First Edition Cycling News, August 17, 2008
Edited by Sue George
Hoy unstoppable in keirin
By Rob Jones in Beijing
Day two on the track saw three medal finals, with Great Britain continuing to dominate the standings by winning medals in every final, including two golds, a silver and two bronzes. One of those came from Chris Hoy, who was unstoppable in the keirin, on his way to a second gold medal in two days.
In both of his first two rides he got to the front of the group and behind the pace bike, and then just upped the pace when the moto swung off until he had burned everyone off his wheel.
The final consisted of Hoy, his team-mate Ross Edgar, Arnaud Tournant (France), Shane Kelly (Australia), Carsten Bergemann (Germany) and Kiyofumi Nagai (Japan). Among the big names not making it through were the Dutch riders Theo Bos (crash) and Teun Mulder, plus Gregory Bauge (France) and defending Olympic champion Ryan Bayley (Australia).
In the final, Edgar got the front spot, and then eased back to let Hoy in. Shortly before the pacer pulled off, Edgar let a gap open to Hoy at the front, helping Hoy to launch the winning move. Edgar then followed that up with a come from behind ride past Nagai to take the silver. Nagai, who gave up a lucrative pro keirin career in Japan, took the bronze medal.
"We knew coming in that if I got the front and got the [moto] bike, I would open up a spot for Chris," said Edgar. "He can go long and I can protect, and then go for my own finish. I got boxed in a bit and had a bit of a shoulder rub with Shane [Kelly]. But I squeezed through and was down the track after Chris."
"It's beyond expectations, I think this is a race I'll remember for a long time," said Hoy. "It's just fantastic that Ross got silver as well. I left it a little later than normal, because I knew that if I went full gas they might pass me. I had to think about the finish like nothing else."
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Olympic men's keirin.
More medals for Britain on the track
By Rob Jones in Beijing
Great Britain's Bradley Wiggins and Steven Burke went one-three in the men's 4000m individual pursuit at the Olympic Games in Beijing.
The eight riders who moved on from Friday's qualifying round were pared down to four finalists: Wiggins and countryman Burke, Hayden Roulston (New Zealand) and Alexei Markov (Russia). Wiggins and Roulston continued as the only riders to post sub-4:20 rides, and went on to compete for the gold medal.
First up was the bronze medal ride, and Burke came from behind to overhaul Markov in the final kilometre and claim the podium spot. The gold medal final followed a similar format, with Roulston coming out fast, only to be steadily reeled in by Wiggins.
"It was another brilliant day for Great Britain, we are just on top everywhere. We're just pissing all over everyone, to be frank. It's no surprise, really, we expected to be in this position. In eight years we've become the dominant force right across the board."
Roulston has made great strides in the past year, but still feels that he has room to improve. "Great Britain is getting these results now because they've been building since before Athens. New Zealand has just started in the last year. I came to win gold and came away with silver, but I'm definitely happy with it.
"Wiggins is the true champion, he's pure class," said Roulston, "but I'm on the right road. This is just the beginning."
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Olympic men's individual pursuit.
Spain steps up to the top of the Olympic podium on the track
By Rob Jones in Beijing
Spain became the first nation other than Britain to win a gold medal on the track, when Joan Llaneras took the men's points race. He was one of the favorites for the event, but he initially struggled, while Germany's Roger Kluge took a lap and the early lead. Llaneras' experience would pay off in the end though.
The race was very complicated," said Llaneras. "My initial plan was to try to earn some early points and build up an advantage, but the race was not very controlled, and many riders were attacking."
"Everyone was watching what I was doing, and when Kluge gained a lap, it was even more challenging," said Llaneras. "It was the riders who shouldered the responsibility for the race, who did well, like Kluge, [Chris] Newton and myself. In the second half of the race it became possible to ride more to a plan, and I was able to attack and take one lap, and then another."
Llaneras, Kluge and Great Britain's Newton were the only riders to take two laps on the field and, while Llaneras had the title wrapped up with one sprint remaining. Kluge had beat Newton in the final sprint to clinch silver.
Llaneras won the gold medal in the points race at the Olympic Games in 2000 and the silver in the points race in 2004.
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Olympic men's points race.
Climbers get their day on Mount Washington
Phillip Gaimon, a 22 year-old Georgian cyclist competing in his second bicycle race up Mount Washington in just two months, won Saturday's 36th annual Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb.
Gaimon, a University of Florida at Gainesville senior from Tucker, Georgia, crossed the finish line under overcast skies with little wind at 54 minutes, 57 seconds, nearly two minutes ahead of his closest competitor in the field of 600 up the gruelling 7.6 mile Auto Road to the highest peak in the Northeast at 6,288 feet.
"It definitely helped being here in July because I did that race in all the wrong gears. I put on some special stuff for this race," he said about his second-place finish in Newton's Revenge on July 12, the other bike race up the Rockpile.
The second place finisher, at 56:40, was Nico Toutenhoofd, 39, of Boulder, Colorado, who rode on a borrowed rear wheel after he had a flat about 15 minutes before the race's start. Third place, at 57:33, was Steve Gatzos, 32, of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Toutenhoofd and Gatzos drafted each other for much of the race before Toutenhooftd broke away on the dirt by the five mile mark.
Gaimon was the first winner in two years as last year's Hillclimb was cancelled due to inclement weather. More than half of the field had signed up for last year's race, and were granted entry for the competition.
"I just wanted to ride my own race and beat my time from the last race," said Gaimon who hopes to turn pro next season. "Winning Mount Washington is definitely going to be great on the resume."
On the women's side, diminutive Brazilian native Flavia Lepene, 31, of Blacksburg, Virginia, had a winning time of 1:08:52 with part-time McGill University student Magali Tisseyre, 24, of Montreal, placing second at 1:10:07. Former pro racer and mother of twins, Kristie Reynolds of Exeter, New Hampshire, finished third at 1:17:12.
Lepene, the 94-pound, 5-foot tall female winner, used online mountain profiles and car race videos up Mount Washington to learn the course.
"I paced myself and went hard on the steepest sections," she said. "I wanted to take advantage of my weight."
She did, as second-place finisher Tisseyre proclaimed with an extended handshake to her after the finish, "You're fast." She later said, "If I tried to follow her, I would die."
Mount Washington's legendary wild weather was absent at the start of the race with mostly cloudy skies, 61 degree base temperature and 46 degree summit mark at the start. Top racers competed with little wind; the finicky weather reserved for later finishers who dealt with bouts of rain and hail near the summit.
This year's racers ranged in age from 9 year-old Jonah Thompson of Albuquerque, New Mexico to 75 year-old Steve Swenson from North Conway, New Hampshire. This competition was wide open with several past winners - Tyler Hamilton, Tom Danielson and Aimee Vasse - not returning.
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Mount Washington hill climb.
Vacansoleil replaces Rabobank as Dekker ride sponsor
Vacansoleil is now the main sponsor of the Gran Fondo Thomas Dekker, a ride which Dekker is holding on August 24 in the Netherlands for his fans. The camping-holiday company replaces Rabobank as sponsor. Dekker and Rabobank agreed last week to terminate his contract with the Dutch team.
The proceeds from the race are to go to the Johan Cruyff Foundation, which funds children's charities. The race runs from Alkmaar to Den Helder to Alkmaar, and riders can choose courses from 35 to 140 kilometers.
Vacansoleil is currently a co-sponsor of the Dutch Professional Continental team Skil-Shimano, and has announced plans to sponsor its own Professional Continental team in 2009.
Nydam already on the road to recovery
Team BMC's Scott Nydam crashed and broke his collarbone in the Tour of Utah' second stage, and his team-mates have been feeling the loss although Nydam is already on his way to recovery after surgery to treat his injuries.
"Scott crashing out will be a big loss for the whole team since he was riding so strongly," said Darren Lill shortly after stage two.
"Around 3:00 pm Friday, I got out of surgery on my collarbone," said Nydam. "Within 24 hours of the crash I have had surgery and am now on the road to recovery."
Luckily for Nydman, it was a clean break and the prognosis is good.
"Dr. [Eric] Heiden took care of me after the crash and drove me back to the hotel," Nydam said. "I immediately had ex-rays, and then sat with Gavin deciding that we should send me straight into surgery."
Going under with a full anaesthetic, Nydam woke up a couple of hours later with a plate in his collarbone. "Everything is going well," he said. "I feel incredibly well supported by the team and am now looking forward to recovering as quickly as possible."
After a couple of weeks recuperating with friends and family, Nydam will be ready to face the rest of the season's challenges.
Nydam's team-mate Darren Lill is sitting in second position in the general classification after stage three's critierum. He is just four seconds behind current leader Blake Caldwell (Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30).
Liquigas ready with strong trio for Trittico Lombardo
Under the August sun, the Liquigas team will head out not on vacation, but instead to the Trittico Lombardo including the Tre Valli Varesina on August 19, the Coppa Agostoni on August 20 and the Coppa Bernocchi on August 21.
Franco Pellizotti, Leonardo Bertagnolli and Filippo Pozzato will be the team's leaders under director sportif Stefano Zanatta, who is looking to add to the team's season tally of 23 victories so far.
Pellizotti will again wear his trade team's green-blue jersey after a brief appearance in the Italian azzurra's jersey in Beijing, where he supported Italian Davide Rebellin for his silver Olympic medal. His goal is the Tre Valli Varesine which this year also includes six laps around the circuit of the next UCI World Championship.
Bertagnolli will race with the team, too, after his victory in the GP of Camaiore. He could be the trump card in a team also including Valerio Agnoli, Kjell Carlström, Andrea Noè, Ivan Santaromita, Alessandro Vanotti and Charles Wegelius for Lombardo.
The second appointment in Lombardia will take the Liquigas on the Brianza's route for the Coppa Agostoni - another opportunity for Bertagnolli to try to repeat the success of 2004. In the second and third races, Agnoli, Carlström, Wegelius, of Dario Cataldo, Aliaksandr Kuchynski, Matej Mugerli and Gorazd Stangelj will stand by Bertagnolli.
Pozzato will be the team's leader for Coppa Bernocchi where he will be working with the support of his Tour de France team-mate Murilo Fischer along with Agnoli, Kuchynski, Noè, Santaromita, Stangelj and Vanotti.
CSF Group-Navigare for Trittico Lombardo and Melinda
The CSF Group-Navigare team plans to head first to the Trittico Lombardo (including Tre Valli Varesine, Coppa Agostoni and Coppa Bernocchi), then on to the Trofeo Melinda.
Filippo Savini, who has already won two races this year, will be back racing, after his bad crash in the Giro d'Italia, during the San Vincenzo stage. Baliani, Pozzovivo, Finetto, Frapporti, Canuti and Pagoto will support him in the Tre Valli, Agostoni and Melinda, while Ruben Bongiorno, recent winner of two stages in Tour of Denmark, Priamo, Mauro Richeze, Maximiliano Richeze - who last Wednesday was discharged by Argentinian Cycling Federation for the tainted amino acids "case" - and Tomei will aim for a good result in Coppa Bernocchi.
Roberto Reverberi will direct the team for all four races.
CSF Group-Navigare for Tre Valli Varesine and Coppa Agostoni: Fortunato Baliani, Domenico Pozzovivo, Filippo Savini, Mauro Finetto, Marco Frapporti, Federico Canuti, Andrea Pagoto
CSF Group-Navigare for Coppa Bernocchi: Ruben Guillermo Bongiorno, Filippo Savini, Mauro Finetto, Marco Frapporti, Mauro Abel Richeze, Maximiliano Ariel Richeze, Francesco Tomei, Matteo Priamo
CSF Group-Navigare for Trofeo Melinda: Fortunato Baliani, Domenico Pozzovivo, Filippo Savini, Mauro Finetto, Marco Frapporti, Federico Canuti, Andrea Pagoto
New York to host traffic-free Bike MS
For the first time the MS Bike in New York City will offer a completely traffic free bike route throughout Manhattan on Sunday, October 5. This year's ride will be limited to about 5,000 participants and will be sponsored by the New York Stock Exchange, a sponsor of the event, which will invite the team who raises the most money to ring the closing bell on October 6.
The Bike MS event will raise money to help the fight against multiple sclerosis. For more information, visit www.bikeMSnyc.org
(Additional editorial assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer.)
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2008)