Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cyclocross with Tyler Wren


Tyler Wren, rider from Team Jamis/Hagens Berman Presented by Sutter Home, talks about the sport of cyclocross, his career as a cyclocross racer and how he collaborated with Team Jamis' Jason Sager and Jamis' Road Product Manager Todd Corbitt to create Jamis' new 2013 Supernova cyclocross bike.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nys Wins Zolder World Cup After Duel With Albert


By: Brecht Decaluwé
UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup #6 2012
Stybar rounds out the top three
It's been more than a decade since Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) last won a cyclo-cross race in Zolder, on the famous former Formula 1 car circuit. During the last few years, he's been beaten by fast men like Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) and Lars Boom (Rabobank), but this year Nys was in total control in a rainy edition on Wednesday afternoon. After a long duel with world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), the 36-year-old Belgian champion punched it halfway through the final lap. A little later, Albert crossed the line in second place.
"Winning here hasn't always been evident for me. I tried it many times but always missed out. Today it worked out," Nys toldSporza.
Thanks to his third World Cup win, Nys tied Albert in the World Cup points standings but takes on the leader's jersey. Third-placed Kevin Pauwels only managed a fifth place in Zolder, so he lost lost valuable overall points on his two rivals on Wednesday afternoon.
Pauwels completely missed his start and by the time he entered the top-10, the favourites were gone. During the second of nine laps, Albert upped the pace up front. Nys needed some time to bridge up the world champion but eventually he closed the gap. The duo exchanged accelerations but neither got away from the other. Together they hit the bell lap, with the first chasers - including Pauwels - trailing by more than half a minute.
Nys aggressively hopped back on the bike after an off-camber section. He threw himself into a technical descent and stormed on to the victory. When asked whether he had risked his life on the final descent, Nys described how he felt about the section. "I knew what I did. With the rain, it was getting harder every lap, but I had a good feeling. I tried to get the gap on the downhill. That technical zone was in the last part of the track. For me, it's better like this; otherwise it's a sprint. Normally, I can win a sprint against Niels but you never know. It's better to have a gap before the sprint."
Albert wasn't able to close on Nys during the final lap. He was humble in his defeat. "I opted to hop off the bike more quickly than Nys did [on the off-camber section]. After the descent, it was over, and I let go of it. I don't want to use it as an excuse but yesterday I was ill. During the first half [of the race], I was feeling great, but then I lost all energy. Anyway, Nys is the deserved win," Albert told Sporza.
Half a minute behind the duo, it was former world champion Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) who won the battle for third place. In the final lap, he got the better of his compatriot Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus) and Pauwels. Simunek was fourth, and Pauwels was fifth.
Stybar was pleased with the outcome of the race. "I was hoping for a place in the top-10, so I'm very happy with this. Those two were too fast for me. Already after the second lap, I knew it. The world championships? No, I chose the road and by the time they race in Louisville, I'll be doing my first race on the road. Maybe it'll hurt at that moment, but I have other challenges ahead of me which are special too," Stybar told Sporza.
The next World Cup round will be held in Rome, Italy, on January 6, 2013. The World Cup final happens two weeks later in Hoogerheide, Netherlands. For Albert, it was clear a big duel with Nys lays ahead for the overall title. "We're starting from scratch. Kevin still has a chance, but the gap became bigger again today. Rome will be a lottery between the two of us. In Hoogerheide, I tend to go very well but that's where the battle will be decided," Albert said.
Since Nys took over the World Cup lead from world champion Niels Albert, a debate within the Belgian team will probably come to an end. Jan Denuwelaere (Style & Concept) won a spectacular race in Essen last weekend, but wasn't featuring in the Belgian selection. Fellow Belgians who weren't performing at the front of the latest races were feeling the pressure and there was the possibility that one rider was going to lose his spot on the team. However, since Albert lost the World Cup jersey to Nys today, the Belgian team has one more spot for the next World Cup in Rome. It highly likely that Denuwelaere will be added to the Belgian team's selection.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from Velo Wrench Bike Shop!
 
"May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through! "
 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Team Jamis


Team Jamis racers, Jason Sager, Blake Harlan and Rotem Ishay talk about their team family, the support from Jamis Bicycles and the success of the team.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

All Things In Moderation


By: Alex Grant
Keeping busy in the off-season
Quite a contrast from La Ruta, Alex Grant raced the Utah Cross Championships the following weekend.
Quite a contrast from La Ruta, Alex Grant raced the Utah Cross Championships the following weekend.
I have always thought that balance and moderation are key to a happy and healthy life, and the same applies to racing. One of my favorite quotes is "all things in moderation, even moderation." I take it to mean that while for the most part moderation is a great motto, sometimes you have to indulge.
This time of year is a great time to mix in some other activities and balance out all of the cycling that I do before and during the season. As much as I love and need to ride, I also need a break, and this is the perfect time. It seems like as the years go by, I can extend my riding season longer and longer, and take a shorter break. I guess it's just my body adapting to all of the miles and races over the years. I also try to mix in short breaks throughout the season to avoid burnout and stay fresh.
This year, I pretty much shut it down after La Ruta, but did finish out the local Utah Cyclo-cross season. One week after riding on to the beach in Puerto Limon, I raced the state 'cross championships in some of the worst conditions I have ever ridden. It was snowing and cold, but under the snow there was a ton of water and puddles. We got drenched, then the temperature dropped more and it started to get windy. By the end of the race, I was so cold that I could barely function. Although I had just won the state title, I was too cold to care and just went straight to the bathroom to try to warm my core temperature back up, and get some feeling back in to my hands and feet. Maybe I was just soft from the mild Costa Rican weather, but I think that may come close to the coldest race I have done. I still think the True Grit 50 in 2011 was the coldest. That's a whole other story...
The next day I flew down to the Sho-Air Cannondale team launch in California and continued to confuse my body with some 70-degree weather. It was a great week of riding, meeting the Sho-Air crew, photos/video, and chatting with the media. And that is not to mention the K-1 Speed Go-Carting that we did on a couple evenings. That is a blast, and Jeremiah [Bishop] and I took home the prize for biggest crash after he spun out and was driving the other direction on the track. I hit him almost head on and it was quite a wreck. Luckily there were no injuries to speak of and we got going again.
For a few weeks after that I tried to mix in time off the bike during the week with a few more 'cross races on the weekends, and did just enough to squeak by with the UTCX series win, by only a few points. My good friend Bart Gillespie won the title for at least 10 years in a row, and I have managed to take the last two. Maybe next year if he gets back out for some 'cross, I will be passing the torch back.
Now winter is in full swing and mother nature is reminding me why I moved to Utah in the first place: for the snowboarding. It hasn't been the best start to a ski season, but I got in a great day of backcountry powder skiing over the weekend, as well as a snowshoe with Sammi.
I am hitting the gym a couple days a week for some strength and agility training, but I thrive on being outside and love snow sports. I am hoping to get out for a cross country ski this week, and then some more ski touring and snowboarding around Christmas. Then it's time to get back on the bike around New Year's with a few days in St. George. Ten days later, I will be in Santa Cruz, California for some training with the team and it's going to be full on from there to get ready for the early season races!
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Attention All Interested Club Members!

We will have our VWBC team meeting tonight at 7:15. It will last about an hour and we can answer all your questions about the club and the 2013 Race season. See you there!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Chasing Down... Nelson Vails

For many of the world’s top cyclists, they first get into biking as a hobby, something to do after school or with friends and family on the weekend. But for 1984 Olympic silver medalist Nelson Vails, cycling was much more than a hobby. It was his livelihood.

Vails grew up as one of 10 children in his New York City home, and as a young adult took a job as a bike messenger, pedaling through the city’s congested concrete streets to deliver packages to customers. While his bike and the job itself would eventually garner Vails international fame, at the time it was simply a means of survival.

“I worked as a bike messenger to earn a living,” Vails recently said in an interview from his new home in the San Diego area. “It had nothing to do with training. But it was excellent exercise.”

But regardless of whether cycling was a job or hobby at the time, Vails had a much bigger vision for himself. That vision would eventually take him beyond the streets of New York, and eventually to every corner of the globe.


In 1984, Nelson became the first African American cyclist to win an OIympic medal.
In 1984, Nelson became the first African American cyclist to win an OIympic medal.
The Olympic Dream 

Vails’ plan came courtesy of his bike and it came by putting in extra training in the hours he wasn’t working as a messenger. In addition to the eight hours a day Vails was “on the clock,” after work he would head over to Central Park and put more miles when he was off the clock as well. Then he’d go to bed, get up and do it all over again.  

Eventually Vails' cycling took him to velodromes in both his hometown of Queens and in Trexlertown, PA, as well, where over time he caught the attention of the United States National Team coaching staff. In the early 1980s Vails moved to Colorado to train with the team full-time, and it was there where he got the first true coaching, training and nutritional advice of his career.

Under the watchful eye of US Cycling coach Eddie Borysewicz (affectionately known as “Eddie B.” to his young disciples) and his assistant Carl Leusenkamp, Vails continued to blossom in Colorado, training with the best cyclists in the United States. Leusenkamp eventually took his riders overseas where they competed against the world’s best, and to this day Vails still looks back on that time as one of the best of his life.

“Eastern bloc, Western bloc, we traveled the world racing,” Vails said. “We raced day-in and day-out against the best in the world. That was preparation that could not be duplicated.”

It was also preparation that prepared Vails for the important races that were to come in the following few years. Vails went on to win a gold medal in the 1983 Pan-Am Games in Venezuela, before eventually making the 1984 United States Olympic team alongside friend and competitor Mark Gorski.

For Vails it was time to head to Los Angeles for the crowning achievement of his cycling career: The 1984 Summer Olympics.

Earning a Spot in the History Books


While there is pomp and circumstance surrounding every Olympic Games, understand that in Los Angeles in 1984 the vibe was decidedly different than any before or since. The 1984 Games fell in the middle of the Cold War, and because of it, a handful of countries elected not to send athletes or participate in the Games.

But for whatever effect the political climate had at the time, none of it showed up at the velodrome on the day of the 1,000-meter match sprint. For Vails and those who rode alongside him that August day, it was business as usual.

“I feel like the results wouldn’t have been much different if the Eastern bloc countries had been there,” Vails said.

On the track the political unrest was put aside on race day, when Vails put together one of the best performances of his career. With his wife and sister in the stands cheering him on, and hundreds more watching on television back in New York, Vails took home the silver medal, with only Gorski finishing ahead of him. In the process, Vails became the first African-American to ever win an Olympic cycling medal. 

It was undoubtedly a special moment in Vails’ life, but even to this day he is quick to deflect the credit to his teammates and coaches. In Nelson Vails’ mind, training alongside Mark Gorski, Scott Berryman and Les Barczewski had as much to do with his successes in Los Angeles as anything else.

 “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Vails said. “My medal is owed to those guys. They pushed me to be my very best. It was so hard just to make the team, that it was easy to win a medal.”


You can even get a pair of Nelson Vails socks by DeFeet!
You can even get a pair of Nelson Vails socks by DeFeet!
Fast Forward to 2012

Nelson is still very much involved in the cycling community.
Nelson is still very much involved
in the cycling community
Even before the Olympic Games were done in Los Angeles, Vails had already begun to write the next chapter of his life. It came on his bike, but it also came on the big screen when Columbia Pictures approached him about helping advise on a movie they were getting set to produce.  

“They came to me during the Olympics, and I looked them in the eye...and told them I was busy,” Vails said with a laugh.  

Eventually though Vails relented, and following the Olympic Games served as a technical advisor on the movie “Quicksilver.” The film starred Kevin Bacon, Paul Rodriguez and Laurence Fishburne as – you guessed it – bike messengers in San Francisco, and Vails was tasked with teaching the actors the complexities of cycling and everything from proper pedaling to the most efficient way to get on and off their bikes. It was a first for Vails, who also made a cameo in the movie.

“It was fun for everyone,” Vails said of the experience. “It was a first for them and it was a first for me. But that is a memory that we all keep with us.”

After the movie was released, Vails continued cycling competitively, most notably winning three straight titles as a national tandem sprint champion. He turned professional in 1988, where he won eight national track titles and also competed in grueling six-day events in Europe, events in which a new race would start every eighth day, after six days of cycling and one day of rest. Eventually Vails retired from competitive cycling for good in the early 1990s.

With his cycling career behind him, Vails elected to pursue one of his other passions – world travel – and did so by taking on a new career as a flight attendant. For Vails, the new job was just another way to see the world, after having the opportunity to do the same for so many years as a cyclist.

“I had been traveling my whole life, so it just came natural to me,” Vails said. “Working as a flight attendant is not a job, it’s a lifestyle.”

Still, even world travel couldn’t keep Vails off his bike forever, and in the spring of 2011 the former Olympian was itching to get back involved with the sport somehow. Vails eventually found his path while attending a race in Manhattan Beach, Calif., when he noticed a handful of riders milling around a board waiting for the results of the race to be posted. At the time Vails thought to himself that there had to be an easier way for everyone to get the information they desired.  

There was, and as we speak, Vails is in the process of launching NelsonVails.com, a one-stop shop for race organizers and cyclists. When the site is complete Vails envisions a place where race organizers can share information about their events, including dates, times and hotel information. Meanwhile racers can also access information not just on their own times, but also keep up on the races their friends are participating in across the country.

“The goal to be a go-to website for race results nationwide,” Vails said. “You can go on your smart phone and not have to go to the race websites individually... We have so many conveniences, but that’s one convenience we don’t have.”

Since Vails’ original vision in 2011 the site has taken on many reincarnations, and he hopes to have the finished product and available for the holiday season in 2012. In addition to race results, Vails also recently decided that he’d like to include health and nutritional content for beginning cyclists, a video newsletter with race tips from the former Olympian himself and information on his “Go Ride with Nelly” fundraising events.  

Mainly though, Vails just wants to bring the cycling community closer together.

“I want the cycling community to come together with one easy access point,” Vails said.

From the busy streets of New York to the information superhighway, it certain has been a long winding road for Nelson Vails.
And if the past few decades are any indication, there are still a lot of chapters left to be written.


Source: usacycling.org
 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Shopping For Steve


Hey cycling community! We have had a member of our cycling community seriously injured in an accident. If you follow me, you know we are offering donations of a portion of the proceeds for any sale when you mention you are shopping for Steve. So if you need bike stuff or whatever, feel free to shop for Steve. However if you don’t need bike stuff or do your shopping elsewhere please take a second to donate on line at https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/2OXZc . Steve is the primary bread winner for the family and he will be out of work for a while. Christmas is upon us so let’s step up..


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Young US Riders Selected for Euro 'Cross Camp


New location selected for Belgian racing experience
Young American cyclo-crossers will head across the Atlantic in mid-December for the 10th annual edition of the Euro 'Cross Camp run by Geoff Proctor. Nine juniors, six U23s and one elite rider have been selected for this year's camp in Belgium.
"It started in 2003, and we've kept the same vision and goals," said Proctor, who balances the duties of coordinating the camp with teaching at a public school in Montana. "It's changed a little bit here and there."
What's new for this year is the location of the Euro 'Cross Camp, which will be in Vorselaar, Belgium. "This year, the Isegem base of operation is being renovated. So I have found a different facility on the other side of Belgium," said Proctor to Cyclingnews. The logistics of new staff and location are challenging to work out, but it's all coming together."
The more eastern location should work out well. "Most 'crossers live on the east side of Belgium. We're nearer to the home of Erwin Vervecken and what was the long-time home of Bart Wellens, who now lives closer to Brussels. Being on the east side of Belgium means we'll be closer to more of the races during that Christmas week. I think it's 1.5 hours driving to the farthest race, and the rest are within an hour."
Proctor says the camp is targeting five races, and a small group will also travel separately after the camp to do the World Cup race in Rome. The World Cups are important because its standings are used to determine starting spots at the world championships in early 2013.
"For the juniors and U23, the start grid is based on World Cup, not on UCI points for the world championships in Louisville," said Proctor. "We have two juniors and one U23 racer who we are trying to get into those front two rows. I'll take those guys down to Rome and do that World Cup on January 7, and then they'll fly straight to Madison, Wisconsin for US nationals."
Euro Cross Camp brings together a collection of young talent from all over the US. "I have some kids coming to camp who are legitimate candidates to make the Worlds team and I have some who are more development-type riders," said Proctor. "It's always interesting to see the kids make leaps and bounds of progress each year."
With last year's shifting of US Cyclo-cross Nationals from December to January, Euro 'Cross Camp has become the perfect preparation in the final lead-up to nationals.
"I took 14 kids to the camp last year. Thirteen out of 14 finished in the top 13," said Proctor. "After the camp, you can see the confidence they have gotten in the mud. So much of the racing over there [in Europe] is gnarlier, steeper, more adverse. It's neat to see the progression that the riders make."
The Euro 'Cross Campers will arrive on December 20 and compete in their first race on December 23 in Namur. It's a World Cup for the elites, but not for the U23s and juniors. "Namur is one of the gnarliest, most challenging 'cross courses I've seen. There is a lot of vertical and sketchy descents. It's a good race - it'll be a real challenge."
Next up is the December 26th World Cup in Zolder, where Proctor can field six juniors and six U23s. A few of the other campers will be attending a smaller race that same day in Beernem. Then it's onto the Loenhout Bpost Bank Trophee on December 28 and the Diegem Superprestige on December 30. Finally, camp will officially wrap up on January 1 at the Baal Bpost Bank Trophee.
Proctor picks between 14 and 20 campers each year. "I was aiming for 15, but ended up having 16 this year," he said. "There are a few guys who were also at the camp last year."
"With the juniors, I try to look for the strongest riders. I've been working closely with two of them: Logan Owen and Curtis White. They were givens. Then I looked for kids who are toward the top of the results in certain races."
"I try not to look at the results until November. I don't want them to peak too soon. I like to see who is surfacing - moving up and who is knocking at the door and ready to take it to the next level developmentally. I like to get good geographic distribution."
"Ideally, I want to pick guys who will perform well at nationals and worlds, but there will always be a situation where a rider can't travel until nationals and I don't know about him, and then he or she makes the worlds team."
The camp will include one elite rider this year, Justin Lindine, who is hoping to perform well enough to earn a discretionary pick to the US team for Worlds.
2012-2013 Euro 'Cross Camp X Roster
Elite
Justin Lindine (Redline Bicycles), 28, New Salem, MA
U23s
Manny Goguen (C.F. Racing P/B Trek Portsmouth), 21, Hopedale, MA
Danny Gerow (Wolverine Racing Elite CX, 21, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
Josh Johnson (Bissell-ABG-Nuvo), 20, Fort Wayne, IN
Skyler Trujillo (Boo/Enve/Challenge), 20, Fort Collins, CO
Andrew Dillman (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross), 18, Fairdale, KY
Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant Berry Farms/Specialized), 18, Santa Cruz, CA
Juniors
Logan Owen (Redline Bicycles), 17, Bremerton, WA
Curtis White (Hot Tubes Development Team), 17, Duanesburg, NY
Nate Morse (Hot Tubes Development Team), 17, Cohasset, MA
Stephen Bassett (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross), 17, Knoxville, TN
Nick Torraca (Mad Duck Cyclery), 17, Grapevine, TX
John Francisco (Red Zone Cycling) 17, Louisville, KY
Peter Goguen (C.F. Racing P/B Trek Portsmouth), 16, Hopedale, MA
David Lombardo (Verdigris-Village Cyclocross), 16, Crystal Lake, IL
Josey Weik (ISCorp), 16, Wrenshall, MN
2012-2013 Euro 'Cross Camp X Race Schedule (all races in Belgium except Rome)
December 23: Namur World Cup
December 26: Zolder World Cup
December 26: Beernem 'Cross (for those not selected for Zolder World Cup)
December 28: Loenhout Bpost Bank Trophee
December 30: Diegem SuperPrestige
January 1: Baal Bpost Bank Trophee
January 6: Rome World Cup (not part of Euro 'Cross Camp, but a few riders will travel with Geoff Proctor there).

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Velo Wrench Bike Shop Would Like To Wish You And Your Family A Very Safe And Happy Thanksgiving!!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Saronni Reveals Long-Term Plans to Rejuvenate Lampre


Shake-up at WorldTour squad to involve riders, staff and philosophy
The Lampre team will have Merida as a second sponsor and bike supplier in 2013 but the arrival of the hugely influential Taiwan bike manufactuer marks just the start of a major shake up that will go on to key changes in the riders, staff and philosophy of the Italian team.
Lampre won just seven races during the 2012 season, none of them at WorldTour level, and held the pink jersey for a day at the Giro d'Italia thanks to Adriano Malori. Alessandro Petacchi won three stages at the Bayern-Rundfahrt, Damiano Cunego won a stage at the Giro del Trentino and Diego Ulissi won two stages at the Settimana Coppi e Bartali and a minor Italian race.
The team has been hit by a series of doping investigations in recent years: Many of the riders and staff are implicated in the Mantova case for their links to a pharmacist near the town, while Michele Scarponi is currently suspended by the team while Italian anti-doping investigators study his links to Dr Michele Ferrari.
Team manager Giuseppe Saronni is still remembered for his rivalry with Francesco Moser and his late attack that won him the world title in Goodwood in 1982. He is very close to the Galbusera family that owns the Lampre laminated steel business and who has backed the team since 1992.
Saronni said he would step back from managing the team when the Mantova doping erupted and he appointed Roberto Damiani as senior directeur sportif. However, Damiani is set to leave the team when his contract ends in December after struggling to get on with key riders.
The arrival of Merida has helped secure the team's future but has forced Saronni to act.

"The changes are only partly down to the results of this year. We realised some time ago that we needed to make major changes and arrival of Merida has been a key factor in it all," Saronni told Cyclingnews, speaking for the first time about the details of the structure changes underway at the team.
"We've realised that to do things right, we need the right skills. I'm not saying that the people who were at the team until now weren't good enough, but we've got to grow and improve. In the WorldTour you got compete with bigger teams in the world. If we want to compete against them we've got develop, too."
Do the right thing
Saronni is one of 32 people facing trial for his involvement in the Mantova doping investigation. In 2013, Lampre could also be without Scarponi in next year's Giro d'Italia if he is banned for working with Dr. Ferrari.
"What has happened in cycling the last few weeks has only convinced us even more that we're making the right decision," Saronni said.
"Half of Italy is involved in some trial one way or another and I'm convinced that we'll be proved to be right. Scarponi's case is different because when he visited Dr Ferrari he wasn't even part of our team, but we'll be hit by the consequences and it's damaging. But we've got internal rules and they've been and will be applied to the letter. We're already thinking of the long-term future, we're building a team for 2014 and beyond."
Angelo Zomegnan - the former chief cycling reporter at Gazzetta dello Sport and director of the Giro d'Italia - has joined the team as a Senior Advisor. He will help boost the team's communications and boost the team's importance on the global stage.
Details of other changes and the names of new staff at Lampre will be announced in the next few weeks.
"We're going to announce some important changes in the staff structure, regarding the coaching and race staff soon. We're trying to give the riders the best possible support so they can focus on racing and winning," he toldCyclingnews. 

"I can't and won't go into details of what happened with Damiani but I'm disappointed by what has happened because I wanted him in the team and to give him an important role. Even I can't understand why the riders and the whole team haven't been able to work with him. I'm really sorry about it but there are other good technical staff out there who can help us resolve our problems.
"I can't reveal everything but there will be some big changes ahead. The project is for 3+ years. We're only at the start and people will understand what we're doing when we announce key details.
"We're going to grow as a team and I think it's great news at such a difficult time for cycling, especially in Italy. It's a new challenge for us. We've got to work hard and prove that there's a major change underway. As a sport, we won't have a future unless we change. We're enthusiastic and motivated. We hope it all comes off."
Key changes in the team line-up
Saronni has changed the rider line-up at Lampre for 2013, adding Filippo Pozzato and sprinter Roberto Ferrari but dropping a number of older riders. More new signings are expected for 2014 but next season will decide the future of young riders such as Diego Ulissi and of long-time Lampre captain Damiano Cunego.
"We want to get back to developing young riders and helping them win. We've lost sight of that work in recent years," Saronni explained.
"We've got talented riders like Diego Ulissi and Adriano Malori but we hope to help some others emerge in the next few years. We signed Pozzato because we've always been lacking a leader for the Classics. I think it's a great opportunity for us and for him to re-launch his career and race at a WorldTour level. He's talented but the Classics are never easy to win, they're a lottery. We're taking a bet on Pozzato but we think it's worth it.
"We've extended Cunego's contract but he's not the'Little Prince' anymore. He's also got to understand what kind of rider he wants to be and what races he wants to win. It's an important year for him and for us."

Friday, November 16, 2012

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Chasing Down... Susan DeMattei

by Aaron Torres

For many Olympic athletes, “retirement” is a four-letter word, one which is reserved for a day when their skills have faded, and the glory has long since disappeared. But for 1996 Olympic Mountain Biking bronze medalist and 2012 U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame inductee Susan DeMattei, retirement was something she had to be talked out of, just months before the crowning achievement of her athletic career.
 
THE OLYMPIC DREAM
 
The year was 1994, and in her early 30’s, DeMattei was ready to end her mountain biking career and focus on nursing, her college major, but a vocation she had yet to jump into because of the demands of cycling. She was also engaged to fellow pro mountain biker Dave Wiens and ready to start a family. For Susan, biking was part of her past and present, but she had no interest in letting it continue into her future.
 
That is until she got a phone call saying that mountain biking had been accepted as an Olympic sport for the 1996 Games in Atlanta. For at least one more year, retirement would have to wait.
 
“I was planning on leaving in 1995,” DeMattei said recently from her home in Gunnison, Colo. “But the sport was growing, and it was now going to be in the Olympics. It was a reason to stay another year.”


Susan DeMattei earned her spot in the history books as the first American to win an Olympic medal in mountain biking.
Susan DeMattei earned her spot in the history books as the first American to win an Olympic medal in mountain biking.
 
EARNING A SPOT IN THE HISTORY BOOKS
 
Still, even after deciding to stick with the sport, there was no guarantee DeMattei would earn a place on the Olympic team, let alone medal there. The U.S. would only send two women to the Games, and one spot had long been wrapped up by Juli Furtado, the proclaimed “Queen of Mountain Biking” at the time. The second spot would come down to a battle between DeMattei and two of her contemporaries, Ruthie Matthes and Tammy Jacques-Grewal, with the winner determined by cumulative results of about a half dozen races from late 1995 into early 1996.


Tension grew as it came down to the last qualifying race. It was a day DeMattei’s future husband Dave Wiens remembers vividly.
 
“There was a lot of suspense in that race because it was so tight between those three,” Wiens said. “It was anybody’s Olympic bid. Nobody had the upper-hand at all.”
 
Finishing second to Furtado, DeMattei qualified for the second spot and headed to Atlanta less than a month later.  And once she did arrive in Atlanta, in a weird way, DeMattei actually experienced a sense of relief.
 
 “I was going to the Olympics, my (future) husband was going to be there with me, I was getting married later that fall,” DeMattei said. “I felt unbelievably lucky.”
 
Of course the women who raced against DeMattei in Atlanta didn’t feel nearly as lucky. On the day of the race, DeMattei shocked the field, and took home the bronze medal, which up until this past summer was the only medal an American woman had ever won in Olympic mountain biking (Georgia Gould won bronze in London this summer).


FAST FORWARD TO 2012

Despite her personal accolades and the growing profile of the sport itself, DeMattei decided to step away from cycling after Atlanta. She had her nursing education to fall back on, and a confidence that came from taking up the sport so late in her life. That’s right, unlike so many other Olympians, DeMattei hadn’t spent her whole life training for mountain biking, but instead fell into the sport in its infant stages in the late 1980’s, after she’d already found her true calling in life. For DeMattei, mountain biking was never the end game, but instead a temporary diversion from a career in nursing.   
 
“Susan didn’t grow up wanting to be a mountain biker, none of us did,” Wiens said. “Her passion all along was nursing, and she dove right into it.”
 
Just months after winning bronze in Atlanta, DeMattei settled into a relatively normal life in Gunnison, Colo., a small town of a little over 5,000 smack dab in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. There she married Wiens and got a job at a local hospital, the same hospital where she still works today – in the surgical unit.
 

DeMattei and Weins also have three sons: a 14-year-old and 12-year-old twins. With Wiens’ work schedule (he’s the Director of the Mountain Sports Program at Western State Colorado University and he also helps design mountain bike trails), it is DeMattei who now takes on more than her fair share of the workload around the house.
 
“I don’t think I’ve made a single lunch this entire year,” Wiens said jokingly.


Susan and Dave have three sons: 12-year-old twins, Sam and Ben (top) and 14-year-old Cooper.
Susan and Dave have three sons: 12-year-old twins, Sam and Ben (top) and 14-year-old Cooper.
 
GIVING BACK TO THE SPORT


Despite no longer racing competitively, DeMattei still has a hand in cycling and loves to give back to others, many of whom may be getting on a bike for the first time. She has done clinics and charity rides around town, and more recently has begun to assist the high school program in Gunnison part-time. There, she sees the value that a bicycle can bring to a young person, especially female.
 
“For women especially, I do think biking can be an empowerment thing,” DeMattei said. “They come out in their tennis shoes and a helmet, and sometimes are unsure of themselves. But by the end of their ride they’re so proud, and so pleased that they got out of their bubble.”
 
DeMattei can also see how cycling is changing lives for the young women she teaches, in the same way it changed her life a few decades ago. 
 
“I didn’t come out of high school thinking I could rule the world,” DeMattei said. “But the sport gave me a lot of confidence to do things I never thought I could do.”

It also gave her a chance do something that many athletes take for granted, which was see the world outside of the Northern California town she grew up in. Over the course of her career DeMattei raced all over the United States as well as in Italy, Spain, and in Asia and Australia. DeMattei believes traveling was one of her most important life experiences. She also believes it wouldn’t have happened without mountain biking.
 
“I don’t want to say I was sheltered growing up,” DeMattei said. “But my parents weren’t big travelers, so I was probably a little naïve to the world. Without cycling I don’t know if I would’ve been able to do all that.”
 
That’s also why DeMattei encourages children of all ages to call their local bike shops if they’re interested in the sport. It doesn’t matter whether they’re a future Olympian or not, and whether the sport takes them abroad or just around the neighborhood. For many, getting on a bike will allow them to go places they never imagined, and build bonds which will last a lifetime.  
 
“Even just riding around town, a bike will take you places a car or walking can’t,” DeMattei said. “But more than anything, it’s just a great way to socialize.”
 
For Susan DeMattei, mountain biking never was about fame or money, or even the Olympic glory that came with it.
 

It was about all the priceless experiences that mountain biking brought her instead.    

Susan was inducted into the US Bicycling Hall of Fame on Nov. 3, 2012.
Susan was inducted into the US Bicycling Hall of Fame on Nov. 3, 2012.

 
DeMattei’s contributions to the sport of cycling were recognized on Nov. 3, as she was inducted into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2012. 

Source: usacycling.org

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Andy Schleck To Open 2013 Campaign at Tour Down Under


Earliest season start ever for RadioShack-Nissan rider
Frank and Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan)
Frank and Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan)
Andy Schleck will start the 2013 season as early as possible, tackling theTour Down Under for the first time. The RadioShack-Nissan rider hopes to ride a full and successful season after his disastrous year in 2012.
L'Equipe reported that the younger Schleck brother will be at the start of theTour Down Under in Adelaide on January 20. In the past he has not started his season until mid-February at the earliest.
Schleck's 2012 campaign started out modestly, as he rode but did not shine in the Ardennes Classics while working towards his season goal, the Tour de France. However, all his hopes were dashed when he crashed in the time trial of the Criterium du Dauphine in early June. He was later found to have fractured his pelvis in the crash.
The injury forced him to miss the Tour de France and London Olympics, and in fact he was unable to come back to racing until the Tour of Beijing in October.
Schleck ended the year with only 28 racing days. He had no wins, with his best result being 22nd overall in the Circuit de la Sarthe. Of the six stage races he rode, he finished only two, the Tour of Oman and Sarthe.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Report: IOC member says "Armstrong’s credibility has gone" regardless of Olympic medal decision

By: Alasdair Fotheringham
Then-Texas governor George W. Bush is presented with a yellow jersey by Lance Armstrong in 1999
Then-Texas governor George W. Bush is presented with a yellow jersey by Lance Armstrong in 1999

Armstrong’s 2000 bronze medal under investigation by International Olympic Committee
An executive board member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has told the insidethegames.biz website that Lance Armstrong’s credibility has disappeared regardless of the whatever final decision is reached in the investigation by the IOC into the Texan’s bronze medal from the time trial even in the 2000 Olympic Games.
International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) president René Fasel told theinsidethegames site that “regardless of whether you take his medal, his credibility is lost.”
“This is almost administrative and the taste will remain bitter no whatever happens.”
“With this Armstrong issue....it is not a huge feeling of victory, but just very sad.”
"I only hope it will be a lesson to athletes that if they cheat, a day will eventually come where they will be caught.”
Fasel’s Federation has always taken the fight against doping very seriously. According to figures on its website, the International Ice-Hockey Federation carried out 6,065 out-of-competition anti-doping tests in 2009. According to a Reuters report on Tuesday, cycling carried out slightly more than half that number of out-of-competition blood tests - 3,314 - in 2011 whilst the international tennis federation, according to its website, carried out just 21.
“We should not need to [have a] witch hunt with athletes when it comes to doping, but rather educate them and their coaches and entourages about the importance of not doping,” Fasel added in the interview with insidethegames.biz.
Within the context of the anti-doping struggle, Fasel went on to criticise the 2013 Tour de France route, which tackles the Alpe D’Huez twice next year, saying “that is a huge question mark for me.”
“Maybe it is good for the fans, but if you put athletes in a situation where they have no choice but to take illegal substances just to compete, that is wrong.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pro CX: Powers' and Wyman's Leads Narrow Atop Standings


Since the previous USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar (Pro CX) standings update on Oct. 22, the riders have contested many races in all corners of the country. The action began in Boulder, Colo., with the Colorado Cross and Boulder Cups on Oct. 27-28. Also on Oct. 28, the HPCX took place in Jamesburg, N.J. The action shifted to southern Ohio and northern Kentucky for the Cincy3 Darkhorse Cyclo-Stampede in Covington, Ky., on Nov. 2, Cincy3 Lionhearts International-Cross After Dark in Cincinnati on Nov. 3 and the Cincy3 Harbin Park International on Nov. 4. Meanwhile, there were a pair of races in the northeast as riders competed in the NEPCX Cyclo-Smart International in Northampton, Mass., on Nov. 3-4.

Jeremy Powers (Easthampton, Mass./Team Rapha-FOCUS) won the two races in Northampton, Mass., to add 120 points to his total and remain the leader of the Pro CX men's standings with 630 points. Ryan Trebon (Bend, Ore./Cannondale-Clement) won the three races in the Cincinnati/Covington, Ky., area in addition to the Boulder Cup last week to surge up the standings. Trebon, who was in fifth place on Oct. 22, now has 514 points, only 116 points behind Powers. Ben Berden (BEL/Raleigh-Clement) won the Colorado Cross Cup, placed third at the race in Covington and fifth in the second contest in Cincinnati. Berden now holds third place with 438 points, only six points ahead ofJames Driscoll (Winooski, Vt./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com). Driscoll won the third race in Cincinnati after placing second in the first two races in that area to boost his total to 432 points. Nicolas Bazin (FRA/Team Auber 93) rounds out the top five with 368 points.
Despite not earning any points in the last two weeks, Helen Wyman (GBR/Kona Factory Team) remains the leader of the Pro CX women's standings with 540 points. Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./Trek Cyclocross Collective), however, won the three races in Cincinnati and Kentucky to add 180 points to her total and leap into second place with 480 points. Crystal Anthony (Beverly, Mass./LadiesFirst Racing) won the second race in Massachusetts after placing second in the first race to collect 100 points and move into third place, only 81 points behind Compton. Gabriella Day (GBR/Rapha-Focus) slipped from second place two weeks ago into fourth place with 366 points. Arley Kemmerer (Saylorsburg, Pa./C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) remains in fifth place with 306 points after winning the race in New Jersey.
This past weekend presented the juniors men with their first opportunity to score points on the Pro CX juniors men's standings. After winning the juniors men's races at the Cincy3 Lionhearts International-Cross After Dark and the Cincy3 Harbin Park International, Curtis White (Delanson, N.Y./Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team) has racked up 120 points. Nathaniel Morse (Cohasset, Mass./Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team) placed second in the first race before placing fourth in the second to amass 65 points and hold second place.Spencer Downing (Boulder, Colo./Horizon Organic-Panache Elite Cycling) placed second in Sunday's race after finishing fifth on Friday to record 60 points and place third in the standings. Stephen Bassett (Knoxville, Tenn./Bob's Red Mill CX) recorded 55 points over the weekend while David Lombardo (Crystal Lake, Ill./Verdigris-Village CX) has 38 points to round out the top five.
USA Cycling Pro CX Standings:
Men
1. Jeremy Powers (Easthampton, Mass./Team Rapha-FOCUS) — 630
2. Ryan Trebon (Bend, Ore./Cannondale-Clement) — 514
3. Ben Berden (BEL/Raleigh-Clement) — 438
4. James Driscoll (Winooski, Vt./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) — 432
5. Nicholas Bazin (FRA/Team Auber 93) — 368
Women
1. Helen Wyman (GBR/Kona Factory Team) — 540
2. Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./Trek Cyclocross Collective) — 480
3. Crystal Anthony (Beverly, Mass./LadiesFirst Racing) — 399
4. Gabriella Day (GBR/Team Rapha-FOCUS) — 366
5. Arley Kemmerer (Saylorsburg, Pa./C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) — 306
Juniors Men
1. Curtis White (Delanson, N.Y./Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team) — 120
2. Nathaniel Morse (Cohasset, Mass./Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team) — 65
3. Spencer Downing (Boulder, Colo./Horizon Organic-Panache Elite Cycling) — 60
4. Stephen Bassett (Knoxville, Tenn./Bob's Red Mill CX) — 55
5. David Lombardo (Crystal Lake, Ill./Verdigris-Village CX) — 38
For complete standings, visit the Pro CX's official webpage at usacycling.org/cnc.
There are seven races on the Pro CX calendar over the next two weeks, giving riders ample opportunity to tally valuable standings points. The action begins Nov. 10-11 in Louisville, Ky., with the USGP of Cyclocross-Derby City Cup, where each of the juniors men's races will count toward the Pro CX juniors men's standings. The three Jingle Cross Rock races in Iowa City, Iowa will be Nov. 16-18 while theSuper Cross Cup contests in East Meadow, N.Y., are slated for Nov. 17-18.