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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for July 2, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones & Hedwig Kröner

IOC would not object UCI Kilo decision review

The UCI is standing firm behind its decision to suppress from the Beijing Olympics the men's kilo and the women's 500m time trial. Last week, a petition containing 10,679 names was handed to Pat McQuaid, the UCI's president elect, by the editor/publisher of BikeBiz.com, Carlton Reid, and track rider Julie Dominguez.

In a full page article in the UK's Cycling Weekly magazine, published yesterday, McQuaid said he was "livid" at finding himself in what Cycling Weekly called "the centre of an embarrassing controversy." He told Cycling Weekly that his comments, made at the handing over of the petition at the UCI's HQ in Switzerland, were "off the record". According to Reid, he had made explosive comments about the fury of the Beijing Olympic committee, and the inability of the Chinese cycling federation (its best hope of a cycling Gold was in the women's 500m) to find more trackies in a country of billions of cyclists.

His claim from last Thursday that the International Olympic Committee had demanded it was to be track events culled and not road events was swiftly denied by the Switzerland-based IOC. Were the UCI to re-run the survey asking which two cycle events should be culled from the Olympics, there would be no opposition from the IOC.

The current decision was taken after a March 2005 survey of 24 national cycle federations. It is believed many federations voted to exclude the road time trial with only a small proportion voting for the exclusion of the kilo. However, some of the federations surveyed said they were asked to vote on all existing events, and were not told that any votes for a road event would not be counted.

Internal UCI documents show that the UCI had already decided it would be track events culled from the Olympics, not road, Reid reported, So, the inclusion of road events on the March survey calls into question the validity of the survey's results.

Despite many requests from national cycle federations, the UCI has not so far published the survey questions or the full results.

Many national cycling federations are now informally urging the UCI to re-run the survey to find out which two cycling events should be culled from the 2008 Olympics. Track fans can play their part by e-mailing their national federations, of which a list of e-mail addresses can be found at bikebiz.com

MTB World Cup stops in Balneario Camboriu, Brazil

By Steve Medcroft

The UCI World Cup continues this weekend in Balneario Camboriu on Brazil's southern coast about 50 miles north of Florianópolis, the capital of the state of Santa Catarina. The stop is the first UCI mountain bike World Cup ever in South America. Racing kicks off Saturday July 2nd with the fifth race in the UCI World Cup downhill and continues Sunday with men and women's sixth 2005 cross country World Cup.

Due to the difficulty and expense in traveling to South America between two North American World Cups (Mont Sainte-Anne, Quebec June 24-25 and Angel Fire, New Mexico), many top pro cross-country racers are passing on the event. Notably missing are series leader Christophe Sauser (Siemens-Cannondale), Canadian national champion and NORBA series leader Geoff Kabush (Maxxis) and women's cross country sensation, Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain-Business Objects).

Which leaves an open door for riders like Adam Craig (Giant), who came fourth in last week's Mont-Sainte Anne cross country behind three riders who won't be in Brazil, and Gunn-Rita Dahle (Multivan Merida) who, although she never needs anyone to make it easier for her to win, has fallen off her normally dominating form (16 straight World Cup wins before 2005) by losing twice his year only to upstart Premont.

But the race won't be completely smooth going for the favourites. Mixed in amongst the traveling World Cup pro's will be a large field of Brazilian racers. Qualifying at regional events across Brazil, the cross-country race alone seems especially attractive to local racers. More than two thirds of the 70 or so confirmed starters originate from South America.

On the downhill side of things, most of the usual suspects will be making the trip. Series leaders Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) and Tracey Moseley (Kona Les Gets) are both on the start list and expected to do well. As is Greg Minnaar (Team G-Cross Honda) who currently leads the men's downhill series, and Fabien Barel (Kona Les Gets), winner of last week's World Cup in Canada.

But again, as in the cross-country event, there are a number of South American racers looking to make a mark for themselves in downhill. Brazilian Markolf Berchtold said "I go to battle" about his desire to win on his home soil before arriving in Balneario Camboriu on Thursday. Berchtold currently ranks 19th in UCI world rankings. However it ends up, dominated by favourites or falling to a lesser-known regional racer, riders are in for a scenic event. Weekend weather reports call for clear skies in the mid to high seventies.

Check back on Cyclingnews for race reports and pictures as news comes in from Brazil.

Schedule of Events

Saturday, July 2

16:00 - 18:00: 4X Qualifications
10:30 - 13:00: World Cup Downhill Semi Finals
14:00 - 16:00: World Cup Downhill Finals
18:00 - 19:00: World Cup 4-Cross Finals

Sunday, July 3

11:00 - 13:00: Women's World Cup Cross Country
14:00 - 16:15: Men's World Cup Cross Country

Third round of Trials World Cup cancelled

The organisers of the 2005 UCI Trials World Cup in Lausanne took the decision to cancel the third and final heat of the series scheduled for September 10-11. The UCI stated that it regretted the decision, and "will do all it can to ensure that the 2006 UCI Trials World Cup runs without a hitch."

After the first round, which took place in Madrid from May 7-9 this year, the second and therefore last round of the UCI Trials World Cup will be held in Graz (AUT) from July 8-10 this year.

ProTour popular among fans

But teams want more certainty

In a recent survey of European cycling fans, UCI's ProTour has been given the thumbs up for making cycling more attractive and the races more competitive. In June, the Sport Marketing Survey agency asked cycling fans from six different European countries (Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, France and the Netherlands) for their views on the UCI ProTour, which collects the best races on the calendar and forces the best teams to ride them, ensuring a high standard in these races.

According to the survey results, fans think that the UCI ProTour, by guaranteeing participation by the best riders in the great races, makes cycling events more attractive. They are considered to be more competitive. The characteristics commonly associated with the ProTour are "competitive", "elite", "exciting" and "world class".

A majority of cycling fans (88%) plan to follow the UCI ProTour races throughout the season, a figure that rises to 94% in Spain. The most popular riders are Lance Armstrong (USA), Tom Boonen (Bel), Alessandro Petacchi (Ita), Oscar Freire (Spa) and Jan Ullrich (Ger). However, preferences vary enormously depending on the country concerned, national heroes generally being the most popular.

Meanwhile, ANP reports that the ProTour teams want to know for certain whether the three Grand Tours will be part of the ProTour next year. Representatives from the teams informed UCI president Hein Verbruggen of their desire for certainty in Challans on Friday. "The teams want to know as quickly as possible because they want to know how to build their teams for next year," Verbruggen was quoted as saying. "Therefore I have said that the organisers of the three Grand Tours must say before the end of July whether they want to be a part of the ProTour. If not, then the requirement that the top teams have to take part in all three tours will be dropped."

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split

October 4, 2008 - New ASO chief to maintain values
September 26, 2008 - UCI declares peace, appoints new VP
August 30, 2008 - UCI re-signs five ProTour races
August 22, 2008 - ProTour: Bouncing back or lame duck?
August 19, 2008 - Stapleton analyses 'world calendar'
August 18, 2008 - Feedback on 'world calendar'
August 18, 2008 - UCI announces 'world calendar'

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split

UCI doping news

The following riders have been sanctioned for doping offences by their national federations:

Yeisson Delgado (Ven), tested positive for EPO during the Vuelta a Guatemala on October 27 and 29, 2004, sanctioned by Federacion Venezolana De Ciclismo, suspension of 2 years from November 10, 2004 to November 9, 2006, disqualification of the race, fine of CHF1,000.

Jorge Nogaledo Garica (Spa), tested positive for triamcinolone acetonide during the race G.P. Ciudad de Vigo (Spa) on August 22, 2004, sanctioned by Real Federacion Espanola De Ciclismo, warning.

Sara Lindman-Porter (Swe), tested positive for cannabis during the World Masters Championships (Can) on September 5, 2004, sanctioned by Canadian Cycling Association, warning.

Lubos Kejval (Cze), tested positive for HCG during the Hessen Rundfahrt on September 2, 2004, sanctioned by Czech Cycling Federation, suspension of 2 years from October 5, 2004 to October 5, 2006, disqualification of the race, fine of CHF 1,000.

USA Junior Track Nationals in T-Town

The 2005 USA Junior Track Cycling National Championships return to the Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown, Pa. July 6-9 as the country's future crop of track riders compete for stars and stripes jerseys in this annual event. The championships will be held in T-Town for the first time since 2001, featuring events for riders between the ages of 10 and 18 and serving as a selection races for the UCI Junior Track World Championships August 7-14 in Vienna, Austria.

Returning for another stab at a national title are several talented riders in both endurance and sprint-oriented events including defending national champions hoping to repeat their feats from a year ago and podium finishers wishing to improve upon their performances.

In the men's 17-18 sprint events, silver medalist in the kilometre time trial, the keirin and the scratch race last year, Mike Schnabel (Emmaus, Pa.), will return with his eye on bettering those results as well as his third place effort in the points race. Ben Barczewski (Breinigsville, Pa.) will look to repeat as the men's 17-18 scratch race champion and will again be a contender in the keirin and the sprint after taking bronze medals in both events in 2004. With the absence of last year's 18 year-old stars, Michael Blatchford, Ryan Nelman and Aaron Kacala, who combined to win four events in 2004, the sprint event will see a new champion, most likely from Schnabel or Barczewski.

In the men's endurance events, Chris Ruhl (Quakertown, Pa.) returns to defend his title in the points race and will also be a prime challenger in the individual pursuit after last season's fourth place finish. Second in the individual pursuit, and third in both the kilometre time trial and scratch race last year, Daniel Holloway (Morgan Hill, Calif.) will be another marked man in all three events again this year. After graduating from the junior ranks last season, Elliott Gaunt won't be back to defend his title in the junior men's 17-18 pursuit leaving Holloway and Ruhl as the favourites.

In the junior women's 17-18 division, notable names like Kimberly Geist (Emmaus, Pa.) and Natalie Klemko (Bristol, Wis.) return to lead the field. Fresh off her national championship on the road in the criterium, Geist returns to the track to defend three titles from 2004. Geist won the individual pursuit, the points race and the scratch race last year and also placed third in the sprint.

Although Klemko didn't win any events in 2004, she was on the podium in every race. She was the silver medalist in the sprint, 500 meter time trial and individual pursuit, and captured bronze in the scratch and points races. And without Tela Crane returning to defend her titles in the sprint and 500, this could be Klemko's year to stand atop the podium.

In fact, with the absence of Crane and the only other junior women's 17-18 medalists from 2004 besides Geist and Klemko - Mary Geier, Cassandra Osorio-McKenna and Kara Snyder - the field is relatively wide open this year.

While the men's and women's 17-18 categories will compete for national titles in individual events, other national champions will be crowned through an overall omnium points classification. Other categories include junior men's and women's 10-12, junior men's and women's 13-14 and junior men's and women's 15-16.

Moving into the 17-8 ranks this year are last season's overall 15-16 omnium winners Cody O'Reilly (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Cindy Lakatosh (Trexlertown, Pa.). Lakatosh won three of four individual events in 2004 while O'Reilly won two.

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