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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, January 24, 2010

Date published:
January 24, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Colorado Springs US Pro XCT gets a UCI points upgrade

    Max Plaxton (Sho-Air / Specialized) rides to a win at the 2009 US Pro XCT event in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
    Article published:
    January 23, 2010, 17:30 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    CTS International Classic serves as US national series finale

    The Carmichael Training Systems (CTS) International Classic will wrap up the 2010 US Pro XCT on July 9-11. The race had been scheduled as a category 2 UCI-sanctioned cross country mountain bike event, but the UCI has upgraded its status to a stage race category event.

    Sand Creek Sports, Inc. will run the event in Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado. With 655 UCI points available for the pro men and women, the race will offer nearly half of all UCI points on offer for the year in the US.

    The men and women who are crowned champions of the US Pro XCT at the event will earn an automatic qualification for the 2010 US World Championship Team. The race also serves as the final national championships qualifier weekend before the US National Championships, to be held that next weekend in Granby, Colorado.

    Stage one will feature the Encantadas Time Trial and may use the locally infamous and highly technical Medicine Wheel trail. Stage two on the second day will see a return to the 2009 cross county country course followed. The short track, modified to UCI Mountain Bike criterium rules, will happen on the final day. All stages are at Cheyenne Mountain State Park and use the same basic start and finish.

    Additional races will be held for most USA Cycling classes/categories.

    The CTS International Classic is just one the many races in the 2010 Carmichael Training Systems Summer of Cycling Presented by Kenda USA and Ascent Cycling.

    For a complete calendar of Sand Creek Sports events for 2010, visit www.sandcreeksports.com.

  • German Federation opens doors to 29ers

    Sabine Spitz (Central Ghost) gives maximum effort.
    Article published:
    January 23, 2010, 18:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Larger wheels could change German mountain bike scene

    The German Cycling Federation, Bund Deutscher Radfahrer (BDR), will allow 29er mountain bikes in future races which it sanctions according to The Revolution Sports Blog. In contrast with current UCI regulations, Germany had previously banned the use of 29ers in its nationally-sanctioned races.

    The UCI has allowed 29ers since 2004, thanks in part to a petition from mountain bike legend Gary Fisher, whose Trek-owned brand played an early role in developing and selling 29ers.

    29ers are already popular in races in other nations, such as the United States. Bronze medallist at the cross country World Championships, Willow Koerber, converted from the 26-inch platform to the 29-inch platform in 2009, and has said she has no intention of switching back. In addition to cross country races, 29ers are frequently raced in marathons. 

    Many racers notice the effect of rolling more easily over obstacles and technical features with the larger wheels, though some also report the experience of slower accelerations.

    The new regulations mean that the next German national champions may ride to their titles on the bigger wheels.

    Olympic champion Sabine Spitz, who is also the current marathon World Champion, considered the change. "Mountain biking has always been an innovative part of cycling. So I think it is good and important to open new options," Spitz told Cyclingnews. "But I don't know if it's real progress. At the moment I don't see it."

    Spitz doesn't think allowing 29ers will change much in the German race scene, but would consider trying the platform.

    "It's a new opportunity for each racer... especially in marathon racing. It could be that the future is 29er bikes. For the cross country racing I don't think so. But who knows?

    "So far, I've had no experience with 29er bikes," said Spitz, who added that she would test one should the opportunity arise.

    When a similar rule change...

  • McQuaid: Sun Tour unlikely to get February slot

    Pat McQuaid spoke to the press on his second day in Adelaide, South Australia, and said the nation will not have two ProTour rounds.
    Article published:
    January 24, 2010, 0:53 GMT
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    No formal request made over Australian race move

    International Cycling Union boss Pat McQuaid believes it’s unlikely the Herald Sun Tour would be granted a February date change for fear of it trying to compete with the Tour Down Under for a ProTour licence. No formal request has been made by the Herald Sun Tour organiser, although there has been an informal exchange with the governing body over the race’s desire to change dates.

    McQuaid unknowingly landed in a media storm when he arrived at the Tour Down Under on Thursday evening. Local media in Adelaide had built the issue up as an attempt by Melbourne to steal its ProTour race, with the city perhaps still reeling over its loss of the Formula One Grand Prix to Melbourne in 1996, however the hope would be that tailing on the Tour Down Under’s end would help it attract bigger teams to compete in the race.

    “To put the Tour Down Under and Herald Sun Tour back-to-back, what would happen there I think is they will end up fighting each other; one will try to outdo the other,” said McQuaid. “The Herald Sun Tour will think if we really do a better performance, better event, better organisation then maybe we could take over the roll of the ProTour race. I don’t want two racing fighting for position. It doesn’t make sense that we should end up in a situation where two races are fighting each other because they’d both lose in the end.”

    While McQuaid admitted the international federation wouldn’t be keen on moving it, he said there would be a discussion held if a formal application ever appeared. “It would depend on how it was approached to the UCI in terms of what is good for the elite level sport in this country and the development of this sport in this country,” said McQuaid. “It will be within that context that anything will be considered.”

    Suggestions that Australia could have two ProTour races were quickly quashed by McQuaid. The calendar is...

  • Bruyneel happy despite leaving Tour Down Under empty handed

    Daryl Impey drives the RadioShack train
    Article published:
    January 24, 2010, 8:44 GMT
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Belgian impressed by Sky, Greipel accomplishments

    RadioShack team manager Johan Bruyneel will leave Australia happy with the squad’s ProTour debut, despite leaving Tour Down Under empty handed. The Belgian had spoken, as had key rider Lance Armstrong, about the importance of RadioShack securing a stage victory at its debut event, something that the outfit was unable to achieve.

    “I’m happy with the way the team worked together,” said Bruyneel. “We saw a few good things, we had a plan every single day and we tried to execute that plan but of course you know in bike racing it doesn’t always work. But overall I’m happy. I’m happy with the physical condition of everybody.”

    Despite his pre-race comments Bruyneel was quick to point out the team’s first season is still in its early phases and the team has plenty of time to achieve results. He praised Team Sky, which was also making its debut in Adelaide, South Australia, for its results which included two victories in the pre-race criterium and the Adelaide circuit race.

    “All the guys did the perfect job, everybody did their best and let’s not forget it’s only January so it’s very early in the season,” he said. “Some of the sponsors were here, the big wigs of RadioShack were here so it was good to see them really involved in the team.

    “But overall I think it’s been good, it’s been good,” said Bruyneel. “I’m happy with the team. I’m very impressed with Andre Greipel and also with Team Sky. In their first race as a new team two times they were one and two; very impressive. They’ve obviously done their homework and were ready for this race.”

    RadioShack had several members of its executive team in Australia to see the team debut. Throughout the week Bruyneel had its Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Marketing Officer in the team car.

    “It’s their...

  • Wilier-Triestina owner killed while riding in Italy

    Wilier Triestina's Lino and Andrea Gastaldello
    Article published:
    January 24, 2010, 13:39 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Lino Gastaldello dies after being struck by car in Treviso

    Lino Gastaldello, owner and chairman of Italian bicycle manufacturer Wilier-Triestina, was killed on Saturday morning when hit by a car while on his regular ride in Treviso, Italy.

    Italian website ilgiornaledivicenza.it reported that the 71-year-old was struck at approximately 10:30am by a vehicle driven by a Macedonian citizen who lived nearby. After receiving emergency treatment at the scene, Gastaldello was rushed to hospital in Castelfranco Veneto, where he passed away two hours later.

    Gastaldello had been a key figure in rebuilding the Wilier brand after it suffered a decline in fortunes throughout the 1950s and 1960s. One of Italy's most recognisable marques, he led the company to its 100th anniversary in 2006.

    Wilier has been associated with some of Italy's highest profile cyclists, with Marco Pantani, Damiano Cunego and Alessandro Ballan among the riders to have raced on their products in the past twenty years.

    Wilier's highest profile partner, Lampre-Farnese-Vini, issued a statement expressing their sadness at the news of Gastaldello's passing.

    "The news of the death of Lino Gastaldello, owner of Wilier company, has shocked the team Lampre-Farnese Vini," it said. "In this sad moment, all the cyclists, managers, staff and our patron, Galbusera, would like to say farewell and thanks to Lino, a good friend of the fucsia-blue squad who lived with the team through fantastic moments. A hug to the Gastaldello family and to Wilier company workers."

    Gastaldello is survived by his four children. Cyclingnews extends its deepest condolences to the friends and family of Lino Gastaldello.
     

  • Germany top team in track World Cup

    Germany were the champion team in Cali, Colombia
    Article published:
    January 24, 2010, 15:54 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dutch and Chinese show strong signs two months prior to World Championships

    Germany closed the International Cycling Union's (UCI) Track Cycling World Cup Classics season as the top team throughout the four events of the 2009/2010 series. Despite claiming just two medals at the final round in Beijing, China, Germany finished safely clear of Australia with The Netherlands overtaking Great Britain for third after a late charge in China.

    While the home nations performed strongly in each of their own World Cup rounds, the Germans' consistency through the first three events – Manchester, Melbourne and Cali – allowed them take their foot off the gas for the finale in Beijing. Miriam Welte and Joachim Eilers claimed silver medals in the women's keirin and men's kilo, respectively. A moderate success by their previous standards, it was enough to see Germany finish with a total of 342 points.

    China and Australia dominated the final round, as the Chinese sprinters and Australian endurance riders saw results largely distributed between the two nations. With victory in both the men's and women's team pursuit finals, silver in both the men's and women's individual pursuit events and Megan Dunn's gold in the women's points race, Australia finished the World Cup season with a 325 point total.

    China's dominance of the women's and men's sprints over the weekend boosted them to the top of the round standings, but wasn't enough to finish higher than fifth overall.

    The absence of Great Britain's main track stars over the final three rounds showed as they slipped to fourth with 223 points, after what had been an auspicious start in Manchester in November. The Britons' relative inattention to the Cali and Beijing rounds allowed The Netherlands to leapfrog into third, just two points clear on 225. Vera Koedooder's gold in the women's scratch race and Willy Kanis' upstaging of the local hopes for the same result in the 500m time trial, was the basis for the Dutch squad's late ascension.

    With the World Cup...

  • Hoogerheide decides World Cup Champions

    Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) wins the overall elite men's World Cup title.
    Article published:
    January 24, 2010, 17:25 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Stybar, Van den Brand, Meeusen, Van der Poel crowned in The Netherlands

    After the final round in Hoogerheide, The Netherlands, Zdenek Stybar, Daphny Van den Brand, Tom Meeusen and David Van der Poel emerged from the 2009/2010 Cyclo-cross World Cup as the champions of their respective categories.

    While Stybar and Meeusen were able to hold on to existing leads, Van den Brand's and Van der Poel's wins came as their rivals fell by the wayside on the final hurdles of the World Cup season. While Dutchman Van der Poel was the only overall Champion to record victory over the weekend, with a win in the junior men's race, his fellow title winners all faced hard-fought finales.

    "I'm hurting all over," Fidea's Zdenek Stybar told Sporza. "It was a tough race. Niels [Albert] rode very strongly today; it was like day and night compared to last week [at the Roubaix World Cup round]. I did not feel very well today and made many mistakes."

    Despite his assessment of the race, Stybar's second place was enough to secure a four-point victory over Albert in the World Cup standings. While the Belgian's win in The Netherlands saw him finish with a 4-3 advantage in terms of World Cup race victories, Stybar's consistency in the remaining events was the key to his title.

    With US rider Katie Compton absent from the final two rounds of the women's World Cup series, Dutchwoman Van den Brand was able to assume an unassailable lead. Podium positions in all but two rounds put her in a position to contend for the title, and despite a late charge by her compatriot Marianne Vos - who claimed the final round on Sunday - Van den Brand's third was enough to secure the title with a five-point margin.

    In contrast to the tight contests of his fellow title winners, Meeusen's victory was commanding, 70 points clear of Slovakia's Robert Gavenda. A race winner in Roubaix last week and Zolder in December, Meeusen was upstaged by Kacper Szczepaniak (Poland) in the final round, but will now head into the elite category with the...

  • Jonathan Page peaking at right time

    Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) rode brilliantly to 8th place today.
    Article published:
    January 24, 2010, 21:27 GMT
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Top-10 finish at World Cup finale bodes well for Worlds

    Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) powered to an eighth place finish today at the ninth and final round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Hoogerheide, The Netherlands, the second top-10 World Cup finish of the season for the American. The 33-year-old Page made the lead group and is pleased with his form one week prior to the world championships in Tabor, Czech Republic on January 31.

    "I spent a lot of time in being ready for these two weeks and so far it's paying off," Page told Cyclingnews. "It was a difficult course today. Luckily I was in front at the start and ended up riding at the ribbon of comfortable and uncomfortable in that lead group."

    "I switched bikes together with Vervecken to get rid of the mud and lost some time but that didn't make the difference today."

    Next week the world championship course promises to be icy and thus very slippery, something that suits the three-time US champion. "Normally it's great for me. The [2005] world championships in Sankt-Wendel had a similar course and that would have been the start of the JP-special but I flatted out of the front group. Anything is possible," Page said.

    The European-based Page is the first North American to stand on the elite men's cyclo-cross world championship podium, after he claimed the silver medal at the 2007 cyclo-cross Worlds in Hooglede-Gits, Belgium.