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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News, December 13, 2008

Edited by Sue George

Evans still working on pre-Tour programme

Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

A day after Cadel Evans said he did not plan to race the 2009 edition of the Giro d'Italia, his Silence-Lotto director sportif Marc Sergeant said that Evans' focus is on the Tour de France and that his rider had not yet decided his programme for the rapidly approaching new season.

"For Cadel and me, it's all about the Tour. That's the biggest goal for us both," said Sergeant to Cyclingnews. "All we need to do is decide how best to arrive at that race with him in the best form possible."

After Giro d'Italia race organizers RCS Sport said the Australian Evans would be riding the Italian Grand Tour come May, Evans accused them of falsely using his name to promote its event and denied any intentions to participate along with confirmed contenders Lance Armstrong, Carlos Sastre, Ivan Basso, and others.

"No Giro for me," Evans told Cyclingnews after reports of his potentially pink ambitions. "It's possible there is a miscommunication from my team."

That doesn't mean Evans hasn't at least thought about the possibility.

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"Honestly, I spoke to him a few days ago and he said he wanted to do it," said Sergeant. "However, now I'm not sure, as we spoke today and he's thinking that he wants to do his typical programme and miss the Giro. It's a long way off though, and even if he did agree to do it, it's a long way away and a lot can happen between now and then."

Just what might happen? "It's hard to say," said Sergeant, "but he's currently thousands of miles away, and we're all here in Spain for a training camp. What needs to happen is for Cadel and I sit down, face to face, and discuss the plans for next year. We'll do that at the end of January."

A Dolce & Gabbana designed maglia rosa

Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce, l-r, with the maglia rosa they designed.
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

The 2009 Giro d'Italia will celebrate its 100th year in existence with a leader's jersey designed by Italian designer firm, Dolce & Gabbana. The new design features the Italian tricolore – red, white and green – and the last names of designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.

"A symbol of great tradition like the maglia rosa you can not change, also because there are rules of aerodynamics to respect. We limited ourselves to adding the tricolore, which we are linked to as stylists, and other small things," said Gabbana.

Race organiser RCS Sport will present the official route of the three-week race on Saturday, in Venice. The Giro celebrates 100 years of existence, since it first started in May 13, 1909. Organisers first presented the pink jersey in 1931, matching the colour of newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, which is also owned by RCS Sport.

"Like all strokes of genius, the touch of Dolce & Gabbana is clean and simple," said Giro race director Angelo Zomegnan. (GB)

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Roberto Bettini/www.bettiniphoto.net

Bruseghin awaiting Giro details

Marzio Bruseghin
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Team Lampre-NGC's Marzio Bruseghin will be in Venice on Saturday for the presentation of the 2009 Giro d'Italia. The Venetian racer will be present at the La Fenice theatre with his team's sports director Fabrizio Bontempi and press officer Andrea Appiani.

Bruseghin won two Giro time trial stages, and he finished third overall in 2008.

"I'm curious to discover the Giro d'Italia 2009 route," he said. "I heard that the route might be even better suited to my qualities than the last one - perhaps with a longer and tougher time trial."

Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full coverage of the details of the 2009 Giro d'Italia presentation.

Landis joins OUCH for a second training camp

By Kirsten Robbins

Landis competed on his mountain bike while serving his suspension following a Tour de France positive doping test
Photo ©: Wesley & Garrett Geer
(Click for larger image)

Floyd Landis will lead team OUCH into the second of three training camps scheduled before the squad's first race appearance at the Tour of California in February of 2009. According to team directeur sportif Mike Tamayo, the squad will be ready with their A-game for what is arguably the most important stage race on American soil.

"I think we all feel some pressure, not just myself, but the management, riders and sponsors," Tamayo told Cyclingnews regarding the team's newly signed GC contender, Landis, who joins the team after completing a two-year suspension. He won the 2006 Tour de France, but his title was taken away following a positive test for testosterone.

"In the past, we've never had a true overall competitor at a race like the Tour of California. Having a threat like Landis changes the level of expectations so we're placing more emphasis on the team before we get to California. We need our best game in all aspects. For example, I'm driving the courses this week because I want to physically see all of them, so there are no surprises."

The eleven-rider squad met for a preliminary "meet and greet" in November in the Blue Ridge mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. According to Tamayo, the first impressions of Landis were that of a down-to-earth person with immense leadership skills and strength.

"He was very laid back at our mini camp," Tamayo said. "It was successful. It allowed Floyd a chance to meet his teammates and get some training in. Plus, it helped get the guys thinking about the season and how we're all going to work together. It was a breath of fresh air to see how smooth and well it came together."

The second meeting will take place in southern California in mid-December followed by the third and final ten-day training session held in Temecula, home of the title sponsor OUCH Sport Medical Centre. "It's nice to have the resources to bring the team together a few times," Tamayo said. "Every time we meet, it's one more place to see the riders' progression and it brings the team together a little more. We're learning what we will need to do to support a rider like Landis."

Returning riders include team captain Tim Johnson and five-year veteran Roman Kilun, Karl Menzies, Rory Sutherland and John Murphy. New signings include Landis along with Brad White from Successful Living, Andrew Pinfold and Cameron Evans from Symmetrics, Bobby Lea from Toyota-United and neo-pro Jonathan Chodroff, for a total of eleven riders.

"We're keeping in tight for 2009," Tamayo said. "Where the team will go in the future? We all need a crystal ball for that. But, we wanted a small and select quality group to focus on this season."

The team is drawing sponsorship support from title sponsors OUCH Sports Medical Centre and Maxxis tires. Financial support also comes from Smith & Nephew, responsible for engineering Landis' hip replacement and Williams & Training health care insurance. Equipment sponsors include Kuota bikes, SRAM components, Ritchey Logic, Mavic wheels, Speed Play pedals, Fizik saddles, Specialized helmets and glasses, Voler clothing, Cytomax nutritional products, Defeat socks and Zoot Sports compression clothing.

A conversation with Bob Stapleton

By Daniel Friebe, Procycling

American Bob Stapleton talks about his team's new anti-doping programme
Photo Š: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

To say that Don Catlin was an unfamiliar name in cycling circles is to underestimate how well-informed the average bike fan now is about all matters doping, but it's certainly true to say that the LA-based expert's profile has risen considerably in recent weeks.

After Lance Armstrong's announcement earlier in the autumn that Catlin will be his personal anti-doping policeman in the 2009 season, on Monday it was the Colombia and Garmin teams' turn to officially unveil Catlin as the man behind their new independent testing programme. The news comes after the company that previously fulfilled the same role for both US-based teams, the Agency for Cycling Ethics (ACE), ceased its operations.

With the press release still hot on the printer, on Monday afternoon, I spoke to Columbia team boss Bob Stapleton to find out more about a programme which he believes marks another breakthrough in cycling's war on drugs.

Procycling: Bob, can you tell us a little bit about the kind of assurances you wanted from Don Catlin when you first started talking to him about running a testing programme for the Columbia riders?

Bob Stapleton: I started talking to Don over a year ago, before we started with ACE. When you talk about anti-doping in North America, Don Catlin's pretty much the guy. He's the godfather. You only have to look at the number of times he's been the chief witness for the prosecution in cases brought by USADA (United States Antidoping Agency) and how many times they won. I think USADA's record's something like 34 -0. Don's actually the first guy I talked to about an independent testing programme, but he wasn't in a position to take that on back then. When we sat down and started talking this time, my main questions were about whether Don and his people could handle the workload, and whether we had common goals. It was also important to me that we didn't just start something totally new, without building on what we've already done with ACE and the biological passport. Science-wise, Don wants to do a lot of work on the different kinds of EPOs or biosimilars, plus use the profiling that's already done. What I also really like about Don is that he's not just interested in catching cheats for the sake of it – he wants to level the playing field for the guys who are competing clean. I think having him on board is great for the team and for the sport.

Read the complete feature.

Basque says no to Vuelta a España

Basque nationalist parties in the regional parliament said no to inviting the Vuelta a España back to its region according to the El Mundo newspaper. The Vuelta last visited the Basque area in 1979, but it was marred by protests, which caused the cancellation of a stage. Those who refused to bring the Vuelta back to Basque justified their refusal by saying, "Basque Country is not Spain".

The Basque Country is not France, either, but in contrast, the same parties previously voted to allow the Tour de France into the Basque capital of Bilbao for the 2013 edition.

Earlier this year, Tour de France organizers, the Amaury Sport Organisation, bought a 49% stake in the Vuelta a España, leaving 51% of it still in the hands of Spanish organizers Unipublic.

Pucinskaite ready to lead Team Dilā - Kuota

Pucinskaite in pink
Photo ©: Nicola Lanuele
(Click for larger image)

Edita Pucinskaite wrapped up her first training camp with her new team Dila - Kuota in Sormano, Italy. There she received her new Kuota bike and started laying the foundations for next season with her new teammates.

"All the young girls were full of enthusiasm. Unfortunately, three of the girls were missing, but I'm sure that we'll all soon bond as a group," said Pucinskaite, who will serve as leader of the team along with Marta Viljaosana.

"I will be the leader with the most responsibility and will also work with our young riders to help them grow. Some of them have already been riding for their national teams, but most have not had a lot of pressure."

At the meeting, Pucinskaite and her teammates visited Sormano and took a hike in some freshly fallen snow. Following the meeting, she will continue to work in the gym and start riding more from January onward. "Cycling is ruthless. If you want to stay on top, you have to commit 100%," she said.

USA Cycling announces 2009 National Championship schedule

Newly crowned national champion Gary Thacker (Chipotle/Titus) models his new jersey at Cyclo-cross Nationals in Kansas
Photo ©: Mitch Clinton
(Click for larger image)

On a weekend when the US is deciding its cyclo-cross national champions for 2008, USA Cycling announced dates and locations for a majority of its 17 National Championship events for 2009. The governing body plans to award more than 480 titles in junior, U23, collegiate, master, elite and professional ranks in road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross.

The BMX National Championships will kick off the action on March 21 at Metroplex BMX in Desoto, Texas. Two months later, student athletes from many of the nearly 300 collegiate cycling teams around the country will converge in Fort Collins, Colorado, for the second consecutive year to contest the division one and two Collegiate Road National Championships on May 15-17.

In one of the largest gatherings of the year, more than 1,000 racers are expected at the Masters Road National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky on June 28 – July 4. Amateur cyclists between 30 and 85+ will compete for titles at the second-year venue in individual time trial, criterium and road race events.

With six nationals, July will be the busiest month. Next up will be the Junior Track National Championships in Carson, California from July 2-5. At about the same time, on July 4, off-road ultra-endurance cyclists will celebrate the holiday at the Mountain Bike Marathon National Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado. The event is held in conjunction with the Firecracker 50. More track action in the form of Tandem Sprint National Championships will happen on July 10 at the "Tandemonium" event at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania.

After two years on the East Coast, the Mountain Bike National Championships will head to the Rocky Mountains as Sol Vista Basin in Granby, Colorado, plays host July 16-19. Cross country, downhill, short track, four cross, singlespeed and super D will keep fat tire enthusiasts busy racing.

Once again, Downers Grove, Illinois, will welcome the fastest riders in America to the Elite & Professional Criterium Championships on August 15-16. After two days of racing, three national champions will be crowned in the elite men's and women's categories, as well as a pro men's champion.

Amateur riders aged 30 and up will head to Indianapolis where the Major Taylor Velodrome will host the USA Cycling Master Track National Championships, August 18-23, and finally at the end of the month, Greenville, South Carolina, will host the fourth consecutive Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships on August 29-30.

The ADT Event Center will host its second national championship event of the year when it welcomes the nation's best track riders to the Elite Track National Championships on September 30 – October 4.

Still to be decided are the Junior, U23 & Elite Road National Championships tentatively scheduled for July 8-12 (bids accepted through January 15); the Collegiate Track National Championships, tentatively for September; and the 24-Hour Mountain Bike National Championships in Payson, Arizona in mid-late September. The Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships will again take place during its traditional late-October time slot, however exact dates and locations are undetermined.

With the ominium competition at the UCI Track World Championships gain in popularity, a multi-race event will be introduced into the National Championships in 2009. An invitation-only competition for men and women will be held at a date and location yet to be determined and serve as the first International Omnium National Championships.

Finally, the Cyclo-cross National Championships will happen December 11-14 at a location still to be decided although the bid process has closed.

2009 USA Cycling National Championship Dates & Locations
March 21: USA Cycling BMX National Championships, Desoto, Texas
May 15-17: USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, Fort Collins, Colorado
June 28 – July 4: USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships, Louisville, Kentucky
July 2-5: USA Cycling Junior Track National Championships, Carson, California
July 4: USA Cycling Mountain Bike Marathon National Championships, Breckenridge, Colorado
July 8-12: USA Cycling Junior, U23 & Elite Road National Championships, Location TBD
July 10: USA Cycling Tandem Sprint Championships, Trexlertown, Pennsylvania
July 16-19: USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships, Granby, Colorado
August 15-16: USA Cycling Elite & Professional Criterium National Championships, Downers Grove, Illinois
August 18-23: USA Cycling Masters Track National Championships, Indianapolis, Indiana
August 29-30: USA Cycling Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships, Greenville, South Carolina
September 30 – Oct. 4: USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships, Carson, California
December 11-14: USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships, Location TBD
Date TBD: USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championships, Location TBD
Date TBD: USA Cycling 24 Hour Mountain Bike National Championships, Payson, Arizona
Date TBD: USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships, Location TBD
Date TBD: USA Cycling International Omnium National Championships, Location TBD

Figures show unprecedented growth in British Cycling

New figures released by British Cycling showed that it is growing at an unprecedented rate. The numbers confirmed findings by Sport England that released figures showing that cycling is the second fastest growing sport in Britain.

For the first time, British Cycling (BC) reported more than 25,000 members. In addition, 13,000 cyclists also hold racing licences – more than at any time since British Cycling's formation in 1959. At the beginning of British Cycling's current funding cycle in 2005, British Cycling had 15,000 members and 8,500 cyclists with racing licences.

BC's president Brian Cookson OBE said "25,000 members and 13,000 licence holders is a real milestone for British Cycling and is a great way to end what has been a fantastic year for us. Our membership growth is testament to the hard work and dedication of all our volunteers at a national, regional and club level and I would like to personally thank everyone for the contribution they have made to British Cycling's growth."

The news comes as Sport England's latest Active People Survey (2007/2008) revealed that 1,767,200 people, or 4.26% of the British population, cycle at least once per week for more than 30 minutes. That is an increase of 132,000 people since 2005/2006 and reveals cycling as the second fastest growing sport in the country. The survey showed that, combined, sport and recreational cycling had an increase of 334,700 participants over the period.

The popularity comes after Britain excelled in cycling at the Olympic Games this summer in Beijing, China.

"This is a unique moment in time for cycling, from our success in Beijing in the summer through to the immense number of people getting involved in the sport. When you take cycling as a sport, recreational activity and form of transport it would easily make cycling the number one and fastest growing activity in England," said BC chief executive Ian Drake.

"However, I believe that this is just the beginning. We are now awaiting confirmation of funding from Sport England to allow us to grow our programmes and to grow the sport even more between 2009 and 2013. With the anticipated support from Sport England combined with our partnership with BSKYB, British Cycling has the potential to make the single biggest contribution to more people playing sport in the run up to London 2012 and beyond."

The number and variety of cycling events available for all sorts of cyclists to take part in has also grown rapidly in recent years under the umbrella of British Cycling. Between 2005 and 2007 there has been a 14% rise in the number of competitive events and a 47% increase in non-competitive events. The number of people taking part in these events has risen by 48% and 255% respectively.

In 2007, more than 2,500 cycling events were affiliated with British Cycling. There were also around 1400 affiliated cycling clubs throughout the country.

Nothstein named new executive director of Trexlertown velodrome

Marty Nothstein was promoted to Executive Director of the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania. The velodrome's Board of Directors named him to the position during the Velodrome Fund Inc.'s annual board meeting on Tuesday.

"I'm so excited to be given this opportunity to lead," said Nothstein. "The Valley Preferred Cycling Center means so much, not only to the world of cycling and to our community, but to me personally, as this is the venue where I was able to build and finish my career as a professional cyclist. I look forward to guiding the facility into the future and showing the community the possibilities that the Cycling Center has to offer."

Nothstein began his career in grass roots racing programs on the velodrome and worked his way up to winning an Olympic gold medal in the match sprint in the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, in 2000. He was previously occupying position of Executive Vice President of the velodrome.

(Additional editorial assistance provided by Daniel Benson.)

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