First Edition Cycling News for January 13, 2006
Edited by Jeff Jones, assisted by Mark Zalewski
Heras fronts up to Spanish federation
Spaniard Roberto Heras will face the Spanish cycling federation on Friday to explain his positive EPO test in the last Vuelta a Espaņa. Heras tested positive for the banned drug after the penultimate stage, a 38.9 km time trial where he finished a close second and averaged 56 km/h on the fast course.
After the A and B samples were confirmed positive, Heras was fired by his team and now risks a two year suspension. His lawyer, Jose Maria Buxeda, said that he will argue that the EPO test is unreliable and that there were up to eight procedural errors in Heras' test, rendering it invalid.
Australian Open women's RR preview
Aggressive race in store as Games places on the line
By Les Clarke in Mt Torrens
With a Commonwealth Games berth on the line, Friday's women's road race is expected to be jam-packed with attacking riding on a course suited to making an early move - if you've got the legs. At 97.5km and with minimal climbing, the Mt Torrens course is challenging enough to make a selection if the right move sticks, but simple enough to offer something for everyone - particularly the sprinters.
A quality field
Reigning national champion Lorian Graham will be missing from the field following the AIS tragedy in Germany last July - her injuries are such that she hasn't been able to return to racing to defend her title. Alexis Rhodes and Kate Nichols will take to the start, however, with Rhodes making a miraculous comeback to enjoy a great win on stage 3 of the Bay Classic. She'll be looking to bring some of that form into the main event on Friday.
Riders such as Oenone Wood, Olivia Gollan, Sara Carrigan and Rochelle Gilmore will be looking to take not only the coveted national champion's jersey, but a place in the team for Melbourne in March. After a tough race against the clock on the opening day of the national championships, many of the starters for the road race will be grateful for the fact that there is minimal climbing in the almost 98 kilometres.
Click here for the full preview
Halgand to miss JCTDU after training crash
Credit Agricole's Patrice Halgand has broken his collar bone following a crash during training outside Adelaide, ruling him out of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under before turning a pedal in anger. The 31 year-old has suffered a broken right collarbone and dislocated his right AC joint and will undergo surgery on Friday to repair the damage.
Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under Medical Director, Dr Peter Barnes, said of the accident, "It's quite a nasty injury actually. The end of his collar bone has actually broken off and the bone is sticking up so we need to go in and repair that damage and the dislocation." Halgand will remain in Sportsmed South Australia at Stepney for observation and pain management.
The crash occurred when Halgand clipped the end of a branch lying on the side of the road, flying up into the forks and locking up his front wheel, resulting in him flying over the handlebars and landing heavily on his right shoulder. Halgand was due to start Australia's premier road stage race with his Credit Agricole squad on January 17, and as yet a decision hasn't been made whether he'll stay in Adelaide - it's possible team management may choose to keep him in South Australia to receive further treatment and resume training.
More information: www.tourdownunder.com.au
Bach not hopeful for Hondo
Thomas Bach, German International Olympic Committee member, says that he doesn't think Danilo Hondo has good chances in appealing his doping ban in the Swiss civil courts. On Tuesday the Court of Arbitration for Sport handed down the two-year ban.
"The Swiss court has upheld many CAS cases," he said, and noted that if the court hears the case, it would only be to review whether there had been any procedural problems. "This has been tried many times in the past. So far no athlete has been successful," said Bach, who is chairman of the IOC's Disciplinary Commission.
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer
CSC to Tour of California
Team CSC will race in the inaugural Tour of California, which starts on February 19 in San Francisco and finishes on February 26 in Redondo Beach.
Among the Team CSC riders scheduled to compete in the event are Americans Bobby Julich, Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie. Prior to the race, the full Team CSC squad of 30 riders will participate in a training camp in Solvang, California. The U.S.-based training camp will mark the first time Team CSC has held one of its important early season preparation events outside of Europe.
"With CSC, our title sponsor, headquartered in California and so many of our other important sponsors like Cervelo based in North America, I'm pleased to see a race like the Tour of California come about," said Bjarne Riis, Team CSC manager. "It's only natural that we have high ambitions for such a fine event. It's a challenge for the teams based in Europe to bring a squad to America and perform well, but it's an important step in making the sport more global. We're looking forward to letting America get a better look at Team CSC in February."
Piil out of Copenhagen Six
An injured left shin will prevent Team CSC's Jakob Piil from defending his win last year in the Copenhagen Six Days race (February 2-7). Piil has cancelled his participation in order to focus on regaining his form ahead of the upcoming season.
Saul Raisin visits alama mater promoting cycling
As the youngest professional American racing in Europe, Saul Raisin has a lot of expectations put on him, carrying the torch for the near-future of American cycling. However, Raisin took a moment out of his pre-season training to visit with the more distant-future of America - namely the students of his former primary school in Dalton, Georgia.
According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, 400 students of Brookwood Elementary piled into their gymnasium to hear the school alumnus speak about his life as a professional cyclist. Raisin gave a demonstration of his bicycle and answered numerous questions, including why he dresses the way he does.
"I think it taught them that they can dream for anything," second-grade teacher Kelli Shropshire said. "Who would have thought that you can ride a bike to make money? Dreams can come true."
USA Cycling announces LA Track World Cup team
The United States will be represented by the largest American contingent at a World Cup when the Los Angeles edition of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Track Cycling World Cup Classics begins Friday, Jan. 20 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Two UCI track trade teams - TIAA-CREF and SPIKE - will compete alongside the U.S. National team for World Cup titles. The Los Angeles event marks the first international track event in which these additional UCI teams will be competing.
"The way (the U.S. National Team, SPIKE and TIAA-CREF) have been able to work together as we approach this event is a good sign of things to come," said Pat McDonough, director of Track Programs for USA Cycling said in a statement. Currently the three teams are training at a USA Cycling Camp in Los Angeles to prepare for the World Cup.
Kevin Belz (CKR Racing)
No title sponsor for Tour of the Gila
For the second year in a row, the Tour of the Gila bicycle race has lost its title sponsor. Outside Magazine has declined to renew as the title sponsor, citing a different marketing direction. "They have changed their strategy on how they're participating and because they've changed their strategy, we had to change ours," Outside spokeswoman Josephine Parr told the Associated Press on Monday. "But I understand it's a beautiful race and some of our editors participated on a personal level last year and I think they will again this year."
Previous to Outside Magazine, National Geographic Adventure Magazine was the main sponsor but withdrew for 2005. Race co-director Jack Brennan said the 20th edition of the race will take place without a title sponsor even though it will mean a loss of $10,000, or 10 percent of the budget. He added that the tour has lasted this long because of the community's financial support, volunteers and the help of various government agencies.
Tour sponsorship director Lanny Olson said the annual race is recognized as a quality event on the National Racing Calendar, but it's also one of only two races in the series that aren't in major metropolitan areas. That means no television coverage, which is critical to corporate sponsors.
"The race brings about 800 people to Silver City and keeps them here for five days," he told the AP. "It's probably the best week of the year for area hotels, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and local merchants in general."
Olson says that the community will find a way to replace the ten percent void Outside Magazine is leaving. "There's no budget cut," he said Monday. "We're gonna make that up from other sources of funding. We're just gonna need to build upon the local support that we already have."
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