Friday, 9 August 2013

Daily Cycling Facts 09.08.2013

Davide Rebellin
Davide Rebellin
Born in San Bonifacio on this day in 1971, the Italian rider Davide Rebellin turned professional with GB-MG Maglificio in 1992, a year after winning the Under-23 Giro delle Regione, and did well right from the start; winning the Hofbrau Cup in 1993 and coming third on Stage 2 at the Giro d'Italia in 1994. He won his first Grand Tour stage, Stage 7 at the Giro, two years later, when he was also sixth overall.

While Rebellin would perform well in stage races throughout his career, his destiny lay in the Classics: in 2004 he achieved immortality by winning all three Ardennes Classics - the Amstel Gold Race,  La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège; a feat that no other cyclist had ever managed and which to date has been repeated only once: by Philippe Gilbert in 2011. He won La Flèche Wallonne again in 2007 and 2009 when he was 35 years and 259 days old (becoming the oldest rider to have ever won a ProTour race (this record was beaten later the same year by Jens Voigt, who was 35 years and 325 days when he won the Deutschland Tour).

Rebellin won the silver medal in the Men's Road Race at the 2008 Olympics, finishing behind Samuel Sánchez. However, in April the following year, it was announced that six athletes had tested positive. On the 29th of April, the Italian Federation revealed that one of them was Rebellin; he exercised his right to a test of the B sample provided at the same time, but it too tested positive for EPO-derivative CERA and he was banned from competition for two years; his medal was revoked and awarded to new second-place Fabian Cancellara. He returned to cycling with Miche-Guerciotti in 2011, then switched to Meridiana-Kamen, and in 2012 he won Stage 2 at the Tour of Slovakia as well as Stage 2 and the General Classification at the Tour du Gévaudan.

2013 is Rebellin's 21st year as a professional. He rides for the ProContinental Polsat Polkowice team and is still winning races - so far this season, two stages at the Polish Szlakiem Grodow Piastowskich and one and the General Classification at the Sibiu Tour in Romania.

Kanstantsin Sivtsov
Born in Gomel on this day in 1982, Belarusian Kanstantsin Sivtsov turned professional with the Russian Itera team in 2001. One year later, he won silver for the Individual Time Trial and bronze for the Road Race at the National Championships, both at Elite level; in 2003 he took the silver for the Road Race, the bronze for the TT and another silver for the Under-23 Points race at the European Track Championships; then in 2004 he became World U-23 Road Race Champion.

Sivtsov at Paris-Nice, 2012
In 2006, Sivtsov won the National Road Race title at Elite level, which brought the world's top teams to his door. He chose the British Barloword and rode his first Tour de France, coming 32nd overall; then switched to Highroad in 2008 and rode another Tour, this time coming 17th. The following year, still with Highroad (now known as Columbia-HTC), he went to the Giro d'Italia and won Stage 8; then in 2011 he won the National Time Trial Championship.

Highroad, one of the first teams to introduce anti-doping rules more stringent than those required by the UCI, came to an end in 2011 when sponsors pulled out, reportedly because they didn't wish to be associated with a sport in which athletes were considered more likely to dope than any other by the public; Sintsov accepted an invitation to join Team Sky and, having been an integral part of Bradley Wiggins' successful bid to win Paris–Nice, the Tour de Romandie and Critérium du Dauphiné  returned with them to the Tour - a broken tibia sustained in a crash during Stage 3 made him the first rider to abandon the race. Still with Sky for 2013, he won his National Time Trial Championship and a stage at the Giro del Trentino.

Ludo Peeters
Ludo Peeters
Belgian Ludo Peeters, born in Hoogstraten on this day in 1953, turned professional with IJsboerke-Colner in 1974 and remained there for the following six seasons; during that time he won numerous criterium races, plentiful stages and - in 1980 - won Stage 14 and took eighth place overall and third in both the Points competition and the King of the Mountains at the Tour de France.

In 1981, Peeters joined Peter Post's legendary Ti-Raleigh squad, frequently lauded as the most successful team in professional cycling, but this time came 59th overall at the Tour as he was riding in support of Joop Zoetemelk. In 1982 he was 34th, but won Stage 1 and wore the maillot jaune for one day before being relieved of it by Phil Anderson; although he won no stages in 1984 he again wore it for one day.

Peeters won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in 1987 and rode the Tour for the final time in 1989, his tenth; ending his career in 1990. Despite the promise he showed in 1982, which shows he might have won a Tour in the right circumstances, from the early days with IJsboerke and through the years with Ti-Raleigh, then Kwantum Hallen-Yoko, he had ridden as a domestique.

Pierre Georget, born in Châtellerault, France on this day in 1917, won a silver medal for the 1000m time trial and bronze for the 2,000m tandem sprint at the 1936 Olympics. He was the nephew of Émile Georget, who rode nine Tours de France between 1905 and 1914, coming third twice, and the son of Léon Georget who won the Bol d'Or nine times between 1903 and his last attempt in 1924.

South African professional Ryan Cox, born on this day in 1979, won the Tour of Qinghai Lake in 2004 and the Tour de Langkawi and National Road Race Championship one year later. In July 2007, he underwent vascular lesion surgery in a knotted artery in his leg. Three weeks later, the artery burst and caused massive internal bleeding which led to heart failure. He received several blood transfusions but his condition did not improve, and he died at 05:15 on the 1st of August. He was 28 years old.

Robert Kiserlovski
Robert Kiserlovski, born in Rijeka on this day in 1986, became National Junior Cyclo Cross Champion in Croatia in 2003 and successfully defended the title in 2004, then turned professional with KRKA-Adria Mobil in 2005 and took a silver medal at the National Under-23 Road Race Championship. In 2011, he joined Astana but has suffered a run of bad luck: at Paris-Nice that year he lost control in slippery conditions, crashed and slid underneath a truck parked on the road. He became caught and could not be released for several minutes and later needed stitches. At the Tour de France in 2012, he crashed after persons unknown spread carpet tacks over the road in Stage 14 and broke his collarbone, being forced to abandon as a result.

Other cyclists born on this day: Louis Garneau (Canada, 1958); Brigitte Gyr-Gschwend (Switzerland, 1964); Jean Schmit (Luxembourg, 1931, died 2010); Ted Smith (USA, 1928, died 1992); Gerard Kamper (Netherlands, 1950); Gordon Singleton (Canada, 1956); Tonny Azevedo (Brazil, 1969).