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Cycling News Roundup 30 December 2006
 
By Staff
Date: 12/30/2006
Cycling News Roundup 30 December 2006
 

Cycling News Roundup 30 December 2006
Daily Peloton 5th Annual New Years Day Chat, CSC Pedersen, The 2007 National Mountain Bike Race Series, The XXX Racing–AthletiCo, Ultra Cycling Conference, ‘Hell of the Ashdown’ Challenge,
Braveheart Cycling Fund: Don Smith Memorial Ride 2007

Daily Peloton Annual New Years Day Chat:
January 1, 2007
Tired of parades and football games? Start off the new year chatting with riders, racers and fans at the 5th annual New Years Day Chat and Open House from 9am to 4pm in the dp chat room.

Jørgen V. Pedersen New Team CSC Sports Director
Next year Jørgen V. Pedersen will be Sports Director at Team CSC. The former stage winner and Yellow Jersey holder in the Tour de France is currently Key Account Manager at Riis Cycling and among other things responsible for the team's Italian sponsor Nobili.

”I still like professional cycling a lot, and when Bjarne one year ago gave me the opportunity to work with the sponsors, I said yes right away. I've been away from the sport for quite a while, but I've really enjoyed becoming a part of Team CSC, and for me it's a very big thing to be appointed as a Sports Director. I know the employees and the staff and now I'm looking forward to getting to know the riders as well. First of all I have to learn how to be a Sports Director, but I know I'll be working with the most competent people in the sport of cycling,” says Jørgen V. Pedersen.

”From day one Jørgen has been an asset to the team, and it's a pleasure for me to appoint him as a Sports Director. I'm sure he'll be able to use his business experience in his new role on the team and in Jørgen I believe we've found exactly the right Sports Director,” says Bjarne Riis.

2007 National Mountain Bike Race Series
Teams, Sponsors Underscore Marketing Value of Top US MTB Series
The 2007 National Mountain Bike Race Series (NMBS) is set to run from March through August of next year, with six stops in five states providing mountain bike race enthusiasts and professionals alike the highest level of competition at the best venues in America. The series will operate in conjunction with, and constitute a major portion of, USA Cycling’s new mountain bike national calendar, which seeks to replicate the success that the National Racing Calendar has enjoyed in the American road racing scene.

“USAC has a new initiative, but for the NMBS, nothing has changed,” says co-owner Jeff Frost. “We maintain the same priorities that we have done throughout the years of running the series. Those priorities are: the growth of the sport of mountain bike racing through provision of good courses and venues in accessible locations, the support of the elite athletes, teams and manufacturer in the sport, and the entertainment and involvement of the amateur riders and fans.”

The NMBS, once known as the ‘NORBA’ National Championship Mountain Bike Series, is widely regarded as the international face of US mountain bike racing. This series is the prime mover of the US pro mountain bike circuit, and carries with it a legacy of heroes spanning two decades. Now owned partly by Tom Spiegel of Team Big Bear, an event organizer from the early days, and the ubiquitous Jeff Frost of BlueWolf Events, the series has as much appeal as ever to racing professionals, enthusiasts, and industry leaders alike.

Jon Rourke, manager of the Subaru-Gary Fisher race team, considers the NMBS to be “the preeminent series currently out there,” and says that it is the “crown jewel of the national mountain bike racing calendar.” Subaru-Gary Fisher will be contesting the series in 2007, and the top athletes on the team will have a focus of earning points to go to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

New Alliance Program
New for the National Mountain Bike Series in 2007 is the introduction of the Alliance Program whereby industry leaders will have the chance to participate in the promotion of the series as marketing stakeholders. What this means is that, in addition to the series-wide sponsorships, factory teams will have the opportunity to sponsor a particular event within the series and will promote that event in conjunction with the NMBS’s own promotion so as to influence attendance and amateur participation. These partnerships highlight the value that industry leaders see in the NMBS, and will benefit both the pro and amateur riders by creating stronger, higher quality events.

This cohesion within the national mountain bike scene is important to Jim Wanamaker of Kenda who says that the Alliance Program is a great way to “get more people involved and raise more capital.” One of the things that Mr. Wanamaker would especially like to see in the US mountain biking scene is the athletes receiving more financial recognition. He is impressed by the steps that the NMBS organization is taking to prevent the top talent from being “enticed into the road market because there is a lot of money there.”

Team Maxxis bicycle sponsorship coordinator, Chris Warrick, encapsulates the NMBS when he says, “we send a lot of our top caliber athletes to NMBS. For us, it is the highest level of competition available in the US. It’s a well-run series that brings together events all across the country, and not only do we get to showcase our star athletes there, but we also have an opportunity to reach out to the grassroots riders competing there as well, and it really hits the enthusiast market.” He regards the NMBS as being in a growth cycle and admires the work of Jeff Frost and Tom Spiegel to secure the best venues both in terms of accessibility for fans as well as the quality of race courses for the athletes.

The National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS) is owned and operated by Jeff Frost of BlueWolf Events, LLC, and Tom Spiegel of Team Big Bear, Inc. The series is sanctioned by USA Cycling, the national governing body. It is the highest ranked Mountain Bike racing series in the United States. The series is comprised of six events and runs in Arizona, California, Colorado, North Carolina, and Utah. For more information please email info@norbanationals.com  or visit www.norbanationals.com

Chicago-area Bicycle Racing Team Holds Open House for
Youth Interested in the Sport
The XXX Racing–AthletiCo Junior Development Program will hold its third annual Open House on Wednesday, January 10, 2007. The meeting will be at Goose Island Restaurant at 1800 N. Clybourn Street in Chicago at 6:30 pm. Youth between the ages of 10-18 and their families are invited to attend to learn about bicycle racing in the Chicago area and receive information on how to join the team.

“Our juniors program welcomes anyone who has an interest in cycling,” says Nicole Kemerer, director of the program. “Bike racing is a growing sport in this country but many people don’t quite know how it works and how to get involved.” Juniors compete in well-known cycling disciplines like road and mountain bike racing, as well as growing disciplines like track racing and cyclocross. The team offers year-round elite-level coaching and skills clinics to both beginning and experienced junior athletes. XXX Racing–AthletiCo strives to make bike racing accessible and affordable – providing bicycles to all junior racers and offering scholarships that pay for race fees and uniforms to select athletes. “We want to provide opportunities to kids, whether their goal is to someday win the Tour de France or simply want to meet others who like to ride,” says Kemerer.

The XXX Racing–AthletiCo Junior Development Program is one of the largest youth racing programs in the Midwest and is currently recognized by USA Cycling as a Center of Excellence. In addition to numerous State Champions, the team has helped produce two Junior National Champions, a member of the US Paralympic Team and a silver-medalist at the 2003 Junior World Championships. Coaching oversight is given by Coach Randy Warren, also a National Champion.
Further information on the XXX Racing–AthletiCo Junior Development Program can be found at http://www.xxxracing.org/

About XXX-Racing Athletico: the team was founded in 1999 by a group of professional couriers who wanted to extend their cycling experienced to organized racing. Members compete in the North Central region of the United States in road, track, cyclocross and mountain bike races. XXX-Racing Athletico has active Women’s and Junior Development Programs. The Junior Development Program has produced two National Champions, a member of the United States Paralympic Team and a silver medalist at the 2003 Junior World Championships.

Race Across America New Director Fred Boethling
The Challenge of the Race Across America
In 2007 the Race Across America, the world’s toughest endurance cycling race, will have a new race director, new owners and a shift in focus.
Fred Boethling, a 61- year old cancer survivor, raced two-man RAAM in 2005. Boethling knows intimately the challenge of solo RAAM, the marquee division of the race. In 2006 he set the age 60-plus solo RAAM record. Boethling, the new RAAM CEO/President, will work to increase the finishing rate in solo RAAM while encouraging more endurance cyclists to complete in Team RAAM.

Unlike the Tour de France, the 3,000-mile RAAM is run as a single stage. The race clock starts when racers leave the Pacific Ocean and stops when each racer reaches the Atlantic.

In 2006 29 solo riders left Oceanside, CA; 15 solo racers finished on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ. For comparison 31 teams raced in two-, four- and eight-person formats and all but one team finished the race.

After setting the age-group solo record, Boethling said: "I wanted to make a statement about age and lifestyle choices. Aging doesn't mean the end of life as you know it." Because of his commitment to lifelong fitness Boethling has just agreed to buy RAAM from Jim Pitre and Lon Haldeman, who have run RAAM for the last six years.

“I want to challenge the baby boomers to excel at endurance racing in either the team or solo divisions of the Race Across America,” said Boethling. In 2006 two-thirds of the 150 RAAM racers were over age 40 and one-third of them were over 50.

Team racing is much more exciting for racers and fans. In 2006 only three minutes separated the top two teams: Team Vail, a four-man relay team, was the first to finish in 5 days 12 hours. Team Type 1, eight cyclists with diabetes, finished only three minutes behind Vail. Vail and Type 1 will be racing again in 2007 going for the transcontinental speed record of 23.06 mph.

Boethling appointed Terry Zmrhal as the Race Director. Zmrhal said: “Our highest priority is to put on a great race for the riders and crews. We will build on the 25-year legacy to produce a high quality race.” Zmrhal is a15-year veteran of the sport and raced two-man RAAM in 2002. Boethling and Zmrhal both live in Boulder, CO and are meeting daily to fill in the details in their plan to produce the best possible race in 2007 and the years ahead.

The 26th annual Race Across AMerica will start on June 10 when the solos head east and the relay teams will start on June 12. The racers will pass through 56 time stations in towns along the route, great places for fans to see the race and share the excitement. Fans can talk with knowledgeable RAAM volunteers at most of the time stations and mingle with team riders and crews waiting for teammates to arrive for rider exchange exchanges.
Further information: www.raceacrossamerica.org

Ultra Cycling Seeks New Professional Organisation
To: Ultra cycling participants worldwide
From: Ultra cyclists Anna Catharina Berge and Paul Skilbeck
Re: INTERNATIONAL ULTRA CYCLING FORUM
During the past decade the world has seen a steady growth in the number of ultra cycling events and participants, particularly in Europe and the USA. This growth has been organic, without the artificial accelerators of concentrated media exposure or heavy sponsorship investment. The indicators are that this growth will continue, which gives rise to the notion that the time is right for a new world order in this sport.

Let us look briefly at what ultra cycling is. It has evolved recently, branching off from those disciplines of cycling governed under the Olympic umbrella, where cycling is represented by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). The UCI recognizes and offers membership to one cycling governing body in each nation, even though usually there are several. The UCI-affiliated cycling governing body in each nation usually cooperates with some of these other governing bodies, and so on. Overall, the system is effective. In most nations there is relatively little contact between the ultra cycling organization and the UCI affiliate. In some nations the ultra distance organizations also incorporate the randonneurs, those cyclists participating in non-timed, self-supported events. In other nations there is a more narrow definition of ultra cycling. These surely are matters for each nation to decide alone.

We request your support in establishing an international organization for ultra cycling that is based on the model adopted by the UCI and many other international sporting governing bodies. We wish to see the creation of ultra cycling world championships, the purpose of which will be to foster international unity and friendship, challenge athletes to excel, and gain increased public recognition for the sport.

Ultra cycling is furthermore lacking an international forum for discussion and decisions affecting current and long-term issues, and establishment of basic international standards. The administration of world records in ultra cycling is in need of reorganization to meet the conditions and expectations of our time. This needs urgent attention for the good of the athletes and the image of the sport.

In the context of this mission, we consider it appropriate to suggest a definition of ultradistance cycling events as: officially timed, time trial events in which either the measured distance is equal to or greater than 300 km, or the winner’s time is equal to or greater than 12 hours. Support is permitted, either in the forms of time-stations or individual rider support through a follow vehicle, or a combination of both. An ultra cycling participant is a bicyclist, a support crew member, an organizer, or a promoter of the sport. We believe that each nation may have its own definition of ultra cycling. These definitions may be narrower or broader than the above. Yet it seems to us a necessity that interface between the national and international levels would take place only within the scope of the above definition, or whatever definition is finally agreed upon by the international controlling body. Above all, we believe that decisions such as these, and their execution, should not and cannot be made by as few as two people. We request your participation.

Proposal
A group of ultra cyclists will meet for two full days in a Committee of National Ultra Cycling Directors in late August or the second half of October, 2007, to discuss specific matters related to the organization of Ultra Cycling at the international level.
1. Eligibility: The meeting would be open to anybody with an interest in the sport.
2. Representation: Participants from each nation shall elect their voting representative. These elections must be held on a democratic basis of open or closed ballots and either a system of ‘first past the post’ or ‘proportional representation’ determining the winner. Any representative appointed through another system will not be recognized by the meeting. If a nation has only one representative, this person will be recognized as the voting representative. In the case of tied votes, each nation must have a new ballot until a winner is found.
Representatives must be announced in between 9 – 12 a.m. on the first day of the
committee. Any representatives announced after this deadline will not be
recognized by the conference.
3. Voting: Each nation present shall be allocated one vote.
4. Speaking: Elected representatives will be permitted 10 minutes to speak on each agenda item. Anybody else may speak, but will be permitted a maximum of three minutes only. Speakers may speak only at the invitation of the meeting’s chair. After each speech, five minutes will be allotted for questions and answers. Questions may come from anywhere in the conference room.
5. Proposed agenda:
a. Regulatory body of ultra cycling world championships
b. Events covered: will there be a long course (races superseding 48 hours for the winner) world championship, and a short course (e.g. minimum 20 hours for the winner, or minimum 600 km)
c. Regulatory body and system for organizing, officiating, and recording
world records
d. Definition of ultra cycling

The ‘Hell of the Ashdown’ Challenge - Sunday 28th January 2007
Promoted by the Catford Cycling Club in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Society
Start from Knockholt Village Hall, Kent, UK (easy access from M25 or by A21)
Long Route 100K (62.5 miles) in 5 hours – Groups start from 9.00am
Short Route 60.8K (38 miles) in 3.5 hours – Groups start from 9.30am
Book in at least 30 minutes in advance - Entry Fee £5 on the day

A good opportunity to ‘get the rough off’ after the festive season, providing you’re up for a testing ride. The long route, which goes as far south as the Ashdown Forest, tackles some hellish climbs – Turners Hill; Groombridge Hill, Ide Hill, Star Hill (Not counting the stamina sapping lumps and bumps on the way)
The short route, whilst taking less time includes the climbs of Ide Hill & Star Hill (the sting in the tail)
This and what the winter weather has to offer, will still prove a real test for the more ‘leisurely’ rider
Enquiries to organiser: Rik van Dieren - Tel:020 8859 2334 - vandierenr@ntlworld.com.

Scotland Braveheart Cycling Fund
Don Smith Memorial Ride 2007:
Organised by Johnstone Wheelers Cycling Club on behalf of the Braveheart Cycling Fund to raise funds for the Braveheart Fund and Accord Hospice, the Don Smith Memorial Ride is a cycling event open to cyclists of all levels of capability.

Sunday 4th March 2007
Erskine Sports Centre,
Bridgewater Centre,
Erskine,
Scotland PA8 7AA
Full use of sports centre facilities: changing rooms, lockers, showers. On-site car parking. Food and drinks available at the sports centre following the rides. Entry fee is £7.50. All profits and any donations to the charities below. Three rides - 30/50/70.
Full details, route maps and online registration will be available via the JWCC website in January 07.

 

 
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