2009 TOUR PRESENTATION LIVE ON THE NET

The route of the 2009 Tour de France will be unveiled in Paris on Wednesday morning and for the first time it will be possible to watch it live on the internet.

The show kicks off at 11:30 Central European Time (10:30 in the UK) and can be seen on the official Tour de France website www.letour.fr.

Lance Armstrong has confirmed he will not be at the presentation but 2008 winner Carlos Sastre will be there, along with Alberto Contador and Oscar Pereiro.

There will be full details and analysis of the 2009 Tour route here immediately after the presentation.

BETTINI BACK IN ACTION

Paolo Bettini officially retired from after the world championships in Varese but is back in action on the track this week in the Amsterdam Six.

The Dutch race is his warm up to the Milan Six (November 4-9), which Bettini promises will be the final race of his career. Britain?s Chris Hoy will ride the sprinters series at the Milan Six.

Bettini is riding both Amsterdam and Milan with fellow retiree Juan Llaneras of Spain, who has also announced his retirement after winning the Madison at the Beijing Olympics.

After the first night of racing in Amsterdam, Bettini and Llaneras were tenth overall, two laps behind early leaders and local heroes Slippens and Stam. Swiss pair Risi and Marvulli were second, with Erik Zabel, who will ride several six days before retiring, fourth with Lampater.

NO CIPOLLINI OR THOMAS IN MILAN SIX

The organisers revealed the full line-up for the Milan Six on Tuesday. Bettini and Llaneras top the list of 12 pairs that will ride the Six and Chris Hoy has been confirmed for the Sprinter Cup series, where he will take on Arnaud Tournant, Teun Mulder and Roberto Chiappa.

However the much rumoured return of Mario Cipollini has turned out to be untrue and Britain?s Geraint Thomas will also not be riding.

Cipollini has been training hard in Tuscany recently but it seems he was unable to reach a deal with the organisers. Geraint Thomas was expected to ride with Barloworld team mate Enrico Gasparotto but other, lesser known riders have been named in the official start list.

The Milan Six will be held between November 4-9 on a specially built 166m track as part of the Milan Bike Show. (Riders Italian unless stated).

1 – Paolo Bettini e Juan Llaneras (Spa)

2 – Walter Perez (Arg) e Sebastian Donadio (Arg)

3 – Filippo Pozzato e Luke Roberts (Aus)

4 – Manuel Quinziato e Leon Van Bon (Hol)

5 – Yaroslav Popovych (Ucr) e Volodymyr Zagorodnyy (Ucr)

6 – Angelo Ciccone e Fabio Masotti

7 – Alberto Ongarato e Fabio Sacchi

8 – Giairo Ermeti e Matteo Montaguti

9 – Claudio Cucinotta e Angelo Furlan

10 – Elia Viviani e Alexander Aeschbach (Svi)

11 – Alex Buttazzoni e Samuele Marzoli

12 – René Jorgensen (Dan) e Jimmy Madsen (Dan)

GASPAROTTO AND ACQUA & SAPONE CELEBRATE EURO SUCCESS

The Tour of Lombardy marks the end of the 2008 European season and conclusion of the UCI Europe Tour competition.

The season-long competition is similar to the ProTour but includes all the races on the European calendar. Enrico Gasparotto (Team Barloworld) won the individual standings, while Acqua & Sapone won the team prize.

Gasparotto won four races, including the overall classification in the Three Days of La Panne and the Elektrotoer in Holland but sealed victory ahead of Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) thanks to numerous placings in other races.

Acqua & Sapone were not invited to the Giro d?Italia this year but won the team prize thanks to 16 wins and 53 podium placings. Barloworld finished second in the team classification, with LPR Brakes finishing third, while Italy won the nations competition ahead of Spain.

ITALIANS CELEBRATE THE SEASON AT GRAN GALA

With the racing over for another year, cycling began to celebrate the good moments of the season with a series of award ceremonies.

The first was in Italy on Monday with local hero Alessandro Ballan getting the biggest cheer at the Gran Gala del Ciclismo in his home town of Castelfranco Veneto.

Tour of Lombardy winner Damiano Cunego was given an award, and the Italians sportingly celebrated Alberto Contador?s win at the Giro d?Italia and Samuel Sanchez?s gold medal in the Olympic road race. Specialized won the bike manufacturer?s prize based on points scored by riders who use their bikes during the season.