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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News, October 29, 2008

Edited by Greg Johnson

Barloworld stays on sponsorship bandwagon

Barloworld will continue its involvement in 2009
Photo ©: Barloworld
(Click for larger image)

South African company Barloworld will continue its association with professional cycling and Claudio Corti's Professional Continental squad, despite a rocky season in 2008, the company has announced. Both sponsor and team were dealt a heavy blow in July when Moisés Dueñas tested positive during the Tour de France, prompting Barloworld to announce it would suspend its sponsorship following the Tour.

The announcement confirms Corti's statements to Cyclingnews last month.

The Barloworld name never disappeared from the team's jerseys and instead the company has announced the extension of its "successful and popular" deal through to the end of 2009. Despite Dueñas' arrest overshadowing the British team's Tour campaign, it claimed 22 race victories throughout the season with Italian Enrico Gasparotto leading the UCI Europe Tour standings.

"The team Barloworld sponsorship has been both successful and popular," said Chris Fisher, head of corporate marketing at Barloworld. "The ultimate objective has always been to make Barloworld a recognised name in our target market and ensure all our business units and employees have one team they support. In the last two years alone Barloworld achieved an estimated media impact of R2.5 billion [€190,000], excluding international television coverage. The sponsorship afforded Barloworld international partnership opportunities as well as global branding partnerships on kit, cars and merchandise. In excess of 500 customers and employees have been hosted at the Tour de France alone. The sponsorship has united Barloworld employees and attracted remarkable international interest and support."

Fisher praised the sport's intimate connection with spectators, saying it has helped the Barloworld name reach into people's hearts. "Our experience has been that today's cycling fan supports a team that 'touches their heart' or one that is the underdog or 'the little guy,'" he said. "Team Barloworld, due to their wildcard status in the Tour de France, and their smaller budget than the big teams, has acquired the label 'The little team that knew they could' which has led to the emotional support not only of South Africans but a legion of international fans."

Barloworld will announce its official roster for 2009 in coming days, although it's expected to remain largely unchanged with Robert Hunter, Mauricio Soler, John-Lee Augustyn, Paolo Longo Borghini, Steve Cummings, Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome, and Daryl Impey all returning for another season. The squad will also announce its event roster for the 2009 season within the next few days.

Pendleton striving for perfection

Pendleton was ecstatic with her win
Photo ©: Rob Jones
(Click for larger image)

Great Britain track cycling star Victoria Pendleton has revealed her struggle in the pursuit of perfection, ahead of this weekend's Track World Cup opener in Manchester, England. In a revealing interview with the United Kingdom's Guardian newspaper, Pendleton described herself as an insecure, self-critical perfectionist.

"Believe me it's a constant struggle," Pendleton told the paper. "People say, 'Wow, you've achieved it all this year, two world championship wins and an Olympic gold medal.' And I think, 'Yeah, but how come I feel so unsatisfied and under pressure all over again?'"

The athlete has been on an emotional ride as she comes down from the high of Olympic success in Beijing, China at August's Olympic Games. Despite the lows, Pendleton says she's come to realise only one thing can fill the void she's felt – more Olympic glory when the Olympic Games are next staged in London in 2012.

"I soon worked out that the only thing I could do was to get another gold medal. I need one. If 2012 goes to plan, winning the Olympics on my home turf, I might finally feel I've achieved the ultimate for me."

This weekend's race in Manchester kicks off the five round UCI Track World Cup, which will also visit Australia, Columbia, China and Denmark. The UCI Track World Championships will be held in Poland in March, 2009.

Rubio recovery takes step ahead

Former French professional cyclist Stéphane Rubio has shown encouraging signs after awaking from a coma yesterday. Rubio had been in a coma following a serious crash on October 4 during a race in Provence, France.

After coming out of the coma yesterday, Rubio's family reported he was able to move both legs and his right arm. The activity was an encouraging sign after 24 days in a coma, during which doctors recorded promising brain activity.

"Stéphane is awake but weak," the rider's family announced yesterday. "We are very happy, but we must be really patient and give him more time to gather strength as yet he doesn't eat. We are not rushing. It will need time, but we can trust him. Everyone knows Stéphane is a fighter, that is evident."

Rubio has been riding alone at the head of the race when he was hit by a car coming in the opposite direction. The rider holds the record of an incredible 11 ascents of Mont Ventoux in 24 hours from Malaucene.

Those wanting to send well wishes to Rubio and his family, or keep up to date with his recovery, can do so here. http://stephanerubio.unblog.fr/

Dr. Farrar in serious condition

Doctor Ed Farrar, the father of Garmin-Chipotle cyclist Tyler, remains in a serious condition at Central Washington Hospital after being struck by a motorist last Wednesday. The 57 year-old was struck head-on while riding his bicycle, after the vehicle crossed onto the opposite side of the road.

Local media has reported that the orthopedic surgeon is believed to have suffered spinal injuries as a result of the accident. Authorities have announced the 56 year-old driver will be charged with second-degree negligent driving following the accident.

"Reckless driving requires intent. This man, as far as we can tell, did not intend to hurt anybody," said Sgt. Cherie Smith told Wenatchee World.

News of the accident sparked sympathy for the Farrar family from the local community, with many of Dr. Farrar's patients offering their support and well wishes.

Team Type 1 signs two for '09

Team Type 1 has had a strong season
Photo ©: Mark Zalewski
(Click for larger image)

Belgian all-rounder Willem Van den Eynde will join Team Type 1 in 2009, while the American squad has also announced the re-signing of Australian Fabio Calabria. Both riders have Type 1 diabetes and must constantly monitor their blood sugar and food intake while using insulin that is permitted by a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

"The amazing thing about Willem is that he has accomplished so much without the benefit of much of the technology and medicine that is available in the United States," Beamon said. "He is really excited about having the support of sanofi-aventis and our other diabetes industry sponsors as he continues to learn how to manage his diabetes."

Team Type 1's Ed Beamon said Calabria's success in his first professional season provided the team with the confidence it can meet its stated goal to put a racer with Type 1 diabetes in the Tour de France by 2012.

"Starting the season when he was only 20, Fabio showed great maturity and discipline and played a significant role in virtually every one of our major international stage race successes," Beamon said. "We are looking forward to his continued development, and expect to see him on the podium in 2009."

Competing for the DCM-GB Vorselaar squad in 2008, 18 year-old Van den Eynde won five races and scored nearly 20 podium finishes. A former competitive swimmer, he is the nephew of Guy Vandijck, a former Belgium cyclo-cross standout who raced professionally from 1990-94.

"They [Team Type 1] are an example for all the people – not only for those with diabetes – because they prove that everything is possible," said Van den Eynde.

Jittery Joe's go amateur for '09

Evan Elken took a win for Jittery Joe's in '08
Photo ©: Mark Zalewski
(Click for larger image)

Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling Team has confirmed it will take a step back in 2009, with the team adopting amateur status. The team will concentrate on racing on the east coast and continue working with young rider development.

"While the support from Jittery Joe's continues to be strong, the combination of the loss of auxiliary cash sponsors and the spike of travel costs has caused us to re-think our budget," said team manager Micah Rice. "We just decided that we needed to take a step back to keep the programme healthy-neither riders nor sponsors would be happy if we tried to stretch the budget too thin."

The team will also continue its Patron Program which allows individuals to sponsor riders to help in the development of young aspiring professionals.

"I hate to see it happen, but on the other hand since as a firm we're trying to expand in the southeast, in some ways we can have a stronger presence as an amateur team because we'll be at more things in more concentrated ways," said Bob Googe, the CEO of Jittery Joe's Franchising. "We expect to be back in the pro peloton very soon as we start opening new stores and can afford to put more money into the programme."

Dutch team looking for foreign rider

Dutch team Cycling team de Mol is again hunting for a talented 19 or 20 year-old male cyclist to ride its Under 23 and elite programme in 2009. The team has offered places in its ranks since 2003, with 15 foreign riders joining the squad throughout that period.

Cycling team de Mol's Under 23 programme comprises the classic events which are part of the Dutch Under 23 series, while the elite programme offers the opportunity to ride in classics of up to a 1.2 UCI ranking throughout the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as three stage races in France and Belgium, lucrative Dutch criteriums and Belgian circuit races.

The squad is offering free accommodation for the 2009 season, from February till end of September, to the selected rider. All race entry fees and the costs of going to and from all races will also be covered.

Interested cyclists should send a letter of interest and a copy of their racing results to the team manager at wielerploegdemol@planet.nl, before November 15, 2008.

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