First Edition Cycling News for December 4, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones
US Postal training in Austin
The US Postal Service team (soon to be Discovery Channel) is holding its first pre-season training camp in Austin, Texas. Starting November 30, various members of the team including Lance Armstrong and new recruits for next year, Yaroslav Popovych, Tom Danielson, Paolo Savoldelli, Roger Hammond and Leif Hoste, have been easing their way back into training with some endurance rides and off-season weightlifting. The camp will finish on December 8.
"The purpose of the camp is to get the new guys together with most of the riders who stopped their season early," said team director Johan Bruyneel to thepaceline.com. "For the guys who stopped early, its a chance to officially get started again and get motivated for the coming season."
The purpose of the camp is not to do a lot of kilometres, with rides being restricted to about four hours in length. Other activities include basketball games "just to get the group spirit together and the team in a relaxed environment," said Bruyneel, "so when they come to Solvang with the whole group (for the team's training camp in January), it's not such a big step. They get to know Lance, they get to know me and some of the staff, and each other. It serves as a good introduction - the shock of coming to the U.S. for some of the guys, is a big step. This makes it a little less intimidating, so in Solvang, everyone is more comfortable."
At the camp, the team management will plan out the first half of the season leading up to the Tour de France. The second half is usually worked out just before Paris-Roubaix in April.
Camp team roster: Lance Armstrong, Pavel Padrnos, Benjamin Noval, Stijn Devolder, Max van Heeswijk, Yaroslav Popovych, Paolo Savoldelli, Roger Hammond, Leif Hoste, Tom Danielson, Jason McCartney and Volodymyr Bileka.
A light cold has caused T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich to postpone by a few days his flight to South Africa for a training camp. Ullrich celebrated his 31st birthday on Thursday at his home in Switzerland, but had to visit his doctor on Friday. He will join his teammates in South Africa early next week, after Andreas Klöden, Matthias Kessler, André Korff, Eric Baumann, Olaf Pollack and Gerolsteiner's Danilo Hondo all arrived safely in South Africa on Thursday.
Cipollini in South Africa
After taking part in Liquigas-Bianchi's first team meeting in Salsomaggiore Terme, Mario Cipollini is training for two weeks in South Africa. Together with the "Lion King" will be his teammates Nicola Loda, Marco Zanotti, Gian Luca Sironi, Marco Milesi, Dario Andriotto and Michael Albasini. Team manager Dario Mariuzzo is going with them. They will leave on December 6 and return on the 21st.
Cordero president of the AIOCC
Unipublic director Victor Cordero has succeeded Jean-Marie Leblanc as the head of the International Association of Race Organisers (AIOCC) at its meeting in Aigle, Switzerland today. Leblanc, who has held the role since 1989 and is also the race director of the Tour de France, did not offer himself for re-election. Leblanc's successor as Tour director, Christian Prudhomme, was also named as the first vice-president of the AIOCC, while new Giro d'Italia director Angelo Zomegnan was named as the other vice-president.
New AIOCC management committee: President: Víctor Cordero (Unipublic); Vice-president delegate: Christian Prudhomme (ASO); Vice-president: Angelo Zomegnan (RCS); General secretary: Jean-François Pescheux (ASO); ASsistant general secretary: Eddy Buchette (Tour of Luxembourg); Treasurer: Yves Vanassche (GP de Wallonie); Assistant treasurer: Hartmut Bölts (Rund um den Henninger Turm); Members: Czeslaw Lang (Tour of Poland), Renzo Oldani (Tre Valle Varesine), Ruben Peris (Vuelta a Cataluña), Mauro Vegni (RCS), Gregorino Moreno (Vuelta a Burgos).
Dierckxsens likely to MrBookmaker
40 year-old evergreen Ludo Dierckxsens will likely ride for MrBookmaker.com next season, according to Het Laatste Nieuws. The Belgian, who rode for Landbouwkrediet-Colnago this year, said that, "Next week at the latest, everything should be in order." However, MrBookmaker's team manager Hilaire Van der Schueren isn't sure yet: "Dierckxsens is certainly a publicity billboard, but I don't have any more money. The sponsors have to chip in some extra cash."
Jacques riders to Team Moser
Chocolade Jacques riders Jan van Velzen, Bart Voskamp and Bert Hiemstra have signed contracts with the Dutch Continental squad Team Moser for next season.
Van den Brand and Nijland looking
Dutch off-road riders Daphny van den Brand and Martin Nijland are looking for a new team, after their contracts were not renewed by Heijdens-den Tusscher. Van den Brand has a contract that will carry her through to the Cyclo-cross World Championships in January, but not beyond that.
"We hadn't expected this," said her coach Johan van de Ven to ANP. "We heard that the team has signed ambitious riders and that there was no place for Daphny any more."
Wijnands to Jartazi
Stefan Wijnands, who rode for Jong Vlaanderen 2016 this year, will become part of the Jartazi Continental team next season.
New British Continental team
Driving Force Logistics (DFL) will be the main sponsor for GB Procycling Ltd's new Continental team, directed by James Louter. The team will number 12 riders from five different countries, and will ride both major events in the UK and challenge on the UCI continental circuits. The main focus for the squad's UK racing calendar will be to gain an invite to the Tour of Britain.
"In Europe we aim to build our reputation as a solid and consistent performing team," said Louter. The team has already had invites to various UCI events around the world (Tour of Siam, Giro Del Capo, Sea Otter Classic, FBD Insurance Milk RAS and Tour de Serbia) which it aims to combine with tough Northern European one-day races. Included in this, the team will venture into the U23 world cup events as it exposes and develops its younger riders.
Travis Allen (RSA)
South African team Minolta-Konica will be a Continental team in 2005, and has already contracted some of the best South African youngsters as well as Peter and Martin Velits (Svk) and Fredrik Johansson (Swe). The team has just announced the signing of two more young riders: Arjen De Baat and Thomas Rabou from South Africa.
Sad news for Vitron Wilstra
Dutch women's team Vitron Wilstra has announced that its directeur sportif and spiritual father Ad van Loon has passed away at the age of 57 on December 1, 2004. Ad was suffering from severe cancer for the last six months and knew from the beginning that he would not survive. "He said once that he took part in a race without a start and without a finish but that in spite of everything he was going to reach the finish line," said the team's advisor Han Leunk.
Van Loon leaves behind a wife (Toos) and two daughters, Natasja, who will be directeur sportif now, and Cindy. His funeral will take place in the town of Dongen next Monday.
An "In Memoriam" page can be found at: www.donnebianchi.nl
Grand Prix Cycling Series kicks off at South Bank
This Sunday, December 5, will see the first race in the 2004 Grand Prix Cycling Series kick off in South Bank, Queensland, Australia. The field includes Olympics gold and silver medalist Brad McGee, who will make his first Australian racing appearance since Athens. He will be joined by his teammates Matt Wilson, current Australian champion and Baden Cooke, winner of the green jersey in the 2003 Tour de France. Cooke will be looking to return to the podium after a difficult 2004 season.
They will face stiff competition in the men's event from Robbie McEwen, two time green jersey winner in the Tour, Matt White, who this year did service for Stuart O'Grady as a strong domestique, Allan Davis, Australia's next sprint star, Henk Vogels, Cadel Evans and David Betts.
For more information see www.usmevents.com.au
Final round of Verge NECCS
The last round of the 2004 Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series takes place on Saturday, December 4 with the W.E. Stedman Co. Grand Prix of Cyclo-Cross in South Kingston, Rhode Island. Titles for all of the season-long classifications are on the line, as riders face the final weekend of tune-ups before the National Championship in Portland.
Mark McCormack (Clif Bar/Colavita Olive Oil) has been tremendously consistent all season, and going into the final round of the series he has a solid lead in the series standings over second placed Todd Wells (GT/Hyundai) and third placed Ryan Trebon (Kona). With the overall series win virtually assured, the focus of attention will turn to the race win, and McCormack should be one of the chief contenders for victory. The dark horse could be U23 rider Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly) who returns to New England after an autumn campaign of racing in Europe.
In the U23 standings, Matt White (NCC/BikeReg.com) holds a slim lead over Jesse Anthony (Cyclocrossworld.com) and Troy Wells (Kona/Easton/CCA), and the final round will prove to be an important battleground for what has been a season long race between White and Anthony, with Wells playing the spoiler.
In the elite women's field, Mary McConneloug (Seven Cycles) has all but assured herself of another Verge NECCS title, with a sizeable margin over second place Anna Milkowski (Rona). For the final round of the series, attention will turn to Mo Bruno (Cyclocrossworld.com) and whether or not she can unseat Milkowski for second place in the overall standings.
The overall standings for the Junior and Amateur (B) Men's fields are also still very much up for grabs. While Junior Toby Marzot (Corner Cycle) has been at the top of his game all season long, we've seen the rise to prominence of Will Dugan (BCA/Tosk) and his challenge for the overall title remains alive going into the final weekend. Meanwhile, Mike Magur (Verge/Test Pilot) and Ryan Rumsey (Team Bikeman.com) have been neck and neck all season long, and going into the series' last round they're separated by just 18 points.
Final West Coast 'cross races
USA's top cyclo-crossers will also be in action on the other side of the country this weekend, with a UCI double header at Coyote Point, California. Saturday will see the Cat. 2 Bianchi 'Cross being held while Sunday will be the Cat. 1 CCCP Cyclo Cross.
Sunday's 3200 meter course features alternating heavy-duty sections and pavement with 1400 meters of asphalt divided into six "Special Sections" (special because they are smooth, not rough). Saturday's Bianchi 'Cross will highlight the celestial meadows double barricade while Sunday's event continues the NorCal history lessons with the Giro Sport Design jumps set up for potential full speed hops.
CCCP was first run in 2002 where Swiss legend Thomas Frischknecht dominated the field. Frischy has already been confirmed for this Sunday after giving up his spot at this weekend's Swiss World Cup round to race in his second home, near Ritchey Logic's World HQ in San Carlos. Last year's CCCP winner, Todd Wells, has yet to commit, but in October's round last year in the county park, Travis Brown pipped Wells on the line. After taking the Colorado State Championships on his single speeder, Travis is setting his sights on California this weekend, and Portland next weekend for US 'Cross Championships. The balance of the top NorCal riders, including Jackson Stewart, Andy and Ben Jacques-Maynes, Justin Robinson, Josh Snead, Aaron O'Dell, Cameron Falconer and John Funke will be lining up in their grid positions with Erik Tonkin, Shannon Skerrit and John Frey arriving from the Northwest.
At the 3rd round of the Bay Area Super Prestige Series in Golden Gate Park, Velo Bella swept the top four positions and dominated the podium. Barbara Howe, Melodie Metzger, Sarah Kerlin and Christine Vardaros will be flying the flamingo colours this weekend with Gina Hall coming from her new home in Ashland, Oregon to stand in their way of another podium sweep.
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