What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Thursday!

Today’s ‘Trash is fatter than ever as we get caught up on all the stink you can stand. The Vuelta a Espaсa had its first rest on Monday, but the big day of the time trial came along pretty quick. Results and chat from the riders in the Spanish Grand Tour and any other news I could lay my hands on. The Top Story are my thoughts on the Lance Armstrong affair and we finish with a great video from Super Mario Cipollini. Cappuccino per favore!

Top Story
The Lance Armstrong Case
When the announcement of the USADA came out I was at the Vuelta a Espaсa. Things were a little bit more animated than normal and there seemed to be more journalists typing stories than looking at the race on the TV screens. Nobody was surprised and maybe too many had seen/heard it all before, but I think there was a mixture “we all knew anyway” and “it was a matter of time” or “when will all this end?”

One of the first people I met in the Sala de Prensa was Laura Meseguer, she writes for PedalierPro magazine and interviews riders for EuroSport at La Vuelta. She was busy because the Bosses at the TV station had asked her to get comments from riders, but if you have been watching the Spanish Tour on EuroSport you won’t have seen any rider comments. All she could say was “no one will talk about it.” For me that’s not surprising, I’m not saying there is still a rule of “Omerta” it’s just that riders don’t like to talk about drugs, especially to journalists and definitely not on TV.

I also spoke to fellow journalist; Kenny Pryde, he has written for and edited many different cycling journals. His take on it all was similar to most, that it was going to happen eventually, but he did make a very valid point; to some of the younger Pro riders, Lance Armstrong means as much to them as say Jacques Anquetil or Fausto Coppi, they live in the present. The young professionals of today are different, they are going about their job using modern training methods, it’s like a breath of fresh air.

The other strong opinion, which has also been borne out by the USADA, that if Armstrong had broken down and made a tearful testimony to what he had done and explained that he was only do what everyone else was doing at the time, then he would have lost two Tour’s de France, kept five and come out with a clean sheet and would have gained respect from many different sections…but then Lance is not that kind of guy.

In my favourite Spanish sports paper AS they talk to the older ex-Pro’s and there were no surprises from them, here is a selection of quotes:

Fernando Escartin: “It should have been done at the time. I don’t like anything of the case of Lance Armstrong.” Adding “it makes no sense.”

Abraham Olano: “Have a look at Bahamontes!” Explaining; “I do not understand that it’s still running after 10 years.”

Perico Delgado: “It’s more of a power struggle. It’s bad news for cycling and we know that victims are always cyclists.”

Oscar Pereiro: “Riis has not lost his Tour. He admitted to doping, nothing happened and continues as the ’96 Tour winner.”

Laurent Jalabert: “It’s sad for cycling.”

Santiago Botero: “Today the ProTour is healthy.”

Bernard Hinault: “Sanctioning Armstrong or not is not my problem, it’s something that affects the Texan, not me.”

Pierre Bordry, ex-head of the French Anti-Doping Agency: “from my experience as a former president of the FADA, I think Armstrong took a lot of work to prolong the inevitable. USADA acted with great courage to sanction someone who is a symbol in his own country.

Back in 2005 the French sports paper L’Equipe reported that Lance Armstrong had been found positive for EPO in his first Tour in 1999 as the laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry (France) had analysed a frozen urine sample.

There have been more revelations in the last days:

Michel Rieu, an adviser to the French Anti-Doping Agency told French newspaper Le Monde that “Armstrong was warned before all planned doping controls.” Due to the inspectors having continual problems making unannounced tests, they had to inform Armstrong in advance, claiming that “he had twenty minutes to cover his tracks. He could thin his blood or replace his urine. He used the EPO only in small quantities, so it was no longer there to detect. We were powerless against this way of working.”

Also from France, in the Journal du Dimanche it was reported that a team of Police investigators had gone to Pau to raid the Discovery Channel team’s hotel. They were outside the hotel and ready to go when it was all called off at the last second. Lawyer Thibault de Montbrial said of the cancelled operation; “I don’t know who gave this order but I know that the investigators were furious that they had to pull back. On that evidence, Lance Armstrong was well protected in France.”

Former WADA president Dick Pound has waded into the argument with statements like; “I thought frankly it was rather desperate,” referring to Armstrong’s tactics to avoid going to arbitration, adding; “all of a sudden he turns from the world’s toughest fighter to not even contesting it? Decide what you like.”

So, that’s us up to date, but I’m sure this story will run…and run…and run. My final thought is that if you are a Lance lover or an Armstrong hater it comes down to whether or not you care anymore what happened going back to 1999.

Lance has his say, “I’m at ease.”

La Vuelta a Espaсa 2012
A Rest Day Interview with Alberto Contador
“Now comes the most suitable part for me” Alberto Contador said at a press conference at the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team hotel in Sanxenxo. Alberto was happy with how the race had gone for him and hopes for the same for next week, which will be decisive. “We have passed a few days of fatigue and tiredness, but now is when the Vuelta begins, because the ITT and the next mountains will decide and mark the overall. In these stages, the differences will be
greater than it has been so far”, said Alberto Contador.

– Valverde has said you are nervous, are you?
– “Not at all. In Montjuic I did not know the finish, which was a pity because I could have been in front, if not with Joaquim and Gilbert, very close to them, but otherwise I’m pretty quiet.”

– What is your assessment of the race?
– “Good, because now is when the race will start and my sensations are good. I had passed a long time without competing and the parcours has been, so far, for explosive riders on all terrain. Now it will be suitable for me and the climbers.”

– Will you like this part of the race?
-“Yes, because I like to compete and this is the part where I feel more comfortable.”

– Have you seen the route of the time trial?
– “Yes, it will be a pretty good time trial for me, but also for the other three that are up there. You have to climb and descend a mountain. It’s better for a rider like Joaquim than if it were a flat time trial. The four who are there in front will perform well and depending on how it goes will decide the tactics we will employ.

Back to La Vuelta:
After Monday’s rest day and long drive day, the race was now in Galicia for Stage 10. John Gadret (Ag2r-LaMondiale) didn’t make the start line due to an intestinal problem; he leaves 193 riders till in the race. The stage was an extra rest day for most riders and at the finish in Sanxenxo John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) took his fourth stage win in this Vuelta to consolidate his lead in the point’s competition. Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural) and Adrian Palomares (Andalucнa) went up the road soon after the start and were left out there by a disinterested bunch. They had a maximum lead of nearly 7 minutes, but they were never going to stay away to the finish. After they were caught on the big 37 kilometre finishing lap, Argos-Shimano, Katusha and Sky raised the speed putting some in trouble. Degenkolb went for a long sprint and it looked like Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ-BigMat) was getting to him, but the big German had it in the bag. All the other jersey’s stayed the same.

“I am looking forward to the time trial; I know it and we’ll see how it goes.” Alberto Contador would have liked a more intense stage on Tuesday, thinking of the time trial. “The first part of the day was too quiet, I would have liked it faster, but I think I am well prepared for the time trial. We will have to see how we are and depending on the result, do one or other tactic in the mountains.” What does make clear is that the overall will change. “Yes, there will be changes, but I cannot say what exactly, but there will be. All four of us have a chance to take the jersey, the parcours is very good for Alejandro, Froome of course, I do not complain and Joaquнm has a minute. All of us have a chance.” But he isn’t thinking too much about winning the stage. “What I think of is in Madrid. You always like to win, of course, but the important thing is the Vuelta a Espaсa”.

Rabobank’s Robert Gesink was not really unhappy with the time trial course: “I think it’s difficult. But it looked good, and difficult is good with this one, I think. It felt good”. Specialist Stef Clement also took a ride: “It’s a really particular course. You have a ten kilometre climb, and a descent just as long. There’s something in it for everyone. The GC riders have to ride well on this time trial. I’ll have to see how it goes myself. I’m hoping for good legs. I want to show I’m still a good time triallist. I am going to give it all I’ve got for sure. Let’s see what’s in store.”

Vuelta a Espaсa Stage 10 Result:
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano in 4:47:24
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-BigMat
3. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan
4. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol
5. Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural
6. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
7. Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
8. Davide Vigano (Ita) Lampre-ISD
9. Ben Swift (GB) Sky
10. Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale.

Vuelta a Espaсa Overall After Stage 10:
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha in 39:32:23
2. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:53
3. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at 1:00
4. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 1:07
5. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 2:01
6. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 2:08
7. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 2:34
8. Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 3:07
9. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank at 3:18
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 3:27.

Stage 10 action:

The Stage 11 individual time trial from Cambados to Pontevedra over 39.4 kilometres was supposed to sort out the podium places, but we still have the top four within 1 minute of each other. Astana’s Fredrik Kessiakoff may have won the stage, but all eyes were on Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), Chris Froome (Sky) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) to see how the test against the watch would split them. Contador did the best ride to overtake Froome on the overall standings, Rodriguez rode well enough to keep his leaders red jersey by 1 second and Valverde held his own and moved (in time) closer to the top place. Chris Froome finished 22 seconds behind Contador but is still only 15 seconds behind him overall. Of the others in the top ten, nothing changed, except Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) replaced Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) in the 8th place.

Speaking in a TV interview, the stage winner Kessiakoff said: “I am absolutely delighted! As soon as I crossed the line I knew I had a good time. I saw the gap from Richie Porte, who was second in the classification at the time, and I knew I had done well. Contador and Froome were the opponents I was most wary of, but I was sure I would have a good chance to battle it out with them for the win.”

“Ever since Pamplona we have had today’s stage highlighted in red,” said Giuseppe Martinelli, Astana team manager. “Kessiakoff is really at ease on this kind of parcours. I told him he would have a great race and that is precisely what happened. He prepared really hard for this stage and the results are plain to see. It is a victory for him and for the team, which must look to start again from here to get some big results. There are still 10 days of racing to go and now the team’s morale is sky high. We will go into the next stages with renewed confidence to try and get another win.”

“At the end the most important, regardless of the red jersey, are results and sensations”, said Alberto Contador of Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank. “I am very happy because my sensations are good and it has been a pretty good day for us and now I go to rest, the Vuelta starts now.” Alberto recognized the great ride of race leader Rodriguez. “He’s done a very great time trial, ahead of Alejandro and only something behind Froome, but it is clear that his time is very good and still remains very much in the Vuelta.” Alberto analyzed the differences between the favourites and said it’s better “to be ahead than behind, but as everybody can say, this starts now and I’m happy with my sensations, because every day are better. I have full confidence in my team and once I get in my terrain, I hope to feel good.” As things stand at the overall, Alberto recognized that the Vuelta will be decided in Asturias. “Yes, I thought from the beginning that it would be decided in Asturias, because what has been so far have been one-day classics and now we are coming to the high mountain stages.” Finally, Contador responded to a possible comparison with the rider who won the 2008 Giro. “Yes, probably I have to go better little by little, as in the Giro d’Italia, but with the difference that then I had won in the previous race and won several stages in the Vuelta al Paнs Vasco. I don’t have that security now, but hey, I’m very happy”, he concluded.

Rabobank’s Robert Gesink said: “I gave it all I had uphill. The first part of the descent didn’t go well, but after that I got back into my rhythm. I rode the time trial full on, and that will have to do. It can’t be any other way.”

And his team mate, Bauke Mollema described his un-lucky TT: “It didn’t really start right, because I almost missed a turn in the beginning. I recovered well, but my chain came off on the climb, and I had to switch bikes. I nevertheless regained my focus afterwards, but in the descent I missed a turn and crashed. Fortunately nothing serious. After that, I didn’t really feel comfortable on the bike anymore and it was a question of damage control. A lot more was in store for today. It’s a shame it went like it did, because I am feeling good. I look forward to the three difficult mountain stages around the weekend. I want to show myself there.”

Vuelta a Espaсa Stage 11 Result:
1. Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana in 52:36
2. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at 0:17
3. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:39
4. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 1:08
5. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 1:09
6. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 1:15
7. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 1:16
8. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 1:17
9. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 1:24
10. Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar at 1:34.

Vuelta a Espaсa Overall After Stage 11:
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha in 40:26:15
2. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at 0:01
3. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:16
4. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 0:59
5. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 2:27
6. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 2:54
7. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 3:39
8. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 4:08
9. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank at 4:22
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 5:10.

Link to the TT stage 11 on rtve.

Cadel Evans Changes Race Plan
Press Release: A suspected low grade infection may force Cadel Evans to cut short his season, BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa announced Monday.

Will Undergo Testing
After racing at the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado, Evans will return to Europe to undergo testing in Milan this week for what the BMC Racing Team medical staff believes may be an off-and-on low grade infection. “Despite his usual full commitment and attention to training, Cadel has been experiencing unusual up and downs on his performance,” Dr. Testa said. “Getting him back to full health and to his physiological standard of performance is a priority for the BMC Racing Team. If the testing goes as expected, Evans may return for the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montrйal on Sept. 9 in Canada.

Appreciative Of Support
Last year’s Tour de France champion has experienced an up-and-down season, winning the two-day Critйrium International in March, placing 29th at the Tour de Romandie in April, finishing third at the Critйrium du Dauphinй in June and seventh at the Tour de France in July. At the Olympic Games, he finished 80th in the road race before withdrawing from the time trial. “I didn’t know what was holding me down at the time,” Evans said. “Now we have a better idea, and it’s a relief to have some indicators as to why I have been under-performing. When you don’t know why you’re not performing, you have to ask a lot of questions of yourself.” Evans apologized for not being able to perform up to the expectations. “It’s been disappointing for me, but I’d like to thank my teammates and people who are close to me – my family and so on – for supporting me during this frustrating period. The first thing is to get healthy and then come back to my best.”

Bad luck for Cadel:

No Tour of Hangzhou
The UCI have announced that the Chinese WorldTour race; the Tour of Hangzhou will not take place this year, it should have been run between the 17th and the 21st of October, they hope to postpone it till 2013. UCI President; Pat McQuaid said that the event was “very important element in the UCI’s strategy for the development of cycling, and the decision to postpone the organisation of this event will have no negative consequences on the project.” The Tour of Beijing going ahead on between the 9th and the 13th of October this year.

Haussler wins stage 2 of the 2011 Tour of Beijing:

New Management at Liquigas-Cannondale Team
Brixia Sport will be the holding company for what at the moment is the Liquigas-Cannondale team. The team has a WorldTour licence till 2014 and has re-signed a lot of top riders, including; Ivan Basso, Peter Sagan, Elia Viviani and Moreno Moser, plus many of the existing team riders. It is thought that Brixia Sport will announce the new sponsors of the Italian team; the strong rumour is that there will not be much of a change as the new team will be called Cannondale-Liquigas, only a rumour at the moment though.

Liquigas-Cannondale video in Italian, but nice pictures:

Popovych & Nizzolo Re-Sign with RadioShack-Nissan
Press Release: RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK is happy to announce that the team has extended the contracts of Giacomo Nizzolo and Yaroslav Popovych. “I’m pleased to stay in the team where I have gotten the chance to grow as a pro bike rider,” says 23 year-old Giacomo Nizzolo, who has signed a contract for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. “My victories in the past weeks were reassuring for all parties: some sprints were won with amazing support of the team, others were necessarily done with fighting my way to the finish line, but that’s life for a sprinter. I’m hoping to step up now and return the faith the team has given me with some nice results.”

Team manager Johan Bruyneel: “Giacomo is one of the most promising youngsters out there. He’s been progressing a lot in these two years as a neo-pro and I’m really excited that he has chosen to stay with us, despite other interesting offers. It shows that confidence works both ways. I’m confident that Giacomo is going to claim his spot within the top tier of sprinters in the next years.”

32 year-old Yaroslav Popovych signs on for another year with the team. Popovych: “This team is pretty much like a second family for me. I know a lot of riders and staff since years and I’ve gotten to know a lot of new faces over the last year. I feel very good in this team, so there’s really no reason to consider to change.”

“There’s still the TTT at the Worlds left on my calendar, but I can already look back at a fulfilling 2012 season, having helped our captains at the Classics and in the Tour. The combination of these races is working really well for me and I would like to go on with a similar program next year. Of course I would still like to win a race here and there, but I’m determined to work for the team, as I’ve always done.”

Johan Bruyneel: “There are few guys in the peloton that are as strong and loyal as ‘Popo’. He’s always there when he’s needed and he has become one of the strongholds of the team over the years. It was very important for me that he stays on board.”

“I’m 32 now, but I have a great example in Jens Voigt, with whom I have spent many hours at the front of the peloton over the years. I will be a very happy man if I come close to what he has achieved in his career”, concludes ‘Popo’.

Johan Bruyneel: “I’m really happy and proud with both renewals. The negotiations with Michele Re, who represents both Giacomo and ‘Popo’, went really smooth and I could feel that both riders want to continue to be part of our project.”

The best of “Popo”:

Two More Years for Fйdrigo at FDJ-BigMat
Pierrick Fйdrigo has re-signed with his present team; FDJ-BigMat to ride for them to the end of 2014. After a terrible 2011 season ruined by Lyme disease he came back this year with string of good placings, plus wins in stage 15 of the Tour de France and a stage of the Criterium International.

One of Fйdrigo’s Tour stage wins:

New World Ports Classic Full Of Unknowns
Press Release: Cobblestone sections, strong winds and possibly adverse weather make the new two-day World Ports Classic a wide open affair, BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe said.

Team Working Well Together
The WorldTour calendar race begins and ends in the biggest ports of Europe: Rotterdam and Antwerp. Friday’s 201-kilometer stage from Rotterdam to Antwerp mirrors the route of the opening stage of the 2010 Tour de France along the North Sea. Like the opening stage, Saturday’s 163 km race back to Rotterdam includes cobblestone sectors. “It could be a really windy and strange race,” Verbrugghe said. “We’re taking a good team that has been working well together at races the past two weeks in Hamburg and Plouay. They can go on the offensive and we have Adam Blythe for the sprint, plus classics guys like Marcus Burghardt, Manuel Quinziato and Greg Van Avermaet.” Quinziato said he expects large crowds because Belgium and The Netherlands are so supportive of cycling. “For sure, it’s going to be stressful,” he said. “We’ll try to get Adam in the best possible position if it’s a sprint. For me, it will be good training for the world’s team time trial.”

Download the official BMC Racing Team Race Card (PDF with roster, bios, statistics, etc.): https://bit.ly/SO12vl.

BMC Racing Team World Ports Classic Roster:
Adam Blythe (GBR),
Marcus Burghardt (GER),
Martin Kohler (SUI),
Marco Pinotti (ITA),
Manuel Quinziato (ITA),
Greg Van Avermaet (BEL),
Danilo Wyss (SUI).

Sport Director: Rik Verbrugghe (BEL).

Rabobank takes sprinters to the World Ports Classic spectacle
Press Release: The Rabobank Cycling Team will be at the start of the first World Ports Classic with its fast men, on Friday the 31st of August and Saturday the 1st of September. The danger for the peloton is hidden in the wind during the inaugural two-day UCI 2.1 competition. Sports director Jan Boven: “The first Autumn day is expected on Friday, it will be a spectacle.”

Despite of the flat, open roads and the strong wind as expected, the new two-day stage race between Rotterdam and Antwerp will be dominated by fast men, according to connoisseurs. With Theo Bos in good shape (he classified well in a couple of stages in Denmark and recently won in Veenendaal and in the Eneco Tour) and with a top-form Mark Renshaw as well (6th in Hamburg), it is logical the team is aiming for a sprint.

Jan Boven watched the greatest part of his team grow in the Tour of Denmark. “It’s almost impossible to have a better team for Theo Bos. Six riders raced together last week in Denmark and grew closer. All the men are in good shape. Tom Leezer is riding really strong, Jos van Emden and Rick Flens playing an important role and Graeme Brown just keeps doing a good job. And if you also take a look at how good Maarten Wynants is again… I have a lot of confidence.”

The Rabobank Cycling Team will be extra motivated at the start of the World Ports Classic. The race in their homeland means a lot for the riders. “This is a really great competition to show ourselves as a team. It’s a home race, we know the roads and we will be well prepared. We know where the decisive parts are, we can’t leave any chance behind. We can be proud to have this kind of races in our country. It’s good for us and for Dutch cycling.”

Danish Cycling Board Member Tests Positive!
Sшren Svenningsen has resigned his place on the board of Directors of the Danish Cycling Union due to failing a drugs test at a master’s race at the end of June. The DCU made an announcement on their web-site stating that Svenninsen had been found to have Testosterone and steroids in his system. Tom Lund, the DCU President said: “I am deeply shocked to have received the news of Sшren Svenningsen’s positive drug tests. That a leader in Danish cycling and even a board member of DCU tested positive, and thus breaks our trust, is inexcusable.”

Rapha Condor Sharp’s Dean Downing to ride The Alpine Challenge 2012
Press Release: Professional cyclist for Team Rapha Condor Sharp, Dean Downing will join HotChillee on The Alpine Challenge 2012. HotChillee’s premier multi-stage alpine sportive will start on 6th September with a 10km timed mountain prologue. Other sporting stars to join HotChillee and Dean include Triple Crown winner, Stephen Roche and Professional Bulls mountain-biker Karl Platt, 7x Trans Alp winner. Jerone Walter, 3x Yellow Jersey holder on The London-Paris will also be riding The Alpine Challenge for the first time this year.

The 4-stage event, based out of the beautiful lakeside resort of Annecy in France will take the riders across 320 km of stunning French countryside with an ascent of approximately 7,000 metres. The route has a series of breath-taking mountain stages, over famous Cols that have featured in the Tour de France – including Col de la Croix Fry and Col Des Aravis.

With rolling road closures and a professional support team from masseurs to mechanics, riders get a pro experience. The flagged climb section gives riders in the peloton the chance to compete for the ‘King of the Mountains’.

There are seeded speed groups, determined in the Prologue and led by HotChillee Ride Captains. This caters for a range of abilities, from the pro to the enthusiast.

Dean Downing says: I’ve been wanting to ride in one of the HotChillee events for a while now and when I was invited as a guest rider on The Alpine Challenge I jumped at the opportunity. It’s going to be great riding into the mountains next to passionate cyclists and I’m told Lake Annecy is a stunning place to stay. One of the cool aspects of HotChillee’s Alpine Challenge is the race section. Everyone can go for it over the 15 km flagged section, and then regroup for a sociable tempo ride. Hopefully I can put some fast wheels in, pack my climbing legs and have a go at getting the fastest time each day.”

Sven Thiele of HotChillee says: “Our aim is to create a multi-stage pro experience in the Alps allowing riders to immerse themselves for a few days and push themselves physically and mentally to the limit. Ultimately we all realise what an amazing feat the pro’s achieve and what they put their bodies through. Annecy has been chosen as the hub as it’s probably one of the most beautiful towns in Europe with some of the best cols in the vicinity. Many riders come back years in a row so strong friendships are built. Through our monthly training rides, new faces quickly become part of the family. I can’t wait to see everyone out in Annecy.”

There are eight teams riding The Alpine Challenge 2012, consisting of two from UK Youth, two from Wattbike, three from Adobe and one from TS-A.

This year’s top tier sponsors include Chain Reaction Cycles the official Retail Partner, Adobe as the official Training Jersey Partner, LeMarq as the Clothing Partner, Cyclosure as the Insurance Partner and Wattbike as the Training Partner. Vitus is also the Bike Partner and Skoda France is the Official Vehicle Sponsor.

During The Alpine Challenge, Wattbike will be running a competition in each of the hotels. Participants will race 500m on Wattbikes and the fastest male and female riders will receive prizes. Every rider taking part will be entered into a grand prize draw to win a 4 night stay at Stephen Roche’s Training Camp, with Stephen himself drawing the prize.

Other partners include SiS for nutritional support and The TriTouch for massage. Eurosport is the official broadcaster and Stephen Roche Training Camps and Sportique Active Skincare are also partners in 2012.

For more information, please visit: www.thealpinechallenge.com or email: [email protected]

Fast Track Cycling Announces Grand Opening Of Cleveland Velodrome
Date set for Thursday, August 30, 2012, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Press Release: The board of Fast Track Cycling is proud to announce that the grand opening celebration for the Cleveland Velodrome is Thursday, August 30, 2012 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Cleveland Velodrome is a 166 meter Olympic-style banked wooden cycling facility located at 5033 Broadway Avenue in the heart of Slavic Village. The track is funded from private donations and was assembled with local volunteers over the course of the summer.

“After five years of work, more than 200 volunteers, and more than 125 individual donors, the track is officially open,” says Brett Davis, Fast Track board president. “The Cleveland Velodrome board would like to thank everyone who helped our cause over the last five years and we invite everyone to join in our grand opening celebration this Thursday evening,” Fast Track Cycling, Inc.

The Cleveland Velodrome is one of 27 velodrome tracks in the country and the only track in Ohio. The Cleveland Velodrome is a unique destination for the city of Cleveland where all youth under the age of 18 can ride and train for free.

Those interested in riding on the track are required to attend a 90-minute orientation called Track 101 and can register online at Clevelandvelodrome.org. This includes the use of a special track bike from the rental fleet.

Open riding sessions, structured training sessions and race schedules are being formulated and the premier event for the fall will be the Ohio State Track Championship scheduled for September 15, 2012.

The first laps on the Cleveland Velodrome:

‘Ride With Brad’ Proves To Be Much More Than Just A Sportive
Press Release: The success of the recent ‘Ride with Brad’ Sportive has once again proved that Pennine Events are one of the leading mass-participation sporting event management companies in the country.

The Lancashire based company has already delivered a diverse range of events this year such as the Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool Bike Ride and the BHF London to Brighton Night Ride, and were involved from the outset in the planning and delivery for the ‘Ride with Brad’ with the Bradley Wiggins Foundation.

Founded in 2002, the Pennine Events team boast over 100 years accumulative experience within the industry and are old hands at delivering high-class sporting events. Their experience really showed, with the ‘Ride with Brad’ proving to be much more than just a sportive.

Over 1,400 participants entered the sportive, which included a 100km and 160km route around some of Bradley Wiggins’ favourite training roads. Scenes were similar to that of the Tour de France, with crowds of supporters lining the roads to welcome the 32-year old as he rode through the quiet roads of East Lancashire.

Wiggins, who rode the 160km route, spent time talking to the other riders, offering them training tips and words of encouragement. He was overwhelmed with the number of people who turned out to support the ride.

“It was a fantastic event and great to see the reaction around the route,” said Wiggins. “It is really nice to get back to what I love, riding my bike, and to see so many people taking part.”

Pennine Events were responsible for all aspects of the event planning and delivery including setting the route as well as organising extensive rider support for all participants. The team worked hard to ensure that both distances were well signed and took in some of the area’s most challenging climbs as well as Lancashire’s most outstanding natural beauty spots.

Riders were treated to the regular feed stations stocked with products from CNP and Gatorade, mobile and static mechanical assistance provided by event partner Wiggle, chip timing provided by Map My Tracks, as well as an event goodie bag with gifts from brands such as Fi’zi:k, Gatorade, adidas, Lezyne and Cycling Plus.

Gaining the support of the local police also meant that a King of the Mountains Challenge, supported by Map My Tracks, could be included on the climbs of Waddington Fell, the Trough of Bowland and Nick O’Pendle.

“The whole event was a huge success,” said Mark Sandamas, Director of Pennine Events. “It was great to see Brad enjoying himself and spending plenty of time with the riders.”

A cycle show, which attracted an estimated 10,000 people, was held at the Event Village in Victory Park to ensure that fans and the family and friends of those riding the event remained entertained throughout the day. Fellow gold medalist, Stephen Burke, spent plenty of time amongst the crowd and activities on offer included, circus skills and stunt displays.

One participant, Stuart attended the event and said: “I brought my whole family to the bike show and we had a wonderful time. It was great to see Bradley Wiggins and we enjoyed all of the stalls.”

He continued: “I started cycling three weeks ago and it’s all Bradley’s fault! Inspired by his performance in the Tour de France and at the Olympics, I found my bike and have been riding on the roads around Skipton since. Can’t say how much I like this cycling business and how great I feel for doing it!”

Cycle Sport Pendle and Go-Ride were on-site to help inspire the next generation of cyclists with cycle skill sessions and mini races for the kids.

“What a turn out on the road! Fantastic and testament to the event and of course the man himself,” said Ian Phillips, Cycle Sport Manager.

He continued: “Our aim is to introduce young riders, boys and girls, of mixed ages and abilities to the exhilarating sport of cycling. We were delighted to support the ‘Ride with Brad’ and we hope it becomes an annual event.”

The popularity of the event and Wiggins himself meant that Pennine Events had to manage security as well as implement a complex crowd management structure to handle all the large crowds waiting to see Wiggins and also attending the show.

Mark Sandamas was very pleased with the work of his team: ”I am very proud of the team at Pennine Events who all worked really tirelessly to make the event happen. The reaction on the streets has been tremendous and we look forward to working on more events like this.”

Wiggins is now keen to build on this year’s event and make the ‘Ride with Brad’ the best sportive around.

“The goal is to make this an annual thing and let it grow and evolve and, who knows, in ten years time there could be tens of thousands riding around there.”

The money raised from the event will be used by the foundation to encourage people to exercise on a regular basis, as well as support athletes and provide equipment or facilities to allow participation in sports.

For more information about the Bradley Wiggins Foundation, please visit: https://www.bradleywigginsfoundation.org.

The “Ride with Brad” video:

Mario “Bond” Cipollini
Is this an advert for Cipollini bikes or a James Bond film? Not sure but it’s a good watch.

FILM BOND from Mcipollini on Vimeo.

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

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.