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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for November 24, 2007

Edited by Sue George with assistance from Susan Westemeyer

Endurance racer Janelle dies in sleep

Mike Janelle in the RAAM
Photo ©: Mark Ridenhour
(Click for larger image)

American professional racer Mike Janelle died in his sleep after the Thanksgiving holiday. In recent years, Janelle was a regular in the endurance road and mountain bike communities. He was found by his pregnant wife, Maribel early Friday morning when she went to wake him and emergency responders were not able to revive him. Besides his wife, Janelle leaves behind their unborn baby. An official cause of death has not yet been declared for the Tokyo Joes racer.

Just over a month ago, the apparently healthy 40 year-old from Colorado competed with Nat Ross as part of Team Gary Fisher / Tokyo Joes in the 24 hours of Moab. The pair won the duo pro category. Although a regular in recent years at endurance mountain bike events, Janelle had also raced for much of his career on the road, too.

Earlier this year, Janelle was one of the members of Team Beaver Creek - Catlin, the winning four person team at the Race Across American (RAAM). Other team members included Jim Mortenson, Mike Janelle, Nat Ross and Zach Bingham. Janelle was also part of the 2005 and 2006 RAAM winning team, then called Beaver Creek / Vail.

In late July, Janelle finished second by only ten minutes behind Josh Tostado at National Ultra-Endurance Series Round # 4, the Breckenridge 100, on July 22 in Colorado. Earlier in the month, he placed fifth at the USA Cycling National Mountain Bike Marathon championships, also held in Breckenridge.

A fund is being set up by Janelle's team-mates and friends to support Maribel and their unborn baby. More information will be available at www.probikecenter.com when details are finalized.

We at Cyclingnews would like to express our full sympathies to Mike Janelle's friends, family, and riding mates. Messages of condolence can be sent to cyclingnews@cyclingnews.com.

Nys back to defend in dry lands

By Gregor Brown

A technical descent in the sand from the 2006 World Cup
Photo ©: Brecht Decaluwé
Click for larger image

Sven Nys is back to defend his title in Koksijde, Belgium, as part of the fourth round of the UCI World Cup. The 31 year-old Belgian is nearly unstoppable, but there are a few men who have the legs to hold the "Cannibal" on this sandy parcours in Western Flanders.

The 2700-metre course near the air force base in Koksijde is noted by its five sectors of sand, which are likely to force many competitors off their machines and running as the sand bogs down their momentum. The second and fifth sectors will be crucial, the former comes right before the bridge/stairs where position will be important and the latter comes before a right-hander grassy U-turn onto the – rather long – finishing straight.

Clouds and temperatures maxing out at 9°C are expected for Saturday, with wind almost guaranteed being so close to the North Sea. Even if rain does come down, local experts, like Cyclingnews' Brecht Decaluwé, note that the parcours will not become any more difficult as it will not turn to mud due to the sand and the lack of dirt. The course will suit a rider like World Champion Erwin Vervecken (Fidea Cycling Team), who can run well in the sand. Vervecken showed his form was by finishing sixth in the Super prestige in Gavere last weekend. Sunweb will want to bounce back after a week of bad media and last weekend's lackluster results. Look for Jonathan Page from the US or Sven Vanthourenhout from Belgium; the latter is flying in from Mallorca with King Nys for two races – Koksijde and Gieten – before returning to the Iberian Peninsula. The two will stay in the warmer climes leading to the World Cup in Igorre, December 2.

Sven Nys (Rabobank)
Photo ©: Brecht Decaluwé
Click for larger image

The winner of the last World Cup round in Pijnacker, Dutchman Lars Boom, will want to make a mark. The U23 Time Trial World Champion plans on skipping the Spanish round of the World Cup, and will therefore want to gain as many UCI points as he can in this important race.

Never count out Bart Wellens. The Belgian Champion riding for Fidea is known for his speed off the bike, and that could be crucial in winning this fourth round of the World Cup.

American Katie Compton is flying, as was evident with her recent wins in Pijnacker and Gavere. The Spike Shooter rider will face stiff competition from a familiar face, Lyne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld.com). The gritty and likable Canadian has made a trip over to Euro-land to remind the competition of her talents. But the North Americans will be wise to take note of Holland's Daphny van den Brand (ZZPR.nl) and Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn and Germany's Birgit Hollmann (Getränke-Hoffmann).

Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for complete coverage of the World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium.

Lloyd looks to Olympic selection

By Gerry McManus

Daniel Lloyd at the Guinness Premiership side training ground
Photo ©: Gerry McManus

Daniel Lloyd (DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed) moved a step towards making Great Britian's team for the Beijing Olympics this week. The British Olympic Association confirmed that his name had been put forward for possible selection and Lloyd knows that good results are vital to achieving his goal next year.

"I haven't been away as much this year as people think," said Lloyd as he watched the Guinness Premiership's side lining up for a team photo. "I have based myself at home this year and I have been commuting to races. There have been quite a few times where I have been at home for up to three weeks training and getting ready for the next event. I think it helps you focus on your next race without too many distractions. I was away in the Tour of Ireland and Tour of Britain at the end of the season though."

27 year-old Lloyd lives in the London suburb with wife Lorraine and son Ralph after he moved from his home in Christchurch in Dorset. He has had one of his best seasons in 2007 after he finished second overall, by just one second, in the Tour of Qinghai Lake and took the silver medal behind David Millar (Saunier Duval-Prodir) in the British national road race championships.

"I had marked both of those races as my targets at the beginning of the season," continued Lloyd. "The national champs were postponed because of the floods in June and I was hugely disappointed because I had unbelievable form then. I trained a bit between Qinghai and the rescheduled nationals. I like to have time to prepare for specific events rather than just race week in and week out."

Lloyd got in some top level racing in the semi-classics with his team early in the season. "I did Gent-Wevelgem, E3 Prijs, Dwars Door Vlaanderen and the three days of De Panne. I really enjoy those races and I got on well. Nico Mattan was the team leader for all of those races. He has won a number of those before and our job was to stick with him for as long as possible. Nico wasn't going so well in the E3 Prijs race and we had a free hand. I finished in the main front group that had split off the front with about 30km to go and it felt really good to make the final selection. It was the first time I had made the crucial cut in a classic race. I didn't quite have the strength to go on the last bit but it is something I would like to focus on next year."

To read the complete interview, click here.

Nürnberer signs Kleinmann

Larissa Kleinmann
Photo ©: John Flynn
(Click for larger image)

Equipe Nürnberger Versicherungsgruppe has closed its roster for the coming season, adding Larissa Kleinmann as its third new signing. She joins Suzanne de Goede and German track champion Christina Becker on the team for 2008.

Kleinmann, 29, has an unusual background. She was a highly successful (running) track athlete at the junior level in Germany, and accepted a sports scholarship in the United States, where she got Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Business Administration. She injured herself while training for the 2003 New York Marathon, and while recovering, bought a bike to try cycling when she could not run. Enjoying the sport, she turned her full attention to it, riding her first race in 2005. She changed to track cycling and rode for the German national team until this year, when she stopped due to differences with the national team management.

"Actually I had already retired, but (Nürnberger team manager) Jens Zemke pulled me back," said Kleinmann. "I love this sport and now my dream is coming true. I want to give my best and have much success with my new team."

Equipe Nürnmberger will go into the coming season with 11 riders: Charlotte Becker, Christina Becker, Claudia Häusler, Larissa Kleinmann, Eva Lutz, Regina Schleicher, Trixi Worrack, (all Germany), Edita Pucinskaite, Modesta Vzesniauskaite (both Litauen), Marie Lindberg (Sweden), and Suzanne de Goede (Netherlands).

CESPA-Euskadi signs Iturriaga

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Spanish pro Eneritz Iturriaga (Abadiño-Bizkaia) will lead the new CESPA - Euskadi for the remainder of the track season through March 2008, according to her personal web site eneritziturriaga.com. The 27 year-old took up track racing last winter and has already achieved the status of Spanish national champion in Palma de Mallorca. She is regarded as one of Spain's leading talents.

After a rough year due to falls and injuries, including breaking her collarbone in May, Iturriaga is looking for strong early-season performances to best prepare herself for her season's main goal, the Olympics in Beijing in August. Track racing is her way to work hard this winter and be ready for 2008.

Iturriaga will participate in the third and fourth rounds of the UCI Track World Cup in Los Angeles and Copenhagen as well as in the Spanish and Basque Country Championships.

Menikini – Selle Italia – Gysko finalizes 2008 roster

In 2008, the Menikini – Selle Italia – Gysko team will race the most important events on the UCI women's calendar. Representing seven nations including Italy, Australia, Russia, Sweden, Japan, the US and Denmark, and four continents, 16 athletes have been signed for the squad.

Sigrid Corneo, Fabiana Luperini, Marina Romoli, Silvia Valsecchi, Rochelle Gilmore and Olivia Gollan, Oxana Kozonchuk, Miho Oki are the riders continuing from 2007. New to the team are Giada Borgato, Lorena Foresi, Gloria Presti, Natalia Bates, Kori Kelly Seehafer, Susanne Ljungskog, Olga Slyusareva, Trine Schmidt.

Walter Zini and Fortunato Lacquaniti will direct the team and Barbara Mancioppi will provide administrative support. Walter Ricci Petitoni is the team's president.

Team CSC names new sports director Michaelsen

Lars Michaelsen
Photo ©: Hedwig Kröner
(Click for larger image)

Team CSC selected Lars Michaelsen as a new sports director for the squad. Michaelsen retired after 14 years of racing after the Paris-Roubaix this spring and is ready to begin his new career in team management.

"I'm really happy about the confidence, which Bjarne and the team has showed me by making me a sports director," said Michaelsen to team-csc.com. "It's a huge challenge and I'm so looking forward to it. Of course I have a lot of experience from my time as a pro rider, but I'm ready to learn some new things now. It'll be exciting to work with the other sports directors and I look forward to passing on some of the ambitions I myself had as a rider to the 29 guys on the team."

"We're all convinced that Lars is the perfect choice as a new sports director. He's a great leader and he possesses a vast experience and knowledge of the team, which means he has the ideal background for the job. As a rider he was the type to always have things under control and never afraid to take on his share of responsibility and I'm sure this will also be the case as a sports director. Of course there's some new stuff for him to learn, but I'm positive he'll settle in quick," said Bjarne Riis about the 38 year-old according to team-csc.com.

Sinkewitz admits to doping at 2000 Worlds

Patrik Sinkewitz was supposed to ride the World Championships in the year 2000 as an espoir, but was sent home shortly before the race due to "illness." He has now admitted to the Süddeutsche Zeitung that the "illness" was actually a questionable haematocrit value due to the use of EPO.

Sinkewitz said that when he joined the national team he spoke with then-trainer Peter Weibel about using EPO. Wiebel did not encourage him to use, but he also did not discourage him, Sinkewitz said. He bought it himself at a pharmacy and injected himself. Weibel knew that he was using the forbidden substance, he claimed, and tested the rider's blood himself.

While in Plouay preparing for the race, Weibel tested Sinkewitz' blood often, and the values were "always in the questionable area". When the results were still questionable before the time trial, "he told me, you'd better go home."

Sinkewitz turned pro with Team Quick.Step in 2001, and the doping continued there, he claimed. "At Quick.Step everything was taken care of and everyone knew who, what and how. That was systematic doping." When asked if team manager Patrick Lefevere also was aware of what was going on, the 27 year-old replied, "Lefevere is a bit naive in a certain way, but that he didn't know what was going on? He must have known what was happening. He's been involved for 30 years, let's not fool ourselves."

The former T-Mobile rider still hopes to return to the peloton, but admitted that it might be difficult to find a team. In that case, though, he has proposed a possible alternative. His attorney is Michael Lehner, who also represents Jörg Jaksche, who is also currently serving a doping - related suspension. Lehner and Jaksche "have started discussing the idea of whether they couldn't set up their own team. With a junior team, too, and above it a team with 'the dopers', those who have gone public with it. A real new start."

Bay State Cyclo-cross continues Verge New England series

Jesse Anthony (Jamis)
Photo ©: Dave McElwaine
(Click for larger image)

Top cyclo-cross racers up and down the East Coast of the US will get their second Thanksgiving feast Saturday when they line up for one of the traditional events on the calendar, round #5 of the Verge New England championships in Sterling, Massachusetts.

The course designed by Tom Stevens features a start on a cinder running track. A short climb with barriers and a difficult hilltop turn follow. Then it's on to a difficult run-up followed by a fast descent and the dreaded Horse Jump. Then the course heads into a series of grass corners, with some off-camber surprises and barriers before returning to a paved road and the running track.

"I set it up so the flow of the race allows riders to go very hard, but then get a forced recovery on the downhills and through the technical corners. So you get a bit of a rest so that when you get out on the open field again, you can light it up," Stevens said.

The top competition will battle for the event win and the series leader's jersey. With the holiday week bringing many top riders back home to New England, some last minute entries are expected in all categories.

In the elite men's race, series leader Jesse Anthony (Jamis) will be looking for his third win of the series. He'll face some tough competition from Mark McCormack (Cliff Bar), who is third in the series rankings. Adam Myerson (NERAC), Jeremy Powers (Cyclocrossworld.com), who won the first Verge New England series event in Gloucester, and multi-time national champ Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com-Leer) will give them a challenge.

The elite women's race will be without series leader Lyne Bessette, who will be racing the World Cup in Europe, so it will be up to fourth-ranked Maureen Bruno-Roy, second-ranked Ridley's Rebecca Wellons, Amy Wallace (Richard Sachs-RGM Watches) and Anna Milkowski (Kona-Velo Bella) to do battle.

Wellons had a break-out race at Sterling last year, and has been on a roll ever since. "It was at that race when I finally began to believe in myself, so I have good feelings about this race," Wellons said.

This year's Bay State Cyclo-cross is in memory of Stefan Hesselberg, a talented rider, musician and all-around respected guy who passed away this summer. Hesselberg was a long-standing member of the Berkshire Cycling Association and would have been 50 this year. For more information, visit www.necyclocross.com.

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