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Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for January 3, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones

Martin Pedersen interview

From Paris-Roubaix to Tour de Georgia

By Rune Schjerbeck, Feltet.dk

Martin Pedersen (CSC) is facing an exciting first season as a professional. At least he'll be sent out for a little of everything from the start, where in Spring, the 22 year-old Dane will most likely be riding the world's most famous one-day race, Paris-Roubaix.

"I've received a plan for the what kind of races races I'll ride," said Pedersen to Feltet.dk. "I'll start out in Qatar with many of the young guys and some of the fast riders, then comes Het Volk and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne, and afterwards I hope to be picked for Milano-San Remo. I'm not all sure yet about the last mentioned, but I'll get to know during the training camp. I haven't been put on the paper for this race yet, but I hope to be that, because it's a race I'd like to focus on. Among the big races, I'll be riding Paris-Roubaix, which I certainly find very interesting, and I've been put on as back-up for Dwars door Vlaanderen."

The racing program can still change, though. "I can't be 100 percent sure about which races I'm going to ride, because it also depends on my shape. In the start I'll naturally ride to get to know the races - especially the big races during the spring season. Moreover, I'll ride a lot of the French races, as well as I'll be riding some races in USA, e.g. Tour of Georgia and US Championships. I'll also participate in some Italian races like Milano-Torino and Giro di Lucca, and at the end of the season I'll ride Paris-Tours and Paris-Bourges in France. And finally, I'll ride the Tour de l'Avinir of course.

"I reckon that a lot of the races look interesting, but I don't really know the parcours, especially those of the big Spring Classics. I'm just looking forward to riding some races, and then we'll see what will happen."

The racing calendar fits Martin Pedersen's versatility, so besides the Spring Classics he'll also ride some of the hillier races. "I will try to do some of the races that will suit my strengths; races where the whole peloton can come to the finish, and where there aren't too many mountains. On the other hand, I've ridden some races where there are some hills, which differentiates me from a lot of the others who have ridden all the classics.

Knowing each other's limits

The jump to the professional ranks isn't just about cycle races and riding against the famous riders, it's also about starting at a completely new work place with a lot of different people.

"I've heard a lot of different things from a lot of people, so I had an idea about how things like the training camp, including the survival camp, would work out, without knowing the exact program, though. I think it was a cool experience, because we got to do a lot of things that meant we got to know each other very well. Different people had the leading role, and thereby you got to see a little more about how people actually are. We had a nice time, including a Christmas party, where you really get to know each other well too.

"Personally, I think it was superb, because I've gotten to know a lot of people who I didn't know beforehand, and who I now feel I know very well. It's nice to know that there are some people you can joke a little with during the races. At least you know where you've got them, when you're going to live in a hotel with them for the first time, so that it won't just be some mumbling. You quickly get into the roles, and you know where each person's limit is, when it comes to, what can be considered funny. That's a really useful thing."

Ag2r splits for early season

The Ag2r Prevoyance team will split into two parts for January, as it begins its first season as a ProTour team. Eight riders will travel to Australia between January 8 and 24 to contest the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under in Adelaide, as follows:

José Luis Arrieta, Sylvain Calzati, Cyril Dessel, Samuel Dumoulin, Simon Gerrans, Yuriy Krivtsov, Ludovic Turpin, Alexandre Usov. Trainer: Gilles Mas

The larger part of the team will take part in a training camp in l'Isle sur la Sorgue in Vaucluse, in the south of France, between January 5 and 14. The 20 riders will train between 60 and 180 kilometres a day, under the direction of Vincent Lavenu, Julien Jurdie and Arturas Kasputis:

Mikel Astarloza, Iñigo Chaurreau, Philip Deignan, Renaud Dion, Hubert Dupont, Stéphane Goubert, Julien Loubet, Francisco Mancebo, Laurent Mangel, Lloyd Mondory, Christophe Moreau, Carl Naibo, David Navas, Jean-Patrick Nazon, Erki Putsep, Christophe Riblon, Mark Scanlon, Tomas Vaitkus, John Gadret. Stéphane Poulhies will also take part as a stagiaire.

McEwen starts 2006 campaign

Davitamon-Lotto sprinter Robbie McEwen will commence his Australian campaign on Wednesday, January 4 when he contests the Jayco Geelong Bay Classic in Melbourne, an event that he has won six times. He will follow that with the defence of his Australian road title in South Australia a week later, then the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, where he will be defending his sprinter's title.

Before McEwen heads back to Belgium for the European season, he will spend Monday, January 23 doing coaching and PR work for Cycling Australia. His day will start at a coaching session in Centennial Park for budding stars from the NSW Institute of Sport, followed by a corporate luncheon in the city, then a meet the people ride-in at Heffron Park in Maroubra, and finally hosting a dinner at Souths Juniors Leagues Club before flying home to the Gold Coast at 10pm.

In the midst of all this, he plans a sightseeing ride through Sydney, taking in the ANZAC War Memorial in Hyde Park south and travelling via the Archibald Memorial Fountain, Queen's Square, Parliament House and Lachlan Macquarie's statue, ending at the Opera House, where he will do a lap of the Sydney icon on his bike while popping trademark wheelies.

On Tuesday, he heads back to Everbeek in Belgium where his wife Angelique is expecting their second child.

Voigt and Schleicher voted German Cyclists of the Year

Jens Voigt and Regina Schleicher are Germany's cyclists of the year, according to a reader poll in the German Radsport magazine. Voigt won with 34 percent over Erik Zabel (27%) and the young German champion Gerald Ciolek (18%), with Jan Ullrich in fourth place (11%). Road World Champion Schleicher was a clear favourite, winning with 54% over Hanka Kupfernagel (30%) and Judith Arndt (6%).

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Cannondale continues in European peloton with Barloworld sponsorship

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

After nine successful seasons in the European pro peloton, American bicycle manufacturer Cannondale has confirmed that it will continue to be part of European racing scene by sponsoring Continental Pro team Barloworld. The team will be managed by former Saeco and Lampre manager Claudio Corti, who took control of the UK registered and South African originated squad in late 2005 from former manager John Robertson.

A pleased Corti commented, "Cannondale always delivers more than a great bike and race clothing, they bring a unique personality to a team that creates excitement and generates enthusiasm for the sport." Led by 2003 World Champion Igor Astarloa and 2005 Tour de Langkawi champ Ryan Cox, Barloworld will be active in European, Asian and North American racing circuits.

Matt Mannelly, Cannondale's CEO, is very positive about the new relationship, explaining, "We have no intention of just supplying product. With Barloworld we'll be re-writing the rules on traditional sponsorships. We want to control our own destiny and will have part ownership of the squad."

Barloworld, a multi-national company with headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, Barloworld represents and manages many leading brands around the world in the transportation equipment field. Active in 31 countries, Barloworld has 23,000 employees and sales of US$3 billion. Barloworld has shown that they are committed to the sport of cycling with the long term objective of placing the first South African sponsored team on the podium at the Tour de France.

For Barloworld, in addition to supplying race bicycles, Cannondale will be designing and developing full team kit for the squad. The team will be riding Cannondale's revolutionary Six13 and Slice Aero TT machines. And, as with every Cannondale team, Cannondale engineers will use the Barloworld squad in the "Cannondale Product Creation Process" to pursue, develop and introduce new road technologies.

Teutenberg in for McGrory in Rotterdam

Scott McGrory will not take part in the Six Days of Rotterdam, which starts on Thursday, January 5. He was to ride with Max van Heeswijk, but will be replaced by German Lars Teutenberg.

Sooty Park premieres tonight

To hit Australian TV at 8pm on Tuesday night is a new weekly cycling show called Sooty Park. The show has a magazine format, featuring cycling in all forms and disciplines, from commuters to Grand Tour riders, with an emphasis on fashion, fun and the lighter side of cycling.

Sooty Park will also see a return of the rollers competition that used to feature on World of Sport back in the '70s and '80s, although the rollers will be replaced by Computrainers, with digital readouts on screen. Tonight's episode will feature interviews with Phil Anderson, Phil Liggett, a mountain bike trials segment and the Computrainer competition.

For all of you with access to Channel 31, which is only available to Victorians at this time, tune in at 8pm to have a chuckle at a bit of hilarious cycling banter.

More information: www.sootypark.com/

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