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Cycling News Roundup 25 April 2007
By Staff
Date: 4/25/2007
Cycling News Roundup 25 April 2007

Cycling News Roundup 25 April 2007
Team Comments from Flèche Wallonne, Salvatore Tiralongo, Cunego at Giro del Trentino, Updated UCI Rankings, Colby Pearce Returns to Racing, Team Volksbank's Simon Schärer ends cycling career... Photos

Congratulations to Paolo and Angela Tiralongo on the birth of their Son.
On April 24th Lampre/Fondital cyclist Paolo Tiralongo and wife Angela welcomed their new born son Salvatore Tiralongo to the world. Paolo is busy racing with the team at the Giro del Trentino.

Damiano Cunego (l) and Papa Paolo Tiralongo (r) lead the chase at today's Stage 2 Giro del Trentino  photo c. Lampre/Fondital Bettini

Lampre/Fondital wishes the best to the new two parents. Congratulations to the Tiralongo family from staff and readers.

Caisse d'Epargne Flèche Wallonne
Great Job by the Team, Alejandro Valverde Second

Alejandro Valverde, who was the second in the 71st edition of the Flèche Wallonne, where the victory went to the Italian rider of the Team Gerosteiner Davide Rebellin, declared before climbing on the podium: “I am satisfied. Today I felt much better than in the Amstel Gold Race. All the team did a fantastic job and of course I would have like to win to thank them, but it is not possible to win each time. I think that the fact of being there in front, fighting for the first place is a very good sign before Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which will be a beautiful race and where I think that we will again see all the riders who were present in the Dutch classic and today in this Flèche Wallonne.”

Alejandro Valverde, podium Fleche Wallone.
Photo c. Abarca Sports

Speaking about the tactic adopted during the final part of the race, Valverde explained “After the finish, Danilo Di Luca was angry with me because I did not collaborate in the counter-attack, but with Joaquím Rodríguez ahead –who by the way was really great– it was normal for me not to collaborate. After that the bunch came very fast to catch us and to tell you the truth I did not think they were so close. In the Mur, I lacked strength in the first part, probably because I attacked before but in the last meters I recovered my strength and it gave me the possibility to pass Ricco’ and Kessler and finish second.”

Saunier Duval/Prodir - Flèche Wallonne
Saunier Duval wins Team Classification

Saunier Duval/Prodir´s man from Italy Riccardo Riccò came in 5th today in the 71st edition of the mid-week Belgian classic Flèche Wallonne, an event on the UCI Pro Tour calendar.

Riccò fights for the podium till the end
Riccardo Ricco after the finish. Photo courtesy of Saunier Duval/Prodir.
The young "red bird" couldn´t keep the pace in the tough climb of the Mur de Huy, where the finish line was, after pedalling for 202 kilometres and facing 11 climbing challenges.

Pro Tour leader Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) fortified his hold on the white jersey with an impressive win, kicking clear with only 150 metres to go and leaving Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d´Épargne), Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas), Matthias Kessler (Astana), and young Riccò behind and in this order.

Riccò was not the only red bird to perform excellent: the whole Saunier Duval/Prodir team did. First, it was Iker Camaño, who faced the Côte de Thon, with 45 kilometres to go, in a group that was on the lead for some distance. And then, the latest winner of the Tour of the Basque Country, Juanjo Cobo, attacked on the Côte de Ahin, 20 kilometres before the finish, creating a gap along with a group that lasted up to the foothills of the feared Huy. Mori (15th) and Simoni (20th) also helped Saunier Duval/Prodir earn the first place in the Teams Classification.

Cunego again!  Giro del Trentino
The day after his victory in the first stage of Giro del Trentino, Damiano triumphs in the 2nd stage too (Santa Massenza-Predaia di 144.4 km), the toughest of the race. After the chase by Lampre/Fondital of a dangerous breakaway, on the last climb Cunego answered Scarponi’a attack. Damiano reached Scarponi at 1 km from the finish and  then won the sprint, confirming his leadership in the overall standing (Scarponi 2nd at 14”).

Damiano Cunego, back to back victories in Giro del Trentino.
Photo c. Lampe/Fondital

“It has been a beautiful and pleasant victory: it was difficult to defeat Scarponi,” Cunego commented. “I thank my team mates, who worked hard during the stage”.

Cunego and Scarponi photo c. Lampre/Fondital Bettini

Sport director Martinelli is happy too: “Today too Damiano confirmed his form: these are signs that make us optimist in view of the next appointments. After this good performance, Cunego’s attention will be towards Liegi”. Giro del Trentino stage 2 report.

Lampre-Fondital obtained the 10th place in Fleche Wallone with Tadej Valjavec. The Slovene covered with a regular pace the last climb of Huy wall and so he was able to reach the arrival with 19” of gap from the winner Rebellin. The blue-fucsia team raced as protagonist with a breakaway of 100 kms of Loosli and a good action of Vila (he finished in 24th position).

Team CSC Flèche Wallonne
Fränk Schleck in Seventh Place

Fränk Schleck worked his way to a seventh place in Wednesday's Fleche Wallonne, which was won by Italian Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), who also increased his ProTour lead as an added bonus.

Schleck was not up front ahead of the infamous climb up the Wall in Huy, but he still managed to fight his way up there among the top-10. The peloton was gathered ahead of the climb, but just barely as a break with some of the favorites was only caught at the bottom. Rebellin was in a league of his own and Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) and Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas) took the two other podium spots.

”We were well represented in the various breaks throughout the day, but unfortunately Nicki Sørensen suffered a defect, just as he'd escaped with a group towards the end. All in all we're satisfied though, because we actually weren't expecting Fränk to make it through. In relation to Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday it's a good sign, that he was able to get a seventh place today. He's still in a lot of pain, but managed to do well anyway, which is impressive in it self. We'll have to wait and see, what happens in the next couple of days and hopefully the pain will subside,” said Kim Andersen after the race, which meant that Team CSC maintained the lead in the ProTour rankings.

T-Mobile Flèche Wallonne
T-Mobile Suffers on the Mur

T-Mobile suffered something of a meltdown on the Mur - Patrick Sinkewitz, who had sat nicely the peloton throughout, was delivered to the front at the base of the climb, but didn’t have the legs to go with the favorites and faded to 61th.

Kirchen who had been on the attack in the kilometres before hitting the 'Mur' battled his way to 56th - though the Luxemburg Champion, previously a runner-up here, will be deeply disappointed not to have matched the front-runners again on the final climb.

Mick Rogers, Amstel Gold Race Start. Photo c. Bart Hazen

"The team performed well overall and Kim Kirchen put in a outstanding attack in the finale," said T-Mobile sporting director Valerio Piva summing up the magenta team’s race highlights. "Michael Rogers really worked hard and was forever active. But I was expecting more from Patrik Sinkewitz in the finale."

Kim Kirchen and wife after Amstel Gold finish. Photo c. Bart Hazen

"Events at Amstel Gold Race showed that right now we are not competing at the same level as Rebellin, Valverde or di Luca ", said Piva. "That’s why we wanted to be active throughout and then try and shape the race with an attack in the finale. Kim did exactly that, though unfortunately it wasn’t enough out there today."

The Ardennes-Trilogy concludes Sunday with the Doyenne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, arguably the most prestigious of the three races. Piva: "I hope that we will be back in contention for the podium places in Liege."

T-Mobile Roster Liege-Bastogne-Liege
Michael Barry (31/Canada), Scott Davis (28/Australia), Kim Kirchen (28/Luxembourg), Axel Merckx (34/Belgium), Marco Pinotti (31/Italy), Michael Rogers (27/Australia), Patrik Sinkewitz (26), Thomas Ziegler (26).
Sporting Director: Valerio Piva (48/Italy)

Rebellin in the Pro Tour leaders jersey.  photo c. Bart Hazen

Uci Rankings After Flèche Wallonne
Davide Rebellin confirms his rank as leader with Flèche Wallonne win.

Davide Rebellin added to his lead today, he now leads with 50 points in the UCI Pro Tour individual rankings. Team CSC keeps a slim lead of 4 points over Liquigas and a 14 point lead over arch rival third place team Discovery Channel.
In the Nations Rankings Spain leads Italy by 11 points with nearest competitor Germany at 60 points.

Riders Uci Code Teams Points
1 1 Rebellin Davide (Ita) Ita Gerolsteiner 132
2 2 Freire Gomez Oscar (Esp) Rabobank 82
3 3 O'grady Stuart (Aus) Team Csc 79

4 4 Schumacher Stefan (Ger) Gerolsteiner 75
5 21 Valverde Belmonte Alejandro (Esp)Caisse D'epargne 67

6 5 Contador Velasco Alberto (Esp) Discovery Channel  58
7 6 Cobo Acebo Juan Jose (Esp) Saunier Duval/Prodir 57
8 7 Boonen Tom (Bel) Bel19801015 Quick Step/Innergetic 57
9 8 Klöden Andreas (Ger) Astana 53
10 9 Ballan Alessandro (Ita) Lampre/Fondital 50

11 27 Di Luca Danilo (Ita) Liquigas 50
12 12 Valjavec Tadej (Slo) Lampre-Fondital 46
13 10 Hammond Roger (Gbr)T-Mobile Team 45
14 11 Sanchez Gonzalez Samuel (Esp)Euskaltel/Euskadi 45
15 13 Mcewen Robbie (Aus) Predictor-Lotto 44

Team Rank
Code Teams Country Points

1 1 CSC Team CSC DEN 134
2 3 LIQ Liquigas ITA 130
3 2 DSC Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team USA 120

4 5 RAB Rabobank NED 116
5 4 GCE Caisse d'Epargne ESP 115
6 8 A2R Ag2r Prevoyance FRA 110
7 6 AST Astana SUI 104
8 12 SDV Saunier Duval - Prodir ESP 99
9 9 QSI Quick Step - Innergetic BEL 98
10 10 PRL Predictor-Lotto BEL 96
11 7 TMO T-Mobile Team GER 93
12 11 LAM Lampre-Fondital ITA 93
13 15 C.A Credit Agricole FRA 71
14 13 GST Gerolsteiner GER 70
15 14 MRM Team Milram ITA 64
16 16 COF Cofidis, le Credit Par Telephone FRA 63
17 18 BTL Bouygues Telecom FRA 58
18 20 FDJ Française Des Jeux FRA 47
19 17 UNI SWE 45
20 19 EUS Euskaltel - Euskadi ESP 40

Rank - Country
Code Country Points

1 1 ESP Spain 309
2 2 ITA Italy 298
3 3 GER Germany 231

4 4 AUS Australia 183
5 5 BEL Belgium 147
6 6 SLO Slovenia 71
7 7 LUX Luxembourg 69
8 8 NED Netherlands 62
9 9 GBR Great Britain 48
10 10 KAZ Kazakhstan 48

11 11 RUS Russian Federation 28
12 12 FRA France 25
13 13 LTU Lithuania 20
14 14 UKR Ukraine 3
15 15 CZE Czech Republic 2
16 16 BLR Belarus 1
17 17 NOR Norway 1
UCI Pro Tour

USA Cycling Track Coach Colby Pearce Returns to Competition
“Racing is where my heart is at the moment,”

Thirteen-Time World Cup Medalist, Eight-Time National Champion and Olympian Returns to Track USA Cycling announced today that 2004 U.S. Olympic Team member Colby Pearce (Boulder, Colo.) has resigned as endurance track coach for the national governing body and will return to competitive cycling.

Pearce, 34, will continue to coach for the Colorado Velodrome Association in conjunction with USA Cycling’s previously announced restructuring of its track program, but his primary emphasis will be on returning to world-class competition in the Madison and points race events on the track.

Pearce last competed in 2005 before being named endurance track coach for USA Cycling in November of that year. His competitive results include 13 career UCI Track World Cup medals, a bronze medal in the 2003 Pan American Games and eight USA Cycling national titles. At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Pearce placed 14th in the points race. In his last race, Pearce won a silver medal in the points race at the 2005 UCI World Cup event in Moscow.

“Racing is where my heart is at the moment,” Pearce explained of his decision to return to competition. “It’s still in my blood. Each time I was at a World Cup race or the World Championships as a coach, I found my mind drifting back to the same place. I still feel that I can effectively compete at that level and be successful.”

Pearce is confident his return to racing will benefit the U.S. track program regardless of his own competitive success. “If I don’t make it to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and the result is that I pushed other riders to raise the level of their game and perhaps win a medal, then that’s as much as I could have done as a coach in the first place,” Pearce continued. “Either way, I think it’s a win-win situation.”

“From USA Cycling’s perspective, our loss is also our gain,” commented USA Cycling director of athletics Pat McDonough. “On one hand we are losing a tremendous coach, but on the other we’re gaining an athlete capable of winning medals at international-level events. Additionally, his presence on the track will undoubtedly raise the level of competition and bring out the best in all of our other men’s endurance athletes.”

Last month at the UCI Track World Championships, USA Cycling announced a partnership with three of the nation’s velodromes to serve as official USA Cycling Track Training Centers – The 7-Eleven Velodrome in Colorado Springs, the Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown, Pa. and the ADT Event Center in Carson, Calif. Pearce will work closely with the Colorado Velodrome Association on coaching and programming initiatives as part of USA Cycling’s overall development efforts, but will no longer be a full-time employee of USA Cycling.

“I really look at this as a lateral coaching move,” explained Pearce of his intentions to remain involved on the instructional side of things. “I learned an incredible amount as a coach and I want to continue coaching. I think there’s been a major benefit to me to see the sport from the other side and I’ve learned so much that I wasn’t capable of as an athlete.”

Team Volksbank
Simon Schärer ends cycling career

"I'm not made for cycling. There is too little variety." With these words 24-year-old Swiss neo-pro Simon Schärer abandons his cycling career. "It have been two beautiful months with the Team Volksbank, but I noticed that this is not for me. You have to be used to your life as cyclist. I was missing the structured daily routine and certainly it's a matter of discipline as well, that I can't brace myself for this.", Schärer explains his desicion. "I want to see what I have achieved each evening when I'm lying in my bed. This happens extremely rarely in cycling. That's frustrating for me", says the rouleur from Muttenz in Basel canton.

But yet he has enjoyed his time being a professional rider at the Team Volksbank. "Especially the strong company and the spirit of the team were impressing. This is the most beautiful souvenir I picked up during my short professional career." Schärer, a skilled electrical engineer, will continue on his occupational career as service technician.

Volksbank-team manager Thomas Kofler regrets his rider's desicion. "He impressed me by being the runner-up at the Swiss time trialling championship 2006. That's why I wanted to sign him for 2007. Everybody saw that he really had power on the bike. Athletically he has everything for a solid career. However, if Simon isn't happy, I understand and respect his desicion. I want to wish him all the best for the future."
Team Volksbank Pro Cycling Team Site

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