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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti


Latest Cycling News for December 1, 2006

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

Six national federations oppose UCI ProTour

The representatives of six national cycling federations (Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, Italy and Luxembourg) have met on Thursday, November 30 in Paris and officially declared their opposition to the UCI ProTour "in its current form." Insisting on the creation of a round table assembling all parties involved in the sport (UCI, AIOCC, CPA, AIGCP), the federations aim to "find solutions which suit all, and not only a small core of persons at the UCI. If [the UCI] continues to oppose this, then the federations will organise the meeting without the UCI," according to a press statement.

The federations' representatives also made known that they will support the association of race organisers (AIOCC) in its proceeding before the European Commission regarding the legitimacy of the ProTour, and "deplored the UCI's treatment of the Continental circuit, attempting to privilege only the UCI ProTour." Rudolf Massak (Austria), Laurent De Backer (Belgium), José Grinan Lopez (Spain), Jean Pitallier (France), Renato Di Rocco (Italy) and Jean Regenwetter (Luxembourg) instead "esteem that the European Continental circuit should be managed by the UEC (European Union of Cycling)."

Furthermore, the high-ranking officials representing Europe' most important cycling nations expressed their "profound disagreement with the working methods of the UCI, in particular the participation in certain official events, the Vrijman report and the audit, which probably aims at damaging the prestige of the great cycling monuments."

Back to racing: Tyler Hamilton

Tyler Hamilton recently confirmed his comeback to the sport of professional cycling by signing with emerging Italian team, Tinkoff Credit Systems. The American, controversial holder of the 2004 Olympic time trial gold medal, will surely help the Russian-backed team enter big races like the Giro d'Italia. Gregor Brown of Cyclingnews interviewed Hamilton one day after the team announced his signing.

Hamilton in the red colours of Team CSC
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

"I will meet with the Tinkoff Credit Systems team management in the next couple of weeks and we will discuss our schedule for the upcoming season. At the moment it is too early to say what my first race back will be," noted Hamilton, happy to be returning the professional level.

Now 35 years-old, Hamilton was handed a two-year ban from his profession in the fall of 2004 due to testing positive for blood transfusion in the Vuelta a España. Since that day he has steadfastly refused any type of wrongdoing, even recently when documents were allegedly found with his name in connection to Operación Puerto.

Controversy behind him, Hamilton has accepted a one-year contract with the team backed by Russian millionaire, Oleg Tinkov. Tinkov's aim is to have the team enter the Giro d'Italia, something which should be feasible; race organizers will remember that it was Hamilton who narrowly missed out on victory in the 2002 edition, bravely coming second to Paolo Savoldelli.

"I hope the team will be part of the Giro d'Italia. It has always been one of my favourite races and I've always wanted to ride the Giro," Hamilton responded in regards to his 2007 goals. He is the only American to ever win one of cycling's five monuments, the 2003 Liège-Bastogne-Liège. "Certainly, Liège is also a very special race for me. I would love to try to win this race again. In my opinion, it's the hardest one day race of the year."

Click here to read the full feature.

Swiss go for all or nothing

By Susan Westemeyer

The Swiss cycling federation is continuing to investigate Jan Ullrich. Bernhard Welten, who is leading that investigation, told press agency dpa that Swiss Cycling's Disciplinary Committee will hand down either a lifetime ban or a complete acquittal. Welten is still waiting for addition information from German and Spanish investigators.

Krauss breaks foot

By Susan Westemeyer

Training is dangerous to your health: Gerolsteiner's Sven Krauss learned that lesson the hard way on Thursday night. He broke a bone in his right foot while running in a gym. "It happened during a perfectly routine action. I ran, I stopped, and suddenly it cracked.

"It has to be operated on, because the break is directly under a tendon," said the 23 year-old. Surgeons at the Sportklinik Stuttgart are expected to put a screw in the bone today. "It is planned as in-and-out surgery, so I assume I will be home again this evening," according to Krauss. If all goes well he should be able to resume training within 10 to 14 days.

Crake home for Christmas

Paul Crake at the 2005 Australian Open Road Championships, where he got third
Photo ©: CN
Click for larger image

Canberra cyclist Paul Crake will be home in Australia for Christmas and will be admitted to a spinal care unit in Australia to continue his rehabilitation after undergoing surgery for injuries he suffered in a race crash on November 11 in New Zealand. Crake was one of five cyclists crashing during the eighth stage of the Powernet Tour of Southland and sustained severe injuries to his spine, lungs and ribs.

"I'm really looking forward to being back in Australia for Christmas," said the 29 year-old from his room in the Burwood Spinal Unit in Christchurch, adding that he has been overwhelmed by the messages of support he has received from around the world.

"I would like to thank all those people for showing their concern and sending me very positive thoughts," he said. "It means so much to me to receive the supporting emails and letters and that's a big part of what keeps me positive. I have received cards and emails from people I've never met before from around the world and it's really heartening.

"The continual support is really helping me keep my optimism and keep the battle going," said Crake. "I'm coming to terms with the accident now and trying to work through what's happened. I'm trying to keep my mindset positive and most of the time I have an optimistic outlook because my intention is to get out of the wheelchair.

"The doctors can't specifically say yes or no and there have been people in a lot worse condition than me who have recovered fully and that provides inspiration for me."

Crake is fully focussed on his recovery and doctors say he is well ahead of schedule in terms of what he is able to do. He is already spending up to seven hours a day in a wheelchair and working twice a day on strength and mobility exercises with the physiotherapists in the gym.

"The crash caused severe trauma to his spine and doctors say it will be six to eight weeks before the swelling subsides and the spine settles so they can see exactly what the damage is," said his father Peter Crake who, along with wife Elizabeth, is in Christchurch with their son. Crake's partner Daniela Zanon flew into Christchurch on Monday from her home in Bolzano in the north of Italy.

"Daniela had been due to arrive on Sunday but her train to Vienna (Airport) was delayed by a freight train breakdown on the line so she missed the flight," said Peter Crake. "Paul was very, very pleased to see her and she is spending all her time with him in the spinal unit."

KodakGallery team announces 2007 roster

Backed by continued support from title sponsor and presenting sponsor Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, the team announced on Friday that it has finalized its 12-rider roster for the 2007 season. Six-time Canadian National Champion and eight-year professional cycling veteran Mark Walters will join forces with 2006 NORBA National Cross Country champion and 2006 U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross series champion, Ryan Trebon, to headline the 2007 squad.

Returning riders include Pete Lopinto, team leader and criterium specialist; Jesse Anthony, six-time U.S. cyclocross champion in the junior and U-23 ranks; Mike Dietrich, a second year pro who revealed great potential in 2006; and Skyler Bishop who adds depth to the team in all situations.

In addition to Walters and Trebon, the team welcomes new members Dominique Rollin, 2006 Canadian Elite Road National Champion; Cody O’Reilly, 6-time Junior National Track Champion; Josh Thornton, former Junior National Road Champion; Ben Raby, mountain stage winner at the 2006 UCI Vuelta a El Salvador; Jamiel Danesh, 2006 silver medalist at Track Nationals; and Dan Timmerman, 2006 New York State Road Race Champion.

Team General Manager, Robin Zellner, commented, "This season we are looking to elevate all aspects of our program and our roster reflects this commitment. We are proud to carry forward the enthusiastic support of and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and look forward to announcing several exciting and innovative additions to our sponsor roster in the coming weeks."

The 2007 KodakGallery Pro Cycling Team, Presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company:

Jesse Anthony (Beverly, MA)
Skyler Bishop (Del Mar, CA)
Jamiel Danesh (San Jose, CA)
Mike Dietrich (Tucson, AZ)
Pete Lopinto (Boulder, CO)
Cody O’Reilly (Santa Barbara, CA)
Ben Raby (Geneva, IL)
Dominique Rollin (Boucherville, Quebec, Canada)
Josh Thornton (San Antonio, FL)
Dan Timmerman (Ithaca, NY)
Ryan Trebon (Ventura, CA)
Mark Walters (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada)

Santa’s "Win Your Weight" sprint omnium

Elite sprinters will be able to race for a whole load of wine for their Christmas celebrations at the final Revolution of 2006 at the Manchester Velodrome on December 9. Jamie Staff, Craig MacLean, Roberto Chiappa, Jan Van Eijden and Jason Kenny will all be taking part in a three-event omnium at the end of which the victorious rider will win its own weight in Ravenswood Vintners blend wine. Christian Lyte, David Daniel, Steven Hill and Tom Buck will also be involved in the omnium, but being under 18 they will not be eligible to win their weight in wine will have to settle for winning their weight in SIS products.

Sprinters are not known for their slender builds - Jamie Staff stands to gain the most from a victory as he weighs an impressive 93 kilos. "I am really looking forward to taking part in the omnium!," Staff said. "It’s going to be tough because Craig is on fire at the moment. I have to say I’m not sure that much wine would have a beneficial effect on my season next year - but I’m game. At least I won’t have to buy any Christmas presents - it’ll be wine all round at the Staff residence!"

The races within the omnium will include a three round match sprint, a 200m time trial and a keirin. With Obree, Millar, Wiggins, Marvulli and a whole host of other endurance stars signed up to compete on the night as well as a huge number of fantastic Christmas prizes to be won, the first ever "Christmas Revolution" will have plenty racing to offer.

Revolution 15 spectators are advised to get tickets in advance from

MacFarlane contracted for the Christmas Carnival Series

Donna MacFarlane has been contracted by the Sports Carnivals Association of Tasmania (SCAT) to run at Latrobe, Devonport and Burnie at the National Grid Christmas Carnival Series. MacFarlane shot to fame by winning a bronze medal at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in the steeple chase and is one of the best athletes Tasmania has ever produced.

Securing MacFarlane for the series is a big boost and one that is a result of a collaborative approach by SCAT, Latrobe, Devonport, and Burnie Clubs. Grant Atkins President of SCAT is thrilled that MacFarlane will feature in the series. "Donna is a great asset to the series and will certainly prove to be a home town favourite," he said.

The three cycling clubs have also been working together in order to secure Victorian runner Kat Dressler, who will run at all three carnivals and is on the come back trail after suffering from an injury last year. Dressler was selected for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and was in the squad for the 4x400m relay in the 2004 Olympic Games.

Leon Saltmarsh, Secretary of the Burnie Athletic Club is excited that both MacFarlane and Dressler will run at all three carnivals. "This is a great result for all our clubs and SCAT, Dennis and Rod have been great to work with," he commented. "The calibre of MacFarlane and Dressler will certainly make for some exciting racing."

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