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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition News for August 27, 2003

Edited by John Stevenson

Why Fassa & what's next? Tom Danielson explains

With Tom Danielson's long-rumoured move to Fassa Bortolo for 2004-5 now confirmed, Cyclingnews reporter Kristy Scrymgeour caught up with the man who's trying to live down his status as US cycling's "next big thing" to get a few details about Danielson's reasons for choosing the Italian squad.

Cyclingnews: With a great season behind you, I imagine you have had offers from quite a few teams. Can you tell us which teams have approached you and why you decided to choose Fassa Bortolo?

Tom Danielson: Well, I would rather not list all the teams I have been speaking to, but all sounded like excellent programs. The Fassa program just fit me best. The way the team is run, the riders, the races they compete in, and of course the director, Ferretti.

CN: What are your goals for next year in terms of which races you would like to do?

TD: I definitely would like to do some big races, particularly a grand tour. I won't know my schedule until around January, but I'm sure it will have some excellent racing in it. I will then structure my goals around this schedule and the goals of Fassa.

CN: Will you be moving to Italy to live, if so when, and are you looking forward to living abroad?

TD: Yes, we just finished looking at places today. Kristin (my fiancée now!) and I found a lovely apartment in Italy which we will live in next year.

CN: What has been the greatest race/achievement racing for Saturn this year?

TD: Wow, the whole year has been an accomplishment. My greatest, Langkawi of course, but every race, whether I won it or helped a teammate win it was a step towards where I want to be... successful in Europe.

CN: Do you have intentions of racing the Olympics next year?

TD: It has only crossed my mind a few times, but I would like to compete, but I feel doing well in some big European races will have to come first. After that I can concentrate on the Olympics.

CN: Anything else you want to say?

TD: Just a big thank you to everyone that has supported me this year. It has been an unbelievable season and I couldn't have done it without everyone!

Henk Vogels in the land of the living

By Anthony Tan

Captain Courageous
Photo: © Jonathan Devich
Click for larger image

Following his horrific, almost life-ending crash at the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic on June 28, Navigators rider Henk Vogels is now making positive steps on the road to recovery. So positive is his rate of recovery in fact, that Vogels is expecting to begin training indoors on the home trainer as early as this week.

On the third stage of the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic around Princeton, Massachusetts, the 30 year-old Australian clipped wheels with another rider's rear wheel on a high speed descent, falling head first over his bars and crashing heavily into a guardrail. He was later diagnosed with a broken C7 vertebra and a triple break in his talus (ankle) bone, undergoing extensive reconstructive surgery at Massachusetts University Hospital, and continued to stay in the United States with his wife Cindy until he was well enough to return their home Australian home on the Sunshine Coast earlier this month.

Vogels suffered severe head trauma and has no recollection of the circumstances which led to the crash or the crash itself, instead going off reports from his team-mates and an inspection of his bike, which somewhat ironically was largely undamaged.

"I should really be dead," said Vogels dryly in an interview with Cyclingnews. "I still can't remember anything about the crash at all; I remember going across to the break up the hill on the climb, and I remember going into the tuck [position] and seeing 64 miles an hour on the police board who had a speed gun on me. I can just look at my helmet and bike for memories and that can pretty much tell me what happened."

Since returning to his home in Queensland, Vogels has been undergoing intensive rehabilitation at Gold Coast's Nambour Hospital under the guidance of a top orthopaedic surgeon, as well as daily treatment at Brisbane's Wesley Hospital with the aid of a hyperbaric chamber, where he spends two hours in the chamber using 100 per cent oxygen at a virtual depth of 14 metres to enhance the rate of recovery on his ankle.

While still immobile and faced with a painful and prolonged period of rehabilitation, the affable Aussie remains optimistic about his chances for a full recovery and a return to racing in the near future. "The neck's recovered really well; I'm just waiting on the ankle to see how it pulls up - I've got to keep off my foot for the next two weeks, but I can test it after that," he said.

"I should be back on my bike before I can put the full weight on my ankle to get that motion going again, but going easy on the home trainer," added an upbeat Vogels. "I won't be out doin' big k's while I'm walking, but I'll hopefully be training quite well by mid to late October - but I'm not going to push it - I'm just going to make sure it will heal properly for next year."

The full interview with Henk Vogels will be published this weekend on Cyclingnews, where Vogels discusses his successful but all too brief return to the European peloton, and his aspirations for 2004.

British Cycling review progress

UK governing body British Cycling recently carried out an on-line survey of its membership, collecting responses from 1,755 people, equivalent to ten percent of the organisation's membership. The survey was the first step in a comprehensive review of the competition structure in cycling in the UK, according to British Cycling sources.

British Cycling also conducted an analysis of the practices of other leading cycling nations and an internal review of British Cycling's current infrastructure and framework for organised cycling in the UK.

British Cycling is already drawing conclusions about how it should operate. "Even at this early stage, it is clear that the organisation needs to focus much more energetically on its working arrangements with divisions, organisers, race officials and clubs" said British Cycling's President Brian Cookson.

The next step will be a series of workshops to discuss the findings. These will take place in each of British Cycling's ten English regions, plus Scotland and Wales, and will be open to all. Dates and venues of these meeting, to be held in the last quarter of this year, will be announced in early September.

Aussie actor plans 1000km unicycling cancer fund-raiser

One wheel good
Click for larger image

Australian actor Samuel Johnson, one of the stars of popular TV show 'The Secret Life of Us' is planning a somewhat mad stunt to raise money for local charity CanTeen, a support organisation for young cancer patients: he's going to ride a unicycle between Sydney and Melbourne.

Johnson's ride - dubbed 'Lifecycle' - starts on October 24 and will travel through about 30 coastal and country communities including Wollongong, Nowra, Canberra, Wagga Wagga, Albury-Wodonga and Geelong before arriving in Melbourne on November 25. That's roughly 1,000km in total at an average of about 37km a day. No small feat on a unicycle.

Johnson's involvement with CanTeen goes back to his childhood. When he was 11, his 12-year-old sister was diagnosed with cancer. She recovered and the Lifecycle ride is a way for Johnson to give something back for the support he and his sister received from CanTeen during her illness.

As for the cycling connection, Johnson learned to ride a one-wheeler when we was a teenager and his performing career started with him busking circus tricks on his unicycle.

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