Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hear From the U.S. Olympic Track Team Ahead of the Track Events

Hear from the U.S. Olympic track cycling team before their competition begins at the velodrome in London. The American track cyclists will contest the men's sprint, men's omnium and women's team pursuit during the course of the track events.

The U.S. Olympic track cycling team met the media on Tuesday morning. (Photo by Casey B. Gibson)
The U.S. Olympic track cycling team met the media on Tuesday morning. (Photo by Casey B. Gibson) 

ON THE NOISE IN THE VELODROME: "We got used to it in February (at the Test Event). It was definitely all GB (supporting Great Britain). Hopefully, for this we'll have some more American supporters out there. The noise is noise and it's cool to have the energy. You just learn to direct it, even if it's for someone else, you learn to direct as excitement in the air."

ON THE DIFFERENCE FROM HER OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: "I'm four years older. I've been around, not only on an international level, but also experienced at what the Olympics are. I have to say it's been awesome here. It's exciting. Everyone has been so nice. It's so well organized. The village is great. The food is good. It's been a great experience so far for sure."

ON DRAWING FROM HER EXPERIENCE FROM THE 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES: "It definitely helps to know what a big stage it is. Now that I see everyone from across the world, I take that as excitement and I'm getting to meet everyone from everywhere. It's nerve-wracking when you first are around. It can be overwhelming."

ON THE TRACK: "The track was fast in February (at the Test Event) and I think it is going to be just as fast or faster here with everyone’s physical abilities coming up. Everyone rides the same track so it’s just kind of a bonus knowing that you also could be going for world records."

ON THE OMNIUM: "The best way to describe the omnium is six events over two days with everything from a 14-second effort to a 25-minute points race. It includes everything there is on the track; from sprint to endurance to tactical handling skills, time trialing, everything. Obviously the individual pursuit is one of my favorites as it was my bread and butter, but they are all unique. Anything can happen in the mass start events which is what makes it so exciting for the spectators and a little more nerve wracking for the competitors."

ON HER TRAINING: "My training has changed a lot since I transitioned over to the omnium. We did it in stages. Which took almost a year. Getting back in the gym and getting stronger was a priority so I could do more quality lifting this year. The sprint element has been the biggest change as it is different training. The crazy thing is you still have to be a great endurance rider. I still have to go get my butt out there on the road and try to keep up with people when I’ve done 12 second efforts the day before."

Bobby Lea takes some time to speak with the Associated Press.
Bobby Lea takes some time to speak with the Associated Press.
ON BEING SELECTED TO THE OLYMPIC TEAM: "It's always special to be an Olympian and to be a U.S. Olympian is the highest honor that any athlete can have. As a track cyclist, the Olympics is the pinnacle of our sport. It was amazing to get to go to one Olympics in Beijing. It's a real honor to have this opportunity a second time."

ON DRAWING FROM HIS EXPERIENCE AT THE 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES: "The experience in Beijing has allowed me to have a razor's edge focus for this event. I know what to expect. I know what I'm in for. I'm better able to handle the distractions that come along with the Olympics. I'm better prepared mentally and physically. I have a much better focus on the racing at hand."

ON HIS PREPARATION: "I started training with Brian Walton of Walton Endurance a few months ago. The preparation has been incredible. He's intimately familiar with the demands of track racing. I couldn't be happier with my final preparation here."

ON HIS STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES AS AN OMNIUM RIDER: "The six events of the omnium cross the full spectrum from the pure sprint to the pure endurance. In all honesty, my strengths and weaknesses in the omnium have been evolving as I've been evolving as an omnium rider. As far as what's going to be my stronger or weaker events in the next few days, that remains to be seen. It's been changing as the racing has been going on. Hopefully, I've eliminated a few of those weaknesses."

ON HER MENTAL PREPARATION: "Right now, for me, I'm trying not to make it (Olympics) something that's so big and what I've worked for. I'm just focusing on the event on Friday and be at my best. I'm not letting the big experience get to me right now, for sure, I'll want to take part in it after."

ON HOW SHE KEEPS FOCUSED AND BALANCED: "Because I started racing when I was so young, I learned how to be independent, focused and driven at a young age, as a teenager. I had to balance traveling with cycling and trying to be the best in the sport I can be with going to school and trying to lead a normal childhood life. I think it's just something I developed over the years."

ON THE CHEMISTRY BETWEEN THE FOUR WOMEN'S TEAM PURSUIT RIDERS: "We haven't decided who is going to ride which round, how we're going to do it. There's definitely a strategy that's involved. All four of us will ride. We just don't know which ride we will do. We've worked so hard as a team, the four of us. We're all supportive of everyone. We know all four of us are going to give our 110 to the event. Unfortunately, only three of us can ride, but if we medal, all four of us medal, so it's good for the team."


Jimmy Watkins talking to a television station during the press conference. (Photo by Andrea Smith)
Jimmy Watkins talking to a television station during the press conference. (Photo by Andrea Smith)
ON HIS FIRST OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: "It is my first Olympics and it has been pretty cool just to see the magnitude of everything. You realize what it is to represent your country coming in here. You just have to focus on what you are doing and try not to change anything you’ve been doing the last four years."

ON HIS CURRENT FORM: "I’m definitely in the best form I’ve ever been in my life, being able to take off from work and train full time. It’s actually the first time I’ve been able to do that so I feel great."

ON BALANCING HIS ATHLETIC CAREER WITH HIS EVERYDAY LIFE: "My hometown of Bakersfield, California has been really supportive of what I’m doing. My work with the Kern County Fire Department has been superhelpful. They allowed me to take two months off to train and it is the first time in my career I’ve  been able to train as a full-time athlete and it just made leaps and bounds in my performance so I’m coming in with high hopes."

ON WHEN HE TRAINS: "It’s really difficult balancing (being a full-time firefighter, husband and father) and you are spread real thin in every aspect of your life. You just get it in when you can. I train maybe one day a week down in L.A. on the track and a lot of it is done on stationary bike, weight room or rollers while I’m at work."

ON THE DIFFERENCE IN TRAINING AS AN OLYMPIAN: "Now I get to train like a full-time athlete. I’m on the track four days a week."

ON HIS GOALS FOR THE EVENT: "Your goal is to do the best you’ve ever done, your PR (personal record). That should put my up close to the top of qualifying. My PR at sea level is 0:10.01 and 0:09.87 at altitude."

ON HIS EXPECTATIONS AT THE TRACK: "This track is certainly fast. You’re going to see some world records set here this week. The crowds should be great. Cycling is very much alive here."

Source: www.usacycling.org

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mongolia Bike Challenge 2012

By: Cycling News

  • Wicks, Wallace and Sneddon among those racing Mongolia Bike Challenge
  • 10-day stage race will test mountain bikers

Racers in action in Mongolia
Racers in action in Mongolia.
The Mongolia Bike Challenge (MBC) presented by Orbea will take place this July 30 to August 9. The MBC is an epic, 10-stage mountain bike race in the Land of Genghis Khan. It starts in the heart of the Mongolian capital, Ulaan Baator, and continues for 1400 kilometres to its finish next to the Erdene Zuu Monastery in Karakorum.
This year's Mongolia Bike Challenge will be another tough race as top professional and amateur racers from around the world will battle with it out through the rugged, beautiful and majestic landscape of Mongolia. Over 15 countries will be represented this year, including for the first time, top riders from China, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Last year's runner-up, Cory Wallace (Kona Factory Team), will be back and looking for the overall win this year. He will be joined by two of his teammates, stage racing veterans Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon, who have three BC Bike Races (BCBR) and two TransRockies victories as a team.
Challenging for the podium will be Canadian Carter Hovey (Team MBC Racing powered by Orbea-SMP. Hovey), a former Canadian National Team rider and Trans Rockies winner, has been in good form of late, with an excellent showing at the BC Bike Race this year. In fact, three of the top six BCBR finishers will be competing in Mongolia.
The international mountain bike stage racing duo of Pau Zamora and David Rovira (Team Buff International) will also be looking to do well in Mongolia. Rovira is a world champion adventure racer and the pair has raced a number of multi-day stage races in the last few years including Cape Epic and Titan Desert.
Marcel Hagener of Team Chiru-WTB is another former Adventure Racing World Champion who will test himself in Mongolia. He will be joined by top Malaysian mountain biker, Razif Salleh, who just finished second at the Singapore National Mountain bike championships.
The MBC, known for its long distances and accumulated climbing as well as its remote and rugged nature, is also known for its and stunningly beautiful route and tight organization. The third edition is sure to test and reward professional and amateur riders alike over its 10 stages this summer.
For more about this week's racing see Cycling News HD

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Nibali: Sprint Not a Certainty at London 2012 Olympics

Cycling News

Italian hopes for selective race
Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) on the final podium in Paris.
Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) on
the final podium in Paris.

Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) is nurturing some ambitions of his own for the London 2012 Olympics road race, as he believes that the course could prove more selective than previously expected.
A bunch sprint has long been predicted for Saturday’s race, and the five-man Italian team duly includes fast men Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Sacha Modolo (Colnago-CSF Inox), but fresh from his third place finish at the Tour de France, Nibali is determined to play his own card first.
“It’s not a given that it will end in a sprint,” Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’ve come out of the Tour in great condition and I’m aiming to do a great race. I’m not giving up on my personal ambitions before we start, but if instead the race stays together until the final lap, then I’ll put myself at the disposal of the quickest azzurri. Let’s say that at that point, I’d give what I hope to receive at the Worlds in Valkenburg on a much more selective course.”
While Mark Cavendish (Sky) is the favourite to take Olympic gold, particularly given the strength of the British team at his disposal, Nibali reckons that a man with no teammates in the race could upset the odds on the Mall on Saturday afternoon. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) is the only Slovak in the race, but after winning three stages and the green jersey at the Tour, he arrives in London on something of a high.
“If there’s a sprint, Cavendish will certainly be the number one favourite but Sagan could cause him a lot of problems,” Nibali said. “In any case, I’m not so convinced that it will finish in a sprint. Traditional logic goes out the window at the Olympics. The peloton isn’t as congested and the national teams have a maximum of five riders in the race.”
Once the Olympic Games come to an end, Nibali is widely expected to formally announce that he has signed with Astana for the 2013 season. “There are still some details missing but that should be the case,” he said.
After finishing on the podium of both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in recent seasons, Nibali will face something of a dilemma when it comes to deciding on his race programme for 2013. He will have a clearer idea of his plans when the race routes are unveiled in September and October.
“I’ll wait until I know the routes and then I’ll make the decision with the team,” he said. “The Giro d’Italia is the race that launched me and I’d gladly go back there. Certainly, the podium wouldn’t be enough for me there next year. I’ve already finished on the second and third step of the podium, so I would have to aim for the highest step.”

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bradley Wiggins Wins 2012 Tour de France

Susan Westemeyer

Cavendish takes out final stage in Paris
Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) winner of the 2012 Tour de France
Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) winner of the 2012 Tour de France
Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) became the first Briton to win theTour de France, taking the title of the 2012 Tour as he crossed the finish line on the Champs-Élysées Sunday afternoon. The final stage ended with the usual mass sprint, as Mark Cavendish easily took his fourth straight closing stage win. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale), one of the stand-outs of the Tour, took second, with former Cavendish helper Matthew Goss of Orica-GreenEdge third.
Wiggins stood atop the podium with a gap of 3:21 over his most dangerous rival, Sky teammate Christopher Froome.Vincenzo Nibali of Liquigas-Cannondale rounded out the podium, finishing third at 6:19 down.
It was a historic moment for the British rider, who spent the entire race in first or second place overall. He stamped his authority on the race with two time trial victories, winning against the clock on stages 9 and 19 to assure himself of the title. The only rider really able to challenge him was his teammate and lieutenant, Froome.
"I've had 24 hours for this to soak in and today we were just on a mission to finish the job off with Cav," said Wiggins on the team website. "So job done and what a way for him to finish it off. I’m still buzzing from the Champs-Elysees.
"I've got to get used to going into the history books now, but I’m just trying to take everything in today first. It’s very surreal at the moment because this type of things [usually] happens to other people. You never imagine it happening to yourself."
Cavendish was jubliant with his stage win. "It’s incredible what we’ve achieved today – what a team. We got a one and two on GC but still we were riding to control things on the Champs-Elysees. It was an honour to have the yellow jersey leading me out. Bradley told me he’d go full gas to the last kilometre and then Edvald (Boasson Hagen) led me into the last corner. The finish couldn’t have been more perfect – no better end to this Tour,” he said on the team's website.
"It’s an incredible achievement for the team. Four years ago we said we were setting out to win the Tour, but we haven’t just done that, we’ve got second place as well and a handful of stages. Seven stages have been won by British guys this year so that’s one in three – not a bad stat."
Rush to the finish on the Champs-Élysées
The final stage followed its usual pattern, as the riders relaxed in the sun and in anticipation of successfully finishing the hard three weeks. There were even two category four ranked climbs in the first third of the race, with KOM Thomas Voeckler of Europcar picking up another point at the first one. The relaxed atmosphere only lasted until the sprinters could sense the approaching Champs-Élysées, and the racing then started. 
Two of the older riders, Christopher Horner (RadioShack-Nissan) and George Hincapie (BMC), who is retiring this season, were allowed to lead the way over the finish line as the field hit the Champs Elysees. They were then replaced by veterans Jens Voigt (RadioShack) and Danilo Hondo (Lampre-ISD), with a small group forming later around them.
Rui Costa (Movistar), Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan), Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Sebastien Minard (AG2R), Lars Bak (Lotto Belisol), Maxim Iglinskiy (Astana), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Jean Marc Marino (Saur-Sojasun), Karsten Kroon (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), Bram Tankink (Rabobank) and Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Katusha) built up a lead of up to 30 seconds on the closing circuit.
Sky led the chase for Cavendish to claim his fourth straight victory on the Champs Elysees, but as things progressed, they were joined by Liquigas riding to set up Peter Sagan. The lead group eventually fell apart, leaving only Minard, Voigt and Costa at the front.
The trio fought valiantly but never really had a chance, and with about 3 km to go, were caught. Shortly before that, a crash in the middle of the field took out two riders: Hondo and Mikael Cherel (AG2R).
None other than the yellow jersey Wiggins himself led the field under the flamme rouge for the final kilometer of the 2012 Tour. He peeled off to let Edvald Boasson Hagen make the final lead-out for Cavendish. Once the Manxman was in the wind on the finishing straight, there was no doubt as to his victory.
Wiggins rides to the top
Wiggins was never far from the top of the race, spending the entire race in either first or second place. He finished second in the race's prologue, three weeks ago, only seven seconds behind winner Fabian Cancellara. Wigginssuccessfully avoided the mass crash in the sixth stage, which took out a number of riders and put an end to the hopes of several contenders.
He made his move, though, on the race's first mountain stage. On stage seven, which featured the first mountaintop finish, Team Sky prepared the way for Wiggins by taking control of the stage and putting down a blistering pace the whole way.  By the time they approached the final climb up  La Planche des Belles Filles, the two Sky riders led the small group of favourites, dropping Cancellara along the way. Defending Tour champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) jumped first, Froome caught and passed him for the stage win, but Wiggins caught up to cross the finish line in the same time as the Australian, and took over the yellow jersey, which he never gave up.
As expected, Wiggins really won the Tour in the time trials. He won both of them, with Froome second in both. Even four-time World time trial champion Cancellara couldn't come close to him in the first time trial. But it was the second time trial, held yesterday, which really sealed the matter. Wiggins covered the rolling 53.5km over a minute faster than Froome.
Wiggins and Froome quickly became an inseparable pair, although there were often indications that Froome was unhappy with the relationship. The younger Briton was obviously the stronger rider on the climbs, and showed his impatience at being held back by his captain. He went public with his indignation at not being allowed to win the Tour, before belatedly realizing it was better to say nothing.
The jerseys
Wiggins and Cavendish were not the only winners of the day, though. Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale took the green jersey for the points classification, having won three stages. He also fought to take points at the intermediate sprints and made a reputation for his victory celebrations, ranging from the Hulk to Forrest Gump. It was in incredibly impressive Tour debut for the 22-year-old Slovakian.
Thomas Voeckler claimed the King of the Mountains classification and its polka-dot jersey. He wrestled it away from Astana's Fredrik Kessiakoff with his first of two stage wins, in the 16th stage. The Europcar rider aggressively defended it through the remaining few stages.
Best young rider was 23-year-old Tejay van Garderen. The 23-year-old American riding for BMC Racing Team finished his second Tour in fifth place, eleven minutes down, but six minutes ahead of the second-best young rider, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ-Big Mat).
Team RadioShack-Nissan went from the high of Fabian Cancellara's prologue win to the low of Fränk Schleck leaving the race under suspicion of doping, and along the way managed to win the team title.
Hincapie says adieu
A long-time popular rider took his final bow in the Tour. George Hincapie of BMC Racing Team finished his 17th Tour at 38th overall, an hour and a half down. Over the years, he rode in support of nine winners: Lance Armstrong (seven times) and Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans (once each).
Hincapie wore the yellow jersey for two stages in 2006, and won a total of four stages, three of which were team time trials. But perhaps his most important victory was winning the heart and hand of podium girl Melanie Simonneau.
The sprinters
All eyes were on Mark Cavendish at the Tour, but from even before the race it was clear that it would be difficult if not impossible for Sky to support both Wiggins and Cavendish. The reigning world champion got the short end of the deal, but by the end of the race, he, too, was doing his share to support the team leader and sacrificing his own chances. Cavendish ended up with three wins, as did Greipel and Sagan.
Cavendish was overshadowed this year by none other than former teammate Andre Greipel, whom he once said could win only “little shit races.” The Lotto Belisol rider put that to the test, and took three sprint wins. Equally impressively, he finished second to Sagan on the sixth stage after crashing twice and having a suspected dislocated shoulder, which fortunately proved not to be so.
Source and For Full Results: cyclingnews.com

Thursday, July 19, 2012

NCC: Two Spots Clinched in NCC standings

The USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC) rolled into its 16th event on the 19-race calendar as the men and women navigated the streets of downtown Boise, Idaho, dancing between rain drops to contest the Exergy Twlight Criterium on Saturday evening. The top spots of the men's and women's standings have been decided, leaving the peloton to vie for the remaining standings spots while the women's standings remain up for grabs.


Hilton Clarke (AUS/UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis) clinched the top spot in the NCC men's standings after winning the men's race in Boise. In winning the race, Clarke collected 100 points, bringing his total to 638 points, 210 points more than his closest competitor, Jacobe Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis).
Hilton Clarke tops the men's podium after winning the men's race at the Exergy Twilight Criterium. (Photo by Steve Conner)
Hilton Clarke tops the men's podium after winning the men's race at the Exergy Twilight Criterium. (Photo by Steve Conner)
While the competition for the top spot is over, it is extremely contentious for the remaining standings spots. Keough leads third-place Carlos Alzate Escobar (COL/Team Exergy) by only four points. Escobar finished second to Clarke in Idaho to jump from fourth into third place. Escobar overtookLuke Keough (Sandwich, Mass./Team Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop), who finished the race in fourth place, one second behind Escobar. Ken Hanson (Santa Barbara, Calif./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) holds on to fifth place, trailing Luke Keough by 74 points with only two races remaining on the calendar.
Clarke's win in Boise, helped UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis clinch the top spot of the NCC men's team standings. The second-place Team Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop now trails the top team by 648 points with only two events for the men remaining. Team Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop is holding a slim 19-point cushion on the new third-place team Team Exergy, which jumped from fourth in the previous standings. Jamis-Sutter Home sits in fourth place, 69 points out of third and 112 points ahead of Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies.
Kristin McGrath narrowly edges Alison Powers to win the women's race at the Exergy Twilight Criterium. (Photo by Steve Conner)
Kristin McGrath narrowly edges Alison Powers to win the women's race at the Exergy Twilight Criterium. (Photo by Steve Conner)
Erica Allar (Tucson, Ariz./RideClean-Patentit.com) has strengthened her grip on the top spot of the NCC women's standings. Allar's lead over second-place Laura van Gilder (Cresco, Pa./Mellow Mushroom) is 174 points with only three races remaining for women.
Sarah Fader (Morrisville, N.C./Pepper Palace-Spin-Tech Training p/b ABRC) sits in third place 229 points behind van Gilder and 70 points ahead of the new fourth-place rider Samantha Schneider (West Allis, Wisc./Team TIBCO-To the Top). Schneider finished seventh in the race to collect 40 points and move into fourth place, 24 points ahead of Emily Collins (NZL/Vanderkitten-Focus), who rounds out the top five.
Racing with support from her new hometown fans as well as for the Boise-based Exergy TWENTY12 team, Kristin McGrath (Boise, Idaho/Exergy TWENTY12) outsprinted Alison Powers (Pinecliffe, Colo./NOW and Novartis for MS) to win the Exergy Twilight Criterium.
Team TIBCO-To the Top added 103 points to its total in Idaho and now leads the NCC women's team standings by 256 points. The new second-place team is NOW and Novartis for MS, which surged past Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies into the runner-up position. Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies is only four points out of second place and 63 points clear of the fourth-place Exergy Twenty12, which overtook Vanderkitten-Focus. Vanderkitten-Focus is in fifth place, 111 points behind Exergy Twenty12.
Check out a photo gallery of pictures taken by Steve Conner.
USA Cycling NCC Standings:
1. Hilton Clarke (AUS/UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis) — 638*
2. Jacobe Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis) — 428
3. Carlos Alzate Escobar (COL/Team Exergy) — 424
4. Luke Keough (Sandwich, Mass./Team Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop) — 409
5. Ken Hanson (Santa Barbara, Calif./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) — 335
1. Erica Allar (Tucson, Ariz./RideClean-PatentIt.com) — 702
2. Laura van Gilder (Cresco, Pa./Mellow Mushroom) — 528
3. Sarah Fader (Morrisville, N.C./Pepper Palace-Spin-Tech Training p/b ABRC) — 299
4. Samantha Schneider (West Allis, Wisc./Team TIBCO-To the Top) — 229
5. Emily Collins (NZL/Vanderkitten-Focus) — 205
Men's Team
1. UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis — 1,345*
2. Team Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop — 697
3. Team Exergy — 678
4. Jamis-Sutter Home — 609
5. Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies — 497
Women's Team
1. Team TIBCO-To the Top — 777
2. NOW and Novartis for MS — 521
3. Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies — 517
4. Exergy Twenty12 — 454
5. Vanderkitten-Focus — 343
* — clinched first place in standings
For complete standings, visit the NCC's official webpage at usacycling.org/ncc.
Soon after the men contest the 2012 USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championship, the women will turn laps around Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich., as they compete in the Herman Miller Grand Cycling Classic. Following the women-only (for NCC purposes) event in West Michigan, the men and women will each have only two events remaining on the calendar.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Valverde Most Popular Rider for Fan Mail in Tour

Alasdair Fotheringham

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
Spaniard leads 'by long way' on rider correspondence
The Tour's internal post office - run by Docapost, a branch of France's national postal service system - reports that whilst Thomas Voeckler is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the local rider receiving most fan mail ahead ofSylvain ChavanelAlejandro Valverde is currently the leader on the international standings, well ahead of the Frenchman.
Usually it's the top favourites who get the most post. In 2010, Lance Armstrong received the most messages of encouragement - 327, whilst in 2011 Voeckler finished ahead of Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador with 275.
Docapost has been delivering fan mail to the Tour de France riders since 1992 and receives roughly 4,500 letters for the pros each year. Correspondence can be sent via email or postcards.
This year it is Valverde who is in top spot in what is one test of riders' popularity.
"It's a bit of a surprise, because he's not having a great Tour, but he gets loads of emails and he's ahead by a long way," says Jean Marc Campana - who has run Docapost's Tour post office together with co-worker Sylvain Forre for the last three years.
"Alejandro doesn't get many letters, though - if it wasn't for the emails, though, he'd be a long way back."
The Tour's Post Office, unsurprisingly, is as mobile as the rest of the race. The two Docapost employees operate out of the back of a large lorry parked up for most of the day next to the Tour's press room, which has all sorts of mailing paraphernalia in the back: scales, stamps, postcards (for Tour followers who want to send any correspondence, although there is also a postbox at the Tour's 'village' at each start) and a sorting system with each of the teams' names on its own pigeon hole.
Fans wishing to write to riders can do so via email on www.docapost.com/tourdefrance, which are then printed out and sent on to the teams. For those wishing to send letters, just writing the rider's name and team followed by Tour de France - DOCAPOST and the postcode for the finish town (available on docapost's website) where you want the letter to arrive should see it get there.

Friday, July 13, 2012

USA Cycling Unveils Its 2012 Olympic Games Cycling Kits

Taylor Phinney sporting the retro Olymipc kit.
Taylor Phinney sporting the retro
Olympic kit.
USA Cycling is excited to unveil the kits that will be worn by members of the U.S. Cycling Team during the Olympic Games in London this summer. 
Designed not only to be performance enhancing, but also to have a patriotic and stylish throw-back theme, the 2012 Olympic kits ensure that American cyclists will look just as good as they ride.
The road, track, and mountain bike kits were designed by SKINS while Nike teamed up with freestyle legend Bob Haro to create the BMX collection.

Road, Track & Mountain Bike Kits - DESIGNED BY SKINS

Featuring “USA” across the chest, vertical red and white stripes, and columns of stars on a dark blue backdrop, the SKINS jersey offers a clean, retro look. As long-time cycling fans might notice, the “stars and bars” design is reminiscent of the U.S. kits from the 1984 Olympics.
“The kits look amazing,” said 2012 U.S. Mountain Bike Olympic Team member Sam Schultz. “I'm super fired up for them. I like the sort of retro look. It's clean. Hopefully we can ride as well as those kits look.”

Designed specifically for the riders, the kits are crafted of fabrics that were selected for a range of weather conditions, as well as aerodynamic and breathability qualities.

"SKINS is very proud to be a partner of USA Cycling for the Olympics.  The USA Olympic kit is our favorite design.  The technical speed clothing brings together our knowledge of fit and light weight aero fabrics.  We will be screaming at the TV in excitement during the Games," commented SKINS' General Counsel, Benjamin Fitzmaurice.
Members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Mountain Bike squad model the new kits. (Sam Schultz, Georgia Gould, Lea Davison, and Todd Wells)
Members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Mountain Bike squad model the new kits. (Sam Schultz, Georgia Gould, Lea Davison, and Todd Wells)


Inspired by the sport’s roots, the BMX kit is a flashback to the 1970s when kids raced Southern California dirt tracks in three-quarter sleeved baseball tees. The jersey’s rugged design features a white body, navy sleeves, “USA,” and an eagle whose red outline grips the handlebars of a BMX bike.

The kits were custom fitted for each individual BMX team member.

“Nike has done an outstanding job of listening to our athletes and making sure every detail has been addressed,” commented USA Cycling’s BMX Program Director Mike King. “I'm convinced that we have a competitive advantage in clothing weight, wind resistant, and fit.”

The BMX kit is a throw-back to its 1970s roots.
The BMX kit is a throw-back to its 1970s roots.

This Article Published July 13, 2012 For more information contact: kkahn@usacycling.org

Article Source: usacycling.org

Saturday, July 7, 2012