Thursday, August 30, 2012

Armstrong: I Won the Tour de France Seven Times

Banned rider unafraid of pending USADA report to UCI
The 2004 Tour podium with Armstrong and Basso
The 2004 Tour podium with Armstrong
and Basso
Lance Armstrong is unconcerned by what the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will issue in its report to cycling's governing body, the UCI.
On Thursday, Armstrong announced he would not fight USADA's charges of doping and conspiracy which led to the agency stripping the American of his seven Tour de France titles which were included in the any and all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to August 1, 1998. Armstrong was also banned for life.
The UCI is now waiting for communication from USADA detailing the reasoning behind its decision before moving on to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the ruling, or to gain jurisdiction over the case.
After taking part in a run with his fans in Montreal, Canada, Armstrong said "I'm absolutely not afraid," of anything which may be in USADA's report.
He was in the Canadian city to speak at the World Cancer Congress where he opened his speech with:
"My name is Lance Armstrong. I am a cancer survivor. I'm a father of five. And yes, I won the Tour de France seven times."

Monday, August 27, 2012

Vande Velde Stuns Leipheimer, Taking Overall Victory

By: Cycling News 
Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) on the way to his win at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge
Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) on the way to his win at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge
Christian Vande Velde put in a stunning time trial performance in the Denver finale of the USA Pro Challenge, taking second to stage winner Taylor Phinney (BMC) and moving into the top spot in the general classification.
Vande Velde beat the overnight race leader Levi Leipheimer into third place overall with his virtuoso performance in the 15.3km test, overcoming his nine second deficit and putting in 34 more for good measure to seal the race win.
"I actually had a lot of confidence in today," said Vande Velde. "It was a feather in my cap that a lot of people didn't know that I had. I felt good coming out of the Tour on my time trial bike - I don't know why, the same thing happened last year.
"I was very excited after yesterday when I took time out of Tejay [van Garderen] and stayed close to Levi [Leipheimer] and I knew that I was in with a shot. This race has been amazing from start to finish and I'm excited to finally put the cherry on top with the yellow jersey at the end of the race."
Leipheimer could only manage ninth best on the day, dropping down in the overall classification behind Tejay van Garderen (BMC) who was third in the test, 19 seconds behind his teammate Phinney, who topped the day's standings with a time of 17:25.
"I actually felt really good, my legs were good," said Leipheimer. "I did sort of drop my chain at one corner and had a moment of panic because I thought it totally came off and jammed but it miraculously fell back on, so I don't really thought I lost much time there.
"I got down to a really good climbing weight, but I think when it comes to 15k flat-out on rough city streets with a lot of corners I just don't have it compared to going up Flagstaff. It is what it is, I'm a little bit disappointed, but I'm still proud to stand on the podium and proud to have given it my all."
For van Garderen, second place overall on general classification was one step higher on the final podium than last year, but the 24-year-old BMC rider came into the USA Pro Challenge with overall victory in mind.
"I really wanted this - I had my friends and family here and I wanted to send George [Hincapie] off with a victory," said van Garderen. "I'm proud of the team and I'm proud of everything they did. I wanted to win, but I came out of the Tour and Olympics tired. But I had this on my mind and it kept me focused.
"This race couldn't have been anymore dramatic. It looked one way but then Garmin was throwing everything they had at it and Christian [Vande Velde] was just amazing this week. He says he always comes good out of the Tour and this year he did the Giro, the Tour and Utah, so if he does a Grand Tour after this he'd probably win it."
Phinney set off in the first half of the start order, having not been a factor in the fight for the general classification, but targeting the final day to impress the fans and family in his home state.
David Zabriskie (Garmin-Sharp) had been atop the leader board until Phinney came across the line a full 45 seconds quicker than the US time trial champion.
His time withstood the assault of time trial Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), who was 21 seconds in arrears, Tom Zirbel (Optum) who was half a minute slower and Estonian Tanel Kangert (Astana) who was 40 seconds slower.
As the general classification contenders set out on the course, it was clear from the intermediate checks that no one could match the young BMC' rider's performance.
Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) came in fifth best, 29 seconds behind Phinney, while Joe Dombrowski (Bontrager-Livestrong) had a rough ride and came in with a 19:03, dropping him from fourth to tenth on the final overall general classification but still good enough to earn the best young rider title.
Van Garderen blasted across the line, popping under the time of Velits into second best, with only two riders left to finish: Vande Velde and Leipheimer.
Vande Velde hurtled through the final turn with the clock just ticking over to 17 minutes, and it was clear he was on the ride of his life. He crossed the line just 13 seconds slower than Phinney and had a tense minute to see where Leipheimer would finish.
The Omega Pharma-Quickstep man brought the yellow jersey home in 18:08, and had to pass the honour onto his Garmin-Sharp rival.
After a lengthy stint on the hot seat, the stage victory belonged to Phinney.
"A hometown win is always a beautiful thing," said Phinney. "This time trial has been my carrot all week that I've been chasing, other than trying to get Tejay the yellow jersey. I struggled a lot in the first couple of stages after a crash on the first stage and in that third stage to Aspen I nearly pulled the plug, but I made it through and just kept getting better and better. I had an amazing day yesterday riding through Boulder. I was so honoured to ride for my friend and teammate Tejay through Boulder's downtown.
"I just came here, kept the speed high and did everything I could to win, and just barely got it. There was a blazing fast Christian Vande Velde out there but I'm beyond excited to have won today. It was a big goal of mine."

Friday, August 24, 2012

BMX NorCal State Championships Donny Robinson Wins the Pro Am

2008 Olympic BMX Bronze Medalist Donny Robinson wins NorCal's 2012 State BMX Pro Am. An inspiration on and off the track D.R. is not only one of BMX's greatest riders he is an incredible advocate for the sport.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

USA Pro Cycling Challenge 2012

August 20, Stage 1: Durango - Telluride 202.1km

Farrar wins opening stage in Telluride

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) wins the stage in Telluride
Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) wins the
stage in Telluride. 
First win of the season for Garmin sprinter
Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) won his first race in over a year with a dominant sprint on stage 1 of the USA Pro Challenge from Durango to Telluride. Farrar had not won a race since July 4 of 2011 when he secured his first individual stage win at the Tour de France. But the American was in commanding form on the run in to Telluride, benefiting from earlier work from his teammates who had dominated the early break and then helped to set up a sprint finish over the demanding 202.1 km stage.
Alessandro Bazzana (Team Type 1-Sanofi) finished second with Damiano Caruso (Liquigas-Cannondale) in third but Farrar leads the race after one stage.
As a sprinter, Farrar was surprised to be able to make it over the mountains in the finale to take an important win for the Garmin-Sharp team.
"I really had to turn myself inside out to make it over [Lizard Head Pass]," Farrar said. "I knew today could possibly be a sprint but I really wasn't sure I had the legs to make it, so I'm pretty happy to pull it off.
"Our home as a team is in Colorado, so we take this race really seriously, and to win here is huge. For me personally I have had kind of a disaster of a season so this means a whole lot to me to finally get a win."
Runner-up Alessandro Bazzana called Boulder, Colorado home for several years earlier in his career, but while he had trained at altitude, today was his first ever race result in rarified air. Nonetheless, when a 22-man break rolled off the front early in the stage he didn't think he'd be on the podium in the finale.
"After the first climb when Garmin showed the horsepower I expected the race to be over, but then all of my teammates went to the front, other teams helped, and thankfully we brought the breakaway back," Bazzana told Cyclingnews. "When I saw that the final two climbs weren't steep enough I realized it was going to be a sprint and I started preparing myself for that. In the end I only had Kiel Reijnen left because we were the two designated leaders for today, but everyone else had worked their ass off for us."
A 57-rider bunch arrived for the sprint finish in Telluride and Bazzana keyed off of a veteran fast man.
"I had eyed Freddie Rodriguez's wheel, I thought he was going to be the fastest one. With all the climbing I thought that maybe [Tyler] Farrar would be tired, but he wasn't. With the second to last turn it was pretty fast and pretty tight but luckily we managed to stay on our bikes and not crash. Rory Sutherland led out the sprint and we all came from behind."
The opening day of the USA Pro Challenge turned into quite the bonanza for Colorado-based Garmin-Sharp as Farrar won the stage, took the leader's jersey and also leads the sprint classification. Farrar's teammate Tom Danielson claimed the mountains jersey while Peter Stetina was awarded most aggressive rider. Danielson and Stetina almost rode off with the stage win, but the duo, the last surviving members of the early 22-man break, were swept up in the outskirts of Telluride.
High but not all dry
Under grey skies and comfortably cool temperatures, the 124-rider strong USA Pro Challenge peloton was given a raucous sendoff in downtown Durango. After a 5.4km neutral section the racing began in earnest for the 202.2km stage from Durango to Telluride.
Just 10.7km into the stage the riders faced their first of two intermediate sprints, with Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp) taking top honours in Durango. The acceleration for the sprint caused a split in the peloton with several big-name riders emerging to form the early break. Amongst those going on the attack were Garmin-Sharp's Tom Danielson, Peter Stetina and Dave Zabriskie, plus Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale).
The lead group soon pushed out a 2:30 advantage over the peloton after 28km or racing while two separate chase groups trailed at 30 and 45 seconds respectively. The two chase groups soon consolidated into a unified force and managed to join the leaders just prior to the opening KOM, the category 3 ascent in Hesperus at 39.8km.
Andrew Bajadali (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) crossed the KOM first, followed by Freddy Orlando Piamonte Rodriguez (EPM - Une) and Matt Cooke (Team Exergy) to lead the now 22-man lead group. Also riding at the head of affairs were Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), Thomas Danielson, Peter Stetina, David Zabriskie and Lachlan David Morton (Garmin - Sharp), Michael Schär and George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team), Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan), Vincenzo Nibali and Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas-Cannondale), Tanel Kangert (Astana Pro Team), Ivan Rovny (RusVelo), Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Cycling), Michael Creed (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), Joshua Atkins (Bontrager Livestrong Team), Serghei Tvetcov (Team Exergy) and Eduard Alexander Beltran Suarez (EPM-Une).
As the leaders rolled along Route 160 to the town of Mancos their lead stabilized at approximately five minutes with the BMC Racing Team and Team Type 1-Sanofi present at the front of the peloton setting tempo. By the time Serghei Tvetcov (Team Exergy) claimed the second intermediate sprint in Dolores the break's lead had been cut to 3:30 as they turned onto Rte. 145 and the very long grind to the Lizard Head Pass KOM, which tops out at 10,222 feet at 25km to go.
Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) could be seen talking to other riders in the break, urging them to keep up the tempo, and soon took matters into his own hands as he launched an attack. Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) immediately marked the Italian and after a brief stalemate in the remainder of the break, six more riders struck out and bridged to Nibali and Danielson: Peter Stetina (Garmin - Sharp), George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team), Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan), Andrew Bajadali (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), Serghei Tvetcov (Team Exergy) and Eduard Alexander Beltran Suarez (EPM-Une).
Two more riders, Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) and David Zabriskie (Garmin-Sharp) launched an extensive chase of their own and eventually reached the eight leaders with 77.5km remaining on the winding valley road in the San Juan National Forest.
The now 10-strong lead group's advantage stood at four minutes with both BMC and UnitedHealthcare sharing the pace-making at the head of the peloton, while Liquigas-Cannondale had their squad slotted in right behind. The remaining 12 riders originally in the break who couldn't keep the pace soon surrendered and were absorbed by the peloton.
The break lost a rider as David Zabriskie cracked spectacularly, upchucking his breakfast on the pavement. Prior to entering the town of Rico at 156.2km the Garmin-Sharp rider was barely hanging on to the back of the peloton.
"I was going pretty hard, pretty deep," Zabriskie told Cyclingnews. "And then the last super deep effort – I let the group split and then bridged up to those guys – that was pretty hard to get to them. I was planning to pull them and I finally, I don't know. The body said stop and my spirit said you're puking. I'll be all right."
With five kilometres to the Lizard Head Pass KOM, on the steepest pitch of the lengthy climb, Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) and Eduard Alexander Beltran Suarez (EPM-Une) dropped their seven breakaway companions. Soon, Danielson dispatched of the Colombian and found himself alone in the lead amidst a steady sprinkling of rain. Beltran was joined by Peter Stetina (Garmin-Sharp) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) to form a three-man chase while the peloton had narrowed their advantage to just over one minute.
After Danielson crossed the Lizard Head Pass ascent alone, the three chasers caught him on the descent while the peloton trailed at 50 seconds, having absorbed the rest of the escapees. As the four leaders began the ascent to the day's final KOM, the category 3 climb to Alta at 9,656 feet, UnitedHealthcare led the greatly diminished peloton's chase. Meanwhile, up the road, Danielson and Stetina turned the screws and dropped both Beltran and Nibali. The Garmin-Sharp riders crested the Alta KOM with a 35-second lead and and just 15 downhill and flat kilometres stood between them and the finish in Telluride.
The Garmin-Sharp duo bombed the 8.5km descent and then faced a flat 6.5km run-in to the finish. Danielson and Stetina fought valiantly, but were absorbed in the closing kilometres.
An immediate counter-attack was launched by Ted King (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Ben King (RadioShack-Nissan), who were soon joined by Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp). A hard-charging field, with UnitedHealthcare and Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies figuring prominently, shut the move down resulting in a 57-rider strong peloton sprinting for stage honours and the first leader's jersey.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

US National Champ Duggan Reflects on a Banner Year

Ben Delaney

Ted King and Timmy Duggan (Liquigas) training together
Ted King and Timmy Duggan
(Liqugas) training together
After a couple years of crashes, 2012 brings national title and Olympic berth
2008 was The Crash – brain trauma, followed by a long recovery.
2010 was The Triple – three separate spills breaking the left arm three separate times.
But 2012, well, 2012 has brought a US national road title, a trip to the Olympics, a brand new house in the Colorado Rockies and more for 29-year-old Timmy Duggan of Liquigas-Cannodale.
“2012 has been a fantastic season for me,” Duggan said at his home in Nederland, Colorado.

“It’s always been on my bucket list to win the national championship and to go to the Olympics. This year, the lead-up to those two events, and the goals of my Liquigas team aligned, and I was able to perform at the right times and have a few opportunities to race for myself. And when I saw those I was able to be prepared and pull the trigger.”
Fresh off of some aggressive racing at the Tour of Utah, Duggan and fellow American Ted King will be lining up next week for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in support of grand tour winners Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali.
“It’s been a great middle of the season for me, but I’m really looking forward to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and the Canadian World Tour races. I’ve done those twice now, I’m starting to feel experienced in them. They are hard, hilly races that suit me, and I’m looking forward to doing really well there.”
Duggan will break out newly designed national champion’s kit for the Pro Cycling Challenge, with a bit more red than the one he raced in Utah.
Supporting the kids — coming full circle
Duggan grew up racing down mountains — but not a bike.
“I started my career in sport through ski racing. I didn’t even know what cycling was until I was 15, 16,” Duggan said. “I got into ski racing with my brother at an early age. We traveled all over the country racing at a pretty high level. Cycling was something I did just to stay in shape as one of many cross-training tools.”
A little dabbling in mountain bike racing proved he had a knack for the sport, and after he wrapped up ski racing after high school, he took up the road bike.
“My buddy Ian MacGregor and I cruised around the country for a year, doing the biggest races we could, getting the best results we could,” Duggan said. “That caught the eye of Jonathan Vaughters.”
Vaughters signed them both in 2005 to his upstart TIAA-CREF development team, which eventually blossomed into the Slipstream Sports program that is Garmin-Sharp today.
“It was really a great start to my career. To be able to grow with that development program put me on the ProTour a few years later,” he said.
Since founding TIAA-CREF, Vaughters has always been vocal about a zero-tolerance doping policy for his team. Last week The New York Times published a piece by Vaughters admitting to doping during his career as a professional rider, something he had often alluded to but never addressed outright.
Duggan said Vaughters’ admission “didn’t change anything” for him.
“He is part of that generation where a lot of riders had to make that decision to dope and continue their career or not,” Duggan said. “Unfortunately JV and a lot of guys had to make that decision. I never did, because of JV and his program. It was never an option for me to have to make that, and I’m super grateful.”
“From the very beginning, from when I first met JV, it was all about transparency,and maybe things happened in the past, but owning up to it and moving forward in the right direction,” Duggan said. “JV has always done that with his career and building the Slipstream program, and his influence on pro cycling now. Even with his doping admission, he’s still moving in that direction.”
For his part, Duggan is keen to help the next generation get involved in sport with the Just Go Harder Foundation he started with his old buddy MacGregor.
“Growing up I had those opportunities to become involved in ski racing and cycling,” he said. “I had access to those coaches, those mentors who really shaped my life and my career. And that meant everything to getting to this level where I’m a national champion and an Olympian. A lot of kids don’t have that opportunity, because they can’t afford it. Cycling and skiing aren’t cheap.”
Just Go Harder provides scholarships to young athletes, and raises funds in a variety of ways — such as a Punk Rock Rollerfest Wednesday night in Boulder, where Duggan, Taylor Phinney and other riders will race on rollers on stage inside a theatre.
“If we can give a few scholarships every year to open that door, the kid can take it from there,” Duggan said. “They can find that passion from that sport, and find a way to make it work. But if that door doesn’t open in the first place, it will never happen.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

IG Pro Cycling Index: Olympics Give Wiggins Extra Boost

Cycling News

Martin and Vinokourov move up

Winner Bradley Wiggins used O Symetric chainrings on his UK Sport Innovation bike. He can't get much further forward either
Winner Bradley Wiggins used O Symetric chainrings on his UK Sport Innovation bike. He can't get much further forward either
It has been three weeks since the last update to the IG Pro Cycling Indexand there have been many changes. It has been a busy three week racing period with no less than six races in the Index taking place, including theOlympic road race and time trial and the Eneco Tour. 

Bradley Wiggins enjoyed a healthy lead at the top of the standing after the Tour de France. The Olympic Time Trial was his change to win his fourth Olympic gold medal. Before that test Wiggins rode the Olympic road race in support of Mark Cavendish. He managed to recover well from the huge effort and dominated the time trial beating Tony Martin by 42 seconds. Wiggins’ lead at the top of the rankings is almost insurmountable before the end of the season.

Tony Martin’s second place saw him return to the top ten and take the title of the highest placed German rider away from Andre Greipel. Chris Froome rounded off the podium in the time trial and as a result moved up two spots to seventh overall. The road race saw Alexandre Vinokourov end his career on a high. Having done little this year he was outside the top 200 but now stands at 78th place. He edged out Rigoberto Uran from Columbia who is now 32nd in the Index.

Due to the Olympics this year’s race calendar has slight differences to the normal calendar. The Tour of Poland and the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian are taking place at different times than normal. This has had a pronounced effect on the current standings. Peter Sagan has dropped a place to third as he has only now lost his points from the 2011 Tour of Poland. While the delay on the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian till this week. This has meant riders like Greg Van Avermaet and Philippe Gilbert have not been able to defend their points from last year. They have both dropped out of the top 20; if Gilbert’s case this is the first time he has been this low in the Index.

The highest ranked stage race that has taken place in the last three weeks is the Eneco Tour which is in Tier two of the Index alongside races like the Tour of Romandie and California. Lars Boom emerged victorious adding this race to his past wins at the Tour of Britain and the Tour of Belguim. The Dutchman now sits in 20th spot overall. 

Luis Leon Sanchez has not assumed the mantle of the most impressive about of racing in the last 12 months. In that time he has raced 16,103km and 104 days.

This weekend sees the start of the Vuelta aEspana the third and final grand Tour of the year. The race is in the third tier of the Pro Cycling Index. This means the points a rider receives are 60% of the value they would receive for the Tour de France. The favourites for the race are Alberto Contador and Chris Froome. They arrive at the start line in contrasting fashion. 

For Contador the race will be just his second since his return from his doping suspension while for Froome this will be his second Grand Tour of the year. Other riders to look out for are Joaquim Rodriquez (4th in the Index), last year’s winner Juan Jose Cobo (35th), Igor Anton (180th), Robert Gesink (33rd), Alejandro Valverde (28th), Bauke Mollema (18th) and Thomas De Gendt (63rd).

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cascade Cycling Classic: Days 1 & 2

Days 1 & 2 of Team Jamis/Sutter Home at the Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend, Oregon

July 17th-July 22nd 2012

190 Riders Participated in This Year's Cascade Cycling Classic
Top Individual Results of Team Jamis/Sutter Home Riders for all Stages

Stage 0: Prologue: Luis Romero Amaran: 5th
Stage 1: McKenzie Pass RR: Tyler Wren: 8th
Stage 2: Crooked River TT: Luis Romero Amaran: 1st
Stage 3: Cascade Lakes RR: Peter Van Dijk: 13th
Stage 4: Downtown Crit: Luis Romero Amaran: 9th
Stage 5: Awbrey Butte CR: Alejandro Borrajo: 5th

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olympic BMX Racing Begins with Seeding Time Trial Runs

The Bicycle Motocross (BMX) racing portion of the 2012 London Olympic Games started Wednesday with time trial runs for seeding purposes in front of a packed crowd at the BMX Track in London's Olympic Park. All 32 men and 16 women will move forward in the competition which continues with Thursday’s head-to-head quarterfinals for men, and on Friday for men’s and women’s semi-finals and finals.

The three American male competitors all qualified in the top half of the 32-man field after a single lap of the track. The time trial runs determined lane choice for Thursday’s quarterfinals. The pair of U.S. ladies qualified eighth and 16th and will move to Friday’s semifinals with lane choice in that order.

The BMX portion of the Olympic Games got underway on Wednesday in front of a packed crowd inside the Olympic Park.
The BMX portion of the Olympic Games got underway on Wednesday in front of a packed crowd inside the Olympic Park.

For the men Connor Fields (Las Vegas, Nev./Chase BMX) had the fourth-fastest time covering the course in 38.431 seconds, which was 0.652 off the pace set by Raymon van der Biezen of the Netherlands.
“I feel pretty good,” said Fields. “I definitely made a couple of mistakes and have some things to improve in the next couple of days, but I’m happy. It gives me the one seed in my heat tomorrow and I’ll take the positives and move forward.”
Nic Long (Lakeside, Calif./Haro Bikes) was seventh in the seeding runs with a 38.601, while David Herman (Wheat Ridge, Colo./Free Agent-Rockstar) was 15th with a 38.955.
“I just tried to keep calm and make a smooth lap,” said Long. “I didn't want to make too many mistakes. It's a time trial, you just have to make it around smooth and fast.”
The Olympic men’s BMX competition will continue at 3 p.m. BST on Thursday with the men’s quarterfinals. Fields is slated for the second heat while Long and Herman will both compete in Heat 3. For the men, after the first three runs in each quarterfinal, the top two riders in each heat with the lowest total points will progress to the semifinals. The remaining riders in each heat will continue for two additional runs and the top two riders from each heat (calculated from all five runs) also qualify to move on to Friday’s semifinals.

For the American women Alise Post (St. Cloud, Minn./Redline) had the eighth-fastest time of the 16 female entries during seeding runs Wednesday afternoon. Her time of 39.890 seconds was 1.456 behind that of Australia's Caroline Buchanan, who covered the course in 38.434 seconds.
“Having that pressure off and just knowing it is for seeding definitely allowed me to just get a feel for the track and ease into the race coming up on Friday,” said Post. “I really wanted to be top eight and I made that so I’m happy with that.”

Alise 'the beast' Post finished eighth in the time trial seeding runs.
Alise 'the beast' Post finished eighth in the time trial seeding runs.
Brooke Crain (Visalia, Calif.) was on track for a solid time in her run, suffered a crash on the final technical stretch before the finish. She will retain the 16th seed and also move into Friday’s semi-final round.
“I’m feeling fine,” said Crain. “I got the wind knocked out of me and a bit of a bruised thigh, but I’m feeling fine. I prefer the outside lanes anyhow so I’m looking forward to Friday.” 
Post and Crain will both compete in the semifinals together in Heat 1, beginning at 3 p.m. BST on Friday, Aug. 10.
Portions of the BMX cycling event will be shown on your local NBC station and will be streamed live in entirety. Visit for complete local listings. For more information on cycling at the Olympic Games,

1. Raymon van der Biezen (NED) 37.779
2. Joris Daudet (FRA) 38.221            +0.442
3. Twan van Gendt (NED) 38.339    +0.560
4. Connor Fields (Henderson, Nev./Chase BMX) 38.431           +0.652
7. Nic Long (Lakeside, Calif./Haro Bikes) 38.601        +0.822
15. David Herman (Wheat Ridge, Colo./Free Agent-Rockstar) 38.955    +1.176
1. Caroline Buchanan (AUS) 38.434
2. Sarah Walker (NZL) 38.644          +0.210
3. Mariana Pajon (COL) 38.787       +0.353
8. Alise Post (Saint Cloud, Minn./Redline) 39.890       +1.456
16. Brooke Crain (Visalia, Calif./Haro Bikes) DNF


Monday, August 6, 2012

Hear from the U.S. Olympic BMX Cycling Team

Alise Post chats with reporters.
Alise Post chats with reporters.
Alise Post - St. Cloud, Minnesota  
I didn’t start dedicating myself to BMX full time until I was 18. I’ve made exponential improvements since moving out to San Diego. One, I think getting to ride all year was a huge jump in results. Number two, just focusing on one thing eliminates a lot of distractions and you are able to put all of your energy into one thing.
When I got injured last year I felt like I had been doing really well and like I was kind of blowing it at the last minute. Olympic points were starting and I was just wondering how I’m going to make up this points difference. The Olympics were a year out and they are telling me I have an eight month recovery time. After I got through surgery and got on the recovery trail, I decided I wasn’t going to let it beat me. I was going to give it my all and do what I could and I was able to make a five month turnaround. I was so happy and I had a great medical team behind me during that.
Connor Fields is my training partner. He’s obviously been pretty successful on the world cup circuit and it’s great to have such people behind. He is able to lift me up when I’m down and I think it is good for us both. He is on me all the time. Sometimes he is a little tough on me and plays coach when he is training partner, but in all it has helped me a lot.
Connor Fields - Henderson, Nevada
I’m excited. When you get here and see the arena and everything you can’t help but get excited. I wish we raced tomorrow. I just trying to enjoy all the little things and embracing the opportunity.
When I leave here I want to know that I gave 100% of everything I have, whether that gets me fifth place or a medal. I believe if I do that and with a little luck I get a medal.
The format of this event rewards riding smart and riding consistent because there is no single elimination. You have to race three heats or five heats so it is going to reward someone who races well throughout. Then the final is just going to be about who seizes that moment and is able to give everything they have when it matters most.
This track is good, but it is not too difficult. It isn’t one of the more difficult we race on so it is going to make for tighter racing and hand-to-hand combat.

Connor, David and Nic take some time to smile during Saturday's press conference.
Connor, David and Nic take some time to smile during Saturday's press conference.
David Herman - Wheat Ridge, Colo.
My goal headed into this Olympics is to get a medal. I’m coming off the best season I’ve ever had. I was able to get three World Cup podiums in the last ten months and fifth at the World Championships, so anything but a medal would be disappointing. The opportunity to compete here and represent my country is already one big goal completed and now it is time for the next.
Nic Long - Lakeside, California
This track here in London is from an observation standpoint is just a really beautiful track. It is really clean and has grass everywhere. Riding it as well it is a smooth, fast track. The asphalt is really smooth and the jumps are really well managed and well placed. Big enough jumps for how fast we are going to be going.
I keep a pretty level head and don’t get too excited about seeing other athletes. It is cool seeing people in the village I was watching last week on TV.
Brooke Crain - Visalia, Calif.
Arielle has been such a good leader to all of us and she has helped us all to where we are now.   I’ve been put in a situation to help my team and I am now focused and eager to take to the track and represent my country well.

The whole team went for a ride with NBC and NIghtly News anchor Lester Holt on Friday.
The whole team went for a ride with NBC and NIghtly News anchor Lester Holt on Friday.
Mike King, USA Cycling BMX Programs Director
The first straight has changed. When we were here in August we had separate first straights and turns for men and women. For the Games we will have a singular first straight and first turn, then it will split off into their own. The women will veer off to the left and veer into a tunnel and the guys will hit a hip jump and cross over.
It actually will even the playing field a little bit. You will have a good opportunity from lane one and lane eight. Before there was some questions on whether one and eight were equally fair for the competitors. The first straight is about strength and power and is so crucial.

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More photos in USA Cycling's photo gallery. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Strict Officials Bring Drama to Women's Olympic Team Sprint

Laura Weislo

Great Britain's Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish committed a takeover violation in their semi-final round and the resulting relegation ended their bid for a team sprint medal.

Tears, frustration in debut of event in London
The Olympic Games are always heavily laden with drama because of the intense and close competition, but they were made even more emotional at the London velodrome on Thursday when relegations in the women's team sprint denied the British team a chance at the medals, and then stripped the Chinese of the gold.
The first incident occurred after the British appeared to move onto the gold medal round by defeating Ukraine with a time quicker than the previous two heats, won by Australia and Germany. But the gold medal match up between the Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Varnish and China's Gong Jinjie and Guo Shuang never materialized: the British were penalized for exchanging too early and relegated to eighth place.
Going up against Germany for the gold, China appeared to have won handily. Guo and Gong had already celebrated their victory and Kristina Vogel and Miriam Welte had gone away to give silver medal interviews when the announcement came that the Chinese had also been relegated to silver.
Speaking with the UCI's technical delegate Gilles Peruzzi before the competition began, Cyclingnews got a clear explanation of the rule which was enforced strictly at the world championships in Melbourne, leading to the relegation of men's teams from Great Britain, Germany, the USA and Greece, and the Lithuanian women.
"The explanation we have given to all of the teams is this: when the lead rider crosses the pursuit line, the second rider must still be  behind," Peruzzi said. That line, designating the end of the lap, was fitted with video cameras to allow officials to review footage after the  race to determine if the team exchanged within the rules.
Whereas the British infraction was blatant - Pendleton was half a wheel ahead of Varnish at the line - the Chinese exchange was much closer, down to fractions of a tire width. It was hard for Gong to accept the judge's decision. "I do not know how the judges made the decision. The time was very short, and when our coach went over to review the video, they said they had no time, the medal ceremony had to begin.
"In the two rounds before we did not do anything wrong, but in the final we slightly outside of the rules. Because of the speed, it is very fast. It is difficult to control the bicycle at that speed."
Even the German team, elated to be given gold and still reeling at their good fortune, said it was not the way that they preferred to win. "When you are going 65kph, and there is just some white tape on the track [marking the pursuit line], it is very hard to see," said Welte. Both teams had their coach standing at the line to help give a visual cue for the exchange, but when the judging comes down to millimeters this is  perhaps not enough.
Repeat Olympic champion Chris Hoy, who later in the evening broke the world record en route to gold with Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes, felt sorry for the Chinese and especially his British teammates. He could empathize with them after his team was relegated from the world  championship qualifying round earlier this year and was unable to compete in the finals.
"You have to feel sorry for them. We experienced ourselves that in Melbourne, it's a very frustrating thing to happen," Hoy said.
"Rules are rules. We knew that before we started. The point is consistency - as long as the officials are consistent, then it's OK. It's when they go from being very relaxed to suddenly clamping down, which is what they did at world championships in Melbourne. That was our warning. Once there were a number of teams disqualified in Melbourne, then we were very aware that we have to be careful in the sprint. You have to be 100 per cent safe, otherwise you're going to get relegated."