North American & Australian Cycling News for December 23, 2004
Edited by Hedwig Kröner and John Stevenson
Ofoto and Sierra Nevada combine
The existing Ofoto and Sierra Nevada US division III teams will join forces in 2005 to become a UCI Continental team for 2005. the new squad's full name will be the Ofoto/Sierra Nevada Professional Cycling Team.
From the Ofoto team, the new squad will draw Jackson Stewart, 2003 Canadian National Champion Dominique Perras, Tim Larkin, Scott Zwizanski, and Ofoto/Sierra Nevada racing manager Robin Zellner. Continuing from Sierra Nevada are 2004 Nature Valley GP Champion Ben Jacques-Maynes, 1996 and 2000 New Zealand Olympian Glen Mitchell, Russell Hamby, John Hygelund, and Ofoto/Sierra Nevada operations manager Kurt Stockton.
The team will also take on three new riders: 2004 New Zealand Olympian Hayden Godfrey (ex-Health Net/Maxxis); neo-pro Ian Dille (ex-Snow Valley); and Matt DeCanio (ex-Prime Alliance), who returns to pro cycling after a one-year hiatus.
2005 Ofoto/Sierra Nevada roster
Kurt Stockton, Operations Manager
Final US Continental teams
USA Cycling has announced that it will submit two more Continental teams to the UCI, bringing the US total to 14. The Ofoto/Sierra Nevada team is one (see above) while the other is new pro team Advantage Benefits Endeavour Cycling, which operated as a non-UCI registered team in 2004
2005 US Gran Prix of Cross
Organisers have announced details of the 2005 Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross Series. The 2005 series will comprise six UCI events in the Pacific Northwest, New England and Northern California, bringing, organizers say, "North America's best cyclocross stars to the sport's feverish hotbeds."
There will be two new races in the San Francisco area, intended to balance the schedule with the national championships in New England in 2005.
Winners of the elite men, elite women, U23 and junior categories will get automatic berths in the U.S. cyclocross team for the world championships.
The 2005 series kicks off, as it did this year, with a weekend in the Pacific Northwest. The first race, on Saturday, October 8, will be in Portland, Oregon. The following day (October 9), racers travel to nearby Seattle and a brand new course. Series organizer Paul Salvucci says the new venue will be a "much higher profile location" than last year's race in Tacoma.
Three weeks later, on October 29 and October 30, the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross returns to New England for a two-day engagement at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, Mass.
The series will wind up with a weekend of racing in Northern California. On November 19, the U.S. Gran Prix makes its debut at Golden Gate Park, near the Presidio, in San Francisco. The next day, racers will descend on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville -- just south of San Jose -- for the series finale.
Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross Series 2005 schedule
October 8: Portland, Oregon
For more information see: www.usgpcyclocross.com.
Kersten to ride carnivals
By Rod Morris
Australian Olympian Ben Kersten is a late inclusion for the Basslink Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals Series starting this Sunday at Latrobe.
Kersten was the center of controversy earlier this year with a selection row between he and sprinter Sean Eadie for the Athens Games. The in again/out again saga finally saw Kersten win back his place in the Australian team after Eadie was cleared of doping charges, but he was a spectator only at Athens.
Regarded as the second fastest sprinter in Australia, Kersten (23) replaces four-time Olympic medalist Shane Kelly as one of the drawcard 10 scratchmen for the Carnivals.
Kelly (32) has been forced to withdraw from the Tasmanian Carnivals because of an Achilles tendon injury. In recent years, Kelly has suffered a dislocated shoulder and nine months of deep vein thrombosis treatment.
Sports Carnivals Association of Tasmania Chairman, Mr Grant Atkins was thrilled to announce Kersten's inclusion, but at the same time expressed disappointment Kelly would be unable to compete. "It's a fair swap, Kersten for Kelly, but I feel for Shane, as he genuinely wanted to race in Tasmania this Christmas," Mr Atkins said.
Kersten meanwhile will bring with him red hot form to Tasmania after winning two prestigious handicap wheelrace titles in Australia in the last month. On November 27 he won the Clarence St Cup at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome and then a week later won the Melbourne Cup on Wheels at Victoria's Vodafone Arena.
Kersten has twice been named Australian Junior Male Cyclist of the Year (1998 & 1999) and has been a regular Australian team representative over the last six years.
Kersten will ride from scratch and although not official, will most likely slot into where Kelly was listed in the original heats of all major wheelraces in Tasmania.
United Water for Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under
Three seasoned performers will combine with some of Australia's best young talent in the United Water team for the 2005 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under.
David McKenzie, a stage winner in the 2000 Tour of Italy and past Australian road champion, heads the team with Panaria's Scott Davis bringing his pro team experience to a team that also boasts 2004 Australian road series champion Robert McLachlan.
McLachlan, a member of the Australian team for the 1992 Barcelona OIympic Games and now a full-time Physical education teacher, made a return to competition in late 2003 and this year clinched the silver medal at the Australian open road championships. Consistent performances in domestic events throughout the year have secured his start in the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under.
McKenzie this year raced with the US Pro Team Navigators but in 2005 has accepted a contract with the Indonesian registered Wismalik team which will allow him to be based in Australia and spend more time with his young family.
"I'll still race in Europe so it's the best of both worlds in that I have the stability of an Australian base for the family but I still get to race at a high level," said McKenzie who is excited by the line up of talent in the United Water team.
"It's a strong list and after we belt each other's heads against the wall at the open championships we'll sit down and become a team for the Tour," he laughed. "I'd like to go better than last year when I was right in amongst it until last couple of laps up the hill on stage 5.
"That's where I lost my chance of a top five finish so if I can climb a little better when it counts and be a bit more aggressive throughout I'm confident of a good result."
McKenzie admits he should have won a stage in 2004 and will be making sure he doesn't miss any opportunities in 2005.
"We all know what we have to do and if we all ride true to our ability and strengths we'll be a team to watch."
Joining them will be a quintet of young talent. Dave McPartland, who this year won stage two and wore the Jacob's Creek Leader's Jersey during the third stage of the race; Olympic and world teams pursuit champion, Peter Dawson; Junior Track Cycling Worlds medallists Jonathon Clarke and Chris Sutton and Ashley Humbert. Clarke this year came second in the Melbourne to Warrnambool and Humbert was a stagiaire with the FDJeux.com professional team.
Humbert had been due to take up a stagiaire role with the team in 2002 after a solid season with the AIS U23 program in Italy. But he was hit by viral meningitis and the illness put him out action for 14 months. He fought back and returned to racing this year with little expectation. However a win in a major Italian U23 race and a stage win in the Grand Prix William Tell in Switzerland proved he still has the talent to impress.
"The young guys won't be marked so they should have big opportunities to do things without drawing attention to themselves," said team manager Brian Stephens. "They are all aggressive and the guys are absolutely thrilled to be riding in the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under so they'll be giving it everything."
United Water team roster
Ontario Velodrome fundraising meeting
The Southwestern Ontario Olympic Sports Training Centre has announced an initial Fundraising Kickoff meeting at the future site of the new Indoor Velodrome in London Ontario. The meeting will take place on Saturday January 8 at the Centre, which is located just south of Hwy. #401 on Wellington Rd South, in London Ontario.
Doors will open at 2:30 pm with the information session beginning at 3 pm. The meeting should last about 90 minutes. The agenda includes discussion of the funding required to start work on the velodrome; sponsorship, corporate partners & advertising; and how to make a tax deducible donation. A question and answer session will follow.
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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