First Edition Cycling News for September 25, 2007
Edited by Greg Johnson
Evans, McGee replaced by Hansen, Day for worlds TT
By Susan Westemeyer
Tour de France runner-up Cadel Evans and Olympian Brad McGee have been removed from Australia's Time Trial entrants at this week's World Road Championships in Stuttgart, Germany with T-Mobile's Adam Hansen and Navigators Insurance's Ben Day being drafted in to replace the pair. Both Predictor-Lotto's Evans and Française des Jeux's McGee will still don the green and gold for Sunday's road race.
Hansen had been in a hurry to finish the last stage of the Vuelta on the weekend, so that he could catch his flight home but he never made it. The slow-paced last stage was not at fault for Hansen missing his flight, after the race he was told that he was being removed from the replacement list for the World Championships and would start the Time Trial on Thursday.
"I found out after the race that I go straight from here to Germany for the Worlds TT, which is pretty cool," he told Cyclingnews. Hansen finished 10th in the Vuelta's final Time Trial last Saturday.
Cycling Australia had originally planned to start Evans and McGee in the Time Trial, but announced on Monday that Hansen and Day would replace the pair. It's believed the toll of contesting both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, which only just finished on Sunday, lead to Evans' decision to focus on the road race world title.
Hansen is happy to be riding in the Worlds. "It's my first time in the national team, which is good," he said. "I'm looking forward to it. I'm excited and I like the course, nice and hilly to break it up. I'm not tired from the Vuelta, or not yet, so I hope I can keep it that way 'till the TT."
Hansen has another, more personal, reason for his happiness at being in Stuttgart though. "My girlfriend, Alena Konecna, was giving me a hard time because she is racing here on Saturday and I wasn't even coming," he laughed. "So it's good that we are both racing at the Worlds." Konecna will ride the road race as a member of the Czech Republic team.
Gerolsteiner gives Canadian worlds squad a Specialized hand
The Canadian national team will still contest this week's World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany despite having the majority of its bikes stolen by thieves on Monday. German ProTour squad Gerolsteiner, which is based just a few kilometres from the Canadian squad's hotel, will supply the team with its Specialized bikes to use for the event.
"Everyone we have spoken to is shocked that this theft happened here in the small town of Herrenberg," said Canadian team manager Kris Westwood. "Several teams have been staying at this hotel for the Drei-Länder-Tour during the past few days with no problems, and Gerolsteiner manager Hans-Michael Holczer told us he hasn't had a theft from his bike shop in 20 years."
The thieves cut through a rubber gasket and removed an entire window from the squad's team truck, taking off with nine bikes, including all of the U23 road and Time Trial bikes and two spare bikes.
Within minutes of learning of the theft former German national team member Thomas Liese, who is working with the Canadian squad at the event, contacted Gerolsteiner to ask for its help. A few minutes later, team manager Hans-Michael Holczer gave the Canadians the green light to drive over to Gerolsteiner's base and take what they needed.
"Cycling is a small family and it's normal for teams to help each other out," said Westwood. "But I have never seen a team act with such generosity on such short notice, and I can't thank Gerolsteiner management enough for their help."
By late morning, the team was fully equipped with five Specialized road bikes and two Time Trial bikes, 10 sets of Shimano road wheels, four Pro disk wheels and two Pro four-spoke front wheels.
Christian Meier and David Veilleux both lost two bikes each in the theft, while Ryan Anderson, Brad Fairall and Keven Lacombe lost one bike each. The Canadian Cycling Association lost two distinctive red-and-black Louis Garneau bikes with 'Canada' painted on the seat tube, as well as four sets of Shimano spare wheels.
The UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle also stepped forward with an offer of bikes, but by that time the Canadian staff had already secured equipment from Gerolsteiner.
Wiggins and Millar head-to-head at Manchester Velodrome?
By Gerry McManus
A men's individual pursuit final between David Millar (Saunier Duval-Prodir) and Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis) could be one of the headline events at this year's British track championships with both riders entering the 4,000 metre test. It will be the second time that the British duo will have competed against the clock in two weeks following their selection for the World Championships Time Trial in Stuttgart, Germany this Thursday. Paul Manning (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) has also entered the pursuit event and is on form after he won the final stage of the Tour of Britain in Glasgow this month.
Cycle fans can see the all the top British stars in track action as they take to the boards for five days from October 2-6. Triple world gold medallist sprinter Victoria Pendleton and double world champion Chris Hoy are another two athletes with world class credentials competing for the British titles.
The newly resurfaced track at the Manchester Velodrome will see its first top class competitive action when the event starts on October 2. It will be a good run out for the Manchester track ahead of the UCI World Track Cycling Championships at the velodrome from March 26-30, 2008.
Pendleton rides in the women's 500 metre time trial on day one. The 26 year-old from Hertfordshire will be chasing her own British record of 34.614 seconds and the new surface could be a deciding factor if she decides to attempt the world record of 33.588 set by Australian Anna Meares earlier this year. The women's individual pursuit will also be a top clash involving world class riders Wendy Houvenaghel and Rebecca Romero over 3,000 metres. Romero took silver behind America's Sarah Hammer at the Palma world championships and Houvenaghel finished fourth.
Hoy has entered the men's sprint and Keirin in the championships that effectively kick off the winter track season. The Scottish rider will have his work cut out for him with Craig MacLean (Plowman Craven - Evans Cycles), Matt Crampton, Jason Kenny, Jamie Staff, Jason Queally and Ross Edgar also entering the short distance events.
The championships are being held at the Manchester Velodrome in SportCity situated in the Eastlands area of the city.
Backstedt and Chicchi join the Revolution
Swedish champion Magnus Backstedt will return to track racing at the Revolution Series in Great Britain on October 20, and the Liquigas professional has big ambitions for the season ahead. Backstedt missed out on the track season last year following a horrific crash while training at the Newport Velodrome. In a freak accident he touched wheels during a Madison change with compatriot Freddie Johansson and hit the deck hard, breaking a collarbone and severely displacing his shoulder. The injury put him out of action for several months but this season he is back and looking forward to a return to the Revolution Series.
"I'm really looking forward to getting back to Manchester and the Revolution Series," said Backstedt. "I missed all last winter through injury and it will be fantastic to show off my Swedish national champions colours to a crowd who always treat me as one of their own."
Backstedt is better known as a road rider with a win at Paris-Roubaix under his belt, but this season he has clear objectives on the track with his sights set on the Beijing Olympics next year. "My main goal this winter is to qualify for the Beijing Olympics next year on the track. Coming out of the Tour of Spain, Revolution will be perfect to get my track legs back for the first two World Cups."
Joining Backstedt will be fellow Liquigas rider Francesco Chicchi. Chicchi has already tasted victory on British soil taking victory in Stage 1 of the Tour of Britain in 2006 and will be looking to carry over the road success on to the track. The Italian sprinter has plenty of experience on the track and is planning on making a competitive return this season so Revolution will be the perfect place to put his sprinting skills to the test.
Toyota-United announces Pettyjohn, Moninger as new directors
American Continental squad Toyota-United has announced the departure of team director Harm Jansen and the signing of Len Pettyjohn and Scott Moninger to manage the squad in 2008. Jansen will see out his tenure with the squad at Thursday's World Criterium Championships in Las Vegas, having been with the team since its beginnings in 2005 and leading it to some 92 wins.
"This has been a very difficult decision because my heart is with cycling, but it is time to move on," said Jansen, the 2001 USPRO Champion. "These are two years I will obviously not forget. I was fortunate to be in a position to build this team to where it is today and I feel fortunate to have several choices of what I will do next."
Team owner Sean Tucker said the former Dutch National Champion's contributions to building and growing the team would not soon be forgotten. "He has been part of the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team since the early days of its existence in 2005," explained Tucker. "His commitment to the program made the team an instant success and a force on the domestic circuit."
Coupled with the announcement of Jansen's departure was news that veteran team director Len Pettjohn will direct the squad in 2008 with newly retired former Team BMC professional Scott Moninger coming across as the team's assistant director. Greg LeMond, Davis Phinnel, Alexi Grewal and Moninger are among the names 66 year-old Pettyjohn has worked with during his extensive career directing domestic teams, including the Coors Lighting team during the early 90s.
"These two gentlemen have a 21-year history together," Tucker said. "No one is more qualified to lead a team than Len while Scott knows the races and the racers having just capped off a spectacular career of his own."
Prior to his retirement announcement last week, 41 year-old Moninger was the winningest active United States racer with some 275 victories to his name.
"I've considered a number of team offers over the past decade, but nothing remotely of the caliber that Toyota-United had to offer," Pettyjohn said. "For Scott and me to join such a high-level organization, with a world-class sponsor and a stellar group of riders that are a force in ProTour caliber races, is just exceptional."
Kelly Benefits-Medifast bolsters for 2008
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
Jonas Carney, director sportif of the Kelly Benefits-Medifast team, has secured two key additions for his young team in 2008 - stage race contender Andrew Bajadali and sprinter Alex Candelario - from the current Jelly Belly team. The additions, combined with the retention of many current riders, is an attempt by the team to gain entry to the major races in the US for next season.
"I hope it makes a difference," Carney told Cyclingnews. "We are shooting to be in at least one or two of either California, Georgia and Missouri. I think having [Bajadali and Candelario] helps in addition to our results from this year."
Carney and Candelario have known each other for many years, having raced alongside one another at Jelly Belly and on an earlier team. This is something that Carney sees as a unique advantage for him. "He and I were on Prime Alliance together for two years and Jelly Belly one year," he explained. "I don't think there are two guys out there that know each other better, so I think its a good fit."
Candelario brings years of criterium racing experience to the team. Yet this is one thing that the team did not lack this year, with Canadian Martin Gilbert winning the US criterium championships in August. However Carney would like to see Candelario win the race for the national champion jersey that Carney won in his final year racing and that has eluded Candelario.
Bajadali represents the team's general classification hopes for 2008, something that Carney said was missing in this establishing year. "I think we lacked the go-to guy at the end of the race this year , a GC kind of guy," he said. "We did well in the sprints but were leaning on Bowman really hard for GC. I think Bajadali will step up for us next year."
One of the reasons Carney was able to move on these two key riders is that his sponsors signed up for another year early. "Kelly and Medifast and all came on early, so I was able to talk to my current and new riders early too," noted Carney. "We have a solid year under our belt and there is a lot more enthusiasm since winning pro crit." Winning in Downers Grove was a big shot in the arm for the team, but was even bigger since the majority of the team's sponsors were watching the race first hand. "To win pro crit was huge, but to have John Kelly and other sponsors was great - that was huge!"
With most of the team signed and sponsors happy with current results, Carney is understandably optimistic for next season. "Those two guys are capable of winning just about any race, so we now have a great potential for next year."
Drapac celebrate successful weekend at home
By Paul Verkuylen
Australia's only Professional Continental team, Drapac Porsche, had a successful weekend of racing at home in Australia, taking two victories. The squad has just returned home from a successful Tour de Hokkaido in Japan where it won the team classification, took two stage victories and placed reigning Australian champion Darren Lapthorne on the final podium.
The Melbourne-based squad's good fortune started on Saturday, when Lapthorne, after only one day of training since returning from Japan due to University commitments, won the Midlands Tour in Victoria ahead of a quality field.
The following day Drapac entered a somewhat depleted team, as many of the riders are currently sitting university exams, in the Goulburn to Citi in New South Wales and won the event. The Goulburn has always attracted a quality field and this year was no exception, with the organisers keen to show case the event in order to attract a UCI classification for future editions.
Youngster Robbie Williams claimed victory for the squad during his first year at Drapac after previously racing for DFL-Cyclingnews.com-Litespeed team in Belgium. Williams put a disappointing trip to Japan, that left him with a few broken ribs, behind on Sunday to bride across to the four leaders with a small group just before the first ascent of Razorback, a steep climb which the riders were to attack twice.
After losing contact over the last climb Williams made a fantastic recovery to take victory in one of Australia's most prestigious one day races. Williams rejoined the leading trio of Mitch Pearson (NSWIS), Shaun Higgerson (SouthAustralia.com-AIS) and Josh Wilson (Praties) with just five kilometres remaining, caught his breath, then launched an all out attack on the final rise into Camden to which his companions had no answer.
"With just over five kilometres to go I didn't think that I was going to catch them," Williams told Cyclingnews, minutes after he crossed the line for easily his biggest win in Australia. "But I just put my head down and went for it, and when I got on, I caught my breath and launched an attack on the final little climb, it was all or nothing, I am glad they let me go."
Drapac's Stuart Shaw also rode a great race, eventually crossing the line in fifth place to extend his lead in the national series with just two races remaining. Another notable performance came from Drapac's stagiere for the race Angus Morton. After only 15 kilometres Morton joined the early escape and would stay with the leaders all the way to the final ascent of the steep Razorback climb, just 15 kilometres from the finish of the 168 kilometre event, to finish 15th.
"I spent a lot of time in the hurt box today," Morton said shortly after the finish.
Burnaby gets third Six Day race
For the third consecutive year the Burnaby Velodrome will host the Six Days of Burnaby. The Burnaby Velodrome is a 200m indoor wooden track located in the Greater Vancouver District of BC, Canada.
Last year, the event drew in over 100 riders, including three madison teams from Canada's powerhouse team Symmetrics, Canada's World Cup madison team, the US National madison team, and several pro teams, including a composite team with Tyler Farrar and Kenny Williams.
This year's Six Day will start on December 31, and run through to January 5, showcasing racing for Pro Endurance and Sprint riders, plus offer racing in Amateur, Women, and Junior categories.
Colavita to ride Jamis Bicycles in 2008
Colavita/Sutter Home cycling teams will ride Jamis Bicycles in 2008 following the announcement of a new partnership between the two organisations. "As long-standing supporters of both men's and women's professional cycling teams, Colavita Olive Oil, Sutter Home Winery, and Cooking Light magazine are three of the real champions in the sport and we're thrilled to join the roster," said Jamies CEO Carine Joannou.
Jamis Bicycles will outfit the squad with Xenith SL road bikes, re-engineered for the 2008 season to reduce frame weight. The team's male and female squads will be the first professionals to race with Jamis' Xenith T2 line of time trial bikes, which feature a new fork design to shield and shroud the front brake caliper for maximum speed.
"On a personal level," Joannou added. "I am very excited about the opportunity to work with some of the top female cyclists in the country, including Tina Pic, Dotsie Bausch, and Alison Powers, who have worn the Colavita/Sutter Home colors with such distinction and now aim to represent the United States at the upcoming Olympics."
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2007)