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First Edition Cycling News for May 2, 2007

Date published:
May 02, 2007, 1:00 BST
  • Mikic foundation launched

    Article published:
    May 02, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Following the tragic death of promising young New South Wales, Australia cyclist Ben Mikic last...

    Following the tragic death of promising young New South Wales, Australia cyclist Ben Mikic last Friday, a foundation has been established at the request of the 15 year-olds' parents to be known as the Ben Mikic Foundation for Young Cyclists. The foundation will aim to further educate road users and support young cyclists pursuing their dreams.

    "Ben himself dreamt of doing the Tour de France so some of the money raised through this Foundation might help other young cyclists like Ben achieve such a dream," said foundation spokesperson Michele O'Byrne.

    Mikic passed away on Friday, April 27 as a results of injuries suffered when he was struck by a vehicle at an intersection that afternoon. Close friend Alex Tomlinson was also injured in the accident but was released from hospital on Monday.

    For donation details visit the Southern Highlands Cycling Club's website.

  • Canberra Cycling Club concerned for injured cyclists

    Article published:
    May 02, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    The organiser of the Canberra Tour, the Canberra Cycling Club, has issued a statement following the...

    The organiser of the Canberra Tour, the Canberra Cycling Club, has issued a statement following the tragic accident during the weekend's event which left an un-named Sydney rider in a serious condition in hospital after a group of riders tangled and fell into oncoming traffic.

    "On behalf of the many cyclists in Canberra, the Canberra Cycling Club expresses its deep sympathy for the riders injured in [the] unfortunate accident at the 24th Canberra Tour," read the statement. "Our thoughts are with the injured riders and their families, and we look forward to their speedy recovery. The Club is providing direct support to those involved and is assisting wherever it can."

    The 2007 edition of the race was the largest in its history and the first time such a serious accident had occurred. The rider, whose name has been withheld at the family's request, is believed to still be in intensive care in a Canberra hospital.

    "While the Club does not wish to understate the risks of conducting competitive cycling events on our roads, thousands of cyclists do race on our roads across the country each week, and safety planning in close cooperation with both Police and local government has been very effective in minimising these risks."

    "As the organiser of the event, the Canberra Cycling Club will be examining its procedures with relevant authorities to ensure that the most appropriate measures are implemented for all future events."

    Amongst the possible safety measures being considered is the complete closure of roads to traffic during the event, race spokeswoman Tanya Sard told ABC Radio on Monday.

    "Once again, the Canberra Cycling Club sincerely regrets the accident and expresses its concern for the injured cyclists, their families and all those affected by it," concluded the release issued by club president John May.

  • Murray tour to cross new borders

    Article published:
    May 02, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Australia's Tour of the Murray River will expand in 2007 to cover three states during an extended...

    Australia's Tour of the Murray River will expand in 2007 to cover three states during an extended eight-day tour. The August 26-September 2 event, which will span dozens of towns in New South Wales, Victoria and for the first time South Australia, has a budget of $400,000 AUD for this year's edition.

    "The tour, in terms of days, will be Australia's longest cycling event and is a tribute to its controlled growth," said tour convenor Cr. Eddie Warhurst.

    The event's expansion into South Australia, where the final two days will be held, was generated by the District Council of Loxton Waikerie. The area's Mayor, Cr. Dean Maywald, said securing the tour was an "exciting venture" for the municipality.

    "This is a big event," Maywald said. "It will bring top-flight international cyclists to our region and provide excellent publicity in Australia and overseas.

    "The council sees this as a possible long-term tourism project where we can promote Loxton Waikerie in a previously untapped market."

    Loxton will host two town and riverfront stages on Saturday, September 1, before the tour entourage moves to Waikerie for the final riverfront stage the following day.

    The Tour of the Murray River was first held as a three-day event in 1996, known then as the Tour of Sunraysia. It was expanded into a four-day tour in 2002, five days in 2005 with a name change, and six days in 2006. Previous winners include Sydney Olympic Games gold medallist Brett Aitken and T-Mobile's Greg Henderson.

    Tour director John Craven said the 2007 race would cover 750 kilometres broken across 13 stages and with $40,000 AUD in prize money on offer. "This is a unique concept in Australian sport," Craven said. "It is more than just a bike race - it is a community event bringing major sport to rural communities."

  • Kelly Benefit Strategies upbeat after strong Virginia showing

    Article published:
    May 02, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Kelly Benefit Strategies performance director, Jonas Carney, believes the squad's strong Tour of...

    Kelly Benefit Strategies performance director, Jonas Carney, believes the squad's strong Tour of Virginia campaign will set it up well for this month's FBD Insurance Ras in Ireland. A consistent ride throughout the seven stage tour allowed the American Continental team's Dan Bowman to take second place on general classification, a nudge over one minute behind Caico's winner Javier Zapata.

    "I was extremely excited by the attitude and performance of all six of our guys throughout the Tour of Virginia," said Carney. "Dan Bowman and Dominique Perras were the only two athletes in the pack capable of staying with the Colombians on the category one climbs, and our squad never stopped attacking or missed a break in any stage of the race."

    In addition to Bowman's podium placing, teammates Dominique Perras and Nick Waite both finished in the top 20, in 12th and 19th sports respectively.

    "The team is right on track for the Pro Cycling Tour in early June and ready for the FBD Ras in Ireland - where we'll continue having a strong year," added Carney.

  • Manager delighted with Kodak double take

    Jesse Anthony wins Virginia's final stage
    Article published:
    May 02, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Kodak Gallery cycling team's general manager, Robin Zellner, is delighted with the team's form,...

    Kodak Gallery cycling team's general manager, Robin Zellner, is delighted with the team's form, following its double victory on Sunday. The American Continental squad enjoyed a fruitful weekend which started with Josh Thornton's second place at the Athens Twilight Criterium, followed by Dominique Rollin first and Thornton's third placings at the Roswell Criterium the following day. To top it all off, the squad also took victory with Jesse Anthony on the Tour of Virginia's final stage.

    "These guys are showing what our team is made of," said Zellner. "It speaks great volumes about the depth and character of our team when we win two NRC races on the same day! Dominique and Josh are riding out of their skulls right now."

    The crop of results should form a strong launchpad for the squad's next stage race, the Joe Martin Stage Race in Arkansas, from May 11-13.

  • Britain the king of world cycling?

    Article published:
    May 02, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    British Cycling CEO Peter King has high expectations of the Great Britain cycling team at next...

    British Cycling CEO Peter King has high expectations of the Great Britain cycling team at next year's Beijing Olympic Games, declaring the national team as "the most professional in cycling". The governing body's head-honcho spoke out about the squad's form, following a massive seven gold medal hall at the world track championships, in a candid interview with the BBC in which he slammed 'less exciting' sports.

    "We were number one in 2005 and will be again this year," said King. "We are the most professional team in cycling and we are the most professional Olympic sport in Britain."

    In addition to the strong showing on the track in Majorca, where the GB squad brought home an impressive 11 medals, British riders have also tasted success on the road, with 20 year-old Mark Cavendish beating his super-experienced rivals to win the Belgian semi-classic Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen. Additionally, Great Britain's Nicole Cooke has dominated the women's peloton in the early stages of this season, with the World Cup leader having taken five victories including the Tour of Flanders.

    "In terms of the Olympics most of [the GB teams in] the other sports just aren't winning things, particularly athletics and swimming," added King. "Okay, rowing and sailing are doing well, but they are hardly the most accessible or exciting of sports are they? Cycling has always been a sport for everybody, perhaps more now than ever before."

    Speaking at the Mountain Bike World Championships, which will be held at Fort William from September 3-9, media launch, King also declared his hopes for more cycling disciplines to get an Olympic call up.

    "It's a shame the downhillers aren't in the Olympics. But these things take time. We will just have to convince the IOC that the downhill is more exciting than sports like rowing," King said cheekily.

  • Copenhagen first to get UCI Bike City branding

    The world's first Bike City
    Article published:
    May 02, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    UCI president Pat McQuaid met with the Danish Minister for Sport, Mr Brian Mikkelsen, and the Mayor...

    UCI president Pat McQuaid met with the Danish Minister for Sport, Mr Brian Mikkelsen, and the Mayor of Copenhagen, Mr Martin Geertsen, to sign the UCI Bike City contract between the International Cycling Union and the city of Copenhagen yesterday. The Denmark city is the first city to be awarded the UCI Bike City label, which recognizes "internationally renowned cities wanting to get involved in cycling (from competition to sport for all), as an environmentally-friendly leisure sport and a gentle means of transport," according to a statement from the UCI.

    "The UCI is delighted with Copenhagen's commitment to cycling," read a statement from the organisation, "both in terms of the organisation of high level competitions as well is in the development of leisure cycling on a daily basis."

    The awarding of the 'UCI Bike City' label is decided based on criteria such as the international standing of the city and its active commitment to develop cycling in the form of organisation of cycling events, network of cycle tracks and other quality facilities.

    Cities that wish to obtain this label can submit an application to the UCI to organise events on the UCI international calendar such as World Cups, World Championships and other UCI races in any of the governing body's recognized disciplines.

    Copenhagen will host UCI BMX Supercross World Cup races in 2008 and 2009, a UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics race in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009, as well as the 2010 UCI Track Cycling World Championships and the 2011 UCI Road World Championships.

  • Top level pro racing returns to Ireland

    Irish model Jenny Lee Masterson and Sean Kelly
    Article published:
    May 02, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Shane Stokes Fifteen years after the final Nissan Classic was won by Phil Anderson, some of the...

    By Shane Stokes

    Fifteen years after the final Nissan Classic was won by Phil Anderson, some of the world's top pro teams and riders will return for the new-look five-day Tour of Ireland.

    Running from August 22-26, it will begin in Kilkenny and end five days later in front of Government buildings on Merrion Square, Dublin. It will be heavily backed by the Irish Tourism board, Bord Fáilte, and is expected to feature several ProTour teams.

    Ranked as a 2.1 event, the race will be organised and promoted by the Events Group, previously responsible for the Nissan Classic and the hosting of the 1998 Tour de France in Ireland, as well as Shade Tree Sports.

    The race will revisit many of the highlights of the Nissan Classic, which ran from 1985 to 1992. St. Patrick's Hill in Cork, perhaps the most famous 'wall' in the country, will feature, as will other Nissan staples such as the Healy Pass, Moll's Gap and Ladies View. It will also pass through Carrick-on-Suir, the hometown of four-time winner Sean Kelly, who said on Tuesday afternoon that the race will be of major significance for Irish cycling.

    "It is of huge importance to have the event back on the road again," he stated. "It helps to promote cycling in this country and to get the race back will really help boost interest in the sport once more. It dropped off in the past, and while it has been building up a bit over the past couple of years, a professional event such as this will certainly help it grow.

    "It will also help bring through the next batch of strong Irish riders. Things are improving now with young guys such as Nicolas Roche and Philip Deignan, and this will certainly be important."

    Stage one will take the riders 160 kilometres from Kilkenny Castle to Cork, passing through Carrick on Suir and Middleton before finishing with two ascents of the legendary St. Patrick's Hill. The following day the riders will pass through the Beara Peninsula, taking...

  • German Olympic cyclists to provide DNA

    Article published:
    May 02, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    German cyclists wishing to represent their country in Olympic competition must agree to provide a...

    German cyclists wishing to represent their country in Olympic competition must agree to provide a DNA sample first, Rudolf Scharping, president of the German cycling federation (BDR) announced on Tuesday. "No DNA sample, no Olympics," Scharping told press agency dpa.

    "Doping has been following us like a plague since July 2006," continued Scharping. "The BDR's strict anti-doping course will become the standard in international cycling."

    The new measures apply to all German riders, including those living outside the country or riding for non-German teams. All samples will to be stored at the Frieburg University Clinic according to BDR sport director Burkhard Bremer.

    The clinic is currently investigating allegations from former Team Telekom soigneur Jeff D'Hont that two of its doctors, Lothar Heinrich and Andreas Schmid, provided EPO to former riders Bjarne Riis and Jan Ullrich. Scharping has said he expects the T-Mobile Team (formerly Telekom) to thoroughly investigate the allegations. "The clinic and T-Mobile will clear up the affair," he said.