Latest Cycling News for September 23, 2005
Edited by Les Clarke & Jeff Jones
McQuaid wins UCI presidential election
By Shane Stokes in Madrid
Irishman Pat McQuaid was this morning elected as the new president of the Union Cycliste Internationale, cycling's world governing body. McQuaid was the clear winner in the election held in Madrid, comfortably defeating Spanish candidate Gregorio Moreno. Two other candidates, Darsan Singh Gill of Malaysia and Dutchman Hein Verbruggen, outgoing president of the UCI, withdrew their candidature before the elections.
McQuaid had been regarded as the likely successor ever since the UCI management board agreed on his candidature two years ago at the world championships in Hamilton. However, his election was put under threat when former board member Sylvia Schenk accused the Irishman of receiving payment for his work with the UCI, contrary to the constitution of the governing body.
Both McQuaid and Verbruggen rejected the charges, saying that the money received was in the form of allowable expenses. A complaint by Schenk to the IOC ethics committee was dismissed earlier this week, clearing the way for McQuaid to go forward for election as planned.
Verbruggen will be happy with the outcome as he had publicly backed McQuaid for the position. The Dutchman had put his name forward in case McQuaid was prevented from running through a legal challenge.
Today's news is a major boost for McQuaid, who takes over at the helm of world cycling for the next four years. One of the biggest challenges facing him is dealing with the now-difficult relationship between the UCI and the organisers of the Tours of France, Italy and Spain, who have been in conflict with the governing body this year over the new ProTour series.
Cyclingnews coverage of the UCI elections
24 - Spain's perspective on UCI election result
ProTour changes and calendar for 2006
During the World Championships in Madrid, representatives of the pro teams, ASO, RCS, Unipublic and the UCI ProTour Council (UPTC) met to discuss the future of the ProTour and decided on a number of amendments for 2006:
Races organised by ASO, RCS and Unipublic are registered on the ProTour calendar, implying that participation of the 20 UCI ProTeams is obligatory, after taking into account their classification in the inaugural UCI ProTour. Apart from their role as race organisers of ProTour races, ASO, RCS and Unipublic have no other role in the ProTour and are therefore not represented in the UPTC.
The UPTC unanimously decided that from 2006 the World Championships will not contribute points towards the ProTour classification. This year, the World's are worth 50 ProTour points for the winner, but the race isn't actually on the ProTour calendar.
From December 31 2006, the UPTC will define the rules of the ProTour valid until 2009.
The UPTC will investigate, in collaboration with the UCI Road Commission the introduction, as early as 2007, of a 'calendar of promotion', whereby races on the UCI Continental calendar may be grouped with ProTour races with the aim of integrating them later in the ProTour. Related to this, the ProTour licence for the Züri Metzgete (Championship of Zurich) expires this year and will be up for review by the UPTC
The ProTour calendar for 2006:
March 5-12: Paris - Nice (France)
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split
October 4, 2008 - New ASO chief to maintain values
Cyclingnews' complete coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split
Renshaw joins Credit Agricole
By Jean-Francois Quenet
After two years with Francaise des Jeux, Australian cyclist Mark Renshaw will ride for Credit Agricole next year. The 23-year-old has signed a one year deal with team manager Roger Legeay, who said "For the balance of my team I needed riders of this age, able to win a four or five men sprint. That's why I've picked Renshaw and William Bonnet of Auber 93."
Legeay has worked with Australians before, the most notable being Stuart O'Grady, who left at the end of 2003 after a long stint with the squad. "I've always liked to work with Australians in the past but I haven't had any of them for the last few years." Phil Anderson began the stream of Australians who have ridden for the team, 25 years ago, when the colours of Peugeot represented what is now the Credit Agricole outfit. Renshaw enjoys a similar racing background to O'Grady, and this may be one reason Legeay offered the rider from Bathurst, in country NSW, a better package financially than Francaise des Jeux could, adding, "I think Renshaw is an interesting young rider for the future."
Rainbow jersey a gift to the team
Team LPR rider Mauro Santambrogio is happy to be competing in Saturday's U23 road race in Madrid, but merely being there is not enough - the chance of a rainbow jersey beckons. The talented young rider who this year has won the Giro del Lago Maggiore, taken third in the Giro del Mendrisiotto and participated in the 2005 Mediterranean Games believes that a worlds title would be a great gift to LPR before his departure at the end of the season. Santambrogio will join forces with Alberto Curtolo, Tiziano Dall'Antonia, Luigi Sestili and Rino Zampilli under the direction of coach Antonio Fusi as the Italian squad, like their senior counterparts, go into the U23 race as one of the favourites.
Sheppard admits doping violation
Chris Sheppard, the Canadian national mountain bike representative given a two-year suspension after he was found to have evidence of recombinant erythropoietin (rEPO) in his system, has admitted that after 17 years of racing clean, he "gave in during hard times".
Sheppard stated via his lawyers that, "Point blank I wish to acknowledge I cheated; I'm not trying to raise sympathy, nor have people feel sorry for me. Cycling is a tough sport and after years of racing clean and pointing the finger, I gave in during hard times. I wanted what was taken away from me - years of hard work culminating in a solid season that ended with an accident and my spiral into depression."
Sheppard had enjoyed a strong finish to the NORBA series, where several top-five finishes helped him finish his campaign strongly - that has now been tainted. "I am devastated by the knowledge that I have let down my family, friends, sponsors, fellow racers, and national team supporters. Until last spring, I lived and raced cleanly and with the conviction that Canadian athletes work hard and play fair. I alone am responsible for my terrible mistake."
Sheppard was subjected to an out-of-competition urine test at his home in Kamloops, BC, on May 29, 2005; the presence of rEPO in his A-sample was communicated to the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport on June 15, and confirmed in his B-sample on July 4. The matter was referred to the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada as provided for in the Canadian Anti-Doping Program rules, and the final decision of the arbitrator was handed down early September. In accordance with CCES and WADA rules, he was given the minimum two-year suspension for a first-time doping offence.
Sheppard cites his serious injuries following a training accident in July 2004 as the cause of his 'downward spiral' and subsequent drop in performance, which forced him to seek the edge offered by drugs. Sheppard says he is now "reflecting on a career that is tainted. Canada has always bred its athletes to believe that if they work hard and believe in themselves, they can lead a drug-free career. During my career, I lived by this statement while fighting for every mile and every position. This belief in oneself was the foundation for all of us to push our limits. Now I push through one of the hardest parts of a lost career - the inability to spread my passion for cycling to others."
Sheppard and his legal team will not be considering an appeal against the decision.
Moninger and Pic take NRC overall titles
Scott Moninger (Health Net pb Maxxis) and Tina Pic (Quark) took the men's and women's individual titles in the 2005 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar that concluded last week. Health Net presented by Maxxis claimed the men's team title for the second year in a row, with the women's title going to T-Mobile.
Moninger, who finished sixth in last year's NRC, was rewarded for his consistency, taking his first individual NRC title with 1348 points. He placed first overall in this year's San Dimas Stage Race, the Joe Martin Stage Race, the Cascade Cycling Classic, the Tour de Nez and the International Tour de Toona.
Pic defended her overall title from the 2004 NRC with 1952 points. The three-time champion won her last NRC individual title in 2000, and won her fourth consecutive national title at this year's USPRO Criterium Championships. Pic is currently competing as a member of the elite women's team at the UCI Road World Championships in Madrid, Spain.
Both Health Net presented by Maxxis won its second men's team title in a row by over 2000 points, whereas women's team champion, T-Mobile edged out Quark Cycling for first by a mere 30 points after finishing second in last year's NRC. In its ninth season of competition, this year's NRC was condensed from 56 races to 38, with 115 days of racing for men and 93 for women in 20 states around the country.
For a complete list of this year's standings, go to www.usacycling.org/nrc/
Final points standings
Men's Individual Standings 1 Scott Moninger (Health Net presented by Maxxis) 1348 points 2 Mark McCormack (Colavita Olive Oil/Sutter Home Pro) 1298 3 Chris Wherry (Health Net presented by Maxxis) 1285 4 Gordon Fraser (Health Net presented by Maxxis) 1107 5 Karl Menzies (Advantage Benefits/Endeavor) 984 Women's Individual Standings 1 Tina Pic (Quark Cycling) 1952 points 2 Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (T-Mobile) 1458 3 Christine Thorburn (Webcor Builders) 1350 4 Kristin Armstrong (T-Mobile) 1140 5 Laura Van Gilder (Quark Cycling) 1063
Van Dessel Cycles sponsors Iraqi juniors
In a gesture of goodwill, Van Dessel Cycles has agreed to sponsor the war-ravaged Iraqi junior national cycling team. "They are riding the city streets of a war zone because they are so dedicated to this sport," said Mathew Werner of 'Cyclists for Cultural Exchange'. "They were using ancient equipment - really old and decrepit bikes and clothing."
Van Dessel Cycles, seeing the plight of these Iraqi riders, decided to help. "We read an article about the group Cyclists for Cultural Exchange, which stated they were looking for help with their support of the Iraq junior national team," explained Van Dessel's Edwin Bull. "Always eager to give back to the cycling community as a whole, we couldn't help but get in touch and offer assistance."
Along with other industry leaders like Shimano, Ritchey, Giro, Fizik, Carnac and Smith, Van Dessel Cycles allowed the Iraqi team to turn in their rusty old steel frames and provided 10 of their Flahute racing frames. A mix of carbon fiber and aluminum, the Flahute provides its riders with the responsiveness that a racing frame demands, meaning a generation of Iraqi cyclists won't be forced to forego their ambitions of competing at international level.
Brindabella Challenge heats up with the weather
Australia's largest multi-event cycling festival, the Brindabella Challenge, hits Canberra December 2-4. The festival features 12 events across all disciplines including road, mountain, BMX, touring and recumbent bikes. Top level competitors can vie for more than $30,000 in prize money, while recreational riders and families can choose from a range of scenic rides, kids rides and winery rides to suit all ages and fitness levels.
The event is a partnership between Australian Capital Tourism and some of Australia's leading cycling and adventure event organisers. Australian Capital Tourism's General Manager, Tourism Events, Neale Guthrie, says the challenge is designed for anyone from anywhere with any interest in participating or watching challenging or fun cycling activities.
'Families, young children and serious competitors will all find something to suit their energy and skill levels in the Brindabella Challenge', he said. 'There will be more than enough to satisfy hard core competitors as well as those who just want to join in and experience Canberra's great weather, great cycling paths and great activities.'
For more information see www.brindabellachallenge.com.au
Ontario to host national cross champs and Aurora cross
The Canadian cyclocross national championships for 2005 will take place on November 5 at Hardwood Hills. The event, on a redesigned course, is open to Canadian citizens with valid UCI licenses that show a "CAN" in front of their license number. Riders in all championship categories must use cyclocross bicycles.
A Challenge category has been formed to accommodate U13, U15, U17 riders and male and female riders using mountain bikes or cross bikes (open to riders with Ontario citizen's permits). Single event permits will not be sold.
The Aurora Cross, held this year on November 6, is now in it's seventh season and has quickly become Canada's premier cyclocross race. Held at one of the best venues for racers and spectators in Canada, it's event number eight in the 11 race Southern Ontario Cross Series. It's one of the largest and longest running cross series in the country, and has become Canada's first UCI cross race. The race course is located in downtown Aurora Ontario, 45 minutes north of Toronto.
In 2004, the Aurora Cross was host to the Ontario provincial championships at the end of November, and saw the largest rider turnout in the country. This year's event is the day following the Canadian cyclocross championships, held just 35 minutes away at Hardwood Hills in Barrie Ontario. Together the Aurora Cross and the Canadian cyclocross championships make up the biggest weekend of cross racing in Canada.
Registration for both events is available online at www.eventsonline.ca, and for more information go to www.bikeraces.info
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)