Archive for May, 2008

David McCann

In the end it came right for race leader David McCann from Belfast to retain his overall lead, but he had some anxious moments during the majority of the fifth stage of the FBD Insurance Rás from Tralee to Skibbereen yesterday.

The Irish team captain who competes on the Asian circuit for Giant Asia had to dig deep with his team and Chris Newton’s Stena Line Rapha Condor team to cut the deficit on the stage winner into the stage end town, Simon Richardson of Team Plowman Craven. Newton is on the same time overall as McCann but placing on the stages give the advantage to McCann. Richardson overnight was in arrears of McCann by over two minutes. But, at the finishing line that tumbled to just over a minute plus which left the duo in the vanguard. Continue Reading »

“The Cassidy family would like to thank all the bunch for their respect for Mark when he crashed. I just spoke to him in the ambulance and he has a suspected broken elbow, but thank God he will be okay and will live to fight another day! He is in good spirits given the situation.

“That’s what makes the sport of cycling so great as you can never tell what is going to happen next. We are all very proud of him and glad he is okay.”

Day four of the FBD Insurance Ras and the event has a new overall leader in David McCann from Belfast representing Ireland.

Continue Reading »

Mark Cassidy of the An Post/Sean Kelly Racing Team created his own piece of history yesterday when he took over as race leader of the FBD Insurance Ras in Lisdoonvarna Co. Clare. Thus emulating his dad, Philip Cassidy who wore the yellow jersey on a number of occasions in his illustrious career.

Whilst the day may have belonged to Mark, Chis Newton another giant of the road was tasting his first success of the season when he sprinted clear of his breakaway companion David McCann to win the third stage from Claremorris over 133kms. Chris a number of years won into the Co. Clare town and went on to win the race overall. So this win could be ominous for yet another overall victory.

Interestingly Newton broke his collarbone in March and is only back on his bike courtesy of his physician.
The action started early on in the stage when Patrick Kos (Netherlands) cut loose from the main bunch only to be joined by Miceal Concannon and Robin Seymour. Continue Reading »

Stephen Gallagher of the An Post/Sean Kelly sponsored team has a mere second advantage at the top of the leader board after day two of the FBD Insurance Ras which was mainly over  flat roads from Ballinamore to Claremorris yesterday.

Dean Downing edged out Evan Oilphant and Stephen Gallagher to win the stage after they forged ahead in a group of fourteen in the general area of Ballina with a little over 60kms to go.

Overnight, Gallagher held a two second advantage over Downing of Team Stena Rapha Condor in the general listing. Continue Reading »

American, Ken Hanson made light work of the uphill sprint to land the spoils in the first stage of the FBD Insurance Ras which ended in Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim after 142.2kms from Navan in Co. Meath yesterday. This year’s event is dedicated to the memory of the late Philip Fitzsimons CEO of FBD who died recently.

Only last week did Ken get the nod to take his place in the Isle of  Man Team sponsored by  Microgaming – Dolan) from the manager of the squad Gary Hinds.

“Yes, I was surprised to be able make the trip and to cap it with a stage win. It has to be the greatest day in my short cycling career. I have only been in the sport for the last four years. I played professional football in California but the switch has been rewarding.

“It was great to do it here in Co. Leitrim where my grandmother came from. Continue Reading »

On the agenda was:

•     a discussion on the development of the calendar with some proposed changes for 2009 and an update on the addition of events in Russia and China, which the organisers greeted with enthusiasm;
•     a progress report on the biological passport (2172 controls undertaken as at the end of April) and its financing;
•     a presentation on the newly formed service unit whose aim is to assist organisers produce and distribute television and other media images.

After a very constructive discussion UCI President Pat McQuaid thanked the organisers for their enthusiastic attendance and the clear messages of support for the concept of the UCI ProTour.
The organisers were united in encouraging the UCI to sustain its commitment in order to create, in the coming years, a global platform for organisers, teams and riders, and most importantly sponsors, despite resistance from certain vested interests in the sport.

A stunning victory by Andreas Klöden in the Tour of Romandie has helped propel his Astana squad into the number one spot in the teams classifications of the ProTour series.

Ousted from the number one spot are last year’s top ProTour team, CSC, the Danish squad is now third overall. 2007 runners-up Caisse d’Epargne, meanwhile, remain firmly in second place. Klöden’s first victory since the Circuit de la Sarthe stage race in France last April has also seen the German shoot straight into fifth place overall in the individual ProTour rankings. Continue Reading »

03 May 2008.  Alessandro’s Petacchi dream of stage wins in the upcoming Giro d’Italia (10.05-01.06) has come to an end.  The MILRAM sprinter, who was one of the favorites for victory in the sprint stages, has had to cancel his start in the race through his homeland because of a serious bronchitis.

“I’m very sorry that I won’t be able to start in the Giro d’Italia,“ said the MILRAM sprinter, who already has eight wins to his credit this season.  „Yesterday I thought that I would be able to start, even if my condition is very bad because I have not been able to train the last 12 days. I feel  better now but there is not enough time for a good training. So, I agreed with our tem manager Gerry Van Gerven, that I would instead prepare myself for the Tour de France.”

The 34 year old has suffered for two weeks from a serious case of bronchitis which he caught in the Tour of Turkey.  Since then, the star sprinter, who lives in Lido de Camaiore, has been taking strong antibiotics, which have prevented him from training Continue Reading »

he strength and experience of the international opposition in the FBD INSURANCE RÁS moves up a few notches with the news that Poland will be represented by its powerful Beijing Olympics team. Poland now joins Iran, Bulgaria, Germany, France, Netherlands, Norway and Britain in providing fierce competition for the Irish national team, two Irish pro teams and eleven county squads when the big 8 day international race gets underway from Navan in two weeks time.

Przemyslaw Niemiec, Rafal Ratajczyk, Wojciech Dybel, Jaroslaw Dabrowski and Błażej Janiaczyk will travel to Ireland for the May 18 start in Navan and are expected to present an extremely strong challenge for stage victories and overall honours. Continue Reading »

The South Australian event, which took place from 22 – 27 January, attracted record numbers of visitors and record media coverage. The statistics have just been released by the Australian authorities.

According to the South Australian police, 548’000 spectators lined the roads during the event, representing a 53.5% increase on the previous year’s crowd figures of 357’000. Of those spectators, 15’100 were tourists who traveled to South Australia specifically for the Tour Down Under.

The entire world watched 84 hours of broadcast television programming, compared with 71.20 hours in 2007. To date, 618 media articles have been published on line, 362 more than last year.

The 2008 Tour Down Under was the tenth edition of the race. In receiving a four-year ProTour license, it became the first non-European event to be included on the UCI ProTour calendar.