First Edition Cycling News for February 1, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones
Verbruggen keeps pushing the ProTour
UCI president Hein Verbruggen is continuing his no-back-down stance on the ProTour, which is part of the UCI's road cycling reform. Although he has yet to get agreement from the organisers of the three grand tours, he declared himself satisfied that the project is going ahead. At the recent Cyclo-cross World Championships in St. Wendel, Germany, Verbruggen was quoted by AFP as saying, "We will commence, that is the most important thing. Clearly I'm not very happy with the attitude of ASO [owners of the Tour de France]. As for the other two, it's a little bit of folklore. The Giro and the Vuelta, that became national tours, need the ProTour more than the ProTour needs them."
According to Verbruggen, only ASO is concerned about the four year terms, without promotion or relegation, of the 19 ProTour teams, but he is unaware why. "Our sport is above all an individual sport. A system of relegation at the end of the season does not serve to do anything because as soon as a team is relegated, its riders leave for a UCI ProTour team."
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split
October 4, 2008 - New ASO chief to maintain values
An interview with Tom Southam
Learning from a champion
After competing for a year with the modest Amore e Vita team, Great Britain's Tom Southam will line out alongside former world road race champion Igor Astarloa and the other Barloworld-Valsir riders in 2005. Performances such as a silver medal in the British road race championships last summer plus a strong display in the Tour of Britain have led some to regard Southam as one of the country's brightest young prospects.
The 23 year-old is looking forward to the new season, training hard in South Africa over the winter and then returning to his base in Italy to complete his preparations. His first appointment is the Tour de Langkawi at the end of January; after that, he is hoping that the team will gain wildcard entries to some of the sport's big ProTour events, enabling him to continue his progression. Shane Stokes talked to Tom at the Barloworld training camp recently, and here's what transpired.
"I'm looking forward to the year," he told Cyclingnews.com at the Team Barloworld-Valsir training camp in Italy. "My personal goals lie again with the national championships which I am determined to win soon - this year - and the Tour of Britain as well. They are both races that I know I can do well in. When you have got races that you know you can do well in and you have done well in before, that makes it an easier goal.
"I am starting with the Tour de Langkawi at the end of the month. It will be the first time I have done it, but I should come out of it with good form. I have had a good winter in Africa, it is the perfect base for that time of year. To be honest, I don't mind where I race as long as I am racing."
Southam is clearly impressed by the notion of riding alongside Astarloa. "I watched him win the World's in Canada, as I was over there doing the Under 23 race. So I saw him take that and now, all of a sudden, I am going training with the guy. That is pretty cool... Astarloa was world champion last year and he had a great year. People say he didn't do much, but you must remember that he didn't race so often. When he did race he was getting good placings - he took seconds and thirds in Tirreno-Adriatico, then didn't race (because of the Cofidis situation). Then he came back and he got second in his first race and won the first stage of the Brixia Tour. When you actually ride the events you think 'wow, that's really good.' He is a tough guy, he is one of the top dogs out there."
Verdict expected in Manzano-Kelme case
The verdict of the case involving Jesus Manzano's claim of improper dismissal from the Kelme team will be handed down by the Civil Court in Elche, Spain on Tuesday, February 1. Manzano was sacked by the team at the end of 2003 for having a woman in his hotel room during the 2003 Vuelta a España. Kelme claimed that Manzano signed a handwritten voluntary dismissal on September 27, while Manzano said that he signed a blank piece of paper that was filled in later.
In addition, there is an official UCI document, dated October 23, 2003, that states, "The Kelme team, through its manager Joan Mas, has informed us that the contract of Jesus Manzano has been terminated on December 31, 2003 due to serious lack of commitment."
Related story: An interview with Jesus Manzano, April 21, 2004
LPR's French debut
The LPR team will make its season debut on Tuesday in France with the GP la Marseillaise, followed immediately by the Etoile de Bessèges (February 2-6). The team will be composed of Luca Nardello, Mikhaylo Khalilov, Dmitri Konyshev, Pavel Tonkov, Aitor Hernandez, Daniele Masolino, Alessandro Maserati and Danilo Napolitano. Mauro Santambrogio will have to miss the race after contracting the 'flu.
"Looking at the stage plans, there are at least three sprint finishes where Napolitano could show himself," said director Orlando Maini. "Our condition? We are here to evaluate it, to measure ourselves against the other teams and to understand, from the outset, the ambitions of this team."
Eneco Tour to finish with TT
This year's Eneco Tour (Tour of Holland) will start in Belgium on August 3 and finish on August 10 with a 26 km time trial in Etten-Leur. The race has been expanded this year to eight stages, and is on the UCI's ProTour calendar. In past years, Landgraaf has served as the finishing town, but it will instead host the finish of stage 4.
Rooks as race director
Ex-professional Steven Rooks has been named as the new race director of the Ronde van Noord-Holland, according to a report in De Telegraaf. Rooks will take over the role from Gerrie Knetemann, who died last year. "As a born and bred North Hollander, this classic means a lot to me," said Rooks. "I hope that I can do some good work for this race."
Kona Factory-Les Gets team
The Kona Bicycle Company has announced the roster for the 2005 Kona Factory-Les Gets team. The squad includes the additions of 2001 cross-country World Champion, Roland Green, and Czech Four Cross specialist, Kamil Tartakovic.
On the cross-country side, Green will join Kris Sneddon, Ryan Trebon, Peter Wedge and Barry Wicks, his experience a valuable addition to the younger members of the team. The cross-country team will compete in the NORBA series as well as the two North American world cup races.
"It's great to have Roland back on board as returning Kona team alumni," said team manager Russell Carty. "This season the entire XC squad is focused on winning the NORBA title."
On the gravity side, Tartakovic joins men's 2004 downhill World Champion, Fabien Barel, and 2004 women’s Maxxis Cup Champion, Tracy Moseley. They will be competing on the World Cup circuit. "Last year was the most successful year for Team Kona," added Carty. "Kona was the #1 trade team in the Maxxis International Series; Fabien Barel is the World DH Champ and finished first overall in the Maxxis Series; Ryan Trebon was second overall in the NORBA XC Series; Tracy Moseley was first overall in the Maxxis Series...It's going to be tough to do better than last season but we have a strong team, top riders and the best bikes to do it!"
Kamil will be racing on the Kona Howler (4" dual suspension design) in 4X and the rest will all be piloting the World Cup winning Stab Supreme in downhill events.
Young Italian rider killed
22 year-old Italian cyclist Andrea Curino has been killed, together with two others, in a car accident on Saturday evening in the province of Pavia. Curino was driving with his friends Alessandro Cassè and Edoardo Gaito when they lost control of the car and it plunged into a river. None of them survived. As a junior, Curino rode for Biringhello and Vigorplant, winning 18 races in his last season in that category. As an U23, he rode for Pierino Gavazzi's Resine Ragnoli team, followed by Bottoli Artoni, but abandoned cycling in June, 2003.
Eastern Veterans raise $4,100
In a special fundraising event, the Australian Eastern Veterans Cycling Club in Melbourne exceeded all its expectations by raising $4,100 for Care Australia and victims of the Asian tsunami disaster at its January 29 weekly criteriums. With a record 95 race participants, money was donated from entry fees, super raffle and auctions of various prizes provided by the members. They included a mountain bike, Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under jersey, wine from a collection, digital camera (Kodak) and more. Rider trophies for the day were provided by Trophy Town.
EasternVets secretary Keith Bowen said, "We were overwhelmed by the response and on behalf of the club I would like to thank everyone involved for their enthusiastic contribution and the Metec circuit for waiving their rider fee for the day."
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