The Week That Was...

News & Results

03/15/2006| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin
Floyd Landis (Phonak - iShares) - 2006 Tour de France winner? Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Floyd Landis (Phonak - iShares) - 2006 Tour de France winner? Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

The UCI have rejected a request from the organizers of the 2006 Salzburg World Championship road race to shorten the event distance from 265 to 220km.  The organizers felt the reduction would make for a more exciting race.

In a letter to the race management, the UCI said that the World Championships are "one of the biggest events on the international calendar. Like Milano-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Li?ge-Bastogne-Li?ge, Paris-Tours and the Giro di Lombardia, the World's live on the myth which is created by a distance of 250 to 280 kilometers. We don't want to change that."

"[The Madrid World's] were exciting from the very beginning until the end, raced fast with average speeds of 42 km/h.?  It went on to add that, ?an important aspect is the reduction of team sizes from 12 riders for the greatest nations to nine since last year. The race is more open because of it, as the greatest nations are finding it harder to implement their tactics."


Following his win in the recent Paris-Nice stage race, Floyd Landis has been labeled, by his team mate Axel Merckx, as a possible future winner of the Tour de France.

"Floyd can win the Tour," he told Belgian newspaper HLN. "He's surprising everyone. Never thought that he already would be this good this early,"

"Floyd is really blooming now he's reached thirty. He's got all the qualities [to win the Tour}: he's a strong time-triallist, a decent climber and he's not afraid. You can build your house on him. But let him start with Paris-Nice," Merckx added.

Following his extended trip to South Africa, Jan Ullrich has returned to Europe.  He?s now (firmly) based in Tuscany as he continues his preparations for the 2006 season.  "After my successful training camp in South Africa in February, I am now working on my form in a very concentrated and intense way," he said on the T-Mobile website.  He?s accompanied by Directeur Sportif, Rudy Pevenage and his physiotherapist, Birgit Krohme.

Pevenage reflected that, "the snow chaos is Southern Europe made our arrival a bit more difficult."  He added that "it is dry here and with temperatures around 15?, we can carry out our planned program."

Readers?why not discuss the Ullrich news in our reader forums?

According to the Associated Press, Lance Armstrong?s Lawyer, Enrico Nan, has asked an Italian court to drop the litigation case brought about by Filippo Simeoni following comments made by the American in the Le Monde newspaper.  Armstrong called Simeoni a liar following his testimony in the investigation surrounding Italian sports doctor, Michele Ferrari, in 2003.

On March 7th, Nan argued the case should be dropped "because a foreigner should not be held responsible in Italy for comments made to a French newspaper 'even if the Internet can be read anywhere,'" according to AP.

New Liberty Seguros ? W?rth leader, Alexandre Vinokourov, last week spoke to french daily, L?Equipe of his steady start to the 2006 season.  He explained that Manolo Saiz, his new Director Sportif, ?wanted me to change my programme, to be less present in front.?  He added that, "he's certainly right: even if I had gone [to Paris-Nice] only for training, I would have wanted to be up front. I feel much more free this year, as if I had no pressure at all. The Spanish journalists are not really interested in me, so I tell myself it's not too bad if people forget about me before the Tour..."

?Manolo is incredible.  He takes care of everything in this team: the rider's programme, the choice of handlebar tape and organizing each rider's traveling. He doesn't delegate anything."

Vinokourov went on to explain that he and his fellow Kazakh riders, which he took to the team with him, he integrated well with the other riders.  "I think the Kazakh clan has been accepted; it is now part of the team. It's normal, we were the new ones. We responded to them in our own way: with vodka and caviar which we brought from Kazakhstan. They loved it!"

One of the Liberty Seguros ? W?rth Kazakhs Andrey Kashechkin last week won a stage at Paris-Nice. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Finally this week, if you?ve ever dreamt of riding through the Italian hills with one of the leading riders in the world, you have your chance this summer.  Australian, Oenone Wood, the number one ranked rider in women?s professional cycling, will be the guest of honor during a 10 day fall cycling tour to Tuscany, Italy with the New York based cycling tour operator V?lo Classic Tours.  Ms. Wood is the two time defending World Cup champion and is based in Germany during her European racing schedule. She accepted the invitation from Peter Easton, Director of V?lo Classic Tours.

Until next week


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