IMAGE BY ASO Paris-Nice is go ASO has announced the parcours for the 65th Paris-Nice, which runs between March 11th and 18th. The race was under a threat of being banned by the UCI because the organisers didn’t invite ProTour team Unibet.com, but ASO is determined that it will go ahead. The eight-day race will open with its now traditional prologue time trial in Issy-les-Moulineaux (the headquarters of ASO) on March 11. It will then head due south along the western side of the Massif Central, with stage finishes in Buzanais, Limoges and Maurs Stage 4 between Maurs and Mende will be the first really challenging one, with four cat. 2 climbs and a cat. 1 summit finish on La Croix Neuve (Monte Laurent Jalabert) to test the field. After a lumpy 178 km fifth stage between Sorgues and Manosque, the ‘race to the sun’ will culminate with two stages on the Cte d’Azur over the weekend. Saturday’s sixth stage is between Brignoles and Cannes over 200 km, and is dotted with climbs. The cat. 2 Col du Tanneron comes with 20 km to go, and should provide a mini-selection at the finish. The last stage, a circuit around Nice, includes the Col de la Porte, La Turbie and Col d’Eze mountains, all of which are rated as category 1. Teams: Gerolsteiner, T-Mobile Team, Predictor-Lotto, Quick Step – Innergetic, Team CSC, AG2R Prevoyance, Bouygues Telecom, Cofidis le crdit par tlphone, Crdit Agricole, Franaise des Jeux, Agritubel, Caisse d’Epargne, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Saunier Duval – Prodir, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, Lampre-Fondital, Liquigas, Team Milram, Rabobank, Astana. Stage list Prologue – March 11: Issy-les-Moulineaux ITT, 4,7 km Stage 1 – March 12: Cloyes-sur-le-Loir – Buzanais, 186 km Stage 2 – March 13: Vatan – Limoges, 177 km Stage 3 – March 14: Limoges – Maurs, 215.5 km Stage 4 – March 15: Maurs – Mende, 169.5 km Stage 5 – March 16: Sorgues – Manosque, 178 km Stage 6 – March 17: Brignoles – Cannes, 200 km Stage 7 – March 18: Nice – Nice, 129.5 km Ullrich wins court battle Jan Ullrich has been successful in having a gag order put in place against German anti-doping campaigner Werner Franke. Last year, Prof. Dr. Franke told a German TV station that Ullrich paid €35,000 per year for doping products. He based his statements on documents he had seen relating to Operacion Puerto. Ullrich asked a German court to issue a temporary injunction against Franke in August 2006. Franke appealed, saying that he was expressing his right to freedom of speech. But the court ruled that he had violated Ullrich’s rights, and upheld the gag order. Arvesen needs surgery Kurt-Asle Arvesen (CSC) will have to undergo surgery on his thumb, which he fractured last week during the team’s training camp in California. The thumb wasn’t set properly the first time around. “I’ve come back to Norway to get a specialist to take a closer look and I’m having the operation tomorrow [Wednesday], so it’s a bit of a bummer really,” said Arvesen on team-csc.com. “Time will tell how fast I can get back into action, but I imagine about four weeks before I’m ready. I’ve been training on my home trainer though for two hours this morning, so it’s no problem for me to keep fit, I just can’t go on the road in the near future.” The plan was for Arvesen to start his season with Volta a la Comunidad Valenciana at the beginning of March, but this is now in doubt. Raisin Hope for charity American cyclist Saul Raisin is hosting a charity ride in his home town of Dalton, Georgia on March 31. The Raisin Hope ride will raise money for four charities: Shepherd Center, Camp Twin Lakes, The Brain Injury Association of Georgia and the USA Cycling Development Foundation. It starts at Heritage Point Park at 8:00am, and there are options to ride 15, 35 and 50 miles. It is not being run in a mass start format. The ride costs $40 to register, but there are other ways of donating to Raisin’s cause: Either by an online donation or by taking part in a silent auction. More details of that will be announced on saulraisin.com at the end of February. Raisin suffered a life threatening accident in April of last year while racing in France. He has made a remarkable comeback and is now capable of riding distances similar to those he was doing as a pro. More information on the ride: https://www.sportsbaseonline.com/Series.aspx?id=216. Jongewaard charged Australian cyclist Chris Jongewaard has been charged with several counts of dangerous driving after he hit friend and training partner Matthew Rex on Saturday night. South Australian police charged Jongewaard with causing injury by dangerous driving, driving in a dangerous manner, driving without due care, failing to stop and failing to render assistance. His blood alcohol level was tested on the night of the accident, but the results haven’t been determined. The 22 year-old Rex is still in a coma at the Flinders Medical Centre, after suffering severe head and leg injuries. “He’s in a stable but critical condition,” said his agent, Max Stevens, to The Australian. “Every day they’re doing more tests and continually checking what’s happening.” Rex had been celebrating his birthday with Jongewaard and other friends at a pub in Normanville on Saturday night. Rex then rode to the South Shores Hotel, but he was struck by Jongewaard’s car on the way at approximately 9:15pm. It is alleged that Jongewaard didn’t realise that he had hit Rex, and continued driving to the hotel. Rex was later discovered by one of the passengers in Jongewaard’s car. Both Jongewaard and Rex are talented cyclists. Jongewaard is a past winner of the Australian mountain bike championships, and is scheduled to race for the Jittery Joe’s team in the US. But he may face problems after this incident. Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.
Paris-Nice is looking like going ahead as planned…but without Unibet. Also, Ullrich gags Franke, A