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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News, September 3, 2008

Edited by Greg Johnson & Paul Verkuylen

Hungry Bennati gets Boonen revenge

Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) wins
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Italian Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) outclassed Belgium's Tom Boonen (Quick Step) to claim victory on the Vuelta a España's fourth stage. Bennati, who also holds the Spanish Grand Tour's leader's jersey, claimed the stage win just one day after Boonen upstaged him on the leg to Córdoba.

While happy about scoring the leader's jersey, Bennati had admitted on the previous day it was a stage win he had been targeting. This victory takes the Liquigas rider's Vuelta stage win tally to four.

"The sprint was how I like - linear and without confusion," said Bennati. "First I exploited the exceptional work of my team-mates, then I followed the wheel of Wouter Weyland and when we reached 180 metres I sped away."

In addition to the event's maillot oro, Bennati also has the points classification lead. While he's expecting the general classification to shake out on today's time trial, Bennati thanked his team-mates for their hard work.

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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"At Liquigas the saying 'all for one, one for all' is valid," said Bennati. "Everyone respect his role to help the team - this is our strength.

"Many peoples, for example, had doubt about the cooperation between me and [Filippo] Pozzato. We showed that working together and helping each other we can collect many satisfactions.

The peloton will face its first individual time trial today. Bennati expects the 42.5 kilometre stage in Ciudad Real to have a big impact on the overall standings, with the rider likely to lose the leader's jersey.

"I'm happy to be leader," he said. "But tomorrow there's a time trial and will be difficult to keep the gold jersey. I'll do all to honour it, but I'm not here to win the Vuelta. My goal is fixed on the stage victories and I'm not satisfied with one."

For full coverage of Stage 4, click here.

Sastre fine after Vuelta crash

Sastre was torn up
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre (Team CSC-Saxo Bank) was one rider involved in the Vuelta a España Stage 4 finish crash, but escaped the incident largely unscathed. The Spaniard, who is aiming for the Tour-Vuelta double victory, will continue the event on today's individual time trial.

"It was a hectic finish where Carlos was unlucky enough to crash," said sports director Scott Sunderland. "He suffered some minor scratches and stuff, but nothing big so he's good to go for tomorrow."

Sastre was caught up in the last of several falls within the peloton during the final six kilometres of yesterday's stage. Italian race leader Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) managed to avoid the carnage to sprint home for a stage victory.

"He was caught behind some of the first to crash so his fall wasn't too bad," added Sunderland. "Karsten Kroon waited for him and they reached the finish line together."

Belgium names Devolder, Hoste for Worlds

Stijn Devolder (Quick Step)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Current Belgian Time Trial Champion Stijn Devolder and Leif Hoste have been named as the two time trial riders to represent Belgium at the UCI World Road Championships in Varese later this month. The World Championships get underway on September 23, just days after the Vuelta a Espana Grand Tour finishes in Spain.

Quick Step's Devolder has had a turbulent season so far this year. After winning the Ronde van Vlaanderen while wearing the Belgian tri-colour, Devolder had a disappointing Tour de France - his major objective for the season.

Silence-Lotto's Hoste has finished second three times at the Ronde van Vlaanderen and has twice been Belgian time trial champion - in 2001 and 2007.

The teams for the women and under 23 road race and time trial have also been named. The full team will be named on September 12.

Women's road race: Lieselot Decroix, Grace Verbeke, Liesbeth De Vocht, Laure Werner, An Van Rie (reserve)
Women's time trial: An Van Rie
Under 23 road race: Jan Bakelants, Ben Hermans, Jérôme Baugnies (two more riders will be named on September 12)
Under 23 time trial: Jan Ghyselinck

Source: Beltrán's B sample positive

Manuel Beltrán is taken away by the Gendarmerie
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Disgraced cyclist Manuel Beltrán's B sample has reportedly failed anti-doping tests. International news outlet Agence France-Presse has reported that a source close to the case, who doesn't wish to be named, has confirmed the failed test.

The French Anti-doping Agency (AFLD) announced on July 12 that the Liquigas rider had failed a test on the Tour de France's opening stage. The rider was thrown out of the Tour, as the French event's first positive test for 2008, and was suspended by his Italian ProTour squad.

Beltrán, one of Lance Armstrong's former mountain domestiques, has ridden for the Liquigas team since leaving the Discovery Channel in 2006. His Liquigas squad announced at the time it would fire the rider should the B sample result uphold the findings of his A sample.

Officials are expected to formally announce the results of Beltrán's B sample shortly. The news has also been published on, the publication owned by the same company as the Tour.

Boom to concentrate on road after '08

Lars Boom (Rabobank)
Photo ©: Isosport
(Click for larger image)

Dutch sensation Lars Boom is set to make the formal switch from cyclo-cross to road racing next season, after winning all three Dutch titles on offer in 2008. Boom took the Dutch time trial title on Sunday, adding another red, white and blue jersey to his collection.

He won the cyclo-cross championships in January, following that up with the World Championship title, before winning the Dutch professional road championships in June.

"Every Dutch championship I entered, I won, that is not normal," Boom told Volkskrant.

It is not only the Dutch championships he has won, however. Including last year's World Under-23 Time Trial Championship title, Boom has won every World Championship he has entered too.

For this reason Boom is placed under considerable pressure from the general public where ever he races.

"I go to a race and everyone expects me to win," he said. "That is not good, it shouldn't be expected that where ever I ride I will take gold."

Before making the switch to concentrate on racing the road, Boom plans to ride a full program of cyclo-cross races over the European winter. As the defending World Champion he feels obligated to show the jersey to his fans, especially his growing fan base in Belgium.

In order to best prepare for the tough winter season ahead, Boom has opted to forgo this month's UCI World Road Championships, much to his disappointment. After winning the Under 23 Time Trial title last year, Boom was eager to pit himself against the very best in the world as an elite rider.

Boom will join Rabobank's professional outfit officially on October 1, but before that he will travel with the team to the Tour of Missouri. He won't be racing in Missouri however, but will be training and assisting the team's mechanics. It will be the last time that Boom will travel with Rabobank's Continental squad and marks a symbolic end to this chapter of he cycling career.

It has taken five years for Boom to make the step up to the professional league. "If I didn't race 'cross I would have made the step up a lot earlier," he said.

Given the palmares he has achieved in those five years, the Dutchman's future is expected to boom on the road.

Joe's professional status looking Jittery

By Mark Zalewski

The state of the economy and many other factors are making it difficult for Jittery Joe's to keep a professional status with just one title sponsor. And the search for an addition co-title sponsor have come up short, according to manager Micah Rice.

Cyclingnews reported last week that the squad is among the US professional teams enjoying a multi-year sponsorship contract. The coffee distributor has been a long-time supporter of cycling, and is not changing its mind.

"We had some cash sponsors pull out and the cost of travel has gone through the roof," Rice told Cyclingnews. "We have been searching hard for a co-title sponsor and have been unsuccessful. The deadline for me was September 1. I have a few Hail Mary's out there that could happen and we will wait and see."

Rice said he has released his riders to seek out alternative options for 2009. "I talked to the riders after the race on Sunday and told them to go after what they can get," he said.

However the team itself will not disappear, regardless of finding a co-sponsor. "Jittery Joe's is still in it until 2013 but the probable thing is that it will be an amateur team," said Rice. "We have always been a developmental team and it will continue.

"We had a Jittery Joe's alumni in the Tour de France this year and we were very proud of that," he added. "And I expect we will be back as a professional team, but we are taking a step back to stay healthy. We do not want to try to force something just to have the 'pro' in our name. That ends up not being good for our sponsors."

TIBCO signs Aaron's firepower

By Mark Zalewski

Aaron's professional cycling team looked to be continuing into 2009 under a new sponsor, when Cyclingnews ran its state of the peloton feature last week. However, the climate has quickly changed and the team will not be around next year.

As such, three of the top riders of the team, Katharine Carroll, Meredith Miller and Julie Beveridge, have all signed with the TIBCO team for 2009.

"I am thrilled that Amber, Lauren, Brooke and Joanne are all back," said TIBCO director Linda Jackson. "But it's going to be an exciting year for sure [with the new riders]."

Jackson said there that there is an eighth 'big name' rider who is signed but yet unnamed to respect her wishes, bringing the 2009 team to 13 riders. "I am continuing the development part of the team so we will have riders to substitute when our riders go over to do the US national team in Europe," said Jackson.

As for the fate of the Aaron's team, director Micah Rice said he was keeping a positive outlook for the past few weeks that negotiations would pan out for the women's program. "We had some interest from the top level of two companies, but following Downers Grove they came back as a no," he said. "We had been speaking with four companies but we just come up short."

Garmin-Chipotle leads Univest lineup

Will Frischkorn (Garmin-Chipotle)
Photo ©: Bjorn Haake
(Click for larger image)

United States of America Professional Continental team Garmin-Chipotle will headline this weekend's Univest Grand Prix. The team will be led by defending Univest Champion Will Frischkorn, who will be supported by Tour of Georgia winner Tom Danielson.

The squad, run by former professional Jonathan Vaughters, will face stiff competition from the local American teams. The Tour of Pennsylvania winning Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast team will be present, with winner Martin Gilbert leading the squad while Team Type 1 and Mexican outfit Tecos will also mount a charge on the September 6-7 race.

Polish-registered Amore e Vita/McDonalds will also contest the event with Ukrainian Yury Metlushenko, who won an exciting photo-finish in the Lehigh Valley Classic and was second overall in the 2008 Commerce Bank Triple Crown of Cycling.

The event features a tough 100-mile road race on Saturday, that winds its way through the Bucks and Montgomery counties before the uphill finish in Souderton. Racing continues with the fast, tactical Univest Criterium of Doylestown on Sunday.

HealthNet-Maxxis dominate as NRC end nears

With just one round of the United States of America's National Racing Calendar remaining, HealthNet-Maxxis holds a commanding lead in both the men's individual and team's standings. Rory Sutherland tops the individual standings by more than 500 points over Bissell's Ted King, while the squad has a 150 point margin over Colavita-Sutter Home in the teams classification.

Colavita-Sutter Home is on top in the women's individual standings with Tina Pic leading the way by 42 points over Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine). Cheerwine, which holds second and third in the individual standings, is also leading the team's classification with a whopping 1370 point margin over Aaron's.

Men's Individual Standings
1 Rory Sutherland (Health Net-Maxxis)    1403
2 Ted King (Bissell)                      813
3 Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell)            643
4 Anthony Colby (Colavita-Sutter Home)    624
5 John Murphy                             589

Men's Team Standings
1 Health Net-Maxxis                      2802
2 Colavita/Sutter Home-Cooking Light     2648
3 Bissell Pro Cycling Team               2331
4 Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team         2058
5           1436 

Women's Individual Standings
1 Tina Pic (Colavita-Sutter Home)        1189
2 Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine)           1147
3 Anne Samplonius (Cheerwine)             912
4 Kristin Armstrong                       870
5 Catherine Cheatley (Cheerwine)          852

Women's Team Standings
1 Cheerwine Professional Cycling Team    4225
2 Aaron's Cycling Team                   2855
3 Colavita/Sutter Home-Cooking Light     2690
4 Team Tibco                             2312
5 Valuact Capitol Cycling Team           1266

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