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Latest Cycling News for April 7, 2005

Date published:
April 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
  • Irish 'polar' expedition for a good cause

    Article published:
    April 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent/Evening Herald/Sunday Independent A challenging cycle from The...

    By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent/Evening Herald/Sunday Independent

    A challenging cycle from The North Poll to the South Poll is to be, undertaken in June to raise funds and awareness for the Irish Association of Suicidology (IAS). The 'polar' expedition by the Mayo Wheelers Club, from the North Poll Pub in Lifford, Co. Donegal to the South Poll Pub in Anascaul, Co. Kerry, will cover 300 miles over a three day period.

    Cycling clubs along the route are to be drafted in to help with the logistics and the fundraising effort. The project has the backing of Fine Gael Leader, Mr. Enda Kenny, Mayo senior football team Manger, Mr. John Maughan, and the Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Mr. Eddie Staunton.

    Final details of the route have yet to be arranged but it is expected that up to 30 cyclists will take part in the event on June 3, 4 and 5 on the, bank holiday weekend. Each of the participants will be expected to raise 600 Euros each to cover their, expenses. The secretary of the Mayo Wheelers, Mr. Joe McGuire, said he expected a very enthusiastic response from cyclists: "We are delighted to undertake the cycle on behalf of the IAS, who are doing tremendous to promote a greater awareness of suicide and how it is impacting on our society," he said.

    "We will be seeking the support of cycling clubs along the route to help us with accommodation, collections and the general organisational aspects of the fund raising cycle."

    Knowledge gained

    The Irish Association of Suicidology was founded in 1996 by Dr. John Connolly, the late Dr. Michael Kelleher, and Mr. Dan Neville, T.D, in response to concern about the rising suicide rates in Ireland and the grief and suffering caused to families and communities by these unnecessary deaths. The IAS set out to be a forum for all individuals and voluntary groups, involved in any aspect of suicidology for the exchange of knowledge gained from differing perspectives and experiences....

  • No problems for Jan

    Article published:
    April 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Despite yesterday's atypical double-stage at the Circuit de la Sarthe , T-Mobile captain Jan Ullrich...

    Despite yesterday's atypical double-stage at the Circuit de la Sarthe, T-Mobile captain Jan Ullrich finished safely in the bunch in the morning's road stage, later finishing 13th in the afternoon time trial, the same position he now holds on the overall classification.

    "It was fast out there again this morning, but I had no problem matching the pace," said Ullrich. "I knew before [the time trial result] there is still a little bit missing in the corners and at the end, but I am not dissatisfied."

    Interestingly, Ullrich was using a new time trial bike with a special wheel that he has tested several times in past weeks, and although more aerodynamic, he was quoted by German publication Der Spiegel as saying: "It's fun to sit on this machine; the drop is bigger to be more aerodynamic, but it is become more stable."

    Today's penultimate stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe is a 195.4 kilometre journey from Angers to Sablé-sur-Sarthe, before the race concludes tomorrow in Le Mans with another road stage. Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel from Cofidis is the current race leader.

  • Can Bobby do it again?

    Article published:
    April 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Over in Spain, another of Team CSC's riders, Giovanni Lombardi, was just a few centimetres shy from...

    Over in Spain, another of Team CSC's riders, Giovanni Lombardi, was just a few centimetres shy from taking on Wednesday's third stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, eventually finishing second behind Alejandro Valverde (Illes Balears), but according to his directeur-sportif Kim Andersen, he launched his sprint about 10 metres too early.

    "Lombardi came incredibly close. He was in a perfect position behind Danilo Di Luca, but he got afraid of being boxed in, so he launched his sprint about 10 metres too early," Andersen said on team CSC's website, www.team-csc.com. "Kurt [-Asle Arvesen] really paved the way for Lombardi, and it would of course have been great with a win."

    Speaking about today's fourth stage from Gasteizy to Altsasu, Andersen said the team will be looking for a stage victory, but with Bobby Julich on song after his recent wins in Paris-Nice and the Critérium International, Team CSC is hoping the American can do it again.

    "Just like today we aim for a stage win, but otherwise it's all about keeping Bobby up front before the decisive time trial The summit finish in Friday morning's stage should suit him better than the steep finish yesterday, which is not exactly his cup of tea," he said.

  • CSC neo-pro impresses

    Article published:
    April 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Part of the earlier break that went with 84 kilometres to go, then almost making the decisive...

    Part of the earlier break that went with 84 kilometres to go, then almost making the decisive eight-man split that went the second time over the Kemmelberg with around 25 kilometres remaining, 20 year-old Team CSC neo-pro Matti Breschel has already proven his worth as a rider for the future after his performance in yesterday's Gent-Wevelgem.

    "After the final descent of the Kemmelberg, I had to hit the breaks because Jaan Kirsipuu suddenly moved to the side when I was on his wheel. I felt strong enough to keep up with the leaders, but by then it was too late," said Breschel on team CSC's website, www.team-csc.com. "Now I've tried to be among the best in a ProTour race, and hopefully I'll get another shot sometime soon."

    Added CSC directeur-sportif Alain Gallopin: "I think we did a good race. We were up there in the decisive phases of the race, but unfortunately we didn't get a top result for our efforts.

    "The initial lead group with Lars Michaelsen and Matti Breschel could have been decisive, but Quick.Step wasn't able to control the group, even though they had six riders there. Matti really made an impressive performance, and showed his big potential for this kind of race. In general, I think things look good ahead of Sunday's Paris-Roubaix."

  • Rogers looking to Le Tour

    Looking to Le Tour
    Article published:
    April 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    With two world time trial championships now under his belt, Michael Rogers is shifting his focus...

    With two world time trial championships now under his belt, Michael Rogers is shifting his focus away from the chrono and towards Le Tour. Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes caught up with Rogers in recent days, talking to him about a new approach in 2005, his preparations for the Tour de France and the increased pressure he feels after the retirement of former Quick.Step team-mate Richard Virenque.

    Although Australian rider Michael Rogers is still just 25 years of age, he has already has two world time trial championships in his palmares. Now he is turning his focus towards the Tour de France, hoping to build on his 22nd place of 2004. Rogers has shown solid form thus far this season, climbing well in the recent Coppi-Bartali week in Italy. The time between now and the Tour start on July 2nd is about building on that condition, working hard to ensure that he is in the best possible shape on the start ramp in Fromentine.

    He has said in the past that his goal is to win the Tour before he stops cycling; staking everything on this year's contest is an important step along the way, in terms of learning more about his capabilities and the delicate art of peaking for the world's biggest bike race.

    Cyclingnews: You did quite well at the recent Settimana Internazionale Coppi-Bartali, placing ninth overall there...

    Michael Rogers: Yeah, towards the end it was a pretty close race. There weren't really stages where you could make a whole lot of difference. We lost some time in the team time trial. But to finish ninth was positive. Up until now everything is on track for the Tour.

    CN: So you are happy with your form at this point?

    MR: Yes. There is still a lot of work to do, though. Now for me comes one of the hardest times of the season with a lot of work ahead, but I am really looking...

  • Nasty weather for Sunday

    Article published:
    April 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    The classics purists will be rejoicing at the long term weather forecast for northern France this...

    The classics purists will be rejoicing at the long term weather forecast for northern France this weekend. Despite a beautiful 20 degree, sunny and windless day for the Ronde van Vlaanderen last Sunday, and drizzles but no downpour at Gent-Wevelgem yesterday, the weather has taken a turn for the worse this week and it's expected to be cold, wet and windy in Roubaix. Forecast maximum temperatures are approximately 10 degrees, and the wind will probably be from the northwest, which will blow ahead and across the riders all day. Added to that are intermittent rain showers, meaning that the Hell of the North will be another slug-fest across the muddy plains of northern France.

  • Gent-Wevelgem injury list

    Andreas Klier (T-Mobile)
    Article published:
    April 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Discovery Channel weren't the only team licking their wounds after yesterday's 67th edition of...

    Discovery Channel weren't the only team licking their wounds after yesterday's 67th edition of Gent-Wevelgem, with the race marred by numerous crashes as a result of the windy conditions and nervous racing. After 12 km, a big crash took out Fabrizio Guidi (Phonak), who broke his right wrist, and Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) and Roy Sentjens (Rabobank) were also involved. A subsequent crash ended Sean Sullivan (Barloworld) and Roger Hammond's (Discovery) hopes, with the former breaking his collarbone and the latter breaking his thumb, spraining his ankle and bruising his knee.

    T-Mobile didn't come off well either, after team leader Andreas Klier crashed at km 120. The crash happened when Klier swerved onto the bike path on a narrow road, and was hit by a race moto. He was taken to hospital in Veurne, where he received three stitches to his knee and also suffered concussion.

    "Andreas couldn't remember anything just after the crash," said T-Mobile's doctor Stefan Vogt, who accompanied Klier to hospital in Veurne, on t-mobile-team.com. "But, thankfully nothing is broken and he was able to check out of the clinic with us."

    Klier is very doubtful for this Sunday's Paris-Roubaix. "It is too soon for a definitive decision", said Vogt, "But it is not looking good."

  • Hammond in doubt for Roubaix

    British champion Roger Hammond (Discovery Channel)
    Article published:
    April 07, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

    "This was one of those days where it seemed everything went wrong," said Discovery Channel...

    "This was one of those days where it seemed everything went wrong," said Discovery Channel directeur-sportif Dirk Demol on a less-than-average team performance in Gent-Wevelgem that only saw one finisher in Antonio Cruz, who came 16th, with the rest of the team suffering mechanicals, bad luck, or being the victim of crashes. "That's life, and now we have to focus on Sunday."

    However, with one of their team's star-performers for Paris-Roubaix and last year's third place finisher, Roger Hammond, crashing out after hitting a pole, the Discovery fleet may not be in full motion this weekend. Heading the British national champion's list of injuries is a broken thumb, but Hammond also suffered a sprained ankle and bruised knee as a result of his crash.

    Recalled Hammond to ThePaceline.com: "I thought, 'What the hell is he doing out on the edge of the road?' It was strange, but thought he may be just another crazy fan who likes to stand out there in front of the riders until the last minute. I was riding towards him and went behind him on the cycle path to get around, but he then shot back and I had to move back into the road and couldn't avoid the pole."

    "It's pretty serious," said Hammond on his injuries. "With a broken thumb, it would be difficult but not impossible to ride on Sunday, but with the ankle and knee, it may not be possible. The only thing I can hope for is to recover the next few days. The finger is not a problem - I can immobilize the thumb so I can hold the handlebars. It's not ideal but we'll see. I'll go training tomorrow and see what happens."

    "I think there is a very small chance he can race on Sunday but we need to wait another day or so," added Demol.

    Devolder an off-day in Flanders; Boonen the King of Belgium

    Demol also thought that Stijn Devolder, the