First Edition Cycling News for February 5, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones and John Stevenson
Low key approach for Fundacion Ciclista Euskadi
By Martin Hardie in Hondarribia
The forces of the weather in the form of a snowed-in Basque Country saw the Fundacion Ciclista Euskadi presentation delayed a week, but it finally got under way on February 1 in the seaside border town of Hondarribia, nestled on a bay with France across the other side. The presentation took place in Hondarribia's Poli-Deportivo centre, a bit down market after last year's bash at the World Heritage listed Palacio Euskladuna. It is a community indoor and outdoor sports facility, with bars, a restaurant, auditorium-cum-basketball court and more, soccer fields and even an indoor swimming pool.
It was packed with the locals on this wet, gray Tuesday evening, with families sitting in the bar above the pool watching others doing their laps below. Mixed with them tonight were Euskadi foundation club members, the team and staff, ordinary fans, the Orbea and Etxeondo gangs, along with a veritable who's who of Basque cycling: new Orbea continental team director and ex-Kelme and Banesto pro, Jon Odriozola; five time Tour winner Miguel Indurain; and the whole Euskaltel family including a complete Iturriaga clan featuring a glamorously outfitted Eneritz Iturriaga.
De Cauwer must face court
Belgian head coach José de Cauwer will have to go to court in Antwerp to answer questions in relation to his involvement in an amphetamine trafficking affair. The case concerns a former amateur rider, Ronny Vansweevelt, who in 2000 was caught by Belgian police with quantities of amphetamines and other doping substances in his car. After his arrest and questioning, Vansweevelt claimed that in 1995 and 1996, De Cauwer put him in contact with a soigneur who could provide help and information about the purchase of amphetamines.
De Cauwer was summoned to appear in court in June, 2004, and although he appealed, that has been rejected. If found guilty of anything in this affair, he will lose his position as head coach.
Muñoz cleared but accuses Guatemalan coach
Colombian Federico Muñoz, who was one of the nine riders involved in the Vuelta a Guatemala doping affair, has accused Ricardo Rodriguez, the doctor of the Guatemalan Cafe Quetzal team, of supplying him with the doping products that caused him to test positive. Muñoz, who finished fourth in the race but tested positive for EPO, was declared innocent by the Colombian cycling federation's disciplinary commission, saying that this was the first time that something like this has happened to him in 20 years of competition.
"The truth should come out," said Muñoz. "The guilty party is doctor Rodriguez, in whom we had complete faith in to administer recuperative products, and unfortunately this sad situation occurred.
The Colombian federation's disciplinary commission is now looking into the accusations.
Plans for Tour of Peru
Former Paris-Nice organiser Laurent Fignon has signed a contract with the city of Lima to organise a Tour of Peru, according to an AFP report. Fignon will be assisted by Peruvian ex-cyclist Gilberto Chocce in his endeavour. The race would take place in January 2006, with the aim of starting in the Incan city of Machu Picchu, with the finish planned in Lima.
De Bever becomes Dutch national coach
Five-time BMX World Champion and downhill MTB specialist Bas de Bever has been appointed to the position of Dutch national coach for BMX, downhill and four-cross MTB for the next two years. De Bever retired from competition last year, and intends on holding the coaching role until at least the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Lampre for GP Costa degli Etruschi
The Lampre team has announced the riders it will field for Sunday's Costa degli Etruschi. Under directeur sportif Fabrizio Bontempi the team will field Alessandro Ballan, Daniele Bennati, Giosuè Bonomi, GianLuca Bortolami, Paolo Fornaciari, Gerrit Glomser, David Loosli, Samuele Marzoli, Dario Pieri, and Daniele Righi.
Meanwhile, Lampre - Caffita is deep into a training camp in Terracina, with 140km-plus rides, and a 'get fit or break' 210km run on Thursday with five climbs. "Damiano Cunego is riding nicely and seems to be spinning a lot in this pre-season training camp," said directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli of the team's young superstar rider.
Liquigas-Bianchi going for Pagliarini
The Liquigas-Bianchi team for Sunday's Italian opener GP Costa degli Etruschi will be based around Brazilian sprinter Luciano Pagliarini, who feels in good condition at the moment. "In 2004, at the beginning of the season in this period I won two stages of the Tour de Langkawi," said Pagliarini. "This year I would like to start in the same way, maybe just in the very first race of the season. I feel good: we are carrying out very good work in Cecina. I hope to imitate Cipollini. [who just won a stage of the Tour of Qatar - ed.]"
The team for the race will be Pagliarini, Albasini, Calcagni, Colli, Gasparotto, Gerosa, Mugerli and Righetto.
Meanwhile, Franco Pellizotti and Stefano Garzelli are still at the team's training camp in Cecina. The former will debut in the Tour Méditerranéen on Wednesday, February 9, while the latter in the Trofeo Luis Puig on Saturday, February 19.
Frischkorn and MacGregor to lead TIAA-CREF in 2005
American cyclist Will Frischkorn will be moving into a team leadership role as he joins newly crowned national champion Ian MacGregor in heading up Team TIAA-CREF in 2005.
Sponsored by Fortune 68 financial services company, TIAA-CREF, the team begins its second season with a full slate of the country's most exciting, young up-and-coming riders.
Frischkorn, who comes to TIAA-CREF after serving as a key teammate for Chris Horner at Saturn, is widely recognized as one of the country's top talents. An accomplished rider at only 23, Frishkorn has won stages in the Ronde de L'isard and the Tour of Austria, along with an impressive third-place finish at the U23 Tour of Flanders. Indeed, Frischkorn was heavily recruited by top pro teams early on his career, but the native Coloradoan opted to take a more methodical approach to his development as a rider.
"Will's thoughtful approach to his own career fits in perfectly with this team's philosophy," says team director Jonathan Vaughters. "Will has a great deal of talent. His results show that and we appreciate his desire to focus on the long-term rather than on trying to achieve too much, too quickly. Will comes into this role now with both the talent and the maturity to lead this 18-rider team to success. Frankly, that is the sort of approach our own sponsor brings to the financial planning world, so this is natural fit."
Frischkorn will be joined by MacGregor, who will still be an U-23 rider in the coming season.
"This is our first season as a UCI Continental registered squad," said Vaughters. "Ian is another key element in ensuring success this season." Other top talent on TIAA-CREF include Univest GP winner, Chad Hartley, 4th place finisher in the Ronde de L'Isard, Timmy Duggan, and US Collegiate National Champion, Bryan Smith.
With the addition of such riders, Team TIAA-CREF will undertake an ambitious race schedule in 2005, highlighted by most of the major north American UCI races and making multiple forays into Europe, with the ultimate goal of competing in the Societe Tour de France event, Le Tour de L'Avenir.
Team TIAA-CREF will be under the direction of Vaughters, a former European professional and one-time holder of the record up the infamous Mt. Ventoux; and Sydney World Cup points race winner, Colby Pearce. Pearce and Vaughters will be assisted by road manager Ben Turner, head soigneur Alyssa Morahan, and former Mercury mechanic, Kevin Grove.
After a week long training camp scheduled in Boulder, Colorado Feb. 9-15, Team TIAA-CREF will be unveiled to the public for the first time on February 15th in Denver by host Phil Liggett.
See also: TIAA-CREF's 2005 diary on Cyclingnews
Braveheart Fund riders announced
The Scottish Braveheart Cycling Fund has announced the names of the 15 young Scottish cyclists it will support in 2005. After backing road and track riders in 2004, some mountain bikers will be supported in 2005. They include 18 year-old David Young, the British junior downhill champion who placed fifth at the world junior downhill championships in Les Gets, France.
Another rider being supported in 2005 is Aileen McGlynn, the gold and silver medallist at last year's Paralympics in Athens. And the three young Scots - Alex Coutts, Evan Oliphant and David Smith - who recently signed with professional teams will be also be assisted by the fund as they seek to establish themselves. The Braveheart Cycling Fund was established last year to offer financial support to promising Scottish cyclists, primarily to help them train and race abroad. Six riders were assisted in the first year, but with the backing of sponsors and donors and an expanded programme of fund raising events, the fund is this year able to award grants totaling some £15,000 to the fifteen riders. The fund was set up by Brian Smith, the former Olympian and British champion, and is run by a committee of volunteers. Olympic champion Chris Hoy is the fund's official patron and former world champion and record holder Graeme Obree is a supporter.
"It's fantastic to see the Braveheart fund going from strength to strength," said Hoy. "I support the initiative because I support Scottish cycling and I would love to see the next generation go on to achieve success and medals at the highest level. Even a small amount of support can make a big difference to a rider, and it's great that people in Scotland are getting behind the young athletes who are trying to fulfil their potential."
more information: www.braveheartfund.com
Velodrome for Albuquerque
Mayor Martin J. Chavez of Albuquerque, New Mexico has announced the development of the Albuquerque Bicycle Park with a world class BMX track and indoor velodrome in a sports complex near the University of New Mexico. The facility will provide a year round altitude training and racing center (Albuquerque is at 5,200 feet/1,600m) that is hoped to attract track cyclists and BMX racers from around the United States and the world.
"This is so directly in line with my economic development plan to have Albuquerque become a center for cycling, a sport that is very popular here," said Mayor Chavez, who also announced that David Chauner, president and CEO of race promoter Threshold Sports has been hired to help the city plan and develop the project.
Mayor Chavez indicated that at least $10 million will be raised from city, state and private sources to fund the project. Ground breaking is expected to take place in 2005 with targeted completion in Fall 2006.
Valley of the Sun 2005
The 13th annual Valley of the Sun John Earley Memorial Stage Race, presented by Landis Cyclery, Trek and Orpheum Lofts will be held over the weekend of February 18-20 2005 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Current U.S. National Champion Ian McGregor (TIAA-CREF) is expected to race along with team-mates Will Frischkorn and 7-time junior national champion Zak Grabowski and Valley resident Nathan Mitchell. Also confirmed is HealthNet's Tyler Farrar, current under 23 national time trial champion.
The T-Mobile Professional Women's Cycling Team featuring current U.S. national champion Kristin Armstrong and 2004 junior world silver medalist Rebecca Much is also entered. Armstrong and Much will be accompanied by their top U.S. ranked teammates, including Mari Holden, 2000 Olympic Silver medalist.
Stage 1 - February 18: Trek Individual Time Trial, Sun Valley Parkway,
For more information see www.wmrc.org
Henry 'Doc' Green dies
Henry Green, 'Doc' to his friends, a founder member of the 29th Wheelers C.C in South London and owner and manufacturer of H.E. Green racing cycles and tandems, passed away on February 3 2005 aged 83.
Always the clubman, he will be deeply missed by a great number of cyclists in the South London area who knew him and his wife Gladys who passed away in November 2003.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)