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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News, March 22, 2008

Edited by Sue George and Laura Weislo

Wide open Women's World Cup kicks off in Europe

By Ben Atkins

Nicole Cooke (Raleigh Lifeforce) won the Trofeo Binda twice already
Photo ©: Davide Tricarico
(Click for larger image)

The World Cup will return to Italy for the first time since 2005's Primavera Rosa with the 10th running of the Trofeo Alfredo Binda on Easter Monday. The race itself has existed since 1974, but was revived in 1999 in its present form after a two-year gap, and has now gained sufficient profile to be awarded World Cup status.

Six former winners will line up for this year's race: Nicole Cooke (Halfords Bikehut) (2005 & 2007), Regina Schleicher (Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung) (2006), Oenone Wood (High Road) (2004), Diana Ziliute (Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan) (2003), Nicole Brandli (Bigla) (2001), and Fabiana Luperini (Menikini-Selle Italia) (2000).

Defending champion Cooke is basing her entire season around winning gold in Beijing, so it's doubtful if she will be on top form. Regardless of her condition though, the ever-competitive Welshwoman can be relied up on to give the race her all, as she knows no other way of racing.

The big name missing from the starring line up is 2006 World Champion and 2007 World Cup winner Marianne Vos (DSB Bank), who doesn't seem to be putting the defence of her World Cup crown very high on her list of priorities in this Olympic year.

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Surprise winner of the last round in Geelong, Katheryn Curi Mattis would have started the race wearing number 1 had a broken collarbone sustained in the Women's Tour of New Zealand not ruined those plans. Second place finisher in Geelong Emma Rickards (Cervelo Lifeforce) will look to take over the white jersey of World Cup leader, while her fellow Australian Rochelle Gilmore (Menikini-Selle Italia) will go head-to-head with Team High Road's Ina Teutenberg for that honour. Teutenberg and team-mate Wood shared the two road stages of the Geelong Tour between them, and will be hoping to recapture that dominance, along with an evergreen Judith Arndt who can never be discounted.

Read the full preview.

Hoy on the hunt for gold

By Steve Thomas

Chris Hoy
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

As the World Track Championships approach, British Olympic and World Champion Chris Hoy has his plans set for his coming title defences and beyond. Formerly dominant in his pet event, the kilometre time trial, he must now test his Olympic mettle in new events.

It's been a strange and transformational couple of years for Scottish fast man Chris Hoy. After many years he had attained the honour of being the fastest kilometre rider in the world, and had become practically unbeatable in the solitary and punishingly pure discipline - an event which is renowned as one of the toughest in bike racing.

Then out of the blue the event was demoted, losing its Olympic championship status; a devastating blow for the powerful sprinter, who had pinned almost his entire career on this race of truth. "At first I was devastated, it was really demoralising," Hoy admitted. "But, although I think it was still wrong demoting such a classic event; for me it turned out to be a new challenge, forcing me to change disciplines. This took a little while, but has been really refreshing."

Last year Hoy bid farewell to his beloved kilo by winning the world kilo title in Palma de Mallorca and running so close to the all out kilo world record in La Paz. He left the event with the legacy of 4 world titles, an Olympic gold and record and the sea level world record, not half bad!

The event still carries World Cup and World Championship status, but no longer shines quite so brightly for Hoy; "It's a shame, it seems to of lost some of its sparkle. It seems to have become more of an event for up and coming riders stepping towards bigger Olympic goals."

Continue to the full feature.

Equipe Nürnberger ready for a successful 15th season

By Susan Westemeyer in Nürnberg, Germany

The Team Nürnberger
Photo ©: Team Nürnberger
(Click for larger image)

Jens Zemke, Sport Director for Equipe Nürnberger, has modest goals for this season: "Everything that is on our calendar!" He has been with the team seven years now. "We have had successes every year so far and I think we will have more again this year." But with only seven years, he hasn't been there for even half of the team's existence. It celebrated its fifteenth season at its presentation Thursday night in Nürnberg, Germany.

The team is made up of 16 women, 12 of them from Germany. They range in age from 18 (new pro Lena Köckerling) to 33 (Regina Schleicher). There are, in fact, three riders over 30 – Schleicher, Edita Pucinskaite and Christina Becker – and three teenagers – Köckerling, Romy Kasper and Corinna Thumm. Their specialities are equally widespread, with Pucinskaite and Trixi Worrack the stars for stage races, and former World Champion Schleicher being the fast woman for the sprints, But they may all have to look to Suzanne de Goede, a 23 year-old Dutch woman who came over from T-Mobile Team this year, and got the team's first win in 2008.She won the first stage of the Women's Tour of New Zealand, by winning a small bunch sprint.

Not a newcomer but not exactly a grizzled veteran is Claudia Häusler, who at 22 has been a pro for three years now. The team looks to her in the mountains, as she last year won the mountain rankings in both the Tour de l'Aude and the Tour de Grand Montreal, as well as the German mountain title. Häusler also finished fourth in the U23 Worlds race.

Charlotte Becker will represent the team at the upcoming World Track Championships in Manchester, riding in two events and hoping to add a Worlds title to her long list of German and European titles. She is no slouch on the road either, having won the national time trial championship and several races in Germany.

Regina Schleicher
Photo ©: Team Nürnberger
(Click for larger image)

Schleicher sprinted to the world road title in 2005, and proved last year that she still has the strength and speed, taking five wins on the year. Trixi Worrack is only 26, but has been with the team longer than any other rider, since 2003. Her long list of palmares also shows five wins last season, and the stage-race expert got the new season off to a good start with a fifth place overall finish in the Women's Tour of New Zealand.

The "star" of the team, but without star allure, is Edita Pucinskaite. After 20 years with Italian teams, she moved to Nürnberger last season. The 32 year-old brought in eight wins in her first season for the German team, including three stages of the Giro d'Italia Femminile well as the overall title. This year she will look to repeat that success, as well as the Olympics and the Worlds, which will be held in her adopted homeland of Italy.

"We have a strong team," noted Zemke, "with exciting newcomers and strong returning riders. For example, one newcomer is Suzanne De Goede, who is a great addition to the team. And the returnees are equally valuable and exciting. Look at Modesta Vzesniauskaite. She hadn't ridden for over a year" due to a long bout with mononucleosis. "Other teams might have given up on her, but we didn't. And she proved us right by coming back and finishing sixth in her first race this year, the Gran Premio Brissago Lago Maggiore. We hope to see a lot more of that from her."

Doping is also a theme in women's cycling, even if it is not as big an issue as with the men. "Of course it is," Zemke said. "Just yesterday the girls were visited by the NADA for controls. They are in the ADAMS whereabouts system, where they have to say where they will be three months in advance."

The team also does what it can to help the riders. "Every few weeks we conduct blood analyses. We have a nutritional supplement sponsor, who takes the results of these blood analyses and puts together an individualized supplement program for each woman, depending on her needs. This keeps them from saying, oh I need iron or magnesium or whatever, and going to the supermarket to get it and taking the chance of getting a tainted product."

But meanwhile the team is looking to uphold and improve its track record. "The World Cup races are the most important, especially since the girls can use them to qualify for the Olympics," Zemke noted. "There are 11 World Cup races and we want to do well in each of them. Then, too, of course, the national championships, the World championships and of course the Olympics."


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Team Nürnberger/

High Road women target World Cup

The High Road's Women's Team will head to the Trofeo Alfredo Binda World Cup in northern Italy in search of its first European win of 2008. While the team scored wins in two stages of the Geelong Tour, three stages of the Tour of New Zealand, a double win in the Merco Classic and a stage of the Sequoia Classic so far, they haven't yet been able to shine in Europe.

"We had some bad luck in Het Volk last weekend, so we're very keen to take our first victory in Europe this time round," team sports director Ronny Lauke said. "Oenone Wood was in a good position in the final kilometer of Het Volk, but then a crash changed the shape of the race completely. If that incident hadn't happened, we're sure she would have got a great result. Coming so close makes us want to get a win even more."

The Trofeo Alfredo Binda is the second round of the World Cup series, but Lauke claims that the team is motivated regardless of the race's category. "We aren't making the World Cup series a particular objective," said Lauke. "If you get the victories, the right results overall come naturally as part of that success."

The line-up for the Alfredo Binda will consist of Germans Judith Arndt, Luise Keller, Madeleine Sandig, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Dutch rider Chantal Beltman and Aussie Oenone Wood.

Crash sidelines Bossoni for Sanremo

In a last minute substitution, Massimiliano Mori will take the place of Paolo Bossoni on Lampre's team for the Milano-Sanremo. Bossoni suffered a crash with a van while he was training on the streets of his hometown. A resulting bruised knee will not allow him to take part in the Classic.

Lampre (revised) for Milano-Sanremo: Fabio Baldato, Alessandro Ballan, Marzio Bruseghin, Massimiliano Mori , Mirco Lorenzetto, Danilo Napolitano, Christian Murro and Francisco Javier Vila.

Nibali to lead Liquigas at Coppi e Bartali

Vincenzo Nibali will lead his Liquigas team at the Settimana Ciclistica Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, scheduled from March 25 to 29. With young rider from Sicily will be Manuel Beltran and Dario Cataldo, both making their first appearance of the season. Francesco Chicchi has been earmarked as the team's ace for the sprint. He won the last stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico.

Liquigas for Coppi e Bartali: Manuel Beltran, Dario Cataldo, Francesco Chicchi,Vincenzo Nibali, Andrea Noè, Ivan Santaromita, Alessandro Vanotti, Charles Wegelius under managers Mario Chiesa and Paolo Slongo.

Volksbank to go Rund um Köln

By Susan Westemeyer

Team Volksbank will help celebrate 100 years of Rund um Köln. And although the Austrian Professional Continental team will be without top German sprinters Olaf Pollack (World Track championships) or Andre Korff (back problems), it will look to local rider Daniel Musiol and Rene Weissinger, who last year finished ninth in the race.

Patrick Vetsch, the team's Directeur Sportif, called it "a race which it is difficult to predict, more so than any other. Sprint or group, everything is possible here. The weather will play a large role." The current weather forecast for Easter Monday is a mixture of rain and snow, with a low of 29° and a high of 41°.

Team Volksbank for Rund um Köln: Josef Benetseder (Aut), Alexander Egger (Aut), Peter Presslauer (Aut), Pascal Hungerbühler (Swi), Philipp Ludescher (Aut), Daniel Musiol (Ger), René Weissinger (Ger)

Riders' names mentioned in German doping report

By Susan Westemyer

The interim report released by the Freiburg University Clinic on Thursday not only said that two additional doctors were involved in organized doping at Team Telekom/T-Mobile Team, but also indicated that the doping continued through 2006. And the report named the names of riders who may have been involved.

The biggest rider name at the team was Jan Ullrich, and although his name is more frequently mentioned in connection with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, it popped up here, too. The Chairman of the independent investigatory commission, Hans Joachim Schäfer, said that Ullrich was "probably" involved with doping at the clinic, finding "numerous indications, but no proof." One of those "indications" is a patient file titled "Maier, Ullrich, born on Dec. 2, 1937." Jan Ullrich's birthday is Dec. 2, 1973.

Another big name mentioned was Andreas Klöden, who now rides for Team Astana. According to the report, a bill was sent on March 9, 2000, for a delivery of medication to Bettina Jurkat, now Klöden's wife. The package was sent by express delivery and Schäfer said that he believed it contained EPO, according to the AP.

An additional package of medications was noted on a March 16, 2000, bill to "BHR Radhaus / Für Jörg", in Ansbach. "BHR Radhaus" is a bike shop in Ansbach, Germany, the home of Jörg Jaksche.

The report also addressed the question of who may have gone to the Clinic during the Tour de France 2006 for blood transfusions. Patrik Sinkewitz has claimed that he went alone, but other sources have claimed that up to five other team-mates may have gone as well. The report assumes that at least two other riders were involved. While Sinkewitz has repeatedly claimed that there was no other rider in his car, Schäfer said, "There is evidence that there was another car."

In addition, the report said that Erik Zabel started a three-week EPO treatment during the Tour de Suisse 1996. While this was first understood to be a doping action in addition to that which he has already confessed, Schäfer later confirmed that this was the incident to which Zabel had referred.

Polish juniors struck by car, injured

Two riders were seriously injured when a car veered into a group of cyclists in Kalisz, Poland on Friday. The group of junior riders from the club KTK Kalisz were on a training ride from Kalisz to Opatówekwere when a car smashed into the group, injuring fourteen teenagers, according to the local police. Though all were hospitalised, none of the injuries were believed to be life-threatening.

According to the PAP news agency, the driver veered across the road and may have fallen asleep at the wheel, but was reportedly not drunk. The distraught driver apparently tried to kill himself after the incident. "He wanted to hang himself on his seatbelt," a spokesperson said. The riders ranged in age between 12 and 18.

The accident follows a similar, but fatal accident in California where a deputy sheriff veered across a road and hit three riders, killing two.

Brown & Porter to receive MassBike awards

Sheldon Brown and Christopher Porter will be awarded for their involvement with cycling by the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) at its Eighth Annual Bike Night celebration on Monday, March 31 from 6-9:00 pm at Inman Square's Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

MassBike will present its Influence Pedaler Awards to Brown (posthumously), for his world-renowned contributions to the art and science of bicycling and to Porter, for his outstanding leadership of MassBike's Metro Boston chapter during a period of great challenges and opportunities. MassBike will also recognize its volunteers with the Big Ring Volunteer Awards.

The evening will celebrate the coming cycling season and the local cycling community and will raise funds with a silent auction and admission tickets. Featured speakers include Tom Henry, bicycling advocacy evangelist and co-owner of Landry's Bicycles, and Chris Zigmont, general manager of bicycling industry innovator Pedro's. All proceeds from Bike Night will benefit MassBike's advocacy efforts.

For more information, visit

Wisconsin Cycle Series set for June

The Wisconsin Cycle Series is coming to Wisconsin on June 21-22 and will include both the Giro d'Grafton and the Sheboygan Harbor Centre Family Day and Bike Race. The race series feature the Midwest's only Twilight Race for professionals on Saturday night in Grafton. Other races are planned for women, juniors and masters as Sunday's racing action moves to a new course in downtown Sheboygan. Last year's Giro d'Grafton Twilight Crit was won by Ryan Roth from Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast.

For more information visit

Arizona ride to raise money for LAF

An upcoming ride in Scottsdale, Arizona on Saturday, March 29 at 7:00 am will raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The ride, with several routes for different skill levels, is organized by Bicycle Ranch and John Nowak, in memory of his mother Dolores, who died after a lengthy battle with cancer. For more information, visit or contact

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