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First Edition Cycling News, January 13, 2008

Date published:
January 13, 2008, 0:00 GMT
  • Saunier Duval-Scott optimistic for 2008

    Article published:
    January 13, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Saunier Duval-Scott Directeur Sportif Joxean 'Matxin' Fernández is optimistic about the season...

    Saunier Duval-Scott Directeur Sportif Joxean 'Matxin' Fernández is optimistic about the season ahead, despite admitting it will be difficult for the Spanish outfit to reach the success it enjoyed in 2007 due to some key losses from its roster. The team, which held its presentation at the Nazaries Hotel in Granada yesterday, has lost top riders like David Millar (Team Slipstream) and Gilberto Simoni (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocatoli) this season.

    "It won't be easy, because to clinch 29 wins as we did in 2007 means we'll have to work very hard," Matxin said. "Moreover, it'll be complicated for us as we've chosen younger riders, nine of which are under 24."

    Matxin is hopefully the young age of his outfit will not result in less victories for the Spanish ProTour squad in 2008, saying that he hopes the lack of big names will motivate the younger riders to come out of the shadows and give their all. "I really believe our team is better than the 2007 squad, with fewer big names but stronger as a group," he said. "We've lost important men like Millar, Simoni or Ventoso, granted, but we'll have a more cohesive group. Above all, we'll have to boost our young guns' confidence. Otherwise, they'd feel overshadowed by the leaders. To be sure, this team includes some of tomorrow's cycling stars."

    With the lack of big named riders, Riccardo Riccò aside, to carry the squad through the massive Grand Tours in Italy, France and Spain, Matxin says his outfit will be aiming for victory in any race it enters. "We'll have a couple of riders fighting for victory in each race, starting with the Tour Down Under (Australia), the Tour de San Luis (Argentina), and the Tour of Qatar, our first events of the season, beginning in ten days," he said. "Naturally, the focus will be on the Grand Tours. Although it may seem that our chances are slim because we don't have a clear leader, I trust Gómez Marchante and Cobo for the Tour de France and...

  • O'Grady, Goss out of Aussie titles

    Article published:
    January 13, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Greg Johnson & Steve Medcroft

    Team CSC duo Stuart O'Grady and Matthew Goss are late withdrawals from the Australian Open Road...

    Team CSC duo Stuart O'Grady and Matthew Goss are late withdrawals from the Australian Open Road Championships' Elite Men's road race in Ballarat, Melbourne today, with the pair deciding to focus their efforts on this year's Tour Down Under. It's believed the the pair's Team CSC team-mates will be arriving in Adelaide at some point today, where they will meet up and start preparations for the ProTour's opening round which starts in a week's time.

    "Last night both Stuart and Matt decided not to participate. It is too early season for them and it would interfere with their preparation for the TDU and the classics," team sport director Scott Sunderland said.

    Sunderland, himself a former professional from Australia, believes that the timing of the Australian nationals always presents an issue for the nation's top riders, as its far too early in the season for the riders to be at the top of their game. "In this part of the season it's much more important to train than race," Sunderland said recently. "It will always be a problem with the Australian championships and I felt the same way back when I was racing myself. Last year they skipped the championships and they were happy about that afterwards."

    While the absence of Goss and the 2007 Paris-Roubaix winner will undoubtedly be a blow for the Australian nationals race, it will still feature a quality field of some 110 riders. The 163.2 kilometre championship race will start at 11 AM local time today.

  • ZteaM announces elite team

    Article published:
    January 13, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Greg Johnson & Steve Medcroft

    ZteaM Cycling announced today its entry phase into the US professional circuit, providing Category 1...

    ZteaM Cycling announced today its entry phase into the US professional circuit, providing Category 1 riders the ability to compete at the national level against some of the nation's top professionals. Added to the roster for 2008 is Dave McCook, the current Points Race National Champion and 1994 National Criterium Champion. McCook will help manage the race team along with veteran rider Christian Kearney.

    Also bringing added experience and horsepower to the squad is Uthman Ray IV, Chris Swan, Stephen Dey and one-time Swedish junior national champion Martin Erlandsson. Five of the sqauds riders come from SugarCRM, which recently cancelled funding for its team. ZteaM's current squad includes two newer riders, Nathan English and Justin Laue, who have already been on the podium in some local races.

    "Professional cycling is something we have been planning for our club from day one and it is coming a year earlier than planned with the fall out of SugarCRM's funding," said the team's founder, Hunter Ziesing. "We are sorry these boys lost their funding but it is an opportunity for us to experience racing with the Pro's before we launch our full D3 continental team effort in 2009. With six Cat 1 riders we should be able to participate in most of the 50 or so NRC races in the US this year."

    ZteaM's race captain, Hans Gouwens, said that additional funding will be needed in 2008, but since the club is a charitable organization that supports cycling, he thinks he can count on sponsors as well as ZteaM members to fund this year's initial Pro development effort. "Last year we brought in cycling legend Eddie Merckx from Belgium who helped raise over $20,000 for the Oak Hill School for autism," said Gouwens. "This year with the help of Bob Roll, we helped raise close to $10,000 for the Nor Cal High School MTB Cycling League and Trips for Kids."

    ZteaM has scheduled its winter training camp in Mendocino , CA for late February and will begin racing locally...

  • New partner for women's NZ tour

    Article published:
    January 13, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Greg Johnson & Steve Medcroft

    The UCI has granted international status to a five-day women’s classic in New Zealand this February,...

    The UCI has granted international status to a five-day women’s classic in New Zealand this February, while organisers have announced that New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) has signed on as the event's title sponsor. The event will be run by promoter Jorge Sandoval, who has been working with the UCI to ensure its international status and secure sponsorship for the tour that will start in the Hutt Valley on February 27.

    "This is great news for our sport and the region," Sandoval said. "To have NZCT on board is very special as it gives us the confidence to put on a first class event in 2008 and in the years to come."

    Sandoval hopes that the new tour will assist the Wellington region to regain a round of the Women's World Cup, which it last hosted in 2006. “We are trying really hard to get the world cup back to Wellington from 2009," he said. "We recently meet with the UCI Vice – President and we have been invited to go to the UCI in Switzerland early in 2008 to do a formal presentation."

    "In order to keep the momentum from the two World Cups in 2005 and 2006, we will run a bigger NZCT Women’s Tour of New Zealand next year in the Wellington and Wairarapa area and one of the stages will take place in the proposed new circuit for the 2009 women’s world cup." Sandoval added.

    Riders in next year’s NZCT funded event will race up the steepest hill climbs in the Wairarapa – Admiral hill and Te Wharau hill - previously used only by their male counterparts. This will be a testing introduction to the tour as it will happen on the second day of racing. This will prove particularly gruelling for the European riders who come to New Zealand early in their season.

    Over the five days of racing riders will complete six stages for a total of 470 kilometres. The race starts with a circuit in Hutt City on Wednesday 27th February at 2.00pm, and finishes with a criterium race in downtown Wellington on Sunday March 2.

  • TDU extends deadline for Škoda Breakaway Series

    Article published:
    January 13, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Greg Johnson & Steve Medcroft

    South Australians have been given a few extra days to sign up for the Tour Down Under’s Škoda...

    South Australians have been given a few extra days to sign up for the Tour Down Under’s Škoda Breakaway Series, after a record breaking late surge of entries. Organisers have extended the deadline to 5 PM Monday, January 14, 2008, with entries for one of the series’ events - the Mutual Community Challenge Tour - already reaching record levels. More than 3200 people have signed up to ride the same route as the professionals from Mannum to Strathalbyn on Friday, January 25, over 500 more than the previous record.

    Organisers have set another record with more than 3860 people signing up for the whole Škoda Breakaway Series, which also includes the Mutual Community Fun Tour the Mini Tour for Kids. "This is an historic year for our Tour Down Under and we want to make sure that South Australians don’t miss out on the chance to take part," Premier Mike Rann says.

    “Our race is joining the elite UCI ProTour circuit and it has brought with it new levels of interest, not just among cycling enthusiasts, but all South Australians," he added. “This is a chance for people to be part of history as either a spectator at the official races or as a participant through the Škoda Breakaway Series.

    The Škoda Breakaway Series has an event for all levels of fitness and abilities - from the first time rider and children on training wheels to serious regular cyclists. Events are:
    1 - The Mutual Community Challenge Tour presented by The Advertiser (25 January) where cyclists can ride the same 134km stage four route as the world’s top cyclists - from the river town of Mannum through the Adelaide Hills to Strathalbyn. A 73.5km route is also available.
    2 - The Mutual Community Fun Tour presented by The Advertiser (20 January) where anyone who can ride a bike can cycle 12km from the city to Glenelg, finishing with a lap around the Down Under Classic course.
    3 - The Mini Tour for Kids presented by UniSA (20 January)...

  • Triple Crown dates announced

    Article published:
    January 13, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Greg Johnson & Steve Medcroft

    Commerce Bank Triple Crown of Cycling organiser Pro Cycling Tour LLC has announced the 2008 race...

    Commerce Bank Triple Crown of Cycling organiser Pro Cycling Tour LLC has announced the 2008 race names and dates for its all Pennsylvanian international pro cycling series. The 2008 series will start off with an all new event, the Lehigh Valley Classic on Tuesday, June 3.

    "There’s always something new and exciting to look forward to during the Triple Crown Race Series," said David Chauner, Pro Cycling Tour director. "Thanks to our extremely enthusiastic sponsor, Commerce Bank, and the tremendous support of the Commonwealth of PA and the cities of Philadelphia, Reading and Allentown, the 2008 series is shaping up to be one of the most successful series in our event history."

    The three Classic events will draw over 400,000 spectators, 400 professional cyclists from 23 countries, close to 1000 amateur cyclists in ancillary events, and over 60 expo exhibitors which will attract more than 50,000 visitors, according to Pro Cycling Tour LLC.

    The Philadelphia International Championship will celebrate its 24th year in 2008 and its companion women’s race, the Liberty Classic, will celebrate its 15th anniversary.

    Triple Crown dates and venues:
    Commerce Bank Lehigh Valley Classic: Tuesday, June 3 , 2008
    Commerce Bank Reading Classic: Thursday, June 5, 2008
    Commerce Bank Liberty Classic: Sunday, June 8, 2008
    Commerce Bank Philadelphia International Championship Sunday, June 8, 2008

  • Colavita/Sutter Home women's team names Director Sportif

    Article published:
    January 13, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Greg Johnson & Steve Medcroft

    Jack Seehafer has been named Director Sportif of the Colavita/Sutter Home Women’s Cycling Team for...

    Jack Seehafer has been named Director Sportif of the Colavita/Sutter Home Women’s Cycling Team for the 2008 season. Seehafer, who has over 15 years experience in road and BMX racing, most recently led Team Einstein’s Cycling development program.

    "We’re pleased to welcome this latest addition to the Colavita/Sutter Home family," said John A. Profaci, Vice President of co-title sponsor Colavita USA. "Jack came highly recommended to us from within cycling where he’s recognized for building team environments that encourage athletes to achieve their personal bests."

    Seehafer’s first initiative as Director Sportif has been developing a joint training program for the Colavita/Sutter Home Men’s and Women’s Cycling Teams. The squads will gather at Yosemite National Park from March 3-7 for four days of training, team-building workshops, and orientation to the new equipment they will be using throughout the season.

    "I’m thrilled to join the Colavita/Sutter Home squad," said Seehafer. "I’ve been cheering for five-time U.S. National Champion Tina Pic ever since she and my wife [Kori Kelly Seehafer] raced together for Genesis Scuba. I look forward to working with Tina as she aims for her 6th national championship title. With the powerhouse trio of returning cyclists Dotsie Bausch, Alison Powers, and Iona Wynter-Parks and the new talent that we’ve signed, I expect this will be the best season ever for the Colavita/Sutter Home Women’s Cycling Team."

    At Yosemite, the Colavita/Sutter Home squads will have the opportunity to train with the new Jamis Xenith SL road bikes, supplied by bike sponsor Jamis Bicycles. "We’ve re-engineered the Xenith SL for the 2008 season to reduce frame weight by as much as 10%, with some dipping under the 850g mark," said Jamis CEO and President Carine Joannou. "The Colavita/Sutter Home cyclists will also be the first pros to race with our innovative Xenith T2 time...

  • Aussie teams for LA Track World Cup

    Article published:
    January 13, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Greg Johnson & Steve Medcroft

    Cycling Australia has announced the members of the Australian National and Team Toshiba outfits that...

    Cycling Australia has announced the members of the Australian National and Team Toshiba outfits that will contest the third round of the 2007-08 UCI Track World Cup series to be raced in Los Angeles from January 18 to 20. The event will mark the return of new Team CSC signing Bradley McGee's return to the track as the New South Welshman prepares for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in August.

    In addition to the two national outfits, Drapac Porsche will be sending a sole rider to represent the Victorian team, with Phillip Thuaux of Point Clare in New South Wales to fly the outfit's flag in Los Angeles.

    Australian National Team: Katherine Bates, Jack Bobridge, Peter Dawson, Mark French, Belinda Goss, Mark Jamieson, Ben Kersten, Kerrie Meares, Karle McCulloch, Bradley McGee, Cameron Meyer, Jason Niblett and Glenn O'Shea.
    Team Toshiba - Australian Professional Track Team: Ryan Bayley, Daniel Ellis, Shane Kelly, Anna Meares, Scott Sunderland,