First Edition Cycling News, November 19, 2008
Edited by Greg Johnson
Armstrong concerned over Tour safety
Lance Armstrong is concerned that an attempt to win another Tour de France could be hindered by fans in the race's homeland. The seven-time Tour winner's relationship with the people of France has been well documented throughout his career, as well as his comeback, and Armstrong fears for his safety should he contest next year's event with Astana.
"There are some aggressive, angry emotions [in France]," Armstrong told The Guardian. "My safety could be in jeopardy."
Armstrong compared the possibilities with the experience of Belgian Eddy Merckx. "Eddy Merckx would have won six Tours if he hadn't been punched," he said. "It happens to the best of us. Eddy broke a rib, fell over and was out of the race. I try not to think about that stuff."
The American hopes that should he contest next year's Tour, which is yet to be confirmed, that the race will run its course without interference from the public. Armstrong said French team-directors are fuelling the fire, asking fans to "take to the streets."
"Cycling is a sport of the open road and spectators are lining that road," he said. "I try to believe that people, even if they don't like me, will let the race unfold. [But] there are directors of French teams that have encouraged people to take to the streets, elbow to elbow.
"It's very emotional and tense," added Armstrong.
Armstrong has been at the centre of world sports media's attention since announcing in September he would return to cycling at 37 years of age to create awareness for cancer and the Livestrong foundation. He has already contested, and won, local mountain bike and time trial races in the United States of America since making the announcement, and will join Astana at its training camp later this month.
See Cyclingnews' complete coverage of Lance Armstrong's return.
Chavanel injured in oyster incident
Cofidis rider Sylvain Chavanel has injured himself while trying to open an oyster. A knife the French rider was using to open the oyster slipped and cut one of his fingers down to the bone, a wound which required 13 stitches to close it.
Doctors said that Chavanel will have no feelings in the finger for several months, according to hln.be. Despite the lack of feeling, it is not expected to interfere with his training.
The 29-year-old turned professional with Brioches la Boulangère in 2000 and joined Cofidis in 2005. He will ride for Quick Step as of 2009. This year Chavanel won, among others, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Brabantse Pijl, and Stage 19 of the Tour de France.
H20 team signs one more
By Kirsten Robbins
Team H2O's roster has grown to 17 with the arrival of Belgian rider Jan Kuyckx, team manager Max Radoni told Cyclingnews. The 29-year old was a formidable protagonist in this year's Paris-Tours, where he finished second place behind his fellow countryman Philippe Gilbert.
Kuyckx joins the new team after a two year stint with Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner. "I am very happy to land a position with this team," Kuyckx said. "They're convinced that with my help in the team, we will be able to obtain some good results this year. Thanks particularly to Max Radoni who strongly wanted me to be apart of this squad."
Hoy and Hamilton to go head-to-head
Britain's two most successful racers in 2008 – triple Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy and Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton – will go head-to-head at Wembley Stadium next month.
On a parallel track, Hamilton will line up in a Mercedes-Benz road car while Hoy takes to his Dolan track bike. Starting side-by-side, the two stars will race around the circuit on a tight and twisty course.
The F1 ace would seem to have the advantage – 600 brake horse power and a top speed of 208mph (334kph), compared with the cyclist's two-and-a-half bhp and 37mph (59kph). But Hoy's explosive power should give him a good start and he only has 99kg (218lbs) or man and machine to steer around the hairpin bends, compared with Hamilton's 1450kg (3200lbs).
The event is part of the pre-show entertainment at the annual Race of Champions on Sunday, 14 December. This pits competitors from two and four-wheeled motorsport – F1 stars, superbike champions, NASCAR racers and rally aces – against each other.
Hoy, who won the keirin, team sprint and individual sprint in Beijing, said: "I'm a big motor racing fan and I've seen the Race of Champions on TV so to be there in the flesh is going to be great and to be able to compete and take part in it is fantastic. I can kick out about two-and-a-half brake horsepower so that's not going to quite match his car, but I think they'll make the race as close as possible and I'll be giving it absolutely everything. I'm really looking forward to it."
Hamilton said: "This is going to be something very special. The atmosphere is going to be crazy. It's going to be a great way to end a fantastic year, and I'm really looking forward to putting on a show to thank the fans from all over the world and my fantastic British fans for all their support."
The Formula One champ will also perform a demonstration run in his championship-winning Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.
Fredrik Johnsson, president of event organisers IMP, said: "Ever since we created the Race of Champions 20 years ago, we've been putting the greatest racers in the world against each other. With Britain's fantastic performance in Beijing, especially in cycling, we thought about how we could include that in the event and when Lewis won the F1 World Championship it was just perfect."
Hamilton and Hoy are both front-runners in the 2008 BBC Sports Personality of the Year contest which is being staged on the same day. After the race they will head to Liverpool for the awards ceremony.
For tickets to the Race of Champions, call 0844 412 1743 or visit www.raceofchampions.com. Adult prices start at £18 and child tickets at £9. There are also a limited number of hospitality tickets and packages available.
Turtur joins UCI board
Former Olympic Games gold medallist Mike Turtur will join the Union Cyclist International (UCI) board after being elected as the president for the Oceania region. Turtur will take over the position from Ray Godkin, who was his team manager at the 1984 Olympic Games where Turtur claimed his team pursuit medal.
"Ray has made a massive contribution to the sport of cycling throughout his whole career and during his 22 years as Oceania President," said Turtur. "I'm looking forward to the challenge of this role and working with the cycling community in this region and internationally."
Turtur is also the race director for Tour Down Under, a position he has held since the event's inception in 1999. The former professional rider will attend his first UCI board meeting in Holland on January 28-29, three days after next year's Tour Down Under finishes.
"Mike was a superb bike rider and is one of our greatest promoters and organisers of road and track events," said Godkin. "I've got great admiration for Mike and he will do great things for cycling in Australia and around the world in this new role."
Jazz picks '09 apples
New Zealand squad Jazz Apple has announced the women on its roster for 2009, with Kiwi Olympian Rosara Joseph and former United States of America Champion Dotsie Bausch set to lead the squad. The pair will be joined by young talents Steph Roorda, of Vancouver, Canada, and New Zealand's Lauren Ellis and Malindi Maclean.
Australia's Ruth Corset will also continue with the squad in 2009. Corset had a strong season in 2008, putting in an impressive performance to win BC Superweek in Canada after finishing fourth in the Australian Open Road Championship women's race earlier in the year.
The team, owned by former Olympian Susy Pryde, has paired with charity organisation Plus3Network for next season. Founded by former Sea Otter director Rick Sutton, the Plus3 Network combines incentive-oriented exercise with benefiting a broad cross-section of charities, including environmental protection and promoting equality and wellness causes.
"Alongside our dedication to Fuji Bicycles and performing in the NRC events throughout the US this season, we're tremendously motivated and inspired by the fact that every pedal revolution we make counts towards the betterment of others and the planet," said Pryde.
Jazz Apple 2009 roster: Dotsie Bausch, Ruth Corset, Lauren Ellis, Rosara Joseph, Malindi Maclean and Steph Roorda.
Tour of California develops school handbook
A specially developed classroom curriculum has been developed for fourth- through sixth-grade students in the 16 California cities that will host the 2009 Amgen Tour of California.
Through interactive lessons, the 2009 educational handbook will teach students about the history of cycling and includes bike safety and maintenance tips. Provided to more than 60,000 students, the booklet also provides information about the State of California, including targeted lesson plans that use cycling as a means to teach core subjects.
"We are proud to work with the Amgen Tour of California in bringing you an educational booklet for students in grades four through six," said California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in his opening note to teachers. "This informative handbook – which includes valuable lessons in bike safety and maintenance, history, geography, science and math – can help make our kids safer, smarter and healthier."
Classroom activities such as weather charting and word searches allow educators to reach students with engaging material developed specifically to supplement the curriculum of students in grades four through six. The handbook also includes a lesson on world geography, as it relates to cyclists that have participated in the race, math, science and a cycling glossary to help students better understand the intricacies of professional cycling.
"Part of the mission of the Amgen Tour of California is to give back to the communities that we visit," said Andrew Messick, president, AEG Sports, presenter of the race. "We always see such an incredible level of support from young people throughout the state during the race, so we designed this curriculum to further engage young Californians; not only get them excited about cycling, but also educate them on how to lead an active lifestyle and ensure they have the necessary tools to develop healthy habits at a young age."
Host cities along the route will augment the curriculum with exciting activities targeted to students such as drawing, colouring and essay contests; bike safety and other bike-related school assemblies; as well as spirit and participation contests among local schools.
Already considered cycling's most important and successful road race in the United States, the 2009 Amgen Tour of California will be expanded to cover more than 800 miles over nine days. The event's fourth running is scheduled for February 14-22, 2009, and will showcase some of the world's top professional cycling teams. Traveling almost the entire length of California on a demanding course, the race will begin in the state's capital, Sacramento, and end in San Diego County for the first time.
Building on last year's third annual stage race, the 2009 Amgen Tour of California will visit 16 host cities for official stage starts and finishes, with communities along the route getting the chance to see firsthand a lineup of some of the best and most recognizable teams in the world. Host cities for the nine stages include: Sacramento, Davis (new city for 2009), Santa Rosa, Sausalito, Santa Cruz (new city for 2009), San Jose, Modesto, Merced (new city for 2009), Clovis (new city for 2009), Visalia (new city for 2009), Paso Robles (new city for 2009), Solvang, Santa Clarita, Pasadena, Rancho Bernardo (new city for 2009) and Escondido (new city for 2009).
For more information, visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
(Additional editorial assistance by Susan Westemeyer.)
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2008)