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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest Cycling News, May 21, 2008

Edited by Bjorn Haake

A special anniversary for Bruseghin

By Gregor Brown in Urbino, Italy

Marzio Bruseghin living la dolce vita.
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Italy's Marzio Bruseghin does not win that often. In fact, few were listing the 33 year-old Lampre rider as a favourite for the Giro d'Italia's 39.4-kilometre individual test from Pesaro to Urbino. The rider from Piadera di Vittorio Veneto did not bother himself with the pundits prognostics, instead he set about winning the stage by eight seconds over Tour de France champion Alberto Contador.

"My characteristics were favoured here," Bruseghin noted in a quiet voice following the win, only his third in the professional ranks. His other two victories also came thanks to time trials; his first win was in the 2006 Italian Championships, which allowed him to wear the maglia tricolore on the way to his second win, nearly one year ago on the slopes of Oropa.

In the 2007 Giro d'Italia, Bruseghin leapt into the spot light by taking the 12.6-kilometre mountain time trial run from Biella to Santuario Di Oropa, just ahead of climber Leonardo Piepoli.

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Bruseghin knows that there are only certain days that suit his style. "The finale was adapted to me, it was a climb that demanded power. Also, [Contador] had to deal with wetter roads – I was a little lucky. It went well; it was a day like that.

"I can't take the maglia rosa, but there are certain stages, like this one, where I can take advantage." His margin was eight seconds on Contador, 20 seconds on Andreas Klöden and 36 seconds on Italian time trial champion Marco Pinotti.

The winning sensation was there on the Giro d'Italia's first rest day, just 24 hours before the stage into Urbino's walled city. "I had a little bit of feeling for this stage," Bruseghin admitted. "I heard what the reactions were yesterday and I started to think that this could be the day for me. It is not easy to understand this [feeling], even after ten years."

Read the full feature on Bruseghin.

Klöden riding for Germany or not?

Andreas Klöden (Astana) stirred controversy with an interview to Gazzetta dello Sport
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Andreas Klöden's interview in yesterday's Gazzetta dello Sport continues to make waves. According to the Italian newspaper, he said that he has cut his ties with Germany, and that he would like to ride in the Olympic Games in Beijing, "but I won't do it for Germany." In a statement issued by his Team Astana Tuesday evening, the German rider, who lives in Switzerland claimed that his remarks were misunderstood.

"For the moment I am the best German time trialist. Of course I want to represent my country," Klöden said. "It is not because cycling is not so popular any more in Germany, that I am not proud to defend the colours of my country. If I am selected, of course I will go. I told the journalist that, until now, the German federation never contacted me about the Olympics."

His remarks concerning doping testing sparked further controversy, but he claimed that also these remarks were misrepresented.(SW)

CSC heads to Bavaria

Team CSC has decided at the last minute to ride the Bayern Rundfahrt, which starts May 28, and plans to send Stuart O'Grady and Bradley McGee, both of whom broke collarbones in the third stage of the Giro d'Italia.

According to the race organisers, CSC asked if it could participate and the race management gladly accepted the Danish ProTour team.

Uwe Peschel, a former Gerolsteiner rider who is now the sports director for the Bayern Rundfahrt, explained how the two could start racing again so soon after surgery. "A plate is inserted in the shoulder for a broken collarbone. When there are no complications, then the rider can usually start racing again pretty quickly."

CSC becomes the sixth ProTour team in the race, along with High Road, Gerolsteiner, Milram, Credit Agricole and Bouygues Telecom.(SW)

McGee back in the saddle

Brad McGee (Team CSC) is already back in the saddle, after his collarbone-shattering tumble in the Giro
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Bradley McGee has recovered from the surgery after fracturing his collarbone.

McGee had surgery on Monday and was released from hospital Wednesday. He began his training straight away. On the team's website,, the Australian said that "The operation went well, although it took a bit longer than I had expected. Before the operation we had talked about how important it was for the plate to placed exactly right, because of the way the bone had fractured, so it took a while for them to get it just right. But apparently they've done a really great job so I think it'll work out perfectly afterwards," said McGee, who's had a plate put in his other shoulder eight years ago, after having fractured his other collarbone.

McGee couldn't wait to be back in the saddle. "I'm starting my training program straight away, but I actually got some training in already before the surgery so I'm sure I'll come back even stronger," commented McGee, who will ride the Bayern Rundfahrt next.

Clarke joins winner's list in Tour of Japan

Simon Clarke scored another win for the dominating South team
Photo ©: Miwako Sasaki
(Click for larger image) rider Simon Clarke has notched up a third stage win for the team, with victory in the fourth stage of the Tour of Japan. Cameron Meyer crossed in third place, with team mate Wesley Sulzberger fifth on the stage.

Sulzberger remains in the overall lead, with Meyer one second behind and Japan's Yukiya Arashiro ranked third at 26 seconds.

Today's fourth stage was one of the toughest of the Tour, with the peloton contesting 12 laps of the Shimohisakata circuit, for a total distance of 155.3km.

"It was basically five kilometres up, five kilometres down and two kilometres across," said Clarke. "It was bloody hard and everyone was so tired at the finish it was more of a grovel for the finish line than a sprint."

Team Director Brian Stephens said the aim today was to defend the positions of Sulzberger and Meyer by going on the attack and that tactic paid off for Clarke at the finish.

"Simon didn't have to do any work in the break because he was protecting our lead," said Stephens. "That meant he had pretty fresh legs at the end when the break had been caught and could go for the win."

Clarke explained that "I stayed away over the top of the climb, but with about five kilometres to go I got caught by a group of around a dozen riders, including Wes (Sulzberger) and Cam (Meyer). That gave us the manpower to go with all the last ditch attacks and in the end I managed to score the win."

Clarke won the stage in 3hr53min27sec with ten other riders finishing on the same time. Meyer's third place gave him a four second time bonus.

Tomorrow, Thursday, is a travel day for the race, which resumes on Friday with an 11.4-kilometre individual time trial on Mount Fuji. The massively steep climb will take the riders from an altitude of 600 metres to 2000 metres, with a gradient of around 15 percent.

CAS hears Mayo case

Iban Mayo has his day in court today, when his case will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The Spaniard tested positive for EPO at last year's Tour de France.

The problem, however, was with his B sample, which made a round-the-world trip before being declared positive. His A sample was tested in the French Anti-Doping laboratory, which was closed for holidays when it was time to test the B sample. It was sent to a lab in Gent, Belgium, which returned an inconclusive result. Subsequently, the lab in Sydney, Australia, called the sample negative. This led the Spanish Cycling Federation to declare him innocent and it dismissed all charges.

The UCI requested that the French lab in Chatenay-Malabry test the B sample, and in December the lab reported that it was positive for EPO. The Spanish federation declined to reopen the case against Mayo, and the UCI appealed that decision to the CAS.(SW)

AG2R La Mondiale preparing for Dauphiné Libéré

French team AG2R La Mondiale will thoroughly prepare for the upcoming Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (June 8-15) with a training camp in Corbier. The team will gather from June 2 to 5 in the place known for its skiing in the winter. The riders, however, will explore the uphills, with a special emphasis on the stages of the French build up-race to the Tour de France.

The team has nonetheless the opportunity to also reconnoitre the Col de la Croix Fer, which will feature in this year's Grande Boucle. The climb will go up towards Toussuire. The stage will finish on the famous Alpe d'Huez.

Contentpolis-Murcia is young, but strong

By Antonio J. Salmerón

The Contentpolis-Murcia team
Photo ©: Team Contentpolis-Murcia
(Click for larger image)

Spanish outfit Contentpolis-Murcia has managed to forget its glorious past in the continental category and has not had the need to live off its past successes, thanks to its deep structural remodeling. Nor was it affected by its late and complicated start to the season. The debut in the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana could not have been more fruitful. The young and promising climber Manuel Vázquez finished second, and also won the 'queen' stage to Ibi.

But the best thing was the image of a veteran and tight team, something that surprised both friends and strangers. "We could not imagine starting so well, given the adverse circumstances experienced before. Many of the team members had to delay their preparation, given that our debut was scheduled for Mallorca. I am very proud of the work we accomplished", the team's director, Ginés García, told Cyclingnews.

In March, just after having competed in Valencia and in the Clásica de Almeria, the team was not shy of tackling the Vuelta a Murcia. Julian Sanchez Pimienta won the mountains classification, with riders like Alejandro Valverde and Stefano Garzelli in second and third, respectively. and in the team standings, Contentpolis-Murcia finished fourth, only surpassed by Astana, Acqua e Sapone and Caisse d'Epargne.

One of its youngsters, Javier Etxarri, finished eleventh, after being the protagonist, together with Alberto Contador, Valverde and Garzelli, in the 'queen' stage, as well as Manuel Vazquez. But the Andalusian rider did not have good legs in the final. "It was disappointing, because we expected much from him after his great role in Valencia." Vazquez started the uphill time trial (Alhama-Aledo) with the podium in sight, but ended up giving up more than four minutes. Vázquez blamed an injury – the cyclists' dreaded tendonitis – which subsequently prevented him from attending the Vuelta a Castilla y León.

That race in Spain was another scene where Contentpolis-Murcia showed its fighting spirit. Its riders were always present in the breaks, but they did come short when it came to celebrating a win. Similar outcomes were recorded in the Basque Classics, Miguel Indurain and Amorebieta, although in the Subida al Naranco they won the teams classification. "The tight control of the favourites blocked the race in their favour, which made the race very complicated," said García.

But in the Tour of La Rioja, after rubbing shoulders with Palomares, Calvente reached his goal. "It was the last [stage]. Calvente started the season delayed, due to bureaucratic issues, and although we knew that he was very fit, he surprised us, as he did not have the race rhythm>"

Both in the Vuelta a Asturias, as in Alcobendas and the GP Paredes (Portugal), Contentpolis-Murcia has continued to do well. "There are already riders shining as reserves. We will have to think about giving them chances to race, too, already thinking about the second half of the season." La Bizikleta Vasca, now in June, is the next appointment on the calendar of Contentpolis-Murcia.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Team Contentpolis-Murcia

South Africa announces junior Worlds team

The 2008 UCI Junior World Championships, in Cape Town from July 12 to 20, includes several top South African cyclists who will participate in track, road and time trial events.

The two South African Squads that will be competing against the world's best were recently announced by Cycling South Africa (CSA). The national female road team is made up of Michelle Corbett, Charlotte van der Merwe, Caitlin de Wet and Claire Matthews, with Lorine Jooste and Jeaun-Mari Breytenbach as reserves. The national male road team is Paul de Zweel, Tiaan Swart, Christopher Jennings, Johan van Zyl, Clinton Barrow, Rourke Croeser and Johan van der Merwe. Reserves are Willem Jordaan, Hendrik Kruger and Avery Arendse.

Michelle Corbett will ride the 14.1-kilometre time trial in Wellington, while Paul van Zweel and Tiaan Swart will tackle the junior men's 26.8-kilometre "race of the truth."

The riders who will compete at the Bellville Velodrome during the five-day track events are Michelle Corbett and Natasha Marang representing the females, while Evan Carstens, Gerrit Scheepers, Brandon Christiaans, George Stroebel, Clint Hendricks and Robert du Preez make up the male squad to represent South Africa. The reserve is Avery Arendse.

The time trials are being staged in Wellington, on Friday, July 18, on a closed circuit. The individual road races take place in the streets of Cape Town, on Sunday, July 20. The road race circuit route has a varied profile – with some very tight corners, great long sprint sections as well as steep inclines - through the CBD as well as along the Foreshore and out towards the Southern Suburbs, along scenic De Waal drive and back. The total route for the men is 133.6 kilometres – which means eight laps of the circuit. The women will complete five laps of the circuit, to make up the total distance of 83.5 kilometres.

Around 1500 National Federations from over 50 countries are expected in the Mother City to participate in this international cycling event. For more information go to

(Additional research and assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer).

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