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First Edition Cycling News for September 2, 2005

Date published:
September 02, 2005, 1:00 BST
  • Paulinho crashes in l'Avenir

    Article published:
    September 02, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones & Anthony Tan

    In the first stage of the Tour de l'Avenir , Liberty Seguros rider Sergio Paulinho was the victim of...

    In the first stage of the Tour de l'Avenir, Liberty Seguros rider Sergio Paulinho was the victim of a crash with 20 kilometres to go, limping home in 124th place and finishing 4'08 behind stage winner Lars Bak.

    According to statement from the team, the crash happened when the peloton was chasing down the lead group of five riders towards the end of the race; a touch of wheels with a CSC rider in front of him brought the Portuguese rider down, whose knee and left elbow took the brunt of the impact. Thankfully, the Athens silver medallist is not seriously hurt, and is more than likely to start the following stage from Argentré-du-Plessis to Sainte-Scolasse-sur-Sarthe.

  • Perfect plan = perfect result in France

    Article published:
    September 02, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones & Anthony Tan

    The opening stage of the Tour de l'Avenir went right according to plan for Team CSC, as Danish road...

    The opening stage of the Tour de l'Avenir went right according to plan for Team CSC, as Danish road champion Lars Bak found himself the beneficiary of a perfectly conceived plan.

    "Right from the beginning we dominated the race, when Christian Müller escaped," said a happy sports director Scott Sunderland on team-csc.com. "Shortly after Matti Breschel reached Müller's group, and during the following six laps, he secured himself some bonus seconds. When the group was caught, Andy Schleck escaped with four other riders, and after that Lars Bak caught up with them.

    "With two laps to go, I told Andy to attack, thereby forcing the others to use up their energy to catch him, and with that done, Lars launched a counterattack and won the stage according to plan," he said.

  • Paolini strengthens candidacy for World's berth

    Article published:
    September 02, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones & Anthony Tan

    Luca Paolini (Quick.Step-Innergetic) proved his worth for a spot on the squadra azzurra in Madrid by...

    Luca Paolini (Quick.Step-Innergetic) proved his worth for a spot on the squadra azzurra in Madrid by triumphing on the most difficult stage of the Tour of Britain, attacking 10 kilometres into the stage and staying away till the finish in Sheffield, where he outsprinted Bram Schmitz (T-Mobile) for the win.

    "I knew that this was the hardest stage of this year's race and I didn't want to wait for a bunch sprint," said Paolini in a team statement. "This success confirms my good condition. After an unlucky period I want to make a good end of season. I'd like to participate in the World's to give my contribution as I have done in the past."

    "I devote the victory to the family of Stefano Zanini that has been stricken in these days from a family loss. I hope they find soon serenity," he added.

  • CSC at La Vuelta: Anything is possible

    Carlos Sastre (Team CSC)
    Article published:
    September 02, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones & Anthony Tan

    With Team CSC's Jakob Piil the last of the breakaway riders to be caught and Carlos Sastre riding...

    With Team CSC's Jakob Piil the last of the breakaway riders to be caught and Carlos Sastre riding well enough to move into third overall, directeur sportif Kim Andersen was more than satisfied with the outcome on Stage 6 of the Vuelta a España, which finished at the ski resort of Aramón Valdelinares.

    "Piil did a fantastic stage, and if he'd only been able to hang on in there for one more kilometre, he would have been able to hang on during the last kilometre, which was more or less flat," said Andersen.

    "The whole team actually did really well in this dramatic stage, which was fast-paced from beginning till end. All the time we had at least one rider up front and Carlos is now third in the GC, so anything is possible."

  • Saiz: "We have always held the responsibility"

    Is this the face of the 2005 Vuelta champion?
    Article published:
    September 02, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones & Anthony Tan

    Liberty Seguros-Würth team manager Manolo Saiz has downplayed the victory by leader Roberto Heras on...

    Liberty Seguros-Würth team manager Manolo Saiz has downplayed the victory by leader Roberto Heras on Stage 6 of the Vuelta a España, not wishing to elaborate on whether or not the team will defend the race lead in the coming days. "The leader's maillot is just one part. Now comes one long time trial and we have to think about other things," he said in a team statement.

    "Today was a victory of the whole team, because all the riders did a great job and culminated in a great ride by Roberto Heras. The only thing that surprised me today was that [Denis] Menchov lost time. Anyway, from how we rode, it was possible to foresee that we would do a great stage."

    Heras echoed: "We took responsibility on the last climb, which is where we had to do it, and the truth is that all my companions were sensational. Today yes, I was the strongest, but we are at the begriming of a three week tour and still many things can happen. To be the strongest it is necessary to demonstrate it every day."

    Based on his comments before the stage, Heras again said he really didn't believe the day would turn out like it did. "The truth is that I did not [think he would be the race leader after the stage].

    "I believed that riders like Joaquín Rodríguez [Saunier Duval], placed well in the general, would fight today to obtain the leader's jersey. I was not expecting to be there. The thing was that the stage was very deceptive, it was much harder than seemed. There was not one metre of flat and it did a lot of damage."

    Not surprisingly, Heras believed the race was far from over, knowing that there are still a number of teams who have come to the Vuelta 'to make much war'. With his newly acquired golden tunic, however, the 31 year-old said he will ride defensively for now, outlining Francisco Mancebo [Illes Balears] and Carlos Sastre [Team CSC] as his two biggest rivals. "Now I only defend...

  • Vuelta stage 6 wrap up

    Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros)
    Article published:
    September 02, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones & Anthony Tan

    Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) has stamped himself as the top favourite for this year's Vuelta by...

    Heras unmatchable

    Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) has stamped himself as the top favourite for this year's Vuelta by winning the first mountain stage to Valdelinares in an impressive style. After his Liberty Seguros team destroyed the peloton on the final climb, Heras rode the others in the GC group off his wheel one by one. The last man standing was Denis Menchov (Rabobank), who hung on until 1 km to go, losing 13 seconds to the champion at the finish. That meant that Heras took over the leader's jersey by six seconds from Menchov, as this morning's leader Brad McGee lost nearly 12 minutes today.

    The 217 km stage was marked by a series of early attacks and splits in the peloton, but it wasn't until around 60 km to go when a decent breakaway established itself. Initiated by Koos Moerenhout (Davitamon-Lotto), the break also contained Jakob Piil (CSC), Eric Leblacher (Crédit Agricole), Benoît Joachim (Discovery), Nacor Burgos (Relax), and Devis Miorin (Liquigas). Piil dropped everyone save for Joachim and Leblacher on the penultimate climb, then opened up a gap when the other two missed a corner on the descent. He started the last ascent with 3'19 over the peloton, which was enough to take him until 2 km to go when Heras and co. caught him.

    After Scarponi had reduced the main group to just eight riders, Heras took over at 3 km left to drop them all. Menchov and Carlos Garcia Quesada held on for a while, but when the road steepened, Heras flew.

    Also see:

    Stage 6 full results, report & photos
    Main
    Stages & results
    Map
    Start List
    History
    Photos