First Edition Cycling News for November 8, 2005
Edited by John Stevenson & Les Clarke
Spanish rider Roberto Heras, four-time winner of the Vuelta a Espana, has been suspended by his Liberty Seguros team following a non-negative A sample test for EPO from stage 20 of the the 2005 Vuelta.
The team's management company Active Bay suspended Heras on October 27, but did not announce the action while it awaited results of the counter-analysis of the B-sample, the team said in a statement. However, the team said a leak to the press had forced it to reveal the case.
The team said it believes Heras is innocent of the charges, but affirmed its dedication to the fight against doping.
Laurent and Leontien find their feet in NYC
By Anthony Tan
Retired cycling stars Laurent Jalabert and Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel demonstrated their ability in a different sporting arena last weekend, participating in the famed ING New York City Marathon. In his first-ever attempt at a marathon, the now 36 year-old Jalabert completed the 26.2 mile (42.16 km) course in an excellent time of 2 hours, 55 minutes and 39 seconds - good enough for 391st place among a field of 36,894 runners!
The winner of Sunday's race was Kenyan Paul Tergat, who won the New York Marathon from defending champion Hendrick Ramaala, the South African desperately stumbling over the line in a dramatic finish to the race. Tergat's time of 2'09'30 was only one second faster than Ramaala's. 35 year-old Dutchwoman Zijlaard-van Moorsel, who retired only recently after winning gold in the women's individual road time trial at the Athens Olympics, finished the same course in 3 hours 49 minutes and 4 seconds, earning a place in the top 20 percent and among the top 1000 female competitors.
"You know, I think when you've been a full-time athlete, no matter what sport, my theory's always been you're kind of an addict - you're addicted to the endorphins, the sweat, to just working out," Jalabert's friend and former professional cyclist Marion Clignet told Cyclingnews. "He's probably not done a whole lot for a while apart from a ride here and there, and Sylvie [his wife] probably made the suggestion. I saw him in Madrid [at the world road championships] and he looked really lean."
"When you stop, you kind of lose a little bit of perspective; you end up working towards an objective and sort of work in circles, and I think you kind of need that to keep surviving afterwards."
Both Jalabert and Zijlaard-van Moorsel's other halves also took part, Sylvie Jalabert completing the course in 5'38'27 and Michael Zijlaard coming across the finish line roughly an hour after his wife, the clock stopping at 4 hours and 53 minutes.
"I'm not sure he'll stop here," said Clignet when asked if she thought the New York Marathon was a one-off for the former classics star, who also won his share of week-long stage races and finished off his career in style by winning the mountains classification at the 2002 Tour de France. "He told me [in Madrid] his main goal was to run a 3-15 or 3-30 and if he finished, he'd be happy - but he may now have ambitions to do other ones."
Concerning the polarised schools of thought that exist when one poses the question: Can running be combined with cycling in the off-season?, Clignet, a keen runner herself, offers a resounding yes. Regularly combining weight lifting, running and cross-country skiing during her time as a professional cyclist, which includes four world championship titles to her credit, the 41 year-old said emphatically, "you can't always be on your bike".
"I think it's a great sport, a great alternative, especially on trails. I did a lot of mountain running in the off-season, running up stairs for plyometrics. I think it's a good change, because it takes less time; you don't have to spend as much time running as you do on your bike, and you need to change pace. Cross-country skiing is probably the best option, but if you don't have snow, trail running is a good option. I used to run to the gym, lift [weights] and run home, and that was a great workout."
Clignet intends to compete in a marathon herself in April next year. Held in Albi, the start town for stage 18 of this year's Tour de France and near her hometown of Colomiers, Clignet says she has no desire to compete in the New York or Paris marathons. "I think I'd get too claustrophobic with 40,000 people running next to me."
Peter Latham profile: Te Awamatu Prodigy
Peter Latham experienced the same parental pressures as most aspiring racers do - go to university, earn a degree, make money, and have a family. Dutifully, he began a university education in land surveying at Dunedin on the South Island, but has since suspended coursework to choose another path. Cyclingnews diarist John Lieswyn profiled this unassuming, determined young rider at the recent K2 and found out how he has become one of the hottest rising stars of New Zealand cycling.
New Zealand may not have the population and economy to support professional road racing as does the USA or Europe, but per capita it produces far more top level cycling talent. New Zealand's secondary school cycling program introduces high school students to the sport, and many towns, including Peter's rural hometown of Te Awamutu, have a concrete velodrome. Tracks offer supervised, safe and traffic-free environments for secondary school competitions and give federation officials a method for selecting the best new talent to represent New Zealand on the international stage. Junior riders are inspired by the Olympic, World Championship and ProTour successes of Sarah Ulmer, Julian Dean, Hayden Roulston and Greg Henderson. Their careers reveal a definitive ladder to a professional contract with a road team overseas.
Peter Latham is a graduate of that process; he began cycling in a school program at age 13.
Click here for the full profile.
Arndt to new T-Mobile
Judith Arndt will ride for the T-Mobile women's team in 2006, the team's sponsor has announced. Arndt said last week that she would leave Team Nürnberger Versicherung at the end of 2005, and while the former world champion was cagey about her destination, it was something of an open secret that she was headed for T-Mobile.
However, the 2006 T-Mobile team is not quite the same as the current incarnation. While it shares management structure and personnel, the sponsors will be the German and British branches of T-Mobile and not the US arm that has supported a team for the last few years.
The new-look T-Mobile women's team will inherit some riders from the current outfit, and will comprise at least 12 riders. Cyclingnews understands that the team is negotiating with top British rider Nicole Cooke.
Renäng heads to Unibet
After the disappointment of missing out on a place on the Liquigas-Bianchi roster for 2005, former Swedish road race champion Petter Renäng has signed to ride for Unibet (formerly MrBookmaker.com) in 2006.
In October last year Renäng was on the verge of signing for the Italian squad, but due to his age (he had already turned 23) and a UCI rule regarding the number of neo-pros on a roster, he was ineligible for a place in the squad after Mario Cipollini became the last non-neo pro rider added to the team. Although bitterly disappointed at the outcome, Renäng joined German continental squad ComNet-Senges but has struggled with injury for most of the season; a sixth place in the Tour of Hessen TT stage is his best result this year.
Renäng finished top 10 in the world championships TT in 2003, and after securing the Swedish national road championship in 2004 looked a sure bet to join the ProTour ranks. This wasn't to be, and with Unibet being the beneficiaries of this situation, they're confident the young Swede can play an important role in race plans for 2006.
Trampusch vs the forester
By Susan Westemeyer
Gerd Trampusch, of the new Wiesenof-Akud team, had a run-in with an Austrian forester at the weekend -- and lost. Trampusch was out on his mountain bike in the Wienerwald, when the forester's auto came up behind him. "I thought he wanted to pass me, then it went boom. He ploughed right into my rear tire at about 30 km/hour," said the 27-year-old, who suffered scrapes, bruises and a bloody knee. His bike was totalled. Trampusch has already filed a complaint against the forester, who said he took his action because mountain biking is forbidden in the Weinerwald as of November 1.
Crampton takes on world's best at Revolution
Having recently defeated Olympic kilo champion Chris Hoy at Revolution 9, British track racing's rising star, Matt Crampton, will race against Hoy, Jason Queally and national sprint champion Craig MacLean as well as German sprint stars Jan Van Eijden and Carsten Bergemann at Manchester's Revolution 10 on November 19.
His greatest challenge, however, will come from the current sprint world champion and team sprint Olympic gold medallist Rene Wolff, who makes his first appearance at Revolution. Crampton, following his win at Revolution 9 is hoping he can perform well, saying, "It was fantastic to win the sprint at Revolution 9; the atmosphere really gets the adrenaline going and it's great to win in front of the home crowd at the Manchester Velodrome."
He's not getting overconfident, and knows racing against the likes of Wolff and MacLean will be no easy task. "The next event will be a really tough challenge, with Rene Wolff and the other German sprinters. Craig MacLean is also back to top form so it will be really tough to beat these guys. I'm looking forward to it though and it would be great to come out on top again."
Alongside the sprint racing there'll be a showcase Madison event, featuring the three best Madison teams in the world - world champions Rob Hayles and Mark Cavendish will take on Dutch riders Danny Stam and Robert Slippens and the Belgian pairing of Matt Gilmore and Iijo Keisse. Olympic pursuit champion Bradley Wiggins will also team up with Chris Newton and road star Magnus Backstedt will join forces with Tony Gibb, making it the strongest endurance field Revolution has ever seen.
Event information and tickets are available online at www.cyclingrevolution.com.
Hampsten hosts benefit dinner
Andy Hampsten, winner of the 1988 Giro d'Italia, will host the 2005 benefit dinner for the NorCal High Schools Mountain Bike League, to be held November 12 at 7pm on Treasure Island, San Francisco Bay. Hampsten recently become aware of the League and immediately offered his support. Several other benefactors are also providing support to the event, donating items such as world champion Alison Dunlap's 2005 Team Luna Chix mountain bike, a Trek road bicycle, plus frames from Santa Cruz, Kelly and Bianchi, and wheelsets from Ritchey. These items, along with many others will be sold in a silent auction throughout the night.
All event details (including guest list) are available at www.norcalmtb.org. Anyone wishing to attend should email firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday November 8.
The NorCal High Schools Mountain Bike League has also announced a provisional 2006 League schedule, with camps and races to be held between early February and last April. The schedule is as follows:
Camp #1: February 11-12
Race #1 - March 5: Monterey
Wolff's sprint to Australia
In-form German sprint world champion Rene Wolff will face his fastest sprint - from Manchester to London - to catch a flight to Australia for the Sydney Thousand track carnival. In order to acclimatise before the carnival Wolff needs to catch a flight just hours after the November 19 Revolution 10 meeting in Manchester finishes.
This looked close to impossible until Shane Sutton, British track cycling head coach and brother of NSW Institute of Sport's head cycling coach Gary Sutton, agreed to rush Wolff to London for his flight. Wolff has enjoyed strong preparation for the November 27 event at the Dunc Gray Velodrome in Sydney, with six-day events in Grenoble and Dortmund providing him with excellent training. With this latest news these good preparations shouldn't be hindered by a lack of acclimatisation or jet-lag.
Felt and Greyhound Juice support Verge NECCS
The Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series, presented by Cycle-Smart, has announced two new sponsors in Felt Bicycles and Greyhound Juice.
Although the company is based in based in Southern California, Felt has been a big supporter of cyclocross in New England. Last year it sponsored Verge NECCS champion Mark McCormack and in 2005 with the added under-23 national champion Jesse Anthony to the roster. Their feedback has helped develop Felt's F1X 'cross bike.
With that successful association under its belt, "It was a no-brainer for us to say a resounding 'yes' to the opportunity to sponsor the Verge Series," said Felt marketing manager Beverly Lucas. "The Verge Series is the epitome of what cross racing is all about - we learn from it and, most importantly, we bloody love it!"
Greyhound Juice is a maker of skincare products including a pre-race warming balm. It was founded in Seattle by two bike racers, Greg and Sirikit Valentin; Greg Valentin got into cycling through Cyclocross so has an affinity with the wet and muddy branch of cycling.
Remaining Verge NECCS races
October 15 - Downeast Cyclo-Cross, New Gloucester, ME
Georgia Charity Century
While it's getting a bit chilly in most of the US - and indeed the northern hemisphere - it'll still be warm enough in Georgia on November 19 for the Kiwanis Club of Cumming/Forsyth County Sawnee and Burnt Mountain Century Challenge, a 100 mile ride that raises funds for the charities supported by the Kiwanis Club.
Forsyth County is 45 miles north of Atlanta, Georgia and the route passes through scenic, rolling hills, with horse and cattle ranches. A variety of routes and distances is available, from 12 to 100 miles, and the metric and Imperial centuries take in the 1,834ft climb of Burnt Mountain.
For more details see www.cummingkiwanis.org.
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