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First Edition Cycling News for September 5, 2005

Date published:
September 05, 2005, 1:00 BST
  • Déjà vu at MTB World's

    Article published:
    September 05, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias

    Over in Livigno, Italy, there was a serious case of déjà vu happening as all four defending...

    Over in Livigno, Italy, there was a serious case of déjà vu happening as all four defending champions in the downhill and cross country races regained their titles at the MTB World Championships. On Saturday, it was an all-French affair as Anne-Caroline Chausson and Fabien Barel successfully defended their rainbow jerseys in the Downhill, with Chausson's ninth elite title also marking the end of her professional career. However, the margins were awfully slim - 0.37 seconds for Chausson over Sabrina Jonnier, and 0.77 seconds for Barel over Australia's Sam Hill.

    "I'm very happy to win, in this my last championship," Chausson said. "The difference was very small today. I had a crash in the first part of the race and at that moment I knew that it would be difficult to win. But I just concentrated harder until the end of the race."

    "There were maybe five or six guys who could win," admitted men's winner Barel, "so this is a big victory. Waiting at the bottom is a big stress. I did an early ride as a tactic because of the weather, but then watching Greg [Minnaar - South Africa] and Sam [Hill] come very, very close to my split was very, very stressful."

    Said a disappointed Hill: "I have always dreamed of winning a World Cup, so that was a big victory. This race was my other focus for the season, but Fabien was faster today. It was definitely a disappointment not to win, but someone's got to, so you just have to take it, suck it in."

    Yesterday (Sunday), world and Athens Olympic champion Gunn-Rita Dahle made it look easy on her way to cross country world title number three, the Norweigan not offering her rivals any encouragement for the future, either - announcing in the post-race press conference that she intends to keep racing until the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

    "Achieving another rainbow...

  • Botero stays with Phonak

    Article published:
    September 05, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias

    Although Phonak team manager John Lelangue gave his three leaders the option of an early release in...

    Although Phonak team manager John Lelangue gave his three leaders the option of an early release in light of the team's uncertain future beyond 2006, 32 year-old Colombian Santiago Botero has been the first to announce his return in Phonak colours for next year.

    "Because it is still open at the moment who will be our main sponsor, we wanted to give the pros a clear signal that we didn't want to stand in the way of their accepting a multi-year offer from another team," said Lelangue in a team statement, although clearly very happy at Botero's decision.

    Regardless of whether Phonak continues sponsoring the team, the former Deputy Competition Director of ASO is confident that ARcycling, whom he manages, will be able to put together an equally competitive team in future to ensure their existence past 2006. "What our team has done up to now is impressive. Of course, we want to be as far ahead at the end of the season as possible. That would also be a very motivating starting position for everyone involved and for possible sponsors," he said.

    While Floyd Landis and Oscar Pereiro will make their future known within the coming days, Lelangue believes the 2006 line-up will have a better balance than what currently exists. At present, there are 21 riders under contract with ARcycling for next year, with further negotiations underway in order to reach the ProTour-stipulated minimum number of 25 riders. The possible departure of Pereiro or Landis would be offset by new recruits.

    "With Axel Merckx and Koos Moerenhout the team is getting two experienced riders, and with the young pros Luis Fernandez Oliveira and Florian Stalder, we're giving two big talents a chance to get a foothold in professional cycling," said Lelangue.

    The 2006 Phonak Cycling Team (as of September 1, 2005, listed by nationality):
    Aurélien Clerc (SUI), Martin Elmiger (SUI), Gregory Rast (SUI), Johann Tschopp...

  • Gutierrez abandons

    Article published:
    September 05, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Hernan Alvarez Macias Injuries to both his body and morale prevented Illes Balears rider Jose...

    By Hernan Alvarez Macias

    Injuries to both his body and morale prevented Illes Balears rider Jose Ivan Gutierrez from continuing in this year's Vuelta a España, who chose not to start Sunday's Stage 9 time trial in Lloret de Mar. The previous stage [Stage 8], Gutierrez crashed with 47 kilometres to go, going over his bars and into a ditch, with the brunt of the fall taken by his right leg. Standing up with great difficulty, team director Eusebio Unzue got out of his car and helped Gutierrez back on his bike, where he went on to finish the stage in the peloton.

    However, Saturday's accident wasn't his first, the 26 year-old having found himself on the ground on two previous occasions earlier in the week. While Gutierrez is normally among the favourites for a race against the clock, he decided not to take part in today's chrono early this morning.

  • A team time trial win for CSC

    Carlos Sastre (CSC)
    Article published:
    September 05, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    With Carlos Sastre 4th, Andrea Peron 11th and Jakob Piil 12th, Team CSC took the teams...

    With Carlos Sastre 4th, Andrea Peron 11th and Jakob Piil 12th, Team CSC took the teams classification prize in the Stage 9 individual time trial around Lloret de Mar, affirming their position as one of the strongest squads in the race.

    "Everything went according to plan, as we were counting on Sastre, Peron and Piil to do really well today and at the last intermediate time it even looked as if Sastre might take the second place, but unfortunately he stalled a bit towards the end," said directeur-sportif Kim Andersen on team-csc.com.

    Moreover, the result should provide the team with renewed confidence as the peloton heads into the high mountains over the following days; two consecutive mountain-top finishes will no doubt decide who's serious about a podium finish two weeks from now.

  • "10 seconds don't mean anything," says Saiz

    Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros)
    Article published:
    September 05, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Responding to the 10 second penalty awarded to Roberto Heras after the Liberty Seguros leader cut a...

    Responding to the 10 second penalty awarded to Roberto Heras after the Liberty Seguros leader cut a few corners in yesterday's 45 kilometre individual time trial in Lloret de Mar, team manager Manolo Saiz seemed unperturbed by the outcome, saying: "These 10 seconds do not mean anything; for me, they have the same value of the six second bonus Roberto achieved before."

    "These sanctions seem to me to be very sad, but the judges are those who give the orders and I do not say anything," added Saiz. "I hope that they continue applying the regulation with the same inflexibility in all cases. I did not hear on the radio the indication of where it was compulsory [to keep to one side], but I do not want to make a polemic."

    Heras had a similar answer to the press: "I did not know that there was prohibited to do what I did; if I had known, I would not have done it, it has not been deliberate," he said. "I only hope that the Vuelta is not decided for these 10 seconds of sanction, but in any case, this does not affect me mentally."

    Asked about the time trial itself, Heras was modest about his fifth-place performance, saying it was a good result with a natural though impressive winner in Denis Menchov. The three-time Vuelta winner also said the parcours wasn't as demanding as it seemed, with the first half favoured towards the climbers before having to 'defend' himself in the latter stages of the race.

    "On the paper it is possible to say that the first four on the general [classification] are already the favourites for the final victory, but still, many things can happen in the mountains. We have four very hard stages like the ones in Andorra and Cerler, as well as Lagos and Covadonga. We are all very close in time, and I feel reinforced, even though I have lost the leadership," he said.

    Saiz remarked that the differences between the best-placed riders was to be expected, but with Menchov...

  • Vuelta stage 9 wrap-up

    Denis Menchov (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    September 05, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias

    Not unexpectedly, prologue winner Denis Menchov (Rabobank) has bounced back into the overall lead of...

    Menchov back in gold

    Not unexpectedly, prologue winner Denis Menchov (Rabobank) has bounced back into the overall lead of the Vuelta by winning the 9th stage time trial in Lloret de Mar. On a testing 48 km course, Menchov clocked 1:00:54 to beat an excellent Ruben Plaza (Comunidad Valenciana) by 9 seconds, with GC riders Paco Mancebo (Illes Balears), Carlos Sastre (CSC), Roberto Heras (Liberty), and Tom Danielson (Discovery) filling out the next placings. On the general classification, Menchov has the jersey by 47 seconds from Heras, with Sastre at 1'36 and Mancebo at 1'51. He'll need all of that and more to keep the jersey in the next two mountain stages.

    The stage saw German Uwe Peschel (Gerolsteiner) set the early best time with a 1:02:33, which stood for quite some time until Victor Hugo Pena (Phonak) bettered it by 3 seconds. But then Ruben Plaza smashed through all the time checks in the quickest times, eventually recording a time of 1:01:03 to put himself on top of the provisional leader board.

    Menchov started second last, and rode a conservative pace up the first climb, but then increased his tempo on the second climb to move ahead on the provisional standings. His final gap over Plaza was 9 seconds, but that was enough to win the stage. Heras also started well, and was even better than Menchov in the early kilometres, but paid for it on the second climb and eventually lost 49 seconds to the Russian. He also was given a 10 second time penalty because he cut some of the course on the descent.

    Also see:

    Stage 9 full results, report & photos
    Main
    Stages & results
    Map
    Start List
    History