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World Championships Cycling News for September 25, 2005

Date published:
September 25, 2005, 1:00 BST
  • The journalists' bets for the men's race

    Article published:
    September 25, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Anthony Tan

    Cyclingnews' Hernan Alvarez conducted a poll in the press room, asking the numerous journalists who...

    Cyclingnews' Hernan Alvarez conducted a poll in the press room, asking the numerous journalists who are covering the World Championships about their predictions for tomorrow's podium. Here's the verdict:

    Jean-Christian Biville (L'Equipe, France): 1st Alessandro Petacchi (Italy), 2nd Erik Zabel (Germany), 3rd Robbie McEwen (Australia). "It's a course for sprinters and it'd be a logical result."

    Jean François Quenet (Velomania, France): 1st Allan Davis (Australia), 2nd Luca Paolini (Italy), 3rd Jean-Patrick Nazon (France). "Logically, a finale like this cannot always happen."

    Martin Roseneder (press officer Salzburg 2006, Austria): 1st Alessandro Petacchi (Italy), 2nd Robbie McEwen (Australia), 3rd Erik Zabel (Germany). "I think it's not such an easy course as we thought; it's harder."

    Chris Lines (Australian Associated Press, Australia): 1st Robbie McEwen (Australia), 2nd Tom Boonen (Belgium), 3rd Alessandro Petacchi (Italy).

    Fernando Emilio (Radio Clube Portugues, Portugal): 1st Alessandro Petacchi (Italy), 2nd Luca Paolini (Italy), 3rd Erik Zabel (Germany). "It depends on how Alejandro Valverde feels, but the favourites are the sprinters. The final meters are for bunch sprint specialists, but Valverde can surprise."

    Alasdair Fotheringham (Cycling Weekly, United Kingdom): 1st Erik Zabel (Germany), 2nd Alessandro Petacchi (Italy), 3rd Miguel Martin Perdiguero (Spain).

    Stephen Farrand (Cycle Sport, United Kingdom): 1st Paolo Bettini (Italy), 2nd Alejandro Valverde (Spain), 3rd Roger Hammond (Great Britain). "I'll be a very aggressive and open race, so it's difficult that it'll end in a bunch sprint."

    Sergi Lopez-Egea (El Periodico de Catalunya, Spain): 1st Alejandro Valverde (Spain), 2nd Paolo Bettini (Italy), 3rd Tom Boonen (Belgium). "I drove the course and there is an uphill with 5 kilometres to go that is very tough and that can prevent the sprint."

    Pascale Schyns (ABC...

  • Van Petegem 100% in the service of Boonen

    Article published:
    September 25, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Anthony Tan

    After winning bronze in Hamilton two years ago, and silver in Valkenburg seven years ago, Peter Van...

    After winning bronze in Hamilton two years ago, and silver in Valkenburg seven years ago, Peter Van Petegem knows that the only thing lacking in his palmares is a world title. But the classics star is riding tomorrow's race in Madrid in full service of his team leader Tom Boonen.

    "I'm good at solving puzzles, but the pieces of this one will have to really fall into place for me. Madrid will be a mass sprint, or a sprint of a big group at least," he said in HNB. "We are going for a mass sprint and that's it. Belgium has chosen the card of top sprinter Tom Boonen, and thus it's not up to me to attack. I don't believe that the top sprinters like Boonen, Petacchi, Zabel, McEwen and even Van Heeswijk or Hushovd won't be able to hang on. This is not a 'shitty parcours' for a mass sprint, on the contrary, it's magnificent. Who will have to let go? Every lap it's twenty kilometres of riding hard. The peloton will go fast. The last sixty kilometres the sprinters will start smelling their chance. That's where we do have the advantage of such a big talent in our team. Spain, without Freire, will be forced to race.

    "The only way for me to become world champion is riding à la Museeuw in Lugano. The whole day in last position in a group, give the impression now and again that you working with them, but dose your efforts well. Then it happens in the last lap. A World Championship is something you ride with the head. I have only got a chance if the race is on from the word go. On the last hill you can give it a good kick, but there's a descent after that.

    "I'm a rider for the Omloop Het Volk, Harelbeke, the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Parijs-Roubaix and the World Championships. Tom Boonen will grow to fit that profile in time too. You can't keep giving everything all season, year after year. The race for the rainbow jersey can be ridden in December if you ask me: if I'm not sick, I'm always good then. I'm the type of rider for a one-day classic, six,...

  • Elite men's road race preview

    Oscar Freire (Spain) won't be in Madrid to defend his rainbow crown, limiting the country's chances for a home-win.
    Article published:
    September 25, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Anthony Tan

    By Anthony Tan Bunch sprint or breakaway? Team or country? Right now, the latter appears to be the...

    A question of loyalty?

    By Anthony Tan

    Bunch sprint or breakaway? Team or country? Right now, the latter appears to be the biggest issue concerning Madrid's blue-ribbon event, the elite men's road race, where potential hidden factions are likely to play a role in the final outcome.

    First, let's focus on three of the strongest teams - Australia, Belgium and Italy - and their line-ups:

    Australia: Baden Cooke (Française des Jeux), Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros), Cadel Evans, Robbie McEwen, Henk Vogels (Davitamon-Lotto), Simon Gerrans (Ag2r), Matthew Hayman (Rabobank), Brett Lancaster (Panaria), Michael Rogers (Quick.Step).

    Belgium: Mario Aerts, Björn Leukemans, Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto), Stijn Devolder (Discovery Channel), Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux), Tom Boonen, Wilfried Cretskens, Nick Nuyens (Quick.Step), Marc Wauters (Rabobank).

    Italy: Alessandro Petacchi, Marco Velo, Matteo Tosatto, Lorenzo Bernucci (Fassa Bortolo), Paolo Bettini, Filippo Pozzato, Luca Paolini (Quick.Step), Daniele Bennati, (Lampre), Giovanni Lombardi (CSC)

    As far as the team from Down Under is concerned, sprinter Robbie McEwen enjoys an enviable support network, with his some of his most important men for the final kilometres showing excellent form of late. Baden Cooke won the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne, Simon Gerrans clinched his second major one-day race at the end of last month, Allan Davis won a stage of the Benelux Tour, and Michael Rogers spent the majority of last month preparing to defend his time trial crown, and is obviously in good form after creating history on Thursday.

    Click here for the full preview and start list

  • Top two opt to delay pro debut

    Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukraine)
    Article published:
    September 25, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Shane Stokes in Madrid The top two riders in Saturday's Under 23 Men's World Championship road...

    By Shane Stokes in Madrid

    The top two riders in Saturday's Under 23 Men's World Championship road race have both said that they intend to delay their pro debuts until 2007.

    Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukraine) was very impressive today, dominating the race. He took second in the time trial on Wednesday and these results, together with his European championship TT title and track wins in the European team pursuit and Under 23 European team pursuit underline his obvious class. However, although pro teams are likely to be highly interested in the rider - who won't be 20 until the 30th of September - he has said that he's happy to hold off on moving up to the paid ranks.

    "I am only 20 years old. I want to gain experience for now, but maybe in 2007 I will sign a contract with a good team. I am not really ready yet, I want another year before stepping up."

    The Under 23 silver medallist William Walker, who will be 20 on October 31, was also planning the same approach. "As regards next year, I will continue to ride with the Rabobank development squad," he said. "By waiting another year before turning pro, it will mean that I won't be just trying to keep up in each race. I will be more competitive and able to win in the first year when I do go pro. Hopefully in 2007 I will be with the Rabobank ProTour team."

  • Armstrong and Murphy top finishers for U.S.

    Amber Neben (USA)
    Article published:
    September 25, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes in Madrid

    The U.S. team continued its World Championships campaign on Saturday with Kristin Armstrong (17th in...

    The U.S. team continued its World Championships campaign on Saturday with Kristin Armstrong (17th in the women's race) and John Murphy (119th in the U23 men's race) the best finishers, after a late-race crash claimed the hopes of protected sprinter Tyler Farrar.

    Tabbed as one of the pre-race favourites after a string of victories and solid performances in late summer, the 22-year-old Farrar was hoping for a mass sprint finish in the 168 km race. Unfortunately for Farrar and his teammates, an early-race breakaway that went unchecked by the U.S. squad proved to be the team's undoing after having to spend most of the day helping to chase down the move.

    While jockeying for position for the ensuing field sprint in the closing miles, Farrar got tangled up, hit the pavement and was forced to abandon the race. The group he was in went on to sprint for fourth place, 33 seconds behind winner Grabovskyy.

    John Murphy was the highest placed U.S. rider, placing 119th out of 135 finishers after leading the chase effort to help bring Farrar closer to the breakaway. "We missed the break and we were working to chase with two laps to go," explained Murphy. "We did everything we could do to bring it back."

    Steven Cozza and Michael Wolf were the only other finishers of the five-man U.S. squad, credited with 131st and 134th respectively. John Devine did not finish.

    The bronze medalist in Wednesday's elite women's time trial, Kristin Armstrong placed 17th in the 126 km elite women's race, after late-race attacks from Christine Thorburn and Amber Neben failed, opening the door for a powerful German squad to lead out designated sprinter Regina Schleicher for the win.

    Spread out over six laps of the same 21 km circuit, the final lap saw two solo breakaway efforts by the U.S. riders. Neben's attempt in the closing miles grew to ten seconds, but teams intent on keeping the field together for a mass sprint refused to let Neben advance too far...

  • Joane Somarriba says goodbye

    Joane Somarriba (Spain)
    Article published:
    September 25, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid Former Grande Boucle féminin and Giro d'Italia femminile champion...

    By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

    Former Grande Boucle féminin and Giro d'Italia femminile champion Joane Somarriba (Spain) rode her last competition today at the women's road race in the World Championships. This outstanding athlete is finishing up her remarkable career at 33 years-old. "I made a very good evaluation of these Championships," said Somarriba to Cyclingnews seconds after she finished the road race in 23rd place. "The truth is that it was a terrible race. I tried to finish in the front, but I didn't feel good. When I trained today, I thought I could do more damage. We compete at a world level where there are many strong people. I knew my attacks couldn't do harm, though I tried."

    She dedicated her silver medal in the time trial to her mother. "It's a goodbye; during the race, I didn't have time to think of this goodbye, that it was my last race. I'm glad to achieve it [the silver medal].

    "Many years have passed, it's hard to believe that it's the last race, but I should feel happy to end my sporting career. They are beautiful moments."

    The Spanish rider finished a brilliant career on Saturday in Madrid. She was World Time Trial Champion in Hamilton 2003 and third in the road race in Zolder 2002. She also won the Grande Boucle féminin three times: 2000, 2001 and 2003 and the Giro d'Italia femminile twice: 1999 and 2000, among other titles.

  • Women's road race wrap up

    Regina Schleicher (Germany)
    Article published:
    September 25, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Regina Schleicher topped off a great team performance to ensure Germany retained the world...

    Germany again: Schleicher wins

    Regina Schleicher topped off a great team performance to ensure Germany retained the world championship road race title they won last year with Judith Arndt. Although Arndt came into the race under par due to a virus, her team-mate was fully up to the task of taking the rainbow jersey, unleashing a strong sprint to hit the line in front of the rest of the bunch.

    Great Britain's Nicole Cooke showed her full recovery from an at-times difficult season in taking silver, while Australia's Oenone Wood scooped bronze.

    The 126 kilometre women's race was characterised by numerous attacks, but despite efforts by riders such as home favourite Joanne Somarriba (Spain) and Olivia Gollan (Australia) to get clear, the peloton stayed largely together until the end. Here the German team worked perfectly to deliver their sprinter to the final 200 metres in a good position, after which she had little trouble in sprinting home in front.

    Defending champion Arndt came into the race below par due to a virus and finished off the back of the peloton, but she was happy at the finish.

    "I am delighted for the team, they did a really great job today in keeping it together and setting Regina up. I am very pleased with the result."

    Full results, report & photos,

  • Under 23 men's road race wrap up

    Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukraine)
    Article published:
    September 25, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

    19 year-old Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukraine) won the under 23 men's road race today at the World...

    Super strong Grabovskyy wins in Madrid

    19 year-old Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukraine) won the under 23 men's road race today at the World Championships with an excellent solo attack to beat William Walker (Australia) and Evgeny Popov (Russia). This is the second medal for the Ukrainian after he won the silver in the time trial last Wednesday.

    The eight lap race was full of changes and attacks. The Ukrainian, together with Italian Tiziano Dall'Antonia, was nearly always in the front breakaway, and after the Italian made a solo bid with just over two laps to go, Grabovskyy joined him. On the final lap, the pair were caught by a small group, but Grabovskyy didn't panic and attacked hard on the last climb with around 8 km to go to open up an unbeatable lead. In the closing stages, Will Walker (Australia) escaped with Evgeny Popov (Russia) to fight it out for the silver medal, which Walker won comfortably with his sprint.

    Full results, report & photos,