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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for October 24, 2005

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

Nobili Rubinetterie happy with 2005 season

Elite Women's cycling team Nobili Rubinetterie-Menikini-Cogeas is satisfied with how the 2005 season went. The squad finished third on the UCI team rankings behind the Buitenpoort-Flexpoint team (second) and Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung (first), and could round out its success by winning the Vuelta Ciclista Femenina a El Salvador. Three of its riders, Edita Puncinskaite, Evelyn Garcia and Sigrid Corneo placed first, second and third respectively in the final general classification.

"Yes, it went well," said team manager Walter Zini. "Olga Slyusareva confirmed as World Track champion [scratch race], and won the European Championships, too. The road victories were all on a good level. It's true that it was hard in the beginning, but then the team found its order and we began to win regularly. We were behind as Slyusareva had to take a break because of a crash, and Pucinskaite achieved her good form only later because she had surgery in winter. So this delay cut down on our victories.

"But from July on things went better," continued Zini, whose team counted 23 wins this season. "We saw some riders confirm their abilities, but also some disappointments; especially the Italians Anna Gusmini, Ombretta Ugolini and Emanuela Brigati have excellent capacities but did not succeed on the road despite a great amount of work. We expected more from Daniela Fusar Poli, but 2005 turned out to be a bad year for her. But she is maturing as an athlete and I think she will get better results next year."

Other than Olga Slyusareva's victories, seven other riders have scored top placings in road or track races: Oxana Kostenko, Silvia Valsecchi, Daniela Fusar Poli, Sigrid Corneo, Joanne Kiesanowski, Miho Oki and Edita Pucinskaite, the latter achieving ten of the team's 23 victories, including the overall Giro d'Italia Donne. She also finished the season in fifth position on the UCI road rankings.

No Tour stage for Vlaams-Brabant

Tour de France organiser ASO has turned down the bid of Flemish Belgian province Vlaams-Brabant to host the arrival and departure of a stage of the world's most famous cycling race in 2006. According to ASO, the situation of the applying towns Vilvoorde, Rotselaar and Werchter (where a famous Rock festival is held each year in July) did not coincide with the parcours chosen for next year's edition of the race.

However, according to Belgian source Gazet van Antwerpen, the candidacy of the cities will be upheld for the 2007 Tour de France, which is speculated to pass through Flanders again. The finish of a stage is planned to take place on the site of the festival, where various related events may be organised.

Meanwhile, details of the 2006 Tour de France parcours through the Dutch Limburg region have apparently leaked. Cycling media in the Netherlands report that stage three to Valkenburg on July 4, 2006, will feature 30 kilometres on Dutch territory, coming from southern Belgium. The stage is thought to cross the frontier between the two countries in De Plank, continue via Schilberg, Hoogcruts, Slenaken (Loorberg), Schweiberg, Mechelen, Partij, Eys, Trintelen, Elkenrade, Schoonbron, Schin op Geul, Oud Valkenburg, up the Cauberg in Valkenburg and finish in Vilt.

Only ten days later, from July 13-16, the European Championships will also take place in Valkenburg (road race) and Heerlen (time trial). The official announcement of the 2006 Tour de France route will be made on Thursday, October 27 at the Palais des Congrès in Paris.

Bramati DS at Quick.Step after 2006 Giro

Italian rider Davide Bramati will retire from professional racing after the 2006 Giro d'Italia and become a team director at his current Qucik.Step team. The 37 year-old, who has been with the Belgian outfit led by Patrick Lefévère since 1997, will then join the likes of Wilfried Peeters, Serge Parsani, Rik Van Slycke and Luca Guercilena. Bramati started his career in 1990 with team Diana-Colnago, then changed to Lampre, Panaria, Mapei and finally Quick.Step. His greatest victory (so far) was a stage win in the Vuelta a España in 2000.

Verbruggen has to be re-elected to IOC

Former UCI president Hein Verbruggen, who stepped down from his position to concentrate on his work within the International Olympic Committee (IOC), will have to be re-elected as an IOC member if he wants to take up chairmanship of the co-ordination commission for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing again. Oddly enough, Verbruggen lost the membership as it was dependent on his UCI position.

New IOC members will be elected by a majority vote at a session in Turin scheduled to take place from February 8-10, 2006. Up to 70 candidates have applied for the membership, but only four or five new members are likely to be elected.

Meanwhile, the 2008 Olympics co-ordination commission continues its work, with Australian Kevan Gosper leading its meetings. "Hein and I will work side by between now and February, as we normally do, and it will be business as usual," Gosper told Aroundtherings.com, and IOC president Jacques Rogge is said to be "more than comfortable" with the current situation.

If Verbruggen fails to get re-elected, he may still be a member of the commission, but not its chairman.

Burrow to OTC Doors

After two seasons with US Postal and four with Ivano Fanini's Amore & Vita team, Italian-based British rider Jamie Burrow returns to the past to team up with Giovanni Baldini's new Continental Pro team OTC Doors. Burrow was under the guidance of Baldini in 1999 when he won the Under 23 World Cup in the colours of San Paolo.

"This is a very exciting opportunity for me, and I can't wait to get things under way," Burrow said. "Baldini has a very good understanding of me, as a person and as a bike rider, and I know he can bring the best out of me. I've been a pro for six years and still haven't left the kind of mark I know I'm capable of. Time is passing fast and 2006 will be a kind of final exam for me to finally show my worth - watch this space..."

Leontien van Moorsel awarded

Former pro cyclist Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel has been given the fashion award "Lingeriedraagster" 2005 in her home country, the Netherlands. The Dutch lingerie industry honoured the multiple World Champion and Olympic medallist for her dressing habits as well as her "100 percent ladylike appearances."

Van Moorsel in Athens
Photo ©: AFP

Van Moorsel was pleased with the award. "Before, my cycling colleagues always laughed at me, saying 'who is she with her lipstick on?', she said. "But now, all of the girls in our [Van Bemmelen-AA Drink] team wear lipgloss. I just really like fashion."

Yesterday, the Dutch cycling celebrity also got to put her Gold medal winning bike up next to Joop Zoetemelk's in the Olympic Stadium "Olympic experience" museum in Amsterdam. The Koga-Miyata-branded bike (made by Bike Technologies) served her well during the Olympic Games in Athens, when she won the Time Trial, and will now be exhibited to the public.

2005 Markus Cook Memorial

The International Federation of Bike Messenger Associations (IFBMA) has announced the 2005 "Markus Cook Memorial Award" (MCA) for Services to the International Messenger Community.

One of Cook's visions was a fund to help injured messengers. In Mercury Rising #10 from 1994 he wrote:

"As I lay drugged and listless in my bed at General the day after a shoulder surgery, my roommate came in and told me he had just seen a group of Western Messengers on their way to visit a fallen sister, Andrea, who had her pelvis broken by a car. Damn, we keep those hospitals busy. This got me thinking about what SFBMA is and what it could be. We spend thousands every week at the same few bars. If a couple hundred people siphoned off a mere 5 bucks a month and dumped it into some kind of emergency fund thing, that would be $12,000 a year, to help people and invest and keep the fund going. Or maybe you could buy a t-shirt and get a membership card. This kind of thing has been discussed before over the years. Might work, I dunno...could strengthen the messenger community in a variety of ways."

This year's MCA recipient is Jean Andre Vallery of Sarasota, Florida, who is being honoured for his work with the Bicycle Messenger Emergency Fund (BMEF). Since March 2004, the BMEF has sent urgent financial aid to 29 injured bicycle messengers around the world.

The BMEF is a not-for-profit organization, based in Florida, set up by Jean Andre Vallery in 2001. It exists to provide messengers who have been injured and are unable to work, with financial assistance, namely an unconditional grant of $300.

For more information see www.messengers.org/ifbma/mca.html

Moving Target goes online

Buffalo Bill, London's second most famous ex-bicycle messenger, has announced the inauguration of a new, blog-style web version of the "world's most useless courier zine", Moving Target. At its web address (www.MovingTargetZine.com), the digital version offers more comprehensive coverage of matters messenger than the paper version, which is now being published in its 24th edition.

Hawaii State Champion seeks US team for 2006

The 2005 Hawaii State Road Race, Time Trial and Criterium champion, and Hawaii BAR winner, Mike Zagorski is looking for a mainland USA team to race for next season.

The 26 year-old plans to race as many of the NRC races as possible, such as Redlands, Sea Otter, and the Cascade Classic.

Interested teams can e-mail: mike@mikezagorski.com

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