First Edition Cycling News for November 20, 2005
Edited by John Stevenson, Les Clarke & Anthony Tan
Loose ends from Langkawi
A week and a half ago in Kuala Lumpur, previous title sponsor Telekom Malaysia announced its commitment to the Tour de Langkawi race in 2006, continuing a partnership that began since the race's inception a decade ago. However, Cyclingnews has since discovered prize money is still owed to four of the five best-performing teams at this year's race, among them the team of race winner Ryan Cox, which - according to UCI rules - prevents next year's race from going ahead. Anthony Tan reports.
"If some of the teams like us haven't been paid, then it's not really fair," Ryan Cox said to Cyclingnews, this year's Tour de Langkawi victor trying his best to relax with the season now at a close. "It's not fair that they can do the race again if the bills haven't been paid."
Barloworld appointed two riders from their team to try and claim monies owed to them, which Cox claims to be around 2,000 Euro per rider. As well as the general classification, Barloworld won the mountains and teams classifications and the stage to Genting Highlands, where the 26 year-old South African took control of the race three days from the race finish on February 6, 2005.
"We're missing a fair bit of coin from that race," said Cyclingnews diarist Trent Wilson, one of the seven men who represented the team from Colombia-Selle Italia. Before the team's star rider Jose Rujano finished on the podium at the Giro d'Italia, the Venezuelan finished second overall to Cox at the Tour de Langkawi. American Pro Continental Team Navigators Insurance is also in the same boat, according to team manager Ed Beamon: "I'm square with everything else, but we still waiting on prize money," he said.
"I keep getting positive responses, but I haven't seen it yet. The guys did pretty good prize money-wise; Panaria cleaned up most of the dollars, but Barloworld and ourselves were probably the other two teams who really did well there, so yeah, it is a fair amount of money."
Wismilak team manager Scott Guyton told Cyclingnews, "I definitely know the prize money hasn't been paid. I definitely know the prize money was supposed to come into my account and it hasn't come yet." Guyton, a former professional from New Zealand, also believed the team had not yet been reimbursed for their airfares to Malaysia, which had to be paid in advance due to logistical problems on behalf of the race organisers. "We were sitting at the airport and we were arguing to get on the plane because we knew we had to get on. I think we ended up buying four business class seats just to get on the fricking plane. As a manager at my first race, it was an absolute nightmare."
Click here to read the full story.
Astarloa and Etxebarria aim for Classics
Basque riders David Etxebarria (Liberty Seguros) and Igor Astarloa (Barloworld-Valsir) have both had fairly quiet years, with neither seeming able to regain the form that saw Etxebarria win two Tour de France stages in 1999 and Astarloa win the 2003 world championship.
In an interview with cyclismag, both riders conceded their 2005 seasons had been less than stellar. "I started the season well," said Etxebarria who won the GP Primavera in April, "but finished less than average." Astarloa, whose case of the 'curse of the rainbow jersey seems to have lasted far longer than the usual year, said he has broken his wrist at the Classic Haribo. After two months off the bike, Astarloa said he was unable to get back into the rhythm of racing, though he did win a stage of the Vuelta a Burgos in August.
Both riders said they were hoping for better things in 2006. Etxebarria will target the early season classics, "the Amstel, Fleche and Liege, but I will also chase wins at the Tour of the Basque Country, that is important for me. And of course I will try for as many points as possible in the ProTour."
Astarloa is looking forward to a return to the very top level in 2006 with the Lampre - Fondital team. "With my new team I will be able to take part in all of the races of the ProTour, which was not the case this year with Barloworld," he said. "My objective will be the Classics, as early as Milan-San Remo. But before I look to do well in the final classification of the ProTour it's is necessary for me to look for a victory. After that, the rest will come naturally. To win a classic would really be the best!"
As for the grand tours, Etxebarria said he already knows he will not be part of Liberty Seguros' squad for the Tour de France. "I will do the classics in August and the Tour of Germany," he said.
Astarloa is optimistic. "Lampre - Fondital will have to ride the three big tours and it is foreseen that I will do some of them. But again nothing has been decided [for definite].
Zabel looking forward to riding TdF with Petacchi
By Susan Westemeyer
Erik Zabel says that he is looking forward to riding the Tour de France with Milram teammate Alessandro Petacchi. "Two leaders at the season highlight would be no surprise to me, and I wouldn't have a problem with it," he said.
It had been assumed that Petacchi would ride the Giro d'Italia and let Zabel be captain for the TdF team, but Petacchi recently said he would rather not ride the very hilly 2006 Giro. Zabel says he feels it is important to support the team and the sponsor in its first year.
"When a German company, in the year that the [football] World Cup is being held in Germany, goes against the trend and supports a cycling team, then it has earned the support of everyone involved." The Tour will not be their first joint appearance. "It is already clear, that Petacchi and I will both ride Milan-San Remo," Zabel said.
And when the two start sprinters start the same race, who will ride for whom? "Our rivals can assume that we have more than one plan in mind."
Armstrong's Tours voted second best
In a list of great individual sporting achievements, what tops Lance Armstrong's seven consecutive victories in the three-week-long Tour de France? According to Forbes.com, Roger Bannister's four-minute mile run in 1954 is the greatest individual athletic achievement of all time.
"In truth, there is no clear-cut number-one choice," conceded Bob Costas, a journalist and NBC commentator, who was one of the experts on the forbes.com panel that helped select the 20 sporting achievements that the sites editors and readers then voted on. "You could make a reasonable case for a dozen different achievements."
Bannister's record stood for just six weeks and the mile record now stands at three minutes 43.1 seconds.
Forbes.com's top 20 individual sporting achievements
1 Roger banister breaks four-minute mile
Team OTC Doors - Lauretana gathers
The OTC - Lauretana comntinental professional team, which includes British rider Jamie Burrow, will gather for its first pre-season training camps in November and December.
From November 28 to December 4 the squad will be at Marina di Massa, and will spend the following week at Graglia di Biella, in the surroundings of the factory of sponsor Lauretana, a mineral water company.
OTC Doors - Lauretana is also about to announce its website.
Gran Canaria Marathon returns
After a successful inaugural event in 2005 with 70 participants from 11 nations, Gran Canaria will present its second mountain bike marathon on March 18 next year. With 10,000 Euro in prize money thanks to new sponsor Spanish department store group El Corte Ingles, the 2006 edition will be the opener for two race series as well as offering an early-season training camp.
Gran Canaria will open a new Bavarian marathon series, despite being 2,500km from the rest of the races, and the Austrian TREK Mountainbike Challenge. "Let's be honest. The Alps are stunning, but in March mountain bikers are better off if they visit us," said Canaria organiser Petra Wonisch who lived many years in Southern Bavaria herself.
Wonisch is hoping for 300 participants in this years race and there will be two distances on offer. The demanding 80 kilometre long circuit from Maspalomas to Roque Nublo has a total of 2500 metres in elevation gain and is full of breathtaking views and scenic highlights. The route leads through several climate and vegetation zones; it passes reddish Canyons, spectacular rock formations, century old pine and laurel woods, striking plateaus and deep ravines. Alternatively riders can chose the 45 kilometre distance with 1200 metres in elevation gain.
For more information see www.canary-bike.com
A thank you letter from Sarah Scott
On July 29, Philadelphia bicycle racer Sarah Scott was paralyzed in a racing crash in Altoona, Pennsylvania. A website, www.sarah-scott.com, has been established and several fund raisers held -- the most recent on November 5. The following is an open letter from Sarah to the cycling community.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)