What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Thursday!

“Top Story” has to be Jered winning the prestigious Photo Of The Year Award from Competitive Cyclist. Bit of an Australian theme today with the Tour Down Under coming up and Matt Conn riding the Press Worlds! More race news, rider news and team news, plus a bit of a laugh here and there…well it is the season to be merry! Lots of video clips, as you would expect on a Thursday morning…settle back and power down for Christmas.

“Top Story”

Our Man Jered Wins Photo Of The Year:
Jered Gruber and his new wife Ashley, spent this year in Europe with their cameras, one thing led to another and…well you can read all about it here:

Here is the 2011 Competitive Cyclist Awards: The bigger statement here is photographer of the year. With zero inside influence but a willingness to bankroll his own dreams, Jered Gruber spent 2011 definitively establishing himself as the “It” photographer of the pro bike race scene. He slept on couches all across Europe for the better part of the season. His Spring Classics photos went viral — setting afire his burgeoning reputation, and securing him the sort of commercial gigs that serve as the lifeblood for PRO photographers. After bike companies revamp their websites and catalogs for 2012, they’ll become galleries of Jered’s work. Perhaps most notoriously, the 2012 Giro d’Italia presentation centered on one of his images, which the organizers used on a global stage without his consent.

We’ve seen other shooting stars pass through the crazy world of bike race photography. Our offices are covered up in bigger-than-life Caroline Yang images from Lance-era Tours. Sadly, she gave up on cycling in 2006. And from her website it’s uncertain if she’s shot much of anything since 2010. We were also huge fans of Jeff Tse. He was likely cyclingnews.com’s best-ever photographer. He’s since gone on to much larger commercial successes. Clicking on the “Body” section of his website is to be led into temptation of a frightfully pure form (maybe NSFW if you work someplace you’d be better served quitting.)

The lesson of Yang and Tse is simple: Whatever magical thing it is that makes photographers great either also ends up burning them out, or pushes them on to more lucrative endeavors. (In fact, going back to our “Article Of The Year” above, perhaps a similar truth holds true for writers, which explains the lack of decent cycling literature.) As bike race junkies, all we can hope is that Gruber can crack the code that keeps him well-paid, consistently-creative, and interested in cycling in an ongoing way.

It should be no surprise that we’ve chosen one of Gruber’s images as our photo of the year.

See the whole article here on Competitive Cyclist.

A Sad End of the Road?
I recently read two rider interviews; with Dan Lloyd in velonation and Dan Fleeman in PEZ, both riders will end their Pro careers (barring any last minute reprieve) on the last day of this year.

Fleeman rode for the Cervйlo Test Team in 2009 after a stint with the An Post Team; he has had wins in France in top class events, as well as finishing 7th overall in the Tour of Britain. After a bad crash with Cervйlo had him side-lined for most of the year and even with a strong finish to the season, the combined Garmin-Cervйlo team didn’t take him on and he has been riding for the British Continental Raleigh team.

Lloyd came up through Belgium with the Flanders team to the Asian team; Giant and then An Post until he too joined the Cervйlo Test Team and successfully moving on to the Garmin-Cervйlo team, but now might be the end of the road for his career.

Ignoring the arguments between the riders and the team management on how they finished with Cervйlo or Garmin-Cervйlo, as there are two sides to the stories. These guys have both ridden at WorldTour level, but in the case of Lloyd either a ride for a Continental team or a “proper” job and for Fleeman; working at his coaching business and bike shop. OK times are hard, there are lots of unemployed Pro’s in Europe, but these two unsung heroes have plenty of experience and would be a loss to British cycling and any other young riders hoping to step up the ranks. WorldTour and ProConti teams could make good use of these two, but it sounds like we will never know, unless something comes up at the last minute.

No Tour Mйditйranйen, Again?
It looks like the Tour Mйditйranйen is in trouble again and may not take place in 2012. The race has not been included in the UCI EuropTour and the French Cycling Federation has stated that the race will not take place. The race route was announced at the start of November for the dates of February the 9th to 12th and with the stage finish up the Mont Faron. This was rumoured last year as the race was having money problems, mostly because they owe over 20,000Ђ due to shortening a stage in 2010. Last year the race was on, then off and then on again, so maybe…

Classic 1993 Tour Mйditйranйen action, watch for the stars:

No Katusha for Kolobnev!
Alexandr Kolobnev may be free to race by the Russian federation pending an appeal by the UCI with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but it appears he has no team for 2012. The new man in charge at Katusha; Hans-Michael Holczer has said there is no place for Kolobnev on the team as it is full and that; “There’s no point in having a rider on the team who is limbo.”

VITTEL: из жизни “Катюши” – про велосипеды и девушек. No, I dont know what it means either!

New GreenEdge for Home TDU
It looks like the new GreenEdge team want a good start to their season as they name a very strong team for their home race; the Santos Tour Down Under next month in Adelaide. Very much a sprinters team with a good lead-out train and individual winners amongst them.

GreenEdge for TDU:
Cameron Meyer ,
Matt Goss,
Stuart O’Grady,
Simon Gerrans,
Jack Bobridge,
Leigh Howard,
Robbie McEwen.

This is the GreenEdge base in Varese, Italy where the GreenEDGE Cycling Team, the Australian Institute of Sport, and Cycling Australia are working together.

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step for TDU
The new combined team of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step is sending a strong team to Australia in January for the Santos Tour Down Under. Top men; Gerard Ciolek, Serge Pauwels, Gert Steegmans and Irish national champion will be backed-up by Andrew Fenn, Julien Vermote and young Italian rider Matteo Trentin.

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step for TDU:
Gerald Ciolek,
Matthew Brammeier,
Serge Pauwels,
Andrew Fenn,
Gert Steegmans,
Matteo Trentin,
Julien Vermote.

The 2012 Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team during their team building event in Mol, Belgium:

Euskaltel-Euskadi for TDU
The Basque team are taking some young lads (Ricardo Garcнa, Victor Cabedo and Adriбn Sбez de Arregui) to the Santos Tour Down Under and the more experienced; Gorka Izagirre, Pablo Urtasun and Ruben Perez. They will be joined by Romain Sicard who has been suffering with a leg problem and recent trouble with the law due to some drunken nonsense; he will be out to show his better qualities.

Euskaltel-Euskadi for TDU:
Romain Sicard,
Gorka Izagirre,
Victor Cabedo,
Pablo Urtasun,
Ruben Perez,
Adriбn Sбez de Arregui,
Ricardo Garcia.

This is the Euskaltel-Euskadi team back in 2010:

Vino at Langkawi
Alexandre Vinokourov will lead the Astana team in the Tour de Langkawi starting on the 24th of February 2012. The 10 day stage race follows on from the Asian Games which are held in Kuala Lumpur on the 15th and 17th of February, some of the riders will ride both. The all Kazakh team have all performed well in Asia previously and might dominate in Langkawi?

Astana Team for Tour de Langkawi:
Alexandre Vinokourov,
Assan Bazayev,
Alexandre Dyachenko,
Dimitriy Gruzdev,
Valentin Iglinskiy,
Andrey Zeits.

The Tour of Langkawi; a very different race!

Mauricio Soler Home in Colombia
After his crash in stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse six months ago, where he suffered severe head injuries, Juan Mauricio Soler has returned home to Colombia on Tuesday. He was placed in an induced coma in a Swiss hospital until well enough to travel to his Spanish base in Pamplona where he was kept in hospital for four months. He will now be cared for in a Bogotб hospital for the final part of his recuperation. he commented that his future in cycling is not known at this time.

Here is video of his return:

3 More Years for Boasson Hagen
Edvald Boasson Hagen will be staying with the Sky team for the next three years; he did have one year left on his contract and has not extended that by a further two more taking him to the end of 2014. Always shows well in the Spring Classics; winning the 2009 Gent-Wevelgem and also in the Tour de France with two stage wins in 2011.

Boasson Hagen at his best!

Cioni to Retire
Nice guy; David Dario Cioni has decided to call it a day on his Pro career at the end of this year after racing in one way or another for the last 20 years. He started racing on a mountain bike and was told by his coach; Aldo Sassi that the road could be his destiny and swapped in 2000. In his time he rode 19 Grand Tours, his best being in 2004 when he finished 4th overall in the Giro d’Italia. The 37 year old will be staying with the Sky team in a communications position dealing with the Italian side of Sky and Italian media.

Here is some old film of the 2004 Giro d’Italia climbing the Gavia from Ponte di Legno on stage 18. Dario Cioni is climbing with Damiano Cunego, Gilberto Simoni, Sergei Honchar and Stefano Garzelli.

Horizon Fitness Race Team
Here is a great video of the onthedrops women’s team in action in this year’s JHT GP Series from Century TV. If you want more info on the team, check them out at www.horizonfitnessrt.com.

Schleck’s On The Right Track?
Further to my interview with the Schleck brothers the other day, where they mentioned that they would be doing some special work to improve their time trialing, they have been training on the indoor track in Gent this week. Andy told Sporza: “When I get the time in December to come here for a couple of days, I like it.” Frank added: “Before going to Calpe for our training camp, the weather was always good. So we did some mountain biking and some nice rides on the road. Then, in Calpe, we actually trained a lot for this period of the year.” Sounds like TT training to me!

Here is Andy and Frank at the Glass House.

Mt. Borah Launches Cycling Gear for a Year Contest
Press Release: Mt. Borah Custom will be offering cycling teams and clubs a chance to outfit their riders in pro-level gear for the 2012 season. Mt. Borah’s Gear for a Year contest is open to any and all cycling teams and clubs. Contestants must download, design and submit what they believe to be a top-notch cycling kit design. The number of entries per team is not limited, so contestants are encouraged to submit multiple designs. The winning team will receive up to 20 kits of the following:

• Pro Short Sleeve Jerseys
• Pro Power Band Bib-Shorts
• Team Wind Vests
• Team Arm Warmers

Mt. Borah is looking for unique, creative designs that will turn heads on the road and on the trail. From crayon to CAD (computer aided design), any design style is welcome.

The contest will run from Wednesday, December 21, 2011 to Monday, March 5, 2012. The winning team will be announced during the week of March 5 and their gear will be delivered in 6-8 weeks depending on the seasonal turnaround time. Please visit mtborah.com/gearforayear for more contest details, or call 1-800-354-2825. May the best looking team win!

Para-Cyclones named for LA worlds
Press Release: Australia will head to the UCI Para-cycling World Championships in America with four defending world champions in a talented line up of potential medal winners.

Cycling Australia’s Para-cycling Performance Director, Peter Day, says the pressure is building for riders to “These championships are very important for Australia in terms of qualifying points to secure starting places for Australia at the Paralympic Games and a major milestone for Games contenders,” said Day. “Riders who medal will certainly have a stronger chance of gaining selection for London 2012.”

Day says whilst medals are an obvious goal the primary objective is improvement.”It’s great to win or finish with a medal but it’s also crucial that athletes hoping to race in London demonstrate improvement when they race in Los Angeles.”

The team selection was finalised during last week’s Para-cycling track nationals in Melbourne where a highlight was a world record ride by tandem pair Felicity Johnson and pilot Stephanie Morton for the flying 200 metres. “Whilst there were several good perfromancses in Melbourne there were also a few athletes who didn’t back up on their recent performances at Oceania or state competitions,” said Day. “Some of those were more techincal issues and that gives us something to work on during our preparation for the world championships.”

The Para-cyclones for the 2012 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships are listed below (please note male tandem pilots will be confirmed at a later date):

Alexandra Green (Balgowlah Heights, NSW 02.07.1987) C4
Felicity Johnson (Melrose Park, SA, 30.05.1971) BW (defending time trial world champion)
Simone Kennedy (Ryde, NSW 05.01.1994) C3
Kerry Knowler (Phillip ACT, 26.08.1967 ) Pilot for O’Connor
Claire McLean (Carlisle WA, 04.07.1973) C5
Stephanie Morton (Moana Heights, SA, 28.11.1990) Pilot for Johnson (defending time trial world champion)
Brandie O’Connor (Phillip ACT, 24.12.1973) BW
Jayme Paris-Richardson (Quakers Hill NSW, 27.04.1989) C1
Susan Powell (Melba ACT, 30.05.1967) C4 (defending pursuit world champion)
Matt Formston (Dee Why, NSW, 21/07.1978) BM
Michael Gallagher (Sydenham VIC, 14.12.1978) C5 (defending pursuit world champion and world record holder)
Bryce Lindores (Nobby Beach QLD, 12.09.1986) BM
David Nicholas (Prosperpine, QLD, 01.12.1991) C3.

World Press Cycling Championships 2012
The next World Press Cycling Championships / WPCC 2012 (19 – 21 October 2012) will take place on the beautiful sunny island of Crete, Greece. In November 2011 the WPCC committee evaluated the application and; Sports Promotion Hellas was honored to host the event on Crete. Our PEZ-man; Matt Conn has been a regular competitor at the Cycling Press Worlds, he was 3rd a couple of years ago. Last year wasn’t as good; Gianni Motta called out to him at the finish line, “Eh, Australiano, ULTIMO! Last!” Matt has been trying to shut out that day and so the race report is still a ‘work in progress’. He also thought next year’s race was in Austria…No Matt, go to Greece!

Press Release: Sports Promotion Hellas / SPH under the auspices of the city of Rethymno.
It will be the second great international cycling event on Crete during 2012. On 25-27/05/2012, SPH is about to organize the UCI World Cycling Tour 2012 / ‘Cretan Cycling Challenge‘ in the area of Chania. Both cycling events aspire to render the island of Crete one of the leading cycling destinations in Europe within the next years. Additionally, in winter 2012/2013 trainings camps for professionals, amateurs and free time cyclists from all over the world are going to take place on the island.

The WPCC 2012 (Sprint + time trial + road race) will take place in Rethymno/Crete. Crete, the most southern area of Europe does not only offer perfect weather conditions in October, but more than 5000kms of asphalt roads with light traffic and a wide range of good value for money hotels and restaurants. The location offers you the chance to combine your participation in the WPCC 2012 with well worth, holidays in Rethymno.

Europe’s biggest cycling magazine ’’Tour“, edition 11/2011, published the potentials of Crete as new cycling destination. More reports worldwide are planned for the next months. Crete is on the right truck as far as a cycling destination, and we would like to invite you to join us in the cycling routes in Rethymno in WPCC 2012. This experience can be enjoyed and shared by all participations as well as your experiences and your outlook is valuable to us.

The city of Rethymno is the cultural centre of the island. A lot of well known writers and poets were born here or spent part of their life in this part of the island, i.e. Georgios Seferis, the Nobel Prize Winner in Literature in 1963. The University of Crete hosts more than 7.000 students in Rethymno. The monastery of Arkadi is the Cretan national shrine, the Venetian harbor and the old town of Rethymno fascinate thousands of tourists from all over the world every year and the endless seashores with more than 15kms sandy beaches are considered second to none.

More information here: www.sphellas.com.

Here are last years races, look out for Matt (at the start):

Cycling Explained by Xtranormal
If you have not seen any of the animations on the subject of cycling on Xtranormal then this is one of the better ones. Have a look through the other animation, some funny and many a bit close to the bone! Warning; the “F” word is used in this animation!

And a Merry Christmas from me, have a great time…see you on Monday! And here is a last bit of fun:

Any comments drop me a line, email address: [email protected] or Twitter. And there is the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Fan Page.

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