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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for December 20, 2005

Edited by John Stevenson & Les Clarke

Patrice Clerc: Staying true to principles

Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme (L) and general director of ASO Patrice Clerc give a press conference in Paris after deciding with the organisers of the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana to split with the UCI's ProTour
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

ASO president Patrice Clerc has been one of the main figures in the ongoing stand-off between the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the three organising companies of the Grand Tours, who recently declared their independence from next year's UCI ProTour, and a desire to create a series of their own, named "Trophy of the Grand Tours".

Yet to be approved by the UCI, this project would involve a total prize fund of €2 million, with €600,000 for the winning team, and an extra €100,000 for those teams participating in all three races. Cyclingnews' Hedwig Kröner got hold of Patrice Clerc one week after the announcement, asking him the reasons behind the split, as well as the details of the trophy.

Cyclingnews: Can you reveal any details about the points system of the planned Trophy of the Grand Tours?

Patrice Clerc: We are currently very busy working on it, with our technical staff of the three companies. We have also created an expert panel to validate the classification, to make sure it really corresponds to the specific nature of our three competitions. As you know, these are very special because of their length and the different classifications, and we want the trophy to award the teams that animate our competitions.

Let me explain the idea: in the Grand Tours, there are stage winners and classification leaders every day, as well as teams who have defended the overall lead of one of their team mates during several days. And these teams contribute greatly to the animation of our competitions, which is why we want to reward them. I can remember teams in each of the past Grand Tours who have made considerable efforts to defend their leader's jersey throughout the race, but ended up winning very few or no points at all. So the aim of trophy is to reward the teams that contributed to the race's animation, which leads to public interest and ultimately to distribution. We are convinced that this is good for our competitions, of course, but also for the entire sport of cycling, as the trophy will give the fans and the media an additional motivation to be interested.

Click here for the full interview.

Hondo still waiting

By Susan Westemeyer

Danilo Hondo is still waiting to hear from the court of Arbitration for Sport as to what his future will be. "It has been four weeks since the hearing on November 22. Much longer than the announced 14 days, but I am still optimistic that a verdict in my favour will be issued," he writes on his website, "Waiting so long to hear the results makes it difficult sometimes to make plans for the coming weeks and months."

Hondo is currently in South Africa training with "friends and colleagues."

Cyclists honoured in German Athlete of the Year Awards

By Susan Westemeyer

Cycling cracked the top ten in two categories of the German Athlete of the Year Awards, but world champion Regina Schleicher was not among them. The only individual pro rider to make the short list was CSC's Jens Voigt, who finished 10th in the balloting for the male athlete award. Jan Ullrich and Fabian Wegmann had also been nominated.

Team Gerolsteiner took a surprising sixth place in the team award, and the team showed itself more than satisfied with the placing, telling Cyclingnews, "The sixth place is a great confirmation of our concept, which is based on young German riders. At the same time we are also happy that our 23 season victories have been recognised for what they are -- namely, the collective achievement of a committed and motivated team."

Roulston to Health Net

Former Discovery Channel rider Hayden Roulston, 24, has signed with Health Net-Maxxis for the 2006 season, joining fellow New Zealander Greg Henderson at the US squad, according to Roulston joins the team following his resignation from Discovery which came after he was convicted of disorderly behaviour in October.

After spending most of the season recovering from injury, Roulston was looking forward to 2006 before his unexpected resignation from the Discovery Channel team. He'll now ride the Tour of California in February, which Health Net will surely go into as one of the favourites. He'll also begin competition on the track next month, looking to compete at the Commonwealth Games. According to national coach Terry Gyde, Roulston is "definitely interested in the track," being "focused and ready to go". Roulston has also said the world championships and 2008 Beijing Olympics are goals he hopes to achieve.

Specialized, Leipheimer support Nor-Cal youth cycling

Gerolsteiner/Specialized rider Levi Leipheimer will head the panel of judges in an essay competition for young Northern California riders to select 15 riders who will be supported in the 2006 season and mentored by top riders.

The theme of the essay contest is "why I want to be a bicycle racer" and it's supported by Specialized, Leipheimer, NorCal Bike Sport, and the City of Santa Rosa, CA. Entries must be submitted by January 31, 2006, and the winner will be selected by a panel of judges, led by Levi Leipheimer of Team Gerolsteiner/Specialized, a Santa Rosa, CA local. Contest winners will be announced during the Tour of California in February. Rules and regulations of the contest can be found at

The ""why I want to be a bicycle racer" contest will be supported by a fund-raising event on the evening of January 13, 2006 at NorCal Bike Sport's new store in Santa Rosa, CA, featuring fine dining, music from The James Stafford Trio, and presentations by Levi Leipheimer and Dr. Max Testa. Leipheimer and Testa will also be available to sign autographs.

Tickets for the fund-raising dinner are $250 per person, or $500 per person for a spot at the tables of Levi Leipheimer, Dr. Max Testa, or five-time Olympic gold medalist, Eric Heiden. Limited seating is available. Contact NorCal Bike Sport directly at 707-573-0112 to purchase tickets. More information is available at,, or Proceeds of the event will also benefit A Leg Up animal rescue

More money on offer at Hobart Carnival

Its timing, a week after the main Tasmanian Christmas carnivals, has traditionally meant the Hobart Bikes and Spikes Cycling and Athletic Carnival (to be held in 2006 at the New Town sports ground on Saturday January 8) has been a sort of distant cousin to the north coast carnivals.

In recent years, however, the Hobart carnival has been enjoying higher attendances, with a crowd estimated at 2000 for the 2005 edition back in January. For the 2006 event, increased prize money means there'll be even more reason to turn up, for both riders and spectators. There's over $18,000 to be won, with the Parmic Fire Protection Wheelrace being worth $4000 and the Eyelines Gift running event $3000. The A grade scratch race will also be worth $1000.

Carnival Organiser Ray Quarrell and his committee are determined to lift the status of the carnival to that of the major north west coast carnivals. The Hobart Athletic Club is now a member of the Sports Carnivals Association of Tasmania with the Association also committed to raising the profile of the carnival.

This year three cycling events the scratch, derby and wheelrace will be part of the National Star Series Award, which will encourage cyclists to compete at the carnival.

At this point entries for the carnival have not been finalised but it is anticipated there will be a number of scratch riders competing. It’s believed scratch riders Todd Wilksch from Victoria and Tasmanian Darren Young have entered and it is anticipated American Jame Carney will also ride.

The Sports carnivals Association is endeavouring to have riders stay over for the carnival despite the gap of seven days from the New Years Day Carnival at Burnie.

There is however no doubt the number of cycling entries will be up on previous years and southern patrons can expect to see great carnival action.

For more on the Tasmanian Christmas carnivals see the SCAT website.

Amy's Ride attracts big names

Amy's Ride (7 January 2006) is drawing nearer and this effort by Australian race promoter John Trevorrow to raise money for the Amy Gillett Foundation has inspired some notable cyclists to come out of retirement.

Australia's greatest road racer, Phil Anderson, is already shaving his legs for the 120-kilometre ride around the Bellarine Peninsula and the chairman of the Australian Sports Commission, Peter Bartels is in serious training mode.

"I've been back on the bike for five weeks now and I'll be giving it my best shot," said Bartels, who is a former Australian cycling champion (from 1957 until 1962) and Commonwealth Games cycling gold medallist (1962).

His revelation came during the recent media launch for the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic (4-8 January 2006) and Amy's Ride. The fundraiser has attracted almost 1500 entries so far and entries are still running hot after Trevorrow extended the closing date for entry. See for more information.

Johnny Warren charity ride raises money for cancer

By Jeff Jones

The view at Otford
Photo ©: Jeff Jones
(Click for larger image) The view at Otford, after climbing out of the Royal National Park, was a good incentive to stop

The third edition of the Johnny Warren Jamberoo Classic for Cancer was held on Sunday, December 18, starting in Australia's biggest city of Sydney and finishing in the tiny south coast town of Jamberoo. The ride was named in honour of former Socceroo captain and SBS TV presenter Johnny Warren, who died of cancer last year and was a patron of the Sydney Cancer Foundation. Donations from participants this year raised over $1000 for the charity, and it was deemed a great success by organiser Mike Tomalaris from SBS.

On a sunny but windy day, roughly 150 riders started out from Waratah Park in Sutherland to ride all, or at least part of the 110 km south to Jamberoo. The big bunch included several of Sydney's top riders, such as Discovery Channel's Matthew White, future Rabobank sprinter Graeme Brown, Cofidis signing Chris Sutton, members of the FRF-Caravello team and Kate Nichols, who was riding with her father and 1984 Olympic gold medalist Kevin. The large group faced a block headwind all the way, along with a few testing climbs, but everyone gradually found their rhythm.

After descending into the Royal National Park from Waterfall, then climbing up to Otford and Bald Hill lookout, there was a new experience waiting the survivors to that point. The coast road down to Wollongong has been closed for several years due to the construction of the Sea Cliff Bridge between Coalcliff and Scarborough, and today was the first opportunity for many riders to try it out. It is a remarkable feat of engineering as it snakes along the cliffs, supported by huge concrete pylons driven into the sea-drenched rocks below, and everyone enjoyed the ride.

Mike Tomalaris
Photo ©: Jeff Jones
(Click for larger image) Mike Tomalaris interviews Barry, who made it to Jamberoo

When the Johnny Warren Classic reached Wollongong, some 65 km into the ride, the front part of the bunch decided to stop for a coffee at the Emporio del Mar, one of the regular haunts along the beach. Many turned back to Sydney at this point, but not before thoroughly appreciating the efforts of the (mostly female) staff in keeping them caffeinated and fed.

The second part of the bunch had missed the coffee stop pressed on to Albion Park and thence to Jamberoo pub, while the remaining riders were led back onto the true way by a local, suffering into the headwind that had been blowing into their faces all day. A few steep climbs between Albion Park and Jamberoo were overcome without too much lung failure, and the 40-odd survivors gathered in the leafy courtyard of the Jamberoo Pub for a well earned beer, hamburger and chips.

Mr Tomalaris finished off the proceedings by passing round the tin and raising $1000 plus from the riders who were left, before presenting it to the Sydney Cancer Foundation via Johnny Warren's brother Ross. It was a positive end to a pleasant day on the bike.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Jeff Jones/

Sydney World Cup tickets now on sale

Tickets for the final round of the 2006 UCI Track World Cup are on sale now, with three days of exciting world class action at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome in store from March 3-5. After topping the medal count at this year's world championships and blitzing the opposition at last year's Olympic Games the Australian team is determined to shine on its home track.

16 events for men and women will be contested in a showcase of world-beating performances from around 200 of the world's elite track stars from 40 countries. The Sydney World Cup is the last opportunity for Commonwealth Games cyclists to fine tune their preparation before the Melbourne Games ten days later, and the last chance for riders and nations to qualify for the 2006 World Championships to be held in Bordeaux, France, on April 13-16.

Tickets available from Ticketmaster on 1300 136 122 or

Ticket prices and schedule

Morning Session - Adult $15.00, Concession $10.00, Family $35.00
Afternoon/Evening - Adult $30.00, Concession $15.00, Family $70.00
Season (All Sessions) - Adult $90.00, Concession $45.00, Family $200.00

March 3 - Men's scratch race, women's points race, men's keirin, men's IP, men's TT, women's sprint
Session 1 - 10.00 am to 1.20 pm (Qualifying session) Session 2 - 7.00 pm to 10.40 pm (Finals session)

March 4 - Men's team pursuit, women's TT, Women's IP, men's points race, men's sprint
Session 3 - 10.00 am to 1.35 pm (Qualifying session) Session 4 - 7.00 pm to 10.10 pm (Finals session)

March 5 - Women's scratch race, men's Madison, women's keirin, men's team sprint
Session 5 - 11.50 am to 1.00 pm (Qualifying session) Session 6 - 1.00 pm to 4.05 pm (Finals session)

For full details click here.

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