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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for July 29, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

An interview with Miguel Martin Perdiguero

Taking his own path

Photo ©: Anthony Tan
Click for larger image

He's not your ordinary type of rider within the pro peloton, having been in the spotlight many times during his career; not only for his feats on the bike but also for his uncommon behaviour off the road. 'Why should I follow the rules?' says it all for the young Phonak rider. Hernan Alvarez Macias checks in with 'Perdi' to see how his season is looking.

With his move from Saunier Duval to Phonak in 2005, Perdiguero has distinguished himself by frequent appearances in many breakaways, most of which were caught. Last year, however, Miguel won two big races that really displayed his quality as a rider: Volta a Catalunya and Classica a San Sebastian - just reward for such a combative rider.

Cyclingnews: How are you going at this time of the season?

Miguel Martin Perdiguero: At the moment, I've been a month out of competition, preparing myself for the classics that happen at this time of year. So, even though I'm not in the Tour and I'm not racing, I'm still feeling good at the moment.

CN: How do you feel in Phonak, considering it was a recent move?

MMP: I'm fine. It's a different team, a Swiss team. I'm not used to being a rider in this team with more orders and planning, but I feel good. Everything is done correctly, so it's ok. Besides, we have a director like Juan Fernandez who is Spanish, and I have Spanish team-mates, so everything's perfect.

Click here for the full interview

Basso in Tour of Denmark

Tour de France runner up Ivan Basso has been selected for Team CSC's line-up in this year's Tour of Denmark, which begins on August 3. "We are extremely happy to be able to have a classy rider like Basso participating in our race," said race director Jesper Worre. "It's not only a big thing for me and the organization behind the Tour of Denmark, but also for all the Danish spectators,"

Earlier this season Ivan Basso won two stages in the Giro d'Italia despite having stomach problems. He rebounded to finish second in the Tour de France behind Lance Armstrong, proving his class as a grand tour rider. "I'm very much looking forward to riding in Denmark, where I know the team has a large number of fans," said Basso. "From my teammates I've heard a lot of nice things about the race and they told me about this unique atmosphere in Denmark after the Tour de France."

More lineups for HEW Cyclassics Cup Hamburg

Lampre-Caffita: Alessandro Ballan, GianLuca Bortolami, Daniele Bennati, Giosuè Bonomi, Salvatore Commesso, Giuliano Figueras, Enrico Franzoi, Daniele Righi

Team CSC: Jakob Piil, Kurt Asle Arvesen, Lars Michaelsen, Linus Gerdemann, Matti Breschel, Allan Johansen, Vladimir Gussev. DS: Bjarne Riis, Scott Sunderland

Saunier Duval-Prodir: Rubens Bertogliati, Angel Edo, Manuele Mori, Marco Pinotti, Ivan Ravaioli, Fabian Jeker, Francisco Ventoso, Constantino Zaballa.

Amy Gillett's life recalled in moving service

By Gerard Knapp in Ballarat

Amy Gillett's track bike
Photo ©: Pool photo
Click for larger image

It was a day that brought together her family, friends, supporters, current and former teammates from the two sports where she excelled - cycling and rowing. It was a day, to quote Pastor Murray Lydeamore, the cycling chaplain of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), "to celebrate Amy's life with gratitude."

On July 29, the funeral of Australian athlete, Amy Gillett (nee Safe) was attended by 300 mourners from around Australia and the world, at the Doveton Park Funeral Centre in Ballarat, Victoria.

Amy was struck down by an out-of-control car on July 18, 2005, while on a training ride in Germany, reconnoitring the course of the opening time trial of the Thüringen Rundfahrt stage race which was scheduled to start the following day. Amy died at the scene, while her five teammates were seriously injured and taken to hospitals where they are still recovering (see previous stories).

The death of this Australian rider sent a cold chill through the global cycling community, and it has also reached into the wider Australian population. For an athlete to die while representing her sporting country is akin to being killed on public duty, and the Australian media has shown immense interest and indeed respect towards Amy and her teammates.

The national media was in attendance in numbers at the service, with the national broadcaster sending one of its outside broadcast units to cover the funeral. While many in Australian cycling privately wish this same attention had been directed towards this team when it had achieved its numerous triumphs overseas, it was not the time for such feelings.

The Australian Government was represented by Senator Rod Kemp, the Federal Minister for Sport, while senior sports administrators, such as Peter Bartels, the chairman of the Australian Sport Commission and Graham Fredericks, CEO of Cycling Australia, were also among the mourners. (The government and the sports bodies reacted swiftly to the tragedy, with immediate financial assistance, including quickly-arranged flights to Germany for the families of the six cyclists.)

Amy Gillett's coffin
Photo ©: Pool photo
Click for larger image

There were also many Olympic medallists and world champions from rowing and cycling at the service, who'd all trained and competed with Amy throughout her dual careers.

But despite the high-profile guests, it was a day for her family and friends. Inside the chapel, the funeral service was led by Pastor Lydeamore and Monsignor Henry Nolan of St Patricks, Ballarat, with poem readings and eulogies delivered by her family and close friends, and all fought back their tears as they spoke.

Click here for the full report.

Condolences and tributes

Cyclingnews has now published four pages of tributes from cyclists and supporters from around the world who've been affected by this tragedy. Please see: Amy Gillett: Tributes, 1976-2005, Part 1, and Part 2, Part 3 (posted July 21), Part 4 (posted July 22), and Part 5 (posted July 29).

Cycling Australia has also established an email link for people who wish to send condolence messages to the family of Amy Gillett or to pass on their thoughts and wishes to those injured. Go to Cycling Australia's web site and follow the link on the home page.

Related stories:
July 28: Rhodes and Yaxley recovery 'amazing'
July 24: Yaxley improving, Rhodes still unconscious
July 21: AIS head 'optimistic' about recovery; 'Brownie' tries his best
July 19: Unprecedented carnage in Germany
July 18: Amy Gillett dead after crash in Germany


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Pool photo/Andrew De La Rue

Images by Gerard Knapp/

Transfer news

Basque riders Iñigo Chaurreau and Mikel Astarloza have re-signed with the French Ag2r-Prevoyance team for another season, according to Astarloza had several offers from other teams, but decided to remain with Vincent Lavenu.

French rider Christophe Edaleine will leave Cofidis for another French team, Crédit Agricole, at the end of this year. After Thor Hushovd's successful green jersey campaign in the Tour de France and Christophe Moreau's departure, Crédit Agricole will be built around Hushovd for next season.

There are two new riders for the Lampre-Caffita team, reports Mauro Santambrogio and Danilo Napolitano, both from Team LPR, will join Giuseppe Saronni and Claudio Corti's squad next season.

The Panaria team has engaged Italian Roberto Traficante (Team LPR) and 22 year-old Argentinean sprinter Max Richeze for next season, with the latter signing a two year deal with the Reverberi brothers. Richeze's job will be to help Panaria's other Argentinean sprinter Ruben Bongiorno in the bunch kicks. And although he had an offer to join the Cofidis ProTour team, he opted for a lower key debut as a professional rider. Richeze is a multiple national and PanAm champion on the road, and has set his sights on the U23 World Championships in Madrid in September.

German rider Madeleine Sandig will join the Buitenpoort-Flexpoint team, riding alongside Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel next season. Sandig, 22, recently won the European U23 time trial championships.

There are rumours in the Belgian cycling scene that a new Continental Pro team is in the works, with negotiations to be finished soon. Jef Braeckevelt is being mentioned as managing director, and Belgian Champion Serge Baguet is on the team's hit list of riders to sign. Baguet is at the end of his contract with the Davitamon-Lotto team, which recently lost Axel Merckx to Phonak.

No Kaiku in Vuelta

The UCI ProTour Council has not agreed to allow 23 teams to participate in the upcoming Vuelta a España, meaning that Spanish Pro Continental team Kaiku will miss out. The field will therefore include the 20 ProTour teams plus Comunidad Valenciana and Relax-Fuenlabrada, for a total of 22 teams and 198 riders.

Cunego a dad

Damiano Cunego has become a father for the first time, after his wife Margherita gave birth to a baby girl, Ludovica at 11:34pm on Thursday evening. Ludovica was born in the Borgo Trento hospital in Verona, weighing in at 3.1 kg (6 lbs 8 oz). Damiano was present and assisted in the birth, saying, "I'm enthused by the first hand experience."

Cyclingnews congratulates the Cunego family on its newest addition.

Virenque promotes tobacco in Francorchamps

In 1998, Richard Virenque was caught up in the doping scandal surrounding the Festina team in the Tour de France. After denying, then admitting it, Virenque served a suspension, came back and won another two polka dot jerseys. Now, the French super star is taking to even faster roads. This weekend he will participate in the 24 hours of Francorchamps (Belgium). On July 31, a European ban on publicity for tobacco will be introduced, but that won't stop Virenque and his team being the only ones driving around the circuit sponsored by a tobacco company.

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