The Netherlands have replaced Germany at the top of the International Cycling Union's (UCI) women's national world rankings, released this week.
Germany dropped back into second spot in the ranking as a result of the strong performances of Dutch riders and a roll over of UCI points from results older than 12 months.
Dutchwomen Marianne Vos (DSB Bank – LTO) and Kirsten Wild (Cervélo TestTeam) completed a one-two finish for their nation in Sunday's Swedish round of the women's World Cup at the Open de Suède Vargarda.
The Netherlands now have 2942 points, 40 points ahead of Germany (2902).
Sweden replaced Italy in third place on the ranking following the consistent performances of current World Cup leader Emma Johansson. The Red Sun Cycling Team rider hasn't finished outside the top five in any of this year's eight World Cup rounds.
Below is the complete list of the UCI's latest national world rankings for women:
Milram rider anxious to return in time for Vuelta and Worlds
Fabian Wegmann of Team Milram had hoped to top off a mixed season by riding well in the season's final races, but the effects of an ongoing back injury suffered in June could threaten his late season race schedule. Wegmann will be assessed by physicians next week before a decision is made on when he can next race.
The 29-year-old crashed in the fifth stage of the Dauphiné Libéré in June. At the time, he reported soreness in his neck and shoulders, but he was able to continue the race. Despite continued back problems, he raced the Tour de France and several post-Tour criteriums, but according to his team the injury could put a stop to things.
“Things really don't look good for Wegmann right now,” Milram Sport Director Christian Henn told Cyclingnews. “His back has not gotten better at all, and he will have it more closely examined next week. If it doesn't get better and he can't train, then he won't be able to ride the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg on Sunday. It is up in the air at this point.”
“It would be bitter for us if he is unable to ride, because Fabian is one of our options for success in Hamburg,” Henn added.
Wegmann's season had a good start, with top ten finishes in several races before finishing second at the difficult Monte Paschi Eroica. Wegmann continued with third place finishes in the Brabantsje Pijl and the GP Manuel Indurain, and he topped the spring off by winning the Eschborn-Frankfurt City Loop, formerly called Rund um den Henninger Turm.
The German hoped to continue with his good form in the Dauphiné Libéré, but things went wrong on the fifth stage to Mont Ventoux. A crash early in the stage was responsible for his back injury, and that evening came down with an intestinal infection. Wegmann was able to finish the race, but finished only 70th. His next race was the German road national championships,...
Pro cyclist goes one-on-one in time trial and shoot out
Professional cyclist Floyd Landis will take on professional basketball player Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz in a time trial and three-point shootout near Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday.
The event is a precursor to the 2009 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, which Landis and seven OUCH Presented by Maxxis teammates will be contesting August 18-23.
The last time Landis was even on a basketball court, let alone practicing three-point shots, was half a lifetime ago.
"But," Landis added, perhaps with tongue planted in cheek, "cyclists are usually really good basketball players, so I’m not concerned."
Landis and Williams will challenge one another in their respective sports at Miller Motorsports Park this Friday, August 7 at 6:30 p.m. local time.
Landis and Williams will both don an OUCH Presented by Maxxis kit and take each other on in a time trial on the raceway. Williams will then challenge Landis to a three-point shoot out.
"I’m always game for a good challenge" said Williams, who was a member of the gold medal-winning Team USA at the Beijing Olympics last year. "I’m the consummate competitor, and going up against Floyd will be a lot of fun."
Landis intends to show Williams no mercy on the bike. "No, I won’t be taking it easy on Deron," he said. "I’m pretty sure he won’t show me any mercy either. And if he does, he'll probably make more shots accidentally than I will." For the record, in his 34-game playoff career, Williams has made over 40 percent of his three-point attempts.
When asked whether he thought it would be easier to do a good time trial in the midst of an important race like the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, or bury a three-pointer with two seconds left in the game, down by one, and some guy in your face, Landis noted, "time trials are very intense, high-pressure situations. There’s nowhere to hide. I imagine it's very similar to taking a shot at the...
Cofidis has extended the contracts of three riders until the end of 2010. Dutch website Wielerland.nl reports that Frenchmen Jean-Eudes Demaret, Julien El Fares and Estonian national champion Rein Tarramäe have agreed to stay with the team until the end of next season.
All three riders have claimed victories this season. El Fares won the first stage of Tirreno-Adriatico and also claimed the race's points classification. Last week he claimed the overall classification at the Tour de Wallonie in Belgium.
Demaret won stage five of the Etoille de Besseges in February and then another stage win at the Circuit de la Sarthe in April.
Tarramäe was the winner of the mountains classification at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco before he claimed both the road race and individual time trial titles at the Estonian national championships in June.
The team's sponsor, Cofidis, announced in July that despite its earlier plan to withdraw from the sport this year it would continue to sponsor the squad until the end of 2010.
Skil-Shimano select stagiaire
Skil-Shimano announced on Friday that Julien Antomarchi will join the Pro Continental squad as stagiaire. The team said the 25-year-old, who races for Velo Club La Pomme Marseille, will join Skil-Shimano for a trial period that will begin this month.
The news of the trial caps off a good week for Antomarchi. He won
Having spent much of the 2009 domestic racing season as de facto director for the BMC Racing Team, Mike Sayers has signed a contract which will keep him working with the team through 2011.
"It is the position I have wanted for a long time and I think I can even say this is the culmination of my entire career," said Sayers who retired from professional racing last year after 14 seasons. "From maybe my first year as a professional, I have looked at the director's job as being what I really wanted to do."
BMC has been ramping up its operations over the past two seasons, so taking on a full-time assistant director was something they planned on doing, but only at the right moment. "It wasn't possible for General Manager Gavin Chilcott to take me on immediately, but he kept me in the mix all season," said Sayers.
"First and foremost Mike will be the assistant director in charge of the US side of racing which means he will be my eyes and ears in the US," said Directeur Sportif John Lelangue. "I'm really happy to be working with him since he has the necessary experience which means that I can have total confidence in whatever strategy he adopts for a particular race."
BMC will also be including Sayers in larger European races where a second team car is required. "I can't say at which races in Europe he'll be yet, but I already know he will be an enormous help since we share the same philosophy and strategy," Lelangue said.
Marzio Bruseghin will move to Caisse d'Epargne at the end of the season, it was announced on Friday. It will be a return to familiar surroundings for Bruseghin, who rode for the squad's predecessor, Ibanesto, for three years until 2002.
La Gazetta Dello Sport reports that the Italian has signed a two-year contract with the Spanish registered squad worth 370,000 euro per year.
His move to Caisse d'Epargne will bring to an end six years of employment with Italian teams. Bruseghin rode for Fassa Bortolo for three seasons before he joined his current squad, Lampre-NGC, in 2006.
Bruseghin has won two stages of the Giro d'Italia and became Italian national time trial champion in 2006. Last year he rode all three Grand Tours and finished third on general classification at the Giro d'Italia.
Alexander Vinokourov is scheduled to make his return to stage-race competition at the Tour de l'Ain in France after the last minute addition of a Kazakh national team to the race's startlist on Friday. However, the International Cycling Union (UCI) has told Cyclingnews that Vinokourov will need to have secured a licence with the Monegasque cycling federation before he will be allowed to start.
Team Kazakhstan was added by race organisers to the startlist with Vinokourov named as team leader of the six-man squad. The entry of the national team into the four-day Tour came as the stalemate continues between Astana and the 35-year-old rider.
Astana's Press Officer Phillipe Maertens confirmed on Friday that Vinokourov had hoped to compete with Astana at the race. "It is true that Vinokourov wanted to race with us [at the Tour de l'Ain], but no agreement has been reached," he said.
The eleventh-hour tactic by Vinokourov to start the race could come unstuck if he is unable to gain a race licence prior to the race's start of Sunday. The International Cycling Union (UCI) told Cyclingnews on Friday that because he is a resident of Monaco it is the responsibility of the Fédération Monégasque de Cyclisme (FMC), rather than the Kazakh cycling federation, to issue a licence.
"Vinokourov needs to be in possession of a licence delivered by the FMC," said UCI Press Officer Enrico Carpani. "He has two options. First as a rider with a contract where the team would request the licence or he can compete as a non-contracted rider with the national team of Kazakhstan, which he is doing at this stage. Both options will satisfy the UCI, but he must have a licence issued by the FMC."
The FMC was unavailable for comment on Friday.
The Tour de l'Ain is scheduled to start the race in Bourg-en-Bresse on Sunday. If Vinokourov is able to secure a licence in time to start the race he will be joined by...
Non-ProTour wild cards invited to compete in Quebec
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has secured five years for the two Canadian ProTour races set to start in 2010 on September 10 in Quebec City and September 12 in Montreal. Race promoter Serge Arsenault confirmed that the pair of races will be eligible for a further extension after the completion of the second year, taking them through to 2018.
Discussions between Arsenault's organizing committee, Grand Prix Cyclists UCI ProTour, and the UCI about the possibility of the Canadian province of Quebec hosting two ProTour races began one year ago. The event location fell in line with the UCI's recent efforts to bring cycling to a world-wide platform. Arsenault admitted that the UCI granted him a five-year confirmation almost immediately, despite that fact that some promoters in Europe have been waiting for years to be eligible to organize a ProTour level event.
"We have the license for one reason," said Arsenault. "It was the UCI's decision a year ago to make it possible for people like me to obtain a ProTour license for internationally developing the sport. We got special recognition for complying with the new philosophy of the UCI to help develop cycling around the world. This is the main reason we bypassed so many people obtain in these two races. To have success in this big operation, to bring back cycling on a real world wide level, we have to have something outside of the Tour de France."
The UCI confirmed a five-year term for the pair of one-day races beginning in 2010 through to 2014. However, in 2012 the UCI will re-examine the progress of the races and determine their eligibility for an additional four-year extension into 2018. "We believe that we are bringing the best product of cycling to North America," said Arsenault. "We have been working in collaboration with the UCI and we are all very happy with our agreement."
All ProTour teams are obliged to send a seven-rider team to the races and there will be the addition of...