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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for July 6, 2005

Edited by John Stevenson and Les Clarke

2006 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under route revealed

Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Liberty Seguros), winner of the 2005 JCTDU
Photo ©: CN
Click for larger image

The race that kicks off the international professional road cycling season, the 2006 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, will feature some new towns along the route as the race gains momentum in the Australian sporting claendar.

South Australian Tourism Minister, Jane Lomax-Smith, revealed that Mawson Lakes, Stirling and Yankalilla will for the first time host stages of the 2006 event, to be held from Tuesday, January 17 until Sunday, January 22.

The Minister also revealed an Australian angle on the traditional leader's jersey. In past years, the JCTDU leader's jersey had followed Tour de France tradition and been a shade of bright yellow, but for next year it will be 'ochre', an earthy, orange-brown colour that is widely used by Aboriginal artists.

Ms Lomax-Smith said, "The event has matured and now has a leader's jersey in a colour that represents Australia.

"The colour ochre is strongly associated with Australia and the Tour wanted to create something unique that will be identified on the world stage.

The Minister said the increasing profile of the race had resulted in almost 12,000 international and national visitors attending the 2005 event, generating an economic benefit to the State of AUS$13.2M.

"The success of this high-profile cycling event with thousands of tourists has allowed South Australia to push cycling like never before. We expect an increase in visitors in 2006 because of additional activity at the Tour de France and partnerships with cycling tour operators," she says.

Oppy!
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Click for larger image

"Our very own bicycle-riding kangaroo character named 'Oppy', sent to France to promote the State during the Tour de France, is reportedly a huge hit and the most popular entrant in the Tour de France pre-race publicity caravan.

"Hand-outs and competitions promoting South Australia and the race are being distributed to the millions of spectators who line the streets of France each day of the race."

For more information see www.tourdownunder.com.au.

2006 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under Stages

Stage 1 - Tuesday, January 17: East End Adelaide Street Race, 50 km
Stage 2 - Wednesday, January 18: Mawson Lakes to Angaston, 148 km
Stage 3 - Thursday, January 19: Stirling to Hahndorf, 146 km
Stage 4 - Friday, January 20: Strathalbyn to Yankalilla, 154 km
Stage 5 - Saturday, January 21: Willunga to Willunga, 147 km
Stage 6 - Sunday, January 22: Adelaide City Council Circuit, 90 km

Wauters "back" to Cycling school

Rabobank rider Marc Wauters has announced the end of his career as a professional cyclist will take place after the 2006 season. The Belgian veteran will stay true to his Dutch team until then, but already has plans for 2007. "I'll continue for one more year because I like it so much, but there's a new challenge waiting for me. In Zolder, Belgium, they are planning a cycling school which I am to coordinate," he said.

McGee offers 2003 TdF yellow jersey for auction

Brad McGee
Photo: © Jeff Tse

Bradley McGee’s signed 2003 Tour de France maillot jeune he won in the opening prologue is finally up for grabs in an online auction to raise funds for research into children's health.

After the prologue, McGee went on to hold the yellow jersey for another three days at the beginning of the 'Centenary Tour'. A jersey from this successful campaign has been signed, framed and presented with images of McGee racing and wearing the yellow jersey.

McGee announced back in December last year he would be donating this cherished jersey to help a Sydney children's hospital (see report).

George Gregan,
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
Click for larger image

The jersey is being offered to support a cause highlighted by George Gregan, the captain of Australia's national rugby union team, the Wallabies. Gregan donated his record-breaking Wallaby jersey worn in his 102nd test match – surpassing David Campese’s Australian Test match record of 101 tests - to the neurology department of The Children’s Hospital in Westmead, Sydney.

McGee said he was inspired by Gregan’s generosity and decided to contribute to the cause by donating his yellow jersey from the 2003 Tour.

The latest bid for the jersey is at AUS$2060 and the auction will run until July 25.

Ventura's charity ride

July 21 will be a special night for Northbrook Velodrome, with a special appearance by former US Postal Service team rider Robbie Ventura in aid of his friend, David Young.

A few weeks ago, David, a Wisconsin resident and cyclist in the area, lost his leg in a motorcycle accident. David was a regular participant at the Ed Rudolph velodrome, so on Thursday, July 21 the velodrome will host the "David Young Night". Ventura has agreed to race, and the velodrome will be welcoming donations to pay for David's medical expenses as he had no medical insurance. Also on that night, Chicago's XXX Racing-Athletico will be sponsoring the junior race.

There's a full programme over the coming weeks, and all local racers and enthusiasts in the area are encourage to attend.

For more details visit: www.northbrookvelodrome.org

Fraser looking for more Superweek success

Gord Fraser, Ottawa-born and at 37 still number one in the US, has this season been steadily adding to his record total of more than 200 victories on his way to another National Racing Calendar (NRC) title. The Tucson-based star of Health Net is also on his way back north to try to add to his winning record in BC Superweek for the third straight year.

In 2003, he won the Tour de Gastown with one of his trademark final lap sprints out of the pack. In 2004, he helped teammate Tyler Farrar finish second in Gastown and win the White Spot Road Race in the Tour de Delta. Fraser also picked up another BC Superweek victory in Delta's Lehigh Cement Criterium with a rocket-launched sprint to the finish line. This year he's won nine of 40 races and is dueling with teammate Chris Wherry for the NRC title as king of the US Pro circuit - a title he won in 1999 and 2000.

Despite his success in BC Superweek, Fraser finds it tougher to win each year he comes to Vancouver. He loves the variety and toughness of each of the courses and the time off between the three big races in Delta, Gastown and White Rock. "I'm super excited to get up there each year," he says. "It's so well organised. The crowds are great and really get you pumped up in Delta and Gastown, and the course in White Rock is so tough. So is the competition. The top US teams come up there and think we can relax. It's a real shock to the system to find how fast the Canadians are and how motivated they are each year. We (Health Net) think we can do it again this year but it won't be easy. There are a lot of other good US teams and Symmetrics is going to be really tough."

Health Net has near home course advantage, with 21-year-old Farrar living in Bellingham, Washington and considering Vancouver a home away from home. "We come up there all the time," he says. "I feel comfortable and familiar with everything around there. Gastown is a cool place and a cool race but my favourite is Delta. I love the crit in Ladner and they've got an awesome road course. White Rock is one of the hardest courses we do all year. I tell everybody that BC Superweek is the most fun two weeks of racing of the entire year."

He credits his phenomenal success in last year's BC Superweek to a few training and tactical tips from his mentor, Gord Fraser. They turned his season around. Inspired by his victories in BC, Farrar added to his reputation as the best young rider in the US by winning the criterium and road race at the US Under-23 championships. He went to Europe and won twice in France and Belgium. This year he's won four times despite breaking his collarbone twice; the first time after being hit by a car in a training run and then going down in a pileup during a race. He's healthy and peaking in time for his third straight BC Superweek.

Health Net is one of several top ten US Pro teams that will be racing in Delta, Gastown and White Rock. They include Navigators, led by Kirk Obee who finished fifth in the 2005 US Pro Championships, Jittery Joes, with their man Tim Johnson, who finished ahead of Fraser at the US Pros, and Subway Express, starring Aussie Cameron Hughes, who is one 'tough son of a gun' according to Fraser.

MDonnelly Junior Tour set to go

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

The clock is counting down to the start of the MDonnelly Junior Tour next Tuesday in Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland

Race organiser Alice Sherratt has been making final preparations before the 27th edition of the JT hits the roads of Connacht.

Sherratt explained, "it's all systems go as we are finalising arrangements for teams coming from abroad. The race has a significant part to play in the development not only of on the domestic scene but far beyond our shores. After all, there aren't many events that can lay claim to having notched up World Championship gold medal winners."

"There have been highs and lows in the last couple of days. I was sure that Ian Stannard would be back to defend his title and into the bargain create a unique piece of history for himself by being the first person to win back-to-back Junior Tours and what's more Martin Donnelly ones."

"Ian has been decided to race at another location. He has been a fine ambassador for the JT and I wish him well in the future. He won the 37th Tour du Pays de Vaud Junior International stage race a couple of weeks ago - it's regarded as a biggie, but life goes on and we'll get on with the business of getting out of the starting blocks next Tuesday in Castlebar,"

At the weekend, Martin Munroe gave notice that he'll be a serious contender when he finished high up in Ras Connachta, with some serious hitters taking part in the event.
Reliable sources believe young Munroe was looking forward to locking horns with Stannard, but many are sure that irrespective of the opposition, he'll be a serious contender for overall honours.

Olympic and world champion sprinters set to come to Barlick

Olympic and World Champions Chris Hoy, Craig MacLean and Victoria Pendleton have confirmed their participation in the Science in Sport Sprint Challenge later this month in Lancashire, UK.

The Challenge takes place between 11am and 12pm on Sunday, 17th July on closed sections of Skipton Road, Barnoldswick, Lancashire (beside Rolls Royce Sports Field) and will feature some of the country's best track sprinters.

Eighteen riders will go head-to-head down a 500m section of closed road. The Challenge is taking place on the same day as the 100-mile Tour of Pendle and Ribble Valley - part of the Premier Calendar of British Cycling and starts at the Rolls Royce Sports Field.

Barnoldswick Cycle Fair is also taking place on the sports field on the same day. The Tour, The Challenge and Barnoldswick Cycle Fair are all part of the Pendle and East Lancashire Bike Fest 2005 which is designed to promote cycling to the local community.

For a full list of events at the Festival, please visit www.pendlebikefest.com

Youth and junior nationals preparations at Newport

On Wednesday July 20, www.agiskoviner.com, in conjunction with Prime Coaching, has booked a preparation session at Newport Velodrome for youths and juniors prior to their National Championships at Newport in August. It's being run from 12-4pm at a cost of £10.00

The session will cover most aspects of track racing and is extended to categories U12, U14, U16 and Junior

Advance entries can be sent to: John Percy - email: john@cyclesportcoach.org

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