Both the Australian and New Zealand 2009 Road Championships are in progress. In Australia, Carla Ryan won the Women’s Time Trial, edging out Alexis Rhodes of Webcor by a mere six tenths of a second. Columbia-HighRoad Michael Rogers won the Men’s ITT beating 20-year old Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) by six seconds. Only time will tell if Rogers is back to his 2007 form. Two-time medalist Rory Sutherland (OUCH) withdrew prior to the race due to illness. In New Zealand, Bissell’s Jeremy Vennell set the fastest time beating Robin Reid by 22 seconds to take the men’s title in the Time Trial.
Riders are flying in and teams are gathering for their first official training camp of the 2009 season that will take place in the next few weeks. The only American Pro Continental team, the BMC team started their camp today January 9th in the Santa Rosa area of California to prepare for their first races, the Tour of California and the Tour of Qatar. The Bissell team will also be holding its training camp in the same region, home of its DS Glen Mitchell. The OUCH team will meet in Temecula, California where the title sponsor is located in the next week or so. The U23 development team Trek-Livestrong is just starting its training camp in Austin, Texas. The Colavita/Sutter-Home men’s team is meeting in San Luis Argentina prior to the start of the Tour de San Luis on Jan 19.
Astana, Columbia-HighRoad and Saxo Bank will be holding their pre-Tour of California training camps after the Tour Down Under completes. Astana will be in Santa Rosa, home of Levi Leipheimer, Columbia-HighRoad in San Luis Obispo and Saxo Bank returns to Solvang, CA.
To get some racing into their legs prior to the Tour of California, Bissell and Rock Racing will also be racing at the UCI 2.1 Tour de San Luis.The posted start list includes Andy & Ben Jacques-Maynes, Burke Swindlehurst, Tom Zirbel from Bissell; Aaron Olson, Anthony Colby and Tyler Wren from Colavita; and Oscar Sevilla, Franceso Mancebo and Tyler Hamilton from Rock Racing. But Rock Racing also lists Ivan Dominguez who is now racing with Fuji-Servetto which obviously will not happen. Given their economic troubles, will Rock Racing show up at the race? Other teams that are prepping their legs in Argentina include Liquigas led by Ivan Basso and Saxo Bank with Argentinean JJ Haedo. Check out this video for more info on the race.
More bad luck for a Rock Racing rider as Rahsaan Bahati crashed during stage 2 of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic in Australia. X-Rays revealed that he fractured his ankle and tore his ligaments.
Good news for the Bissell team in these tough economic times as The Kellogg Company, yes the cereal maker, is coming onboard as a sponsor. On the team news front, Patrick McCarty joined his former teammate Floyd Landis to make it an even dozen for the OUCH p/b Maxxis team. McCarty and Landis were teammates on Phonak during the 2007 season.
Joining the new Australian Continental team Fly V Australia p/b Successful Living is Nathan O’Neill who is returning to racing after serving a 15-month ban for using the appetite suppressant phenteramine. The complete team roster is: Australians Hayden Brooks, Jonathan Cantwell, Scott Davis, Ben Day, David Kemp, Benjamin King, Bernard Sulzberger, Americans Steven George, Phil Zajicek, Michael Grabinger, Curtis Gunn, Italian Alessandro Bazzana, and Canadian Charles Dionne.
Still have some money to spare? Up for auction on ebay is a Slipstream Team Autographed Jersey with 100% of the profits going to The Just Go Harder Foundation. Fan of the Symmetrics team? Here‘s your chance.