First Edition Cycling News for August 16, 2006
Edited by John Stevenson & John Kenny
Landis enjoys brief respite in Chicago
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Chicago
While the organisers of the Tour of Elk Grove did not want Floyd Landis to attend their race in Chicago last weekend, Landis' coach Robbie Ventura honoured his invitation to have Landis appear at the opening of his company's new training facility on the north side Bucktown neighbourhood of Chicago. The event at VisionQuest, Chicago packed in a VIP crowd to hear some of Ventura's top athletes speak including Landis, Dave Zabriskie and two triathletes.
The obviously pro-Floyd crowd gave Landis a standing ovation. While the subject of Landis' ongoing doping investigation was of course off-limits, Landis answered many questions about the stages of the Tour, along with the comedic commentary from the now well-known dry wit of Zabriskie. Landis was relaxed and comfortable on the stage, happy to be asked about the actual racing of the Tour and not the doping investigation, cracking jokes with Zabriskie.
In between video clips of his athletes, Ventura showed off the facility's Computrainer set-up with eighteen stations all wired together, the largest in the U.S. After the presentations, Landis and the other athletes stayed and signed every autograph from the crowd.
Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case
29, 2009 - French authorities summon Landis and Baker
Tour of Utah on a Roll
By Steve Medcroft
Former pro cyclist, author, Tour de France race announcer, and all-around cycling personality Bob Roll was on hand for the final days of the Tour of Utah. Roll was in town to help announce the final two stages, a circuit race in downtown Salt Lake City on Friday and a mountain stage on Saturday, as well as lead a charity fundraising ride called the Freedom Peloton.
Roll said he was very familiar with the tour of Utah's terrain and believes the tough, mountainous parcours of the event will help it grow.
"When we used to race mountain bikes up here, Park City used to have a big race, a big NORBA National. I've ridden all these canyons at some time or another in the last twenty-five years during my career," roll told Cyclingnews. "They're not as steep as the Pyrenees but they are as steep as the Alps. And you start at 5,000 feet and go up from there so altitude-wise, they're a lot more dramatic than what you see in Europe."
Roll says the difficulty of the course could be a key to the race's future success. "They've changed the profile of the race one hundred percent for this year and hopefully it will continue to grow," he said. "It's tough in North America to get the right part of the year so you get the good teams and the best athletes. I think the promoter has done a really great job to get really good teams here. As the race grows and the prize money increases, and the word gets out that it's a really, tough, absolutely brutal race, it will become a challenging part of the calendar and people will want to put their names in the record books as having had success here."
How could this Tour of Utah improve? "I think if this race can grow into ten days and stay at altitude, and it's a UCI race and in an enviable part of the calendar - like two weeks before the Worlds - you will get some of the best European bike racers that don't want to do the Vuelta but still want to have a hard race at altitude. We saw that with the Coors Classic in Colorado years ago. There's no doubt about it; if they have the right slot in the calendar and UCI recognition, and the right amount of difficulty, you would have the top American teams coming over."
German pros trial 2007 Worlds course
By Susan Westemeyer
Some of the top German pros have checked out the course for the 2007 World championships in Stuttgart, Germany, and they agree: it won't be easy.
Milram sprinter Erik Zabel says it right on the limit, "because there were a lot of crashes on some of the stretches when the Deutschland Tour rode over it." "It won't be very easy," said T-Mobile's Linus Gerdemann. "Riders who can climb well do well on this selective course."
Gerolsteiner's Markus Fothen also had an opinion on the course, a 19 kilometre round course which is to be ridden 14 times, for a total of 266 kilometres. "It will certainly be a real challenge. It is a hard but fair course." His teammate Stefan Schumacher called it "a very demanding course, because it constantly goes up and down.
Both Gerdemann and Schumacher were looking forward to a world championship in their home land. "Having the cycling world championship take place at your own front door only happens once in a lifetime," said Schumacher. "For that reason it is my dream to win a medal." According to Gerdemann, "Having the World's in your home land is always something special. I hope that we will have a really strong team on the start."
Breschel extends contract
One of team CSC's rising stars, Matti Breschel, has extended his contract with the team for two years.
"I'm very happy about that," Breschel said on www.feltet.dk/matti. "And the fact that it was a two-year contract is more than I could have wished for. Now, I don't have to stress about delivering results to get a new contract. Naturally, it shouldn't be a pretext for doing nothing, but it's definitely a [gift]. It's nice to know that Riis believes in me. It's great.
"There were a couple of other teams in consideration, but I'm very happy to be in Team CSC. I've found myself a nice spot in the team and have made some good friends."
Breschel broke his back in the early spring, which meant that he wasn't able to ride all the spring classics. The rider admitted that he had his doubts during his long recovery, "Of course, it was a little frustrating, 'cause you couldn't know what was going to happen with the new contract. You just lay there, unable to do anything,", he said.
3 Molinos Resort drops another
By Antonio J. Salmerón
Only Jan Hruska, Santos González, Toni Tauler, Jesús del Nero, Mikel Artetxe and Alberto Benito remain unaffected by the withdrawal of 3 Molinos Resort Murcia Turística as a team sponsor and management company of the eponymous team. The Spanish neo-professional 3 Molinos rider, Jesús Buendia, has joined the list of former riders with the team.
On Monday, a lawyer for the Professional Cyclists Association (ACP) and 3 Molinos Resort management met to try and reach an agreement that would satisfy both riders and sponsor, but it proved impossible. The 3 Molinos Resort proposed to pay four months as a settlement of contract rescission, but this offer was not accepted by all of the affected riders.
Today, Wednesday, all the 3 Molinos Resort Murcia Turística riders will meet with the team management to discuss the team's future. After the last meeting, 3 Molinos Resort management announced that, "there exists the firm intention of continuing indefinitely, but it is necessary to trim the team and the budget, without compromising on quality".
UCI plans under-23 series
The UCI has announced a new race series specifically for top-level male under 23 riders. The Cup of Nations will include around seven one-day and stage races which are known for the quality of their organisation and the high standard of competition. Organisers of Cup of Nations events will be obliged to invite the best national federations from each continent, who will be entitled to enter a team of six riders.
The UCI plans to announce full details at the world championships in Salzburg, Austria next month and to start the series in 2007.
TIAA-CREF in form for USPRO Championship
TIAA-CREF riders will be among the favourites for Sunday's USPRO Criterium championship, with Blake Caldwell recently winning the final stage of the tour of Utah and Brad Huff winning the Hot Spot competition at the Elk Grove criterium.
The USPRO criterium forms the second event of the national criterium championships, the first event being the Elk Grove criterium held last weekend. Over $200,000 prizemoney is on offer for the two races and three champions will be crowned in the Elite men's, Elite women's and USPRO Criterium categories.
Fastest man on wheels at Lehigh Velodrome
Lehigh Velodrome will host its biggest event of the track season, the Fastest Man on Wheels, on Friday evening, August 18. The race will feature some of the world's top sprinters including Australia's 2004 Athens gold medallists, Ryan Bayley and Anna Meares
Shane Perkins, the junior world champion and Chloe McPherson, junior world champion and five-time world BMX medallist will be taking to the track along with Travis Smith of the Canadian Olympic team, US national team members Giddeon Massie, Ben Barczewski, Andy Lakatosh and Pan-Am cycling champions Leandro Botasso, Sebastian Donadio, and Sebastian Alexandre of Argentina.
The night of racing will be sprint focused with time trials and qualifiers being held in the morning leaving only the top riders to compete in the evening for the title of "Fastest Man on Wheels".
Also being held on Friday night is the Lehigh Valley Velodrome's Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Great riders from the velodrome's past, Nelson Saldana, Paul Pearson, Aleric Gayfer, and multi-time world and Olympic medalist, Canadian Curt Harnett will be inducted in 2006.
Laois to host all-Ireland underage championships
By Tommy Campbell Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
Over 150 junior competitors from all parts of Ireland are expected to attend the All-Ireland Underage Championships on the weekend of August 19 and 20 with all events taking place around the towns of Emo and Portarlington. The event is hosted by Laois Cycling & Touring Club.
The championships will consist of three separate events with the first of these - a relatively flat 3 mile time trial - kicking off at 10am Saturday morning. The race will determine the Irish time trial champions.
In the afternoon, the cyclists will make the short trip to Portarlington for the criterium championships. A technically challenging two kilometre circuit awaits the riders. The final event, the road race, will take place on Sunday morning. The ten kilometre circuit includes the tough climb past Coolbanagher Church and should ensure that only the strongest remain to take the medals. Medals and other prizes will be awarded to the first six over the line in each event.
The championships are sponsored by Edenderry Power Ltd. General manager Dermott Kelly said, "Edenderry Power are proud to be sponsors of the Underage Cycling Championships. We appreciate the effort involved by all concerned to organise such an event…. We wish all the competitors the very best of luck for a safe and enjoyable race and remember you are all winners."
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)