Thursday, April 30, 2009

Team Type 1's Ilesic Third At Walterboro

Walterboro, S.C.Aldo Ino Ilesic finished third and Ken Hanson was fourth as the Team Type 1 sprinters went 1-2 in the field sprint Wednesday night at the Downtown Walterboro Criterium.


Frank Travieso
(Champion Porsche Presented by Herbalife/Racers Edge) out-sprinted Carlos Vargas (Team Hotel San Jose) for the victory in the 75-lap event in Downtown Walterboro, S.C.

The fourth night of the USA CRITS Speed Week series proved to be the second time Ilesic and Hanson have pulled off a 1-2 finish in the field sprint. At Saturday’s Athens Twilight Criterium, it was Hanson who led Ilisec to the line after a three-man breakaway stole the podium spots.

Team Type 1 Director Sportif Vassili Davidenko said cooperation and communication among all eight members of the squad is a big reason why Team Type 1 is fourth in the team standings, but only eight points behind the second-placed Team Hotel San Jose. Team Mountain Khakis leads the competition.

“The guys did a great job of covering all the breaks and keeping control of the group for much of the time,” Davidenko said. “We were very close to the win tonight and you can see the guys getting better and better each race.”

After Travieso and Vargas built a maximum 18 seconds’ lead, Team Type 1, OUCH presented by Maxxis, Kelly Benefit Strategies and Fly V Australia chased hard to reel in the pair. But the gap was still more than a dozen seconds with a lap to go.

“I really thought we were going to catch them,” Ilesic said.

Ilesic said he was actually leading out Hanson Wednesday night, but the technical nature of the course prevented Hanson – the reigning U.S. Elite criterium champion – from coming around him in the end.

“We usually talk to each other with 10 minutes to go and see how we’re feeling,” Ilesic said. “If we are both feeling good, I do the lead out for him.”

Hanson is fourth overall in the Speed Week individual standings that is being led by Mark Hekman (Team Mountain Khakis) while Ilesic is sixth.

Ilesic said he is looking forward to Friday night’s series stop, the Spartanburg Regional Criterium in Spartanburg, S.C. It was in this event a year ago that the Slovenian burst onto the scene with the first of three victories in his first season of racing in the United States.

“It’s going to be a fast course as I remember it from last year,” he said. “It should be easier to cover the moves and breaks, though.”

The Team Type 1 women were kept off the podium for the first time in the series Wednesday night but remain second in the team standings behind Colavita-Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light. Kori Seehafer finished eighth to lead the squad after earning a runner-up finish in Tuesday night’s Beaufort Memorial Criterium.

Photo: Courtesy Team Type 1

Rock Racing’s Bahati Headlines Sunny King Criterium


Culver City, Calif. – United States criterium champion Rahsaan Bahati of Rock Racing will headline a star-studded field at Saturday’s Sunny King Criterium, a National Racing Calendar (NRC) event.

Bahati will be joined by Rock Racing teammates Cesar Grajales and Nic Sanderson for the 60-lap race around a four-corner, 0.7-mile course that serves as the centerpiece of the Noble Street festival in downtown Anniston, Ala. A prize purse of $15,000 is up for grabs.

“I’m excited to be a part of a race that traditionally showcased some great sprinters,” Bahati said. “I have had some good success at big one-day criteriums like Sunny King, so I’m looking forward to giving this one my best shot.”

Bahati is coming off a victory Sunday at the Dana Point Grand Prix, an NRC event in Dana Point, Calif. It was his third win of the year, adding to victories at the Dare to Race in Ontario, Calif., and the Merco Classic Downtown Criterium on Feb. 28 in Merced, Calif. He also earned a runner-up placing and two third-place finishes at races in March.

“Unfortunately, I have not been able to race as many times as I would have liked,” Bahati said. “So I’m making the most of every opportunity. When I race, I’m not just there to show up. I’m definitely trying to win.”

Last year, the 27-year-old won nine times, including the Athens Twilight criterium, the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix and two stages of the International Cycling Classic. His victory at the Saab USA Cycling Professional Criterium Championship last August at Downers Grove, Ill., was one of three national titles Rock Racing won in 2008.

The Sunny King Criterium has seen wins from some of the most notable names in the professional peloton, including J.J. Haedo (2005, 2006) who now rides for Saxo Bank, and Hilton Clarke (2008), who has also joined Haedo in the European peloton.

Race director Mike Poe said he is excited that Bahati’s stars-and-stripes jersey will be part of the race that will also include riders from the OUCH presented by Maxxis Cycling Team, Kenda Pro Cycling Presented by Spinergy, Colavita-Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light, Kelly Benefit Strategies, Jelly Belly Pro Cycling, Bissell Pro Cycling and Team Mountain Khakis. More details are available at www.sunnykingcriterium.com.

“We are excited to welcome Rahsaan and his Rock Racing teammates, and all of the other teams to Sunny King,” Poe said. “It looks like we'll have an exciting night of racing in Anniston again this year, hosting the top criterium specialists in the country.”

The Rock Racing team is experiencing unprecedented success of late, celebrating back-to-back victories this week at the Vuelta a Asturias in Spain. Glen Chadwick won Tuesday’s stage and Oscar Sevilla prevailed in Wednesday’s race to raise the team’s win total to 15 for the season.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ellsworth Bicycles Makes Donation To Trips for Kids

With a donation of more than 50 used bicycles and bicycle frames collected through its trade-in program, Ellsworth Bicycles is helping Trips for Kids bring mountain bike rides to more underserved youth.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. - Trips for Kids (TFK) today announced that Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles Inc. of Ramona, Calif., donated more than 50 used bicycles and bicycle frames to TFK to sell in its Re-Cyclery bicycle thrift shop. Profits from selling these bikes and frames will fund the mountain bike rides TFK hosts for underserved youth.

"We truly appreciate Ellsworth's contribution to the Re-Cyclery shop," said Marilyn Price, founding director of TFK. "About fifty percent of the budget for Trips for Kids International is supported by the shop's revenues - this donation will help us continue those efforts. We thank Ellsworth on behalf of the kids we serve around the world."

Ellsworth Bicycles acquired the used bicycles it donated through its "Economic Recovery Plan," a program that allowed its customers to "trade-in" their used bikes to receive a $700 credit toward the purchase of a new Ellsworth bike or frame.

"We had an overwhelmingly positive response to this trade-in program," said Paul Verdile, Ellsworth Bicycles sales and marketing manager. "Several customers who didn't have used kids' bikes bought new ones specifically to donate to Trips for Kids. We received 50 bikes for the kids when we only expected to receive 30 or 40."

More than 50,000 disadvantaged young people have participated in TFK's day-long cycling adventures that take them through nearby parks and outdoor recreation areas. In addition to vigorous outdoor activity, they also enjoy the encouragement of caring adults who teach them about the environment, the importance of healthy choices and satisfaction of accomplishing their goals.

About Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles Inc.
Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles Inc. designs and manufactures some of the highest quality mountain, road and recreational bicycles in the world. Ellsworth Bicycles is a Commercial Resource Sustainable company, and USA manufacturer. The company is known for its craftsman-style approach to bike design and manufacturing. It holds many design and utility patents worldwide.

Team Type 1’s Lill Claims Overall At Bisbee


Bisbee, Ariz. – Team Type 1’s Darren Lill captured the La Vuelta de Bisbee this past Sunday in thrilling fashion, overcoming a 30-second deficit on the final stage.

Following his third place in Friday night’s prologue, Lill won Saturday morning’s 82-mile (131 km) Sulphur Springs Road Race. But a fifth-place finish in that afternoon’s 7.2-mile (11.5 km) Warren Time Trial dropped him into second behind Phil Zajicek (Fly V Australia) heading into the last race of the three-day event, the 84.4-mile (135 km) Tombstone Road Race.

“I thought it was still possible to win,” Lill said. “It was just a matter of isolating or getting the jump on Zajicek. I was surprised he didn’t watch me more or didn’t come with me when I went.”

Lill made his move by bridging up to a small group that contained Team Type 1 teammate Moises Aldape and older brother, Antonio Aldape, who was joined by two of his Tecos-Trek teammates. With fresh horsepower, the reinforced break enjoyed a 90-second lead at the foot of 5,930-foot Mule Pass leading back toward Bisbee. And as the road climbed up, Lill put the hammer down.

“Three attacks were enough to drop everyone except for Bernardo Colex (Tecos-Trek),” Team Type 1 Assistant Director Gord Fraser said. “With Zajicek still chasing hard from behind, we had Darren ride a hard tempo and perhaps sacrifice the stage win to make sure he had enough of an advantage to take the overall.”

Colex won the stage four seconds ahead of Lill while Zajicek rolled across the finish line alone in fifth place, 55 seconds behind. With a 10-second time bonus earned for his runner-up finish, Lill took the overall title with a 30-second cushion and also earned the race’s King of the Mountain crown. Colex finished third overall, 39 seconds back.

Lill said it was good to get back on the top step of the podium after a string of second and third-place finishes in stage races the past few years. His victory was the 11th of the year by the Team Type 1 men’s professional squad.

“I’m hoping to come out of this race in even better form for the Tour of the Gila later this week,” the 26-year-old South African said. “There will be even more climbing and more competition in that race. We really came together as a team here and got some good cohesion. I think things are really on the upturn for us.”

Lill’s accomplishment caps an impressive weekend of results for a number of Team Type 1’s programs. Jen McRae scored a pair of third-place finishes for the women’s team at the USA CRITS Speed Week series, Alison Powers won Sunday’s Haystack Mountain Time Trial in Boulder, Colo., and Elite team rider Alex Bowden sprinted to a win at the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Championship Criterium Sunday in Columbus, Ohio.

Photo: Alan Fischer

Trips for Kids' Israel Chapter Travels to Washington, D.C. and Participates in a Joint Bike Ride with its Northern Virginia Chapter

Within months of expanding beyond North America, Trips for Kids unites two of its chapters from two areas of the globe for a collaborative mountain bike ride

San Rafael, Calif. and Springfield, Va. - Trips for Kids (TFK), an international nonprofit serving at-risk youth, announces its first joint ride with participants from the TFK chapters in Beit Shemesh, Israel and Northern Virginia will take place on Monday, May 4, 2009 at 4 p.m. at Lake Accotink Park, Springfield, Va., 22150.

"We are thrilled to give young riders from the Israel and Northern Virginia chapters this opportunity to share their excitement for the outdoors and mountain biking," said Marilyn Price, founder of Trips for Kids. "We are certain that both groups will gain appreciation for the outdoors, mountain biking and other nationalities."

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington's "Partnership 2000," a program dedicated to creating relationships between Israeli and North American Jewish communities on an individual, organizational and community level, made this ride possible by underwriting the trip for Trips for Kids Israel- Samson Riders Bicycle Club (TFK Israel-SRBC).

"The children visiting from Israel were struggling academically and had little direction in their lives when they joined Trips for Kids," explained Gilad Golani, liaison for Partnership 2000 in Washington, D.C. "They all demonstrated a great deal of self discipline to improve their scholastic efforts and earn their spot on the Washington, D.C. trip."

TFK Israel-SRBC chapter will take home five new bicycles donated by Trek Bicycle Corporation. As an official TFK sponsor, Trek generously supplies a starter set of bikes to each new TFK chapter.

This inspiring event adds to TFK's already rich history of enriching the lives of underserved youth. Through its 65 chapters, the 21-year-old organization has taken 50,000 underserved youth throughout the U.S., Canada, and Israel on day-long mountain bike adventures. In addition to a day of fun and healthy exercise, the young riders take home an increased awareness of their natural environment and strengthened self confidence.

McRae Third At Roswell

Three was the magic number for Team Type 1's Jen McRae this past weekend as she once again finished behind Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home) and Brooke Miller (Team TIBCO) at the Historic Roswell Criterium.

Roswell, Ga. – Team Type 1’s Jen McRae scored her second straight podium placing of the weekend Sunday when she finished third at the Eighth Annual Historic Roswell Criterium.

Five-time U.S. national criterium champion Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home Women’s Cycling Team) won the 55-minute race ahead of Brooke Miller (Team TIBCO).

McRae also finished third at Saturday’s Athens Twilight Criterium in Athens, Ga. – a race Miller won ahead of Pic.

McRae’s back-to-back podium placings came in her first two races of the season.

“It was the same people on the podium both days, so it shows who the top sprinters are,” McRae said. “But we’re not going to be happy with being third again. We definitely want to improve on that. I think the whole objective of riding with the team this weekend was dialing in the team dynamics.”

Team Type 1 Women’s Director Jack Seehafer said McRae’s performance definitely shows the squad’s potential in criterium racing.

“She’s got to fine tune her training to just get the last part of the sprint down,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes when she and Jackie (Crowell) come back next weekend.”

McRae and Crowell will miss the next three nights of criteriums in the USA CRITS Speed Week series, but will return next weekend to join Monique Hanley, Veronica Leal, Morgan Patton, Samantha Schneider and Kori Seehafer. Up next is Tuesday’s Beaufort Memorial Criterium in Beaufort, S.C., followed by the Downtown Walterboro Criterium in Walterboro, S.C. on Wednesday and the Spartanburg Regional Criterium in Spartanburg, S.C. on Friday.

“We’ll use the next couple of races to start fine tuning things,” Jack Seehafer said. “We’ll look at setting up Morgan and Monique to do some attacks and lining Samantha up to do the sprint.”

The Team Type 1 women also scored their 19th victory of the season Sunday when Alison Powers beat Canadian time trial champion Anne Samplonius for the first time to win the Haystack Mountain Time Trial in Boulder, Colo. Powers was 30 seconds faster than Samplonius over the 16.5-mile (26.5 km) course.

Trips for Kids Reaches 50,000 Underserved Youth in 20 Years of Hosting Mountain Bike Rides

Earlier this week, Trips for Kids (TFK) announced that it has taken 50,000 underserved urban youth on mountain bike rides since its inception more than 20 years ago.

"I'm proud that our efforts have helped thousands of young people experience the world's natural beauty and the excitement of completing a physical challenge - and so many more still need our help," said Marilyn Price, founding director of Trips for Kids. "There are more young people than ever who need to get outside, understand how to take care of our environment, spend a day with caring, supportive adults, and get tired from good, enjoyable exercise."

More than 60 chapters advance the TFK mission. Located in a variety of communities, the groups identify at-risk youth and work through local youth services agencies to help them. Chapters are formed by a variety of individuals and organizations including environmental centers, schools, public health agencies, after-school learning centers, bike advocacy clubs, and non-profits like the YMCA, Boy Scouts, and Girls & Boys Clubs. In many cases the kids they serve have never visited the nearby parks and outdoor areas. TFK provides the bicycles, helmets and other equipment, along with a trained ride leader and adult volunteers.

The children who participate in the rides receive safety instructions and are paired with adult ride buddies. Throughout the ride they learn environmental awareness as well as nutrition and fitness tips. Many of the participants report that the TFK mountain bike rides teach them to set goals and achieve them.

It takes TFK chapter leaders, volunteers, bicycle industry sponsors and individual donors to make TFK rides successful. Visit the TFK website, www.tripsforkids.org, to learn more about the program and to find a local chapter.

Team Type 1’s McRae Third At Athens Twilight

On of the great things about being a cycling fan is that the sport and its athletes move fast. When we last saw Jen McRae she had just closed out the USA CRITS Series with a victory in Las Vegas. In her first race of the season, McRae picked up right where she left off and found herself on the podium at the Athens Twilight Criterium.

Athens, Ga. – It may have been her first race of the season, but Team Type 1’s Jen McRae wasn’t content to simply finish the Athens Twilight criterium.

Not when an estimated 30,000 people were lining the kilometer-long course of a race that celebrated its 30th anniversary on Saturday.

“I was so ready for this race,” McRae said after finishing third behind reigning U.S. national criterium champion Brooke Miller (Team Tibco) and Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home Pro Cycling Team).

“I’ve had a huge training block, so by the time Athens comes around, I’m ready to roll. I get major butterflies, especially for this race. I’ve won it twice over a 10-year span (1997 and 2006), so when I show up there’s a motivation to go for the win.”

In recording the Team Type 1 women’s professional team’s 22nd podium finish of the young season, McRae also got a chance to race alongside the squad’s two riders who have Type 1 diabetes: Monique Hanley and Morgan Patton. Unfortunately, neither finished the 40-lap event. But McRae still had a bevy of teammates around her as the race wound down.

Jackie (Crowell), Kori (Seehafer) and Sam (Schneider) were still with me, but the field had pretty much shattered,” McRae said. “We were represented in every move that was up the road tonight, so that was awesome. That was our strategy – to establish a break and go for the win from there.”

Crowell, who finished fourth at this race a year ago, was one of those who found herself in a breakaway. She and Seehafer each gobbled up a couple in-race primes on the way to helping McRae with the final lead-out. Coming out of the final turn, McRae came from five wheels back to make her bid for the win.

Both the Team Type 1 women’s and men's squads would also compete in this past Sunday's Historic Roswell Criterium in Downtown Roswell, GA. It is the second event of this year’s USA CRITS Speed Week series, which comprises seven races in nine days.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cycling's Top Organizations Partner to Move the Sport Forward


Liege, Belgium - Today, for the first time in four years, presidents and top representatives from Association International Groupe Cycliste Professionelle (AIGCP), Union Cycliste International (UCI), and the Association of Race Organizers (AIOCC) met in Liege, Belgium, to discuss how the three organizations can work together to unify cycling. The meeting, called by Jonathan Vaughters, newly-elected president of the AIGCP and attended by Pat McQuaid, president of the UCI, Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, and other top representatives, marks the first significant step toward creating a stable and credible future for cycling. As a result, the group has committed to ongoing monthly meetings, each of which will focus on critical items affecting the future of the sport including the biopassport and entry into key events.

Joint statement:
We had a very productive meeting and we are committed to continuing to work together to improve the stability and credibility of cycling. Today was an excellent first step.

Photo: (L to R) - Christian Prudhomme, Harald Knebel, Jean Rene Bernadeu, Pat McQuaid, Alain Rumpf, Jonathan Vaughters, Philippe Senmartin, Roberto Amadio, Angelo Zomgenan, Patrick Lefevre

Sprint Finish for the Nature Valley Pro Ride

Last chances to win trips to the Nature Valley Grand Prix coming up

Minneapolis – The 2009 Nature Valley Pro Ride will conclude in less than three weeks. Four amateur riders, two men and two women, have already won trips to the Nature Valley Grand Prix, where they’ll have the full pro experience as they race for the Nature Valley Cycling Team. They’ll be joined by four men and four women selected at upcoming events.

“I made the commitment to drive the 13hrs to St Louis for the Hillsboro-Roubaix road race” wrote Chris Winn in his blog. “Long way to go for a bunch of Coloradans for a weekend suffer-fest, . . . The race was the second qualifier event for the Nature Valley Pro Ride, a chance for amateurs to get the complete pro package treatment in a composite team for the Nature Valley Stage Race in June.” It was a successful trip for Winn, who became the second man to qualify for the Nature Valley Cycling Team.

“The Nature Valley Pro Ride is a wonderful opportunity to give one the most prestigious races in the United States a go, racing on a team with some of the best amateur riders in the nation,” said women’s qualifier Sydney Brown. “I hope each of us will be able to fit our individual aspirations into what's good for the team.”

With two races in the books, there are only four chances left to win trips to the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Those remaining spots will be filled in the next two and a half weeks.

Remaining Qualifying Events
* Scored as an omnium

Each rider selected in the Nature Valley Pro Ride will receive a travel stipend, free entry, housing accommodations, and full team support. They will make public appearances, get pre-race introductions, participate in autograph sessions, and race in front of crowds in excess of 50,000 during this five-day stage race. This program provides riders with a full professional experience and is only available to the Nature Valley Pro Ride winners.

Visit www.NatureValleyProRide.com for more information.

Wilier Trestina USA Announces Cento1 Version Customized For Shimano Di2

Reigning World Champion Cento1 Integrates Award-Winning Electronic Groupset


Atlanta, GAWilier Triestina USA has announced the special order availability of its reigning World Road Champion model, the Cento1, in a version modified specifically for use with Shimano’s acclaimed electronic drivetrain, Dura-Ace Di2. The Cento1 Di2 frameset boasts the same superlight 46Ton carbon monocoque construction and performance features, while enhancements have been implemented in the form of internal routing for wiring that connects the Di2 battery with its electronic shifters and derailleurs.

“While performance was the key pursuit in the development and use of the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electrically actuated shifting system, the side benefit is the freedom and creativity afforded frame makers with respect to cable routing,” explained Devin Walton, Director of Media Relations for Shimano North America. “Wilier’s new frame design takes advantage of that benefit and with the special accommodations for the battery pack creates historically sought-after integration of frame and controls without any impact on shifting response.”

Angelo Cilli, Wilier Triestina USA co-owner and founder, added: “We’re excited about the promising new age being ushered in by Shimano’s electronic groupsets for road and time trial bikes. In the past, attempts were made by other manufacturers to offer electronic shifting, but after extensive in-house testing we have become believers that this technology by Shimano has been refined to the point of being truly feasible and relevant. Campagnolo is promising release of its own electronic drivetrain in the near future, so it seems that the technology may finally be here to stay,” concluded Cilli.

PROMAN's Higgins To Race Pan Am

Marin County, CA - USA Cycling announced earlier this week the nomination of PROMAN Hit Squad rider Cari Higgins to represent the USA at the upcoming Pan American Championships in Mexico.

Higgins is the current elite National Champion in 500m, match sprint, Keirin and team sprint. Cari had a successful winter campaign in Australia with wins and podiums at the Melbourne Revolution and Tasmanian Carnivals.

"It is an honor to get the chance to represent the US National Team in international competition", commented Higgins. "I am looking forward to the high level of competition and mixing it up on the boards in Mexico".

Higgins has been racing for four years. She is a mentor for the new PROMAN junior program, as well as a founder of the Boulder-based Flatiron Flyers Junior Cycling Project.

“I am very happy for this opportunity to get another PROMAN rider to a Championship event. Not only is Cari currently the best sprinter in the U.S she is a fantastic ambassador for the sport,” stated team manager Nicola Cranmer.

Cari will complete her Pan Am training at the ADT Velodrome in Carson, CA over the next few weeks.

Photo: Rob Evans

Never As Bad As The Worst Thing You've Done


After listening in to Tyler Hamilton announce his retirement last Friday from the sport he still considers “beautiful,” I was quickly reminded how truly ugly the world outside the barriers could be.

“Disgraced rider Hamilton to quit”
“Tyler Hamilton retires after another positive doping test”
“Cyclist Hamilton retires, cites positive doping test”

But honestly, who can blame those that report on sport. In a world where the topic of PEDs comes up as often as Watts, Power, and V02max there is no longer any room for topics of human frailty or the examination of the human condition.

Top tier athletes are sometimes viewed with as much regard as racing horses or treated as entertainers with more consideration for how they perform rather than who they are.

And while there is the understanding that most of the headlines detailing Hamilton’s announcement were meant to draw reader interest and perhaps sell a few papers, what was frequently mentioned, but often buried in the reporting of the announcement was his ongoing battle with clinical depression. A battle that he kept well hidden since being diagnosed in 2003, and one that he never used as an excuse for (but most likely had a hand in) any of the downturns (a suspension, a divorce, dealing with his mother’s illness, and now his retirement) in his life.

Clinical depression is a serious medical illness that negatively affects how people feel, the way they think and how they act.
Individuals with clinical depression are unable to function as they used to. Often they have lost interest in activities that were once enjoyable to them, and feel sad and hopeless for extended periods of time. Clinical depression is not the same as feeling sad or depressed for a few days and then feeling better. It can affect your body, mood, thoughts, and behavior. It can change your eating habits, how you feel and think, your ability to work and study, and how you interact with people. People who suffer from clinical depression often report that they "don't feel like themselves anymore."

Depression can strike anyone regardless of age, background, socioeconomic status or gender. However, in any given year, 12% of women (nearly 12 million women) in the United States are diagnosed with depression compared to 7% of men (over 6 million men). Important questions remain about the causes underlying this gender difference and whether depression truly is less common among men, or whether men are less likely than women to recognize, acknowledge and seek treatment for depression.

Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) on depression awareness has shown that many men are unaware that physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain can be associated with depression. Depression in men can present itself differently than in women. Men are more likely to acknowledge fatigue, irritability, loss of interest in hobbies, sleep disturbances, and discouragement, rather than feelings of worthlessness or guilt. Men's depression is more often masked by alcohol or other drugs, or by the socially acceptable habit of working excessively long hours.
Bonnie D. Ford, special to ESPN.com, was one of the few who captured Hamilton’s battle in and out of the shadows and the dispiriting nature of the news that he had once again tested positive.
His teammate and frequent race roommate Mike Creed said Hamilton never lost his outwardly generous, people-pleasing nature. But Creed also noticed when Hamilton's partying veered from ordinary steam-venting to something more ominous. "He was drinking to turn his brain off," said the 28-year-old American rider. "You could tell there was a weight. He wasn't comfortable unless he was raging drunk.

"I hope people get big-picture about this and see that it's a tragedy," Creed said Friday. "I talked to him this morning, and I told him I hope he finds the peace he's looking for. You're never as good as the best thing you've done, and you're never as bad as the worst thing you've done."
Perhaps some people were afraid to tackle the issues in what many still consider as a “soft” science. But as some modern medical practitioners are sometimes criticized for treating symptoms rather than the person, it is quite evident that the same can be said for the focus of most sports reporters.

More: Samuel Abt (NYT) - Hamilton’s Confession Raises Questions

Photo: Leonard Basobas

Friday, April 17, 2009

Breaking News: Rock Racing's Tyler Hamilton Announces Retirement


With his disappearance from the sport for the past several months, many questions abounded regarding Tyler Hamilton's (Rock Racing) status. In a impromptu press conference today, Hamilton officially announced his retirement citing a continued battle with clinical depression.

There was rampant speculation that Hamilton's recent absence was due to a positive test for a banned substance. And while those rumors turned out to be substantiated, the positive "A" sample results were for DHEA, a banned substance with no known performance enhancing effects found in an herbal anti-depressant.

We will have more on his announcement later today.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

TIBCO, Team Type 1 Top Initial 2009 Women’s Prestige Cycling Series Standings

Women’s Prestige Cycling Series Releases Standings After Redlands Bicycle Classic


Minneapolis – The 2009 Women’s Prestige Cycling Series kicked off at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, the traditional Series opener. Team Type 1 and Team TIBCO traded blows, each claiming the lead in two of the four competitions.

Consistency was the name of the game in the Individual classification, with Alison Powers (Team Type 1) and Katheryn Mattis (Webcor) claiming the top two spots in the prologue time trial and then holding them through the remaining three stages. Lauren Tamayo (Team TIBCO) provided a bit of drama, moving from 8th after the prologue to 3rd after the first stage before defending that position for the rest of the race.

Individual Classification
1. Alison Powers (Team Type 1)
2. Katheryn Mattis (Webcor Builders Cycling Team)
3. Lauren Tamayo (Team TIBCO)
4. Kristin Sanders (ValueAct Capital)
5. Meredith Miller (Team TIBCO)

Julie Beveridge (Team TIBCO) and Rebecca Much (Webcor) took the top two spots in the Series’ Best Young Rider competition at the prologue and then defended those positions at the following three stages. Carla Swart was third after the prologue, then fourth after the following two stages before dropping to 8th after a tough final stage.

Best Young Rider
1. Julie Beveridge (Team TIBCO)
2. Rebecca Much (Webcor Builders Cycling Team)
3. Tiffany Cromwell (Colavita Sutter Home)
4. Lindsey Myers (Wines of Washington)
5. Jacquelyn Crowell (Team Type 1)

The Sprint classification was a seesaw battle between Lauren Tamayo (Team TIBCO) and former team mates Kori Seehafer (Team Type 1) and Tina Pic (Colavita). Seehafer claimed the jersey after Stage 1. Stage 2 saw Tamayo in the lead, followed by Pic with Seehafer dropping to third. Seehafer came storming back in the 3rd and final stage, claiming the victory with Pic remaining in second and Tamayo dropping to 4th.

Best Sprinter
1. Kori Seehafer (Team Type 1)
2. Tina Pic (Colavita Sutter Home)
3. Alison Powers (Team Type 1)
4. Lauren Tamayo (Team TIBCO)
5. Joanne Kiesanowski (Team TIBCO)

TIBCO claimed top honors in the team competition, thanks to strong performances by several riders and aided by Beveridge, whose points contribution were doubled because of the young rider bonus used in calculating Series team standings. Webcor held on for second because they had two young riders, Much and Alexis Rhodes. But 2nd through 4th are separated by only 36 points, leaving the team competition up for grabs at the next three Series events.

Best Team
1. Team TIBCO - 294 pts
2. Webcor Builders Cycling Team - 201
3. Team Type - 1196
4. ValueAct Capital Cycling Team - 165
5. Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light- 83

Full results can be found at www.WomenCyclists.com

The 2009 Women’s Prestige Cycling Series continues at the Joe Martin Stage Race (May 7 – 10), followed by the Nature Valley Grand Prix (June 10 – 14) before concluding at the Cascade Classic (July 22 – 26).

Photo: VeloImages

Test Ride Delta 7 Sports Arantix and Ascend At Sea Otter

Delta 7 Sports will be at the 2009 Sea Otter Classic with the latest versions of their road and mountain bikes. Stop by booth #303 and you'll have your first opportunity to demo the Ascend road bike that Delta 7 Sports unveiled at Interbike 2008, and featured on our site. Weighing in at 2.14 pounds, it is the first road frame designed with IsoTruss® technology and Kevlar spider web-like open lattice tubes.

You'll also be able to test ride the latest model of the Arantix mountain bike, which we took out for a spin out at Interbike's Outdoor Demo Days. Delta 7 Sports was able to reduce the price of its IsoTruss® mountain bike frame from $6,995 (USD) to $4,895 (USD) even with improvements in the chain stays' and bottom bracket's stiffness, increased lateral stiffness in the head tube and rear dropouts with more chain clearance.


Delta 7 Sports Arantix Mountain Bike
The first to use IsoTruss® technology and Kevlar spider web-like open lattice tubes, the frame weighs only 2.6 pounds (1179 gram). The Arantix has recently been revised with a stiffer bottom bracket, head tube and chain stays, as well as more chain stay/tire clearance. Available as frame set only or as a complete bike with Shimano XTR or SRAM X.O. Suggested retail: $4,895 (frame only), $8,495-$9,295 (complete bike).


Delta 7 Sports Ascend Road Bike
One of the strongest frames in its weight class, estimated weight of less than 1000 grams, Delta 7 Sports gives the Ascend an optimal strength-to-weight ratio by weaving a single carbon fiber strand into IsoTruss ® carbon Kevlar spider web-like open lattice tubes. Available as frame set only or as a complete bike with SRAM Red or Campy Super Record. Suggested retail: $5,995 (frame only), $10,995-$16,995 (complete bike).

Ritchey Design Products At Sea Otter Classic, Meet The Women of Team TIBCO

Ritchey Design will be displaying its new 2009 product, as well as offering a sneak peak of some of its 2010 line at this year's Sea Otter Classic.

While visiting the Ritchey/Syncros booth (#727), you can also meet members of the Ritchey sponsored TIBCO Women's Pro Cycling Team. They will be using the booth as their home base while competing at Sea Otter. Team TIBCO members include: Junior National and World Champions, an Olympian and Brooke Miller, the 2008 U.S. National Road and Criterium National Champion.

Ritchey Design Products at Sea Otter
SuperLogic Carbon 46mm Road Tubular wheels
One hundred percent hand-built, race-proven Ritchey wheel technology combined with proprietary carbon rims make this wheel set one of the lightest in the market. The rims are constructed with a unique blend of uni-directional, hi-modulus carbon and Boron with ceramic braking surface for high strength and low weight. Internal 3/16" hex style nipples and DT bladed New Aero Light spokes are used for enhanced aerodynamics and serviceability. The cold forged WCS SL front hub has rounded flanges to support high-tension radial lacing and smooth rolling, low maintenance precision bearings. The cold forged WCS SL rear hub uses precision bearings, optimal flange design for spoke support and is available in three lightweight alloy freehub body configurations (Campy, Shimano and SRAM). 20H radial lacing (front); 24H 2x (rear). Clincher version available soon. Weight: 491g(F)/ 680g(R) MSRP: $2799.90(pair)

WCS Carbon 1Bolt Zero-Offset seatpost
As part of Ritchey Design's commitment to its Fit Logic Philosophy, "the best performance is achieved when a bike fits the unique and individual dimensions of the rider," Ritchey offers its Zero-Offset seat post. For riders with relatively short femurs/upper bodies, time trialists or triatletes who want to be "on top of" their pedals, the zero-offset post allows riders to sit more forward and places the knee joint more in-line with pedal axle spindles for balanced pedaling. The WCS Carbon post is constructed using Ritchey's 3D monocoque pressure forged process, which forms the seatpost head and tube in one process for an optimized strength-to-weight ratio. The patented SideBinder one-bolt seat clamp makes for easy fore and aft and saddle tilt adjustments. Low-profile head ensures optimal saddle clearance and easy access to the SideBinder bolt. Weight: 164g (350mm/27.2) MSRP: $269.95

WCS Carbon Streem saddleWCS Carbon Streem saddle
Features Ritchey's "Vector Wing," a composite flexible strut located at the back of the saddle between the saddle base and rails which dampens road vibrations for a smooth comfortable ride. The Vector Wing, low-profile shell and saddle rails are carbon injected as one piece to reduce weight. Superlight foam and genuine leather cover the saddle shell for comfort. Available in black or white. Weight: 145g. MSRP: $189.95

Syncros Products at Sea Otter
Meathook Pedal
Constructed of 6061 aluminum alloy, the wide webbed pedal platform is Syncros Meathook peadlscontoured to match the curve of soft soled shoes providing great grip and control with minimal weight. A Syncros exclusive design, pedal axles feature cartridge bearings with 20mm high load capacity PU bearings at each end, and four 10mm needle bearings in the middle to support the pedal body on super hard landings. Pedal comes with threaded replaceable cleat-style traction pins in two sizes (3mm and 6mm). Available colors: blue, red and silver grey with laser etched Syncros grunge graphic, or in standard black without grunge graphic. Intended use: Freeride/ 4X/ BMX racing/ DH/ Trials. Weight: 503g(pair). MSRP: $189.95

AM (All Mountain) Stem
This stem uses Syncros' exclusive 4D net forged manufacturing process fSyncros AM Stemor a bi-ovalized design, which minimizes weight and maximizes resistance to vertical and horizontal forces for the wind up to the big huck. Available with 12 degree rise in 70/80/90/100/110mm lengths. 1.5" steerer clamp (60/70/80mm only). Intended use: All mountain/ Super D/ Long travel trail bikes/ light duty FR. Finish options: high polish (HP) black or matte white, with or without grunge graphics. Weight: 175g MSRP: $79.95 to $99.95 depending on color option.

FL CF (Freakin Light Carbon Fiber) 25 Wheelset
These wheels are hand-built with high pressure forged, 3K carbon fiber rims for lightweight and multi-dimensional strength. DT Competition black spokes, 32 hole front and rear, 3x lacing configuration combine into a light and superb handling wheelset that flies up climbs, then tears down technical and rugged trails with unexpected durability and precision. Hubs are cold forged disc compatible Syncros FLH with 15mm thru axle or QR option. Also available with bolt on style rotor or center lock options. Intended use: All mountain. Weight: 684g (F Std QR), 678g (F 15mm thru axle)/ 812g (R Std QR) MSRP: $2,075.00 (pair)

2009 Sea Otter Classic - Expo

The Sea Otter Classic begins today, April 16th, and runs through the 19th at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area in beautiful Monterey, California. The four-day cycling and outdoor sports extravaganza features a full schedule of amateur and pro cycling events, and promises to provide an action-packed weekend for all those involved as well as those merely spectating.

The Sea Otter Classic also plays host to one of the largest consumer bike expos in the world. Below are just some of vendors at this year’s expo.

iBert Inc. Safe-T-Seat
iBert Inc. brings its safe-T-seat, the front-mounted child bicycle seat, to Sea Otter Classic 2009. Be sure to stop by booth #236 to check out the child bicycle seat that places the child between the adult rider and the handlebars, giving parents improved control over both the child and the bicycle.


In the past year iBert Inc. has signed a sponsorship agreement with David "Tinker" Juarez and continued expanding its clientele around the world.

Tainted Love - Introducing "Okole Stuff" Ultimate Chamois Ointment
Six-time Endurance National Champion Monique "Pua" Sawicki has created what she believes is the ultimate chamois ointment for cyclists - Okole Stuff, and will debut the product at Sea Otter Booth 828.

Translated as "Butt Stuff" in Hawaiian, Okole Stuff was born out of the need to have maximum comfort for hours in the saddle, that only a 24 Hour Champion like Pua could create.

"I tried everything on the market, and nothing would withstand the hours and miles that I was putting in the saddle to become National Champion," stated Sawicki. "I did the research and came up with the only product that gives comfort with one application for up to 24 Hours on the bike!"

While most Chamois Ointments are designed to be absorbed into your skin, they don't last as long as needed.


Okole Stuff stays on TOP of your skin to provide hours of friction-free time in the saddle. Soothing and long-lasting ingredients include Lanolin, Allantoin, Tea Tree Oil, Aloe and Love to help heal your skin and keep you riding longer.

Otter In Overdrive
H2O Overdrive™, which was featured earlier on the Triple, is a new and unique hydration drink that offers a crisp thirst-quenching blast of essential nutrients for energy, stamina, rapid replenishment of muscle glycogen, protein synthesis, muscle function and recovery for any cyclist. Stop by booth #353 to taste the latest innovation in hydration. (You can even have a bottle or two if you come by the booth at Sea Otter).

H2O Overdrive is scientifically formulated with a precision ratio of 8 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbohydrates, more than 30 vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other essential nutrients to ensure hydration at the cellular level - all with only 3 grams of sugar.

PROMAN Women's Professional Cycling Team Expands Juniors Program

Building on Early Season Success of Its Junior Squad, PROMAN Plans National Campaign

Marin County, Calif. – The PROMAN Women’s Professional Cycling Team today announced plans to expand its new Junior development program. After successes at multiple NorCal regional events already this season, the four-woman squad will compete in its first national level event at the Sea Otter Classic this Thursday and Friday, April 16-17, with plans to participate in other national caliber events throughout 2009.


The four members of PROMAN’s inaugural Junior program, pictured above with GM Nicola Cranmer, are:
  • Claire Jensen, age 13, 2008 National Track Champion and NCNCA State TT Champion
  • Nikka van den Dries, age 14, 2008 NCNCA State Champion in RR, TT, Crit and Track
  • Ruth Winder, age 15, 2008 NCNCA State TT Champion
  • Christina Yglesias, age 16, 2008 NCNCA State Champion in RR, Crit and Track
“We’re excited about our Junior program and delighted about how well it’s come together already this season,” explained founder and General Manager, Nicola Cranmer. “We’ve built our team one step at a time with the help of extremely supportive sponsors and members of the community. We’re hoping to boost junior cycling at the national level by supporting young women who have already distinguished themselves at the regional and state levels.”

The PROMAN Women’s Professional Cycling Team is comprised of eight professional riders, including Track Worlds veteran Shelley Olds (2008 Elite National Scratch Race Champion and US National Team member), Rachel Lloyd (2008 PRO Super D National Champion and US National Team member) and Cari Higgins (2008 Elite 4x National Track Champion). These riders have been coaching and mentoring the PROMAN Juniors, sharing valuable experience to the promising young athletes.

Passing it on (left to right): State and National Champs Olds, Cranmer, Higgins and Lloyd inspire – and are inspired by – their Juniors

All four Juniors participated in the USAC development clinics held in Santa Rosa, California, last year. While instructing these young riders, Cranmer and Olds came up with the idea of a Junior development squad. “The desire to start a Junior program was a direct result of observing these young women” reported Olds. “We wanted to help them succeed, as well as invest in the future of our sport.”

Cranmer went on to explain that there is still a disproportionate amount of money and product support going to men’s cycling programs and even to men’s squads on co-ed teams. The PROMAN Women’s Professional Cycling Team continues to raise awareness and build a following, with hopes of not only establishing itself as a prominent North American women’s team, but generating more interest and financial support for its Juniors who may go on to be some of the next generation of cycling champions.

“I feel that investing in Junior riders – girls in particular – is critical to the growth of cycling in the US,” asserted Cranmer. “Recently appointed USAC athletic director, Jim Miller, has assured me that he will continue to focus on women's development. Miller has successfully expanded the women's road endurance program resulting in world class contenders and Olympic gold. I have complete faith in Jim's ability to continue to develop a new and exciting paradigm for female racers in the US."

About PROMAN Women's Professional Cycling / UCI Pro Track Team
The PROMAN Women’s Professional Cycling Team is dedicated to promoting the enjoyable and ethical growth of American cycling for women, and serving as a platform for women to earn berths on the United States National Cycling, Mountain Bike and Cyclocross Teams. PROMAN works in partnership with USA Cycling, the UCI and the Agency for Sporting Ethics (ASE), which in 2007 created the most aggressive anti-doping program in professional sports. All PROMAN riders and staff support a strict Code of Conduct, striving to treat competitors, race organizers, national and international cycling officials, spectators and fans with the highest standards of fairness, character, kindness and respect. The team believes in and loves the bicycle as a force for positive social change, an environmentally responsible transportation option and a healthy, enjoyable way of life for boys, girls, men and women of all ages. Product sponsors include BMC, Rudy Project, SRAM, Northwave, WTB, Clif Bar, Skins, Arundel and Ritchey Design. For more information visit www.proman-paradigm.blogspot.com and www.promanracing.com. Team updates via: http://twitter.com/nicolacranmer.

Photos: Rob Evans (top & middle); Robert Lowe (bottom; Ruth Winder can win on the road and on the dirt).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lance On The Tour In His Own Words

Third Times A Charm - Tommeke Takes Third Paris-Roubaix

If there is any question remaining as to whether Tom Boonen (Quick Step) is a sprinter or a man for the Classics, the answer came quickly and decisively this past Sunday at the running of the 107th Paris-Roubaix.

Tommeke would solo to a second consecutive Paris-Roubaix victory, and his third overall. Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) would roll into second, and Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team) would take third ahead of Silence-Lotto teammates Leif Hoste and Johan Van Summeren.

Since his arrival during the 2002 edition, where he finished a surprising third, Boonen has had a rather charmed existence in a race that is commonly referred to as the Hell of the North. Aside from his three victories (2005, 2008, and 2009), Boonen has finished second (2006), sixth (2007), and 9th (2004). His worse finish was a 24th placing in 2003.



Results
1. Tom Boonen (Quick Step)
2. Filippo Pozzato (Team Katusha)
3. Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team)
4. Leif Hoste (Silence-Lotto)
5. Johan Van Summeren (Silence-Lotto)
6. Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank)
7. Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo Test Team)
8. Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step)
9. Manuel Quinziato (Liquigas)
10. Matti Breschel (Team Saxo Bank)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ten For Teutenberg


Ina-Yoko Teutenberg continued her recent run of success this past Friday winning Drenthe 8 Van Dwindeloo. Coming off the win at Redlands Classic and perhaps her career highlight, winning Ronde Van Vlaanderen Vrouwen last Sunday, Teutenberg can be very pleased with the way her 2009 season has begun.

"If you told me a few weeks ago that I'd win 10 races by mid April I would have laughed at you," Teutenberg joked. "But I had a really good off season and it's nice to start the season like this.”

Teutenberg also won Drenthe 8 Van Dwindeloo in 2008 but she said the course had changed.

"Today we had a cobbled section 2km from the finish line which made positioning at the end vital,” she explained. "Normally the cobbles come with ten kilometers to go. The conditions were also very different in that it was hot for Holland and not windy enough to really split things up.”

The 140km race saw a few breaks get away mid race, but everything came back together for a bunch sprint at the end.


“When we hit the cobbles there was a good attack from Sarah Duster,” said Teutenberg. “Nuernberg had to work pretty hard to close the gap and then they went on to do the lead out for Regina [Schleicher]. She started to sprint at 200m to go and I squeezed through a gap to come around her with about 50 meters to go.”

"I'm quite happy this race is over to be honest, said Teutenberg. "I was really tired today and the race was fast so I suffered a lot. But I'm happy with the result and now I will try to rest up for the World Cup on Monday.”

Ride Like Ina
Well maybe not exactly, but at SCOTT USA, Inc., which was established in 1958 and located in Sun Valley, Idaho, they "believe that women should receive the same performance features that men do.

To achieve this, they use the exact same frame and suspension technology in their Contessa line that is employed in the rest of the line. Using input for their pro riders, like Ina Teutenberg and Team Columbia Highroad, SCOTT has developed comfortable, high performance bikes that accommodate the physical needs of female riders.

Contessa Race bikes are equipped with high-end, female friendly components, such as women’s specific saddles, bars and brake levers, and have graphic design elements that stand out.

Materials used for this post courtesy of Scott News

Friday, April 10, 2009

Is It Too Late For Hincapie?


George Hincapie’s (Team Columbia - Highroad) career on the cobbles is the veritable "mystery, wrapped in a riddle, inside an enigma."

He has won Ghent – Wevelgem and Kuurne – Brussels – Kuurne, and found the podium at the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix. He is highly regarded amongst the crazed Belgian multitude, and is easily considered "America’s premier Classics rider."

But despite all of his accolades, Hincapie is largely viewed as a tragic figure in cycling. In his attempts to capture the brass rings of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, two of cycling’s five monuments, he has suffered countless mishaps, including untimely flats, dropped chains, a broken steerer, and even the ignominy of a teammate’s attack.

On Easter Sunday, George Hincapie will once again take to the start line at Paris – Roubaix and attempt to exorcise his cobbled demons. A victory by Hincapie would certainly be momentous, but it could hardly be thought of as miraculous. A few years back no one would have thought the sprinter/classics rider a climber, but now he has a Tour de France mountain-top stage win to his credit.

His age notwithstanding, the 35-year old's chances for victory have barely diminished over time, with some even tipping him as the favorite this year. In the end, perhaps its easier for us to question whether the transplanted New Yorker has allowed his own "Doubting Thomas" to believe, or to wonder whether the cycling gods will ever look down favorably on him during the Queen of the Classics, rather than to take his vast and varied accomplishments at face value.

More: NYT - Hincapie Again Takes on the Cobblestones



And in case you were wondering, Big George is well aware of all the white noise as evidenced from the trailer of "A Ride With George Hincapie."



Photo: Leonard Basobas

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Applications Open for Nature Valley Grand Prix

Nature Valley Grand Prix women’s race joins men's as an invitational

Minneapolis – The Nature Valley Grand Prix women’s race is joining the men’s as an invitational in 2009. Both races filled in 2008, with teams being turned away. The men’s race had filled for the past five years, but this was a first for the women.

“The popularity of our women’s race has grown steadily”, said Nature Valley Grand Prix promoter David LaPorte. “We’re the third of four stops on the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series, a program that we coordinate. We’re also the destination event for two national women’s programs. The Women’s Collegiate All Stars will be selected at the USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships, held May 8 – 10 in Fort Collins, CO. And the Nature Valley Pro Ride is selecting the men’s and women’s Nature Valley Cycling Teams at regional events around the county.”


“Colavita Sutter Home definitely has been planning to do the Nature Valley Grand Prix, invitation notwithstanding!”, said Iona Wynter Parks, the women’s team’s director. “I think it is a good idea to invite, it is an event that seems to have no trouble getting entrants/ numbers.”

Applications are now open and can be found on the event web site under NVGP > Racer Technical Info. The application deadline is May 1 and invitations will be issued by May 8. The Nature Valley Grand Prix will be held June 10 – 14.

More info at: www.NatureValleyGrandPrix.com

Photo: Stephanie Williams (Olympic Champion Kristin Armstrong wins her third Nature Valley Grand Prix at the Stillwater Criterium)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Wilier Triestina USA Announces Sponsorship of Pro Triathlete Kate Major

Ironman Champion & 3-Time Kona Podium Finisher Major To Ride Wilier Cento Crono in ‘09

Atlanta, GAWilier Triestina USA officially announced its sponsorship of Ironman Champion and three-time Ford IM World Championship podium finisher Kate Major following IM 70.3 New Orleans on Sunday. It was there that Major competed for the first time atop Wilier’s Cento Crono time trial bike just days after taking possession of it, finishing eighth. She had met with the bike’s designer, acclaimed aerodynamics and biomechanics expert John Cobb, last week in San Diego to be positioned on her new ride. The Cento Crono is one of three bikes Wilier Triestina supplies to European professional cycling team, Lampre, whose riders took both the World Road Championship title and silver medal last fall.

Sponsoring athletes who will represent Wilier on the world stage of professional triathlon is something Wilier’s North American distributor takes very seriously. “As with our decision some months ago to sponsor Ironman Champion Chris McDonald [1st at Superfrog and 13th at New Orleans],” explained Wilier Triestina USA co-owner Angelo Cilli, “we not only want strong athletes representing our brand, but likeable individuals with unquestionable character. I know I say this often and it’s true: our brand is dear to us. So sponsoring an athlete like Kate Major is ideal; a champion who appreciates the design sophistication of the Crono and can showcase what it’s capable of.”


The Cento Crono represents a cutting edge design by one of the industry’s most respected authorities. John Cobb has worked with numerous world-class cyclists, including Lance Armstrong, as well as many of professional triathlon’s top competitors. Although one of the most distinctive aero bikes in the industry, Cobb emphasized that the look and tubing of the Cento Crono are strictly about efficiency and speed: “The Crono is the first time trial bike based solidly on the principles of wave form dynamics to diminish turbulence that can slow down bodies of mass as they move through air. Shaping a few tubes like fairings isn’t enough,” he explained. “The Crono features splitters and tube shapes designed to direct airflow efficiently through and around the bike, its wheels and – just as importantly – the rider’s spinning legs.”

Another distinguishing characteristic of the Cento Crono is how well it handles; evidence of the manufacturer’s 103-year road bike heritage. “It is extremely comfortable to ride, flies on rolling terrain, and handles well on descents, tight corners and climbs,” explained Major. “With the positioning done by John Cobb, it’s a perfect fit. I now need to step up and meet the standard of the Crono...nothing like a new machine to get the competitiveness flowing hard and fast! There has been a lot of time, research and engineering put into this bike by John Cobb and Wilier to address the needs of time trialists, triathletes or any fan of truly innovative bicycles.”

Photo: Jay Prasuhn (John Cobb sets up Kate Major on her new Cento Crono at B&L Bike and Sports in San Diego).

Ronde Repeat - Devolder, Highroad Double Up

Fresh off winning two stages and the overall at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, Ina Teutenberg (Team Columbia - Highroad) sprinted to victory at the 6th Ronde van Vlaanderen Vrouwen this past Sunday.

The 34-year-old German would edge out Kirsten Wild (Cervélo TestTeam) and Emma Johansson (Red Sun) at the line in Ninove to give Team Columbia - Highroad its second consecutive win in the women's version of the Tour of Flanders; teammate Judith Arndt claimed the 2008 title.

Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo TestTeam), who finished second to Arndt last year, was the top American placer finishing 6 seconds back in 18th.

Results
1. Ina Teutenberg (Team Columbia-Highroad)
2. Kirsten Wild (Cervelo TestTeam)
3. Emma Johansson (Red Sun Cycling Team)
4. Nicole Cooke (Vision 1 Racing)
5. Martine Bras (Selle Italia Ghezzi)
6. Marianne Vos (DSB Bank - LTO)
7. Julia Martisova (Gauss RDZ Ormu - Colnago)
8. Noemi Cantele (Bigla Cycling Team)
9. Loes Gunnewijk (Team Flexpoint)
10. Grace Verbeke (Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam)

In a virtual carbon copy of last year's Ronde van Vlaanderen, Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) would take the 93rd edition of the race in solo fashion. Devolder's timely and relentless attacking would lay waste to a host of favorites including his own teammate, Tom Boonen, who seemed more concerned with former teammate, Filippo Pozzato's (Katusha) chances than his own.

Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo Test Team) would take out the field sprint early to easily claim second place. And though it may seem like a dubious honor, it was Haussler's second runner-up finish in the first two legs of the five monuments of cycling this year. Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) would round out the podium.

Results
1. Stijn Devolder (Quick Step)
2. Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo Test Team)
3. Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto)
4. Martijn Maaskant (Garmin - Slipstream)
5. Filippo Pozzato (Team Katusha)
6. Matti Breschel (Team Saxo Bank)
7. Marcus Burghardt (Team Columbia - Highroad)
8. Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team)
9. Martin Elmiger (AG2R La Mondiale)
10. Bert De Waele (Landbouwkrediet - Colnago)

Photo: © Leonard Basobas

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Flanders – Fast & Furious

There are so many things to love as a road cycling fan; the Grand Tours that play out over three weeks like a gripping novel, the exhilarating ebbs and flows of the one day Classics that leave you wishing that the roller coaster ride were endless, and the edge of your seat Criterium races that flash by like a quickly paced action movie.

While each may have their specific preference, the Classics are the proverbial straw that stirs the drink of professional cycling.

Early on Sunday morning, arguably the greatest week on the racing calendar, when two of the five monuments of cycling are run, begins with the 93rd Ronde van Vlaanderen.

The parcours have been slightly altered from last year’s edition, but there will still be plenty of bergs, including the Molenberg (130, C/A), Oude Kwaremont (178, C/A), Paterberg (182, C), Koppenberg (188, C), Taaienberg (196, C), Eikenberg (201, C) and the infamous Muur - Kapelmuur (244, C), to keep the riders occupied over the 260kms from Brugge to Ninove.

As with the Fast and Furious series of movies, the main cast of characters will be back to contest the Belgian classic, but a new host of riders are sure to create another blockbuster of a race.

The overwhelming favorite, Quick Step, will take to the start with perennial favorite Tom Boonen, Stijn Devolder, winner of the 2008 Ronde, and Sylvain Chavanel. They are sure to be tested by the likes of 2009 Het Volk winner, Thor Hushovd, and 2009 Milano-San Remo runner-up, Heinrich Haussler of Cervelo Test Team, Silence Lotto teammates Philippe Gilbert and Leif Hoste, Nick Nuyens and Juan Antonio Flecha of Rabobank, Team Columbia – HighRoad’s George Hincapie and Marcus Burghardt, Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) and Fabian Cancellara (Team Saxo Bank).


Other riders who might be of interest to North American fans include a pair of would-be Rock Racing teammates, sprinter Ivan Dominguez (Fuji-Servetto) and Baden Cooke (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team), and Dominguez's former Toyota-United teammate, Dominique Rollin (Cervelo Test Team), who some have tabbed as a legitimate darkhorse to win the cobbled classic.

Provisional Start List

In the 6th Ronde van Vlaanderen Vrouwen, the women’s edition of the Northern Classic, defending champion Judith Arndt’s (Team Columbia – HighRoad) absence, due to an injury, seems to leave the door wide open for Olympic Champion Nicole Cooke (Vision 1 Racing). But several other stalwarts of the women’s peloton including, but not limited to, Americans Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo Test Team) and Amber Neben (Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung), Emma Johansson (Red Sun Cycling Team), Bronze medalist at the Beijing Games in the road race, fellow Swede, Susanne Ljungskog (Team Flexpoint), Marianne Vos (DSB Bank - LTO), Kirsten Wild (Cervelo Test Team), and Team Columbia - HighRoad teammates Ina Teutenberg and Chantal Beltman, will surely have a say in the outcome.

In addition to Armstrong and Neben, a growing contingent of Americans racing in Europe will take to the line in Oudenaarde. Flying the red, white and blue over the 131.6km will be US National Team members Jessica Phillips, Lea Davison, Alley Stacher, Kristin McGrath, and Amber Rais.

After previewing the course Saturday afternoon, Rais had this to say, "The course itself is f---ing hard...Curious and excited to see how it is raced."


Other Americans in the race are Santa Barbara's Kimberly Anderson (Team Columbia - HighRoad), Carmen McNellis, who rode the Ronde as a member of the US National Team last year,and S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox teammate Flavia M. Oliveira.

Provisional Start List

Images: www.rvv.be

Friday, April 03, 2009

First Riders Selected for Nature Valley Pro Ride

Reminiscent of the PGA’s Q-School, the Nature Valley Pro Ride gives Elite level riders the opportunity to not only compete against the professionals, but as you will read below, also get the “star” treatment. Last weekend, two riders qualified for this summer’s Nature Valley Grand Prix by claiming victories in their respective races at the Jefferson Cup.


Minneapolis – Last Sunday’s Jefferson Cup in Charlottesville, Virginia, was the opening salvo for the 2009 Nature Valley Pro Ride. The winners of the elite races, Adam Farabaugh, (Hershey Cancer Institute-GPOA-Cannondale) and Amity Elliott (JuicePlus; above) have been invited to the Nature Valley Grand Prix to race on the Nature Valley Cycling Team.

“Without [the Nature Valley Pro Ride], women like me, in between levels, may never get a shot at the national level and without the proper support it makes it that much harder”, said women’s winner Amity Elliott. “I know... training for 5 hours and then after waiting tables for 8 hours with a bachelors degree is just plain hard. I am very happy to have had another shot at the spot and actually get it.”

The Nature Valley Pro Ride designation was a major factor in the race. “A lot of the men and women were specifically gunning for the invitation to the Nature Valley Grand Prix”, said Tracy Lea, who managed the selection at the Jefferson Cup. “Most of them were very disappointed to miss the trip and a lot of them were asking me when the next qualifier was being held. These riders have not given up on their dreams of winning a trip to the Nature Valley Grand Prix.”

Each rider selected in the Nature Valley Pro Ride will receive a travel stipend, free entry, housing accommodations, and full team support. They will make public appearances, get pre-race introductions, participate in autograph sessions, and race in front of crowds in excess of 50,000 during this five-day stage race. This program provides riders with a full professional experience and is only available to the Nature Valley Pro Ride winners.

Next up on the Nature Valley Pro Ride will be Hillsboro Roubaix near Saint Louis on Saturday, April 4. Other events will be Wente Vineyards Road Race and Criterium in the San Francisco Bay Area (April 25 & 26), the Glenwood and Longbranch Road Races near Seattle (May 2 & 3), the San Luis Rey Road Race near San Diego (May 3) and the Bear Mountain Road Race in New York (May 10).

Visit www.NatureValleyProRide.com for more information.

Photo: Jason O. Watson

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Team Type 1's Ilesic Third At Walterboro

Walterboro, S.C.Aldo Ino Ilesic finished third and Ken Hanson was fourth as the Team Type 1 sprinters went 1-2 in the field sprint Wednesday night at the Downtown Walterboro Criterium.


Frank Travieso
(Champion Porsche Presented by Herbalife/Racers Edge) out-sprinted Carlos Vargas (Team Hotel San Jose) for the victory in the 75-lap event in Downtown Walterboro, S.C.

The fourth night of the USA CRITS Speed Week series proved to be the second time Ilesic and Hanson have pulled off a 1-2 finish in the field sprint. At Saturday’s Athens Twilight Criterium, it was Hanson who led Ilisec to the line after a three-man breakaway stole the podium spots.

Team Type 1 Director Sportif Vassili Davidenko said cooperation and communication among all eight members of the squad is a big reason why Team Type 1 is fourth in the team standings, but only eight points behind the second-placed Team Hotel San Jose. Team Mountain Khakis leads the competition.

“The guys did a great job of covering all the breaks and keeping control of the group for much of the time,” Davidenko said. “We were very close to the win tonight and you can see the guys getting better and better each race.”

After Travieso and Vargas built a maximum 18 seconds’ lead, Team Type 1, OUCH presented by Maxxis, Kelly Benefit Strategies and Fly V Australia chased hard to reel in the pair. But the gap was still more than a dozen seconds with a lap to go.

“I really thought we were going to catch them,” Ilesic said.

Ilesic said he was actually leading out Hanson Wednesday night, but the technical nature of the course prevented Hanson – the reigning U.S. Elite criterium champion – from coming around him in the end.

“We usually talk to each other with 10 minutes to go and see how we’re feeling,” Ilesic said. “If we are both feeling good, I do the lead out for him.”

Hanson is fourth overall in the Speed Week individual standings that is being led by Mark Hekman (Team Mountain Khakis) while Ilesic is sixth.

Ilesic said he is looking forward to Friday night’s series stop, the Spartanburg Regional Criterium in Spartanburg, S.C. It was in this event a year ago that the Slovenian burst onto the scene with the first of three victories in his first season of racing in the United States.

“It’s going to be a fast course as I remember it from last year,” he said. “It should be easier to cover the moves and breaks, though.”

The Team Type 1 women were kept off the podium for the first time in the series Wednesday night but remain second in the team standings behind Colavita-Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light. Kori Seehafer finished eighth to lead the squad after earning a runner-up finish in Tuesday night’s Beaufort Memorial Criterium.

Photo: Courtesy Team Type 1

Rock Racing’s Bahati Headlines Sunny King Criterium


Culver City, Calif. – United States criterium champion Rahsaan Bahati of Rock Racing will headline a star-studded field at Saturday’s Sunny King Criterium, a National Racing Calendar (NRC) event.

Bahati will be joined by Rock Racing teammates Cesar Grajales and Nic Sanderson for the 60-lap race around a four-corner, 0.7-mile course that serves as the centerpiece of the Noble Street festival in downtown Anniston, Ala. A prize purse of $15,000 is up for grabs.

“I’m excited to be a part of a race that traditionally showcased some great sprinters,” Bahati said. “I have had some good success at big one-day criteriums like Sunny King, so I’m looking forward to giving this one my best shot.”

Bahati is coming off a victory Sunday at the Dana Point Grand Prix, an NRC event in Dana Point, Calif. It was his third win of the year, adding to victories at the Dare to Race in Ontario, Calif., and the Merco Classic Downtown Criterium on Feb. 28 in Merced, Calif. He also earned a runner-up placing and two third-place finishes at races in March.

“Unfortunately, I have not been able to race as many times as I would have liked,” Bahati said. “So I’m making the most of every opportunity. When I race, I’m not just there to show up. I’m definitely trying to win.”

Last year, the 27-year-old won nine times, including the Athens Twilight criterium, the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix and two stages of the International Cycling Classic. His victory at the Saab USA Cycling Professional Criterium Championship last August at Downers Grove, Ill., was one of three national titles Rock Racing won in 2008.

The Sunny King Criterium has seen wins from some of the most notable names in the professional peloton, including J.J. Haedo (2005, 2006) who now rides for Saxo Bank, and Hilton Clarke (2008), who has also joined Haedo in the European peloton.

Race director Mike Poe said he is excited that Bahati’s stars-and-stripes jersey will be part of the race that will also include riders from the OUCH presented by Maxxis Cycling Team, Kenda Pro Cycling Presented by Spinergy, Colavita-Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light, Kelly Benefit Strategies, Jelly Belly Pro Cycling, Bissell Pro Cycling and Team Mountain Khakis. More details are available at www.sunnykingcriterium.com.

“We are excited to welcome Rahsaan and his Rock Racing teammates, and all of the other teams to Sunny King,” Poe said. “It looks like we'll have an exciting night of racing in Anniston again this year, hosting the top criterium specialists in the country.”

The Rock Racing team is experiencing unprecedented success of late, celebrating back-to-back victories this week at the Vuelta a Asturias in Spain. Glen Chadwick won Tuesday’s stage and Oscar Sevilla prevailed in Wednesday’s race to raise the team’s win total to 15 for the season.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ellsworth Bicycles Makes Donation To Trips for Kids

With a donation of more than 50 used bicycles and bicycle frames collected through its trade-in program, Ellsworth Bicycles is helping Trips for Kids bring mountain bike rides to more underserved youth.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. - Trips for Kids (TFK) today announced that Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles Inc. of Ramona, Calif., donated more than 50 used bicycles and bicycle frames to TFK to sell in its Re-Cyclery bicycle thrift shop. Profits from selling these bikes and frames will fund the mountain bike rides TFK hosts for underserved youth.

"We truly appreciate Ellsworth's contribution to the Re-Cyclery shop," said Marilyn Price, founding director of TFK. "About fifty percent of the budget for Trips for Kids International is supported by the shop's revenues - this donation will help us continue those efforts. We thank Ellsworth on behalf of the kids we serve around the world."

Ellsworth Bicycles acquired the used bicycles it donated through its "Economic Recovery Plan," a program that allowed its customers to "trade-in" their used bikes to receive a $700 credit toward the purchase of a new Ellsworth bike or frame.

"We had an overwhelmingly positive response to this trade-in program," said Paul Verdile, Ellsworth Bicycles sales and marketing manager. "Several customers who didn't have used kids' bikes bought new ones specifically to donate to Trips for Kids. We received 50 bikes for the kids when we only expected to receive 30 or 40."

More than 50,000 disadvantaged young people have participated in TFK's day-long cycling adventures that take them through nearby parks and outdoor recreation areas. In addition to vigorous outdoor activity, they also enjoy the encouragement of caring adults who teach them about the environment, the importance of healthy choices and satisfaction of accomplishing their goals.

About Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles Inc.
Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles Inc. designs and manufactures some of the highest quality mountain, road and recreational bicycles in the world. Ellsworth Bicycles is a Commercial Resource Sustainable company, and USA manufacturer. The company is known for its craftsman-style approach to bike design and manufacturing. It holds many design and utility patents worldwide.

Team Type 1’s Lill Claims Overall At Bisbee


Bisbee, Ariz. – Team Type 1’s Darren Lill captured the La Vuelta de Bisbee this past Sunday in thrilling fashion, overcoming a 30-second deficit on the final stage.

Following his third place in Friday night’s prologue, Lill won Saturday morning’s 82-mile (131 km) Sulphur Springs Road Race. But a fifth-place finish in that afternoon’s 7.2-mile (11.5 km) Warren Time Trial dropped him into second behind Phil Zajicek (Fly V Australia) heading into the last race of the three-day event, the 84.4-mile (135 km) Tombstone Road Race.

“I thought it was still possible to win,” Lill said. “It was just a matter of isolating or getting the jump on Zajicek. I was surprised he didn’t watch me more or didn’t come with me when I went.”

Lill made his move by bridging up to a small group that contained Team Type 1 teammate Moises Aldape and older brother, Antonio Aldape, who was joined by two of his Tecos-Trek teammates. With fresh horsepower, the reinforced break enjoyed a 90-second lead at the foot of 5,930-foot Mule Pass leading back toward Bisbee. And as the road climbed up, Lill put the hammer down.

“Three attacks were enough to drop everyone except for Bernardo Colex (Tecos-Trek),” Team Type 1 Assistant Director Gord Fraser said. “With Zajicek still chasing hard from behind, we had Darren ride a hard tempo and perhaps sacrifice the stage win to make sure he had enough of an advantage to take the overall.”

Colex won the stage four seconds ahead of Lill while Zajicek rolled across the finish line alone in fifth place, 55 seconds behind. With a 10-second time bonus earned for his runner-up finish, Lill took the overall title with a 30-second cushion and also earned the race’s King of the Mountain crown. Colex finished third overall, 39 seconds back.

Lill said it was good to get back on the top step of the podium after a string of second and third-place finishes in stage races the past few years. His victory was the 11th of the year by the Team Type 1 men’s professional squad.

“I’m hoping to come out of this race in even better form for the Tour of the Gila later this week,” the 26-year-old South African said. “There will be even more climbing and more competition in that race. We really came together as a team here and got some good cohesion. I think things are really on the upturn for us.”

Lill’s accomplishment caps an impressive weekend of results for a number of Team Type 1’s programs. Jen McRae scored a pair of third-place finishes for the women’s team at the USA CRITS Speed Week series, Alison Powers won Sunday’s Haystack Mountain Time Trial in Boulder, Colo., and Elite team rider Alex Bowden sprinted to a win at the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Championship Criterium Sunday in Columbus, Ohio.

Photo: Alan Fischer

Trips for Kids' Israel Chapter Travels to Washington, D.C. and Participates in a Joint Bike Ride with its Northern Virginia Chapter

Within months of expanding beyond North America, Trips for Kids unites two of its chapters from two areas of the globe for a collaborative mountain bike ride

San Rafael, Calif. and Springfield, Va. - Trips for Kids (TFK), an international nonprofit serving at-risk youth, announces its first joint ride with participants from the TFK chapters in Beit Shemesh, Israel and Northern Virginia will take place on Monday, May 4, 2009 at 4 p.m. at Lake Accotink Park, Springfield, Va., 22150.

"We are thrilled to give young riders from the Israel and Northern Virginia chapters this opportunity to share their excitement for the outdoors and mountain biking," said Marilyn Price, founder of Trips for Kids. "We are certain that both groups will gain appreciation for the outdoors, mountain biking and other nationalities."

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington's "Partnership 2000," a program dedicated to creating relationships between Israeli and North American Jewish communities on an individual, organizational and community level, made this ride possible by underwriting the trip for Trips for Kids Israel- Samson Riders Bicycle Club (TFK Israel-SRBC).

"The children visiting from Israel were struggling academically and had little direction in their lives when they joined Trips for Kids," explained Gilad Golani, liaison for Partnership 2000 in Washington, D.C. "They all demonstrated a great deal of self discipline to improve their scholastic efforts and earn their spot on the Washington, D.C. trip."

TFK Israel-SRBC chapter will take home five new bicycles donated by Trek Bicycle Corporation. As an official TFK sponsor, Trek generously supplies a starter set of bikes to each new TFK chapter.

This inspiring event adds to TFK's already rich history of enriching the lives of underserved youth. Through its 65 chapters, the 21-year-old organization has taken 50,000 underserved youth throughout the U.S., Canada, and Israel on day-long mountain bike adventures. In addition to a day of fun and healthy exercise, the young riders take home an increased awareness of their natural environment and strengthened self confidence.

McRae Third At Roswell

Three was the magic number for Team Type 1's Jen McRae this past weekend as she once again finished behind Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home) and Brooke Miller (Team TIBCO) at the Historic Roswell Criterium.

Roswell, Ga. – Team Type 1’s Jen McRae scored her second straight podium placing of the weekend Sunday when she finished third at the Eighth Annual Historic Roswell Criterium.

Five-time U.S. national criterium champion Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home Women’s Cycling Team) won the 55-minute race ahead of Brooke Miller (Team TIBCO).

McRae also finished third at Saturday’s Athens Twilight Criterium in Athens, Ga. – a race Miller won ahead of Pic.

McRae’s back-to-back podium placings came in her first two races of the season.

“It was the same people on the podium both days, so it shows who the top sprinters are,” McRae said. “But we’re not going to be happy with being third again. We definitely want to improve on that. I think the whole objective of riding with the team this weekend was dialing in the team dynamics.”

Team Type 1 Women’s Director Jack Seehafer said McRae’s performance definitely shows the squad’s potential in criterium racing.

“She’s got to fine tune her training to just get the last part of the sprint down,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes when she and Jackie (Crowell) come back next weekend.”

McRae and Crowell will miss the next three nights of criteriums in the USA CRITS Speed Week series, but will return next weekend to join Monique Hanley, Veronica Leal, Morgan Patton, Samantha Schneider and Kori Seehafer. Up next is Tuesday’s Beaufort Memorial Criterium in Beaufort, S.C., followed by the Downtown Walterboro Criterium in Walterboro, S.C. on Wednesday and the Spartanburg Regional Criterium in Spartanburg, S.C. on Friday.

“We’ll use the next couple of races to start fine tuning things,” Jack Seehafer said. “We’ll look at setting up Morgan and Monique to do some attacks and lining Samantha up to do the sprint.”

The Team Type 1 women also scored their 19th victory of the season Sunday when Alison Powers beat Canadian time trial champion Anne Samplonius for the first time to win the Haystack Mountain Time Trial in Boulder, Colo. Powers was 30 seconds faster than Samplonius over the 16.5-mile (26.5 km) course.

Trips for Kids Reaches 50,000 Underserved Youth in 20 Years of Hosting Mountain Bike Rides

Earlier this week, Trips for Kids (TFK) announced that it has taken 50,000 underserved urban youth on mountain bike rides since its inception more than 20 years ago.

"I'm proud that our efforts have helped thousands of young people experience the world's natural beauty and the excitement of completing a physical challenge - and so many more still need our help," said Marilyn Price, founding director of Trips for Kids. "There are more young people than ever who need to get outside, understand how to take care of our environment, spend a day with caring, supportive adults, and get tired from good, enjoyable exercise."

More than 60 chapters advance the TFK mission. Located in a variety of communities, the groups identify at-risk youth and work through local youth services agencies to help them. Chapters are formed by a variety of individuals and organizations including environmental centers, schools, public health agencies, after-school learning centers, bike advocacy clubs, and non-profits like the YMCA, Boy Scouts, and Girls & Boys Clubs. In many cases the kids they serve have never visited the nearby parks and outdoor areas. TFK provides the bicycles, helmets and other equipment, along with a trained ride leader and adult volunteers.

The children who participate in the rides receive safety instructions and are paired with adult ride buddies. Throughout the ride they learn environmental awareness as well as nutrition and fitness tips. Many of the participants report that the TFK mountain bike rides teach them to set goals and achieve them.

It takes TFK chapter leaders, volunteers, bicycle industry sponsors and individual donors to make TFK rides successful. Visit the TFK website, www.tripsforkids.org, to learn more about the program and to find a local chapter.

Team Type 1’s McRae Third At Athens Twilight

On of the great things about being a cycling fan is that the sport and its athletes move fast. When we last saw Jen McRae she had just closed out the USA CRITS Series with a victory in Las Vegas. In her first race of the season, McRae picked up right where she left off and found herself on the podium at the Athens Twilight Criterium.

Athens, Ga. – It may have been her first race of the season, but Team Type 1’s Jen McRae wasn’t content to simply finish the Athens Twilight criterium.

Not when an estimated 30,000 people were lining the kilometer-long course of a race that celebrated its 30th anniversary on Saturday.

“I was so ready for this race,” McRae said after finishing third behind reigning U.S. national criterium champion Brooke Miller (Team Tibco) and Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home Pro Cycling Team).

“I’ve had a huge training block, so by the time Athens comes around, I’m ready to roll. I get major butterflies, especially for this race. I’ve won it twice over a 10-year span (1997 and 2006), so when I show up there’s a motivation to go for the win.”

In recording the Team Type 1 women’s professional team’s 22nd podium finish of the young season, McRae also got a chance to race alongside the squad’s two riders who have Type 1 diabetes: Monique Hanley and Morgan Patton. Unfortunately, neither finished the 40-lap event. But McRae still had a bevy of teammates around her as the race wound down.

Jackie (Crowell), Kori (Seehafer) and Sam (Schneider) were still with me, but the field had pretty much shattered,” McRae said. “We were represented in every move that was up the road tonight, so that was awesome. That was our strategy – to establish a break and go for the win from there.”

Crowell, who finished fourth at this race a year ago, was one of those who found herself in a breakaway. She and Seehafer each gobbled up a couple in-race primes on the way to helping McRae with the final lead-out. Coming out of the final turn, McRae came from five wheels back to make her bid for the win.

Both the Team Type 1 women’s and men's squads would also compete in this past Sunday's Historic Roswell Criterium in Downtown Roswell, GA. It is the second event of this year’s USA CRITS Speed Week series, which comprises seven races in nine days.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cycling's Top Organizations Partner to Move the Sport Forward


Liege, Belgium - Today, for the first time in four years, presidents and top representatives from Association International Groupe Cycliste Professionelle (AIGCP), Union Cycliste International (UCI), and the Association of Race Organizers (AIOCC) met in Liege, Belgium, to discuss how the three organizations can work together to unify cycling. The meeting, called by Jonathan Vaughters, newly-elected president of the AIGCP and attended by Pat McQuaid, president of the UCI, Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, and other top representatives, marks the first significant step toward creating a stable and credible future for cycling. As a result, the group has committed to ongoing monthly meetings, each of which will focus on critical items affecting the future of the sport including the biopassport and entry into key events.

Joint statement:
We had a very productive meeting and we are committed to continuing to work together to improve the stability and credibility of cycling. Today was an excellent first step.

Photo: (L to R) - Christian Prudhomme, Harald Knebel, Jean Rene Bernadeu, Pat McQuaid, Alain Rumpf, Jonathan Vaughters, Philippe Senmartin, Roberto Amadio, Angelo Zomgenan, Patrick Lefevre

Sprint Finish for the Nature Valley Pro Ride

Last chances to win trips to the Nature Valley Grand Prix coming up

Minneapolis – The 2009 Nature Valley Pro Ride will conclude in less than three weeks. Four amateur riders, two men and two women, have already won trips to the Nature Valley Grand Prix, where they’ll have the full pro experience as they race for the Nature Valley Cycling Team. They’ll be joined by four men and four women selected at upcoming events.

“I made the commitment to drive the 13hrs to St Louis for the Hillsboro-Roubaix road race” wrote Chris Winn in his blog. “Long way to go for a bunch of Coloradans for a weekend suffer-fest, . . . The race was the second qualifier event for the Nature Valley Pro Ride, a chance for amateurs to get the complete pro package treatment in a composite team for the Nature Valley Stage Race in June.” It was a successful trip for Winn, who became the second man to qualify for the Nature Valley Cycling Team.

“The Nature Valley Pro Ride is a wonderful opportunity to give one the most prestigious races in the United States a go, racing on a team with some of the best amateur riders in the nation,” said women’s qualifier Sydney Brown. “I hope each of us will be able to fit our individual aspirations into what's good for the team.”

With two races in the books, there are only four chances left to win trips to the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Those remaining spots will be filled in the next two and a half weeks.

Remaining Qualifying Events
* Scored as an omnium

Each rider selected in the Nature Valley Pro Ride will receive a travel stipend, free entry, housing accommodations, and full team support. They will make public appearances, get pre-race introductions, participate in autograph sessions, and race in front of crowds in excess of 50,000 during this five-day stage race. This program provides riders with a full professional experience and is only available to the Nature Valley Pro Ride winners.

Visit www.NatureValleyProRide.com for more information.

Wilier Trestina USA Announces Cento1 Version Customized For Shimano Di2

Reigning World Champion Cento1 Integrates Award-Winning Electronic Groupset


Atlanta, GAWilier Triestina USA has announced the special order availability of its reigning World Road Champion model, the Cento1, in a version modified specifically for use with Shimano’s acclaimed electronic drivetrain, Dura-Ace Di2. The Cento1 Di2 frameset boasts the same superlight 46Ton carbon monocoque construction and performance features, while enhancements have been implemented in the form of internal routing for wiring that connects the Di2 battery with its electronic shifters and derailleurs.

“While performance was the key pursuit in the development and use of the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electrically actuated shifting system, the side benefit is the freedom and creativity afforded frame makers with respect to cable routing,” explained Devin Walton, Director of Media Relations for Shimano North America. “Wilier’s new frame design takes advantage of that benefit and with the special accommodations for the battery pack creates historically sought-after integration of frame and controls without any impact on shifting response.”

Angelo Cilli, Wilier Triestina USA co-owner and founder, added: “We’re excited about the promising new age being ushered in by Shimano’s electronic groupsets for road and time trial bikes. In the past, attempts were made by other manufacturers to offer electronic shifting, but after extensive in-house testing we have become believers that this technology by Shimano has been refined to the point of being truly feasible and relevant. Campagnolo is promising release of its own electronic drivetrain in the near future, so it seems that the technology may finally be here to stay,” concluded Cilli.

PROMAN's Higgins To Race Pan Am

Marin County, CA - USA Cycling announced earlier this week the nomination of PROMAN Hit Squad rider Cari Higgins to represent the USA at the upcoming Pan American Championships in Mexico.

Higgins is the current elite National Champion in 500m, match sprint, Keirin and team sprint. Cari had a successful winter campaign in Australia with wins and podiums at the Melbourne Revolution and Tasmanian Carnivals.

"It is an honor to get the chance to represent the US National Team in international competition", commented Higgins. "I am looking forward to the high level of competition and mixing it up on the boards in Mexico".

Higgins has been racing for four years. She is a mentor for the new PROMAN junior program, as well as a founder of the Boulder-based Flatiron Flyers Junior Cycling Project.

“I am very happy for this opportunity to get another PROMAN rider to a Championship event. Not only is Cari currently the best sprinter in the U.S she is a fantastic ambassador for the sport,” stated team manager Nicola Cranmer.

Cari will complete her Pan Am training at the ADT Velodrome in Carson, CA over the next few weeks.

Photo: Rob Evans

Never As Bad As The Worst Thing You've Done


After listening in to Tyler Hamilton announce his retirement last Friday from the sport he still considers “beautiful,” I was quickly reminded how truly ugly the world outside the barriers could be.

“Disgraced rider Hamilton to quit”
“Tyler Hamilton retires after another positive doping test”
“Cyclist Hamilton retires, cites positive doping test”

But honestly, who can blame those that report on sport. In a world where the topic of PEDs comes up as often as Watts, Power, and V02max there is no longer any room for topics of human frailty or the examination of the human condition.

Top tier athletes are sometimes viewed with as much regard as racing horses or treated as entertainers with more consideration for how they perform rather than who they are.

And while there is the understanding that most of the headlines detailing Hamilton’s announcement were meant to draw reader interest and perhaps sell a few papers, what was frequently mentioned, but often buried in the reporting of the announcement was his ongoing battle with clinical depression. A battle that he kept well hidden since being diagnosed in 2003, and one that he never used as an excuse for (but most likely had a hand in) any of the downturns (a suspension, a divorce, dealing with his mother’s illness, and now his retirement) in his life.

Clinical depression is a serious medical illness that negatively affects how people feel, the way they think and how they act.
Individuals with clinical depression are unable to function as they used to. Often they have lost interest in activities that were once enjoyable to them, and feel sad and hopeless for extended periods of time. Clinical depression is not the same as feeling sad or depressed for a few days and then feeling better. It can affect your body, mood, thoughts, and behavior. It can change your eating habits, how you feel and think, your ability to work and study, and how you interact with people. People who suffer from clinical depression often report that they "don't feel like themselves anymore."

Depression can strike anyone regardless of age, background, socioeconomic status or gender. However, in any given year, 12% of women (nearly 12 million women) in the United States are diagnosed with depression compared to 7% of men (over 6 million men). Important questions remain about the causes underlying this gender difference and whether depression truly is less common among men, or whether men are less likely than women to recognize, acknowledge and seek treatment for depression.

Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) on depression awareness has shown that many men are unaware that physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain can be associated with depression. Depression in men can present itself differently than in women. Men are more likely to acknowledge fatigue, irritability, loss of interest in hobbies, sleep disturbances, and discouragement, rather than feelings of worthlessness or guilt. Men's depression is more often masked by alcohol or other drugs, or by the socially acceptable habit of working excessively long hours.
Bonnie D. Ford, special to ESPN.com, was one of the few who captured Hamilton’s battle in and out of the shadows and the dispiriting nature of the news that he had once again tested positive.
His teammate and frequent race roommate Mike Creed said Hamilton never lost his outwardly generous, people-pleasing nature. But Creed also noticed when Hamilton's partying veered from ordinary steam-venting to something more ominous. "He was drinking to turn his brain off," said the 28-year-old American rider. "You could tell there was a weight. He wasn't comfortable unless he was raging drunk.

"I hope people get big-picture about this and see that it's a tragedy," Creed said Friday. "I talked to him this morning, and I told him I hope he finds the peace he's looking for. You're never as good as the best thing you've done, and you're never as bad as the worst thing you've done."
Perhaps some people were afraid to tackle the issues in what many still consider as a “soft” science. But as some modern medical practitioners are sometimes criticized for treating symptoms rather than the person, it is quite evident that the same can be said for the focus of most sports reporters.

More: Samuel Abt (NYT) - Hamilton’s Confession Raises Questions

Photo: Leonard Basobas

Friday, April 17, 2009

Breaking News: Rock Racing's Tyler Hamilton Announces Retirement


With his disappearance from the sport for the past several months, many questions abounded regarding Tyler Hamilton's (Rock Racing) status. In a impromptu press conference today, Hamilton officially announced his retirement citing a continued battle with clinical depression.

There was rampant speculation that Hamilton's recent absence was due to a positive test for a banned substance. And while those rumors turned out to be substantiated, the positive "A" sample results were for DHEA, a banned substance with no known performance enhancing effects found in an herbal anti-depressant.

We will have more on his announcement later today.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

TIBCO, Team Type 1 Top Initial 2009 Women’s Prestige Cycling Series Standings

Women’s Prestige Cycling Series Releases Standings After Redlands Bicycle Classic


Minneapolis – The 2009 Women’s Prestige Cycling Series kicked off at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, the traditional Series opener. Team Type 1 and Team TIBCO traded blows, each claiming the lead in two of the four competitions.

Consistency was the name of the game in the Individual classification, with Alison Powers (Team Type 1) and Katheryn Mattis (Webcor) claiming the top two spots in the prologue time trial and then holding them through the remaining three stages. Lauren Tamayo (Team TIBCO) provided a bit of drama, moving from 8th after the prologue to 3rd after the first stage before defending that position for the rest of the race.

Individual Classification
1. Alison Powers (Team Type 1)
2. Katheryn Mattis (Webcor Builders Cycling Team)
3. Lauren Tamayo (Team TIBCO)
4. Kristin Sanders (ValueAct Capital)
5. Meredith Miller (Team TIBCO)

Julie Beveridge (Team TIBCO) and Rebecca Much (Webcor) took the top two spots in the Series’ Best Young Rider competition at the prologue and then defended those positions at the following three stages. Carla Swart was third after the prologue, then fourth after the following two stages before dropping to 8th after a tough final stage.

Best Young Rider
1. Julie Beveridge (Team TIBCO)
2. Rebecca Much (Webcor Builders Cycling Team)
3. Tiffany Cromwell (Colavita Sutter Home)
4. Lindsey Myers (Wines of Washington)
5. Jacquelyn Crowell (Team Type 1)

The Sprint classification was a seesaw battle between Lauren Tamayo (Team TIBCO) and former team mates Kori Seehafer (Team Type 1) and Tina Pic (Colavita). Seehafer claimed the jersey after Stage 1. Stage 2 saw Tamayo in the lead, followed by Pic with Seehafer dropping to third. Seehafer came storming back in the 3rd and final stage, claiming the victory with Pic remaining in second and Tamayo dropping to 4th.

Best Sprinter
1. Kori Seehafer (Team Type 1)
2. Tina Pic (Colavita Sutter Home)
3. Alison Powers (Team Type 1)
4. Lauren Tamayo (Team TIBCO)
5. Joanne Kiesanowski (Team TIBCO)

TIBCO claimed top honors in the team competition, thanks to strong performances by several riders and aided by Beveridge, whose points contribution were doubled because of the young rider bonus used in calculating Series team standings. Webcor held on for second because they had two young riders, Much and Alexis Rhodes. But 2nd through 4th are separated by only 36 points, leaving the team competition up for grabs at the next three Series events.

Best Team
1. Team TIBCO - 294 pts
2. Webcor Builders Cycling Team - 201
3. Team Type - 1196
4. ValueAct Capital Cycling Team - 165
5. Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light- 83

Full results can be found at www.WomenCyclists.com

The 2009 Women’s Prestige Cycling Series continues at the Joe Martin Stage Race (May 7 – 10), followed by the Nature Valley Grand Prix (June 10 – 14) before concluding at the Cascade Classic (July 22 – 26).

Photo: VeloImages

Test Ride Delta 7 Sports Arantix and Ascend At Sea Otter

Delta 7 Sports will be at the 2009 Sea Otter Classic with the latest versions of their road and mountain bikes. Stop by booth #303 and you'll have your first opportunity to demo the Ascend road bike that Delta 7 Sports unveiled at Interbike 2008, and featured on our site. Weighing in at 2.14 pounds, it is the first road frame designed with IsoTruss® technology and Kevlar spider web-like open lattice tubes.

You'll also be able to test ride the latest model of the Arantix mountain bike, which we took out for a spin out at Interbike's Outdoor Demo Days. Delta 7 Sports was able to reduce the price of its IsoTruss® mountain bike frame from $6,995 (USD) to $4,895 (USD) even with improvements in the chain stays' and bottom bracket's stiffness, increased lateral stiffness in the head tube and rear dropouts with more chain clearance.


Delta 7 Sports Arantix Mountain Bike
The first to use IsoTruss® technology and Kevlar spider web-like open lattice tubes, the frame weighs only 2.6 pounds (1179 gram). The Arantix has recently been revised with a stiffer bottom bracket, head tube and chain stays, as well as more chain stay/tire clearance. Available as frame set only or as a complete bike with Shimano XTR or SRAM X.O. Suggested retail: $4,895 (frame only), $8,495-$9,295 (complete bike).


Delta 7 Sports Ascend Road Bike
One of the strongest frames in its weight class, estimated weight of less than 1000 grams, Delta 7 Sports gives the Ascend an optimal strength-to-weight ratio by weaving a single carbon fiber strand into IsoTruss ® carbon Kevlar spider web-like open lattice tubes. Available as frame set only or as a complete bike with SRAM Red or Campy Super Record. Suggested retail: $5,995 (frame only), $10,995-$16,995 (complete bike).

Ritchey Design Products At Sea Otter Classic, Meet The Women of Team TIBCO

Ritchey Design will be displaying its new 2009 product, as well as offering a sneak peak of some of its 2010 line at this year's Sea Otter Classic.

While visiting the Ritchey/Syncros booth (#727), you can also meet members of the Ritchey sponsored TIBCO Women's Pro Cycling Team. They will be using the booth as their home base while competing at Sea Otter. Team TIBCO members include: Junior National and World Champions, an Olympian and Brooke Miller, the 2008 U.S. National Road and Criterium National Champion.

Ritchey Design Products at Sea Otter
SuperLogic Carbon 46mm Road Tubular wheels
One hundred percent hand-built, race-proven Ritchey wheel technology combined with proprietary carbon rims make this wheel set one of the lightest in the market. The rims are constructed with a unique blend of uni-directional, hi-modulus carbon and Boron with ceramic braking surface for high strength and low weight. Internal 3/16" hex style nipples and DT bladed New Aero Light spokes are used for enhanced aerodynamics and serviceability. The cold forged WCS SL front hub has rounded flanges to support high-tension radial lacing and smooth rolling, low maintenance precision bearings. The cold forged WCS SL rear hub uses precision bearings, optimal flange design for spoke support and is available in three lightweight alloy freehub body configurations (Campy, Shimano and SRAM). 20H radial lacing (front); 24H 2x (rear). Clincher version available soon. Weight: 491g(F)/ 680g(R) MSRP: $2799.90(pair)

WCS Carbon 1Bolt Zero-Offset seatpost
As part of Ritchey Design's commitment to its Fit Logic Philosophy, "the best performance is achieved when a bike fits the unique and individual dimensions of the rider," Ritchey offers its Zero-Offset seat post. For riders with relatively short femurs/upper bodies, time trialists or triatletes who want to be "on top of" their pedals, the zero-offset post allows riders to sit more forward and places the knee joint more in-line with pedal axle spindles for balanced pedaling. The WCS Carbon post is constructed using Ritchey's 3D monocoque pressure forged process, which forms the seatpost head and tube in one process for an optimized strength-to-weight ratio. The patented SideBinder one-bolt seat clamp makes for easy fore and aft and saddle tilt adjustments. Low-profile head ensures optimal saddle clearance and easy access to the SideBinder bolt. Weight: 164g (350mm/27.2) MSRP: $269.95

WCS Carbon Streem saddleWCS Carbon Streem saddle
Features Ritchey's "Vector Wing," a composite flexible strut located at the back of the saddle between the saddle base and rails which dampens road vibrations for a smooth comfortable ride. The Vector Wing, low-profile shell and saddle rails are carbon injected as one piece to reduce weight. Superlight foam and genuine leather cover the saddle shell for comfort. Available in black or white. Weight: 145g. MSRP: $189.95

Syncros Products at Sea Otter
Meathook Pedal
Constructed of 6061 aluminum alloy, the wide webbed pedal platform is Syncros Meathook peadlscontoured to match the curve of soft soled shoes providing great grip and control with minimal weight. A Syncros exclusive design, pedal axles feature cartridge bearings with 20mm high load capacity PU bearings at each end, and four 10mm needle bearings in the middle to support the pedal body on super hard landings. Pedal comes with threaded replaceable cleat-style traction pins in two sizes (3mm and 6mm). Available colors: blue, red and silver grey with laser etched Syncros grunge graphic, or in standard black without grunge graphic. Intended use: Freeride/ 4X/ BMX racing/ DH/ Trials. Weight: 503g(pair). MSRP: $189.95

AM (All Mountain) Stem
This stem uses Syncros' exclusive 4D net forged manufacturing process fSyncros AM Stemor a bi-ovalized design, which minimizes weight and maximizes resistance to vertical and horizontal forces for the wind up to the big huck. Available with 12 degree rise in 70/80/90/100/110mm lengths. 1.5" steerer clamp (60/70/80mm only). Intended use: All mountain/ Super D/ Long travel trail bikes/ light duty FR. Finish options: high polish (HP) black or matte white, with or without grunge graphics. Weight: 175g MSRP: $79.95 to $99.95 depending on color option.

FL CF (Freakin Light Carbon Fiber) 25 Wheelset
These wheels are hand-built with high pressure forged, 3K carbon fiber rims for lightweight and multi-dimensional strength. DT Competition black spokes, 32 hole front and rear, 3x lacing configuration combine into a light and superb handling wheelset that flies up climbs, then tears down technical and rugged trails with unexpected durability and precision. Hubs are cold forged disc compatible Syncros FLH with 15mm thru axle or QR option. Also available with bolt on style rotor or center lock options. Intended use: All mountain. Weight: 684g (F Std QR), 678g (F 15mm thru axle)/ 812g (R Std QR) MSRP: $2,075.00 (pair)

2009 Sea Otter Classic - Expo

The Sea Otter Classic begins today, April 16th, and runs through the 19th at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area in beautiful Monterey, California. The four-day cycling and outdoor sports extravaganza features a full schedule of amateur and pro cycling events, and promises to provide an action-packed weekend for all those involved as well as those merely spectating.

The Sea Otter Classic also plays host to one of the largest consumer bike expos in the world. Below are just some of vendors at this year’s expo.

iBert Inc. Safe-T-Seat
iBert Inc. brings its safe-T-seat, the front-mounted child bicycle seat, to Sea Otter Classic 2009. Be sure to stop by booth #236 to check out the child bicycle seat that places the child between the adult rider and the handlebars, giving parents improved control over both the child and the bicycle.


In the past year iBert Inc. has signed a sponsorship agreement with David "Tinker" Juarez and continued expanding its clientele around the world.

Tainted Love - Introducing "Okole Stuff" Ultimate Chamois Ointment
Six-time Endurance National Champion Monique "Pua" Sawicki has created what she believes is the ultimate chamois ointment for cyclists - Okole Stuff, and will debut the product at Sea Otter Booth 828.

Translated as "Butt Stuff" in Hawaiian, Okole Stuff was born out of the need to have maximum comfort for hours in the saddle, that only a 24 Hour Champion like Pua could create.

"I tried everything on the market, and nothing would withstand the hours and miles that I was putting in the saddle to become National Champion," stated Sawicki. "I did the research and came up with the only product that gives comfort with one application for up to 24 Hours on the bike!"

While most Chamois Ointments are designed to be absorbed into your skin, they don't last as long as needed.


Okole Stuff stays on TOP of your skin to provide hours of friction-free time in the saddle. Soothing and long-lasting ingredients include Lanolin, Allantoin, Tea Tree Oil, Aloe and Love to help heal your skin and keep you riding longer.

Otter In Overdrive
H2O Overdrive™, which was featured earlier on the Triple, is a new and unique hydration drink that offers a crisp thirst-quenching blast of essential nutrients for energy, stamina, rapid replenishment of muscle glycogen, protein synthesis, muscle function and recovery for any cyclist. Stop by booth #353 to taste the latest innovation in hydration. (You can even have a bottle or two if you come by the booth at Sea Otter).

H2O Overdrive is scientifically formulated with a precision ratio of 8 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbohydrates, more than 30 vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other essential nutrients to ensure hydration at the cellular level - all with only 3 grams of sugar.

PROMAN Women's Professional Cycling Team Expands Juniors Program

Building on Early Season Success of Its Junior Squad, PROMAN Plans National Campaign

Marin County, Calif. – The PROMAN Women’s Professional Cycling Team today announced plans to expand its new Junior development program. After successes at multiple NorCal regional events already this season, the four-woman squad will compete in its first national level event at the Sea Otter Classic this Thursday and Friday, April 16-17, with plans to participate in other national caliber events throughout 2009.


The four members of PROMAN’s inaugural Junior program, pictured above with GM Nicola Cranmer, are:
  • Claire Jensen, age 13, 2008 National Track Champion and NCNCA State TT Champion
  • Nikka van den Dries, age 14, 2008 NCNCA State Champion in RR, TT, Crit and Track
  • Ruth Winder, age 15, 2008 NCNCA State TT Champion
  • Christina Yglesias, age 16, 2008 NCNCA State Champion in RR, Crit and Track
“We’re excited about our Junior program and delighted about how well it’s come together already this season,” explained founder and General Manager, Nicola Cranmer. “We’ve built our team one step at a time with the help of extremely supportive sponsors and members of the community. We’re hoping to boost junior cycling at the national level by supporting young women who have already distinguished themselves at the regional and state levels.”

The PROMAN Women’s Professional Cycling Team is comprised of eight professional riders, including Track Worlds veteran Shelley Olds (2008 Elite National Scratch Race Champion and US National Team member), Rachel Lloyd (2008 PRO Super D National Champion and US National Team member) and Cari Higgins (2008 Elite 4x National Track Champion). These riders have been coaching and mentoring the PROMAN Juniors, sharing valuable experience to the promising young athletes.

Passing it on (left to right): State and National Champs Olds, Cranmer, Higgins and Lloyd inspire – and are inspired by – their Juniors

All four Juniors participated in the USAC development clinics held in Santa Rosa, California, last year. While instructing these young riders, Cranmer and Olds came up with the idea of a Junior development squad. “The desire to start a Junior program was a direct result of observing these young women” reported Olds. “We wanted to help them succeed, as well as invest in the future of our sport.”

Cranmer went on to explain that there is still a disproportionate amount of money and product support going to men’s cycling programs and even to men’s squads on co-ed teams. The PROMAN Women’s Professional Cycling Team continues to raise awareness and build a following, with hopes of not only establishing itself as a prominent North American women’s team, but generating more interest and financial support for its Juniors who may go on to be some of the next generation of cycling champions.

“I feel that investing in Junior riders – girls in particular – is critical to the growth of cycling in the US,” asserted Cranmer. “Recently appointed USAC athletic director, Jim Miller, has assured me that he will continue to focus on women's development. Miller has successfully expanded the women's road endurance program resulting in world class contenders and Olympic gold. I have complete faith in Jim's ability to continue to develop a new and exciting paradigm for female racers in the US."

About PROMAN Women's Professional Cycling / UCI Pro Track Team
The PROMAN Women’s Professional Cycling Team is dedicated to promoting the enjoyable and ethical growth of American cycling for women, and serving as a platform for women to earn berths on the United States National Cycling, Mountain Bike and Cyclocross Teams. PROMAN works in partnership with USA Cycling, the UCI and the Agency for Sporting Ethics (ASE), which in 2007 created the most aggressive anti-doping program in professional sports. All PROMAN riders and staff support a strict Code of Conduct, striving to treat competitors, race organizers, national and international cycling officials, spectators and fans with the highest standards of fairness, character, kindness and respect. The team believes in and loves the bicycle as a force for positive social change, an environmentally responsible transportation option and a healthy, enjoyable way of life for boys, girls, men and women of all ages. Product sponsors include BMC, Rudy Project, SRAM, Northwave, WTB, Clif Bar, Skins, Arundel and Ritchey Design. For more information visit www.proman-paradigm.blogspot.com and www.promanracing.com. Team updates via: http://twitter.com/nicolacranmer.

Photos: Rob Evans (top & middle); Robert Lowe (bottom; Ruth Winder can win on the road and on the dirt).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lance On The Tour In His Own Words

Third Times A Charm - Tommeke Takes Third Paris-Roubaix

If there is any question remaining as to whether Tom Boonen (Quick Step) is a sprinter or a man for the Classics, the answer came quickly and decisively this past Sunday at the running of the 107th Paris-Roubaix.

Tommeke would solo to a second consecutive Paris-Roubaix victory, and his third overall. Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) would roll into second, and Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team) would take third ahead of Silence-Lotto teammates Leif Hoste and Johan Van Summeren.

Since his arrival during the 2002 edition, where he finished a surprising third, Boonen has had a rather charmed existence in a race that is commonly referred to as the Hell of the North. Aside from his three victories (2005, 2008, and 2009), Boonen has finished second (2006), sixth (2007), and 9th (2004). His worse finish was a 24th placing in 2003.



Results
1. Tom Boonen (Quick Step)
2. Filippo Pozzato (Team Katusha)
3. Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team)
4. Leif Hoste (Silence-Lotto)
5. Johan Van Summeren (Silence-Lotto)
6. Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank)
7. Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo Test Team)
8. Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step)
9. Manuel Quinziato (Liquigas)
10. Matti Breschel (Team Saxo Bank)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ten For Teutenberg


Ina-Yoko Teutenberg continued her recent run of success this past Friday winning Drenthe 8 Van Dwindeloo. Coming off the win at Redlands Classic and perhaps her career highlight, winning Ronde Van Vlaanderen Vrouwen last Sunday, Teutenberg can be very pleased with the way her 2009 season has begun.

"If you told me a few weeks ago that I'd win 10 races by mid April I would have laughed at you," Teutenberg joked. "But I had a really good off season and it's nice to start the season like this.”

Teutenberg also won Drenthe 8 Van Dwindeloo in 2008 but she said the course had changed.

"Today we had a cobbled section 2km from the finish line which made positioning at the end vital,” she explained. "Normally the cobbles come with ten kilometers to go. The conditions were also very different in that it was hot for Holland and not windy enough to really split things up.”

The 140km race saw a few breaks get away mid race, but everything came back together for a bunch sprint at the end.


“When we hit the cobbles there was a good attack from Sarah Duster,” said Teutenberg. “Nuernberg had to work pretty hard to close the gap and then they went on to do the lead out for Regina [Schleicher]. She started to sprint at 200m to go and I squeezed through a gap to come around her with about 50 meters to go.”

"I'm quite happy this race is over to be honest, said Teutenberg. "I was really tired today and the race was fast so I suffered a lot. But I'm happy with the result and now I will try to rest up for the World Cup on Monday.”

Ride Like Ina
Well maybe not exactly, but at SCOTT USA, Inc., which was established in 1958 and located in Sun Valley, Idaho, they "believe that women should receive the same performance features that men do.

To achieve this, they use the exact same frame and suspension technology in their Contessa line that is employed in the rest of the line. Using input for their pro riders, like Ina Teutenberg and Team Columbia Highroad, SCOTT has developed comfortable, high performance bikes that accommodate the physical needs of female riders.

Contessa Race bikes are equipped with high-end, female friendly components, such as women’s specific saddles, bars and brake levers, and have graphic design elements that stand out.

Materials used for this post courtesy of Scott News

Friday, April 10, 2009

Is It Too Late For Hincapie?


George Hincapie’s (Team Columbia - Highroad) career on the cobbles is the veritable "mystery, wrapped in a riddle, inside an enigma."

He has won Ghent – Wevelgem and Kuurne – Brussels – Kuurne, and found the podium at the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix. He is highly regarded amongst the crazed Belgian multitude, and is easily considered "America’s premier Classics rider."

But despite all of his accolades, Hincapie is largely viewed as a tragic figure in cycling. In his attempts to capture the brass rings of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, two of cycling’s five monuments, he has suffered countless mishaps, including untimely flats, dropped chains, a broken steerer, and even the ignominy of a teammate’s attack.

On Easter Sunday, George Hincapie will once again take to the start line at Paris – Roubaix and attempt to exorcise his cobbled demons. A victory by Hincapie would certainly be momentous, but it could hardly be thought of as miraculous. A few years back no one would have thought the sprinter/classics rider a climber, but now he has a Tour de France mountain-top stage win to his credit.

His age notwithstanding, the 35-year old's chances for victory have barely diminished over time, with some even tipping him as the favorite this year. In the end, perhaps its easier for us to question whether the transplanted New Yorker has allowed his own "Doubting Thomas" to believe, or to wonder whether the cycling gods will ever look down favorably on him during the Queen of the Classics, rather than to take his vast and varied accomplishments at face value.

More: NYT - Hincapie Again Takes on the Cobblestones



And in case you were wondering, Big George is well aware of all the white noise as evidenced from the trailer of "A Ride With George Hincapie."



Photo: Leonard Basobas

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Applications Open for Nature Valley Grand Prix

Nature Valley Grand Prix women’s race joins men's as an invitational

Minneapolis – The Nature Valley Grand Prix women’s race is joining the men’s as an invitational in 2009. Both races filled in 2008, with teams being turned away. The men’s race had filled for the past five years, but this was a first for the women.

“The popularity of our women’s race has grown steadily”, said Nature Valley Grand Prix promoter David LaPorte. “We’re the third of four stops on the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series, a program that we coordinate. We’re also the destination event for two national women’s programs. The Women’s Collegiate All Stars will be selected at the USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships, held May 8 – 10 in Fort Collins, CO. And the Nature Valley Pro Ride is selecting the men’s and women’s Nature Valley Cycling Teams at regional events around the county.”


“Colavita Sutter Home definitely has been planning to do the Nature Valley Grand Prix, invitation notwithstanding!”, said Iona Wynter Parks, the women’s team’s director. “I think it is a good idea to invite, it is an event that seems to have no trouble getting entrants/ numbers.”

Applications are now open and can be found on the event web site under NVGP > Racer Technical Info. The application deadline is May 1 and invitations will be issued by May 8. The Nature Valley Grand Prix will be held June 10 – 14.

More info at: www.NatureValleyGrandPrix.com

Photo: Stephanie Williams (Olympic Champion Kristin Armstrong wins her third Nature Valley Grand Prix at the Stillwater Criterium)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Wilier Triestina USA Announces Sponsorship of Pro Triathlete Kate Major

Ironman Champion & 3-Time Kona Podium Finisher Major To Ride Wilier Cento Crono in ‘09

Atlanta, GAWilier Triestina USA officially announced its sponsorship of Ironman Champion and three-time Ford IM World Championship podium finisher Kate Major following IM 70.3 New Orleans on Sunday. It was there that Major competed for the first time atop Wilier’s Cento Crono time trial bike just days after taking possession of it, finishing eighth. She had met with the bike’s designer, acclaimed aerodynamics and biomechanics expert John Cobb, last week in San Diego to be positioned on her new ride. The Cento Crono is one of three bikes Wilier Triestina supplies to European professional cycling team, Lampre, whose riders took both the World Road Championship title and silver medal last fall.

Sponsoring athletes who will represent Wilier on the world stage of professional triathlon is something Wilier’s North American distributor takes very seriously. “As with our decision some months ago to sponsor Ironman Champion Chris McDonald [1st at Superfrog and 13th at New Orleans],” explained Wilier Triestina USA co-owner Angelo Cilli, “we not only want strong athletes representing our brand, but likeable individuals with unquestionable character. I know I say this often and it’s true: our brand is dear to us. So sponsoring an athlete like Kate Major is ideal; a champion who appreciates the design sophistication of the Crono and can showcase what it’s capable of.”


The Cento Crono represents a cutting edge design by one of the industry’s most respected authorities. John Cobb has worked with numerous world-class cyclists, including Lance Armstrong, as well as many of professional triathlon’s top competitors. Although one of the most distinctive aero bikes in the industry, Cobb emphasized that the look and tubing of the Cento Crono are strictly about efficiency and speed: “The Crono is the first time trial bike based solidly on the principles of wave form dynamics to diminish turbulence that can slow down bodies of mass as they move through air. Shaping a few tubes like fairings isn’t enough,” he explained. “The Crono features splitters and tube shapes designed to direct airflow efficiently through and around the bike, its wheels and – just as importantly – the rider’s spinning legs.”

Another distinguishing characteristic of the Cento Crono is how well it handles; evidence of the manufacturer’s 103-year road bike heritage. “It is extremely comfortable to ride, flies on rolling terrain, and handles well on descents, tight corners and climbs,” explained Major. “With the positioning done by John Cobb, it’s a perfect fit. I now need to step up and meet the standard of the Crono...nothing like a new machine to get the competitiveness flowing hard and fast! There has been a lot of time, research and engineering put into this bike by John Cobb and Wilier to address the needs of time trialists, triathletes or any fan of truly innovative bicycles.”

Photo: Jay Prasuhn (John Cobb sets up Kate Major on her new Cento Crono at B&L Bike and Sports in San Diego).

Ronde Repeat - Devolder, Highroad Double Up

Fresh off winning two stages and the overall at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, Ina Teutenberg (Team Columbia - Highroad) sprinted to victory at the 6th Ronde van Vlaanderen Vrouwen this past Sunday.

The 34-year-old German would edge out Kirsten Wild (Cervélo TestTeam) and Emma Johansson (Red Sun) at the line in Ninove to give Team Columbia - Highroad its second consecutive win in the women's version of the Tour of Flanders; teammate Judith Arndt claimed the 2008 title.

Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo TestTeam), who finished second to Arndt last year, was the top American placer finishing 6 seconds back in 18th.

Results
1. Ina Teutenberg (Team Columbia-Highroad)
2. Kirsten Wild (Cervelo TestTeam)
3. Emma Johansson (Red Sun Cycling Team)
4. Nicole Cooke (Vision 1 Racing)
5. Martine Bras (Selle Italia Ghezzi)
6. Marianne Vos (DSB Bank - LTO)
7. Julia Martisova (Gauss RDZ Ormu - Colnago)
8. Noemi Cantele (Bigla Cycling Team)
9. Loes Gunnewijk (Team Flexpoint)
10. Grace Verbeke (Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam)

In a virtual carbon copy of last year's Ronde van Vlaanderen, Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) would take the 93rd edition of the race in solo fashion. Devolder's timely and relentless attacking would lay waste to a host of favorites including his own teammate, Tom Boonen, who seemed more concerned with former teammate, Filippo Pozzato's (Katusha) chances than his own.

Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo Test Team) would take out the field sprint early to easily claim second place. And though it may seem like a dubious honor, it was Haussler's second runner-up finish in the first two legs of the five monuments of cycling this year. Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) would round out the podium.

Results
1. Stijn Devolder (Quick Step)
2. Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo Test Team)
3. Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto)
4. Martijn Maaskant (Garmin - Slipstream)
5. Filippo Pozzato (Team Katusha)
6. Matti Breschel (Team Saxo Bank)
7. Marcus Burghardt (Team Columbia - Highroad)
8. Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team)
9. Martin Elmiger (AG2R La Mondiale)
10. Bert De Waele (Landbouwkrediet - Colnago)

Photo: © Leonard Basobas

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Flanders – Fast & Furious

There are so many things to love as a road cycling fan; the Grand Tours that play out over three weeks like a gripping novel, the exhilarating ebbs and flows of the one day Classics that leave you wishing that the roller coaster ride were endless, and the edge of your seat Criterium races that flash by like a quickly paced action movie.

While each may have their specific preference, the Classics are the proverbial straw that stirs the drink of professional cycling.

Early on Sunday morning, arguably the greatest week on the racing calendar, when two of the five monuments of cycling are run, begins with the 93rd Ronde van Vlaanderen.

The parcours have been slightly altered from last year’s edition, but there will still be plenty of bergs, including the Molenberg (130, C/A), Oude Kwaremont (178, C/A), Paterberg (182, C), Koppenberg (188, C), Taaienberg (196, C), Eikenberg (201, C) and the infamous Muur - Kapelmuur (244, C), to keep the riders occupied over the 260kms from Brugge to Ninove.

As with the Fast and Furious series of movies, the main cast of characters will be back to contest the Belgian classic, but a new host of riders are sure to create another blockbuster of a race.

The overwhelming favorite, Quick Step, will take to the start with perennial favorite Tom Boonen, Stijn Devolder, winner of the 2008 Ronde, and Sylvain Chavanel. They are sure to be tested by the likes of 2009 Het Volk winner, Thor Hushovd, and 2009 Milano-San Remo runner-up, Heinrich Haussler of Cervelo Test Team, Silence Lotto teammates Philippe Gilbert and Leif Hoste, Nick Nuyens and Juan Antonio Flecha of Rabobank, Team Columbia – HighRoad’s George Hincapie and Marcus Burghardt, Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) and Fabian Cancellara (Team Saxo Bank).


Other riders who might be of interest to North American fans include a pair of would-be Rock Racing teammates, sprinter Ivan Dominguez (Fuji-Servetto) and Baden Cooke (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team), and Dominguez's former Toyota-United teammate, Dominique Rollin (Cervelo Test Team), who some have tabbed as a legitimate darkhorse to win the cobbled classic.

Provisional Start List

In the 6th Ronde van Vlaanderen Vrouwen, the women’s edition of the Northern Classic, defending champion Judith Arndt’s (Team Columbia – HighRoad) absence, due to an injury, seems to leave the door wide open for Olympic Champion Nicole Cooke (Vision 1 Racing). But several other stalwarts of the women’s peloton including, but not limited to, Americans Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo Test Team) and Amber Neben (Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung), Emma Johansson (Red Sun Cycling Team), Bronze medalist at the Beijing Games in the road race, fellow Swede, Susanne Ljungskog (Team Flexpoint), Marianne Vos (DSB Bank - LTO), Kirsten Wild (Cervelo Test Team), and Team Columbia - HighRoad teammates Ina Teutenberg and Chantal Beltman, will surely have a say in the outcome.

In addition to Armstrong and Neben, a growing contingent of Americans racing in Europe will take to the line in Oudenaarde. Flying the red, white and blue over the 131.6km will be US National Team members Jessica Phillips, Lea Davison, Alley Stacher, Kristin McGrath, and Amber Rais.

After previewing the course Saturday afternoon, Rais had this to say, "The course itself is f---ing hard...Curious and excited to see how it is raced."


Other Americans in the race are Santa Barbara's Kimberly Anderson (Team Columbia - HighRoad), Carmen McNellis, who rode the Ronde as a member of the US National Team last year,and S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox teammate Flavia M. Oliveira.

Provisional Start List

Images: www.rvv.be

Friday, April 03, 2009

First Riders Selected for Nature Valley Pro Ride

Reminiscent of the PGA’s Q-School, the Nature Valley Pro Ride gives Elite level riders the opportunity to not only compete against the professionals, but as you will read below, also get the “star” treatment. Last weekend, two riders qualified for this summer’s Nature Valley Grand Prix by claiming victories in their respective races at the Jefferson Cup.


Minneapolis – Last Sunday’s Jefferson Cup in Charlottesville, Virginia, was the opening salvo for the 2009 Nature Valley Pro Ride. The winners of the elite races, Adam Farabaugh, (Hershey Cancer Institute-GPOA-Cannondale) and Amity Elliott (JuicePlus; above) have been invited to the Nature Valley Grand Prix to race on the Nature Valley Cycling Team.

“Without [the Nature Valley Pro Ride], women like me, in between levels, may never get a shot at the national level and without the proper support it makes it that much harder”, said women’s winner Amity Elliott. “I know... training for 5 hours and then after waiting tables for 8 hours with a bachelors degree is just plain hard. I am very happy to have had another shot at the spot and actually get it.”

The Nature Valley Pro Ride designation was a major factor in the race. “A lot of the men and women were specifically gunning for the invitation to the Nature Valley Grand Prix”, said Tracy Lea, who managed the selection at the Jefferson Cup. “Most of them were very disappointed to miss the trip and a lot of them were asking me when the next qualifier was being held. These riders have not given up on their dreams of winning a trip to the Nature Valley Grand Prix.”

Each rider selected in the Nature Valley Pro Ride will receive a travel stipend, free entry, housing accommodations, and full team support. They will make public appearances, get pre-race introductions, participate in autograph sessions, and race in front of crowds in excess of 50,000 during this five-day stage race. This program provides riders with a full professional experience and is only available to the Nature Valley Pro Ride winners.

Next up on the Nature Valley Pro Ride will be Hillsboro Roubaix near Saint Louis on Saturday, April 4. Other events will be Wente Vineyards Road Race and Criterium in the San Francisco Bay Area (April 25 & 26), the Glenwood and Longbranch Road Races near Seattle (May 2 & 3), the San Luis Rey Road Race near San Diego (May 3) and the Bear Mountain Road Race in New York (May 10).

Visit www.NatureValleyProRide.com for more information.

Photo: Jason O. Watson