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Tour de France Team News - Stage 19
By Podofdonny
Date: 7/22/2005
Tour de France Team News - Stage 19

T Mobile, Turbo Beppe’s big day; CSC, Kurt-Asle Arvesen again, 3 more riders extend their contracts,

T Mobile

T Mobile were naturally delighted to see Giuseppe Guerini take a deserved Stage victory . Since his early childhood, the Italian has been nicknamed "Turbo-Peppe", but for obscure reasons unrelated to his climbing ability. "The lads in my junior training group gave me the name because there were many Giuseppes in our group, so as my family lived near a power station, I earned the name "Turbo-Peppe", he recalls.

His earliest cycling memories hark back to his very early childhood in his small hometown of Vertova, near Bergamo. At four years of age, unknown to his mother, he was taking his older sister's bike on "top secret" rides. But you can't hide these things from Mom for long, and, predictably, it all ended in tears; little Peppe broke his arm in a collision with a car and had to be rushed off to hospital. "That was the end of my secret rides. But ever since then I have been hooked on cycling."

A freak crash also played a part in the quiet Lombardian's most famous win until today : His Tour stage win at L'Alpe d'Huez in 1999. A kilometre from the finish, Peppe was soloing home for an almost certain stage win, when an amateur photographer standing in the middle of the road, stopped Peppe in his tracks and knocked him onto the tarmac. The resourceful Guerini didn't hesitate a moment, however, jumping straight back on his bike and outpacing the chasers to the ski-station finish.

Giuseppe Guerini finally tasted another Tour de France stage victory today in Le Puy en Velay. The 35-year-old Italian climber and long time T-Mobile domestique grabbed a rare moment in the limelight when he powered clear of his four man lead group with just under 2km to go. His perfectly timed burst left Casar, Pellizotti and Pereiro looking at each other as the diminutive Italian sped out of reach. They finished in that order ten seconds behind.

"I´ve been looking for a win for a long time. My condition was very good, I looked for the right break as I´ve been doing for the past few days and today it worked perfectly. The last road in was very straight. I jumped away and got a good gap. They didn´t chase me immediately so I knew I could win it and I am delighted that I did"

In a Tour which has been something of a rollercoaster for the magenta team, today's second stage win was just the tonic. Jan Ullrich, "I´m really delighted for Giuseppe. He rode brillantly. It´s unbelievable that he´s won such a stage. This morning we decided to get the "Turbo" into a breakaway, how well he did!" The T-Mobile captain will be hoping for more joy in the camp tomorrow evening, as he attempts to overtake Mickael Rasmussen in the individual time trial. The team captain is also eyeballing a third T-Mobile stage win over a course that suits his powerful style.

Jan Ullrich was naturally delighted with his team mates success.

First things first, I want to congratulate Giuseppe on his stunning win. We all worked hard to get him up there in the leading group. And 'Beppe' then took the bull by the horns to clinch the stage win - super!

It was a tough, hectic stage today. The rolling profile meant that we had to pedal hard all day. We were able to celebrate the stage win a couple of kilometres from the finish already: Mario Kummer informed us by radio that 'Beppe' had sealed it.

There wasn't really any scope for a GC shake-up today, so we were just on our guard to ensure that our lead in the team classification didn't come under threat. 'Beppe' did Trojan work to that end.

Already yesterday evening, we all gave 'Matse' Kessler a hearty congratulation at the dinner table for his super efforts on stage 18. We were all delighted to be back on top of the team classification.

It was incredible how strongly Matse rode, despite the after-effects of his crash in the Pyrenees. It was, of course, only logical that in the end he didn't have the legs to fight it our for the stage win. But his efforts gifted a win to the team.

Tomorrow's showdown in St. Etienne boils down to two things: podium or nothing! The time trial should suit me. It is tough, but it also includes straight stretches where I can really drive it hard. When faced with Rasmussen, who has never really shined in time trials, that is certainly an advantage to me.

So the chance of a podium place is still very much on the cards! But I also want to give it my all in the pursuit of the stage win.

Team CSC

Team CSC were naturally very pleased with the battling effort of Kurt-Asle Arvesen and also report extending the contracts of three more riders,Team CSC report -

In today's stage Team CSC's Kurt-Asle Arvesen once again showed his aggressive side. However, in spite of some wholehearted attempts the Norwegian rider did not succeed in closing the gap to the four riders, who ended up battling for the victory in the 19th stage of the Tour de France.

”I felt good today and tried to go for the victory, but unfortunately the group I was in couldn't really agree on anything. It would've been great to be up front fighting for the stage win, but it wasn't possible,” said Arvesen after the stage, which was won by Guiseppe Guerini (T-Mobile). Kurt-Asle Arvesen sprinted his way to a sixth place.

”Kurt came really close to bridging up on one of the climbs, and at one point the gap was only five seconds. The others had a fairly calm day – especially Ivan, who is very determined to do well in the time trail tomorrow,” said Kim Andersen after the 153-kilometer stage between Issoire and Le Puy-en-Veley.

On Friday Team CSC has chosen to extend contracts with Nicki Sørensen, Denmark, Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Norway and Giovanni Lombardi Italy for a further two years.

”At the moment we're trying to set up the team for the next couple of years, and it's really important to reward and hang on to the riders, who have helped bring us to the level we're at now. Throughout the last few years we have created a foundation, consisting of riders who can win races as well as contribute in a major way to our work towards a bigger goal. This is true for the three riders, with whom we've chosen to extend,” says Bjarne Riis.

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