Recap of some of the news from the past weeks.
The economic woes continue for the USA Cycling races as another NRC race the International Tour de Toona, scheduled fror July 17-19, was canceled due to lack of title sponsors. Last year the race was scaled back to a one-day crit back from the 7-day stage race from its earlier editions, and 2009 would have been the 23rd year of the race. Organizers, in a statement on the website, hope to bring the race back in 2010.
So far this year 10 events have been canceled on the NRC and USA Pro Tour Calendars, both sanctioned by USA Cycling: Oregon Pro Cycling Classic, Tour de Leelanau, International Tour de Toona, San Francisco Twilight Criterium, Priority Health Grand Cycling Classic p/b Spectrum Health, Ann Arbor Cycling Classic p/b Saint Joseph Mercy Medical System, US Open of Cycling, Commerce Bank Lehigh Valley Classic, Commerce Bank Reading Classic and Tour of New York.
One of the races that was saved in extremis was the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship, aka Philly Race and the 24 men’s teams were announced this week. Read more…
In another race news: a new TT course will be used for the 50th Annual Fitchburg Longsjo Classic. According to the organizers, the point-to-point 6.55-mile (10.5 km) Rindge Road course, with over 500 feet of elevation, used in 2007 and 2008 has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer suitable.
The new 8.7-mile (14 km) Courtyard by Marriott South Street Time Trial course is 14 km long with some gradual hills and great views of the reservoir system. (View a fly-over in youtube).
Moving on to rider news. Erica Allar has now joined the BMW-Bianchi team and she finished third in her first race with her new team at the Bike Jam/Kelly Cup. After being released by the Michela Fanini team, Carmen M. Small returned to the United States and has now joined the Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light team. (read more on her blog). After racing the past two months as a guest rider for a French team, Proman’s Megan Garnier has decided to stay in Europe to continue racing the French road circuit.
Congratulations to both Meredith Miller (TIBCO) and Shelley Olds (Proman) who will be racing at the Giro Donne (the women’s Giro d’Italia) in July as part of the US National team.
Canadian Zach Bell (Kelly Benefit Strategies) has joined ACT NOW BC as an athlete ambassador where he will be working at all kinds of schools and events across BC over the next two years promoting Social, Environmental, and Healthy living ideas and lifestyles to people of all ages.
Canadian Dominique Rollin (Cervélo TestTeam) was diagnosed with mononucleosis and will not be able to race for at least the next month. The rider dropped out of the Tour of Romandie at the beginning of April and underwent tests to determine the problem. This is the second time that he’s been faced with the illness in his career.
On May 15, the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) announced the athletes that will represent Canada at the 2009 U23 Nations Cup being held in Saguenay, Quebec from June 4th to 7th, 2009. Since then, David Veilleux (Kelly Benefit Strategies) has pulled out as to concentrate on other races important for his trade team. Understandable, as the cost to participate in the race, around $C 650, must be paid by the riders and his team for the only UCI U23 stage race outside of Europe. As of now, the two teams representing Canada will be the following: Team A: Ryan Anderson (BC), Joël Dion-Poitras (QC), Andrew Hunt (ON), Keir Plaice (ON), Jean-Michel Lachance (QC) and TBD. Team B: Guillaume Boivin (QC), David Boily (QC), Devon Novakowski (ON), Hugo Houle (QC), Spencer Smitheman (AB) and Garrett McLeod (NS).
And lastly, but certainly not least, the sad news of the passing of 39-year old Steve Larsen.
“We have lost a wonderful and selfless member of our cycling community. The two-time national NORBA champion in mountain biking, a dominant triathlete, a road cycling teammate of Lance Armstrong in the Motorola days and an Xterra winner was not only a gifted athlete but a father and an all around good guy. You will be sorely missed.” — Kenji Sugawara
Larsen leaves a wife, Carrie, and five children. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.
In Memoriam: RememberSteveLarsen.com