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Latest Cycling News for March 18, 2005

Date published:
March 18, 2005, 0:00 GMT
  • Irish weekend preview

    Article published:
    March 18, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent With less than a week to go...

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

    With less than a week to go before Easter when stage races click in, Irish competitors have the option of getting back to back events this Saturday and Sunday, which will be valuable preparation for next week. Easter fell in April last year, favouring those who wanted to peak for the stage events because it was later in the year. No matter what, racing miles will have to be bagged this weekend.

    For those who are contemplating having a go in the Gorey Three Day, they can go to Roundwood on Saturday for the Christy McManus. This event has the support of "Duffs" of Bray, who have certainly been in for the long haul. This will be the 23rd occasion that the brown envelope has been passed over to Bray Wheelers and they are extremely supportive of all the help they get.

    Those who want to perform on the bigger stage (Credit Union Ras Mumhan) over the Bank Holiday weekend will have to spread their wings and head down to Carlow on Sunday for the Des Hanlon Trophy. This event is the first in the series of the Classic League. It's rumoured that the 'League' has been beefed up with a generous sponsorship which will benefit the overall winner after six events.

    Hopefully when the Sheffrey Challenge is run off at the latter end of August in Westport, Co. Mayo, the interest that is being generated at the moment holds true to form. Last year's series did not really strike a chord with anybody and it turned out to be less than a damp squib, with no interest being shown at the finish of the series. So now it is all go for the 'Hanlon' which rolls out from the Cattle Mart in Carlow town at 11:30 for a 140 kilometre event that includes a fair amount of climbing.

    The climbing will favour Rory Wyley, the defending champion. He has started the season in rip roaring form with two successes and a second place from three starts. The consensus is that Wyley is the form...

  • DISC to host Sid Patterson GP

    Article published:
    March 18, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    The new Darebin International Sports Complex (DISC) in Melbourne, Australia, will host the Sid...

    The new Darebin International Sports Complex (DISC) in Melbourne, Australia, will host the Sid Patterson Grand Prix on Saturday, March 26. The race forms part of the Australian National Track Series, has been awarded the highest points ranking. This event promoted Cyclists International is held in honour of Sid Patterson, who was one of Australia's greatest ever cyclists. Traditionally held at Vodafone Arena, this year the event has been moved to DISC to celebrate the opening of the new facility.

    Riders are excited at the prospect of competing on the new indoor board velodrome at the DISC facility which has been described as "lightning fast". At a recent masters event, a number of world best times were set in this new facility, but the Sid Patterson Grand Prix will be the first time that elite senior athletes have competed at the venue.

    Recently crowned Australian Champion Joel Leonard will be competing, as will Junior World Championship medallist and multiple Australian Champion Daniel Thorsen. Over 100 male and female elite cyclists have entered.

    The feature event of the night, the Sid Patterson Grand Prix Wheelrace, will be run over 2000 metres or 8 laps of the 250m DISC velodrome. Riders will qualify for this event by placing in their respective scratch races held earlier in the night. A full support program is also planned including scratch races, points races, keirins and eliminations.

    Tickets are available through CycleSport Victoria on +61 (0)3 8480 3000, or at the door on the night. Tickets are $15 for seats, and $10 for standing room.

  • Tour du Maroc rescheduled

    Article published:
    March 18, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    The UCI Africa Tour continues to be disrupted with the recent announcement by the organisers of the...

    The UCI Africa Tour continues to be disrupted with the recent announcement by the organisers of the 19th Tour du Maroc (UCI 2.2, March 26 - April 9) that the race will be rescheduled for the third week of May. In a statement, the organisers cited financial reasons, but assured that the tour will not be cancelled, merely postponed.

  • Heras leads Liberty in Setmana Catalana

    Article published:
    March 18, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Roberto Heras will start his 2005 season in the Setmana Catalana, which begins next Monday, March...

    Roberto Heras will start his 2005 season in the Setmana Catalana, which begins next Monday, March 21. Heras will be joined by Marcos Serrano, Isidro Nozal, Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, Nuno Ribeiro, Alberto Contador, Koldo Gil and Dariusz Baranowski.

    Joseba Beloki is still recovering from the 'flu, whereas Michele Scarponi will do the Criterium Internacional instead. The team is confident that Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, who had to abandon in Paris-Nice, will recover in the next few days and be in good enough condition for Catalana.

  • Ronde van Vlaanderen wildcards finalised

    Article published:
    March 18, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    The Ronde van Vlaanderen, the second ProTour classic of the season on April 3, will feature 25 teams...

    The Ronde van Vlaanderen, the second ProTour classic of the season on April 3, will feature 25 teams on the start line: 20 ProTour teams and five Continental Professional wildcards. German team Wiesenhof has received the last wildcard, joining Belgian squads Chocolade Jacques-T Interim, Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, and MrBookmaker-SportsTech, and the French Ag2R team

  • Vuelta wildcards announced

    Article published:
    March 18, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    The organisers of the Vuelta a España have invited two Spanish teams to join the 20 ProTour teams...

    The organisers of the Vuelta a España have invited two Spanish teams to join the 20 ProTour teams that will take part in the race between August 27-September 18. Comunidad Valenciana and Relax have been named by Unipublic, which means that Kaiku, the only other Spanish Professional Continental team, will miss out.

  • Sergi Escobar will race

    Article published:
    March 18, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    The 4000m Individual Pursuit World Champion Sergi Escobar will be able to defend his title in Los...

    The 4000m Individual Pursuit World Champion Sergi Escobar will be able to defend his title in Los Angeles after all, according to todociclismo.com, depsite the fact that Spain has assigned its three Track World's wildcards to other riders. Joan Llaneras, Jose Escuredo and Jose Villanueva received the wildcards, but Escobar is certain of participating because he is the defending champion in a particular event.

  • Live coverage

    Article published:
    March 18, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Jeff Jones and Hedwig Kröner

    Cyclingnews will be covering the 96th Milan - San Remo live , starting 09:30 local time (CET)/03:30...

    Cyclingnews will be covering the 96th Milan - San Remo live, starting 09:30 local time (CET)/03:30 (USA East)/23:30 (Friday, USA West)/19:30 (Australia East).

    Milan-San Remo on Cyclingnews

    Main & preview
    Start list

    Map & Profile
    Past winners

  • Van Heeswijk in doubt

    Article published:
    March 18, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Max Van Heeswijk (Discovery Channel) will probably miss Milan-San Remo due to lack of form, De...

    Max Van Heeswijk (Discovery Channel) will probably miss Milan-San Remo due to lack of form, De Telegraaf reports. Van Heeswijk prefers to have a few days rest in order to be fresh for Dwars door Vlaanderen next week. He will only start if one of the other Discovery riders is sick.

  • Hushovd leads Crédit Agricole

    Article published:
    March 18, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Norwegian Thor Hushovd will be the captain of the Crédit Agricole team for Saturday's Milan-San...

    Norwegian Thor Hushovd will be the captain of the Crédit Agricole team for Saturday's Milan-San Remo, and is hoping for a good result in the classic. However, his team director Roger Legeay was quoted by L'Equipe as saying, "He was delayed by the 'flu for about 15 days. He risks being a little behind in comparison with the best ones in San Remo."

    Hushovd will have Kiwi sprinter Julian Dean at his disposal as a leadout man, as well as Laszlo Bodrogi, Sébastien Hinault, Christophe Le Mevel, Andrey Kashechkin and Bradley Wiggins. Geoffroy Lequatre is in doubt after abandoning Tirreno-Adriatico due to a sore ankle.

  • Mario Cipollini dreams of Milan-San Remo

    Mario Cipollini (Liquigas-Bianchi)
    Article published:
    March 18, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Almost 38 but still looking like a young Italian stud, Mario Cipollini stands proud and tall, and...

    Almost 38 but still looking like a young Italian stud, Mario Cipollini stands proud and tall, and above all, he is not hiding his ambitions. Cipollini has got his sights set on repeating his 2002 victory in Milan-San Remo: "I'm dreaming about sprinting for the win," the Liquigas rider was quoted in the Belgian press as saying.

    "The day Milan-San Remo is ridden, I'm a different person. For an Italian rider, La Primavera is what the Tour of Flanders is for a Belgian. It's culture, emotion. If I win on the Via Roma, tears will be in my eyes.

    "I'm not looking at the competition, Boonen, Freire, Petacchi, McEwen... I've beaten them all before. My incentive is called Cipollini. I want to prove I'm still up to it after two quiet seasons."

    Although Cipollini the showman will always be there, the Lion King said that he has renewed focus this year, as he has already proven by winning the Giro di Lucca. "I love a bit of colour in life. Without those stunts, life would get too boring. Now I'm looking at cycling in a more philosophical way. I'm still racing because of my love for the bike, but my family has become more important. My youngest daughter asked me why Petacchi is always the fastest now. When I won the race in Lucca, she took the trophy with her to kindergarten, she was so proud of her dad."

  • Zabel hopes to erase last year

    Oops
    Article published:
    March 18, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

    German sprinter and fourth time Milan-San Remo winner Eric Zabel (T-Mobile) will never forget the...

    German sprinter and fourth time Milan-San Remo winner Eric Zabel (T-Mobile) will never forget the darkest day of his career. Last year, he lost Milan-San Remo to Oscar Freire by making the mistake of raising his arms in a victory salute too early.

    "Last year, I was that focused on Petacchi that I lost sight on all others," Zabel explained to VUM reporter Paul De Keyser in Milan (also see: Cyclingnews interview with Erik Zabel). "It was presumed that Alessandro was unbeatable. When I did so, I forgot all the rest. And on top of that, I had the earphone in on the side that Freire came past, that's why I didn't hear him, didn't feel him coming. And that while Oscar is one of the best finishers in the peloton."

    Zabel is a little behind in his condition after doing a 'Jalabert' late last year. "I wasn't able to work on my power enough this winter, because I broke my heel after falling off a small ladder last autumn. I really feel I'm lacking that power now.

    "I'm rating Petacchi and Freire to be very strong, I give them five stars. Boonen and Valverde get four. All the others, they need luck, including myself. If the sprinters' teams drag the whole peloton over the Poggio, then I'll be with them. But if guys like Dekker and co. attack at the foot of the climb, then it's going to be hard for everybody. But then, who's going to beat Petacchi? Zabel? He has to be a bit better! I will be better too, because I can't get worse than I am now!"