First Edition Cycling News for November 2, 2005
Edited by John Stevenson & Les Clarke
An interview with Fred Rodriguez: Fast Freddie focuses on young riders
Fred Rodriguez knows how hard the journey to the top echelon of professional cycling is - and he wants to make sure the young riders following his generation of successful American racers have at least as much support, if not more, in doing so. That is why he is backing a new developmental program emerging in his home region of Northern California. Cyclingnews' North American Editor Mark Zalewski checks in with Fast Freddie to get the lowdown on his plans for junior riders.
Together with the support of Charlie Moore of McGuire Realty, and Laura Charameda of the local junior project Team Swift, a new developmental outlet for junior racers is set to emerge; the goal is to give young American riders the opportunity to make the transition from amateur to professional racer. "Back when I was an amateur we had a lot of feeder developmental programs for the national team, where they allowed us time to work with the national program and support us in our area," says Rodriguez. "For me it was Paul Mitchell/Spago. They basically supported me while I was home and allowed me to keep racing, and further develop myself with the national team. The pprogramriority for them was development."
Except for a very few programs in the U.S., like the largely successful TIAA/CREF scheme, directed by a fellow product of Rodriguez's generation Jonathan Vaughters, there is a lack of infrastructure to support riders when they are at the crucial stages before embarking on a career of racing. The times have simply changed, and Fast Freddie wants to bring the support structure back. "There were a lot of programs at the time - amateur programs is what they were called then, and there were [separate] pro teams. Now that everything has basically gone pro there has been a lack of focusing on just development, because it falls into the category of supporting your sponsors. Now a lot of the programs are about having a pro team and there are mixed signs for the developing riders. So what we want to do is have a direct path with what I feel, being one of the guys who made it to the division 1 racing of cycling, and what I feel it takes to get there - the right path."
Click here for the full interview.
Gustov and Cuesta to CSC
The CSC team has announced that Volodymir Gustov and Inigo Cuesta will join the team for 2006, filling the remaining two spots on its 30-rider roster. Both riders come to CSC on the recommendations of existing members of the team.
Ukrainian Gustov joins CSC after six years Fassa Bortolo on the recommendation of former team-mate Ivan Basso, while 36-year-old Cuesta formerly rode for Saunier Duval and was given the nod by countryman Carlos Sastre.
"Obviously, I'll listen when our top guys make suggestions for new riders, and that's been the case with these two final additions to the team," team manager Bjarne Riis said of the new signing. "We're talking about two strong riders, who fit very well into our schedule for next season, where we have a lot of stage races and hilly classics on the menu. Both Gustov and Cuesta come from big teams and bring along a lot of experience. Cuesta was one of the main profiles on the Cofidis Tour team while Gustov is still quite young and could develop further on our team."
Riis is very happy with the 2006 squad. "It's a big and very diverse line-up, and following this seasons fantastic results, we have a lot to live up to," he said. "We've never had such a strong team and next year we'll allow ourselves to have great expectations in both the classics and the big stage races. We have eight new and exciting riders on our team and I'm really looking forward to integrating them. We want to put our mark on the season from the beginning till the very end and I believe we have a lot to look forward to."
New riders joining Team CSC in 2006 are: Volodymir Gustov, Inigo Cuesta, Stuart O'Grady, Kasper Klostergaard, Karsten Kroon, Fabian Cancellara, Marcus Ljungqvist and Martin Pedersen.
Armstrong stops web squatters
The World International Property Organisation (WIPO) yesterday awarded the Lance Armstrong Foundation control of three domain names that include the 'livestrong' slogan popularised by the foundation's yellow fund-raising bracelets.
The three domains - www.livestrongbracelets.net, www.talk-livestrong.com and mylivestrong.com - were registered by Chris Angeles of West Covina, California. WIPO found that Angeles had no rights in the 'Livestrong' trademark and in using the domain names for websites that sold custom silicone bracelets and replicas of the LAF's Livestrong bracelets he had registered and used the domain name in bad faith.
Landis to ride Giro as Savoldelli aims for number three
Following the announcement of next year's Tour de France route, Phonak's Floyd Landis has signalled his intention to ride next year's Giro d'Italia as "a perfect warm-up for the Tour". Landis, who will almost certainly go into next year's Tour as Phonak's co-captain, will ride the Italian race to gauge where he's at in his preparations for another crack at la Grande Boucle.
He'll be up against this year's Giro winner Paolo Savoldelli, who has indicated the Giro will be his principal objective in 2006. He'll be aiming for his third victory in Italy's grand tour, and Discovery boss Johan Bruyneel is confident in Savoldelli's ability to take a third overall win, saying, "Paolo possesses the physical qualities to take the win. He's good against the clock, and an equally good climber... as an Italian, he has to make the Giro a priority."
Skil-Shimano starts two pro careers
The Skil-Shimano team has signed two young German riders for their first professional contracts. Paul Martens (22) has signed a two-year contract with the team and Christoph Meschenmoser (also 22) has inked a one-year deal.
Both riders have had promising careers in the junior and under-23 ranks and the team says they chose to sign with Skil-Shimano because of its emphasis on developing young talent. Martens is under-23 German national time trial champion and won the 2005 'Radbundesliga' under-23 series, including a victory in the Harzrundfahrt, considered one of the hardest races in the series.
Meschenmoser was junior world champion in the individual pursuit in 2001 but was out of action for most of 2004 after a severe crash at the end of 2003. In 2005, however he made a successful comeback that included 14th on general classification in the Niedersachsen-Rundfahrt.
Martens and Meschenmoser join René Weissinger in Skil-Shimano's German contingent and the team intends for its 2006 race program to include a substantial share of German races for these riders.
Big 'cross weekend coming in Verge MACC series
This weekend sees another double fixture in the Verge Mid Atlantic Cyclocross Series, with C2-class races at Camp Hill, near the Pennsylvania Capital of Harrisburg, will be followed by a C2 race in Highland Park on the same course used for last year's US Grand Prix of Cyclocross. Todd Wells won both races last year and is heading East for the first time this year to defend his record.
Wells will be joined by his brother, Troy, a member of the new cyclocross team sponsored by TIAA-CREF financial services. Other favourites include Kona's Ryan Trebon and Barry Wicks, who have combined to be the most dominant team in America this year. Trebon will miss Saturday's race to attend his best friend's wedding, but will be at Highland Park looking for revenge after losing last year's duel with Wells.
On the women's side, Defending champion and points leader West Virginian Betsy Schauer of FORT/GPOA! will try to stave off Virginia's Melanie Swartz (Square Coppi/Van Dessel) and Idaho's Georgia Gould (Kona).
Saturday's "Lower Allen Classic" is a benefit for the Lower Allen Community Park where the race is held. In the race's short history, it has already raised $3500 (US) for the park. It is a classic east coast park course, fast with lots of grass and tight technical sections. Sunday's race at riverside course in Highland Park is even faster. With generous use of paved cycle paths in the park, it's normal to see long strings of riders trading pulls. But the course also features two nasty run-ups. Both races are excellent spectator races with heavy local promotion and great visibility. According to Mike Hebe, promoter of the Camp Hill race, "95 to 100% of Camp Hill's track can be seen from a number of locations, plus we have a huge fun-fort and playground for the children. Over at Highland Park, they also have a playground and they've got a great set of run ups set side-by-side, but one is at the beginning of the lap and one is about halfway around."
Both events will include a full program of amateur races including kids races. Saturday's Lower Allen Classic will accommodate beginner ("C" Men & "B" Women) classes for an entry fee of just $10, and 10-16 juniors for just $5, thanks to a grant from the PA Cycling Association. Cadence Cycling Center will present a free Cyclocross clinic, making this event extremely friendly for riders wanting to get started in cyclocross.
For more information see www.monkeyhillcs.com
Lori-Ann Muenzer to speak at OCA Cycling Celebration
Canada's first Olympic cycling gold medallist, Lori-Ann Muenzer, will be at the Ontario Cycling Association's cycling celebration awards night on November 19. Muenzer won the gold medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004 in the women's sprint. Having also won two silver and bronze world championship medals plus silver and bronze Commonwealth Games medals, Muenzer has been successful while juggling full time work and training, and will talk about her experiences doing this.
Limited seats are available. For tickets please call: 416.426.7416 or see www.ontariocycling.org for more information on the entire weekend's festivities and events.
Cruz and Roll sign up for Red Bull Road Rage
Just days before the event, Discovery Channel's Antonio Cruz has joined the list of riders scheduled to ride the inaugural Red Bull Road Rage event, with Tour de France announcer Bob Roll signing up to be the race emcee. Competitors will race down the legendary Tuna Canyon to find out who is the fastest descender on a 2 mile course with a 2,000 foot elevation drop, cliff-hanging berms and 120 degree turns around rock faces at speeds up to 60mph.
Riders attending include David Clinger and Carl Decker, plus Eric Carter, Brian Lopes and Marla Streb. The race will consist of two formats - time trials and a pack race, where the top 16 from the time trials will race boardercross-style, in four-rider heats. The top two in each heat will advance through and after three times down the hill, the fastest in the pack will be crowned. Avid brakes have recently doubled the prize purse, meaning winners will now share in $10,000. For more information, visit www.redbullroadrage.com.
Brother and sister to ride Sydney Thousand
Ryan and Kristine Bayley may be the first brother and sister combination to ride a major Australian track meet when they compete at the Sydney Thousand on November 27 at Dunc Gray Velodrome, Sydney, Australia. 23-year-old Kristine Bayley, who has recently taken up a position within the Australian Institute of Sport track squad based in Adelaide, South Australia, will ride sprint races against top Australian sprinters Anna and Kerrie Meares and New Zealander Liz Williams before riding the keirin, while brother and Olympic gold medallist Ryan Bayley will feature in the match sprint against German rider Rene Wolff.
Wolff is in good form, recently riding the Dortmund six-day in preparation for his time time in Sydney; he'll continue riding six-days until the Sydney festival. From Sydney riders will head to the Melbourne Cup on Wheels for a 'double-header' of international track racing on Australian soil. Tickets are $20.00 and can be obtained through Cycling New South Wales on +61 (0)2 9738 5850.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Events du Monde
Haussler returns to Oz
Gerolsteiner's Heinrich Haussler has been back for a short holiday in the NSW, Australia country town of Inverell where he grew up, according to the Inverell Times. Haussler had a strong first year in the ProTour, culminating in a victory in stage 19 of the Vuelta a Espana.
The 21-year-old is already looking towards 2006 and hopes to ride Paris-Roubaix. Next week Haussler returns to Germany to return to training, but for now is enjoying his flying trip back to Oz. "It's always good to come back," he said.
CRCA/Sakonnet Technology 2006
American U25 development team CRCA/Sakonnet Technology has announced its complete twelve-rider line up for 2006. Sakonnet has retained nine riders from the 2005 squad and joining the team are first year seniors Caleb Fairly, Chris Ruhl and Guy East. All three riders were members of the U.S Junior National team in 2005 and Fairly finished the season ranked as the number one junior rider in the country.
After the squad's success in 2005, when riders were invited onto the U.S espoir national team and raced at the Dodge Tour of Georgia, the team announces a schedule focused on the U.S National Racing Calendar (NRC) events. Sakonnet will remain amateur in 2006 yet the squad is looking for a high placement in the NRC Team rankings at the end of the season.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)