By Andrew Hood
Jorg Jaksche and his CSC teammates barnstormed to victory in Sunday’s26km team time trial up the steep roads to Mont Faron high above the FrenchRiviera.
While a team time trial by name, riders were awarded individual timesas eight-man teams rode the twisting course. It wouldn’t have matteredas CSC dominated the proceedings, sweeping the top three positions in thestage as well as the overall.
“We rode this stage to perfection,” said CSC team manager Bjarne Riis.“The riders followed the tactics down to the last detail and on the climbthey were simply outstanding. All the riders deserve praise for their efforts.”
CSC’s Jaksche and Ivan Basso actually finished in the same time butteam boss Riis said it was decided that the young German would take theflowers. The victory is the first pro win for Jaksche, who was sick beforethe start and then crashed in the opening stage to hang on for the win.
Bobby Julich (CSC) finished eighth overall at 1:17 back and Levi Leipheimer(Rabobank) rode solidly throughout the week to finish 10th at 1:25 back.
Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) put up a good fight to finish fourth in thestage and take fourth overall. Baden Cooke (FDJeux.com) won two stagesand claim the points prize while CSC took the team prize.
31st Tour Mediterranean (UCI 2.3)
Stage 5, Team Time Trial, La Garde to Mont Faron
1. Jorg Jaksche, Team CSC 26 kilometers in 41:14 (37.83kph)
2. Ivan Basso, Team CSC same time
3. Jens Voigt, Team CSC +0:41
4. Michael Boogerd, Rabobank +1:02
5. David Moncoutie, Cofidis +1:05Final Overall Standings (clickhere for final overall results)
1. Jorg Jaksche, Team CSC 12 hours, 16 minutes, 31seconds
2. Ivan Basso, Team CSC same time
3. Jens Voigt, Team CSC +0:33
4. Michael Boogerd, Rabobank +0:54
5. David Moncoutie, Cofidis +1:05
Fast Freddy 3rd at Liguria
Fred Rodriguez (Acqua e Sapone) finished third in Sunday’s stage ofthe Giro della Liguria while Italian Filippo Pozzato (Fassa Bortolo) tookbragging rights in a bunch sprint. Navigators Insurance rider Ciaran Powercame through to take eighth.
“I’m obviously very happy for this first win” said Pozzato. “But I’m not as brilliant as I’d like. I can see it on the climbs. The team, especially Petito and Flecha, did a very good job, also if they let me alone a little bit too soon. I kept concentrated : I let my rivals take the lead and then I moved and won. I hope to improve for Milano – San Remo”.
The Liguria race was nearly derailed as traffic problems forced thecancellation of Friday’s stage, but officials quickly organized a criteriumSaturday and held Sunday’s road stage as planned.
Giro della Liguria
1. Filippo Pozzato (I), Fassa Bortolo 3 hours, 3 minutes,50 seconds (37.54 kph)
2. Crescenzo D’Amore (I), Acqua e Sapone
3. Fred Rodriguez (USA), Acqua e Sapone
4. Paolo Bossoni (I), Lampre
5. Aert Vierhouten (Ned), Lotto-Domo all same time
Boonen powers to Ruta opener
Tom Boonen (Quick Step) won his second bunch sprint in as many weeksas the big Belgium muscled his way to victory in the 181km opening stageof the Ruta del Sol in Spain.
Boonen, who won a stage at the Tour of Qatar earlier this month, edgedVicente Reynes (Illes Balears) and Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) to score the bunchsprint. Quick Step has brought in big Italian motor Stefano Zanini to helpBoonen duke it out in the mass gallops and so far the move has paid off.
Max Van Heeswijk led U.S. Postal Service with 10th place in the Posties’season debut. Newcomer Patrick McCartney safely negotiated his first dayin the service of Postal, finishing in good company, just one spot aheadof Johan Museeuw (Quick Step).
The mountain goats take over Monday for the 184km second stage fromArcos de la Frontera to Benalmádena, which hits four rated climbs,including at Cat. 1 early on and a Cat 3 in the final 20km that could splitthe bunch.
50th Ruta del Sol (UCI 2.3)
Huelva to Sevilla, 181km
1. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step, 181km in 4:22:50
2. Vicente Reynes (Sp), Illes Balears
3. Erik Zabel (G), T-Mobile
4. David Etxebarria (Sp), Euskaltel
5. Oscar Freire (Sp), Rabobank all same time
Cardiac scare prompts De Waele retirement
Belgian cyclist Fabien De Waele, a former member of the top Mapei and Lotto teams, has decided to retire from the sport after experiencing what he said was a heart scare.
The 28-year-old, whose best career victory was the Fleche Brabanconne in 2002, made the announcement Saturday. De Waele said he felt a twinge in his chest during a training session on Tuesday, having already experienced the problem last year during the Tour of the Walloon Region.
He admitted that while subsequent medical tests proved inconclusive, he would rather give up the sport than risk tragedy.
“My heart quite literally tightened up into a ball for no apparent reason while we were riding along slowly in a group,” said de Waele. “I immediately consulted a doctor and the subsequent tests reassured me. But what happened on Tuesday has left me with no choice but to end my career. Life is too important to me to take the slightest risk.”
De Waele, who said he hopes to remain in cycling in some capacity, moved from the Belgian Lotto team to Palmans-Collstrop last winter. Copyright AFP2004
Dog knocks down Rogers
Tour de France hopeful Michael Rogers (Quick Step) fell Thursday during a training ride near Legnano, Italy, after a dog crossed his path and forced the Aussie off his bike.
Rogers suffered cuts and bruises to his right leg and quickly went in for medical check-ups. X-rays revealed no broken bones but his start in Tuesday’s Trofeo Laigueglia is questionable.
“I was lucky because the crash happened in climbing, not during the descent,” Rogers said on the team’s web site. Ex-Banesto staff unhappy
Several ex-Banesto staff say they’re owed back wages and insist they’re close to “being on the street because Banesto fired them and Illes Balears won’t hire them.” According to reports on the Spanish wires, several soigneurs, mechanics and other support staff have filed a suit against the former Banesto team for not paying back wages. Many have not been rehired by the renamed Illes Balears team.