- Article published:
- November 04, 2010, 20:24 GMT
- Jason Sumner
Boulder denied hosting stage, may still feature in 2011 event
After months of waiting and speculation, organizers of the Quiznos Pro Challenge revealed the 11 host cities for their new-for-2011 pro stage race at a well-attended press conference inside the golden-domed state capitol building in downtown Denver on Thursday.
Twenty-three cities applied but fewer than half got the nod to play host for what will be a 7-day, 560-mile race, August 22-28, 2011. The winners list read like a who's who of iconic Rocky Mountain locales: Aspen, Vail, Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, Denver, Crested Butte, Gunnison, Golden, Salida, Avon and Colorado Springs.
Noticeably absent from that list was Boulder, birthplace to the Quiznos race's predecessor, the Coors Classic, and a city widely regarded as one of America's most cycling friendly. But history and goodwill only get you so far in the big time stage race game. The price tag for hosting a start or finish was "in excess of $200,000," said Boulder local organizing committee chair Andrew Shoemaker. And that was not in the city's budget.
"We spent a lot of time talking with the organizers and even proposed paying a little more than half that because we felt Boulder brought a certain number of qualitative benefits," explained Shoemaker. "But the organizer's business model is that they have to be in the black from the start, so we couldn't make the connection. We also did the due diligence of looking at the possibility of raising the money. But the prospect of raising $200,000 for a for-profit race in the aftermath of two big wildfires [that both burned near the city in the last two months] was too daunting a task."
Shoemaker also pointed to limited hotel space in Boulder at that time of year due to the returning University of Colorado students. However, it's possible Boulder could still be slotted on the race route, as the week concludes with a stage from Golden to Denver that could easily be routed north to Boulder before heading back south to the state...
- Article published:
- November 04, 2010, 21:14 GMT
- Peter Cossins
Australian likely to start Tour de France if Contador is banned
One of the revelations of the 2010 season, Saxo Bank’s Richie Porte has revealed that he is set to work much more closely with team manager Bjarne Riis in 2011 with his focus very much on contending in grand tours. Seventh and best young rider at the Giro d’Italia, his grand tour debut, Porte does not yet know his program for next season, but has indicated that it could include a debut at the Tour de France.
Speaking to Cyclingnews from his home in Monaco, Porte said it will be interesting to see how Riis’s team performs after the departure of the Schleck brothers, Fabian Cancellara and several other key riders. “One thing that is clear is that this is going to be a very different team next year to the one I joined,” said Porte, who joined Saxo at the start of 2010.
“But I’m sure that Bjarne will still get the results that he always has. I have already sat down and had a chat with him and I know that I am going to be working a lot more closely with him next season.”
Porte’s program, and that of every one of his teammates, will of course depend on the situation involving new team leader Alberto Contador. If the Spaniard is banned, the Australian’s program is likely to change radically. “If Contador does not come then I will do the Tour, but with no pressure on, purely as a learning experience,” Porte explained. “But we’ll have to see what happens with Alberto.”
Although the Tour is definitely a goal for Porte, he said he would also like to gain more experience of the Classics. “I know my strength is stage races, but I’d also love to do well in some of the Classics. Amstel Gold may well suit me, but the one one-day race I’d really love to win is San Sebastian. I reckon it’s a really cool race, a special race because of the great course, and it’s really hooked me in. I also think I can do well in some of...
- Article published:
- November 04, 2010, 23:32 GMT
- Kirsten Frattini
Garmin-Transitions climber hopes for Boulder pass-by
Boulder native Peter Stetina (Garmin-Transitions) has expressed disappointed that his home town did not secure a stage of the Quiznos Pro Challenge, after the new race’s route was announced yesterday. Stetina is keeping his fingers crossed that the peloton might pass through the cycling mecca en route to the closing city of Denver, during the seven stage race scheduled for August 22-28 in Colorado, USA.
“I think the organisers chose a very good selection of cities and I was honestly just excited for anything because there is no bad news with this announcement for me,” Stetina told Cyclingnews. “I’m naturally disappointed not to see Boulder in the running because of its history with the Coors Classic but these other cities must have made very appealing offers.
“You can see based on the cities that were chosen that it is going to be a very good course with no long transfers,” he added. “As much excitement as there is, it would have been ten times higher if there was a stage coming to Boulder. But they haven’t announced the route so maybe it will pass through Boulder on the last day.”
Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong officially announced the inaugural Quiznos Pro Challenge at a press conference earlier this year. The event loosely mimics the former Coors Classic, held from 1979-1988 and considered one of the toughest events in the world in its day. Stetina’s mother, Anne, was the Coors Classic’s logistics director and his father, Dale, won the overall title twice in 1979 and 1983.
“It will be a very big race and a goal for Garmin-Transitions, being Colorado’s ProTour team,” Stetina said. “My Dad won the overall twice and there are only a handful of guys who did that. I have a lot of family history there too. My Mom worked on the board of the Coors Classic and, literally, that race was the...
- Article published:
- November 05, 2010, 9:21 GMT
- Susan Westemeyer
38-year-old tired of domestique duties
Veteran Swiss rider Alexandre Moos will swap his road bike for a mountain bike in 2011 but still compete for the BMC team, riding marathon events.
“The BMC Racing Team just got too big for me,” he told the Swiss newspaper Le Nouvelliste. “I would have had the job of being a helper for Cadel Evans. But I have filled that role too often in the past. Compared to other cyclists, I had the chance to decide when to stop. I was not forced into it.”
Moos rode professionally on the road for 15 years. He began his career in 1996 with Saeco and then rode for Festina in 1999 and KIA in 2000, before joining Phonak in 2001 and then BMC in 2007. He won the Swiss road championship in 2002, and won stages in both the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de Romandie. He finished in the top ten at Romandie four times between 2003 and 2006.
His last major race on the road was the Tour de Suisse but he did not start the final stage.
- Article published:
- November 05, 2010, 9:30 GMT
- Cycling News
Cancellara also said to have long planned team change
Andy and Fränk Schleck “lied” to Bjarne Riis earlier this year about their intentions of leaving his squad, the Team Saxo Bank owner has said. Questions have also been raised about how long Fabian Cancellara had been planning to change teams.
Interviewed on the Danish sport TV program Lige På og Sport (LPS), Riis said that he heard rumours in the spring of this year that the Schleck brothers would leave for a new team. He asked them directly if it was true, but said they denied it.
“It is disappointing. I can't do anything about them talking to others, they are allowed to do that. I have confirmed that they lied to me. I think that is unfortunate,” Riis said.
The broadcast claims that the Schlecks were already in talks with the new Luxembourg team at the time, despite their denials to Riis.
“Of course I had my doubts, but it was all so new. I feel like I have to rely on my people because, after all, that is what the team is built on. We need to trust each other, it's part of our values.”
Cancellara in negotiations last winter?
This week, World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara indicated that the signing of Alberto Contador was the final impetus for him to leave Saxo Bank a year ahead of the end of his contract. However, LPS claims that he was already in touch with the new Luxembourg team as early as December 2009.
Last winter, former Astana manager Marc Biver was in charge of the project, and has confirmed that he was negotiating with Cancellara at the time. “Cancellara knew it,” Biver said according to the program.
“I know Cancellara and I personally had a talk with him about it. It was in December and January,” he said.
The Swiss rider's photo is even said to have been used in promotional materials.
Riis was not happy to lose Cancellara, particularly this way. ...