First Edition Cycling News for September 26, 2006
Edited by Greg Johnson & Kyle Mackay
UCI may want Grand Tours to be shortened
The International Cycling Union (UCI) is attempting to adopt a tougher stance against the major Grand Tour organisers, declaring that it will force the three-week events to be shortened if that is what's recommended by a recently commissioned report into cycling.
Cycling's world governing body announced the year-long review, which will be carried out by a panel of independent academics, at the UCI World Road Championships in Austria last weekend. The races which will come under scrutiny in the study are the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France, and Vuelta a España.
"If they come to us and say that we need to make changes in the three tours, or in any other tours, than those changes will be discussed," UCI President Pat McQuaid told Associated Press. "If changes have to be made, they will be made."
There is some belief in the sport that the length of the three week races has increased doping in cycling, due to the demands placed on the human body. However, doping has also had an impact in power events, such as sprinting and track racing.
The report into cycling comes as the UCI struggles in the sport's constant fight against doping. A recent assessment of the 2005/2006 seasons released by the UCI reports the increased structure, stability and globalization the governing body has brought to the sport but neglects to mention any progress in anti-doping - a promotional problem that has plagued the sport's history.
Meanwhile, McQuaid stepped up his attack on Dick Pound, questioning the World Anti-Doping Agency Chief's credibility while accusing him of slandering cycling. "The sooner he is out of that job the better," he told AP. "As far as we are concerned, he lacks complete credibility. He has his knife in the sport of cycling."
Montreal-Boston granted UCI 2.1 status
The 2007 Montreal-Boston Cycling Tour has been granted a 2.1 license by the International Cycling Union - allowing organisers the opportunity to invite ProTour and national level outfits to contest the inaugural event. "We are really thrilled," explained event CEO Daniel Manibal. "After three years of hard work, the UCI not only grants us a unique race but bonifies [sic] it by according us the 2.1 license."
The announcement is a significant boost for the event and the sport in North America. "I think that this new international event could become one of the best cycling events in the world," explained UCI CEO Pat McQuaid at the announcement made last Friday at the UCI World Championships in Austria.
Further information on the event, which will run from August 4-11, 2007, is expected to be announced at the end of October.
Cheerwine apply for Women's UCI Pro Status
Cheerwine Professional Women's Cycling Team will apply for UCI Professional status for 2007, becoming just the third US Women's team to do so. "By filing for UCI status, the riders will be able to work towards their goals for 2008 in both the United States and abroad," explained team owner Anne Bolyea.
The outfit is expected to announce over coming weeks the professional riders and sponsors which will front its campaign in road events in Australian, Canada, Europe and the US. "I understand the importance of rider's UCI points to USA-Cycling, I also think we need to support the races put on in the US," added Bolyea.
Cheerwine has also appointed a Team Director in Thad Fischer to head the team as it expands in 2007. "Thad is exactly what we are looking for in a team director," said Bolyea. "He has the passion for women's cycling needed to take our program to the next level."
Fischer is excited about the challenge ahead having left men's outfit Team Nerac/Outdoorlights.com to join the team. "The team is at a great point to transition from being a top five NRC team to a competitive UCI team," explained Fischer. "The more US women's teams we can take to the international level the better off women's cycling in the US will become."
Mazet joins Astana, Gudsell turns pro with FDJ
The Astana team of Vuelta-winner Alexandre Vinokourov wanted a young French rider for next year, and have chosen 25 year-old Julien Mazet from Auber 93, who finished 5th in the recent Tour de l'Avenir.
Just before flying back to New Zealand, Tim Gudsell has received confirmation by Française des Jeux that his stagiaire position is turning into a pro contract for the next two years. The French team, directed by Marc Madiot, has had English speaking riders from the US, England, Australia and South Africa, but this is a first time with a Kiwi.
Hushovd no man for the worlds? Arvesen not tough enough
Courtesy of Katharina Schulz
As Tour de France green jersey winners Erik Zabel (second ) and Robbie McEwen (fifth ) sprinted for glory in Salzburg last Sunday, this year’s World Championships turned out to be the same old story for 2005 maillot vert winner Thor Hushovd of Norway. As the sprinters wound it up for the line, Hushovd was not there to compete with them, finishing a disappointing 114th to go with his 115th last year in Madrid, and 142nd at Zolder in 2002. As his trainer and former pro Atle Kvålsvoll points out, Hushovd “simply lacks the stamina for races longer than 200 km. He might have to change his training routine in that direction, and go for longer training rides with an extra tough hour at the end.”
His fellow countryman, Kurt Asle Arvesen, however, had the strength to be in the large group at the end but, in his own words, just didn’t feel tough enough for the sprint. He finished 13th - Norway's best result in the worlds since 1993, when Dag Otto Lauritzen was seventh in Oslo.
CX 2008 World’s bus at Salzburg
The Italian city of Treviso has already begun building up for the 2008 CX World Championships to be held on January 26-27, 2008, by taking a PR bus to last week’s road world championships in Salzburg. The bus will be available all winter season long to promote the rainbow event, as well as in the 2007 CX World Championships in Hooglede, Belgium where Treviso’s event will be officially presented on January 26 in Kortrjik.
“We’re very satisfied about this opportunity to promote the event at our best,” said Treviso 2008 Technical Director Rudy Mosole. “We’re working strongly to prepare the World Cup test event on November 4 on the Lago le Bandie course, but we felt very important to be present in Salzburg where a lot of people visited our bus requesting information about the forthcoming event,” Mosole said. Italian TV station RAI will telecast the test event live on November 4.
Detour de France is a new documentary - with a difference - about the worlds biggest bike race. The documantary on the 2005 Tour de France is being launched in conjunction with Australia's Jayco Herald Sun Tour by Accent Film Entertainment.
The movie covers Lance Armstrong's last race in 2005 through the eyes of three Australian journalists who take you inside Le Tour, including Cyclingnews' own John Trevorrow, our man on the Aussie beat at le Tour. The film features interviews with many riders including Armstrong, as well as commentator Phil Liggett, filmmaker Ron Howard, Sheryl Crow, John Kerry and many others.
Recently shown at the Melbourne Film Festival, Detour de France was said to be the first of 78 movies to sell out. It was rated by The Age newspaper as one of the five best films at the festival. For more information visit www.detourdefrancemovie.com
Regional Tour Dates 2006 Herald Sun Tour
Saturday, October 7
Sunday, October 8
Monday, October 9
Wednesday, October 11
Sunday, October 15
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)