Former Equipe Nürnberger squad announce revamped "Speed Queen" line-up
Germany's Skyter World Team today announced their full 14-rider roster for the 2010 season. The women's professional team, formerly known as Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung, will include 10 German and four international riders. It was also announced that the squad will also carry the nickname of "Speed Queens" through 2010.
With five riders departing at the end of the 2009, the team have recruited a host of new talent. The signatures of Australia's Tiffany Cromwell, Swiss Jennifer Hohl and Olympic Champion Nicole Cooke were all confirmed by the team last month. The trio will be joined German newcomers Angela Hennig and Tina Liebig.
The quintet will form part of a formidable squad that also includes American Amber Neben and German riders Charlotte Becker, Trixi Worrack, Marlen Jöhrend, Romy Kasper, Eva Lutz, Madeleine Sandig, Stephanie Pohl and Bianca Purath.
The team achieved 17 victories and a further 37 podium appearances in 2009. The squad, which will continue to be based from Nürnberg, Germany, said today that they were confident that their new signings would contribute to ongoing success next year.
"With international stars Cooke, Hohl and Neben joining forces with our top German riders, we emphasize this claim and will ride next year for victories," said manager Herbert Oppelt. "We are confident the Speed Queens will achieve a great deal of success for our main sponsor, Skyter. The region of Nürnberg will also be successfully represented."
Weekend event takes recreational riders through pro course
Organisers of the Tour of the Battenkill will hold a non-competitive ride this weekend over the same course used by professional racers in the April event.
The Tour of the Battenkill Fall Ride will take place Saturday, November 7th in Cambridge, New York. The course features 25% un-paved roads, covered bridges, scenic countryside, and direct passes through the small villages in Upstate New York's Washington County. All riders participating in the Fall Ride will be supported with rest stops, mechanical support, and follow vehicles.
The Tour of the Battenkill will make its debut on the UCI calendar in 2010, and will be held over two weekends next April with a Pro/Am on Saturday, April 10 and the UCI-classified Professional Invitational on Sunday, April 18. In addition, a non-competitive ride to benefit a national charity is soon to be announced for Saturday, April 17 - the day before the professional race. Food and sports & fitness expos are planned for both weekends in April.
Anthony, Macgregor, Boyd and East fill out 2010 roster
Kelly Benefit Strategies has recruited four young American talents for its 2010 roster. Among the updated roster is Jesse Anthony, Ian Macgregor, Guy East and Alex Boyd.
Coming from Team Type 1, Anthony is a seven-time under-23 US National Cyclo-Cross Champion and more recently the 2009 Tour of Taiwan King of the Mountain winner.
Ian Macgregor, also from Team Type 1, is a two-time under-23 US National Road Champion and scored stages wins at the Tour de Beauce and Fitchburg Longsjo Classic. Alex Boyd joins the team from Rock Racing along with Guy East from Trek-Livestrong.
The new signings fall in line with the latest UCI rule whereby United States-based Continental teams must have the majority of its riders American and under the age of twenty-eight.
"Everything is set to go for 2010 and I am in the process of finalizing the roster," said Directeur Sportif Jonas Carney. "It's too early to give you an updated roster. However, our team will remain very similar, but there are a couple of new faces."
"We've been patient, it's our third season," Carney said. "Our first year was to build a foundation and our philosophy was to build the team around a core group of riders and not just buy one big name that could win races for us. We wanted a team with a lot of depth that could do a lot of things. Sometimes that can be tough because if the racing is negative or controlled we don't have the fastest time trialist or sprinter. But, if there are opportunities we do very well."
According to Carney, Kelly Benefit Strategies will focus on marquee races like the USPro Championships, the Philadelphia International Cycling Championships and the Tour of California, should it receive an invitation. The 2010 schedule will include east coast races where title sponsor Kelly Benefit Strategies has a strong market.
The team experienced a magnitude of success that included wins at the Tour of Thailand, Tour of Uruguay, Tour du Beauce...
Fourteen Euro pros to end their 2009 season in Netherlands Antilles sunshine
The 8th Amstel Curaçao Race will take place November 7 on the island of Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles, attracting several of the European peloton's stars to the Caribbean for their final competition of the 2009 season.
Highlighting the start list of the 80-kilometre race will be two-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador (Astana), a winner of the Amstel Curaçao Race in 2007. Organizer Leo van Vliet is proud that the winner of the Tour de France will be present again. "I have built up a special bond with Contador two years ago," said van Vliet. "Every time I see him at a race, he starts talking about Curaçao. Even after winning the yellow jersey at Verbier! He saw me walking down the mountain and asked his race director to stop to give us a ride down. Besides talking about his great victory that day, we also spoke about Curacao."
Other big names from the 2009 Tour de France include runner-up and white jersey winner Andy Schleck, six-time stage winner Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC), green jersey winner Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam), fifth place finisher Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank) and fan favourite Kenny van Hummel (Skil-Shimano), who attracted much attention in his quest to beat the time cuts each day in the mountains during his Tour debut.
Also scheduled to compete in Curaçao are Dutch national champion Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank), former cyclo-cross world champion and Vuelta a España stage winner Lars Boom (Rabobank), 2002 Tour stage winner Karsten Kroon (Saxo Bank) and 2009 Vuelta a España revelation Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil).
Scandinavians Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-HTC), Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) and Gabriel Rasch (Cervélo TestTeam) plus Spain's Jesus Hernandez (Astana) complete the professional start list in an event open to recreational riders as well.
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After spending his first year in the professional ranks, talented young Australian Cameron Meyer believes that the confidence gained in his debut season should help him achieve even bigger things in 2010, which will probably include another ride in the Giro d’Italia.
“I gained confidence after this year’s Giro – obviously it was my first year in the pros and that being my first big race in Europe, it was quite scary and I wondered how I was going to handle it physically and mentally,” said Meyer.
“At the end of 13 stages I felt I could have finished the Giro,” he added. “I think going into next year’s race I’ll have the confidence to realise that I can finish the Giro and come out the other side not being fried and able to compete in other races.”
Some of those “other races” include the Tour de Suisse, where Meyer took sixth on the final stage time trial of this year's edition, beating the likes of Roman Kreuziger, Andreas Klöden, Thor Hushovd and countryman Stuart O’Grady on his way to 68th overall. It wasn’t the final placing on general classification that mattered, rather the indication that he may be a contender in the future.
“[The time trial at the Tour de Suisse] gave me a lot of confidence as well,” he said. “To come out of the Giro and still have the legs two or three weeks later to ride a nine-day tour and at the end of the event do a 40 km time trial and run sixth, within 10 seconds of guys like Sylvain Chavanel and in front of guys like [Roman] Kreuziger… that gave me real confidence that next year I can go that one step further and maybe over the nine days produce better results consistently.”
Another factor in his continuing development is Meyer’s team, the Garmin-Slipstream squad boasting experienced individuals who are more than happy to impart their knowledge to a youngster...
More than 18 months imprisonment requested for "Dr. Mabuse"
Former pro cycling soigneur Bernard Sainz, whose activities had been revealed in the late 90's during the Festina scandal, may finally be sentenced to serve a prison term of "more than 18 months". Public prosecutors requested three years of imprisonment for the Frenchman at an appeal hearing in a Paris court on Thursday, with a minimum of at least half the term to be served.
Sainz had appealed an April 2008 court decision that had sentenced him to three years of jail, 18 months served, for inciting the use of doping products and illegal medical activity. The now 66-year-old thought this sentence "very severe", but the appeal court may uphold and enforce the judgement when it renders its verdict on January 28, 2010.
The former soigneur, who always insisted that the products he gave pro cyclists were homeopathic treatments, was depicted as being a "simple charlatan, a bad guru" by public prosecutor Anne Obez-Vosgien. "This affair is important, because he spent 30 years in pro cycling using the riders," she said, justifying the prison request.
Paul Mauriac, attorney of the French cycling federation (FFC), one of the case's civil parties, hoped that "his ability to do harm will be stopped. If you kick Mr Sainz out of the door, he comes back through the window." Sainz had been stopped by police in Belgium in 2002, while he was under judicial supervision and not allowed to travel beyond France's borders.
Mauriac also said that Sainz had been in contact with Frank Vandenbroucke shortly before the former rider died in Senegal a few weeks ago. Evidence gathered during the trial described Sainz as a "powerful doper", who had verbal compensation agreements with the riders in case of victory.
Rumour mill continues as British squad takes shape
Team Sky has reportedly delayed its final announcement of its 2010 roster as attempts to secure the services of Bradley Wiggins are pursued.
According to The Guardian newspaper, Team Sky’s management team is adamant it can get its man, the reigning Olympic individual and team pursuit champion and the first British rider since Robert Millar to finish in the top five overall at the Tour de France. Wiggins finished fourth in this year’s Tour.
Garmin-Slipstream boss Jonathan Vaughters has constantly been forced to reiterate his position on Wiggins’ slated move in recent times, telling Cyclingnews that the Brit has another year left on his contract and that therefore he would be lining up for the American squad in 2010.
Recently, Garmin-Slipstream directeur sportif Matt White made the team’s position clear to Cyclingnews, saying: “He’s got a contract with us for next year.” He admitted that in his position, however, “What happens with Bradley next year is out of my hands.” White also indicated that Wiggins’ performances and attitude to the team following his successful Tour de France ride have given management no reason to believe he’ll be making the move to Team Sky.
“When I go to races it’s me dealing with him as athlete and manager, and we’ve had super results since the end of the Tour. He was good at Eneco Tour and helped Chris at Tour of Britain, then we won the Herald Sun Tour,” said White.
While a buyout of Wiggins’ contract would be costly and must be agreed upon by the management of both teams, The Guardian reports that representatives of the British ProTour outfit travelled to New York recently to meet with Vaughters’ lawyers, with Wiggins the obvious topic of conversation. Team Sky has denied this rumour, which originally started with incorrect reports that team manager David...
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced the new composition of the ProTour council (UPTC). Following the UCI Management Committee meeting on September 23, in Lugano, Switzerland, changes have been made to the UPTC as well as the different UCI commissions.
Amongst the five members of the UPTC that are appointed by the UCI, four memberships have been modified. Felice Gimondi, Miguel Indurain, Rudolf Scharping and Hein Verbruggen will no longer assist the council's president, Vittorio Adorni, but will be replaced by: Roger Legeay, Ramón Mendiburu, Stephen Roche and Erik Zabel.
The council has 12 members, including president Adorni. Two members represent the riders (Dario Cioni, Céric Vasseur), two represent race organisers (Michael Hinz, Charly Mottet), two represent the teams (Roberto Amadio, Jonathan Vaughters) and the remaining five are nominated by the UCI.
The commissions for the Paralympic and Olympic cycling disciplines (road, track, mountain bike, cyclo-cross, BMX and para-cycling) have also been subject to change. Their compositions are available on the UCI website.