First Edition Cycling News for November 12, 2004
Edited by Hedwig Kröner & Jeff Jones
Gerolsteiner boss says "no new facts" in Rebellin case
Gerolsteiner team manager Hans-Michael Holczer is of the opinion that his top rider Davide Rebellin will not be convicted of sporting fraud and other charges in the trial that has just started in Padova, Italy. Rebellin was one of 20 riders charged with doping-related offences as a result of video surveillance and phone tapping evidence taken in 2001. However, Rebellin was already cleared of the charges on sporting grounds in 2003.
"There are no new facts," said Holczer to DPA. "Because the same reasons that led to his acquittal from a sporting process in April 2003 are now being heard in the Padova civil court. Holczer believes that nothing will come of the trial for at least two to three years, but in the case of a conviction, he will have no choice but to sack Rebellin.
An interview with Marc Gullickson
For the love of 'cross and all things new
With his 15-year career ending at the U.S. cyclocross nationals this year, Steve Medcroft wanted to catch up with Marc "Gully" Gullickson, to get a perspective on the sport from the cyclist who has seen it all and learn where a life in cycling will take him in the future.
U.S. cyclocross is experiencing a renaissance. The formerly fringe sport is becoming a mainstream part of our cycling culture. The top of the field is growing thick with talent. Crossover racers from mountain biking and road racing are challenging the elite core of perennial cyclo-crossers. Bike manufacturers are spending money on sponsorship and promotion at higher levels than since the heyday of Supercup racing in the late nineties. The old venues are maturing, new venues are being introduced, and race promoters are finding ways to work together to build the opportunities for racers and sponsors alike.
The fact that so many people are falling in love with cyclocross in America is no surprise to long-time 'crosser Marc "Gully" Gullickson. Racing 'cross for more than a decade, Gullickson has earned every major accomplishment in the domestic version of the sport and has been around to see the ebb and flow of 'cross's popularity.
Cyclingnews: We should start by digging through your background a little. You're a veteran. We've seen you on results lists for a long time. How did you get involved in cycling?
Marc Gullickson: I was originally interested in Nordic and cross-country skiing. Throughout high school and for two years in college, it was the sport I excelled in and wanted to keep doing. But at some point during college I was introduced to cycling through my older brother Noah. I started to race on the road to keep my fitness for cross-country skiing and managed to do quite well. It was good for me. I could stay healthier in the summer and even though skiing was my passion, I liked the newness of cycling. I ended up spending a lot of time racing on the road and ultimately wound up in Europe in 1991 for a summer with Marty Jemison (who ended up on the U.S. Postal team).
Munich Six Day starts
But no Vandenbroucke
International Six Day stars will circle around the track again tonight for the 41st edition of the Munich Six Days. Apart from the Madison competition and the Derny races, the Sprint riders include Jens Fiedler, Chris Hoy, Arnaud Tournant, René Wolff and Stefan Nimke. Injured World Champion Theo Bos will be replaced by Barry Forde from Barbados, Keirin bronze medallist at the Stuttgart World Championships.
There will be a 15 pair lineup for the Madison competition in Munich, but no Frank Vandenbroucke. The Belgian, who was to be paired with Jimmi Madsen, phoned Six Day promoter Patrick Sercu before the start to tell him the news, without giving him a specific reason. But VDB's MrBookmaker-Palmans boss Hilaire Van der Schueren told Belgian TV that due to "private problems" he is no longer in good physical condition. "We thought it more advisable to skip Munich," he said.
Vandenbroucke's start in the Six Days of Ghent is also uncertain. His place in Munich has been taken by Wouter van Mechelen (Bel).
1 Bruno Risi/Kurt Betschart (Swi)
Australian Open road title moves to new venue
By Gerard Knapp
Arguably it's the first serious road race of the 2005 UCI race calendar, and although it's held in early January, the Australian riders who line up for the national road race are all vying to wear the green-and-gold national champion's jersey throughout the pro season. Such is the passion and pride for this jersey, the Australian Open Road Championship has become the country's top one-day road race as it features almost all of the riders who are normally based in Europe for the pro road season.
In 2005, the 'Open' moves to Adelaide, South Australia, and will be held on a challenging new course at Echunga, some 20 minutes from the South Australian capital. The town has been a part of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under since its inception and with up to 20 Australian professional riders likely to be in South Australia for the JCTDU, it's expected the field for the ‘Open' will be one of the strongest ever.
Lining up will be riders of the caliber of reigning Olympic road race gold medallist Sara Carrigan, 2004 World Cup winner Oenone Wood, the 2004 Tour de France green jersey winner Robbie McEwen, Athens 2004 gold medallists Stuart O'Grady, Brad McGee, Brett Lancaster, Luke Roberts and Graeme Brown, while the 2003/04 world time trial champion, Mick Rogers, may also be racing.
The women's road race will be held over 104km, while the men's is over 180km. Both races will start at 10am on a summer's day in the South Australian country, where temperatures regularly exceed 40 degrees Celsius during the middle of the day. Such is the concern of the heat being a factor that the organizers moved the start back from 11am to 10am, with a suggestion of starting at 9am being quashed by head cycling coach Shayne Bannan (who must have feared a 'soft' winner.)
Next year, the course features a challenging 9 percent climb only 500 metres after the start-finish line, and while this may not be too popular with the riders, it's expected to be popular with the spectators, who can follow the action on the climb - which is well-shaded - and then take a five-minute walk back to the center of Echunga for the sprint finishes.
"Most of the spectators like to perch themselves on the climbs so they can watch the field during an important part of the race. Then on the last lap, it's an easy walk back to town so they can watch the sprint," said race director Mike Turtur, who's also in charge of the JCTDU in the following week.. "We'll be using the arch and the barriers, making it look like a European-style national championship, which is what these riders deserve," he said.
Turtur believes he has produced a selective, rolling course for the road race that is certain to test the legs of the field. The course for the time trial, meanwhile, is "dead flat" and likely to favour the power riders. For the past three years, the 'Open' had been held in the Victorian town of Ballarat and last year's crowd for the men's road race surprised many, with Australian cycling fans clearly expecting high quality racing as some of the world's leading cyclists, such as Robbie McEwen, Brad McGee, Stuart O'Grady, Allan Davis and Mick Rogers among many others went hard at each other to win the jersey.
In 2005, Turtur is expecting nothing less from what will be a quality field of Tour de France jersey winners, world champions and Olympic gold medallists.
See the official site www.tourdownunder.com.au/aorc for further details.
Track hour record attempt postponed
Dutchman Matthé Pronk's attempt to break the track hour record in Alkmaar, Netherlands has been postponed to Thursday, November 18 because of the death of Gerrie Knetemann. Pronk, as well as Joop Zijlaard will have a go at the Belgian's Theo Verschueren world record of 1970, when he rode 64,546 km in only one hour. Also scheduled for November 18 is the Derny hour record attempt of Pronk's younger brother Jos.
BeNeLux Tour has a name
The 2005 BeNeLux Tour, part of the UCI's Pro Tour calendar, has been given an official name: Eneco Tour, after its main sponsor Eneco Energie [The Ronde van Nederland was called this for a couple of years - ed.]. The stage race will start on August 3 in Belgium and finish one week later with an individual time trial in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. Race organiser Ed Nijpels has announced that the exact itinerary will be negotiated in the coming weeks.
Konecny fractures leg
The 30 year old Czech T-Mobile rider Tomas Konecny has suffered a leg fracture while playing ice hockey in his home town on Tuesday and has had to undergo surgery. T-Mobile spokesman Olaf Ludwig expects the rider's training break to last for four weeks. Konecny stated on the team's website,"The break means a setback in preparing for the coming season. Once I return to training, I will have to work twice as hard to make up for lost time." Tomas Konecny has won the mountains jersey at this year's Tour of Austria.
German cyclist Jens Heppner has decided to continue as a professional cyclist. Heppner, who turns 40 in December, spent the last two years of his career with the small German team Wiesenhof, having ridden for Team Telekom since 1992. Wiesenhof will become a Continental team next year, and Heppner will form part of the team roster, as will sprinter Steffen Radochla.
German road champion in 1994, Heppner has always been a strong workhorse of a rider, and when given a chance he was capable of taking victories. He won a stage of the Dauphine Libéré in 1997, a stage of the Tour de France in 1998, the overall classification of the Deutschland-Tour in 1999 and spent 10 days in the pink jersey during the Giro d'Italia in 2002.
Nácor Burgos extends with Relax
Spanish rider Nácor Burgos has extended his contract with the Relax-Bodysol team for another season. He will join Oscar Laguna, Luis Pasamontes, Angel Vallejo Domínguez, J. Mario Almagro, Xavier Florencio, Josep Jufré, Julio López, Luis Pérez, Iban Mayoz, Moisés Dueñas and Dani Moreno as members of the squad in 2005.
Seguros Bilbao sponsors new team
The Seguros Bilbao company will sponsor a Basque elite/U23 team for the next three years, according to Diario Vasco. The team will be directed by Xabier Artetxe, who has already had experience with the Olarra and Orbea teams. The squad will be on Giant bikes with Etxe-Ondo clothing.
Lombardia stays with Mendrisio and Como
The Giro di Lombardia, the final classic of the season, has confirmed that Mendrisio (Swi) and Como will serve as the start and finish towns for the race for the next two seasons. 2006 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Giro di Lombardia.
2005 Pro Cycling Tour dates announced
Threshold Sports, LLC, producers of the Pro Cycling Tour in the U.S. has released the official dates for the first of its 2005 race calendar. These events and dates are:
Wachovia Cycling Series-Lancaster: May 31
The Wachovia Cycling Series and the San Francisco Grand Prix have been upgraded on the UCI Continental Calendar. The men's events in San Francisco and Philadelphia have been given the highest possible classification (Hors Category). The Wachovia Liberty Classic (Women's) is now a 1.1.
Wisconsin Cyclocross Championships on November 14
The 2004 Wisconsin State Cyclocross Cycling Championships will be held at Angel Park Speedway, in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, U.S. on Sunday November 14. The race is the 7th event in an 8 race series organised by the Wisconsin Cycling Association.
The race course will incorporate most of the Angell Park Speedway grounds, each lap including one lap around the 1/3 mile racetrack, pavement, grass, a long run-up, off-camber terrain and artificial barrier sections. Top Cyclocross racers from around the Midwest are expected, but only Wisconsin racers can earn the Wisconsin State Champion Titles in each category.
The "C" races offer anyone a chance to give Cyclocross a try. For more details, go to the Cyclocross page of the Wisconsin Cycling Association's website at: www.wicycling.org/crossSchedule.htm.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)