Cycling News Extra for July 20, 2006
Edited by John Kenny
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Rider dies at Superweek
by Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
The 37th annual edition of Superweek has been darkened by the death of
Aaron Bieberitz in the final road race of the seventeen day series. Biebertz,
31, of Sheboygan, Wisconsin was competing in the category 4/5 men's race
of the Tour of Holy Hill in Hartford, Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin
State Patrol, Biebertz was riding alone east on Highway E, part of the
race course, when a pickup truck towing a trailer southbound on Highway
CC stopped at a stop sign intersecting Highway E. The pickup proceeded
into the intersection in front of Biebertz where the collision occurred.
The driver, Timothy McQuiston of Hartford, immediately stopped and cyclists
following behind alerted race organisers. Biebertz was flown to to Froedtert
Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin where he later died
from internal injuries.
This is the first fatality in the Superweek series, which consists of
road races and criteriums. Race founder and director Otto Wenz told Cyclingnews
that this race course has been used by organisers since the 1970s. "It
is so upsetting," said Wenz. "It's a situation where everyone was away
from him. He was by himself and that is the real sad part."
Racing did continue according to Wenz as the status of Biebertz was uncertain
for the rest of the day and into the night, "We finished that day - we
hadn't heard anything more." Once news of Biebertz's passing reached organisers
an announcement was made.
"We feel we lost a member of the Superweek family - it's a tragedy and
we feel for the family," said Superweek Director of Operations Andy Garrison.
Other local media have reported that this was the second fatal accident
at a Superweek race. However, according to Garrison, this is the first
fatality in its 37 year history. The Carl Zach Cycling Classic, which
is a part of Superweek, memorialises a local racer who died at a race
a week before Superweek in 2000. "That was a race a week before Superweek
that year, and he would have ridden in our race too," said Garrison.
Garrison told Cyclingnews that the race does everything possible
to keep riders safe. "In my opinion we have some of the best safety measures
in the country. We have our own paramedic and doctor and they were on
the scene. Safety is a major importance to Superweek."
"In this race it was a rolling enclosure," said Garrison. "If you are
off the field you are a normal bike rider on the road and you have to
obey all the traffic rules." The driver of the truck was cited for failure
to yield the right-of-way from a stop sign, but no criminal charges were
filed in the incident, according to the State Patrol.
No memorial information memorial was available, but Cyclingnews
extends its condolences to the friends and family.
Evans climbs into contention
By John Trevorrow
Cadel Evans (Davitamon)
Photo ©: Sirotti
Cadel Evans rode himself right back
into contention in this year's Tour de France with a powerful ride
to the top of La Toussuire yesterday.
What a difference a day makes. Just when it looked like overnight leader
Floyd Landis was going to keep the American tradition alive and that Evans
challenge for the tour was in trouble, one awesome stage has changed everything.
King of the mountains leader Dane Michael Rasmussen took off soon after
the start and set a ferocious pace, which caused a frantic reaction from
the peloton. Rasmussen was too strong and held on to win by one minute
41 seconds but it was the strong attack of Spaniard Carlos Sastre on the
final climb that looked the most dangerous.
Evans rode the final ten kilometres with new leader Spaniard Oscar Pereiro
and German Andreas Kloden losing 13 seconds to Sastre, "I was good today.
It was a much better race for me," a tired but beaming Evans said. Evans
less circumspect about his chances for overall victory after his good
ride, "Anything can happen in this Tour and almost everything has. So
I won't say no."
Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne)
Photo ©: Sirotti
Race leader Oscar Pereiro sees Evans as a threat to his yellow jersey,
"Cadel Evans is a very strong rider in good form," he said.
Mark Sargeant (Davitamon-Lotto team manager) was impressed by the way
that Evans has improved after he lost time to his main rivals on l'Alpe
D'Huez, "It was a very good stage after yesterday…I was worried [after
his first day in the Alps], he had to dig very deep yesterday. I am very
happy," he said.
Robbie McEwen's bold prediction that Evans would win the Tour does not
seem so far off the mark now, "OK he's moved up to fifth, there's a big
possibility that he can move up. He can still even win it," he said.
"There is another tough day tomorrow but its not an uphill finish and
then there is the time trial. He is still right in it. That's what I said
about Cadel, he's a natural GC rider. He just keeps coming up day after
day, so good on him."
Rogers and Mazzoleni
Photo ©: Sirotti
When McEwen was asked what it would take for Evans to move into yellow
he grabbed a GC sheet and said dryly, "Two minutes 56 secs."
McEwen was glad just to survive the stage after the grupetto finished
outside the time limit, "Phew, [it was] a long day out. We had to ride
180 kilometres and 90 kilometres of it was uphill today. When you've got
just about the best climber in the field up the front with Rasmussen going
away near the start and going for it there was no way we were going to
get inside the time limit. It was set at 12 percent and we rode a good
tempo and we weren't too far outside it. They were always going to leave
us in the race," he said.
Aussie Michael Rogers was very strong and is still in seventh position
overall despite working tirelessly for Kloden. Floyd Landis cracked on
the last climb when Rogers was asked to put the hammer down, "It seemed
that Landis was all over the road," Rogers said, "I saw him at the bottom
of the climb, he was struggling and I was still feeling alright. My team-mate
Andreas Klöden asked me to put the pressure on, so I did my job."
Floyd Landis (Phonak)
Photo ©: Sirotti
"It was a torture. I think we moved up a few positions up on the GC,
so we did a good move. I was happy with my ride as I could do my work.
I was still able to hang on … what was left at the end (laughs) … it was
a torture. This was just the plan of the day. We want to finish on the
podium, doesn't matter if that is first, second or third. I think we showed
our power today and we're happy.
Oscar Pereiro looked a very different rider to the one that lost nearly
half an hour on stage 11. The tour contenders must be ruing the day that
they let him get that lost time back, "Yeah, I think now everyone will
be regretting giving him half an hour back. Just giving him half an hour,
like here, have a Tour," Evans lamented.
Simon Gerrans has a dose of bronchitis but survived the stage, "Yeah
[my health is] alright. I went hard over the first few hills just to make
sure I was with the group and then when the grupetto formed just cruised
back to that."
USPRO criterium format open to discussion
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
The format of next year's USPRO criterium nationals will be openly communicated
to the USPRO board to avoid the confusion over rider eligibility that
occurred before this year's August event.
After realising that the proposed changes to the upcoming USPRO criterium
nationals, from an open race to U.S. citizens only, was not communicated
to teams, USA
Cycling reversed its decision and reverted back to the previous format.
In a statement last week, USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson apologised for
the lack of communication after Cyclingnews reported that
some teams were upset by the decision.
The format will once again be a team-only race, with eight riders per
team, holding a professional license. However, as previously reported
the race is no longer a part of the UCI calendar.
"The team size is back in place with eight riders each," USA Cycling's
Chief of Staff Sean Petty told Cyclingnews, "We will keep it as
a same format, like a UCI trade team race. Although since it is not on
the UCI calendar, the organiser is not obligated to invite five UCI foreign
With the ruffled feathers seemingly back in place, the next logical question
is whether next year's race will be changed to the American-only format.
"We have to circle back and discuss it with the USPRO board," said Petty.
"We will do that very soon."
Petty acknowledges the pros and cons of each format, and plans on hearing
from both sides. "There are two schools of thought -- having all the top
riders racing in there, but also it is a national championship, so it
should be U.S. only."
The biggest benefit to come out of these events is that the communication
will happen. "I think it was our expectation that the pro board would
be consulted and discuss that change," Petty said of the breakdown in
the communication process. "That didn't happen and subsequently nothing
was communicated to the teams, which we found out about obviously. But
at least it is better to find out now than August 10!"
USPRO time trial, road race parcours revealed
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
Organisers of the new USPRO road and time trial national championships
in Greenville, South Carolina have announced the race routes for the road
race and time trial. The first-ever professional-only time trial will
cover 30.6 kilometres through forests along the Cherokee Foothills Scenic
Highway and the protected Greenville Watershed. The course is an out-and-back
with one main climb and rolling hills.
The 211-kilometre road race course is a 36.8 kilometre loop that will
be covered five times before reaching three 6.7-kilometre finishing circuits.
The main difficulty will be the ascent over Paris Mountain, with an elevation
of 1872 feet and an elevation gain of more than 6,000 total feet.
"The routes for both events are certainly challenging, which was our
exact goal as this is the National Championship for professional cycling,"
said Chris Aronhalt, Managing Partner of Medalist Sports.
The road race finish line will be along Main Street, near the intersection
of Broad Street, with the cyclists expected to finish near 5:30 p.m. on
Sunday, September 3.
Boonen to ride Tour of Britain
Tom Boonen (Quickstep)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
World Champion Tom Boonen (Quickstep-Innergetic) has confirmed he will
ride the six-stage Tour of Britain
starting on July 29. Boonen claimed a stage win in Nottingham in 2004.
Quickstep claimed the team prize last year and Nick Nuyens won the overall
prize. Other ProTour teams that will take part include CSC, T-Mobile,
Phonak-iShares and Davitamon-Lotto.
Tony Doyle event director said of Boonen's participation, "It's great
that he wants to ride the Tour of Britain again. Having the current Road
Race World Champion and holder of the Tour de France yellow jersey for
three days riding the Tour will be fantastic for the British public.
"Add this to the fact that several of the top teams, including CSC and
T-Mobile have confirmed their participation, the field for the 2006 race
will be the strongest yet."
Boonen and the other cyclists will attend the Tour of Britain dinner,
being held on Friday 1 September at the Café Royal in London. Other guests
include the former General Director of the Tour de France - Jean-Marie
The 2006 Tour of Britain will consist of six stages starting on Tuesday
29 August in Glasgow. The Tour then takes in new routes in the Northwest,
Yorkshire and The West Midlands, before a new fifth stage in the Southeast
ending in Canterbury, the finish city of the first stage of the 2007 Tour
Stage 1 - August 29: Scotland, Glasgow to Castle Douglas
Stage 2 - August 30: Northwest, Blackpool to Liverpool
Stage 3 - August 31: Yorkshire (to be confirmed)
Stage 4 - September 1: West Midlands, Starting in Wolverhampton
Stage 5 - September 2: Southeast, Rochester to Canterbury
Stage 6 - September 3: London, Greenwich to The Mall
T-Mobile soigneur injured
T-Mobile soigneur Jeremiah Ranegar has landed himself in hospital after
stage 1 of Thuringen Rundfahrt yesterday, when an official car ran into
him in the feed zone.
Ranegar was crossing the road to get back to his feed van through the
slowly moving convoy when an official car was moving up the outside. He
was hit and was taken to hospital with a badly broken leg that needed
surgery last night. It is thought that he will need to remain in hospital
for at least three weeks.
Strong field for Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix
Riders from teams including Toyota United Cycling, Health Net and Navigators
will be part of over 1,000 racers who will compete for $25,000 in prize
money at the 45th Annual Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix on Sunday,
August 13, 2006.
"We can expect a spectacular day of world-class races," said Rod Spackman,
public and government affairs manager for Chevron, the event's title sponsor
for the past 15 years. "The Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix has helped
cultivate a new generation of cycling enthusiast in Southern California.
Professional bicycle racing is exploding in popularity, and we are honoured
that the South Bay and this event continues to serve as its base of support."
More than 10,000 spectators are expected to witness the two main events,
the women's and men's pro races This year's Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand
Prix will also crown the inaugural woman's cycling challenge champion.
The cycling challenge was created for woman racers in Southern California
and Nevada of all levels, to encourage and support participation in the
Community races will take place after the main races and are open to
children two to 14 years old, who will receive an official race number,
medal and an event T-shirt.
The Tour de France of give-aways and competitions
Don't miss out at Tour time!
Resident freebies expert, Rufus Staffordshire, sniffs out some competitions
where over $600,000 in prizes are on offer as manufacturers clamber for your
Scratch - but don't sniff
Photo ©: Trek
The Tour de France is not only a reasonably popular bike race, ahem, it's also
a great opportunity to win an incredible range of prizes and competitions on
offer from manufacturers, publishers and distributors.
Many of our sponsors are offering Cyclingnews readers a schwag-fest
of give-aways during the lap-around-France. The prizes on offer range from pedals
and laptops through to trips to Paris for the 2007 TdF, as well as actual kit
being ridden by top pros in the Tour - including top bikes from Trek, Blue,
So that you don't have to go hunting around the Internet for all these goodies,
we've assembled the Cyclingnews complete
guide to Tour freebies and competitions.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)