September 13, 2003
Click for Graham Watson Vuelta Stage 7 photo gallery
Rabobank's Michael Rasmussen won the Vuelta's first mountain stage Friday, and the general classification is starting to shake out a bit. Isidro Nozal held on to the race lead, but US Postal's Triki Beltran is 2nd, 55 seconds back, and Roberto Heras of USPS is 5th, 3:18 back.
Overall standings 1. Isidro Nozal, Spain, ONCE, 20:08:37. 2. Manuel Beltran, US Postal, 55 seconds behind. 3. Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, Spain, ONCE, 1:21. 4. Dario Ita Frigo, Italy, Fassa Bartolo, 3:07. 5. Roberto Heras, Spain, US Postal, 3:18. 6. Francisco Mancebo, Spain, iBanesto.com, 3:40. 7. Aitor Gonzalez, Spain, Fassa Bartolo, 4:00. 8. Alejandro Valverde, Spain, Kelme, 4:03. 9. Michael Rasmussen, Denmark, Rabobank, 4:24. 10. Unai Osa, Spain, iBanesto.com, 4:34.
September 12, 2003
From AFP reports:
Germany's Jan Ullrich, second in the Tour de France this year, said he is aiming to win a triple of the Tour, the Tour of Italy and defend his Olympic title during the next three years.
"First I would like another victory in the Tour de France. The Tour of Italy is also important for me too. The last time I raced in the event I vowed I would return and win it," Ullrich told his website.
"I would also like to defend my gold medal at next year's Athens Olympics," added the road race champion in Sydney.
London has applied to host the opening stages of the Tour de France in 2006.
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has submitted plans to race organisers to stage the opening prologue time trial in central London.
The route would see riders starting and finishing on The Mall and take in Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and Tower Bridge.
"Staging the Grand Depart in London in 2006 would be a great honour," said Livingstone. "We have submitted our proposal and are awaiting a decision from Tour organisers."
September 11, 2003
As with the Tour, Graham Watson is publishing daily photo galleries from the Vuelta. The latest update is from Wednesday's stage, but it's all top-notch work, as we've come to expect from Watson.
Update: Photos from Thursday's time trial are up.
To be sure, Nozal promised he'd put everything into defending his 50-second hold on the race leader's jersey, but no one expected him to do it in such dominant fashion. Not even Nozal himself.
"I thought I had good chances to limit my losses and keep the jersey, but I never dreamed of winning like this," said Nozal, who powered through fierce winds to beat David Millar by an impressive 1 minute, 20 seconds.
Spaniard Isidro Nozal maintained his overall lead in the Tour of Spain by winning the sixth stage on Thursday.
Briton David Millar finished second on the stage with Czech Jan Hruska third in the 43.8km time trial, which started and ended in Zaragoza.
Italy's Alessandro Petacchi set a new record by winning the fifth stage of the Tour of Spain.
The Fassa Bortolo sprinter claimed the 166.7 km stage from Soria to Zaragoza in a bunch sprint from Spaniard Angel Edo and New Zealand's Julian Dean to record his second win of the race.
It is the first time that any rider has claimed two or more stage wins in each of the major Tours in the same year.
ONCE's Isidro Nozal is still the Vuelta's overall leader.
September 09, 2003
Unai Extebarria of Venezuela and Euskaltel won Tuesday's stage, and Spain's Isidro Nozal of ONCE takes over the race lead.
Australian rider Cadel Evans of the Telekom team has retired from the Tour of Spain cycling race after breaking his collarbone in a fall, it was revealed on Tuesday.
The former mountain bike world champion, considered an outside bet for overall victory, did not start the fourth stage from Santander to Burgos following a fall in the closing stages a day earlier in rainy conditions.
September 08, 2003
Yahoo! Sport | Tour of Spain photo gallery
Italy's Alessandro Petacchi won the third stage of the Tour of Spain on Monday.
The Fassa Bortolo sprinter claimed the 154.3-kilometre run from Cangas de Onis thanks to a storming sprint finish in Santander.
Germany's Erik Zabel finished second, with Belgian Tom Boonen third. Spaniard Joaquin Rodriguez of the ONCE team retained his overall race lead.
Petacchi won six stages in the Giro, four in the Tour, and now one in the Vuelta, and is the first rider since Italy's Pierino Baffi in 1958 to take a stage at the three major national tours in the same year.
September 07, 2003
Click for BBC Vuelta photo gallery
Spaniard Luis Perez of the Cofidis team scored his maiden win in the second stage of the Tour of Spain, a 148km ride between Gijon and Cangas de Onis.
Spain's Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano was overtaken Sunday as the overall race leader by ONCE teammate Joaquin Rodriguez.
Perez, 29, won a sprint finish to come in ahead of fellow breakaway rider Carlos Sastre, after the duo went it alone following a first category climb some 20km from the line.
Italian rider Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) has decided not to take the start of the 2nd stage of the Vuelta. Apparently, Cipollini headed home to Italy this morning on an early flight. The reigning world road race champion abandons the race after having completed only the one stage. During yesterday’s team time trial, he had to be pushed by his team mates on various occasions, which led to Domina Vacanze receiving a fine from the race organisers.
They also report that Cipo hadn't trained since June 30th.
Posties en Vuelta
September 06, 2003
There is no Lance Armstrong at the Tour of Spain. But there is Floyd Landis. The 27-year-old American is more than a U.S. Postal lieutenant to the five-time Tour de France champ. Landis is Armstrong's protégé, the latest in line at U.S. Postal after Kevin Livingston and Tyler Hamilton to serve the master before building a name of his own.
Telekom cycling chief Walter Godefroot has revealed the German team are willing to offer 2003 Tour de France runner-up Jan Ullrich a sensational return to the team where he made his name.
Ullrich, 29, is a wanted man after his stellar performances in this year's tour and Telekom want the German rider in their stable once again as Ullrich's current team Bianchi stall on a new deal.
"We want Jan Ullrich," Walter Godefroot told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag. "We would put together something special for him."
Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano became the first leader of this year's Tour of Spain when his ONCE team won Saturday's opening 28km team time-trial in Gijon.
ONCE won by 10 seconds from the US Postal Team, led by another Spanish rider, Roberto Heras, with Francisco Mancebo's ibanesto squad third, 24 seconds off the pace.
September 05, 2003
This year, Heras had rough trip around France with a respiratory illness that put him off his game, but USPS/Berry Floor Director Sportif Johan Bruyneel says that Heras is fully recovered from the tour and ready to take on the challenge: "He took some time off after the Tour, tested his feelings at the Tour of Burgos, left that race and has continued to work hard since."
For his part, Heras says he is there to win, telling reporters in Spain that, annoyed by his close... but no cigar rides in the past two years, he intends to fight for victory.
The Posties will be bringing most of their Tour-winning team, including George Hincapie, Manuel Beltran, Floyd Landis, Heras, and Jose Luis Rubiera, along with Benoit Joachim, Michael Barry, Matt White and Max Van Heeswijk. Heras won the Vuelta in 2000, and finished 2nd last year.
Veteran sponsors ONCE and iBanesto will leave the sport at year's end, giving their riders one more chance to shine on the mountain summits and sizzling plains of Spain.
The iBanesto team has included five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain, and ONCE's present star is Joseba Beloki, who was second in last year's Tour de France.
With the Vuelta kicking off on Saturday, there is still some hope that one or both teams will find new sponsors that allow the teams to stay together under new ownership:
So far, only iBanesto's Juan Miguel Mercado has committed to a new team, joining Belgium's Quick Step in 2004. Those who have no new team in sight can use this race to better their chances of a new home, according to Francis Lafargue, spokesman for iBanesto.
Yet fans of the Vuelta hope the teams will be scooped up in their entirety by single sponsors, said Luis Roman, of the Spanish Cycling Federation.
September 04, 2003
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Five-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and his wife have separated and are planning to divorce, according to a published report.
Armstrong and wife Kristin separated two weeks ago, soon after they moved back to Austin from their European home in Girona, Spain, according to a story published in Thursday editions of the Austin American-Statesman.
Here's the story from the Austin American-Statesman.
An official at the public prosecutor's office in the western town of Kortrijk said detectives took Museeuw to headquarters for questioning. Spokesman Tom Janssens said police found quantities of suspicious drugs when they staged coordinated raids on the homes of professional riders.
"In all these places, substances were impounded," Janssens told Belgian television, adding that all of the impounded substances were currently undergoing testing.
Janssens said the raids were made following an investigation into hormones in the agricultural sector. A number of people were being interviewed, he said.
Investigators found that a local veterinarian was not only selling hormones for use in animals but were also being distributed among Belgian cyclists, he said.
Domine Vacanze and their team leader, world champion Mario Cipollini, will take the start of the La Vuelta on Saturday, Unipublic, organisers of the Spanish cycling Tour confirmed to France's press agency AFP.
"Mario Cipollini and his team Domine Vacanze are on the road towards Gijon (north, concentration area for all the Vuelta teams)" a spokesperson from Unipublic told AFP adding that the organisation "hadn't officially excluded the Italian team from the race".
On Tuesday, Unipublic had announced that they would refuse Domine Vacanze from taking the start of the Vuelta on Saturday if Cipollini was not present as the team was given a wild card as it promised the presence of the world champion.
Guess we'll know for sure on Sunday, when the Vuelta kicks off.
September 03, 2003
Top Australian cyclist Brad McGee is hopeful another series of medical tests this week will confirm a solution for his medical problem.
McGee will spend Thursday and Friday at a hospital in the southern France city of Nice while he is training.
The Sydney-born cyclist was worried at one stage he might have to pull out of the Tour de France because of the mystery problem, which saps him of energy during competition.
Earlier tests suggest McGee is producing too much insulin, "causing havoc with his blood glucose." McGee has already missed the opportunity to defend his world championship in the pursuit, and will miss the world road championships in Hamilton, Ontario in October.
Despite the problem, McGee finished 2nd overall (to US Postal's Viatcheslav Ekimov) with a stage win in the Tour of Holland in August.
The twists and turns of the negotiations between Iban Mayo and his Euskaltel-Euskadi team came to an end today when Mayo signed with his home team for another three seasons.
Mayo won on L'Alpe d'Huez during the 2003 Tour, and finished 6th overall, just behind teammate Haimar Zubeldia. Previous reports on cyclingnews.com suggested Mayo and the team differed on his 2004 goals, with Mayo wanting to contest the Tour, and his team management preferring him to focus on the Tour of the Basque Country.
September 02, 2003
Saying Spain's national tour deserves more respect than has been shown by Mario Cipollini, organizers of the Vuelta a España have ejected the Domina Vacanze team from the race after the world champion made it clear he would not attend.
Race director Victor Cordero told the French wire service AFP on Tuesday that he disapproved of the attitude of Italian team, after it had initially promised to field Cipollini.
"The Vuelta and cycling deserve more respect," Cordero said. "There will only be 21 instead of 22 teams at the start line. To tell us Sunday that Cipollini is not coming is to show a total disregard for everyone."
Cipollini, 36, also missed this year's Tour as his Domina Vacanze team was not given a provisional spot in favor of the French Jean Delatour team.
September 01, 2003
Joseba Beloki, injured July 14th during the Tour de France, will wait one more week before choosing his team for the 2004 season. Beloki is giving ONCE's directeur sportif one last chance at finding a title sponsor and holding on to Beloki.
Beloki, 30, told the Spanish daily AS that he wants to stay with Saiz if he can find a new sponsor to take over for the Spanish lottery ONCE, which is ending its long-running sponsorship at the end of this season.
"I'll wait one more week for Saiz. If nothing happens, I'll sign with a foreign team," Beloki said. The three-time Tour podium finisher has been linked to such teams as Rabobank, CSC, Gerolsteiner and Phonak, but until now has vowed to wait for Saiz.
Tyler Freaking Hamilton has signed a 2-year contract with Switzerland's Phonak team. Reports place the contract at up to 3 million euros.
"Unfortunately it has not been possible to match the offers Tyler has had from other teams, and surely it's a shame that we have to let him go," said Bjarne Riis on the team's website. "We have had a fantastic time together, and I'm proud to have been a part in the process of making him into the rider he is today. The success Tyler has achieve on our team has made him one of the best names in professional cycling today. At the moment we are working hard to create CSC's future team, and we will be very strong. There are more new and exiting names coming up. In short time we will present the basis for the future team".
Hamilton said that "I'm sorry to say goodbye to Team CSC, but that's part of the game. I have had a fantastic time on the team, and I will thank the whole team for their great support they have given me. They all have a big honour for the results I have achieved through the past two years at CSC."
cyclingnews.com also reports the Ivan Basso will take over Hamilton's leadership role on the team.
Hamilton moves on to Team Phonak.
- DailyPeloton.com | BREAKING NEWS!
- DailyPeloton.com | Basso and Voigt to CSC!
- AP | Hamilton leaves Danish club to join Swiss Phonak team
- CSC web site (despite the quote above, there's no mention at 1:40 Eastern of Hamilton's departure)
[Ullrich's manager Wolfgang] Strohband on Sunday told German sports agency SID that 29-year-old Ullrich would not participate in the event from October 6-12, as the Olympic champion wanted to concentrate on preparing for the 2004 Tour de France.
That's a short off-season.