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First Edition Cycling News, December 17, 2007

Date published:
December 17, 2007, 0:00 GMT
  • Austrians fly to the Canaries

    Article published:
    December 17, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    Austrian riders Bernhard Eisel and Bernhard Kohl have fled the unpleasant winter weather of their...

    Austrian riders Bernhard Eisel and Bernhard Kohl have fled the unpleasant winter weather of their homeland and flown to Gran Canaria for training in warmer climes. "Kärnten isn't as cold as the rest of Austria, but we will have much better training conditions on Gran Canaria," said Eisel on his website, eisel.com. "Yesterday it was 28 degrees, today it is a little wet. Ideal for mountain training with 'Kohli'".

    Kohl, of Team Gerolsteiner, and Eisel, Team High Road, plan to stay on the island until December 22 before returning home for Christmas.

    Eisel isn't real sure where he will be going after that. "In January there will certainly be a team training camp. Where and when is still not clear."

  • Breschel escapes the cold

    Breschel on the podium
    Article published:
    December 17, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    After enduring the harsh climate during the CSC team's annual training camp in Northern Norway,...

    After enduring the harsh climate during the CSC team's annual training camp in Northern Norway, where temperatures dipped as low as minus 15 degrees Celsius, Dane Matti Breschel headed to the warmer climate of Tenerife to launch into training for the 2008 season.

    "I'm here together with Martin Pedersen," Breschel said on his web log on feltet.dk. "We're taking this little training camp here to get away from the bad weather. Going from minus 15 degrees to 20-25 degrees Celsius is quite a difference. The training starts for real now, and you start looking forward for the new season to begin. And it's also about time to race some kilometres," said Breschel, who will begin the season at the Tour de San Luis, Argentina, from January 22-27.

    Breschel will skip the opening ProTour event, the Tour Down Under, opting to head to Argentina with Andy and Fränk Schleck. "I think that Anders Lund will do the race too, and JJ [Juan José Haedo - ed.], of course. I think it'll be good. It should give us some racing kilometres and some warmth."

    Breschel's season will pick up in California with the team's official training camp followed by Het Volk, Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne, Tirreno-Adriatico – "all the cobble stone classics," Breschel said.

    "The race schedule is more or less similar to that of this year, except that I won't do the Giro d'Italia, but perhaps I'll do the Vuelta a España. I hope that, but it's still quite a long time from now. First of all, it's about preparing properly for the Classics," explained the 23 year-old.

  • Aussies set for second Revolution

    Article published:
    December 17, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    Following a successful opening edition of the Revolution track series, Australia's cycling stars...

    Following a successful opening edition of the Revolution track series, Australia's cycling stars will receive a healthy dose of Christmas cheers when they head to the Vodafone Arena in Melbourne on Wednesday 19th December for the second Revolution race night.

    Returning for round two will be Anna Meares, who will be looking for revenge after losing the sprint in Revolution 1 to Dutch rider Yvonne Hijgenaar. Ryan Bayley, Leigh Howard and Glen O'Shea will attempt to relive the success of the first event, but they will have to try to outshine Paris-Roubaix champion Stuart O'Grady, his Olympic gold medal winning Madison team-mate Graeme Brown, Sydney Olympic Madison champion Brett Aitken, Jayco Herald Sun Tour winner Matt Wilson, triple world junior track champion Cameron Meyer and his equally talented brother Travis.

    The men's sprint line-up includes the majority of the Australian Cyclones contingent including three-time Olympian Shane Kelly, who is expected to make his Revolution debut. He will be joined by Ben Kersten, Mark French and Shane Perkins.

    The Revolution 2 program will also feature the 71st edition of the Melbourne Cup on Wheels, with defending champion James Langedyk and 2005 champion Leigh Howard both hoping to join an exclusive list of two-time winners of the time honoured event.

    The women's line up is just as strong, with Kerrie Meares joining sister Anna, along with Liz Georgouras and Kaarle McCulloch. The endurance program will feature World Cup road winner Rochelle Gilmore, three-time world junior champion Josephine Tomic and talented young New South Wales Institute of Sport rider Sky-Lee Armstrong.

  • Benfica finalises roster

    Article published:
    December 17, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    The Portuguese Professional Continental team Benfica presented its team for the 2008 season this...

    The Portuguese Professional Continental team Benfica presented its team for the 2008 season this week. The squad, led by director sportif Orlando Rodrigues, signed on former Banesto doctor Sabino Padilla as team physician, who worked with Miguel Indurain during his Tour de France victories.

    The 2008 Benfica Team: Ruben Plaza (ex-Caisse d'Epargne) José Azevedo Cândido Barbosa (ex-Liberty Seguros) Javier Benítez, Hélder Miranda, Pedro Lopes, Mikel Pradera, Bruno Castanheira, Hugo Sancho, Rui Costa, Danail Petrov, Bruno Sancho, Mário Costa, Edgar Pinto, José Mendes, Tiago Claro.

    U23 squad: Márcio Barbosa, André Ferreira, Fábio Coelho, Fábio Cera, Alcides Almeida, Ivo Fernandes, César Fonte, Carlos Baltazar.

  • Zabel returns to Weihnachtspreis

    Article published:
    December 17, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    Milram's Erik Zabel has made a habit of racing the annual post-Christmas track event, 'Großer...

    Milram's Erik Zabel has made a habit of racing the annual post-Christmas track event, 'Großer Weihnachtspreis', in the Westfallenhalle in Dortmund, Germany, for several years. 2007 will be no different, as the 37 year-old will lead the 'omnium of aces' selection.

    Zabel will then team up with Dutch rider Peter Schep at the Rotterdam Six Day from January 3-8. Schep and Zabel rode to third at the Six Day season opener in Amsterdam. A quick trip back to Germany, and Zabel will line up with his compatriot Leif Lampater for the Six Day in Bremen from January 10-15. The duo finished second in Dortmund and Munich.

  • Van Petegem named race director at Omloop Het Volk

    Article published:
    December 17, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    Peter van Petegem has been named as the new race director of the Omloop Het Volk, the first of the...

    Peter van Petegem has been named as the new race director of the Omloop Het Volk, the first of the Spring Classics. Race organizer Wim Van Herreweghe announced the appointment Saturday.

    Van Petegem, 37, retired this year after 16 years as a pro. He won the Omloop three times, in 1997, 1998 and 2002.

  • Guidi stops racing to direct and study

    Article published:
    December 17, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Gregor Brown Italian Fabrizio Guidi has retired from cycling after 13 years as a professional....

    By Gregor Brown

    Italian Fabrizio Guidi has retired from cycling after 13 years as a professional. The 35 year-old from Pontedera, who turned professional with Navigare and this year raced with Barloworld, looks forward to working as a directeur sportif and studying law according to tuttobiciweb.com.

    Guidi won over 40 races since he turned professional in 1995, while racing with teams Navigare (1995), Scrigno (1996-1997), Polti (1998 1999), Française Des Jeux (2000), Mercury-Viatel (2001), Team Coast/Bianchi (2002-2003), Team CSC (2004), Phonak (2005-2006) and Barloworld (2007). Amongst his tally include two stages at the Giro d'Italia, where he also won the intergiro competition three times and the points competition one time, and three stage wins in the 1998 Vuelta a España, including the overall points competition that same year.

    "I would like to stay in the environment," he noted. "In these days I am in advanced negotiations to join the side of a famous directeur of a professional team." Guidi spent many years working with Bruno and Roberto Reverberi, and there is speculation that the negotiations are with their team, Ceramica Panaria-Navigare.

    "I think I will accept the offer. My main objective is halfway met, the rest will be getting a degree in law." He has already started his studies, and has obtained optimum results. "I am attending the law faculty at the Guglielmo Marconi University in Rome. It is a programme of three years plus two; after three years of study I will have the opportunity of a degree in juridical science, and after five years the law degree will be complete."

    Guidi is looking forward to passing the holidays at home with his wife Caroline and children, seven year-old Elia and four year-old Estelle. "December 20 will start the Christmas break, and my wife and children will join me for a break in Tuscany." Elia is following in his dad's footsteps; "Thanks to the interest...

  • White caps career with Cronulla win

    You can see the determination on Matt White's face
    Article published:
    December 17, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Greg Johnson in Cronulla, Australia Australian Matt White (Discovery Channel) has ended his...

    By Greg Johnson in Cronulla, Australia

    Australian Matt White (Discovery Channel) has ended his professional career on the highest of notes, taking victory at the Cronulla International Grand Prix an event staged in Sydney's Sutherland Shire, home to White and many other professional cyclists. The victory on his home's shores served to bookend White's career. The 33 year-old claimed his first major win at the Under 17 Road Team Time Trial component of the 1990 Australian Titles in Western Australia.

    "The most important thing today is all my friends are here, it's a special day for me," said White. "They've all come to say goodbye to me. We're a real tight knit group the Aussie blokes – we race together all year. We live in different states of Australia but they're all here... I'm really appreciative."

    The super-domestique enjoyed the support of the sport's biggest names in Australia for his emotional farewell, with Paris-Roubaix winner Stuart O'Grady (Team CSC), 2003 Tour de France green jersey winner Baden Cooke (Unibet.com) and Olympic champion Brad McGee just a few of the names out braving the overcast conditions to farewell their friend. Additionally, this year's Tour de France runner up Cadel Evans was on hand to commentate during the opening half of the men's event, and embraced the retiring White while congratulating him after the event.

    "Wins are always special, but when they're at home and it's your last race... I'm never going to forget today," said White. "It's an honour. You only retire once, so I won't be able to pull this stunt again. Hopefully I can get them all back here next year, but they've all come to say goodbye to me."

    While Sunday's race marked White's final event as a professional competitor, the Discovery Channel rider will remain heavily involved with the sport as a director at Team Slipstream in 2008. When the Australian takes up his role at the American Professional Continental...

  • Trebon knocked out of US championship, literally

    Ryan Trebon (Kona-YourKey)
    Article published:
    December 17, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    Defending US Cyclo-cross champion Ryan Trebon was knocked out of contention in the Elite Men's race...

    Defending US Cyclo-cross champion Ryan Trebon was knocked out of contention in the Elite Men's race on Sunday – quite literally. The lanky Portland, Oregon, resident crashed head-on into another rider and was rendered unconscious, ending up the day in the hospital instead of on the podium.

    Trebon was chasing leader Jonathan Page (Sunweb ProJob) and second-placed Todd Wells (GT), and ahead of eventual winner Tim Johnson (Leer/Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) with five-and-a-half laps to go when he collided with another rider from well back in the peloton. The rider broke through the barrier tape on a portion of the course where it doubled back on itself. "He hit me head-on and I landed on the ice on my back, shoulder and arm," Trebon said. "It hurt like hell. I’m not too happy right now."

    Johnson took over Trebon's title of US Champion, coming from behind to catch Page, who led the race until two laps to go. Johnson caught and passed the Belgian resident, who had suffered a mechanical and had to run 50 metres to the pits to take a new bike. The pair battled the icy, muddy course and each other in an exciting two man duel which saw just seconds separating the pair until Johnson finally pulled away on the final lap to take the win. Wells took the final podium spot in third.

    In the Elite Women's race, Katie Compton (Spike Shooter) overcame a relatively poor start, recovering to take the lead mid-way through the first lap and never relinquishing first place. She was chased by Luna's Georgia Gould and Rachel Lloyd (Proman/Paradigm) – both of her pre-race picks for riders to watch. Gould was overtaken by Lloyd on lap two, and the three stayed in the same order until the finish. The win marked Compton's fourth consecutive US cyclo-cross championship victory.

    Live reports, results...