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Latest Cycling News for August 24, 2005

Date published:
August 24, 2005, 1:00 BST
  • Fantasy Vuelta game tactics

    Article published:
    August 24, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Goss in Launceston

    This year's Fantasy Vuelta a España game is under way, and you can begin building your teams now! Be...

    This year's Fantasy Vuelta a España game is under way, and you can begin building your teams now! Be a professional team manager, there will be some great opportunities to win prizes in this year's game. Based on the live racing action, you will take up the challenge of using your knowledge and tactical skill as a race team manager to compete with managers from around the world. For more info go to fantasy.cyclingnews.com.

    Tactics 101

    Last year's Vuelta winners, Brett and Stephan, who won the Orbea ORCA frameset painted in Euskaltel-Euskadi team colours share some of their tactics below:

    "We had only eight of our original 15 riders left at the end, our six remaining GC picks performed very well - earning good stage points and placing overall 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th, and 13th. Our aces in the hole were Santiago Perez and Carlos Sastre.

    "We decided on four riders as "must haves," and built around this core group. At the beginning of the race, our four "must haves" were Dennis Menchov, Aitor Gonzalez, Roberto Heras, and Alejandro Valverde. Heras has owned the Vuelta this decade, and Valverde is currently perhaps the most talented rider in cycling next to Armstrong. Menchov was looking exceptional early, and as a previous winner of the Vuelta who seemed on form in the second half of the year, Gonzalez looked good too.

    "We filled out the remaining five GC spots by carefully considering a rider's current form, past performances, and UCI point cost. Given our expensive selection of core GC riders (Valverde, Heras, and Menchov) plus the fact that we wanted at least one expensive sprinter on the team (which turned out to be Petacchi), we really had to be cautious with the remaining GC point cost (which put the likes of Mancebo and Nozal in the too expensive category).

    "In each grand tour fantasy game, it seems each of us makes one great pick that the other...

  • Courageous Yaxley stays positive

    Yaxley is remaining positive
    Article published:
    August 24, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Shane Goss in Launceston Having birthday cake with mother Annette and father Brian in a German...

    Louise Yaxley Media Conference, Launceston, Tasmania

    By Shane Goss in Launceston

    Having birthday cake with mother Annette and father Brian in a German hospital is a long way from Penguin in Tasmania, and after wanting to be home for so long Louise Yaxley finally returned to familiar shores on Sunday morning. To her this was a major step in her recovery.

    After suffering horrific injuries in the AIS Women's team cycling tragedy in Germany last month, Louise Yaxley has returned home to Tasmania. In Launceston today she held a media conference at the Silverdome, a track that has seen her development and courage in the sport rise to becoming a well liked and feared competitor on the bike.

    In an emotional opening for all. Yaxley, with Paul Brosnan from the Tasmania Institute of Sport beside her, thanked everyone for the support she had received from all over the country and in particular Tasmania. She especially thanked the doctors who had treated her in Germany and holding back the tears she spoke of her boyfriend Mark Padget being at her bedside within two days of the accident.

    "The support from family members and close friends has been amazing", she said. "I would like to make a special mention of the support from the town I grew up in - Penguin, on the coast, and where I am now based in Launceston"

    Click here for the full story

  • An interview with Tyler Farrar

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    Article published:
    August 24, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Goss in Launceston

    After signing a two-year deal to ride for Cofidis next season and a win at the USPRO criterium...

    US champ riding high

    After signing a two-year deal to ride for Cofidis next season and a win at the USPRO criterium championships, Tyler Farrar is riding high. Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes jumped on cloud nine, where Tyler is sitting right now, to join the young American for a chat.

    August sure seems to be a good month for Tyler Farrar. Twelve months ago it brought a glittering run of form; the Health Net - Maxxis rider won the National Under 23 TT title, the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix and the National Under 23 criterium championships over a highly-productive five-day period.

    This time round, Farrar won the Portland Grand Prix, placed second in the Manhattan Beach GP, signed a ProTour contract with Cofidis, and then finished off his domestic career with a real flourish when he won the USPRO Criterium Championship in Chicago.

    The race was dominated by a dangerous three-man move containing Health Net-Maxxis' John Lieswyn, former winner Kirk O'Bee (Navigators Insurance) and Ben Jacques-Maynes (Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada.) It looked like the three would stay clear, but a last-gasp recapture by the main bunch paved the way for a big gallop and, with Farrar getting a top-drawer leadout by team-mate Greg Henderson, the 21-year-old managed to hold off Dave McCook (Jelly Belly-Pool Gel) for the win.

    "It was great, it was a dream come true," said a clearly elated Farrar two days later. "To have my last race in the US for I don't know how long turn out that way, winning a US Pro championship...that's a pretty nice way to finish it out."

    Click here for the full interview

  • Team transfer news roundup

    Article published:
    August 24, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Tim Maloney, European Editor

    By Tim Maloney, European Editor With the official UCI date for team transfers coming next week on...

    - Domina, T-Mobile make big changes, and Simoni for Quick.Step

    By Tim Maloney, European Editor

    With the official UCI date for team transfers coming next week on September 1, there is a lot of action happening already. Although the deal isn't signed yet, Domina Vacanze team boss Gianluigi Stanga has been negotiating with Erik Zabel to come to his team in 2006 and bring along a major sponsor. Stanga recently visited Bremen, the headquarters of German dairy products giant Nordmilch, who will likely come along with Zabel and his current T-Mobile teammate Jan Schaffrath. Nordmilch is already a co-sponsor of Team Wiesenhof under their Mirlam milk and cheese brand.

    So Zabel will join Ale-Jet Petacchi at the Domina Vacanze-Mirlam squad in '06, and the Italian super-sprinter can count on the support of Marco Velo, Alberto Ongarato, Fabio Sacchi and possibly Stefano Zanini for his leadout train. Look for other changes at the Italian squad in '06, as Stanga has already advised a dozen riders, including recent Coppa Bernocchi winner Paolo Valoti, that their contracts won't be renewed for 2006. This may clear the way for other German riders from Team Wiesenhof, which is set to fold at the end of 2005, to join Zabel.

    Although Erik Zabel and Alexandre Vinokourov will head elsewhere in '06, T-Mobile have inked agreements with Ukrainian powerhouse Serguei Gonchar and Italian Eddy Mazzoleni likely to play key support roles for Jan Ullrich along with Giuseppe "Turbo" Guerini, who has signed a one year contract extension for 2006. Gonchar was talking to Lampre about coming on board to support Cunego in '06, while Mazzoleni had previously agreed to stay with Lampre next season...

  • EPO test under scrutiny

    Article published:
    August 24, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones, Bikeradar.com

    By Jeff Jones The stunning news reported by L'Equipe yesterday that Lance Armstrong allegedly used...

    Latest Armstrong case makes big waves

    By Jeff Jones

    The stunning news reported by L'Equipe yesterday that Lance Armstrong allegedly used EPO during the 1999 Tour de France has sparked a huge debate in the cycling world. Using research data obtained from the French Laboratoire national de dépistage du dopage de Châtenay-Malabry (LNDD), L'Equipe journalists pieced together evidence over several months that linked six "positive" EPO samples to Lance Armstrong, before publishing it in Tuesday's edition of the widely read French paper. If the results are correct, then the ramifications for Armstrong could be great, even though he officially retired from the sport after winning his seventh Tour last month.

    It's an unprecedented case in cycling, and quite possibly in any sport: that an athlete has been accused of doping on the basis of scientific research results. Usually, the subjects of a study are kept anonymous - and indeed they were by the lab - although the news did manage to leak. When the urinary EPO test was first developed by the LNDD in 2000, urine samples from the infamous 1998 Tour de France were used, as it was believed they were likely to contain EPO. The LNDD published its work in Volume 405 of Nature and reported that 14 of the 102 samples tested gave a clear indication that there was exogenous recombinant EPO present, while another 14 were suspiciously high. But no names were given, of course.

    The motivation behind the current investigation, which used left over samples from the 1999 Tour, was to improve the EPO test. The test has recently come under fire after Belgian triathlete Rutger Beke, who tested positive late last year, proved that he could give a "positive" result without using EPO at all. But it's understood that that wasn't the sole reason for re-examining the test. It was more to provide a uniform...