Road

Monday’s EuroFile: Landis pleased with Algarve; Zabel No. 1

Floyd Landis won Sunday’s final stage and the overall at the Tour ofthe Algarve in Portugal to mark the best start to the season ever for U.S.Postal Service. The team also won two stages at the Ruta del Sol last week.Five-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong started the stagewearing the yellow jersey, but told Landis to ride for the victory. Armstrongwon Saturday’s time trial and finished fifth overall.“Lance is generous, so he said I could go for the win if I was feelingwell. Everybody worked together,” Landis told the AP. “It's good for theteam to start the year with a win, so

By Andrew Hood

In yellow when it counts

In yellow when it counts

Photo: AFP

Floyd Landis won Sunday’s final stage and the overall at the Tour ofthe Algarve in Portugal to mark the best start to the season ever for U.S.Postal Service. The team also won two stages at the Ruta del Sol last week.Five-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong started the stagewearing the yellow jersey, but told Landis to ride for the victory. Armstrongwon Saturday’s time trial and finished fifth overall.“Lance is generous, so he said I could go for the win if I was feelingwell. Everybody worked together,” Landis told the AP. “It’s good for theteam to start the year with a win, so everybody’s happy.”Horrible weather greeted the riders for the final stage, with heavyrain and strong wind.
 
“Today the weather was a little strange. It was pretty miserable atthe beginning but it got better towards the end,” Landis said.Zabel back on top
Leading world rankings issued by the UCI on Monday (previous rankingin brackets):
1. (2) Erik Zabel (Germany) 2,149.75 points
2. (1) Paolo Bettini (Italy) 2,099.00
3. (3) Alessandro Petacchi (Italy) 1,909.00
4. (4) Gilberto Simoni (Italy) 1,726.00
5. (5) Alexandre Vinokourov (Kazakhstan) 1,640.50
6. (8) Lance Armstrong (U.S.) 1,591.00
7. (6) Davide Rebellin (Italy) 1,566.00
8. (7) Alejandro Valverde (Spain) 1,562.00
9. (9) Michael Boogerd (Netherlands) 1,451.00
10. (10) Iban Mayo (Spain) 1,425.00
11. (11) Tyler Hamilton (U.S.) 1,371.20
12. (13) Francesco Casagrande (Italy) 1,322.00
13. (14) Dario Frigo (Italy) 1,265.00
14. (15) Jan Ullrich (Germany) 1,258.00
15. (12) Danilo Di Luca (Italy) 1,224.00
16. (16) Mirko Celestino (Italy) 1,153.00
17. (17) Isidro Nozal (Spain) 1,150.00
18. (18) Peter van Petegem (Belgium) 1,147.00
19. (19) Francisco Mancebo (Spain) 1,121.00
20. (20) David Millar (Britain) 1,092.00Cipo, Di Luca to Lucca
Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) will be racing in front of the homecrowd in this week’s Giro della Provincia di Lucca. The Lion King was bornin Lucca and will be joined by Mario Scirea, Massimiliano Mori, GabrieleColombo, Alessio Galletti, Gian Matteo Fagnini, Martin Derganc and AndrusAugDanilo Di Luca (Saeco) will make his season debut in Tuesday’s Girodella Provincia di Lucca, which continues through Sunday. Di Luca was supposedto race the Tour of Turkey, but the race was cancelled and forced the laterstart for the Italian star.”Danilo has worked really hard and I’m sure he’ll soon make his presencefelt in the peloton,” said Saeco sport director Giuseppe Martinelli.Joining Di Luca are Gabriele Balducci, Paolo Fornaciari, Eddy Mazzoleni,Dario Pieri, Alessandro Spezialetti, Nicola Gavazzi and Andrea Tonti.Stages, Giro della Provincia di Lucca (UCI 2.3)
Tuesday, Viareggio to Capannori, 174km
Wednesday, Massarosa to Lido di Camaiore, 173km
Thursday, Lucca to Castelvecchio Pascoli, 176 km
Friday, Castelnuovo di Garfagnana to Altopascio, 188kmBeloki delays return
Tour de France contender Joseba Beloki (Brioches La Boulangere) didn’ttake his expected start in Sunday’s Trofeo Luis Puig and isn’t expectedto race in the Tour of Valencia this week.“We have preferred to wait a little bit more because, even though Ifeel good physically, it’s not worth it the risk,” Beloki told the Spanishdaily AS. “Maybe it would still be a little premature.”Beloki suffered tendonitis in his right knee that forced him to skipthe GP Marseille on Feb. 3. He’s now eyeing the Almeria Classic on Feb.29.CSC not invited to Tirreno
Team CSC is changing its racing schedule after the team didn’t receivean invitation to race at Tirreno-Adriatico next month.“This means we have to make alternative plans for March,” said teammanager Bjarne Riis on the team’s web page. “I’m of course disappointedby the decision, because even though the organizers have every right tochoose who they want, it’s rather late they inform us of their decision,about not inviting us.”Riis said the team will adjust its racing schedule to make up for thelost days.”Bartoli will now ride the Paris-Nice and we will also participate inDriedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, which wasn’t in our original race calendar,”said Riis, who is with the team at a training camp in Lucca.
 
Casero couldn’t start Luis Puig
Angel Casero (Valenciana-Kelme) couldn’t start Sunday’s Trofeo LuisPuig because the UCI still hasn’t granted him a racing license for the2004 season. Casero officially signed a one-year contract with the team10 days but he still has no license.Other riders on the team face similar straits, including David Muñoz,José Luis Martínez, Vicente Ballester, Juan M. Cuenca, J.AdriánBonilla and Agustín Bravo. The Spanish daily MARCA reportedthat Casero likely won’t be able to start the Tour of Valencia on Tuesday.