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Cycling News Roundup - National Championships Week Part 1
By Staff
Date: 7/2/2008
Cycling News Roundup - National Championships Week Part 1

Cycling News Roundup - National Championships Week Part 1
Team Reports, Comments and Photos: Kazakhstan, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Lithuania, Switzerland, Austria and Norway.

Kazakhstan - Astana
Assan Bazayev Road Champion

For the third day in a row the Astana Cycling Team won a gold medal in the national championships. On Saturday, Assan Bazayev took the national road title in Kazakhstan. Bazayev, known for his sprinting ability, finished solo in Karaganda. Sergey Renez (Ulan) was second with Maxim Gurov (A-Style Somn) finishing third.

Team Astana had seven of their eight Kazakh riders in the race (a sick Sergey Yakovlev did not start). Bazayev's teammate, Dmitriy Muravyev, joined him in the decisive breakaway of eight riders. In the last kilometers of the race, Bazayev escaped with Renez and with 500 meters to go, left him to win solo.

The 27 year old Bazayev, a native of the city of Astana, captured his first road title as a professional rider. This season Bazayev finished 15 times in the top ten. He was impressive in the Tour of Luxemburg and the Tour of Turkey, where he won the points classification. In addition to those achievements, he was instrumental in Alberto Contador's 2008 Giro d'Italia victory.

“Last season I saw how proud my team-mate Maxim Iglinskiy wore the Kazakhstan national jersey. I will wear my national colors with the same dignity and pride”, commented the new champion. “I am proud to be Kazakh and want the whole world to know that it is a true honor to represent this country. I will try to win as many races as possible in my new jersey, in an effort to thank the Kazakh authorities for what they did for us the last few years.”

Result National Road Championship Kazakhstan (Karaganda, 170 K)
1. Assan Bazayev (ASTANA); 2. Sergey Renez (ULAN); 3. Maxim Gurov (A-STYLE-SOMN); 4. Dmitriy Muravyev (ASTANA)

Sérgio Paulinho Time Trial Champion Portugal
Sérgio Paulinho is the new time trial champion of Portugal. The only Portuguese Astana Cycling Team rider was the fastest rider on the 27.6 K long circuit in Paredes. Paulinho was challenged by Tiago Machado, the U23 champion of the last two years, who finished only two seconds behind. Another young rider, Hélder Oliveira, the 2005 U23 national champion, was third. The course consisted of four difficult laps of 6.9 K in the town’s center. Paulinho started very strong but had to struggle till the end to keep his small advantage.

Portugese Champion Sergio Paulinho
Photo © Astana Pro Cycling

For the Portuguese champion, it is his third gold in the event (1999 U23, 2004, 2008), his first with the Kazakh based Astana Cycling Team. Paulinho’s career highlights include a silver medal in the 2004 Olympic Road Race (Athens) and a stage victory in the Tour of Spain (2006). Tomorrow, Paulinho will look to add to his achievements when he competes in the national road championship in Rebordosa.

“Since I am the only Portuguese rider representing Team Astana, it will be a great challenge for me to take the national road title. For this reason, I was extremely motivated to win today’s time trial. It is once again an honor to wear the Portuguese colors and represent the countries of both Portugal and Kazakhstan.”

Result Portugal Time Trial Championship (Paredes, 27.6 K): 1. Sérgio Paulinho (ASTANA); 2. Tiago Machado (MADEINOX-BOAVISTA) 0.02; 3. Hélder Oliveira 01.20 (BARBOT-SIPER)

Caisse d'Epargne
Luis León Sanchez Spanish TT Champion

The riders of the team Caisse d’Epargne made a triumph in the Spanish time trial championship thanks to Luis León Sanchez’s victory who won ahead of Ruben Plaza and his team-mate Iván Gutiérrez, who won the bronze medal. Sánchez’s time was 32’59” on the 27,7 kilometers circuit of Talavera de la Reina.

“At least a champion title!”, declared Luis León Sánchez after he won the gold medal. “Yesterday I came to look at the course and he pleased me immediately for requiring strength and that is what suits me better. I felt very well and the heat we have here was also certainly in my favor. On the other hand I was not sure of how I would be in the race because I took part in no races the last weeks and when it is like that you are never sure how your legs will react. I prepared very well for the Tour because I will to do my best in France to help Alejandro Valverde winning the race and today I believe that I showed everybody that I am in great condition already. What I am still missing is the rhythm of the races but I will take advantage of the first week in the Tour to get it and be at 100% when we have to face the first difficulties.”

Spanish TT Saunier Duval Scott
Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d´Epargne) has become the new Spanish TT Champion. The rider from Murcia won the race held today in Talavera de la Reina, Toledo (27.7 kilometres). He was followed by Rubén Plaza (Benfica) and José Iván Gutiérrez (Caisse d´Epargne). The fourth best time was clocked by SAUNIER DUVAL-Scott's Jesús del Nero, who was thus this close from securing a place on the podium. With his great performance, our rider from Madrid was only 6 seconds slower than Gutiérrez, who has won this title four times. This is a big boost to Del Nero, just one week before the beginning of the Tour de France. Juanjo Cobo came in 10th, showing he´s also in good shape.

Spanish National Time Trial Championships Results
Talavera de la Reina (Toledo, 27.7 kilometres)
1. Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d’Epargne) 32:59; 2. Plaza (Benfica) at 0:16; 3. Iván Gutiérrez (Caisse d’Epargne) at 0:56; 4. Del Nero (Saunier Duval/Scott) at 1:02; 5. Teruel (Contentpolis-Murcia) at 1:07; …10. Cobo (SDS) at 1:42; 23. Durán (SDS) at 3:26.

Astana's Tomas Vaitkus
Wins Lithuania’s National Road Championships

Tomas Vaitkus had two successful days in his homeland of Lithuania. After he took the silver medal in the time trial on Friday, he won the national title in the road race on Saturday. Both races were held in Ignalina.

“The road race was a big goal of mine, which all my competitors knew coming into the race and made me an easy target. I was lucky there was a crosswind, making the race harder and allowing me and to get in a breakaway of six riders.
Though I did not have any Team Astana riders here, I am very grateful for the support I received from the Kazakh Ulan Team riders,” commented the fifth Astana Cycling Team rider to win a 2008 national championship.

For the Lithuanian champion, it is his second title in the event (2004, 2008). Vaitkus’ career highlights further include a gold medal on the U23 world championships time trial in 2002, a stage victory in the Giro d’Italia (2006) and two national time trial titles (2003, 2004).

Result Lithuania Time Trial Championship (Ignalina, June 27th, 29 K): 1. Ignatas Konovalovas (Crédit Agricole); 2. Tomas Vaitkus (ASTANA) 0.51; 3. Evaldas Siskevicius (VC LA POMME MARSEILLE)

Result Lithuania Road Championship (Ignalina, June 27th, 29 K): 1. Tomas Vaitkus (ASTANA); 2. Andrius Buividas (CC ETUPES); 3. Marius Kukta (MAPORO NAMED - TEAM AURORA)

Swiss Road Race Championships Women
Second place for Schnider

28 June, 2008 – In the today’s Swiss Road Race Championships in Gansingen (Aargau), Pascale Schnider from the Cervélo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team took the second place on the 6 x 15,5 km course behind the winner Jennifer Hohl. On third place finished Emilie Aubry.

Pascale Schnider  drives the break. Photo © 2008 Michel Studer

During the second last lap (approx. 25 km ahead of the finish), eight riders attacked and made a gap to the peloton, among this riders were the 23-year-old Pascale Schnider and her team-mate Patricia Schwager. At the end, Jennifer Hohl who used the personnal strength of the Bilga Team in the outrider group, won her first national title in the senior female category. Karin Thürig and Priska Doppmann finished on 10th and 11th position.

2008 Swiss Road Championships: Pascale Schnider, Jennifer Hohl and Emilie Aubry  Photo © 2008 Michel Studer

Swiss Road Championships
1 . Jennifer Hohl, Bigla Cycling Team 2:42:44
2. Pascale Schnider, Cervélo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 0:05
3. Emilie Aubry, Team Campione Celeste - Orbea – Renault 0:05
4. Andrea Thürig, Cervélo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 0:05
5. Andrea Wolfer, Bigla Cycling Team 0:05
6 Sarah Grab (Team Specialized)
7 Patricia Schwager (Cervélo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team)
8 Monika Furrer (Team Specialized)
9 Sereina Trachsel (Bigla Cycling Team) 1.53
10 Karin Thürig (Cervélo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team)
11 Priska Doppmann (Cervélo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team)
Complete Results.

Cervélo-Lifeforce's Thürig Defends Swiss Time Trial Title
Today, the Swiss Time Trial Championships took place in Messen (SUI). The 35-year-old Karin Thürig from the Cervélo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team defended her National Time Trial Champion title on the 22,7 km course in a time of 30:49 min and an average of 44,182 km/h.

On second place finished Sereina Trachsel (1:36min behind), while Priska Doppmann, who started with an injury, took third rank with a great performance today. The both Cervélo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team riders Thürig and Doppmann are definitively on a good way to Beijing 2008!

With Patricia Schwager, another rider of the team made a good today’s race. She finished fifth in a strong time trial specialist starter field.

Results Swiss National Time Trial Championships:
1 Karin Thürig (Retschwil) Cervélo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 30:49 min
2. Sereina Trachsel (Weiach) Bigla Cycling Team 1:36
3. Priska Doppmann (Immensee) Cervélo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 1:53

4. Andrea Thürig (Luzern) Bigla Cycling Team 2:39
5. Patricia Schwager (Balterswil) Cervélo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 2:44
9 Pascale Schnider (Flühli), Cervélo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 4:24

Women's Elite Peloton at the combined Czech and Slovakia Championships
Photo © Pan Josef Vaishar   

Ag2r la Mondiale Cyril Dessel
Cyril Dessel Abandons French Road Race
Comments from Cyril Dessel and Vincent Lavenu after the abandonment of Cyril at the road Championship of France in  Semur-in-auxois.

Cyril Dessel: “I started to sense something yesterday. I thought it was a cyst but according to the doctor of the Federation who examined me it was from hémorroïdes. Today, with the paving stones the pain was insupportable. I preferred not to continue and avoid worsening it before the start of the Tour, it was the wisest decision. My morale and condition were good, and I think sincerely that without the paved sector I would have been obstructed less and I would have been able to do something. I did not have a chance, it is a pity, but the things should go well from here at the departure of the Tour.”

Vincent Lavenu: “We did not want to take risks at only one week from the start of the tour. Cyril came to see me, it hurt very badly in particular on the paving stones, I preferred to tell him to stop. It was useless to take the risk to worsening things.“

Austrian Road Championships
Barloworld's Pfannberger
takes his second Austrian Champ

29 year-old Christian Pfannberger earned today his second National Champion’s jersey, dominating the Austrian’s road race. Pfannberger, for the first year at Team Barloworld, gave Claudio Corti’s team a truly important achievement and confirmed himself, for the second consecutive year, as the best rider of Austria. He outdid Hans Peter Obwaller ( RC ARBÖ Resch & Frisch Gourmetfein Wels) and Stefan Rucker (Elk Haus), who placed third.

Christian really dominated the Austrian race. He joined the leading escape just before entering the final circuit and, with an impressive action climbing the hard hill in the last kilometres, managed to achieve a great solo victory with an around 2 minutes’ lead over the other contenders. Pfannberger reached this important confirm also thanks to his new bike Bianchi 928 Carbon. “I soon found the right feeling with my new Bianchi today – stated 2008 Austrian Champion – and I am sure it really helped me winning the race: this bike is incredibly light! I would like to thank Bianchi’s team for their strong effort and technical support!”.

Enrico Gasparotto
At the Italian National Championship – won by Filippo Simeoni (Flaminia), with Giovanni Visconti (Quick Step) second, and Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas) third - a disappointed Enrico Gasparotto didn’t manage to double his 2005 victory. Ster Elektrotoer recent winner suffered the hot temperature during the 260 km around Bergamo, and had to give up in the last lap. “Anyway, the whole Team Barloworld worked well in order to keep Gasparotto ahead in the peloton - Claudio Corti said - but unfortunately it wasn’t the right day for Enrico”.

German Road Champs Women
After the yesterday’s Swiss Road Championships, took place today the German Championships with Sarah Düster from the Cervélo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team. The race on the 6 x 19.1 km course finished with a victory of Luise Keller ahead of Eva Lutz and Tina Liebig. Sarah Düster came into the finish with the peloton and took the 20th place.

Sarah Düster close up. Photo © 2008 CJ Farquharson

Sarah Düster is the only German rider in the Swiss Cervélo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team and took part as a single starter at the German Championships.

The Austrian Road Championships in Seefeld took place without the favourite Christiane Soeder from the Cervélo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team. She decided not to start due to sickness.

Results German Championships (114,6km):
1. Luise Keller, Team Columbia Women 3:16.03
2. Eva Lutz, Equipe Nürnberger Versicherungen 0.42
3. Tina Liebig, Team DSB Bank 0.42

4. Bianca Knöpfle, Team Flexpoint 0.42
5. Hanka Kupfernagel, ITERA World Sports Star-Team 1.16
20. Sarah Düster, Cervélo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 12.33

Norwegian Road Championship
CSC Saxo Bank's Arvesen Wins Gold in Norway

On Sunday Kurt-Asle Arvesen secured himself the norwegian championship jersey by winning the Norwegian Road Race Championship, a 200 kilometer race in Bergen, which he won ahead of Stian Remme (Team Sparbanken) and Lars Petter Nordhaug (Joker Bianchi).

"It was a very demanding course. We were a little group of five riders and then we were only two and with about six kilometers to go, I managed to escape on my own," said a happy Kurt-Asle Arvesen, who is looking forward to wearing the championship jersey at the Tour de France.

"We have been on a very tough training camp in Luxembourg, but after Tour de Suisse, I've managed to relax a bit and adjusted my training, so now my shape is right where I want it to be," said Arvesen.

In Holland Team CSC Saxo Banks Karsten Kroon finished just outside the podium in fourth place and Jens Voigt finished fifth in Germany.

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