Latest Cycling News for September 10, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones and Hedwig Kröner
Belda's honour attacked by Saiz
By Martin Hardie
Vicente Belda, directeur sportif of the longest running pro cycling team in history, Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme, not only has to cope with the exclusion of his team from the Pro Tour next season, but also with some sharp words from his most important Spanish counterpart, Manolo Saiz from the Liberty Seguros squad.
As the news of Kelme not being one of the selected Pro Tour teams came out, Kelme's leading rider Alejandro Valverde, whose contract sum is said to be around €2 million, apparently spoke to Saiz at the hotel in Castellón where the two teams were staying. Belda noticed this and, according to some sources, suspected a link between Kelme's exclusion and Saiz's ongoing desire to bring Valverde to Liberty.
Manolo Saiz commented that, "In life there has to be honour. He (Belda) is accustomed to lying, in relation to sport and personally too. Everybody knows that he (Valverde) hasn't signed with us, but of course I am interested. Who isn't at the moment? I am interested in Valverde and many other riders. I hope that I will sign him. As Liberty Seguros' sports director, I believe it is my obligation to try."
Belda, in return, stated that the Pro Tour "will be the death of cycling". While recognising his team's ongoing difficulties, he feels that the UCI's selection process has favoured "bureaucracy over the 25 year history of this team."
Peña and Botero look forward to Phonak
Now that it is official that Víctor Hugo Peña (USPS) and Santiago Botero (T-Mobile) will ride the upcoming Pro Tour with the Swiss Phonak team, the two Colombian riders spoke about their career changes. At Phonak, Santiago Botero will reintegrate with a group of friends that he used to be with at Kelme (Sevilla, Gutiérrez and directeur sportif Álvaro Pino), while Peña will be with current and former teammates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton.
Botero said that his decision was taken "...on Monday, as they offered me the same salary as the one I ride for at T-Mobile. I opted for Phonak then." However, he holds no hard feelings against the German team. "I thank them for all they have done for me; which is a lot. It is a good team, and I made friends with some of them like Vinokourov, Guerini and Nardello."
Botero now has a one year contract with Phonak, "After that, we'll see from year to year. I'm happy to join my friends from Kelme at Phonak. It will be different team jerseys, but more organisation, more support and much more confidence."
Victor Peña also commented on his move. "I hope that my decision will pay off and that I'll ride well during the two years of my new contract. At US Postal, I'm leaving behind very good friends and a lot of recognition for my work."
Phonak's directeur sportif Álvaro Pino is very satisfied with the newest acquisitions for his team: "Víctor Hugo Peña has enormous physical capacities, he will be one of the strongest team pillars. We will have about 26 or 28 riders in the end for the Pro Tour. Of course, we also set ourselves special goals at the Tour de France or the Vuelta. And there are races like País Vasco or Cataluña, where we will always have a designated leader like Hamilton at the Tour. As for Peña and Botero, I need them for stage races like the Dauphiné Libéré or Paris-Nice, where they can opt for leadership since these races suit them well."
T-Mobile International preview
Armstrong: "coming to San Francisco to help his teammates."
By Tim Maloney-European Editor / San Francisco, CA.
The T-Mobile International, presented by BMC Software, will be headed by six-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong (USPS-Berry Floor), but Lance probably isn't out to win this year in the city by the bay. USPS Team spokesman Dan Osipow, the man who had the original idea to start the SFGP four years ago told Cyclingnews today "Lance's main objective for the season is the Tour de France and at this point, his fitness level isn't like it was in July. Sunday is give-back time to his teammates like George (Hincapie) and Eki (Viatcheslav Ekimov)... he's coming to San Francisco to help his teammates." Armstrong's powerful USPS-Berry Floor team features 2001 San Francisco GP Champion George Hincapie, and 2004 Olympic TT silver medallist Viatcheslav Ekimov, who was third last year in SF. Both of these riders must be considered favourites for the top spot on the podium in Sunday's race.
Recent reports say that 2004 Olympic TT Bronze medallist Bobby Julich (Team CSC) may not start on Sunday due to an ear infection, but another American rider to watch will certainly be highly motivated local resident Levi Leipheimer (Rabobank). Leipheimer, a strong climber, was 9th in this years Tour de France and a 2004 Olympian in Athens for Team USA, and will be cheered on from the sidelines by his wife Odessa and faithful dog-buddy Bandit. After being flicked from the US Olympic team, USPRO Champion Fred Rodriguez (Aqua Sapone-Cafe Mokambo) is going to be looking to show why he's riding in the Stars and Stripes jersey for the third time in his career.
Cooke to defend title
By Kristy Scrymgeour
Nicole Cooke (Safi Pasta Zara Manhattan) will arrive on US shores tomorrow in time to defend her title at the T-Mobile International presented by BMC software which takes place early on Sunday morning. Challenging her on the start line will be 22 teams that will make up 139 riders for the second annual womens race in San Francisco.
Despite not being able to race a full season this year due to injury, Cooke came back onto the scene in winning style to take out the overall classification at the Giro dItalia. Her recent form in the Holland Ladies Tour again proves she is ready to defend her title.
Cooke enjoyed the course last year, telling the crowd after the race that they were just amazing. It was very nice to ride in this atmosphere, she said. This course suited me perfectly and it was my plan to use the hills to my advantage.
Cyclingnews will be covering the T-Mobile international live on Sunday, September 12.
Wish you were here?
Carrigan tips Wood for World Cup victory
By John Stevenson
Olympic road race gold medalist Sara Carrigan visited the Cyclingnews offices Thursday to tell us about the social and media whirl she's been subjected to since her victory in Athens. Looking back on the race, Carrigan once again was full of praise for her teammates Oenone Wood and Olivia Gollan and for the powerful team effort they contributed to her victory.
We wondered, then, if Carrigan was disappointed she couldn't be in Nürnberg this weekend to help Wood defend her World Cup lead? "Absolutely. It was a very hard decision, a month or two ago, when I made the decision to come home after the Games. Oenone and I sat down together and talked about it, but it's not like I leave the team and we have a weak team. We have such a strong team. It's going to be disappointing for me not to be there...after being part of it all year."
Nevertheless, Carrigan is confident Wood will pull off the series win. "Oenone and the girls are going to do so well. I wish I could be there for when she wins the World Cup!"
Since returning to Australia from Athens, Carrigan has been catching up with friends and making lots of media appearances, including a makeover on TV show Mornings with Kerri-Ann. Australians love their sporting heroes and Carrigan has been on the receiving end of plenty of hard-earned adulation. "The support I've received from everyone, even people I don't know, has been great... [the attention] has been way beyond anything that I expected," she said.
Look out for the full interview with Sara Carrigan on Cyclingnews in the next few days.
72nd GP de Fourmies
The 72nd Grand Prix de Fourmies (UCI 1.1) will be held on September 12 in northeastern France between Lille and Charleville-Mézières. The race will be 202 km long and involve five intermediate sprints as well as six GPM's in this hillyish region. A provisional start list has been published by the race organisers as follows:
FdJeux - Baden Cooke, Brad McGee
Germans name provisional World's team
The German cycling federation (BDR) has announced its provisional list of riders that will take part in the upcoming World Championships in Verona and Bardolino, which run between September 28-October 3. In the road races, the Germans can field up to 12 men and six women, while it is allowed two starters in the men's and women's time trials. As expected, T-Mobile and Gerolsteiner riders dominate the men's selection, while the women's team is mostly riders from Nürnberger. Riders to note include Jan Ullrich, Danilo Hondo, Erik Zabel, Michael Rich, Petra Rossner and Judith Arndt.
Men's road race (12 starters)
Rolf Aldag (Münster - T-Mobile Team)
Men's time trial (2 starters)
Jan Ullrich (Scherzingen/Schweiz - T-Mobile Team)
Women's road race (6 starters)
Judith Arndt (Leipzig - Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung)
Women's time trial (2 starters)
Judith Arndt (Leipzig - Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung)
Hoex becomes Dutch fed director
55 year old Theo Hoex will take over from Huub Stammes as the director of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Wielren Unie (Dutch cycling federation), starting in the position on November 15. Hoex has worked as the Deputy Director of Sport in the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, and has also directed the Dutch Volleyball Federation.
More incentives for Pedal for Scotland
Pedal for Scotland, the charity bike ride for Barnardo's Scotland and Children 1st on September 19, has secured a number of incentives to help attract participants.The ride, which runs 50 miles from Glasgow to Edinburgh, will be joined by members of the Scottish National Cycling team, fresh from the Tour of Britain who will be able to give tips and encouragement to all the riders along the way.
There will also be a few special prizes awarded, with all entrants going into the draw. There is a Cycling Scotland racing jersey signed by Olympic Gold medallist Chris Hoy, and TheBicycleWorks.com in Edinburgh has provided a voucher for £150 which can be used in either their Cycle Repair Centre or their Triathlon Centre.
More information: www.pedalforscotland.org
Cateye and Cannibal join the Fantasy Game prize roster!
As mentioned earlier this week, even more prizes have been added to our 2004 Vuelta a Espana Fantasy Game, with prizes from leading cycle computer and lighting manufacturer, Cateye, plus the super-tough "Bullet Proof" bib-knicks from Australian cycling clothing company, Cannibal.
There is a range of prizes provided by Cateye, including one of the CC-CD300DW (double wireless cadence) cycle computers, plus two Mity 8 and two Astrale 8 computers (the latter model includes cadence).
The CD300DW offers both wireless speed and cadence data through proprietary digital transmission. CatEye's exclusive speed/cadence sensor sends both data through a single coded transmission, while the three-window screen, displaying four lines of data, is lit up by CatEye's white LED backlight. The computer is held in front of the handlebar with a new, fully-adjustable centre mount bracket. Remote buttons are available separately.
Cateye are also leaders in LED-based cycle lighting products (LED-based lights have super battery life), with two of the hot LED headlights also on the roster. The Compact Opticube Light weighs just 78 grams with batteries and is only 9.3cm in length. The three ultra bright white LEDs are magnified using Cateye's Opticube lens and reflector technology to put out over 90 candlepower. There are also two of the flashing red tail lights that come with a funky shock cord attachment so you can put them almost anywhere on your bike (or body).
From Cannibal, Australia's leading cycle clothing maker, we have four pairs of the Bullet Proof Bib & Brace cycling shorts, which have become Cannibal's number one cycling short.
Made from 270g/280g Tactel lycra which is breathable and wears extremely well, the shorts are designed for the serious cyclist and made to last. The seams are flat locked while the latest in pro pads are now available with the Cannibal logo sublimated on the pad itself. The pad is moulded with soft edges, no seams, less bulky areas and the pressure points have been taken into consideration. The bib (upper part of garment) is made of Tactel mesh and the Bullet Proof bib-shorts come in Black and Navy
These great products join the existing prizes in the Vuelta a Espana Fantasy Game, featuring the pick of Spain's cycling manufacturers.
Grand prize: Orbea frameset painted in Euskaltel-Euskadi team colours
Daily prizes: 21 pairs of Spiuk silver Nitro glasses, sponsored by DPM Sports
Who won the shoes?
Entries in the Tour de France 2004 competition to win Specialized's high-end road shoes have finally been sorted, winners contacted and shoes are on their way.
That means if you didn't receive an email from Cyclingnews already, it wasn't you - sorry. As a reminder, all you hade to do was guess whose feet were inside a pair of Specialized shoes and you could have won a pair of Pro Carbon 04 road shoes featuring Body Geometry design and super-stiff carbon fiber sole.
For those of you who entered our first competition, the rider in question was none other than the Italian sprinter, Mario Cipollini. The winner of the first set of shoes was Brian Barber of Newtown, Pennsylvania.
Brian told us that he is "trying to kick start my year, again. I have a father battling cancer and (he) moved into a new house during the New Year which has slowed my riding down greatly. But the cancer is in check and the house is finally together so it's time to ride, no races this year but hopefully some next year."
The winner of the second competition was Johnathan Twells of Edmonton, Canada, who correctly identified Filip Meirhaeghe. "Wow, I never win anything. This rocks!" Johnathan said. "My cycling, eh? Well I do it all. Almost. I race road, mountain, and cross. I'm a Cat3 roadie for now, but it looks like I'll be Cat2 for next year. I only need one more top ten finish and I'm out. I race senior expert in MTB, too sketchy in the technical to be Elite. It's a lot of racing for a guy with a job.
"The bad thing is the season is so short here. The early road races start in May for those who want to freeze on their bikes. And the cross races go until the first weekend of November, also for those who want to freeze. But thats what they make knee and arm warmers for, right?"
In the third competition, it was Giovanni Lombardi wearing the Specialized shoes and out of the hat came the name of Ramin Bledsoe from Tempe, Arizona. Ramin said, "I have been cycling since I was 15 (started to work in a bike shop) and it has become part of my life (I am now 35).
"I participate in races, promote a few, and officiate in a few every year through my club/team, Arizona State Cycling Team, a USCF, NORBA, and Collegiate group of riders. Even though I work full time as an architect and take a class or two at Arizona State University, I make riding a focus to maintain my sanity, as well as my health. Racing is good for this and I am looking forward to putting the shoes to good use."
Who guessed it was Christian Vandevelde in the fourth competition? Well, 16 year-old Chris Van Houtte from Auckland, New Zealand, was one and he was delighted to bag a new pair of shoes, given that his current shoes were so badly worn he had trouble finding the size on the soles.
"I have been cycling competitively for about two and a half seasons. I ride for Akarana CC and Auckland grammar School, the latter having a proud cycling history (and it also looking for a sponsor, by the way). This season had been pretty luckless up until now, so I'd like to thank Specialized and Cyclingnews.com for putting these awesome shoes up for grabs. I'm really stoked."
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