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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News, July 11, 2008

Edited by Greg Johnson and Hedwig Kröner

Wilson wins for injured team-mate

By Kirsten Robbins

Matt Wilson (Team Type 1)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

Australia's Matt Wilson has dedicated his Cascade Cycling Classic stage victory to injured team-mate Ben Brooks. The Team Type 1 rider fell during Wednesday's opening stage and was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries after striking a cattle guard and losing consciousness.

Wilson said the 29 year-old had been placed in a medically-induced coma, and that doctors have received positive signs in the 24 hours since the accident.

"I'd like to dedicate this day to my team-mate Ben Brooks who crashed in yesterday's stage," said Wilson. "He's in an induced coma but they've been bringing him out of it to check to see if he's alright - it's looking very positive."

Coming up on

Cyclingnews will cover the 60th edition of the Dauphiné Libéré live as of stage 4 on Wednesday, June 10, at approximately 15:00 local Europe time (CEST)/ 23:00 Australian time (CDT)/ 9:00 (USA East).

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Brooks was treated on the scene by a rescue squad before being rushed to hospital. Team Type 1's director Ed Beamon said riders who witnessed the crash had told him the cattle guard put Brooks into a spin then catapulted him from the bicycle.

"He is breathing on his own now but is pretty heavily sedated," Beamon said.

Wilson leads the elite men's section of the National Racing Calendar series event following his Stage 2 victory.

Sanders claims first NRC win

By Kirsten Robbins

Kristin Sanders (Aaron's) rolls across
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

Aaron's Kristin Sanders claimed her maiden National Racing Calendar stage win on the Cascade Cycling Classic's second stage. Sanders was delighted with the victory, which saw her ride ahead of her breakaway companions to claim the stage win.

"This is my first NRC win and I can't believe it, I'm so excited," said Sanders. "It was a hard climb but the difficulty really comes with the pace."

The Aaron's rider was one of six in the day's break away. She managed to separate herself from the other five riders on the day's 16 kilometre climb, where overall leader Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo-Lifeforce) managed to overcome a five minute deficit to catch three of the break away riders.

"We expected the race to be aggressive and once we got into the break we assess the situation," said Sanders. "I get excited in break situations and it's easy to do that so I tried to contain myself until the end."

Armstrong has tipped Sanders as a strong rider for today's 15 mile Skyliners Time Trial. The time trial will be followed by a criterium later in the day.

Rasmussen win no surprise

By Paul Verkuylen in Xining, China

Alex Rasmussen (Denmark)
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

For Heiko Salzwedel, the Danish National track team coach, Alex Rasmussen's win in the opening prologue of the Tour of Qinghai Lake came as no surprise. The short 3.8 kilometre circuit was perfectly suited to his riders who are putting the finishing touches on their preparations to attempt to take gold in the 4000 meter team's pursuit at the Olympic Games.

"It's well suited to us as pursuit riders," Salzwedel told Cyclingnews. "I don't think that it is a surprise at all that a Danish rider won the first stage.

"We are very excited to present our Olympic team here. That's why we are very happy that the race organiser included the prologue here."

Rasmussen took the opening stage over 10 seconds ahead of David McCann (Giant Asia racing team) and averaged 56.3 km/h. What made his performance all the more incredible is that it was done on a standard bike without any aero bars.

"There was no advantage in that," Salzwedel explained. "I am very excited. I am surprised by the speed and that he won by such a big margin.

"He is not a hill climber. He may keep the yellow jersey for one or maybe two days but Oscar Sevilla is the big favourite here."

After completing the Tour, the squad will head back to Denmark to finish their training and taper for the Games, opting to arrive late and miss the opening ceremony.

Valverde case: CAS suspends procedure

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, has suspended the procedure regarding the decision taken by the Spanish cycling federation not to open proceedings against Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) for his alleged implication in the Operación Puerto case. Both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Cycling Union (UCI) had appealed the decision in front of the CAS.

The procedure has been suspended for a maximum of six months to allow the Spanish authorities to decide on whether or not they have the right to hand over the alleged evidence, blood bag "number 18". This sort of international legal assistance can take several months after the initial official request has been sent.

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'

May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
May 15, 2009 - Valverde not welcome in Denmark
May 14, 2009 - Spanish federation wants proof in Valverde case
May 13, 2009 - Spanish Olympic Committee defends Valverde
May 12, 2009 - Valverde responds to sanction
May 11, 2009 - Italian tribunal delivers Valverde two-year suspension
May 8, 2009 - Valverde case: Italian Olympic Committee defends Torri
May 7, 2009 - Valverde to take legal action against CONI prosecutor
May 5, 2009 - WADA and Spanish federation join CONI and UCI on Valverde
May 1, 2009 - International Cycling Union joins in on Valverde's hearing in Italy

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of Operación Puerto

Andreu, Holden to ride Tour de Pink

Coming up on

Cyclingnews will cover the 60th edition of the Dauphiné Libéré live as of stage 4 on Wednesday, June 10, at approximately 15:00 local Europe time (CEST)/ 23:00 Australian time (CDT)/ 9:00 (USA East).

WAP-enabled mobile devices:

Former professional and Olympic cyclists Frankie Andreu and Mari Holden will join 150 cyclists in this year's Tour de Pink. The charity ride, which will benefit breast cancer survivors network Young Survival Coalition, will see the riders start in Hershey, PA on route to New York City.

"We are extremely excited to have Frankie and Mari riding with us this year at the Hershey's Tour de Pink," said Lisa Frank co-director of the Tour de Pink. "Riding along side these two world-class cyclists will be an additional inspiration for the 150 dedicated men and women who have taken on this challenge."

Andreu contested the Tour de France nine times during his 12 year career as a professional cyclist. His racing experiences also include the Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a Espana and two Olympic Games - in Korea and Atlanta.

Holden is a five times United States of America time trial champion, a discipline she claimed silver in at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

While the October 3-6, 2008 event is Andreu's first appearance, it will be Holden's third time in the four day, 220 mile ride. The event expects to raise at least $375,000 USD, with all funds going to the YSC.

Jongewaard moves closer to Olympic dream

By Greg Johnson

Australian's Chris Jongewaard has moved one step closer to achieving his Olympic dream after Cycling Australia's Appeal Tribunal announcing it has upheld his appeal against non-selection today. Jongewaard's appeal over his non-selection for the nation's only elite men's mountain biker position was heard in Melbourne yesterday, with the three-member panel announcing its findings today.

"The Cycling Australia Appeals Tribunal today upheld the appeal of Chris Jongewaard against his non-nomination to the AOC for Australian Team for the Olympic Games in Beijing," announced Cycling Australia. "The Tribunal will therefore, in accordance with the AOC Team Selection By Law, refer the nomination decision back to Cycling Australia for review."

The Cycling Australia Tribunal is expected to release written reasons for it upholding the rider's appeal "as soon as possible". Those reasons will then be considered by the Cycling Australia High Performance Committee, which will meet to consider the Tribunal's findings.

The South Australian is Australia's highest ranked mountain biker, but was left off the Australian Olympic squad when the selection panel announced it couldn't "in good faith nominate" the rider due to a pending court case. Jongewaard is due to answer charges later this year regarding a hit-and-run incident, in which Jongewaard allegedly stuck training partner Matthew Rex, leaving Rex with head injuries and in a medically-induced coma for 12 days.

While the incident took place in February 2007, and Rex has since recovered, court proceedings over the charges have been delayed on numerous occasions. The trial is scheduled to take place in December of this year.

Graham explains Olympic appeal withdrawal

Lorian Graham has explained the reason behind the withdrawal of her Olympic Games non-selection appeal. The limited time available for Graham to pursue her appeal led to her withdrawing the appeal on Monday, according to the rider.

"After receiving the statement of reasons from CA, I obtained legal advice which confirmed that the exemptions from mandatory selection criteria which were granted to Ms Bates were not in compliance with the rules for nomination," Graham said.

Graham had specifically targeted Bates' allocated spot in the hope of being awarded the position alongside current national champion Oenone Wood and Athens gold medallist Sara Carrigan in the women's road team. However the rider learnt that even if her appeal was successful, the position would be awarded to another rider.

"The reason I withdrew my appeal, however, was because when I saw the statement of reasons for selection, it was disclosed for the first time that if I succeeded in challenging Ms Bates' selection, the subjective preference of the selection committee for a preferred reserve for the team was another rider rather than myself," she said. "Given the very limited time that was made available to me for pursuing my appeal, I was unable to challenge that subjective preference - therefore, there was no utility in my pursuing the appeal."

Graham was clearly upset with Cycling Australia's claim that no reason had been offered for her appeal withdrawal. "I made these reasons very clear in my six-page notice of withdrawal," she said.

Graham was one of the riders injured in the 2005 training accident which claimed the life of Australian Institute of Sport team-mate Amy Gillett. She was one of two cyclists to lodge appeals against Cycling Australia's nominations, with mountain biker Chris Jongewaard having his appeal upheld by a Cycling Australia Tribunal today (see separate story).

Olympians at Tour de Gastown

At least five members of Canada's road and track cycling teams for next month's Olympic Games in Beijing are scheduled to compete in the BC Cancer Foundation's Tour de Gastown next Wednesday, July 16. They will be part of nearly 200 riders who will take to the streets for British Columbia's premier bicycle race and the centrepiece of the BC Super Week series of bike races.

"These are probably the best fields we've ever had for the race," said event director Jonathan Wornell. "Last year's men's and women's champions are returning to defend their titles, we have the cream of the men's and women's Olympic road and track teams competing. Moreover, we have a Tour de France finisher."

This year's Tour de Gastown is also part of the 10-race USA Crits Championship Series, "a clear indication that the race has reached a new level in North America" according to Wornell.

The Olympians who are scheduled to be in action are: Erinne Willock, Gina Grain, Alex Wrubleski, Svein Tuft and Zach Bell. Also scheduled to race are: Kirk O'Bee, Christian Meier, Cam Evans, Hilton Clarke, Chris Horner, Yosvany Falcon and Frank Travieso.

So far, nine teams have entered for the Tour de Gastown women event, and 19 teams will compete in the men's race.

The women's teams include: Cheerwine Pro Cycling Team, ValueAct Capital, Vanderkitten Racing, Webcor Builders Cycling Team, Jazz Apple Cycling Team, Total Restoration Cycling Team, Wines of Washington, Giant Bicycles/Team, Whistler.

The men's teams are: Bissell Pro Cycling Team, BMC Pro Cycling Team, Calyon Pro Cycling Team, Escape Velocity, Glotman Simpson, Health Net Pro Cycling Team, Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling, Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling, Kona-Adobe, Rubicon-Orbea, Symmetrics Cycling, Team Aviawest, Team H&R Block, Team Rio Grande Cycling, Team Waste Management, Toshiba - Santo Pro Cycling Team, Total Restoration Cycling Team, Toyota United, Trek - Red Truck Racing Team.

The women's race will cover 30 laps (36km) of the 1.2km course in Gastown, starting at 6.15pm. The 50-lap (60km) men's race will start at 7.30pm. With the start and finish line at the Gastown steam clock on Water Street, the course includes a 165-degree hairpin turn onto Cordova Street, a three-block downhill sprint to a sharp left turn onto Carrall Street, a sweep through Maple Tree Square before a 250-meter dash to the finish line along Water Street's cobble stones.

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