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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for November 10, 2007

Edited by Sue George

O'Grady returns to his roots

By Paul Verkuylen

O'Grady grits his teeth
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

Stuart O'Grady will return to the boards of the Adelaide Super-Drome this evening for a spectacular dual with another Adelaide local Brett Aitken.

Both riders are previous Olympic gold medalists in the Madison, Aitken in Sydney 2000 with Scott McGrory, while O'Grady won in Athens with Graeme Brown after surprising the entire world by returning to Athens to compete on the track only days after competing in the Olympic road race.

The past few months have been tough for the Australian CSC rider after suffering a horrific crash during a descent in the Tour de France, which pre-maturely ended his 2007 season. O'Grady spent months recovering from the injuries that he sustained, only returning to competition late last month for the Herald Sun Tour in Victoria, Australia. At the time O'Grady was unsure of how he would cope with the high intensity of racing as well as his own demons, but proved to be a valuable part of the Jayco Australian National Team as they attempted to defend the crown they won last year with Simon Gerrans.

Event organiser and 1984 Olympic track gold medal winner Mike Turtur told news.com.au O'Grady would return to track cycling for the first time in three years.

"He is really keen and looking forward to the opportunity to come back," Turtur said. "What we're going to do is not only welcome him back to the Super-Drome but acknowledge his victory in the (2007) Paris – Roubaix, the world's biggest one-day race. It will be a great homecoming for him."

O'Grady is set to contest two rounds of the derny challenge along with Aitken and gun teenager Jack Bobridge, a member of the Australian junior team that won the gold medal in the team pursuit at this year's world junior track championship in Mexico.

"In the 1990s Stuart and Brett Aitken were old foes behind the derny," Turtur said. "Some of the epic races they've had side by side in the last few laps behind the derny were very memorable races.

"Jack Bobridge is another young South Australian guy coming through, he'll keep them honest."

Other Australian Olympians Ryan Bayley, Anna Meares, Ben Kersten and Shane Kelly are also scheduled to race leading Turtur to proclaim the meet as the start of the Beijing Olympic campaign for many riders. "In my view (Saturday) is the official start to the Beijing (Olympic) Games. We've discussed with the Australian Institute of Sport and the coaches about the possibility of doing events which are based here in Adelaide, in the lead-up to Beijing."

UCI clears Rogers in Sinkewitz case

By Susan Westemeyer

Michael Rogers at the 2007 Amstel Gold
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
(Click for larger image)

The UCI has confirmed that T-Mobile captain Michael Rogers "has not been implicated by his team-mate Patrik Sinkewitz." In a statement released Friday evening, the UCI said "This was revealed after the UCI examined the dossier sent by the German Federation (BDR) following the statements made by the German rider. The document sent by the BDR showed that Michael Rogers is not implicated in any way."

Rogers had denied any involvement in doping, saying "I think anyone in the cycling world and most of the Australian general public know[s] that I'm an advocate for doing things the right way and I think truth will prevail." Certain media reports had linked the two riders because they rode together on teams Quick.Step and T-Mobile.

T-Mobile remains optimistic

By Susan Westemeyer

Gerald Ciolek (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Adidas will continue as a sponsor of T-Mobile Team for the time being, the team announced Friday. "Adidas will fulfill its contractual obligations through 2008," team spokesman Stefan Wagner told the dpa agency. The sporting article company had said earlier in the week that it was considering an immediate end to its sponsorship. "We are already holding discussions with other interested suppliers," Wagner noted, adding that the team had known for a while that Adidas would stop after 2008.

Main sponsor Deutsche Telekom will make the decision on its sponsorship independent of others. "As a long-time sponsor and as name sponsor of the team, Deutsche Telekom has of course a special position. We will make our own decision and won't let ourselves be pressured for time," said Christian Frommert, director of Sponsoring Communications. Telekom has a contract with the team through 2010.

One of the team's talented youngsters, Gerald Ciolek, is optimistic about the team's future. "Right now I assume that the team will continue next year," he told the sid agency. "Of course, in pro cycling we have to live with the fact that sponsors might leave, but our team has taken serious steps this year in the fight against doping. I think that that deserves recognition."

If T-Mobile were to stop sponsoring, "that would hurt not only our team, but all of pro cycling in Germany," he noted.

The 21 year-old thinks that the sport is getting cleaner. "Maybe I am being naive, but I really think that a lot of things have changed. I have only been with T-Mobile since this year, but the systematic doping, such as it apparently existed in the past, is not possible any more, I think. Probably the sport will never be entirely clean, but we are on the right way with the anti-doping programme, such as T-Mobile has."

USA Cycling releases domestic calendar

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

Cascade Classic gets a new date on the NRC
Photo ©: Cascade Event Photography
(Click for larger image)

USA Cycling finally released the National Racing Calendar (NRC) for the 2008 season and at first glance, not much seems to have changed. However, upon closer inspection, a few important changes are afoot.

A couple of races that were either part of, or scheduled to be part of, the USA Cycling Professional Tour in 2007 have returned to the domestic calendar. The Tour of Utah is back from a one year hiatus to better reorganize its financial position and should become a cornerstone of the battle for the NRC title. Chad Sperry has taken over as director of the event, after successfully directing both the Cascade Classic and Mt. Hood Classic.

Speaking of moving dates and the Cascade Classic, the race will now be held over the first week in August, just after the Tour de 'Toona, which means it will no longer conflict with the women's elite cycling nationals. And speaking of the ladies, a couple of events are making their women's categories both NRC and UCI races this year, including Mt. Hood and the Tour of Leelanau. Leelanau also moves from middle September where it had to compete with the Tour of Missouri to mid-May.

Women are definitely highlighted on this calendar as the first four races are for women only, starting with the Santa Rosa Women's Grand Prix in February. Also, the Sequoia Cycling Classic is back in mid-March but for women only, followed by the Susan G. Komen Cycle for the Cure race in Georgia.

The men begin their NRC racing at the Redlands Classic in April and have a steady flow of racing. The Mt. Hood race's new date comes over what used to be the Tri-Peaks Challenge, which is not on the calendar. But back on the calendar this year is the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, one of the longest running races in the country.

The calendar finishes off with a new race to the calendar, the Priority Health Cycling classic, a two-day race in its second year.

Idaho velodrome and cycling park take next step

A new velodrome and bike park took a step forward in late October when the Eagle City Council approved the project. The Idaho Velodrome and Cycling Park will include a 333m concrete velodrome, a BMX park, a four cross track, skills/jump park, and a short track mountain bike course, all on 20 acres of land in Eagle, Idaho, just outside Boise in southwest Idaho.

The next step in the project is to select a bid for completion of parking, utilities and landscaping with the budget approved by the City of Eagle according to the Idaho Statesman.

Ground-breaking is scheduled for December, and the non-profit Idaho Velodrome and Cycling Park Association (IVCPA), which is collecting funds for the project, expects an opening in April 2008. Construction of the mountain bike trails will begin as soon as IVCPA and Ada County finalize details of a land-use agreement. Five or more miles of trails are anticipated at the facility.

Earlier this year, the IVCPA won a grant from IMBA for the dirt jumping and free-ride trails.

Olds and McCook to lead ProMan UCI Track Squad

Shelley Olds (ProMan).
Photo ©: Mitch Clinton
(Click for larger image)

US national scratch race champion David McCook will head the 2007-2008 ProMan UCI track team along with Shelley Olds. Racing as a pro since 1993, the 37 year-old McCook most recently rode for Kelly Benefit Strategies. On his new team, he'll race and serve as mentor and coach for two of his team-mates.

McCook will be joined by Shelley Olds leading the women's squad. In a breakthrough 2007, she earned two podium spots at US track nationals, including a bronze in the team pursuit and fifth in the points race. Olds is among the founding members of the Proman women's team. She has transitioned from beginner road racer to World Cup competitor in less than three years and will focus on the pursuit in the hopes of making the Olympic team.

Time trial and endurance specialist Kele Murdin, who finished fifth at US track nationals this year, will join Olds on both the team's road and track squads.

Roman Kilun rounds out the team; he will focus primarily on the individual pursuit and is gearing up for the Los Angeles World Cup event. New to track racing, he took a silver in the team pursuit and ninth in the individual pursuit at US track nationals.

"I am extremely happy to be racing for the Proman team and to have the opportunity to compete in World Cup events, I am also enjoying coaching my team mates for international racing," said McCook.

The team will be managed by Nicola Cranmer as it readies for its debut at the first World Cup race next month in Sydney, Australia. Also on the calendar are the Olympic Test Event in Beijing, the Los Angeles World Cup in January, and the world championships in the United Kingdom.

ProMan Track Team: David McCook, Shelley Olds, Roman Kilun, Kele Murdin

Tseshaht First Nation celebrates new bike park

Tseshaht First Nation youth
Photo ©: Alex Cogger
(Click for larger image)

Just over one year after first meeting with the youth in the Tseshaht First Nation in Port Alberni, British Columbia to develop ideas for community projects, Brodie Team's Amber Zirnhelt is proudly able to show off a mountain bike skills area and trail near the youth center.

The work was conducted as part of the University of British Columbia's Coastal Community Project. Zirnhelt drew upon the expertise of Jay Hoots in designing and developing the program. Hoots had previously done summer youth work programs "with the Dirt Club, a non-profit in North Vancouver designed to assist kids in working with local municipalities to build bike parks" according to Zirnhelt.

"As part of the program, three youth and a supervisor were hired by the Tseshaht First Nation to work for the summer building the trail and park," said Zirnhelt. "The work crew was trained in sustainable trail design and building techniques and set-off to complete a short free-ride trail loop, dirt jumps and a pump track. The park opened in late August with over thirty community members including adults, youth, and kids out to test out the new skills area. Already I've heard the community talking about phase two and adding some wooden features to the park."

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Alex Cogger

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