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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for June 11, 2007

Edited by Sue George with assistance from Steve Medcroft

Jame Carney requests USAC hearing for Tour of Virginia brawl

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Jame Carney racing at the Reading Classic
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

A USA Cycling hearing regarding an incident described by race officials as "Serious Aggression" following the final stage of the Tour of Virginia last April could lead to suspensions. One of the riders involved in the fight, Jame Carney, has requested a hearing to appeal the decision made by USAC.

The incident was a verbal and physical altercation between Carney and Mark Hardman, the 2006 collegiate road champion, following the finish of the final stage. Two of Carney's teammates, John Delong and Boyd Johnson, also involved themselves in the fight, leading to all four being disqualified from the race and the USA Cycling officials reporting the post-race incident to the national office. However, no official ruling has been made for any of the riders involved due to Carney's request for a hearing.

"It's going to a hearing for an appeal," Carney told Cyclingnews after winning the elite amateur race of the Lancaster Classic last Sunday. Carney is allowed to still race in sanctioned events during the appeal process. "There was an investigation and basically I'm sorry for my involvement in it. But realistically, it has been blown way out of proportion. But this is the reason why USA Cycling has a process."

Not wanting to get into specifics about the incident before the hearing, Carney did say that he has regrets for the way things turned out. "I did some things I probably should not have done no matter how bad somebody rides in a bike race. You should not use certain language, but it is going to a hearing and that is the way it will be." Carney said the motivations for his actions just after the race finished were because of how another rider, Mark Hardman, was riding in the race. Hardman, who was in law school at the University of Virginia at the time, was riding in the national champion jersey as the current collegiate road race champion and racing for the University of Virginia composite team. Both Carney and Hardman, as well as two of Carney's teammates, were disqualified from the entire race.

Mark Hardman (UVA)
Photo ©: Jason O. Watson
(Click for larger image)

Hardman declined to comment about the incident. However, he did tell Cyclingnews that he did not request an appeal because he had already decided that he was not going to pursue racing following the Tour of Virginia.

Carney also said that he is amazed at the wide variety of different accounts of what happened. "It's disturbing how when you get so many testimonies and so many of them are all over the place." However, he did say that the problem rested with how quickly a small incident turned into a large problem. "Things escalated really fast. Nothing should have happened in the first place, but the way things escalated is really unfortunate. I'm sure there will be some suspensions for some of the people involved, but my involvement was very limited."

Carney is not a stranger to these incidents, having been involved in an altercation two years ago following a charity track race in Trexlertown. "The only thing that is similar is that again we have a rider crashing me. Both times I had a rider grabbing my handlebars. I was absolutely one-hundred percent the victim in the Andy Lakatosh situation."

Carney wins the Reading Classic
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

Carney is allowed to race this week in the amateur series of the Commerce Bank Triple Crown because he has appealed. However, if he is to serve a suspension, it could come at an unfortunate time. "The off-season for me is my on-season," he said regarding his annual trek to Australia for the Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals.

USA Cycling's communication director Andy Lee said that the hearing has not been scheduled yet but should be soon and that sanctions for any rider involved, if any, will be handed down at that time. "Jame was the only rider involved in the incident that requested a hearing," said Lee. "Nothing has been scheduled yet, but it will likely occur sometime in the next few weeks. Any sanctions will be determined at Carney’s hearing."

Tour of Virginia promoter Matt Butterman said that while an unfortunate event, not much fallout has occurred from sponsors or the general public. "Luckily it was away from the crowd at the finish. Really, only the people in the vicinity of the incident saw it -- the chief judge and a moto offical. As an organizer we deplore this kind of activity. We like to see good sportsmanship."

"It was a sour way to end things, but luckily it was out of the view of most of the spectators or sponsors, so nobody has expressed negative thoughts on it."

"It's bike racing, not boxing," said Carney. "I'm happy that the truth will come out -- when the truth comes out it will be better for everyone."

Wiggins shows Tour form at Dauphiné

By Jean-François Quénet in Grenoble

Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis)
Photo ©: JF Quenet
(Click for larger image)

Bradley Wiggins showed Sunday that he is on track and ready to try for a win at the Tour de France opener by winning the Dauphiné Libéré opening prologue. It was his first big road win in his six-year career.

"It was a very different course from the prologue in London," he said. "This one was for pure specialists like George Hincapie." It was held right in the centre of the capital of the Alps, pretty much where the first edition of the Critérium took shape 60 years ago for the real first year of cycling revival after World War II.

Wiggins was four seconds behind teammate Sylvain Chavanel at the half way point, but had a strong return on the second half of the hot-dog shaped circuit. "I am in a super good condition, maybe the best of my life," he reckoned. "I've really done an excellent race. Last year I also did the prologue flat out and I came in 20th or something. It was the same at the Tour de France, I only finished 16th."

The Englishman arrives in fine form just in time. "I'm in my 6th year as a pro and I only got my third win on the road," he commented. "When I turned pro with Française des Jeux, everyone knew I had the potential for doing things like this, as Bradley McGee was doing. Now I believe this win gives me the status of a favourite for the prologue of the Tour de France, which I wasn't before. I can make the top 5 in London. There will be David Millar, David Zabriskie, George Hincapie and Fabian Cancellara as well."

Wiggins hasn't actually been named to the Cofidis team for the Tour, but his chances are good. The team will likely be built around Sylvain Chavanel's chances for the GC.

Wiggins won by one second over defending Dauphiné champion, Levi Leipheimer (Discovery), who also appears to be on form. Monday's 219km stage 1 from Grenoble to Roanne is the first road stage.

For complete coverage of the prologue, click here.

Philadelphia races decided in field sprints

By Laura Weislo and Mark Zalewksi

Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

Ina Teutenberg (T-Mobile) made it three for three in the Triple Crown series, winning the 56-mile Liberty Classic in a bunch sprint Sunday morning in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Teutenberg finished ahead of fellow German Regina Schleicher (Nuernberger) and Gina Grain (Team Expresscopy).

Juan Jose Haedo (Team CSC) took advantage of the T-Mobile team leadout in the men's race to sprint to victory. Based on his experience last year, Haedo knew where to jump his challengers and took the final race of the Commerce Bank Triple Crown ahead of teammate Matt Goss and the overall winner Bernhard Eisel (T-Mobile).

Teutenberg took advantage of a long finishing straight to beat last year's winner Schleicher. "My team-mate [Kate Bates] attacked with 500m to go and the other teams had to react," explained Teutenberg, "It put me in a perfect position. I was able to follow the others, got on Regina's wheel, and was able to surprise her in the sprint."

Teutenberg steps into the history books with her hat-trick in Pennsylvania, where she became the only rider ever to win all three races since Lance Armstrong's three-peat in the CoreStates Championship in 1993.

On the way to victory, Team T-Mobile carefully marked all break attempts.

"There were a few world-class riders going for the mountain sprints," explained Teutenberg, "and we couldn't afford to let someone like [Kristin] Armstrong or Mara Abbott, who raced very well in Montreal, get off the front."

Cheerwine's Laura Van Gilder was another favorite going into the race, but did not fare as well in the sprint, in which she finished sixth. "We wanted to win today, and put in a good effort, but it just didn't work out the way we wanted," said Van Gilder.

It was Haedo's sixth victory of the season. "With two kilometres to go I got behind the T-Mobile guys because I thought it was a really good position. With one kilometre to go I was waiting for them to line it up. I know this sprint - you have to be patient and wait, but not too long. There were some strong guys in front of me but I knew how to pace myself in the end and made it. "

Eisel gave it a go, but said the race was too much for him. "I had good legs all day - but it was a bit much for me. I thought I would have better legs but the last time up Manayunk and chasing down Lagutin I lost all my power for the sprint. Navigators started to ride so I had to ride in the front, and Lagutin attacked like ten times in the last lap just to kill me, so I have to say sorry to the team."

Eisel and his teammate Mark Cavendish almost made it to the line, but Haedo played his tactics right and used the lead-out by Goss to launch him at the pefect time. "They lined it out from the last kilometre.," said Goss. "J.J. and I were on either side of the last [T-Mobile] guy. Then about 250 metres to go I was a couple of guys behind the T-Mobile, so I went. At 175 the first T-Mobile guy started to slow and I got around him. I didn't think I was going to get the last T-Mobile dude until the last 50 metres!"

Read complete coverage of the Liberty Classic (women's race) or the Philadelphia International Classic (men's race).

Contador thinking of the Tour

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Alberto Contador (Discovery Channel)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

After a strong beginning of the 2007 season, Discovery Channel's Alberto Contador has been busy training in the mountains to prepare for the Tour de France prior to arriving at the Dauphiné Libéré.

"I am here to reach my peak form for the Tour," said the Spanish climber to Cyclingnews. "Surely I will prove myself in some stages, but this race is too demanding," he added, referring to the Dauphiné.

"I know that there is a prologue time trial and two others of about 40 kilometres, and a hard stage finishing on the Mont Ventoux. I think that I can do very well at the long time trial stage and in the high mountains," Contador predicted. "The main contenders will be those who are going to contest the Tour, but, at the same time, they will save a little. Perhaps, the winner will be a very strong rider, but not a team leader for the Tour? Someone for whom Dauphiné is a great opportunity," speculated this year's Paris-Nice winner.

After training on some of the mountain stage routes for the Tour of France, Contador said, "My first conclusion is that the Pyrenees will be much harder that the Alps. The Tignes stage [8] will be very hard, because it has very long climbs. It seems like it will be a key-stage. Another dangerous stage [9]finishes in Briançon, with the Galibier climb en route, but I do not believe it will be as key as the Tignes stage."

"In the Pyrenees there is a pair of stages with tough finishes, especially the one in Plateau de Beille climb [stage 14], which comes right after the Albi time trial [stage 13]. The one with the Peyresourde and the Aubisque climbs [stage 16] will also be tough, not forgetting the Marie Blanque climb at the end of it," finished Contador.

Moninger still racing at 40 years young

By Wendy Booher

Scott Moninger (Team BMC) takes another victory,
Photo ©: Mitch Clinton
(Click for larger image)

Scott Moninger's career has been both extensive and successful, yet at 40 years of age, Team BMC's Scott Moninger isn't done yet. He began racing when many of his fellow racers, like the emerging espoir riders in America's Team Slipstream, had barely uttered their first words. The guys who raced with Moninger in the so-called prime years have since checked into a life which includes nine-five jobs, weekends off, bedtime stories, and where cheesecake is back on the menu.

Some of his peers still race, albeit vicariously through the teams they manage. For those former riders turned team managers being defeated by Moninger in their heyday was punishing, but seeing him continue to win, showing the new generation that wisdom can trump speed, must be equally as brutal.

"At this point in the game, my age is just a number," said Moninger. "I'm one of the older guys racing but I think the length of time that people can stay at the top of their game has gone up in the last decade or so. For example, Roger Clemens [major league baseball's most decorated pitcher] just signed a ridiculous contract at 45 years old. I never dreamed I'd be racing a bike at age 40 but what matters is the ability to get out of bed and do the work on the road no matter whether you're 28, 32, or 40."

Moninger in battle with a Toyota-United rider
Photo ©: Mitch Clinton
(Click for larger image)

Another thing that helps is Moninger's wife, Kelly, who he met on the race circuit 15 years ago when she worked as a soigneur for the Chevrolet/LA Sheriffs team. They spent one season working for the same Coors Light team, although they were often dispatched to different races.

That she understands and even consents to the lifestyle of a professional bike racer has had an immeasurable effect on Moninger's career. When they met and eventually married, she already knew what she was getting into, which meant that his future as a professional racer was mutually understood.

Moninger pre-dates the modern gadgetry associated with optimized training, instead of consulting LCD screens to gauge his performance; he relies on a more organic 'trial and error' method of training. After 25 years of racing Moninger has learned that listening to his body, learning from his mistakes and not allowing himself to get too unfit is simply the best training method there is.

To read the complete feature, click here.

T-Mobile withdraws Tour TV coverage sponsorship

T-Mobile announced it would pull television sponsorship for the Tour de France as part of a "damage limiting" exercise according to the AFP. The decision follows on the heels of recent doping admissions by high profile German cyclists like Erik Zabel and Rolf Aldag, once involved in the former Team Telekom (now T-Mobile).

T-Mobile's name was to appear before each show with the message "The Tour de France is brought to you by T-Mobile." Officials from ARD/ZDF would rather not accept the withdrawal according to Der Spiegel.

ARD and ZDF, already announced they would show the Tour and the Deutschland Tour this year and next year, as required, but "will not renew their option for the 2009 Tour at this time."

T-Mobile has asked the money be transferred to the national anti-doping agency.

RAAM racers depart

At 9 am on Sunday morning, 30 solo racers for an epic transcontinental journey in Oceanside, California, as part of the Race Across America (RAAM). The race covers 3,047 miles over the Rockies and the Appalachians, through the desert and across the plains and ends in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Four teams of four riders each departed for a shorter race - to Flagstaff, Arizona.

Returning winner, Daniel Wyss of Switzerland, three-time champion, Wolfgang Fashing of Austria, and two-time champion Jure Robic of Slovenia are expected to battle for the solo title in the men's division. Favorite rookies for the men are Larry Optis from Canada, John Jurczynski, Brett Walker, and Australian Richard Vollebregt who recently broke Fashing's trans-Australia record by 23 hours.

The women will see new levels of competition. With five women starting, the race will offer a field size not seen in RAAM since the late '80s. Most of the women are unknown to the race so there is no clear favorite going in. Patty Riddle, age 60, will attempt to make the quantum leap from two-person team finisher in 2006, to oldest solo finisher this year.

Phillip Baker, 66, is also attempting to be the oldest solo RAAM finisher. He'll be chased by David Jones, 61.

Proving that singlespeeds are not a trend unique to mountain bike racing, John Spurgeon is attempting to complete RAAM on a combination of two, singlespeed bicycles. He claims sanity by saying he's not crazy enough to attempt RAAM on a a fixed gear, but rather has brought two freewheeled, single speed rigs - one for climbing, and one for all else.

Finally, veteran RAAM racer Tom Seaborne is returning after a 17-year hiatus. His first and only other RAAM was 18 years ago.

Two-person, four-person, and eight-person teams will start Tuesday, June 12th at 2 pm.

Groenendaal to ride for AA Drink Team

For the next two years, former World Cyclo-Cross Champion Richard Groenendaal will ride for the AA Cycling team. The Dutch cyclo-crosser announced last week that he is leaving the Rabobank squad for the 2007-2008 'cross season.

Groenendaal was ranked sixth in the Superprestige at the end of 2007. He turned professional in 1994 and has ridden with the Rabobank squad since its inception in 1996. In January this year he hinted that a new sponsor was on the cards after receiving a new offer from Rabobank that was considerably below his expectations.

Inaugural Tour de PEI runs this week

The inaugural running of the women's UCI event - the Tour de PEI (Prince Edwards Island, Canada) started Sunday June 10th and runs until June 14, 2007. The race is comprised of five total stages.

Stage 1 opens the race with a 10 lap, 100-kilometer circuit race on the streets of Summerside and contiues Monday with an individual time-trial on the Confederation Bridge for a 28.8 km loop from PEI to New Brunswick and back.

On Tuesday, the race takes to the roads for a road race starting in Cavendish before looping West to Wellington and back for a total of 124 km. The fourth stage is also a road race; starting in Dalvay and travelling through such communities as Montague and finishing in Stratford.

The fifth and final stage will consist of a 50 lap, 1 km criterium race in downtown Charlottetown in the Confederation Centre area on June 14.

Elite women riders from trade teams Getränke-Hoffmann (Germany), Giant Pro cycling (China) and Menikini- Selle Italia-Gysko (Italy) as well as national teams of Australia, Russia, New Zealand and Canada.

Check back on Cyclingnews throughout the week for full results and news from the race as we get it.

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