First Edition Cycling News for November 3, 2004
Edited by John Stevenson
Museeuw aims for top job
Johan Museeuw has revealed his post-cycling career ambition: to become team manager at Patrick Lefèvre's team (currently Quick.Step - Davitamon) where he has been an assistant directeur sportif since retiring in April of this year.
"Patrick Lefèvre has suggested that over the next two or three years I will take over his job," Museeuw told sportwereld.be. "Meanwhile I get the chance to work up to it, but there's no rush."
Museeuw said that the Landuyt affair and his subsequent, largely symbolic two-year suspension, had not shaken Lefèvre's confidence in him. "If he had any doubts about my work, then I would have heard about it from him a long time ago," said Museeuw, adding that the long relationship between the two had benefited them both.
However, Museeuw conceded he still has plenty to learn about running a team. "Just because you were a professional for 17 years does not mean you are qualified for other branches of the sport," he said. For the moment, said Museeuw, Lefèvre will continue to handle the management of the team, "but he cannot stay this busy forever. Meanwhile I want to become involved in everything, including the financial side."
Veenendaal-Veenendaal steps up
The Dutch semi-classic Veenendaal-Veenendaal is one race that looks set to be a beneficiary of the UCI's Pro Tour structure in 2005. Previously overshadowed by major classics that surround it on the calendar and unable to score higher than a 1.2 classification, Veenendaal-Veenendaal has struggled for sponsorship and publicity in the last few years. In 2005, though, it will be one of the top races on the UCI's European Continental calendar, with an 'HC' designation, bringing it to the same level as Belgium's Omloop Het Volk and Germany's Rund um Henninger Turm.
The 2005 edition of Veenendaal-Veenendaal takes place on April 15.
Blatchford crashes out
Promising young US sprinter Michael Blatchford is out of the team for this weekend's track world cup round in Moscow after a crash in training yesterday.
During his final training session before departing for the Moscow, Blatchford spun his cog during a high speed effort and crashed. He was taken to hospital and was found to have a broken scapula, broken wrist and bruised lungs.
Blatchford was discharged from hospital a few hours ago but will not be travelling to Moscow. His doctor has told him he will be able to ride a turbo trainer in a few weeks' time and he hopes to be racing again by December or January.
Launceston crit rescued
Despite looking in danger of cancellation last week, the Launceston International Criterium is back on again after local businesses rallied round to support the event - and it has picked up a new naming rights sponsor into the bargain.
This year's race will be known as the Gunns Cycling Classic after the Tasmanian forestry company that has stepped in to underwrite the event. Organiser Tom Sawyer told Cyclingnews that as well as Gunns Limited, a consortium of middle-sized local businesses had come forward to support the race." As soon as people heard that Gunns were in, I had truck companies and building companies coming forward to help," said Sawyer.
Cordial relations have also been restored with Launceston City Council, says Sawyer. A failure to agree on terms for the race organisation meant that the council withdrew $20,000 in funding from the race last week. That money will now come from other sources, but the council has agreed to help with granting road access and assisting with set-up of the event.
A further $20,000 toward running the event was pledged some weeks ago by the Tasmanian state government, and that assistance has never been in doubt, says Sawyer. In fact, instead of the politic bickering that often accompanies government money being spent on something as frivolous as a bike race, "both side of politics are very much in favour of the race and think it's a great thing for the state," said Sawyer.
Top Australian riders conformed for the Launceston criterium include Robbie McEwen (winner in 2003), Stuart O'Grady, Allan Davis and Cadel Evans, while world time trial champion Michael Rogers has said he will attend if he is actually in Australia at the time. The inaugural event in 2002 (see report) was won by Hilton Clarke Jr, ahead of McEwen and O'Grady.
Webber plans training with Armstrong
Australian Formula One driver Mark Webber plans to get together with six-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong for a spot of winter training. According to the website of his Williams team, Webber will travel to Texas some time during the next few months to train with Armstrong. Webber is a keen cyclist who regularly takes part in endurance mountain bike events and triathlons. He and Armstrong met at this year's Tour de France and have kept in touch since.
"I admire people that can do things that I can't do," said Webber, "I don't have many racing drivers as heroes because they do things that I can do, in a sort of way, so I don't really look up to them. I look up to Lance because of what he has gone through."
Despite being considered one of the fittest drivers on the Formula One circuit, Webber is under no illusions about his condition compared to that of a top pro cyclist, and expects riding with Armstrong to be no picnic. "I don't suppose I'll be leading him home," he said.
Marcos Serrano has signed a two-year extension of his contract with Liberty Seguros. It therefore seems likely that the 32-year-old, who has been a pro cyclist for 12 years, will finish his career in 2006 with Manolo Sáiz' team.
Nybø & Hegreberg to Glud & Marstrand Horsens
The Glud & Marstrand Horsens team has signed a one year contract with the 21 year old Norwegian under-23 champion Håvard Nybø and his countryman Roy Hegreberg from the Jartazi Granville team.
Lehikoinen to Team G-Cross Honda
Finnish mountain bike downhiller Matti Lehikoinen will ride for the G-Cross Honda World Team in 2005, the team has announced. Lehikoinen replaces French junior rider Cyrille Kurtz on the squad.
Lehikoinen was the 2001 Junior European Champion, and in 2004 has placed consistently in the top 10 at World Cup races, including 7th in Livigno, Italy. He was on the same team as G-Cross Honda rider Greg Minnaar, in 2001 and 2002, so should be used to travelling with the South African 2003 world champion.
According to a report from the Associated Press, US participation in cyclocross has boomed in the last few years with entry numbers increasing from 3,849 in 1995 to 17,255 last year. It's therefore no surprise for us to be passing along details of two of this weekend's bigger 'local' crosses.
Sunday November 7 sees the second edition of the Coonamessett Eco Cross, Coonamessett Farm in East Falmouth, MA, USA, with an expanded course that includes a wider start, 1-2 forced dismounts and 1-2 unforced dismounts, and, according to the organizers, "more twists and turns than a good mystery novel."
The race will also feature the Buzzards Bay Brewing Hospitality tent for the first time this year. Cash prizes for each field will increase with field size and the top three finishers in the men's races will receive a six-pack of Buzzards Bay beverage.
North of the border, November 7 is the date for the Hardwood Cross, Hardwood Hills, Ontario, Canada, which organizers hope will be one of biggest races of the Canadian cross season so far. It's the first 'cross race to be hosted at the ski and bike resort, which is a possible venue for the 2005 Canadian cyclocross championships.
The racing begins at 9:30a.m. with Novices, followed by Master B/C/Ds and Women at 11a.m, followed by the Juniors and the Elite and Master A men hitting the trails at 1pm.
For more information see http://www.ontariocycling.org/
Long-time supporter of cycling, Vancouver's Wedgewood Hotel has launched its own team according to Canadian Cyclist. Team Wedgwood riders will raise funds for the British Columbia Cancer Agency and organize events and races to raise awareness and support for cancer research in the province.
The team is supported by four associate sponsors including cycling hang-out "Bean around the World" coffee stores and suppliers. Membership will be on two levels, 'active' and 'social' and more information is available from Wedgewood Hotel general manager Philip Meyer at email@example.com.
Principals are local riders: Brent Kirkpatrick, Dave Cressman, Philip Meyer, Darnelle Moore and Jonathan Wornell.
New Zealand announces squads
The New Zealand Cycling Federation has announced its squads for the 2005 Oceania Track Championships (Melbourne, Australia December 3-5, 2004); the second round of the track world cup (Los Angeles, USA, December 10-12); and Commonwealth Youth Games (Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, November 29 to December 4, 2004).
New Zealand team for Oceania championships
Elite Men: Endurance Squad - Jason Allen, Hayden Godfrey, Dayle Cheatley, Anthony Chapman, Joshua England, Adam Coker, Matthew Haydock, Matthew King; Sprint Squad - Daniel Beatson, David Cresswell, Jonathan Hamlin, Nathan Seddon, Ricky Hair, Hayden Sword, Nicholas Vinsen
Elite Women: Endurance Squad - Catherine Sell, Joanne Kiesanowski, Dale Tye, Tamara Boyd, Annaliisa Farrell; Sprint Squad - Elisabeth Williams, Kate Mullarky, Katri Laike
Under 19 men: Endurance Squad - Westley Gough, Sam Bewley, Michael Northey, Andrew Robertson, Elliot Crowther, Logan Hunn, Oliver Pierce; Sprint Squad - Adam Stewart, Benjamin Simpson, Matthew Fox, Jonathan Lewis
U19 Women: Endurance and Sprint Squad - Bridgette Broad, Rushlee Buchanan, Malindi Maclean, Ashleigh Stone, Natasha Buck, Antonia Restall
New Zealand team for Los Angeles world cup
Elite Men: Endurance Squad - Greg Henderson, Hayden Roulston, Richard Bowker, Peter Latham, Tim Gudsell, Marc Ryan; Sprint Squad - Daniel Beatson, Andrew Williams, David Cresswell
Elite Women: Endurance Squad - Catherine Sell, Joanne Kiesanowski, Dale Tye; Sprint Squad - Elisabeth Williams
New Zealand team for Commonwealth Youth Games
Men: Andrew Pollock, Adam Coker, Andrew Robertson, Sam Bewley, Stephen Butler, Clinton Avery
Women: Paddy Walker, Kathryn Jones, Bridgette Broad, Lauren Webb, Carissa Wilkes, Michelle Bellamy
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)