First Edition Cycling News for November 29, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones & Hedwig Kröner
Basso in favour of Bartoli as DS
CSC's Ivan Basso believes that Michele Bartoli would make a good directeur sportif, should the recently retired Tuscan choose to accept the position. On his birthday, 27 year-old Basso said that, "I hope Bartoli seriously considers the proposal of our team manager Bjarne Riis. I would really appreciate the presence of Michele on our flagship in my assault on the Giro and the Tour next year."
Basso plans to challenge Damiano Cunego in the Giro d'Italia next year. "The parcours is still not official but the inclusion of the Stelvio and the time trials in Florence and Turin, the final one made tougher with the Colle di Superga, will give me an excellent chance to fight for the overall victory and to reconfirm it at the Tour."
Wesemann heads to the sun
T-Mobile's Steffen Wesemann will be making his annual pilgrimage to warmer climes on November 30. Since 1998, the 33 year-old has skipped the European winter to do his off-season training in the sun. At first, Wesemann chose Australia for his destination, but in the last couple of years has found the climate in Arizona more favourable. "I now train in Tucson, in the state of Arizona," he said on T-Mobile's website. "It is not so hot over there in December and January as it is in Australia."
In the off-season, Wesemann has been working closely with his coach Thomas Schediwie, who is also in charge of some of the other riders in T-Mobile. "I have advised Stephan Schreck, Torsten Hiekmann and Christian Werner to train with Steffen under favourable weather conditions," said Schediwie. "Four weeks of endurance training in December will bring the lads along nicely...We will have a good basic fitness then to build on when we go to Majorca in January."
There will also be another group of T-Mobile riders in South Africa, including Andreas Klöden and Jan Ullrich. Schediwie won't actually join the riders in the sun, instead staying at home in Germany to monitor the two groups' progress.
Wesemann won the Tour of Flanders this year and is hoping to be in top form in the spring again. "This season, once again, I will be part of our team's classics' department," he said. "So I want my from to peak around the end of March, beginning of April, so that I can go flat-out in the Spring Classics. That strategy worked perfectly for me last year with the win in Tour of Flanders."
No Berlin Six for Aldag
T-Mobile's Rolf Aldag will not ride the 94th edition of the Berlin Six Day from January 27-February 1, 2005. "I would have liked to participate, but road racing is more important," said Aldag to German newsagency dpa, adding, "The team management said 'No'." Aldag won the Berlin Six Day with Silvio Martinello in 2001 and 2002.
Merckx dispels health rumours
Eddy Merckx's dramatic weight loss this year has given rise to much speculation as to whether he was seriously ill. The Cannibal, who is now looking almost as lean as he did in his racing days, told Sportwereld.be that there is nothing to worry about. "I underwent an esophagus operation on May 12," he said. "I have suffered with that since I was young. If I had have been born with a normal stomach, then I might have had an even better career. Some journalists asked me whether I had cancer. When I lay on the operating table I weight 110 kilograms. Since the end of August, my weight has stabilised at 82 kilograms. Logically it was a number of months before my body started working normally again, and in that time I lost a lot of weight."
Sousa to LA-Liberty
Portuguese rider Rui Sousa (Milaneza Maia) will ride for Portuguese continental team LA-Liberty next season. The team hopes to be able to rise to the ProTour ranks in 2006.
MTB Transportugal race in June 2005
The third Transportugal Garmin mountain bike race will take place from June 23 to July 3, 2005. The 11-day race, which will cross Portugal from North to South, covering 1200 km of remote (95% off road) countryside, is designed for experienced mountainbike riders racing individually. A GPS system is necessary and can be provided. Accommodation will be organised in local hotels.
For further information, visit www.supertravessia.com
Tour of Bright this weekend
The Tour of Bright road race in Victoria, Australia, returns on December 4-5 after a one year lay-off due to the effects of the bushfires which devastated the north-east and eastern parts of the state in early 2003.
Some 264 entries will contest for the jerseys over this two day, four stage road race, held in the Alpine region of Victoria. A grade boasts a truly stellar field, with evergreen Australian roadman of the year Robert McLachlan (Argon 18-Caravello) going head to head with 2001 winner Klayten Smith (Clarence St. cycles), the tenacious Robert Crowe (Carnegie-Caulfield) and winner of the Mt. Baw Baw stage in this years Herald-Sun Tour, Matthew Lloyd. (St. Kilda). The Women's A grade will see Kathy Watt (Blackburn) working hard to win the title from Amy Safe (Norwood), Jenny Manefield (Parramatta) and a number of others.
More information: www.tourofbright.com.au
St Kilda Cycling Club signs big sponsor
By John Trevorrow
St Kilda Cycling Club is arguably the most progressive, and probably the youngest, cycling club in Australia. On Sunday they announced a new sponsor partnership with Melbourne's hugely successful Belgian Beer Cafe. Worth a purported $100,000 over the next three years, it is an enormous coup for the young club and a shrewd marketing strategy for the cafe.
George Christopoulos, the owner of the Belgian Beer Cafe, knows the value of being associated with cycling. "We formed our own "cyclists club" element in January because of the strong Belgian connection between Beer and Bicycles," he said. "But now we have taken it a step further. St Kilda is a progressive and pro-active club and I like the demographic of the St Kilda CC membership. I am sure this alliance will be beneficial to all concerned."
Ashleigh Smith, committee member of St Kilda CC said. "The Belgian Beer Cafe is a sensational venue. It has become very popular with cyclists from all around Melbourne because of its brilliant ambiance and indoor, outdoor options.
"With superb beers and mouth watering meals, St Kilda members will have many benefits and we will hold most of our functions here. But we will also welcome cyclists and friends from all clubs. St Kilda's membership is growing steadily and, along with our good friends, this will become a great spot to congregate and kick back."
Well known SBS sports host George Donikian launched the new initiative at a relaxed function at the Belgian Beer Cafe. "The Belgian Beer Cafe has managed to bring a little bit of Europe into Melbourne over the past four years," Donikian said. "In Belgium if they're not kicking a ball around they are riding a bike and they definitely enjoy a beer, so it seems a perfect alliance."
CCB Racing Team
Amos Brumble, Cat 1, 27, Westerly, RI
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)