The Week That Was...

News & Results

01/23/2006| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin
World TT champion Michael Rogers. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
World TT champion Michael Rogers. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

Following the very public falling-out between the UCI and organisers of the three grand tours, the world governing body, the ProTour teams and their sponsors have called for unity and a meeting to see if the differences can be resolved.

The letter to the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana proposed "a round table in which they would participate, as well as the organisers holding a UCI ProTour license, the representatives of the riders, the UCI and the organisers of the three major tours."

"The aim of this round table will be to put an end to the current conflict as of the beginning of the season and to organise together the development and the continuity of the UCI ProTour, to which the sponsors as well as the teams give their support."

Failure to reach an agreement with the organisers of the grand tours would not only mean the loss of those races from the ProTour calendar but also all of the other races which they organise throughout the season including some of the monuments of the sport.

New T-Mobile recruit, Michael Rogers, will be lining up on the start line of the Giro d?Italia along with team leader Jan Ullrich. "I have discussed the decision with all the team directors and decided to insert the corsa rosa in my program for 2006," he told Bicirace. "The prologue in Seraing and the time trial stage in Ponedera are very much suited to my style.  Plus there are some medium mountain stages. I think I am in the position to play a role in the overall classification, even though the last week has a very hard profile."

In a separate interview with, T-Mobile directeur sportif Giovanni Fidanza confirmed that the 1997 Tour de France champion will line up for the race although only in a bid to prepare for his challenge of the French race in July.

Renowned world wide as one of the toughest amateur races of its time, the Peace Race will return to the International calendar in 2006 following its absence last year due to financial difficulties.  The race will start on May 13 in Linz, Austria and end May 20 in Hannover, Germany. The race, first run in 1948, will pass through Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany.

The UCI last week granted licences to five new Professional Continental squads for 2006;  Three Spanish teams (Andalucia-Paul Versan, Comunidad Valenciana and Relax-GAM), one Italian (Team Androni Giocattoli-3C Casalinghi) and one Austrian (Elk Haus-Simplon).

A sixth application from the Italian Naturino-Sapore Di Mare's team was rejected until further documents were provided to satisfy the UCI and their requirements.

After finishing sixth in the overall team placings in the inaugural ProTour, the German Gerolsteiner team has much to look forward to in 2006.  ?We have definitely established ourselves in the world's elite," boasted Team manager Hans-Michael Holczer at the team?s presentation last week.

Success in 2005 included a Tour de France stage win for Georg Totschnig, Levi Leipheimer's overall victory at the Tour of Germany, and a stage victory in the Vuelta by Heinrich Haussler.

With Big Tex out of the way, Leipheimer is looking forward to the 2006 Tour de France and an opportunity to improve on his finish last year.  "My preparations are going better than in 2005. And like last year I am concentrating on the Tour," he said. "When everything goes well, a place on the podium ought to be possible. But I have other priorities, too."

Until next week, send your thoughts and comments to me at and Also, be sure to post in our forums and support our latest sponsors such as Thomson Bike Tours and FRS Plus.


Your comments
Your comments
sign up or login to post a comment