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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for August 9, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

Gina Grain on the mend

By Mark Zalewski, North American editor

Gina Grain (Victory Brewing)
Photo ©: Mark Zalewski
Click for larger image

After crashing into the barriers on Saturday at the Bank of America Invitational, and giving the women's field a scare, Victory Brewing's Gina Grain is back home after staying in hospital in Charlotte for observation. "That has to be the worst crash ever on the bike for me," Grain told Cyclingnews. "But I guess it's bound to come at some point. The doctor said I was pretty lucky."

Grain does not remember what happened but thinks the field just moved towards the center barrier and forced her in. The race was neutralized and then stopped while medical crews attended to her. "I broke a bone in my face, cracked my skull and a major concussion," she said. "I broke the base of my thumb and got stitches in my face just above my eyebrow."

The doctors in Charlotte were concerned about the head injury and ordered a cat scan to rule out anything more serious. Even after coming up clear, the Canadian sprinter will have to take some time off to recover. "Just because of my concussion they want me to take some time off my bike. I'll have another x-ray on my thumb to see if I need surgery done and I'll be able to get a better idea of how long it will be.

More unfortunate for Grain is that she was selected to compete for the national team in the final two world cup races in Europe. "I had planned to do the last two world cups in Holland and Germany - I had just found out. To have such a bad crash now, it won't be a couple of weeks before I can train. So this really ended my season."

But Grain is still in good spirits looking ahead to the coming track season. "I have the track coming up in the fall, so it just might be time to hang the road bike up and take my break now. But Bermuda might still be possible taking August off - Bermuda is a good place to [race again], so it looks realistic. It could be a two-in-one vacation!"

Davitamon-Lotto for San Sebastian

Davitamon-Lotto has named its line up for the Clasica San Sebastian on Saturday: Mauricio Ardila, Serge Baguet, Cadel Evans, Bjorn Leukemans, Axel Merckx, Koos Moerenhout, Preben Van Hecke, and Johan Vansummeren. Reserves: Bart Dockx, Jan Kuyckx, Gert Steegmans, Leon Van Bon. Director: Hendrik Redant.

The team has also been named for the TEAG Rund um die Hainleite-Erfurt, also on Saturday: Mario Aerts, Nick Gates, Nico Mattan, Bert Roesems, Leon Van Bon, Peter Van Petegem, Wim Vansevenant, Henk Vogels. Reserves: Frédéric Amorison, Bart Dockx, Jan Kuyckx, Gert Steegmans. Director: Allan Peiper.

Hayman extends for two years

Mathew Hayman will stay with the Rabobank team until the end of 2007, the team has confirmed. The Australian rider reached an agreement with CEO Theo de Rooij over a new contract for two more years.

Hayman is a long term member of the team, joining the amateur squad in 1997. In 2000, he made the switch to Rabobank's pro team, and has been there ever since. His accomplishments include a silver medal in the 1996 Junior World Time Trial Championship, the 1999 Dutch National Championship, a stage and the overall classification in the Mallorca Challenge in 2000, and the overall classification of the Sachsen Tour International this year. He actually finished the latter with a broken collarbone after crashing in the final sprint of the final stage.

Wrolich for another three years

Austrian Peter Wrolich has extended his contract with Gerolsteiner for the next three years. "During the Tour de France I spoke with the team about a contract extension," he said. "We came to a preliminary agreement, and was made into a contract yesterday."

Aggiano continues with LPR

Elia Aggiano has extended his contract with Team LPR until the end of 2006. It will be the third year with Oscar Piscina's team for the 33 year-old Italian, who has 10 career victories, including a win in the fifth stage of the Settimana Coppi-Bartali in Sassuolo this year. "We are happy with this agreement," said Piscina. "Because this year, Elia has shown temperament and professionalism. His result in Sassuolo, which I believe will remain in the annals of cycling, demonstrated a great attachment to the jersey, giving the utmost on every occasion and sacrificing himself for his teammates. There is always a place in our team for athletes with these qualities."

Löwik stops (as sponsor)

Dutch furniture company Löwik will stop its cycling sponsorship at the end of this season, according to the Twentsche Courant. Company owner Harrie Löwik, whose son Gerben rides for Rabobank, said that he regrets the decision that he made for budgetary reasons, but he doesn't rule out a return in future. "If everything is in order in the business in a few years, then sponsorship will definitely come back into our policy," he said. "This is not a final departure."

The Löwik/Van Losser team manager Han Vaanhold added that the team would likely continue, but only as a Continental Team with Van Losser as the main sponsor. "The team will remain in existence and we will remain a team where young riders can train in order to make a step higher up. We don't pay, but riders have a very good program with us."

Teams for San Francisco Grand Prix

The (soon to be announced sponsor) San Francisco Grand Prix will field the usual impressive mixture of foreign and domestic riders on September 4. Already confirming to compete are CSC's Ivan Basso, Discovery Channel with Tour de France stage winner George Hincapie, Saunier Duval-Prodir's American Chris Horner along with Fabian Jeker and Juan Manuel Garate and Lampre-Caffita with Salvatore Commesso.

The following teams will be participating with complete team rosters still be finalized.

Discovery Channel, USA
Navigators Insurance, USA
Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home, USA
Webcor Builders, USA
Jelly Belly-Pool Gel, USA
Jittery Joe’s-Kalahari, USA
TIAA-CREF, USA
Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada, USA
Health Net-Maxxis, USA
Monex, USA
SeaSilver, USA
Subway, USA
McGuire-Langdale, USA
Advantage Benefits-Endeavour, USA
Team Snow Valley/Seal-On USA
Lampre Caffita, Italy
Team CSC, Denmark
Saunier Duval-Prodir , Spain
Gerolsteiner, Germany
Symmetrics, Canada
AeroSpace Engineering, Serbia
JetFuel Sympatico-MSN.ca, Canada

Ride for Life even bigger in 2005

With more than 500 starters expected on August 13, this year's Ride for Life in Sydney's Centennial Park is sure to exceed last year's event in all areas. According to one of the main organisers, Phill Bates, the response from the cycling public has been huge, and the interest from corporate groups should make it an all-round great day of cycling after some tough times recently for the cycling community in Australia.

Bates said "the event has developed very well from last year, and from the point of view of increased rider numbers and increased corporate interest, it looks like being a really strong event."

With Olympic medallist Steven Wooldridge making an appearance (albeit in the recreational ride) after his serious crash earlier this year, it's definitely a stellar lineup, with overseas-based riders making the trip back home and bringing plenty of class to the event. There's also a lot on offer for the juniors too, with interest in this area increasing massively since last year. A strong men's Elite field, with riders such as Ben Kersten and Shaun Higgerson will contest the 70km race, and over 150 junior riders will race in State Championships for the Under 17, 15 and 13 age divisions.

Add to this hundreds of entries for corporate and recreational rides, and support on the day from St George Bank, Allens Arthur Robinson, and headline sponsor Trust, and the 2005 Ride for Life will give Sydney a real taste of premier criterium racing. Bates praised the assistance of the State Emergency Service and Rural Bush Fire Brigade for their offer of performing crowd control duties before and during the event. He was also pleased with the response from people on the announcement half the day's entrance fees will go to assist the AIS Women's team after their accident in Germany, with people donating money specifically to the cause.

Although there are no late entries allowed for the Junior Championships and Elite men's race, riders can still go to www.rideforlife.org.au and download an entry form to participate - just fax or mail the form to those listed on the site and turn out on Saturday. On the day there will be a gold coin donation for all cars entering the Centennial Park, with the general public encouraged to attend what should be a huge celebration of cycling.

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