First Edition Cycling News for December 18, 2005
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
Armstrong: "You won't see me at the Tour anymore"
In an interview with Dutch publication Telegraaf, Lance Armstrong has affirmed that he does not intend to visit the Tour de France again. "I won't shake hands with hypocrites like Leblanc, Prudhomme and Clerc! No way!" the seven times Tour de France winner underlined. "In the start village? At the finish? Hell, no," he added.
Armstrong was offended last August when Tour de France director Jean-Marie Leblanc said that he "felt betrayed" by Armstrong, soon after French newspaper L'Equipe published its 1999 doping allegations. In October, the organisers officially revealed the 2006 parcours in Paris, but Armstrong was hardly honoured during the presentation. "Sure I'll be in Europe for some races next year, and I'll visit the team in the hotels during the Tour, but you won't see me at the start or the finish," Armstrong commented.
Meanwhile, the Texan insisted that he holds no grudge against the French in general. "I have nothing against the French, I'm only criticising the Tour de France organisation," Armstrong said, and included the newspaper L'Equipe, which he accused of leading a witch-hunt against him. "L'Equipe writes only negative things about me, but that's because of the relationship between the paper and the Tour organisation. Their history is overshadowed by a seven-times Tour winner, and that puts their inheritance in danger."
Especially since the French public is still waiting for the next French Tour de France winner after Bernard Hinault, whose last victory goes back to 1985. "Hinault, who stands behind me, would have never encountered the same problems as I have, because he is French," Armstrong said. "Maybe if he'd won only a few years back, I'd have less problems, too, but the French haven't played the general classification in 20 years. By trying to damage me, they're hoping to rewrite their history, but they will never succeed."
Vuelta expects some ProTour teams to bail out
In the debate around the recently proposed "Trophy of the three Grand Tours" by their respective organisers in France, Italy and Spain, Vuelta a España organiser Ignacio Ayuso said that he was not expecting all of the 20 ProTour teams to take part in his race. Regarding the declarations of former UCI president Hein Verbruggen, who said that the Grand Tours would be organised "for junior riders" soon if they did not enter the ProTour, Ayuso wasn't worried. "We will invite all 20 ProTour teams, but expect a handful of them to bail out," the Unipublic president said. "Therefore, the six Spanish professional teams will get the opportunity to start automatically."
Carney team director at Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada
The Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada Pro Cycling Team has announced the signing of Jonas Carney, a US Olympian and 25-time US national champion, as its team director for the 2006 season. Carney, who retired from racing in 2004 after 15 seasons as a professional cyclist, commented, "After a year away from racing, the chance to join Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada was the right opportunity at the right time."
Carney has won eight national titles as a junior and 17 as an elite rider, including two USPRO Criterium Championships. In this next phase of his career, Carney's responsibilities will include developing Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada's race schedule, managing the team on the road, and executing its race day strategy.
Having been a member of some of domestic cycling's legendary teams, Carney, 34, hopes to apply his experience to the young Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada squad. "I'm looking forward to challenging our riders to race like a team, and collectively exceed their potential," Carney said. "I've been on teams that have raced that way and I know that this team has what it takes."
"The great advantage of Jonas as a team director is that he has competed not just against almost all of the current crop of riders, but also against the other directors," the team's Operations Manager Kurt Stockton added. "Jonas is an important piece of the puzzle for us and he'll help in the development of all our riders, especially our young sprinters." Carney unexpectedly arrived at the team's "Beer Camp" at the Sierra Nevada brewery in Chico, California, this week, where he was welcomed by team members.
"We were quite surprised and excited to see Jonas Carney at our Beer Camp," said Ben Jacques-Maynes. "He brings a wealth of experience to the team and we're looking forward to his leadership to help us win more races."
Bruylandts back on April 1
Belgian Dave Bruylandts, who is currently suspended for EPO use for two years, wants to come back to professional cycling on April 1, 2006. "I wan to be within the peloton again," Bruylandts told Belgian Sportwereld, but he doesn't know yet in which team colours his come-back will take place. "In a few weeks, everything will be clear."
Bruylandts is planning to travel to Spain in January and February to get some training kilometres into his legs, and hopes to be able to do more intensive work in March. "I'll certainly miss some racing rhythm, but I hope that I'll be worth my spot in the peloton by then," Bruylandts added.
Inaugural Lotto Sixday in February
European Sixday track races will be added one more events in February 2006, when the first Lotto Sixday will take place on Hasselt, Belgium, from February 9-14. In the new Ethias Arena, well-known Sixday pairs such as Iljo Keisse and Matthew Gilmore, Robert Slippens and Danny Stam, Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart will compete against each other among others, with road racer Tom Steels also announced to appear.
More information can be found at www.lottozesdaagse.be.
Raleigh to sponsor Spike Pro Track team
Spike Professional Cycling Team Director Bill Ramsay announced an agreement with Raleigh America Incorporated to provide sponsorship for the newly formed team of track professionals, based in Colorado Springs. "We wanted to partner with a bike sponsor and industry leader that had a legitimate track racing heritage to give the team the advantage we need to succeed," commented Ramsay.
"This sponsorship continues a long history and winning heritage for the Raleigh brand in track racing," Raleigh America marketing director Reed Pike explained. "Highlights include multiple British and World Championships won by Reg Harris in the 1940’s and 1950’s as well as the successes of US Olympians in the 1984 Olympic Games."
The Spike Pro Track team will target the USA/UCI National Track Series, USA Cycling National Track Championships, USA Cycling World Cup Qualifier events and select World Cup Track events beginning in January 2006. The team roster includes Steven Alfred, Benjamin Barczewski, Michael Blatchford, Andrew Lakatosh, Ryan Luttrell, Giddeon Massie, Becky Quinn, Jennie Reed and Kevin Suhr.
"This is an historic day for U.S. cycling and for this team," says Ramsay. "The quality of athletes and staff combined with the commitment of Spike and now Raleigh America to the program ensures that this team will achieve great results. I believe we are uniquely positioned to take track racing to the professional level in the United States."
In addition to the pro track team, Raleigh America will be sponsoring the elite Spike Masters Team. The new Spike Masters Team will contest Colorado road, cyclocross and track events as well as USA Cycling road, track and cyclocross national championships in 2006.
Merlin Development Squad launch new website
British Merlin Development Squad have launched their new website as they look forward to their second season in 2006. Along with the continued support from the American Bicycle Group, the Merlin Development Squad has announced various new sponsors for the upcoming season, and will publish all the latest news, photos, rider profiles and extensive information about the team on www.merlindevelopmentsquad.co.uk.
Mark Carter Xmas Crit
The Canberra Cycling Club will be hosting the second edition of the Mark Carter Xmas Crit on Wednesday, December 21. The Carts Annual Xmas Crit is named in memory of the late Mark Carter, a former President of the Canberra Cycling Club who spent a lot of his spare time raising the profile of cycling in the Australian Capital Territory, as well as running the Summer Criterium series. The Xmas crit counts for Round 8 of the CCC Summer Criterium series, in which a regular weekly turnout of over 150 riders has been seen, with the record standing at 193 riders a fortnight ago.
Brumby's Bakery, courtesy of local guru bike racer Baden Burke, has come on board to sponsor the event which will see additional prize money on offer along with sumptuous Brumby's Bakery chrissy puddings for the winners. Local bicycle stores The Bikeshed and Hammer 'n' Cycle have proudly sponsored the Junior grade, with cycling accessory prizes to accompany their usual prize money. In the senior racing, Brumby's Bakery has added to the prize money put up by the Canberra Cycling Club for a total pot in excess of $1000.
Racing commences from 5.15pm with the junior grade, followed by Novice Women, D, C, B & A grades. Entries are taken on the night and any interstate visitors are more than welcome to participate. The race will be held at the Kingston Foreshore Criterium course down by lake Burley Griffin.
For further information e-mail Joel Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org
British Cycling promotes insurance package
British Cycling has started an advertising campaign to promote its legal and insurance protection packages. Built around the phrase "because we share the road", the ads highlight the need for cyclists to have legal and insurance protection using humorous images of other road users cyclists can encounter, such as the ubiquitous "white van man", which will appear in the first advert.
British Cycling emphasized that its Silver membership packages, available from £32, are the best available and relevant to any cyclist who uses the public roads. The organisation's solicitors have secured some £4.8 million of compensation for members in the last two years. British Cycling's legal cover does not require a member to be injured before it will pursue costs on their behalf. Alongside this, the organisation's third party liability cover protects members from excess payments, meaning that cyclists are not hit in the pocket when they are at fault.
More information can be found at www.britishcycling.org.uk.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)