First Edition Cycling News for December 5, 2004
Edited by Hedwig Kröner and Anthony Tan
Ben Kersten man of the moment
Melbourne Cup on Wheels victor qualifies for 2005 World's in the Keirin
The forgotten man in the middle of the Athens Olympics selection hi-jinks became the man of the moment on Saturday night at Melbourne's Vodafone Arena. Not only did the rampaging kilo specialist win the main event, the Melbourne Cup on Wheels, but Ben Kersten also took out the Oceania Championship Kierin and the Aces Sprint Derby to end the night triumphant and undefeated.
Kersten's first win of the night came in the Keirin, and the win has finally guaranteed him a ride at the 2005 World Track Championships - with his pet Kilometre Time Trial still to come tomorrow (Sunday). "I finally get to race something beside the kilo!" Kersten said, understandably elated with his win.
"It's taken me a few world championships to try and get starts in other races. I'm not just a pure time trialer, you know. I love Keirins but lately I can't get a start because we have Dajka, Eadie, Kelly and Bayley and they have seniority and get priority and choices. This was really important to me: finally I get to race the Keirin. I want to spread my wings and show people I can do other racing, I feel I'm just as good in the Keirin. Australians are going to be all over the podium at the Worlds!"
Another crowd pleaser was the return of Kerrie Meares, which saw the Queeslander earning direct entry to the World's with a convincing win in the Sprint final against New Zealand's Katrie Laike; if her sister Anna's Olympic form holds, there may well be two Meares sisters in medal contention in Los Angeles.
The 2004 Melbourne Cup on Wheels Carnival was run in conjunction with the 2005 Oceania Track Cycling Championships. The Oceania Championships kicked off with sessions on Friday and Saturday morning and conclude on Sunday; and feature teams from Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia and Tahiti.
The 2005 World Track Championships are scheduled for March, so the Oceania Championships, which provide direct qualification for the winners of some events into the World's, had had to be scheduled in 2004. This has forced riders to start training much earlier than they would have liked, but ensured a top quality field for the season-opening carnival at Vodafone Arena.
Click here for full results, reports & photos from the Melbourne Cup on Wheels and Day 2 of the Oceania Track Championships.
Cross World Cup in Wetzikon: Wellens starts
Round #5 of this season's cyclo-cross World Cup takes place today in Wetzikon, Switzerland. Top cross riders will race on a 3010 m long circuit which includes a stadium runner's track at the start (450m), more than a kilometre of meadows, 760 metres of trails and 510 metres of asphalt surface.
The line-up will include World Champion Bart Wellens, who injured his thumb last weekend at a crash during the first lap of the Superprestige race in Gieten, Netherlands. The Belgian wasn't sure whether he could start, as the injury required plastering, but he opted for a more flexible dressing and was able to train this week.
"The pain's not gone," he said, "especially not in the case of uncontrolled movements, but it's still better than I thought. I hope that the ground will still be muddy and not frozen as this would suit me better. We have to wait and see if this will have any consequences on my participation in Milan on Wednesday. I will aim for a top five tomorrow."
The Fidea rider will be up against current World Cup leader Sven Nys (Rabobank), as well as Sven Vanthourenhout (Quick Step-Davitamon), Richard Groenendaal (Rabobank), Ben Berden (Saey-Deschacht), Davy Commeyne (MrBookmaker-Palmans), Tom Vannoppen (MrBookmaker-Palmans) and his teammate Erwin Vervecken. Czech riders Ausbuher, Dlask, Mlynar and Pospisil will also participate.
Vuelta 2005 presentation on December 15
Next season's Vuelta a España will be presented by its organising company Unipublic in Madrid on Wednesday, December 15. The 60th edition of the Tour of Spain will be held from August 27-September 18, 2005. Cyclingnews will be there to provide detailed coverage from the presentation.
Domina Vacanze becomes Elitron
After Italian tourism enterprise Domina Vacanze decided to couple with De Nardi in an effort to take part in the ProTour, the team directed by Vincenzo Santoni will become a Continental pro team in Year 1 of the UCI's road racing reform. The new main sponsor being the software brand Elitron, the team will be called Elitron-Portalupi Salumi according to Velomania.net.
Santoni brought together a roster of 15 riders to date, including Russian Alexandr Bazhenov, Slovenian Martin Derganc, Brazilian Antonio Murilo Fischer, Spanish Mario De Sarraga, the Italians Gabriele Colombo, Francesco Failli, Gian Matteo Fagnini, Alessio Galletti, Massimiliano Gentili, Massimo Iannetti, Sergio Marinangeli, Massimiliano Mori, Filippo Simeoni and neo-pros Valerio Agnoli and Luca Ascani. Their first training camp will be held in Sarnano, Italy, from December 5-15.
Meanwhile, the team manager maintained that Michele Scarponi, whose transfer to Liberty Seguros was announced on Thursday, still has a valid contract with the team's managing company, Blue Sea Services, until the end of next season. "I understand that he wants to go to Spain because of the sunny and warm weather," Santoni said, "but the contract will be carried out. There will be no alternative or consensual separation. He is still one of our riders." That being said, Scarponi is also summoned to come to the training camp. The official presentation of Elitron-Portalupi Salumi is scheduled to take place after it, on December 17.
Boonen aims to hit it off in 2005
Belgian sprinter Tom Boonen has some big plans for next season. The Quick.Step rider will start racing at the Tour of Qatar and continue with the Ruta del Sol, Omloop Het Volk and Paris-Nice to get ready for the Spring Classics, including Milano-San Remo. He will then participate in both Tour de France and Vuelta a España, which he views as "a perfect get-going for the World Championships in Madrid, one week later." The 2005 World's will take place on a flat course, which makes a sprint finish highly probable.
Petacchi reconnoiters 2005 World's course
Alessandro Petacchi has reconnoitered the course of the 2005 World Championships in Madrid on Thursday, December 2. In the company of Franco Ballerini, the Italian National coach, as well as Giovanni Lombardi, who lives in Madrid, the Italian sprint star spotted the course's difficulties and concluded that it was "not as easy as Zolder". "You need to be well prepared," Petacchi told Spanish website Marca.com, "because you need to be strong to handle the ascents. The Vuelta a España will be the best preparation, and if it's not as difficult in the last week of 2004, I hope to race it to the end." As for the World's held on September 25, just one week after the Vuelta finish, Petacchi believed his main rivals will be current world champion Oscar Freire and Erik Zabel.
Vainsteins' court case
Latvian Romans Vainsteins is suing Belgian Sports Promotions (BSP), the company who the previous world champion was under contract with when he was riding for Domo-Farm Frites. Vainsteins claims € 77.000 from BSP.
"My client did not receive his full salary in 2001-2002 because he was injured," Marie-Rose De Smet, Vainsteins lawyer, explained. "He now claims this money." Johan De Keersmaeker, who is representing BSP, countered that while it was true that Vainsteins wasn't paid one month's salary in 2001, "this happened because he underwent surgical operations twice without the team management's or the team doctor's consent." A ruling from the industrial tribunal in Oudenaarde, East Flanders, Belgium, is expected on January 5, 2005.
In another legal dispute, a verdict is scheduled one week later between Davitamon and Quick.Step, to be ruled by the industrial tribunal in Kortrijk, West Flanders, Belgium. In this case, Omega Pharma claims € 24 million from Patrick Lefévère and Quick.Step.
Palmerston North to host 2005 NZ Road Cycling Championships
On behalf of Cycling New Zealand, BikeNZ announced that the Palmerston North Marist Cycling Club will host the 2005 Lion Foundation National Road Champs to be held from October 20-23, 2005. The proposed course will start at Ashhurst and provide a mixture of testing climbs and undulating hills around the Manawatu region.
Cycling New Zealand Vice President, Mark Ireland, said, "There has been a huge increase in participation at the National Road Champs over the last three years, following the change to club based entry. we're very excited by our new partnership with the Lion Foundation, as it will enable us to further enhance the most important event on the New Zealand road cycling calendar." The 2004 National Road Champs were held in Hokitika and attracted over 250 riders. With Palmerston North’s central location, BikeNZ expects an even greater number of riders in 2005.
Team Spine announces Elite 1/2 roster
Team Spine, a Northern California amateur team, has invested in the future of the sport by developing an Elite 1/2 team. The team will compete in Northern California/Nevada races and in select NRC stage races.
The 2005 Team Spine Elite 1/2 team will be coached by Mike Brown. Riders include Shawn Rosenthal, Kyle Barbary, Tim Brackett, Dave Brackett, Mark Christian, Lance Doherty, Ryan Ramos, Pat Caurant, Michael Buckley, Tom Skiles, Paul Reichardt and Wayne Puckett (team captain). Kerri Kazala is team manager and Dr. Rick Derby will be team president.
For more informations, go to www.teamspine.com/
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