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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News, June 3, 2008

Edited by Greg Johnson & Paul Verkuylen

Giro win softens Contador's Tour anger

Alberto Contador (Astana)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Alberto Contador (Astana) isn't as angry about being denied the chance to defend his Tour de France victory this July, having claimed May's Giro d'Italia. The Spaniard's tactics in Italy saw the last-minute invitees play their underdog status to a race-winning position.

Contador spent most of the first week under a cloud of uncertainty, with fears of a fractured elbow bringing his Giro to an end. The day after the squad aired its concerns over the Spaniard's campaign, Contador exploded into the race lead on the first individual time trial and held the leader's jersey through to the finish in Milano.

"I am not so angry anymore that I can't take part in the Tour," Contador explained to Sporza. "Otherwise I never would have been able to ride the Giro and the Vuelta this year.

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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The organisers of the Tour de France, ASO, decided against allowing the Astana team to start the 2008 edition of the Tour. The decision followed the embarrassment brought upon last year's Tour when Astana - under a completely different management arrangement - had its star rider Alexandre Vinokourov test positive, which led to the team being thrown off the event. While ASO has said the squad will be considered for next year's Tour, it wants to give the squad a year to prove itself under the new management.

While Contador might be forced to watch the Tour from home, the youngster's Grand Tour campaign for 2008 is far from over. The Spanish rider hopes to win his home Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España, in August and September.

"I will do everything possible to win the Vuelta in September, but everyone has to realise that I can't win everything," he said.

The Giro winner was in Madrid celebrating his win with thousands of supporters. The 25 year-old was also honoured by the Mayor, who presented him with flowers.

Should Contador win the Vuelta, he will become only the fifth rider to win all three Grand Tours. Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault, Felice Gimondi and Eddy Merckx are the only four to have done so.

Colorado training readies Gerrans for Tour

By Jean-François Quénet in Châteaulin, France

Gerrans moved to Credit Agricole from Ag2r
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

Australia's Simon Gerrans has taken a different approach to his Tour de France preparations this year, and the Credit Agricole rider believes it's already paying off. Gerrans ceased competition for one month after the Spring Classics this season, where he finished 12th at the Amstel Gold race, instead opting to train in the mountains of the United States of America's Colorado.

"I had never been to the United States before and I wanted to see another country combined with altitude training," he said. "I stayed with Chris Leigh, who is a triathlete and a good friend of mine from Australia, and I trained with my other mates from Toyota, including Johnny Clarke, in the Rocky Mountains.

"I had a great time," he added. "If everything goes well in the next couple of weeks, I'll definitely go back to Colorado for training in the future."

Gerrans spent the better part of May training in the USA. The Australian's personal training camp started on May 6 and ran through to May 22.

The youngster's sights are now Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, a race he will contest for the first time. The Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré starts with a 5.6km prologue in Avignon on June 8 and finishes in Grenoble one week later on June 15, following some hard stages in the French Alps.

"It's another new experience for me," he said. "I'll try and get Thor Hushovd up there for a bunch sprint finish that he has good chances of winning and I also intend to go in breakaways for getting a stage win myself."

Gerrans is expected to play a major role in Crédit Agricole's Tour campaign this July, alongside team leader Hushovd in July. Gerrans has contested the French Grand Tour three times for Ag2r, the team he turned professional with in 2005.

Gerrans was pictured everywhere on signs at Saturday's GP Plumelec, a result of his 2007 victory at the event, but the Crédit Agricole rider wasn't able to contest the event as he was competing at Bayern Rundfahrt. Gerrans returned from Germany with the satisfaction of a top 20 finish in the 25.9km time trial, only 1.19 minutes behind UCI World Road Championship bronze medallist.

Gerrans' time trial result is the first sign his new training approach is paying dividens.

"The Bayern Rundfahrt was fantastic for me, actually", he commented. "It's one of the best stage races I've ever done in Europe so far: go roads, good hotels, and a good weather as well.

"It was the ideal race to come back with," he said. "In the first couple of days, I suffered the intensity of the racing but I felt very good by the end."

Moreau laments Dauphiné snub

By Jean-François Quénet in Châteaulin, France

Christophe Moreau looked strong
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Christophe Moreau is disappointed he's not able to defend his Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré title, with the rider's Agritubel squad not invited to contest the event. It's the second consecutive year the French Professional Continental squad hasn't been invited to the race, even despite having the defending champion in its ranks this time around.

"It's a pity that I cannot ride the Dauphiné again this year because this race has always suited me and I like it a lot," Moreau commented.

Moreau's choice to leave a Pro Tour team leaves the former Ag2r rider out of the picture for the Dauphiné starting on Sunday with a 5.6km prologue in Avignon. Instead the Frenchman and his team will hold a training camp in preparation for July's Tour de France.

Moreau met his future team-mate David Le Lay at the weekend's Boucles de l'Aulne, with the rider to be on loan from Bretagne-Armor Lux for the remainder of 2008 from July 1. The Breton climber, who has won the Tour du Finistère and the Trophée des Grimpeurs and currently leads the French cup series, will back the French Road Champion at the Tour which starts on his home soil of Brittany from Brest on July 5.

The Route du Sud on June 18-22 will be Moreau's last opportunity to win a race with the French champion's jersey. In Châteaulin, at the Boucles de l'Aulne, Moreau put himself at the service of Romain Feillu who didn't disappoint him and the staff of Agritubel.

"Romain was our best cards for winning," Moreau said. "Fortunately, he didn't need us for the final sprint. We raced well with three riders in the final breakaway. But Cédric Coutouly slipped and crashed in a curve with three laps to go and I did exactly the same at the same place one lap later."

Moreau eventually came across to the second part of leading group and was classified 11th. He showed a good form after spending a few days to reconnaissance the Tour de France stages in the center of France around Super-Besse and Aurillac.

Petermann named new German track coach

Andreas Petermanmn has been named new coach for the German national track team endurance disciplines and the Under 23 team. He replaces Uwe Freese, who was released after the German pursuit team did poorly in the Manchester World Championshps and missed the Olympic Games qualification for the first time since 1952.

The 51 year-old signed a contract through the end of 2012, and said that his goal was a medal in the pursuit in that year's London Olympics.

"I am looking forward to taking on this responsible position," he said on the website of the German cycling federation, the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer.

Petermanmn rode for many years for the East German national team and twice finished fifth in the World's road race, in 1979 and 1982. He won the world title in 1979 with the East German four man team.

After retiring from riding, he lectured at the Deutschen Hochschule Korperkultur in Leipzig, Germany. From 1986 to 1994 he worked for the IAT, an Olympic training center, where he was involved in developing training methods for track cyclists. He was national triathlon coach from 1995 to 2000, and also served as a directeur sportif at the professional cycling teams Coast, Bianchi and Wiesenhof.

New contracts for Tour teams

All teams competing in the this years Tour de France have signed an anti-doping contract with race ograniser ASO which could see them have to pay a massive fine if any of their riders are caught for a doping offence, according to Sport Wereld.

The contract states that should any member of their team test positive for a banned substance while competing in the Tour a fine of 100,000 Euros will be payable to the French Federation of Cycling (FFC). As the race has not been sanctioned by the UCI, the rules of the international governing body do not apply. This has left the door open for the ASO, in conjunction with the FFC, to comprise its own set of rules and regulations for the race.

ASO has scheduled a press conference for today, where it is likely to announce that the Tour de France will be sanctioned by the FFC.

Rider killed in horrifying Mexican crash

One rider has died and five others remain in a critical condition following a horrifying accident in Mexico. A vehicle driven by 29 year-old Jesse Campos ploughed into the rear of a bunch of riders during the third Matamoros-Bagdad Cycling Tour, a family ride in Matamoros, Mexico.

United States of America cyclist Alejandro Alvarez was killed as a result of the accident. The 30 year-old is believed to have died at the scene while five others, including a 14 year-old, were rushed to hospital where their condition is listed as critical.

Images taken as the accident happened relive the horrifying accident, however are too graphic to publish.

Mexican media has reported authorities claim that Campos admitted to using cocaine prior to the accident.

Bayley revved up for Beijing

Ryan Bayley
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Click for larger image

Two-time Olympic Games gold medallist Ryan Bayley is getting revved up for Beijing and his Olympic preparations. Bayley will be under the spotlight when he suits up for Revolution 3 at Vodafone Arena next week. Speaking at the announcement that the UCI Track World Cup is coming to Melbourne, Bayley said he was working on new tactics as he felt he was becoming a little too predictable.

"We didn't mean to, but they haven't seen the full potential of myself at the moment, so they don't exactly know what's going to happen when I come out at the Olympics," he said. "I've got a lot of new tactics, I've worked out a lot of things, I'm actually working out better ways to suit my own riding style.

By his own stellar standards, Bayley struggled at this year's track worlds in Manchester. The super-sprinter didn't make it through to the medal rounds in his three events - the sprint, keirin and team sprint, however he feels this may work to his advantage in Beijing.

"Going into it, I will be a very different to what they've seen," he said. "With the sprint, I have a lot of faith, I think I can go top three - a win is going to go between four of five people, it's going to be very difficult because there are so many people who are at that level now."

Track fans won't need to wait until the Olympics to witness Bayley in full flight, with the Farewell to Beijing-themed Revolution 3 at Vodafone Arena in Victoria, Australia on Thursday, June 12.

Revolution 3 will include a crucial pre-Olympic fitness test over a flying 200m sprint for Athens gold medallist Anna Meares. After a horror world cup crash in America in January, Meares must ride faster than 11.77 seconds at Rev 3 otherwise her dream of capturing her second Olympic gold medal will be over.

Women's Cycling Summit returns

Women's cyclists from across the United States of America will gather at the Rasmussen College Women's Cycling Summit on June 10. The event, held at the Holiday Inn in Bloomington, will continue to help charting the future of women's cycling. The Summit is an opportunity for women to celebrate women's cycling, learn about the latest initiatives in their sport and discuss issues of common concern.

The conference will begin with two team presentations - the Nature Valley Women's Cycling Team and the Ryan Collegiate All-Stars.

Presentations and panel discussions at the 2008 Rasmussen College Women's Cycling Summit include a keynote address from Jim Miller, head of endurance programs for USA Cycling, a session on how riders move up each rung of the ladder, from local racing to the pro ranks and a final session on how teams can return value to their sponsors throughout the season.

Speaking at the summit is Team Kenda director Paul Forsythe, Proman Cycling director Nicola Cranmer, Wheaties brand manager Dan Stangler, Jelly Belly Candy company's marketing manager Stephanie Scott, County Cycles owner Ron Kadera and Katie Mattis, an account manager at RPM Connect, a national marketing agency.

(Additional research and assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer).

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