ark Renshaw takes the curtain raiser to the Tour Down Under, as Procycling’s Ellis Bacon reports fr
PIC BY TOURDOWNUNDER TDU opener: Renshaw gallops home a winner It may not count towards the overall of the Tour Down Under, which starts on Wednesday, but by winning Tuesday evening’s Down Under Classic criterium in Adelaide, Credit Agricole’s Mark Renshaw was as pleased as if he’d won the whole stage race, beating sprinters of the calibre of Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto), Baden Cooke (Unibet.com) and Barloworld’s Robbie Hunter in the process. “I’m still pinching myself,” Renshaw said just before he headed up onto the podium to take the applause of the Adelaide crowd. “I thought I was too far back with two corners to go, but then the final 300 metres was like it was in slow motion. “It’s fantastic,” the 24-year-old Australian continued, grinning. “It’s finally all coming together for my career. We’ve got a good team here, and this bodes well for the rest of the week.” Navigators’ Hilton Clarke was second, with Simon Clarke (SouthAustralia.com-AIS) third. Last year’s winner, McEwen, came home fourth. Results 1 Mark Renshaw (Aus, Crdit Agricole) 1:03:01 2 Hilton Clarke (Aus, Navigators Insurance Cycling Team) 3 Simon Clarke (Aus, SouthAustralia.com-AIS) 4 Robbie McEwen (Aus, Predictor – Lotto) 5 Allan Davis (Aus, Australia – UniSA) 6 Brett Lancaster (Aus, Team Milram) 7 Baden Cooke (Aus, Unibet.com) 8 Stuart O’Grady (Aus, Team CSC) 9 Enrico Degano (Ita, Barloworld) 10 Hans Dekkers (Ned, Agritubel Murn badly injured Slovenian rider Uros Murn (Discovery Channel) will be out of action for several months after being hit by a car while out training. Murn was riding two abreast in a group with eight others between Novo Mesto and Sentjernej when the accident happened. An oncoming car was overtaking another vehicle and couldn’t avoid the riders. Murn was the first to be hit, and together with Primoz Segina and Puris Kamen Pazin was taken to hospital in Ljubljana. According to Procycling sources, Murn sustained a six-fold fracture of his tibia and fibula, a broken thigh bone and both cruciatum ligaments (cross ligaments inside the knee) were torn. He also broke a couple of fingers on his left hand and injured his wrist. Murn was operated on immediately, and will undergo further surgery in 10 days. It’s expected to take months for him to recover, and he could well miss the entire season. “This is obviously a terrible accident and right now, I am only concerned about his current status and well being,” said Discovery’s Johan Bruyneel in a team statement. “We have a large team with many riders who can race in his absence. The difficult thing is finding a rider that has the talent and experience in the classics. The whole team wishes Uros a speedy recovery.” In Slovenia, it is illegal to ride two abreast. The accident has provoked a lot of discussion among the local cycling community and the media about whether this particular law should be changed. Barcelona lab wants to be paid for Puerto analysis The laboratory in Barcelona that is analysing blood bags seized in Operacion Puerto has asked to be paid for its work so far, before it continues, reports El Pais. According to the Spanish daily, the lab has analysed 91 of 99 blood bags – half of what were seized – and it has cost them €25,000 so far. The lab plans on testing the next eight bags for exogenous EPO, a more expensive procedure, to determine whether the blood had been manipulated, which could be construed as a crime against public health. So far, no-one has taken responsibility for the debt. The Spanish Department of Justice isn’t, as it said costs are usually assigned once the case has finished. But the Barcelona lab wants things to happen a little quicker than that. Judge Antonio Serrano, in charge of the Puerto investigation, has also given permission for a German court to analyse some of the bags in its fraud investigation against Jan Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla. The pair were part of the German T-Mobile squad in 2006, and the court wants to determine whether any of the DNA in the blood bags corresponds to that of Ullrich and Sevilla. Fundraiser for Danielson’s Junior Cycling Cup Procycling columnist Tom Danielson is organising a fundraising event for the American Cycling Association and the Tom Danielson Junior Cycling Cup on Wednesday, January 17 in Boulder, Colorado. The event will take place at the Boulder Theater and starts at 6:30 pm. Apart from Danielson, Andy Hampsten, Ron Keifel, Connie Carpenter, Alexi Grewal, and Ned Overend will all be present, and it will be hosted by Coors Classic promoter Michael Aisner. Tickets are $12 and the fundraising activities will include a silent auction and autographs. More information: www.tomdanielson.com. Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.