Cycling News Extra for July 8, 2004
Rich to ride Marathon MTB world's
US women's Olympic selection on the line
There'll be an unusual competitor among the mountain bikers at this weekend's UCI MTB Marathon World Championships in Bad Goisern, Austria: Gerolsteiner pro Michael Rich will take the start as an opportunity to try something a bit different while his team-mates contend in the Tour de France.
In the men's race, Rich will be up against favourites such as 1996 Olympic MTB champion Bart Brentjens, bronze medallist in Lugano, Carsten Bresser, African champion and Cape Epic winner Mannie Heymans, Thomas Dietsch, Austrian marathon champion Alban Lakata, Frederick Ericsson, Pascal Cattin and Tinker Juarez (USA).
Reigning world cup champion Gunn-Rita Dahle, who is undefeated this year in the World Cup series, is the hot favourite in the women's race, which may decide the US Olympic selection. Selection for the USA's single mountain bike spot in Athens is decided solely on UCI points, with Mary McConneloug currently 54 points ahead of Susan Haywood after the two have trekked around Europe for much of this season bagging points in major MTB races. However, there are 200 points for first place up for grabs at Bad Goisern, and 60 for 25th. This weekend is the last chance for either rider to pick up points as the selection will be made July 12.
Manzano pops up
Amore e Vita rider Jesus Manzano is alive and well, according to Europa Press. Manzano, whose team manager expressed concern about his whereabouts on Tuesday after the former Kelme rider had not been in touch with the team for some time, said the only problem he was having was that he'd been a bit downcast recently as a result of the intense media pressure he'd been under.
Manzano blew up a storm of controversy earlier this year when he alleged he had been subjected to institutionalized doping practices while at Kelme.
He said he'd fled reporters who had been at his house every day looking for interviews, and was concentrating on getting treatment for the knee problem that has prevented him from riding this year. However, he was not optimistic that the treatment would allow him to return to competition, though he did expect to return to a "normal life."
As for the visit to a clinic which his team manager believed was for treatment for depression, Manzano said the cause was actually a rather happier one - his girlfriend Marina is pregnant.
Bradley versus the boys at Nat-Track
The Nas-Track Madison series at Bloomer Park in Rochester Hills, Michigan will have an added attraction this Friday evening when Canadian racer Julia Bradley becomes the first woman to race in the otherwise all-male series.
Bradley, a Canadian championship medallist, will be paired with Nas-Track's most successful racer Dave Koesel in the 90-minute Madison. "Julia is more than ready to showcase her considerable talent in Nas-Track racing. She's got incredible strength and speed and she's fearless, the ingredients of a great Nas-Track racer," said Dale Hughes, chairman of Nas-Track Team Racing.
Bradley has been travelling from her home in Hamilton, Ontario to the track in Oakland County weekly to train for the competition.
Admission to the velodrome is just $3 and under-18s get in free. For more details, see www.nas-track.com.
Back-road deal brings Navigators to Gastown
We keep hearing that "cycling is the new golf" - an activity businessmen can take part in while still being able to hold a conversation, and, more importantly, seal a deal. Well, here's one example where it seems to have worked both ways. The July 21 Tour de Gastown, part of Canada's BC Superweek series of races, will feature riders from the Navigators team this year, thanks to the business relationship between Vancouver's Wedgewood Hotel and the team's insurance company sponsor.
After the Navigators team had decided not to ride Gastown this year, Wedgewood Hotel general manager Philip Meyer got in touch with Christopher Johnson, president marine division at Navigators Insurance and a business client of the hotel, to try and persuade him to send the team to race the Tour de Gastown.
As a result, Navigators will field a strong team at Gastown, including Marty Nothstein, Henk Vogels and Kirk O'Bee.
McGuire all set in Westport for a festival of cycling
Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent/Evening Herald/Sunday Independent
Not satisfied to run one or two Irish Road Championships, Mayo Wheelers are presenting three national jersey races this weekend, when they put on Veterans', Under-23s' and Juniors Irish Championships in Westport, Co. Mayo this Sunday, July 11. And just to keep busy, the club has thrown a senior race into the mix too.
Only last weekend the same club was in the thick of the action with the Three-Day Ras Connachta. Now, the burden of command moves on to the shoulders of Joe McGuire from Ras Connachta organizer Brian O'Loughlin.
When I queried Joe on the mammoth undertaking for Sunday, he expressed delight, "We have the volunteers here in this neck of the woods to put on a memorable championship, or should I say three. It was also a last minute decision to include a race for Seniors. I noticed that there was no event for Senior ones and especially after Ras Connachta. I just said another event will not make a blind bit of difference.
"We here in Westport are prepared for the influx of cyclists who will be following their ambition of winning gold silver or bronze.
"A carnival atmosphere is promised in Castlebar, Newport and Westport for the competitors as they race through those locations in particular," said Joe.
In the Veterans event, which is expected to attract by far the biggest entry, the defending champion, Sean Bracken of the Usher Irish Road Club will again be hard to knock off his pedestal. Sean had a good workout last weekend in the Kevin McInerney which more or less will give him the edge.
Eoin Conncannon was certainly in good form in Ras Connachta and if that's a guideline, then the Killorglin Credit Union Under-23 could be in line for a gold medal. Mark Quigley a former member of Mayo Wheelers would love dearly to snatch this title. His team mate David O'Loughlin a former winner of the Under-23's, is now the Irish Senior Champion and two titles for Total Cycle.Com would be a real bonus.
The Junior event looks to be a mixed bag, the current champion Michael Lucy from the Killarney CC is back to defend. It would be a great coup if he were to retain his trophy. The Killarney club has strength in depth to help his cause, but the loss of Richard Maes who was unfortunate to take a spill off his bike in Cong last weekend, could jeopardize his chances.
The hub of the activities for all the events in Westport is The Wyatt Hotel where sign-on will be from 10 o'clock onwards. Racing begins at 11.30 with the Juniors out of the starting gates at 12.15.
Enquiries for accommodation can be made to Margaret Madigan on 098.26102.
City at fault after Toronto cyclist gets "doored"
A Toronto court has found that the city was partly to blame for a 2002 incident in which local cycling activist Hannah Evans was struck by a car door on the city's Queen Street West.
Deputy Judge Morris Winer awarded Ms Evans $4,500 in damages with 25 percent to come from the city. He apportioned liability for the incident 25 percent to the city, 50 percent to the driver of the car and 25 percent to Ms Evans because she was not wearing a helmet.
Ms Evan's lawyers argued that under common law principles the city had a duty to provide a safe road environment for cyclists and in this case had failed in that duty. A bike lane along Queen Street West had been decommissioned in 1993 because the road was not wide enough to accommodate it, but the city had failed to take down some signs marking the lane. In addition, a popular bike lane in the area leads to Queen Street West, effectively dumping riders.
The judge agreed that the city had been negligent in failing to make the road safe. Ms Evans suffered a mild concussion and bruises as a result of the crash.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)