Latest Cycling News for May 18, 2004
Edited by Chris Henry
Australia for Track World's
Cycling Australia announced Tuesday the Cyclones Team for the 2004 Track Cycling World Championships being staged at the Vodafone Arena in Melbourne, Australia from May 26 to 30. Heading the list will be dual 2003 World Championships silver medallist (sprint & keirin) and 2002 keirin world champion Jobie Dajka, 22. Dajka proved he is in top form by winning the Sydney World Cup keirin round last Friday and earning the 2004 World Cup keirin title.
Sean "Big Man" Eadie, 2002 sprint world champion and recently crowned Australian champion, will race at his first World Championships in two years after being sidelined for much of 2003 with a knee injury. In Sydney on Saturday he achieved a time for the flying 200m to put him in the Shadow Team (pre-selection) for the Athens Olympics but at the World Championships he will be out to secure a spot on the final team.
The team to defend Australia's team pursuit world title has yet to be finalised, but Luke Roberts and Peter Dawson, two of the members of the team that set the world record to claim gold at last year's World's in Stuttgart have already been selected.
Queensland's Anna Meares, 2003 keirin silver medallist and winner of sprint at the Sydney World Cup, will contest both the sprint and the 500m time trial. Shane Kelly and Ben Kersten will both contest the men's kilometre time trial.
Katie Mactier, who last year claimed silver at her debut in the individual pursuit at the World Championships, is hoping racing in her hometown will give her an edge against four time world champion Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel of the Netherlands. New Zealand's Sarah Ulmer has also emerged as a threat to both after riding a near world record time in Sydney on Saturday to claim the World Cup title.
Australia's World Championship selection:
USA sends 15 to Track World's
The United States has earned 15 start positions for the 2004 Track World Championships in Australia. Nine women and six men will represent the USA at the upcoming World's. Start positions were allocated based on results from the Track World Cup and the 2003 Continental Championships (last August's Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic).
The six start positions for the men include two places in the keirin and one each in the kilometre time trial, the scratch race and the points race. The team sprint squad also qualified a start position. The United States did not qualify start positions in the individual pursuit, the madison, the team pursuit and the sprint.
The women qualified at least one start position in each World Championship discipline including three start positions in the sprint, two in the keirin, and one each in the 500m time trial, individual pursuit, scratch race and points race.
The total number of entrants has been determined however USA Cycling has yet to make its final selection of which athletes will travel to Melbourne for the World's.
Total start positions allotted to the United States at the 2004 UCI Track World Championships:
Kilometre time trial - 1
500m Time trial - 1
Surgery for Nicole Cooke
Sidelined this spring by a nagging knee injury, Nicole Cooke underwent surgery last week in an effort to solve her knee problems once and for all. Several weeks of work with the doctors and physiotherapists at the English Institute of Sport at Bath failed to produce the improvements that both the doctors and Nicole were expecting. Key-hole surgery was deemed the next logical step.
After two serious crashes halfway through the 2003 season, Nicole was able to return to racing but by the end of the season the underlying problems caught up with her.
"If I want to be a serious contender for a medal at Athens in August, last week was the final opportunity for having surgery and still being able to recover properly and to train at the level necessary to be a contender for that Olympic medal," Cooke commented on her personal website.
Her surgeon expressed satisfaction after the operation. An inflamed membrane was removed and Cooke should be riding within the next few days. Nonetheless, a date for her return to racing in 2004 has yet to be determined.
"These next few weeks are very important, but I feel confident that the problem has been solved," Cooke added. "This is not ideal preparation for such a demanding event like the [Olympic] road race, but I can only look forward and try to make best use of the time available to me now. My ambitions are still as strong as ever and I am very fresh mentally. I have not been racing week after week since March so I have a huge amount of enthusiasm right now."
Guidi racing again
Italian Fabrizio Guidi (Team CSC) will return to racing after a lengthy recovery period following a broken hand in the Grand Prix E3 Harelbeke this spring. Guidi will make his return at the Bayern Rundfahrt which begins Wednesday.
"I was in great shape coming into the spring classics, then I crashed in the first really hard Belgian race," Guidi commented on the team's website (team-csc.com). "After 20 days of complete rest I could slowly start training again.
"This week will be very hard for me," he said of the German stage race. "But it's all about getting back on form as soon as possible, because this is the most important part of the season."
Next on Guidi's program will be a trip to the United States to contest the Wachovia races in Philadelphia. He will return to Europe for the Ster Elektrotoer and the Italian national championships.
Tendinitis for Brard
France's Florent Brard, riding for the Belgian Chocolade Jacques team in the Giro d'Italia, has been struggling with a bout of tendinitis. Brard has spent much of the first week of this year's Giro at the back of the peloton, but remains committed to the race.
"I've got tendinitis in my left ankle, but I don't want to pull out," Brard told l'Equipe. "I'm here to find my base, and to learn the climbs like the Gavia and the Mortirolo, which I've always dreamt about. I'll manage."
Bad knees at Ag2r
Two riders with Ag2r-Prévoyance, Lloyd Mondory and Ludovic Turpin, are out of racing with knee problems. Mondory had surgery earlier this year to correct a cartilage problem but has recently experienced trouble with his other knee. Turpin is suffering from tendinitis which could keep him from racing for several weeks.
Contract for Mangel
Young French rider Laurent Mangel, 22, has earned a two year contract with Ag2r-Prévoyance for the 2005-2006 seasons. A rouleur of some repute with the SCO Dijon club in France, Mangel caught the eye of Ag2r manager Vincent Lavenu and will make his professional debut at the beginning of next year. Mangel won this year's Ruban Granitier Breton.
Verbruggen heads federation assembly
UCI President Hein Verbruggen has been named to the General Assembly of Sports Federations as a substitute for South Korea's Kim Un-Yong, currently facing charges of corruption and embezzlement in his home country, according to a Europa Press report. Verbruggen has been serving as one of three vice presidents of the Assembly and will now serve as president until the next election in May 2005. Un-Yong could return to his post if he is cleared of the charges.
Meath looks for county award in Ras
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
The Meath M. Donnelly team for this year's FBD Milk Ras was presented at the Cock Tavern, Gormanston, Co. Meath last Friday. Meath M. Donnelly will be led by Bill Moore, a veteran of eight editions of the Ras. Moore rode on the Irish national team in 1997 and 1999.
During a break from racing the Stamullen man spent some time in South Africa, but his return to competition this year has already yielded victory in the Harry Reynolds Memorial in Balbriggan and 4th overall in the recent Tour of Ulster. Moore will be hoping to improve on his best stage result of 4th into Tubercurry in 1998.
Moore's younger brother Robert is a former Irish junior road race champion and has ridden the Ras on two previous occasions. While the two siblings have ridden the race together before, this is the first year the brothers will be on the same team.
Craig Sweetman is another former Irish international, having competed on the national squad in the Tour of Hokkaido in Japan in 2002. A veteran of seven editions of the Ras, the Bettystown man will be hoping to continue the recent good run of form which has seen him take four top-seven places in the past fortnight.
Simon Mulvany is riding his first Ras. Mulvany took 10th place in the recent Noel Hammond Memorial after a gutsy display of riding saw him spend the whole 84 miles in the various leading groups.
Paul Slane is another man returning to competition after a lay-off. Slane was the youngest ever Irish road race champion in 1991 and did the double the following year. Having represented Ireland at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, Slane has only previously ridden the Ras once, taking the stage win into Drogheda for the Meath team in 1994. The team will be managed by Johnny Varley.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)