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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Latest Cycling News for July 20, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones and Shane Stokes

Vinokourov to leave T-Mobile

Alexander Vinokourov is leaving the T-Mobile Team as of the end of the season. The 31 year old Kazakhi informed the management of the team of his decision a few days before the end of the Tour.

"Alexandre wants the chance to win the Tour as captain of a team," said Team manager Olaf Ludwig. "We are sorry for his decision, but understand his reasoning."

Vinokourov has been courted by several big teams, and there is speculation that he may end up at Cofidis or Ag2r next year. Discovery Channel director Johan Bruyneel denied that his team was interested in signing the attacking T-Mobile rider. "We want someone who can win the Tour. Vinokourov isn't one of them," he said.

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Flecha to Rabobank

Juan-Antonio Flecha will ride for Rabobank next year, Dutch newsagency ANP reports. The Spaniard, who is currently with Giancarlo Ferretti's uncertain Fassa Bortolo squad, has signed a preliminary contract with the Dutch team. Flecha waited until mid way through the Tour before making his decision to leave. His presence should benefit Rabobank in the classics and in the major stage races, as he is renowned for being a strong, attacking rider.

Injured Australians update

South Australian Alexis Rhodes (20) and Louise Yaxley (23) from Tasmania, remain in intensive care in a critical but stable condition in a German hospital after being injured yesterday in a tragic accident which claimed the life of their teammate, 29 year old Victorian, Amy Gillett.

Below is the latest update from Germany on the status of the injured riders:

A wooden cross and flowers
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

Katie Brown, 21, (NSW) - Remains in a satisfactory condition after major surgery to a leg injury. Doctors continuing to monitor her progress. Her parents Rodney and Lorraine Brown have arrived in Germany and Embassy representatives are escorting them to the hospital. Her brother, Graeme Brown and his wife Hayley along with Katie's boyfriend Mark Renshaw have been in Zeulenroda since yesterday.

Lorian Graham, 27, (QLD) - Remains in a satisfactory condition after surgery. Doctors continuing to monitor her progress. Mother Lorian Graham and sister Desley will arrive in Germany tomorrow afternoon (AEST). Partner Peter Forbes was already in Europe and has travelled to Germany.

Kate Nichols, 20, (NSW) - Remains in a satisfactory condition after surgery to repair major tendon damage in her arm and hand. Parents Kevin and Sylvia were met at the airport by Embassy representatives and are en route to the hospital.

Alexis Rhodes, 20, (SA) - Remains in a critical but stable condition in intensive care. Parents Jenni and Greg Rhodes have arrived in Germany and have been escorted by Australian Embassy representatives to the hospital. Further information on Alexis' condition will only be released with the permission of her parents.

Louise Yaxley, 23, (TAS) - Remains in a critical but stable condition in intensive care. Parents Annette and Brian Yaxley due to arrive early tomorrow morning (0630 AEST). Partner Mark Padget was due to arrive in Germany at 6pm (AEST). He is on the same flight at AIS Director, Peter Fricker and both are being met by Cycling High Performance Director, Shayne Bannan, who will drive them to the hospital.

The driver of the vehicle that crossed onto the wrong side of the road and ploughed into the six cyclists is also in a serious condition in hospital.

Cycling Australia has established an email link for people who wish to send condolence messages to the family of Amy Gillett or to pass on their thoughts and wishes to those injured. Go to Cycling Australia's web site and follow the link on the home page.

Cyclingnews has also published two pages of tributes from cyclists around the world who've been affected by this tragedy. Please see: Amy Gillett: Tributes, Part 1, and More tributes to Amy Gillett, 1976-2005

Related stories:
Amy Gillett dead after crash in Germany
Unprecedented carnage in Germany

Ride for Life to assist AIS women

In response to the recent events involving the AIS women's team in Germany, the committee for the Prince of Wales Hospital Ride for Life has proposed that funds from this year's event be donated to the families of those riders affected by the tragedy.

Professor Michael Friedlander, Director of Institute of Oncology at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, initiated moves to donate the funds raised at this year's Ride for Life to help cover the costs associated with medical and rehabilitative treatment.

Race organiser and committee member for the event, Phill Bates, believes the sum available for donation could be in excess of AUS$50,000, a significant amount that would surely be welcomed by the families of all riders involved in the accident earlier this week. Bates said those funds could be generated by the event itself, along with a function held after the race at which further donations could be made.

Bates, a prominent figure in Australian cycling administration, said, "The plan has been cleared by the committee; we are now just waiting for the approval of the trust [the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust] who are sponsors of the event, to clear it. As yet there hasn't been any response." Bates said the committee also aims to obtain even more sponsors in light of events in Germany, to maximise the assistance to the AIS women's team.

Those who wish to enter the event can do so by obtaining an entry form online

Wiesenhof to stop sponsoring

Team Wiesenhof announced that it is losing its sponsor as of the end of the season. The team management noted that the poultry supplier wanted to end its engagement last year but was persuaded to stay on. "The management is in contact with several interested parties, in order to secure the existence of the successful Leipzig team as a Professional Continental Team for the 2006 season," said the team.

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Kupfernagel stops

Stefan Kupfernagel of German Continental team Team Lamonta has dissolved his contract with the team as of last Friday, the team has announced. It said that the 28-year old was unable to come back after a knee injury and various crashes suffered this spring.

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

New U.S. Pro Team for 2006

The US pro scene will benefit from the addition of a new squad in 2006, with the Kelly Professional Cycling team targeting entry to events such as the inaugural Tour of California, the Tour de Georgia, the Wachovia Cycling Series, San Francisco Grand Prix, and other USA Cycling National Race Calendar (NRC) events.

The team will be sponsored by Kelly Benefit Strategies, a group insurance broker and consultant specializing in healthcare. It is a division of Kelly & Associates Insurance Group, Inc, and has signed a multi-year partnership agreement to be the title sponsor of the squad.

"As an avid cyclist, I know the power this sport offers the individual, the team, and the business leader seeking to connect with fitness-minded consumers and organizations," said John Kelly, president of Kelly Benefit Strategies. "Our investment reflects our belief in the growing American enthusiasm for cycling and in the overall health and wellness promoted by such exercise, as well as the benefits of sport marketing. Each year, almost 37 million Americans participate in cycling activities, and 5.6 million enthusiasts ride in excess of 110 days per year," Kelly said.

Details of team personnel have not yet been announced.

US Junior Worlds Selection Team Announced

USA Cycling have announced the lineup for the 2005 UCI Junior Road and Track World Championships squad, which run from August 7-14 in Vienna/Oberwart, Austria. A total of fifteen riders have been named to the squad, from which the final selection will be made closer to the events.

The long team for the menís road events includes the automatic nominations of Peter Stetina, Caleb Fairly and Chris Stockburger.

Stetina secured his place when he won the junior menís road race at the Park City Cycling Festival and took second in the six-race junior world championship team selection series. Fairly was the overall winner of the series, while Stockburger earned an automatic nomination to ride the time trial after winning the US national title. He was also nominated to the road team because of that result. The squad features three other riders - Tejay Van Garderen, Spencer Beamer, and Adam Switters, who gained their place as coaches' selections.

These riders will participate in a two-week European campaign headed by national team coach Danny Van Haute. The final team for the world championships will then be selected from this group.

Meanwhile, Daniel Holloway and Richard Schenck were named as discretionary selections for the track races. Schenck recently captured a junior national title in the points race and was a member of the winning madison duo, while Holloway won a national championship in the individual pursuit.

In women's track events, Natalie Klemko secured a discretionary pick following her win in the keirin and the silver medal she took in the individual pursuit at the national championships. Kimberly Geist was already an automatic qualifier on the track but was added to the road roster after riding to a silver medal in both the time trial and the road race at the Park City Cycling Festival.

2005 UCI Junior World Championships, complete U.S. roster:

Men's Road

Chris Stockburger (Fort Collins, Colorado) automatic selection to time trial, road race long team)
Peter Stetina (Boulder, Colorado) road long team
Caleb Fairly (Amarillo, Texas) road long team
Tejay Van Garderen (Missoula, Montana) road long team
Spencer Beamer (Knoxville, Tennessee) road long team
Adam Switters (Folsom, California) road long team

Women's Road

Shannon Koch (Flower Mound, Texas.) - time trial, road race
Kimberly Geist (Emmaus, Philadelphia) - time trial, road race

Men's Track

Ben Barczewski (Breinigisville, Philadelphia) - team sprint, sprint, keirin
Spencer Hartfeld (Santa Barbara, California) - team sprint, sprint, keirin, kilometre time trial
Mike Schnabel (Emmaus, Philadelphia) - team sprint, sprint
Daniel Holloway (Morgan Hill, California) - individual pursuit, scratch race, madison
Richard Schenck (Milford, New Jersey) - points race, madison

Women's Track

Cindy Lakatosh (Trexlertown, Philadelphia) - sprint, keirin, 500 meter time trial
Kimberly Geist (Emmaus, Philadelphia) - individual pursuit, scratch race
Natalie Klemko (Bristol, Wisconsin) - points race, keirin

Perth International Grand Prix

Australian track cyclists will be present at the Midvale Speed Dome in Perth, WA, this Saturday to do battle on the boards of the tightly banked 250m indoor track. The Perth International Grand Prix will be the last major event for the Australian junior track cycling team before it heads overseas for the World Championships in Austria next month.

WAIS cycling coach Darryl Benson said the Speed Dome track, with its unique combination of steep banking and tight corners, was ideal preparation for what awaits the team in Austria. "The team has returned from a very specific training camp in Queensland and is looking to get some more zip into their legs as they prepare to take on the senior riders in the Grand Prix," Mr Benson said. "This event offers the junior riders a snap shot of the world championships by having to race against older more experienced cyclist in a highly competitive environment."

The junior team will take on an open field of the world's best, including dual Olympic gold medallist Ryan Bayley, who has just returned from 10 weeks racing on the professional Keirin circuit in Japan. Local Junior U19 cyclist Scott Sunderland said he would use the GP as the forum to continue to stamp his authority as the fastest rider and best prospect for Australia in the 1km event in Austria.

"I have posted the fastest times this year in the event and there is still plenty of room for improvement, but the selection will remain open right up until we arrive in Austria", Sunderland said.

Mr Benson added, "Scott has enormous potential and is an exciting prospect. He has incredible talent, which we have channeled into the track sprint events by increasing his strength and speed."

The first race of the Grand Prix will commence at 3pm.

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