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Latest Cycling News for July 6, 2007

Date published:
July 06, 2007, 1:00 BST
  • Fantasy Le Tour Game starts soon

    Article published:
    July 06, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Paul Verkuylen

    With the Tour de France Prologue on Saturday fast approaching, now is a good time to get your teams...

    With the Tour de France Prologue on Saturday fast approaching, now is a good time to get your teams ready here at Cyclingnews. In what's set to be the most wide open Tour in decades, picking your team of 15 riders couldn't be more challenging. Remember you can still enter teams until Stage 4 begins. You can re-edit and re-enter teams for Stages 1 - 3 of the Le Tour 2007 competition up until Stage 4 begins. Unlike most Fantasy games, this gives you the chance to try out the game for free and experiment with different strategies without having to pay for mistakes. If you don't get time to create your teams before Saturday you can still take part with just as good a chance of winning as a manager who joined before Stage 1. Just make sure you finalise your teams before Stage 4 begins. Create your teams now.

    Game Improvements

    • New ranking and results service, offering new depths of rider statistics on races over the last four years.
    • See your friends exact selections in the this year's game as it happens.
    • Look up the winning managers team selections for last year to improve your selection this year.
    • Follow the progress of the key fantasy managers whilst also tracking your friends' progress in the new "Watch Teams" tool.
    • Build your own Mini-Leagues.
    • Try out the Forum/Chat
    • area, which provides new ways to communicate with your fellow players from around the world in real time as the races unfold.
    • We've also added a new improved hosting service this year so you should see a real difference in how quickly the site pages appear on your screen even during peak traffic periods.

    How to Choose your Mountains and Sprints Riders

    If you are relatively new to the Tour it can be a daunting prospect choosing your 15 riders....

  • The Village Depart

    Article published:
    July 06, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Paul Verkuylen Today’s video instalment takes a look at the village depart. Set up each day to...

    By Paul Verkuylen

    Today’s video instalment takes a look at the village depart. Set up each day to keep the riders comfortable and provide them with all the creature comforts of home. It is the one place where fans can mingle among the riders before they take to the start of the stage.

    The village contains every thing imaginable that a rider may need, from a café to get his morning coffee, a letter box to post his mail to a hairdresser to keep the hair out of his eyes and look stylish all the way to Paris.

    The village is set up and taken apart before and after each stage along the route of the tour. Local celebrities come along to meet the riders and wave to the crowds, food stalls are set up to cater for the festivities and shows are organised to keep the spectators enthralled before the start or the finish of the stage.

    The tour is one giant carnival that travels around France each July and the village depart is just one way to bring the spectators to the riders that they see on television each day.

    Click here to view the video.

  • Canadian Nationals started

    Article published:
    July 06, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    The 2007 Canadian Road Nationals cycling competition got underway Thursday in St-Georges de Beauce,...

    The 2007 Canadian Road Nationals cycling competition got underway Thursday in St-Georges de Beauce, Quebec, with the time trial races.

    The hometown riders dominated the paracycling events. Rico Morneau of Ste-Martine, Quebec, took the handcycling crown clocking 18'03"39. Mark Beggs of Montreal was second in 18'26"91.

    The winner revealed that "there are a lot of hills. I saved my energy at the start." This allowed him to "to sprint to the finish. I'm pleased because I'm coming back from an arm injury. The win here shows my recovery is going well. I came here to win and that's what happened," a happy Morneau revealed. He is peaking for the world championships in paracycling next month in Bordeaux.

    In the tandem races, Daniel Chalifour and pilot Alexandre Cloutier of Quebec were the fastest beating Stéphane Côté and Pierre-Olivier Boily (pilot) by one minute and 14 seconds. Brian Cowie and Devon Smibert (pilot) were third a further 21 seconds behind. Carly Grigg and Barbara Bialokoz (pilot) were the only entry in the women's tandem race.

    In the men's CP 3-4 event, Jean Quévillon successfully defended his title. "I had a great race. The course was hilly but I was well prepared. I live in Ste-Adèle and the terrain is similar there. I followed my game plan by starting easy and not speeding up too much when I approached the long climbs," said Quévillon. Sébastien Bouchard was second and Braiden McDougal third.

    In the men's amputee competition in the LC 1-4 category, Éric Bourgault beat Mark Breton by 11 seconds. Lisa Stowe (LC 1-4 women) and Stéphane Chaput (CP 1-2 men) were the only entries in their respective categories.

    In the junior women's competition, Alberta's Danielle Kenny won the national title while Linday Arjue edged Jessica Kisell by just over a second to grab second spot. Matt Potman of British Columbia, took the men's junior title with Guillaume Boivin...

  • Haussler hopeful

    German Heinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner)
    Article published:
    July 06, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Heinrich Haussler, who was born in Australia, is riding his first Tour de France. The 23 year-old...

    Heinrich Haussler, who was born in Australia, is riding his first Tour de France. The 23 year-old from Gerolsteiner told radsport-aktiv that his preparation so far as been great and he went to train in altitude, near St. Moritz "before the Bayern Rundfahrt and after the Dauphiné Libéré."

    He just wants to get used to things in his first Grande Boucle and acknowledges that in the "Tour things will be a little different than the Vuelta." Nonetheless, he hopes to have some success in a sprint or a small breakaway.

    As for the Tour favourites, he wants to see who actually will start the race, but contends that it'll be the same riders who were doing well in previous years.

  • Bouygues Telecom announces new signings

    Article published:
    July 06, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    French team Bouygues Telecom has announced the signing of four young riders. As velo101.com reports,...

    French team Bouygues Telecom has announced the signing of four young riders. As velo101.com reports, the winner of this year's Paris-Roubaix Espoirs, Damien Gaudin, age 20, is one of them.

    His teammates at Vendée U, Sébastien Turgot and Evgeny Sokolov (both 23 years) old will also make the switch to the pro ranks. The fourth rider is Yuri Trofimov of the Moscow Stars. The Russian won six races this season and ranked second behind Nicolas Jalabert (Agritubel) in the Classic Loire-Atlantique.

    On the other hand, Andy Flickinger and Pierre Drancourt will not get their contracts renewed.

  • CSC will sign in London

    CSC's Jens Voigt
    Article published:
    July 06, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Only two teams have not signed the UCI's rider's agreement. Italian outfit Quickstep and Danish team...

    Only two teams have not signed the UCI's rider's agreement. Italian outfit Quickstep and Danish team CSC are the hold-outs. Jens Voigt confirmed at a press conference that he and his teammates will sign the document just before the start.

    The German talked to sport1.de about the upcoming Tour de France. He reacted to accusations of compatriot Jörg Jaksche, made in the weekly magazine Der Spiegel, by saying that "Jaksche sold an interview for money." He wasn't going to name anybody, but nonetheless mentioned Vinokourov and Voigt. "Maybe he did that because we don't have a great relationships," Voigt suggested.

    Voigt often shares a room with American Bobby Julich when they race together. "Bobby, who unfortunately won't be at the Tour this year, called me and told me I shouldn't let it get to me. He knows I am an emotional person."

    He also credits Bjarne Riis for starting the strong anti-doping program at CSC. "With Rasmus Damsgaard he got one of his biggest critics on board. And we release all our data."

    Voigt said that the book he just wrote ("One has to fight") is not about the fight against doping but simply describing his life as a cyclist, "from the youth to today."

    Asked about the podium in Paris the German picks "Vinokourov, Klöden and Sastre, but not necessarily in this order."

  • AIGCP crumbling

    Article published:
    July 06, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Paul Verkuylen

    The International Association of Professional Cycling Teams (AIGCP) held a meeting two days before...

    The International Association of Professional Cycling Teams (AIGCP) held a meeting two days before the start of the 94th edition of the Tour de France. The meeting didn't go smoothly and, led by the German squads Gerolsteiner and T-Mobile, eight teams put up resistance against the other ten.

    The representatives of Gerolsteiner, Hans-Michael Holczer, and of T-Mobile, Luuc Eisenga, reasoned that "the other teams are not abiding by the ethics agreement we all signed." radsport-aktiv reports that the newly formed group, which consists of only German and French teams, will meet for the first time during the rest day on July 16. The teams will remain in the AIGCP.

    Holczer explained that when "a Spanish representative said 'we only take the medicine like other sports person, that is not doping', I got up and left." He was quickly followed by T-Mobile and the French teams. The head of Gerolsteiner didn't think there would be any impact on the Tour de France. "I assume that all 189 riders will start Saturday, if they pass the medical check."

    The meeting's topic was the exclusion of Spanish teams Relax-GAM, Saunier Duval and Caisse d`Epargne, Lampre from Italy and the American outfit Discovery Channel for violating the ethics code because they hired riders implicated in Operación Puerto.

    Discovery Channel had previously announced that they were quitting the AIGCP voluntarily. Unibet declared on their website Tuesday their intention to break with the AIGCP, after not being invited to recent meetings and not getting the support for their quest to ride in the Grand Tours. With those two teams out the AIGCP consists of 18 teams, but the current standoff of eight teams versus ten puts the future of the AIGCP in doubt.

    Holczer cited recent UCI numbers that showed that especially riders from Spain, Portugal and Italy had...

  • Vinokourov on Ferrari

    Vino enjoys his first day
    Article published:
    July 06, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    By Gregor Brown The Tour de France starts tomorrow in London and Alexander Vinokourov is considered...

    By Gregor Brown

    The Tour de France starts tomorrow in London and Alexander Vinokourov is considered the number one favourite but yesterday the Kazakh was drilled for his involvement with Doctor Michele Ferrari.

    "I search for the best," he said of his relationship with the Italian preparatore. "A lot have talked well of him. Look at the facts. The seven victories of Lance Armstrong at the Tour are a result of his collaboration. Armstrong was super, also Ferrari."

    Vino continued in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, explaining that he has always found Ferrari's methods acceptable. "I have not found anything illegal. Ferrari was never condemned in Italy. Ferrari does not mean doping. I chose him as a physical trainer, not chemical. With him I do hard work, specific, personal."

    The 33 year-old was forced to distance himself from Ferrari due to his Astana team. "We have a code of ethics and I respect it. ... However, Ferrari is not my doctor but my trainer. Doctors and trainers are complementary jobs but diverse.

    "He gave me a good strength base test. ... At times, with Ferrari, it is like the Soviet Union times with how we do training; three times a day, the first in the morning without breakfast."

    Vino commented on his former teammate Jörg Jaksche's recent confessions. "Who is he, in exchange for 100 thousand euro, you would not only make confessions but inventions."

    Racing starts tomorrow and Vinokourov is ready to put the past year behind him and vie for the Maillot Jaune. "Last year I was stopped from racing because the Tour took out five riders from my team for Operación Puerto and then there was no longer the allowed limit of riders remaining with the four of us. Then I won the Vuelta. This season I lived for the...