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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest Cycling News for November 16, 2005

Edited by John Stevenson & Les Clarke

San Fran Grand Prix in hot water with city

By Mark Zalewski

Fabian Wegmann wins the 2005 Barclay's Global Investors Grand Prix - but will there be a 2006 edition?
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Click for larger image

San Francisco city officials are calling for the suspension of the 2006 edition of the Barclays Global Investors Grand Prix after evidence to a council meeting on the race's impact revealed a claim by San Francisco police that the event still owed $89,924 in costs from 2004. City supervisors heard that a permit for the 2005 race would not have been issued if it had been known that the event still owed money from 2004.

The 2004 costs incurred by the San Francisco Police Department totaled $335,000. However, in 2005 the company that organizes the event, San Francisco Cycling, LLC, struck a deal with the city board after mayor Gavin Newsome argued the race would generate nearly $40 million in revenues for the city. A two-for-one deal was arranged that would reduce the fee by one-dollar for every two-dollars the city saw in tourism revenue. (See news report.) A study commissioned by the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau and performed by Economics Research Associates (ERA) revealed the total cost to the company would be $89,924, after the waiver equation was applied.

The two parties diverge in their accounts here. The police department claims it sent a bill for the full amount and has not received any portion of it. San Francisco Cycling, in a statement issued Tuesday, claims that a final payment of $62,822 was paid on August 1, 2005 after the economic study was completed. After this, the company says it received the permit on August 11, 2005 and that no other bill adjusting the fee to $89,924 was ever received until last week, thus following the guidelines set forth by a city law requiring all owed fees to be paid before new permits are issued.

Click here for the full story.

2006 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar

USA Cycling has announced the dates of the 45 events that comprise its 2006 National Racing Calendar series of road races. The series includes several new events for 2006, including the new incarnations of the USPRO championships and the Tour of California.

The Amgen Tour of California starts the series with an eight-day, UCI-sanctioned stage race, February 19-26. Other season highpoints include the fourth Tour of Georgia, April 18-23, which this year has been raised to the highest UCI status outside the ProTour, 2.HC.

As well as the move of the USPRO championships announced earlier today, the 2006 season will see USA Cycling's National Road Festival move from Park City, Utah to the Seven Springs resort in Champion, Pa, July 5-17.

In all, nine events on the 2006 NRC are expected to be UCI-sanctioned including the Tour of California, the Tour de Georgia, the Wachovia Cycling Series events in Lancaster, Pa., Trenton, N.J. and Philadelphia, the USA Cycling National Road Festival, the Barclay's Global Investor's Grand Prix, and the Univest Grand Prix.

The Wachovia Liberty Classic is the sole women's UCI-sanctioned event on the 2006 NRC.

2006 USA Cycling NRS series in full

19-26     AMGEN Tour of California - California
4       McLane Pacific Downtown Grand Prix - Merced, Calif.
5       McLane Pacific Downtown Road Race - Merced, Calif.
10-12   Central Valley Classic - Fresno, Calif.
24-26   Redlands Bicycle Classic - Redlands, Calif.
2       Garrett Lemire - Ojai, Calif.
8       Sea Otter Classic - Monterey, Calif.
8       Jacksonville Cycling Classic - Jacksonville, Fla.
18-23   Tour de Georgia - Georgia
29      Athens Twilight Criterium - Athens, Ga.
30      Nalley Roswell Criterium - Cumming, Ga.
3-7     Tour of the Gila - Silver City, N.M.
5       Raleigh Twilight Criterium - Raleigh, N.C.
6       Sunny King Criterium - Anniston, Ala.
12-14   Joe Martin Stage Race - Fayetteville, Ark.
19- 21  Tri-Peaks Challenge - Russellville, Ark.
19-21   Tour of Connecticut - Connecticut
27      Bikejam/Kelly Cup - Baltimore, Md.
25      Captech Classic - Richmond, Va.
28      Snow Valley Grand Prix of Bethesda - Arlington, Va.
29      Tour of Somerville - Somerville, N.J.
31-4    Mt Hood Cycling Classic - Hood River, Ore.
3       CSC Invitational - Arlington, Va.
4       Wachovia Cycling Series-Lancaster - Lancaster, Pa.
8       Wachovia Cycling Series-Trenton - Trenton, N.J.
11      Wachovia Cycling Series-Philadelphia - Philadelphia, Pa.
11      Wachovia Liberty Classic - Philadelphia, Pa.
14-18   Nature Valley GP - Minnesota
22-24   Tour de Nez - Reno, Nev.
24      Saturn Rochester Twilight Criterium - Rochester, N.Y.
29-2    Fitchburg Longsjo Stage Race - Fitchburg, Mass.
5-17    USAC Road Festival (Elite only) - Champion, Pa.
12-16   Columbia River Bank Cascade Cycling Classic - Cascade, Ore.
22      Wells Fargo Twilight Criterium - Boise, Idaho
24-30   The International Tour de 'Toona - Altoona, Pa.
5       Bank of America Invitational Criterium - Charlotte, N.C.
13      Manhattan Beach GP - Manhattan Beach, Calif.
19-20   USCF/USPRO - Criterium Championships - Downers Grove, Ill.
26-27   Chris Thater Memorial - Binghamton, N.Y.
31      The Cliffs USA Cycling Professional Championships (TT) - Greenville, S.C.
2       The Cliffs USA Cycling Professional Championships  - Greenville, S.C.
4       US100K Classic - Atlanta, Ga.
10      Barclays Global Investors Grand Prix - San Francisco, Calif.
16      Univest Grand Prix - Souderton, Pa.
15-17   Parker Mainstreet Omnium - Parker, Colo.

VMG-ABN AMRO announces rider signings for 2006

Development team VMG-ABN AMRO has announced the signing of riders for 2006, including talented young pros Todd Henriksen, Spencer Beamer and Zach Taylor. While the team is still working with USA Cycling to round off the roster, most of the signings are final, with the squad to be complemented by several more experienced riders who'll assist in a 'guidance' role. In announcing the new signings, team management expressed its gratitude to Jon Vaughters of TIAA-CREF and Toby Stanton of Hot Tubes junior team for their assistance, with both teams invited to ride the Tour of Bahamas, to be held February 11-12, 2006.

New date for 2006 Cougar Mountain Classic

Infineon Raceway officials have announced that the 2006 Infineon Technologies Cougar Mountain Classic will return for a third consecutive year on July 14-16, with the new mid-summer date expected to attract high-level pro and amateur competitors to the event.

The 2005 event benefited from the debut of a world-class downhill course, enhanced cross country and mountain cross circuits and a one-hour broadcast on Fox Sports Net Bay Area in 2005, and according to Steve Page, president and general manager of Infineon Raceway, "Opening up our entire property to upgrade the mountain bike courses made a real difference in the quality of the competition and we've had terrific feedback from both mountain and road cyclists about this year's event. We hope to build a race weekend that is second to none and the new date for 2006 should be another positive step in that direction."

According to organisers, the signature of Infineon Raceway has quickly become the world-class downhill course. It begins nearly 400 feet above the raceway on Cougar Mountain, and features rolling terrain, open, fast sections and challenging man-made jumps, plus a spectacular view of the San Francisco skyline. "This is incredible because you can see the whole course; that is unprecedented," said Marla Streb, two-time national downhill champion. "On top of that, it's pretty difficult; it has a lot of potential to be a world-class course."

The race weekend will also feature endurance road riding, mountain biking and mountain cross, and according to Subway pro team riders Ryan McKenzie and Cameron Hughes, the eight-hour road enduro may become another of the event's features, saying, "I could easily see this developing into a great form of racing, like the 24-hour mountain bike events." Off the track, there will be a vast vendor midway, swap meet, vintage bicycle concours, wine tasting and activities for children, including safety seminars, bounce houses and more.

Check for more information on next year's Cougar Mountain Classic.

Kona Bicycle Company joins forces with Velo Bella

The Kona Bicycle Company has announced a new two-year partnership with team it terms "the fabulous women of Velo Bella" - the California-based collective of professional bicycle racing teams and clubs. The new Team Velo Bella-Kona partnership will encompass Velo Bella's professional road racing team, professional mountain bike racing team and elite level cyclo-cross team.

Kona rider Wendy Simms will be joining Team Velo Bella-Kona for the 2006 and 2007 seasons; Kona team manager Mark Peterson said that, like every solid relationship, Velo Bella-Kona was destiny. "This relationship is a natural. The Velo Bella culture is a lot like Kona in that it's all about bringing fun to the sport. Kona is fun and Velo Bella is fun so we're in for a lot of it." said Peterson. "We're proud to call Velo Bella partners and ambassadors and look forward to supporting their mission in any way possible."

Team Velo Bella-Kona will ride a variety of Kona bikes, including new road rigs King Zing and Zing Supreme, King Supreme and Kula Supreme mountain bikes, and Team Jake cyclo-cross bikes. Additionally, Velo Bellas' more than 150 club members will get special Kona deals through Kona's authorized dealer network and grassroots racing programme.

Sixth women's summit

Women cyclists and supporters of women's cycling gathered at September's Interbike trade show in Las Vegas for the sixth Yoplait Nouriche women's cycling summit. The summit focused on a highly successful entry-level racing programme and on how teams can provide more value for their sponsors.

Those at the summit heard how Cycling Made Real is the country's most successful programme for recruiting novice women to bicycle racing through organising entry-level racing series using existing events, offering skills clinics to women at the start of each season and by their communications with riders using mail, email and word-of-mouth.

The question of how teams can provide value to their sponsors was addressed by panelists Stephanie Scott (Jelly Belly Candy Company), Danny Van Haute (Jelly Belly Cycling), David LaPorte (Nature Valley Grand Prix) and Kristy Scrymgeour ( Delegates at the summit heard how Team sponsors can be effectively promoted by working with the promoters of big events to schedule athlete appearances, arrange sampling opportunities and to work with the event's media relations team; these strategies being far more effective then traditional options like logo placement on the team jersey.

They also heard how sampling at bicycle races has been an integral part of the marketing plan behind the launch of Jelly Belly Candy Company's new Sports Beans™. The endorsement of this new product by the Jelly Belly Pro Cycling Team helps communicate the brand's message that these beans are an energy product, not candy.

Finally, the issue of media exposure was addressed, with Kristy Scrymgeour outlining how it's also a key element of a successful sponsorship, with event promoters usually being in the best position to work with the media in their region and the fact that successful teams are ready to provide content such as rider bios, interesting personal angles and photos immediately upon request.

The overriding message was that, above all, teams should work closely with their sponsors. Teams that support their sponsors' marketing goals and keep in regular contact will create long-term partnerships. And longevity is one of the keys to racing success.

For more information, visit

'Cross Crusade hosts final 2005 event this weekend

The River City Bicycle 'Cross Crusade, the largest participatory cyclocross series in the world, hosts its final event of the 2005 season this Sunday, November 20, at the Estacada Timber Park. More than 500 riders will take part in the Round 6 district championship, with competition starting at 9am and continuing all day until the women's Category A race at 1:10pm and men's Category A race at 2pm.

"The District Championship will be a hotly contested conclusion to an incredibly successful Cross Crusade," said race director Brad Ross. "Interest in the sport of cyclocross and the Crusade continues to grow. Records were set for participation, particularly at the Crusade's prestige event, the Cannondale Stumptown Cyclocross Classic at Alpenrose, which drew 760 racers. Entries for the other Crusade races have topped 550."

The series, sanctioned by the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association, will pay out more than $20,000 in prize money plus merchandise. See for more race details.

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