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Latest Cycling News for March 15, 2005

Date published:
March 15, 2005, 0:00 GMT
  • Norba National Series visits Arizona

    Article published:
    March 15, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    The 2005 Shimano Norba National Mountain Bike Series continues this weekend with stop #2 at McDowell...

    The 2005 Shimano Norba National Mountain Bike Series continues this weekend with stop #2 at McDowell Mountain Park in Arizona. The format will be the same as this year’s Norba opener, with pro riders competing for an overall win in a three-day stage race.

    Located just northeast of Phoenix, McDowell Mountain Park is a new venue for the Norba National Series. "It is a real and true desert course," commented Race Director Jerry Sieve. "It has a lot of short and intense climbs, and every time you start getting into a rhythm, something changes."

    Approximately 1,500 racers are expected to compete in the stage race, marathon, and Super D. Stage race competition begins on Friday, March 18 with the time trial. Riders will race against the clock on an 8.2 mile loop of mostly single-track with short climbs and steep switchbacks. The weekend’s second stage will be the short-track contest on a one-mile loop that winds throughout the venue. The cross-country race on Sunday will be the third and final stage, with single track, fire roads, short steep climbs, and switchbacks.

    The 81-mile marathon will see riders duke it out for three laps of a 27-mile circuit over varied terrain on Friday morning. Saturday will mark the season’s first Norba Super D event that will challenge riders to a 10-mile ride through fast, sharp corners with single and double-track. Although there will be a few short climbs, 80 percent of the course is downhill.

    Among the riders to keep an eye on will be Adam Craig (Bend, Ore.), who won the overall stage race earlier this month at the Texas Norba National. Geoff Kabush (Can) will also be in attendance as he fights to take the overall win, like he was predicted to do in Texas. Trent Lowe (Aus) and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo.) will be strong contenders in the pro men’s field as well. Highlighting the women’s start lists will be Sue Haywood (Davis, W.Va.), Willow Koerber (Horseshoe, N.C.),...

  • Southeast team signs Hutchinson

    Article published:
    March 15, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    Criterium specialist and eight-time track masters national champion Shannon Hutchison will ride in...

    Criterium specialist and eight-time track masters national champion Shannon Hutchison will ride in the Aaron’s Corporate Furnishings/L5Flyers team colours in 2005, bringing several years of professional cycling experience to one of the largest cycling teams in the Southeast of the United States.

    Hutchison has been riding professionally for five years within teams such as Cox Communications, Autotrader.com, Litespeed and most recently Colavita-Bolla. She has consistently placed on the podium at several national road and track events with her most recent victories at the Wendy’s Worthington Criterium in Ohio and the Worlds Children’s Cycling Classic Road Race in Georgia.

    Last year she also placed second at the CSC Invitational in Virginia, third at the Historic Roswell Criterium and New York City Criterium Championship and third overall in the American Criterium Championship Series. Hutchinson plans to compete in several events on the 2005 National Racing Calendar, beginning with the Athens Twilight Criterium on April 30, 2005. In addition to being a professional cyclist, Hutchison currently teaches orchestra at Garrett Middle School in Atlanta.

  • King Kelly at P&O Easter Tour

    Article published:
    March 15, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    Returning almost 20 years after his 1976 win in the event, Ireland's cycling star and former world...

    Returning almost 20 years after his 1976 win in the event, Ireland's cycling star and former world number one Sean Kelly is confirmed as the guest of honour for the 50th Anniversary P&O Tour of the North in Northern Ireland in two weeks time.

    The Carrick on Suir man, whose victory by a slender 10 seconds in 1976 set him up for a successful Pro career in Europe, will be on the start line on Good Friday to flag the 100 plus riders away in the Prologue Hillclimb at Stormont. He will stay with the race throughout Saturday, and be guest of honour at the 50th anniversary gala dinner on Saturday evening. The dinner, reasonably priced at £10 will take place in the Park Avenue Hotel, Belfast with a 6pm start. Tickets are available from Dave Kane Cycles, Madigan Pro-Bike Centre or from Morris Foster on 9058 7889.

    Whilst the presence of Kelly should not be allowed to overshadow the event, the entries have now topped the 100 mark, and a top class field should make for an exciting weekend of racing. Last years prologue winner, George Rose, who set a new record for the Stormont climb is among those confirmed in the Fuji Bikes UK squad, along with Gareth Jones, Rob Partridge, and brothers Greg & Iain Roche. Rose`s prologue win set him up for a top performance last year, ending the event in fifth place, whilst Jones and Greg Roche ended up 12th and 13th overall.

    Newcomers Team Economic Energy are also in the line-up. The London outfit are fielding Stuart Heade, Ed Graffe, Steve Bonicci, Nick George, Robert Moorman and Paul Sheppard. From the local scene, Orchard Wheelers have one of last years local performers Richard Aldaheff, along with Colin Armstrong and Juniors Michael Murray and Simon Williams. Apollo CRTs 4 man squad includes last Sundays Phoenix CC event winner Alan Hall, along with Karl Dolan, Myles McCrory and Junior David Mulholland.

    The event will provide an all too rare opportunity for local riders to mix with the best in...

  • Caisse d'Epargne here to stay

    Article published:
    March 15, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    The new co-sponsor of Illes Balears, French bank group Caisse d'Epargne, is reported to have...

    The new co-sponsor of Illes Balears, French bank group Caisse d'Epargne, is reported to have long-term ambitions in professional cycling. Caisse d'Epargne signed a six-year contract with the Balearic team as a co-financier, but will become its main sponsor in 2007, according to French website velo101.com. Eusebio Unzue and José-Miguel Echavarri can therefore be assured about the backing of their team until 2010. In two year's time, the jersey colours of Illes Balears will change to Caisse d'Epargne's red and grey corporate design, with the logo of a stylised squirrel already on the team's jersey's now.

  • Habeaux in stable condition

    Article published:
    March 15, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    The condition of Grégory Habeaux (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago), who was hit by a car during a training...

    The condition of Grégory Habeaux (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago), who was hit by a car during a training ride along the Côte d'Azur and suffered a fractured skull, is stable. In a press release, team manager Gérard Bulens declared that further examinations were necessary to evaluate when the neo-pro could be transported home to Belgium, but that he had been able to talk to the rider on the phone. "I was able to talk to him briefly when his parents called him," Bulens said, "and Gérard replied to me in a sensible, understandable way."

  • French teams for the "Primavera"

    Article published:
    March 15, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    French team Française des Jeux will have a strong line-up at Milano-Sanremo, with Bernard Eisel,...

    French team Française des Jeux will have a strong line-up at Milano-Sanremo, with Bernard Eisel, Baden Cooke and Philippe Gilbert. Austrian rider Eisel scored already three victories this season and placed 12th there in 2003. Baden Cooke is giving his season's debut at the "Classicissima", and young Belgian talent Philippe Gilbert has been coming on strong this year already. Brad McGee will also be at the start in Milan, having abandoned Tirreno-Adriatico yesterday following hypoglycemia.

    Meanwhile, holding on at the Italian stage race is Stuart O'Grady, who has been struggling with stomach problems for two days now. His participation in he Italian Classic is not certain at the moment, as the physical condition of the Australian sprinter could still deteriorate. O'Grady placed third last year on the Via Roma. His French squad Cofidis has announced a provisional roster for the race on Saturday:

    Stuart O'Grady, Matthew White, Leonardo Bertagnolli, Jimmy Casper, Nicolas Inaudi, Cédric Vasseur, Jans Koerts and either Thierry Marichal or Arnaud Coyot.

    Française des Jeux at Milano-Sanremo:

    Bernhard Eisel, Baden Cooke, Bradley McGee, Mark Renshaw, Matthew Wilson, Philippe Gilbert, Ludovic Auger and Frédéric Guesdon.

  • Hushovd to lead Crédit Agricole

    Article published:
    March 15, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    Thor Hushovd will be the team leader of Crédit Agricole on the upcoming Milano-Sanremo on Saturday,...

    Thor Hushovd will be the team leader of Crédit Agricole on the upcoming Milano-Sanremo on Saturday, March 19. The "Primavera" had been one of the main goals for the Norwegian this early season, but he now fears that his current form will not be good enough for victory of the race. "He fell back in his preparations because of the 'flu about two weeks ago," said his directeur sportif Roger Legeay. "He might be a bit short compared to the best ones in Milano-Sanremo."

    Hushovd will be supported for the final sprint by Julian Dean from New Zealand. French rider Geoffroy Lequatre is still in doubt over his participation as he pulled out of Tirreno-Adriatico on Sunday feeling pain in his ankle.

    Crédit Agricole will line up the following riders in Milano-Sanremo:

    Thor Hushovd, Laszlo Bodrogi, Julian Dean, Sébastien Hinault, Christophe Le Mevel, Geoffroy Lequatre, Andrey Kaschechkin and Bradley Wiggins.

  • An interview with Lance Armstrong

    I think I'd rather be somewhere warmer.
    Article published:
    March 15, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    On a cold evening in early March, Cyclingnews found six-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong...

    Armstrong positive for upcoming Tour challenge

    On a cold evening in early March, Cyclingnews found six-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and his Discovery Channel team at Paris-Nice, in a two star Kyriad motel east of the French industrial burg of Clermont-Ferrand. It had been a stressful day for Armstrong, as the snow-shortened stage had been reduced to an hour of hard all-out racing, after which Armstrong had to go to medical control and arrived back at the motel late, tired and hungry. But after he'd had a bowl of soup and a shower, Lance Armstrong sat down with Cyclingnews European editor Tim Maloney for an exclusive chat.

    Digging through my photo archives recently I found this image of Armstrong at the 2000 Tour de France prologue at Futuroscope. I spin my laptop round to show him the pic. It's less than five years ago, but the scene at a Tour de France stage these days would be very different.

    Cyclingnews: Does this bring back any memories? Do you remember back in the day, when it wasn't a battle zone outside the team bus?

    Lance Armstrong: Oh I was just gonna say... it looks pretty relaxed there! Yeah, it's gotten more hectic for sure, at the starts and finishes and hotels... just life in general. It's gotten more difficult (for me) to escape. The first reaction I had when I saw the picture was 'God, now I wouldn't be able to just stand there and give an interview, unless if it was three in the morning.'

    For the full interview, please click here.