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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for December 9, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

CSC looks forward to camp

By Jesper Johannesen, feltet.dk

CSC team manager Bjarne Riis gave a pre-training camp press conference on Thursday to explain how much he's looking forward to working with the new riders on the Danish squad's roster in 2006. He introduced most of the new arrivals, save for Marcus Ljunqvist, who was married the previous day with Kurt-Asle Arvesen as best man. Both made it to the training camp later on Sunday night, and if they thought they were going to relax, they got a shock: the survival trip will start at 23 o'clock Sunday night.

"The team work has proved to give results, and it's important that the new riders learn the values of the team and get to know the rest of the team. It's a part of our image", Riis added.

New riders nervous, but looking forward

Three of the new riders, Fabian Cancellara, Karsten Kroon and Stuart O'Grady, are looking forward for the survival camp, but at the same time they admit they're a bit nervous about what it will bring. "We don't know what they'll do this year, but they're doing it to strengthen the team spirit, for us to come closer to each other and strengthen our relationships the riders between," said Cancellara. "We're a lot of new people, both riders and other staff, and therefore it's very important that we learn to co-operate, regardless of you're a top rider or a domestique. What we're already doing now, is a very important start of the season."

Kroon added, "I think Team CSC is a very professional team, with a unique team spirit, and a great deal of respect in the peloton. A training camp like this is very good to me. Of course I know the other riders, but I'm the only one the team who lives in Belgium, so it's nice to meet the other riders. Therefore I think a training camp like this is a very good idea. I think it'll strengthen the team solidarity. I must admit, though, that I'm a bit nervous," he laughed, aware about what happened on last year's training camp. "I think it'll be tough, but I love challenges, so it'll be fun."

The Australian rider, Stuart O'Grady, is also looking forward to the training camp with a great deal of excitement. "It's always exciting to see which challenges we'll be given. I'm sure it'll be tough, and that we, in the end, will be very tired. I think it's very nice that the "bosses", mechanics and more participate in the camp. It really strengthens the solidarity. It'll be interesting, and I believe it'll be an important factor of the new season."

Broken foot for Vannoppen

Belgian cyclo-crosser Tom Vannoppen will be out for a few weeks after breaking his foot while training last Monday. Vannoppen won't be able to ride for four weeks, and will have a hard time getting fit for the cyclo-cross World Championships at the end of January.

World Cup #2 set for Manchester

The scene is set this weekend for the second round of the UCI Track World Cup at the Manchester Velodrome. The meet has attracted 244 riders from 38 nations, including three Olympic Champions and 12 World Champions, and the competition for podium places and World Championships qualifying points will be intense.

The finals action will kick off on Friday evening, December 9, with the kilometre time trial, where Scottish hero and Olympic Kilo Champion Chris Hoy will come face to face with England's Jason Queally. More sprinting will take place in the men's keirin final as well as the women's sprint, where World Sprint Champion Victoria Pendleton will come up against the Keirin World Champion Clara Sanchez, 500m TT World Champion Natallia Tsylinskaya, the Junior Sprint and 500m TT World Champion Lizandra Guerra as well as Australian rival Anna Meares.

In the endurance finals, Chris Newton will take on the World Scratch Race Champion Alex Rasmussen in the men's scratch race final with Matt Gilmore and Magnus Backstedt joining the mix. Backstedt will also feature in the pursuit racing against British pursuit specialists Rob Hayles and Paul Manning, as well as World Championships bronze medalist Levi Heimans. In the women's racing, Nicole Cooke will feature in the points race looking to make her mark on the track. She will face a tough challenge from Olympic silver medalist Belem Guerrero of Mexico and Katherine Bates of Australia.

The competition will continue on Saturday, December 10, with the men's sprint finals, where the field will be packed with the world's best sprinters. Olympic Sprint Champion Ryan Bayley will come face to face with the Junior Sprint World Champion and rising German star Maximillian Levy, along with sprint legends such as Arnaud Tournant, Theo Bos, Damian Zielinski, Roberto Chiappa and Craig MacLean.

There will be more pursuit racing with two British squads in the team pursuit where the British squad of Andy Tennant, Geraint Thomas, Ross Sander and Ian Stannard will take on World Team Pursuit Champions Rob Hayles, Chris Newton and Paul Manning, who will be joined by Madison World Champion Mark Cavendish in the Recycling.co.uk team. They will face tough international opposition, especially from the Dutch squad of Heimans, Mouris, Schep and Terpstra, who came second to Great Britain at the World Championships. Other finals on Saturday will include the women's individual pursuit, featuring World Time Trial Champion Karin Thürig, the women's 500m TT and the men's points race.

The final day on Sunday, December 11, is guaranteed to provide some awesome racing with the men's madison final, Team sprint finals and the women's scratch race and keirin final, as well as the JKA Japanese Keirin with a £47,000 prize fund. World Madison Champions Rob Hayles and Mark Cavendish will be flying the flag for GB in the Madison, but they will face strong opposition from Belgians Matt Gilmore and Iljo Keisse and Russia's Mikhail Ignatiev and Nikolai Troussov. In the team sprint, the Great Britain team of Chris Hoy, Craig MacLean and Ross Edgar will come up against strong squads from Australia, France, the Netherlands, Japan and Poland.

More information: www.worldtrackcycling.com

Southeastern PA seeking velodrome, cycling centre

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

The City of Coatesville in southeastern Pennsylvania is conducting a feasibility study to develop a new indoor velodrome and cycling complex. The city has applied for an Industries Planning - Tourism grant to the State of Pennsylvania to fund two-thirds of the cost of the study. The company managing the study is the Velodrome Management Group, headed by David Chauner, who also runs Threshold Sports, the promoting company of the Philadelphia International Bike Race.

"The proposed facility would be the nation's second indoor velodrome and the only one in the Eastern United States," Chauner said in a statement. "Southeastern Pennsylvania and the surrounding area is a hotbed for cycling. There is no better time than now and no better fit than Coatesville."

The Coatesville Velodrome and American Cycling Center development plan is intended to determine the feasibility of creating, developing and managing a facilities complex dedicated to the sport of cycling for competition, training, development and recreation. The proposed development plan will call upon experts in the fields of architecture, site development, marketing, coaching, youth development and international exchange.

The City of Coatesville wants to create a community asset that supports revitalization with a focus on improved recreation, tourism and economic development, and to establish Coatesville as a nationally and internationally recognized centre for cycling and the various Olympic disciplines including track, road, off road and BMX.

The proposed site will include the following:

Velodrome: A fully enclosed 250 meter indoor wooden velodrome with 2,500 permanent seats allowing for year round national and international championship competition such as Olympic trials, World Championships, Pan American Games and World Cup meets.

BMX Track: A state of the art BMX (Bicycle motocross) track suitable for local, national and international championship events, training camps, and pre-Olympic competition. BMX racing becomes an Olympic sport in 2008.

Trails: A network of traffic free mountain bike trails and road bike paths suitable for recreation and competitive use.

Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada for 2006

Both Kodak EasyShare Gallery and Sierra Nevada have extended their co-title sponsorship of the Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada Pro Cycling Team into the 2006 season, fielding a team of 12 riders, six of which are returnees. Veteran climber and former Canadian National Champion, Dominique Perras, and Ben Jacques-Maynes, a former collegiate national champion and overall winner at the Nature Valley Grand Prix in 2004, headline the returning riders.

They are accompanied by Pete Lopinto, a solid support rider and criterium specialist, Dan Schmatz, a veteran sprinter with a strong leadership presence, Jackson Stewart, another sprinter who looks to continue improving to his climbing and overall riding, and Scott Zwizanski, who placed 2nd overall at the Bermuda Grand Prix in September 2005.

New to the team are Kiwi sprinter Jason Allen, who joined McGuire-Langdale during the 2005 season, Jesse Anthony, winner of six U.S. cyclocross championships in the junior and U-23 ranks, Skyler Bishop, who made his pro debut with Health Net in 2003, Mike Dietrich, a standout on the highly regarded Fiordifrutta amateur team, Martin Gilbert, a stage winner at the Tour du Beauce in August 2005, and David Robinson, who makes the jump from the TIAA-CREF development team.

Operations Manager, Kurt Stockton said in a statement, "We've brought back six guys that have been a good fit for our program and who ride well together. Of the new riders, we think that Jason [Allen] and Martin [Gilbert] will turn into excellent finishers, and Jesse [Anthony], Mike [Dietrich], Skyler [Bishop] and David [Robinson] will give us more depth in all kinds of events."

The team's racing manager, Robin Zellner added, "Next season looks like it will be more balanced among the teams in North America, and these twelve guys will be competitive in every race we enter."

Team roster

Jason Allen, August 17, 1981, Blenheim, New Zealand
Jesse Anthony, June 12, 1985, Beverly, MA
Skyler Bishop, May 23, 1983, Del Mar, CA
Mike Dietrich, May 29, 1981, Tucson, AZ
Martin Gilbert, October 30, 1982, Chateauguay, Quebec
Ben Jacques-Maynes, September 22, 1978, San Jose, CA
Pete Lopinto, September 1, 1980, Boulder, CO
Dominique Perras, February 11, 1974, St-Lambert, Quebec
David Robinson, December 21, 1983, Bend, OR
Dan Schmatz, May 21, 1974, Longmont, CO
Jackson Stewart, June 30, 1980, Los Gatos, CA
Scott Zwizanski, May 29, 1977, Downington, PA

Staff

Kurt Stockton, Operations Manager, Smartville, CA
Robin Zellner, Racing Manager, Larkspur, CA
Joanne Fusco, Soigneur, Bellevue, WA
Josh Kadis, Marketing Manager, San Francisco, CA

Geilo Festival of Cycling

In July 2006, everyone in Norway who rides a bike will be catered for during the inaugural Geilo Festival of Cycling. The eight-day long festival runs from July 22-30, and will consist of a number of bike races as well as rides, courses, events and lift-based riding for the cyclists who don't want to race. There will be Norwegian cup races in marathon, downhill and road, as well as Rune Hĝydahl's Mountain Bike School for children. There will also be competitions in slopestyle/freeride and Super-D.

Binding the festival together will be a big bike expo showcasing the latest equipment as well as demo-bikes to be tested in the ski slopes. In the evenings, Geilo's nightlife will host movie nights, speeches, lectures in training and non-bike related topics.

Geilo is 250 kilometres from both Oslo and Bergen. Both cities have airports with flights from the continents and the UK, there are also ferries going from Germany, Denmark and Britain to the two Norwegian cities. The train ride between Oslo and Bergen is considered one of the most beautiful train trips in the world and is worth a visit in itself.

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