Latest Cycling News for July 13, 2005
Edited by John Stevenson
Grand Tour organizers respond to UCI ultimatum
By Tim Maloney, European Editor
After a major meeting in Paris, the organizers of the three Grand Tours, A.S.O.(Tour de France), RCS (Giro d'Italia) and Unipublic have issued a strongly-worded communiqué stating their position on the ongoing negotiations with the UCI over the integration of their races with the ProTour in 2006. Perhaps provoked by a letter issued by UCI president Hein Verbruggen on July 2 that declared that the three Grand Tour organizers must conform their events to the ProTour calendar and rulebook by the end of July, the three organizers brought their top managers to the table Monday to discuss and review what they see as an ultimatum from Verbruggen. All the heavy hitters were there, including A.S.O.'s Philippe Amaury, Martin Desprez and Patrice Clerc. RCS had brought Aldo Bisio, Giacomo Catano and Angelo Zomegnan to the cycling summit meeting, with Ignacio Ayis and Victor Cordero representing Unipublic.
ASO, RCS and Unipublic declared that they still agreed with the general principle of reform for cycling, based on the concept of "the best racers of the best teams in the best races", despite the ultimatum of Verbruggen on the ProTour integration. All of the Grand Tour organizers expressed their mutual solidarity and outlined four key points to the UCI for discussion:
1) All parties should continue to work together, as they have been up until now, involving the teams in the discussions to find a way to reform cycling.
2) Find a reform that includes the legitimate concerns of all the members of the cycling family: racers, teams and organizers.
3) Protect the rights of key cycling organizations such the team's association (AIGCP), the riders' association (CPA) and the race organizers' association (AIOCC).
4) Look to find a solution in the short-term for a positive solution, based on recent meetings with all parties concerned, since the teams are already planning for the 2006 season.
Verbruggen and the UCI have not yet responded. As the polemics ratchet up another notch, at this point, no solution is in sight to bring the three Grand Tours into line with the ProTour for 2006.
San Francisco sponsors coming into focus
By Mark Zalewski
More developments have emerged regarding sponsorship for the upcoming San Francisco Grand Prix. With many rumors flying about in recent weeks about a replacement for T-Mobile as title sponsor, two names familiar to cycling sponsorships have consistently surfaced -- CSC and Subaru.
Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), title sponsor of a Pro Tour team as well as races in the U.S. and Europe, has confirmed its participation with the San Francisco Grand Prix, though not as the title sponsor. "CSC is the official IT sponsor of the SF Grand Prix," Rich Venn of CSC told Cyclingnews. "We're looking forward to Threshold Sports announcing their official plans for the San Francisco Grand Prix soon."
Subaru of America was less clear about its involvement with the race. "Our marketing department is unable to confirm whether Subaru will sponsor the upcoming San Francisco Grand Prix cycling race," said spokesperson Natalie Cox.
Threshold Sports, promoter of the San Francisco Grand Prix, has said it will announce specific sponsorship details by July 15.
Koerts seriously injured
Cofidis sprinter Jans Koerts suffered serious injuries in a crash during the Trofeo Agostinho in Portugal. The 36-year-old Netherlander broke one leg in three places and also broke both ankles, according to the team. He will undergo surgery in Portugal.
No Tour of Germany defence for Sinkewitz?
Patrick Lefevere of Quick Step is deeply disappointed over Patrick Sinkewitz's plan to sign with T-Mobile and may not let the young German defend his Deutschland-Rundfahrt title. How will the rest of Sinkewitz's season be? "We'll see. Maybe he won't ride any more. Will he ride the Deutschland Rundfahrt? I'm not sure."
The team director claims that Sinkewitz had verbally agreed to extend his contract with Quick Step, but later announced that he would ride for T-Mobile next season. "I've been in this business for 25 years and never experienced anything like this before," Lefevere fumed.
Sinkewitz continues to deny that he had accepted a contract extension with Quick Step and says that Lefevere, "is not professional enough to accept that I am leaving.
Meanwhile, the two are avoiding each other at the Tour. "I have nothing to say to him," says Lefevere. "What has he done in the Tour so far? I haven't seen much of him."
Marco Polo ready for Tour of Qinghai Lake
The Chinese-registered Marco Polo Cycling Team says it's ready for the Tour of Qinghai Lake. After a good run in the Tour of East Java, the biggest Chinese race is the most important race of the season for the team, and its 2.HC ranking makes it one of the most important races of the year in the Asia Tour with a very strong list of participants, including seven UCI Continental Pro teams.
Despite the team's lack of a big victory, its management is happy with the season so far and believes the objective of finishing the season as one of the top three Asian teams is well within reach.
The Marco Polo Cycling Team had a successful season so far, although the big victory didn't happen yet. Through good results in the Asian races, the main objective of the team: top three Asian teams, seems to be well within reach.
At the Tour of Qinghai Lake the team will work to protect climber Michael Carter and give the Chinese riders a chance to compete for the best Chinese rider classification.
Team sponsors Trek Bicycles and Nestle Pure Life have kicked in some extra support for this race, with Trek driving a team car all the way up from Beijing!
Last year's winners Navigators are the big favourites, along with Barloworld, Action and Naturino-Sapore di Mare. There is also a very strong Kazahkstan national team and the Iranians (climber Ghader Mizbani) traditionally do well in the Tour of Qinghai Lake.
The line-up of the Marco Polo Cycling Team for Qinghai Lake will be: Fuyu Li (China); Yu Tong (China); Michael Carter (USA); Ulzii-Orshikh Jamsran (Mongolia); Robin Reid (New Zealand); Rhys Pollock (Australia). Peter Coates will be team director.
Health Net dominates US NRC standings
USA Cycling's latest standings in its year-long National Racing Calendar Series shows the Health net presented by Maxxis team firmly on tip of both the men's individual and team rankings, while the women's competition is more of a three-cornered fight between the T-Mobile, Webcor and Quark teams.
After his stage win and overall victory at Cascade Classic at the weekend, Health Net's Scott Moninger moves to the top of the men's individual rankings ahead of team-mate Chris Wherry. Their team-mate Gord Fraser completes the top three, with Danny Pate (Jelly Belly/Pool Gel) and Australian Karl Menzies (Advantage Benefits/ Endeavor) in fifth. Moninger and Wherry both have over 1000 points in the series, while Fraser is on 971. With Pate on 781 and Menzies on 657, the gulf between Health net and the rest of the US domestic peloton is considerable.
In the women's rankings things are much closer with just 37 points separating Christine Thorburn (Webcor Builders), Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (T-Mobile) and Tina Pic (Quark Cycling). The top five is rounded out by Kristin Armstrong (T-Mobile) and Laura Van Gilder (Quark Cycling).
Health Net also dominates the men's team standings with 4200 points, against Colavita/Sutter home's 1920. In the women's teams T-Mobile leads Quark.
Men 1 Scott Moninger (Health Net pb Maxxis) 1116 pts 2 Chris Wherry (Health Net pb Maxxis) 1082 3 Gordon Fraser (Health Net pb Maxxis) 971 4 Daniel Pate (Jelly Belly / Pool Gel) 781 5 Karl Menzies (Advantage Benefits/Endeavor) 657 6 Vassili Davidenko (Navigators Insurance) 572 7 Tom Danielson (Discovery Channel) 570 8 Christopher Baldwin (Navigators Insurance) 553 9 Mark McCormack (Coavita Olive Oil/ Sutter Home) 549 10 Greg Henderson (Health Net pb Maxxis) 535 Women 1 Christine Thorburn (Webcor Builders) 1097 pts 2 Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (T-Mobile) 1078 3 Tina Pic (Quark Cycling) 1060 4 Kristin Armstrong (T-Mobile) 1013 5 Laura Van Gilder (Quark Cycling) 948 6 Lynn Gaggioli (Monex) 929 7 Kimberly Baldwin (T-Mobile) 835 8 Chrissy Ruiter (Ford Basis) 676 9 Annette Beutler (Quark Cycling) 539 10 Kori Seehafer (T-Mobile) 499 Men teams 1 Health Net pb Maxxis 4200 pts 2 Coavita Olive Oil/Sutter Home 1920 3 Navigators Insurance 1759 4 Jelly Belly/Pool Gel 1678 5 Discovery Channel 1284 6 Advantage Benefits/Endeavor 1104 7 Team CSC 1070 8 Kodak Easy Share Gallery-Sierra Nevada 926 9 Webcor Builders 880 10 Aerospace Enginering 780 Women teams 1 T-Mobile 3669 pts 2 Quark Cycling 3285 3 Webcor Builders 2204 4 Ford Basis 1496 5 Victory Brewing/Safi Pasta 1168 6 Colavita/Cooking Light 1124 7 Monex 1008 8 Equipe Nurnberger 548 9 Diet Cheerwine 493 10 Nobili Rubinetteri 463
UPMC-ACT signs Wendy Cruz
Wendy Cruz, winner of the overall classification at the 2005 Tour of Puerto Rico (UCI 2.2) has joined the UPMC-ACT cycling team. Cruz, currently ranked 14th in the UCI America Tour, is 29 years old and a native of the Dominican Republic. "I'm very happy to have the opportunity to race in the United States and look forward to competing alongside my teammates on the UPMC-ACT equipo," says Cruz. Earlier this week Cruz arrived in Wisconsin with teammates Papp, Sasso and Tardaguila to compete in Superweek, aka the International Cycling Classic.
Epic prize money at Australian 100km MTB race
Organisers have announced a total prize pool of more than $40,000 including $15,000 cash for the 2005 edition of the Flight Centre Peppers Hidden Vale Cycle Epic, a 100km mountain bike race in southern Queensland on the weekend of September 3 and 4.
Epic promoters Peter Creagh and Tod Horton said the big prize pool is a deliberate strategy to entice elite riders to sign up.
"A significant enhancement to the 2005 Epic is the introduction of the Pro Teams Trophy," said Creagh. "Basically we're giving $2,000 to a team of riders who complete the 100km with the fastest combined time."
"Teams need to be a minimum of three riders, and maximum of four, with the fastest three times taking out the Trophy. This concept has been used successfully in other sports and while it's not new, it is new to mountain bike competitions."
Elite riders can win additional $400 cash for the first rider across the line at each stage checkpoint.
This year's edition has been expanded to two days with a Kids Mini and Minor Epics open to children aged 5 to 13 years of age on the Saturday.
The Peppers Hidden Vale Cycle Epic is one hour's drive from Brisbane, one and a half hours from the Gold Coast, and two hours from the Sunshine Coast and the main event will be held on Sunday 4 September 2005.
For more information see www.cycleepic.com.au
Retailer Competitive Cyclist has teamed up with Peloton Project member Andrew Clarke of Greeneville, TN to raise $25,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. As part of this fund raising effort, Clarke will hold a raffle for a variety of high-end roadie accessories. He will limit the raffle to 100 entries, and each raffle ticket will cost $100 -- every penny of which goes directly to the LAF and is tax-deductible. Participants in the raffle will have a one in ten chance of winning prizes whose total value exceeds $5,800.
The grand prize of the raffle is a SRM Professional Dura-Ace 10-Speed Powermeter system valued at $3,400. The first place prize is a Power Tap SL hub built on a Zipp 280 carbon rim valued at $1,625. Other prizes include jerseys from Giordana and Litespeed, a set of Vittoria tires and carbon bottle cages from Arundel.
To read more about the LAF, this raffle, and to purchase one of only 100 tickets, please visit www.competitivecyclist.com/livestrong.
Another Peloton Project member running a special raffle in aid of the LAF is Pam Whitehead, a Peloton project member since 2001 and a five-year cancer survivor. For the last two years Whitehead has raised over $20,000 for the LAF and last year received the organisation's Lori Tilton Triumph Award, given to the Peloton Project member who best exemplifies the spirit of the organization.
This Saturday, Whitehead is running a fund-raising party for the LAF and is also raffling a unique bike to raise funds. Donated by New Belgium Brewing Company, the bike is a limited-edition Fat Tire Amber Ale Cruiser, one a small number of bikes the brewery has made each year, and very much not available at your local bike shop.
The raffle is open to anyone in the Continental USA; details of the raffle and the bike are here: www.saccycle.com/LAFBikeraffle.htm, while you can get details of the party here: www.saccycle.com/lance.htm.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)