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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News, November 20, 2008

Edited by Sue George & Laura Weislo

Gasparotto: Cunego's Ardennes man

By Gregor Brown

Enrico Gasparotto
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Enrico Gasparotto will be at the side of Damiano Cunego this year with Team Lampre for the Ardennes Classics. The Italian from Friuli-Venezia Giulia expects to have an educational experience while riding in support of Cunego.

"I want to ride Amstel [Gold], Flèche [Wallonne] and Liège [-Bastogne-Liège], the second part of the Belgian races. I have never done them and I have a desire to race them. I believe that in helping Damiano in these types of races, you learn," Gasparotto said to Cyclingnews.

Damiano Cunego, winner of the 2004 Giro d'Italia, is a winner of several one-day Classics, which includes three editions of the Giro di Lombardia and this year's Amstel Gold.

Team Lampre saw Gasparotto's value this year thanks to a multitude of wins stretching from the Driedaagse De Panne in April to the Giro della Romagna in September. The Italian team signed him from Claudio Corti's Team Barloworld to assist Cunego in the Ardennes Classics. He should also have chances of his own at different races throughout the year.

"I want to ride well at the beginning of the season, at Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo. Sanremo has been my dream since becoming professional. It is always near my birthday, if not the day before or day after. It is the most impassioned Italian classic.

"It is not difficult like Liège because it is open to more riders, but the strongest always wins. The first part is easy, it is all flat and the finale decides it – this is the beauty of Sanremo."

Gasparotto, who just returned from a short trip to Prague, will meet with the other Lampre teammates next month. The team will hold its first of three camps for 2009 December 9 to 12 in Boario Terme, Italy.

Belgians outscore USA in Gent U-23 Talents Cup

Stijn Steels and Tosh Van De Sande
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
(Click for larger image)

The second night of action in the UIV International Six-Day Talents Under-23 Madison Cup (UIV Talents Cup) in Gent, Belgium, saw a change of leadership thanks to the superior scoring power of the Belgian pair, Stijn Steels and Tosh van der Sande, the junior world champion in the points race.

The overnight leaders, Americans Guy East and Austin Carroll, stayed on the same lap in the night's Madison, but were outscored 18-8 in the points sprints by the Belgian duo in the Madison. The American pair lost a further two points to the Steels/van der Sande in the flying lap, which was won handily by the Czech duo of Jan Dostal and Jiri Bares.

The night's Madison saw the Belgians hit out strongly, taking the first two sprints and forcing the American pair to go on the attack. The Belgians faced a long, hard chase, but succeeded in bringing back the Americans in time to take the final sprint. They now lead the race by seven points.

The event was down to eleven teams after the night one crash of Belgian Kevin Lava did not result in any serious injuries, but the doctor advised him to abandon the race.

The business of cycling

By Bobby Julich

Bobby Julich
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Greetings from the other side of the barriers! Writing about cycling instead of racing myself is a new position for me and I would like to get a few things out in the open before I start this first column for Cyclingnews. First of all, I am a recently retired cyclist and not a journalist. My goal is to give readers and fans insight into the world of cycling from a rider's prospective.

We all know what problems face the world of cycling at the moment, but this is a beautiful sport and one that I will love forever. I will try to be as informative as possible and plan on writing about what really goes on inside the heads of the riders that we all have the pleasure of watching. I hope that you enjoy these columns.

Read the first edition of "The Bobby Julich chronicles".

Track stars: The next generation

By Laura Weislo

Lizzy Armistead (center) and Katie Colclough (right) will be in Melbourne
Photo ©: Gerry McManus
(Click for larger image)

In this post-Olympic year, the first World Cups of the season are providing a marvelous display of emerging young talent, and like the first round in Manchester, the three days of racing in Melbourne's Vodafone Arena will feature a huge crop of new faces. In fact, of the 171 riders on the start list, just a dozen are over 30, and 100 are under 23!

The biggest buzz for the Australian hosts ahead of the event is the performance of 21-year-old Jack Bobridge, who set a time which would have been good enough for a silver medal in the Olympic Games in the Oceania Championships individual pursuit last week. He should be a shoo-in for a gold medal since none of the British pursuiters are making the trip down under.

The Australian track programme took a big hit this summer in Beijing, where its veterans took home just one medal – but riders like Bobridge, junior world champion Josie Tomic, Leigh Howard, Glenn O'Shea and Kaarle McCulloch have shown some real promise and should challenge for the golds this week.

Speaking of the British, not a single British man is on the start list for Melbourne, but the three-woman wrecking crew from Manchester will be on hand to try and destroy the competition again. Between them, Lizzy Armistead, Katie Colclough and Joanna Roswell took home gold in every endurance event except the individual pursuit, where Olympian Wendy Houvenaghel took top honours. Australians Tomic, Ashlee Ankudinoff and Sarah Kent put in a strong team pursuit at the Oceania championships, however, and should push the British trio to be on top of their game.

Read the full preview.

South African cyclists of the year honored

John-Lee Augustyn, Greg Minnaar, Marissa van der Merwe, Burry Stander and Sifiso Nhlapo were honored as South African Cyclists of the Year at the Emperors Palace in Boksburg on Tuesday evening according to

John-Lee Augustyn was named male road cyclist of the year. He was the first to summit the Bonette during stage 16 of the Tour de France this summer. His impressive ascent was followed by a dramatic crash that saw him fly off the edge of the road on the descent immediately following. Van der Merwe won the women's road cyclist of the year award after finishing 34th in the Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Off road, mountain biker Minnaar was awarded the downhill cyclist of the year after taking his third UCI World Cup downhill title while up and comer Stander took cross country honors. Stander finished second at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships U23 cross country race and won the UCI World Cup U23 series, but he routinely mixed it up with the elite crowd and represented South Africa at the Olympic Games.

Nhalpo was awarded BMX rider of the year, and the Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour took home the title of best race.

"The award is a tribute to a motivated organising team, a dedicated group of volunteers and the amazing support we receive from our sponsors. Ultimately though, it's the cycling community at large who make the event what it is," said David Bellairs, co-director of the Cycle Tour organizing team.

Olympian to head American team for Christmas Carnivals

Two-time Olympian Gideon Massie will head the American team at the Christmas Carnivals. It will be Massie's first time at the carnivals in Latrobe, Launceston, Devenport and Burnie. He will compete in the skilled U.C.I. sprint series and other wheelrace and scratch events.

Massie, a winner of multiple US National titles, will head up the team which will also include sprint National Champion Dean Tracy, team sprint National Champion Kelyn Akuna, Collegiate National Championship bronze medal winner Eugene Chacherine and keirin, sprint and team sprint National Champion Cari Higgins. Jame Carney will also be making the trip after missing the carnivals last year due to suspension.

The American team is one of several foreign teams expected to compete.

CONI recommends ban for Carini

The Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) recommended a two-year competition ban for Giovanni Carini. The Italian racer tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO) in an anti-doping control on June 28, 2008, at the end of the Italian National Championship week during which he won the non-contracted elite category road race.

Last month, his "B" sample was also found positive, thereby confirming the results of the "A" sample. Next, the Italian Cycling Federation will review CONI's recommendation.

ACCPI head to step down

Current president of the Association of Italian Cycling Professionals (ACCPI), Amedeo Colombo, said he will not seek to continue his leadership role in the organization.

"I am not reapplying for the ACCPI presidency," said Colombo in a statement Wednesday. He thanked all the riders for the support offered to him during his tenure, to which he was elected six years ago.

The organization's steering committee will meet soon to elect a new chairman and members of the Governing Council.

Last chance to win with Cyclingnews' End of Season Sweepstakes

(Click for larger image)

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