First Edition Cycling News for October 25, 2005
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
Italian cyclists Dario Frigo, Alberto Elli and Giuseppe Di Grande have each been sentenced to six months imprisonment and a fine of 12,000 Euros for doping offences during the 2001 Giro d'Italia. San Remo-based judge Paolo Luppi suspended the sentences.
Masseur Primo Pregnolato was also condemned to eight months in jail and a fine of 6,000 Euros, but he, too, will not have to go to prison. Cyclists Domenico Romano and Ermanno Brignoli were also found guilty. Masseur Fernandez Francesco Javier and riders Pavel Padrnos, Giampaolo Mondini, Daniele De Paoli, Stefano Zanini and Giuliano Figueras were acquitted.
Macca calls it a day
By Anthony Tan
After nine years as a professional filled with his fair share of ups and downs, Australian David McKenzie has decided to hang up his race wheels.
In his final pro race last Saturday and an event he won four years ago, the Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic, the gregarious Victorian wanted to go out with a bang in front of a home crowd, but it wasn't to be, missing the crucial chase group of 11 riders to eventually finish in 19th place.
"It's been a long time cycling as far as racing goes; I was a little bit sad Saturday afternoon after the race finished, but sad for good reasons, you know," he said to Cyclingnews on Monday evening, sounding quite happy for someone who doesn't know exactly what he's going to do next.
"What am I going to do? Am I going to go back to Europe and race full-on and get back with a ProTour team? I'm not - I'm not prepared to lay it on the line and do that full commitment anymore. The decision was sort of easy - the hard thing is to be honest with yourself, it's hard to let go. I'm a bit of a believer that we all have our destinies; I never look back."
This season, his destiny found him a place on Professional Continental Team Wismilak, a young, inexperienced team based out of Indonesia with a big budget and big ambitions. [Read story on Wismilak.] It looked to be a dream scenario for McKenzie, who would be able to enjoy team leader status, a generous salary and a reasonably high level of racing, as well as spend most of his time back in Australia with his wife and two kids. But having completed events such as the Giro d'Italia (which he won a stage in back in 2000) and other high level races in Europe, the 31 year-old began questioning his reasons for staying involved as a rider.
"I guess one of the things that got me thinking about retiring was that I only did six races with [Wismilak] for the year," said McKenzie. "It wasn't like I wanted to do a full season - I was happy with that - but it makes it a bit hard to stay motivated.
"I think a lot of elite athletes in any sport, it's hard to step out of the sport, so I thought, 'Shit, I might not get this offer in 12 months' time or two years' time if I keep racing.' You got to be realistic with myself."
The 'offer' he's referring to is the prospect of putting together and managing a professional cycling team as early as 2007. Backed by the HLP Group, a Victorian-based financial services company that have been sponsoring McKenzie while he's been racing in Australia and who currently employ his wife Susan, the intention is for the team to be at least the size of AG2r Prévoyance or Team Barloworld and to compete predominantly in Europe.
"I'm not actually sick of training or sick of training - it's just that this is the stage I'm at in my life and the opportunity's come along with a great company to get involved with them and I thought I'd be crazy not to. So it was an easy decision in the end," he said.
Look out for the full interview with David McKenzie later in the week.
McEwen attacked on Gold Coast
By Anthony Tan
After dinner and drinks with a few friends on Friday night on the Gold Coast, Robbie McEwen was attacked and was forced to flee after being hit in the head.
On his way to a taxi rank after enjoying an evening at the Indy Grand Prix, the Australian road champion found himself confronted by three men. One punched him in the head, leaving McEwen with a black eye, bruised cheek and swollen lip.
"Three guys coming from the other direction, nothing going on, and they just about got level with me when one king hit me," he told Cycling Australia's Gennie Sheer on Monday morning. "Don’t know if it was an attempted mugging or thrill attack for the hell of it but definitely a cowardly attack. I didn’t hang around to find out."
Joked McEwen, who happens to be a resident of the area when in Australia, "I managed to stay on my feet, spun around and won by 50 metres. There might be a career for me in athletics if cycling fails."
According to Ms Sheer, the injuries are by no means extensive enough to affect McEwen's training or racing program. McEwen had been back in Australia for ten days at the time of the attack and doesn't plan to resume training until November.
No Giro for Basso in 2006?
CSC's Ivan Basso will skip the Giro next year and concentrate on winning the Tour de France, according to the Danish newspaper Politiken. Team boss Bjarne Riis had hoped to sign Gilberto Simoni to ride the Giro for the team, but as the deal didn't work out, Team CSC has changed its strategy for the Italian Grand Tour.
"We don't necessarily have to show up with a rider that is aiming to win the GC," Riis said. "A lot of other teams show up with other targets and it's also likely we will do that. The American Vande Velde has said he would to go for the GC. But in this case it won't be the podium we are talking about, but maybe top 10."
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer
English line-up for Commonwealth Games announced
On Monday, the Commonwealth Games Council for England has announced a 25-strong cycling team for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne held from March 15-26, including many Olympic, World and Commonwealth medallists.
The team includes Bradley Wiggins, who struck gold in the men's individual pursuit at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and also completed a full set of medals by winning a silver (team pursuit) and a bronze (Madison) in Athens.
Jason Queally, gold medallist in the kilo time trial at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, is likely to renew his rivalry with Scot Chris Hoy in that event, subject to Hoy's section for Scotland. Hoy won the 1km title in Athens and pipped Queally to gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. But Queally took silver ahead of Hoy at the World Track Championships in Los Angeles in March.
Queally and Jamie Staff the former BMX World champion who trains in the USA and is also selected for Melbourne - struck gold in the team sprint in Los Angeles, along with Hoy.
England can also field the team pursuit quartet that won gold at the World Track Championships Steve Cummings, Rob Hayles, Paul Manning and Chris Newton all feature in the team for Melbourne. Victoria Pendleton, winner of the women's sprint title at the 2005 World Track Championships in Los Angeles, returns to Commonwealth Games action in Melbourne, after just missing out on the medals in Manchester.
England also have strong medal hopes in the mountain biking event in Melbourne. Liam Killeen won bronze as a 20-year-old at Manchester 2002, his first senior international event. He finished fifth at last year's Olympics and was the highest placed Commonwealth rider in the mountain bike event at the 2005 World Cup Series, finishing ninth overall.
The England cycling team will also feature several promising young cyclists who medalled at last year's Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendigo. Ian Stannard won gold in the men's time trial, with Nikki Harris winning gold in the women's mountain bike event, while Matthew Crampton, Amy Hunt and Ben Swift were also in the medals in Bendigo.
England's cyclists won five silver medals and six bronzes at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games.
The full England cycling team for Melbourne is:
Oli Beckingsale, Ed Clancy, Matthew Crampton, Steve Cummings, Stuart Dangerfield, Emma Davies Jones, Russell Downing, Charlotte Goldsmith, Nikki Harris, Rob Hayles, Rachel Heal, Wendy Houvenaghel, Amy Hunt, Liam Killeen, Paul Manning, Chris Newton, Victoria Pendleton, Jason Queally´, Simon Richardson, Robin Sharman, Jamie Staff, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Andrew Tennant and Bradley Wiggins.
For further information, check the Commonwealth Games Council for England website at www.cgce.co.uk
Vierhouten signs with Skil-Shimano
Davitamon-Lotto rider Aart Vierhouten will continue his professional career with new Dutch team Pro team Skil-Shiamno. The 35 year-old, whose current contract was not renewed, signed the one-year deal on Monday. Vierhouten has been a professional bike rider for ten years and has participated in the Tour de France three times, as well as in the other Grand Tours and at the World Championships. He will be the team's new leader at one-day classics.
Skil-Shimano also announced the addition of 27 year-old Maarten Tjallingii, a former mountain biker, who will now take his chances on the road.
Nijland abandon due to heart problems
Dutch cyclo-crosser Maarten Nijland had to abandon the first round of the World Cup series in Kalmthout due to heart rhythm problems. Halfway through the race, Nijland stopped to see the race doctor, but the first examination did not reveal anything serious. Nijland has suffered similar problems in the past, but may resume training in the coming days according to his doctor.
Planckaert stays pro
The 23 year-old son of Eddy Planckaert, Francesco, will stay a professional bike rider according to Belgian media. The MrBookmaker.com rider will sign a contract for next season with the Jartazi team led by Jef Braeckevelt. "He's ready to show that he really is a reliable professional," said the team manager about Planckaert.
Team Ford-Basis stops as Ford MTB team continues
After three years sponsoring the Ford-Basis Women's cycling team, Ford and Basis will be leaving women's road cycling. The Ford-Basis women's team has stopped racing but the Ford Cycling Women's Mountain Bike Team will be back in 2006.
Team Ford-Basis was founded in 2002 as a developmental team aimed at helping up-and-coming riders progress towards the 2008 Olympics. "The highlight of the past three years was watching these riders develop from top collegiate riders to some of the brightest prospects on the American cycling scene," said founder Nicole Freedman. "It was an amazing group of racers and outstanding women."
Next year, Katharine Carroll and Chrissy Ruiter will be riding in the colours of team Victory Brewing. Alisha Lion has moved to Germany and is looking to race full-time in Europe, while Freedman and Kele Hulser are still seeking teams in the U.S. Meanwhile, Kristin Johnson will focus on mountain biking and finishing school, while Lauren Gaffney will be working to start a career in law.
"The true gift was meeting and sharing the team with innumerable generous spirits," Freedman added. "This team was made possible by a community of supporters; volunteers, host families, sponsors, promoters... they are what this team was always about."
David Myers, Director of Ford Cycling, nevertheless insisted that while it was necessary for Ford to consolidate its position in women's cycling this year, this unfortunately ended it's sponsorship of the Ford-Basis Team. "However, the Ford Cycling Women's Mountain Bike Team will be back racing in 2006," Myers said. "It is important that we make this distinction clear to our sponsors, the media, our fans and friends. We look forward to another great season of World Cup, NORBA, and regional racing with Ford 100 percent behind the athletes in their pursuit of athletic excellence."
ConexTrain new sponsor of US women team
ConexTrain, a software firm that has launched an online, collaborative training platform for endurance athletes, will be sponsoring a women’s cycling team for the 2006 season. Team ConexTrain will operate out of the company’s headquarters in Austin, Texas and will include five top female riders competing in regional and national races.
"This is a coming together of a number of different things for our company and the cycling community," said Tim Pletcher, cyclist and founder of ConexTrain. "We are putting forth our best effort to support women's racing and we believe our product provides a competitive advantage to anyone using it".
One of the top sprinters in the US, Jen McRae, will lead Team ConexTrain. McRae is a former winner of several NRC criteriums including Athens Twilight, Altoona, and the Tour of Texas and Hotter ‘N Hell stage races. Most recently, she was third in the 2005 National Criterium Championships. McRae will be joined by Lisa Ferris, past winner of the historic Carolina Cup road race, Allyson Brandt, Juli Fiocca, and Melissa Brown, who all have a string of victories and top finishes in regional races.
"We are all very excited about our prospects for the coming season," said McRae. "With ConexTrain, we have an opportunity to take the level of women's racing in Texas up a notch, making it more competitive and dynamic. Once you improve the level of racing regionally, you can be more competitive on a national level and that's where it really gets fun".
The team kicks off its 2006 season with a training camp in December. All five of the team’s cyclists are preparing for the coming season by using the ConexTrain platform to track their conditioning through heart rate monitoring, power output, nutrition, calories burned, and other dynamics affecting performance. ConexTrain analyses all training data and provides information essential to reaching your potential as an athlete.
ConexTrain’s support of its women’s team has been joined by additional sponsors, which include Mapei, Team Diabetic, Quattro Assi Bikes, Chann McRae Cycling, and Southwest Cycle Sports. Team ConexTrain’s first race is will be in February 2006 as Texas kicks off its racing season.
ABD cycling center opened
The Athletes By Design Cycling Club (ABD), one of the Midwest racing organizations, has opened an indoor Cycling Center at the newly relocated Prairie Path Cycles in Winfield - featuring eight "Computrainer" stations wired up to a PC, television and stereo sound.
The Cycling Center inaugural "Boot Camp", which kicks off November 14, is similar to a spin class in that it allows riders the advantage of having a group indoor workout, but the similarities end there. Riders bring in their own bikes for the Computrainer system, and attach them to computer controlled resistance units which allows them to compete against the other seven riders in the 'class'. ABD’s coaches, including club President Mike Farrell, can program in courses with hills and wind that are tailor-made for that evening’s session, and even incorporate Olympic or Tour de France courses.
During the boot camp, which has 56 spots available (seven groups of eight), riders compete in two sessions per week - one focused on speed and one focused on power. Fees for the camp are $250 for ten weeks, which includes a total of 20 sessions and the base fitness test.
For details, go to www.prairiepathcycles.com
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)