The Week That Was...
Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.
- Carcassonne, 211 km
Stage 13 - July 15: B?ziers - Mont?limar, 231 km
Stage 14 - July 16: Mont?limar - Gap, 181 km
Rest Day - July 17: Gap
Stage 15 - July 18: Gap - L'Alpe-d'Huez, 187 km
Stage 16 - July 19: Le Bourg-d'Oisans - La Toussuire, 182 km
Stage 17 - July 20: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - Morzine, 199 km
Stage 18 - July 21: Morzine - M?con, 193 km
Stage 19 - July 22: Le Creusot - Montceau-les-Mines ITT, 56 km
Stage 20 - July 23: Antony (Parc de Sceaux) - Paris Champs-Elys?es, 152 km
Following his initial disappointment at the collapse of Giancarlo Ferretti?s proposed SonyEricsson team, Aussie Stuart O?Grady has found a new home with Bjarne Riis at Team CSC. The 32-year old will come in to boost the team?s Classics aspirations.
In a CSC press release, Riis commented that, "Stuart is a fantastic rider who is very all-round, and of course we consider him a big reinforcement. I think he'll be very useful in the classics, but also during other parts of the season due to his sprinting skills. At the same time, we're dealing with a rider who has a big personality and a lot of experience. I look forward to working with Stuart.?
"The deal has not taken long to close, but I've sensed an interest in our team from Stuart before. Now the opportunity was there and I'm very pleased to be able to sign with a rider of his calibre."
The difficulty for Riis will be how best to utilise the skills of Stuey come the Tour. It would be a waste of his abilities to see the roadman sprinter used as littler more than a water-carrier in support of Ivan Basso and his challenge for the Maillot Jaune.
Danish newspaper Politiken last week suggested that the Danish team were in fact considering letting leader Basso miss the Giro, a race that he successfully competed in earlier this year. He would instead focus solely on the Tour de France and over-all victory in
Speaking of the Giro, Riis commented to the newspaper that, "We don't necessarily have to show up with a rider that is aiming to win the GC. A lot of other teams show up with other targets and it's also likely we will do that. The American Vande Velde has said he would like to go for the GC. But in this case it won't be the podium we are talking about, but maybe top 10."
After ending the 2006 season as the most successful team on the US Domestic calendar, the Health Net Pro Cycling Team have announced an extended contract, guaranteeing them further two-seasons of backing, with an option for a third.
manufacturer Maxxis, will continue on as presenting sponsor.
"It's a big sign of commitment from a sponsor that's been good to cycling the last few years, and in particular, to the team's riders,? said Team leader, Mike Sayers.
As always, keep in touch with your thoughts