Latest Cycling News for June 4, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones
14th Classique des Alpes
This year's 14th Classique des Alpes will be run over a customary challenging 165 km parcours between Aix-les-Bains and Chambery in the French Alps. As its name indicates, climbing is the order of the day with six categorised climbs en route, even though two of these form parts of larger climbs. The main challenge is the Col de Plainpalais/Col du Revard, a total of 20 km of climbing at approximately 4.4%, with the summit of the Revard coming at 24 km to go. However, the final part of the course is all downhill into Aix-les-Bains.
The Classique des Alpes forms part of the Coupe de France series as well as preceding the start of the Dauphiné Libéré by one day. As such, a strong field is expected including Euskaltel's Iban Mayo, winner in 2001, David Millar (Cofidis), who finished third last year, Crédit Agricole's climber Alexandre Botcharov, Landbouwkrediet's Giro star Yaroslav Popovych, Phonak's Oscar Sevilla, Domina Vacanze's Michele Scarponi, and Team CSC's Michele Bartoli and Ivan Basso.
There will also be a Junior Classique des Alpes run at the same time, run over 86 km and including three climbs: Col des Près (16.3 km at 4.9%), Col de Plainpalais (12.5 km at 4.4%) and Col du Revard (7.2 km at 4.2%).
Popovych leads Landbouwkrediet-Colnago in Classique des Alpes
The Landbouwkrediet-Colnago squad for this Saturday's Classique des Alpes has been named, with Yaroslav Popovych as the team captain. He will be joined by the young Tour of Luxembourg winner Maxime Monfort. On the other hand, veteran Jacky Durand will not be able to take part in the race as he is still suffering from bronchitis, which forced him out of the Giro d'Italia. His spot has been taken by Volodimir Duma.
Full team: Yaroslav Popovych, Christian Gasperoni, Maxime Monfort, Volodimir Bileka, Ruslan Gryshenko, Sergey Avdyeyev, Sergey Lagutin, Volodimir Duma.
Popovych will also be in action during the Tour of Austria next week, alongside Christian Gasperoni, Sergey Lagutin, Bert De Waele, Tom Steels, Ludo Dierckxsens and Nico Sijmens.
Casagrande comes back
Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) will return to competition on June 12 in the Tour de Suisse after more than a year out due to an achilles tendon injury caused by a change of pedals. The Italian hoped to start in this Saturday's Marco Pantani memorial criterium in Cesenatico, but his team preferred that he continue training. After the Tour de Suisse, Casagrande will race in the Italian Championships on June 27 and the Brixia Tour in July. He hopes to do the World Cup races in the second half of the season, as well as the Vuelta and the World Championships, if he is selected. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Casagrande will retire at the end of 2005.
New Zealand Olympic squad named
Recently crowned World Champions Sarah Ulmer and Greg Henderson will lead New Zealand's track contingent at the Athens Olympics in August, after BikeNZ named the full squad on Friday. Ulmer will be the gold medal favourite for the women's 3000m pursuit after winning that event in Melbourne last week and breaking the world record in the process. She will also line up in the points race. Greg Henderson, who won the scratch race at the World's (not an Olympic event) will compete in the points race and the Madison, together with Hayden Roulston. Henderson and Roulston won a silver medal in the Madison at the 2003 World's and finished eighth in Melbourne last weekend. The remainder of the track team consists of a men's pursuit team and Anthony Peden, who will ride the keirin.
Four men and three women will make up the road team. Spain-based Julian Dean leads the men's team with Jeremy Yates, Heath Blackgrove and Robin Reid joining him. Joanne Kiesanowski, who has had several top ten finishes in World Cup races this year will link up with Melissa Holt and Michelle Hyland in the women's events.
In the mountain bike squad, Kashi Leuchs is back for another Olympic Games after competing in Sydney 2000. Leuchs will be joined by Robyn Wong in the mountain bike team.
Sarah Ulmer (Cambridge) Individual Pursuit, Points Race
Julian Dean (Rotorua) Road Race
Kashi Leuchs (Dunedin) Cross Country
New team for Emma James
Cyclingnews diarist Emma James has changed teams for the remainder of the 2004 season. After riding the first part of the year with Danish Team S.A.T.S., Emma is now riding under the Dutch Bik-Gios team colours. Emma explained the reasons for the change in her latest diary entry:
"I am not one to jump ship, and loyalty means a great deal to me, but occasionally I guess things don't work out even with the best intentions. Most of it is hard to explain and understand, but I have had a stark reminder of how important communication is between management and employees / riders. All of this means that for the rest of 2004, I will be in the blue kit of the Dutch Bik-Gios team! Not only that, but I now have a race program, enough kit for double sessions, and a very positive feeling about the team atmosphere."
US champion injured
Multiple US champion Curtis Tolson and the founder of Papa John's pizza chain, John Schnatter, were hospitalised after an accident on Wednesday evening in Louisville, KY, USA. The accident happened when a biology textbook was thrown at the pair from an oncoming pickup truck, reported the Associated Press. Tolson suffered abrasions and possibly a broken collarbone or dislocated shoulder, while Schnatter had abrasions and possible head or back injuries. A third rider who was with them, Tracy Huber, avoided the crash.
Louisville police are investigating the incident as a felony assault. So far, no arrests have been made and there are no suspects.
Huge field expected for Fitchburg Longsjo Classic
From its beginnings in 1960, the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic in the USA has grown into one of the biggest cycling events in North America with past participants including Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton and Greg Lemond. The race is dedicated to the memory of Arthur Longsjo, the first same-year dual (winter and summer) Olympian in the United States, and will be held between July 2-5. This year's event will host over 900 riders from the USA and internationally in eight different categories, including Men's/Women's Pro/1/2. This year more than $40,000 in prize money will be awarded.
The 45th Fitchburg Longsjo Classic begins on Friday, July 2 with the Royal Plaza Time Trial, a seven mile race against the clock. On Saturday, the racers will compete in the Aubuchon Hardware Circuit Race, a 3.1 mile loop through the hilly streets of Fitchburg, with the men's pro riding 78 miles and the women's pro 40 miles.
On Sunday, the men's pro race will be the 104 mile Unitil Road Race, held on a tough 11 mile course through Princeton center with a spectacular finish at the 2,000 foot summit of Wachusett Mountain. The FLC concludes on Monday, July 5 with the Worker's Credit Union Criterium. This runs right past the Longsjo Memorial, with multiple laps around a 0.9 mile loop through downtown Fitchburg.
More information: www.longsjo.com
Road circuit approved for Lidcombe Auburn CC
The Sydney, Australia based Lidcombe Auburn Cycle Club (LACC) has announced that it has received formal NSW Police approval for their road race circuit at semi-rural Horsley Park in western Sydney. "This has been a major exercise but the perseverance and assistance of many got us there in the end," commented club president Warren Potts. "We have 16 trained and fully accredited traffic controllers and we are really looking forward to once again racing on the road after 18 months of waiting and working. I'd like to thank club member Howard Brown for his magnificent efforts and also Bankstown Sports Cycle Club for keeping us sane by allowing us to race with them at Lansdowne through this period."
While currently classified as "club" races, given the lack of fully approved on-road race circuits in the greater Sydney region, LACC has sought approval from Cycling NSW to reclassify the races as open invitation.
More information: www.lidcombe-auburn.cc
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