By Andrew Hood
Ivan Basso (CSC) is the top name starting the six-day Tour of Denmark (August 3-7) set to kick off in Skive with 15 teams and 148 riders.
Team CSC, Rabobank and T-Mobile are the only ProTour teams participating in the 839km race, which concludes Sunday with the final road stage.
“It’s been truly difficult this year to put together a strong peloton,” said race director Jesper Worre. “It’s no secret we would have liked to have more stars from the Tour de France, but with the ProTour everything has changed.”
Basso, Jens Voigt and defending champion Kurt-Asle Arvesen headline the race for Team CSC while other teams are bringing mixed squads to fill out the peloton.
Tour of Denmark (August 3-7)
Stage 1, Aug. 3: Skive-Skive (200km)
Stage 2, Aug 4: Viborg-Aarhus (190km)
Stage 3, Aug. 5: Aarhus-Vejle (185km)
Stage 4, Aug. 6: Assens-Odense (90km)
Stage 5, Aug. 6: Nyborg (contre la montre, 14km)
Stage 6, Aug. 7: Slagelse-Frederiksberg Allé (160km)
CSC, T-Mobile, Rabobank, Ag2r, Panaria, Intel Action, Barloworld, Landbouwkrediet, Chocolat Jacques, ZVVZ, Wiesenhof, Glud&Marstrand Horsens, Designa Koekken, GLS and Post Danmark.
Botero seeks revenge in Madrid
Santiago Botero (Phonak) wants to win the world time trial championships in Madrid to make up for a disappointing Tour de France.
The Colombian finished second in the stage to Briancon, but faded out of contention for the overall and finished 51st at more than an hour back.
“The French tour didn’t go very well for me at all,” Botero said. “I felt good, but in the mountains as much as in the time trials, I wasn’t in the condition I had hoped. I’m going to get even in Madrid. The only regret is that the American Lance Armstrong won’t be there.”
Botero won the 2002 world time trial championship and will prepare exclusively for the event. The team still hasn’t decided whether he’ll start the Vuelta a España, set to begin August 27 in Granada.
Garate to Quick Step
Spanish national champion Juan Manuel Garate has signed a two-year deal with Quick Step-Innergetic. The 29-year-old, currently riding with Saunier Duval, will join Patrick Lefevere’s team for 2006-07.
LA’s ticket to ride
Lance Armstrong enjoyed the royal treatment on his recent triumphant return trip from Europe.
Bombardier Flexjet, the fractional ownership program of Bombardier Aerospace, paid tribute to the seven-time Tour de France champion by hosting his flight back to the United States.
According to a press release, Flexjet arranged a flight from Nice, France, to New York on the top-of-the-line business jet from Bombardier Aerospace, the ultra long-range Bombardier Global Express.
Armstrong is a fractional owner of a Bombardier Challenger 300, the super midsize jet from Bombardier Aerospace and one of the best-selling aircraft in the Flexjet fractional fleet, which also includes the Learjet 40, Learjet 45 XR, Learjet 60 and Challenger 604.
Two Aussie riders out of intensive care
South Australian cyclist Alexis Rhodes and Tasmanian Louise Yaxley have been moved out of intensive care and into a ward with their teammates at the University Clinic in Jena, Germany.
Rhodes, 20, and Yaxley, 23, along with three teammates, were injured when a teenage female driver lost control of her vehicle and struck the six-member Australian women’s team on July 18. Amy Gillett, 29, was killed instantly. A public memorial service for her will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Adelaide Superdrome.
Kate Nichols, 20, has returned to Sydney and is continuing with counseling, rehabilitation and physiotherapy for her injured right hand. She also has resumed her university studies.
Sydney’s Katie Brown, 21, and Queenslander Lorian Graham, 27, are expected home within the week.
Gillett’s family and Cycling Australia have established the Amy Gillett-Safe Cycling Foundation to honor her memory. The foundation will assist with the recovery of her injured teammates, fund a sporting and academic scholarship program for promising female cyclists and promote road-safety awareness among cyclists and motorists. Donors should visit the Cycling Australia website at www.cycling.org.au and follow the links from the home page.
Cycling Australia has also established an email link for people who wish to send condolence messages to Gillett’s family or to pass on their thoughts and wishes to those injured. Go to www.cycling.org.au and follow the link on the home page. Messages can also be sent via the Australian Sports Commission website, www.ausport.gov.au. – This report courtesy of Australian cycling