What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Thursday!

It’s the middle of (for some people) winter in most of Europe, but the Pros are all in Spain looking for the warm, sunny weather, so now we have “Training Camp News”. There are still some transfers to report and there is more track action from Manchester, plus a couple of Grand Fondos to ride. You can also check out the behind the scenes of the making of the Cyclepassion calendar. Nice!

Luxembourg Team Mystery Till January
The Schleck family team of the Luxembourg Project will stay a mystery until the 6th of January 2011. The announcement will be made at 1pm (CET) at a press conference, then there will be a team presentation in the evening, then we might find out what to call the team.

Transfer News, again!
Pegasus Sports strengthens its roster with Cornu and Traksel
Pegasus Sports is pleased to announce the signing of Dominique Cornu from Belgium and Bobbie Traksel from the Netherlands.

With Cornu, the team has added another strong time trialist. The 25-year-old athlete captured gold at the 2006 U23 World Championships in the time trial, and that same year also won the Belgian U23 national championships for the second time in a row. Cornu is also an accomplished track cyclist, having won the individual pursuit at the 2006 Belgian track cycling championships, and is a promising rider on the cobbles. In 2010, the Skil-Shimano rider claimed victory in the individual time trial stage at the Tour of Belgium securing the overall young rider classification and finished second in the overall ranking.

Traksel, 29, joins Pegasus Sports from Vancansoleil. He is a strong one-day racer and has 18 victories to his account so far. Highlights include victory in the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen in 2008 and in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in 2010, where he won in bad weather conditions with wind, rain and cold temperatures after a long breakaway. With this victory Traksel proved himself to be a real fighter.

“With Cornu and Traksel we have secured the services of two riders who fit perfectly in our team,” said Pegasus Sports CEO Chris White. “Cornu is a strong time trialist and also feels at home on the cobbles, while Traksel is a tough rider for the one-day events.”

Pegasus Sports is pleased to announce the signing of Dominique Cornu from Belgium and Bobbie Traksel from the Netherlands.

With Cornu, the team has added another strong time trialist. The 25-year-old athlete captured gold at the 2006 U23 World Championships in the time trial, and that same year also won the Belgian U23 national championships for the second time in a row. Cornu is also an accomplished track cyclist, having won the individual pursuit at the 2006 Belgian track cycling championships, and is a promising rider on the cobbles. In 2010, the Skil-Shimano rider claimed victory in the individual time trial stage at the Tour of Belgium securing the overall young rider classification and finished second in the overall ranking.

Traksel, 29, joins Pegasus Sports from Vancansoleil. He is a strong one-day racer and has 18 victories to his account so far. Highlights include victory in the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen in 2008 and in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in 2010, where he won in bad weather conditions with wind, rain and cold temperatures after a long breakaway. With this victory Traksel proved himself to be a real fighter.

“With Cornu and Traksel we have secured the services of two riders who fit perfectly in our team,” said Pegasus Sports CEO Chris White. “Cornu is a strong time trialist and also feels at home on the cobbles, while Traksel is a tough rider for the one-day events.”

Mancebo to RealCyclist.com
Francisco Mancebo will be riding for the U.S. team RealCyclist.com Pro Cycling Team next season. This year he has been riding for the Greek/Spanish Kastro Heraklion-Murcia team, but is looking forward to a full U.S. based season, Mancebo has been a pro since 1998 and has had a chequered career and was implicated in Operation Puerto.
RealCyclist.com riders
Francisco Mancebo,
Cesar Grajales,
Cole House,
Thomas Rabou,
Frank Travieso,
Evan Hyde,
Tommy Nankervis,
Yosvany Falcon,
Mike Midlarsky,
Josh Berry,
Matt Crane,
Ian Burnett,
Oscar Clar.

Training Camp News
A Successful Saxo Bank-SunGard Team Building
This week, a delegation of 62 Saxo Bank-SunGard cyclists, sports directors, mechanics, soigneurs and administration has participated in the annual teambuilding session. Just like last year, it all took place in the resort Playitas on the sunny Atlantic Island, Fuerteventura.

As a part of the natural development of the team, the substance of the camp was quite different from previous years but the objectives were unchanged. Actually, team spirit was maybe more important than ever as a big group of new people with different nationalities was going to find common ground. However, the way of reaching the finish line was quite different other years.

Tuesday, the team was split up into three groups and for three days, everyone’s job was to learn how to wind surf, kite surf and to perform various street art forms in front of an audience. The performance part was lead by the Danish professional group, “De Jydske Helte”. Basically, the main goal was to have fun and tear down boundaries in order to maintain an open mind. At the same time, everyone was able to fall asleep at night after hours and hours of concentrated test of balance during wind and kite surfing on the beautiful Fuerteventura beaches. Thursday ended with a competition where each team was tested on their abilities on water, balance and acrobatics.

“To me, the most important issue during this year’s teambuilding has been to integrate all the new riders and staff and to establish team spirit based upon good and memorable experiences which will be remembered and talked about throughout the whole year. And I can already see that it pays off. The atmosphere is relaxed. People are laughing, having a great time and it’s important for me to know that everyone gets the feeling of being part of the well-known Saxo Bank-SunGard team spirit,” states team owner Bjarne Riis.

And the riders have surely enjoyed the camp:
“The team building has been very different from previous years and in a very positive way. We were forced to break down other personal boundaries by performing acrobatics, dancing, singing and regular street art forms for one another. It was great fun to just park the brain outside and to burn the mask, which made us all equal in our vulnerability. That allowed us to have the same perspective in order to pursue the common goal,” said Saxo Bank-SunGard climber, Chris Anker Sшrensen.

The Shack in Spain
The European based RadioShack riders arrived in the Diamante Hotel in Calpe on Monday for a week of training and for the new riders to get to know everyone. Some of the riders and staff were held up due to weather and the Spanish ATC’s strike, as Johan Bruyneel pointed out on his Twitter: “Finally made it to the team hotel for our first training camp with @TeamRadioShack. Traveling was a challenge today but I happily made it!” It’s rumoured that Lance Armstrong could be joining the team and he also Twittered: “Going on an incredible trip soon. Details shortly.” Keep tuned to Pez as we will have our man in Spain down there this week to see what’s going on!

Katusha are also in Calpe from today (Thursday) and Quick-Step arrive on Monday.

Ag2r Also in Spain
France’s only member of the UCI’s ProTeam 1st Division are headed to Spain for their first full team get together in the Catalan beach resort of Salou starting on the 8th through to the 17th of January. “Rides should be of between two and five hours,” explained team DS Julien Jurdie, “with riders in different groups, depending on the individual goals of each.” They will also be testing new equipment and sorting the riders racing program for next year.

Eight Riders Killed in Italy
A car driven by a 21 year-old Moroccan by the name of Chafik Elketani crashed head on to group of cyclists in the Calabria region of the south of Italy on Sunday morning killing eight. The driver was under the influence of marijuana and didn’t have a driving license due to a six month ban due to a previous case of dangerous driving. The cyclists were all from Lamezia Terme, the funeral was held at the local sports ground to accommodate all the mourners. The Giro d’Italia will pass the point of the accident in May. It was originally suggested that the driver would be facing a change of murder, but more likely to be involuntary manslaughter.

Two More Killed in England
Two brothers died in an accident in Cumbria, north England when in collision with a coach (bus). The brothers; Christian (29) and Nicholas Townend (21) were very keen cyclists, their mother Eleanor said: “My beautiful sons were loved by all who knew them. Their zest for life and lively sense of humour never failed to bring us joy. They shared a love of the outdoors and the local area. They will be greatly missed and never forgotten.” The coach driver was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and released on bail.

Ghent Six Winners to Feature at Revolution
Riders from each of the podium places at the recent Ghent six day will star at the next Revolution on 11th December.

Ghent winner Iljo Keisse will feature at the alongside Leif Lampater and Robert Bartko, who finished second and third respectively. These riders will be joined by current Zurich six day leader Franco Marvulli to create another all star continental line up at the National Cycling Centre.

Other international riders will include ex Discovery pro Michael Creed, American Kit Karzan and rising Swiss talent Claudio Imhof. These riders will take on a typically strong British contingent, which is proving a big attraction for the continental pros.

“Revolution has developed a reputation for hard racing on the continent,” commented Revolution Promoter James Pope. “Marvulli and a few of the other six day guys confirmed that this reputation has spread on the European scene and riders want to come and test themselves against the young Brits.”

“We have a lot of talent here in the UK and the younger riders want to prove themselves at Revolution so they always race as hard as they can,” Pope confirmed. “This is why some of the stars often struggle to win at Revolution. From our perspective it’s great and gives an edge to the racing, which is what Revolution is all about.”

Leading the young British talent will be Junior World Madison Champion Simon Yates and Jon Mould, who came close to victory in the under 23 competition at Ghent. They will be joined by Academy riders including Alex Dowsett, Andy Fenn, Mark Christian and Luke Rowe.

The more experienced British pros featuring next week will include Olympic bronze medallist Steven Burke, Rapha Condor Sharp’s Dean Downing and Team Sky’s Pete Kennaugh and Russell Downing.

Full rider lists are available on www.cyclingrevolution.com and tickets are available to purchase online or by calling 0843 208 1840.

Revolution Double Bill to include National Madison Championships
The British Cycling National Madison Championships has been confirmed to take place at the National Cycling Centre, Manchester, before the final Revolution of the current season on January 15th 2011.

The double bill format was introduced at Revolution 28 earlier this year with the Madison Championships taking place in the afternoon as part of an extended sprint programme. The event was a success prompting Revolution organisers to re-introduce for 2011.

“The double bill proved a great success earlier this year,” commented Face Partnership’s James Pope. “We hosted the 2010 Madison Championships in the afternoon before Revolution 28 and the programme included elite sprint events and a Future Stars Madison. We’ll follow the same format this season to create a full day and evening of racing and entertainment.”

Despite being removed from the Olympic programme as part of the controversial shake up ahead of 2012 Olympics, the Madison remains as popular as ever amongst both spectators and the riders.

“The Madison has always been hugely popular with our audience,” commented Pope. “The Madison Time Trial is one of the most exciting events at Revolution and the three man Madison at the last event was a massive hit with the spectators and the riders.”

“I think the race still has an important part to play in modern track cycling so we are pleased to host the Championships once again.”

The 2010 Madison Championships was won by Mark Christian and Luke Rowe.

Entries are currently open for the National Madison Championships with entry information on www.britishcycling.org.uk. Tickets priced Ј6 for adults and Ј3 for concessions are available to purchase on www.cyclingrevolution.com.

La Haute Route Details announced
The highest and one of the most difficult cyclosportive bike races in Europe, challenging riders over 14 legendary Alpine Cols between Geneva and Nice.
720 km, 17,000m of climbing, 7 days of pain and pleasure!

On the 7th December, 2010, OC ThirdPole organisers of the HAUTE ROUTE introduced this new and exciting cycling event to the media and special guests at a briefing in London. OC ThirdPole, a leading professional sailing and outdoor events organiser, officially announced the HAUTE ROUTE event in Paris two weeks ago, but took the opportunity to meet the UK’s cycling press yesterday. “Cycling is a mass participation sport across Europe and especially in the UK,” commented OC ThirdPole CEO, Rйmi Duchemin. “We know that many cyclists from Britain will be excited about this new event and motivated to participate, and the best way to inform UK cyclists is via the media.”

The HAUTE ROUTE, a brand new cycling event that will challenge even the most hardened of riders. The first edition of the HAUTE ROUTE (the ‘high road’), an exceptional cyclosportive event involving 7 stages, 720 km and 14 cols between Geneva and Nice, will take place over 7 days 21-27 August 2011.

A breathtaking and challenging route…
Starting from the shores of Lake Geneva and finishing on the “Promenade des Anglais” in Nice, the HAUTE ROUTE has been named after the legendary mountaineering route across the Alps, first charted in the mid-19th century by the UK Alpine Club and dubbed ‘The High Level Route’. The HAUTE ROUTE competitors will race at high altitude over a week, with 7 timed stages, showcasing various formats – in line stages, marathon leg and even a time trial.

With 720 kilometres to cover and around 17,000 metres altitude to climb and as much to descend, the competitors will have the amazing opportunity to measure themselves against 14 famous cols, including the Madeleine, the Galibier, the Izoard and the Cime de la Bonnette on a route that climbs above 2,800 metres. This first edition of the HAUTE ROUTE will stop in the prestigious ski resorts of Megиve, Les Arcs/Bourg-St-Maurice, Serre Chevalier, Pra Loup and Auron. It is set to bring together cycling enthusiasts but will also be a family adventure or an experience to share with your friends.

• Saturday 20th August 2011 The HAUTE ROUTE Village, Geneva
• Sunday 21st August 2011 Geneva – Megиve (97 km)
• Monday 22nd August Megиve – Les Arcs (103 km)
• Tuesday 23rd August 2011 Bourg-St-Maurice – Serre Chevalier (162 km)
• Wednesday 24th August 2011 Serre Chevalier – Col du Granon (12 km, time trial)
• Thursday 25th August 2011 Serre Chevalier – Pra Loup (119 km)
• Friday 26th August 2011 Pra Loup – Auron (78 km)
• Saturday 27th August 2011 Auron – Nice (145 km)

Open for entry…
The HAUTE ROUTE is an exceptional sporting challenge open to cycling enthusiasts of all nationalities, whether they hold a licence or not, aged 18 or over. The participants can register individually (“Solo”), with an other cyclist (“Duo”) or as a team between 4 and 9 riders (“Team”). The race will be timed and will include several categories (Men, Women, Men’s Duos, Women’s Duos, Mixed Duos, Teams). At the start of each stage, a leader’s jersey will be given to the best racer, all categories and ages included.

“Registration for the first edition of the HAUTE ROUTE is available exclusively on the event’s website www.hauteroute.org,” explained HAUTE ROUTE Race Director, Jean-Franзois Alcan. “We have put in place a comprehensive team to guarantee safety, comfort and professional medical backup. The HAUTE ROUTE will be one of the biggest challenges the sportsmen and women will face in their lives so it is important that we offer a service that measures up during the racing but also in our host venues each night.” Jean-Franзois Alcan has a strong experience in the cyclosportive arena as he created and directed major events for the past 20 years.

The entry fee is 595Ђ if you register before the 31st December 2010 and 630Ђ from 1st January 2011 onwards. This cost includes:

• Official travel bag (to be used by each competitor)
• Mechanical support (in the race village and during the race)
• Food/drink supplies during the race and at the finish of each stage
• Access to a secure bike park at each stopover
• Cleaning service for the bikes at each stopover
• Massages / rest and recovery at the finish
• Pasta party organised every night
• Transfer of personal luggage from the start to the finish of each leg
• Transfer of bike bags and covers from Geneva to Nice
• Accommodation at different levels and return shuttle (Nice-Geneva) as an option

An OC ThirdPole Event…
Mark Turner and Rйmi Duchemin, Executive Chairman and CEO of OC ThirdPole respectively, were both in London today and declared: “The HAUTE ROUTE is our first new event since the merger between OC Group and ThirdPole a few months ago. The HAUTE ROUTE is perfectly aligned with our objective of expansion in the outdoor sports arena with unique, high profile events with international appeal.”

To find out more about the first edition of the HAUTE ROUTE and download the registration pack, please log onto www.HAUTEROUTE.org.

The Gran Fondo Rockies 2011
2011 Gran Fondo Rockies cycling event offers extraordinary setting and a fully supported epic ride for 2,000 cyclists, along with professional road race offering one of the largest cash purses in Canada
Calgary, Alberta: Mabel Outdoor Events Inc., in conjunction with TCR Sport Lab, is pleased to announce the first gran fondo cycling event in Alberta. The 2011 Gran Fondo Rockies will be held on Sunday, July 24, 2011. Up to 2000 riders of all abilities will converge south of Calgary and ride various distances up to 170 km in the first Gran Fondo Rockies. A scenic and rolling loop route through the Rocky Mountain foothills will provide riders an authentic gran fondo experience – completing a fully supported epic ride with a large social group.

While gran fondos are typically in excess of 160 km, participants of the Gran Fondo Rockies seeking a more modest challenge can ride one of three alternative distances: a piccolo fondo and two medio fondo distances, covering roughly 60, 100 and 140 km.

In addition, it is expected that a large field of professional and serious amateur cyclists will compete for the one of the largest cash purses offered for a road race in Canada. This race will precede the mass start of the Gran Fondo Rockies. Individuals and teams from across Canada and the northwest U.S. are expected.

Gran Fondo Rockies will provide participants with the opportunity to challenge themselves with a long distance ride often simply for the pride of making it to the finish line. Gran Fondo Rockies will offer roving mechanical and medical support, traffic control and well-stocked aid stations. In addition, participants will be treated to an authentic Italian-style lunch and refreshments after their epic ride.

Registration for the Gran Fondo Rockies will open in January at www.granfondorockies.ca. Once route details are finalized they will be announced.

Cyclepassion DVD “Eyes Wide Open”
Once a year, a select group of elite women cyclists leave behind their world of mud, sweat, blood and pain to slip into something a little more comfortable. See what happens when eight professional cyclists trade in their lycra for latex, lace and leather in the sixth annual production of the ever popular Cyclepassion Calendar. Take an intimate look behind the scenes of each photo shoot and find out what life off the bike is like for each rider. Eyes Wide Open also tells the story of the calendar origins with its founder Anke Wilken, and renowned photographer Daniel Geiger.

You can order your copy from the Cyclefilm Shop, DVD Retail Price is GBP 15.99 (ca. US$25.-) Worldwide delivery via the Cyclefilm Shop (PAL & NTAC formats available) also there is a Holiday Special – Share the Love – Buy 2nd DVD for half price, 3rd for 99p.

If you want to see the DVD trailers or some sneak peeks then check them out via You Tube playlist.

If you want more information on the riders etc. have a look here.


Any comments drop me a line, email address: [email protected] or Twitter.

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