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First Edition Cycling News for February 26, 2006

Date published:
February 26, 2006, 0:00 GMT
  • Dekker and Boogerd fined

    Article published:
    February 26, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    According to Spanish media outlet Marca , Dutch pros Erik Dekker and Michael Boogerd have been fined...

    According to Spanish media outlet Marca, Dutch pros Erik Dekker and Michael Boogerd have been fined after stage four of the Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana, each cyclist receiving a penalty of 100 Swiss Francs. The two had been seen urinating in the street leading up to the race start in Alzira on Friday. The race jury had issued a warning on Thursday, saying that urinating in the stage towns of the event was strictly forbidden.

  • Amy Gillett Scholarship applications open

    Article published:
    February 26, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    The Amy Gillett Foundation has called for applications for the inaugural Amy Gillett Scholarship in...

    The Amy Gillett Foundation has called for applications for the inaugural Amy Gillett Scholarship in memory of champion cyclist Amy Gillett, who was killed in a tragic road accident while training in Germany in July 2005. The scholarship is a joint partnership between the Foundation and the Cycling Australia/AIS High Performance Program and will provide national and international competition and training opportunities for Australia's talented women cyclists.

    A strong business and commercial base has also been established to ensure the name of Amy Gillett will endure through work towards achieving the aims of the Foundation. Husband Simon has been instrumental in setting up the Foundation and initiating the scholarship.

    "I am really pleased to be able to announce that we have been able to provide such a lasting legacy in Amy's name" he said. "The scholarship also has a strong emphasis on providing further educational opportunities, something Amy successfully combined with her elite sporting career."

    The scholarship is one of the three key aims of the Foundation. In addition to the scholarship, it will also assist the five women cyclists injured in the accident and will promote road safety awareness among cyclists and motorists.

    For more information and scholarship application form go to: www.amygillett.org.au.

  • Kersten wins -again

    Kersten at the Aust track nationals.
    Article published:
    February 26, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Sydney track cyclist Ben Kersten, who won four Australian national track cycling championship gold...

    Sydney track cyclist Ben Kersten, who won four Australian national track cycling championship gold medals in Adelaide earlier this month, has continued his winning streak with his third victory in the Clarence St Cyclery Cup at the Dunc Gray Velodrome in Sydney on Saturday night, February 25.

    Riding from scratch and conceeding up to 180 metres to the limit riders in the handicap event, Kersten caught the 24 rider field with a lap to go and produced his trademark finishing burst to overtake the field and win a six-rider sprint for the line, with Grant Law and Grant Frazier (140m) taking second and third.

    Earlier in the program, Kersten out-sprinted a world-class field in the Keirin which included Jan Van Eiden (Germany) and Alex Rassmussen (Denmark).

    The Sydney-based rider, under the guidance of NSWIS head cycling coach Gary Sutton, now has his eyes firmly fixed on gold at the Commonwealth Games.

    (Full report and results to follow.)

  • 2006 Trust House Women's Cycle Tour "more challenging"

    Article published:
    February 26, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    The 2006 Trust House Women's Cycle Tour of New Zealand, scheduled from March 1-3, will not only...

    The 2006 Trust House Women's Cycle Tour of New Zealand, scheduled from March 1-3, will not only provide the ideal build-up for riders in the Wellington leg of the UCI World Cup (March 5), it will also be a spectacular event in its own right. The tour will take the riders on a challenging three-day, four-stage tour around Hutt Valley, Wairarapa and Wellington.

    Race director Jorge Sandoval said this year's course will be the toughest yet, as organisers are sending the field up the steepest hill climb in the Wairarapa - Te Wharau hill - previously used only by their male counterparts. "We didn't want to make it too hard last year because it's early in the season and the riders are not race fit," Sandoval said. "But some of the Russian team said to me last year that it was too easy - they wanted it to be more challenging. And believe me, it will be this year. The stage up Te Wharau hill is the same one we used in the men’s tour earlier in January. It will be hard on their legs, because it's on just the second day of racing."

    Day one will see a 45 km criterium around the streets of Hutt City. On day two, riders will complete a 99 km stage from Martinborough to Masterton, and then a 30 km criterium around the Masterton CBD. And on day three, riders will compete in a 12 km Individual Time Trial around Wellington's Miramar Peninsular. "Televised both nationally and internationally, it will provide a unique showcase for the Wellington and Wairarapa regions," Sandoval continued.

    Top field for Wellington World Cup

    The second edition of the UCI Women’s Road Cycling World Cup, straight after the Trust House tour, also promises some excellent racing: On March 5, 2006, a star-studded field including 11 riders ranked in the top 21 in the world will line up in Wellington. Three teams of New Zealand's best road riders, including Olympic track champion Sarah Ulmer, will be participating, with many of the outfits in the final...

  • Second Irish Continental team to be launched

    Article published:
    February 26, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    By Shane Stokes Following last month’s launch of the Sean Kelly Racing Team , Irish cycling will...

    By Shane Stokes

    Following last month’s launch of the Sean Kelly Racing Team, Irish cycling will receive another strong boost with the unveiling of yet another Continental level squad, the Murphy and Gunn/Newlyn team, in Dublin this coming Tuesday, February 28. Manchester United chief Sir Alex Ferguson will appear as guest of honour at the media launch in Milltown, where the full lineup of riders for the 2006 season will be officially announced.

    The squad have been preparing for the new season with some local training camps, the most recent of which was based in Sandyford and saw the riders ride the Shay Elliott course and that of the Bray GP.

    The team includes established internationals such as Andrew Roche, Paul Healion and Morgan Fox, plus eleven others. They will be using Pinarello frames, Rudy project helmets and glasses, and expect to compete in several world-ranked races abroad, including the Giro del Capo in South Africa next month. The FBD Insurance Rás and the national championships will also be big focuses for the squad, which is receiving good financial backing from the sponsors.

  • Britain's new Continental team ready for action

    Reigning British road champion Russell Downing
    Article published:
    February 26, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Gerard Knapp

    By Gerard Knapp Britain's newest Continental cycling team - Team DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed - was...

    By Gerard Knapp

    Britain's newest Continental cycling team - Team DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed - was presented to a gathering of over 200 guests at a function centre in Sussex, England earlier this week, and despite the somewhat cold and grey conditions outside, the atmosphere inside was decidedly upbeat and optimistic.

    With British Eurosport commentator David Harmon acting as MC, some 11 of the 13 riders were introduced at the White Hart Hotel in Sussex, England on February 22, 2006. The team includes reigning British road champion Russell Downing, and as an indication of its UK talent, some five members of the team will be representing their respective British nations at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Melbourne next month.

    The team is a merger of the British DFL squad - launched last year - with the more well-established Team Cyclingnews, the Australian-registered, Belgium-based team that has over five years' experience of racing on the continent.

    With an injection of funds from English businessman Nick Collins, managing director of Driving Force Logistics (DFL), the two teams were merged and a stronger squad has been the result, he said.

    It retains the knowledge base of Team CN's joint Belgian managers, Gilbert de Weerdt and Rudi Dubois, as well as Daniel Willems being retained as director sportif. Willems, a winner of four stages of the Tour de France in the '80s among his 85 pro race victories, will direct the team through a comprehensive calendar scheduled to include racing on four continents this year.

    According to De Weerdt, the team is a combination of mostly youth mixed with experience, especially with some of the Team CN riders, such as Sven de Weerdt (Bel), David Harrigan and Cameron Jennings, having good knowledge of the parcours of many European races.

    The full roster of riders from the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Belgium includes: Russell Downing (British National Champion),...

  • UCI Head visits Tour of California

    UCI president Pat McQuaid
    Article published:
    February 26, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Monterey

    By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Monterey UCI president Pat McQuaid arrived in Monterey on...

    By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Monterey

    UCI president Pat McQuaid arrived in Monterey on Thursday, February 23 morning to get a first-hand look at the latest addition to the UCI calendar, the Tour of California. McQuaid drove the first thirty kilometres of stage four and was impressed with the views and parcours. He commented to Cyclingnews before the start of the stage that the feedback from the teams, particularly the Pro Tour teams, has been quite positive. "My impressions are very good so far," said McQuaid. "And when I say that, my impressions are formed by having a walk among the teams this morning and talking to the European team managers."

    One aspect in particular that McQuaid is looking at is the way in which the local police participate in making the roads safe for the riders. "They all say it is an excellent race with good organization and superb police cooperation, which is a very important element - in a new race in particular, they are always concerned about that."

    For the full feature, please click here.

  • More cold action in Kuurne

    Article published:
    February 26, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Jeff Jones, Bikeradar.com

    By Jeff Jones Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne is the second race of the Belgian opening weekend, taking place...

    By Jeff Jones

    Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne is the second race of the Belgian opening weekend, taking place over a slightly shorter (194 km) and easier parcours than Saturday's Omloop Het Volk. Most significantly, there aren't the tricky cobbled sections in the finale that so often destroy the bunch in Het Volk, and the sprinters usually do better in K-B-K. But, being a Belgian one day classic, bunch sprints are hard to come by.

    Last year, George Hincapie and Kevin van Impe made the most of a very chaotic finale to escape on the finishing laps, with Hincapie taking the victory. This year, the American is racing in the Tour of California, while Van Impe has joined the Quick.Step block, and will be riding support for Tom Boonen, who is a good chance to win.

    There will be no Robbie McEwen in the Davitamon team, as his wife Angelique just gave birth to a baby daughter, Elena. Instead, Davitamon will look to Peter van Petegem, Gert Steegmans, and perhaps Nico Mattan and Henk Vogels. Defending champions Discovery Channel will rely on sprinters Roger Hammond and Max van Heeswijk, with Stijn Devolder sure to play a role

    Click here for the Full preview, Map, Start List, History.

    Live coverage

    Cyclingnews will be covering the 59th Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne live, starting 14:30 local time (CET)/08:30 (USA East)/05:30 (USA West)/00:30 (Australia East).

  • Post-race quotes

    Article published:
    February 26, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Jeff Jones in Kuurne, with additional reporting from Brecht Decaluwé

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Lokeren Philippe Gilbert commented his victory at the post-race press...

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Lokeren

    Philippe Gilbert commented his victory at the post-race press conference. The young Belgian was the one protected rider in the Française des Jeux team: "I was protected by my teammates right from the start," Gilbert said. "That way, I spared some energy to ride the finale. But, at first, it was very difficult to come back to the four man breakaway group. When I got into that group, I immediately worked together with them so I wasn't able to recuperate. I didn't want to bet on a sprint with Pozzato in the group. I tried to escape and as you probably noticed, it worked out well. [DS] Marc Madiot informed me about my advantage. I kept on pushing hard because I didn't want to lose it all in the last few meters."

    His victory of the Omloop Het Volk is his first big win on Belgian ground. "I never achieved a victory in Belgium, so this is the most beautiful one of my professional career," he added. "This week I was frustrated about my performance in the Tour du Haut-Var. So I wanted to perform well over here."

    Talking about his future, the only 23 year-old said, "Milano Sanremo is a race that I want to win one day. With my sixth place last year, I already proved that I can do well over there. I’m in no hurry, so if it isn’t this year, then maybe next year. Of course, maybe it will only happen in seven years."

    Gilbert also paid tribute to his team director, Marc Madiot: "Marc keeps on saying that in the end, training does pay off. My victory today proves that this seems to be true."

    Koen Barbé (Chocolade Jacques) was the biggest surprise of the day, finishing fourth. The former Belgian U23 champion wasn't expected to ride the race, being a reserve. "Last year, I had only one big win in the GP Dhaenens," he said after the race. "With this performance I also surprised myself. I wanted to help Niko Eeckhout by getting into the...

  • Omloop Het Volk wrap-up

    Philippe Gilbert
    Article published:
    February 26, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé in Lokeren

    Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux) has upstaged some of the more fancied riders and teams by...

    Superb Gilbert solo

    Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux) has upstaged some of the more fancied riders and teams by winning the 61st Omloop Het Volk with an incredibly powerful ride in the last 20 km. After bridging up to the leading group (twice), Gilbert attacked repeatedly until he got away alone with 7 km to go. His gap at the finish was nearly 40 seconds to Bert de Waele (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago), while Leon van Bon (Davitamon-Lotto) won a three man sprint for third.

    "This was the nicest win of my small career," Gilbert explained after the finish. "The last five or six kilometres were very tough. I didn't look behind."

    An early break of 11 riders - containing two Quick.Steps but no Davitamons - survived until 50 km to go, when Davitamon started to split the peloton in the crosswind en route to Wetteren. Once they were caught, a new group of 13 went clear at 40 km to go, joined by Gert Steegmans and Tom Boonen at 26 km left. Eventual winner Gilbert bridged up to this group shortly afterwards, then had to chase again when Pozzato, De Vocht, De Waele and Scanlon went with 20 km to go. He succeeded, riding away from all of them with 7 km left.

    Also see: Results, report & photos, , Photos