Latest Cycling News for March 1, 2005
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
CPA rejects ProTour Ethical Charter
The Director's Committee of the CPA (Association of Professional Cyclists) held a meeting in Aigle, Switzerland on Saturday, February 25, also attended by UCI president Hein Verbruggen. While CPA president Francesco Moser welcomed the UCI's global cycling reform and reaffirmed the CPA's adherence to it, he also rejected the Code of Conduct signed by the ProTeams. In a press release, the CPA declared the Code to be "beyond the framework of legal jurisdiction, the UCI regulations being restricting and dissuasive enough for the riders."
Furthermore, the CPA stated that if an Ethical Code was to be elaborated, only a document respecting the law and the rights of the riders could be adopted if it was accepted jointly by the CPA, the AIGCP (International Association of Professional Cycling Groups) presided by Manolo Saiz and the AIOCC (International Association of the Organisers of Cycling Races), currently directed by Victor Cordero, organiser of the Vuelta a España.
Last December, the AIGCP submitted the draft of the Ethical Charter to the UCI. Soon after, it was signed by the then existing 19 Proteams, its key measures being the suspension of a rider as soon as a positive test is announced; dismissal of riders confirmed positive and a four-year ban on the hiring by another ProTour team of any rider who tests positive. However, a proposal that teams themselves should be sanctioned if their riders test positive, was abandoned.
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split
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Paris-Nice without Moreau
Christophe Moreau (Crédit Agricole) will not start at this year's Paris-Nice due to a heavy cold, forcing him to take antibiotics. Moreau is hoping to take up training again before the end of the week and join his teammates in a training camp in Issambres, Southeast of France, from March 8-15.
Crédit Agricole has therefore announced the following roster for the first ProTour race: Laszlo Bodrogi, Alexandre Botcharov, Sébastien Joly, Andrey Kashechkin, Jaan Kirsipuu, Benoît Poilvet, Nicolas Vogondy and Bradley Wiggins. Danish team CSC will be led by Jens Voigt, Carlos Sastre and Bobby Julich in the 'race to the sun', dominated by the squad last year as it led Jörg Jaksche to victory. Jaksche has since returned to Liberty Seguros-Würth, whose directeur sportif Manolo Saiz said to Spanish media that he "would like to see one of his riders win the first race of the new calendar." Igor González de Galdeano, Luis León Sánchez, Alberto Contador and of course Jörg Jaksche will try to achieve this goal for him, while an official roster announcement of Liberty-Würth is not yet available.
French team AG2R heads towards Paris-Nice 2005 with Mikel Astarloza, Iñigo Chaurreau, Cyril Dessel, Andy Flickinger, Stéphane Goubert, Jean-Patrick Nazon, Nicolas Portal and Ludovic Turpin.
T-Mobile lines up for Murcia
T-Mobile has cobbled together a team for the Tour of Murcia, even though it admits it doesn't know if two of them will be able to start. Veteran Giuseppe Guerini will lead the team again, babysitting youngsters Marcus Burghardt, Bas Giling and Bernhard Kohl. Eric Baumann joins them for the sprints, and Sergey Yakovlev takes a place. The two "doubtfuls" are Paco Lara, still recovering from a crash in the Tour of Valencia, and Bram Schmitz, who is suffering from a nasty cold.
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer
Northern California Women’s series announced
Bay Area Women’s Cycling (BAWC) has announced its fourth annual Northern California Women's Racing Series sponsored by the Northern California Nevada Cycling Association. This year, BAWC has added a team competition in addition to its usual individual competition in an effort to promote teamwork in racing.
The Racing Series is a points series for female road bicycle racers in categories four and three (beginner and intermediate). It runs from April to September, with prizes awarded to the top ten individuals and top three teams - after the midpoint and final races. The BAWC has also announced extra prizes to the purse at each race. All 12 of the races on the 2005 schedule have separate races and/or placings for the Category four and three women and girls.
"There has been a dramatic increase in women and girls participating in our racing series; an increase of about 125 percent from 2001 to 2004," said Brooke Kuhn, founder of BAWC. "Plus, the number of women and girls that the Racing Series brings to the races encourages promoters to separate the race categories at the races, which the racers like."
Another feature of the Series is that the riders do not need to register in order to participate. "Anyone who competes in any of the races in the series automatically accumulates points for the individual competition," added Kuhn. "Teams must have at least two racers present, and one teammate must place in the top 3, for the team to earn points in the team competition. After the midpoint and final races, BAWC notifies all women and girls of their standings and their prize eligibility."
This year’s Racing Series will include the following races:
April 30: Madera Criterium, Madera, CA
20th Karapoti Classic with record field
The Karapoti Classic Mountainbike race in New Zealand will celebrates its 20th edition on Saturday, March 5, and more than 1200 mountain bikers from 11 countries and all ends of New Zealand have been announced to converge on the Wellington region in order to compete.
The course of the 50 km Classic revolves around three huge hills, each climbing to almost 600 m. Each climb is split by a series of defining elements, such as a two km descent complete with boulders the size of soccer balls and bike-sized drop-offs; a two km long climb up steps; and an eight km descent down a 4WD road.
For 20 years, the course and the organisation behind it have been the benchmark for New Zealand mountain biking. As well as the oldest New Zealand mountain bike event it is also the most prestigious, with a $30,000 prize pool and a world-class field. Past winners have included former world number ones such as American Susan DeMattei. New Zealand’s legendary Kathy Lynch dominated the event with eight wins in the 1990s and has the current women’s record of 2:49:42. Kiwi Olympian Kashi Leuchs, currently among the world’s top 10, holds the men’s record at 2:20:46. Last year, both the men’s and women’s races were dominated by Australians, with two-time world junior champion Lisa Mathison winning the women’s race and then going on to finish 10th at the Olympics.
Both Aussies were set to defend their titles again in the 20th anniversary event, but Hatton recently broke his wrist while Mathison has suffered illness. This leaves their compatriot and 2004 runner-up, Tim Bennett, as favourite for this weekend’s race. Bennett is among Australia’s top 10 mountain bikers, but he will face several previous winners, including Swiss-based Nelsonian Tim Vincent and Christchurch rider Julian Mitchell.
Mitchell won the race in 2000, while Vincent won in 2003 and 2001 and was also a junior winner. But the form Kiwis right now are Blenheim’s Aaron Tuckerman and Upper Hutt’s own Wayne Hiscock. Sixteen of the country’s top 20 riders this season will be at Karapoti, but Tuckerman and Hiscock have been the most consistent. And Hiscock’s local knowledge could see him take out his first win in his hometown event.
The women’s race is also strong, but expected to be dominated by fast-improver Rosara Joseph. The Cantab-turned-Wellingtonian finished third last year in what was her first pro outing. This summer she has dominated the national scene and should be too good for a field that includes Australian endurance specialist Tory Thomas, Canadian adventure racing specialist Emily Miazga, who was third I the recent Coast to Coast, and former Karapoti junior winner Myra Moller.
Rotorua’s Sonia Foote will return to Karapoti with a point to prove after she gave away a certain top three last year to assist her partner Rod Hill, who crashed heavily while holding a top five in the men’s race. Foote and Rod Hill have shown improving form in recent weeks with a view to peaking specifically for the Karapoti Classic.
Organisers offer a $1000 bonus for course records, but Karapoti is also very much a people’s race. The event has traditionally been limited to 1000 riders, but organisers received a massive 1500 applications for the 20th anniversary event so they have extended the entry limit to 1200 for 2005.
Among the 1236 starters will be 11 of the 49 who started the inaugural 1986 event. This includes the first three placegetters and also Upper Hutt doctor, Alistair Rhodes, who is the only person to have completed all 20 Karapoti Classics. Rhodes was the oldest rider in the inaugural 1986 event, but in a touch of irony the 63-year-old general practitioner will be merely the second oldest starting in the 20th anniversary event.
Also among the starters this year will be Wellington’s Kennett brothers, Paul, Simon and Jonathan, who created the Karapoti Classic and have been among the movers and shakers of New Zealand mountain biking ever since. It was the Kennett brothers who created the famous Karapoti culture, turning what was once a hardcore sport for serious cyclists and adventurer-types into an event where the slowest riders are celebrated every bit as much as the elite few who manage to break the magical three-hour mark. But this will be the first time that all three of them have ridden the race together.
For further information, please visit www.karapoti.co.nz
SA’s best converge on Pretoria
More than 1200 riders from all over South Africa converge upon Pretoria this weekend for the South African Road Championships. The Championships kick off at the Telkom Satellite station near Hartbeespoort Dam on Thursday, March 3, with the time trials and then move on to the city setting of Pretoria for the road races.
The championships culminate in the elite road race, which starts at 12:00 on Sunday, March 6. Masses of spectators are expected at Pretoria’s union buildings when the elite racers go up the climb for a total of 19 laps of the 8.4 km course. The final two laps go up the notorious climb of Tom Jenkins at the back of the Union Buildings.
On this circuit, the Barloworld Valsir duo of Ryan Cox and Tiaan Kannemeyer are the firm favourites, especially with Tom Jenkins having to be conquered twice this time around compared to only once when the champs took place on the same circuit in Pretoria four years ago. On that occasion Cox, still riding for German team Cologne, got the gap on the final climb but he was hauled back before the finish line. That year his teammate Kannemeyer got across the finish line first.
In the under 23 road race, which starts at 11:00 on Saturday, defending champion Eckard Bergh (Minolta Konica) will face some fierce opposition from the likes of (first year under 23 rider) John-Lee Augustyn (Minolta Konica) and Hanco Kachelhoffer (Exel). The noted under 23 sprinters such as Leon Nel (Minolta Konica), Juan van Heerden (Tuks) and Chris Esch are going to struggle to hold on when these guys put the hammer down on Tom Jenkins. Nel won the junior SA’s title on the exact circuit in Pretoria where he couldn’t be shaken on the climb four years ago, so it will be interesting to see if he can hold on this time round.
In the ladies’ road race at 8:00 on Sunday morning, Anke Erlank will fancy her chances on the difficult circuit against her main rival Anriette Schoeman. The course certainly favours Erlank, who has honed her climbing skills very well in her mountain biking career.
Team Rubicon fundraiser
Portland, Oregon based amateur team Rubicon is raising funds for its development squad to travel to NRC events to help them further develop their skills as both bicycle racers and an ambassadors of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Rubicon is therefore organising the C.O.D.E/Rubicon Give Away, with top prizes being one complete Cycle Oregon Deluxe Entry (C.O.D.E), a 2005 ORBEA Carbon Fiber Onix and a signed USPS jersey from Lance Armstrong.
To purchase a ticket(s), send check or Money order to: Team Rubicon Attn: David Godfrey 3014 L Street Vancouver WA 98663 Make checks Payable to: Rubicon cycling team
20% of all proceeds to be donated to the Lance Armstrong Foundation. More information on the team can be found on www.trubicon.org/
44th Eddie Soens Memorial Cycle Race
The 44th Eddie Soens Memorial Cycle Race is scheduled to take place on the Aintree Racecourse close to Liverpool, UK, on Saturday, March 5 at 9.30 am. The traditional season-opening event in Merseyside cycling will cover 50 miles (30 laps) of the 'Club Circuit' at Aintree Racecourse. Open to all categories, it will be run on a handicap basis.
The race will cover 30 laps (49.2 miles/81 km). Each lap is 1.64 miles/2.65 km and the course profile is flat.
More information, race manual and entries at www.ccs-uk.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/Soens_Home.htm
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