First Edition Cycling News for November 29, 2007
Edited by Sue George
Contador deals with success
By Hedwig Kröner
Ever since Alberto Contador became the youngest Spaniard ever to win the Tour de France this July, his popularity has exploded and he's been a wanted man by the world's media. Jetting from one appointment to the next, Contador has had very little time to unwind. After coming home after the Amstel Curaçao race on the Caribbean island, he described how he's dealt with the success that has so little in common with how he lived his life back in the days when he was 'just' a Spanish climbing hopeful.
Contador has come a long way, and yet the 25 year-old has remained a rather private person. The 'Kid' still lives at his parents' place in Pinto, 20 kilometres outside Madrid, where he was born, and he hasn't lost his mind over the new-found fame and the financial possibilities that go with having won the greatest bike race on earth.
Apart from buying the new home, which he will move into with his girlfriend in January, and a new car, he hasn't foolishly spent his money, but put it aside for the future. Nothing is ever certain - the young Spaniard only knows this too well, having already escaped death by a hair in 2004 after suffering a cerebral blood clot after a crash in the Vuelta a Asturias which was treated with risky surgery. A big scar from ear to ear reminds him of life's fragility every time he looks in the mirror.
Contador never takes things for granted. His younger brother Raúl has cerebral paralysis and will forever be left with the mind of a one year-old child. His elder brother Francisco Javier was the one that got little Alberto on the bike when he was a boy, and soon enough the gifted youngster was as passionate about cycling as he was about the birds he bred in a huge flight cage in the back garden. Fifteen years later, he still has the canaries and goldfinches, only now it's his father who takes more care of them, as spare time is about the only thing his son lacks since he turned into a celebrity.
Life has changed radically, Contador told Cyclingnews from his mobile phone as he was trying to get out of a parking lot back home in Madrid. "A lot of things are different now," he explained, struggling with the gate opener as the machine told him his ticket was not valid. "People now recognize me in the street, which almost never happened before the Tour. Now, when I'm going out with friends, I don't have the privacy that I used to have. It's not that I don't like it, but I just don't have much time left for my family and friends anymore. It's strange - I won races before, even such important events as Paris-Nice, but as the Tour de France is so special, I really have to say that I had a life before the Tour, and another one afterwards."
Once he had his ticket problems sorted, Contador added that even though he enjoyed his popularity, the hype around his person was wearing him down lately, and that it was even possibly interfering with his preparation for next season. "I haven't had any psychological rest after the season, you know. I would have liked some, and in previous years winter was always a good period to recharge batteries. But this time, I just had so many appointments and events I needed to attend."
So did he fear all of this would change his personality? Back in the days when one of his season's goals was the Col d'Eze on the final day of Paris-Nice , the Spaniard didn't have to protect his privacy. "I think I'm quite down to earth as a person, but for sure this kind of success can change people. I don't think it has changed me already, but we will have to see about that in a few years," he remarked cautiously.
Belgian court dismisses Kashechkin suit
By Susan Westemeyer and Shane Stokes
Andrey Kashechkin has lost the first stage of his fight against the doping control system of which he had run afoul. A Belgian court has refused to hear the case, ruling that it has no jurisdiction in the matter, and that Kashechkin had agreed to undergo such testing when he accepted his license. The Kazahki rider filed the suit against the International Cycling Union (UCI) earlier this month, claiming the test violated his human rights. UCI President Pat McQuaid hailed the court's action.
Kaschechkin tested positive for blood-doping in an unannounced out-of-competition control while he was on vacation with his family in August. He was fired by Team Astana when the B-sample was also positive.
His attorney, Luc Misson, argued that the tests violated his client's privacy, and also that the B-sample was tested too late, some 22 days after the A-sample.
The court ruled that the case should be tried in a court in Switzerland, where the UCI is headquartered. It also ruled that a rider's application for a license was the equivalent of a contract, and in accepting the license, the rider also accepted the UCI's terms and conditions, including anti-doping controls.
"The UCI is pleased with today's result and, likewise, I am sure not only all cyclists but all sportspersons who want clean and fair sport will support this decision," McQuaid told Cyclingnews. He especially noted the license contractual requirements, saying, "It is an integral part of any sports organisation that when one enters, in whatever capacity, they agree to obey the rules of that organisation this applies, in our case to cyclists, teams, federations and organisers alike!"
More of the Vuelta a España 2008 route unveiled
By Monika Prell
The Spanish newspaper Marca announced more details of the Vuelta a España just one week before the official presentation scheduled for December 5.
Racers have already learned that they will climb the steep and challenging Angliru in next year's Spanish Grand Tour. The penultimate stage of the 2008 edition will also be a mountain time trial that will start in La Granja de San Ildefonso and finish in Puerto de Navacerrada.
The final stage will begin in San Sebastián de los Reyes and end in the Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid. The start in San Sebastián de los Reyes will serve as a tribute to Miguel Ángel Martín Perdiguero, who recently wrapped up his career. He was born and resides in this town.
Alberto López Viejo, the sports counselor of the Comunidad de Madrid gave also away the secret that in 2009, one stage will have begin and end in San Sebastián de los Reyes and pass through mountains to the north of the Comunidad de Madrid.
Milram turns into a German team
By Susan Westemeyer
German cycling has gained a new ProTour team: Team Milram will be riding under a German license as of the coming season. The International Cycling Union (UCI) has approved the team's application and transferred the license from the former Italian team manager Gianluigi Stanga to new team manager Gerry van Gerwen, who purchased the license from Stanga. Van Gerwen confirmed the transaction.
The team, which was founded in 2006, features sprinter stars Alessandro Petacchi and Erik Zabel. It will have 12 German riders in the coming year, and a total of seven new riders for the new season. It will hold its team presentation January 10 in Bremen, Germany.
Sponsor Nordmilch announced in August that it would seek to buy the license from Stanga. The Italian had been named by Jörg Jaksche in his doping confession, as having introduced the young German to EPO in 1997.
London wants another Tour de France visit
The Tour de France's visit to London in 2007 was so successful that London is applying for a return of the famous stage race to coincide with the Olympic Games in 2012.
Officials for the Transport for London, who coordinated the Tour's visit to London, claimed one million people filled the streets on July 7 to watch the prologue according to inthenews.co.uk. They also claimed two million people watched the July 8th stage one.
Reportedly the Tour's visit in July brought over 100 million pounds into the economy. Another visit would bring still more attention and future sporting events to the area.
"Bringing the Tour de France to London has been hugely successful, boosting cycling and showing Londoners' huge interest in watching and participating in sport that is growing as we approach the 2012 Games," said London Mayor Ken Livingstone.
The Transport organization also sited an 11 percent increase in bike use in London relative to the previous year.
Evans named "Sports Performer of the Year"
Second-place Tour de France finisher Cadel Evans was awarded the Sydney Morning Herald's Sports Performer of the Year. Upon accepting the award, Evans said he would donate his AUS$50,000 award to two charities - the Amy Gillett Foundation and to Ian Thorpe's Fountain for Youth.
The 2007 UCI ProTour winner beat out six other athletes who were nominated by readers of the Herald and the Age papers.
Amy Gillett was an Australian cyclist killed while struck by a car during preparations for a stage race in Germany in July of 2005. "It is my way of saying thank you for the support everyone has given me here," Evans said according to the Herald. "I think the Amy Gillett Foundation would be a much worthier benefactor [of the money] than me." He added that his career hit a major turning point during the Tour de France held the same summer Gillett was killed.
The Fountain of Youth was created by Olympic star Thorpe to treat illness and disease in people under age 20. Evans commended Thorpe for his visits to an area where Evans himself lived in the Northern Territory Aboriginal commune of Barunga during the first three years of his life.
On Sunday, Evans will participate in the Tour de Cadel charity ride in Sydney from St Leonards to Centennial Park. The event is a fund-raising effort for the David Peachey Foundation, which supports indigenous children.
Nardello adds name to growing Serramenti Diquigiovanni-Androni roster
By Gregor Brown
Italian Daniele Nardello has signed with Gianni Savio's Professional Continental Team Serramenti Diquigiovanni-Androni. The 35 year-old from Varese has joined recent signings of Gilberto Simoni and Danilo Hondo, and completes the 2008 line-up.
The 2001 Italian Champion signed a one-year contract with the Italian-Venezuelan formation, leaving Professional Continental Team LPR. Before riding for LPR in 2007, Nardello rode for Telekom / T-Mobile from 2003 to 2006 and Mapei from 1994 to 2002. Besides the Italian Championships, the cagey rider took out wins in the 1995 and 1999 Paris-Bourges, 1996 Milano-Torino, 1998 Tour de France stage 13, 1999 Vuelta a España stage 11, 2000 and 2001 Tour du Haut Var and 2003 Championship of Zurich.
Eighteen riders will form the 2008 team: Italians Gilberto Simoni, Alessandro Bertolini, Santo Anzà, Denis Bertolini, Emiliano Donadello, Gabriele Missaglia, Leonardo Moser, Daniele Nardello, Manuel Belletti and Francesco Ginanni, German Danilo Hondo, Colombian José Serpa, Swede Niklas Axelsson, Moldavian Ruslan Ivanov and Venezuelans Carlos José Ochoa, Richard Ochoa, Jesus Perez and Jakson Rodriguez.
The Italian manufacturer of saddles, Selle Italia, will remain with Team Serramenti Diquigiovanni-Androni as a technical sponsor. Guerciotti and Santini will continue to sponsor the team with bikes and clothing, respectively.
For more on Savio read Viva (Selle) Italia.
Euskaltel - Euskadi looks to 2008
By Monika Prell
Igor González de Galdeano, who will head into his third season in 2008 as part of the management of Euskaltel - Euskadi, was spending time with the team in a training camp in Derio (Bizkaia) when he spoke to Gara about the team's accomplishments and objectives.
González de Galdeano said he was happy with the changes the team made in 2007 when it adopted the philosophy of emphasizing team work over individual accomplishments. "I think that it was good. Really, it went better than we hoped. Personally, I believe that the change was important. There were many new riders, but they integrated themselves very fast. Everybody understood the schema. Sure, sometimes, the team got on the wrong track, but in general they did a very good work," said the former professional racer.
In 2008, the team will ride with 26 racers after having fired seven of them for "very strict sporting" reasons. Three new riders also come to the team, Javier Aramendia and Josu Agirre (both from Orbea - Oreka) and Egoi Martínez (Discovery Channel), with the latter being the team's most important signing.
Of Martínez, González de Galdeano said he expects the rider "to take victories for and add to the stability of the team in important races like the Tour de France." He continued, "Our team is very young. We need [his] experience."
Another result of the squad's downsizing of the squad is that the team will contest fewer races. "We will eliminate races in Portugal, the Giro di Trentino and the Giro d'Oro in Italy and a Spanish one, perhaps La Rioja. It depends on the progression of the season. We surely won't split the team in three groups, as we did this year in two occasions."
The team will contest the Giro d'Italia, even though it is no longer a ProTour race although its participation in the Tour Down Under and the Tour of California are still to be determined.
"The first objective will be the Vuelta al País Vasco. [Mikel] Astarloza and [Igor] Antón will be the leaders of the team that will dispute this race." There was a little surprise when González de Galdeano announced that "Astarloza and [Haimar] Zubeldia will be the leaders of the squad for the Tour de France" and that Igor Antón "perhaps won't ride the Tour de France. We will ask a bit more of him. Step by step he will receive more responsibilities. Above of all, we are hoping he will be good in the Vuelta al País Vasco."
González de Galdeano hopes to give Euskaltel - Euskadi a stronger start to the season than usual. "We will plan the season differently and intend to race shorter cycles with a break before every cycle. Ten riders will have to be in a good form at the beginning [of the season], amongst them Haimar Zubeldia, Amets Txurruka, Rubén Pérez, Aitor Galdos and Iván Velasco."
For Zubeldia, in particular, this season differ from last year. "This year we will try to make the beginning of the season brilliant for him, but as always, the Tour de France is his biggest objective. At the beginning of the calendar, there are some races that should work for him."
One of the team's problems is the upcoming end of its contract with Samuel Sánchez. The Asturian's contract is expected to expire at the end of 2008 and negotiations are now stalled. Whether he will stay on "is a complicated question. The sponsors have to engage and we need their bank guarantee. It's not that easy. Samuel always stayed 'for a bit less'. He is content and he even says that he would like to end his career with this team. But it's also sure that we won't pour our money down the drain. The team wants Samuel to stay, of course, but he has to understand our limitations. It's possible that he won't be with us in 2009."
However, for 2008, Sánchez, the team's most successful rider from 2007, will continue to wear the orange jersey. His specific program will be determined depending on whether he rides in the Olympic Games. "If he rides them, we will re-consider his participation in the Tour de France and perhaps also the Vuelta a España. We will decide after the participants for the Olympic Games are announced," promised González de Galdeano.
Milram's Cortinovis to stop riding
By Susan Westemeyer
Alessandro Cortinovis of Team Milram is retiring. The 30 year-old said that he had not received any interesting offers for 2008 and therefore decided to stop racing. A Team Milram spokesperson confirmed his retirement to Cyclingnews.
Cortinovis turned pro in 2000 and rode for Colpack, Lampre, and Domina Vacanze before joining Milram. "I have never had any pro wins, but I have always done my best for my captains," he told Tuttobici. He now has a new athletic goal: "I would like to run the New York marathon, like Armstrong. I want to try it all and since I am in my prime, I feel I can still do a lot."
Lampre plans team camp
The 2008 Lampre Team will kick off its upcoming season with a training camp in Darfo Boario Terme. The blue and fuchsia clad team will stay at the Hotel San Martino from December 10-12. All athletes and team staff will focus performing medical checks, trying out new technical gear and planning the racing calendar.
"We're happy we can come back in Darfo Boario Terme in order to begin the new season,' said Giuseppe Saronni, Lampre general manager. "Last year we were here and the we obtained during the [subsequent] season many victories: I hope we'll be able to repeat this!"
Team TIBCO Announces 2008 elite and development rosters
Team TIBCO professional women's cycling team added firepower to its roster by recruiting Amber Rais, Helen Kelly, Lauren Franges, Rachel Heal, Rushlee Buchanan, and Sarah Caravella to join current TIBCO racers Victoria Bastide and Brooke Miller.
Time trialist and all-around cyclist Rais has logged top GC finishes in National Racing Calendar (NRC) events and will move from Team Webcor. "Rachel Heal and Helen Kelly top, world-class cyclists and former team-mates of Amber's will also race for us next season," said TIBCO's director Linda Jackson. "The three have proven they work well together and will take on even more responsibilities this coming year."
Also joining the team is the young talent Rushlee Buchanan. The 19 year-old New Zealander shocked the NRC field at Nature Valley with a surprise "off the front" attack. Franges and Caravella will round out the team's sprinting power, complimenting Miller's expertise.
"I am thrilled for the upcoming season! It has been very exciting to be a part of growing this team and our roster for next season is our strongest yet," said Miller.
The team will see some management changes with Liza Rachetto making the switch from racer to Assistant Director Sportif. Rachetto will direct Team TIBCO's six-member Development Team, which will include Alison Rosenthal, Ashley Fouts, Caitlyn McCullough, Jerika Hutchinson, Kelly Crowley and Stacy Sims. Hutchinson is the reigning Junior National Time Trial Champion and a bronze-medalist in the 2007 Junior World Championship Time Trial. Crowley is the current
World Champion in the Paralympics Individual Time Trial, and has her eyes set on Gold at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. The Development Team will compete locally in Northern California and at selected NRC races with the elite squad.
2008 Tour of Elk Grove grows
The third annual Tour of Elk Grove in Illinois intends to grow for 2008 by adding one day and more prize money. Slated for August 1 through August 3, the race will move from two to three days. Prize money will also increase from US$200,000 to $225,000. The professional men will calim $170,000 of the total, with the winner taking home $28,000.
A 4.5 mile individual time trial, a new 150km road race, and a criterium will make up the weekend of racing. Spectators will be treated to two nights of live concerts and fireworks and a new weekend-long children's festival.
"In our third year we're very excited to broaden the scope and fun at the Tour of Elk Grove for both riders and the community-at-large to enjoy," said Elk Grove Mayor Craig Johnson. For the first time, the Tour of Elk Grove will have a beneficiary. The mayor designated the Soldiers Memorial Fund which provides scholarships for graduating high school students and financial assistance to the Hearts of the Marines Foundation. The Foundation serves all branches of US military personnel who are currently serving and have special needs.
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