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Latest Cycling News for March 17, 2005

Date published:
March 17, 2005, 0:00 GMT
  • JE James/Direct Plastics RT team 2005

    Article published:
    March 17, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Tim Maloney, European Editor, and Hedwig Kröner

    Remaining as a four man squad Dave Coulson, Gareth Hewitt and Steve Higgins from last year's squad...

    Remaining as a four man squad Dave Coulson, Gareth Hewitt and Steve Higgins from last year's squad are this season welcoming Mark Wordsworth to form the JE James/Direct Plastics Racing Team based in Yorkshire, U.K.

    After an intensive winter training programme the team is focusing on some early season performances at the Tour of the Border and early Premier Calendar events whilst looking ahead to both the National Elite Road and Criterium Championships in Yorkshire later in the year. With an invitation already secured for a UCI 2.1 race in Spain the team is also hoping to compete on the continent as much as possible.

  • 2005 ABD Time Trial Series finishes in Chicago and Maple Park

    Article published:
    March 17, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Tim Maloney, European Editor, and Hedwig Kröner

    The sixth annual ABD Cycle Club's Indoor Time Trial Series, the United States' longest running...

    The sixth annual ABD Cycle Club's Indoor Time Trial Series, the United States' longest running indoor series, will wrap up on the first two weekends in April with the final indoor event at the Chicago Bike Show on Navy Pier and the John Fraser Memorial Time Trial in Maple Park, Illinois. Competitors have the option of competing on either April 2 or 3 at the Bike Show, and the outdoor series finale will be Sunday, April 10. The first four events were held at the Parks Plus Facility in Wheaton, Illinois.

    "We started the series as a way for Midwest riders to stay motivated through the cold Winter months, and initially we had about 60 riders compete in four events", said ABD Vice-President Mary Lee Geraghty. "This year we'll average over 200 riders at each of six events." The ABD Elite Men's squad will also be on hand at the Bike Show to participate in the races and host the new "ABD Sprint Challenge" open to any Chicago Bike Show attendee. The "Chicago's Bravest vs. Chicago's Finest" event will also be haled, lining up five Chicago Firemen versus five Chicago Policemen in a race to see which department accumulates the most distance in a set amount of time. The winning team will have a $1,250 donation made in their name courtesy of LaSalle Bank to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which is dedicated to furthering cancer research.

    ABD took the series outdoors to Maple Park in 2001 as a finale for riders competing in the overall standings. It also helped mark the "official" transition to the outdoor racing season. Renamed in 2002 for a dedicated club member who passed away, the third annual John Fraser Memorial Time Trial will be held Sunday, April 10, the weekend after the Chicago Bike Show.

    Registration for both events is open to all cyclists, regardless of whether or not they've competed in previous events in the series. For questions or more information, go to

  • TV coverage of Trust House Women's World Cup

    Article published:
    March 17, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Tim Maloney, European Editor, and Hedwig Kröner

    Sky Sport 2 had announced the TV coverage times of the Trust House Women's World Cup. The first...

    Sky Sport 2 had announced the TV coverage times of the Trust House Women's World Cup. The first screening is on April 17 at 19.00 New Zealand time, and the next day at 18.00 on S.S.3. The schedule is as follows:

    April 20 at 23.00 on S.S.2
    April 23 at 10.00 on S.S.2
    April 24 at 18.00 on S.S.1
    April 28 at 08.00 on S.S.2
    April 28 at 14.30 on S.S.1
    April 29 at 17.00 on S.S.2
    April 29 at 21.30 on S.S.3

  • 36 qualified nations at Track World's

    Article published:
    March 17, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Tim Maloney, European Editor, and Hedwig Kröner

    Following an earlier announcement regarding the number of countries that qualified for the 2005 UCI...

    Following an earlier announcement regarding the number of countries that qualified for the 2005 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Carson, Calif. from March 24-27, an additional three countries have been added to bring the total number of invited nations to 36. Colombia, Cuba and Venezuela have all earned invites, although their invitations are specific to the individuals who won a continental championship at the Pan-American Championships in June of 2004.

    Sandra Gomez (Col) qualified herself a spot at worlds as the Pan-American women's points race champion as did her countrywoman Diana Garcia through her win in the keirin. Cubans Yumari Gonzalez and Yoanka Gonzalez earned start positions as a result of their Pan American titles in the women's scratch race and women's individual pursuit respectively. Richard Ochoa (Ven) won the men's points race, thus securing himself a start slot.

    These nations will be facing tough competition in Los Angeles not only by European and Australian riders, but also by Asian countries, who have been advancing towards the top level of international track cycling. Most notable are the accomplishments of riders from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, and 2008 summer Olympics host country China. At the Olympic Games, Asian countries have recently been very competitive winning three of their five track cycling medals in the 2000 and 2004 games, making more than one breakthrough by Asian athletes likely in Los Angeles.

    Top performing riders include Josiah Ng, Rizal Mohd Tisin, and Alias Norazian of Malaysia, Toshiaki Fushimi, Masaki Inoue, Tomohiro Nagatsuka, Kazuya Narita, Kei Uchida, Kazunari Watanabe, and Yusho Oikawa of Japan, Fang Tian, Shuang Guo, Yonghua Jiang and Yunmei Wu of China, and King Wai Cheung, Kam-Po Wong Kin Chung Wong, and Wan Yiu Wong of Hong Kong. In the 2004-05 UCI Track World Cup season, Shuang Guo of China was a common site on female sprint event podiums while the Japanese team sprint squad...

  • Holland Ladies Tour to expand

    Article published:
    March 17, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Tim Maloney, European Editor, and Hedwig Kröner

    The Expert Holland Ladies Tour wants to expand into an eight day event, according to De Telegraaf ....

    The Expert Holland Ladies Tour wants to expand into an eight day event, according to De Telegraaf. Following in the footsteps of the men's Eneco Benelux Tour, the race will include a few stages in Belgium. The proposition put forward by race organiser Marten de Lange has support from the president of the Dutch cycling federation, and now just needs the OK from the UCI for it to go ahead.

  • Chris Sutton to Cofidis

    Article published:
    March 17, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Tim Maloney, European Editor, and Hedwig Kröner

    20 year-old Australian talent Chris Sutton will join compatriots Matthew White and Stuart O'Grady in...

    20 year-old Australian talent Chris Sutton will join compatriots Matthew White and Stuart O'Grady in the Cofidis team towards the end of this season, his current team, McGee-NSW Institute of Sport, has announced. Sutton, from Sylvania in Sydney, will become the second rider from the McGee-NSWIS development team to earn a full contract with a European professional team, after Mark Renshaw signed with FDJeux.com (now La Francaise des Jeux) at the end of 2003.

    Sutton first attracted the attention of the Cofidis team bosses during the Australian Road Championships earlier this year where he won the U23 race. Another strong performance at the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under confirmed that Sutton was the young rider Cofidis wanted.

    It will be several months before Sutton joins Cofidis. Later this month he will represent Australia at the World Track Cycling Championships in Los Angeles and will then join the Australian Institute of Sport U23 Men's Program in Italy. After racing the Baby Giro d'Italia, he will travel to France to race with a Cofidis feeder team before joining the main team.

    "This is a big step for me and very exciting," said Sutton. "I am only 20 and still have a long way to go before I reach the level of riders like Stuart O'Grady, Matt White, Bradley McGee and Allan Davis. I have a lot of learning to do but it is an excellent opportunity to start to build a career in the pro-ranks."

    The McGee-NSWIS Cycling squad was established by NSWIS scholarship holder and Francaise des Jeux captain Bradley McGee in 2002. Funded by McGee, the Program aims to develop talented young Australian riders to compete on the European circuit.

  • UCI ProTour rankings released

    Oscar Freire (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    March 17, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Tim Maloney, European Editor, and Hedwig Kröner

    Following the completion of Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, the UCI has published the first...

    Following the completion of Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, the UCI has published the first complete set of ProTour rankings. Although in principle, the ProTour points scoring system is heavily biased against sprinters, who would normally gain most of their points through winning stages rather than placing highly on GC, the fact that sprinters cleaned up in Tirreno-Adriatico has tipped the balance their way.

    As previously reported, Oscar Freire (Rabobank) is the leader of the ProTour with 53 points, after winning three stages and the overall in Tirreno-Adriatico. He is closely followed by Bobby Julich, who won 50 points for the overall classification of Paris-Nice, then Alessandro Petacchi (43 pts), who was second overall in Tirreno and won three stages, and Alejandro Valverde (41 pts), who was second in Paris-Nice and won one stage.

    In the teams rankings, Liberty Seguros-Würth is on top with 36 points, ahead of Discovery Channel, Fassa Bortolo, and Rabobank. After Freire and Valverde's successes, Spain is the number one ranked nation with 149 points, ahead of traditional cycling superpower Italy on 100, with Germany (87) and the USA (70) next in line.

    ProTour rankings as of March 16, 2005

  • Cadel's one big goal: Le Tour

    Article published:
    March 17, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Tim Maloney, European Editor, and Hedwig Kröner Cyclingnews caught up with Lotto-Davitamon's GC...

    By Tim Maloney, European Editor, and Hedwig Kröner

    Cyclingnews caught up with Lotto-Davitamon's GC rider Cadel Evans at both ends of Paris-Nice: on a cold morning on Stage 1, and after the finish in Nice. At the start in Etampes, Evans simply wasn't too sure of how Paris-Nice would turn out for him. "It's early in the season and things have been touch and go for me this season, so here it's just no pressure and see how it goes.I had a good build-up to the season until I got tonsillitis a few weeks ago so I have to keep that in mind. Maybe I'll be good and maybe I'll be bad."

    Evans has one big goal for 2005: "The Tour...not just to make it, but to do well there," he told Cyclingnews. "I hope to do all the hard ProTour races and have a pretty heavy racing program building up to the Tour. I prefer to race a bit more this season and at my new team Davitamon-Lotto, there's really great organisation and the right people around me. Right now, I'm healthy and happy at this team and everything that I need to do will is there for me. Now it's a matter of getting it all together and doing it right."

    By the finish of Paris-Nice, Evans got it right, with an eighth place on GC and a superb second place on Stage 5 that finished on le Mont Faron. Post race, Cadel explained about Paris-Nice, "Yeah, it's been a pretty good start of the year for me. With the wind, the cutting down of the stages, the hills and average speed still going at 45, 47, the racing at Paris-Nice has been very intense! I wanted to test myself on Mont Faron, and that's been OK. I just wanted to see how it goes and it's been good so far."

    Next, Evans will tackle Setmana Catalana, then the Vuelta a Pais Vasco and Flèche Wallonne. "We'll see how it goes and I might add some more Belgian races then like Liege-Bastogne-Liege. After that, I'll fit in a rest in that schedule because my real goals are further down the season," he finished....

  • McEwen to lead Davitamon-Lotto in MSR

    Article published:
    March 17, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen will be Davitamon-Lotto's leader at this Saturday's Milan-San...

    Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen will be Davitamon-Lotto's leader at this Saturday's Milan-San Remo, especially after the withdrawal of Tom Steels and Peter Van Petegem. McEwen crashed during the final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico and didn't finish, but maintains that his bruises and abrasions won't effect him too badly on Saturday.

    "I've experienced worse," he told Het Nieuwsblad. "Last year in the Tour I got over the Alps, the Massif Central, and the Pyrenees with a broken back and scraped buttocks. So I should be able to ride from Milan to San Remo, shouldn't I? Besides, I get a 250 kilometre warmup on Saturday."

    Although McEwen will not have fully recovered by Saturday, he hopes to be a contender. "It now depends on the recovery, how the battered muscles feel on Saturday."

    Before his crash, McEwen said that he was gradually improving during Tirreno-Adriatico. "The problem is not the climbs by themselves. The Cipressa and certainly the Poggio aren't steep, but they are ridden so incredibly fast. Also on the descents it's constant braking and then accelerating. I saw Petacchi, Hondo and Freire climbing well. I don't think I have to do that on Saturday. In my opinion, there's no prize for the quickest time up the Poggio, the only thing that counts is the order at the finish."

  • Vicioso ready for MSR

    Article published:
    March 17, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Tim Maloney, European Editor, and Hedwig Kröner

    Team Liberty Seguros-Würth is looking forward to Milan-Sanremo, where it hopes to place its...

    Team Liberty Seguros-Würth is looking forward to Milan-Sanremo, where it hopes to place its Australian sprinter Allan Davis among the top placings. Assisted by Ángel Vicioso, Davis could just be the man to win if a small group arrives at the Via Roma ahead of the peloton, said Vicioso.

    "I'd work for Allan in the ideal case that a small group finishes the race in front," he said. "He's in great form and one of the favourites for victory." Vicioso, who has returned to racing at Tirreno-Adriatico after a difficult season last year where he crashed in the Tour de France, also thinks that Oscar Freire and the Italian Fassa Bortolo squad will be major contenders for the win of La Primavera, as well as Paolo Bettini, Tom Boonen and Alejandro Valverde. "The race could also be decided by one rider only," he continued. "I've seen Bettini training at Tirreno and he was in good shape. What's more, his team also counts on Boonen for the sprint, so he'll be doing whatever he can to take the race apart. And there will also be Valverde to attack."

    Vicioso, who hadn't been racing since the Tour of Pologne last September, is confident that his current form is improving in time for his own goals. "Milan-Sanremo is a very tough race, where you need to get over the Cipressa and the Poggio in front to even open up some possibilities. I'm a little short of preparation for it, because my objectives are the Northern classics and the Vuelta al País Vasco, and those competitions take place a month from now. I need to lose about two kilos yet to be lean.

    "We'll still have a very competitive squad in Milan," he added. "Caruso and myself can try to break away, and Allan could finish in a sprint."

    Liberty Seguros-Würth will send the following riders to the "Classicissima": Allan Davis, Ángel Vicioso, Jörg Jaksche, Aaron Kemps, Michele Scarponi, Giampaolo Caruso, Sergio Paulinho and Carlos Barredo. Igor...