Latest Cycling News for September 9, 2005
Edited by Anthony Tan & Les Clarke
Other Tours for Armstrong?
Speaking at a motivational event in Mexico City on Wednesday, Lance Armstrong suggested to the audience that if he were to rejoin the professional peloton, the Giro d'Italia or Vuelta a España could be possibilities - adding "there are a lot of reasons" not to return to the Tour de France.
"There are a lot of reasons not to do [another Tour de France]; the fact that I would open myself up for even more questioning, scrutiny, potential sabotage and potential unfair accusations," Armstrong was reported on Reuters to have said. "That's not appealing. But at the same time I think I'm still in my prime, I think I can still ride at a high level."
Added the 33 year-old, "The Tour de France is not the only bike race in the world, but it is the biggest, so the possibility could still exist to do a Tour of Italy, a Tour of Spain."
However, the seven-time Tour winner said there were also plenty of reasons not to return to his former profession: "My kids would be livid, my fiancée would be livid and my [cancer] foundation would not be happy about it," he said. "There are lots of reasons not to do it. In the meantime, I'll just ride my bike every day and think about it."
Menchov considers himself lucky
Current Vuelta a España race leader Denis Menchov (Rabobank) admitted after the finish of yesterday's stage in Burgos that he was lucky not to be a victim of the fall in which Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) was involved, saying that he too was riding at the head of the peloton.
Menchov explained that after some moments of confusion "the people waited for Heras and all the other riders involved in the fall. I went through this situation and I know what they're feeling. That is what cycling is like," he said. Menchov also said he believes the most crucial stage of the race will be Saturday's stage to Lagos de Covadonga, rather than the following day to Valgrande Pajares, which Heras originally marked as the biggest opportunity to take time out of his Russian arch-rival.
Petacchi does it for his Nonno
After his Stage 12 win in Burgos at the Vuelta a España, Alessandro Petacchi was thinking of his family, saying, "I dedicate this victory to my grandfather Angelo, who died on this day three years ago. Although I sat in a bad place on the last corner, [Alberto] Ongarato and [Marco] Velo managed to get me there, which was a tough job."
It was the La Spezia speedster's 39th stage victory in a Grand Tour, and already he has his eyes on another stage win - the stage into Valladolid on September 13. From there, it's anybody's guess if the in-form Italian stays until the Vuelta's conclusion. "If I feel good, then I could perhaps keep going through till Madrid," he said.
Boonen remains upbeat
After being beaten for the fourth time by Alessandro Petacchi in the Vuelta, Tom Boonen may leave the Vuelta with no wins to his name, but the young Belgian isn't about to throw in the towel: "I still feel good," he said after Stage 12 yesterday.
Analysing the finish, he remarked: "I sat too far off Petacchi going into the last corner, and although [Rik] Verbrugghe did a fantastic job leading out the sprint, I was a little too far off Petacchi's wheel to have a real chance."
As for his Vuelta so far, Boonen said: "I'm finally starting to feel good again. The opening days of this race were good, but then after Tuesday I became a little disillusioned as I was keen to do well, but the results didn't come." As one of the favourites for the world championships in Madrid later this month, he may already have his mind elsewhere.
Quick.Step for Paris-Bruxelles, Fourmies & Pologne
Paris-Bruxelles, September 10: Wilfried Cretskens, Mads Christensen,
Kevin Hulsmans, Neirynck, Nick Nuyens, Luca Paolini, Filippo Pozzato,
Michael Rogers, Stefano Zanini, Wouter Weylandt
GP Fourmies, September 11: Mads Christensen, Dimitri De Fauw,
Ad Engels, Jasper Melis, Michael Rogers, Patrik Sinkewitz, Wouter Weylandt,
Tour de Pologne, September 12-18: Davide Bramati, Kevin Hulsmans,
Servais Knaven, Cristian Moreni, Luca Paolini, Filippo Pozzato, Bram Tankink,
Elio Aggiano (Team LPR) has renewed his contract with his current team for a further two years, according to a statement from the team. Aggiano's best result this year came at the Settimana Ciclista Internazionale Coppi-Bartali in March, where he won the fifth and final stage.
"18 victories in a little over seven months demonstrates that we are one of the three best teams in Italy," said Aggiano. "Fassa Bortolo and Panaria have taken a few more wins, but disputing almost triple the number of races. I have been a professional for many years, and hope to teach the new generation [of cyclists]."
Mitchell and Moninger go head-to-head
Levi Leipheimer, one of America's Tour de France heroes and a resident of Santa Rosa, will play an unusual role commentating at the 2005 Infineon Technologies Cougar Mountain Classic Supercuts Road Circuit Race that takes place this Saturday, September 10, in Sonoma, CA.
Leipheimer will be calling the action in the predicted struggle between defending champ Glen Mitchell (Kodak Gallery - Sierra Nevada) and the in-form Scott Moninger (Health Net/Maxxis), winner of six stage races this year alone, including the Cascade Classic and Tour de 'Toona, and currently #1 in the National Racing Calendar (NRC) standings.
Mitchell, from Santa Rosa, who finished fifth in last weekend's San Francisco Grand Prix, had this to say about Cougar Mountain's Road course: "Racing on Infineon Raceway was one of the toughest days of last season, so whoever wins on Saturday is going to have to earn it. I know I'm on form after taking fifth last weekend in San Francisco, and my Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada teammates are all riding well also."
"What makes the Cougar Mountain Classic such a unique event is that it's one of only two road race events on the National Racing Calendar (NRC) hosted at a motor speedway venue," said Kendra Wenzel, Road Race Director for Infineon Technologies Cougar Mountain Classic. "This makes for safe and fast racing and gives spectators the opportunity to watch riders multiple times, which is a great opportunity to see in close detail how the tactical battle is played out."
Road cyclists will have an opportunity to test their legs against top rivals on Infineon Raceway's 2.52-mile, 12-turn, smoothly paved racecourse. The raceway, used by top motor sports series such as NASCAR and the IRL, has a steep climb with a gradient between Turn 1 and Turn 2 varying from 9-percent at the exit of Turn 1 to 15-percent up the hill to 7-percent at Turn 2, and plenty of twisting and turning conducive for attacks and breakaways.
The race will host riders from at least seven pro road men's teams, including Kodak/Sierra Nevada, Webcor Builders, McGuire-Langdale, Subway, Monex, Health Net and Symmetrics. Several riders have opted to stay in town after competing in the San Francisco Grand Prix this past weekend to participate in the Cougar Mountain Classic and pick up some additional NRC points for the year.
The women's race should also be competitive with the Webcor team - world time trial champion Karen Brems, former Collegiate road race champ, Stefanie Graeter, and 2004 Cal Cup champion and NorCal District road champion, Felicia Greer - as well as many strong regional teams.
Start guns fire for the pro women and men at 1:15 pm and 3:15 pm respectively.
More information: call 650.364.7612, email: email@example.com, or visit: www.cmclassic.com.
U.S. bike shops offer work & lodgings to Katrina victims
By Steve Medcroft
Members of the U.S. based bicycle trade organization, the National Bicycle Dealer's Association (NBDA), have found a unique a creative way to assist the victims of last week's Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding of New Orleans, Louisiana. Through a forum on the NBDA Web site, more than thirty-seven members (as of September 7) are offering everything from housing and groceries to jobs and financial aid to bike shop owners and bike shop workers displaced by the disaster.
Mike Baker, marketing and communications director of NBDA says the idea came about in the member forums NBDA hosts on its Web site. "Our members chat on line," he says. "About 300 to 400 regulars. They typically discuss things about the industry and business on any given day."
After Katrina struck, talk turned to the disaster. Hans Hansel, owner of BikeWorks, a Specialized, Giant, Raleigh and Merlin dealer based in Orlando, Florida says the idea for the offers of assistance came from a volunteer at the Houston Astrodome. "There was a person organizing in the Astrodome in Houston. He came across a group of people who had worked in or ran bike shops. He contacted a Houston bike shop (an NBDA member) and asked for help."
The Houston member (whose name Hansel couldn't recall at the time of the interview) mentioned the interaction on line and Hansel, like others, felt there was something they could do. "I responded by saying I could put someone up and give them a job," Hansel said. "I've lived in Central Florida for twenty years. We were hit by three hurricanes last year alone. I know what it's like to be hot and hungry and not have water."
The posts caught the attention of NBDA executive director Fred Clements. Clements worked out a posting page that members could use to list what they could offer as. "We provide a page with the postings and a form someone can use to request help," Baker says.
The postings have been growing daily and include offerings like employment and housing from David Whaley of Carolina BikeWorks in Morganton, North Carolina, employment, housing, meals and use of a bike from Martha Emmons and Hutch Smith of BikeWorld in Paducah, Kentucky and up to $1,500 in transportation costs to anyone who accepts one of the offers of employment or housing from Eddie Warner of Holland's Bicycles in Coronado, California.
Hansel, who is offering temporary work and lodging for four to five people hurt by Katrina, says his post has been online for two days and he hasn't received a request yet. The challenge, he says, "Is that we don't know how these people are going to find out about us. I don't think that the people displaced have access to the Internet."
Hansel says he hopes "word travels back to those people. We don't know where they are or what they need but if I get a chance to help, I'll be very happy."
The offers of help are posted at www.nbda.com.
SC Cycling seeking members
Expanding in its second year, SC Cycling is seeking riders for its regional clubs and a professional team. The professional women's team is a joint effort by SC Cycling and AE Sport Development, a non-profit organization. A team of ten professional women will tackle the North American road racing circuit and hold free community clinics in Colorado's Front-Range. While the professional women's team is close to complete, they are still accepting resumes for several rider positions.
Information, resumes, and sponsorship requests should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org or: American Espoir, P.O. Box 184, Boulder, CO, 80302.
South Carolina cyclist dies in accident
A 21 year-old Cat. 2 cyclist from Fort Mill, South Carolina and member of the John Deere Development Team was struck and killed by a 63 year-old driver last Friday, September 2. According to a report from The Herald in SC, Dylan Paul Mitchell of 1686 Double Oak Road was travelling east on his bicycle, riding home after a group training ride around 8:40 pm Friday evening, when Joel Peavy Jr, driving a 2003 Pontiac Vibe, struck and hit him from behind. Mitchell was taken to Richland Hospital, where he died around 9:00 pm that evening.
Brad Bowman wrote this brief eulogy on Dylan Mitchell:
ylan was a talented young man on many levels. A fine son, brother, artist, USC student, training partner, athlete, teammate and friend. Dylan approached life with an optimism that was infectious and it was impossible to spend any time with him without sharing a laugh and a smile. His cycling accomplishments began with success in mountain bike racing, but he turned his attention to road racing two years ago. A member of the John Deere Development Team, he won in every category as he ascended to the cat 2s. He was the gold medallist espoir in the 2005 NC/SC state RR and we all expected a great future for him, both on and off the bike. Tragically that future has been cut short.
Rest in Peace, Dylan Mitchell, knowing you will always be remembered.
The Mitchell Family and would like to extend the following information for all concerned.
There will be no formal ceremony at this time. Wolfe Funeral Home in Fort Mill will be arranging a private cremation service for the family. There will be a Memorial Service held in several weeks to which all will be invited to remember the good times and Honor Dylan's life. More information will follow as plans develop.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the Fort Mill Care Center, or the American Red Cross.
Fort Mill Care Center
American Red Cross
Poidevin almost ready for Goulburn-Sydney
With the emergence of a revitalised Goulburn - Sydney Cycle Classic, the opportunity for an individual to help a good cause also sprung to life. Wallaby legend Simon Poidevin, who grew up in the NSW country town of Goulburn, decided that his respect for cycling as a sport could extend to having a go at riding one of the country's toughest single-day races - all while raising money for charities in the areas this race covers.
On September 24, Poidevin and five other team-mates will ride 150km of the Sydney - Goulburn course in order to raise $20,000 for the Kids of Macarthur Health Foundation and Goulburn's Community Palliative Care and Oncology Support Group. Poidevin, along with Warwick Negus, Warwick Waugh, Andrew Best, Michael Cori and Tim Cage will ride a slightly shortened version of the race, climbing the notorious Razorback Hill near Picton once. They'll do the ride by taking 1.5 hour stints in the saddle to break up what is a difficult course.
Asked why he decided to take this particular challenge, Poidevin replied, "Paul [Hillbrick, race director] approached me, and being a former Goulburn boy and admirer of cycling as a sport, I thought I'd give it a go." Poidevin and his 'gang' have been in intensive training for the event, and although Poidevin is not quite sure how his charges will handle the challenge he's staying positive, saying, "I don't know how they'll go; we'll just have to see how we go on the day, but I'm sure we'll get through it."
Poidevin, who is considered one of Australia's greatest-ever rugby players with over 100 games for Australia, believes he'll find the ride tough - it's a physical challenge to rival playing the New Zealand All Blacks. After a career in a sport such as rugby, most former players carry injuries from their time on the field, but Poidevin believes this shouldn't be too much of a factor, saying, "I've got myself a Softride frame from the States which should make things easier on the back, and this weekend we're heading out for an 85 kilometre ride - which is closer to the actual race distance - so we'll see then." And with about two months of serious cycling in his legs, Poidevin's going to need that famous fighting spirit, a trademark earned when playing for the Wallabies.
Poidevin's confident of reaching the $20,000 target set as the goal of the ride: "Yeah, we'll get to the $20,000 target no worries," he said. "Citigroup have contributed $5000 and Cardy & Co, a carting company, have decided to get on board with $2000. Carlton and United Breweries have also expressed an interest in sponsoring the race, which is also great."
The former international, nicknamed 'The King' within the rugby world, is another Australian sporting icon to raise money for children's charity through feats of endurance. Last year, former Australian cricket captain and the game's leading runscorer, Allan Border, walked from Sydney to Brisbane to raise money for The Spastic Centre, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Children's Cancer Institute of Australia and the NBN 'Kids Project' - raising awareness and money for these causes in the process. Poidevin's aiming to do the same while putting back into local communities at the same time. And he may just get the 'cycling bug' and do it again next year.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)