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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News, December 23, 2007

Edited by Ben Abrahams & Sue George

Star-studded line-up for Bay Crits

By John Trevorrow in Williamstown

Simon Gerrans (Portfolio Partners) won the final race in 2007
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image) Simon Gerrans (Portfolio Partners)  was in the break which formed early.

The 2008 Jayco Bay Cycling Classic was launched this week at Pelican's Landing Restaurant overlooking the start line of the first race which starts in Williamstown, Victoria on Wednesday, January 2. Paris-Roubaix winner Stuart O'Grady was there to join Hobsons Bay Mayor Bill Baarrini in launching the series and they were joined by Baden Cooke, Matt Wilson and Simon Gerrans.

General Manager of the Amy Gillett Foundation, Melinda Jacobsen, was also present to launch the third Amy's Ride which will be held in conjunction with the final day in Geelong on Sunday January 6. The event promotes mutual awareness and understanding between cyclists and motorists and raises money for the Amy Gillett Foundation, formed in commemoration of the life of elite Australian cyclist, Amy Gillett, who was killed whilst training in Germany in 2005.

O'Grady was exited at the prospect of lighting up the streets of Williamstown in a few days. "The Jayco Bay Crits are the fastest crits anywhere in the world and the depth of talent in this series is quite staggering," O'Grady said. "The adrenalin starts pumping when I think about how that first day is going to go with so many quality criterium riders all trying to gain an advantage. It will be awesome."

It seems strange to say that this is the best field ever in the 20 year history of the event, considering that Robbie McEwen is not starting. McEwen is arguably the best criterium rider in the world, but with superstars such as O'Grady, Allan Davis, defending champion Mark Renshaw, Olympic gold medallists Graeme Brown and Brett Aitken, along with US NRC champion Rory Sutherland, Hilton Clarke, Aaron Kemps and Henk Vogels, you have one heck of a bike race.

Then, just to top it all off, throw in a few road specialists who are pretty handy criterium riders such as Simon Gerrans, Matt Wilson and Will Walker; not to mention a strong international presence led by classy road sprinter Jeremy Hunt, Dutch criterium specialist Pieter Braekeveldt and the crack Japanese team Aisan.

Several Aussie young guns are starting to challenge the establishment, too, and are sure to make this series something special. Leigh Howard, Cameron and Travis Meyer, Jack Bobridge, Glen O'Shea and Miles Olman are exciting young stars who will put pressure on the established riders.

Women's series winner, Kate Bates (Pitcher Partners)
Photo ©: Shane Goss
(Click for larger image) Women's series winner, Kate Bates (Pitcher Partners) in action on the final day in Melbourne

The women's series of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic has become a sensational event over the past few years and 2008 looks to continue that tradition. The top draw cards will be defending series and world points champion Kate Bates, sister and Commonwealth gold medallist Natalie Bates, Olympic road race gold medallist Sara Carrigan, former world number one Oenone Wood, Belinda Goss as well as 2007 Canadian national champion and world championship medallist Gina Grain.

Although he won't be putting on a number, Tour de France runner-up and UCI world number one Cadel Evans will be the official host, there to mingle with his many fans. Evans will also be doing commentary with 'the voice of cycling' Phil Liggett and former Giro d'Italia stage winner David McKenzie. The event will be the focus of a two-hour highlights program on Australian TV station Network Ten.

Also on Sunday will be the third edition of Amy's Ride. This wonderful recreational cycling challenge will again give thousands of cycling fans the unique opportunity to ride along with the stars of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic as well as raise funds for the Amy Gillett Foundation. It's not a race but a fun ride where fans get to rub shoulders with the stars. For more information on the series, visit the official website and www.amysride.com.

The races

Wednesday, January 2 - Round 1: Williamstown
Support 12:30pm, Elite Women 1:30pm, Elite Men 2:30pm

Thursday, January 3 - Round 2: Portarlington
Support 12:30pm, Elite Women 1:30pm, Elite Men 2:30pm

Friday, January 4 - Round 3: Geelong - Ritchie Blvd
Celebrity 4:30pm, Support 5:00pm, Elite Women 6:00pm, Elite Men 7:15pm

Saturday January 5 - Round 4: Geelong - Eastern Park
Support 1:30pm, Elite Women 2:20pm, Elite Men 3:10pm, Celebrity 4:20pm

Sunday, January 6 - Round 5: Geelong - Eastern Park
Amy's Ride 8:30am, Support 1:30pm, Elite Women 2:20pm, Elite Men 3:10, Celebrity 4:20pm

How it works

The elite men and women's events are contested by teams and prizes are awarded for the three best teams overall. Points gained by the top three riders in each team are added together each day. The team with the most points at the end of day five is the winner.

However, the individual award is the most prestigious. Each day the first 10 cyclists receive points awarded for their finishing position: 12 for first then 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. The leading rider on points wears the Yellow Jersey and the rider with the most points at the end of the final race is the series winner.

In addition there is the Sprint Ace Award with 3, 2 and 1 points awarded for the intermediate sprints each day that go towards the overall sprint ranking. The leading Sprint Ace wears the green jersey.

Italy gets new UCI Women's World Cup

By Kirsten Robbins

Women pass through the one kilometre sign at an Australian World Cup event
Photo ©: John Veage
(Click for larger image)

Cycling Sport Promotion has confirmed the organization of a women's World Cup to be held on Italian soil on March 24, 2008, in Cittiglio, Italy. The 10th annual Trofeo A. Binda, won by former World Cup leader Nicole Cooke of great Britain is set to be the second World Cup in the 2008 UCI series.

The course will start and finish in Cittiglio and venture over 121 kilometers beginning with a large start circuit that will be repeated twice to include a six-kilometer ascent through the town of Brinzio. The final and smaller circuit will be repeated three times and will include another four kilometer ascent through the town of Orino.

On December 14, President of Cycling Sport Promotion, Mario Minervino said in a press release, "Our principle objective is to organize sporting event. Italy has not held a women's world cup for several season and in September of this year the UCI gave us the responsibility to organize this event. From this moment we have been working hard to create an event that combines technical aspects to a choreography perfect for an international calibre event."

Starting with the Provence of Varese, numerous sponsors have come together to support the event and will pave the way to help kick off the 2008 season of high level cycling competitions held in Italy, including the season-ending finale of the World Championships. "President of the Varese 2008 world championships, Amedeo Colombo, was the first to believe in organizing the World Cup and gave us the impulse to take this effort, a kind of race that honours three time world champion Alfredo Binda with the start and finish in Cittiglio, a town tied to the cycling world," said Minervino.

Fuglsang named Danish rider of the year

Mountain biker Jakob Fuglsang
Photo ©: Kenneth Mller Kristensen / www.cyclingworld.dk
(Click for larger image)

22 year-old Mountain biker Jakob Fuglsang was named rider of the year in Denmark for 2007. The Under 23 mountain bike World Champion beat out tough competition from Team CSC road riders Matti Breschel and Chris Anker Sørensen and World Track Championship points race silver medallist Mie Bekker Lacota.

Zanini stays with Lotto as DS

By Susan Westemeyer

Stefano Zanini didn't get a new contract to ride for Team Predictor-Lotto - soon to be Silence-Lotto - for next season, but the 38 year-old will be staying with the team in another capacity. He will be a Directeur Sportif for the Belgian team, he announced at a press conference Saturday.

Zanini had thirty career wins, and was the first Italian to win the Amstel Gold Race, in 1996. He turned pro in 1991 with Navigare (1991-1994) and rode for Gewiss (1995-1996), Mapei/Quick.Step (1997-2005) and Liquigas (2006), before riding for Predictor Lotto this year.

Canadian team steps up to UCI Continental Team status

Mark Walters (Kodak Gallery) winning at the 2007 Tour de Beauce
Photo ©: Mark Zalewski
(Click for larger image)

Canada will get a new UCI Continental Team in 2008. To support Team RACE Pro's step up the ranks, managers have been busy signing some of Canada's top talent including five-time Canadian National Road Champion Mark Walters, the 2005 U23 Canadian National Road Champion Ryan Roth, and current U23 Canadian National Cyclo-cross Champion Mark Batty. The team intends to provide an opportunity for Canadian cyclists to race at the pro level on a Canadian team with long term objectives to make it into the UCI ProTour and the Tour de France.

The team's title sponsor is Planet Energy and its members will race on Argon 18 bikes and Shimano components. Its season will begin with the Beverbeek Classic (1.2) on March 1, which will be the beginning of a spring European campaign. The European agenda will provide the racing experience and develop the fitness required for the team to be competitive during the later racing schedule in North America.

The US Open in Richmond, Virginia, will be the first significant race in North America for the team, but others will include the Tour de Beauce (2.2) and the 2008 Canadian National Road Championships, also in Beauce, Quebec.

Josée Larocque and Canadian Sport Hall of Fame member, Steve Bauer, of Cycle Sport Management Inc. will manage all aspects of the team.

Team RACE Pro for 2008: Mark Walters, Ryan Roth, Kevin "Buck" Miller, Dustin MacBurnie, Mark Pozniak, Andrew Hunt, Eric Robertson, Jol Dion-Poitras, Keir Plaice, Dan Timmerman (USA), Adam Thuss, and Mark Batty.

UCI says it will take Mayo case to CAS

After Spanish cycling's secretary general Eugenio Bermudez refused to sanction Iban Mayo, the UCI issued a statement saying that it had set a deadline for the Spanish cycling federation "to take a position on the subject," or it would take Mayo's case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The UCI had requested that the Spanish Federation re-open disciplinary proceedings against Mayo "for a clear breach of the anti-doping regulations" when a B sample test came back positive for EPO after a second test on it.

Mayo's A sample tested positive in July during the Tour de France as a result of an analysis by the Châtenay-Malabry National Anti-Doping Laboratory in Paris. Given that lab was on holiday, a lab in Ghent tested the B sample for the first time with results returned as inconclusive.

At that time the Spanish Federation dropped its case against Mayo, but upon interpreting the inconclusive test to be neither negative nor positive, the UCI requested the Châtenay-Malabry lab run an analysis on the B sample. The additional B sample test confirmed the analysis of the A sample in finding "the presence of EPO". Mayo and his supporters are calling the second B sample test illegal after the initial B test failed to yield a positive result.

Frei ready to concentrate on riding in 2008

By Susan Westemeyer

Thomas Frei in 2006

Photo ©: Andreas Oppliger
(Click for larger image)

Thomas Frei's neo-pro season was a turbulent one with Team Astana. The Swiss rider is looking forward to a quieter season in 2008, with the emphasis on sports rather than doping headlines.

The year started out well and ended badly, the 22 year-old said in an interview with radsport-aktiv.de. "I was in good form directly from the start and could ride such good races as Paris-Nice and the Ardennes Classics," he said. "After the Tour, everything was different. It was a very difficult time to concentrate on your job."

A highlight for him was riding the Tour de Suisse, which passed through his hometown of Olten. "That is a unique experience in an athlete's life, when he can present himself before his own front door in such a race, and see so many familiar faces. Just riding the first Tour de Suisse is surely something special for a Swiss rider."

The low point of the season was the positive doping tests from three of his team-mates, from which he couldn't remove himself. "For the public you are simply one of 'them'. I think it was a hard time for every Astana rider, although the team's mood had always been good. The worst for me was in a team training camp in August in Switzerland, where we were jeered at by cars driving by."

Frei started training again for the new season the middle of November, and knows what he wants in the coming year. "I want to make a definite step up and pick up more notice," he said. He is eying his first Grand Tour. "I am in the extended squad for the Giro d'Italia. It would be great to go into my first three week Tour in super form."

Meantime, he has gotten to know the new team managment and his new incoming team-mates at the recent Astana training camp in Spain. "We had a good spirit in the training camp and lots of fun, but we also trained well and concentrated on our work."

Cibel oranges to sponsor Landboukrediet

By Susan Westemeyer

Team Landbouwkrediet is going against the trend of disappearing sponsors, as it has gained a new co-sponsor. Cibel, a brand of oranges from the De Witte group, will be present on the jerseys of the Belgian Professional Continental team in the coming season, according to Sportwereld.be. The official announcement is expected shortly, as is the announcement of two new riders, whose salaries have been made possible by the new sponsor.

Fort Collins wins bid to host US Collegiate Nationals

The 2008 and 2009 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships will head to Fort Collins, Colorado, where they will be hosted by Colorado State University. Approximately 500 collegiate races are expected to vie for 18 national road titles from May 9-11, 2008.

The event will kick off with a team time trial in nearby Buckeye, just north of Fort Collins. On day two a road race will be contested on a circuit between Horsetooth Reservoir and Masonville before a final day's downtown criterium. The Colorado State Rams were recently named USA Cycling Collegiate Club of the Year.

Friday, May 9: Team time trial
Saturday, May 10: Road race
Sunday, May 11: Criterium

The University of Kansas in Lawrence hosted the last two National Championships in 2006 and 2007.

Torsius signing completes Dilà Guerciotti

South African rider Arien Torsius signed with Team Dilà Guerciotti to complete the squad's roster for 2008. She will be joined by experienced rider Dorte Lohse Rasmussen, also new to the team, and younger riders Alessia Massaccesi, Silvia Castoldi and Alice Donadoni. The team's new riders recently got the chance to spend time getting to know everyone at a team training camp before the holidays.

The 20 year-old Torsius raced for Rapha Condor in 2007. "Cycling in South Africa is strong in the way of development and good riders are moving to the pro ranks," said Massimiliano Bonanomi."As with all young cyclists, we will ask her to work hard in order to lay the foundation for successive seasons."

Team Dilà Guerciotti 2008: Maya Adamsen Watt, Lidia Arcangeli, Maria Helena Bornak, Daniela Capitanio, Vera Carrara, Silvia Castoldi, Sabrina Conca, Alice Donadoni, Silvia Eusebi, Marina Khodtchenkova, Oxana Kostenko, Alessia Massaccesi, Sara Mustonen, Dorte Lohse Rasmussen, Azucena Sanchez Benito, Arien Torsius, and Marta Vilajosana Andreu

Professional Continental Teams added to 2008 teams database online!

Cyclingnews' faithful contributor Théo Müller has again put together the pieces of the elite pro cycling puzzle during the last few weeks and assembled, just in time for the holidays, the 2008 Teams database. The Professional Continental Teams have just been added to the complete roster of ProTour teams.

So, for all of those who couldn't keep up with the rider transfers and signings of the last few months, here is the new 2008 Teams Database. Thank you, Théo!

Cyclingnews Reader's Poll

It's that time of year again - vote for your favourites

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As the year draws to a close, it's time for you to review the year in cycling and cast your vote in the annual Cyclingnews Readers' Poll.

And as in previous years, we have a wee incentive so you can justify the time and mental exercise: the chance to win a Christmas stocking full of the latest carbon fibre goodies from our friends at Zipp, like the lightest crankset on the market, plus animal-strength handlebars and a classy-looking stem.

So please, contribute to what has become one of the largest global polls of the cycling community and cast your vote. Please try to complete each category and only vote once, as we do a thorough review of the votes and make sure we remove all the duplicates.

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