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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for December 7, 2004

Edited by John Stevenson

UCI: ASO in "serious attempt to make ProTour fail"

Letter exchange reveals back-room stand-off

Hein Verbruggen (file photo)
Photo: © Mark Gunter
Click for larger image

Just one week after the initial announcement that the grand tour organisers had agreed to include their races in the ProTour calendar, Cyclingnews has learned that an exchange of letters preceded the move, which indicates that behind the scenes, no real agreement has been reached.

In a letter dated November 29, which was sent to Hein Verbruggen, as well as all of the 19 'ProTeams' licensed to race the new UCI calendar next season, the GT organisers ASO, RCS and Unipublic suggested that their races should be part of a 'global calendar' that included the ProTour races. "The global calendar would include the UCI-selected races, as well as the 11 races organised by RCS Sport, ASO and ODC Unipublic," said the joint proposal. "These races, which would constitute the global calendar, would agree to accept the participation of the 19 UCI preselected teams in 2005." If the ProTeams agreed to race all the events of the proposed "global calendar", the race organisers hoped to "rapidly unlock a delicate situation."

The grand tour organisers went on to suggest that the proposal "would also make sure that all concerned parties of professional cycling would take the necessary time to conceive, by means of a work group to be assembled as soon as possible, a new regime and system acceptable to everybody - and thus durable - as from 2006." What seemed to be the inclusion of the 11 Classics and Grand Tours within the 2005 ProTour circuit, was in fact an offer to make all the ProTeams race at the competitions being part of the "global calendar".

On the next day, November 30, UCI president Hein Verbruggen sent an e-mail to all the ProTeams, expressing his discontent at the proposals. The letter was, said Verbruggen, "partly treacherous" and its suggestions "absolutely unacceptable".

"The organisers want 'the good things' about the UCI ProTour (especially Giro and Vuelta), without complying with its obligations. These organisers seem to have forgotten that the participation of the 19 UCI ProTeams is an obligation for the teams, and not a concession made by the organisers," Verbruggen explained. He further stated that "especially ASO is leading a serious attempt to make the ProTour fail. We have studied all alternatives and I can guarantee you that they will not succeed. There will be a UCI ProTour on January 1, 2005."

These revelations also explain why Patrice Clerc, director of ASO, said only three days later that "the international calendar will be called the UCI ProTour in 2005. I can't stop Verbruggen from calling it that." At the moment, it seems that the GT organisers do not possess licenses to be part of the ProTour calendar, and nothing indicates that an agreement will be reached soon.

Vandenbroucke sentenced

The regional court of Dendermonde, Belgium has sentenced Frank Vandenbroucke to 200 hours of community service in the court case arising from a raid on his house two years ago in which police discovered EPO, clenbuterol and morphine.

Vandenbroucke was suspended for six months by the Belgian cycling federation as a result of the raid, and his lawyers argued that he should receive no further sanction from the court as he had already been punished. While the prosecution did not agree, it did ask for a light sentence for Vandenbroucke, despite the maximum five-year jail sentence possible.

Vandenbroucke's lawyer, Luc Deleu told the Associated Press, "Frank wants to get all the procedural issues over with. He still has to decide whether to appeal."

Vandenbroucke continues to be hugely popular in Belgium despite his poor results in recent years. In 1999, however, he looked set to be the next great Belgian cyclist, winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege and two stages of the Vuelta a Espana.

Olympic medalists head for LA

The second round of the UCI Track World Cup at the ADT Event Center velodrome in Carson, California December 10-12, will see a huge line-up of Olympic medalists from Athens and previous games competing for World Cup series glory.

The line-up includes top US riders Marty Nothstein and Erin Mirabella, the 2000 keirin gold medalist and Athens points race bronze medalist respectively. Nothstein will team up with fellow 2004 Olympian Colby Pearce in the Madison while Mirabella will ride the points race and individual pursuit.

Australia is sending a strong contingent to LA headed up by 2004 keirin and sprint gold medalist Ryan Bayley and 500m Olympic champion Anna Meares. Former sprint world champion Sean Eadie and Athens pursuit silver medalist Katie Mactier are also expected to create fireworks with Eadie in particular showing a strong return to form at the recent Oceania championships.

Germany, Spain, and France will also be fielding teams that are expected to post strong results. Three-time Olympic medalist Stefan Nimke will lead a powerful German team in the sprint events while two-time Olympic champion Robert Bartko and two-time Olympic medalist Guido Fulst will be riders to watch in the individual pursuit and points race respectively.

Spain will be led by Sergi Escobar and Juan Llaneras. Escobar captured two medals in Athens, a bronze in the both the individual pursuit and the team pursuit. Olympic champion in 2000, Llaneras added a second Olympic medal to his name in Athens with a silver medal performance in the points race. Escobar's Olympic teammates, Carlos Castano and Asier Maeztu also will be on hand to form a potential winning combination in the team pursuit.

With four Olympic medals between them, Arnaud Tournant and Mikael Bourgain will lead France and provide the field with another well-respected sprint combination.

In a potential rematch of the women's sprint finals at the Athens games, gold medalist Lori-Ann Muenzer (Canada) and silver medalist Tamilla Abassova (Italy) will be in Los Angeles. Also, runner-up to Australia's Bayley, Athens silver medalist Theo Bos (Netherlands) will be looking for revenge.

Other Olympic gold medalists scheduled to compete include Mikhail Ignatyev (Russia), and Jason Queally (Britain). Ignatyev won the points race in Athens and Queally won the kilometre time trial in Sydney.

Finally, Natallia Tsylinskaya (Belorussia), Belem Guerrero Mendez (Mexico), Chris Newton (Great Britain), and Oxana Grichina (Russia) round out the list of Olympic medalists scheduled to compete this weekend.

Yates vows to continue

New Zealand rider Jeremy Yates, currently serving a two-year ban after being found to have an anomalous testosterone ratio, says he will be back. Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, Yates said, "I am 22 years old and in no uncertain terms is this the end of my cycling [career]."

Aside from that, however, Yates refused to e drawn about his plans for the next couple of years, or the doping positive that means his contract with Credit Agricole is over before it started. "If I was to say anything, it would be everything and to a publisher, for a big fee," Yates said.

Yates caused considerable anger in the New Zealand cycling community when he was allowed to race - and win - the Lake Taupo Challenge on November 27, just days after he was banned by the Belgian cycling federation. Cycling New Zealand says it will not ban Yates from domestic racing until it receives official notification of the ban from the UCI. The organisation is unwilling to risk a lawsuit from Yates by implementing a ban.

Killeen to Specialized

Mountain bike rising star Liam Killeen has signed a multi-year contract to ride for Specialized, is management company has announced. The deal will see Killeen ride with a big red 'S' until at least the 2008 Olympics, where he hopes to improve on his 2004 fifth place. His schedule for the next few years will include the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, and his first ever 'home' mountain bike world championships, in Fort William, Scotland in 2007.

For the meantime, though, Killeen will concentrate on the 2005 World Cup. He has been under 23 World Cup champion for the last two years and turns senior for 2005 is looking forward to improving on his top 10 world ranking. Killeen will also compete in selected US events such as the Sea Otter Classic, and some early season cyclocross races. His first race in Specialized colours will be on January 9 at the British cyclo-cross National Championships.

Aussies go nuts in Brazil

Australian Sid Taberlay
Photo ©: Red Bull
Click for larger image

Tasmanian Institute of Sport/Cyclingnews MTB rider Sid Taberlay played a crucial role in securing an Australian victory in the inaugural Red Bull Giants of Rio multi-discipline event held on December 5 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, taking off from Copacabana Beach.

Sid added one and a half minutes to the lead in the MTB section, before handing over to hang glider pilot John Durand, who built up the lead to over five minutes before handing over to triathlete Courtney Atkinson, who ran the final 21km leg in soft sand, but finished 30 seconds ahead to take the win. Ky Hurst, the ironman, led out with a strong swim-run-swim leg, coming out of the water one minute ahead of the 80-swimmer field.


Images by Red Bull

Yang's Tour photography show

Jan Ullrich in one of many superb Tour shots by Caroline Yang

St Paul, Minnesota documentary photographer Caroline Yang, who shot some of the most striking images of the Tour de France this year, is exhibiting her Tour work for the next six weeks in an exhibition entitled 21 Days To Paris.

The exhibition, which started December 4, runs until January 15 at the One on One Studio, 117 Washington Avenue N., Minneapolis Warehouse District, Minneapolis, Minnesota. According to the hosts, bike shop-cum-gallery One on One Bicycle Studio, the opening night attracted more than 250 people.

For more information see


Devonport adds senior races

By Rod Morris

This Sunday's pre-Christmas Simplot Australia Devonport Carnival will now include events for senior male riders after Cycling Tasmania (CT) has cancelled the proposed Tasmanian Time Trial Championships in Hobart.

The Devonport Athletic Club will include a full range of events for all graded and age group riders, as well as catering for male and female athletes, Special Olympians and Little Athletics.

The DAC has also been given approval by CT not to charge a late entry fee for riders, as the carnival was not originally listed in the CT entry booklet. Therefore riders may enter on the day, with entry fees set at $15 for seniors and $10 for juniors.

The Carnival will start at the Devonport Oval at 11 a.m. and feature events on the programme include the 2000m Simplot Australia Oval Wheelrace. Other races include 1000 m Lightning Handicaps and scratch races for all riders. In previous years, the DAC has fully funded this carnival but has received invaluable sponsorship for this weekend.

After the first Tasmanian carnival at George Town Jamie Perry and newly crowned George Town Wheelrace winner Daniel Cutting, share the early lead in the fourth annual Cycling Tasmania Rider-of-the-Season award for 2004-05 with eight points each, while Launceston's Laura McCaughey leads the women's category, with 15 points.

Tooheys crit series final

In other Tassie news, the third and final round of the Tooheys Tasmanian Criterium Championships will be held at Ulverstone this Saturday with Latrobe's Nathan Clarke holding a slender 1-point lead over Launceston's Karl Menzies with Bernard Sulzberger a further point away in third spot.

Former Burnie rider Louise Yaxley (now based in Launceston) holds a 2-point lead over Grace Sulzberger. Other races in the criterium titles will include events for juniors, masters and veterans.

Tom Crawford retires

Broadmark Capital rider Tom Crawford has announced his retirement from cycling at the comparatively young age of 24. Crawford plans to complete his education, working on a PhD in comparative religion at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

Vote in the 2004 Cyclingnews reader poll

The Cyclingnews 2004 reader poll is now open for voting, offering the chance for you to choose your favourite riders, equipment and events in cycling's biggest people's poll.

Categories include best male and female riders in all cycling's major disciplines, overall Rider of the Year, best new product, best race and many more.

To vote in the 2004 Cyclingnews reader poll click here.

2003 reader poll results

Jelly Belly - PoolGel 2005 roster

Danny Van Haute, director of the Jelly Belly - PoolGel Professional Cycling Team, has announced the roster for the 2005 season. "Given the strength of the team of the team in 2004, we are up to the formidable task of trying to improve the team and our second place finish in the team ranking in the US National Racing Calendar," said Van Haute in a team statement.

Two of the new team members, Brice Jones and Danny Pate, come over from Health Net and both say they are looking forward to riding with Jelly Belly - PoolGel. Pate said, "I had the opportunity to join Candelario on the same team again. I believe that the support and atmosphere of Danny's team will provide me the right situation in which I can excel. I am excited as can be and looking forward to notching big results in 2005." Jones added, "The team is well-balanced and I am very optimistic about next year. The team seems to be cohesive and there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to have a crack at a good result."

Dave McCook also joins the team after one of his most successful seasons to date, providing the team with a continued threat in the bunch finishes. McCook won three stages of the Nature Valley Grand Prix and looks to repeat his win 1994 win at the USPRO Criterium.

Other new riders are Tasmanian Matt Rice from Team - Down Under and Californian Kayle LeoGrande from the Redlands Bicycle Club.

Returning riders are Australians Ben Brooks and Caleb Manion, seventh year team member Mariano Friedick, Alex Candelario, cyclocross specialist Jeremy Powers, and long-time team member Kirk Albers.

Jelly Belly - PoolGel Professional Cycling Team full roster

Kirk Albers, USA
Ben Brooks, Australia
Alex Candelario, USA
Mariano Friedick, USA
Brice Jones, USA
Kayle LeoGrande, USA
Caleb Manion, Australia
Dave McCook, USA
Danny Pate, USA
Jeremy Powers, USA
Matt Rice, Australia

Director: Danny Van Haute


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