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Latest Cycling News, December 15, 2008

Date published:
December 15, 2008, 0:00 GMT
  • Webcor/Alto Velo expands

    Article published:
    December 15, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Laura Weislo in Kansas City, Missouri, USA

    Following a successful 2008 season, the Webcor/AltoVelo racing team is expanding its Elite Amateur...

    Following a successful 2008 season, the Webcor/AltoVelo racing team is expanding its Elite Amateur Men's team for the upcoming 2009 season. The core of last year's Pro/1/2 team remains intact, and will be bolstered by additions to the roster.

    For the 2009 season, the Elite Amateur Men's team will be divided into a National-level "NRC Squad" that will be focused on larger National Racing Calendar (NRC) events all around the United States. Another part of the team will be the "Regional Squad" that will focus on rider development and in-district racing.

    The roster for the "NRC Squad" for 2009 will consist of returning riders James Badia, Fabrice Dubost, Rob MacNeill, Rand Miller and Ryan Prsha. They will be joined by new additions Brian Bucholz (from Kelly Benefit Strategies Pro), Justin Fraga (from BPG/Montano Velo) and Ryan Parnes (from Metromint). The full roster will be announced soon on the team's website, www.webcorelitecycling.blogspot.com

  • Hoy versus Hamilton cancelled

    Article published:
    December 15, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Laura Weislo in Kansas City, Missouri, USA

    The much anticipated man versus machine race between Chris Hoy and Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton...

    The much anticipated man versus machine race between Chris Hoy and Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton was called off in the last minute due to bad weather. The rain had made the track in Wembley stadium in London too slippery for Hoy and his skinny cycling wheels. Hoy was race on a bike, while Hamilton would have been using a street car on a parallel track.

    Hoy was driven to the start by Hamilton, where Hoy then announced the cancellation in person, according to the Guardian. "I've been advised it would be too dangerous on a bike, it's like black ice out there," Hoy said over the PA system. "It's a huge disappointment and it's a big shame, but I'm delighted to be here."

    Hoy, who had voiced his displeasure at the surface earlier in the day, confirmed that the decision was mutual. "It was a joint decision, it was just too dangerous," he said. "It's a shame, but the conditions are just too treacherous. I think about an hour ago really they were doing all they could to get the track safe, but they couldn't and I would have been down at the first corner.

    "There were a few accidents in the rain yesterday and there has been some oil spilt on the track as well, so I was advised not to compete," said Hoy. "I was really looking forward to it, and I know Lewis was too."

  • Ciolek from snow to sun

    Gerald Ciolek prepares with cross training and 'cross weather for 2009
    Article published:
    December 15, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Laura Weislo in Kansas City, Missouri, USA

    Gerald Ciolek is going from one extreme to the other, from the cold and snow of the Alps to the sun...

    Gerald Ciolek is going from one extreme to the other, from the cold and snow of the Alps to the sun and warmth of Mallorca – all in the name of preparing for the coming season with his new team, Team Milram.

    The 22-year-old was in the Austrian mountains for nearly two weeks with Milram Directeur Sportif Jochen Hahn and future teammates Linus Gerdemann, Björn Schröder, Artur Gajek and Dominik Roels. "We were able to train pretty well despite temperatures of down to minus 20°C and some bad weather. It was a good change, because you do a little of everything, from hiking to downhill skiing to cross-country skiing to cycling."

    Ciolek then had to put his skis away and concentrate on his bike. After a short visit home, he flew to the Milram training camp (December 11-20) on Mallorca. "It will be interesting to see the whole team," he said on his website, geraldciolek.de. "Especially because it is a whole new team. I know most of the people, because the cycling scene is a pretty small world. But I have never been on the same team with most of them before."(SW)

  • Wegmann still disappointed

    Fabian Wegmann is disappointed with Schumacher and Kohl
    Article published:
    December 15, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Laura Weislo in Kansas City, Missouri, USA

    The past season was a very disappointing one with a bitter end for Fabian Wegmann, but he looked...

    The past season was a very disappointing one with a bitter end for Fabian Wegmann, but he looked back fondly on his seven "good years" with Team Gerolsteiner and looked forward to helping German cycling come back to life with his new team, Milram.

    He said on his website, fabianwegmann.de that he was still disappointed over the "behaviour of my teammates", presumably Stefan Schumacher and Bernhard Kohl, both of whom tested positive during the the Tour de France, and that he found it difficult to accept an apology. "It was simply a very strong blow, that hit us where it hurts."

    The 28-year-old also regretted the way his former boss, Gerolsteiner manager Hans-Michael Holczer has been treated. "Hans is a hardliner against doping, and he did a lot against it. And to lump him together with the dopers is simply too bad and not understandable.

    "It was simply a very sad conclusion for our Team Gerolsteiner," Wegmann concluded. "There were 10 years of very good sport, where I think everyone worked cleanly, and then two riders come along and destroy everything in the end."(SW)

  • Nys Belgian male athlete of the year

    Belgian Sven Nys, 32, takes his country's honour for athlete of the year.
    Article published:
    December 15, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Laura Weislo in Kansas City, Missouri, USA

    Sven Nys was named male athlete of the year in Belgium this weekend, as the first cyclo-cross rider...

    Sven Nys was named male athlete of the year in Belgium this weekend, as the first cyclo-cross rider ever so honoured in his country. The awards were voted by Belgian journalists.

    "I am not often nervous, but I am now. I have clammy hands," the 32-year-old said after accepting his award, according to sporza.be "For 10 years I have fought hard to stand here.

    "I want to encourage all children who dream of being a top athlete to persevere," Nys added. "It is the most beautiful thing that there is. Try to make your dream come true."

    Nys won with 513 votes, far ahead of Stijn Devolder of Quick Step with 295 votes. Tom Boonen, also of Quick Step, was fifth, with 215 votes.(SW)

  • US National cyclo-cross championships decided in bitter cold

    Article published:
    December 15, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Laura Weislo in Kansas City, Missouri, USA

    By Laura Weislo in Kansas City, Missouri, USA The US National cyclo-cross champions were crowned in...

    By Laura Weislo in Kansas City, Missouri, USA

    The US National cyclo-cross champions were crowned in freezing temperatures over the past weekend. Sunday was the highlight of the event, with the elite men and women battling it out.

    A strong cold front moved through just hours before the start of the elite races, pushing away the warm temperatures enjoyed by the early morning racers. By the time the women took to the course, wind chills were well below freezing.

    In the men's race, the first lap looked more like a criterium than a cyclo-cross race as riders streamed single-file up the hill at the Tiffany Springs Park. Trebon, riding for Kona-FSA, rode patiently inside the top 10 from the start as Andy Jacques-Maynes (Specialized/KMC California Giant Berry) battled for the hole shot ahead of Jonathan Page (Planet Bike).

    Cyclingnews was at all events. The men and women races had some surprises to offer.

  • Sánchez hopes for strong season start

    2005 winner Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Caisse d'Epargne) will return once again Down Under
    Article published:
    December 15, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Antonio J. Salmerón

    By Antonio J. Salmerón Luis León Sánchez of Caisse d'Epargne will fly to Australia on January 7 to...

    By Antonio J. Salmerón

    Luis León Sánchez of Caisse d'Epargne will fly to Australia on January 7 to race the Tour Down Under, as he has done in recent years. The Spaniard has always done well in the heat of the southern Hemisphere and even won the overall classification in 2005.

    But the past programme may not be the recipe to follow in 2009. "I want to start the season strongly, but not as strong as when I won in 2005. More like last year." Sánchez will not look for his own glory as much, as he races alongside teammate José Joaquín Rojas. "I will try to help him, because Rojas has already shown that can be fighting to win a stage. But contending for the overall classification is also important for me," the 25-year-old said to Cyclingnews.

    When he returns to Europe, Sánchez will compete in the Tour Méditerranéen (February 11-15). "I will be there for a better preparation for the Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana, which hopefully takes place." Like some other races, the race in Valencia battles to stay alive in a declining economy and with sponsors pulling out due to doping cases.

    The Caisse d'Epargne rider will try to reach peak form for Paris-Nice in March. "I will be back again to a spectacular and very competitive race that has given me so much." Sánchez was lying in second overall last year, only three seconds behind Sylvain Chavanel after four stages. He lost too much time on the Ventoux, but fought back to win the final stage into Nice.

    His later programme will depend on how he can recover from March Madness. "Depending on how I feel in April, I will take a decision on my participation in the Vuelta al País Vasco." He also targets the Dauphiné Libéré in June, as preparation for the Tour de...

  • German TV must broadcast Tour says EBU chief

    Doping – No Thanks. Germany singles out cycling
    Article published:
    December 15, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    By Shane Stokes European Broadcasting Union President Fritz Pleitgen has reiterated comments made...

    Says Armstrong's return increases pressure on German TV, wants retests

    By Shane Stokes

    European Broadcasting Union President Fritz Pleitgen has reiterated comments made earlier this year, stating that he believes that the contract between Tour de France organisers ASO and German TV broadcasters ARD and ZDF is a valid one.

    "We have a firm position concerning the contract, the agreement we have signed with ASO," he told Cyclingnews, referring to the agreement the EBU negotiated on behalf of its members. "We are sure it is binding and we have let our partners ARD know that this is the case."

    ARD and ZDF originally announced on October 16 that, because of the continued doping scandals associated with cycling, they would ditch their plans to screen the race in 2009. Both had previously pulled out of coverage of the 2007 Tour when Patrick Sinkewitz (T-Mobile) was announced as being positive. They returned to coverage of the race this season and negotiated, via the EBU, to show the Tour de France again from 2009 to 2011.

    However, the CERA positives of Gerolsteiner riders Stefan Schumacher and Bernhard Kohl caused a rethink. ARD shelved its plans and ZDF stated it couldn't go it alone.

    "ARD came out with a joint bid with ZDF, so if they want to come back to this, then they have to do this together with ZDF," said Pleitgen. "I think they are already in contact with ZDF but I do not know how far they got. ZDF has a firm view on this and says that this agreement is binding for both."

    Both broadcasters are understood to have clauses in the contract requiring the Tour de France to employ "the most modern anti-doping controls"...