First Edition Cycling News for September 21, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones
Vuelta loses nearly 50
After a fairly calm first week of the Vuelta a España, almost 50 riders abandoned the race during its second week, and there are now 139 of the original 187 starters left. The reasons for the withdrawals are various: some riders were short of form in September, others suffered food poisoning or a stomach virus, while others chose to concentrate on their preparation for the upcoming World Championships.
Fortunately, there have been relatively few cases of riders pulling out due to injuries after crashing. Although the race has had its share of accidents, most of them have not been serious.
U.S. World's team finalised
USA Cycling has confirmed its team for the 2004 UCI Road World Championships in Verona, Italy between September 27-October 3. After announcing several preliminary teams last week, a final roster of 29 riders has been chosen.
Competing in the elite men's road race will be automatic nominees Fred Rodriguez (Acqua e Sapone), Jason McCartney (Health Net), and Chris Horner (Webcor) as well as discretionary selections Chris Baldwin and Kirk O'Bee (Navigators), Patrick McCarty, Antonio Cruz and Michael Creed (US Postal-Berry Floor), Tom Danielson and Guido Trenti (Fassa Bortolo), Christian Vande Velde (Liberty Seguros). Danielson will also compete in the elite men's time trial along with David Zabriskie (US Postal-Berry Floor).
The elite women's team includes automatic nominees Kristin Armstrong, Dede Barry, Kimberly Bruckner (T-Mobile), Tina Pic (Genesis Scuba/FFCC), Christine Thorburn (Webcor) and discretionary selection Amber Neben (T-Mobile). Barry and Thorburn will also contest the time trial.
The five man U23 squad that will compete in the road race consists of Tyler Farrar (Health Net), Timothy Duggan and Kevin Bouchard-Hall (TIAA-CREF/5280), Saul Raisin (Credit Agricole Espoirs) and Matthew Crane (Snow Valley). Farrar and Duggan will also ride the time trial.
Chris Stockburger (Fort Collins, Colo.), Zach Bolian (Nashville, Tenn.) Zach Taylor (Marietta, Ga.), Adam Switters (Folsom, Calif.) and Alexander Boyd (Oxnard, Calif.) will ride the junior men's road race with Switters and Stockburger also contesting the time trial.
Finally, Rebecca Much (Chicago, Ill.) will be the sole junior women's representative and will ride both the road race and the time trial.
Spanish women's World's team
Spanish women's selector Juan Carlos Martín has announced his squad for the World Championships in Verona and Bardolino next week. The road race will see Joane Somarriba, Eneritz Iturriaga, Dori Ruano, Maribel Moreno, Anna Ramírez and Cristina Alcalde take part, while Somarriba, Ruano and Mercedes Cagigas will ride the time trial. Somarriba is the defending TT champion, thus Spain is allowed three starters instead of two.
Johnson heading to the World's
By Hedwig Kröner
Australian U23 rider Benjamin Johnson will be lining up with the Aussie team at next week's World Championships in Verona, Italy. As part of his preparation, Johnson rode the Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt, where he was lying in 51st overall before pulling out on the last day. Johnson was riding as part of the Winfix team, having been given the opportunity to do a few races with them in September. Last year at this time, he had a Cofidis jersey on after scoring a stagiaire ride with the top-ranked French team. Cyclingnews asked him what had happened between then and now.
"Because of all the stuff that went on at Cofidis, they were looking for more young French riders then," said Johnson. "Unfortunately they already have two Aussies on the team, so...If I were French, I'd be at Cofidis right now. I was still racing in France this year with Dijon, an amateur team. Then I did some racing with the Australian national team in mid-August and did a couple of World Cups with them. Now, I got the chance to come here and ride this race with Winfix. It's a good opportunity to show what I'm worth, as I'm still looking for a contract for next year. There is nothing certain yet, and hopefully I can get a result at this tour. And then, it's perfect preparation for the World's, where I will most certainly ride."
German president threatens to resign
In another controversy brewing within the German cycling federation (BDR), president Sylvia Schenk is calling for the sacking of the BDR's sports director Burckhard Bremer over what she believes was a poorly investigated doping allegation. Schenk has threatened not to run for office in 2005 if Bremer is kept on, claiming that he did not inform her of the results of a health check carried out on one of the Olympic team pursuit members in June that allegedly revealed abnormal blood values.
Although the rider wasn't allowed to go to Athens, the BDR dismissed the case, saying that the rider's values lay within the norms set by the UCI and that there was no suspicion of illegal drug use. Schenk was unimpressed by this, in particular because she wasn't told about it in the beginning.
Schenk was voted in as the first female president of the BDR in 2001, but has not always had a smooth run. She was responsible for pulling the German team pursuit squad out of the 2003 World's in Stuttgart after infighting tore the team apart. She has also been criticised over selection criteria for the Olympic Games in Athens, which were not to everyone's liking.
Landbouwkrediet-Colnago looks to the future
In the absence of a Pro Tour spot, Belgian-Italian sponsored squad Landbouwkrediet-Colnago will continue next season as more of a development team for young riders. After being part of Division I this year and winning 24 races, the team is convinced that it can run an international program outside the Pro Tour next year.
For 2005, the team has signed Jean-Paul Simon, who is currently riding as a stagiaire with Landbouwkrediet and will take part in the World Championships. In coming weeks, the team will announce more details about its roster.
Australian Bradley McGee has extended his contract with FDJeux.com for another two seasons, with an option for 2007, according to Velomania.net.
Robic breaks 24 hour record
Slovenian ultracyclist Jure Robic (39), the winner of this year's RAAM, has added the world 24 hour road record to his list of accomplishments. On September 19, Robic rode 834.77 km (34.78 km/h) on a flat 17.44 km circuit in the vicinity of Terme 3000 in Moravske Toplice (Slovenia). Robic knocked 21 km off the record of Andreas Clavedertcher (Liechtenstein), which was set at 813 km. The record was set according to all UMCA Record Attempt Rules (www.ultracycling.com). One UMCA judge, a UMCA member Sergej Kaucevic, was present at all times during the attempt.
Robic said afterwards that he hadn't been in top form, as he had reached his peak in RAAM. He believed that he could have improved the world record by an additional 30 km under ideal conditions, although he didn't have any particular problems, except rather low morning temperature and fog.
Besides winning RAAM and breaking the world 24 hour record, Jure Robic is also going to become a father for the first time. Next year, he hopes to finish RAAM in under eight days and improve the record.
5th Annual Georgia Cross Series
The 2004 Georgia Cross series will commence on October 24. There will be seven races, including the Georgia State Championship race on November 21. The series has grown every year with women and under 18 categories showing the largest increases.
Race 1 - Oct. 24: Covington, GA
For more information: www.georgia-cross.com
Record numbers for Pedal for Scotland
Pedal for Scotland, Scotland's largest mass participation ride, was an outstanding success with a record number of entrants taking part in the 50 mile ride between George Square in Glasgow and Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh on Sunday. Over 1200 riders took up the challenge in blustery conditions helping to raise money for Children's charities Barnardo's Scotland and Children 1st.
Pedal for Scotland organisers, Cycling Scotland, are extremely pleased with the success of the ride this year and are already planning to make the event even bigger next year, "With over 1200 riders, Pedal for Scotland has become the largest sponsored cycle ride in Scotland," the organisers said in a statement. "Next year we hope to build on this achievement and continue to grow the event with more people rediscovering the great experience of leisure cycling while raising money for Barnardo's and Children 1st. Cycling Scotland would like to thank everyone who participated and the volunteers who helped make it a memorable day."
For two riders yesterday, there was the added bonus of being the winners of the Pedal for Scotland prize draw. Mr John Holehouse from RAF Kinloss in Moray won the Chris Hoy signed jersey and Ms Martina Woodburn will be taking advantage of the £150 voucher for thebicycleworks.com.
For more information: www.pedalforscotland.org.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)