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First Edition Cycling News for March 1, 2007

Date published:
March 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
  • Skil-Shimano cycling team presented in Vaals

    Article published:
    March 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Monika Prell

    Skil-Shimano presented its professional team Wednesday in Vaals in the south of the Netherlands. For...

    Skil-Shimano presented its professional team Wednesday in Vaals in the south of the Netherlands. For 2007, the team counts 25 riders for a total of four more than last year. The internationally oriented team has more or less the same ambitions as last year, according to team managers Arend Scheppink and Iwan Spekenbrink.

    "We hope that we can continue the progression we made last season, when we had some excellent results in the form of wins in the Tour of Belgium and the Tour of Qinghai Lake. On top of that our aim is to take part in some prestigious races and to continue with our up-front racing style, while we will also be focusing on the development of talented riders," said the managers.

    Seven newcomers add to the international mix: Fabien Bacquet (France), Maarten den Bakker (NL), Ji Cheng (China), David Deroo (France), Clément Lhotellerie (France), Christian Müller (Germany), and Albert Timmer (NL). Just like in 2006, the team will retain a number of Asian riders as part of its efforts to grow racing in Japan and China. Five Japanese riders (Hidenori Nodera, Tomayo Kano, Yoshimasa Hirose, Yukihiro Doi and Masahiro Shinagawa) and three Chinese riders (Fang Xu, Jin Long and Ji Cheng) will ride a primarily European program; while the other Japanese riders will focus on racing in Asia

    For a complete team roster, please see Cyclingnews' team database.

  • Women's Tour expects top field

    Sarah Ulmer (Trust House NZ)
    Article published:
    March 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Monika Prell

    Race director Jorge Sandoval called the field for the Trust House Women's Tour of New Zealand "well...

    Race director Jorge Sandoval called the field for the Trust House Women's Tour of New Zealand "well beyond all of his expectations." He's had to turn down overseas riders because he couldn't fit them into teams. The five day international-class race will run from March 7 to 11 in Lower Hutt, Wellington and the Wairarapa.

    Two of the top three professional teams in the world and six riders in the top 21 world rankings will race. Eight of the top ten ranked nations will be represented. Many will head to the race after wrapping up the Tour of Geelong, happening in Australia this week.

    "To have the reigning champions from three of the biggest cycling nations in the world, Sweden, The Netherlands and Switzerland plus two former World Champions and current Olympic champions racing on New Zealand soil, is a privilege to any sport," said Sandoval. "On top of this we have national teams from Australia, Germany and of course New Zealand as well as professional teams from USA, the Netherlands and Germany."

    The two highest ranked New Zealanders on the list are Joanne Kiesanowski, ranked 36th, and Sarah Ulmer, ranked 27th. Both will ride for the New Zealand national team. Ulmer won the race in 2006.

  • Balearic government criticised for sponsorship

    Article published:
    March 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Monika Prell After the announcement of the withdrawal of sponsor Illes Balears, effective since...

    By Monika Prell

    After the announcement of the withdrawal of sponsor Illes Balears, effective since the end of the 2006 season, the government of the Balearic Islands was criticised for ever engaging with the cycling team by the political party PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Español).

    According to todociclismo.com, the delegate Antoni Diéguez called the team's sponsorship "one of the biggest affronts of the sportsmen of the Balearic Islands." He added, "This patronage should never have been allowed to happen."

    He calculated that "the high-level-sportsmen in the Balearic Islands receive every year 2.1 million euros all combined. Meanwhile "a professional team of Pamplona" like Caisse d'Epargne was sponsored by the government with "six million euros every year." He highlighted the fact that the government's biggest investment in sports, besides infrastracture, was going outside of the Islands.

    Delegate Diéguez conceded that "the government has always said that this [the sponsorship] was a great business because they received a lot of advertising benefits," but he questioned this and cited the proof a lie being that the government "stopped the sponsorship as soon as they could." Summarizing, Diéguez said, "It has been an expenditure to the disadvantage of the sportsmen of the Balearic Islands."

  • Britain celebrates Manchester World Cup success

    Victoria Pendleton
    Article published:
    March 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Monika Prell

    Organisers hailed the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Manchester on February 23-25 as "a major...

    Organisers hailed the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Manchester on February 23-25 as "a major success."

    On home turf, Great Britain scored a record medal haul amid record numbers of fans. The weekend's racing saw gold medal rides by Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Wendy Houvenaghel. Wiggins also took victory with Paul Manning, Rob Hayles, and Ed Clancy in the men's 4,000m team pursuit, and the quartet got close to the British record when they qualified in under four minutes. Houvenaghel broke the British record in the 3,000m women's individual pursuit on her way to winning gold.

    "We had done a lot of hard work behind the scenes starting 12-months ago to make this event a success," said event organiser Alan Rushton. "And it's a win-win situation all round because you will find that everyone who attended will have left the event delighted by an exciting race programme for the cost of only a few pounds." Millions also saw the event televised by the BBC and on networks across Europe and Asia.

    "We are already looking forward to March 2008 when we are bringing the UCI Track Cycling World Championships to Manchester," said Rushton. Organizers of this event are part of a group that has previously organised major cycling events like the Tour of Britain. This year it breaks new ground with involvement in the inaugural Montreal to Boston road cycling stage race."

    For complete Cyclingnews' coverage of the Manchester World Cup Track event, click here.

  • O'Loughlin and Nally likely for track Worlds

    O'Loughlin chases
    Article published:
    March 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Shane Stokes Following their participation in the Manchester World Cup at the weekend, David...

    By Shane Stokes

    Following their participation in the Manchester World Cup at the weekend, David O'Loughlin and Dermot Nally look set to become the first Irish riders in many years to line up on the world track championships.

    O'Loughlin had previously qualified for the individual pursuit, placing fifth in the Los Angeles round of the series, but is now expected to also go in the points race in Palma, Mallorca next month. Cycling Ireland's high performance manager Frank Campbell says that he has been told that Ireland will be able to take part in three events, and so Nally will also travel to the Spanish island to compete.

    "David got 12th in the points race so that got him more UCI points," said Campbell on Monday of this week. "We are waiting on written confirmation which is due to come out this week, but I spoke to the UCI yesterday and they are happy enough that we will get a likely invite into three events.

    "With David already qualified for the individual pursuit, we will look at the points race for him to do as well. As regards the third slot, we will probably put Dermot Nally into the scratch race. Dermot is living in Spain and he was already planning to go over to Majorca and help David prepare in the lead up to the event, rather than him having to try to prepare on the track on his own."

    Navigators Insurance professional O'Loughlin took up the individual pursuit last September and broke the long-standing Irish record on his first attempt when he recorded a time of 4 minutes 29.9 seconds. He was considerably quicker than this time in training prior to Manchester but during the race itself he, somewhat inexplicably, did a 4 minute 30.12 seconds qualifier en route to eighth place.

    "To be honest, we are not sure why it was slower because the whole way through Newport and doing trials in Manchester, he was taking five seconds off the time...

  • Women's Prestige Cycling Series set for 2007

    The Pro Women 1/2 field
    Article published:
    March 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    After a year's hiatus, the Redlands Bicycle Classic in California will return as the kickoff race...

    After a year's hiatus, the Redlands Bicycle Classic in California will return as the kickoff race launching the four-race Women's Prestige Cycling Series. The series continues with the Nature Valley Grand Prix (June 20 - 24) and the International Tour de 'Toona (July 23 - 29) before wrapping up with the CD&P Bermuda Grand Prix on September 20 - 23. The top ten teams following the International Tour de Toona will receive housing and a travel subsidy to attend the Bermuda finale.

    Kristin Armstrong (TEAm Lipton) is expected back to defend her 2006 individual title along with 2005 champion Christine Thorburne (Webcor - Platinum).

    In the best young rider competition, Canadian Alex Wrubleski (Colavita) is the clear favorite after last year's winner and runner up Katharine Carroll (Victory Brewing) and Erinne Willock (Webcor - Platinum) are now "too old" for this U26 division. Wrubleski, who claimed the Best Young Rider jersey at the Nature Valley Grand Prix, also won two Canadian National Championships and is a rider to watch in both the young rider competition and for the overall series.

    Brooke Miller (TIBCO), the recent winner of the Santa Clarita Grand Prix, was the surprise winner of the sprint competition in 2006. She burst onto the national scene last year with her win at the Nature Valley Grand Prix's Cannon Falls Road Race, going on to claim that race's sprint jersey. She will return to defend her crown in 2007, but is likely to be in the crosshairs of veteran sprinters such as Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine) and Tina Pic (Colavita).

    Team transfers in the off season leave the team competition wide open. Webcor - Platinum took over TEAm Lipton last year, but star rider Laura Van Gilder moved from Litpon to Cheerwine and Erinne Willock moved from Webcor - Platinum to Team ExpressCopy.com.

  • Geelong World Cup Champions rate course

    Ina Teutenberg
    Article published:
    March 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    John Michael Flynn in Geelong

    By John Michael Flynn in Geelong With one day of the Geelong Women's Tour remaining at beautiful...

    A sprinter's race?

    By John Michael Flynn in Geelong

    With one day of the Geelong Women's Tour remaining at beautiful Barwon Heads, and a rest day for the riders to look forward to ahead of Saturday's World Cup, one of the yet to be answered questions is - will the Geelong World Cup of 2007 be a race for the sprinters?

    The course for 2007 is slightly different to previous years, and will travel in the opposite direction as the world's best women's cyclists complete eight laps of a 15 kilometre circuit around the greater city of Geelong.

    Yesterday, Cyclingnews caught up with the four previous winners of the Geelong World Cup, to check on their form and feelings heading into the World Cup series opener for 2007.

    There's no disputing T-mobile's Ina Teutenberg will be the hot favourite. The defending champion has started her Geelong Tour with two impressive stage victories, and should the World Cup race come down to a sprint, she is in the right sort of form. Teutenberg faces a tough decision - whether to make it three stage wins from three in today's Geelong Tour finale, or take it easy on the bike with Saturday in mind.

    "We have to watch out a little bit because there's only one day rest between the Tour and the World Cup," Teutenberg explained. "The early races still take more out of you than normal, it's hard to recover after the first races and only with one day in between, you have to be really careful not to overdo it those three days."

    T-mobile has no shortage of options for the World Cup race. On any given day, any one of the team's six riders (Teutenberg, Judith Arndt, Kate Bates, Alexis Rhodes, Linda Villumsen or Oenone Wood) could feature in the race finish.

    One of those riders is the Geelong World Cup winner from 2004, Oenone Wood, whose form looks to be getting better with each stage of the Geelong Tour.

    "With a team like we've...

  • Cyclo-cross World Cup 2007-2008: Nommay out, USA & Milan in

    Article published:
    March 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Brecht Decaluwé The UCI cyclo-cross calendar for the 2007-2008 season has been presented with...

    By Brecht Decaluwé

    The UCI cyclo-cross calendar for the 2007-2008 season has been presented with three important changes. As previously announced in news, the USA is almost certain to host a World Cup event on October 7. The location for this event is officially still unknown; the desired location in Providence seems to be unable to show the UCI officials that it has what it takes to organize a World Cup.

    The second big change is the removal of the event in Nommay, France. The organizers in Nommay annoyed the UCI officials by changing the course without an official approval; in the end, the pits proved to be far too small for all the riders causing heavy traffic problems during the races.

    The big crowds and the exciting race did not persuade the UCI, and Liévin will now organize the French World Cup event. They previously organized an event back in early 2006 when Sven Nys finished in front of the two French specialists Francis Mourey and John Gadret.

  • Unibet.com appeals for solution to ProTour conflict

    Unibet.com
    Article published:
    March 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Unibet.com posted an open letter to the three organizers of the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia,...

    Unibet.com posted an open letter to the three organizers of the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia, and the Vuelta a España Wednesday. The team has been caught amidst an ongoing battle between ASO, RCS Sport, and Unipublic and the UCI in recent months, and they pleaded publicly for a resolution with a more than 1800 word letter published on their website www.unibetcycling.com.

    "In the name of all those who are passionate about cycling and who live for this sport, we invite the organizers of the major tours and the International Union of Cycling to bury the hatchet. Stop this arbitrary decision which threatens cycling," said the letter.

    The three organizers of the major Tours, Paris-Nice, the Giro, and the Vuelta have declined to participate in the UCI ProTour. Recently, Paris-Nice organizers refused to allow entry for all twenty ProTour teams, and as a result, it lost UCI sanctioning and then converted to a French national calendar event. ASO formally denied participation of Unibet.com in favor of other "wild card" teams that they nominated. Unibet.com pointed out in its release that four ProTour teams will be excluded from the 2008 Tour de France and said that cash and favors friends determine the four wild card invitations.

    Unibet.com, which holds its ProTour license through 2010, warned that the decisions not to play along with the UCI "will have deplorable consequences" for the athletes and their teams. "Even the most exacting training does no longer guarantee a place in the major cycling races in France, Italy and Spain, the best cyclists will be threatened by the lack of security." They predict the subsequent withdrawal of sponsors who won't want to risk sponsoring a team "which, at the discretion of the organizers, may be prevented from racing at any time." What are the consequences for cycling fans? Unibet said, "They will...