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Latest Cycling News for September 20, 2005

Date published:
September 20, 2005, 1:00 BST
  • Buitenpoort and Flexpoint continue together

    Article published:
    September 20, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones, assisted by Sabine Sunderland and Susan Westemeyer

    The women's Buitenpoort-Flexpoint team will continue next season, the team announced. The main...

    The women's Buitenpoort-Flexpoint team will continue next season, the team announced. The main sponsors, Buitenpoort Catering and Flexpoint have extended their contract with Jean-Paul van Poppel's successful women's squad. Currently, Mirjam Melchers-van Poppel, Madeleine Sandig, Louise Keller, Suzanne van Veen and Loes Gunnewijk have contracts for next season, while Susanne Ljungskog, Amber Neben, Tanja Hennes and Linda Serup have all expressed a desire to remain.

  • New Petacchi-Zabel team to be presented Friday

    Article published:
    September 20, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones, assisted by Sabine Sunderland and Susan Westemeyer

    The new German-Italian Pro Tour team is to be presented on Friday in Madrid. The press conference...

    The new German-Italian Pro Tour team is to be presented on Friday in Madrid. The press conference was announced by the Nordmilch-Konzern, which will be the naming rights sponsor of the team with its yoghurt brand "Milraam". The Italian faction will be led by Alessandro Petacchi, along with Marco Velo and Fabio Sacchi. Erik Zabel and Jan Schaffrath are the first German riders to be announced.

    The new team is to be based on the current Domina Vacanze team. It will be managed by Gian-Luigi Stanga, of Domina, and Jörg Strenger, currently manager of the German Professional Tour Team Wiesenhof, which will end as of this season.

  • Ullrich planning for 2006 TdF

    Article published:
    September 20, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones, assisted by Sabine Sunderland and Susan Westemeyer

    T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich is already laying his plans for winning the Tour de France 2006 - everything...

    T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich is already laying his plans for winning the Tour de France 2006 - everything from a new Director Sportif to a new diet. In an interview with www.sport1.de, Ullrich says he sees Basso, Vinokourov and Heras as his greatest rivals for the coveted Tour victory. "It's a lot more open without Armstrong. I really have to be careful that I have everything in hand. Basso is always getting better, Heras has to bring his Vuelta performance to the Tour, and Vino has already announced his intentions."

    Ullrich's personal advisor Rudy Pevenage is expected to become a Director Sportif with the team. "But Pevenage will only lead the team in stage races in which Jan is riding. No other races," says Ullrich's manager Wolfgang Strohband.

    Ullrich also announced his intention to make changes in his personal life, cutting back on the disco visits and the glasses of wine. "Every day I have so many people around me - I don't need that. Plus I'm getting older and I notice that in many ways." He also hopes to conquer two of his recurring problems, overweight and frequent infections, through a diet and nutritional plan. He will be working with the Reha-Zentrum Medical Park in Bad Wiessee, Germany, which will also supervise his "active regeneration".

  • The official T-Mobile restructuring plan

    Article published:
    September 20, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones, assisted by Sabine Sunderland and Susan Westemeyer

    The T-Mobile Team has officially announced its restructuring plan for next season. With Olaf Ludwig...

    The T-Mobile Team has officially announced its restructuring plan for next season. With Olaf Ludwig at the helm, the German team is aiming at meeting the increased pressure of the ProTour series with a stronger line up, both in terms of riders and staff.

    Sports director Mario Kummer will have a broader scope of duties next season. The 43-year-old 1988 Olympic gold medallist will in future act as sports and technical director, charged with developing and deciding team strategy and logistics, together with Ludwig. "Mario has proven over the years how important he is to the team," said Olaf Ludwig about his experienced partner. "Now he is ready to assume more responsibility."

    For Kummer, the role represents a "new challenge". Jointly taking care of the interests of the entire team, is a "tough but extremely attractive task, that I am greatly looking forward tom," he said. "Being trusted with planning and implementation, is a complex responsibility, but one which also offers me more scope."

    Ludwig added, "We have already pushed out our boundaries, and now it is not just about defending them, but expanding them. Today, we have to have the right structures in place to respond in the most professional way to the challenges of elite pro cycling. In Mario, I have a partner, who has the right qualities and in whom I have 100 percent trust."

    Olaf Ludwig, as director of the Olaf Ludwig Cycling GmbH (OLC) management company will handle team affairs, and along with his representative role, will deal with all contractual matters. Hans Hindelang, a long time associate and former manager of Ludwig, will take care of finances. Mario Kummer will handle logistics and strategy, with Greet Verhulst acting as his assistant.

    It's now been officially confirmed that the existing team of sporting directors, Giovanni Fidanza, Brian Holm, Frans van Looy and Valerio Piva, will be strengthened by the addition of Rudy Pevenage. The Belgian, until now...

  • Arndt questionable for World's

    Article published:
    September 20, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones, assisted by Sabine Sunderland and Susan Westemeyer

    Defending Champion Judith Arndt of Germany is questionable for the women's road race this week in...

    Defending Champion Judith Arndt of Germany is questionable for the women's road race this week in the World Championships. The 29-year-old is still suffering from a lingering viral infection which caused her to skip the World Cup race in Nürnberg and the Giro della Toscana. The decision as to whether she will ride will be made shortly before the race.

  • Boonen rides kermis in preparation for the World Championships

    Article published:
    September 20, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones, assisted by Sabine Sunderland and Susan Westemeyer

    Tom Boonen is not too shy to show off now and again. In Viane, close to McEwen's 'home-town' of...

    Tom Boonen is not too shy to show off now and again. In Viane, close to McEwen's 'home-town' of Geraardsbergen, he was the one to get all the attention. A big star sprinter, racing laps around the church, is not a sight people get to see every day. Cycling fans stood in admiration because the Belgian QuickStep rider descended to their little town to compete in a simple kermis; but here and there, questions were raised. Wasn't he taking a lot of risks with only very few days to go to the World Championships? A bit silly maybe?

    "Rather race here than train by myself" Tornado Tom laughed the public's worries away. "I was faced with a dilemma," he told HNB. "It was racing or training. Since I didn't find any candidates to go out for a long haul with me, the choice was made quickly. Today, I'll have 250km in the legs. I trained 40km this morning, raced 170 and will train another 40km after. I call this a fruitful day. It is just a matter of maintaining form right now; but it's hard to do training on your own! I can't motivate myself easily at this time of the year to race up, let's say about ten hills in training. The World Championships day is not too far off now; for that one day, I'll still be able to charge up, sure enough."

    Boonen remains calm with only few days to go before his last big race of the season. "Next Thursday I'm flying out to Madrid. I'll still have enough time to scout the parcours. I've heard all sorts of stories about it. We'll see. My point of view remains unchanged: it will be all or nothing that day, a true lottery.

    "I feel good. I must admit that after the Tour, I was on the edge now and then, but now I'm sharp again. I'm ready, only just in time. I raced at the front constantly today, even pulled hard a few times; I really emptied myself. I'm pretty groggy right now, but that's OK. Why I didn't keep quiet? That was my idea before the race, but I can never do that in a kermis (laughs). I didn't sprint...

  • Stijn Devolder: "Pure elimination"

    Article published:
    September 20, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones, assisted by Sabine Sunderland and Susan Westemeyer

    "This is a circuit on which you'd better be alert all the time. The selection will be made via the...

    "This is a circuit on which you'd better be alert all the time. The selection will be made via the back door on Sunday," Stijn Devolder told the Belgian press. "Those who are in the opinion that Madrid is a flat parcours will find they're wrong. This is a lot harder than expected. Last Sunday, in the closing stage of the Vuelta, we only did one of the two hills. The bump in the park is not a super-hard climb but it is good one and a half kilometres ling. In case we get a real race on this parcours, you'll surely get a serious selection. Vicioso tried it on Sunday on that, Ghesa de la Vila, on which I'll be expecting Bettini too. We won't finish with a group of sixty together. Riding towards that last turn of 180 degrees, first you have a light descent and then slightly uphill. From that U-turn onwards it will be every sprinter to himself, with still more than 500 metres to go."

  • Mario Aerts: "Petacchi will never get his train organised"

    Petacchi wins in Madrid
    Article published:
    September 20, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones, assisted by Sabine Sunderland and Susan Westemeyer

    "I'll hold my breath if it rains in the Spanish capital," Mario Aerts (Davitamon-Lotto) told the...

    "I'll hold my breath if it rains in the Spanish capital," Mario Aerts (Davitamon-Lotto) told the Belgian VUM newspapers. "You'll get a guaranteed spectacle. Not only I predict a super-slippery road surface, but there's so many pits and cracks in the streets. On top of that you get metal covers of the metrostations, two to three metres long, which will be dangerous when it's wet. I absolutely don't think this is a great parcours. This is a very hectic circuit: incredible number of bends and not one metre of flat. Because of all the turning it will be a very hard race and we'll get crashes as it is. It will be a very nervous race. To be in the front the whole day, that will be the task.

    I haven't even mentioned the U-turn 600 metres before the line. It will be a most awkward sprint because with 500 metres to go everyone will sort of have to take off from zero. Petacchi will never get his sprint train organised there. It's impossible for the Italian to be launched in front of the corner at a speed of 65km/h. Madrid is a typical city-parcours.

    "If they want to name that last turn, they don't have to look for long. Just call it the McEwen-turn," Jose De Cauwer told Het Nieuwsblad. The Belgian National Coach has been scouting the parcours thoroughly and he didn't like what he saw. "I'm already getting the chills thinking about that blasted U-turn. A kamikaze can cause a lot of misery there.

    "The graphics in the official program are pretty much correct. Only that one turn I hadn't calculated to be like that," De Cauwer continued his analysis. "You can count on it that riders will come flying down there and that one will attack in the last kilometres...well, that will be a fearful moment...and a very slow sprint in any case. In the last stage of the Vuelta Zabel came only one and a half lengths short against Petacchi, where normally it is about three. And that after a ride of only 150km. This turn, which means almost a full stop and then...