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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for December 18, 2006

Edited by Gregor Brown and Laura Weislo

Cycling's back on the streets of Sydney, and the locals are smiling

After a six-year hiatus, a pair of local St George riders took out the major races on offer at the Cronulla International Cycle Grand Prix, as elite-level racing returned to the streets of Sydney on Sunday, December 17. But what took so long?, muses Gerard Knapp.

Elite men at Cronulla on Sunday
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
(Click for larger image)
Cronulla resident and Rabobank professional (and St George club member), Graeme Brown won the elite men's race, while fellow St George club member and AIS scholarship holder, Kate Nichols, took out the elite women's race, going two better than her father, Kevin (a gold medallist in the team pursuit at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics) who took third in the hotly contested masters category.

The locals were keen impress, as for many it was the first time they had actually raced in front of their friends and family in their neighbourhood. Despite being home to some of the world's top pro cyclists, Sydney cycling fans have been starved of opportunities to watch their local heroes race almost anywhere in the harbour city, apart from some club-level criteriums and rounds of the track cycling World Cup held at Dunc Gray Velodrome.

The last time Sydney hosted a major road cycling event was the 2000 Olympic Games, but since those glory days, a combination of political factors - such as prohibitively-high police-support costs - had kept serious, elite-level racing off the streets of the harbour city.

Read the full Cronulla news feature.

Bos: 200 metres in 9.772 seconds

Theo Bos in 2005
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Click for larger image

23 year-old Theo Bos smashed an 11 year-old record Saturday in Moscow, going 200 metres in 9.772 seconds on the Siberian larch "Krylatskoye" velodrome. The Dutchman set the world record for the flying distance, last held by Canadian Curt Harnett, who set a time of 9.865 seconds on 28 September 1995 in Bogota, Colombia.

"It was a childhood dream that I had," said Bos after taking the record to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Every day I was thinking of this record and it has been more than one month that I have concentrated on this date."

Even more impressive was that Bos set the record at sea level, or 200 metres, versus the record of Harnett, which was at 2,600 metres in decreased air density. For the attempt he mounted a 51x15 gearing (7.57 metre development) that allowed him to cover 20,466 metres pre second, or averaging 73.767 km/h. On the road, sprinters like Robbie McEwen hit speeds of 70 km/hr but that is after being launched from the front end of a speeding peloton.

Theo Bos has intention of shifting his focus to the road racing after the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Landis: "I don't see myself as a bike racer"

Floyd Landis (right),
Photo ©: Andrea Kobler
(Click for larger image)

Floyd Landis appears to have accepted that the 2006 Tour de France title will be awarded to Spaniard Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears). The American tested positive for a high testosterone level following his stage 17 win in this year's Tour and has since been fighting to prove the French scientists wrong.

Saturday, Landis expressed his doubts of returning to racing even if cleared by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The USADA is expected to have a hearing next month but likelihood of proving a testosterone test invalid is slim.

"There's a minute chance of me racing again in 2007," he told Het Laatste Nieuws and Gazet van Antwerpen. "Even if I'm not suspended, who will want to sign me? And if they suspend me for two or four years – a humiliation which I hope doesn't happen – it's over for me. As things stand now, I don't see myself as a bike racer."

Landis argues the existence of errors on the behalf of the Châtenay-Malabry lab when testing his urine samples. He and his lawyer, Howard Jacobs, have released documentation to sway the public but they will have to wait until January to attempt persuade the USADA. Landis now feels his image has been tarnished by July's actions.

"I've never taken testosterone, I would have been stupid to because you just can't get away with it [in doping tests]. What it comes down to is that I'm being accused of stupidity more than doping. Even if I'm proved innocent, my reputation is ruined."

Tour de France organizes consider Pereiro the winner of the 2006 edition but are waiting for the official processes to take place before they stripe the American of the title.

Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case

May 29, 2009 - French authorities summon Landis and Baker
September 28, 2008 - Landis takes case to US federal court
September 10, 2008 - Landis signing with current Health Net-Maxxis team for 2009
July 1, 2008 - CAS delivers final blow to Landis legal challenge
June 30, 2008 - Landis loses final appeal
June 28, 2008 - Landis decision due Monday
March 12, 2008 - Landis' judgment day nears
October 21, 2007 - Landis files appeal with CAS
October 18, 2007 - AFLD takes another look at Landis case
Thursday, October 11 - Landis continues fight, appeals to CAS
Saturday, September 22 - UCI officially names Pereiro 2006 Tour champion, Landis case raises issues
Friday, September 21 - Landis' appeal denied, two year suspension levied

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of the Floyd Landis case

British and German teams on top in Moscow

By Laura Weislo

The German track team has dominated the second round of the UCI world cup with an impressive overall victory. The team won two events, with former world champion Robert Bartko coming out on top of the men's individual pursuit while Michael Seidenbecher benefited from Theo Bos' decision to forego the kilo in favor of the sprints, and bested Kévin Sireau of France.

The Germans demonstrated the depth of their program by taking second in the men's and women's team sprint, men's team pursuit as well as a second and third in the women's keirin. The team's fourth place finishes in the men's scratch race and keirin and women's sprint helped them to victory in this round of the world cup, bumping them up to the top of the overall standings.

Meanwhile the team from the UK wrapped up their successful weekend with a gold medal in the women's keirin and men's team sprint on Sunday. Former sprint world champion Victoria Pendleton made up for a disappointing competition on Friday, where she failed to make the medals in the sprint, with today's win over Christin Muche and Dana Gloss of Germany.

The British team sprint squad pulled an upset over the Dutch team containing world record holder Theo Bos. The team of Matthew Crampton, Jason Kenny and Craig Mclean won by eleven hundredths of a second, giving the team their fifth medal of the world cup. On Friday, Robert Hayles took the silver in the individual pursuit behind Robert Bartko of Germany, and on Saturday, Britain took a one-two with Rebecca Romero taking silver in the pursuit behind teammate Wendy Houvenhagel.

The British fielded two teams in the men's team pursuit, with the trade team winning ahead of the Germans, and the second British team taking fifth. The madison team of Mark Cavendish and Rob Hayles took fourth in that event, which put the British team second overall in the Moscow world cup, and moved them into fourth place in the overall standings in the UCI track world cup.

The Italian women had two surprise victories in Sunday's endurance events, when Giorgia Bronzini took the points race and Annalisa Cucinotta won the scratch event. Cubans Yoanka Gonzalez Perez and Yumari Gonzalez Valdinieso helped give their small team an excellent weekend, taking second and fourth in the points, and second and third in the scratch race. On Saturday, their teammate Lizandra Guerra won the women's 500m time trial and was second in Friday's sprint competition.

Unibet transformed

By Susan Westemeyer

"From a kermese team to the champion's league. That's the best description of my team," said a jubilant Hilaire van den Schuern, Sports Director of The team was informed Friday evening that it had been awarded a ProTour license.

"At last I return to the Tour de France. My last Tour dates back to 1995, when I was with Novell. Now I start in London with my own team. That is a strange but wonderful feeling," he told

Koen Terryn, spokesman for sponsor, told Sporza that he is already dreaming of the podium in Paris. "That is one of our aims in the coming year," he said. "If we hadn't received a [ProTour] license, we would have stopped in 2007. But now we are ready for the next four years. That will cost Unibet €32 million, but we are glad to pay it."

Team manager Jacques Hanegraaf noted that the team will be looking to make more signings. "We now have 27 riders under contract, so we still have three places to fill, which we will surely do."

Thor Hushovd to make his debut at the Giro

By Jean-François Quénet

In a meeting with his Crédit Agricole team last week in Paris, Thor Hushovd has decided to go for a major change in his racing program in 2007. After his usual post-Paris-Roubaix break, he'll resume racing in the Giro d'Italia on May 12. He has never taken part in the Giro yet.

"I realized that I never got the opportunity to race against the world's best sprinters at the Four Days of Dunkirk, the Tour of Catalunya and the Dauphiné, that's why I want to give a try to the Giro in my lead up to the Tour de France," said Hushovd, who has never raced the Giro.

Three's no plan for now on whether or not he intends to finish the Giro, but his Crédit Agricole team has also scheduled the Dauphiné and Eindhoven TTT for him before the Tour de France. For the general classification, the French outfit has decided to give their team leader Pietro Caucchioli the possibility to return to the Giro, where he came 3rd in 2002, prior to target a top 10 in Paris in July.

Sacchi awarded Gregario d'Oro

Fabio Sacchi of Milram was awarded the Gregario d'Oro by Francesco Moser. In the final stage of this year's Giro d'Italia, the rider from Milano proved his star-studded domestique status by carrying 26 water bottles simultaneously from the team car back to his teammates in the peloton.

Moser had set up an award during the Giro, offering the equivalent number of bottles of wine to the rider who could carry the most bidons. Sunday, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Sacchi was awarded the Gregario d'Oro and 26 bottles of Francesco Moser wine.

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