First Edition Cycling News for June 14, 2005
Edited by John Stevenson
Tour de Suisse stage 3 wrap
Two seconds between McGee and Ullrich
After Australian Bradley McGee (Francaise des Jeux) won yesterday's third stage of the Tour of Switzerland into St. Anton, Austria just two seconds separate him from German race leader Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile). Time bonuses ate into Ullrich's pre-race margin of 15 seconds, as he struggled for position in the finish dash. Meanwhile, up front, McGee overtook Patrick Sinkewitz (Quick Step) and Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) in the finale, with Mirko Celestino (Domina Vacanze) following him in for second place.
McGee said the win was compensation for being beaten by Ullrich the previous day. "I'm very happy to have won the stage in a sprint," he said. "I came this race to win the time trial and so I was a little bit disappointed to finish second behind Jan Ullrich yesterday but winning today makes up for it. I felt pretty good on the climb and then played my chances in the sprint."
But McGee was unfazed about not taking the leader jersey. "The fact that I'm still two seconds behind Ullrich is a little present for my teammates. Now they don't have to defend the jersey. T-Mobile can keep doing that," he said.
Stage wins are nice, and this is the second victory for McGee's team in three days after Bernard Eisel won the opening stage, but McGee's sights are on the Tour de France, where he will be overall leader of the Francaise des Jeux team for the first time.
Jan Ullrich is similarly thinking about July. "I did what I could to keep the race lead and it worked," he said. "I'm happy to have to have the jersey for a second day but defending it all the way to the end of the race is not a priority. As I said after winning yesterday, my priority is the Tour de France."
Davitamon Lotto teams
The Davitamon Lotto team has announced that Leon Van Bon will not ride in this year's Tour de France, which starts on July 2. He will be replaced by Wim Vansevenant.
The team also announced its line-up for several other imminent races. For the Pro Tour Team Time Trial in Eindhoven, Netherlands, June 19, the team will field Serge Baguet, Jan Kuyckx, Bjorn Leuckemans, Koos Moerenhout, Bert Roesems, and Johan Vansummeren,
Three days later at Brussel-Ingooigem (June 22), Davitamon Lotto will be represented by Frédéric Amorison, Wim De Vocht, Bart Dockx, Jan Kuyckx, Nico Mattan, Gert Steegmans, Peter Van Petegem, and Johan Vansummeren.
Voigt to represent riders
The Professional Cyclists Association has announced that it has selected CSC rider Jens Voigt as its representative on the UCI ProTour Council (UPTC). Voigt will represent riders alongside Francesco Moser while José Luis Rubiera will act as a substitute.
The Spanish Spiuk team has announced its line-up for several forthcoming races.
For the Subida al Naranco, June 15 and the Vuelta Ciclista a Asturias, June 17-21, the team will field Aitor Pérez Arrieta, Jorge Ferrío Luque, Fernando Torres Martín, Alfonso Rodríguez García, Ángel Rodríguez García, Enrique Salgueiro Alonso, Jesús Pérez Priego, and José Alberto Benítez Román.
Meanwhile, the team will also campaign the Circuito Montañés, June 15 to 21 where it will field Sergio Domínguez Rodríguez, Jesús Javier Ramírez Torres, Jorge Sánchez Pimienta, Israel Pérez Rodríguez, Francisco Javier Aguilar Pozo, and Pedro Romero Ocampo.
Bates weighs in as kilo petition nears 4000
Almost 4000 people have signed the on-line petition calling on the UCI to reconsider its decision to drop the men's kilometer and women's 500m time trials from the cycling program at the Olympic Games (see previous news stories here and here). One of the most recent signatories is Australian race promoter Phill Bates, a member of the UCI track commission from 1993 to 2001. During that period, the UCI introduced the track World Cup series, which helped to raise the profile of track cycling.
"I am totally amazed by the decisions made concerning track cycling on the world front," Bates told Cyclingnews in an email, calling the decision "horrific" and "a disgrace".
The women's 500m time trial was one of four events introduced to the Olympics for the 2000 Games, says Bates, along with team sprint, Madison, and keirin. "It was an extremely well balanced program," he said. While Bates said he and other track advocates would have preferred an even greater expansion to the program, "12 medals, four women and eight men was a good improvement on just the eight before. We had achieved four events for male sprinters, two for female sprinters, and four endurance events for men and two for women.
"And track cycling has blossomed ever since that announcement in 1997."
Bates is dismayed not just at the decision itself but at the lack of disclosure of the reason for it. "Not one word from the UCI Management or the Track Commission as to their reasons," he said. "Just the straight statement - the kilometre time trial is axed after 80 years and the women's 500m time trial is as well."
In the past, the track commission has explained the reasons for its decisions, said Bates, citing the dropping of tandem events from the world championships track program because of the increased number of crashes on smaller tracks, and the reduction of the keirin from an eight-man to a six-man race, again to try and reduce crashes. "We gave reasons for such decisions," said Bates.
Like almost everyone who has examined this decision, Bates is mystified at its failure to achieve International Olympic Committee aims of keeping down the numbers of athletes and venues needed to stage a Games.
"Does it reduce the number of competitors?" he said. "No, you need three riders to race the team sprint and traditionally the kilometre rider backs up for this event as the final rider. So why axe it?
"The women, it is invariably the sprinter that will also contest the time trial event, so why axe it? The IOC will not be reducing the numbers of competitors.
"Is it hard to understand? It is the one event that the general public understands. So why axe it?
"Is it too time consuming? Well, its all over in 30-50 minutes and is just the one race - not like the sprint that takes two to three days to complete. So why axe it?"
Bates believes the writing was on the wall for the kilo and 500m and that they will survive long after being dropped from the Olympic schedule.
"In hindsight, the most recent decision of the UCI to reduce the World Track Championships to four days and clash the keirin with the kilometre on the same night suggests that deep down the writing was on the wall for the time trial event," he said. "It is obvious that the UCI was hell bound to eliminate this event from the program. After all, how long did the team time trial remain on the road championship program after being dropped from the Olympics? The same will happen with the track time trials."
Bates said it was a shame that "eighty years of history can be eliminated overnight. In years to come the Dunc Gray Velodrome, the site of the Sydney Olympics and named after Australia's 1932 Olympic champion in the kilometre, will forever keep the name but the event will disappear into oblivion if the UCI has its way.
"I am glad I was not associated with the UCI Track Commission at the time of this horrific decision," Bates concluded. "It is a disgrace."
Devolder to ride Diksmuide
Discovery Channel's Stijn Devolder is the latest rider to sign up for the post-Tour Natour Broker Criterium, July 26 in Diksmuide, Belgium.
For more information see www.criteriumdiksmuide.be
Night downhilling comes to Powys, Wales
July 30-31 sees the third round of the Fat Face Night Series in Moelfre, Powys, Wales. The weekend's racing will be the fourth round of the UK National Point Series and 350 are expected to race in the downhill and night-time four-cross events.
Top UK riders scheduled to race for over £5,000 in prize money include Gee Atherton (Giant Racing) current British downhill champion and reigning NPS downhill champion; Dan Atherton (Giant Racing) current national 4x champion and Scott Beaumont (Kona Beaumont Racing) reigning NPS 4X champion.
For more information see www.fatface.com.
Memorial for rider killed by sleeping driver
Longmont, Colorado riders are holding a memorial ride for local cyclist Scott Kornfield, a 28 year old rider who was killed by a motorist who had fallen asleep at the wheel on Memorial Day.
The ride will be held in Longmont, Thursday, June 16. Riders will meet at 6pm at Silver Creek High School on Nelson Rd. between 75th & Airport, Longmont. Nathan Gillman-LLerandi, a friend of Kornfield who was riding with him when the crash took place will speak briefly before the ride's 6:30 pm start.
For more information see www.innervoiceartstudio.com
David Betts dinner
Friends and supporters of Team Tenax rider David Betts are organizing a benefit dinner this Saturday June 18 to help Betts with the legal fees he incurred earlier this year in order to race in Italy. The young Australian rider ran into a spot of bother when he inadvertently arrived in Italy without his paperwork fully in order. He was eventually allowed to remain and race in the country, but the process put a substantial hole in his finances.
The dinner at the Corner of Wayland St & Turner Rd, Kedron, Queensland costs $25 and will include auctions of signed jerseys from David and Olympic gold medalist Anna Meares.
For tickets contact Jeremy Betts on 0407 968 446 or email@example.com.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)