First Edition Cycling News for December 23, 2005
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
Bradley Wiggins: Getting motivated
The end of 2005 is a quiet time for Bradley Wiggins, but also a time to reorient and focus on a new season the Brit is very much looking forward to. After his stint with Crédit Agricole, Wiggins has changed teams and again opted for a French squad - Cofidis. Cyclingnews' Hedwig Kröner joined the Olympic Gold medallist at the outfit's second training reunion at a golf club near Montpellier, where Wiggins is taking advantage of every hour of sleep he can get; it's not an easy task with a 10-month baby boy keeping him busy at home.
"It's quiet here, so that's good," said Wiggins. "The season is going to be tough." The 25- year-old has two big goals lined up for next season, and feels the racing calendar will be full enough. "I'll start out with the GP d'Ouverture de la Marseillaise, then Etoile de Bessèges, followed by the Volta a Algarve, Het Volk and then Paris-Nice. There will be massive amounts of racing to do, but it's all in the right time for what I want to achieve."
So which races will Wiggins target in 2006? "I have two objectives for this season; the prologue of Paris-Nice, and the prologue of the Tour de France, for which I will prepare like it was the Olympic pursuit!," the Olympic Gold medallist and World champion answered on a determined note, also explaining his lack of drive over this past season. "I'm glad to be with Cofidis now, as I'll be able to concentrate more on my goals with them, and they know they have to let me prepare for them like I want to. This year I had no goals; I just spent all weekends racing on the road and it really depressed me. I've always been someone who's had specific objectives, so that's what I've come back to now."
As much as Wiggins was flying high after winning gold, silver and bronze medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics, he experienced some psychological lows during this past year. "As I had always done a lot of track, I found it difficult to recalibrate," he reflected. "I was struggling to be motivated for a long time, because I had built up so long to the Olympics. But now I've got that motivation back, and apart from my goals on the road I want to build up specifically for Beijing again, and then for London in 2012."
Getting to know the Cofidis management and his new team mates at this time of year, the World Champion is confident he will fit in perfectly. "The mentality at Cofidis is very different to Crédit Agricole - they know that I'm the kind of rider that has to prepare for specific goals. They encourage me in what I want to do, so that's perfect," Wiggins concluded.
"We do expect a lot of Wiggins," added directeur sportif Francis Van Londersele. "He is showing a great deal of enthusiasm right now and has a way of working that we find very interesting, so we want to respond to his wishes. Looking at his physical capacities at his relative young age, he's certainly able to really break through soon. It's time for him to find success on the road as well, and we hope he will do that with us."
Look out for a full report from the Cofidis camp in the next couple of days on Cyclingnews.
Basso to ride Milan-San Remo
Italian Tour de France runner-up Ivan Basso has revealed that his programme for next season will also include famous spring classic Milano-San Remo, usually a sprinter's race. "I have decided to include Milano-San Remo in my programme after hearing about the route changes," the CSC rider said on Wednesday. "The new climb in the race finale suits my capabilities perfectly."
Basso will also participate in the Giro d'Italia before preparing for his greatest challenge in 2006, the Tour de France, just like T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich.
Ullrich has ideal weight
Jan Ullrich is reported to have already reached his ideal weight for this time of year. "He'll come back from the training camp in South Africa weighing 76 kg, his ideal weight," said personal mentor and future directeur sportif Rudy Pevenage to Belgian media. Together with teammates Andreas Klöden and Matthias Kessler, the "Kaiser" trained 850 kilometres per week.
"He's super motivated, but of course it's still long until the Tour," Pevenage explained. "The aim is to copy his 2003 preparation as closely as possible."
U.S. places five in UCI Commissions
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has appointed five new U.S. representatives to various commissions. The UCI commissions are responsible for the oversight of rules and regulations and the overall management of the growth and success of the sport of cycling worldwide.
USA Cycling chief executive officer Gerard Bisceglia was appointed to the three-person Solidarity Commission, which is responsible for the overall advancement of cycling in developing countries. Sean Petty, USA Cycling chief of staff, was appointed to the seven-member Road Commission, which oversees the development of road racing worldwide with the exception of the UCI Pro Tour teams and events.
Alison Dunlap, 2001 World mountain bike champion and two-time Olympian, was named as rider representative to the four-member Mountain Bike Commission, which oversees all of the various mountain bike disciplines, while Adam Hodges-Myerson was named to the Cyclo-cross Commission.
The United States now has two positions on the five-person BMX Commission as new member Gary Ream will represent the discipline of BMX freestyle in addition to the National Bicycle League's managing director Bob Tedesco, who continues to serve on the BMX commission. BMX was added to the program for 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
"This is obviously a significant honor to have so much American representation on these various commissions," USA Cycling president Jim Ochowicz said in a statement. "It really emphasises the respect that our nation is shown when it comes to the sport of cycling beyond just the field of play."
Victorian track team for 2006 Australian championships announced
The Victorian Track Cycling Team for the 2006 Australian Track Championships, taking place in Adelaide, from February 6-11, 2006, has been announced. Under the guidance of team manager Michelle Decker and head coach John Beasly, the following riders will compete:
Elite Men: Shane Kelly (Stawell-Great Western), Jason Niblett (Horsham), Joel Leonard (Footscray) , Shane Perkins (Carnegie), Michael Ford (Carnegie), Zak Dempster (Bendigo), Richard England (Blackburn), Brad Norton (Shepparton), Sean Finning (Castlemaine), Todd Wilksch (Horsham), Adrian Sansonetti (Northcote), Steven Sansonetti (Northcote) and Daniel Thorsen (Shepparton).
Elite Women: Katie Mactier (Carnegie), Rahna Demarte (Northcote), Jessica Berry (Bendigo) and Kathy Watt (Blackburn).
Junior Men: Alex Smyth (Carnegie), Leigh Howard (Geelong), James Langedyk (Geelong), Ricky Peoples (Shepparton), Will Ford (Ararat), Abe McDonald (Ararat) and Anthony Rix (Bendigo).
Junior Women: Tess Downing (Carnegie), Peta Mullens (Latrobe City) andLisa Friend (Carnegie).
Walker to head United Water team in TDU
The United Water-Australia U23 team for the 2006 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under will be headed by Victorian William Walker. The 20 year-old became the first Australian to claim a medal in the U23 road race at the World Championships this season, when he finished second in Madrid in September. Walker will be joined by a classy mix of young talent with credentials on both the road and track.
Organisers of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under have also announced that the USA registered Navigators Insurance Team will be back at their event in 2006. The team includes Russian Vasili Davidenko, who this year claimed a stage win in Canada's Tour de Beauce and two stage wins in the Tour of Connecticut. Two time and reigning Irish road champion, David O'Loughlin, will be back in Adelaide and Australian Hilton Clarke, who this year claimed a stage win and the overall sprint classification in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, is expected to challenge for stage honours.
For more information about the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under see www.tourdownunder.com.au.
New sponsorship deal for Team CSC
Team CSC has announced a new sponsorship deal with MAN, which will include close collaboration over the next three years. "We have come to a very good agreement with MAN and I'm happy that we get to work even more with one of our close business partners," said team manager Bjarne Riis.
"The MAN Group, a leading engineering company and truck and bus manufacturer in Europe, is a big international sponsor, something Riis is very aware of. "We have a solid and extremely versatile team and the possibility of strengthening our place as number one in the world is looking very good," he continued.
Georgia Power renews volunteer support
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
The Tour de Georgia has announced Georgia Power as a returning sponsor for the 2006 event, bringing support for the Tour's volunteer workforce programmes. Close to 4,000 volunteers are expected throughout the week of the 2006 race.
"We support the Tour de Georgia because the event not only provides economic impact to Georgia, but because proceeds benefit the Georgia Cancer Coalition, " said Judy Anderson, Georgia Power's Senior Vice President, Charitable Giving. "Georgia Power's giving is focused on issues, such as preventing cancer, that directly affect our customers, our employees, our business and our shareholders. As a company, we want to be judged not only by the service we provide, but also for what we do to improve the quality of life for all people in places where we live and work."
This will be the fourth year for Georgia Power to participate as a Tour de Georgia sponsor, providing funding and assistance since the event's inaugural race in 2003.
2006 Expert Ladies Tour announced
The organisers of the Dutch Women's race Expert Ladies Tour have announced the 2006 route of the event, starting in Sint Willebrord on August 28, and finishing in Heerlen on September 2. The second stage will take the riders on a loop around the Belgian town of Asse. The following stages will include the towns of Hof van Twente, Roden, Oirschot and Heerlen. In Roden, a team time trial is planned after the regular stage.
The organisers are also trying to connect the race to the Euregio Tour in 2007, as this Women's event will take place only three days later in the same region next year, from September 5-9. In 2006, the linking of the two events will not be possible for the World Cup race in Rotterdam on Sunday, September 3, but organiser Marten de Lange is hoping that the UCI will approve of a joined race involving eight stages for 2007.
Colombian Rider of the Year awards
The Colombian Rider of the Year 2005 awards were presented December 21 at the Hall of Bogotá Sports Institute (IDRD). Phonak's Santiago Botero took the honours in the Colombian Cycling Federation's best international Colombian rider award, with Rabobank's new signing Mauricio Ardila taking second place.
Maria Luisa Calle was awarded the title of best international female rider and Libardo Niño was elected best national rider after his victories in the Vuelta a Colombia, Clásico RCN, Doble a Copacabana in Bolivia. Best national female rider is Sandra Gómez, and the best track performances were earned Wilson Meneses and Diana García.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Luis Enrique Barbosa
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)