(Photo: Roberto Bettini)
More Praise For Contador
Spain’s prime minister praised 2009 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, saying on Wednesday that the Spaniard, who was locked in a tense duel with his US teammate Lance Armstrong during the race, is unrivaled. “He has no rival, even if that is hard to accept for some,” Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told reporters after receiving Contador at his official residence in Madrid to personally congratulate the rider. “I watched the final moments of several stages of this Tour and I have to say that you managed to get my pulse racing, as you did for many Spaniards,” he added.
Contador won the Tour on Sunday by 4:11 over Andy Schleck, from Luxembourg. Armstrong, a seven-time Tour winner, was 5:24 behind his Astana teammate Contador, who also won the race in 2007. “My relationship with Lance is non-existent. Even if he is a great champion, I have never had admiration for him and I never will,” Contador told reporters when he arrived back in Madrid on Monday.
Armstrong, who came out of retirement to take part in the Tour, hit back at Contador, saying in a message posted on Tuesday on his Twitter feed that the Spaniard has “lots to learn”. “A champion is also measured on how much he respects his teammates and opponents. There is no ‘i’ in ‘team’,” he added.
Tim Johnson will captain the OUCH p/b Maxxis team.
OUCH Announces Tour of Elk Grove Roster
The OUCH Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis heads to the Chicago area for the Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove with an eight-man roster tailored to the short, hard stage race. Rory Sutherland ‘With a time trial, road race and criterium, we’re bringing guys who not only can do well in the overall, but also in individual stages,’ said team directeur sportif Mike Tamayo.
The squad will be led by 2007 and 2008 NRC points champion Rory Sutherland and Chris Baldwin, both coming off 4th and 5th overall performances respectively at the Cascade Classic last week. Floyd Landis will bolster the stage race side of the roster. All three are strong riders against the clock.
OUCH Presented by Maxxis is also bringing four fast men for the road race and criterium in particular. After a win during Superweek and a 3rd place at the Chicago Criterium, Tasmanian Karl Menzies will return to Chicagoland from his home in Michigan. His two teammates for the Chicago Criterium, John Murphy and Bobby Lea, remained in the area and will add firepower to the team’s lead-out train for the Elk Grove road race and criterium.
Andrew Pinfold. Also joining the team post-Cascade will be Canadian strong man Andrew Pinfold, who delivered a 3rd place that Cascade criterium on Saturday. Pinfold comes into Elk Grove on excellent form, having also posted several wins during BC Superweek earlier this month. Team captain Tim Johnson once again will be called upon to deliver his usual Herculean efforts on behalf of his teammates.
‘We did pretty well at Chicago on Sunday,’ noted Menzies. ‘It was a bit hard with just three of us, especially at the end when I think we could’ve used one more guy for the lead-out. But it’ll be great to have a full squad for Elk Grove. All those guys are coming into it with good form after Cascade. It should be a good weekend.’
The Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove opens Friday with the 4.5-mile MTI Construction Time Trial. Saturday throws the 150km Chicago Blackhawks Circuit Race through Elk Grove at the peloton. The race concludes Sunday with the 110km Gullo International Criterium, run on a roughly 1.6km course in Elk Grove.
The OUCH Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis for the Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove:
Chris Baldwin, USA
Tim Johnson, USA
Floyd Landis, USA
Bobby Lea, USA
Karl Menzies, TAS
John Murphy. USA
Andrew Pinfold, CAN
Rory Sutherland, AUS
(Photo: Kelly Benefit)
KBS Roster For Tour of Elk Grove
The Kelly Benefit Strategies pro team couldn’t ask for any better momentum going into this weekend’s upcoming Tour of Elk Grove and David Veilleux’s defense of his 2008 win. Fresh off the plane from Mexico’s Pan Am Championships last week, Veilleux rejoined his KBS teammates to win the most prestigious stage of Superweek: the Great Downer Avenue Bike Race, only days after Andrew Bajadali soloed the last three laps to take the Cedarburg stage.
‘We came to Superweek to prep the team for the Chicago Criterium, Tour of Elk Grove, Charlotte and the USPRO Criterium,’ says performance director, Jonas Carney. ‘But our guys can’t help competing all out. We came with the goal of winning the Downer Avenue Bike Race, so it was a great bonus when Baj solo’d the Cedarburg Stage. With this kind of racing, we are more than ready for the upcoming events.’
Veilleux spent most of the day out in front, first in a three-man break that stayed off the front for 20 laps and then in a break of 13 riders that also included KBS teammate Neil Shirley. The break eventually split with Veilleux and six other riders lapping the field and the remaining riders being caught by the field. The squad immediately took the front to control the race and protect Veilleux’s position with Neil Shirley abandoning the remnants of the break to drive the front with Bajadali and Dan Bowman for fifteen laps. Alex Candelario and Jake Keough then executed the leadout for Veilleux. Keough won the field sprint and Veilleux came in second, taking the win ahead of his breakaway partners. Veilleux and the rest of the KBS pro team head to the Tour of Elk Grove, starting this Friday July 31.
‘This was excellent training for Elk Grove,’ adds Carney. ‘We are ready and are starting a very strong squad at Elk Grove. As usual it’s going to come down to a battle between the time trial specialists and the sprinters at the race ? but we are strong in both of those areas and have guys who can do both extremely well.’
Kelly Benefit Strategies Tour of Elk Grove Roster
Netherlands Remains Number One Bicycle Producer In Europe
The Netherlands has increased its lead as Europe’s biggest bicycle maker, raising its share of production from 20 to 30 percent in four years, Dutch statistics agency CBS said on Wednesday. “Bicycles worth a total 1.9 billion euros were produced in the European Union in 2008,” the agency said in a statement. “Of that, more than 30 percent were from the Netherlands.”
The value-share of Dutch bike production in Europe grew by about ten percent from a fifth in 2004, said the statement. In 2008, the Netherlands counted about 18 million bicycles for 16.5 million citizens, according to figures provided by manufacturer organizations RAI and Bovag. The Dutch traveled 14.2 billion kilometers by bike in 2007, compared to 21.5 billion kilometers with public transport and 97.5 billion kilometers by car.