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Latest Cycling News for June 27, 2005

Date published:
June 27, 2005, 1:00 BST
  • Ciolek new German sprint star?

    Article published:
    June 27, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Hedwig Kröner Gerald Ciolek is the name of the new German Champion 2005. Never heard of him?...

    By Hedwig Kröner

    Gerald Ciolek is the name of the new German Champion 2005. Never heard of him? Neither had the better part of the German cycling scene, that is, until yesterday, when the 18 year-old 'Nobody' outsprinted the likes of Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) and Robert Förster (Gerolsteiner), thereby becoming the youngest German Champion in history.

    "The boy is incredible," said former pro cyclist and sprinter Marcel Wüst after the race. "He's much faster now than I was at his age. If Gerald continues working steadily, then we might see a new German sprint contender for the next few years."

    Ciolek himself, who has a pro licence only since May 2005, was as surprised at his victory than everybody else. "I just can't believe it," he said post-race. "My first pro win, the Road Championships! I'm more than happy. I waited during the whole race for the sprint. Then there were the last 100 metres. I just gave it all and won," the neo-pro described the event.

    "The sprint was rather slow," Gerolsteiner's Robert Förster told radsport-news.com. "We started to sprint with 50 km/h. That's 10 km/h slower than at the Giro, for example, a huge difference. It was like a big criterium: many guys were still very fresh in the end, whereas Zabel and myself have the Giro in our legs."

  • French Tour rosters complete

    Article published:
    June 27, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    French teams Française des Jeux and Cofidis have finalised their 'Grande Boucle' rosters after the...

    French teams Française des Jeux and Cofidis have finalised their 'Grande Boucle' rosters after the National Championships on the week-end. FDJ riders Christophe Mengin and Francis Mourey earned the two remaining tickets to the world's biggest cycling race through Sunday's road race. The full Francaise des Jeux line-up is therefore: Bradley McGee, Baden Cooke, Bernhard Eisel, Philippe Gilbert, Thomas Lövkvist, Sandy Casar and Carlos Da Cruz, Christophe Mengin and Francis Mourey. Reserve man is Frédéric Finot.

    At Cofidis, Frédéric Bessy and Stéphane Augé are the ones completing the already selected Cédric Vasseur, Sylvain Chavanel, David Moncoutié, Stuart O'Grady, Matt White, Janek Tombak and Thierry Marichal.

    As for Pro Continental team Ag2r, the final line-up is as follows: Mikel Astarloza, Sylvain Calzati, Samuel Dumoulin, Simon Gerrans, Stéphane Goubert, Yuriy Krivtsov, Jean-Patrick Nazon, Nicolas Portal and Ludovic Turpin. Cyril Dessel could not be included as he is recovering from an appendicitis surgery, which was performed last week. Aliaksandr Usau will be the team's reserve.

  • All dreams come true for Roberts

    Article published:
    June 27, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    South Australian Luke Roberts, 28, will join the Australian contingent contesting this year's Tour...

    South Australian Luke Roberts, 28, will join the Australian contingent contesting this year's Tour de France, bringing to ten the total number of Australians confirmed in the starting line-up. A three time team pursuit World Champion and a member of the Athens Olympic Games quartet that won gold in World Record time, Roberts was advised overnight that he will fill the ninth and final place for the Danish registered CSC team in this year's event.

    "My first reaction was excitement and then nerves as it began to sink in," said Roberts from his European base in Cologne, Germany. "My team director Bjarne Riis told me a month ago that he wanted me to get ready for the Tour and set my training program accordingly but he wasn't promising me I'd go.

    "He basically said 'I want to have you ready in case others don't shape up' so I did everything right and made every effort I could to try and win selection," explained Roberts who realised it would come down to a choice between him and Danish teammate Jakob Piil. "Jakob has been up and down all season with illness and injury, but when we rode the Team Time Trial in Eindhoven on June 19 he put in a really strong ride, so last week I was struggling a bit with morale thinking I might not go."

    But Riis told Roberts he would not make his decision until after Sunday's Danish Championships where Piil would be given a final chance to earn selection. "I fought on with my training because I decided I'd rather be 100 percent fit and not go at the last minute and then get a late call up and not have done everything possible to be ready for the race," said Roberts. "Unfortunately for Jakob he didn't have a great race on the weekend and he crashed as well, but that opened the door for me to be selected."

    Roberts is understandably chuffed that in his first year with the ProTour team he has earned a start in the world's most famous bike race. "It seems that over the past 12 months all my dreams are coming...

  • Baguet celebrates, but no Tour for him

    2005 Belgian champion Serge Baguet
    Article published:
    June 27, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Sabine Sunderland

    By Sabine Sunderland The town of Sint-Lievens-Houtem had reason to put on a party again, only just...

    By Sabine Sunderland

    The town of Sint-Lievens-Houtem had reason to put on a party again, only just after the yearly fair was over and done with. Its hero on two wheels, Serge Baguet, was bringing the National Champion's jersey home yesterday evening. A police escort guided the convertible in which Serge, his wife Sandra and son Sam were driven around for a lap of honour safely to its destination, the market square, and more precisely the local tavern "De Gouden Leeuw".

    Kevin Van Impe was present amongst the group of friends which had gathered to welcome Serge Baguet. And although Kevin had lost the race to his training partner and friend only hours before, the big smile and shiny eyes showed everyone present that he was happy for Serge to be hailed in that way. Baguet urged Van Impe to take place beside him in the car and join him for the victory salute.

    "Serge told me this morning: make sure you're near the finish line, I think I'll be close today," an emotional Sandra Baguet told friends and family. "I still can't quite grasp what Serge accomplished today, I feel a bit numb, don't think it has sunk in with Serge yet either. But this is absolutely fabulous, he has dreamt of that jersey for so long. Sam is so proud of his dad, so am I."

    A fantastic atmosphere, still filled with the happy chants rising up from the mass of enthusiastic party-goers was also slightly coloured with mixed feelings. The Belgian National Jersey will be on the shoulders of popular "Baguetje" but a lot of people were wondering how it's possible that the Belgian colours won't be seen in the Tour de France next month. Didn't Serge deserve to gain selection for the race in which he had won a stage before and worked hard and long in service of the team captain? Hadn't he shown his good legs with two nice victories at the start of the season and more recently in the races in which he worked hard for...

  • Saiz: "Heras better than ever"

    Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros)
    Article published:
    June 27, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    By Hedwig Kröner Despite lacklustre pre-Tour testing at the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, Liberty...

    By Hedwig Kröner

    Despite lacklustre pre-Tour testing at the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, Liberty Seguros' directeur sportif Manolo Saiz is optimistic about his Tour de France roster and the outcome of the French Grand Tour. The legendary Spaniard believes that his top man, Roberto Heras, is in better shape and more motivated than he has ever been.

    "I think our team is fine, really," he said. "We've made a step last month, although, of course, the fact that the team didn't ride well at the Dauphiné made us all a little nervous. But the reality is that we're on track. The team has been training very well in Cantabria and although we lack reference to our rivals, I think our team is going to the Tour in good shape."

    After the training camp in Puente Viesgo, Cantabria, Saiz decided on his Tour de France selection, headed by Roberto Heras. "Roberto knows that it's one of his last chances of riding a good Tour, so I think he will do well," Saiz continued, speaking about his team captain. "He is in better shape and more motivated than he has ever been."

    The three time-Vuelta a España winner himself is also feeling confident. "It's true that we were very bad [at the Dauphiné - ed.] but that didn't matter too much because there was still one month to go before the mountain stages of the Tour de France," Heras said. "I think we will arrive at the start [of the Tour de France - ed.] in good condition. This team has the quality to be in front."

    There is still some doubt as to the capacities of Joseba Beloki, who hasn't been able to return to his prior class after the bad crash he suffered during the Tour 2003. "But I can see him getting better every day," team director Saiz said about Beloki. "One mustn't forget that he has achieved three Tour-podiums. He will be a very important pillar of our team. I hope he will come back to his old level!"

    Heras, meanwhile, is...