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Latest Cycling News, May 22, 2008

Date published:
May 22, 2008, 1:00 BST
  • The Rás has started!

    Article published:
    May 22, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Cyclingnews diarist Cameron Jennings checks in from Ireland, where the Rás race is hotly contested....

    Cyclingnews diarist Cameron Jennings checks in from Ireland, where the Rás race is hotly contested.

    Hi all,

    well, the 2008 Rás is definitely on the way and it has been a tough couple of days. Plenty of attacking, plenty of covering moves and plenty of time on the front, trying to keep things together and in check for the team – and not a lot to show for it has left its mark on me. After feeling great in The Netherlands the two previous weeks I was hoping to be feeling better than I am. But alas, that is not the case. Still four days to go, though, and anything can happen in this race.

    Stage 2 Ballinamore – Claremorris 166km

    This stage was marked by a number of attacks in the first two hours of racing with all of us playing our part. However, a group just seemed to fluff of the front with 50 kilometres remaining. Luckily, we had Kieren Page in it, so I just began to cover things again. All the major teams were represented and the gap began to increase, so Derek and I began to set tempo on the front with 40 kilometres remaining to prevent things getting out of hand. 10 kilometres to go Ciarán and Dave took over and I hung in there til the finish. The break was back to one minute on the line and Kieren was in the top 10 – on the day after missing out in the splits on the run into Claremorris.

    Great night had in Cong, which was just down the road and a big thanks to Mary, Jill, Damien, Aileen for putting on a fine feed. We would have been the best fed team on the tour that night anyway.

  • Burghardt looking forward to Bavarian race

    Marcus Burghardt is looking towards the Bayern Rundfahrt
    Article published:
    May 22, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Team High Road's Marcus Burghardt remains pleased with his recovery from knee surgery . He has...

    Team High Road's Marcus Burghardt remains pleased with his recovery from knee surgery. He has ridden several races lately and said that "I am satisfied and I am happy with the way things are going."

    Writing on his website, marcus-burghardt.blog.ch, the 24 year-old noted that last week in the GP Buchholz, near Hamburg, Germany, he was in an escape group for much of the race. Although the group was brought back shortly before the finish line, Burghardt stated that "I am very satisfied with my performance. I even picked up enough points in the premium sprints to win the sprint ranking at the end of the race.

    "With my racing and training kilometres, I am exactly on plan and I am well motivated," he continued. "I just miss the experience of stage racing."

    He noted that he is particularly looking forward to the race in Bavaria, which features a number of Professional Continental and Continental teams. "I am looking forward to this race and find it great that many young riders get the chance to test themselves against the pros. That shows me that the organisers believe in the future of cycling. I want to honour that not only with my participation, but also with my respect and hopefully with a good performance, too."(SW)

  • Kashechkin to return soon?

    Andrey Kashechkin is hoping to race again soon, following clearance by the Kazakh federation
    Article published:
    May 22, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    By Susan Westemeyer The UCI announced that it has sent the doping file on Andrey Kashechkin to the...

    By Susan Westemeyer

    The UCI announced that it has sent the doping file on Andrey Kashechkin to the Kazakhstan Cycling Federation, which is scheduled to hold a hearing on the matter this week or next week. However, the Federation has already announced that the rider is free to return to racing, citing unresponsiveness by the UCI.

    UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani told Cyclingnews, "I confirm that the UCI has sent three times (!) the entire file to the Kazakh Federation. As far as we are aware, the hearing should have started yesterday and should be finished tomorrow."

    The former Astana rider tested positive for blood doping in an unannounced control last August while he was on vacation. He was released by the team after the analysis of the B sample.

    The Kazakh federation had previously suspended Alexander Vinokourov for one year on similar charges.

    Spanish website Todociclismo.com claimed to have seen a letter from the Kazakh federation, stating that "there are elements against opening a procedure against the cyclist Andrey Kashechkin," and guaranteeing that he "is free to return to racing." The letter is said to be endorsed by the Ministry of Sports and the national Olympic committee.

    The letter details the case against Kashechkin. The rider had protested against the timing of the test and other irregularities in the testing procedure. Allegedly, the UCI did not send documentation to the federation explaining how the control had been conducted.

    The website claimed that on February 13 of this year Kashechkin asked the federation to allow him to return to competition. This would be possible, according to the letter, since the UCI did not answer the outstanding questions, and his return would be supported by the federation, the government and...

  • Teutenberg takes one for the Road

    Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (High Road) takes her fourteenth career win at Aude
    Article published:
    May 22, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Ben Atkins in Toulouges

    German sprinter wins breakaway stage; Tour de l'Aude overall unchanged By Ben Atkins in Toulouges...

    German sprinter wins breakaway stage; Tour de l'Aude overall unchanged

    By Ben Atkins in Toulouges

    German super-sprinter Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (High Road) won stage five of the Tour de l'Aude after a 50-kilometre breakaway with compatriot Charlotte Becker (Nürnberger Versicherung). The pair broke away on the technical descent from the second climb of the day – the second category Col Fourtou – and they managed to stay away to the finish, despite the efforts of the rest of the peloton, led in the later stages by the DSB Bank team.

    After building up a maximum lead of around two minutes and forty seconds, the German pair saw their advantage reduced to just a handful of seconds by the final kilometres. As Teutenberg took what proved in the end to be a simple victory over an exhausted Becker, Monica Holler (Bigla) led the rest home in almost the same time.

    "I think we were lucky because I think DSB kind of lost everybody," a breathless Teutenberg told Cyclingnews after her victory. "At three K we had to go up this little bridge so I think they kind of lost their train. At two K to go they were nearly on us, and then all of a sudden I guess they stopped again with a kilometre to go."

    "I had to pull the last two kilometres," she explained, "so I was worried Charlotte [Becker] would out-sprint me, but she was just really tired , too." In the end, Becker was too tired to put up much resistance and Teutenberg won an almost uncontested sprint against her compatriot.

    "[We attacked] just after the second mountaintop, on the downhill," she continued. "There were constant attacks and then there was a lull in between and we kind of got the gap. That was perfect, really. We did everything we could, luckily we just [held] on at the end."

    At no point during their breakaway did the pair's advantage reach an insurmountable margin, and with a concerted chase from an organised team it reduced rapidly...

  • CSF's Dall'Antonia comes close

    Tiziano dall'Antonia (CSF Group Navigare) had a good race yesterday, but couldn't stay with the front group over the final rise
    Article published:
    May 22, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown in Cesena

    By Gregor Brown in Cesena Team CSF Group Navigare's Tiziano Dall'Antonia survived the climbs of San...

    By Gregor Brown in Cesena

    Team CSF Group Navigare's Tiziano Dall'Antonia survived the climbs of San Marino, Monte Carpegna, Petricara and Sorrivoli, in addition to heavy rain showers, but fell shy of making it to the final with his escape companions in Giro d'Italia's stage 11 to Cesena. The 24 year-old Italian from Vittorio Veneto lost contact with only seven kilometres remaining, at the start of the Cippo Pantani.

    Dall'Antonia, who helped form the day's move at kilometre 42, was left behind by three riders – eventual stage winner Alessandro Bertolini (Diquigiovanni), Pablo Lastras (Caisse d'Epargne) and team-mate Fortunato Baliani.

    "I did not think to enter into an escape today, but from the start I was pedaling well and I thought there would be less fatigue in the escape than in the gruppo because you can have a more regulated rhythm," he explained to Cyclingnews after crossing the line in fourth.

    "Up until the last kick it went well for me, but then the light was turned off," he remarked bluntly. "I am sorry, I put all the effort into the move and I really believed in victory."

    Baliani crashed in the final 650 metres and left the door open for Bertolini's win; in addition, the team's climbing ace and leader of the mountain's competition, Emanuele Sella, crashed twice during the stage. Dall'Antonia's day was also marked with a crash. On the descent of the Monte Arena, midway through the race, his bike slid out from under him. He had scrapes on his left elbow as a result.

    "It went this way today, but tomorrow we will have another day," Dall'Antonia declared in an upbeat tone. The team is bolstered by the win of Matteo Priamo in stage six.

  • Australian Champion Lloyd changes Giro objectives

    Aussie champ Matthew Lloyd has a bit of knee pain, but wants to finish the Giro
    Article published:
    May 22, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Gregor Brown in Cesena Australian Champion Matthew Lloyd is backing off his plans for the 91st...

    By Gregor Brown in Cesena

    Australian Champion Matthew Lloyd is backing off his plans for the 91st Giro d'Italia's overall and shifting his focus to a possible stage win due to knee problems. The Silence-Lotto rider, who will celebrate his 25th birthday this Saturday when the race hits the high mountains Manghen and Pampeago, does not want to risk further injuries.

    He rolled in with the gruppo into Cesena to finish stage 11 and, like all 169 finishing riders, showed the signs of a hard day out. "It was pretty exciting at the start, the weather was incredibly bad," he commented to Cyclingnews. Intermittent rain showers made the 199-kilometre parcours even more difficult to manage, but luckily, Lloyd was not one of the day's many crash victims; however, he is nursing his knee as the race continues with two flat stages on Thursday and Friday.

    "I managed to destroy the collateral ligament in my knee so I just can't do anything. We were climbing today and it was just ridiculous. I am not going to destroy my leg to try to keep up when I can try to fix it at least and may finish well in a stage later on [in the Giro d'Italia]."

    Lloyd, 61st overall last year and third in the 2006 Under-23 Giro d'Italia, will now shift his focus from a high place overall to a chance at a stage victory. "There is no point in injuring yourself, trying to do stupid things when in reality you can try to make the situation better, not only physically, but mentally as well, for next week. Hopefully, it will turn out okay and hopefully there is not too much damage."

    He is currently in 112th, at 21'54" behind the race leader, Italy's Giovanni Visconti (Quick Step).

    Lloyd and his Silence-Lotto team's morale are bolstered by the performance of Jurgen Van den Broeck. The 25 year-old Belgian is the top ranked rider for his nation, holding 15th overall and fourth in the young rider's...

  • Leader for a year

    Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) sees 2008 as his year to shine
    Article published:
    May 22, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown in Cesena

    Italy's Franco Pellizotti, the Giro d'Italia's race leader for four days, has what could be his one...

    Italy's Franco Pellizotti, the Giro d'Italia's race leader for four days, has what could be his one chance to prove himself as a captain this year. As Cyclingnews' Gregor Brown found out, the 30 year-old, who rode for 2007 champion Danilo Di Luca and will have one Ivan Basso as team-mate next year, sees 2008 as his year to shine.

    Franco Pellizotti has twice finished in the top ten of the Giro d'Italia. He finished ninth while riding in service of Danilo Di Luca last year, and was the team's highest finisher in eighth and took home a stage win in 2006 while Di Luca struggled in the mountains and was never in contention. This year, his four days in the pink jersey whetted his appetite to take home the final maglia rosa in Milano. However, he thinks that the last minute inclusion of the Astana team could make it difficult, not just for him but for any Italian to achieve an overall victory.

    "The team's arrival really changed the outlook of the race," Pellizotti said of Astana, which was given a last minute invitation by RCS Sport, the organisers of the Giro d'Italia. "Without the team, it would be the Italians who would be battling it out over all the big stages. Even if they were called at the last moment they are prepared; I know Contador said that he came in unprepared, but he has been improving well in the last days."

    The stage ten time trial showed just how prepared the Kazakh-backed team was, and at the end of the day their trio of leaders had all placed inside the top ten on the stage, and all had moved ahead of Pellizotti. Despite putting in a solid performance to finish 18th, 2'09" behind stage winner Marzio Bruseghin (Lampre), the situation put his team in a difficult tactical situation.

    "Astana, they are in there and are able to play the cards with Leipheimer, Contador and Klöden. They are all riders who have experience and can do some damage," the blonde...