The Week That Was...

News & Results

06/23/2004| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

the results and wasn't seeing the winter weight come off.  But from mid-April to the beginning of the Tour of
in June, he really doubled his effort."


Having departed from his position as Armstrong?s lieutenant in the mountains, Roberto Heras of Manolo Saiz?s Liberty Seguros team hopes that this year will see him emerge as a serious contender for the overall classification in his own right.  Heras, winner of the recent Euskal-Bizikleta, said that, "I feel stronger mentally and physically. Most of all mentally, as that's what I learned most from Armstrong, who in dominating the Tour for five years owes that to his mental strength.  I think there are other riders who prepare as well as Armstrong for the Tour, but Lance knows better than anyone how to convince himself that he is stronger than the rest.  He never thinks of defeat, only of victory." Heras continued saying that ?today I count myself among those who can beat Armstrong, as long as all of the right conditions come together."   This year could indeed prove to be the most open and interesting race that we?ve witnessed for quite some years.  With question marks continuing over Armstrong?s form, is this the year that we will see one of his rivals such as Heras, Ullrich, Hamilton, or Mayo take over the Maillot Jaune in Paris?


Another rival from recent editions of the race, Joseba Beloki of the Brioches La Boulangere team, will not be competing this July.  Team Director Jean Bernaudeau confirmed that Beloki had left the team through

mutual consent, effective immediately, and that he was free to find a new employer.  When asked about whether the Spaniard may yet ride the Tour but for another team, Bernaudeau replied that, ?contractually, it?s impossible.  He is either with us on the Tour or he is with nobody.? Beloki himself confirmed his departure from the team.  ?I am free, but the reason I have decided not to ride the Tour is that I am not in condition to do so.?   Beloki is expected to seek a new deal with a Spanish team.


Another rider to be missing the Tour is Rabobank sprinter, Oscar Freire. The winner of this year?s Milan-San Remo underwent surgery last weekend, in
, ?on his backside? and was forced to have around ten days off the bike.


After we reported on the serious injuries of French rider Mickael Pichon in the recent Dauphine Libere, we can confirm that the Brioches La Boulangere rider has been released from hospital.  No date has been set for any sort of comeback but it is probably fair to say that it will not be this season.  We all wish him the speediest of recoveries.


The latest UCI rankings have been released showing German sprinter, Erik Zabel, is still in first place, 20 points ahead of Italian Paulo Bettini. Sprinter, Alessandro Petacchi is third.  Riders on the move up include Phonak?s Tyler Hamilton and Cofidis rider, Stuart O?Grady ­ two riders certainly worth watching out for in

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