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Cycling News Roundup - 4 July 2008
 
By Staff
Date: 7/4/2008
Cycling News Roundup - 4 July 2008
 

Cycling News Roundup - 4 July 2008
Teams In Brest - Lampre, Barloworld... New jerseys: Columbia & Garmin, Tour of Austria Squads, Robbie Hunter Becomes Father, NAS-TRACK, Carrera de San Rafael, 15th Iron Bike Mtn. Bike Tour, Win Cancellara's Saddle and more...


George Hincapie models the new Columbia team's jersey at the team presentation. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Team Barloworld’s Robbie Hunter becomes a father
Team Barloworld’s Robbie Hunter became a father today after his wife Claudia gave birth to Mandy at 4:30 this morning. She weighs 2.888 kg and was born in Switzerland, where the Hunters have lived for several years.

The birth went well and Hunter will join up with his Barloworld team mates today in Brest for the start of the Tour de France.

Everybody at Team Barloworld and at Barloworld Ltd congratulates Rob and Claudia for the birth of their daughter and warmly welcome little Mandy into the world. Congratulations and best wishes to Robbie and Claudia and a big, "Welcome to the Peloton!" to young Mandy Hunter from the Daily Peloton readers and staff.


David Millar in the Garmin/Chipotle p/b H3o jersey.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Team Barloworld in Brest
Hunter: a family dream before the “yellow” one!
Everything is ready in Brest for tomorrow Tour de France’s first stage, Brest-Plumelec of 197 km. Every rider is taking rest and dreaming in their own a personal achievement: an escape, a stage win, a good placement in the over all.

But there’s one rider who has a special thought in this starting’s eve: Robert Hunter. South African sprinter became a daddy just on Thursday morning, as his wife Claudia gave birth to their first daughter, Mandy, in Switzerland. That’s why Robert had to miss yesterday’s presentation, but the event was so special and important that everyone really understood the situation, from Team Barloworld to Tour’s management.

It’s not an everyday event to have a daughter born just before the starting of a very important race and it couldn't have made Robert more confident and strong in his mind. And thinking about tomorrow first stage – not a prologue, as usual – Hunter can think about winning the race and take the yellow jersey:

“It could be a great gift for Mandy – stated Hunter - and for the team as well. But it will not be easy. Tomorrow’s arrival is fixed on the top of a 2km’s hilly road: it’s not a mountain, but it’s not plane yet. Anyway, I’ll do all my best. I will control Erik Zabel and Thor Hushovd as they are favorite in this kind of sprint”.

Team Lampre in Brest
Calm and clouds of Bretagne characterized Team Lampre’s approach with 95th Tour de France. Blue-fucsia team reached France on Wednesday; Ballan, Bono, Bruseghin, Cunego, Marzano and Tiralongo landed in Brest airport in the afternoon, followed three hours later by Mori and Righi and by the Polish Szmyd.


Lampre squad at the team presentation in Brest.

Lampre will spend in Lampaul Guimiliau (50 km from Brest) the hours before the Grande Boucle departure (on Saturday from Brest). Riders and staff of blue-fucsia team are hosted in Hostellerie des Enclos, close to the church of Lampaul Guimiliau, a little town of 2.000 inhabitants who is living Lampre’s presence as a big event. In fact, the major awarded Cunego and the team after their training of yesterday.

This morning team trained for almost 90 km, paying attention to the sky in which grey clouds alternated to blue sky. In the afternoon Cunego and mates will be in Brest for the official presentation.

“We’re calm here in Lampaul Giumiliau, where we received a warm welcome – Cunego said – Today we’ll join Tour de France atmosphere, then we’ll focus our attention on Saturday departure. I’m willing to begin this new yellow adventure, hoping that we can see yellow sun in the sky instead of grey clouds”.

July 4th - Third French day for Lampre was characterized by rain: the riders had to postpone the morning training in wait of the sun and so they were able to pedal on bikes only after 11,30 am. The training lasted for two hours and then Lampre’s athletes tested time trial bikes in order to set everything perfect in view of Tuesday time trial.

“In these days our riders were calm and focused on Tour departure – sport director Maurizio Piovani explained - They trained too in a well and today they tested time trial bike”.

New Wilier bikes for Team Lampre that will take part in Tour de France. Cunego, Ballan and mates will pedal on Wilier Cento1, bikes that will be officially shown in autumn and that will be for sale in 2009: so, fans in Tour streets will admire for first these productions by Wilier.


Alessandro Ballan with the Wilier Cento 1.

These are the main characteristics of Wilier Cento1: frame in carbonium 46, universal integrated movement, integrated rear little forks, 7 kg of weight.

Team Astana - Next Races
Tour of Austria (Austria)
60th Internationale Österreich Rundfahrt 6-13/07/2008
The team line-up: Riders: Jani Brajkovic, Thomas Frei, Vladimir Gusev, René Haselbacher, Benoît Joachim, Julien Mazet, Steve Morabito & Michael Schär - D.S.: Sean, Yates

29th Cascade Cycling Classic (USA)
9-13/07/2008 - Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer will participate, as individual riders, in the Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend, Oregon.

Tinkoff Credit Systems Announces Tour of Austria Roster
The Tinkoff Credit Systems cycling team emerging from National Championship week with Kiryienka finishing second in the Belorussian Time Trial Championships plans to participate in the Tour of Austria.

Orlando Maini will be directing the squad at the Tour of Austria, which begins July 6th and ends July 13th, with Pavel Brutt, Nikita Eskov, Alexander Khatuntsev, Alexander Serov, Ricardo Serrano, Alexander Gottfried, Walter Pedraza, and Yuahen Sobal. The 3,300km race through Austria begins in Klausen and concludes in Vienna.

Lampre Tour of Austria Squad
Bindi, Bossoni, Fornaciari, Longo, Napolitano, Pelanek and Santambrogio: these will be the seven Lampre's riders that will take part in Tour of Austria (6-13 July).

Fabrizio Bontempi and Vicino will direct the team, supported by doctor Beltemacchi, masseurs Romagnoli, Semenzato and Rubino and by mechanics Biron and Cambiè.

"Tour of Austria route is tough, our cylists will have to give their best in order to show their qualities - Fabrizio Bontempi explained - Napolitano won sprint two years ago, he will try to repeat; Bindi and Pelanek will attack in breakaway; Santambrogio will be the man for the mountains, Fornaciari will run using his experience, while Bossoni will try to use his current good form".

Team CSC/Saxo Bank
Win a Unique World Champion Saddle

Yet another unique prize has been added to the Manager Game at www.teamcsc-saxobank.com where you now have the chance to win one of the special world champion saddles specially made for Fabian Cancellara.


Fabian shows off his new Prologo Scratch Fabian 5541 saddle.

We're talking about a Scratch Fabian 5541 designed and manufactured only for Cancellara by Team CSC Saxo Bank sponsor Prologo. Only one hundred exist of this special saddle, which Cancellara has been using since Ronde van Vlaanderen this year and one of them could be yours if you take part in our Manager Game. It has a value of 1.795 Danish kroner.

As we have already allocated some of the special, genuine Team CSC Saxo Bank rider's jerseys from Tour de France as prizes, we have decided that it will be up to the winner of the competition which of the two prizes he or she wants.

This means that the first prize is either a genuine Tour de France rider's jersey plus a gift voucher worth 1.500 kroner for the www.teamcsc-saxobank.com shop or the unique Cancellara saddle pictured above. There are prizes for the top-10 in the competition as we also have caps for those finishing in fifth to tenth places.

15th Edition of IRON BIKE Mountain Bike
6 Stages - 22,000 Elevation Climbing - 650 km - Italy to France

We won’t use anonymous details to present an event like as the 15th edition of IRON BIKE…
We won’t describe the countries taking part year after year to this international and inimitable event…
We won’t describe the protagonists who have characterized the previous editions, or the different locations, the event will pass through from 19 to 26 July 2008


Across the alps... Photo courtesy of Iron Bike

We will start talking about the motivations, for those IRON BIKE has to be lived and felt like as unique international event, that is become one of the greatest protagonist of the mountain bike history…

Because… When the cardio frequency seems becoming crazy at the quick beating of the heart, contemplating this wild territory, that is able to dominate the strongest and most expert athlete. When the sweat wets the face and the look loses its consistency, because of the rarefied air.When lights stop shining and the curtain is closed in front of such an extraordinary event. Once coming back at home, the athletes describe to friends and family about their passionate adventure, about the satisfaction to be arrived at the end of this competition.

At that point, the bikers will feel like as the testimonials of such an amazing, sensational and unique event, where the nature element dominates, where each man fights against himself to destroy his physical and mental limits, in order to climb the highest mountains, which can decide in each moment the performance and the sportive destiny of the biker.


Iron Bike 2007 Photo courtesy of Iron Bike

All is extreme, all is adventure and no more events in the World can be described like as it has been Iron Bike. A well known uphill could appear suddenly unpredictable at the eyes of the bikers, who have to compete blindly. The feed zones are oasis in the desert : a lot of the passages defined all along the Alps are wild, aggressive, tenacious and stubborn at all, like as the rallies into the Saharan desert.

8 long and exhausting days, 8 long stage
The athletes will take part to this competition without fears or hesitations.
Who won’t finish his performance, will lose an important occasion: he won’t become part of the legend, he won’t become “the Iron Biker”, the man and the woman who have defeated the nature controlling all its elements.

22,000 meters of climbing, 650 kilometres of single track The rider focuses his attention on one, single goal: to win defeating his opponents, but above all he will try to defeat his fears and his physical and mental limits. He will try to defeat something that is impossible to define at the moment, and that is connected to such an amazing event like as IRON BIKE . For more information, please visit the website www.ironbike.it

Felt Teams up with Mafia Racing
Felt Bicycles is pleased to announce that Mafia Racing, a new CO-based professional mountain bike team, will be racing Felt in 2008. Felt is providing Mafia with some of its finest frames, including models like the Virtue, which features Felt’s award-winning Equilink™ full-suspension technology.

After a strong start to the 2008 season, with top-10 results in several regional and National events including the Mountain States Cup Series and the Whiskey Off-Road, Mafia Racing is eager to take on some of the summer’s biggest events aboard a host of different Felt bicycles.

Unlike most professional/amateur mountain bike teams, Mafia Racing supports both endurance and gravity specialists, offering a unique opportunity for Felt to provide bikes for events ranging from short track cross-country to mountain-cross and Super-D. “We are stoked to be one of the first mountain bike teams to receive this level of support from Felt,” explains team President David Janowiec, “And we look forward to taking Mafia Racing to the next level this year. As one of the most progressive national level teams, Felt’s support will help us get exactly where we want to be.”

With Mafia Racing, Felt adds another chapter to its overall commitment to the sport. Felt’s US Marketing Director, Doug Martin says, “Mafia is an exciting new race program and between their roster, versatility and committed professionalism, we see them a perfect fit with the Felt family. We are proud to have them as new fat tire ambassadors.”

NAS-TRACK UIV 3 DAY
July 4,5,6 2008
International Velodrome at Bloomer Park
Rochester Hills, Michigan U.S.A.

The biggest U25 track race in US history will begin this Friday night at the International Velodrome at Bloomer Park. 15 “Elite” Madison Teams will be competing in three days of Madison racing. The format is like a tennis tournament. Teams will be broken into two heats with the top 5 teams in each heat moving on to the next day of racing. The UIV (Union International Velodromes) will be using the start list and results standing to “certify” US riders for their selection and invitation to the Winter Pro 6 Day Circuit.

Racing will take place on the world class 200m outdoor wood velodrome designed by Olympic track designer Dale Hughes. “The International Velodrome at Bloomer Park was specifically designed for Madison Team Racing. We are very excited to be hosting a world class Madison tournament featuring our future Olympians and our future 6 Day riders. Our spectators will be seeing the most exciting kind of racing anywhere in the world. My goal is to create a UIV Talent Pool of US and Canadian riders so the Pro 6 Day Organizers can select outstanding qualified riders to compete in their races.” said Dale Hughes
Results will be posted at www.VelodromeAtBloomerPark.com

Carrera de San Rafael Twilight Criterium
website & registration is now LIVE!
August 9, 2008

The 2007 Carrera drew thousands of spectators, surpassing the all previous years' turnouts and setting records in attendance for a single-day participatory sporting event in Northern California. One of the most anticipated professional cycling races on the Northern California/Nevada Cycling Association calendar, the 2008 Carrera de San Rafael this year will feature even more spectator activities throughout the day, including a larger expo and a professional athlete village.

As in past years, the Carrera will cover a .9-mile course covering Fourth, D, Fifth, and A Streets in downtown San Rafael, with athletes in the Pro men's race racing for 90 minutes.

For information about racing, volunteering, sponsoring or watching the Carrera de San Rafael, please email carrera@Project Sport.com. Registration at: http://www.carrerasanrafael.com.

About Project Sport, LLC - Project Sport, LLC is an event production and athlete management company based in San Francisco. They own and operate numerous running and cycling events including the US Race Series, and over the last 7 years, have produced events in Atlanta, Napa Valley, Colorado, San Francisco & Idaho. Project Sport also manages the McGuire Cycling Team, Northern California's top elite cycling organization.

Manchester to welcome home Olympic heroes
The Manchester Velodrome has been confirmed as the venue for the first major track cycling event following the Olympic Games in Beijing.

The first round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup will take place in Manchester from 31st October to 2nd November 2008. It will feature members of the Great Britain Cycling Team, as well as other top riders from around the world, racing head-to-head on one of the world’s fastest cycling tracks.

The World Cup event, which is supported by UK Sport, Manchester City Council and British Cycling, takes place over three days packed with 17 different race disciplines which all feature as World Championship events.

Great Britain’s cyclists astonished the world when they won a record haul of nine gold medals at the World Championships in Manchester earlier this year where world records tumbled on the super fast track.

Victoria Pendleton and Chris Hoy both won two gold medals and Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins teamed up to win gold in a dramatic Madison race. Former rower Rebecca Romero led the women’s team pursuit riders to gold and also won the women’s individual pursuit. In the men’s team pursuit race, Wiggins led the team to victory and a new world record and also took the individual pursuit title.

The Manchester round of World Cup series will not be a parade. The World and Olympic champions will take to the boards aiming to win World Cup medals and to gain the valuable points needed to get to the World Championships.

Tickets go on general sale from early August 2008 and will be available through sales agents Ticketmaster. Full details of the event can be found on the official web site at www.trackworldcup.co.uk which goes live on Wednesday 2nd July.

British Cycling
* British Cycling is the national governing body for cycle sport in the UK
* British Cycling helps everyday cyclists enjoy riding more through the Everyday Cycling scheme
* British Cycling works throughout the sport – from delivering Olympic medals to encouraging people to get on a bike for the first time
* British Cycling is the fastest growing cycling organisation in the UK, with 22,000 members
* British Cycling was involved with 2,500 affiliated events in 2007
* British Cycling encourages and develops children’s cycling talents: the Go Ride scheme is expected to coach 90,000 children in 2008/09
* British Cycling is funded by membership, UK Sport and Sport England
* For more information on British Cycling visit www.britishcycling.org.uk

Manchester City Council
World Cup track cycling returns to the city of Manchester after a memorable UCI Track Cycling World Championships staged earlier in 2008 at the Manchester Velodrome. This venue, considered to have one of the fastest tracks in the world, also serves as the National Cycling Centre, home to British Cycling.

The World Cup forms part of a unique series of international sports events in Manchester in what has already become the single biggest year of sport since the XVII Commonwealth Games in 2002.
As well as having hosting the UCI Track Cycling World Championships, the City has staged the 9th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m); Paralympic World Cup; UEFA Cup Final 2008 and the BUPA Great Manchester Run.

The 2008 UCI Track Cycling World Championships are part funded by UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Events Programme, which aims to secure events of strategic importance that deliver a range of lasting benefits. These include economic, social and cultural benefits as well as improving sporting performance by home athletes, encouraging participation and leaving a legacy of facilities and development initiatives. Over 120 sporting events have been staged in the UK through the programme since 1997, with around 100 more targeted before 2012. More at www.uksport.gov.uk

Bike Biz
Customer Satisfaction is the Best Advertising
Manchester, NH (July 1, 2008) For some bike shops, providing great customer service is the difference-maker against the competition in their market, and often it's the primary focus of their advertising message. For other shops with very limited marketing dollars, customer satisfaction is their advertising, in the form of positive word-of-mouth and online reviews.

As word-of-mouth marketing and review sites like Yelp.com become increasingly influential to consumers, retailers in general must place greater importance on providing excellent customer service, regardless of their advertising budgets. The challenge for many bike shop owners is accurately gauging how well they're performing in the eyes of their customers. By implementing tools that actually measure satisfaction, here are two shops who really do know what people think of their service.

Dan Wallis of South Mountain Cycles (Phoenix, AZ) started using a mystery shopping service offered through The Biking Solution earlier this year, and has been pleased with the results. "Mystery shopping provides several very important measurables for our business. First, it confirms the effectiveness of our sales training. Just as important, mystery shopping gives us a 'fresh eyes' evaluation of how we are perceived by new customers. The evaluation helps us understand everything from how visible our store is to a passerby, to helping refine our store's layout in an effort to improve a customer's ability to flow smoothly through the various departments and bicycle segments throughout the store. Mystery shopping is a very important tool that we utilize to stay ahead of the competition."

Wallis adds, "Our customers have many choices including several large sporting goods chains and big box superstores to a handful of IBD's all within close proximity. That means we need to service our customers better than the rest and separate ourselves from the competition if we expect our customers to refer to South Mountain Cycles as their preferred shop. Customer satisfaction is key to customer retention. Exceeding our customer's expectations is our mission, and it sets us apart from other IBD's in the market. It's why we stay busy in an economically strapped time period."

Staying in contact with customers after the sale is key to ensure they are completely satisfied. Communicating with the customer after their purchase is not only a way to collect their valuable feedback, it's also an additional revenue opportunity. Santos Trailhead Bike Shop (Ocala and The Vllage, FL) owner, Dawn Phelps, also a member of The Biking Solution, was an early adopter of TBS' Ride Club customer loyalty program. Ride Club sends out personalized email and direct mail communications to Dawn's customers on her behalf (she uses customer appreciation postcards, promotional and newsletter emails, and has created a highly successful rewards program). These pieces give Dawn's customers additional incentives to return, but Santos doesn't stop there. Each email and direct mail piece provides their customers with an opportunity to share feedback on their shopping experience via a Net Promoter Score survey.

With the NPS survey responses she's received, Dawn can see the scores given by individual customer, as well as a summary that compares her overall score with those of all other Biking Solution members using the Ride Club program. "Good retailers focus on good customer relationships so we knew we needed to implement a program like The Biking Solution's Ride Club," Phelps said. "With all the competition from retail business in general it was extremely important for our growth as a business."

TBS managing director Greg Brodsky adds, "The Internet has given consumers a true voice, and it's why word of mouth is so powerful today. With review and social networking sites, people are no longer sharing their shopping experiences with their neighbors and friends- they're sharing them with everyone. And we know they are many times more likely to share their bad experiences than they are the good ones. Retailers should be going on these sites and reading what people are saying about them, and should be asking their customers for feedback. Customer satisfaction, or lack thereof, can make or break a business today. That's one of the main reasons we've developed mystery shopping and Net Promoter Score tools for our members- to give them a way to measure their customers' satisfaction. As we like to say, you can't improve what you can't measure."

TBS works best for retailers who are ready to take their businesses to the next level. Members have reported dramatic stories of lives changed for the better because of the increased profitability brought about by TBS services. On average, TBS retailers grow about 30% faster than non-TBS retailers. The Biking Solution is the industry leader at improving the profitability and quality of life for specialty bike retailers. For more information contact: TBS Member Services 1-800-450-7595, or www.thebikingsolution.com.

What is Net Promoter Score?
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a relatively new metric used by large companies to measure customer satisfaction. NPS is now being embraced by many small business owners. To determine your NPS, you'll need to start by asking your customers one question - how likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?

Your customers' answers should be on a scale of 0 (would definitely not recommend) to 10 (highly recommend). Customers who give scores of 9 or 10 are considered "Promoters". Customers who give scores of 6 or less are "Detractors".

The NPS is calculated by taking the percentage of Promoters minus the percentage of Detractors. A shop with 70% promoters and 10% detractors would have an NPS of 60. The average for most US companies is much lower- in fact, a score above 50 is considered excellent.

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