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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for December 10, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

Huge ProTour disarray

By Shane Stokes and Hedwig Kröner

The UCI’s ProTour project looks to be under big pressure following the news that the organisers of the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España have pulled out of the series with immediate effect. Speaking at a press conference today, the organisers announced that they are also withdrawing the eight other races organised by them, namely Paris Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo, Paris-Roubaix, Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Paris-Tours and the Tour of Lombardy.

The three Grand Tour organisers and the UCI had been at loggerheads in recent weeks, their long-running disagreement about the direction of the ProTour escalating after the launch of the 2006 Tour de France.

Click here for the full story.

T-Mobile in South Africa and looking towards the Tour

By Susan Westemeyer

The unofficial T-Mobile training camp in Capetown, South Africa, is in full swing, according to Matthias Kessler. In a diary on the team's website, he says that he, Jan Ullrich and Andreas Klöden are in the saddle for up to five hours daily and are exploring the area's mountains. However, the classics specialists, including Steffen Wesemann, Andre Korff and Olaf Pollack, are riding an hour more, because "they have to be in top form early in the year."

The mood is good, and the weather is even better, he reports - 28° and sunny. And the riders don't spend all their time on their bikes - last week there was a party to celebrate Ullrich's 32nd birthday. The team wants to make sure that the guys don't take it too easy, though, so Directeur Sportif Rudy Pevenage will be joining the group. "We'll be stepping up the training in the next few days."

Meanwhile, Pevenage is already planning his Tour de France team. "I need a very particular type of rider for the Tour," he told the German Welt newspaper. "Most of all, it has to be someone who is a friend and is willing to sacrifice himself for Jan Ullrich." In addition, it has to be someone who is either a mountain expert of is willing "to give his all" chasing and closing gaps for Ullrich. He favours Andreas Klöden and newcomers Serguei Gonchar, Michael Rogers and Eddy Mazzoleni. "Matthias Kessler and Stefan Schreck also have a chance. I want to see how they perform," said Pevenage. "No rider will be automatically nominated."

Riis reveals CSC's provisional Tour team

By Jesper Johannesen,

At last Sunday's press conference, CSC team manager Bjarne Riis wasn't easy to get to talk about the roster for next year's Tour de France. But to the Danish newspaper Politiken, he revealed that there is currently a roster of 11 riders who will be battling for the nine spots: Ivan Basso, Carlos Sastre, Jens Voigt, Stuart O'Grady, Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Fränk Schleck, Fabian Cancellara, Jakob Piil, Bobby Julich, Giovanni Lombardi and David Zabriskie.

This means that it's likely that there'll be at most one Dane in the team, on the proviso that Piil manages to prove that he's worth a spot.

The German rider Jens Voigt reckons, though, that the battle for the nine spots will be even more open. "I don't think anyone can be certain to be picked out for the roster, except for Basso," said Voigt to "Looking at this year's Tour roster, none are excluded from the roster for next year's team, and all the riders will continue on the team in 2006."

In saying that, Voigt believes that Nicki Sørensen and Luke Roberts aren't excluded, even though they most likely would have difficulties in getting one of the spots. Furthermore, Sørensen is riding the Giro d'Italia in 2006.

"We also have a lot of new riders, who would like to ride the Tour, so there's really going to be a battle for the spots," continued Voigt. "Jakob Piil, for instance, who missed the Tour last year. And we've got riders like Marcus Ljunqvist, Karsten Kroon, Fabian Cancellara and Stuart O'Grady, who all rode the Tour last year. This means that we have five new riders who wants to be in the team for the Tour. I can't see anyone who certainly isn't riding the Tour, so nothing's a hundred percent sure. The same goes for my spot."

Voigt said that his arm is recovering, but doesn't want to take any chances, so therefore he won't be participating in all of the challenges at the survival/training camp.

U.S. 'Cross Nationals races postponed due to weather

By Steve Medcroft

If Mother Nature went to psychiatrist, she would be diagnosed as schizophrenic after the display she put on over the Liberty Mutual U.S. National Cyclo-cross Championships. Racers woke Friday morning to a blanket of snow and active flurries. By the third race of the morning (the 11am Masters 40-44 event) a freezing rain had taken over for the snow and the sky looked poised to clear.

But, after a lunch break, the afternoon session was brought to a halt by driving, blinding snow so fierce that it quickly overran the racers, fans and support staff leaving promoters no choice but to postpone the last two races of the day (30-34 Men and Men's Collegiate Nationals) and send everyone home.

All is not lost though; two hours after the shut-down, the skies over Providence had completely cleared, giving hope that predictions that Saturday's Elite men's race and Sunday's Elite Women's race would be held under nothing more threatening than a few clouds will come true after all.

The back and forth weather means the Roger Williams Park course, which was cut to peanut-butter during the warmer hours then covered in three inches of snow late in the afternoon, should provide a frozen, rutted, uncontrollable platform for tomorrows Junior Women's race (Saturday's first event; an 8:30am start). And although the course should soften by the marquee Elite Men's race at 3pm, conditions will surely play a role in the outcome of the race.

With the postponement of two races on Friday, only seven of the weekend's twenty-seven National Championships have been awarded. To complensate, promoters have shuffled Saturday's races as follows: Racing starts at 9 a.m. with the collegiate men; master men 30-34 will race at 11:30 with the remaining categories in the order that appears on the website.

Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for results, race reports and photographs throughout the weekend. Our coverage continues Saturday the following live reports:

Saturday, December 10
Elite U23, 12 noon, 50 minutes
Elite Juniors, 2pm, 40 minutes
Elite men, 3pm, 60 minutes

Sunday, December 11
Elite Women, 3pm, 40 minutes

Berlin Six Days without Fulst

By Susan Westemeyer

Guido Fulst, winner of the Berlin Six Days race in 2004 and second in 2005, has been scratched from the 2006 race by the organizers, who said that he violated the confidentiality clauses in his contract. "Every professional athlete has to act within the confines of his contract," they stated in a press release quoted by the German press agency dpa. "Guido has violated this basic rule many times and has harmed the Berlin Six Days Race through his unprofessional conduct."

Fulst rode the Berlin race in 2004 and 2005 with Robert Bartko, and had planned to ride with him again this year. However, he was apparently told that he must ride with Leif Lampater, with whom he rode in Munich and who will be his partner in Bremen.

Fulst told Bild magazine, "It was the wish of the main sponsor Schultheiß that I not ride with Robert." The race management denies this, saying, "The sponsor is not involved in sporting decisions."

Raleigh signs Nicole Cooke for Univega team

By Mitch Friedman,

Nicole Cooke
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
Click for larger image

Multiple World Champion Nicole Cooke has signed with Raleigh UK to ride for the Univega Pro Cycling Team for the coming year. A Raleigh UK spokesperson said, "It is great to have Nicole on board. She is a perfect example of home-grown talent, something that Raleigh feels is incredibly important to the future success of cycling."

Cooke is the newest addition to Raleigh's commitment to supporting cycling at grassroots. She joins the growing portfolio of the successful Raleigh's ladies ERV team and sponsorship of Revolution's Future Stars series.

Cooke will be training with the Univega pro cycling team for the 2006 season and riding a Raleigh. She will be competing in the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships, where she will be hoping to add to her growing list of wins.

Univega Pro Cycling team

Nicole Cooke (GBr)
Karin Thürig (Swi)
Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl)
Priska Doppmann (Swi)
Sarah Duster (Ger)
Sarah Grab (Swi)
Emma Rickards (Aus)
Franziska Rothlin (Swi)
Sereina Trachsel (Swi)
Christiane Soeder (Aus)
Pascale Schnider (Swi)


Raleigh UK


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Mitch Friedman/

  • Nicole Cooke in the Raleigh/Univega team jersey
  • Nicole Cooke looks happy to have signed for Raleigh and the Univega Pro Cycling team in 2006
  • Nicole Cooke at the centre of attention

Kirchen sportsman of the year

Kim Kirchen
Photo ©: Ed Buchette
Click for larger image

Kim Kirchen has been voted Luxembourg's Sportsman of the Year, by the Luxembourg sports press. Kirchen was among three cyclists nominated for the award, including Fränk Schleck and Benoît Joachim, and was chosen after he won the Tour of Poland (plus a stage), GP Chiasso, Trofeo Laigueglia, and a stage in the Settimana Ciclista Internazionale Coppi-Bartali.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Ed Buchette

  • Kim Kirchen with his trophy after winning Luxembourg's Sportsman of the Year
  • Kim Kirchen with a book on the Tour of Poland, which he won this year
  • Kim Kirchen and girlfriend Caroline are happy with his award

New Spanish Pro Continental team: 3 Molinos Resort-Murcia Turistica

There will be another new Spanish Professional Continental team next year named 3 Molinos Resort-Murcia Turística, led by Jan Hruska (ex-Liberty), Santos Gónzález (ex-Phonak), and Jorge Ferrío (ex-Spiuk). This new team hopes to get a wildcard for the Vuelta a España in 2006, as well as taking part in some of the other prestigious races around the world. 3 Molinos Resort-Murcia Turística is negotiating with Toni Tauler (ex-Illes Balears), Fabian Jeker (ex-Saunier Duval) and Rafael Casero (ex-Saunier Duval), and expects to number around 20 riders.

Other team members include Jordi Riera, Alexis Rodríguez, and Jesús Buendía (ex-Comunidad Valenciana), Julio García, Jesús del Nero (Orbea), José Antonio Baños (ex-Würth-Liberty), Eloy Teruel (Soctec), Rubén Lorca, Pedro Luís Castillo, Pedro Martínez (all 3 Molinos-Murcia) and Diego Milán (Caja Castilla La Mancha).

The team will be managed by Barcelona Olympic medalist Antonio Peñalver and Joan Más (ex-Kelme manager), and directed by Paco P. Moya and Roberto Torres, with ex-pro Ángel Luis Casero assisting.

Courtesy of Antonio J. Salmerón

Contract news

SL Ohtuleht reports that Estonian cyclist Janek Tombak, winner of the Tour de Picardie this year, will sign a one year contract with Continental team Kalev Chocolate, from his native country. Tombak rode for Cofidis this year.

24 year-old Danish rider Glenn Bak is expected to sign next week for, the amateur team of the professional squad, according to his management company ACSO. Bak will have a chance to ride as a stagiaire in the pro team in the second half of 2006. Bak rode for the Bianchi this season, and won two races in Denmark: GP Allerd and Post Cup Odder. In 2003, he finished 5th in the U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

Luis Martin sanctioned

Spanish rider Luis Roberto Alvarez Martin has been given a two year suspension for doping after testing positive for testosterone (high T/E ratio) at the race Vuelta Ciclista Internacional a Extremadura in Spain on April 23-24, 2005. He was sanctioned by the Real Federacion Espanola De Ciclismo and his suspension will run until September 5, 2007. He is disqualified from the race.

Ulmer to race NZ Criterium Championships

Sarah Ulmer will be looking to add the National Criterium Championships to her National Time Trial and Road Race titles when she lines up on December 17 in Takapuna, Auckland. Ulmer will be one of a number of high profile riders in the 2005 Lion Foundation Criterium Championships. Also competing is the entire Junior World Champion Team Pursuit team (Jesse Sergent, Sam Bewley, Darren Shea, Westley Gough), Joanne Kiesanowski and Hayden Godfrey. More big names are expected to be added.

The event starts at 5.15pm with Under 17 Girls Championships, followed by Under 17 Boys, an Open B Grade race before the Elite Women's race is at 7.15pm, and the Elite Men at 8.00pm. Races will be held on Hurstmere Road on Takapuna Beach.

2006 Paralympic World's in Aigle

The next International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships will take place in Aigle, Switzerland, headquarters of the UCI, from September 9-18, 2006.

Some 300 athletes representing around 30 countries will take part in the road and track races. The riders are divided into groups of disability (blind and visually impaired, cerebral palsy, locomotor and handcycle), which themselves are subdivided into differently ranked categories.

In organising these World's, the UCI is preparing to take over the management of cyclists with disabilities, who are currently under the control of the IPC. The changeover in management will take place on January 1, 2007.

Irish stars pose nude for charity

Irish Nudes calendar
Photo ©: Gerard Cromwell
Click for larger image

Lance Armstrong has done it, Robbie McEwen has done it, Michele Bartoli has done it, now some of Ireland's top cyclists have bared all, this time in the name of charity. Local riders and international stars recently posed for a nude calendar in aid of the Baby Care Special Unit at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Ireland.

The brainchild of racing cyclist Gerard Cromwell, publisher of Irish Cycling News magazine, the calendar has attracted the interest of the local business community in Drogheda and surrounding areas and hopes to raise as much money as possible for the unit. "My daughter spent a short time in the unit in 2000, after she was born," said Cromwell, "And while she was only in for a few days, I realised there are a lot of newborn babies a worse off than she was, who need specialist care. Since then I've always wanted to do something to raise money to help the unit keep up the excellent standard of care in treating those babies and hopefully the money we raise can help make a difference in a little child's life."

Some of the calendar stars are recent bronze medallist at the Leinster Cyclo-Cross championships and former Irish junior road race champion Robert Moore of the Stamullen M. Donnelly Road Club. Also featured is former Irish national downhill mountain bike champion John Lawlor from Drogheda. Tour of Ulster stage winner Aidan Crowley is the star of May, while 2004 Irish international and current national high performance manager Philip Finegan of has also revealed all in September.

Veteran Hugh Nestor of Team Murphy & Gunn joins his son and teammate Mark on the pages of the glossy calendar, while their teammate and cover star Adrian Hederman is also in the line-up alongside Dan Nulty (Stamullen M Donnelly).

Having already generated much publicity, the riders are set to appear on the world's longest running chat show, The Late Late Show on RTE on Friday night. "Hopefully the calendar will be a big hit at Christmas and we can raise as much money as possible," added Cromwell. "Some of the lads have young children of their own and the fact that it's for such a worthwhile cause should help us sell a lot of them coming up to Christmas."

With the cost of a single incubator currently standing at around €16,000, the aim of the Irish Cycling Nudes calendar is to raise as much money and awareness for the Baby Care Unit as possible. Irish Cycling Nudes charity calendar will be launched locally and will be available nationwide in time for Christmas. For those of you looking for a stocking filler for that long suffering partner, reserve your copy by emailing

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