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First Edition Cycling News for February 16, 2007

Date published:
February 16, 2007, 0:00 GMT
  • Andreu to Marymoor velodrome fundraiser

    Article published:
    February 16, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Nine time Tour de France finisher Frankie Andreu will be a special guest at the Marymoor Velodrome...

    Nine time Tour de France finisher Frankie Andreu will be a special guest at the Marymoor Velodrome association's dinner and fundraiser on March 10th in Mercer Island, Washington. The event will feature an auction to raise money for the upcoming season of youth and beginner programs at the velodrome. The cost of the dinner complete with win and Fat Tire Amber Ale is $40, and RSVP's are required. Please visit www.velodrome.org/CGI-BIN/2007rsvp.html and make your reservation by February 28th. .

  • Hincapie plans cycling village

    Article published:
    February 16, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Discovery Channel's George Hincapie is already making plans for his post-racing career. Hincapie...

    Discovery Channel's George Hincapie is already making plans for his post-racing career. Hincapie already owns an eponymous sportswear company with his brother Rich, and the pair are now teaming up with other Greenville, South Carolina investors to establish a 300-acre 'performance village'. The facility will be called the 'Pla d'Adet' after the famous Pyrenean mountain where George Hincapie won his first individual Tour de France stage in 2005.

    Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains to the north of Greenville, South Carolina, the community will include home sites, a hotel, conference center, restaurant, media center, and state-of-the-art fitness and training facilities as well as two four-mile outdoor tracks, one for cycling, the other for mountain biking and trail running. The groundbreaking is scheduled to coincide with this year's US Pro Championships on September 1, and completion is expected in spring 2008.

  • Jalabert goes Ironman, Armstrong to return to NYC marathon

    Article published:
    February 16, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Former champion Laurent Jalabert, who holds the title of the 1995 Vuelta España among his vast...

    Former champion Laurent Jalabert, who holds the title of the 1995 Vuelta España among his vast palmarès, retired in 2002, but is not following the usual post-professional course of getting portly and out of shape. Instead, 'Jaja', who in 2005 ran the New York City Marathon in 2 hours 55 minutes, will turn his attentions to triathlon.

    The 38 year-old who currently works as a commentator for French television, wants to qualify for the prestigious Hawaii Ironman, and if he makes it, he might find a familiar face amongst the competition - former T-mobile pro Rolf Aldag. Aldag qualified for the Hawaii Ironman in Lanzarote last year, but did not take part in the 2006 edition.

    Meanwhile, seven time Tour de France winner and former triathlete Lance Armstrong is planning to return to the New York City marathon again this year, according to the Associated Press. In 2006, he ran the 26.2 mile test in 2 hours 59 minutes, calling the race "without a doubt the hardest physical thing I have ever done."

  • Gilmore disappointed by lack of Australian outfit, but expects change

    Rochelle Gilmore
    Article published:
    February 16, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Greg Johnson Rochelle Gilmore has said she's disappointed there's not an Australian women's...

    By Greg Johnson

    Rochelle Gilmore has said she's disappointed there's not an Australian women's professional team amongst the huge increase in UCI registered Continental teams recently announced, but that she expects one is not far away.

    "I think we will see an Australian women's pro team within the next year or two," Gilmore told Cyclingnews. "The most difficult job for those involved will be satisfying the sponsors with media coverage, results will not be a problem!"

    Gilmore, who has joined Italian squad Menikini Gysko for the 2007 season, says she hopes someday she can be involved in the formation of an Australian women's professional cycling team and help lift the sport's profile back home.

    Despite the lack of an Australian squad, Gilmore believes the increase of UCI registered teams from 28 last year to 42 for 2007 shows the strength of women's cycling.

    "The sport becomes more varied and competitive. We realise new talents more frequently and the races are no longer predictable," explained Gilmore of the increase's benefits. "The increase of UCI teams will make team race tactics ever so important - gone are the days where a team can rely solely on an individual's strengths to win races. Pre-race team meetings will need to cover many scenarios and race communication during the race will be the vital key."

    Gilmore, who competes in both track and road racing, says she's looking forward to a successful season in both disciplines. The 25 year-old's first road race with her new outfit will be the Geelong Tour and Women's World Cup round in Australia from February 27 - March 1.

    Look out for a full interview with Rochelle Gilmore tomorrow on Cyclingnews.

  • Simoni to MTB world cup

    Article published:
    February 16, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Two time Giro d'Italia champion Gilberto Simoni will once again take to the dirt alongside the...

    Two time Giro d'Italia champion Gilberto Simoni will once again take to the dirt alongside the world's best mountain bikers at the World Cup race in the Canary Islands, Spain on March 17. Simoni, who normally races on the road with the Saunier Duval team, confirmed his participation in the race, and wants to do the whole World Cup circuit this year. "Mountain biking is very motivating to me, and to race the marathon World Cup is a challenge", said Simoni. According to todociclismo.com, the 35 year-old is considering trading his slicks for knobbies for good after this year's Giro d'Italia.

  • Steels recovering and planning to start

    Graeme Brown (Rabobank) takes out Tom Steels
    Article published:
    February 16, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Tom Steels is recovering swiftly from his horrifying crash in the second stage of the Tour of Qatar...

    Tom Steels is recovering swiftly from his horrifying crash in the second stage of the Tour of Qatar and is already planning his return to the peloton just three weeks after breaking his collarbone.

    Steels will start for his team Predictor-Lotto in the Volta ao Algarve on February 21, according to Het Laatste Nieuws. Steels crashed in the sprint finish in Qatar when Graeme Browne came off his line and swept his wheels out from under him. Browne was relegated for the action.

  • Gerolsteiner, T-Mobile satisfied with Mallorca Challenge

    Article published:
    February 16, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    By Susan Westemeyer The German ProTour teams T-Mobile and Gerolsteiner didn't win anything in the...

    By Susan Westemeyer

    The German ProTour teams T-Mobile and Gerolsteiner didn't win anything in the Mallorca Challenge, but both were satisfied with their performances. "Our team made my first appearance lots of fun," said Jan Schaffrath of his debut as T-Mobile director sportif. "Actually, we had a rider in the top ten every day and the whole team showed a good performance."

    There was a moment of suspense for T-Mobile Thursday, when Patrik Sinkewitz crashed on the final descent of the day. However, he suffered only scrapes and light bruises and was able to finish the stage.

    David Kopp took fourth place on the final stage for the best Gerolsteiner finish of the week. "The tendency is clearly rising," said director sportif Christian Henn. "We wanted to prepare a sprint for 'Koppi.' That worked out well."

  • Hamilton confirms for Trofeo Laigueglia

    Tyler Hamilton (Tinkoff Credit Systems)
    Article published:
    February 16, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    By Gregor Brown American Tyler Hamilton, currently racing in the Tour Méditerranéen, has confirmed...

    By Gregor Brown

    American Tyler Hamilton, currently racing in the Tour Méditerranéen, has confirmed himself for the startlist of the 44th Trofeo Laigueglia, February 20. According to tuttobiciweb.com, he will back up his Tinkoff Credit Systems teammates over in the 183 kilometres that mark the Corsa Ligure.

    Hamilton, with a Liège-Bastogne-Liège in his palmarès, could be a man for victory over the rolling finishing, with two passes of the Passo del Ginestro (670m) and the Passo del Balestrino (690m). The Balestrino leaves 32 kilometres to the line, which will suit riders with a strong sprint. Hamilton will be up against ambitious Italians who will look to score in this prestigious event.

    Last year's winner, Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital), is seemingly in good form after leading his teammate Daniele Bennati in the Tour Med, and he will be honing his skills for Milano-Sanremo and the northern Classics, along with Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas). Pippo, a two-time winner in Laigueglia, will have the backing from teammate Danilo Di Luca along the Piemonte Rivera.

  • Valverde is aiming for the Vuelta a Murcia

    Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne)
    Article published:
    February 16, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Antonio J. Salmerón

    By Antonio J. Salmerón At the conclusion of each day, another count down begins, that is, the race...

    By Antonio J. Salmerón

    At the conclusion of each day, another count down begins, that is, the race to optimize the recovery of the leg muscles before the next big race. Luis León Sánchez and Alejandro Valverde were busy with their massage at the end of the Challenge of Mallorca, and the two friends, countrymen and training companions too, were proud of the team's success. "I said to Echavárri and Unzúe that Luis León Sánchez will give us many successes", Valverde said to his Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears teammate.

    Sánchez may be the man of the moment, but come Tour de France time, he will take on a very important support role for Valverde, and the early season tests will help hone both riders' form for that day. "If I arrive in optimal conditions, I have no doubt in fighting to win the Tour de France", Valverde expressed to the daily news El Faro de Murcia.

    In order to attain that lofty goal, the winner of last year's La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège will build his form gradually by "facing the April classical races, mainly the Amstel Gold Race". But, before that, the Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears rider will take part in the Vuelta a Murcia at the beginning of March.

    The parcours in Murcia are well suited to early season training, according to the Spaniard. "Without a climb final stage, it is evident that the time-trial between Alhama and Aledo (fourth stage) will be decisive," he said. In the past, Valverde's time-trialing has proved to be his undoing in the major tours, but he's been working hard to improve his abilities. The Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears rider works with a prestigious Italian physiologist. "The main purpose is optimize in all areas", Valverde commented.

    Valverde's next race will be the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana at the of February, where he'll once more team up with Luis Leon Sanchez in a...

  • Dekker aiming to defend title

    Race leader
    Article published:
    February 16, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    By Shane Stokes Promising 22 year-old Thomas Dekker surprised many when he won Tirreno-Adriatico...

    By Shane Stokes

    Promising 22 year-old Thomas Dekker surprised many when he won Tirreno-Adriatico last year. The motivated Rabobank rider has said that he will target that race once more, as well as setting other goals for later this season.

    "I want to win again. That is for sure," he told Cyclingnews on Thursday morning, just before the start of the final stage of the Challenge Volta Ciclista a Mallorca. "There is again a time trial of 20 kilometres and a half stage with a uphill finish. We will have a really good team there with Oscar Freire, Michael Boogerd and other strong riders. I hope we can do well and go for the classification once again."

    Dekker won the third stage of the Majorcan race this week and this shows he is already in good shape. "I spent a long time not racing and when you can win your second race [he skipped the first stage], it is good for your morale. I am really pleased, I didn't expect this [so soon]. But I had a good winter, I was not ill and I am really happy about this performance."

    Despite his young age, he is hoping to ride well in big events. "This year, the most important races for me are Tirreno at the beginning of the year, and then Amstel and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. After that, I want to prepare for the Tour de France. I should get to ride it this year."

    After a very strong under 23 career, the Dutch rider showed his considerable talent in 2005. He won a stage and placed second overall in Criterium International, took the national time trial championships, won a stage and was third overall in the Tour of Poland, and also placed fourth in the Eneco Tour and sixth in the Tour of the Mediterranean.

    However, apart from his Tirreno-Adriatico victory last season, his results were not as good in 2006. "I wasn't happy with the season," he said. "I had a really good start but then I got a virus before the Tour and I broke my hand in the Tour of Pologne. It...

  • Sánchez remembers his brother in Majorca

    Article published:
    February 16, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Monika Prell

    By Monika Prell Luis León Sánchez, the winner of the Volta a Mallorca, dedicated his victory to his...

    By Monika Prell

    Luis León Sánchez, the winner of the Volta a Mallorca, dedicated his victory to his brother León who died last year. "I wanted to attain a victory as soon as possible to send it to my brother. I won and now I'm more at peace, even if it's difficult to forget a beloved one who is not longer alive", said the 23 year-old cyclist according to todociclismo.com.

    He also remembered Isaac Gálvez, who died in the Six days of Gent in November. "My victory is the triumph of the entire team and for this we dedicate it to Gálvez who was a member of Caisse d'Epargne until a short time ago."

    The young rider, born in Murcia, was also grateful to the team management, saying, "I'm very thankful that they made a contract with me and that they trust in me, because my last season was horrible and all went very bad due to the incidents with the team Liberty Seguros."

    He commented the last challenge of the Volta a Mallorca "was not easy due to the small time lags, a quite difficult race with all the up and down and the wind. Once more my teammates helped me perfectly to control the race."

    This victory gives him confidence. "Without any doubt - winning is always important and now my next objective will be Paris-Nice, for what I will be well prepared", said Sánchez.