived across from the proposed site for six years and said traffic is horrendous even when there are local baseball tournaments. "I have nothing against the facility; I just don't want it in my backyard."

A new velodrome would enable Canada to host additional major competitions. Former pro cyclist Alex Stieda is working to promote the new velodrome.

"There are so many positive sides to this," Steida said. "They would have a recreational facility in their backyard that their residents could walk to. In my mind, what community wouldn't want that?"

Another Team Type 1 rider breaks wrist

On the same weekend that Team Type 1 was celebrating Ian MacGregor's victory at the Colorado State Road Race Championship, Jesse Anthony became the squad's fourth rider to break his wrist this season.

In Milwaukee, Anthony was setting up for the field sprint Saturday night on the final lap of The Great Downer Avenue Bike Race when a racer went down in front of him. The collision broke the scaphoid bone in Anthony's right wrist and left him with severe road rash on his right side.

"I flipped over the handlebars and was also hit by a few riders from behind while I was lying on the ground," Anthony said. "It was certainly the worst crash I have ever been involved in."

Already this season, three other riders from Team Type 1 have suffered broken bones in their hand or wrist: Matt Wilson, Daniel Holt and Shawn Milne.

Anthony's injury only adds to the frustration the 23 year-old has been feeling after an Achilles heel injury sidelined him for the first half of the year.

"I'm learning to exercise a lot of patience, which has always been a tough thing for me," he said. "I know that everything happens for a reason and I'm just going to try to make the most out of this situation." Anthony will get the chance to exercise his patience for the next six to eight weeks while he is out of competition.

On the other hand, MacGregor's win came in a sprint at the end of the 87-mile (140km) Colorado championship race. He was part of a select group of eight riders coming into the finish. He defeated Blake Caldwell (Team Garmin-Chipotle) and Brad White (

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(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2008)