First Edition Cycling News for January 10, 2006
Edited by Jeff Jones
Inquiry into Welsh tragedy
There will be an inquiry into the accident that killed four cyclists on the A547 in Wales on Sunday morning, after a driver lost control of his car on an icy bend and ploughed into a group of 12 riders. Although seven of the remaining eight riders have been released from hospital (Jon Harland remains in hospital with a broken leg), the deaths of Maurice Broadbent (61), Dave Horrocks (55), Wayne Wilkes (42) and Thomas Harland (14) have hit the local cycling community hard.
Police said that there had been a minor accident at the same place an hour before the tragedy happened, and had asked Conwy Council to re-grit the road. In a statement, the Council admitted that the road needed attention. "The stretch of road in question is on a priority list that has been identified as meriting treatment at times of inclement weather. It was gritted at approximately 6:20 on Saturday evening and had been the subject of similar treatment on the three days prior to Saturday."
The Council said that it will cooperate fully with police and "have examined and will continue to examine the processes and procedures that we as a highway authority adopt."
Several other officials have been quoted as questioning the condition of the road prior to the accident.
Remembrance ride planned
Club cyclists are being encouraged to show their respect this Sunday for the four riders from Rhyl Cycling Club who were killed.
Julie Dominguez, a member of the Musselburgh Road Club and a contributor to the chatroom on www.veloriders.co.uk, said, "We are spreading the word to all club riders to wear a black arm band on Sunday in remembrance of those who have lost their lives in such a tragic way."
Since the incident, messages of support have been sent to the bereaved families from all over the world, among them a letter of condolence from Cycling Australia's chief executive, Graham Fredericks.
Hamilton faces CAS again
Tyler Hamilton will have his second and final hearing in front of the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Tuesday, January 10 in Denver, Colorado. The American is attempting to overturn his two year ban for blood doping, after he tested positive for the offence during the Vuelta a España in September, 2004.
Hamilton was given the ban on April 18, 2005, then appealed it to CAS in June. His first hearing was on September 8, 2005, almost a year after the positive test. It's expected that the final decision of CAS will be handed down several weeks from now.
Paolini leads Liquigas Down Under
Luca Paolini will race his first event on the season in Australia, taking part in next week's Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, between January 17-22. The event will also mark Paolini's first race in Liquigas colours, and he will even celebrate his 29th birthday on the day of the first stage.
Paolini has ridden the JCTDU three times already, between 2001 and 2003. "I remember this Australian race as a beautiful one: excellently organized and with summery weather," he said. "That's the ideal race to open the season."
Joining Paolini will be Manuel Quinziato, Michael Albasini, Daniele Colli, Nicola Loda, Marco Righetto and neo-pros Eros Capecchi and Mauro Da Dalto. The team will be managed by Dario Mariuzzo. For Quinziato and the neo-pros, it will also be their first race in the celeste colours.
The remaining 20 Liquigas riders are gathering in Cecina Mare, Italy, from January 12-21. The team will have its presentation on January 28 at the Blue Note jazz club in Milan, during the "Blue Note, Swing Team" event.
An interview with Aaron Olson
Speaking more than 'Spanglish'
American rider Aaron Olson, like most other pro racers, has the goal of one day taking part in the Grand Tours. But unlike the majority of professionals, particularly North American riders, Olson is getting his chance to race in the 'Big Show' next season. Following in the footsteps of Tim Johnson and Chris Horner, Olson will be the next American addition to the Saunier Duval-Prodir ProTour squad. Having virtually just stepped off the plane from his first trip to Spain, Cyclingnews' Mark Zalewski spoke with Olson as he headed for some final training in San Diego.
Being Mister Consistency is how Aaron Olson likes to describe the main reason behind his selection to the Saunier Duval-Prodir team; and since it's a Spanish team, I suppose that name will soon become Señor Consistencia! This, combined with the fact that Scott USA would like to have an American on the team to replace Chris Horner added to his name making it to the top of the pile. "I think in part it's Scott USA wanting to have an American in the team - not that it has to be - but wanting to have some influence," Olson explains.
"That helped me, and also having a couple of consistent years. No real huge wins like [Charles] Dionne at San Francisco, but just consistency and showing people that I can work. That was a thing [Chris] Horner said; if you want someone who is really consistent and can show up everyday and do his job well, then I would be a good choice. I got lots of help from Horner - his words probably made the biggest impact - and our coach is the same so he made some contact with Mauro Gianetti as well. And Scott Montgomery (Scott USA) had a part in choosing the American, whichever one it was."
Dutch World's team named
The Dutch team for the World Cyclo-cross Championships in Zeddam (January 28-29) has been announced by national coach Frans Francissen.
Elite Men: Thijs Al, Camiel van den Bergh, Wilant van Gils, Richard Groenendaal, Gerben de Knegt and Maarten Nijland.
Elite Women: Daphny van den Brand, Arenda Grimberg, Reza Hormes-Ravestijn, Britt Jochems, Mirjam Melchers and Marianne Vos.
U23 Men: Thijs van Amerongen, Lars Boom, Sebastian Langeveld, Ricardo van der Velde and Eddy van IJzendoorn.
De Wilde and Neirynck to Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
Belgian riders Sjef De Wilde and Kevin Neirynck will join the Landbouwkrediet-Colnago team this season, rounding out the team's roster to 19 riders. The pair, aged 24 and 23, have been riding in the elite without contract and U23 races in Belgium up until now, and had successful 2005 seasons.
Heart attack for Joop Zijlaard
The Dutch Derny pacer Joop Ziljaard (Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel's father-in-law) has suffered a heart attack while in Spain for the New Year. He remains in a stable condition in intensive care in hospital.
Wiggins up against McGee in Manchester
Australian Bradley McGee has chosen Revolution 11 in Manchester as the place to avenge his defeat against Bradley Wiggins at the Olympic Games in 2004, where Wiggins beat him in the final for the gold medal, becoming the first British athlete in 40 years to win three medals at one Olympics.
With McGee unlikely to ride the Commonwealth Games and Wiggins focusing on his road career for the next few years, Revolution 11 will be the only chance they both have to contend over a short distance before the road season gets under way. The two Brads will race against each other in a 4km pursuit, a first for the Revolution series, which will also be the first time that the pair have met on the track since Athens.
McGee has been looking forward to the event. "I've heard a lot about the event and the calibre of riders who attend so I know I have to be on form," he said. "Brad's a hard man to beat and with the home crowd advantage I'm going to need to put in a big effort, but I've been training hard so hopefully I can get some revenge for Athens!"
Wiggins, a man not easily scared, is all set for the challenge. "I wanted to have a real contender for this Revolution - a big contest for the crowds and I am really pleased the organisers have got Brad over," said Wiggins. He is one of the best in the world and this may be the only opportunity I get to race him on my home track against a home crowd."
Tickets for Revolution 11 are available at www.cyclingrevolution.com
Herbalife signs on for Tour of Cali
Herbalife has announced a multi-year sponsorship agreement with the UCI ranked Amgen Tour of California, which will be held between February 19-26. The deal names Herbalife as a "Founding Partner" and the official nutrition company of the race, as well as being the presenting sponsor of the race's final stage in Redondo Beach and of Autograph Alley, where the riders will sign in at the start of each stage.
"We are pleased that Herbalife, a dynamic, California-based company focused on helping people live healthy and active lifestyles, has become a founding partner of the Amgen Tour of California," commented Shawn Hunter, president of AEG Sports, which runs the race.
The Amgen Tour of California will be run over 600 miles in eight days between San Francisco and Redondo Beach. 16 professional teams will take part in it.
Women's Prestige Cycling Series 2006
America's 2006 Women's Prestige Cycling Series has announced its schedule for this season. The series has been reduced from four to three events to make it more accessible to teams with limited travel budgets. "We've heard from a number of excellent events that wanted to be part of this year's Series", said series coordinator David LaPorte. "They were very deserving and would have been great additions to the schedule. However, one of our most important goals is to make it possible for all of the teams to complete the full schedule, so we're keeping the series compact."
The response from the teams has been excellent. "We've always wanted to participate in the Series", said America's Dairyland director Rebecca Anderson, "but four races was just more than our travel budget could bear. The Series is the best thing that's happened to women's racing in years and we're super excited that we can participate in it this year."
June 14-18: Nature Valley Grand Prix
14 teams have committed to the series in the past few days, even though no formal announcement had been made: Aaron Cycling Team, Colavita / Cooking Light, CPT-Colnago Cycling Team, Palo Alto Bicycles, Team America's Dairyland, Team Biovail, Team Cheerwine, Team Kenda Tire, Team Lipton, Valkyrie Sports, Velo Bella, Victory Brewing Cycling Team and Webcor Builders Cycling Team
Teams interested in participating in the 2006 Women's Prestige Cycling Series should contact the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org
More information: www.womencyclists.com
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)