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Tour of Britain Cycling News for September 2, 2005

Date published:
September 02, 2005, 1:00 BST
  • Irish protest at disqualification

    Article published:
    September 02, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones, reporting by Shane Stokes

    David McCann was listed as the best Irish finisher on yesterday's tough stage of the Tour of...

    David McCann was listed as the best Irish finisher on yesterday's tough stage of the Tour of Britain, placing nineteenth on the mountainous leg to Sheffield. First across the line was actually Roger Aiken, FBD Insurance Rás stage winner and national cyclo cross champion, who finished tenth on the stage after being involved in a long-distance breakaway for over 150 kilometres. However, he and team manager Morgan Fox were disqualified from the race by the judges, who said that the rider had held onto the team car while chasing back onto the front group during the stage.

    Both protested their innocence, filing an ultimately unsuccessful appeal to the decision. "It is absolute nonsense," said a livid Fox afterwards. "Roger did a great ride today, really rode well for a young guy breaking through. They claimed that Roger hung onto a bottle for 15 seconds when he was chasing back on. He got a bottle from the team car, sure enough, but was holding it on a descent for about two seconds. That's absolutely normal in cycling, everyone does it and it is normally tolerated. He got no real help from it."

    Aiken had been one of thirteen riders who went clear inside the first ten kilometres of the stage, building up an insurmountable lead over the main bunch. The Belgian-based Banbridge rider rode courageously on the day's climbs but was tailed off on the first category ascents of Holme Moss and Snake Pass.

    On both instances he rode hard to regain contact, and did so again when he faded on the final climb of the day. He crossed the line tenth on the stage, 11 seconds after world championship bronze medallist Luca Paolini (Team CSC) outsprinted Bram Schmitz (T-Mobile) for the win.

    "When we went into the commissaire meeting, we appealed against the severity of the decision," Fox continued. "We were amazed that they didn't change it, as to throw us out of the race was too much. I was shocked, what happened to Roger is very wrong. He did a...

  • Downing content with third

    Article published:
    September 02, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones, reporting by Shane Stokes

    British road race champion Russell Downing got third behind Luca Paolini and T-Mobile's Bram Schmitz...

    British road race champion Russell Downing got third behind Luca Paolini and T-Mobile's Bram Schmitz yesterday, taking the jersey for the best British rider on the stage. He said that he was happy to have the chance to be on the podium. "It is good to be in the jersey today, especially being from quite close to Sheffield. This was the stage I wanted to do well in. Earlier in the week I had a bit of a problem with a knee injury as I had crashed last week. I was in the break but had to drop back. So it was good today to be up the road."

    Downing crossed the line just two seconds behind Paolini, but said he didn't think the stage win was possible. "I wasn't confident at the end, not at all. The guys I was with are pretty rapid so I just wanted a good placing. Third was good for me."

  • Winn to continue

    Article published:
    September 02, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones, reporting by Shane Stokes

    Welsh international Julian Winn was set to retire shortly after the Tour of Britain in order to take...

    Welsh international Julian Winn was set to retire shortly after the Tour of Britain in order to take up a position as head coach with his national federation. However, the current King of the Mountains leader has now changed his mind and will continue until the Commonwealth Games in March.

    "I was going to call it a day after the Newport Criterium next week, but will now go on until after the Games," he told Cyclingnews before today's start in Buxton. "I was due to start coaching but the Welsh federation have agreed that I will do it in a part-time capacity until I stop racing."

    Winn won all the primes on yesterday's tough stage to Sheffield, being first over the line on the second category Cow and Calf and Oxenhope Moor climbs and the first category Holme Moss and Snake Pass.

    Today's stage is the last one featuring KOH primes in this year's race. The 32 year-old has a lead of six points over South African road race champion and Tour de Langkawi winner Ryan Cox (Barloworld), with a possible twelve up for grabs on today's 184.2 kilometre stage from Buxton to Nottingham. Third category climbs of Cromford (30.6 km), Ab Kettley (160.8 km) and Upper Broughton (166.9 km) offer Cox the chance to overtake his Welsh rival, but Winn will equally aim to take some points.

    He explained how the day went at yesterday's post-stage press conference. "I got into the break and went for the first two climbs. It was more because I thought if we got caught, then I might have the consolation of holding the jersey. But when the lead went up to six or seven minutes, I went full gas for the last two.

    "I have set my stall out now so I definitely will be trying to sniff up a couple more points. Getting the jersey here would be great. I have won the mountains competition in the FBD Milk Rás, the Commonwealth Bank Classic, the Tour of Guadeloupe and the Tour of Rhodes. I seem to always end up in this jersey, for some reason. It always...

  • Paolini happy after win

    Article published:
    September 02, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones, reporting by Shane Stokes

    Nuyens' team-mate Luca Paolini was a happy man at yesterday's finish. "This is a great day for...

    Nuyens' team-mate Luca Paolini was a happy man at yesterday's finish. "This is a great day for QuickStep," he said. "Last year we had stage wins with Boonen and Zanini and this year we have had my stage win, Nick's stage win, the yellow jersey and the green. It is going very well for the team.

    "The first objective was to keep the jersey, but then once I got into the breakaway it was good for us because no-one was a danger in the classification after Eric Baumann [T-Mobile] dropped back. I knew I had a good chance because I can climb and I can sprint. So we took a double today - we kept the jersey and we won the stage.

    "The sprint was not easy because there were a lot of turns at the end. Especially the last turn. It was really difficult and you had to take a lot of risks to win. But I wanted to win so I had to take them."

    Paolini, bronze medallist at last year's world championships in Verona, said that tactics played a part in his victory. "A lot of guys tried to get away on the hills. It was better to go at a certain tempo to the top of the mountain, though. They didn't do it, so they didn't have it left at the end."

    The Italian finished fourth on the previous day's stage to Blackpool, placing second in the bunch gallop behind the young Great Britain rider Mark Cavendish. He was impressed by the 20 year old.

    "He is a good rider, he is really fast. He is still young and I think he has a good future."

  • Nuyens gaining confidence

    Article published:
    September 02, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jeff Jones, reporting by Shane Stokes

    Tour of Britain race leader Nick Nuyens was sounding increasingly confident after he and his...

    Tour of Britain race leader Nick Nuyens was sounding increasingly confident after he and his QuickStep team successfully defended the yellow jersey against all attacks by his rivals yesterday. "It was hilly today but for me it was quite easy," the Belgian said at the post-stage press conference. "The team worked really well today so I only had to stay on their wheels. They were working perfectly. On the flat I had Ivan Santaromita and Davide Bramati, and then when you have a guy like [Mick] Rogers who is doing the work on the climbs, I think it can't be better. I just had to stay on their wheels. A lot of guys were being dropped, so it was great."

    Danish rider Michael Blaudzun (Team CSC) said before the stage that he would try to take back the seven seconds that separated him from yellow. He didn't get far. "Rogers was setting such a high pace that no-one could attack," said Nuyens. "They could get 100 metres but he was going so well that he would bring them back. I just had to stay on his wheel, so there were no problems."

    Although he was upbeat, the 2005 Het Volk winner said that the race was far from over. "I won't be confident of winning until the last stage. Anything can happen. But after today, I am sure that I am one of the strongest riders here. That said, it is not always the strongest guy who wins, so we have to be careful."