First Edition Cycling News for July 21, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones and Shane Stokes
Boardman reacts to new hour record
By Shane Stokes
Although he admits to being disappointed to lose his athlete's hour record, Chris Boardman has congratulated the Czech rider Ondrej Sosenka for his efforts. The Czech rider recorded a distance of 49.7 km in Moscow yesterday afternoon, improving the old standard by 259 metres. The record has yet to be ratified by the UCI.
"Records will always be broken," Boardman told Cyclingnews today. "Just take a look at Lance Armstrong's achievements as an example. So I never expected this one to be an exception to that rule. Yes, it is always a little sad to see something that you worked for superceded, but I am happy to accept that that is life. I was lucky to have the honour of being the first to resurrect this record and thanks for that must go to Peter Keen, my former coach, and Roger Legeay, my former team manager, who came up with concept that the UCI then adopted."
In line with the requirements of an athlete's hour record, Boardman's 2000 record was set on a bike similar to that used by the Belgian Eddy Merckx when he set his 49.431 standard in Mexico, 1972. The Briton's farewell ride as a professional saw him add ten metres to this mark, the new record standing for almost five years.
"I have not yet seen any images of Sosenka's attempt but providing he broke it in the same spirit in which it was conceived - in other words, a round tubed bike with no aero advantages and full doping control procedures, then I offer him my warmest congratulations," he says.
"The mark was always going to be beatable; hard but beatable, so I can't say as it came as much as a shock. That said, I am somewhat surprised from the quarter from which this came. Despite being 29 years old, perhaps this achievement means we will now see Sosenka step up another level in the world of cycling."
Cyclingnews asked Boardman about his requests earlier this year for the UCI to take and store blood and urine samples for future testing. At the time he said that this would ensure a level playing field for all record attempts, as well as helping Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong - who was then considering a record attempt - to convince his doubters that he was clean.
He still feels this would be a good idea. "I am certainly not insinuating anything regarding Sosenka's efforts, a person whom I know nothing about, when I say it would be great for the record itself if the UCI could take steps to take and store samples for future retrospective testing," he said. "That was something I asked for before my attempt, but it was sadly never put in place. This would allow the public to have complete faith in this blue ribbon record and remove any possible speculation."
Just as Graeme Obree's improvement of Francisco Moser's hour record (now called the absolute hour record due to the technological advancements employed) did twelve years ago, Sosenka's breaking of the mark will presumably lead to a burst of new attempts on the standard. However, the list of potential riders for such a bid is extremely unlikely to include Armstrong, who will retire from cycling after this year's Tour ends on Sunday.
"I was a little sad to hear Lance was no longer going to attack the record. That could only be good for its ultimate long-term status," says Boardman. "But I can't say that I blame him, as what else has he got to prove?"
Thüringen-Rundfahrt under way with neutral stage
After the tragic accident before the Thüringen-Rundfahrt in Germany that killed Australian cyclist Amy Gillett and injured five of her teammates, the organisers of the race held a memorial service in place of the first stage on Tuesday and neutralised what was to be the second stage on Wednesday.
The memorial service was held at Zeulenroda's Market Place. The service was attended by local government and German Cycling Federation representatives, representatives of the International Cycling Union and all the riders and team staff of the Tour. Australia's Ambassador to Germany, Pamela Fayle, read a tribute to Amy on behalf of Cycling Australia's board, staff and members, and several Australian cyclists including Olympic gold medallist, Sara Carrigan, world ranked number one, Oenone Wood, and Amy's close friend Natalie Bates paid tribute to their friend and teammate. Australians Rochelle Gilmore, Emma Rickards, Olivia Gollan and Kate Bates also attended. At the conclusion of the service the cyclists on their bicycles followed by a convoy of mourners travelled to where the accident happened and amidst prayers and tears, floral tributes were laid at the site next to a simple wooden cross bearing Amy's name.
On Wednesday, it was decided that stage 2 between Zeulenroda and Greiz would be ridden under neutral conditions by the field, with the seven remaining Australian riders in the race crossing the line first, a little way ahead of the peloton. It was a symbolic gesture that was also performed by the Motorola team in the Tour de France 10 years ago, after Fabio Casartelli died on a descent during Stage 15 on July 18, 1995. The next day, the stage between Tarbes and Pau was neutralised and the six remaining members of the Motorola squad led the pack into the finish.
The first racing stage of this year's Thüringen-Rundfahrt will be on Thursday, between Greiz and Gera.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by AFP Photo
Marc Lotz suspended
Dutch cyclist Marc Lotz has been suspended by the Belgian Cycling Federation for two years. Lotz was found in possession of EPO when Belgian police searched his house at the beginning of June. He admitted that he was using it for doping and resigned from his Quick.Step team. He also indicated that no matter what his sanction was, he would retire from the sport and take up a job in the business world. Naturally, that means he will not be appealing the two year ban, which will be backdated to June 1, 2005.
Women's Prestige Cycling Series continues in Altoona
The US-based Women's Prestige Cycling Series will continue with the International Tour de 'Toona, which starts on Monday, July 25. This is the second season for this women-only series, which has already visited the Redlands Bicycle Classic and the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Following the Tour de' Toona, the top ten teams will receive travel grants to participate in the Series finale at the CD&P Bermuda Grand Prix.
Christine Thorburn (Webcor Builders) holds a commanding lead over Tina Pic (Quark) in the individual classification (440 vs 264 points), having won the overall titles at both Redlands and Nature Valley. Thorburn will be difficult to dislodge from the series lead if she shows the same form that she had at these other events. In contrast, Pic is in a virtual three-way tie for second with teammate Annette Buetler (Quark) and T-Mobile's Kim Baldwin (264, 264 & 253 points), leaving the second step of the podium still up for grabs.
The situation is similar in the Series' Best Young Rider competition: Thorburn's teammate Erinne Willock has a firm grip on the leader's position with 440 points, while Audrey Lemieux (Quark), Stefanie Graeter (Webcor Builders) and Alisha Lion (Ford-Basis) are in a virtual dead heat for second (231, 231 and 209 pts).
In a contrast with the overall and young rider classifications, no rider has laid claim to the Series sprint title. Although Ina Teutenberg (T-Mobile) took the early lead at Redlands, her lead slipped when Laura Van Gilder (Quark) won the Freewheel Bikes Sprint competition at the Nature Valley GP. Teutenberg holds a slim, eleven point margin over Van Gilder (341 vs. 330), with Van Gilder's teammate Tina Pic still within striking distance (257 pts).
The top three spots seem all but final in the Series team competition, with Webcor holding the lead over Quark and T-Mobile (942 vs. 722 & 542).
More information: www.womencyclists.com
CPA and AIGCP on minimum wages
The Professional Cycling Council (CPA) and the Professional Cycling Teams Association (AIGCP) are trying to come to an agreement on the minimum wages of professional cyclists. The CPA does not accept that the minimum wages paid to the riders should be frozen for three years, and negotiations are still in progress between the two bodies.
Tour prize money increased
The prize money for the Tour de France 2005 is €1,937,700, an increase of €30,000 compared with last year. However, the CPA says that it is still awaiting for the written confirmation of the agreements it had with the organisers of the Giro d'Italia with regard to the prize money there.
Women's CPA and AIGCP in Rotterdam
The Management Committees of the women's CPA (CFHN) and AIGCP, recently formed in Valladolid, will meet on September 3 in Rotterdam on the occasion of the Lowland International Rotterdam Tour, the penultimate round of the World Cup.
The CPA has expressed solidarity with Hervé Gérardin, the organiser of the "Route de France Féminine", after he had to cancel the first edition of the stage race initially scheduled for August. It is hoped that the race will be organised next season.
Second Phinney Foundation Raffle
A mystery dream bike will be the main prize for the second annual bike raffle benefiting the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson's Disease Research and Wellness. The bike will be provided by Serotta Competition Bicycles and Shimano USA, but the details of its look and design are not being revealed, apart from the fact that it will be custom fitted, collectable, and valued at more than $US10,000.
1000 tickets will be sold at $100 per ticket. The unveiling and drawing will take place on September 28, 2005 at a site to be determined. All proceeds benefit the Davis Phinney Foundation.
To purchase tickets online, go to https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr
Mail a check to:
If paying by check, please include your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address with your payment. Raffle tickets will be mailed to the recipient after payment is received. Questions regarding the raffle may be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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