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First Edition Cycling News for January 28, 2007

Date published:
January 28, 2007, 0:00 GMT
  • Colavita/Sutter Home selected for international races

    Article published:
    January 28, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Antonio J. Salmerón

    NRC (National Racing Calendar) champion Tina Pic and Canadian national champion Alex Wrubleski of...

    NRC (National Racing Calendar) champion Tina Pic and Canadian national champion Alex Wrubleski of the Colavita/Sutter Home Women's cycling team will race against the top women cyclists in the world at Australia's Geelong Tour, the first UCI (Union Cycliste International) event of the 2007 season. Dotsie Bausch (USA) and Alison Powers (USA) will also represent the Colavita/Sutter Home squad at the three-day, four-stage race, which runs from February 27 through March 1.

    "We are thrilled that the Colavita/Sutter Home will make its UCI debut at the Geelong Tour, which consistently draws the finest cyclists from the international women's peloton," said Team Director Jim Williams. "In addition, Tina, Alex, Dotsie and Alison are excited to race in the first round of the 2007 UCI Women's World Cup at the Geelong World Cup on March 3."

    In preparation, Pic, Wrubleski, Bausch and Powers will join teammates Iona Wynter Parks (Jam), Sue Palmer-Komar (Can), Mackenzie Dickey (USA), Stacey Spencer (Can), Candice Blickem (USA), Sara Tillotson (USA), and Andrea Dvorak (USA) for eight days of rigorous training with the Colavita/Sutter Home men's team in Napa Valley, California from February 2 - 12. Hosted by co-title sponsor Sutter Home Winery, the training schedule will include steep hill climbs and long stretches of flat road to also ready the men's cycling squad for the upcoming Tour of California.

    One of the most anticipated events in the USA cycling calendar, the roster for the Tour of California includes 18 of the world's top professional men's cycling teams. Director Sportif Tom Schuler noted, "The 2007 race marks the second year in a row that the Colavita/Sutter team has been selected for the Tour of California, considered one of the largest cycling events in North America." Sanctioned by UCI and USA Cycling, the eight-day stage race begins in San Francisco on February 18 and concludes in Long Beach on February...

  • Tour de Langkawi - Kam Po Wong back

    Kam Po Wong
    Article published:
    January 28, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Antonio J. Salmerón

    It has been four years since Wong Kam Po last rode in Le Tour de Langkawi, but that doesn't mean the...

    It has been four years since Wong Kam Po last rode in Le Tour de Langkawi, but that doesn't mean the 32 year-old most successful rider in Hong Kong's history has slowed down one bit. Kam Po comes into the 12th edition of Le Tour de Langkawi as the reigning Asian Games road race champion and after outdoing himself to win a bunch sprint in the recent Jelajah Malaysia, proving he has added versatility to his profile. (Read Cyclingnews' recent interview with Kam Po Wong.)

    Being the first and only Asian stage winner in Le Tour de Langkawi when he won the Cameron Highlands stage in 2000, Kam Po makes his return with the new Hong Kong pro cycling team this time around. "It's been four years since I last rode Le Tour de Langkawi. Normally, I want to do this race every year, because it is the best in Asia and it is the only one really from Asia that people in Europe focus on. Usually, European top pro cyclists don't come and race in Asia, so for Asian riders, it's very good to do Le Tour de Langkawi," said Kam Po.

    "My team from Hong Kong wasn't good enough to take part in the race and in the recent past years, I couldn't come with a mixed team. But this year, the Hong Kong pro cycling team is very happy to be invited. All of my teammates are very young, under 22, but they are improving a lot."

    During Jelajah Malaysia, the Hong Kong riders were very active all the times and very helpful to their leader who won a stage finishing in a bunch sprint in Taiping.

    So far in the 12-year history of Tour de Langkawi, Kam Po is the only Asian who has won a significant stage beating top teams like Farm Frites, and top climbers like Giro winner Evgeni Berzin when he won the Cameron Highlands stage in 2000. Some people might have thought his best days were behind him but he proved them wrong when he won the Asian Games road race in Doha.

    "That win made me very happy," he said. "I was very...

  • García Quesada commences legal action

    Article published:
    January 28, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Antonio J. Salmerón

    By Antonio J. Salmerón Carlos García Quesada has initiated legal actions against his squad,...

    By Antonio J. Salmerón

    Carlos García Quesada has initiated legal actions against his squad, Unibet.com, for the refusal to pay, in addition to interest accrued on the delay in payment. (Read related news.) The Spanish rider's manager, David Plaza, indicated to Cyclingnews.com that they have been themselves forced to resort to legal methods for the lack of sensitivity of Unibet.com.

    "Not only is it failing to fulfill its economic obligations, but has blocked any possibility transferring [to another team] when it notified him [Garcìa Quesada] this last month of December that he continues being Unibet.com's rider," said Plaza. The judgment set for February 8.

    García Quesada has asked for UCI, which retains the banking endorsement from Unibet.com, as well as taking measures for the breach of Unibet.com's obligations.

  • More Spanish races for Sastre

    Carlos Sastre (CSC)
    Article published:
    January 28, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Antonio J. Salmerón Carlos Sastre (CSC) will be in San Francisco from January 30 to February 18,...

    By Antonio J. Salmerón

    Carlos Sastre (CSC) will be in San Francisco from January 30 to February 18, visiting with his team's sponsors and participating in a team training camp.

    The CSC riders will work with their new bicycles, as well as relationship building with the newly signed riders for 2007. In this sense, the training program will be developed in an intensive way. "There will be two work groups, with different intensive levels, depending on his personal training programme from each one," Sastre commented to the press agency EFE.

    What they have insured is good weather, since "the temperatures are rather high." In Sastre's opinion this one of the most positive things of this training camp in California since in the last days he has had to train in sub-zero (C°) at home, in Ávila, Spain. "In San Francisco, we will not have that problem."

    "... I will not ride the three Grand Tours; one will be sufficient," said the Spanish climber. He added, "I do not feel that need for competitive excess that caused me to complete the three Grand Tours in 2006," although he recognised that, "at the end of last season, I managed the fatigue - so that I feel that I recovered well."

    Unlike 2006, where he made debut in Paris-Nice, where he only competed in the Vuelta al País Vasco and the Clásica de Amorebieta during the first half of the season, this year he will participate in more Spanish races. He will start his calendar in the Clásica de Almeria (March 4), and, if the Vuelta a Murcia will not take place, Sastre will be in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, and will return to the Vuelta al País Vasco and the Clásica de Amorebieta, before confronting Flèche-Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

    "I will be ready for the Basque race, in which I always do well. The last year, I won in Amorebieta," Sastre commented. "I will race in the Tour de Romandie and...

  • 2009 mountain bike worlds in Australia

    Article published:
    January 28, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Antonio J. Salmerón

    The management committee of the UCI (International Cycling Union) at a meeting in Belgium confirmed...

    The management committee of the UCI (International Cycling Union) at a meeting in Belgium confirmed Canberra, Australia the host city of the 2009 Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships. The Championships will be held from September 1 to 6, 2009.

    UCI Vice President, Ray Godkin, said the UCI was impressed by Australia's passion for mountain biking and the quality of the proposed venue; Canberra's new $7.5 million world-class Stromlo Forest Park, where the Australian Mountain Bike Championships are currently being contested.

    "Australia has a proven track record of hosting world class events and we are confident Canberra will deliver an outstanding World Championships," Godkin said.

    The event will involve more than 750 of the world's top riders who will compete in the four mountain bike disciplines of cross country, downhill, four cross and observed trials for the honour of being crowned World Champion.

    Cycling Australia President Mike Victor noted that being awarded the right to host the Mountain Bike World Championships is a major coup, and will not only highlight the talent of our elite mountain bikers but the excellence or our sporting organisers. "The World Championships will put mountain biking well and truly in the spotlight ... and showcase Australia's emerging dominance in a cycling discipline that continues to go from strength to strength," said Victor.

    Canberra Off Road Cyclists (CORC) and Apis Events have joined forces to host and manage the 2009 World Championships. MTB World Events, the CORC-Apis joint venture company will oversee the planning, organisation and running of the 2009 UCI World Championships. CORC president Anthony Burton said it was a historic achievement and a major vote of confidence for the local mountain biking community.

    "It's a perfect chance to highlight Stromlo Forest Park and Canberra as the number one mountain biking venue in Australia," he commented.

    Stromlo Forest Park is...

  • 2011 road worlds in Copenhagen

    Article published:
    January 28, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    By Susan Westemeyer Copenhagen, Denmark, is on its way to becoming the world champion city in...

    By Susan Westemeyer

    Copenhagen, Denmark, is on its way to becoming the world champion city in cycling. As first noted yesterday, it will host the 2011 road World Championships, the UCI (International Cycling Union) announced on Friday, January 26. Denmark won over other candidates Loreto and Castelfidardo (Le Marche, Italy).

    The Danish capital had already been selected to hold the 2010 Track Championships.

    This year's Worlds will be held in Stuttgart, Germany, while 2009 will be in Mendrisio, Switzerland, with the location of 2010 still to be decided.

  • Züri Metzgete organizer steps down

    Article published:
    January 28, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Susan Westemeyer Marco Canonica has stepped down as director of the ProTour race Züri Metzgete...

    By Susan Westemeyer

    Marco Canonica has stepped down as director of the ProTour race Züri Metzgete for "financial reasons", it was announced Friday, January 26. Two years ago, he became head of the race's (also known as the Championship of Zurich) organization with his firm Züri Metzgete GmbH, according to Sportinformation Zürich.

    Canonica took the race's organization over from the German organizer Upsolut, which also organizes the Vattenfall Cyclassics ProTour race in Hamburg. The Swiss race reported profits in the 2005 and 2006 editions.

    It has not yet been announced who will take the organizational reins for the 2007, and future editions. This year's event is scheduled to be held October 7.

  • GP Etruschi opens Italian season

    Article published:
    January 28, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    The 12th Gran Premio Costa degli Etruschi will officially open the Italian season when it is raced...

    The 12th Gran Premio Costa degli Etruschi will officially open the Italian season when it is raced on February 10. The organisers expect a star-studded field for the race, a 193 kilometre affair from San Vincenzo to Donoratico (Livorno). The parcours is a flat affair that favours the sprinters, as witnessed in its honour role; names like Alessandro Petacchi and retired Mario Cipollini.

    Petacchi will return this year, facing a strong field of riders. Some of the big names lining up in San Vincenzo will include Daniele Bennati, Fabio Baldato (Lampre-Fondital) Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas), Luciano Pagliarini (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Tom Steels (Predictor-Lotto) and Paride Grillo (Panaria).

    According to tuttobiciweb.com, in the coming days, organisers are hoping for the confirmation of Paolo Bettini. In fact, the course passes the childhood home of the World Champion and his fan club headquarters in La California.

  • 'Cross worlds round-up

    Start of the junior men's race
    Article published:
    January 28, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé in Hooglede-Gits

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Hooglede-Gits Two races were scheduled on Saturday at the worlds in...

    Low countries fulfill expectations

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Hooglede-Gits

    Two races were scheduled on Saturday at the worlds in Hooglede-Gits, Belgium: the junior and U23 men were to battle for the world title. The low countries of the Netherlands and Belgium have been dominating the cyclo-cross worlds lately, and 15,000 spectators showed up to watch their young stars shine.

    The junior race is always unpredictable at worlds because the young men don't compete with each other often during the season, but the Belgian World Cup winner fully met expectations when he became the new world champion. Six riders remained in contention going into the ultimate lap. Eventually, it came down to a sprint in which Joeri Adams clinched the biggest win of his young career.

    Most spectators were surprised to see American rider Danny Summerhill finish second. By claiming a medal at the cyclo-cross worlds, Summerhill follows in the steps of Walker Ferguson (silver in 2000) and Matthew Kelly (gold in 1999). Ferguson and Kelly battled with Belgians Bart Aernouts (Rabobank) and Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb), guys who will both race Sunday in the elite men's category, unlike those two American heros themselves, who have disappeared from the scene. Summerhill has proven that he has talent, but the real work of his career is just beginning.

    To read the full report and results for the junior race and see photos, click here.

    The U23 race was dominated by Dutchman Lars Boom (Rabobank) who outclassed his competition. Leading up to the race, Boom and rival Niels Albert (Palmans) kept a media battle going in which they tried to make each other nervous. However, Albert finished nowhere near the wheels of Boom; in fact, he was over a minute down. The Dutch champion said he would compete in more cyclo-cross...

  • Bettini disappointed by Museeuw

    Paolo Bettini
    Article published:
    January 28, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé in Hooglede-Gits

    World Champion Paolo Bettini is "disappointed" in his former teammate Johan Museeuw, who recently...

    World Champion Paolo Bettini is "disappointed" in his former teammate Johan Museeuw, who recently admitted to doping in his final year as a professional, 2004. Bettini rode with the 1996 World Champion together on the Quick-Step squad and considered him a role model. The Belgian admitted not being "100 per cent honest" before retiring.

    "I wanted to end my career in style, that's why I did things which were wrong," said Museeuw January 24.

    "I am really disappointed in Johan, who, like [Michele] Bartoli in Italy, was a maestro for me," said the 32 year-old Italian to La Gazzetta dello Sport during a sporting ceremony in Toscana. "I have made my career and some of my best results [with him in the team].

    "Museeuw has made a mistake in declaring that he doped because he wanted to end his career with important results. Honesty has to prompt a rider when is the right moment to stop; and not to create schemes," said Bettini.

    Starting Saturday, January 27, Il Grillo Livornese will join his Quick-Step teammates for a training camp in Marina di Bibbona, near his hometown of La California. The camp will be the last of its kind before the Belgium-based team starts its season.