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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for December 17, 2006

Edited by Gregor Brown & Sue George

Bos breaks world record

At the track world cup in Moscow, Russia, 23-year-old Dutch rider Theo Bos broke the world record in the flying 200m with a time of 9.772 seconds. The previous world record was set by Curt Harnett in Bogota, Columbia, with a time of 9.865 seconds.

Bos made two attempts today. Earlier in the day, he clocked 9.892 seconds, setting new European and sea-level records. He not only won the men's sprint 200m qualifying round, but also the men's sprint finals.

US Cyclo-cross champs started this weekend

By Steve Medcroft in Providence, Rhode Island

Ryan Trebon
Photo ©: David Gray Mclean
(Click for larger image)

The 2006 US Cyclo-cross National Championships got underway Friday morning at Roger Williams Park in Providence Rhode Island. Gone were the whiteout blizzards that marked the opening day of the 2005 championships; they were replaced by cool, overcast conditions, and a superfast, tacky and firm racecourse.

Not gone were the crowds. In fact, the 2006 edition of Nationals, the second consecutive year the event has been held in Providence, is shaping up to be possibly the largest cyclo-cross gathering in US history - 1,940 entrants vying for 28 national titles. Promoters say the numbers represent a 14-percent increase over the 2005 edition and 41-percent growth over 2004.

Coming up on

Cyclingnews will cover the 60th edition of the Dauphiné Libéré live as of stage 4 on Wednesday, June 10, at approximately 15:00 local Europe time (CEST)/ 23:00 Australian time (CDT)/ 9:00 (USA East).

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About 130 men lined up for the elite men's race Saturday, for example. In the Friday's master's racing, several categories were stacked 12 riders wide and more than a dozen rows deep. That dynamic caused all kinds of panic and riders with preferred positions ended up 500 meters ahead of riders relegated to the back rows in just the first lap.

Trebon makes it look easy

Ryan Trebon (Kona) surged off the front in the first lap of the men's elite race Saturday and never looked back. He won by about 30 seconds. Over the course of the sixty minute race, Trebon gradually extended his lead every lap. At first, chasers tried to close the gap, but eventually two smaller chase groups formed into one five-man group consisting of Jonathan Page (Cervelo/Hot Tubes), Tim Johnson (Cannondale/, Todd Wells (GT/Hyundai), Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly), and Barry Wicks (Kona).

For full coverage of the elite men's race, click here.

Anthony & Summerhill take familiar spots on podiums

Jesse Anthony (Team Clifbar) convincingly claimed the U-23 men's national championship today. He dominated the race, from start to finish, after assuming an early lead. Jamie Driscoll (FiordiFruitta) stayed with him for awhile, but eventually faded to fourth position after several chasers closed in. Anthony won his seventh national title. Although he was defeated last year by Troy Wells, the favorite was previously a national champion for six years as a junior and U23 rider.

Danny Summerhill (TIAA Cref/Clifbar) raced off the start line of the elite junior men's race today toward his second consecutive junior national title. On the first lap, the favorite went off the front with Ethan Gilmore (K2 Bike/Okemo/Coyote Hill). During the course of the race, Summerhill steadily extended his lead over Gilmore from 10 seconds to 32 seconds at the end. Gilmore hung tough for second ahead of a late-charging Taylor Phinney (TIAA Cref/Clifbar). Nick Bax (Hot Tubes) caught and passed Nicholas Keough (CL Noonan/Coast to Coast) in the final laps to take fourth.

See full coverage of the U23 and Junior races.

Overend, Tilford among Masters' winners

A familiar pose for Ned Overend.
Photo ©: Ed Collier
(Click for larger image)

15 national titles were awarded Friday for the masters' competition that saw 626 riders aged 30 to 66 compete for stars-and-stripes jerseys.

1990 Mountain Bike World Champion and two-time Xterra triathlon world champion Ned Overend (Specialized) earned his latest title with a victory in the men's 50-54 event. The 51-year-old mountain bike icon and one of the most venerable off-road athletes of any generation clocked a winning time of 41 minutes, 54 seconds over the 10.25-mile course to best runner-up Henry Kramer (California Giant Strawberries) by 33 seconds. It was the first time Overend competed at the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships since 1985 in Nutley, N.J. - a race that was won by Friday's fifth-place finisher, Paul Curley (Taunton, Mass./Gearworks-Spinarts), and remembered well by Overend.

"I remember that, it was a cold wintry day," Overend recalled. "You didn't have to worry where you started back then, the fields were so small. It's incredible (cyclo-cross) has grown so much." Next up for Overend is Saturday's elite men's race where he'll mix it up with the top American pros.

Another master who regularly competes against elites and pros half his age, Steve Tilford (Verge-Shimano) earned a stars-and-stripes jersey in the men's 45-49 category. Tilford clocked a winning mark of 41:00 over the same distance to better Dennis Farrell (Littleton, Colo./Red Rocks Velo) by 1:16. Like Overend, Tilford will line up Saturday against the pros to measure his talent against the best in the United States.

Many other athletes were crowned national champions as master women and men.

Full reports and results for all categories will be posted here.

Cyclingnews will provide live coverage of the elite women's race Sunday at 2:00 PM US EST.

Erik Zabel: Cycling's iron man

Erik Zabel (Germany)
Photo ©: Andrea Hübner
Click for larger image

Erik Zabel is going into his 15th year as a professional cyclist, has nearly 200 career victories, with palmares better than most teams could offer, rides from the first race of the season to the last and fills in the off-season by riding (and of course winning) six-day races. Cyclingnews' Susan Westemeyer tracked him down to ask if there is anything he can't do.

While he may be an iron man on the bike, as a father there is one thing Zabel can't do. The rider freely admits that when watching his son Rick, who, not surprisingly, also races, he simply can't watch the 13 year-old cross the line. "I just can't look at the finish line, I always stand in the last curve. The worst is if he crashes. Then I turn weak. I don't want him to make any mistakes, but on the other hand, I know that he has to make mistakes."

While Erik isn't forcing his son into the sport, he wouldn't stand in Rick's way either, if he did decide to pursue the same route as dad. But for now, Erik is just passing on some fatherly wisdom. "The most important tips that I can give him are: first, wear a helmet. Second: Have fun with what you do," explained Zabel. "When I go to a junior race with Rick, then I am always satisfied to recognize this is still my sport at its roots. I see myself as I used to be. Why should I stop him?"

Read the full interview.

German TV investigated for paying Ullrich

By Susan Westemeyer

The many legal problems and investigations involving pro cycling took a strange turn, as it was announced last week that the Hamburg, Germany, district attorney is investigating TV station ARD for its payments to Jan Ullrich. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that the investigation concerns the misuse of public funds, as the ARD is financed by the German taxpayers.

Following the announcement of Ullrich's involvement in the Operación Puerto investigation, ARD announced that it was cancelling its contract with Ullrich for exclusive interviews and appearances. The ARD had paid Ullrich up to €230,000 a year plus performance bonuses.

Canadians in Moscow world cup

The field in Russia
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Two of the top Canadian track cyclists will take part in the second round of the UCI track world cup in Moscow, Russia: Zach Bell, from Whitehorse, Yukon (residing in Kingston, Ontario) in the men's pursuit and men's points race as well as Gina Grain, from Victoria British Colombia, in the women's points race.

The two Canadian riders, both in great shape according to their coach Houshang Amiri, will start racing on the Krylatskoye Velodrome from Friday morning.

Zach Bell, 25th in the world standings (individual pursuit), who had finished in eighth place in the points race and eleventh in the Men's individual pursuit at the first round of the UCI world cup in Sydney, Australia (November 2006), will face fierce competition from Russia's Mikhail Ignatiev (world cup #1 men's point race gold medallist) and Alexander Serov (world cup #1 men's individual pursuit gold medallist), both racing at home.

Gina Grain, who had placed fifth in last year's Los Angeles world cup and fourth at the 2006 Commonwealth Games (both results in the women's points race) currently 19th on the world cup standings, should be one of the best contenders.

O’Loughlin pleased with Moscow world cup showing

By Shane Stokes

Irish rider David O’Loughlin continued to gain experience in velodrome racing when he finished a solid eighth of 21 starters in the individual pursuit at the Moscow round of Cycling’s track World Cup on Friday.

The Navigators Insurance professional recorded a time of 4 minutes, 32.206 seconds during the qualifiers, going quickly enough to finish in the first half of the field despite his very limited track experience.

UK rider Rob Hayles was fastest in Moscow, recording a time of 4 minutes, 23.032 seconds in qualifying. He went on to finish second behind German rider Robert Bartko in the final, while compatriot Paul Manning beat Russian Alexander Serov for bronze.

O'Loughlin was pleased with his effort. "I am very happy with that result. It confirms that I can compete at the very top level on the track,” he stated. “I'm not in peak shape and I am only a couple of seconds from the top four. Cycling Ireland has put in place a new system that has targeted the velodrome and that has given my career a new focus. Now I am really looking forward to 2007."

Cycling Ireland Performance Director Frank Campbell was also upbeat. "David has exceeded our expectations in Moscow. Clearly he has great talent on the track. We can build on what he has achieved in 2006, including today's qualifying points for the World Championships, with a training and competition programme in 2007".

O’Loughlin recently took an unexpected win against experienced track riders Bradley McGee, Bradley Wiggins and David Millar at a round of the Revolution series last month. His first serious effort at the pursuit distance saw him set a new Irish record of 4 minutes 29.9 seconds at the end of September.

The Mayo rider is hoping to ride the world track champs in Mallorca next April. He and other Irish professional and international road competitors spent time participating in a Cycling Ireland track trial in Gent at the end of last month. O’Loughlin, Nicolas Roche (Cofidis), Mark Scanlon (AG2R), Ciarán Power (Navigators Insurance) and others have said that they are interested in doing some racing in this area of the sport, with possible Olympic qualification a big incentive.

Road racing will continue to be their top priority but Campbell believes that they can do well. “We have a number of quality cyclists who have the potential to produce top quality performances on the track. I have put in place a programme for the next couple of years, with the support of the Irish Sports Council, that will give Ireland a presence in the track disciplines.

“David is the trailblazer leading the first official Irish team at a World Cup event, and I am optimistic that, with the talent in the sport, we can get an Irish team to the World Championships next year."

Three strikes and out for Adam Hansen

By Susan Westemeyer

All Adam Hansen wanted to do was go for a nice six-hour training ride to get ready for his first season with his new team, T-Mobile. And knowing that the worst can happen, he took an extra tube, a can of foam and some patches with him. He thought that would cover any situation... Little did he know!

"So here I am, going out for a 6 hour ride at 220-240 watts and in the first 40 mins I get a flat," he wrote on his website, "I change the tube on the front and carry on, which I don't like to ride without another tube as I'm still new with the foam can and still not comfortable with it. But I carry on. 10 mins later my rear goes down."

So there he is, with another five hours to go and no spare tubes. But nothing else can happen, right? Wrong.

"So here I am screwing on the foam can onto the valve of the tube. Release the foam into the tube and it seals the hole and I don't need to change anything else. Perfect.......till I screw the can off the valve and you wouldn't believe it; the valve stays on the end of the can and the valve, screws off the tube!!!!!?? Which meant... Foam pouring out from the tube! All over the place! I have one finger on the end to stop the foam from coming out, this is my last tube!!!! And I try and screw the valve from the can, which was almost impossible with one hand, well it was impossible with two hands, I needed a pair of pliers to get it out, which I didn't have..."

There was only one thing left to do. "Lucky I kept my first flat tube. I patched it and was off."

Three flats in one day just don't happen, do they? Just ask Adam, who found "a big bit of glass in my rear again... Which is my 3rd strike! I'm out! Worse off again, I didn't have enough money to buy myself some tubes either and was about 5kms to the next bike shop. I get the glass out and just ride it to the bike shop." Fortunately, the bike shop advanced him three tubes -- one to use and two as spares. And then he was able to get home again safe and sound. "Lucky for me, no more flats for the rest of the ride!"

Tinkoff Credit Systems debuts in Malaysia

The Tinkoff Credit Systems team
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Click for larger image

Italy-based Tinkoff Credit Systems will make their 2007 debut in Malaysia, on February 2 at the Tour de Langkawi. The team, which includes American Tyler Hamilton, did not announce its roster for the race.

The boys will prepare for the UCI accredited race, and the 2007 season, the week before, from January 8 to 22 in Marina di Grosseto. The camp in southern Toscana will mark the second team training camp in light of the upcoming season.

Team Flexpoint opens Down Under

Team Flexpoint will start the new season in the Geelong Tour, a stage race in Australia, on February 27. This stage race will end on the first of March. Two days later the team will start as well in the World Cup race of Geelong.

One week later (March 7) Loes Markerink, Loes Gunnewijk, Susanne Ljungskog and Annette Beutler will compete in a stage race in New Zealand.

Long Beach bike and family festival announced

Long Beach has announced that in conjunction with the final stage of the 2007 Tour of California it will be hosting the first ever Long Beach Bike and Family Festival. The Festival will be on Saturday, February 24, 2007, from 11AM – 3PM in the parking area next to the Long Beach Arena which is also the site of the 2007 Tour of California final circuit race.

The Festival will include a wide variety of free public activities including product booths, BMX freestyle and ramp demos, flatland demos, Park Tool's "Fastest Wrench in the West" competition, interactive family activities, food, music and much more. The event is designed to bring the public directly in touch with the cycling and lifestyle industry, and participating manufacturers will have the ability to offer test rides on a one-mile closed secure course, product demos, as well as the ability to sell on-site.

"We are extremely excited about this entire weekend and with the creation of the new Long Beach Bike and Family Festival believe this is a great way for the cycling industry to reach out and touch the bicycle and outdoor community, all leading into the last day of the Amgen Tour of California", says Steve Goodling, President and CEO of the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We see the Festival as being a tremendous stand alone event, especially after the early feedback we have received from the bicycle industry."

Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada conclude team camp

Keg anyone?
Photo ©: Rob O'Dea
Click for larger image

Team Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada concluded its week-long training camp in Colorado. General Manager Robin Zellner conducted the actives of the 12-man squad, including meeting the sponsors, receiving their new bikes and a team-building ropes course.

Former cyclist and television commentator Bob Roll presented the team at a huge dinner held at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

Team members for 2007 are 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) and Mark Walters (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada).


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Rob O'Dea/

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