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First Edition Cycling News for January 16, 2006

Date published:
January 16, 2006, 0:00 GMT
  • Australian champ Van Hout to lead Savings & Loans

    Article published:
    January 16, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Les Clarke in Adelaide

    Hot on the heels of the announcement of the South Australia.com-AIS team comes another, wholly South...

    New continental team gives South Australia another boost

    Hot on the heels of the announcement of the South Australia.com-AIS team comes another, wholly South Australian based Continental team: the Savings & Loans Cycling Team. The team was revealed on the eve of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, and although it won't compete as a team in this year's JCTDU, hopes are high that it will make selection for the 2007 race. The team does have a continental licence for this season and has already jagged an important rider in Australian elite champion Russell Van Hout.

    Savings & Loans team manager Patrick Jonker said that the announcement brings South Australia one step closer to having its very on team in the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under. "The Savings & Loans Cycling Team will be a truly South Australian team made up of South Australian cyclists," he said. "It will provide considerable incentive and a pathway for all young riders in South Australia who dream of cycling in a professional outfit on the world stage. Hopefully, Russell's (Van Hout) result in the Australian Open Road Championships is a sign of things to come for the team."

    National Road Champion and the team's first signing Russell Van Hout said Saturday's result was a strong beginning for the team. "I've only recently signed with the team so to start off with this result is tremendous," he said. "After a number of years travelling the world with an overseas outfit I'm looking forward to competing here at home with a South Australian based team. To be part of the first South Australian professional team is an enormous honour."

    Other team members confirmed include one of South Australia's best riders Stephen Cunningham and promising youngsters Will Dickenson and James Hannam.

  • South Australia.com-AIS good to go

    Awww, ain't it pretty...
    Article published:
    January 16, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Les Clarke in Adelaide

    By Les Clarke in Adelaide With a racing program that kicks off with the Jacob's Creek Tour Down...

    By Les Clarke in Adelaide

    With a racing program that kicks off with the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under and includes the Tour of Britain, Australian Continental team, South Australia.com-AIS, was presented in Adelaide today. South Australian Premier Mike Rann and Minister for Sport, Jane Lomax-Smith, attended the presentation and expressed their excitement at the possibilities of the young team promoting the State to an international audience.

    "These riders will be like mobile billboards travelling around the world - in France, Canada New Zealand, Sweden, Spain and Italy - they'll be maximising the exposure of South Australia," said Premier Rann. "We think that what we're doing with South Australia.com is a way of building on the growing strength of the Tour Down Under, and we think it's continuous publicity for South Australia."

    Premier Rann illustrated how the growth of the South Australian race is a natural fit with the development of the young squad, saying, "The Tour Down Under gets bigger and better each year; the international interest keeps growing, the number of people coming here keeps growing and South Australians have taken cycling to their hearts in a short time...we think it's the perfect fit."

    Click here for the full story

  • Hushovd: "I like Australia and the Australians"

    Thor Hushovd and Mads Kaggestad
    Article published:
    January 16, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet in Adelaide

    By Jean-François Quénet in Adelaide After the reign of Erik Zabel, Australians have won the green...

    By Jean-François Quénet in Adelaide

    After the reign of Erik Zabel, Australians have won the green jersey in the Tour de France for three years in a row with Robbie McEwen (2002 and 2004) and Baden Cooke (2003), but last year a Norwegian took the title away from them. Thor Hushovd is now back in their homeland to contest against the Aussie fast men in the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under. He looks like a very happy man since he arrived in Adelaide on January 5.

    "I like Australia and the Australians," he said. "This place is really ideal for training at this time of the year. Before coming, I got some advice from the Olympic top athletes centre in Oslo about the jet lag and I coped well with it. It's not too hot here this year, so it's much easier to train over here for 200 kilometres than it is in France or Norway in January."

    This isn't Thor's first visit to Australia. He competed in the Sydney Olympics during his first year as a professional and he came seventh in the time trial, just behind Viatcheslav Ekimov, Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong, Abraham Olano, Laurent Jalabert and Andrei Teteriuk, but ahead of Sergei Gonchar, Tyler Hamilton and Chris Boardman, who was still Crédit Agricole's main figure at the time.

    "Until the Norwegian championship last year, I never had such a good time trial," Thor recalls. "As I started in the first heat, I had decided to go full gas in the first of the three laps for my name to be seen on Norwegian television for a long time. But I felt fantastic that day, I kept going and I didn't realise the value of my seventh place for months. Sydney remains a fabulous memory. I like the Olympics and I enjoyed our preparation in Toowoomba, Queensland. At this place in the middle of nowhere we met such friendly people."

    Back in the year 2005, Thor was living near Toulouse close to Stuart O'Grady, Marcel Gono, Jay Sweet and Australophile Jens Voigt, before moving to...

  • Landis happy with form

    Article published:
    January 16, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes in Mallorca

    By Shane Stokes in Mallorca Phonak leader Floyd Landis said on Saturday that he is happy with his...

    By Shane Stokes in Mallorca

    Phonak leader Floyd Landis said on Saturday that he is happy with his current condition. "I am definitely going better than I was at this time last year," he stated at the team's training camp in Mallorca. "It is not really necessary to be in good shape now, but it has worked out that way."

    Landis seems both happy and relaxed at the camp, riding well during the team training spins and interacting well with the other members of the team. Another part of his satisfaction is down to the improved circumstances, as compared to twelve months ago. "Last year was very different. We weren't sure if we were going to be in the ProTour or if we would have to rely on invitations to races. There is a much better atmosphere now. We are confident about our team now."

    Following a ninth place finish last year, the 30 year-old is building towards a good Tour de France. "Right now, I plan to do the Tour of California, Paris-Nice, the Criterium International and the Tour of Georgia again. After that, I will probably do the Giro, and then the Tour. That is my big goal for the season. If I do the Giro, it will probably just be to ride, to train. No other agenda whatsoever. I don't think it would be wise to try to go for both."

    A full Floyd Landis will feature soon on Cyclingnews.com

  • All for Jan

    Article published:
    January 16, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes in Mallorca

    By Shane Stokes in Mallorca Although Andreas Klöden and Michael Rogers have some fine results to...

    By Shane Stokes in Mallorca

    Although Andreas Klöden and Michael Rogers have some fine results to their credit, including second place in the Tour de France and three world time trial championships respectively, both riders stated at Saturday's T-Mobile launch that their role in this year's Tour would unquestionably be to back Jan Ullrich's bid for a second title.

    Klöden is keen to get back on track following a somewhat disappointing 2005 season, but even if he is in the same sort of shape as two years ago, he will dedicate himself to his T-Mobile teammate. "We will have only one captain for the Tour and that is Jan," he told Cyclingnews. "He is the team's number one for the Tour. My job is to get to the start in good shape and then to help him try to win the race."

    The 30 year-old struggled to find his 2004 form last year. A big question mark hung over his fitness throughout the spring, but he finally turned things around and was in decent shape during the Tour. Klöden finished second on a stage and rode for the team in the mountains until a broken wrist took him out of the race.

    He said that the team has identified the problem in his buildup last year and they would do things differently this time. "I went did altitude training in Tenerife early in the year and that took a lot out of me," he said. "I was chasing my form after that. This year I will not go there, I will stay on the flat."

    Michael Rogers was similarly pledging in his support for Ullrich. "Jan has been going well in the Tour for ten years. He has got a lot of experience and I am sure that I can learn from him. I am sure that one day he will retire and hopefully I will get to take over the reins. But I am happy to support him in the Tour."

    Rogers said that he is going to ride the Giro in order to build up for the Tour. "We made that decision at the end of last year. The team think that it would be super preparation...