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First Edition Cycling News for September 4, 2005

Date published:
September 04, 2005, 1:00 BST
  • Lampre for Giro della Romagna

    Article published:
    September 04, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias

    Lapre-Caffita will line up at the Giro della Romagna on Sunday with Daniele Bennati as team captain....

    Lapre-Caffita will line up at the Giro della Romagna on Sunday with Daniele Bennati as team captain. "His fifth position today [at the Coppa Placci] confirms Daniele is in a good condition. We will do our best to bring him to the final sprint," said directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli, adding that the course wasn't selective. Daniele Bennati recently proved his good form at the Deutschland Tour, where he won three stages.

    The complete Lampre roster at the Giro della Romagna consists of: Alessandro Ballan, Daniele Bennati, Gianluca Bortolami, Salvatore Commesso, Damiano Cunego, Oleksandr Kvachuk, Gorazd Stangelj and Andrea Tonti.

  • CSC loses lead in the heat

    Article published:
    September 04, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias

    Team CSC's Lars Bak has lost the overall lead in this year's Tour de l'Avenir in France, mainly...

    Team CSC's Lars Bak has lost the overall lead in this year's Tour de l'Avenir in France, mainly because of very hot meteorological conditions. Slovenian Borut Bozic was able to take the jersey from him in the 203 km long third stage from Sainte-Scolasse-sur-Sarthe to Sassay.

    "It started out fine," said CSC's sports director Scott Sunderland after the stage on team-csc.com. "We had Lars Bak, Andy Schleck and Christian Müller in the front group of 21 riders, who escaped from the peloton after 75 kilometres. But then Andy started having problems with the heat and had to let himself fall back to the second group, where we had Matti Breschel and Kasper Klostergaard, and shortly after that, the 35° Celsius became too much for Christian as well, and he dropped all the way back to the peloton, where Brian Vandborg was sitting." Lars Bak was then the only CSC rider in the front group, and as four riders, among them the day's winner, Borut Bozic, jumped with about 15 kilometres to go, he could only watch them leave.

    "Lars was incredibly strong, but without teammates it was impossible for him to control the front group. He is however only a few seconds behind in the overall standings, so he's still very much in the game," a still hopeful Sunderland concluded.

  • An interview with Santiago Botero

    Santiago Botero
    Article published:
    September 04, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias

    Santiago Botero made a welcome return to form this season after two disappointing years with...

    Gunning for another rainbow jersey

    Santiago Botero made a welcome return to form this season after two disappointing years with T-Mobile. Health problems prevented him from hitting the kind of form which in the past had seen him win the world time trial championships, take stages in the Tour de France and Tour of Spain and finish 4th, 7th and 8th in the Tour. He also won the mountains jersey in 2000.

    Botero's T-Mobile years saw a noticeable drop off in results, but after returning to full health, normal service was resumed this season. The Phonak rider dominated the Tour of Romandie, taking the time trial stage plus the overall, rode solidly in the Tour of Catalunya, then took two stages and finished second overall in the Dauphiné Libéré. However, after finishing 2nd on the 11th stage of the Tour de France, a tired Botero started to struggle, eventually reaching Paris 51st overall.

    Speaking to Cyclingnews just before the start of this year's Vuelta, the Colombian explained the problem. "I was lost! I was lost because the last two years I didn't have good results, through problems with my health," he stated. "I was happy to become a good cyclist again, but I didn't make a good calculation with my training for the Tour. But for next season I will know how to do it right."

    Botero is happy to be performing well again this year. "It is great to be back. My first race was Flèche Wallonne and that went well, then in Liège I did a good job for the team. I went on from that and won the Tour of Romandie, so after two days of competition I went into a ProTour race and won. That was a good result for me, because I trained very, very hard at home. In December, January, February, I put many, many kilometres into my legs. Catalunya was good but I had a cold so that affected my condition. After that, I was again very good in the Dauphine, where I took two stages and we fought until the end.

    ...

  • Heras and Gonzalez confident for tomorrow's time trial

    Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros)
    Article published:
    September 04, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Hernan Alvarez Macias Current Vuelta a España leader Roberto Heras thinks he can get in the list...

    By Hernan Alvarez Macias

    Current Vuelta a España leader Roberto Heras thinks he can get in the list of candidates for the stage win tomorrow at the time trial in Lloret de Mar. "It's an important stage with a very demanding and hard route," said Heras to the press. He considers both Denis Menchov (Rabobank) and Carlos Sastre (CSC) can prevail in the stage, but he insisted he can also be one of the favourites.

    Looking back on yesterday, the six bonus seconds Heras scored weren't intended to be a cushion for tomorrow. "We hadn't prepared anything", said Heras, "But we were in front and Vicioso launched the sprint. They are only 6 seconds and I do not believe that they are very important for Sunday's time trial, but we had the opportunity and took advantage of it."

    His sports director, 'almighty' Manolo Saiz noted that his decision to make Heras take the sprint bonus was taken, "above all, for its psychological reasons." As for tomorrow's time trial, Saiz knows that he might have to see the overall lead slip away, but he's not too concerned about it. "Roberto is doing very well, but the time differences are still very small", said Saiz. "One must forget that Roberto already did one good time trial last year in Almusafes, on a parcours more difficult than this one."

    Heras added that the time trial parcours was "not suitable for the specialists, because it has many climbs." He also revealed that he knew the parcours very well, because he trained there often and rode it in the Setmana Catalana. "Sastre and Menchov should do well as this course favours them, but also Mancebo, who's getting stronger every day," Heras concluded.

    Meanwhile, Aitor Gonzalez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) hopes he can recover the lost time during the first day of the race riding against the clock on Sunday. "I hope to recover fast from the last few days of suffering and I will try to amend what we have lost so far," said the Basque rider to the...

  • Vuelta stage 8 wrap up

    Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo)
    Article published:
    September 04, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias

    Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) had to improvise a little bit to win his third stage of this...

    Plan B works for Petacchi

    Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) had to improvise a little bit to win his third stage of this year's Vuelta in the seaside town of Lloret de Mar. The classy Italian sprinter lost the wheel of his leadout man Marco Velo inside the final 500m, courtesy of a right-hand corner and a Credit Agricole push. Velo ended up leading out Thor Hushovd, who put his nose in front at 200m to go before Petacchi came from behind to power past the Norwegian. Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step) was also right up there in third, again wondering where Tom Boonen was.

    "It wasn't a such a smooth ride as previously because of the final corners, where Quick.Step and crédit Agricole wanted to mingle with our train," Petacchi said. "I knew that the last 300 metres we'd have a headwind, so I preferred to come off from behind. On the last corner I was on Bettini's wheel and waited until Hushovd, who was second behind Velo, would come around to take his wheel. It went well.

    "Now I know that there's a very difficult week ahead from an altimetric point of view. I'll use it to refine my preparation for the World's. I want to get to the finishes tired, but not destroyed. Then we'll talk about the World's again.

    Petacchi's teammate Juan Antonio Flecha added, "I felt better today and was able to pull for a long time during the stage for Alessandro's sprint finish. I hope I'll continue to improve, because finishing this Vuelta means so much to me. I also would love to win a stage in the last week..."

    There were no changes to the overall classification, and Roberto Heras will start tomorrow's 48 km time trial in Lloret de Mar with a 12 second gap over Denis Menchov. The Russian could well take back the golden jersey with a good ride in the TT.

    The 189 km stage was a routine one for the sprinters' teams, who let a breakaway go after 6 km containing Bart Dockx (Davitamon-Lotto), Xavier Florencio (Relax Fuenlabrada), and Angel Gomez...