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First Edition Cycling News, August 11, 2008

Date published:
August 11, 2008, 1:00 BST
  • Olympians return to Olympic course in Sydney

    Article published:
    August 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Gary Boulanger, Bikeradar.com

    Olympian and Commonwealth Games champion Ben Kersten, missing out on competing in Beijing Games...

    Olympian and Commonwealth Games champion Ben Kersten, missing out on competing in Beijing Games following the elimination of the kilometre time trial from the Olympic Games program, will now compete in the Ride for Life at Centennial Park as his comeback race on Sunday 17 August.

    Kersten, after missing the final selection to China in a race off against Shane Kelly, has been recuperating from a back ailment and will be using the race around Centennial Park to focus more attention on his road cycling career.

    The Wollongong flyer and triple world junior champion will be a little short on race condition, but the new 1.9 kilometre circuit in the centre of Centennial Parklands should be well suited to the track star that has claimed numerous titles throughout the world.

    Kersten, who represented at Athens and then defeated two Olympic champions to claim the Commonwealth Games kilometre title in Melbourne in 2006, is undecided as to which race to contest – the featured Aces event over 36 kilometres or the corporate race over 24 kilometres.

    Ben said "I would obviously have preferred competing in Beijing but I am a founding ambassador of the Ride for Life along with Athens Olympic Games gold medallist Steve Wooldridge and it will be good to compete on part of the 2000 Olympic course."

    Kersten will receive plenty of encouragement from Wooldridge, who has retired from international racing after winning four world titles and Olympic title, who will officially start the race, four years after having won his Olympic gold. The Corporate race is taking on a Tour de France look with teams from CSC, Halifax/Saxo Bank, Shimano amongst some of the starters.

    The event is pretty much the biggest promotion for cycling in NSW with not just professional races, Olympic champions involved in a variance of races, the corporate event as well as a family fun ride at 2pm on the closed course completing the day.

    A big feature on the...

  • Armstrong shows fitness in Leadville

    Article published:
    August 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Gary Boulanger, BikeRadar.com Former mountain bike cross country pro Dave Wiens won his sixth...

    By Gary Boulanger, BikeRadar.com

    Former mountain bike cross country pro Dave Wiens won his sixth consecutive Leadville 100 off road race in Colorado Saturday, setting a new course record of 6:45.47, with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong finishing second in 6:47.41.

    With more than 1,000 racers participating in the annual event, the pressure was on from the beginning. Wiens, 43, took his place in the first row of the start line minutes before the race began. Wiens and Armstrong broke away from a lead group of 10 at the halfway point, and worked like roadie team-mates to increase their lead.

    Armstrong, who splits his saddle time 50/50 with road and dirt, was yo-yoing with Wiens on the climbs and descents before acquiescing victory with 10 miles remaining. Wiens is married to Susan DeMattei, bronze medalist in the women's cross country at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

    Floyd Landis pushed Wiens to set a course record in 2007, finishing second.

  • Teutenberg powers to prologue win

    Article published:
    August 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Gary Boulanger, Bikeradar.com

    Columbia's Ina-Yoko Teutenberg won the opening prologue of La Route de France Feminine Sunday,...

    Columbia's Ina-Yoko Teutenberg won the opening prologue of La Route de France Feminine Sunday, clocking the fastest time in the 3.2km prologue in the town of Dijon. Teutenberg's time of 4'33" put her in the lead by one second over Belgian Grace Verbeke (Lotto Belisol) and three seconds to Edwige Pitel (Team Pro Féminin Les Carroz).

    "I've been trying to win a prologue all year," said Teutenberg. "I'm pretty happy because this was not actually the one I expected to win." The German sprinter has had plenty of success in road stages this season, taking triple victories in the women's Giro d'Italia alone.

    "The course was really nice," she added."Fast roads with not too many corners and some little hills where you really needed to keep the pressure on." "Winning the prologue takes the pressure off a bit. We can relax now going into the first stage." Monday's first stage is a short and flat stage starting in Dijon.

  • Rollin sneaks up on a victory

    Stage winner Dominique Rollin (Toyota United) with Alessandro Bazzana (Successful Living) and Charles Dionne (Successful Living) (l&r)
    Article published:
    August 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Kirsten Robbins in Rochester, New York Dominique Rollin (Toyota-United) timed his jump to...

    By Kirsten Robbins in Rochester, New York

    Dominique Rollin (Toyota-United) timed his jump to perfection in the finale of the second stage of the UCI 2.2 Rochester Omnium Saturday, catching the lone breakaway rider Alessandro Bazzana (Successful Living) and then sneaking past the Italian in the final 400-metres to take the victory in the fourth annual Rochester criterium.

    "I knew I could catch Bazzana," said French-Canadian Rollin. "But I didn't want to catch him right away just in case he sat on me and had time to recover for the sprint. I gauged my effort and tried to surprise him at the end – I had enough left over to sprint passed him."

    Rollin moved into the lead of the race which is being scored as an omnium – with points for stage placings rather than cumulative time. He has 60 points ahead of second placed Ryan Roth (Team Race Pro) with 35 points. Luis Amaran (Colavita/Sutter Home) moved into third place with 29 points.

    "It's a great day for Toyota-United," said Rollin regarding the team's stage victory and overall lead. "All the guys worked really hard to take over this jersey. With three guys well placed on GC, our jobs were to cover moves tonight. As soon as my break got away, our guys protected my lead and made sure we stayed away."

    A winning break of eight riders escaped the field in the early laps of the criterium and gained a maximum of thirty seconds. The riders included Dionne and Mark Walters (Team Race Pro) along with Rollin, Bazzana, Tony Cruz and Martin Kohler (BMC), Luis Amaran (Colavita-Sutter Home) and Shawn Milne (Team Type 1).

    Bazzana seized an opportunity to win the race when the break lulled with one lap to go. He gained an instant advantage on the group as he flew through the final corners toward what he thought was a win. Rollin sensed the threatening move and went after him.

    "I really wanted to win today," said Bazzana who dedicated his podium to his grandmother, who...

  • Geslin to Française des Jeux

    Article published:
    August 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Anthony Geslin will leave the Bouygues Telecom squad where he launched his professional career to...

    Anthony Geslin will leave the Bouygues Telecom squad where he launched his professional career to head to the rival French team la Française des Jeux for two years, AFP reported Sunday.

    The 28-year-old sprinter took the bronze medal in the 2005 world championship road race, and more recently took sixth in this year's Milan-Sanremo in addition to his win in the Tour de Doubs.

    He was not selected to race this year's Tour de France after contesting the previous three editions for Bouygues Telecom.

  • Cancellara surprised with bronze

    Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) put on a great last minute charge
    Article published:
    August 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara was a surprise name on the Olympic men's road race podium – it was...

    Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara was a surprise name on the Olympic men's road race podium – it was much more expected to see the tall CSC-Saxo Bank rider atop the time trial podium on Wednesday. But while that scenario may still come true, Cancellara himself is pleased to have taken a medal for his country, even if it did come as a surprise.

    "Bronze is definitely a nice and unexpected surprise. It really takes a lot of pressure of me before the time trial since now I already have a medal to take home from here," said Cancellara.

    "At first I was a little disappointed that I wasn't able to win, but I quickly realized that I did very well – better than I could have expected in advance," Cancellara added.

    Cancellara rode across the gap on the final circuit to his trade team-mate Alexandr Kolobnev (Russia), and Michael Rogers (Australia) like he had a motorcycle underneath him. He then helped drive the pace to bring this second group up to the leading trio of Andy Schleck, another CSC-Saxo Bank rider, Davide Rebellin (Italy), Samuel Sánchez (Spain).

    Yet the affiliation of the riders outside of the Olympic Games had no bearing on Cancellara's decision to race the way he did. "I managed to ride exactly the right race. I believe I did everything right which was actually quite simple most of the time, since all I could do was follow the favourites' moves bearing in mind I had no team-mates.

    "I saw I had to do something, otherwise I would not get up there. I knew that I had team-mates from Team CSC Saxo Bank up there, but you don't ride with your team-mates at the Olympics. I had to do it alone, which shows that I did very well today," he said.

  • Favourites miss the move

    Pre-race favorite Judith Arndt
    Article published:
    August 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    The group of five which fought out the battle for the medals in the women's Olympic road race was...

    The group of five which fought out the battle for the medals in the women's Olympic road race was lacking a few big names: notably former world champion Marianne Vos of the Netherlands who took sixth a dozen seconds behind the three medalists, Christiane Soeder (Austria) and Linda Villumsen Serup (Denmark). The 21-year-old was a favourite for medals in both the road race, points race and time trial but missed out on the move that went in the final lap.

    "It's not fun, but it's no disaster. There are two more opportunities," Vos said on rabosport.nl. "At the moment the decisive attack came I was not in a good way. It was not a mistake, but simply a bad moment. The five in front were the best on the course. On this course and under these conditions nobody can steal a medal. The best automatically rise above."

    Athens gold medalist Sara Carrigan of Australia was disappointed to add "former" to her title. "Former Olympic champion – it's a little bit sad (to hear)," Carrigan said to AFP. "I felt good on the first climb but on the second climb I just didn't quite have it to go with the leaders, and that was my race over."

    2004 silver medalist Judith Arndt did her part to try to bring back the escape group in the final kilometres, then trailed in more than a minute behind. Trixi Worrack was Germany's top finisher in 20th. Arndt said the deluge made the race more difficult. "I felt like I was a paddleboat," said the German. "I'm very disappointed. We wanted a medal."

    The Americans had a strong team on paper, with Kristin Armstrong, a former world time trial champion, Amber Neben, the winner of last year's Route de France Feminine and Christine Thorburn. But bad luck plagued the red, white and blue clad squad throughout the race.

    Armstrong was one of many to crash as the race entered the two hilly circuits, but got up and rode to her country's top finish in 25th. Neben was the best placed of the team in the...

  • Storms can't stop Cooke's single-minded focus

    Britain's Nicole Cooke lived up to her favorite status
    Article published:
    August 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Robbins in Rochester, New York

    It was a moment of unbridled emotion for Great Britain's Nicole Cooke as she crossed the line in...

    It was a moment of unbridled emotion for Great Britain's Nicole Cooke as she crossed the line in Beijing on Sunday. The Welsh rider let out a primal roar after out-sprinting Sweden's Emma Johansson and Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) to achieve her one and only goal for the season: an Olympic gold medal.

    Her war cry might have been the release of tension built up during years of preparation for this moment, and many disappointments along the way which included a knee injury at the end of the 2007 which dashed her hopes of winning the UCI World Cup. She had pinned all of her efforts on one race – the Olympic road race – and came through with the goods on a day where extreme weather could have easily ruined any of the best plans with a crash or ill-timed puncture.

    Cooke's final kilometre looked like it had the makings of disaster when she momentarily lost contact with the group of five other riders who held a solid 20 second lead over the peloton. But what appeared to be a possible mechanical or fearful braking in a sodden downhill turn was actually a calculated easing up in case a rider in front fell down.

    "Coming into the finish, we told her to lay off before the bend and stay on the inside, in case anyone fell," said Team GB manager Julian Winn, according Cycling Weekly. "That was the only thing we were nervous about."

    On the morning of Sunday's road race in Beijing, the skies were gloomy and a light rain began to fall – perfect conditions for a rider who hails from a country which sees its fair share of wet days.

    But by the time the race entered the final circuit, the skies had opened up into a full on downpour, making for a dangerous trip down the fast descent. Cooke and her selfless British team-mates, Sharon Laws and Emma Pooley, hatched a plan early in the year to win the race, and as is evident by the results...