Cyclingnews - the world centre of cycling Cyclingnews TV   News  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   BMX   Cyclo-cross   Track    Photos    Fitness    Letters   Search   Forum  

Recent News

January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008

2007 & earlier

Recently on

Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest Cycling News, May 14, 2008

Edited by Gregor Brown

Pink Pellizotti gives it a go

Giro d'Italia race leader Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Leader of the 91st Giro d'Italia, Italian Franco Pellizotti, is looking strong in the pink colours of the maglia rosa and aims for a stage win in today's 203-kilometre run to Contursi. Not only is the 30 year-old Team Liquigas rider from Bibione aiming for a stage win while in the leader's jersey, he also wants to take overall victory in the Italian Grand Tour.

It is easy to notice the curly haired Franco Pellizotti in the gruppo as Giro d'Italia runs in its first week: "It is the colour of the jersey, it stands out in the gruppo," he commented to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

With 2006 Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso joining the Italian team at the end of the year Pellizotti, eighth overall in 2006, knows that he has to make his impression felt in this race's edition.

"This is my year and I intend to take advantage," Pellizotti stated. "Ivan is a great racer, but if I have a good Giro it will be he who has to show that he can return to the Giro as a captain."

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).

WAP-enabled mobile devices:

The first step for Pellizotti is stage five to Contursi, which ends with a three-kilometre ascent. "The stage is similar to Agrigento, Riccò and Di Luca will try, they are close to taking the jersey. We will also see Bettini and Rebellin." He has no intentions of trying to keep the pink top through the entire Giro d'Italia. "No, in reality I want to save myself for the last week," he continued.

He is not only pointing to the podium, but its top step, confirming that he has given all of himself for the 2008 Giro d'Italia title. "The podium would be a good result, but this time I am racing to win. I see in my team-mates' eyes that they believe in me. ... One year ago I arrived with good form, but [former team-mate] Di Luca was going well and deserved the support. This time I am able to think big."

LPR Brakes rode stage four defensively

Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes) kept out of trouble in stage four's finale
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Italian Team LPR Brakes rode the finale of Giro d'Italia stage four defensively for its team leaders, 2007 Giro winner Danilo Di Luca and two-time Giro winner Paolo Savoldelli. The team, who hit the front in the final kilometres of the 183-kilometre stage that was dominated by the solo escape of Belgium's Rik Verbrugghe, did so to avoid being involved in crashes similar to those of stage three.

"The last kilometres of a race are the most nervous and insidious," it confirmed in a press release. "It's in an attempt to avoid the crashes, keeping command of the race with the experience of Di Luca and Savoldelli."

Verbrugghe: "you have to be a little crazy"

Rik Verbrugghe of Team Cofidis may have finished 165th, nearly eight minutes down, in Tuesday's Giro d'Italia stage, but he was the man of the day. He took off from the peloton as soon as the neutral zone was over, and they didn't see him again until there were only 25 kilometres left in the race. During his 164 kilometres solo flight, he had built up a lead of up to 11 minutes.

"It was the first time in my 13 year career that I have made such a long solo escape," he told "It was perhaps hopeless, but at least I tried. To be a cyclist, you have to be a little crazy." (SW)

Broken collarbone for Nuyens

Nick Nuyens of Cofidis took a dramatic tumble within sight of stage four's finish line, and it marked the end of his Giro d'Italia. His manager Jef Van den Bosch confirmed to that the Belgian had broken his right collarbone. He was to fly home on Wednesday and expected to undergo surgery the same day.

It was the first broken collarbone in his six-year career. "Now I am a real pro!" the 28 year-old joked on "I was accidentally in the sprint, on McEwen's wheel," Nuyens explained. "Suddenly I was hit by a rider from CSF [Group Navigare]. I lost my balance, and plop! there I lay on the ground."

He expects to rest and recover for 10 days before resuming training. "I won't force anything. I will fully recover first." (SW)

Zabriskie flies home

USA's David Zabriskie is heading home after being forced out of the Giro d'Italia
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Slipstream's Dave Zabriskie was finally able to fly home to the USA on Tuesday. He suffered a fractured L1 vertebrae when he crashed on a railroad crossing in Sunday's second Giro d'Italia stage.

Writing on the team's website,, team doctor Prentice Steffen said that he, physiologist Allen Lim and chiropractor Kevin Reichlin "collaborated to make that moment possible." He noted, "Dave had a serious injury and was never for a moment out of the capable hands of one of us or, later on, those of our amazing soigneurs. And now he's headed home to the ones who care about him the most."

That list of those who care about him most will be growing shortly, as his wife Randi is due to give birth soon. (SW)

Pollack happy with second place

By Susan Westemeyer

The road season has gotten off to a slow start for Team Volksbank's Olaf Pollack. He started off well on the track, taking a silver medal in the Madison at the World Championships in Manchester, but Monday's second place finish in the Neuseen Classics was his first road race podium of the year.

The 34 year-old's team-mate René Weissinger was in an 11-man escape group, which stayed away until 30 kilometres before the finish. "It was really all optimal," Pollack told Cyclingnews, "especially with Rene in the group. That meant we didn't have so much work to do back in the field. To set up the sprint we had Daniel Musiol and André Korff, who was really my last man, and Cameron Wurf worked really well, too, with preparing the sprint.

"Of course, a sprint is always a sprint, there is always chaos and you just have to stay cool," the 34 year-old continued. "I am happy with the result, especially while I am still not in top form. It should help motivate us for future races, because now we have seen that we can do it."

His next race for the Austrian Professional Continental Team will be the Circuit de Lorraine Professionnel, followed by the Bayern Rundfahrt.

Burghardt confident of return

Marcus Burghardt of Team High Road continues to recover satisfactorily from his knee surgery. He most recently finished the Neuseen Classics. This week he will ride two smaller races to continue his comeback.

"Things are continuing to look up with my form for the next few weeks and I am training diligently and am highly motivated," he wrote on "Things are going so well after my successful knee surgery, that I am very satisfied and will do all I can to keep working on my performance."

The 24 year-old concluded, "My goal remains: The Tour de France will take place with Marcus Burghardt!" (SW)

Hunter building form in the Tour de Picardie

While Mauricio Soler and his team-mates are racing the Giro d'Italia first stages, another eight Team Barloworld riders are tackling the Tour de Picardie. The short French stage race, won by South African Rob Hunter last year, will start on Friday 16 May, ending on Sunday 18.

Baden Cooke, who recently took victory in the Clásica Alcobendas, will be in the squad together with Hunter, who will use the race to regain form in light of the Tour de France. With the duo are Portuguese Hugo Sabido, Italian Diego Caccia, Giampaolo Cheula and Marco Corti, South African John-Lee Augustyn and Daryl Impey.

Kitchen sink weather ready in Mt. Hood

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Portland, Oregon

The organizers were not kidding when they said part of the course was "un-rideable".
Photo ©: Chad Sperry
(Click for larger image)

Sure it might say May on everyone's calendar, and the favorites in the men and women's races for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic are likely coming from warm weather racing in southern places like Arkansas - but be warned, do NOT put away that cold weather clothing just yet. Record-setting weather of every kind seems to have hit the Mt. Hood area outside of Portland - including enough snow to cause a course re-route for the queen stage - the Wy'East road race up to Mt. Hood Meadows ski resort.

Organisers of the race announced this week that "due to substantial snow pack" the race start will change to The Dalles for the men and Dufur for the women. Despite the change, race spokesman Tre Hendricks said, "The new course, fortunately, is just as burly!" The race web site reports that the pro men's course will be 101 miles with 11,000 feet of climbing, while the women and amateur men will be race 75 miles with 8000 feet of climbing. The ski resort finish at 5,500 feet is also still open for skiing, so any rider not challenged enough could get in a few end-of-season runs.

The Mt. Hood region is always known... err, feared, for the variety of epic weather conditions presented to the racers - but this year should be more epic than usual, with record rains also hitting the area in recent weeks.

There will be no defending champion with Nathan O'Neill sitting out of competition for a doping violation, but Health Net-Maxxis is back with plenty of weapons. Two local boys, Kirk O'Bee who resides north in Vancouver and Matt Cooke from nearby Washington state are practically local, while Rory Sutherland is showing top form in both the Tour de Georgia and Joe Martin Stage Race. Cyclingnews readers will likely get a first person account of the weather from his popular diary. Phil Zajicek also comes to Health Net having finished second here last year with Navigators.

Read the full race preview.

(Additional research and assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer).

Previous News    Next News

(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing Limited 2008)