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Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for November 5, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones & Hedwig Kröner

Track World Cup starts in Moscow

The opening round of the 2004/2005 Track Cycling World Cup Classics will take place in Moscow, Russia this weekend from November 5-7. 35 nations will take part in the three day meet that will be held on the 333.3 metre Krylatskoye velodrome.

The Track World Cup calendar has been rearranged this year to move all of the events forward into the European winter, with the result that almost two full series will be held in the space of one calendar year. Participation in the World Cup is important for all countries wishing to maximise their selection for the World Championships and, every four years, the Olympic Games.

Following the Moscow round, the action will move to the USA with the second round being held in Los Angeles between December 10-12. Round 3 takes place in Manchester, Great Britain from January 7-9, 2005, while the final round will be held in Sydney, Australia from February 18-20, 2005.

Finals program

Day 1 - November 5: Men: Scratch, Keirin, Individual Pursuit, Kilometre; Women: Points Race, Sprint
Day 2 - November 6: Men: Team Pursuit, Sprint, Points Race; Women: 500m TT, Individual Pursuit
Day 3 - November 7: Men: Madison, Team Sprint; Women: Scratch, Keirin

Hayles focuses on Manchester in the New Year

Track star Rob Hayles at 31 years of age is immune to the pressure and shows no signs of losing his enthusiasm for winning medals at the highest level. Rob emerged from the Athens Olympic Games with silver in the team pursuit, a bronze from the Madison, and fourth place in the individual pursuit.

Back in full training for the UCI Track World Cup campaign, Hampshire-born, Hayles and the rest of the British squad are honing their preparation for round three at Manchester on January 7-9 next year. "Being on home ground will give everyone a big lift," said Hayles.

The opening of the Manchester Velodrome ten years ago has been a major factor in Britain's emergence as a world power on the track, Hayles reckons. "The younger lads probably don't appreciate it, but I'm old enough to remember what it was like before we had an indoor track," he said. "We'd travel to Leicester for a squad session only for it to be rained off. We'd have to go home again with no preparation done. It's no wonder we didn't win many medals."

Today it's a very different story; Hayles knows there will be a burden of expectation on the British team at Manchester. "I'm looking forward to the challenge," he declared. "After travelling to Moscow and Los Angeles for the opening rounds, it will be great to be racing on our home track. Hopefully we can fill the stadium. Having a full house makes such a difference to the atmosphere and the riders will respond to it."

Hayles is one of the great all-rounders of British cycling. A Commonwealth Games medallist as long ago as 1994, he has won numerous British track titles. On the road he has won stages of the Telekom Le Tour de Langkawi, Circuit des Mines and Tour of Britain, and raced for two seasons with the French Cofidis team. Today, the track is his top priority. This year has been a hectic one for the British team with the World Cup, World Championships and Olympic Games following on from each other in rapid succession.

"It took a lot out of us both physically and emotionally," said Hayles. "I had a 12-day break from training immediately after the Olympic Games. I knew I'd be riding Moscow so got the holiday out of the way then I could start my build-up to the World Cup. "I've been training six days a week for the past three weeks, sometimes doing double sessions, road training in the morning and track work in the afternoon."

This year, for the first time, the World Cup will be a winter competition, a change which presents European riders with new challenges. "It will feel rather strange," said Hayles. "We're accustomed to preparing through the winter and racing in summer, so it's going to take a little time to get us out that habit. "It won't be quite so hard for me because in recent years I've grown accustomed to riding Six-day events in the winter."

The Australians offer the biggest obstacle to Britain's hopes, particularly in the pursuit events. This year, for the first time, they won't be riding the World Cup out of season. "Hopefully, the switch won't play into the hands of the Aussies. I've heard they're absolutely storming down there during the winter. It should make life very interesting at Manchester," Hayles concluded.

The UCI World Cup campaign opens in Moscow (November 5-7). Los Angeles hosts round two (December 10-12). The action switches to Manchester (January 7-9), and Sydney stages the final round (February 18-20).

Top Australians line up for Clarence St Cup

Ten Australian Olympians - including four gold medalists - will feature in the next edition of the Clarence St Cup at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome on November 27. Ryan Bayley, Graeme Brown, Anna Meares and Stephen Wooldridge will all race in the evening's program, and road race gold medalist Sara Carrigan will also make an appearance.

The Clarence St Cup has traditionally been run in March or April, by which time many top riders are overseas. The change of date to early in the Australian summer seems to have helped attract a wealth of talent. Other top Australian riders on the bill include Athens keirin bronze medalist Shane Kelly, and Olympic team members Sean Eadie, Ben Kersten and Kate Bates. They will be joined by world team pursuit rider Ashley Hutchinson, Australian team member Rochelle Gilmore and junior world champion Michael Ford.

Racing starts at 6.30pm. Tickets cost $20 for adults, $10 concessions and admission for under 16s is free.

Merckx and Maertens make up

Two of Belgium's greatest cyclists Eddy Merckx and Freddy Maertens have made up after 31 years of cool relations following the 1973 World Championships, according to the Belgian press. The pair spoke with each other at the Journée des Retrouvailles in France last weekend about the what happened in Barcelona 31 years ago. The two made the winning break together with Felice Gimondi (Italy) and Luis Ocaña (Spain), but when Merckx attacked on the second last lap, Maertens helped chase him down. At the end, Maertens was supposed to lead out the sprint for Merckx - which he did with one kilometre to go - but Merckx couldn't come past and Italian Felice Gimondi won the race, with Maertens finishing second ahead of Ocaña and Merckx. That sparked a feud between the two which was never completely settled until last weekend.

"Together we went through the race one more time," Maertens was quoted by Sportwereld as saying. "Finally we came to the conclusion that we both made errors and we have buried the hatchet with a firm handshake."

Zimbabwe to 'Cross World's

Zimbabwe is looking to become the first African country to participate in the World Cyclo-cross Championships, the Harare Herald reported. The Zimbabwe Cycling Association will be visited by Belgian national coach and seven-time World Cyclo-cross Champion Eric De Vlaeminck, who will help pick five riders to represent the country at the World's in St. Wendel, Germany next January. The riders will be selected on November 25, then travel to Belgium to train and race there for the next two and a half months before heading to the World's.

"The guys from Belgian are helping us to develop our cyclists here," said ZCA development officer Wonder Muchenje. "We are grateful for their help, but a lot of things will be coming out when De Vlaeminck arrives."

A documentary of the whole exercise will be filmed by European company Eyeworks in cooperation with a Zimbabwean film company.

Vuelta Higuito starts in Costa Rica

With nine stages and a total of 977 kilometres to ride, the Vuelta Ciclística Internacional Higuito will wind its way through Central American Costa Rica from Saturday, November 6 to Sunday, November 14. The 22nd edition of the race will start and finish in Higuito de San Miguel de Desamparados, south of the capital San José.

The country's main cycling teams will be present, as well as Colombian team Aguardiente Antioqueño-Lotería de Medellín and possibly a mixed team from Nicaragua. Although the parcours will be less mountainous than last year, there will be seven climbs for mountain jersey points. Passing through towns like San Pedro de Poás, San José centro, Cartago, Turrialba, Santa Ana, Puriscal, Heredia, Puntarenas, Miramar, Nicoya, Naranjo, Palmares, San Ramón, Desamparados, Ochomogo, el Alto San Cristóbal and Jericó, the Vuelta Higuito is dedicated to national technical director Leonardo Vásquez Quesada who passed away on March 9, 2004, aged 42.

Knetemann family asks for donations

Gerrie Knetemann's family has decided not to have flowers at his service, which will be held on Monday, November 8 at 10.30am at the Velodrome in Alkmaar, the Netherlands. After the service, which can be attended by everyone, Knetemann's funeral will be restricted to a small circle of family and friends.

Instead of sending or bringing flowers, Knetemann's family asks for donations towards sports for the disabled. You may address your donations to:

St. Nationaal Fonds Sport Gehandicapten Postbus 200
3980 CE Bunnik
The Netherlands

Mention: De Kneet

Account number: 71420

International routing:

IBAN: NL27 PSTB 0000 071420

Pantani bike replicas sold for charity

This coming Saturday, November 6, an auction/sale to raise funds for the Pantani Foundation will be held in his home town of Cesenatico, Italy. Up for sale will be 500 bicycles, which are replicas of Pantani's original machines. The proceeds of the sale will go to the Pantani Foundation, a non-profit fund that contributes to several charities.

Jittery Joe's to sponsor six junior clubs

The Jittery Joe's Coffee Roasting Company has released the names of the six Junior teams it will be sponsoring in the United States, on top of its support for the Professional Jittery Joe's-Kalahari team. The teams that will be benefit of Jittery Joe's engagement are the following:

Siemens Home Appliance / Land Rover Gwinnett Cycling Team (Atlanta, GA)
Sunrise Sports Cycling Team (Ann Arbor and Detroit, MI)
Major Motion Development (Los Angeles, CA)
National Capital Velo Club (Washington D.C.)
XXX Racing/AthletiCo Junior Development Team (Chicago, IL)
Rocky Mountain Cycling Education Foundation (Denver, CO)

"We are very excited about the relationship we will have with these development teams," said Charlie Mustard, owner of the Jittery Joe's Roasting Company, "We hope that this will back up our commitment to the Jittery Joe's-Kalahari Pro team as well as provide some much-needed funds for these Junior clubs."

There were 17 teams expressing interest in the sponsorship. The six teams picked were chosen on region, size, need, and their commitment to take their riders to the National Championships. Jittery Joe's hopes to expand this plan for 2006.

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