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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for August 10, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

Kroon to CSC

Frustrated Rabobanker Karsten Kroon has signed a contract with Team CSC for two years. Kroon has ridden for Rabobank for nine years, but said that he wanted a team where he has more freedom. "I've never said that I want to be leader," he said. "I only want to get chances. And Bjarne Riis has promised me that freedom."

Kroon's talents will most likely be used in the spring classics, where CSC is always looking to perform.

Schmitz says he's OK

Bram Schmitz (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: Elmar Krings
Click for larger image

Bram Schmitz (T-Mobile) caused a few ripples in the Eneco Tour when he pulled out of Sunday's fourth stage with "heart rhythm disturbances". The 28 year-old was suffering from cramp on the final climb of the stage, and he pulled out. "Back at the hotel everything pointed towards heart rhythm disturbance, so we took him that evening to hospital in Hasselt," said T-Mobile's team doctor Lothar Heinrich. Further tests confirmed the earlier suspicion. Schmitz was treated for the problem and was kept in hospital overnight for controls.

The condition was a "one off" according to Heinrich, and Schmitz is now out of hospital and expects to resume training today (Wednesday). "He will be carry on with his race programme as planned."

"There's nothing wrong with me," Schmitz was quoted by Algemeen Dagblad as saying. "I have done all sorts of tests and none have shown that there's anything wrong with my heart. I did a no end of work in the leadup to the Eneco Tour. After my crash in the Dutch Championships, I didn't do anything. Maybe I've forced myself too much and not looked after my diet enough. The doctor said also that a good night's sleep and good meal would do me good. That is apparent."

Schmitz hopes to race in next week's Deutschland Tour (Tour of Germany), and wants to make the Dutch team for the World Championships.

Stage 5 changed in Tour of Portugal

The route of the fifth stage of the Volta a Portugal (Tour of Portugal), that takes place on Wednesday, has had to be shortened. The stage, which starts at Termas Monfortinho and finishes at Gouveia, will be reduced by 26 km from the original distance of 184 km because of the fires in the Serra da Estrela region, through which the race was due to pass.

With the aim of preserving the Cat. 1 climb of Torre, the stage will approach the climb via Covilhã and come up through Penhas da Saúde. From the top of the climb, the route will be unchanged to the finish in Gouveia. Despite being shorter, the stage should be more selective with the additional climbing.

Popovych married

After his first Tour De France with the Discovery Channel pro cycling team, where he was Best Young Rider and finished an excellent 12th place overall, Yaroslav Popovych returned to his adopted home in Poggio a Caino, Italy, where he celebrated his nuptuals today.

25 year-old Popo and 20 year-old Cindy Maria Baroni were married in a civil ceremony on Tuesday in Italy. Popovych met his future wife three years ago in New Caledonia (Tahiti) while racing there in some late season track races. Baroni's father, himself an ex-cyclist, was Italian consul to New Caledonia at the time. Popo's friends, former amateur teammates Oscar Cavagnis and Matteo Morotti were on hand for the festivities, while Yaro and Cindy will now have their church wedding next December in his hometown of Dragobych, Ukraine.

Injured Tour de Toona rider staying positive

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

29 year-old Sarah Scott (Guy's Racing) of Philadelphia was involved in a serious crash while racing in the Martinsburg race of the women's category 4 points series of the 2005 Tour de Toona. The crash left her a paraplegic, paralysing her from the waist down.

Scott was in her first year of racing, having only started riding the previous fall. "I moved here the end of May 2004, the same weekend as the Wachovia race, and it caught me," Scott told Cyclingnews. "I bought my first road bike in October and the Philly Classic was my first race, I got dropped immediately, but I knew it going in. I was just learning everything."

Scott was racing in Altoona to gain more road racing experience when she crashed in a hard left turn onto Rt. 866 in the Martinsburg circuit race. Officials immediately notified the medical personnel on sight. "I remember going around the turn and the next thing I knew there was an EMT next to me," Scott said. "They really did a great job." Once the extent of the injuries were realized a helicopter was ordered and Scott was air-lifted to the nearest trauma center.

"Regarding the injury, the first thing I want everyone to know, is that my life was saved by my helmet - I am very grateful and happy to be alive. I am what is called a complete paraplegic now, meaning I have no feeling or movement from the waist down."

Scott is keeping a positive outlook towards her recovery and her continued involvement with cycling. "I want to stay a part of cycling as much as possible, I dearly love it no matter what. I've already learned about hand-cycling." Helping her through this time are her friends from the local cycling community. "My team is awesome. Today I got two bouquets! They are a wonderful bunch of guys. Cadence Cycling in Manayunk has been amazing too."

While medical costs will surely be extremely high, financial support structures are still being created. More information on this will be reported as soon as it is available. "[The doctors] say I will be here four to six weeks. But the key to rehab is to keep showing effort and to stay as long as you can."

Everyone at Cyclingnews extends their support to Sarah as she recovers and rehabilitates. "I feel like every day I make progress," Scott said. "I hope to be sitting in a wheelchair by the end of the week."

You can email Sarah with messages of support at

US Elite Track National's in LA

Roadies come to the track

The USA Elite National Track Championships will be held at the ADT Event Center velodrome at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, California, between August 10-13. With a 200-strong start list, the field size has greatly increased compared with the 78 participants in 2004.

"USA Cycling is extremely happy with the large turn out of riders for this year's national championships, said Pat McDonough, USA Cycling director of track programs. "There's no doubt that the lure of racing at our wonderful indoor facility here in California has helped the numbers. I also think the newly implemented velodrome qualification events created some excitement and buzz that has brought new riders onto the track and ultimately here to Los Angeles."

Seven of last year's U.S. Olympic team members will take part in the Championships, including Erin Mirabella (La Habra, Calif.), Colby Pearce (Boulder, Colo.), Giddeon Massie (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Christian Stahl (Bethany, Conn.) Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho), Christine Thorburn (Menlo Park, Calif.) and Jennie Reed (Kirkland, Wash.).

The presence of Armstrong and Thorburn, both of whom represented the USA on the road in Athens, is part of an initiative by USA Cycling to strengthen its track program as the first year of a new Olympic quadrennium comes to a close. More than a few riders have successfully made a transition from the road to the track, even if the reverse is far more common.

"The addition of some of our best road talent will make the endurance events exciting and who knows, we may have some surprises," said McDonough. "Track cycling is certainly tactical and it takes some time to understand the nuances, so I think the track veterans are still the favourites but the racing should be tough, aggressive and fun to watch.

In the endurance events, the women's individual pursuit will see Annette Hanson (Kenmore, Wash.) back to defend her title. But with the presence of Mirabella, Thorburn, Armstrong, Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.) and Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif.), Hanson will have a tough task ahead of her in one of the events that most closely demonstrates USA Cycling's road-to-track initiative.

In the men's endurance events, the TIAA-CREF squad, that features some of the brightest young stars and future hopes of American cycling, will be well represented. Five members of the squad, Will Frischkorn (Boulder, Colo.), Blake Caldwell (Boulder, Colo.), Chad Hartley (Golden, Colo.) Todd Yezefski (Chicago, Ill.) and Nathan Mitchell (Phoenix, Ariz.) will join Pearce, the elder and experienced mentor of the squad, in the men's endurance events. The same outfit will also field a team pursuit squad.

Three-time defending U.S. National Criterium Champion and current Pan American Road Champion Tina Pic (Dahlonega, Ga.) will be looking to apply her sprint talents from the road to the track. As another road convert, Pic is one of the top American sprinters on the domestic road circuit, and like her pro road counterparts, is also hoping to gain national-level experience on the track this week.

In addition to Olympians and prominent road riders, several young riders will be looking to make their mark on the elite ranks. Sprinters Michael Blatchford (Chula Vista, Calif.), Ryan Nelman (Houston, Texas), Aaron Kacala (Racine, Wis.) and Kevin Belz (Irving, Texas) will give some of the more experienced riders like Massie and Stahl a run for their money in the sprint-oriented events.

Riders like Josh Kerkof (Hurst, Texas), Mike Friedman (Oakland, Calif.), Charles Huff (Springfield, Mo.), Bobby Lea (Mertztown, Pa.) and Guillaume Nelessen (Bellemead, N.J.) will likely challenge some of the more accomplished riders like Pearce and two-time Olympian Jame Carney (Durango, Colo.) in the endurance-oriented events.

More information:

German long team named for World's

The German Cycling Federation (BDR) has announced a provisional men's team that will contest the World Championships in Madrid between September 21 and 25. The 25 member team includes all the usual suspects: Jan Ullrich, Erik Zabel, Robert Förster, Jens Voigt, and Michael Rich, along with new face Gerald Ciolek (Akud Arnolds Sicherheit), who also happens to be a very good sprinter and the reigning German champion. With a sprinters' course laid out in Madrid, Ciolek could well make the final cut.

The full team:

Rolf Aldag (Ahlen) T-Mobile
Markus Burghardt (Leipzig) T-Mobile
Gerald Ciolek (Pulheim) Akud Arnolds Sicherheit
Robert Förster (Markkleeberg) Gerolsteiner
Markus Fothen (Kaarst) Gerolsteiner
Linus Gerdemann (Münster) CSC
Heinrich Haussler (Cottbus) Gerolsteiner
Jörg Jaksche (Ansbach) Liberty Seguros
Matthias Kessler (Kreuzlingen/Swi) T-Mobile
Andreas Klier (Denderwindeke/Bel) T-Mobile
Christian Knees (Bonn) Wiesenhof
David Kopp (Bonn) Wiesenhof
André Korff (Forchheim) T-Mobile
Sebastian Lang (Erfurt) Gerolsteiner
Jörg Ludewig (Steinhagen) Domina Vacanze
Michael Rich (Ellmendingen) Gerolsteiner
Ronny Scholz (Herrenberg) Gerolsteiner
Stephan Schreck (Erfurt) T-Mobile
Patrik Sinkewitz (Künzell) Quick Step
Tobias Steinhauser (Scheidegg) T-Mobile
Jan Ullrich (Scherzingen/Swi) T-Mobile
Jens Voigt (Berlin) CSC
Fabian Wegmann (Freiburg) Gerolsteiner
Erik Zabel (Unna) T-Mobile
Thomas Ziegler (Erfurt) Gerolsteiner

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