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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News for July 20, 2007

Edited by Laura Weislo

Tour leader dumped from national team

Rasmussen in yellow
Photo ©:
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Rabobank's Michael Rasmussen is experiencing one of cycling's greatest honours, wearing the Tour de France's yellow jersey, but at home in Denmark not everything is as rosy with his national federation dumping him from the national squad in a row over drug testing. Rasmussen has known of the Danish Cycling Union's decision since June 26, with the union claiming the Tour de France leader has received three warnings over failing to inform authorities of his whereabouts.

"We consider this case with great seriousness and the executive of the DCU decided that Michael will no longer be part of the national team and he was informed of this on June 26," DCU director Jesper Wore told AFP. "It has been decided that Michael will no longer be part of the national team."

Rasmussen has dismissed the issue as an administrative mistake, claiming he's only received one warning on the issue. "There must be someone at the top who doesn't wish me well," Rasmussen told Danish newspaper Politiken. "I can't find another explanation. I tried to give an explanation of what happened, but they wouldn't accept it.

Rasmussen will not be able to contest September's World Road Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, nor will he be allowed to represent his nation in the Beijing Olympic Games next season as a result of the DUC's decision.

"The DCU is not saying that Michael tested positive," said Worre. "But there are question marks over his behaviour and attitude that place doubts over his place in the national team."

"It is confidential information but people have the right to know that the DCU fights for a clean sport," added Worre.

World champ sprints again

Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) came close
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World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara made another strong bid for a win in stage eleven to Montpellier, where he made came within inches of besting reknowned sprinter Robert Hunter (Barloworld). The Swiss rider, who already surprised all the sprinters with a kilometre long attack to win stage three, made a huge run to the line in the final 100 metres, hurtling past a fading Murilo Fischer (Liquigas) but falling just short of the win.

"I wanted to win this stage so badly and dedicate it to Stuart O'Grady," Cancellara declared on the website. O'Grady is currently recuperating from a bad crash on stage eight that put him out of the tour. "I'm happy enough to be able to dedicate him a second place," said Cancellara.

The loss of O'Grady affected the Swiss rider deeply. "Stuart's my roommate [on the Tour -ed.] and in this big family we're all part of here we miss him a lot and wish him all the best. He's a great teammate in so many ways – both on and off the road."

"All riders know the kind of pain we all face on those mountains and at the end of a stage like the one today, but the pain which Stuey's feeling at the hospital right now is totally different. It's been on my mind a lot lately. I felt so bad for Stuart, when he crashed and I wanted to go back to him, but I'm really happy he's doing better."

Team CSC also made its way to the top of the team classification after the always aggressive Jens Voigt went on the attack on stage ten from Tallard to Marseille. While Voigt placed fifth out of the breakaway, his performance bumped the team from fourth place to first, moving ahead of the Discovery Channel, Caisse d'Epargne and Astana teams who all missed the move. CSC maintained its five minute lead over Caisse d'Epargne on the tumultuous stage eleven which saw a big split in the peloton, which caught out favourite Christophen Moreau, and a crash inside the final kilometres that sent Fränk Schleck to the ground.

Despite the crash inside the final 3km of the stage, Fränk Schleck and team leader Carlos Sastre both advanced one spot in the general classification thanks to the demise of Moreau, and are now sixth and 12th overall.

Bouyer files suit against UCI, WADA

Former Bouygues Telecom rider Franck Bouyer has filed suit against the UCI and the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) after the agencies repeatedly denied his request for a therapeutic use exemption for the narcolepsy drug Modafinil. The suit, which was filed in a court outside Paris, charges that the agencies are preventing him from working, according to L'Equipe.

The 33-year-old suffers from narcolepsy, had doctor's reports to support his diagnosis and medical need for the drug, without which he cannot race. WADA code prohibits the drug in competition, lending no possibility to a therapeutic use exemption.

Adidas considers ending T-Mobile sponsorship

Days after it was revealed that German Patrik Sinkewitz had tested positive for testosterone, T-Mobile team sponsor Adidas has indicated that it may move to end its sponsorship of the squad. T-Mobile, despite having a strong antidoping programme in place, suffered under the weight of confessions of former team riders Erik Zabel and Rolf Aldag before Sinkewitz became the latest rider to test positive for a banned substance. The negative press is weighing on the long-time team sponsor.

"We are currently seriously toying with the idea of ending our sponsoring activities," said spokesperson Jan Runau to Die Welt. The sponsorship, which is less than one million euro acording to Adidas, may have been renewed but this latest scandal may prove to be too much. "There are stll talks ahead of us, but right now it looks like we will stop," an Adidas representative was quoted.

The possible departure of the sportswear giant from the cycling market follows the German television boycott of the Tour following Sinkewitz' positive test. While SAT1 (cable TV) took over from ARD and ZDF, the pressure on these companies to steer clear of the sport is apparent. "The signs are pointing to exit," said an unidentified Adidas representative.

Adidas has sponsored the team since 1997 and wanted to continue its support with the purported 'new beginning' in pro cycling. "We have been in in direct contact with our longtime partner Telekom [T-Mobile, ed.] even before the suspected doping case of Sinkewitz, to evaluate if it is even realistic to get a fresh start, after what happened recently," said Runau.

Brown announces return to Australia

By Greg Johnson

Brown after returning home in 2005
Photo ©: John Stevenson
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Australian cyclist Katie Brown has announced she will return home to Sydney at month's end to continue her recovery from the tragic training accident in 2005 that saw Australian Institute of Sport teammate Amy Gillett lose her life. Brown, who has been racing for Dutch women's squad Vrienden Van Het Platteland, made the emotional announcement on July 18, exactly two years after an 18 year-old woman lost control of her vehicle and struck the six AIS riders.

"The month of July will always be a difficult month for my self and the girls I raced with in 2005, it's a month were we remember what was taken from us in more ways than one," said Brown on her website "On this day, July 18, we lost a friend and teammate (Amy Gillett) and yes it has been two years however it never gets any easier when this date comes around, for each of us five that survived we all have healed and progressed in different stages, some quicker than others."

"Unfortunately for myself, my body hasn't healed as fast as I expect and that is why I will be returning back to Sydney at the end of July to get myself back on track," she continued. "Over the last two months I have been fighting sickness and my knee has been fighting me which has added a load of stress on me and I guess that has something to do with the virus I have."

Before returning to Australia to continue her recovery, Brown will contest one final event with her squad - the Thueringen Rundfahrt stage race. Gillett, Brown, Lorian Graham, Kate Nichols, Alexis Rhodes and Louise Yaxley had been riding the Thueringen Rundfahrt's route in a pre-race training rider in 2005 when the accident occurred. Bown, the sister of Rabobank's ProTour rider Graham, suffered a broken right leg, shattered left hand, a collapsed lung, a severed left patella tendon and a number of broken ribs in the crash.

"I have sat down with my team and explained everything and they were fantastic in understanding what was going on," added Brown. "I would like you to remember what happened and then think about how it made you feel when you heard and then think about how it would make you feel if it was one of your family members or friends, in this we should all understand that safety is the number one thing and that we can all make a difference so please be mindful of others around you and drive safe."

CycleOps analyses power output and performances at TdF

Power-based training is not just for the professionals and this year during the 2007 Tour de France, US company Saris is hoping to use the world's biggest bike race as a means of promoting this highly effective form of training.

Saris is the name behind the CycleOps brand of power measurement technology, and the group's marketing directory, David Cathcart, said, "we've partnered with well known cycling and fitness experts, such as Allen Lim, Robbie Ventura of Vision Quest Coaching, Sally Edwards of HeartZones and Angie Sturtevant of Specialists in Sports Performance, to create the CycleOps PowerTour for the 2007 Tour de France".

These experts are combining to provide daily video training tips on relevant cycling and fitness topics, such as 'Testing Made Simple', 'Nutrition for a Long Ride', 'Thermal Regulation', 'Hydration', 'Pacing Strategy' and well as innovative recipes for mid-ride foods that the pros actually eat. In all, there are twenty-one training tips that will be presented daily on via its website.

Cathcart added, "We have created an interactive Q&A section for the CycleOps PowerTour where visitors can write in and have a limited number of questions answered online by our experts daily". And the CycleOps PowerTour also features contests where visitors can win prizes including a CycleOps Power Pro300PT Indoor Cycle, CycleOps PowerTap SL2.4 power meter, CycleOps Power Fluid2 Trainer as well as CycleOps Power jerseys, shorts and T-shirts."

Sprinters bring US Pan Am medals to five

Two sprinters brought the USA's Pan American Games medal tally in cycling to five on Wednesday morning. Ben Barczewski and Andy Lakatosh, both of Pennsylvania, earned the silver and bronze medals respectively in the men's sprint competition.

In Monday's 200-meter qualification round, Lakatosh earned a fourth placed seed with his posted a time of 11.040 seconds, while Barczewski clocked an 11.250 for the tenth. In the 1/8 final, Barczewski took the win after Venezuelan Canelon Hersony was disqualified, while Lakatosh overtook Cuban Yusnier Alvarez to advance to the quarterfinals. Both advanced to the semifinals, which took place Tuesday.

In the semifinal, Lakatosh was matched against top-seeded Cuban Julio Cesar Herrera while Barczewski would take on Colombian national champion Hernan Sanchez Castillo.

After two straight victories against Castillo, Barczewski advanced to the gold medal final where lost two close rides to Herrera. Lakatosh was matched against Castillo in the bronze medal round, and recovered from a crash he suffered in the semifinals to beat the Colombian in two straight rides to secure the bronze - the fifth medal for the USA Cycling Team in Brazil.

"It is great competing at Pan Ams. This is a good prep for the Olympic Games," Barczewski said during the sprint competition. "It is a real team atmosphere here and it is great to have the entire Team USA behind you."

The silver and bronze added to the gold and silver medals earned by Adam Craig and Mary McConneloug in the men's and women's mountain bike competition and the gold medal earned by Jason Richardson in the men's BMX contest.

Sydney Harbour here we come

Goulburn targets UCI status, Harbour bridge in 2008

Sydney's Harbour Bridge
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

The immediate future of the oldest bike race in NSW, Australia, the Goulburn to Sydney Cycle Classic, is assured for another two years with Wednesday's announcement that banking giant, the Citi Group, will be the naming rights sponsor for the 2007 event. With the funding secured, the race is now taking on big plans including UCI status and a trip over the Harbour bridge for 2008. Jane Aubrey reports from Sydney.

First held in 1902, the Goulburn to Sydney Cycle Classic has become a mainstay of the New South Wales racing calendar, and anew deal will make sure the future editions of the race will be even more prestigious. The 2007 edition, to be held on Sunday, September 23 will be dubbed the 'Goulburn to Citi' after the Citi Group stepped up to naming sponsor of the event. The riders will take a 170km route that leaves the regional centre of Goulburn, south-west of Sydney, and heads across the Great Dividing Range to arrive on the outskirts of Australia's largest city.

Citi has signed a deal that covers the event until 2008, taking total sponsorship to around $85,000 per year. The 2007 event will be televised on delay nationally on SBS Television and will include a team's classification to be contested by the Australian teams registered with the UCI, including the Professional Continental team, Drapac Porsche, as well as Continental squads FRF Couriers-NSW Institute of Sport, and Adelaide's Savings & Loans.

The new sponsorship is a big boost for the race which was forced into a five-year hiatus from 2000 to 2004, and now its return has gone from strength to strength, with plans to take 'the Goulburn' to the next level.

Read the full feature here.

Stetina and Burghart among six new US Bicycling Hall of Fame inductees

A rare shot of Tom Schuler sharing the limelight with his riders
Photo: © Bob Wilson
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The US Bicycling Hall of Fame has announced six new inductees who will become members of the US Bicycling Hall of Fame (USBHOF) on October 20 during ceremonies in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Many-time national champion Dale Stetina; women's road racing legend Nancy Burghart Haviland; 1930s six-day racing legend Cecil Yates; Olympian and Tour de France team manager Tom Schuler; BMX racing pioneer Bernie Anderson; and former United States Cycling Federation and US Olympic team official William Lambart will all be honoured with induction later this year.

Phil Liggett, known as the international voice of cycling, will be on hand to speak at the ceremony which will be conducted with partner the International Cycling Center (ICC) of Allentown, Pennsylvania. While there, Liggett will receive the ICC's Lifetime Achievement Award. He has worked as a television commentator since 1978 and received Emmy nominations for his astute and informative coverage of the Tour de France. He has also covered seven summer and four winter Olympic Games commenting on everything from ski jumping to speed skating.

A goal of the USBHOF is to preserve the history of bicycle racing as well as promote cycling in all forms. All inductees have raced their way into cycling's record books or helped promote the sport.

Stetina, of Boulder Colorado, won more than 200 domestic and international races during the 1970s and 1980s. He won national championships in road, track and time-trial races and was a member of the 1976 and 1980 U.S. Olympic teams. He also competed in Mexico and Costa Rica and was the record holder of the grueling Mt. Washington Hill Climb event for 20 years.

Nancy Burghart Haviland, now of Warren, Maine, dominated women's cycling during the 1960s when she won eight national championships. Burghart not only dominated road events but won numerous sprint and pursuit championships, displaying her versatility as a consummate competitor.

The later six-day racing legend Cecil Yates won 19 six-day events of the 81 he competed in during the 1930s and 1940s. He was a fixture at pre- and post-World War II six-day events in New York's Madison Square Garden as well as such cities as Chicago, Cleveland and Buffalo. Yates was born in Thurber, Texas and raised in Chicago.

Tom Schuler achieved as much off the bike as on it. The Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, resident won more than 100 career victories during his career beginning in 1970. An active coach and team organizer, her was co-founder and charter member of the 7-Eleven Cycling team and assistant director of the Motorola Cycling team. He was also director sportif for Team Saturn from 1991-2003. He now heads his own sports management company. During his career, he has helped produce 32 Olympians, multiple national and world champions, and six Olympic medalists.

San Antonio native Bernie Anderson is best known for his efforts to promote the popularity and expansion of BMX racing throughout the US. First introduced to BMX in 1977, he started four state-of-the art BMX tracks in southwest Texas and promoted the popularity of the sport at every level. Anderson helped found the American Bicycle Association, ABA BMX, which now sanctions more than 11,000 events a year with a membership of 40,000 riders. He has been instrumental in helping BMX gain stature to the point where it will become an Olympic event in 2008.

William Lambart, of Hilton Head, South Carolina, served cycling through its various organizing, officiating, and sanctioning bodies for decades After competing for the legendary New York City-based German Bicycle Sports Club form 1950-1962, Lambert contributed to committees and boards of directors for such groups as the American Bicycle League, the United States Cycling Federation, and numerous international governing bodies. As a designated international commissarie, he has officiated cycling events at the Olympic Games, the Pan American Games and various World Championships. He remains actively int he world of international officiating today.

The USBHOF has previously recognized more than 100 cycling greats. The organization's collection is temporarily housed in storage, but it will soon move to a new Central Jersey location.

Webcor increases cycling sponsorship in San Jose

Webcor Builders is stepping up its involvement in cycling by becoming the presenting sponsor of the inaugural San Jose Classic Road Criterium, one of the four major components of the San Jose Classic. The Classic is a three-day domestic professional, amateur and community cycling event to be held May 16-18, 2008.

Webcor already sponsors a succesful women's professional cycling team, including members Christine Thorburn, Katheryn Curi, Amber Rais, Rachel Heal, Helen Kelly, Mara Abbott, Laura Yoisten, and Beverley Harper. Abbott took home three nationals titles - Under 23 time trial, Under 23 and Elite road race titles - during the American national championships in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania last week.

Andy Ball, President and CEO of WebCor Builders, said this is an opportunity to increase his company's support of cycling and give back to the community.

Spread over a spring weekend, the San Jose Classic will include domestic professional and amateur road, mountain bike, and BMX races and community health and cycling events. Organizers predict the event will draw over 2,000 cyclists, 25,000 spectators, and 50 exhibitors. San Jose hopes to build on its cycling community. It now boasts 38,000 bike commuters and is home to one of only 19 American velodromes.

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