Latest: MSR fallout; ProTour rankings; Castilla y Leon; McDonald killed
ore comments, injury report and ProTour rankings after Milan-San Remo. Also, Sastre, Pereiro, and B
PIC © TIM DE WAELE The Milan-San Remo fall-out Oscar Freire (Rabobank) won his second ever Milan-San Remo on Saturday, powering home ahead of Allan Davis and Tom Boonen on Via Roma. Procycling’s Dan Friebe was on the spot and you can read his detailed race report here. Also, Freire spoke exclusively to Procycling in the April issue. He admits that he’s probably the most forgetful man in cycling, while many others claim he is the most talented. Pick up a copy in newsstands now to read all about the man from Torrelavega. More post-race comments Fourth placed Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto) recorded his best ever result in Milan-San Remo. It was the first time that he was in the leading bunch sprinting for the win. “I have mixed feelings,” McEwen told Het Nieuwsblad. “I could have stood on the podium as well. I chose the right side of the road and got stuck there. Once I got a free run, the sprint was already finished. “I can still win here one day. That is the lesson of this Primavera that didn’t go perfectly for me. On the contrary. Just before the capi zone, I crashed and got a brake in my butt. It wasn’t just painful, but it cost a lot of power to get back to the front. It also went badly in the leadout. When someone from the Milram train pulled off, he swerved, and I nearly crashed. I had to put in a jump just to get Boonen’s wheel.” Stuart O’Grady (CSC) was one of three Australians in the top five in Milan-San Remo, finishing fifth on Via Roma. “We managed to deliver Stuart as planned and he was clearly strong, so it was too bad that he didn’t make it all the way to the top,” said his team director Scott Sunderland. “But once again he showed that he is in great shape at the moment and hopefully he’ll soon find himself in the front group in a race, which isn’t decided in a bunch sprint. He’ll definitely be one of the main contenders in some of the oncoming races judging by his current form.” T-Mobile’s young sprinter Gerald Ciolek also finished in the front group on his first appearance at Milan-San Remo, ending 27th. “The field was blown apart on the Poggio. I found myself in the second group, and it took a lot out of me to get back again to the front group. That cost me in the sprint.” Broken leg for Moletta Gerolsteiner’s Andrea Moletta broke his femur after crashing on the descent of the Cipressa in Milan-San Remo. The Italian had been in a breakaway with Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) and Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery), but overcooked it on the wet, slippery roads and hit a lamp post. His season could well be over as a result. Gerolsteiner had more bad luck earlier in the race when David Kopp crashed. The German broke his nose and bruised his face. Crashes were common during Saturday’s 294km dash between Milan and San Remo. Jose Enrique Gutierrez (LPR) broke his right wrist in another crash, and will be out of action for at least a month. ProTour rankings after Milan-San Remo Paris-Nice winner Alberto Contador (Discovery Channel) is still the leader of the ProTour following Milan-San Remo. Contador has 56 points, three more than Tirreno-Adriatico winner Andreas Klden (Astana), and four more than Milan-San Remo winner Oscar Freire (Rabobank). Caisse d’Epargne tops the teams rankings with 53 points, leading Discovery (52 pts) and CSC (49 pts). 1 Alberto Contador (Spa, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 56 pts 2 Andreas Klden (Ger, Astana) 53 3 Oscar Freire (Spa, Rabobank) 52 4 Davide Rebellin (Ita, Gerolsteiner) 42 5 Kim Kirchen (Lux, T-Mobile Team) 41 6 Allan Davis (Aus, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 40 7 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz, Astana) 38 8 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa, Caisse d’Epargne) 38 9 Tom Boonen (Bel, Quick Step – Innergetic) 37 10 Stefan Schumacher (Ger, Gerolsteiner) 35 Teams 1 Caisse d’Epargne 53 pts 2 Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 52 3 Team CSC 49 4 Liquigas 46 5 Ag2R Prevoyance 39 Sastre, Pereiro, and Basso favourites for Vuelta a Castilla y Leon Spaniard Carlos Sastre (CSC) is being touted as one of the favourites for the 22nd Vuelta a Castilla y Leon (March 26-30). Sastre was in doubt after crashing during the Vuelta a Murcia, but has now been confirmed as one of the starter. Grand tour specialists Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d’Epargne) and Ivan Basso (Discovery) will also be present, while last year’s winner Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) will not be. Magnus Backstedt will return to racing after an operation to remove a melanoma and a 2006 season marred by accidents and injury. The big Swede will be part of Liquigas’s line-up in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon (March 26-30). He hopes to gain a semblance of form in time for Paris-Roubaix in mid-April. The Liquigas squad will also include new signing Manuel Beltran. The race starts with a 10km time trial in Zamora, followed by a 157km sprinters stage between Zamora and Salamanca. On Wednesday, the riders will race 147km between Salamanca and Valladolid, with a short, sharp uphill finish. Thursday is the queen stage, starting in Valladolid and finishing on the 1880m high Alto de Navacerrada. Friday’s 162km final stage is between El Burgo de Osma and Soria, with another slight uphill finish, Teams Discovery Channel, CSC, Rabobank, Liquigas, Agritubel, Caisse d’Epargne, Euskaltel, Saunier Duval, Relax-Gam, Grupo Nicolas Mateos, Vi¤a Magna-Cropu, Orbea, Andalucia-Cajasur, Karpin-Galicia, Fuerteventura-Canarias, Benfica Stage list March 26 – Stage 1: Zamora – Zamora, 10 km ITT March 27 – Stage 2: Zamora – Salamanca, 157 km March 28 – Stage 3: Salamanca – Valladolid, 147.6 km March 29 – Stage 4: Valladolid – Alto de Navacerrada, 154.4 km March 30 – Stage 5: El Burgo de Osma – Soria, 162 km Australian Olympian killed in tunnel crash Retired Australian cyclist Damian McDonald was one of three people killed in a tunnel inferno in Melbourne, Australia. The tragedy happened in the Burnley Tunnel on Friday after a truck blew a tyre, causing massive pileup and explosion. McDonald, 34, died along with two other male drivers, one 51 and the other 37. McDonald was well known among the Australian cycling community, and was one of the early members of the Australian Institute of Sport squad. He partnered with Phil Anderson, Brett Dennis and Henk Vogels to win the gold medal in the team time trial at the 1994 Commonwealth Games. He also raced for Australia in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, finishing 65th in the road race. After retiring from cycling, he moved into the business world. Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.