First Edition Cycling News for November 18, 2005
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
Defending the riders' rights
German Jens Voigt (Team CSC) likes it on the attack - be it in races or within his new job as rider representative in the UCI ProTour council. As he told Cyclingnews' Hedwig Kröner in between a training ride and taking care of his son's tenth birthday back home in Berlin, the father of four is happy about this new direct line from the peloton to the decision takers of top-level European cycling.
On top of that, Voigt was satisfied with his 2005 season, which brought him the yellow jersey at the Tour de France for the second time in his career, just after an very successful spring. But above all, the conversation was fuelled by the ProTour changes, and Voigt had many interesting things to say on the cycling's most recent structural reform.
Cyclingnews: Jens, how did your new job as the rider representative in the UCI ProTour council come about?
Jens Voigt: Within the structure that makes up professional cycling - the race organisers, the teams and the riders - the first two were always well-represented within the UCI, only the latter did not have their proper organisation and acted like a herd of sheep. That's why we had to organise ourselves in the form of the CPA [professional cyclists' association - ed.], to make our voice heard. Because in the end, it's us who end up on the tarmac if the roads aren't in good conditions!
For the full interview click here.
Hammond working hard
By Shane Stokes
British rider Roger Hammond had a disappointing showing in this year’s Paris-Roubaix due to a broken thumb, but he is already working hard in order to be 100 percent ready for next year’s edition. "I have started training again now," Hammond told Cyclingnews this week. "The off-season gets shorter and shorter due to the way the season is now. If you want to be good in the Classics, you have to start training fairly early on. So there wasn't a great deal of time off once I had been away [to Fuerteventura] for a week. Paris-Tours is halfway through October and then you start training in November - that doesn't give much of a break."
Hammond joined the Discovery Channel team this year and says that working alongside Lance Armstrong has motivated him. "He's a very, very inspirational guy," Hammond continued. "It wasn't that I wasn't a fan of his before I went to the team, but to be honest with you, I had very little to do with him before this season. With our racing programmes, I don't think I competed against him for three years so as far as racing against him goes, I had very little experience of it. Certainly on a personal level, in any races we were together, I just knew him to say hello. But once you have worked with him, you can see why he is such a champion and why he went on to win the Tour seven times. I know it sounds a bit of a cliché, but I wouldn't put it past him to achieve anything he wanted to do because of the mentality he's got."
Watching Armstrong work so hard towards his goals has rubbed off on the 31 year-old former world junior cyclo cross champion. "It definitely influences you," Hammond stated. "Take today, for example. Okay, I don't mean to sound like a wuss, it is not something I think about every day, but on days like this when it was absolutely lashing down, I was thinking 'Damn, I've got to go out and train.' But then you think about it a bit and realise that Lance didn't win the Tour de France by staying in when it was raining like this. That crosses your mind, and you think 'Okay, I gotta do it.'"
"The other day, I was thinking about overtraining and asking myself if I was working too hard for this time of year. Then I started calculating back from July, working out what would be the equivalent timespan for him as it is for me, from now to Paris-Roubaix. Looking at it that way, Lance was going up the side of the hill in Paris-Nice, so it made me realise that perhaps I am not training too hard after all. So yes, being around Lance does have an effect."
A full Roger Hammond interview will follow on Cyclingnews in the next few days.
Moderate course for 2006 Deutschland Tour
In an official presentation in Düsseldorf, Germany, the organisers of the Deutschland Tour have announced the itinerary for the 2006 edition of the ProTour stage race, won by Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner) this summer. On top of being 127 kilometres shorter than in 2005, next year's Deutschland Tour taking place from August 1-9 will also not include the Rettenbachferner mountain finish, which was the highest of its kind in 2005. Many observers rated the announced route as well-balanced and moderate.
T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich, for whom the nine-day stage race on home soil is a major goal next summer, is happy with the course. "The race profile suits me," Ullrich said via videoconference at the presentation. "It provides a good opportunity to ride for overall victory. The Deutschland Tour is the second highlight of the year for me, after the Tour de France."
A ten-kilometre prologue will start the race in Düsseldorf next year, as it will move South into Austria and culminate on the seventh stage to Seefeld, crossing the 2017 metres high Kühtai pass. The complete course outlines as follows:
Stage 1: Tuesday, August 1 - Düsseldorf ITT, 7-12 km (to be announced)
Gilmore sets new speed record in Sydney
By Les Clarke
Safi - Pasta Zara Manhattan's Australian rider Rochelle Gilmore today set a new women's speed record behind a derny at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome. 23-year-old Gilmore, who has returned to Australia from a strong women's world cup campaign hit 66km/h on the boards of Dunc Gray, enjoying some speed training ahead of next weekend's Sydney Thousand track carnival. Gilmore will be riding the Sydney Thousand, and believes the promotion of women's cycling within the carnival programme can only be of benefit to female riders.
Gilmore is currently "in the middle of a pretty heavy workload" and believes it's a little too early to gauge her form for the beginning of the track season, but says she is "excited to see how I freshen up after Oceanias [Oceania Games], when I get to have a few down days; at the moment it's just loading up, day after day."
The Sydney rider, who has re-signed with Italian professional women's road team Safi - Pasta Zara Manhattan has just started her preparations for the track season, having spent recent weeks building up a good road base. She'll be targetting the points and road races at next year's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, doing an individual Commonwealth Games qualifying trial in Adelaide on December 14 before "preparing specifically for track and road at the Commonwealth Games," with any racing between then and the Games being used as preparation.
Gilmore's confident of selection for the Australian team for both road and track at the Commonwealth Games, and after the disppointment of missing out on a world championships road race berth, says she wouldn't be able to to believe it if she's not selected for the squad. After today's display of speed it's apparent her form's heading in the right direction, and all looks good for a summer of strong performances.
Roulston leaves Discovery
Team Discovery Channel has announced on Thursday that it has released Haydon Roulston from his contract with the team for 2006, at the rider's request. Roulston personally made the request of team manager Johan Bruyneel only weeks before the team's annual December training camp in Austin, Texas. There was no reason given for his action.
The New Zealander missed much of the 2005 season, his first with the team, due to illness and injuries. However, in a recent Cyclingnews interview, he said that he felt comfortable within the American team and was looking forward to the 2006 season. "I'm going to be riding all the major classics. I've got pretty high expectations for myself this coming year," Roulston said.
"Although it was me who asked to leave the team, it was still a very hard and emotional decision to make," Roulston was quoted on the team's website. "The team has been nothing but supportive through this very difficult year and I thank them for that." Team manager Bruyneel added, "I respect Hayden's honesty and appreciate him reaching out to me. We all wish him the best."
Roulston recently made non-sporting headlines when he was involved in a fight in his hometown of Timaru, New Zealand, and was fined after being found guilty in court. He publicly apologized and Discovery announced at that time its continued support for him.
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer
Sprint showdown in 2006 Tour Down Under official
A sprint showdown will be a highlight of the 2006 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under with confirmation that two-time Tour de France green jersey champion, Robbie McEwen, will go head to head with 2005 Tour de France sprint champion, Thor Hushovd, in Adelaide and surrounding regions from January 17-22, 2006.
McEwen has won eleven stages of the Tour Down Under since 2000 and this season amassed 23 victories, including three stages of the Tour de France, three stages of the Giro d'Italia and three stages of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under and the Queenslander has no intention of letting his Norwegian rival steal his thunder on home turf.
"If I'm going any good then I want to win stages and even if I'm not going so good I want to win stages and I'll find a way," said McEwen who is looking forward to doing battle with Hushovd. "He won the Tour green jersey but I showed I was the fastest. But it's not always about being the absolute fastest it's about being consistent and he rode well and picked up some points on days that I didn't.
"It's great for the race to have him here," continued McEwen. "It means South Australians and fans who travel from around Australia and the world can witness first hand in January the intensity and excitement of what goes on in July in France."
Joining McEwen in the Davitamon-Lotto team is Victorian Cadel Evans who delivered on his promise as a Grand Tour rider when he finished seventh overall in his Tour de France debut. "My 2006 season will revolve around the Tour de France so the Tour Down Under will be perfect race for me to get some solid work in," said Evans. "The stages are not too hard and I always love to race in Australia as much as I can."
Also returning to Adelaide is Tour de France rider Johan Vansummeren who this year finished fourth overall and was second on stage three of the Tour Down Under. Debuting with the team is Nic Sanderson, a graduate of the Cycling Australia-AIS Development Program. The young Victorian was the bronze medallist in the junior road race at the World Championships in 2002 and was a silver medallist at this year's Australian Madison Championships.
Organisers have also confirmed the entry of the Belgian registered Professional Continental Team, Chocolade Jacques team for next year's race.
For full team line-ups and many more information on the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, please go to www.tourdownunder.com.au.
Phonak blackmailer sentenced
The man who tried to blackmail Phonak team manager Urs Freuler over the team's doping cases this season has been sentenced to 12 months prison. The man, whose name was not released, was a former amateur cycling colleague of Freuler's. He allegedly sent Freuler numerous anonymous messages threatening to make another doping case public if he did not receive 20,000 Swiss Francs.
Freuler pretended to go along with the demands, and the would-be blackmailer was arrested at the agreed-upon "handover" at the Zürich Airport. Before the police were able to arrest him, he nearly drove down a policeman, who was able to jump out of the way at the last minute. The 49 year-old was subsequently found guilty of attempted blackmail, violence and threats against the police, and major traffic violations.
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer
Cummings at Revolution 10
Steve Cummings, one of Britain’s team pursuit riders and Olympic medallists, will also be participating in the endurance field at Revolution 10 coming up this Saturday, November 19, alongside other British World Champions, the organisers have announced. Cummings joins many more international track stars at the Manchester Velodrome and will be riding the Madison events plus the individual points race, the event he won in the International event at Newport recently.
"I have had very little experience in Madison events and I will be riding against riders who are the best in the World but I will do my best and try at least to make an impact on the races," Cummings said. "The point’s race is the objective for me as I won the final endurance race the other week at Newport International meeting. The opposition will be a lot stronger with a much bigger International field but I will give it my best.
"Manchester is my 'home' track and I want to give the crowd something to cheer about," he continued. "I can’t wait until next Saturday. Apart from the team pursuit event my track experience is relatively limited at least internationally, so we will have to see what happens, but its going be fun with maybe a little pain as well."
Cummings will have his work cut out against Sixdays specialists Matt Gilmore and Iljo Keisse, who showed excellent form to win the Grenoble Six recently, as well as Danny Stam and Robert Slippens, who just finished second in the Munich Six. Other endurance racers include Bradley Wiggins, Chris Newton, Magnus Bäckstedt, Tony Gibb and the Madison World Champions Rob Hayles and Mark Cavendish.
Tickets for the Revolution 10 on November 19 are available at www.cyclingrevolution.com or by calling 07005 942 579.
New German team in 2006
A new German Elite 2 team, called Team PZ Racing Aachen, will start racing in 2006. The outfit directed by Jürgen Wertz and located in Aachen, close to the Belgian and Dutch borders will have PZ Racing parts as its main sponsor. The team's goal is to offer young talented riders around Aachen an international racing program, as well as having several experienced riders to provide top placings. The race program of the 14 signed riders in 2006 will include one day races in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and in the rest of Europe, as well as stage races worldwide. Team PZ Racing Aachen will participate in the Tour of Siam in Thailand in January and is planning to travel to the Tour de Taiwan in March.
The complete roster includes: Markus Bastek (Ger), Thomas Bontenackels (Ger), Tjarco Cuppens (Ned, ex-pro), Marc Habets (Ned), Claus Goralski (Ger), Stephan Janiel (Ger), Dirk Lichtenthäler (Ger), Jochen Lichtenthäler (Ger), Christoph Lörcks (Ger), Christian Mießen (Ger), Martin Neffgen (Ger, ex-pro), Bas Robroek (Ned), Michael Schweizer (Ger, ex-ComNet-Senges) and Danny Sijen (Ned).
Season opener at Dunc Gray Velodrome
Cycling New South Wales' 2005/06 cycling season kicks off this Saturday night, November 19, with the running of the Orbea Australia Sydney Cup on Wheels at the Dunc Gray Velodrome. World, Olympic, National and State champions will compete at the opening carnival using the Orbea Australia carnival as a final hit out to the following weekends Avanti Sydney Thousand which carries prize money of more than $20,000.
Tickets for this weekend's Orbea Australia Sydney Cup on Wheels will be available at the door or at the Cycling NSW office on 9738 5850. Riders will also line up for NSW pursuit championships, NSW Keirin Championships and the NSW Derny championships.
The main carnival starts at 6.30pm, doors open from 1.00pm onwards for junior carnival and championship heats.
Landis bike ride raised $18,000 for charity
A bike ride with Floyd Landis (Phonak Hearing Systems) raised an impressive $18,000 in an auction to benefit the Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) charity. George "Jeep" Rice and Graham Parry paid that exact sum at the CCI fundraiser for the opportunity to ride from Encinitas to the CCI campus in Oceanside with Floyd Landis on November 20, 2005.
"CCI is grateful for the support from Floyd Landis," said Davielle Huffman, Development Associate at CCI. "It’s a great way to raise awareness for CCI’s Mission and a memorable auction item for the winners." Rice and Parry (and five of their friends) have been training for this day, which will include a meal with the 2005 Tour de France Top Ten finisher.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)