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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for December 14, 2004

Edited by John Stevenson

ProTour teams agree ethical charter

The 19 teams that will make up next year's UCI ProTour, agreed on an ethical charter for the series on Monday, according to the pro cycling teams' body the AIGCP (Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionnels). The charter will be submitted to the UCI today after which it will be signed off by the teams.

Key measures in the charter, which is a major tool in the teams' and the UCI's fight against doping in cycling, include the suspension of a rider as soon as a positive test is announced; dismissal of riders confirmed positive and a four-year ban on the hiring by another ProTour team of any rider who tests positive.

However, a proposal that teams themselves should be sanctioned if their riders test positive, was abandoned.

The ProTour teams also suggested that Continental pro teams - the next level down in the UCI's new structure - should see themselves as operating under the same code when invited to take part in a ProTour race.

Boogerd and Dekker make peace

A season-long feud between Rabobank stars Michael Boogerd and Erik Dekker came to an end last week when the two met to try and resolve their differences, accord to Dutch newspaper Volksrant.

The trouble began at Liege-Bastogne-Liege back in April, when Dekker claims Boogerd attacked as Dekker attempted to join the lead group of three. Dekker's biography subsequently accused Boogerd of being selfish and receiving favourable treatment from team management.

"It made me out to be antisocial," said Boogerd. "I came off quite badly and that hurt."

In an attempt to clear the air, Boogerd requested a meeting with Dekker. "I went cheerfully," said Dekker. "We had to do something, as we couldn't go on like this."

Boogerd said he had considered leaving Rabobank but first wanted to see if things could be resolved with Dekker.

After their meeting, Dekker said his comments about Boogerd had been misinterpreted. "I had not expected he would take it so hard. Fortunately we can now start again and I mean that in a positive way."

Olympic gold medalists in soft return to racing

Two of the world's top female sprinters, Anna Meares and Lori-Ann Muenzer, made their return to top-level international competition at the Los Angeles World Cup over the weekend, but neither repeated their Athens victories, preferring to start their build-up gently for the 2005 world championships in Los Angeles, March 27-27.

Anna Meares (Australia)
Photo ©: Mike Gladu
Click for larger image

Australia's Anna Meares, Athens gold medalist in the 500m time trial and bronze medalist in the sprint, said her second place in the keirin behind Britain's Victoria Pendleton, "wasn't too bad especially considering I'm not fit and I struggled a bit with my form."

On the advice of coach Martin Barras, Meares used the Los Angeles round as an opportunity to try new things. "I played a bit in the sprint (placed 4th) and the keirin and tried out new tactics."

Barras meantime said he was happy with the way the team performed in Los Angeles. "It was a better result than expected considering we had to resume training and competition so soon after the Olympics," he said. "The post Olympics let down has been a lot to deal with for the athletes.

"All in all we've been reasonably competitive off very limited preparation and less emphasis on this round," he said. "We left a lot of energy on the track in Athens and it was important to let everyone have a break."

Barras believes some countries may regret bringing their cyclists back to top form so soon after Athens. "A lot of countries have made the mistake of getting right back into it and I think they will pay for it in the long term," Barras said.

Lori-Ann Muenzer (Canada)
Photo ©: Mike Gladu
Click for larger image

That's a mistake Canada's Olympic sprint gold medalist Lori-Ann Muenzer is also intending to avoid. With a seventh in the sprint and fifth in the 500m time trial, Muenzer had a fairly low-key world cup. But that's what she was expecting.

"You want to start where you left off but is that realistic?" Muenzer told the Canadian Press. "I want to go out and win every time but my major goal is to win in March."

Muenzer, who was Canada's sole track cyclist at Athens, hasn't had any sort of holiday since winning gold, instead throwing herself into an intense schedule of appearance to capitalise on the publicity an Olympic medal brings.

"I do feel fresh," Muenzer said. "There's just a hell of a lot more distractions than normal. This year is going to be intense. My objective is to win the worlds."

To that end, Muenzer will ride world cup events that help build toward the world's.

The world's is also a target for Meares, who intends to defend her 500m time trial title in March, though she did not race this weekend because as reigning champion she does not need to qualify for the next world's. But the world cup was a good opportunity to check out the new ADT Event Center velodrome.

"Actually it was really good to see the track because it's quite different from what I'm used to," explained Meares. "It has much longer straights and short bends so it was good to get a run on such an important track."

Meares and Barras have also re-evaluated her training program after what was a stunning year of success for the young Queenslander.

"Last year was such a big year that was somewhat unplanned so we're going back to what we would have done last year if I hadn't performed so well," Meares said. "That means back to a learning and planning phase to put me a level up on what I was in Athens."

And that also meant skipping the 500m. "We decided I should get more practice at the events I'm not so good at," said Meares.

Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Los Angeles track work cup is here.

Malaysian return for Irish team

By Shane Stokes

February's strong showing by Irish riders in the Tour de Langkawi has earned the national team another invite to the race, with seven competitors to travel to Malaysia for the January 28th start.

A provisional panel of eight riders has been compiled, from which the final line-up will be drawn. This octet includes the 2004 participants David McCann and Paul Griffin, along with Tommy Evans, Stephen Gallagher, Paídi O'Brien, Tim Cassidy, Sean Lacey and Paul Healion. The final composition of the team will be determined closer to the date.

Despite their underdog status, the Team Ireland riders fared well last February. McCann and Philip Deignan finished fourteenth and sixteenth overall, while the team posted several high finishes on stages. Equally importantly, they showed little hesitation in scrapping it out against some of the world's top pro teams, impressing the race organisers with their aggression.

The 2005 race will begin on the island of Langkawi with a 106.9 kilometre stage. Stage finishes are in Langkawi, Kepala Batas, Tana Merah, Bahok, Kuala Terengganu, Cukai, Raub, Genting Highlands, Putrajava and the Malyasian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Two of these are summit finishes; Tana Merah and Genting.

Next year's race has benefited from the UCI's restructuring of the racing calendar, moving up to a ranking of 2.HC. This is just one step below the ProTour level and will provide ample opportunity for participating riders to gather ranking points. It will also enable them to get in some important racing mileage before the start of the European season.

Tour de Langkawi, January 28-February 6, 2005 - Race Route

Stage 1 - January 28: Langkawi - Langkawi, 106.9 km
Stage 2 - January 29: Kangar - Kepala Batas, 171.5 km
Stage 3 - January 30: Gerik - Tanah Merah, 172.9 km
Stage 4 - January 31: Bachok - Bahok time trial, 20 km
Stage 5 - February 1: Kota Bahru - Kuala Terengganu, 164 km
Stage 6 - February 2: Kuala Berang - Cukai, 152 km
Stage 7 - February 3: Maran - Raub, 166.8 km
Stage 8 - February 4: Kuala Kuba Bahru - Genting, 97 km
Stage 9 - February 5: KL Tower - Putrajava, 165 km
Stage 10 - February 6: Kuala Lumpur - Kuala Lumpur (Criterium), 65 km

Dahle voted Norway's cyclist of the year

Readers of Norway's Syklingens Verden have voted world and Olympic mountain bike champion Gunn-Rita Dahle as the Norwegian cyclist of the year. Dahle, who also won the world cup cross-country MTB series this year, beat Credit Agricole sprinter Thor Hushovd in the poll.

The results, from 679 votes, were:

1 Gunn Rita Dahle          39.9% (271 votes)
2 Thor Hushovd             34.2% (232 votes)
3 Kurt Asle Arvesen        24.4% (166 votes)
4 Anita Valen               1.5% (10 votes) 

Orbea team fills roster

New Spanish Continental team Orbea has completed its roster of 14 riders for 2005, under directeur sportif Jon Odriozola.

The team will comprise two existing pro riders and 12 neo-pros, making this very much a development team effort on the part of the Basque bike make, which also supplies equipment to the Euskaltel-Euskadi ProTour team.

Gorka Arrizabalaga joins the team from Euskaltel-Euskadi, and Gustavo Domínguez comes over from the Relax squad. The 12 neo-pros are Gorka Amuriza, Rubén Pérez, Alan Pérez, Julen Zubreo, Vidal Celis, Beñat Albizuri, Iker Mezo, Joseba Zumeta, Xabat Otxotorena, Jesús Del Nero, Dalios Díaz, and Aarón Villegas.

As a Continental team, Orbea will be eligible to take part in amateur and professional races except for the ProTour events.

Cunego on line

Italian cycling's newest star Damiano Cunego now has his own spot on the web. features a biography, forums, photos, a fan club area - and a sequence of Cunego's identity card photos since 1992, which is not the usual thing you find on a pro rider's site.

There's no English content, but Italian-speakers will find plenty of interest here.

Fiftieth anniversary winner to guest at Latrobe Carnival

By Rod Morris

Fifty years after he won the 1954 Latrobe wheelrace, Bevan Robinson will make a nostalgic return to Tasmania this month. Robinson (70) arrives in Tasmania today and will appear at the Latrobe Boxing Day Carnival.

Robinson won the 1954 Latrobe Wheel off a liberal mark of 195 yards ahead of Tasmanian pair Len Jamieson (110 yards) and Ralph Bishop (180) and New South Welshman Bruce Clarke (190).

Now living in San Francisco with his American-born wife, Robinson was no slouch on the bike, although the Latrobe Wheel was his first big win. After Latrobe, Robinson ventured to Europe where he rode for some time, basing himself in England where he joined up with former World Sprint champion Reg Harris.

He later moved to Canada before returning to Tasmania for four years where he worked as an electrician with then Devonport firm Walton P. Hill.

It was there that Robinson forged a lifelong friendship with Devonport identity Jim Ryan, who will host his former workmate for his Christmas Tasmanian holiday.

Originally from Sprent, Robinson's brothers Ross and Don played NWFU football with Latrobe and Burnie respectively. Robinson however chose cycling as his sport and in 1953 finished third behind the great Sid Patterson and Clem Bairstow in the Latrobe Wheel.

When he returned to Tasmania in the early 1960s, Robinson won several Tasmanian wheelraces including Exeter, Ulverstone and Wynyard at carnivals which are now all defunct and in 1961 surprised a large group of scratchmen to win the Mersey Wheel at the Devonport track. "I wasn't in the joke with the backmarkers, so as a one-out cleaned up all the prizemoney," Robinson said.

Memories of Latrobe 1954 are still fresh with Robinson, as he can recall the Latrobe Federal Band playing throughout the day and being presented with his winner's sash by the then Miss Tasmania Marie Cowan.

Robinson can also recall meeting Steve Barker, who had won the 1908 Latrobe Wheel.

"Steve said it was almost 50 years since he had won the Latrobe Wheel and I then vowed to return to make the same celebration," Robinson said.

Two years after winning at Latrobe, Robinson also rode a credible third behind Don Meharg of New South Wales in the 1956 Austral Wheel. Now retired, Robinson still takes a keen interest in all things cycling.

When he arrives in Tasmania, Robinson will be joined by his wife, three adult children, their spouses and grandchildren.

For more information on the Tasmanian Carnivals see:

Crawford to DFL

Australian former cross-country mountain bike race Jai Crawford will make his pro debut on the road in 2005 with the British UCI Continental team DFL (Driving Force Logistics).

Redwood banned for two years

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has announced that downhill mountain bike racer Chelsea Redwood of Big Bear Lake, California, has accepted a sanction for inadvertently committing a doping violating involving the prohibited substance phentermine.

Redwood, 34, tested positive for phentermine at the U.S. Mountain Bike National Championships on September 26, 2004 in Mammoth Mountain, California. Although she disclosed the use of phentermine for weight loss at the time of the test, Redwood was unaware it is a prohibited stimulant under Union Cycliste International (UCI) rules.

Redwood was banned for two years from September 26, 2004.

Van Dessel wants riders

Van Dessel Cycles is looking for a few good riders for its 2005/2006 sponsorship program. With an expanding product range of high-end competition bikes Van Dessel is offering the opportunity to top elite/pro athletes and teams to represent their bikes in competition. Disciplines of interest include: road, XC mountain bike, time-trial/triathlon, cyclocross, and track.

For consideration please send bio and contact information to

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