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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for November 11, 2007

Edited by Steve Medcroft

Nys to go for four in a row

By Laura Weislo

Sven Nys in a class of his own in 2006
Photo ©: Frank Bodenmuller
Click for larger image

The third round of the cyclo-cross World Cup heads to the Netherlands this weekend after hitting the top ranked cyclo-cross nations of Belgium and the Czech Republic. Sven Nys is in his usual position as leader in the UCI rankings, but this year will wear the new blue kit which signifies this honour rather than the traditional white skinsuit of years past. The colour should be better at hiding the spatters of mud which are sure to be flying in Pijnacker.

The riders will face a course which favours those who can put out plenty of power over those who prefer to finesse the technical sections. With a majority of long, straight sections on relatively flat, albeit muddy, ground and sections of sand, the course could easily sap the strength of those who burn their matches too early.

The bridge
Photo ©: Russ and Nancy Wright
Click for larger image

The course also features a man-made bridge, which could cause traffic jams if it becomes slick with mud, and a specially engineered "mountain", which is simply a high berm with a run-up on one side.

Nys has owned the parcours of this southern Dutch town, which is located northwest of Rotterdam, for the past three years, and has stormed through the mix of mud, sand, pavement and man-made obstacles carrying the anger of his defeat in the 2003-2004 season. That year, the World Cup was contested by national teams, and Pijnacker was the last round of the season.

Nys needed a top five finish to win the overall, but was passed at the line by four riders of his Belgian national team, including Bart Wellens and Erwin Vervecken, pushing Nys into 7th on the day. This gave race winner Richard Groenendaal the overall win in the World Cup, and led Nys to declare war on his Belgian competitors.

See the full preview of the Pijnacker World Cup here.

Nicole Cooke to head UK's first professional women's team

Opening on a high:
Photo ©: John Flynn
(Click for larger image)

According to telegraph.co.uk, Nicole Cooke will lead an all-British professional women's team in 2008. 24-year old Cooke made the announcement in London this week and said the team's mission will be to compete on the professional circuit and prepare U.K. riders for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The former world champion said "This will be the first-ever British professional women's team, and it's the biggest step forward in the women's sport in this country since I don't know when."

The team, which may host as many as a dozen riders when staffed and is yet to announce a commercial sponsor, is being developed in conjunction with British Cycling and British Cycling's David Brailsford is named director of the team in the article.

d'Hont claims that Pevenage knew Ullrich used EPO

By Susan Westemeyer

Rudy Pevenage has allegedly said that Jan Ullrich used EPO during the 1996 Tour de France, in which he finished second. The claim was made in a telephone conversation between Pevenage and former Team Telekom soigneur Jef d'Hont, a transcript of which is to be published in next week's edition of the German news magazine Focus.

What did Ullrich's boss know?
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

D'Hont's book, "Confessions of a Cycling Soigneur" set off a wave of public doping confessions when it appeared this spring. He recently announced that he was writing a second book, which would contain "new evidence against Jan Ullrich".

According to the transcript, Pevenage said that Ullrich "used EPO in 1996, just like everyone else did". In addition, Pevenage said that he was in touch with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes during the 2006 Giro d'Italia, and in fact had known the Spanish doctor "for 20 years". Pevenage had previously denied ever knowing Fuentes.

Through his lawyer, Pevenage confirmed that he had spoken with d'Hont but denied the version of the conversation appearing in Focus. According to the magazine, d'Hont provided them with tapes of the conversation.

"Jan started doping in 1996," d'Hont told the magazine."During the Tour de France he used 30,000 units. He was injected with 2000 units every second day." The former soigneur said that when the team doctors were not available, he himself injected Ullrich with "vitamins, but also EPO and growth hormones."

D'Hont said that he has turned all of his information as well as the complete transcripts of various phone calls over to German investigators.

Schleck brothers stay with CSC through 2010

By Susan Westemeyer

Frank Schleck at the 2007 Giro dell Emilia
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Fränk and Andy Schleck have extended their contracts with Team CSC through 2010, the team announced Saturday. "We're talking two of the greatest talents in the entire sport, who are both responsible for some fantastic results at a very young age, and they'll both be playing important roles on Team CSC in the future," said team manager Bjarne Riis.

Fränk, 27, has been with the Danish team since 2003. This year he won the Giro dell Emilia and a stage in the Tour de Suisse. In 2006 he won the Amstel Gold Race and the Alpe d'Huez stage in the Tour de France. Younger brother Andy, 22, finished second overall in this year's Giro d'Italia. He joined CSC in 2005.

"They both began their professional careers with us and have steadily developed into huge profiles. To me Fränk and Andy are the perfect picture of modern cycling sport so I'm extremely proud to have them both on the team for another three years. It's unusual to make such long extensions, but with riders of this caliber, with this kind of talent and such great prospects it's actually a privilege to do so," said Riis. "They're two of the most important profiles on our team and I anticipate them winning some of the biggest races in the future. With these new contracts Team CSC has taken one of the most important steps ever towards the future."

Pound's successor to be appointed at next WADA conference

Dick Pound
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Final preparations are underway for the Third World Conference on Doping in Sport, organized by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) with the support of the High Council for Sport of Spain on November 15-17 in Madrid. Nearly 1,500 participants representing the Sport Movement, public authorities, the anti-doping community, athletes, observers, and the media, will gather at the Spanish capital's Municipal Convention Center to discuss the state of the fight against doping in sport and consider further measures to be taken in this field.

The chief topic of discussion will be the revision of the World Anti-doping Code (Code) but high on the agenda is WADA's Foundation Board's appointment of WADA's next president and vice-president, whose three-year terms will commence on January 1, 2008. The third term of WADA's current president, Richard W. Pound, expires on December 31, 2007. Australian John Fahey is expected to be named Pound's successor.

Indurain and Chiappucci headline cycling celebration

Cycling legends Miguel Indurain and Claudio Chiappucci will attend the Euskadi Cycling Foundation's celebration of cycling in Derio on Sunday. Starting at 10am, the pair will lead an eight-kilometer group ride with members and guests of Fundaciσn Euskadi (which lists 'encouraging more children to ride bicycles' as one of its missions).

The ride will also include the children of the School of BTT Naturgas Txorierri and will end in front of the Old Seminary of Derio where there are events planned throughout the day. The event is open to the public.

USA Cycling releases 2008 MTB calendar

Todd Wells (GT) at the 2007 Greenbriar Challenge
Photo ©: FJ Hughes
(Click for larger image)

USA Cycling announced Thursday the 2008 American Mountain Bike Challenge (AMBC) calendar. The 26-race calendar features three new events and again provides off-road cyclists with the opportunity to qualify for the 2008 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships in July at Mount Snow Resort in Vermont. With events in 17 states, the AMBC also provides entry-level racing opportunities for competitors interested in participating in the sport of competitive mountain biking in a local or regional setting.

Beginning March 8 with the Spa City Extreme Six-Hour Mountain Bike Race, a marathon event in Hot Springs, Ark., the 2008 AMBC stretches seven months before concluding with the Piney Hills Classic XV in Ruston, La. for the third consecutive year, October 25-26. The first cross country event on the AMBC Calendar will again be the Southeastern Regional Championship Series opener in Gainesville, Fla. on March 16, while the initial gravity contest will be the 20th-annual Keyesville Classic in Lake Isabella, Calif., March 15-16. Created in 1996, the AMBC primarily features Olympic-style cross-country racing, but also features gravity racing and other disciplines of competitive mountain biking.

2008 USA Cycling American Mountain Bike Challenge:

March 8: Spa City Extreme 6-Hour MTB Race – Hot Springs, Ark.
Macrh 16: SERC #1 – Gainesville, Fla.
March 15-16: 20th Annual Keyesville Classic – Lake Isabella, Calif.
March 30: Chickasaw Trace Classic – Columbia, Tenn.
April 6: SERC #2 – Bryson City, N.C.
April 20: Tiger Rag 2008 – Clemson, S.C.
April 27: Greenbrier Challenge – Frederick, Md.
April 27: SERC #3 – Winder, Ga.
May 3-4: Idyllwild Spring Challenge – Idyllwild, Calif.
May 4: SERC #4 – Ducktown, Tenn.
May 4: 6th Annual Coyote Classic at Avimor – Boise, Idaho
May 18: Stump Jump 2008 – Spartanburg, SC
May 25: SERC #5 – Athens, Ga.
June 1: 14th Annual Bump & Grind – Pelham, Ala.
June 14-15: Subaru Cup – Mt. Morris, Wis.
June 15: SERC #6 – Clemson, SC
June 22: Dawg Dayz MTB Classic – North Little Rock, Ark.
June 29: Campmor H2H 13th Annual Bulldog Rump – Andover, N.J.
June 29: SERC #7 – Chattanooga, Tenn.
July 6: DINO Challenge AMBC – North Vernon, Ind.
July 13: SERC #8 – Anniston, Ala.
July 25-26: SERC #9 – Fontana, NC
August 29-31: Camp Eagle Classic MTB Festival – Rock Springs, Texas
August 30-31: Laddies Loppet – Callaway, Minn.
October 4: Road Apple Rally – Farmington, N.M.
October 25-26: Piney Hills Classic XV – Ruston, La.

London Cycle Circuit works through environmental issues

The London Development Agency (LDA) and British Cycling announced this week further interim measures to support London's cyclists while endangered great crested newts are relocated from the site of a new 2km circuit at Hog Hill in Redbridge.

By law, the protected species have to be moved before work can start on the new facility which is replacing Eastway Cycle Circuit. Poor weather conditions for collecting newts - a dry autumn and recent ground frosts - have restricted the days in which ecologists have been able to carry out collections. So far, they have only been able to complete 41 out of the 60 required collection days which has led to only half of the site being handed to the LDA.

In response, the LDA and British Cycling are putting in place additional interim facilities and a back-up plan for cyclists. They are: From Saturday, November 10th, British Cycling will run youth cycling every weekend at the Royal Docks on a 1.2km long tarmac formerly used as the Red Bull airstrip.

The LDA has also begun planning work with British Cycling to provide a minimum 1km track at the Royal Docks in time for the new cycling season in March 08. Work will begin on the track if the newt relocation cannot be finished before prolonged ground frost begins in late November and the newts go into hibernation. In this event, the LDA will also build a 900m circuit, pavilion, car park and judge's box on the half of the Hog Hill site that has been handed over by ecologists. This facility will also be open to cyclists in March.

"The unresolved newt situation is frustrating for everyone but especially so for the cyclists eager for the new facility at Hog Hill to open," said Andrew Gaskell, Senior Development Maager and the London Development Agency. "The Royal Docks track is a great opportunity for a quick boost to youth cycling because the tarmac is already there. Whatever the outcome with the newts, there will be at least 2km of cycle circuits in east London either at Hog Hill as planned, or split between Hog Hill and the Royal Docks."

"The strip at the Royal Docks will provide somewhere in the inner city area for young and old alike to race and train while we wait for Hog Hill to be completed," says Peter King, Chief Executive of British Cycling. "It will provide a safe, secure environment for cycling to take place and I am sure local schools and clubs will put it to good use."

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