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Latest Cycling News for September 17, 2007

Date published:
September 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
  • Drapac Porsche takes teams classification Hokkaido

    Article published:
    September 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Monika Prell

    Australian team Drapac Porsche had a successful Tour de Hokkaido, a five-day stage race in Japan....

    Australian team Drapac Porsche had a successful Tour de Hokkaido, a five-day stage race in Japan. They won the teams classification by more than nine minutes. And team member Darren Lapthorne, the current Australian road champion, was only eight seconds down on the general classification to finish second, beaten only by German Henri Werner.

    Lapthorne and Mitchell Docker also brought stage wins to the team. Docker won stage three and Lapthorne took out stage five. Fellow team-mates Stuart Shaw, Mark O'Brien and Robbie Williams were constantly attacking and chasing for the team in each stage. At least three members of the team finished in the top 30 every stage, which allowed the team to win the coveted team prize.

    The success from this tour puts the Drapac Porsche team in a commanding position for the upcoming Jayco Herald Sun Tour. Drapac Porsche will also have the home ground advantage and support, but the strength and experience of the team will determine the outcome throughout the seven-stage event.

  • Sweden names women's team for Worlds

    Article published:
    September 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Monika Prell

    Sweden has named three women to compete in the upcoming World Championships in Stuttgart. Susanne...

    Sweden has named three women to compete in the upcoming World Championships in Stuttgart. Susanne Ljungskog (Team Flexpoint), Emma Johansson (Vlaanderen Caprison) and Sara Mustonen (S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox) will all participate in the road race. Ljungskog and Johansson will additionally participate in the time trial.

    Ljungskog finished 15th in last year's time trial at the Worlds in Salzburg.

  • Biver was a "mistake"

    Article published:
    September 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Monika Prell

    If Nikolai Proskurin, the vice-president of the Kazakh cycling federation, has his way, Team Astana...

    If Nikolai Proskurin, the vice-president of the Kazakh cycling federation, has his way, Team Astana General Manager Marc Biver will be leaving the team. "Hiring Biver at the start of the year was our biggest mistake," he said.

    According to Radsport-Aktiv.de, Proskurin said in an interview with the Kazakh magazine, Our Sport, "It is 150 percent certain, that he won't work for us in 2008. We have had good discussions with Johan Bruyneel. We want him as Biver's successor. Johan enjoys a good reputation in cycling."

  • Cunego quits Vuelta

    Article published:
    September 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Monika Prell

    Despite having a good day in Sunday's mountain stage, where Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Fondital)...

    Despite having a good day in Sunday's mountain stage, where Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Fondital) finished sixth, only 41 seconds behind stage winner Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), the Italian decided to quit the Vuelta. He returned to his home in Italy on Monday morning, leaving the Iberian peninsula from the airport in Granada.

    The Spanish race started out badly for Cunego, who crashed in the first stage. He received 13 stitches and had to endure a round of antibiotics. He has recovered well and had a great race up and down the Alto de Monachil on stage 15. But in accordance with his staff, the Italian decided to return home in order to rest in quiet for a few days, with the intent to redevelop his form.

  • Rabobank satisfied, and ready for a rest day

    Denis Menchov (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    September 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Monika Prell

    Sunday's Vuelta a España stage boiled down to one question: "Is Denis Menchov good enough on the...

    Sunday's Vuelta a España stage boiled down to one question: "Is Denis Menchov good enough on the final climb?" according to Rabobank team manager Erik Breukink, who was happy that the answer was "yes". The Russian crossed the finish line 41 seconds behind stage winner Samuel Sánchez of Euskaltel-Euskadi, but together with his closest competitors.

    Rabobank appreciated that Euskaltel led the charge to catch a 20-man strong escape group. "That came in handy for us," Breukink said on the team's website, rabobank.nl. "But, the pace was so high that it was very difficult anyway. It was also necessary of course, because the lead group had already created a gap of more than five minutes."

    One of the riders in that escape group was Koos Moerenhout. "That was sort of our plan," said Breukink. "We knew that other teams were going to do it as well, so we also wanted a man in the front. After all, you never know what a team-mate of one of your competitors might be able to do for him during the descent."

    For now, though, the team is looking forward to the rest day. "The team of the leader can always use one. After all, we did a lot of lead work already," according to Breukink. "And some of the guys have some minor physical complaints. They will have the entire day tomorrow to recover."

    One of those riders with physical complaints is Sebastien Langeveld, who became violently ill Wednesday night. He was able to continue to ride, but admitted that "The kilometres and my illness are starting to wear me down a little bit. Even though I had a good day yesterday and was able to do a lot of lead work, I really suffered today. I counted the kilometres. My stomach is not itself yet and I am not very hungry either. So, I was exhausted. It is clear that tomorrow's rest day is really coming at the right moment for me. Fortunately, we are staying in the hotel where we will be spending tomorrow as well, so we can really get a break during our...

  • Mayo talks

    Article published:
    September 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Monika Prell

    By Monika Prell Yesterday, Iban Mayo talked publicly for the first time since he was tested positive...

    By Monika Prell

    Yesterday, Iban Mayo talked publicly for the first time since he was tested positive on EPO at the second rest day of the Tour de France. The B sample was analysed in the University of Gent (Belgium) and then sent to a laboratory in Australia, where it stays at the moment.

    The Saunier Duval rider talked yesterday to the Basque television channel ETB. "I don't know anything about the result of the counter-analysis." He confessed that he is not very happy. "I would like to know something as soon as possible, because this wait is despairing. Waiting for such a long time is hard. Every day you believe that this will be the day or that the following will be the day, but the days pass and you don't know anything, and this is despairing. I hope to know the result as soon as possible", said Mayo according to Noticias de Gipuzkoa.

    The Basque said that he passed the time since he knew the positive result of the first analysis pretty badly. "For sure I passed it badly, very badly in some moments. In other moments you take it easier, mainly when you are surrounded by your family, your friends and people who love you. But yes, there were situations and moments when I passed it very badly, because what happened to me was a very hard slap in the face", confirmed Mayo.

  • True grit earns Hughes the 'Grafton'

    Cameron Hughes
    Article published:
    September 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Paul Verkuylen

    By Paul Verkuylen Saturday saw the 47th running of the Grafton to Inverell classic , one of...

    By Paul Verkuylen

    Saturday saw the 47th running of the Grafton to Inverell classic, one of Australia's oldest and most gruelling events on the calendar. As is always expected the event drew a quality field with teams from all over Australia, vying to make one of their riders the 2007 champion. The FRF-NSWIS squad is by far the strongest on paper. The team captain, Peter McDonald, was lining up hoping to become only the second rider since Jamie Drew to win the classic twice.

    An attack by McDonald on the 17-kilometre climb over the Gibraltar range decimated the field, but with 140 kilometres remaining it was still anyone's race as the heat and wind would take their toll on the riders out front. With only 20 kilometres until the sprint through the town of Glen Innes, two riders, Cameron Hughes and Patrick Shaw, attacked from a chase group of 12, and quickly bridged the gap to the three leaders. From the moment the two riders joined the leaders, McDonald looked to be struggling and it didn't take long for the 35 year-old personal trainer, Hughes, to launch his race winning attack with some 70 kilometres remaining to win by a convincing 3'48" from McDonalds FRF-NSWIS team-mate Robert Cater and VIS recruit Patrick Shaw.

    Hughes was exhausted after the event but was beaming, "I have always wanted to win this event. I won in 1996 in B grade, and since then have ridden the event only sporadically; I'm stoked, this is a great win," he told Cyclingnews after the finish.

    It was his biggest win, and also marks an important victory for his newly formed Ord Minnett team. "The team was created to help the younger riders gain experience and learn in a productive environment," Hughes remarked. The team has been steadily improving over the past few months, and after Hughes finished fifth overall in the Tour of the...

  • Hansen happy with "first" Grand Tour

    Australia's Adam Hansen training
    Article published:
    September 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Susan Westemeyer Adam Hansen of T-Mobile Team is in his first year on a ProTour team and is...

    By Susan Westemeyer

    Adam Hansen of T-Mobile Team is in his first year on a ProTour team and is currently riding his "first" Grand Tour. He has not yet been able to get into the right escape group, but "apart from that, I'm pretty happy with how things are going. It's my first real Grand Tour, the Giro doesn't count, and I'm getting better as the days go on, so that's a good sign," he told Cyclingnews.

    Not that he is trying to slur the Giro d'Italia -- it's just that he had to drop out after the second stage this year after a crash crushed two fingers on his right hand.

    "The first week [in the Vuelta] was a bit hard," he admitted. "Then in the second week, I was feeling much better. I was so active at the start, trying to be in a break. I was always there, in something, but never had the luck to get away."

    Always the team rider, he said, "My goals are to get in a break, and to be there for the sprinters. So far I have done well for the sprinters, I have always been there and done something. But getting in the break is the luck I didn't have yet."

    "I will keep trying," the Australian added. "I've got nothing to lose."

  • Gerolsteiner day in Nürnberg

    Fabian Wegmann
    Article published:
    September 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    It was a Gerolsteiner day in Nürnberg. German national champion Fabian Wegmann of Team Gerolsteiner...

    It was a Gerolsteiner day in Nürnberg. German national champion Fabian Wegmann of Team Gerolsteiner took first in Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt and team-mate Sven Krauss was third, with second place going to Olaf Pollack, a former Gerolsteiner member.

    It was only Wegmann's second win of the season, after his victory in the national championships. "Honestly, I had not figured with this. But it just went better and better with every lap of the course," Wegmann said. "Then I put everything into an attack in the last lap and rode with everything I had -- and it worked! That was great!"

    Both of the 27 year-old's wins have been in races on German soil -- does this mean he will be a favourite in Stuttgart? "At the Worlds?" he laughed. "Why not? At least I have gained a lot of self-confidence here. And my form is right, as you could see today."

    His directeur sportif, Christian Henn, was pleased with the win. "Everything worked out today. We rode well, the whole team, naturally with Fabian at the front."

  • Vos snares World Cup glory from Cooke's grasp

    Marianne Vos celebrates
    Article published:
    September 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    By Greg Johnson Marianne Vos (Team DSB Bank) has claimed the 2007 Women's World Cup in a sensational...

    By Greg Johnson

    Marianne Vos (Team DSB Bank) has claimed the 2007 Women's World Cup in a sensational finale in Germany. The Dutch youngster entered the series final in second place, 80 points behind leader Nicole Cooke (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation) as an outside chance for the title, but made the most of double points on offer to claim the round's victory and the overall World Cup.

    "I knew that I had a chance today because the race here generally finishes in a sprint and I am better at this," explained an elated Vos. "Also, because here double points can be earned. We put everything on a sprint in this race and I must say that I have been launched perfectly by my team-mate Adrie Visser. In the Holland Ladies Tour it didn't work a number of times, but here the finish ran slightly uphill and that was to my advantage."

    The 20 year-old did everything she could to claim the women's World Cup by taking victory, the rest was in Cooke's hands with the Briton needing to finish on the podium to marginally hold on to her World Cup lead. Instead, the two-time World Cup winner was forced to concede her crown to the reigning Women's World Road Champion Vos, as she battled a reoccurring knee injury to finish in 34th spot.

    "I didn't want to gift this to Vos without a fight," Cooke, who had been confident of claiming her third title on the weekend, told BBC.co.uk. "It was a terrific ride by her, the pressure was on and she came up with the goods.

    "On the day I just couldn't do anything more because of my knee injury. Marianne won and I must be very proud of my second place," added Cooke.

    Vos added that while the victory wasn't crucial to her season, it's a good indication of her form heading into the World Championships in Stuttgart,...

  • Hincapie – King of Missouri

    George Hincapie (Discovery Channel)
    Article published:
    September 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Robbins in St. Louis, Missouri

    By Kirsten Robbins in St. Louis, Missouri Discovery Channel's treasured rider, George Hincapie,...

    By Kirsten Robbins in St. Louis, Missouri

    Discovery Channel's treasured rider, George Hincapie, marked his first stage race win since the 2004 Driedaagse van De Panne in Belgium at the Tour of Missouri, a race that also marked the end of a more than decade-long era with a team he called home, Discovery Channel.

    A win highlighted by the support of his winning Tour de France team along with yellow jersey holder Alberto Contador, Hincapie acknowledged the team's final presence on US soil as an important and fitting way to end.

    "We brought a great team here because it is the last race we do as a team here in the US and so it was very important for us to bring a strong team and try to get the win," said Hincapie. "Fortunately I got in a great breakaway on the second stage and was able to hold on to that. Having a guy like Alberto Contador and the whole Tour de France team working for me, it was really special. And I will definitely miss all the guys in the next couple of years."

    Hincapie took an early lead after his stage-two win in Clinton and solidified a larger lead during what has been commented on as being the toughest time trial in the US. Thousands of fans lined the streets along the route to watch Hincapie and the Discovery Channel team lead the race, providing support not only on the finishing circuits but through quaint towns and rural side roads. Upon entering the five hundred metre finishing straight away of the last stage, Hincapie noted the fans that filled the streets for a big farewell.

    "It is really special for us to have the crowds come out and support us for the whole week," said Hincapie. "They are happy to have us here and I am happy to have been a part of that. The whole week the fans have been thanking us and the...