Vuelta á Castilla y Leon, Flying Karpets, Inigo out, Backstedt’s back, Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali latest team news, T Mobile, Milram, Lampre, Liquigas, Tinkoff Credit Systems, Pavel Brutt interview.....
Alberto Contador photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti
He might look more like a Seventies Rock Star but Vladimir Karpets can also pedal a bit. He won Monday's time trial opener at the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon and took the race leader’s jersey at the five-day tour. The Caisse d'Epargne rider was under 12 minutes with a time of 11'55 on the ten km course in Zamora
Spaniard Egoi Martinez (Discovery Channel) was second, two seconds slower while Karpets' French team mate Florent Brard placed third (+0'03), while Italian Ivan Basso (Discovery) placed seventh (+0'09).The strong Discovery Channel Team had 8 riders in the top 15.
For race report and results from Fabio click here
Team CSC – Hard lines for Inigo
Inigo Cuesta never made it to start in Vuelta á Castilla y Leon on Monday, because the Spanish veteran suffered an unlucky crash during the warm-up and was not able to do the 10-kilometer time trial in Zamora.
"It was extremely unlucky for Inigo, whom I'd had great hopes for in this race. He was almost unable to move his shoulder after the crash so we were afraid his collarbone was broken, but he's had a scan and luckily there's no fractures. He was our best bet in this race, so we'll probably have to face the fact that this limits our chances of an overall win somewhat. But we might get a chance to make a difference in some individual stages so that's what we'll be aiming for now," said sports director Kim Andersen after the stage, which did mean good news regarding another Team CSC rider.
"Nicki Sørensen did quite well in the prologue and was our best rider - 26 seconds behind stage winner Vladimir Karpets [Caisse d'Epargne]. I think his result today has given Nicki a major confidence boost and I also think he's well on the way to a good form," commented Kim Andersen, who also has other recently injured riders in his line up for the race.
"This is also Kurt-Asle Arvesen's first race after his injury at the training camp in California in February and Carlos is here as well even though he's not a hundred percent yet on top of his crash a couple of weeks ago. So the main objective for these guys is to get some mileage in their legs really," concluded Kim Andersen.
Liquigas – Backstedt’s back!
Backstedt starts again from the Vuelta Castilla y Leon
The Swedish rider returns racing after accidents and health's problems
Magnus Backstedt comes back racing after an operation to remove a melanoma and a season characterised by many accidents. Now Magnus can start to compete again: it will happen in the Vuelta Castilla y Leon, the first stage of the way that will lead the Liquigas' rider to play his cards at the Paris-Roubaix. In the Vuelta Castilla y Leon there will be Spanish Manuel Beltran too: he will be engaged with the first season race in his mother-country.
These are the others Liquigas' riders for the race: Michael Albasini, Patrick Calcagni, Kjell Carlstrom, Dario Cataldo, Vladimir Miholjevic and Alessandro Vanotti. Team manager: Mario Chiesa.
And a pretty good first race for the popular Swedish/Welshman – he finished in 6th spot with the same time as Ivan Basso. Vladimir Miholjevic also did well with 9th spot just 18 seconds down.
Ricco photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti
Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali (March 27-31)
Interesting start to the race in the holiday resort of Riccione on the Adriatic coast with a double stage, a course over 95.2 kilometers and a team time trial over 11.8 kilometers. In another four stages the race leads the riders through the Italian Region Emilia-Romagna. Last years winner Cunego is not riding and the race is wide open.
25 Teams will ride and famous names include riders like Danilo di Luca (Liquigas) Gilberto Simoni and Riccardo Ricco (Saunier) Dario Cioni (Lotto), Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) and Paolo Savoldelli (Astana) .
The Stages :
Tuesday, March 27 - stage 1a: Riccione - Riccione (km 95,2)
Tuesday, March 27 - stage 1b: Misano Adriatico - Misano Adriatico (11,8 km Team time trial)
Wednesday, March 28 - stage 2: Castel San Pietro Terme - Faenza (km 175,6)
Thursday, March 29 - stage 3: Scandiano - Serramazzoni (km 165,9)
Friday, March 30 - stage 4: Carpi - Finale Emilia (km 194)
Saturday, March 31- stage 5: Casalgrande - Sassuolo (km 168,9)
Total: 811,4 km
T Mobile taste the pasta photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti
T Mobile with an Italian flavour
Michael Rogers leads an eight-man T-Mobile roster at the five-day Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali (March 27-31) in Italy from Tuesday. Taking in Adriatic coastal roads and hilly hinterland, the 811.4 km stage race offers both sprinters and all-rounders the chance to shine.
For Australia’s Rogers, who lives in northern Italy, the ‘Settimana’ will be a first race appearance for 2007 on European roads. Rogers’ only previous competitive outing this year was at the Tour of California in February, where he finished seventh overall.
Rogers is joined on the Adriatic by a team with a fittingly strong Italian flavour - Azzuri trio Lorenzo Bernucci, Giuseppe Guerini and Marco Pinotti are joined by Italian residents Serhiy Honchar (Ukraine) and Scott Davis (Australia). US all-rounder Aaron Olson and German sprinter André Greipel complete the magenta roster for the (UCI-Category 2.1)
The race kicks off Tuesday for the 200 riders from 25 teams with two semi-stages in and around the holiday resort of Riccione: A 95,2 km circuit race in the morning is followed by a 11,8 km team time trial in the afternoon. With chrono specialists Honchar, Rogers and Pinotti on board, the T-Mobile train is sure to be firing-on-all-cylinders in Riccione on Tuesday afternoon.
The remaining four stages take the peloton through Italy's Emilia-Romagna region. One or two bunch finishes are expected and sporting director Jan Schaffrath will be looking to the firepower of André Greipel in these situations. The 24 year-old fast-twitch man makes his race comeback in Italy, having recovered from the intestinal virus that wiped out most of the magenta roster at the recent "Three days in West Flanders".
Italian riders have monopolised the ‘Settimana’ overall in recent years – Moldavia’s Ruslan Ivanov was the last non-Italian to win out. For this year’s edition, the Italian contingent is as strong as ever - Italian teams make up nine of the 25 squads in action and heavy-hitters like Danilo di Luca (Liquigas) Riccardo Ricco (Saunier) Dario Cioni (Lotto), Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) and Paolo Savoldelli (Astana) are all starting. (gl)
The T-Mobile Team roster in brief:
Lorenzo Bernucci (27/Italy), Scott Davis (27/Australia), André Greipel (24/Germany), Giuseppe Guerini (37/Italy), Serhiy Honchar (36/Ukraine), Aaron Olson (29/USA), Marco Pinotti (31/Italy), Michael Rogers (27/Australia).
From 27th to 31st of March, blue-fucsia team will take part in Coppi e Bartali with the following cyclists: Bossoni, Bruseghin, Castaneda, Gavazzi, Marzano, Possoni, Szmyd and Tiralongo. Fabrizio Bontempi and Bruno Vicino will guide the team, with the support of doctor Guardascione, of mechanics Bortoluzzo, Carminati and Fezzardi, of masseurs Corna, Pizzini and Rubino.
“We aim to realize good performances in the toughest stages, because we have good grimpeurs - Bontempi said - I think that in the overall standing we can obtain good results. We haven’t a leader, so our young riders will have the chance for point themselves out”.
From Tuesday, 27 March, to Saturday, 31 March, the Settimana Internazionale Coppi Bartali is on Team MILRAM's schedule. The tour through Italy starts in the holiday spot Riccione on the Adriatic coast with a double stage, a course over 95.2 kilometers and a team time trial over 11.8 kilometers. In another four stages the race leads the riders through the Italian Region Emilia-Romagna.
Alessandro Petacchi, Fabio Sacchi, Andrey Grivko, Matej Jurco, Mirco Lorenzetto, Elia Rigotto, Sebastian Schwager, Marco Velo
The killer strikes photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti
Di Luca starts again in the Coppi & Bartali
After his victory in the Milano-Torino, followed by the flu attack that forced him to a few days' stop, Danilo Di Luca will race the Settimana Ciclistica Internazionale Coppi & Bartali (27-31 March).
At the side of Di Luca the Liquigas team will line up: Leonardo Bertagnolli, Eros Capecchi, Francesco Chicchi, Francesco Failli, Andrea Noè, Alessandro Spezialetti and Charles Wegelius. Team managers: Dario Mariuzzo and Mario Scirea.
Brutt force! photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti
Tinkoff Credit Systems
The team are, quite rightly, proud of their Milano Sanremo race, with Pavel Brutt being in the tick of the action for much of the day, he was caught with just two climbs to go, Tinkoff Credit Systems (TCS) interview their man from Sosnovy Bor.
TCS: “Milano Sanremo was a grand debut for you, you’d never ridden anything as long as that, right?”
P.B. “Absolutely, I rode two times about 260 km, once in the Wolrd’s and once in a stage race – and that’s all for the experiences of this sort.”
TCS: “Did it feel all different from what you had gone through in your career?”
P.B. “I won’t quite say so, the butt aches as much as always, the legs hurt and straight after the finish I got a bit dizzy, then sleepy in the team bus. All of that are familiar symptoms, only perhaps more pronounced this time. But when we broke away after some 90 km of racing, I got a measure of chill down my back at the very thought of how much was left. Then I made up my mind not to look too far ahead and to take it mile by mile. When we got caught I even had a face to try to join the main pack, yet found out pretty quickly I was too tired for that; so I had to settle down in a gruppetto. All in all, it was a unique experience, at the moment we have a lot of notes to compare with Anton Mindlin for whom the longest race before that had been about 210 km.”
TSC: “The race looked truly dangerous this time, lots of crashes, how did it look from inside?”
P.B. “It looked even more frightful from outside, when we watched a video record of those terrible crashes of Gerolstainer guys. Anyway, it was definitely safer in front, at least we saw where we went – but sometimes I almost lost control of the bike even pedaling in the saddle down a straight line . A couple of raindrops were enough to make tarmac as slippery as a bar of soap, partially because of sea salt on it, partially because of the structure of tarmac.”
TCS: “The next race for you is…”
P.B. “Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. Where the stages are far shorter than Milan-Sanremo. Why not to try to show something interesting out there?”
Brutt force! photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti