First Edition Cycling News for February 21, 2005
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
Aussies take Sydney, Dutch the World Cup
The Australian track riders have taken out the Sydney round of the World Cup Track Cycling Series which wrapped up on Sunday at the Dunc Gray Velodrome. The Australians ended the three day event with 132 points after claiming four gold, two silver and three bronze medals and six other top ten placings to finish 12 points clear of the Netherlands who won six gold medals in Sydney but only 120 points. But the Dutch had cause to celebrate when they were named the 2005 World Cup winning nation after the four round series.
Queensland's Anna Meares won her second gold of the meet when she attacked the field 350 metres from home for a dominant keirin victory. Her win also earned her the title of keirin World Cup Series champion. "I had planned to go even earlier but they (the other riders) had cottoned onto that so I had to delay a little bit," explained Meares. "Then it was a dilemma as to when to go and what to do.
"Then I thought I'd lead Kerrie (sister) out in front of the hitters but it didn't work out that way either," she explained. "I'm still pretty happy with how it went because keirin racing doesn't go to plan all the time."
In the women's scratch race, it was 18 year old Italian Annalisa Cucinotta who surprised Australian Katherine Bates to take the gold. However, Bates' performance was enough to give her the overall World Cup crown in that event.
Bates rode aggressively throughout but couldn't shake her rivals. "I had a few digs but when I tried one of the others would come with me," said Bates. "It's pretty cool to be World Cup Champion though."
With seven laps of the 40 lap race remaining, China's Yunmei Wu, 20, launched a solo attack but she was reeled in on the last lap with Italian Annalisa Cucinotta sprinting strongly to claim gold ahead of Bates and team mate Rochelle Gilmore, 23. However Gilmore was later relegated to last place for dangerous riding during the race and the bronze was awarded to New Zealand's Catherine Sell.
"I was confident I could bring her back but I didn't want to chase for the last five laps when everyone else swung up," said Bates who found herself out of position in the final lap. "Then on the bell the Italian had un unreal position and you can't win from five back." Bates and Gilmore had been directed by National Endurance Coach to race their own race as part of the selection process for the Australian Cyclones for LA. Gilmore opted to tail Bates knowing she was one of the strongest endurance riders in the field.
"We were told before the race you don't have to work together because but don't get in each other's way," said Bates. "That's fair enough because we all want to go for our spot and Rochelle's more a sprinter so she always rides that way and I like to make the race and control the attacks. With two to go, I'm always on the front and she's always on the wheel, but the stronger I get, the harder it is for her to come around me," she explained.
France claimed the gold and overall World Cup crown in the Team sprint with Gregory Bauge, Arnaud Tournant and Francois Pervis riding 44.837 to defeat Japan's Kazuya Narita, Yusho Oikawa and Kazunari Watanabe (46.526) in the final. Australia finished with bronze when the first time combination of Ben Kersten, Jobie Dajka and Joel Leonard posted 46.267 seconds to beat China's Xinzhu Cheng, Zhiguo and Liheng Yan (47.757).
"I would have liked to go a little bit faster," said Kersten. "But I haven't done any training for this event as the kilometre has been my focus."
Australian Chris Sutton came to grief 101 laps into the 160 lap (40 km) Madison after a handsling change-over went horribly wrong but he remounted his bike and recovered to rejoin partner Richard England. However, they were unable to answer an attack by Ukraine pair Dmytro Grabovskyy and Volodymyr Rybin who lapped the field 52 laps from home and then defended their lead to the end winning the gold on 5 points and a lap advantage over Denmark's Michael Morkov and Alex Rasmussen (23 points) with Great Britain's Mark Cavendish and Thomas White third on 13 points.
"I spent six laps trying to get back up to the top six guys," said England, who had to race alone until Sutton rejoined. "Then when CJ (Sutton) got back in they (the contenders) were driving and it took me 40 laps to fully recover from the previous effort and that's a big chunk of the race."
"It happened at a bad time," said England of the crash which occurred when the Australians were in medal contention. "But that's the luck of the draw - sometimes you come out in front and sometimes you don't."
After scoring three gold medals on day one of the World Cup at the Dunc Gray Velodrome, the Dutch team did exactly the same again on the second day, as well as taking the overall classification of the World Cup series following the third day. On Saturday, Theo Bos impressed with his 200 m qualification time of 10.068 - not only cracking the track record but also the best time of his rival Ryan Bailey. "It's a nice feeling having achieved that," Bos said. "It proves that I'm the fastest at the moment."
The Dutchman also said to his home country newspaper De Telegraaf that he was looking forward to the Los Angeles World Championships. "I'm ready for Los Angeles. My form is good, and I'm sure it's getting even better. During the last month, I've been training in Australia with Tim Veldt, and with the fantastic weather we have been able to work on basic endurance, riding long distances on road. This coming month, I'll focus on my sprint skills, and I hope to feel even better at the end of March at the World's."
Sydney Track World Cup coverage
Cooke out with the flu
Baden Cooke (Francaise des Jeux) could not take the start of the last stage of the Volta ao Algarve, waking up with "the same symptoms as Sandy Casar and Matt Wilson" on Sunday morning. The 'flu, as well as a gum infection made the 2003 Green jersey winner stop the race, but he would not have had the chance to start the last stage in any case, as the peloton had finished 32 minutes behind the winner on the previous day, therefore being eliminated.
Hushovd not sure for Het Volk
Norwegian rider Thor Hushovd was not able to defend his title at the 2005 Classic Haribo on Sunday, February 20. After finishing the Tour Méditerranéen, Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) felt ill and could not train for the last few days. "I tried to get on my bike yesterday," he said to French website velomania.net. "But there was nothing I could do. I couldn't stop coughing. Of course, it's not the end of the world but I am disappointed. I was in good form and did want to win a race soon at the start of this season," he explained.
Hushovd will be consulting his team's doctor to determine if he needs to take antibiotics. He was scheduled to participate in Het Volk and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne next week to prepare for Tirreno Adriatico, but is now unsure whether he will be able to ride at these races.
ProTour logo on ProTeams' jerseys
Fourteen UCI ProTeams have decided to put the UCI ProTour logo on their jersey, demonstrating their commitment to the circuit, the International Cycling Union has announced. "This initiative shows their motivation and reinforces what already seems to be a certainty: the 2005 Road season will be fantastic and have the full support of the teams," the communiqué stated.
Nobili Rubinetterie in Australia
The women's team Nobili Rubinetterie Menikini Cogeas from Italy has arrived in Australia to participate in the Geelong Tour from Tuesday, February 22-24, and in the first World Cup race on Sunday, February 27. "We are one of two teams to come to Australia from Europe for this important event," said manager Walter Zini. "We are here to get a good result. Australia is a real heaven for cycling and to win here would start the season well. In Italy it is very cold at the moment, and I hope the girls don't have to go through any heavy changes of climate again!"
Nobili Rubinetterie will line up in Australia with the Russian Olga Slyusareva, Olympic champion 2004 on track in the points race and winner of the bronze medal on road in Athens 2004, as well as Lithuanian Modesta Vzesniauskaite, Italians Sigrid Corneo, Daniela Fusar Poli, Silvia Valsecchi and Joanne Kiesanowski, New Zealand road and track champion.
Madiot president of AC 2000
Marc Madiot, FdJeux's directeur sportif, has been elected president of the AC 2000 association of French professional cycling teams on Friday, February 18. He will be replacing Roger Legeay (Crédit Agricole), who had taken up the presidency in May of last year and started to put into place a team's charter in accordance with the wishes of those interested.
Kodak Gallery opens training camp
Beginning on Monday, February 21, the Kodak EasyShare Gallery/Sierra Nevada Professional Cycling Team will make its final preparations for the 2005 season at a two-week training camp to be held in Napa, California.
Cycling fans will have a chance to train with the team from February 25-27 at a public camp hosted by Endurance Mill Valley, the official supplier of coaching and performance testing to Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada. Please visit www.endurancemillvalley.com or call (415) 380-9629 for more information.
After the Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada camp concludes on Thursday, March 3, the team will travel to Merced for the McLane Pacific Cycling Classic, March 5-6.
2nd Annual Foothill Century at McLane Classic
The second annual amateur cycling Foothill Century is kicking off the McLane Pacific Cycling Classic weekend on March 5 and 6 in Merced, California. While pro cyclists converge in Merced on the path to international competition, recreational cyclists toting their tandems, trikes, and bikes of all types are invited to enjoy the same sensation.
The Foothill Century is geared toward all skill levels, including three different course lengths and conditions. The 100-mile route welcomes its riders with rolling hills, vineyards, and orchards before a breakfast break at Hilltop Ranch. It then weaves past Turlock Lake to the Don Pedro Dam, overlooking the Tuolomne River Gorge, where all riders can downshift for a snack stop. After refueling, the trail will continue through the old mining town of Merced Falls and on to the final destination in historic Snelling. Total elevation for the 100 mile ride is 3500 feet.
Also on offer is an alternate route totalling 100 km as well as the family favourite, the 13 Mile route. Both beginners and breakneck speeders finish the race seated directly in view of the Downtown Grand Prix races, and will be served plenty of food and drink.
The entry fee for the 100-mile route is $35, and the 100 km ride is $30 if registration is done before February 21. The 13-mile ride is only $20, also registering before February 21. A family of 3 or more on the 13 mile ride pays $40 for the entire family to enter. Late and same day registration is also available for a small additional fee.
More information, directions, and registration are available online at www.mclanepacificcyclingclassic.com
Cape Epic 2005 with Brentjens
With the world’s best mountain bikers at the start, this year’s Cape Epic will be held in South Africa from April 2-9. For the first time, an Olympic Champion, the current number one in the UCI World Ranking and the reigning overall World Cup Champion Cross Country will compete in a mountain bike race in South Africa.
Giant Racing Team rider Bart Brentjens (Ned), the Olympic Champion in Atlanta and Bronze Medallist in Athens, will ride the approximately 850 km through the Western Cape together with his new teammate Roel Paulissen (Bel), the current leader of the UCI World Ranking Cross Country. The Dutch-Belgium Giant Team is a hot favourite for the victory, but they will face strong competition. Siemens Cannondale riders Christoph Sauser (Swi), the 2004 overall World Cup Champion Cross Country and Bronze Medallist at the Olympic Games in Sydney, and Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe), fifth at the 2004 World Cup finals in Livigno, also have ambitions.
Last year’s winners Mannie Heymans (Nam) and Karl Platt (Ger) will start with new partners. African Champion Mannie Heymans (Focus) has teamed up with South Africa’s number one, Jacques Roussow (GT), who placed third in 2004. After winning all three major mountain bike stage races last year (the Epic, TransAlp and TransRockies), Karl Platt will start at the second edition of the Magical and Untamed African Race with his good friend and new Rocky Mountain team partner, the Marathon Worlds Bronze Medallist Carsten Bresser (GER), with whom he already won the adidas Bike TransAlp Challenge in 2002.
Austrian rider Silvio Wieltschnig (Fiat Rotwild), who finished his first Epic on second place overall, will join forces with South Africa’s Kevin Evans (Scott), one of the leading SA mountain bikers, this year.
Hot candidate to win the Women category is team adidas Fiat Bianchi with multiple SA MTB Champion Hannele Steyn-Kotze, who placed third at last year’s adidas Bike TransAlp Challenge, and South Africa’s famous golf pro Zoë Frost, winner of several international Pro Am tournaments as well as two individual and two team US National Championships.
Other mountain bike celebrities participating in the second annual Cape Epic are multiple 24 hour Solo World Champion Chris Etough (USA) as well as mountain bike pioneer Keith Bontrager (USA), who built his first mountain bike frame in 1980 and has contributed immensely to the development of bicycles and parts for the last decades.
For further press information go to www.cape-epic.com
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)