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First Edition Cycling News, June 10, 2008

Date published:
June 10, 2008, 1:00 BST
  • Sutherland and Goldstein lead NRC rankings

    Article published:
    June 10, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski

    The women's pro race at the Commerce Bank Liberty Classic marked the 18th event on the USA Cycling...

    The women's pro race at the Commerce Bank Liberty Classic marked the 18th event on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar on June 8. The 1.1-rated UCI women's event saw Dutch woman Chantal Beltman (High Road) out sprint the all-star women's field to the line on Sunday in downtown Philadelphia.

    With 12 men's races and 16 women's events on the 2008 NRC now complete, Australian Rory Sutherland (Health Net Maxxis) continues to hold a commanding lead in the overall individual standings on the men's side while Canadian Leah Goldstein (Valueact Capitol) is the current women's leader. The teams currently atop the standings include the Health Net Pro Cycling Team presented by Maxxis in the men's rankings and the Cheerwine Professional Cycling Team in the women's.

    The next race on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar will be the 2.1-rated Nature Valley Grand Prix which takes place throughout Minnesota from June 11-15.

  • Day breaks Hampsten's 21 year record

    Article published:
    June 10, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski

    The 2007 Tour de Beauce champion, Ben Day, has broken a 21 year old record set by American Andy...

    The 2007 Tour de Beauce champion, Ben Day, has broken a 21 year old record set by American Andy Hampsten. Day, who is not returning to Canada to defend his Beauce title, bested Hamstens record time for the Vail Hill climb of 26.33 by 45 seconds.

    Hampsten, still the only American to have won the Giro d'Italia, set his record up the tough climb during the 1987 Coors Classic. Day (Toyota United), a former Australian Time trial champion is racing in Vail as part of the Teva Mountain games. Chris Baldwin, a Toyota United team-mate of Day, came home for second in a time of 26.29, putting him four seconds under Hamsten's record.

    Jonathan Baker rounded out the podium in third, while mountain biking legend, Ned Overend at the ripe old age of 52 finished fifth, in a time 27.23.

  • Tour de Beauce starts today

    Article published:
    June 10, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski

    By Mark Zalewski Twenty teams will make-up the peloton in the Tour de Beauce , Canada's major...

    By Mark Zalewski

    Twenty teams will make-up the peloton in the Tour de Beauce, Canada's major International Cycling Union (UCI) stage race for men which starts today in eastern Quebéc. The composition of the field is a good balance from within North America – between Canada, Mexico and the United States of America – as well as good representation from overseas. As with past editions the ascent up the tough Mont Megantic after 153km, followed the next day by a individual time trial, will likely be the deciding moments of the race.

    Both Symmetrics and Team R.A.C.E. make-up the Canadian UCI teams, with both understandably interested in winning their 'home' race. 2007 runner-up Svein Tuft will lead a Symmetrics team that has had strong showings in many of the major North American races of the year, including the Tour de Georgia and a recent final stage victory at Mt. Hood with sprinter Andrew Pinfold. Mark Walters will lead Team R.A.C.E.

    A number of Canadian elite amateur teams will get a chance to show their stuff on a bigger stage, along with a sprinkling of guest riders, such as Charles Dionne riding for the Quebéc Team. Adding even more motivation for the Canucks to perform well is the fact that Beauce will be the final race before the Canadian Cycling Association chooses its Olympic team.

    The USA will be represented by Team Type 1, made up of many former Navigators riders which dominated this race the past two years. The UCI Continental Pro team Slipstream-Chipotle-H30 was scheduled but suffered in the streets of Philadelphia. They cannot post a full team. Jittery Joe's is the other American UCI team with strong ties to the region through their equipment sponsor Louis Garneau. The Mexican Tecos-Trek team will be back with many strong climbers to contend the rolling parcours in defence of the climber's jersey. This will be a tall order with the inclusion of the...

  • Menzies out for months after Philly week crash

    Karl Menzies (Healthnet)
    Article published:
    June 10, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Mark Zalewski, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Aussie Karl Menzies (Health Net-Maxxis) was unhappy...

    By Mark Zalewski, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Aussie Karl Menzies (Health Net-Maxxis) was unhappy with his personal performance in the first half of the season. However, he told Cyclingnews at two recent races, the CSC Invitational and the Lehigh Valley Classic where he placed on both podiums, that he was relieved his racing form was finally coming around. Well bad luck struck the strong man from Tasmania. Coming down one of the three KOM climbs of Mt. Penn in the Reading Classic last week, part of the Commerce Bank Triple Crown, Menzies was taken out by a crash in front of him – landing on his back over a curb he suffered a broken wrist and ribs, a punctured lung and injuries to his back.

    "The second time over the hill it was all single file and I was towards the back," Menzies told Cyclingnews. "A guy in front of me went through the corner and hit something, skipping out into the gutter. As I recall I came in a guy or two back and had to change my line, jammed on my back brake, but my wheel hit a pothole, so when I jammed on the brake it flicked my rear straight up. I went up and over and landed on my back over the gutter"

    "I got up straight away but knew I was in trouble because I had that feeling. I laid back down and Tamayo was right there and doctors were there – I was in hospital within 10 minutes. I have a broken wrist – the radius and navicular bones – five broken ribs and they said it was a punctured lung. They kept me overnight for observation but [the lung] healed by the next morning. My T-10 and T-11, where the muscles attach to the back, were pushed in. My back and ribs is where it just whacked the gutter, so it's mostly muscular."

    While the wrist and rib fractures...

  • Quick Step for Dutch Food Valley Classic

    Article published:
    June 10, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Belgium's Quick Step team will be sending a team seemingly built around their top sprinter Tom...

    Belgium's Quick Step team will be sending a team seemingly built around their top sprinter Tom Boonen to the Dutch Food Valley Classic. The race, formerly known as Veenendaal - Veenendaal fills it's traditional Wednesday slot on the calendar tomorrow. The event is ranked as a 1.

    Supporting Boonen will be a strong team of primarily Belgian and Dutch riders.

    Quick Step for the Dutch Food Valley Classic: Tom Boonen, Wilfried Cretskens, Steven De Jongh, Ad Engels, Kevin Hulsmans, Hubert Schwab, Wouter Weylandt and Maarten Wynants.

  • No Tour but joy on home soil for Joly

    The breakaway with Joly, Kux and Labbe
    Article published:
    June 10, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Jean-François Quénet in Privas It's been almost one year since Sébastien Joly was diagnosed with...

    By Jean-François Quénet in Privas

    It's been almost one year since Sébastien Joly was diagnosed with cancer. Last year after the Dauphiné, his cycling career was in limbo. After the treatment, he resumed riding his bike in mid-September but he had no idea how strong he would come back as a competitive cyclist. "I might have ridden my bike with too much enthusiasm to forget about my disease," he admitted.

    The Française des Jeux rider found his way back in the peloton at the Majorca Trophy in February but felt exhausted in March and was forced to take a break. "I've understood that I'd have to be patient and accept that my physique and my morale would have some ups and downs."

    A decision was quickly taken with the staff of FDJ that he'd skip the Tour de France this year. "But I wanted to do the Dauphiné anyway," he said on the finishing of Privas that he reached after being in a breakaway for 167 kilometres passing through the province of the Drôme where he lives and finishing in the province of Ardèche where has was born.

    "I decided to break away only because I'm from here," he stated. "It was a lot joy to ride ahead of the bunch on the roads that I use at training. My family was here. If there is a small chance to go for a win, the chance has to be taken. Two years ago it worked when I did a similar breakaway in stage one of the Dauphiné with my team-mate Philippe Gilbert who won it, but it was a harder course."

    "Today, I realised there wasn't much hope. I didn't get too excited about the idea of winning. Crédit Agricole didn't let us play much of our game in the front. But I don't have anything bad to say about what they did. I felt the same when I led the Tour du Limousin, I wanted to defend straight away. All teams are here for winning, not for making gifts."

    Joly is happy to...

  • Boonen caught with cocaine?

    Boonen at the Tour of Belgium
    Article published:
    June 10, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet in Privas

    Belgian super star sprinter, Tom Boonen has allegedly been caught in an out of competition test for...

    Belgian super star sprinter, Tom Boonen has allegedly been caught in an out of competition test for cocaine, according to Belgian newspaper HLN.be. The out of competition test allegedly occurred three days before start of the Tour of Belgium, where Boonen won the final stage.

    The Belgian paper also reported that the homes of Boonen's parents and girlfriend in Postel and Lore respectively were searched last night. The non-negative test has also not yet been confirmed by the International Cycling Union (UCI). Boonen's Quick Step team was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

    This is not the first time that Boonen has been linked to the drug. Last December, his good friend and cyclo-cross star, Tom Vanoppen was caught by the Flemish doping controllers with cocaine. During questioning Vanoppen allegedly named Boonen as his dealer, a claim Boonen later denied. Following the claim, Boonen's parent's house was searched.

    Boonen's brush with the law does not stop there however. Just last week, he lost his drivers license for the second time in six weeks. On Tuesday night he was pulled over by the police travelling at 180 km/h in a 90km/h zone on the Mol ring road. He had a blood alcohol reading of 1.0.

    Six weeks earlier he lost his license for 14 days for travelling 120km/h in a 70km/h zone. In 2006 Boonen was the face of the Belgian roads and traffic authority, promoting safe driving.

  • Valverde in form

    Spain's Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) wins stage one over Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole), who has become the new overall leader
    Article published:
    June 10, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet in Privas

    By Jean-François Quénet in Privas Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) has sent a warning...

    By Jean-François Quénet in Privas

    Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) has sent a warning to his rivals as he build up his form for the Tour de France. He took the first stage of the Dauphiné Libéré in an uphill sprint ahead of Norwegian Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole).

    Of note was the fact that Cadel Evans, Levi Leipheimer and Haimar Zubeldia took part in the sprint for the stage win. They finished fifth, sixth and eighth respectively – none of them hiding their strength, setting up expectations of a great battle in the mountains later in the week.

    "Since yesterday I had good sensations," said Valverde, who took third at the prologue in Avignon. "With this stage win, I have completed one goal already, now we'll see how it goes in the mountains, I hope I'll keep going well. It means a lot to me to win a stage here. It's a good motivation for the team who has done phenomenal work today."

    The Murcian appreciated the uphill terrain in Privas. "I'm a complete rider," he admitted. "But as a sprinter, on a flat road, there's no way I can beat riders like Hushovd. Today's sprint was a special one. I accelerated with power 300 metres before the line.

    "I'm having a good season so far," he continued. "I race less and my preparation is different. It pays off apparently, and I have the Tour de France in mind. I considered myself as one of the five or six contenders for GC. It also requires a bit of luck to win the Tour de France but I'll try."

    The Astana team of race leader Levi Leipheimer chose to sit out of the work to control the race rather than use up their energy so early, and it was up to Crédit Agricole to do most of the work. "All the other teams knew that I wanted to take the yellow jersey," explained Hushovd who did so by only one second. "I'm very happy to become the race leader because it's my first time at this race and I like the Dauphiné a...