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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for December 12, 2004

Edited by Hedwig Kröner and Anthony Tan

2005 Vuelta route leaked

Although the Vuelta a España organisers Unipublic will officially reveal the parcours of next year's Tour of Spain on Wednesday, December 15, Spanish sports newspaper Marca chose to publish the route on Saturday. With six mountain-top finishes, two time trials as wells as a prologue in Granada, the 60th Vuelta will still be less mountainous than the last editions and finish just one week before the World Championships in Madrid.

The three-week stage race will start on Saturday, August 27, 2005 in the southern city of Granada, where a 7 kilometre-long prologue will make the riders climb the short but steep ascension to the famous Alhambra, a medieval Arabian palace. The first week of racing will be relatively flat with one exception: the mountain-top finish at Valdelinares. A time trial through the streets of Barcelona is likely to shuffle the general classification for the second week of the race, which has no less than five mountain stages all finishing on mountain tops in the Pyrenees or the Asturias. Sprinters will make the most out of the third week, which includes another time trial on the eve of the race's finishing stage in Madrid, on Sunday, September 18. Stage distances or total kilometres are not yet known.

The 21 stages are as follows:

Stage 1 (Saturday, August 27): Granada-Granada (TT)
Stage 2 (Sunday, August 28): Granada-Córdoba
Stage 3 (Monday, August 29): Córdoba-Puertollano
Stage 4 (Tuesday, August 30): Ciudad Real-Argamasilla de Alba
Stage 5 (Wednesday, August 31): Alcázar de San Juan-Cuenca
Stage 6 (Thursday, September 1): Cuenca-Valdelinares
Stage 7 (Friday, September 2): Teruel-Vinaroz
Stage 8 (Saturday, September 3): Tarragone-Rubi
Stage 9 (Sunday, September 4): Barcelona-Barcelona (TT)
Stage 10 (Monday, September 5): Sabadell-Ordino (Andorra)
Stage 11 (Tuesday, September 6): Andorra-Cerler
Rest day
Stage 12 (Thursday, September 8): Logroño-Burgos
Stage 13 (Friday, September 9): Burgos-La Bien Aparecida
Stage 14 (Saturday, September 10): Torrelavega-Lacs de Covadonga
Stage 15 (Sunday, September 11): Cangas de Onís-Valgrande Pajares
Rest day
Stage 16 (Tuesday, September 13): León-Valladolid
Stage 17 (Wednesday, September 14): Segovia-Segovia
Stage 18 (Thursday, September 15): El Barraco-Avila
Stage 19 (Friday, September 16): Avila-Alcobendas
Stage 20 (Saturday, September 17): Guadalajara-Alcalá de Henares (TT)
Stage 21 (Sunday, September 18): Madrid-Madrid

Los Angeles World Cup Underway

By Eddie Monnier in Carson, California, USA

Natallia Tsylinskaya (Bielorussia)
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
Click for larger image

The Los Angeles World Cup track event kicked off Friday morning at North America's newest and the US's only indoor velodrome, the ADT Event Center, Carson, California. Riders from 32 countries, including five gold medalists from Athens, will face off in this second round of the World Cup with the added bonus of previewing the venue for the 2005 World Championships to be held here in March.

The morning session on Day 1 included the qualifying round of the Men's 4km Individual Pursuit, Women's 200m Sprint, Women's 1/8 Sprint Final, and the 1st round of the Men's Keirin.

In the Keirin heats, Kilo world record holder Arnaud Tournant (France) commanded the heat throughout, never once relinquishing the lead, and is surely the man to be in heat 2 on Saturday. In the Women's 200m Sprint, Natalis Tsylinskaya (Bielorussia) set the fastest qualifying time in the Flying 200, posting a time of 11.479 (62.723 km/hr), although current Olympic champion Anna Meares (Australia) was a surprise finisher with only the 10th best time. Robert Bartko (Germany) set the fastest qualifying time in the Men's 4km Individual Pursuit, and will face Mikhail Ignatiev (Russia, 4:31.551) in the ride-off for the gold medal. Escobar (4:31.787) will duel with Marc Ryan (New Zealand) who rode a 4:35.134.

Three time Tour de France winner was on hand before the evening session, where he mingled with and entertained fans with stories from his cycling days and his thoughts on cycling today. The session included the Men's Scratch, Men's 1000m Time Trial, Men's 4km Individual Pursuit Finals, the second and final rounds of the Men's Keirin, Women's 20km Points Race, the quarter, semi and final rounds of the Women's Sprint.

Alex Rasmussen (Denmark) took a surprise win the Men's Scratch, taking a lap on the rest of the field to steal the win. Theo Bos (Netherlands) was a clear winner in the Kilo with a time of 1.01.768 (58.283km/h), beating Jason Queally (Great Britain, 1.03.018) and Ben Kersten (Australia, 1.03.296) by almost one and a half seconds. In the Men's 4km Individual Pursuit Finals, Robert Bartko (Germany) was far superior to Mikhail Ignatiev (Russia) in the gold medal match, finishing almost five seconds ahead. Teun Mulder (Netherlands) impressively beat a class field that included Arnaud Tournant (France) and Olympic champion Ryan Bayley (Australia) to take the Men's Keirin. Erin Mirabella notched up USA's first win of the LA World Cup by taking the Women's 20km Points Race over Alexis Rhodes (Australia) and Adrie Visser (Netherlands). And Natallia Tsylinskaya (Bielorussia) took gold in the Women's Sprint after a convincing 2-0 victory over Tamilia Abassova (Russia), with Elisa Frisoni (Italy) beating Anna Meares (Australia) 2-1 in a closely-fought bronze medal final.

Click here for full results, reports & photos from Day 1.

US Cross Nationals kick off in Portland, Oregon

By Rob Karman in Portland, Oregon, USA

Collegiate champion Melodie Metzger
Photo ©: Rob Karman
Click for larger image

Meanwhile, not too far away, cloudy skies, mud and leaves were the main ingredients on the menu for Day 1 of the 2004 US Cyclo-Cross National Championships in Portland, Oregon. The expected rain was held at bay for the most part with only a few showers coming down during the final race and the awards ceremony. While ideal for spectators, the lack of additional moisture made the muddy course much stickier and with the combination of leaves on the ground, many riders' bikes were clogging and would not roll due to the leaf/mud adobe bricks forming around each bikes' brakes. This made for a definite advantage for riders with more than one bike and a friend or two in the pits to clean them between laps.

In the Collegiate championship, Melodie Metzger (UC Berkeley) emerged at the front and held her lead to the line despite a broken rear derailleur on the final lap that allowed second-placed rider Betsy Schauer to almost close the gap. At 27, Metzger obviously did not qualify to claim the U23 title as well, but will be competing in the Elite Women's race on Sunday in the Velo Bella colors. Third-placed collegiate rider Rebecca Much (Alan Factory) took the U23 title to add to the Junior National titles she already holds on the road. Several Masters' categories were also contested on the opening day in search of the coveted stars and stripes jerseys, with action continuing tomorrow with junior and masters racing, as well as the Collegiate and U23 men's events.

Click here for full results, reports & photos from Day 1.

Bjarne's boot camp

Team CSC trains military-style

Making headlines
Photo ©: Team CSC
Click for larger image

"I have never experienced anything like it," said new CSC directeur-sportif Scott Sunderland with a painful grin on his face, soon after returning from an unorthodox, 48-hour survival test in the Danish countryside.

"We didn't have any clue of time nor place," Sunderland explained. "We didn't know where they took us and we had to hand over our mobile and watch. They split us up in groups of 13 people and we were on the go for 48 hours. We got the whole military kit, huge backpack and all. Over the last two days, we didn't get to sleep much more than a couple of hours. Under the open sky and on an island; and that wind cuts through you; it was horrible, really. Our feet are all blistered and we were absolutely knackered after the two day ordeal."

That's how it goes when 'General' Bjarne Riis assembled his troops for the first of Team CSC's training camps to mark the start of a new team and new year (well, almost). But it wasn't the first time the CSC manager got riders and personnel from the world's second ranked cycling team together for a session of outdoor team building. Earlier this week, a group of over 50 people was transferred to a military base in the woods of Viborg, a place in Jutland, in the far north of Denmark, for a five-day extravaganza of similar proportions.

As on previous occasions, team advisor B.S. Christiansen was the man behind the team building camp. With his 28 years in the Danish Commando Unit, Christiansen is one of the most highly-trained elite soldiers in NATO, and has experienced all kinds of military training methods, including a Ranger school in the United States, and has also taken part in numerous national and international training exercises and operations.

"It's all about teaching people, that they can achieve their goals by cooperating. They have to perform their very best under the worst possible circumstances, where every action has a consequence," Christiansen explained.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Nuttli to break hour record?

Swiss Jean Nuttli will make another attempt at the track hour record on Tuesday, December 14. After failing to break the world's best performance to date by Chris Boardman in November 2002, the Team Volksbank rider will have another go at it on the 250 m long track in Vienna's Dusika stadium. The 30 year-old is confident he can beat Boardman's 49,441 km-mark established in October 2000, as his directeur sportif Thomas Kofler told German, "Jean is perfectly prepared and very optimistic." Nuttli must ride about 200 laps to beat the record.

Sixes continue in Bremen

The 41st edition of the Bremen Six Day in Northern Germany will take place from January 13-18, 2005. The organisers have now announced its lineup of 12 teams that will circle the 166 m-long track in search for final victory.

Favourites will be the Swiss pair Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart, closely chased by German Robert Bartko and Australian Scott McGrory. Dutch team Robert Slippens and Danny Stam, as well as Andreas Kappes and his Partner Matthew Gilmore will also be contenders.

The line-up also includes: Juan Curuchet/Walter Perez (Argentinia), Franco Marvulli/Alexander Aeschbach (Switzerland), Marco Villa/Iljo Keisse (Italy/Belgium), Jimmi Madsen/Andreas Beikirch (Denmark/Germany), Gerd Dörich/Frank Kowatschitsch (Germany), Franz Stocher/Christian Grasmann (Austria/Germany), Leif Lampater/Guido Fulst (Germany), Lars Teutenberg/Christian Lademann (Germany).

Chinese rider joins Belgian team Jartazi

Stefan Wijnands
Photo ©: Olivier Onderbeke
Click for larger image

A young Chinese rider will join the new Belgian Continental team Jartazi for next season. Wong Yihn Yahn is 25 years old and was recommended to the squad's manager Jef Braeckeveldt by the UCI. Braeckeveldt, who used to be the manager of team Chocolade Jacques, combined his efforts with Paris-Roubaix winner Andrei Tchmil to create a new Continental team sponsored by the Belgian sports wear firm Jartazi, who financed a Div III team this season.

Some Chocolade Jacques riders such as Michael Blanchy, Igor Abakoumov and French cyclo-cross champion John Gadret are confirmed within the team for 2005, as well as Stefan Wijnands, 23, who finished third at the Belgian time trial championships in 2003. The full roster is not known yet.

ComNet-Senges sign two more

German-registered squad Team ComNet-Senges have signed another two riders for 2005 to tackle the UCI Continental circuit: 23 year-old Swede Petter Renäng, and a member of the gold medal-winning Teams Pursuit squad from Athens, 27 year-old Australian Stephen Wooldridge.

New era for Cycling In Ireland

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent/Evening Herald/Sunday Independent

What the respective governments in Ireland and England were close to achieving this week with reference to a power-sharing agreement between the two main parties in Northern Ireland has been copperfastened between the organisations. Unfortunately, it did not work out to the benefit of the political on this occasion, but at least cycling has shown a lead.

The future for cycling in Ireland looks brighter following a new agreement between Cycling Ireland and the Northern Ireland Cycling Federation. This agreement will allow for all cyclists resident on the island of Ireland to take part in Championships and will pave the way for all cyclists for selection on international representative teams. Since 1978 there was an arrangement whereby all members of different cycling organisations in Ireland could compete in each organisations events, but changes in International rules meant that only one organisation could be the recognised international body. This meant that British Cycling was obliged to change its constitution to allow Cycling Ireland to assume that role for Ireland notwithstanding the fact that the Northern Ireland Cycling Federation is affiliated to British Cycling. British Cycling's National Council unanimously approved the change on Saturday and this paves the way for all cyclists in both the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland to contest all Ireland championships and participate on representative teams.

Both Cycling Ireland and Northern Ireland Cycling Federation representatives welcomed the decision and are hopeful that new programs for young cyclists in Northern Ireland can be activated to give every prospective participant from leisure cyclist through to Olympian a chance to achieve their ambition. They acknowledged the ongoing support of the Sports Council for Northern Ireland in providing funding for cycling and hoped that despite press reports that their budget is to be cut by 25%, that this new agreement will allow greater resources to be made available to allow all cyclists in Northern Ireland to fulfil their potential.

The two organisations 'on the ground' in Northern Ireland, the NICF and Cycling Ulster, acknowledged their closer links in recent times, with joint events calendars, race series and coaching ventures. An NICF spokesman commented, "The recent agreements concerning British Cycling, Cycling Ireland and the NICF represents months of hard work by all parties, and finally brings about a resolution whereby the world governing body, the UCI, recognises the NICF and its affiliation to British Cycling. We now look forward to a new era in Cycling, and hope a joint approach from both ourselves and Cycling Ulster to the Sports Council for NI will bring about major dividends putting cycling at the forefront of their agenda as a healthy pastime accessible to all in the province."

Spokesman for Cycling Ulster, the regional federation of C.I., which has almost 1,200 members in the province, Tommy Lamb, agreed that the new arrangement heralded a new era for Irish cycling. He said: "The new resolution reaffirms Cycling Ulster’s position as the governing body for cycling in Northern Ireland but at the same time recognises the rights of those cyclists who wish to be members of British Cycling to affiliate through the N.I.C.F. No one has to compromise his or her own political or cultural identity. I am particularly excited that the All Ireland Championships will be open to all UCI members on the island of Ireland and that the two federations in the North will continue to build links and cooperate to the mutual benefit of all."

Wind Del Park Velodrome needs resurfacing

Located 30 km south of Paris in Windham, Centre Ontario, the Wind Del Park cycling velodrome is the only one of its kind in Ontario. The track was constructed almost 30 years ago and has been the training location for many of Canada's top racing cyclists as well as host to numerous Ontario Cycling Association events.

Although the track base is in good condition, the asphalt needs to be resurfaced. This project is estimated to cost up to $100,000.00. Because of this, high-speed cycling events must be held outside the province, hours away, and costing thousands more to host an event.

The Ontario Cycling Association and the Human Powered Transportation Association are partnering with other cycling groups in the province to raise funds to resurface the track.

Tax-deductible donations (cheques or money orders) can be made out to the "Sport Is Development Fund" and mailed to the OCA office. Credit cards will also be accepted: call the OCA at 416.426.7416. Tax Receipts will be mailed out within two to three weeks. Registered Charitable number: BN 88938 6868 RR0001.

For sponsorship or partnership opportunities, please contact Joe Mitrovic:

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