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First Edition Cycling News for April 25, 2005

Date published:
April 25, 2005, 1:00 BST
  • Banking on a good Tour of Ulster

    Article published:
    April 25, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Paul Nugent This year's Tour of Ulster will take place on bank holiday weekend Saturday April 30...

    By Paul Nugent

    This year's Tour of Ulster will take place on bank holiday weekend Saturday April 30 - Monday May 2 and has assembled one of the best fields in recent years.

    Leading the way is Banbridge's Tommy Evans (Planet X), a previous double winner (1998 & 2004), defending champion, and a former FBD Milk Ras winner and national road race champion. Other previous winners include: Philip Cassidy (Cycleways, winner in 2000), also a former double FBD Milk Ras winner, and Stephen O Sullivan (Cycleways, winner in 1997). Top riders also include recent Ras Mumham winner John Dempsey (Carrick/Dan Morrissey), runner-up in the Ras Mumham, Emyvale's Conor Murphy (Crannog Ireland), former FBD Milk Ras winner, Andrew Roche (Isle of Man), former Tour of the North winner Ryan Connor (Ballymena/Scotts), recent Tour of the North stage winners Mark Greer (Maryland) and Brendan O'Brien (Roe Valley) and Team Giant Asia professional Paul Griffin (West Clare Composite).

    Some of the strong southern teams entered include, Carrick/Dan Morrisey, M. Donnelly/Stamullen, Cycleways, West Clare Composite, Usher Irish RC and Leinster Select. Local teams entered include Planet X, East Antrim/Audi, Crannog Ireland, Phoenix CC, Ballymena/Scotts, Maryland Wheelers and Clann Eireann.

  • Malaysian Continental team faces deregistration

    Article published:
    April 25, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Malaysia's New Sunday Times reports the Proton T-Bikes Cycling Team is facing the prospect of...

    Malaysia's New Sunday Times reports the Proton T-Bikes Cycling Team is facing the prospect of deregistration as a UCI Continental Team, in part due to squabbles between the team's management and Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad.

    Although registered by the UCI as a Continental Team on December 12 last year, the MNCF was asked to clarify several matters, including the minimum one-year contractual agreements with the nine riders on team. The federation in turn asked for this information from the Proton T-Bikes Cycling Team, but according to Naim, he has received no communication from the team to date. "Thus far, I have not been informed by the president of any letters," he said.

    However, Proton T-Bikes's acting manager, Nazry Zahar, told the paper the team had informed MNCF president Abu Samah Wahab of the team's plans in a detailed letter dated March 23. "That is not true. We wrote a letter to the president on March 23, informing him about the status of the riders, PCT and their future," Nazry said in a statement.

    MNCF secretary Ibrahim Mustapha said the team has asked not to deal with Naim and would like someone else to discuss the matter, but also said this request will not be forthcoming. "As for Naim, he was appointed by the MNCF exco to handle these issues. It is not for PCT to decide who they want to deal with," he said.

    Mustapha added that five riders - Suhardi Hassan, Ahmad Falanie Ali, Sazlee Ismail, Raziff Jaafar and Wan Mohamed Najmee Wan Mohamed - asked the federation for a release from the team last week.

  • More from TdG's Brasstown Bald stage

    Article published:
    April 25, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Paul Nugent

    Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel) "Well, I felt better than yesterday, primarily because I had a...

    Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel)

    "Well, I felt better than yesterday, primarily because I had a bit of stomach problem yesterday and perhaps I've even had it for a few days. Obviously, it's not exactly been a stress-free week because of the announcement at the beginning. Maybe that took something out of me. I felt great today. I thought that Johan had a great plan this morning. We tried our best yesterday and it didn't work. He came back with an equally aggressive plan today and we tried to do that, too. Every guy that was part of that plan, especially a guy like Jason McCartney was superb and the team was awesome. Went Tom went, it was nice to see. I really believe when he attacked, that it was game over."

    "That's a very hard climb. We rode with a 27 [tooth cog] versus a 25 last year. Tough climb. Tough, tough climb. Different conditions. Bigger crowd and obviously much, much different tactics."

    "I don't know that I said I have to re-evaluate the season. I said I have to re-evaluate where I am and evaluate what needs work. Clearly the time-trial was bad. You can't do time-trials like that and win the Tour de France, that's for sure, although there's one less time-trial, thank goodness. So I have to look at where I am. Is it lack of time-trialing, is it a problem with lack of time on the time-trial bike, is it climbing, is it my condition? Did I not do enough in the winter? Um, I don't think so.

    "While I was busy, I had been busy the year before and two years before. I think I'm on track. I don't know that it's perfect, but I'm not far off. So, the next few weeks after this will dictate a lot about what will happen this summer. And I know that. I know that you have to look at every aspect of cycling: the training, the diet, the rest, the recovery, the lack of distraction. All that stuff has to be perfect in order to win another Tour [de France]."

    "I didn't see [Landis, talking about sprinting at the end]. I looked back to see...

  • T-Mobile relieved

    Job well done, Vino.
    Article published:
    April 25, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Hedwig Kröner in Ans After Alexandre Vinokourov scored the first, much awaited victory for the...

    Ludwig: "Aggressive strategy finally paid off"

    By Hedwig Kröner in Ans

    After Alexandre Vinokourov scored the first, much awaited victory for the German T-Mobile team this season by winning the prestigious "Doyenne" Liège-Bastogne-Liège today, the team management of course couldn't be happier. Talking to T-Mobile's manager and former pro cyclist Olaf Ludwig at the finish, he conveyed to Cyclingnews: "Of course it's a great relief after such a long time with no wins." We asked him to outline why the race unfolded like it did, allowing an 'outsider' breakaway to take the victory in such an important race.

    "With 70 km to go, nobody thought these two would make it to the finish," explained Ludwig. "We said before the start that, because of the amended race course, one shouldn't be afraid to attack with 50/60 km to go. It was definitely a big risk to take, but once these two get a minute and keep going, it's very hard to catch them."

    Further explaining the course of events, he said, "The group behind them was big, and the favourites thought the pair wouldn't be able to keep their pace. And three or four guys really did chase: at the Redoute, things got really tight for the leaders [especially Rabobank's Erik Dekker and Santiago Botero from Phonak worked a lot and decreased the gap to 20 seconds on the Côte de la Redoute - ed.]. But it got to the point where the favourites couldn't agree on the chase, so that was it. Sometimes a break succeeds, even if a lot of the time, it doesn't."

    T-Mobile chose the right strategy before the race, and was rewarded. Said Ludwig: "Kessler and Vinokourov were planned to ride the finale. And our aggressive strategy had worked out very well at that moment: Wesemann had been in the early break, and he would have been a player in that group of 30 riders afterwards, too [the one that caught the leaders at the foot of the Côte du Rosier with 65 km to go -...

  • 91st L-B-L wrap-up: Vino the Vainqueur

    Alexandre Vinokourov cracks the big one
    Article published:
    April 25, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner in Ans

    Today in Ans, Alexandre Vinokourov finally took a much-needed victory for the T-Mobile Team, winning...

    Today in Ans, Alexandre Vinokourov finally took a much-needed victory for the T-Mobile Team, winning the 91st edition of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classic in typically aggressive fashion. The 31 year-old rider from Kazakhstan broke away with the 'Jacky Durand' of spring, Team CSC's Jens Voigt, on the Côte de La Vecquee with around 50 kilometres to go, and held off a chase group containing most of the race favourites all the way to the finish.

    "I knew that I can win here," said a happy Vinokourov after the finish. "You just need the right conditions, and there were here today. When I saw Voigt jump, I immediately decided to go with him. I know what he's worth and I knew we had a chance. And now you see that it was successful!"

    "It's a pity that I got second," said the second-placed Voigt. "But Vino is one of the best riders in the world, so it's not a shame. He deserves it. I had lost a lot of strength in that break, and I paid for it in the sprint. Now, I'm finished - I need to refuel my batteries!"

    The pair's advantage hovered around the one minute mark for their entire escape, but were largely aided by a lack of cohesion in the rather oversized select group behind. In third place was Amstel's interminable second, Michael Boogerd (Rabobank), around 10 seconds behind, who could at least say he finished on a different step of the podium. Olympic champ Paolo Bettini didn't quite have the legs today, but still managed a credible fourth, while Davitamon-Lotto's Cadel Evans showed good form to finish just behind the Italian in fifth place.

    Boogerd paid respect to his rivals, but wasn't satisfied with how the race unfolded. "The two who won are the best. If the other guys won't ride then it's hard to come back. I could have gone with them, but the others would gave reacted and got on my wheel."

    Full results, report & photos