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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for November 16, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones

Phonak to appeal ProTour exclusion

Swiss team Phonak Hearing Systems said it will appeal the UCI licensing commission's decision to exclude it from the ProTour. The team will present itself to the commission on November 22, 10 days before the UCI makes its final decision regarding ProTour licenses for 2005.

"The team management greatly regrets the provisional rejection," Phonak said in a statement. "The reason for the license not being granted in the first instance is the ongoing clarification relating to the internal medical checks for tightening measures against doping. This is before the background of the ongoing proceedings. In addition, a modification of some racing contracts has been recommended prior to the regulations being changed.

"The matter is being taken extremely seriously. The participation in the ProTour is of existential significance to the team's future and vitally important to Swiss cycling in general. Participation in the most important races has to be guaranteed and is the principal sponsor's condition for providing funding."

With the ProTour encompassing just a handful of important races next season, Phonak has to convince more than just the UCI that its team is in order. It will need to persuade the organisers of the three grand tours to invite the team to their races, otherwise it may face exclusion ŕ la Kelme this year or Saeco in 2002. After Hamilton and Perez's positive tests for blood doping, it appears that Phonak's only options are to fire the riders or convince the UCI that the blood test is inaccurate.

"Preparations for the hearing before the commission on 22nd November 2004 are underway," the team added. "Until that date, the team hopes to clarify the issues earmarked by the UCI and is confident that it will then be admitted to the ProTour."

An interview with Oscar Freire

Three times the charm

Three times the charm for Oscarito
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

Oscar Freire made his own hat-trick after winning his third world road championship in Verona last October, joining the exclusive 'three-times club' along with Belgium's Eddy Merckx, Rik Van Steenbergen and Italy's Alfredo Binda. Cyclingnews' Hernan Alvarez Macias caught up with "El Induráin del Mundial" (Induráin of the World's) just before he was named honorary mayor of his home town of Torrelavega, Spain last Friday.

Despite the media bestowing on him names such as "Mr. Weltmeister" (Mr. World Champion) and "El Induráin del Mundial", right now, Oscar Freire doesn't want to think about a fourth conquest.

With three rainbow jerseys in the bag, the easy-going Cantabrian wants to enjoy and taste the flavour such a sweet victory brings. However the challenge is there in 2005 and what's more, it will be in his own country, Madrid the centre of attention for the next year's World Road Championships.

As well as the Milan-San Remo World Cup and a Vuelta stage victory among his achievements this year, Freire will continue to ride with the team that has brought him this success for at least two more years. We spoke with him while he was resting in his home town of Torrelavega, situated in the Cantabria region of northern Spain.

Cyclingnews: Which are your memories of your triumph in Verona last month?

Oscar Freire: I remember everything. Luckily, Verona is difficult to forget for me. Not only for my first World's victory there, but also for the third time I won. I remember this third time I enjoyed everything more because the first time I succeeded, everything was a surprise for me. I could enjoy a lot in this recent victory.

Click here for the full interview

Ljungskog teams up with Melchers

New Dutch women's trade team announced

Mirjam Melchers and Susanne Ljungskog
Photo ©: Johansson/Ljungskog
Click for larger image

The new professional Team Buitenpoort/Flexpoint was presented at a lunchtime press conference in Oosterbeek, Holland on Monday. Buitenpoort is a catering company and Flexpoint is a temporary employment company.

Present was two time world champion Susanne Ljungskog, who announced her change of teams for 2005. Also present was one of Ljungskog's toughest competitors, Mirjam Melchers. The two riders have experienced some tough duels during their careers, especially in their pursuits for the world champion title, but they see no problems in riding alongside each other as the big names in the new team.

"I think we'll agree just fine riding together," said Ljungskog , who is also joined in the new team by compatriot Camilla Larsson from Falkenberg.

The reason that Ljungskog has decided to switch teams from Team SATS to Buitenpoort/Flexpoint is that Team SATS are likely to cut down its team in the coming season. "It seems to me that the Danes will downsize their team next year and since I have a very strong ambition to perform well in Beijing 2008, this new team feels perfectly suitable for that goal," Ljungskog explained.

Mirjam Melchers and Susanne Ljungskog
Photo ©: Johansson/Ljungskog
Click for larger image

Newlywed Mirjam Melchers joins the team from Farm Frites-Hartol, and will work close to her husband Jean-Paul van Poppel, who will be the directeur sportif of the new team. Van Poppel is a former top sprinter, known for his stage wins in Tour de France among other victories. The second directeur sportif will be Klas Johansson, who is also Ljungskog's coach and partner.

The nine woman team also includes American Amber Neben, Dutch riders Sandra Rombouts and Elsbeth Vink, Dane Linda Villumesen Serup, Czech Lada Kozlikova and German Tanja Hennes. Van Poppel is currently negotiating with British rider Rachael Heal.

Team Buitenpoort/Flexpoint will participate in all the world cup races next year, and all the Grand Tours. The first world cup race will be raced in Australia at the end of February, and the second in New Zealand at the beginning of March.

Team Roster

Directeur sportif: Jean-Paul van Poppel
Second directeur sportif: Klas Johansson


Susanne Ljungskog (Swe)
Mirjam Melchers (Ned)
Sandra Rombouts (Ned)
Elsbeth Vink (Ned)
Linda Villumesen Serup (Den)
Camilla Larsson (Swe)
Lada Kozlikova (Cze)
Amber Neben (USA)
Tanja Hennes (Ger)

Symmetrics signs Wohlberg

Canadian team Symmetrics Cycling has signed Olympian and Pan Am/Commonwealth Games gold medalist Eric Wohlberg. Originally hailing from Levack, Ontario, Wohlberg now lives in Sunnyvale, California and will complete Symmetrics' 2005 roster. "It has always been my wish to see the re-emergence of strong Canadian cycling teams," said Wohlberg. "Symmetrics has shown that this is certainly their intention. It is with pleasure that I join such a powerful team. We will be a force on both sides of the border."

No VDB in Gent

Frank Vandenbroucke has decided not to start in the Zesdaagse van Vlaanderen Gent (Ghent Six) next Tuesday, November 23. After pulling out of the Munich Six last week, it was no surprise that VDB would not be in Gent. "We, the organisers, decided that after a discussion with VDB's management Paul De Geyter and Guy Nulens," said Zesdaagse organiser Rob Discart. "His lack of condition and the uncertainty around his motivation sealed it with Patrick Sercu and I. Instead of waiting for the decision of Vandenbroucke we have taken the initiative, so that Patrick Sercu can go to Munich on Monday in time to sign a good rider as a substitute. We hope to have the name of Matthew Gilmore's new teammate on Tuesday, and we'll make it known on Wednesday at the latest."

Los Angeles Time Trials

For American cyclists, the road to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing begins this weekend in Los Angeles as USA Cycling hosts the Los Angeles Time Trials. Scheduled for November 19-20 at the ADT Event Center velodrome at the Home Depot Center, the Los Angeles Time Trials mark the first step towards identifying and cultivating new talent with an eye on Beijing in four years time.

With just one medal on the track in each of the last two Olympic Games (a bronze in Athens for Erin Mirabella and gold in Sydney for Marty Nothstein), USA Cycling is trying to reestablish the U.S. as an international powerhouse in track cycling, as it was in 80's and 90's.

Athletes meeting certain time standards at the L.A. Time Trials will gain entry into USA Cycling's Talent Pool, a select group of athletes from which the rosters for all major international competitions will be selected. Two of those major international competitions, the second round of the 2004/05 UCI World Cup series and the UCI Elite Track Cycling World Championships, will also be held at the ADT Event Center.

Already selected to the talent pool are Jame Carney (Boulder, Colo.) and Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif.) as a result of their performances at the 2004 USCF Elite National Track Championships and Rebecca Conzelman (Allentown, Pa.) and Stephen Alfred (Capitola, Calif.) after meeting time standards at the first World Cup event.

Expected in Los Angeles this weekend are 2004 Olympians Giddeon Massie (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Christian Stahl (Bethany, Conn.), Jennie Reed (Kirkland, Wash.), and Erin Mirabella (Kenosha, Wisc.) and 1996 and 2000 Olympic Team member, Mariano Friedick (Brentwood, Calif).

Competition begins at 12:00 noon on both Friday, Nov. 19 and Saturday, Nov. 20.

New Irish track records

By Shane Stokes,

Four new track records have been ratified by Cycling Ireland, with Peter Dunne, Siobhan Jacob and Liam Collins raising the bar during 2004. Dunne's two records were set in Manchester on July 25th, the Navan RC rider posting a time of 34.78 seconds for the standing start 500 metre time trial and 29.55 for the flying start version.

Collins' record was set in Moscow on July 7th. He set a standard of 11.615 seconds for the flying 200 metre sprint. Jacob's time of 4 minutes 1.095 seconds for the 3 kilometre time trial was posted in Manchester on March 14th this year.

The records

Men's flying 200 metres:
Record Holder: Liam Collins
Time: 11.615 secs
Moscow, 7th July 2004

Women's standing start 3 kilometres:
Record Holder: Siobhan Jacob
Time: 4 mins 1.095 secs
Manchester, 14th March 2004

Men's standing start 500 meters:
Record Holder: Peter Dunne (Navan R.C.)
Time: 34.78 secs
Manchester, 25th July 2004

Men's flying 500 metres:
Record Holder: Peter Dunne (Navan R.C.)
Time: 29.55 secs
Manchester, 25th July 2004

Spinning in Ireland

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

For those Irish riders keen to maintain some degree of fitness during the winter months, free spinning classes are on offer at the Cycling Centre on the Kilmaine road, Ballinrobe (Co. Mayo) every Monday and Thursday nights between 7.30 and 8.30pm. Bikes are available for those who have none, and there is a selection of gym equipment in the facility for those who want to build strength.

There are also specific sessions for youth riders, taking place on a Monday evening at 5.20pm. Jay Dalye is giving the session, and it's a great way for a new person to try out cycling as pacing is entirely at the rider's own level.

Anthony Rappo Memorial

The Anthony Rappo Memorial Race will be held at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway this Sunday, November 21. Featuring racing for five grades, the action starts at 7:15am with sign on required before 7:00am. The entry fee is $20 on the day (no pre-entry), of which $5 will be donated to the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. The prizemoney for A Grade has been increased from $550 last year to $950 this year, with first prize valued at $400.

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