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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for December 20, 2004

Edited by John Stevenson and Hedwig Kröner

Sevilla plans T-Mobile comeback

Oscar Sevilla, the Spanish climber who was runner-up to Angel Casero in the 2001 Vuelta a Espana, hopes to make a substantial comeback with T-Mobile in 2005.

Sevilla rode for Phonak this year, but failed to shine at the Swiss-based team. He told that he expects to work for T-Mobile team leader Jan Ullrich at the Tour de France next year, and to be team leader at the Vuelta.

"The management has told me that I will be the leader for the Vuelta, and I plan to arrive in good form at this prestigious race," said Sevilla.

Dierckxsens to decide on career soon

After not being able to secure a contract for next year, Belgian cyclist Ludo Dierckxsens will decide on New Year's day whether he wants to continue his career or call it quits. Currently, his management has had talks with about his signing, but without success. The 40 year-old still wants to continue as a pro rider next season, but boss Koen Terryn is not fueling his hopes. "Dierckxsens is not a priority," he said. "Our team still lacks a climber. If we don't have one by March 1 and there is still a place for him, then there might be a chance."

Still no luck for Haselbacher

Gerolsteiner pro René Haselbacher is still an unlucky man. After crashing several times during this year's Tour de France, the Austrian suffered another accident in a South Africa training camp. Crashing into a car at a speed of 60 km/h, Haselbacher fractured his collarbone on Wednesday, December 15. The training ride with his teammate Peter Wrolich and former US Postal rider David George included a descent, where Haselbacher happened to be leading the group.

"The car turned on to the road out of nowhere," Haselbacher recalled. "I didn't have any chance to avoid it. I was lucky, though, as the accident could have ended much worse." The rider will stay in South Africa until January 1, 2005 and plans to start getting backinto shape on a trainer once st home.

Downing brothers excited about Manchester

The Downings
Photo: © Jon Cannings
Click for larger image

British road and track duo Dean and Russell Downing say they're looking forward to next month's world cup track events at the Manchester Velodrome (January 7-9, 2005). The pair, who ride for the British Continental team X-Power/Litespeed, have had an eventful couple of months, with Russell sustaining some nasty injuries while racing in the Australia and at the Gent Six recently.

"Australia was just bad luck, and unfortunately these things happen in cycling, he said. "It's taken a while to build myself back up again, but I don't let these things get me down."

For both riders, Manchester is practically home turf, as they hail from the Northern England town of Sheffield, just across the Pennines from Manchester. "It's so great to be able to ride a round of the World Cup only an hour away from home," said Dean Downing, "and knowing the track at Manchester so well is a big advantage for me individually in the scratch race and as a duo in the Madison."

Dean Downing will ride the scratch race on January 7 before pairing up with Russell for the Madison on January 9. Russell will race two days back-to-back as he tackles the points race on January 8 and then the Madison. "My recovery from the points race into the Madison on the next day I hope to be fine, he said. "I will have all my creature comforts so there is no risk of me being 'alien' to anything that you may find at some races in the world. I can go home after the event and relax."

'Tis the season... of awards!

Thürig Swiss Sportswoman of the Year

World TT Champion 2004 and Olympic bronze medal winner Karin Thürig of the UnivegaPro Cycling Team has won the Sports Award 2004 in Switzerland. The cyclist was elected Sportswoman of the year, while the Men's award was given to Roger Federer (Tennis).

Four battle out Tasmania Rider of the Season award

A four way tie in the lead of Cycling Tasmania's annual Rider-of-the-Season award for 2004-05 has thrown another twist into the coming Basslink Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals, which start at Latrobe on Boxing Day. American visitor Bobby Lea jumped into a share of the lead after winning both the Rosebery Wheel and 1000 m Lightning Handicap races at the 48th annual Rosebery Carnival at the weekend.

Lea earned 10 points for his two wins and shares the lead with Gareth Atkins, who claimed his second successive A Grade Scratch victory, comeback rider Jamie Perry and first year senior rider Will Robinson. But the award is still wide open with another youngster - Ben Laskey - next in line with 9-points and George Town Wheel winner Daniel Cutting, on 8. With the big name riders arriving this week for the Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals, the current leaders will be hard pressed to maintain their advantage.

Not quite as tight in the corresponding women's championship with Laura McCaughey increasing her already commanding lead. McCaughey ventured to Rosebery holding an 8-point lead - and returned home with a 15-poing advantage! McCaughey repeated her George Town Carnival performance at Rosebery by winning the wheelrace, lightning handicap and scratch race trifecta.

In the junior category, Nook's Daniel Jamieson and Launceston's Jake Laskey share the lead on 24-points, two ahead of Andrew Smith (Devonport) and Ed Robinson (Launceston). Laskey has claimed four wins and two third placings so far, while Jamieson has 3 wins, 1 second and 1 third.

Meanwhile, the trio of Robinson brothers that are currently racing are claiming some sort of record after all winning their respective scratch races at Rosebery. Edward started the ball rolling when he won the Junior 2 (Under 15) race, followed Thomas in the Junior 1 (Under 17) and then eldest brother Will in the B Grade Scratch. And there may be more to come yet as the youngest of all the Robinson's, James won a beginners race at George Town recently.

Cycling Tasmania Rider-of-the-season 2004-05 progressive points are:

1 Gareth Atkins                10 pts
1 Bobby Lea (USA)              10
1 Jamie Perry                  10
1 Will Robinson                10
5 Ben Laskey                    9
6 Daniel Cutting                8
7 Ben Price                     7
1 Laura McCaughey              30 pts
2 Grace Sulzberger             15
3 Sarah Eaves Tarrisha Jones    7
4 Lauralee Sharman              6
1 Jake Laskey                  24 pts
1 Daniel Jamieson              24
3 Andrew Smith                 22
3 Ed Robinson                  22
4 Tom Robinson                 18
5 Madison Catlin               13
5 Luke Ockerby                 13
7 Clay Murfett                 12

Race Across America on NBC

A two-hour show on the 2004 Race Across America (RAAM) will be shown on NBC Sports on Saturday, January 22, 2005, 2.30 p.m. - 4.30 p.m. EST (check your listings for local variations).

RAAM, which started in 1981 as a race just for solo competitors, has been broadening its appeal in recent years, with categories for four-person and eight-person teams that make it feasible for riders who aren't elite ultraendurance specialists to take part. In 2004 the 4-person Action Sports team took away $25,000 in prize money and next year Olympic speedskating legend and road racer Dr. Eric Heiden will compete with a four-man team.

The 2005 edition will also include a series of organized rides of between 10 and 100 miles in length, along sections of the route.RAAM organizer Jim Petrie says, "RAAM is such a special cycling event that we want everybody to have a piece of it... And it's good for the racers, too - they get more support out there on the road. 3,000 miles in a bit over week can seem an awfully long time when you're the one spinning the pedals, and the more fans out there on the course the easier it gets."

The 2005 Insight Race Across America will start in San Diego on June 19 and ends in Atlantic City on June 28. The planned 3,000 mile route passes through California, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illiniois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, and includes about 150,000 feet of climbing. Up to 150 cyclists from 15 nations are expected to participate.

CRCA/Sakonnet adds three to U25 program

The New York City based Sakonnet Technology cycling team has announced the addition of three riders to its U25 roster for the 2005 season. The U25 squad now numbers 11 riders, joining the Team are David Wiswell (Kingworth International), Michael Chauner (Monsoon Racing) and Jonathon Swain (Tri State Velo).

All three additions have a strong background in track racing and bring a new depth to Sakonnet’s program in 2005. "Having a presence on the velodrome is something the Team has been looking for and with these three we’ve accomplished that," said assistant director sportif Stephen Badger. The teams' track program kicks off with David Wiswell debuting in Sakonnet colors at the upcoming Stuttgart and Berlin Six Day races in January.

Team MACK roster for 2005

Team MACK, in its fourteenth year, is set to again have a strong presence in the Midwestern United States during next year. With over 100 members, the team based out of Springfield, Illinois will focus on all major Midwest events, a few NRC events, the Elite, Masters men/women & Junior Nationals championships. Managed by Sharmin Doering with Director Gary Doering, team MACK has announced its full lineup for next season.

Full roster

Last chance to win in Cyclingnews reader poll

The 2004 Cyclingnews reader poll closes tomorrow, so you have just one day left to vote for your favourite riders, races, photograph and product of 2004 - and to win some Cyclingnews goodies in our free draw. For full details and to cast your votes, click on over to the reader poll page.

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