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Date Posted: 14:28:23 08/30/04 Mon
Author: Jim
Subject: Re: Well, according to the official site . . .
In reply to: Jimi Moses 's message, "Well, according to the official site . . ." on 13:41:06 08/30/04 Mon

This is from velonews.com:

American hope Tom Danielson won't be making his grand tour debut in the Vuelta a Espaņa this weekend, after all.

Click image to enlarge
by Beth Seliga

Danielson showed his stuff on Mt. Evans

Danielson had hoped to take part in his first three-week tour, but was once again disappointed after Fassa Bortolo brass left him off the nine-man team.

The 26-year-old Coloradan was told last week he wouldn't be starting the Vuelta (September 4-26). The news comes as a blow to the promising racer who's been making steady progress in his first year in Europe with expectations of starting at least one of the season's major three-week tours for the silver train.

"I'm completely unhappy about it," Danielson told VeloNews. "It's been tough for me to deal with. It's something that I sort of had an idea about since last week. They decided for some reason I'm not going. For me it's a big blow."

Danielson was also initially penciled in to race the Giro d'Italia back in May, but the team decided the Euro-rookie needed some extra racing experience before starting one of cycling's grueling three-week races.

Instead, he was told to get ready for the Vuelta, which -- with a string of summit finishes and shorter road stages -- seemed ideal for Danielson's skills. In May, he finished an impressive 18th overall at the Tour of Romandie before returning to the United States where he smashed the record on the Mount Evans Hill Climb in July, taking four minutes and ten seconds off Mike Engleman's 12-year-old course record.

The very next day, he flew directly to Europe to race the demanding 10-stage Tour of Portugal, where Danielson admitted he was suffering from jet lag but capped the performance with a solid seventh place in the final-day time trial.

"That was by far the hardest race of my entire life. The whole Maia team was climbing like Roberto Heras," Danielson said about Portugal. "I raced the entire race below the red zone. Had I done so, my season would have been done, so I backed off in every stage, but in the last time trial I decided to put in a good effort. ... I left the race with confidence and the team was happy with my time trial, so everything was on schedule for the Vuelta."

Or so he thought.

On August 17, Danielson was part of the decisive final break in the Tre Valli Varesine, a tough one-day race in Italy when he pulled his hamstring. After a few days rest, Danielson rode well in Sunday's GP Kanton Aargau, helping teammate Matteo Tosatto to win. He thought everything was set for the Vuelta, but last week he said the team started to change its tune on whether he'd start.

"For sure it was difficult, to work so hard for a certain goal like that, to have it taken away," Danielson said after he learned he wasn't going to Spain. "I feel like I have the capability to do good a race. I'm strong enough to finish and learn, but the team says next year is your year. A three-week tour is a much different than a five- to 10-day stage race. I need to do it, for my body, my head. Now I will do a bunch of one-day races when I prefer time trials and mountains."

Danielson said he wants to get something positive despite the setback and vowed to get a strong result before the end of the season. He also hopes to race the world championships in early October.

Fassa Bortolo for Trofeo Melinda, Sept. 2 (ITA 1.2)
Marzio Bruseghin
Massimo Codol
Tom Danielson Thomas
Luca De Angeli
Mauro Facci
Dario Frigo
Gustav Larsson
Roberto Petito

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