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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for November 5, 2006

Edited by Gregor Brown and Sue George

Frenchman surprises in Treviso as Vos maintains the reign

By Tim Maloney, European Editor in Treviso

Francis Mourey (Fra) celebrates his win
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Click for larger image

As the late afternoon winter sun bathed Le Bandie sports center near Treviso, Italy, on a crisp Saturday afternoon, it shown brightest on diminutive 26-year-old Frenchman Francis Mourey (Francaise Des Jeux), who surprisingly outsprinted World Cup leader Sven Nys (Rabobank) and World Champion Erwin Vervecken (Fidea) with a superb move at the end of a hotly contested fourth race in the 2006-07 UCI World Cup Cyclo-Cross series. On the steep final ramp to the finish, petit powerhouse Mourey made the perfect move up the right side of the uphill gravel track in the final 20 meters to turn the tables on Nys, who had beaten the French rider in Round Two of the Cyclo-Cross World Cup two weeks ago in Kalmthout, Belgium.

"It was a very hard race today, very fast", explained Mourey after the finish in Treviso. "I had a good position in the sprint, and I was able to come around Nys to win. I'm very happy with my result." Despite his second cyclo-cross defeat in two days, Sven Nys already has won two of four World Cup 'Crosses and maintains the lead in the 2006-07 UCI World Cup Cyclo-Cross series. World Champ big guy Erwin Vervecken made the split and made the podium today, but didn't have the legs to crack other front runners Mourey and Nys.

Women's race

In the women's race, it seemed that Dutch World Cyclo Cross (and Road Race) champion Marianne Vos may be unbeatable. The 19-year-old Dutch phenom easily marked the other riders who made up the lead group in the Women's World Cup cross, with British rider Helen Wyman smooth and solidly leading through most of the difficult sections. But in the end, it was the inexorable sprint of Vos that easily brought the Dutch woman the win ahead of Women's World Cup leader Hanka Kupfernagel and another German rider, Birgit Hollman.

Full complete race coverage, click here.

Operation Marathon Man: Armstrong's Assault on New York

Tim Maloney, European Editor

Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel)
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

As 2004 Olympic Marathon Champion and occasional cyclist Stefano Baldini of Italy (who rides a Colnago C50) prepares for what may be his last chance at a Big Apple win, seven time Tour De France winner and neophyte marathoner is looking to finish Sunday's New York Marathon in under three hours or "within one hour of the winner" like favorites Paul Tergat and Baldini, whichever comes first for the 35-year-old Texan. Armstrong will wear a special race number, 1002, to commemorate his diagnosis with testicular cancer, now over a decade ago as well as special race kit from Nike from his 10/2 line. And Nike has organized some very special "rabbits" for the Lance-man, as he will be escorted and encouraged by former NY Marathon winner Alberto Salazar for the first 16km, then by Joan Benoit Samuelson and finally with Hicham El Gerrouj over the last 10k.

At a tumultuous press conference at New York's Tavern On The Green, Armstrong finally met nine-time New York City Marathon winner Grete Waitz of Norway. Diagnosed with cancer in April 2005, Waitz, was inspired in her fight with cancer after reading Armstrong’s “It’s Not About the Bike”. The 53-year-old Norwegian hugged Armstrong and told him, “Thank you, Lance. Thank you for everything. You’ve done so much for me.” After the press conference, Armstrong told La Gazetta dell Sport's managing editor Pier Bergonzi "My coach Chris Carmichael gave me some tips, but mostly I've approached (the NY Marathon) like a game, without stress, without any obsession. In spring and summer, I've been doing a lot of different sports as always; kayaking, biking, golf, swimming, running, gym...that's what I've been doing for at least 25 years of my life."

Armstrong talked about his lead-up to the NY Marathon, saying "this summer, I did a lot of swimming and rode my bike a lot, but in September, I increased my running, at least an hour a day and I was listening to Linkin Park on my iPod. But I never ran more than 25km at one time. For one hour, I can run at 4 minutes a kilometer pace, but for a marathon, I just need to run at a 4:30 pace per kilometer. I'm curious to see how I do after the "wall" of 30km; it's farther than I've ever run."

Lance got some marathon tips from his ex-wife Kristen, who ran the NY Marathon herself last year and this year has run the Boston Marathon in 3 hours and 44 minutes and Chicago Marathon in 3 hours and 35 minutes". Kristen told Lance "she checked out my training and told me I'm ready to have a good run, but above all to have fun." After a run Friday in Central Park, Armstrong iced his shin splints and told the New York Time's Juliet Macur “Never in my career as a cyclist did I have to ice anything, so all this is new for me. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen in the race. I just hope to God that I can finish.”

Tinkoff thinks of Basso

Basso in the 2006 Giro
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

The same Italian team that has shown interest in Jan Ullrich and Tyler Hamilton is now interested in Ivan Basso. Tinkoff Credit Systems, a new Professional Continental team for 2007, has their eyes on the former CSC man and winner of the 2006 Giro d'Italia.

"We still have a few remaining positions to fill and Ivan Basso is very interesting for us," confirmed Team Manager Omar Piscina to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Last week, Tinkoff Credit Systems announced 16 riders that have already been signed for 2007. A Tinkoff press release read, "The team will be soon complete with three more members, of which will be one of top-level, with whom there are ongoing negotiations."

In addition to Italian Basso, the Russian-financed team is said to be courting German Jan Ullrich and American Tyler Hamilton. Both Basso and Hamilton are clear to ride, and the former was cleared by the Italian cycling federation two weeks ago, stating that he desire to return to cycling even if it is not in a ProTour team.

"Selecting a ProTour team is not fundamental," confirmed 28 year-old to La Gazzetta dello Sport three days ago. "There are some very valid offers from the professional [continental] teams; it is probable that I will go to one of these. The grand races are outside of the ProTour and to be a part of a ProTour team is not necessary."

After recently confirming Evgeni Petrov, the team officially has the following riders: Elia Aggiano, Pavel Brutt, Ilya Chernetsky, Mikhail Ignatyev, Anton Mindlin, Evgeni Petrov, Ivan Rovny, Alexander Serov, Nikolay Trusov and Sergey Klimov (all Russian); Salvatore Commesso, Daniele Contrini and Ruggero Marzoli (Italian); Danilo Hondo and Steffen Weigold (Germans); and Spaniard Ricardo Serrano.

Teams and riders meet to discuss DNA testing

Friday in Genova, Switzerland, rider and team representatives are slated to meet to discuss the proposed DNA testing within cycling. The meeting is in response to the decision by the International Association of Professional Cycling teams (AIGCP) to ask that the riders authorize the UCI to collect their DNA samples, and, with the start of 2007, any new professionals to automatically authorize the collection of their DNA.

"The agreement was unanimous," said President of AIGCP, Petrick Lefèvere, to La Gazzetta dello Sport after the meeting in Paris on October 25. "We can not force the riders to agree to our request, but who refuses will have to assume the consequences. For example, a team could decide not to renew their contract."

Bettini talks
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

The discussions brought about a round of comments from riders, including Paolo Bettini, who rides on Quick-Step, which is managed by Lefèvere. "DNA testing for riders is absurd," said the World Champion Bettini last week. "... And to make DNA testing obligatory is even more unacceptable! They only do that to serial killers; maybe whoever came up with this idea is watching too much TV. Since 1997 we have had to be available for blood testing, but now they are talking about violating all of our personal rights."

The UCI issued a statement on the proposed meeting, suggesting it would be smart for both the riders and teams to voice their concerns on the subject of DNA testing. "The initiative will help carry out a joint reflection on the developments of Operación Puerto and the problems associated with DNA testing," read the release printed in La Gazzetta dello Sport. "The UCI hopes that this meeting will further a general concession for the regulations that need to be adopted for the fight against doping."

The test is welcomed by Vittorio Adorni, president of the ProTour Council. "It is the only way to remove all the doubts and it will not be as serious as it seems," said Adorni to the Italian paper. "If a rider has nothing to hide then what problem is there? I praise Giampaolo Caruso [who said he wold be the first to submit his DNA]. If, for example, Basso would give his then he would have a resolution earlier. Regarding the words of Bettini, maybe he did not consult the other riders."

Cunego weighs in on DNA

Hmmmm - Damiano Cunego looks thoughtful
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

In between getting married and wind tunnel testing, Damiano Cunego of Lampre-Fondital found time to weigh-in on the subject of DNA testing with in the sport of cycling. The winner of the 2004 Giro d'Italia thinks that it would be wise for his sport but that other issues, like Operación Puerto, need to be cleared first.

"I don't feel the need to interject," said the 25 year-old cyclist to AGR. "It is a decision that the sports authorities must take to fight doping."

"I am sorry for the riders implicated in Operación Puerto in the past months, they have given an image that is bad for cycling. But first, before preventative testing, I find it correct to attend to the conclusion of Spanish investigation. It is delicate theme and that should be valued with responsibility in an unambiguous manner." Before starting his training for the upcoming 2007 season, Cunego is enjoying his off-season and planning on honeymooning in Mexico with his new wife.

Bert Grabsch's doping solution

By Susan Westemeyer

Bert Grabsch, who will transfer to T-Mobile for 2007 after Team Phonak ceases to exist at the end of this year, commented on doping in the peleoton.

"The problem of doping won't go away by itself," said Grabsch. "That's why it's so important to finally get a law against it, because if you can go to prison for doping, then maybe that will scare some people away from it." Yet Grabsch expressed some doubt about the potential success of his proposed solution.

At the end of the month, Grabsch flies to South Africa to train. "A new professional chapter is opening for me with a team that has a lot of potential. Almost half of the team is new, and there's also new management and a new Sports Director," he told

Grabsch does not yet know whether he will ride the Tour de France in 2007. "Unfortunately there is no team time trial, otherwise I would be 70 percent sure that I would be there. So I just hope for the best."

Cofidis trial starts Monday

Ten people involved with the 2004 Cofidis affair will face trail Monday in Nanterre, France, for infringing France's anti-doping laws. According to AGR, the trial, expected to last five days, will be led by judge Richard Pallain and will look into various charges of drug trafficking and use.

Seven of the 10 are cyclist or ex-cyclists linked to the French squad Cofidis; Italian Massimiliano Lelli, Brit David Millar, Frenchmen Philippe Gaumont, Robert Sassone, Médéric Clain, and Poles Marek Rutkiewicz and Daniel Majewski. Also on trial will be director sportif Oleg Kozlitine, trainer Boguslaw Madejak, and pharmacist Pierre Ben Yamin.

The case dates back to 2004 when an inquiry was made into Cofidis. During the investigation Millar confessed to the use of the EPO, which resulted in a two-year ban.

Compton wins USGP #3

In Saturday's US Gran Prix of Cyclocross #3 in Longmont, Colorado, Katie Compton defeated all the competition by taking victory over the other women with a margin of more than one minute. Georgia Gould took second in a sprint finish over Katerina Nash. Lyne Bessette and Melissa Thomas rounded out the top 5.

Click here for a full report and results from both the men's and women's races coming here.

Paez holds lead in La Ruta

Hector Leonardo Paez (Full Dynamix) won his second of two stages so far in the 14th annual La Ruta de los Conquistadores, one of the most difficult mountain bike stage races worldwide. Jeremiah Bishop (Trek-VW) and Andrei Amador (BCR Pizza Hut) repeated in second and third. The 67km second stage featured a long climb, followed by a rough, rock-trewn 10km descent to the finish.

Bishop unfortunately crashed hard in the final 5km while holding a one minute lead on Paez. Bishop finished, but was immediately taken to hospital with broken teeth and a broken nose, and will not start tomorrow.

Marg Fedyna ( won her second consecutive stage to soldify her lead in the women's competition.

Click for full coverage of La Ruta.

CCA Announces UCI road teams for 2007

The Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) announced that five Canadian road cycling teams have sent a letter of intent to register with the UCI for the 2007 season. This more than doubles the number of UCI-registered teams from last year and indicates the growth in the popularity of road cycling in Canada. Building on this momentum, Canada will host two new UCI events in 2007: Tour of Prince Edward Island and Tour Montreal-Boston, bringing the total to six annual UCI road events, two for men and four for women.

Men's teams

Symmetrics - Under Kevin Cunningham, the squad will start its third campaign in the American Tour. The team finished sixth in the 2006 team rankings. Symmetrics will still be led by Svein Tuft, the defending time trial national champion. Zach Bell has joined the team for 2007. Symmetrics is expected to continue as one of the strongest teams in the Americas.

Calyon-Litespeed - Managed by Bernard Vives, the team will tackle the America Tour campaign for its second year. The team will build on its 2006 experience and hopes to continue developing its young riders. Roster changes will be minor.

Volkswagen-Trek - After many years at the provincial and national level, the team reaches a milestone by seeking its first continental license. Managed by Josée Robitaille, the team is renowned for developing young talent and will again tackle the America Tour for 2007.

Vallée de l’aluminium - The new team for 2007 will be backed by Québec’s popular aluminum producer Alcan. Roger Filion, a well-known race promoter and cyclist, put together the team, which will focus on development for its first year.

Women's team – Biovail - Formerly known only as Biovail, Scott Gerrie's team will be built around a core group of national team riders with a calendar of events focusing on the World Cup. Expect to see the team in Europe, too.

New Zealand track records tumble

New Zealand's first indoor velodrome
Photo ©: Bruce Ross
(Click for larger image)

New Zealand's best track sprinters broke two track records at the indoor ILT velodrome last weekend during Bike New Zealand's sprint trials. The new velodrome in Invercargill opened in May 2006.

In the first record attempt, junior cyclist Simon van Velthoven of Manawatu broke the national junior kilometer record that had stood for twenty years. Immediately thereafter, teammate Elijah May of Marlborough's ridesurpassed van Velthoven's record attempt. May recorded a 1:05.538, the original record by over two seconds.

In the flying 200m time trial, Southland junior cyclist Eddie Dawkins broke the national junior sprint record with a new time of 11.10 seconds.

New Zealand track coach Terry Gyde was delighted with the new records and commented that they showcased the speed of the Invercargill track. Noting the moderate temperatures, Gyde called the times impressive, but said the track will only get faster as temperatures warm up.

Forest City Velodrome winter season kicks off

The winter season has kicked off at the Forest City Velodrome (FCV) in London, Ontario. For the next three weekends, track racing, including both sprint and endurance events, will begin at 7:00 PM on Saturdays. Admission is $10 (Canadian). On December 2-3, FCV will host the Canadian/American/Quebec (CanAmQue) challenge Race #2.

The velodrome continues to emphasize its youth development programs. Last month, FCV auctioned off two Vintage track frames from Curt Harnett to raise over $900 (Canadian) for the track's youth programs.

Winter youth training will be led by sprinter Gord Singleton to keep younger riders in shape over the winter. Furthermore, the first weekend of every month will see skills development and speed work camps geared toward cadets and juniors. And finally, recruiting young riders to build up the Velo-Kids and junior programs continues with a recruiting program at the local London, Ontario, high schools.

Not to be forgotten, women will soon get their own recreation sessions on Sunday afternoons.

FCV is not limited to serving cyclists only. Riders will share the facility with a group of roller skaters, who will be using the infield this winter for training for their upcoming spring Roller Derby season.

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