Cycling News Extra for July 29, 2006
Edited by Anthony Tan and Jeff Jones
Next stop for Landis, Larry King
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
Floyd Landis is making the rounds of the popular talk programmes in the U.S., trying to get in front of the public relations fire storm that has erupted over the positive sample he gave after stage 17 of the Tour de France. And no PR swing in the U.S. would be complete without the seemingly required stop on CNN's Larry King Live! On the programme, Landis reiterated the defense he has been using over the past twenty-four hours, while the producers lined up additional supporting cast.
In the interview with King, Landis once again began by playing the teacher, explaining the process of drug testing in the sport of cycling to a national audience that would have likely forgotten about the Tour by now. After going through these formalities, King took some sharper angles in the questioning, asking what the benefit of high testosterone would be for a racer. Landis coyly replied, "That is a good question that you'll have to ask the doctors if they're here at this moment. I think they can better answer that."
Illes Balears - Caisse D'Epargne for Hamburg, Germany and Getxo
The Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne team has announced its line-ups for the Vattenfall Cyclassics (formerly HEW Cyclassics), Hamburg, July 30; the Tour of Germany, August 1 to 9; and the Circuit of Getxo, July 31.
For the german one-dayer and tour, the team will field Vladimir Efimkin, Marco Fertonani, Pablo Lastras, Alexey Markov, Aitor Perez Arrieta, Mikel Pradera, Vicente Reynes and Joaquin Rodriguez.
Quick Step-Innergetic for Vattenfall Cyclassics
The Quick Step-Innergetic team has announced that for the Vattenfall Cyclassics, Hamburg, July 30, it will field Paolo Bettini, Kevin Hulsmans, Nick Nuyens, Filippo Pozzato, Bram Tankink, Matteo Tosatto, Kevin Van Impe, and Wouter Weylandt.
Gold-studded field in Gippsland
Athens Olympic Games gold medallist Stephen Wooldridge heads a top-flight field for the Tattersall's Tour of Gippsland road cycling classic, starting in Mallacoota on Wednesday, August 2. The New South Wales-based Wooldridge, a teams pursuit specialist, will line up against 107 opponents in one of the best fields assembled in an Australian domestic cycling tour.
His opponents will include Melbourne Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sean Finning, Queenslander Ashley Hutchinson, a dual world teams pursuit champion, and Barcelona Olympian Robert McLachlan, winner of the 2005 Tattersall's Cup series.
McLachlan, 35, holds the key to the five-day tour, worth $30,000 prizemoney. The Canberra school teacher represented Australia in Barcelona as a 21-year-old road teams triallist, but shunned his promising career soon after, citing burn-out. The burly McLachlan returned to the saddle in 2003 and has since won about 50 races in Australia and Asia.
"The Tour of Gippsland can't come quickly enough," said McLachlan, whose victories this year include the Tour of Chong Ming in China, four stages of the Tour of Taiwan and two stages in the Tour of Korea. McLachlan will go into the Tour of Gippsland as a leader of the exceptionally strong Drapac-Porsche professional team.
His team-mates include fellow Canberra resident Stuart Shaw, a former mountain bike champion who won a tough Tour of Gippsland stage from Trafalgar to Walhalla last year. McLachlan and Shaw are a formidable combination and both are confident that one of them will win the Tour of Gippsland, the opening round of the 2006 Tattersall's Cup series.
Following the Tour of Gippsland, the Tatt's Cup will continue with the Australian Cycling Grand Prix in Ballarat from August 18 - 20, the Tour of the Murray River (August 29-September 3) and the Tour of Tasmania (October 24-29).
Total prizemoney for the four-event series will be $115,000. Tattersall's Cup director John Craven described the Tour of Gippsland field as outstanding.
"Any one of 30 riders could win without surprising," Craven said. "The tour course is exceptionally challenging and will take in nine stages for a total distance of 616.5kms. Gippsland has some of the most magnificent terrain in Australia for cycling and the riders will certainly know they are competing in a full-on race."
The Tour of Gippsland was held for the first time last year and was won by New Zealander Gordon McCauley, who went on to win a time trial bronze medal at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. It will embrace three municipalities - East Gippsland Shire, Latrobe City and Baw Baw Shire. Criteriums will be held in Mallacoota, Orbost, Bairnsdale and Traralgon, but brutally-tough stages from Orbost to Lakes Entrance, via Buchan, and in the Warragul region on the final day will probably decide the outcome of the tour. The final stage, starting and finishing at the Warragul Country Club on Sunday, August 6, will be a 134.8km trek which will take in Rokeby, Neerim South, Neerim, Noojee, Hill End, Willow Grove, Trafalgar, Yarragon and Shady Creek.
The tour is sponsored by Tattersall's, East Gippsland Shire, Latrobe City, Baw Baw Shire, Tourism Victoria, Subaru, Mid Valley Shopping Centre, the Royal Exchange Hotel and Ace Radio.
Change of date and venue for Irish Crit Championships
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
Months ago, Mayo Wheelers CC found themselves being snubbed when Cycling Ireland bypassed them in favour of Midleton CC for the Irish criterium championship. Then - out of the blue - in the last couple of weeks, a request to organise the Championships by Cycling Ireland landed on their desk via different routes.
Originally the championship was awarded to Midleton Wheelers CC when the fixture listing was being drawn up in the early months of the year. Admittedly at the time, Mayo Wheelers were disappointed at being overlooked for a prestigious event which is a real crowd puller, considering they had a superb course in the town of Westport, Co. Mayo. They resigned themselves to their fate, in the knowledge 'what goes around comes around.'
The championship was scheduled for the 5th of August in Midleton, but the hosting club mysteriously opted out. Between the jigs and the reels and without ceremony, Brian O'Loughlin and Joe McGuire of Mayo Wheelers will now organise the event on the 19th of August in the town of Westport.
The course the club intends using has been tried and tested within the town for many years. All the various authorities play their part whenever the need arises for a bicycle race in the locality. Even the local parish priest. Denis Carney is making a special dispensation by rearranging the Saturday evening Mass to facilitate the event which has a scheduled start of 7.30 in the evening of the 19th of August.
Eugene Moriarty of the Listowel Cycling Club has been successful in Westport in the recent past and is looking forward to the event. "If it is the same circuit that has been used in previous years, then we are in for a spectacular race," he said, nursing an injury which has him sidelined at the moment. "The crowds throng the streets and it certainly ups the tempo as far as the competitors are concerned."
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