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First Edition Cycling News for January 1, 2007

Date published:
January 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
  • Canadian 'cross team seeking support

    Article published:
    January 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    John Flynn in Burnie

    Friends of Canadian Cyclo-cross Racers, an organization of supporters of the Canadian National...

    Friends of Canadian Cyclo-cross Racers, an organization of supporters of the Canadian National Cyclocross Team, are soliciting assistance in sending the Canadian team to Worlds in January. Mike Garrigan, Kyle Douglas, Tara Ross and Greg Reain have all qualified and are planning on attending the Cyclocross World Championships in Hooglede-Gits, Belgium on January 27-28, 2007 but as the Canadian Cycling Association doesn't provide any funding for the National Cyclocross Team, riders must cover their own airfare, accommodations, meals, equipment expenses and even their national team jerseys.

    Support, in the form or donations, can be made at the group's Web site: http://www.cyclocrossontario.com/fccr. The group says that no administrative costs will be taken from donated funds.

  • Irish track team targets Worlds

    Article published:
    January 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    John Flynn in Burnie

    The newly established Irish track cycling team are heading to Manchester for the final round of the...

    The newly established Irish track cycling team are heading to Manchester for the final round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup February 23rd to 25th as part of their new campaign which targets qualification for the world championships.

    David O’Loughlin has already given Ireland’s track cycling team the best possible start when he produced a qualifying time of 4 min 32.206 seconds in the men’s 4,000 metres individual pursuit in Moscow in December to finish in 8th place in the UCI Track Cycling World Cup race.

    O’Loughlin is the first Irish competitor to ride the four-event series as part of the ambitious plan by Cycling Ireland which includes qualification for the world championships in Palma, Mallorca in March next year. “It’s a decent start to my international track career,” said O’Loughlin: “Especially in the middle of winter as I’m not 100% fit at the moment and there’s lots of room for improvement.”

    “It’s very encouraging,” continued the 28-year-old from Cong, Co Mayo: “I was only about five seconds off qualifying for the bronze medal ride-off. That’s not so far away. Prior to Moscow I didn’t do any specific training but I will have more specific work done before the next world cup in Los Angeles in January. There are no indoor tracks in Ireland so I will be training at home using the special trainers that the Australian’s have developed. I will also be able to get over to the tracks in Belgium and Newport. I have 100 UCI points already from Moscow and I hope that I can qualify for the world championships in the individual pursuit.”

    O’Loughlin is currently under contract with the US Navigators team based in New Jersey with compatriot Ciarán Power who is also part of a larger Irish team scheduled to ride in Los Angeles.

    Cycling Ireland’s High Performance Director Frank Campbell is delighted with the results of the...

  • Back to back wins for Sulzberger in Burnie

    Two in a row
    Article published:
    January 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    John Flynn in Burnie

    By John Flynn in Burnie The Burnie Criteriums are a brief but high-paced street-racing interlude in...

    By John Flynn in Burnie

    The Burnie Criteriums are a brief but high-paced street-racing interlude in the track cycling-based week of racing in northern Tasmania, called the 'Christmas Carnivals'. The Burnie Criteriums are not officially part of the Christmas Carnivals, but feature many of the riders who attend the track series, as well as road-oriented cyclists from the 'Apple Isle' who are contracted to major professional teams, such as Health Net's Tassie devil, Karl Menzies.

    One of the pro road riders who took to the streets - while not participating in the Carnivals - is Tasmanian Wes Sulzberger, who rides for the Australian UCI-registered Continental squad, South Australia.com - AIS.

    In fact, Sulzberger successfully defended his Burnie Criterium crown. It took just a handful of laps for a long distance breakaway to evolve and there were no surprises at the composition; triple junior world champion Cameron Meyer went up the road and Sulzberger wasn't about to let him disappear from view.

    "I knew that one of the Meyer boys would definitely get up the road again, they're both aggressive riders and really strong," Sulzberger said. "It was good to get away with someone that could work well, it was certainly pretty windy and sharing the workload definitely helped."

    In second place was fellow Tasmanian, Sean Sullivan. The Australian said he was eager to send a message to his Toyota United team-mates in the US, that his form heading into 2007 is right on the mark. "Happy new year lads," Sullivan remarked. "I talk to them [team] all the time, they know that I'm training and we all want to have a good season."

    For a complete report, photos and results from the Burnie Criteriums, click here. The Tasmanian Christmas Canrivals continue today with the Burnie Carnival.

  • Nys captures 150th career win

    150 wins
    Article published:
    January 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé in Diegem

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Diegem Sven Nys overcame an early-race deficit and the flu for his 150th...

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Diegem

    Sven Nys overcame an early-race deficit and the flu for his 150th career win in Diegem on Sunday. Nys had to chase countryman Bart Wellens for much of the race to get himself in position for the historic victory but says that the remarkable career-win record wasn't on his mind; he only thought about the overall rankings in the Superprestige competition and the double points at stake in Diegem. “Even when I was alone in front, I was afraid that the bunch would come back and overtake me, which could mean a loss of ten points. Now I pulled off a great deal as the gap (in points) with Wellens is very big now,” Nys said. In fact Nys’ advantage is so big that he can afford himself to skip a race if he would want to do so.

    For a full report and results from Superprestige #6 in Diegem, click here.

  • 3rd Oscar Gazzetta to Bettini

    Bettini relaxed and ready
    Article published:
    January 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    By Gregor Brown Il Grillo , Paolo Bettini, has claimed the prestigious end-of-year Oscar Gazzetta....

    By Gregor Brown

    Il Grillo, Paolo Bettini, has claimed the prestigious end-of-year Oscar Gazzetta. Italy's leading sport's paper, La Gazzetta dello Sport, honored the 32 year-old Italian for his year long achievements, including winning the World Championships and the Giro di Lombardia.

    The Italian newspaper collected 37 votes from ProTour team representatives, Grand Tour organizers and former cycling legends and Bettini was the clear winner (107 points); in front of Alejandro Valverde (48), Ivan Basso (25), Tom Boonen (21) and Erik Zabel (10).

    "He is in the front row," said former DS of the Italian national squad, Alfredo Martini, to La Gazzetta dello Sport about Bettini's caliber as a racer. "And don't forget that he still has two or three years ahead of him. ... He is able to win Flanders, try in Roubaix, and it would not be out of the question for him to take Paris-Tours. There does not exist a bad parcours for him."

    "The last rider like him was [Claudio] Chiappucci," said Felice Gimondi of Bettini's attacking style and seven major one-day wins. Francesco Moser, on par with Bettini in major one day wins at 11 is amazed with Bettini's build and talents. "There are very few like him, with this physical structure, that have won the big classics," he explained. "He looks like a climber but he can can sprint, so he can win regardless. He seems a bit like [Giuseppe] Saronni, even if Beppe has one the Giro. He still misses a classic on the pavé; this will be hard for him, but he still has two years. He will be able to pass me and the others [in terms of major one-day wins - ed.]."

    One of Bettini's old teammates, Michele Bartoli, also had kind words. "I'm happy if I have contributed a little to his growth," he said, referencing...