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Photo ©: Schaaf

Latest Cycling News for December 20, 2006

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

ProTour: British Cycling supports McQuaid

British Cycling has offered its firm support to UCI President Pat McQuaid in the light of recent controversies. On December 1, six European federations (Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, Italy and Luxembourg) officially declared their opposition to the UCI ProTour in its current form, and criticised "the working methods of the UCI."

In a press release issued on Wednesday, British Cycling President Brian Cookson said, "I am very surprised and disappointed at the actions of a small number of other Presidents of national federations in Europe. The group that have criticised President McQuaid and the UCI is a self-appointed one. They do not speak for the majority and have not even given us the courtesy of consulting us or discussing with us the issues they have raised.

"There are clear mechanisms and procedures for the European nations, through the European Cycling Union, and I urge all nations to abide by these methods in making their views known."

Cookson then stated his support of the ProTour, which replaced the World Cup in 2005 and has caused a lot of controversy in the past three years. "We feel that the UCI have devised a clear and rational system, which sets a sensible pathway for the future. We are sure that it is possible and desirable to make some adaptations as the structure becomes established, but we have no doubt that the ProTour concept is the best way forward, and we urge the major event promoters to work closely with the UCI for the good of the sport."

The head of British Cycling also urged the teams "to fully adopt and accept the Ethical Charter and their responsibilities in this matter, and to behave accordingly, particularly in respect of riders involved in doping cases. As far as Britain is concerned, we strongly support President McQuaid in his stance on the anti-doping measures, and we understand the legal difficulties encountered in dealing effectively with such matters. Our sport, particularly road racing, is at a critical moment, and we must remain united in our fight against this scourge. The UCI is our best hope for achieving this and we urge all national federations to support President McQuaid at this time."

However, in view of his collaboration with Tour de France organiser ASO next year, Cookson added, "In July 2007, the Tour de France will start in London. This will be a historic event, in the heart of one of the world’s great cities, a fantastic opportunity for our sport. We really do not want to see this tarnished by a repeat of the doping scandals of 2006, so, frankly, we urge all those with involvement in the various investigations to stay away."

Italy wants Basso for 2008 Olympics

2006 Giro winner Ivan Basso
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Ivan Basso is expected to ride the time trial at the 2008 Olympics in Peking. "We think that Basso should have a good chance. After his participation in the Tour de France, Ivan will be in good form to start in the Olympics," said Silvio Martinello, general director of the Italian cycling federation, according to press agency sid.

Basso also came in for praise from Italian president Romano Prodi, who gave a speech at the "Giro d'Onore" awards of the National Olympic Committee, honouring members of the Italian Cycling Federation. "Basso still has a lot to give to cycling," he said. However, Prodi charged the cyclist to set a good example, considering the increasing importance of ethics and the fight against doping.

Peace Race 2007 cancelled

By Susan Westemeyer

The Peace Race has been cancelled for 2007, it was announced Wednesday morning. Tour Director Herbert Notter and the Czech cycling federation reached the decision based on the withdrawal of Skoda as the main sponsor, and the corresponding lack of 250,000 Euros. In addition, the federation withdrew the right to organise the race from the Agentur Cyclistka and its manager, Cestmir Kalas.

In a press release, Notter said, "The Federation has paid over 100,000 Euros for expenses for the 58th Peace Race, which Mr. Kalas actually should have paid. In addition, Mr. Kalas as tour director failed to inform me that Skoda had already announced in September that it would not extend its sponsorship." In October, Notter still believed that Skoda would remain a sponsor, and announced the continuation of the race in 2007.

However, the organisers have not give up hope for future races. Notter said that there are plans in the works for a five-year contract, from 2008 to 2012, including clarifications of the powers of the tour manager. "I don't want to have the power over details, but also in such things as sponsoring, the route, partners, and so on." He also foresaw one overall organisation for the race, which runs through several countries, and not separate management groups for every country. "Problems that occurred in 2006 and before should not happen again. The whole direction of all aspects should lay in one hand," Notter said.

Concrete plans are expected to be announced in two to three months.

Wrolich looking for training possibilities

Peter Wrolich (Gerolsteiner) at the 2005 Tour de Georgia
Photo ©: Bill Parsons
Click for larger image

The warm, spring-like weather in Europe has disappeared - much to the distress of cyclists trying to train for the upcoming season. Peter Wrolich of Gerolsteiner is considering fleeing to the sun. "Since the weather here in Kärnten isn't really optimal right now, I have thought about flying with my family to Fuerteventura for ten days around New Year's," he wrote on his website, "The training conditions there are surely better than at home, where there still isn't any snow. There's just not much to do here right now. In December I wanted to do a lot of cross-country skiing and long tours, but I couldn't."

Still, Wrolich is staying busy. The Austrian was on the snow one time, for a charity ski event. "Right now I'm spending a lot of time at the sport center in Althofen, together with Bernhard Kohl and Bernhard Eisel. And I also run about five times a week and ride a lot of mountain bike."

New Australian Continental team: FRF Couriers-NSWIS

FRF Couriers and the New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) have announced the formation of another Australian UCI-registered Continental team for 2007, FRF Couriers-NSWIS. With the support of the New South Wales Institute of Sport, the team will field a squad of fifteen riders racing the National Road Series in Australia along with UCI level races in Europe, Asia and North America. The team will primarily be a development squad, based in New South Wales, to provide opportunities for talented young guns, supported by experienced riders such as Peter McDonald, Grafton-Inverell winner, Troy Glennan, Domestic Time Trial champion and Peter Herzig, Tour of Hainan KOM classification winner.

FRF Couriers, an Australian, Sydney based courier company, will build upon the foundation set over the past few years - the current outfit evolved from the 2005 FRF Couriers-Caravello team. The New South Institute of Sport cycling program, headed by Gary Sutton, will provide full access to the Institute’s world class facilities, access to professional coaching staff, sport science services, medical staff and athlete career, education and professional development programs. The NSWIS was previously involved with Brad McGee, starting up development team McGee-NSWIS. Now, McGee Sports is a supporting sponsor of the South team.

This year the team will be directed by Andrew Portess, FRF Couriers/NSWIS Continental Team Manager along with Graham Seers, NSWIS Regional and Coaching Development Coordinator. The first event for the team will be the Bay Series Criteriums in Victoria followed closely by the Australian National Road Titles, raced against Australia’s top professionals and local riders.

The 2007 FRF Couriers-NSWIS team roster is:

Anthony Bennett, 19 - National Track Junior medallist
Robert Cater, 21 - U19 Australian team for the World Championships
Luke Cridland, 19 - U19 Australian team for the World Championships
Brendan Brooks, 20 - 2006 FRF-ExcelPro team member
John Ebeling, 24 - Young Rider Jersey of New Caledonia
Troy Glennan, 25 - Club National Time Trial Champion
Jason Hegert, 21 - Tour of the Grampians overall winner
Peter Herzig, 28 - Tour of Hainan KOM winner
Robert Lyte, 25 - NSWIS rider
Brendan Jones, 21 - NSW Hillclimb champion
Chris Jory, 19 - Port Macquarie junior
Peter McDonald - Grafton Inverell winner
Joe McDonnell, 28 - 3rd Stage One UCI Tour of Ireland
Tyler McLachlan, 19 - U19 National Criterium Champion
David Treacy, 28 - Maltese Commonwealth Games representative

Danielson at CTS spring training

Carmichael Training Systems (CTS), the Official Training Authority for the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, has announced that Tour of Spain stage winner Tom Danielson will attend its first 2007 Spring Training Camp (January 27-February 2) in Buellton, California. Danielson will offer advice on training, tips for upcoming races, and an update on his plans to improve on his 6th place overall finish at the 2006 Tour of Spain.

The camp will take place on the same roads the Discovery Team uses for its pre-season training camp, featuring the moderate climbs and rolling hills of the Santa Ynez Valley. For more information, go to

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Tom Boonen: Cyclingnews 2005 rider of the year
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
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Each year, Cyclingnews gives its readers the chance to select the riders, teams, races, moments, equipment and photos that have really stood out from the pack in the last 12 months or so.

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In 2005, then newly-crowned world champion and winner of 14 races, Tom Boonen, ran home a winner with almost 50 percent of the votes, while runner-up Lance Armstrong could only muster the hearts of a mere 20 percent of our readers. This time round, Boonen lost his rainbow stripes to the ever-consistent 'Il Grillo' Paolo Bettini in Salzburg, but the popular boy from Balen won seven more races than he did last year. Has Tommeke done enough to pull it off again?

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