The Week That Was...

News & Results

03/20/2006| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin
Tom Boonen (Quick Step) takes the win ahead of Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros - Würth). Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Tom Boonen (Quick Step) takes the win ahead of Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros - Würth). Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

Winner of the inaugural ProTour competition, Danilo Di Luca, has chosen to not defend his title in 2006.   Di Luca will instead focus on the Giro d?Italia, an event where surpassed all expectations of himself last year.   As a result, the Liquigas-Bianchi rider may miss some of the late spring classics which set him up for his victory last year.

In a similar fashion, current ProTour leader, Floyd Landis, has said that he will not attempt to defend his jersey throughout the season as his sights are firmly targeted on the Tour de France.   "By winning Paris-Nice, Floyd Landis now leads in the ProTour ranking. This is very good news," said John Lelangue, Director Sportif, in a team newsletter. "But we know that he will relinquish that lead soon. The focus for us is the Tour de France. Consequently, Landis will not be put into action in ProTour races automatically."

Lelangue added that, "The sole concern is to prepare him well for the season climax, the Tour de France. We know now that his training is on target."

Landis leads the ProTour competition by one point over Rabobank?s Thomas Dekker.

The German city of
has reportedly requested to be involved in the 2008 Tour de France, according to Aachener Zeitung .  The Mayor is hoping the city will be able to host both the start and finish of a time trial although he will not know for sure until towards the end of 2007.

The golden boy of cycling, Tom Boonen, last week collected the "Premio Oscar Gazzetta-Bici d'Oro Fausto Coppi 2005" award at a ceremony in Milan, hosted by Italian newspapers Corriere della Sera and
La Gazzetta dello Sport .  The award is presented to the best performing rider of the previous season, as voted for by all of the ProTour team managers, the organisers of the three grand tours and a further 17 former cycling stars.   Runner-up was winner of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong.

After receiving his gold plated award, reported to be worth in the region of ?15,000, Boonen said, "This prize is the biggest award of my career. It means a lot to me because great riders like Lance Armstrong and Danilo Di Luca have won it before. I hope to honour this award on Saturday with a victory in
San Remo
. To win there would give me another major classic win and at 25 years old, it would be something special." We now know that Boonen did not take the win in
San Remo .

German rider, Danilo Hondo, has had his two-year doping ban over turned by a Swiss court.   He was sentenced last November and recently had the ban increased from a single year, to two, by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"The court took our arguments seriously, and I am very happy about it,? he said on his website.   I have been training all along and am in good shape. Now I have to see what happens, so that I can


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