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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Cycling News Extra for July 9, 2004

Edited by Anthony Tan

USA track squad for Junior World's announced

Talented crop of juniors face world championship competition on U.S. soil

Following the conclusion of the USCF Junior National Track Championships in Southern California earlier this month, the team that will represent the U.S. at the 2004 UCI Junior World Track Cycling Championships from July 28-August 1 was named today. Nine men and three women will make the trip to the ADT Events Center in Carson, California, to compete in the first World Championship event on U.S. soil since the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Vail, Colorado three years ago.

In the junior men's division, a talented crop of American sprinters will compete for the honour to wear the rainbow jersey that signifies a world champion. Leading that list is Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif.), the junior national champion in the match sprint. Prior to winning the national title last week, Blatchford began the season by setting a Pan American and U.S. record in the 200m qualifying round at the Junior Pan Am Championships in Ecuador earlier this year where he went on to take the overall title in the sprint. His steady progression will hopefully translate into peak performance at the World Championships.

Joining Blatchford in the sprint events will be current national champions, Ryan Nelman (Houston, Texas), Aaron Kacala (Racine, Wis.), and Ben Barczewski (Schnecksville, Pa.). Nelman is the reigning junior national champion in the keirin and silver medalist in match sprint behind Blatchford. Kacala captured a national title in the kilometer time trial last week and also has a Pan Am Championship to his credit in the same event. Barczewski claimed his national championship in the 10km scratch race.

The sprint team of Blatchford, Nelman, Kacala, and Barczewski are no strangers to international success as the four of them combined for the gold medal in the team sprint at the Pan Am Championships in April.

The endurance team is led by recent national champion in the individual pursuit and points race silver medalist, Elliot Gaunt (Susquehanna Valley, Pa.). Joining Gaunt to contest the endurance events will be national points race champion, Chris Ruhl (Quakertown, Pa.), Daniel Holloway (Morgan Hill, Calif.), Michael Chauner (West Chester, Pa.) and Michael Schnabel (Emmaus, Pa.).

The junior women will be led by multi-time national champion, Kimberly Geist (Emmaus, Pa.). After winning back-to-back overall national titles in 2002 and 2003 in the 15-16 age group, Geist graduated to the 17-18 division this year where she took individual national titles in the individual pursuit, the scratch race, and the points race.

Tela Crane (Sammamish, Wash.), reigning national champion in the 500m time trial and match sprint, joins Geist to form a formidable junior women's duo. Complementing the one-two punch of Crane and Geist is Natalie Klemko (Bristol, Wis.) Klemko captured silver medals in both the individual pursuit behind Geist and the match sprint behind Crane at the national championships last week.

U.S. Team for 2004 UCI Junior World Track Championships


Michael Blatchford
Ryan Nelman
Aaron Kacala
Ben Barczewski
Elliot Gaunt
Chris Ruhl
Daniel Holloway
Michael Chauner
Michael Schnabel


Tela Crane
Kimberly Geist
Natalie Klemko

WADA comments ill-informed

The media comments this morning by World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) president Dick Pound are wrong and ill considered, the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Sports Commission, Mr Mark Peters said in an official statement released yesterday.

"Had he checked before making ill-informed media statements, he would have found that WADA has been kept informed of the allegations made against Australian cyclists since the issue arose late last year," Peters said.

Furthermore, Peters said the WADA president Pound is incorrect when he says that the information was 'known and available' since some time last year. "The ASC, Cycling Australia (CA) and the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) only received the names supplied by the athlete in the third week of June, after the completion of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) process," he said.

"It has always been the stated intention of the ASC and CA to make the report of the Anderson Investigation public. However Mr Pound should be aware that Australia has binding privacy legislation that prevents the release of information given in confidence without the approval of the individuals who gave that information."

Mr Peters expressed disappointment that Mr Pound should make these comments today when, on June 22 2004, he welcomed the independent investigation by Mr Robert Anderson into the allegations by Mark French asking that it be 'swift and thorough'.

"One has to wonder what has changed in those two weeks that now has him saying, without any supporting evidence that 'Australia has badly handled numerous drug inquiries'," Mr Peters said. "I challenged Mr Pound to provide evidence for this outrageous statement.

Mr Peters said that Mr Pound should also be aware that an appeal from Mr French against his two year ban is pending in the Court of Arbitration for Sport and that care must be taken not to prejudice that appeal.

Cyclingnews coverage of the French affair

Strong line-up for Brixia Tour

Danilo Di Luca, still fuming over his exclusion from this year's Tour de France as a result of ongoing legal investigations in a widespread doping case, has confirmed his participation as one of the leaders of the Saeco team in the Brixia Tour, to be held from July 23-25 later this month.

The three-day tour, conducted mostly in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, will also feature Di Luca's team-mate and 2004 Giro winner Damiano Cunego, current world champion Igor Astarloa (Lampre), Giro runner-up Serguei Gontchar (De Nardi), and Italian time trial champion Dario David Cioni (Fassa Bortolo). Other stars include Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago), the Ukrainian currently in discussions with Lance Armstrong's US Postal/Berry Floor team, Francisco Casagrande, Dario Frigo, Leonardo Piepoli, and Gianluca Bortolami.

The Stages

  • Stage 1 - July 23: San Vigilio di Concesio - Toscolano Maderno, 159 km
  • Stage 2a - July 24: Darfo Boario Terme - Valpalot di Pisogne 83.3 km
  • Stage 2b - July 24: Pisogne - Darfo Boario Terme, 82.7 km
  • Stage 3 - July 25: Bettole di Buffalora (Centro Sportivo 'Mario Rigamonti') - Manerbio, 192.5 km

US Postal and Barloworld confirmed for Tour of Britain

A star-studded cast is expected at this year's Tour of Britain with race organisers confirming the presence of a very competitive US Postal Service/Berry Floor squad and Division 2 squad Team Barloworld-Androni Giacattoli.

To be held from September 1-5 this year, the Blue Train line-up will most likely include a mixture of experienced professionals and younger talent. South African-registered Division 2 squad Team Barloworld-Androni Giacattoli have also confirmed their attendance at the Tour of Britain, with team manager John Robertson voicing his ambitions to attain Division 1 status in 2005. Barloworld's proposed team boasts a number of national champions that includes recent Criterium d'Abruzzo winner Enrico Degano, as well as South Africans Tiaan Kannemeyer and James Perry.

Last chance for new shoes!

Whose feet are these?
Click for larger image

We are about to close off entries into the Specialized competition to win a pair of new carbon road shoes - all you have to do is take a swing at who you think is wearing the shoes in the pictures on the competition page.

Now, if you do enter and don't win - no worries - we'll have another mystery rider up in a day or so. Good luck!

Fancy a trip Down Under?
Click for larger image

Speaking of competitions - fancy a trip to Australia next January? The organisers of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under are offering a trip to see the race in South Australia, right in the middle of the southern hemisphere summer season.

Australia's premier race is the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, which next year runs January 18 - 23, 2005. The JCTDU is always a huge but friendly event where fans can easily meet riders, and where the racers are happy to enjoy some Aussie sunshine when it's still chilly and damp in Europe. You can join them courtesy of the JCTDU organisation who will fly two lucky winners from anywhere in the world to see the 2005 race. The prize includes car hire and accommodation for the duration of the Tour and two JCTDU Club Tour memberships.

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