First Edition Cycling News for January 7, 2005
Edited by Hedwig Kröner and Jeff Jones
Lance pinpoints Classics
In an exclusive NOS-TV interview with Dutch journalist Mart Smeets, Lance Armstrong has given more clues as to his participation in the 2005 Tour de France.
"I don't want to go back," he said when asked if he was to return to the streets of France in July 2005. "I don't know which realisation is greater - do I not want to go back or do I want to do other things? And there are other things that I want to do in cycling." As examples, Armstrong stated the Flemish Classics as the Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold race, which he described as the race "with 300 million turns", Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège or even Paris-Roubaix. "I feel an urgent need to do those races," he said.
Asked if he could imagine the Giro d'Italia or the Vuelta a España on his racing schedule for the coming season, he clearly declined. "I cannot do the Giro because they are trying to prosecute me for sports fraud [referring to his ongoing case involving Filippo Simeoni - ed.], so I'm not going to present myself in that country and give them the photo opportunity that they're dying for."
As for the Vuelta, "The problem is: I do think the Giro is bigger than the Vuelta. The big days, in terms of the people, the emotion, the intensity on the roadside, are the Angliru and the Mortirolo - and the Giro is bigger," he explained. Other competitions he was keeping in mind were the World Championships in Madrid, as well as the hour record on track.
Although the interview was broadcast on January 5, 2005, it took place in November 2004 and therefore does not include any new statements. The Discovery Channel team presentation will be held in Silver Spring, Maryland, on January 10, 2005, where the secret of Armstrong's return to the Tour de France might be lifted. Stay tuned for Cyclingnews' coverage of the event by European editor Tim Maloney.
Round 3 of Track World Cup this weekend
Cyclists from 35 nations will be in action in Manchester this weekend as the city hosts round three of the Track World Cup from January 7-9. Olympic gold medallists and World Champions head the 200-strong entry for cycling’s first major international clash of 2005, which includes 15 Cup events - nine for men and six for women - ranging in distance from 500 metres to 50 kilometres.
Highlights at the indoor Velodrome include Chris Hoy’s first kilometre race since he won the Olympic title in record time almost five months ago. The Scottish powerhouse, who was made an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours, is favourite to take the kilometre time trial on Friday evening. Hoy also contests Sunday’s Japanese Keirin invitation event and is a member of Britain’s Team Sprint squad, alongside fellow Olympians Jason Queally and Craig MacLean.
Olympic pursuit champion Bradley Wiggins, a new OBE, is aiming for success in the endurance events. He faces his toughest test in the points race, where Russia’s Olympic gold medallist and current World Cup leader Mikhael Ignatiev will be the man to beat. Athens medallist Rob Hayles is also targeting the individual pursuit, and a clash with his old rival Sergi Escobar of Spain, who narrowly defeated Hayles in last year’s World Championship final, is on the cards.
The women’s events include the points race where the top three in the World Cup standings, Lyudmyla Vypyraylo (Ukraine), Erin Mirabella (USA) and Alexis Rhodes (Australia) are chasing the overall title. Also competing will be Nicole Cooke (Great Britain) and Katherine Bates (Australia). Bates, who like Cooke is a Commonwealth champion, hit top form in last Easter’s World Cup at Manchester, scoring a pursuit and points race double.
Much interest will be centred on the Keirin, in which Britain’s Victoria Pendleton will aim for a repeat of her round two victory at Los Angeles. Victoria goes into the Keirin with a five-point lead over Germany’s Susann Panzer, with Elisa Frisoni of Italy a further point in arrears. Clara Sanchez, the World Champion in the discipline, makes her World Cup 2004/5 debut.
Sunday will see the special Japanese Keirin, sponsored by the Japan Keirin Association, with stars from around the world bidding for a slice of the £45,000 prize fund.
Irish team announced for Langkawi
By Shane Stokes, Irishcycling.com
Cycling Ireland has named the seven riders who will take part in this month’s Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia. FBD Milk Rás winner David McCann and Paul Griffin will return from last year’s squad, while Paul Healion’s strong showing in the recent Herald Sun Tour has earned him the nod.
Stephen Gallagher will prepare for his second season with the Flanders Afincom team by riding the race. The squad is completed by three promising young riders, namely Paídi O’Brien, Sean Lacey and the new Irish cyclo-cross champion Roger Aiken.
The tenth edition of the Malaysian Tour will begin on the island of Langkawi on January 28. The race will pass through nine states and cover a total distance of 1281.1 kilometres, with summit finishes at Tanah Merah and Genting Highlands. This year’s route will feature a number of new towns including Kepala Batas, Bachok, Kuala Berang and Maran, and will conclude on February 6 with the now-customary Kuala Lumpur criterium.
Now ranked as a 2.HC event, the Tour de Langkawi boasts its strongest ever lineup this year. A number of top professional squads including Discovery Channel, Liberty Seguros, Crédit Agricole, Colombia-Selle Italia, Navigators Insurance and Ceramiche Panaria-Navigare have already been confirmed, with more teams to be announced shortly.
The Team Ireland squad ensured their participation through a strong performance twelve months ago. David McCann was best finisher in 14th place, with Philip Deignan 16th. The ride helped Deignan secure a pro contract for the 2005 and 2006 seasons with Mark Scanlon’s Ag2R Prevoyance team.
CSC supports tsunami victims
As many other companies, organizations and individuals, Team CSC is trying to support the victims of the tsunami disaster in Asia. The Danish team is donating a signed jersey and a 2004 Kurt-Asle Arvesen bike, which are available for purchase on through the following Danish websites:
2004 Jersey signed by Bjarne Riis and all 27 riders from this season: QXL (deadline January 15) at my.qxl.dk/accdb/viewItem.asp?IDI=15667569.
2004 Kurt-Asle Arvesen Cervelo bike size 54, no pedals: Denmarks Radio (deadline January 7) at www.lauritz.com/s_j/4.asp?itemid=407327&lang=1.
Unfortunately for non-Scandinavian persons, the websites are in Danish and the price in Danish Kroner (1 Euro = 7.44 Danish Kroner).
Tsunami 12-12 effort in Diksmuide
This Saturday, January 8, recreational cyclists will gather in the Belgian coastal town of Diksmuide for a fund-raising ride to help the victims of the tsunami in southeast Asia. There will be numerous well known riders present, including Filip Meirhaeghe, who will lead a mountain bike ride at 9:30am, Peter Van Petegem, Johan Museeuw, Nico Mattan, Ludo Dierckxsens, Leif Hoste, Stijn Devolder, Cedric Vasseur, Bert Roesems, Andy Cappelle, Dave Bruylandts, Jurgen Vandewalle, Jurgen Van Loocke, Nick Nuyens, Evy Vandamme, Sebastien Rosseler, Serge Baguet, Niko Eeckhout, Freddy Maertens, Eric and Roger De Vlaeminck, complete with the Zimbabwean cyclo-cross team, Michel Pollentier, Stan Tourné and many more.
Riders will meet in Diksmuide's Grote Markt in the morning, with MTB riders going off for a 40 km spin and the road riders doing 55 km. There will be plenty of non-cycling action as well, with a children's playground in the Boterhalle, where drinks, soup and pancakes can also be acquired; snack and gin bars in the Grote Markt; a raffle and a cycling auction; and cartoonist Nesten will sell his work with all proceeds going to the Tsunami 12-12 fund.
Fuji donates bikes to tsunami effort
Fuji Bicycles has joined the worldwide tsunami relief efforts by donating mountain bikes to the emergency and disaster relief workers in Southeast Asia. Recognizing both the immediate and long-term requirements of this relief effort, Fuji will donate 50 bikes each year for the next three years. Fuji hopes these bikes will help nurses and health care service providers reach the more remote and disaster-ridden areas in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the other countries whose coastlines were devastated by the December 26 9.0 earthquake and tsunami.
As with countless other people from all over the globe, the employees at Fuji responded to the urgent need for assistance after finding themselves feeling helpless, not knowing the best way to help the victims of the tragedy.
"This company has a great soul," said Karen Bliss, Fuji Bicycles Marketing Communications Manager. "I am so proud to be working with such a compassionate group of people. It truly was amazing the way this initiative came together. The tragedy is so unfathomable. The images are so heart-wrenching. We just all felt that we needed to do something and instead of sitting around talking about it, we developed a plan."
In a collaborative effort, Fuji Bicycles will join the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy in getting the bicycles to Asia through the proper channels. "Bicycles are extremely valuable in helping deliver health care, especially when medical staff has to reach many people in difficult conditions," said Aimee Gauthier, African Program Manager at ITDP. "We are working with Fuji to help get the bicycles directly to the relief workers who need them most."
ITDP is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable and equitable transportation in developing countries, including providing health care workers with bicycles, improving conditions for cyclists, and improving access to better quality bicycles. More information is available at www.itdp.org.
Bicycles can also help those who are managing camps serving displaced people be more mobile around the area and respond more quickly to emergencies. In Indonesia, 11,000 people are living in six camps because their homes and villages have been destroyed.
Havukainen joins Iron Horse/Mad Catz
Iron Horse Bicycles has signed 20-year old professional downhill racer Justin Havukainen. Justin will join the Iron Horse/Mad Catz Factory Race Team for the 2005 season and contest the UCI World Cup Series, US Open, US National Championships, select NCS Races, and the Sea Otter Classic.
Justin joins the 2005 Iron Horse/Mad Catz roster along with 2004 Australian National Champion, 2004 US Open Champion, and 2-time Junior World Champion Sam Hill of Perth, Australia. In 2004, Justin had several top 10 UCI World Cup finishes, finishing 15th overall in the series. Justin lives in Australia and has the unique advantage of holding dual citizenship for the United States and Australia, allowing him to compete at the 2005 US National Championships at Mammoth, CA.
Tuscany bids for 2008 World's
The community of Peccoli (Lucca) in the well known Italian region of Tuscany will present its bid to host the 2008 World Road Championships at a press conference in Florence next Tuesday, January 11. Although the bid is focused on 2008, the region is willing to accommodate a three year window in order to host the World's.
Vice president of the UCI, Agostino Omini, will look at the proposed courses in Peccoli next Monday, while the honorary president of the FCI Alfredo Martini and national technical director Franco Ballerini will also be present.
Kansas hosts 2005-2007 Collegiate National Championships
The University of Kansas and KLM Marketing Solutions will host the US Collegiate Road National Championships for the next three years, USA Cycling announced today. The event was originally intended for New Haven, Connecticut, but when the promoter ran into some unforeseen issues, the '05 Nationals were left without a host. The KU Cycling Club and KLM Marketing Solutions stepped in and despite having only five months to plan, the preparations are well under way.
Competition will consist of a road race, criterium, and team time trial offering challenges to riders of all calibres. The road course is a 23 mile loop around Lake Perry. "It's a very hilly and challenging course," said KLM Marketing Solutions President Bill Marshall. "Anyone who says Kansas is flat has only driven their car there - not ridden a bike."
Colavita training camp in February
US based Colavita Olive Oil / Sutter Home Pro Cycling Team will hold a training camp in Napa, CA from February 24 - March 3, 2005. Competing for the team during the 2005 season will be:
Sebastian Alexandre (Arg), Gustavo Artacho (Arg), Ian Ayers (USA), Davide Frattini (Italy), Juan Jose Haedo (Arg), Todd Herriott (USA), Mark McCormack (USA), Aaron Olson (USA), Jonathan Page (USA), Derek Wilkerson (USA) and Tyler Wren (USA).
Pacesetter Steel Service Cycling Team created
Pacesetter Steel Service, the US leader in coated steel distribution, has teamed up with Atlanta, GA, USA based elite amateur cycling team to form the 2005 Pacesetter Steel Service Cycling Team. The team will be presented by Colorado Altitude Training, developers of altitude training systems.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)