I won’ try to recap everything that’s happened since the last TWTW postings but just hit a few of the highlights (and lowlights) of the news.
The US team rosters have been pretty much set with the release of the men’s UCI Continental and Pro Continental teams registered with USA Cycling. And Rock Racing, once again, managed to create a media storm with its UCI and ‘club’ teams. Two riders that were previously announced on the Rock Racing roster are now riding on the ProTour with the Fuji-Servetto team: Ivan Dominguez and William Walker. No news on who will replace the two riders. Is RR bringing another Australian as rumored or ‘promoting’ two of its club riders? Also, stay tuned for the news of another US-based rider moving to Europe (my guess an Australian sprinter)
The Australian UCI continental team, Team V Australia/Virgin Blue, a merge of the American Successful Living p/b Parkpre and the Australian Virgin Blue teams will field teams in both Australia and the US, where it will race a full North American schedule. Successful Living DS Steve Hegg will join forces with just retired Henk Vogels to lead the new team.
According to cyclingnews, tentative racers for the new team are Australians Nathan O’Neill, Ben Day from Toyota-United, Jonathan Cantwell from Jittery Joe’s , Aaron Kemps, David Kemps, Bernard Sulzberger, Ben King, Chris Prior and Darren Roth, along with the Successful Living duo of Italian Alessandro Bazzana and American JR Grabinger. Three more riders are yet to be announced but are expected to be from the former Toyota team. Some of the Toyota riders without a confirmed team for 2009 include Chris Wherry, Australians Hilton Clarke, Sean Sullivan, Kiwi Heath Blackgrove and American Justin England. Also, no news if the other Successful Living riders, such as Americans Eric Bennett, Chuck Coyle, Curtis Gunn, Brian Jensen, Alexi Martinez, Canadian Charles Dionne and Mexican Christian Valenzuela have a contract for 2009.
The UCI2.2 Vuelta Mexico Telmex 2009 to be held from March 1 to the 8 in Mexico has started to announce its roster. The OUCH p/b MAXXIS squad will be Jonathan Chodroff, Floyd Landis, Roman Kilun, Karl Menzies, John Murphyn Andrew Pinfold, Rory Sutherland and Bradley White. The Mexican Tecos team is bringing Gregorio Ladino, Javier Zapata, Bernardo Colex, Antonio Aldape, Arquimides Lam, Freddy Parra, Juan Pablo Magallanes and Fernando Macias. The Canadian Planet Energy (also known as Team Race Pro) team will be represented by Francois Parisien, Ryan Roth, Keven Lacombe, Bruno Langlois, Eric Boily, Andrew Randell, Maxime Vives and Charly Vives.
Speaking of OUCH, Landis dropped his federal lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, according to documents signed by both parties. No details of the settlement were released and a USADA spokesman declined comment as to whether Landis’ decision to withdraw the suit involved any concession on the part of the agency.
Ted King went over to Europe for his first meetings with Cervelo TestTeam where not only he had a chance to meet with the team, the sponsors and the staff, but got his “eyebrows trimmed and was on the receiving end of a makeup artists handiwork”. What an athlete must go through!
After only two editions, the Tour of Missouri announced its UCI upgrade to the 2.HC status from 2.1 last year. The only other American race with an equivalent ranking is the Amgen Tour of California, which will be staged February 13-22. Both stage races are also on the USA Cycling Pro Cycling Tour calendar
Back in November, due to lack of sponsorship money, the organizers pulled the plug on the 2009 Tour de Georgia. It comes as no surprise as there were difficulties in acquiring sponsors for the previous editions. “It takes about $3.3 million to put on the race,” Phil Jacobs, a member of the board of directors of the Tour de Georgia Foundation which owns the race, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. AT&T agreed to be the title sponsor for 2007 and paid $500,000, and the state of Georgia also contributed $400,000. The race also secured eight other “founding sponsors” and 18 “official” sponsors to mee the budget. AT&T did not commit for this year and organizers never approached the state due to the current economic conditions.
According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, even though attendance was down, the 2007 week long event generated $38.6 million in direct economic impact in the 12 communities across the state that hosted each day’s starts and finishes, up 40 percent from 2007. However, it wasn’t all peachy. The Savannah Morning News reported that the race organization did not pay all of its bills for its stay on Tybee Island, the start of the 2008 Tour de Georgia. Harry Spirides, the chief executive officer of the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort on Tybee Island, told the paper that his facility accepted an $8,000 settlement for $30,246 of unpaid charges for 205 rooms. It was a “take it or leave it” offer. But Jacobs told the paper that the tour paid $133,000 of total charges of $155,248, 86 percent of the total charges. The organization stated that they plan on returning in 2010, but it will be a tough haul to come back as its position in the calendar, late April is a tough sell for the European-based riders. The race needs to line up some serious cash and marquee sponsors or maybe the need to refocus their target to the NRC calendar.
Both the Tour of California and the Tour of Missouri take advantage of their position in the calendar, with Tour of California scheduled before the European calendar starts and offering the lure (well hope) of good California weather, and the Tour of Missouri closing down the season when many of the European-based riders are back in the Statges. Tour of California announced that Rabobank would become a “Founding Partner” in 2009 and has signed on to be the official bank of the Tour until 2011.
Before you go, head over to The Chocolate Gold where you can win a signed Kristin Armstrong jersey. Check out the videos and the cool wallpapers too.
Hurry the contest ends December 31, 2008.
that’s it for now, twtw will be back on its regular schedule.