With his overall victory at the Tour of Missouri last weekend, Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Chipotle) won the 14-event USA Cycling Professional Tour with a total of 272 points over runner up and defending champion Levi Leipheimer (Astana), who finished the season with 244. Canadian Dominique Rollin (Toyota-United Pro) finished in the third spot with 144 points. In the team standings, Vande Velde’s Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30 earned the overall title with 711 points over Team Columbia. (complete final standings of 2008 USA Cycling Professional Tour here).
USA Cycling announced the team for the World Championships to be held on Sept. 23-28 in Varese, Italy. Leading the women’s team is 2008 Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong, who will compete in both the time trial and road race. Joining Armstrong in both events are fellow 2008 U.S. Olympic Team members Christine Thorburn and Amber Neben. Katheryn Curi-Mattis and Kori Seehafer and reigning US Road Race National Champion Brooke Miller will complement the U.S. squad in the road race. Kim Anderson also received an automatic nomination to the team, but declined her spot.
Levi Leipheimer and David Zabriskie will both compete in the elite men’s time trial. In the road race, Leipheimer will be joined by Tyler Farrar, Steven Cozza, Craig Lewis and Lucas Euser. Olympians George Hincapie, Jason McCartney, and Christian Vande Velde, USA Cycling Professional Road Race Champion Tyler Hamilton all declined automatic nominations to the team.
Tejay Van Garderen and Peter Stetina will both represent the U.S. in the U23 time trial and road race. They will be joined in the road race by Kirk Carlsen, Chris Barton and Chad Beyer. So for anyone counting, that’s 6 riders from the Sliptream teams – either the Garmin-Chipotle or the VMG/Felt U23 squads in the men’s teams.
Following the 2008 USA Cycling elections, the USPRO Board of Trustees has voted to rerun the election for the two athlete representatives. A special election is being held from Sept. 15 through Sept. 30 to determine the two athletes who will sit on the USPRO Board of Trustees – one of which will also be seated on the USA Cycling Board of Directors. The Athlete Trustees running for election are Dylan Casey, Will Frischkorn, Nicholas Reistad (and video).
Continuing with on their well stupidity track, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) offered a lame apology, via email, to the four Olympic track cyclists who where hung out to dry when they actually wore the face masks provided by the USOC when they landed in Beijing. Read how the cyclists were “belittled and embarrassed by the very people that are supposed to be advocates” for them in the NY Times’ Cyclists Say Apology Is Too Little, Too Late
In team news, the Swiss-based Continental team BMC Racing announced its 2009 roster which will only have Swiss or American riders. Five new riders will join the team: Markus Zberg, the current Swiss National Champion Mathias Frank, Thomas Frei and Florian Stalder, all from Switzerland and American neo-pro Chad Beyer. Returning to the BMC squad for 2008 are from Switzerland: Steve Bovay, Martin Kohler, Alexandre Moos and Danilo Wyss. And returning from the USA are Jeff Louder, Scott Nydam, Jackson Stewart, Brent Bookwalter, Jonathan Garcia, Ian McKissick, Taylor Tolleson and Tony Cruz. Which means that the following riders are not returning to the team: Mike Sayers who is retiring, South African Darren Lill, and Americans Nathan Miller and David Galvin.
After three years of existence and racking up 162 wins and 355 podiums, the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team raced its final official team at the Tour of Missouri. While some of the riders will still race at the USA Crits finale in Vegas, this is it. According to team owner Sean Tucker, the team is in discussions with potential title sponsors for 2009 and beyond, but no deal is signed as of yet. In the meantime, some of the riders have found other contracts.
While no official news has been given, it was also probably the last race for the Symmetrics team. End of an era for Canadian Cycling.
It was also the last big stage race for the Health Net p/b Maxxis team, but team management, Momentum Sports Group has found a new sponsor, or maybe more precisely Floyd Landis is returning to racing with this team and is rumored to be bringing new sponsor with him. Rory Sutherland, Tim Johnson amongst others will be staying with the new team. Successful Living’s Brad White will also be joining this new team.
Lastly, Bissell’s Omer Kem called it right when he said that not only would Mark Cavendish win 3 stages at the Tour of Missouri but that his Columbia team would hunt for a break and that he’d go for the last stage.