Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Meet Pro Triathlete Bjorn Andersson at The 2008 Wildflower Triathlon's

Swedish pro triathlete Bjorn Andersson will be at the Front of the Pack booth during the Wildflower Triathlons courtesy of Recovox. Stop by to meet Bjorn and take advantage on event pricing of Recovox.

Bjorn Andersson, one of the fastest cyclists in the sport and winner of numerous triathlons, will be in the Front of the Pack booth during the Wildflower triathlons May 2-4. Bjorn will be in the Front of the Pack booth on Friday from 2-3 and Saturday from 3-4. Stop by, get an autograph, and find out what makes him power through the bike leg. Also take advantage of special event pricing on Recovox, normally $59 for a bottle it will be $40 at the Front of the Pack booth throughout the weekend.

Front of the Pack will be located in the main festival area (stage and volleyball court) next to the Kuota bicycles booth.

Faris Al Sultan Takes 15th Against ITU Stars

Faris Al Sultan took 15ht overall at the St. Anthony's triathlon this past weekend. Faris was using it as a tune up race for this weekends St. Criox Half Ironman.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rock Racing Gives Georgia Something To Remember!

Fred Rodriguez capped Rock Racing’s first participation in the Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T with a fourth place finish on the final stage in Atlanta Sunday.

The result by the three-time U.S. national road race champion was Rock Racing’s fourth top five finish of the seven-day, 600-mile stage race. Additionally, Rock Racing’s Oscar Sevilla placed in the top 10 overall, finishing sixth in his first international stage race in the United States.

“This performance speaks to how talented the team can be when it can race at full strength,” Rock Racing Team Owner Michael Ball said. “They just dig deep and work so well together. There are no egos. I couldn’t be prouder of what they pulled off.”

Rock Racing displayed its strength late in the race when it put its entire squad on the front to reel in the remnants of a breakaway that had been away since the first of 10 laps of a 6.2-mile (10.1 km) circuit through the streets of Downtown Atlanta. The chase was successful, setting the stage for a field sprint up the long uphill drag to the finish line.

“The team had asked me coming into the last lap what we had to do and I told them we had to go now, now, now,” Rodriguez said. “We brought it back quickly and fast and it worked perfectly to my strategy.”

In the end, it was Greg Henderson (Team High Road) who scored his second stage win of the week by beating Juan Jose Haedo (CSC), Andrew Pinfold (Symmetrics Cycling Team) and Rodriguez. Henderson’s teammate, Kanstantsin Siutsou, won the race overall by four seconds over Trent Lowe (Team Slipstream-Chipotle powered by H30).

“Thanks to the team, I was there in the finale,” Rodriguez said. “I wasn’t feeling great but I gave it everything I had. I held on for third almost the entire way to the line but lost it in the last 50 meters.”

Rock Racing fans who were among the thousands on hand for the race at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park were treated to a surprise when the team rolled out for the start in special uniforms. The kits, designed by Ball himself, featured a depiction of Georgia peaches on the jersey and shorts in a blending orange and yellow motif. They commemorated the team’s participation in the longest-running international-level stage race in the United States.

The special “kits” were showcased after the race during Rock Racing’s presentation of a $250,000 donation to the official beneficiaries of the event – Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Georgia Cancer Coalition. Ball presented checks to Eugene Hayes, Foundation President of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and to Bill Todd, President and CEO of the Georgia Cancer Coalition.

The donations will directly benefit pediatric cancer and blood disorders research through the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service, as well as support the Georgia Cancer Coalition’s efforts to strengthen cancer prevention, research and treatment in Georgia, with the ultimate goal of making Georgia one of the nation’s premier states for cancer care.

— RRC—

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ivan Basso - "I can win Giro again"

After the news this week of Ivan Basso signing for Liquigas, the Italian has been quick to announce his hopes and expectations for the 2009 season. In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Basso said that his main aim was "to quickly become the winning Basso again", and has his sights set on the 2009 Giro d'Italia.

"It's been so long since I've raced and all my rivals have progressed a lot," said the 2006 Giro winner. "After three months racing I will know if I can hope to win the Giro again. But in my heart I'm convinced of it."

Speaking about his return to the peloton, Basso acknowledged that his presence may not be warmly received by some in the sport, but insisted that his character had been changed by "the ordeal" he'd been through.

"Some will take it well, others less so and some not at all," he said. "It's justified. But there are so many riders who have been suspended and who have returned to ride normally. I have the right to as well.

"What is important is to have the right attitude. I'm putting the past behind me and starting from zero. My place after two years has changed. I'm no longer among the frontrunners. I have to show that I can come back."

Friday, April 25, 2008

The TERMINATOR is looking for a few more intrepid campers

I hope I haven’t scared off all of my potential customers by making these camps too brutal! I’d love to share this trip with a few more people who might have always dreamed of riding in the Dolomites but never had the right opportunity or the time. We’ve never killed anyone yet!

Since the battered US dollar isn’t fairing all that well vs. the Euro these days I know it’s a bit of a stretch for many to consider this camp. So to entice potential campers who are considering it and might be sitting on the fence I’m offering $1500 to spend on anything in the HED catalog (www.hedcycling.com) if some one signs up for the camp along with a friend. So two people need to sign up to qualify for the goodies. That $$$ could buy a fabulous carbon frame like mine or some great wheels or carbon bars, etc.

Our camp starts and finishes in Verona with the route taking in Trento, Cortina, Bormio and Bolzano. Great coffee, scenery and company are assured. “Everything but Mercy” is our camp motto and that’s what we provide. This one should deliver a trip of a lifetime.

We’re going to hammer the Stelvio, Gavia and Giau Passes as well as Mt. Bondone and many other vertical delights in addition to running and swimming every day as we do on all Epic Camps.

Hope you can join me.

Please send any inquiries to me at scott.molina@xtra.co.nz.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ivan Basso Signs With Liquigas

After serving out his two-year suspension, Ivan Basso will return to professional racing with Liquigas for the 2009 season. The Italian signed a two-year contract that will have the 30 year-old wearing green and blue next spring.

The President of Liquigas Sport, Paolo Dal Lago, said: "This was a challenging yet conscious decision... The sports judiciary system handled his case more severely than most and, despite the fact that he has been harshly punished, Ivan has still maintained a responsible and calm attitude, he has applied some healthy self-criticism and taken this seriously throughout. This has earned him the public's respect, as well as the respect of those who work in the industry."

In May of 2007, Basso resigned from the Discovery Channel team and admitted to attempted doping. Linked to the Operacion Puerto scandal, the man identified as "Birillo" said he had withdrawn blood he intended to re-inject at the 2006 Tour de France. He was suspended for 24 months by the Italian cycling federation (FCI) disciplinary commission for his involvement with Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, and will be allowed to resume racing effective October 24, 2008.

Calling Basso "Italy's most talented cyclist", Dal Lago said: "We will help him to regain his form as we firmly believe that we can help him to achieve the standards of excellence of which he is capable. We love a good challenge and we know that Ivan and ourselves share the spirit: we are delighted to welcome him to our group."

Team manager Roberto Amadio said Basso's arrival will not change the team setup. "Liquigas already has a well-defined technical profile which is completely compatible with this recently announced addition. With Basso's input, we will aim for absolute leadership amongst the top teams on the professional circuit in 2009 and in 2010."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

NUE series season opener

A full night of rain paused just long enough for the 7:00 am start of the Cohutta 100, giving the 250 racers a chance to warm up before they were peppered during the first three hours of the race with occasional showers, fog and changing temperatures due to the mountain microclimates.

Fighting through slick singletrack and wet gravel roads the men's winner, Jeff Schalk (Trek/VW) had his hands full with an elite group of riders stacked unlike any of the 100 milers 'til this point in the series' three year history. The early group of seven included Chris Eatough (Trek/VW), Floyd Landis (Smith&Nephew-BHRhip.com), Oregonian Evan Plews (Scott USA/CSC), Harlan Price (Fitness Together/ IFracing.org), pro roadie Dan Vallencourt (Toshiba/Santo) and Chris Beck (Gary Fisher). Eventually Schalk held off Vallencourt for a two minute advantage after racing for six hours and 48 minutes.

The women's field came fully loaded with the talented Hawaiian Pua Sawicki (Team Mata) firing off for a dominant first, leaving the other podium spots open for a game of musical chairs. Taking second, Cheryl Sorenson (Trek/VW) had to go the rounds with Trish Stevenson (FitnessTogether/ IFracing.org) for 40 miles before Stevenson faded to fourth and then the 2007 NUE series winner Carey Lowery (Outdoor Store) hovered two minutes behind Sorenson for the last 40 miles keeping her on the rivet. The sun's reappearance about five hours into the race ensured that everyone had a warm finish to the start of the 100 miler season.

Hurikova - A well Done Job In Houffalize

Tereza Hurikova took her first important step towards Bejing at the first World Cup in Houffalize. This Belgian mountainbiking Mecca hosted the first of three nomination races for the Olympics, which were defined by the Czech team and Tereza’s personal coach, Jiří Lutovský. Her first start in this year’s season ended with a great 9th place and 3rd place in the U23 category. However the most important news is that Tereza has beaten her Czech rival Kateřina Nash, who is also fighting for the Olympics nomination. Kateřina finished in 26th place.

Tereza started off really well this time, which in Houffalize is up into a long and steep hill and managed to stay in the top ten right from the beginning of the race. The two Czech ladies rode through the start and first lap together. Afterwards Katka started to lose her position and fell back further and further in the race. Tereza, on the other hand, felt very well. “Compared to last year I have more power, I was too skinny a year ago. I feel really well, not just physicaly, but also mentaly,” said Tereza. In the last lap Tereza even had enough “arrogance” to cut off the European Champion from Germany, Sabine Spitz. “I was really looking forward to the race, so I wasn’t even nervous. I was dealing well with the technical sections of the race, which was good. I knew that Katka is far behind me and that helped me,” added Tereza. She cut through the finish line in 9th place, which is her 3rd best position in the World Cup (6th place in Offenburg 2007, 8th place in Champery 2007).

The first places of the race copied the history of previous races. The Chinese Ren Chen Gyuan kicked in her motor in the last lap and without a problem passed three of her rivals and won the race. Margarita Fullana from Spain was leading most of the race, however just as last year she was passed in the final lap not only by the Chinese, but also by Irina Kalentieva from Russia and Marie-Helene Premont from Canada.

Next Sunday will be the next important step before Tereza — the second World Cup race in Offenburg Germany, the second nomination race for the Olympic games. Tereza rode well in Offenburg last year, so let us hope that luck will be on her side also next weekend!

For more information on Tereza cick on the title link.

Rodriguez's Top 10 Placing Reflects Return To Form

Rock Racing's Fred Rodriguez was content to sit comfortably in the pack until the final miles of the race.

Augusta, Ga. — Rock Racing’s Fred Rodriguez delivered the team its first top 10 finish Tuesday on Stage 2 at the Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T.

“Fast Freddie” placed eighth in the bunch sprint, which was marred by a crash on the final turn in the downtown streets of Augusta. Juan Jose Haedo (CSC) won the 116.9-mile (188.1 km) race ahead of Greg Henderson (Team High Road) and Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United Pro Cycling).

“I’m lacking a little bit of fighting mentality,” Rodriguez said. “Coming off a bad crash (at the Redlands Bicycle Classic two weeks ago), I’m just a little hesitant. I had Haedo’s wheel coming into 700 meters to go and I let him have Dominguez’s wheel for a second. Then I just lost control a bit and a couple guys came by me. I came out of the final corner eighth and ended up eighth.”

A gutsy move by Rock Racing’s Oscar Sevilla on the final lap of the five-mile finishing circuit whipped Rock fans into a frenzy. Sevilla and Ted King (Bissell Pro Cycling) countered an attack on the first trip up a small climb on the second-to-last lap of the finish circuit.

Rodriguez said Rock Racing’s plan was to make the race as hard as possible near the end.

“The more everyone suffers, the more it plays to my strengths,” he said. “Oscar’s attack proved he was one of the strongest guys in the field. Even after he got caught, he and Santiago instituted a real hard move on the hard part of the hill the last time up.”

At least a dozen riders went down in the final-turn crash that occurred one-and-a-half blocks from the finish line. No Rock Racing riders were involved, however.

Stage 3 on Wednesday is a 108.2-mile (174.1 km) race from Washington to Gainesville featuring the first extensive climbing of the seven-day, 600-mile (965 km) race.

“The team is getting stronger and stronger and I’m starting to feel better,” Rodriguez said. “The next couple of stages are going to suit me and suit the team much more.”

— RRC—

Elevation Sports & Entertainment | Rock Racing
Sean Weide, 402.541.2594 | pr@rockracing.com

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


By Chris Carmichael

When legendary marathoner Alberto Salazar advises you to slow down during the first six miles of the New York City Marathon, you should probably listen to him. But in 2006, during his first marathon after retiring from professional cycling, Lance Armstrong charged forward anyway--and started paying for his bravado at mile 16. He still finished in 2:59, but the race gave him a heavy beating and served as a reminder that a cycling legacy and an off-the-charts VO2 max don't give you a free pass in all endurance events.

Two years and another marathon later (NYC 2007, 2:46), Lance has set ambitious goals: to run his first Boston Marathon this April in the mid-2:40s and New York again in November in the low 2:30s. He knows that while he may be a seven-time Tour de France champ, these days he has more in common with every other busy 36-year-old father of three. So in order to achieve his goals, Lance has gotten more focused and is following the principles outlined below.

Quality Matters

When Lance began running, his aerobic system was more powerful than his muscles and joints. At first he ran only three to five miles three times a week; his longest run before his first marathon was 13 miles. Now with two years and two marathons on his legs, his body is better prepared to handle the miles and speedwork necessary to improve his race times.

Be like Lance: If your goal is a fast race, do at least one, but ideally two, fast-paced runs a week. For half and full marathoners, the most effective workout is tempo intervals: two to four 10- to 12-minute repeats at 10-K to half-marathon race pace with five to six minutes of easy running in between. These prolonged periods at a hard but sustainable intensity train your aerobic and muscular systems to run faster or longer before fatiguing.

Long Runs Every Other Week

Running long on alternate weekends works for Lance for the same reason it makes sense for the rest of us: injury prevention and scheduling sanity. By doing long miles every other week, you can increase the recovery time between all of your hard efforts, which will improve the quality of both the long runs and the fast-paced workouts between them.

Be like Lance: On alternate weekends, do long workouts that are hard to fit in during the week, course-specific sessions such as hills, or race-pace miles. Before Boston, Lance usually opts for a long ride when he isn't running long, but for his buildup to NYC, he'll do five two-mile repeats at 5:42 pace (race pace for a 2:30 marathon) with a half-mile recovery jog.

Consistent Training

Training used to be Lance's job. Now, his kids and his work (the Lance Armstrong Foundation) are higher priorities, as they are for most of us. But Lance knows that training consistently is essential, even if it means adapting his workouts.

Be like Lance: When you're running low on time, a short run is better than no run, but up the intensity. For a fast, efficient workout, after a good warmup insert six to eight strides, run a few fartlek intervals, or do four to 10 two-minute repeats with one-minute recovery.

Stay Lean

After retiring from cycling, Lance strength- trained five days a week and packed on 15 pounds (remember those pics of him with Matthew McConaughey?). That weight made his first marathon even harder, so for his second race, he stripped off 10 pounds by cutting back on his strength work and his calorie intake. Lance plans to show up at the 2008 NYC Marathon at about 165, around eight pounds lighter than last year.

Be like Lance: Being lighter saves a runner tons of energy, but be careful not to cut calories too severely. You need a caloric deficit of 350 to 500 per day to lose a pound a week, but you also need to consume enough energy to support your workouts. To achieve both goals, focus on pre-, mid-, and postworkout nutrition to optimally support your training, but reduce portion sizes and eliminate snacks at other times of the day.

Maintain Fitness

During Lance's Tour de France years, he never let his cycling fitness drop by more than 10 to 12 percent because it would have been too difficult to regain any more than that. But after his first marathon, injuries and lack of motivation meant he lost the majority of his racing fitness. To avoid the same scenario this year, Lance was back to running three or four times a week after finishing the 2007 marathon, which gave him a solid base for his 2008 training.

Be like Lance: If you're targeting more than one race this season, focus on recovery after your first event so you can get back to training two weeks after a 5-K or 10-K and four weeks after a half or full marathon. Do light, low-impact exercise, such as swimming or cycling, in the days after the race; even 15 minutes will get the blood flowing, which speeds recovery.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lance Armstrong - 2:50:58 At Boston

Seven times Tour de France champion and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong finished the 112th Boston Marathon in 2:50:58, placing 488th out of more than 25,000 Monday. Kenyan Robert Cheruiyot won the men's race in 2:07:46, missing the course record he set by just 32 seconds. He became the fourth man to win Boston four times, joining American great Bill Rogers.

Armstrong, running together with 50 Livestrong 'teammates,' is raising funds and awareness for his Lance Armstrong Foundation, known around the world as Livestrong. This was Armstrong's first Boston Marathon; he's finished the New York City Marathon twice. Participants in that race raised more than US$500,000 in November 2007.

According to sources close to Armstrong, a professional triathlete before he became a bicycle racer, the Texan stepped on a piece of coral about a month ago which gave him a foot injury and slowed his training down a bit. He added he pushed the pace a bit too hard in the middle of the Boston race, mostly due to the excitement of being there and ended up paying for it in the final four to five miles. Compared to the New York City course, Armstrong also mentioned he felt more "boxed in" but the crowds along the course were unbelievable.

Armstrong said he plans to run the New York City Marathon again this fall.

Contador Eyes Dauphine Start

Spain's 2007 Tour de France champion Alberto Contador is to reappear in the Criterium du Dauphine on June 8 he announced on Monday.

The 25-year-old, who has been controversially barred from this year's Tour de France because his Astana team were not invited by the organisers, has been out of action since winning the Tour of the Basque Country on April 12.

Contador, who took a week's rest after his victory, explained that while he had resumed training he has been taking antibiotics for the toothache that plagued him during the Tout of the Basque Country.

Tour de France organiser ASO ruled in February that the Astana team would be barred from competing in this year's race as a result of doping scandals over the past two years by the team of which Contador was not then a part of.

However, Contador had received support from International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid.

"If Contador decides to take legal action in Spain or internationally myself and the UCI will give evidence in his favor and I will be a witness," McQuaid told the daily El Mundo on March 14.

"I know Contador and the people around him and I know that he is a clean and honest rider," added McQuaid of the rider who has had to fend off questions regarding his alleged links to Spanish blood-doping probe Operation Puerto.

The UCI president had already slammed the ASO's decision, stating he "would do everything" he could to ensure Contador was at the starting line.

Contador has however indicated that he intends to take no legal action, saying he wants to concentrate on the Olympics and Tour of Spain.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

2008 Tour of Georgia - April 21st - 27th

The Tour de Georgia gets underway in the Peachtree State tomorrow and ends Sunday. It should be a battle royale against some of the best teams and riders in the world. The first few days are tailored for the sprinters, so look for SoCal's Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United) to pull out some wins. A team time trial takes place Thursday, on Road Atlanta's 2.5-mile, 12-turn track. This should be a good one to watch. Since the teams can't use time trial bikes due to the course being too technical in some turns, this will be a great equalizer to see who has the strongest team based on strength and not equipment. Look for a throwdown between Astana's Leipheimer and Horner and Rock Racing's Botero and Sevilla up the mountain-top finish of Brasstown Bald.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Danica Patrick is the first female winner in IndyCar history!

Danica Patrick became the first female winner in IndyCar history Sunday, taking the Indy Japan 300 after the top contenders were forced to pit for fuel in the final laps.

Patrick finished 5.8594 seconds ahead of pole-sitter Helio Castroneves after leader Scott Dixon went in for a pit stop with five laps remaining.

"It's a long time coming. Finally," Patrick said. "I was managing to save fuel and keep the speed up and when I saw Helio I knew he was the one to beat."

The race was rescheduled for Sunday because of wet track conditions Saturday on the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi oval.

Patrick won in her fourth season in the series.

"Thank you to Andretti Green. Thanks to to my teammates," she said.

She finished a career-best seventh in season standings last year, and was second in the race at Detroit's Belle Isle.

At the 2005 Indy 500, she nearly won the pole and became the first female driver to lead the race, finishing fourth. It was the best finish by a woman at Indy, and helped her take rookie of the year honors.

Matt Reed upsets Kemper, Potts to take second US men’s Olympic slot

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- Matt Reed, recent U.S. citizen and at 6-feet 5-inches the tallest man in competition triathlon, whipped heavy favorites Andy Potts and Hunter Kemper to take the second U.S. men’s Olympic Triathlon team trials event in Tuscaloosa Alabama Saturday.

In a race that went a little closer to form, Julie Swail Ertel used a lightning-quick bike to run transition to surge ahead of Sarah Haskins, then sealed her win with a personal best 35:19 10km– 23 seconds faster than Haskin’s run – to cross the line in 2:02:21 for a 29-second margin of victory. The win gave the 2000 Olympic water polo silver medalist a rare Olympic qualification in a second sport.

The men

Reed made a daring break on the last of eight bike laps on a hilly course along the Black Warrior River, gaining a 25-second advantage over Potts, Kemper and Brian Fleischmann starting the run.

While Kemper let Reed have his last lap bike surge, believing he could overtake his tall, Zealand-born friend, Reed answered with a race-best 31:03 10km run that outpaced both Andy Potts (31:07) and Kemper (31:07) to cross the finish in 1:52:15. Had he been pushed, Reed could have run even better, since he spent a happy 20 seconds exulting, working the crowd, and drinking in the moment – and still had a 20-second advantage over runner-up Potts and 24 seconds over third place Kemper. “I worked hard for a long time for this moment, so I wanted to enjoy it,” said the taciturn Kiwi.

Tuscaloosa marked the second straight upset of the U.S.A.’s most decorated Olympic distance triathletes in 2008 Olympic Trials races. Since Jarrod Shoemaker took the first U.S. men’s Olympic slot in Beijing last September and Reed punched the second U.S. Men’s Olympic triathlon ticket to Beijing, Potts and Kemper will be left with triathlon’s version of a Texas Death Cage Wrestling match in June at the Hy-Vee Triathlon in Des Moines. As each has a second and a third place in the three U.S. Olympic Trials competition, it’s basically a winner-take-all match race for the third U.S. Olympic men’s triathlon slot. That is, unless Potts and Kemper have some sort of catastrophic accident before Des Moines. Then Doug Friman (a fourth at Beijing) and Brian Fleischmann (fourth at Tuscaloosa) can leap over Kemper and Potts if either places first American at Des Moines – a long odds proposition.

”I’m still unhappy, but I can handle it because I gave it everything I had today and got beat by a better man – on the day,” said Potts, who went for broke right off the bat with a 18:17 swim in the windswept, white-capped waters of the Black Warrior River that gave him a 43-second lead starting the bike. Potts made a brave effort to go it alone, but was overtaken by a solid surge by Potts, Kemper and Brian Fleishmann on Lap 4 of 8 on the bike.

“It was a tough day and I’m not satisfied with myself,” said Kemper. “But I’m really happy that if I couldn’t win that it went to Matt.”

The women

Julie Swail Ertel wins 2008 Tuscaloosa Olympic Trials
Photo: Timothy Carlson
Sara McLarty broke out with a 19:09 swim, followed closely by Sarah Haskins (19:21) Sarah Groff (19:21) and Ertel (19:23) The four of them worked hard to surge to a 1-minute break over Joanna Zeiger, Mary Beth Ellis, Jasmine Oeinck and Becky Lavelle.

Once on the run, Ertel blazed out front and was never challenged as Ellis dropped back and 2000 Olympian Zeiger, in her farewell to ITU style racing, ran a 37:15 to stake a final claim on fourth place.

2008 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Trials
Round 2 – Tuscaloosa, Alabama
April 19, 2008
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
S 1.5k/B 40k/R 10k


Elite women

1.Julie Swail Ertel (Irvine CA) 2:02:21
2. Sarah Haskins (Colorado Springs CO) 2:02:50
3. Sarah Groff (Boulder CO) 2:02:59
4. Joanna Zeiger (Boulder CO) 2:05:15
5. Jasmine Oeinck (Colorado Springs CO) 2:06:09
6. Mary Beth Ellis (Thornton CO) 2:06:19
7. Becky Lavelle (Los Gatos CA) 206:31
8. Sara McLarty (Colorado Springs CO) 2:06:53
9. Amanda Stevens (Colorado Springs CO) 2:07:15
10 Rebecca Wassner (New York City NY) 2:09:57
11.Margaret Shapiro (Herndon VA) 2:10:97

Elite men

1. Matt Reed (Boulder CO) 1:52:15
2. Andy Potts (Colorado Springs CO) 1:52:35
3. Hunter Kemper (Colorado Springs CO) 1:52:39
4. Brian Fleischmann (Colorado Springs CO) 1:55:22
5. Doug Friman (Tucson AZ) 1:56:25
6. Timothy O’Donnell (Colorado Springs CO) 1:57:00
7. Mark Fretta (Colorado Springs CO) 1:58:16
8. Joe Umphenour (Colorado Springs CO) 1:59:04
9. Victor Plata (Sacramento CA) 2:03:21

Michael Ball: Georgia's promoters had one condition,"Don't freak us out."

Rock Racing team owner Michael Ball said Friday that his team earned an invite to the Tour de Georgia based on just one simple condition.

"They said, 'can you conduct yourselves in a way that doesn't freak us out?' " Ball said in a conference call with reporters.

He said that at Georgia he will not be accompanied by the Hollywood-style entourage that followed him at the Amgen Tour of California. He also said the team would not bring podium girl models to Georgia, although he said that's because the models were unavailable, not because of his promise to avoid freaking anyone out.

Rock Racing had filed suit against the race when it was not invited, but dropped the suit this week when the race announced that the Saunier Duval team was not going to attend and that Rock Racing would fill the spot.

At the same time, Rock Racing was named as a Founding Sponsor of the race. Ball said his company's sponsorship of the race was not a condition of its invitation.

"I know it could appear that way," Ball said. "My intention is to support cycling. This is another great American tour and from the get go we have tried to get involved."

Ball promised that his team, led by overall contender Oscar Sevilla, would put on a great show at Georgia. He also announced that the team has picked up a new sponsor, Yamaha, and that the company's motorcycles would be seen "cruising around at the race."

"There are so many ways to spin this," he told reporters. "I think it's going to be awesome."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lance Armstrong - Shifting Gears

Off his bike and into running shoes to prepare for his first Boston Marathon, Lance Armstrong, 36, talks about steep hills, steroids, and his buddy Matthew McConaughey.

So how's the training going?

I must confess, not as well as I hoped.

Is it just hard to find time?

My only excuse is I was in Hawaii. While training I stepped into the water and stepped on a piece of coral and cut myself right under the big toe.

Ouch. What's the biggest difference you find between cycling and running?

The pounding of running versus the efficiency of cycling. It's harder on the tendons and joints. Also, training is different. A long run might be two or three hours. A long ride might be eight.

You're familiar with hills. So I guess Heartbreak Hill doesn't worry you.

You hear a lot about it. I have yet to see Heartbreak. I feel like I know it. Hills don't scare me, but marathons do.

You're a competitive guy. Now that you've run two marathons, are you pushing to go faster each time?

After the first one, I definitely had doubts about whether I wanted to do another. It was so painful. I did the next one and found it a lot easier. But if you asked me if I had a time goal for Boston, I'd say no. If I finished around three hours, I'd be happy.

You know what it's like to face steroids accusations. Have you followed baseball's crisis?

I never grew up a baseball fan. I grew up in Dallas, where the Cowboys ruled. It's not a baseball issue or track issue or cycling issue. It's a sports issue. Until everybody relaxes and all sports start to be governed the same, we're going to have the argument. There are no standards. If professional cyclists have to be clean all hours and days, then Tom Brady should, too, and Roger Federer, and Tiger Woods. Otherwise, you'll have guys that essentially just get picked on.

Have you read anything good lately?

I'm not a big book reader; I read the papers front to back. On the way to Hawaii, I read Sidney Poitier's biography from a few years ago.

How'd that book come to you?

He's a friend of mine.

Texas had a big stake in the Democratic presidential campaign last month. Did it surprise you that Hillary won?

What we saw in Texas is it's a black and Latino issue. You would think they would be aligned on this, but they weren't. If I was Barack's campaign manager, I'd be getting him some Spanish lessons on iTunes right now.

OK, so seriously, how much are you running?

Five or 6 miles a day, a couple long runs, that's the extent of it.

I know your good friend, Matthew McConaughey, is up here filming a movie. How's he doing?

He e-mailed me this morning. Said it was too cold. He had to put a shirt on.

Rock Racing Reveals Rosters For Tour de Georgia

Rock Racing will field a line-up for the Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T that includes a world time trial champion, an Olympic gold medalist, Tour de France yellow jersey, polka-dot jersey and white jersey wearers and a three-time U.S. national road race champion who is also a four-time Tour de Georgia stage winner.

Rock Racing’s roster for the seven-day, 600-mile (965 km) stage race includes: Santiago Botero (COL), Tyler Hamilton (USA), Victor Hugo Peña (COL), Freddie Rodriguez (USA), Oscar Sevilla (ESP), Michael Creed (USA), Doug Ollerenshaw (USA) and Kayle Leogrande (USA). Mariano Friedrick is the team director.

Rock Racing Team Owner Michael Ball said the squad is ready despite its late entry into the event. Rock Racing learned of its acceptance into the 15-team field late Tuesday after ProTour entry Saunier Duval-Scott was forced to withdraw due to a rash of injuries.

“The riders selected to represent us are well-suited to the challenging course, particularly the team time trial and decisive climbing stages that come later in the week,” Ball said. “Our line-up is nearly identical to the one that helped us win the overall and King of the Mountains title at Redlands two weeks ago.”

At that race, Botero showed the form that won him the 2002 world time trial, three stages of the Tour de France and the King of the Mountains title at that race in 2000. He soloed to victory on Stage 1 en route to a 54-second margin in the final overall standings. Supporting him were Hamilton (2004 Olympic time trial champion), Peña (wearer of the yellow jersey for three stages of the Tour de France in 2003), Sevilla (winner of the white jersey as best young rider at the Tour de France in 2001) and Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, with four stage wins and nine podium finishes to his credit, is one of the most decorated cyclists in the six-year history of the Tour de Georgia. The three-time U.S. national road race champion has twice won the race’s sprint classification (2003 and 2006) and finished second overall in the race’s inaugural edition (2003). Rodriguez’s most recent stage victory came last year during Stage 6 at Stone Mountain Park.

Ball said Rock Racing is also pleased to be a founding sponsor of the Tour de Georgia, which begins Monday in Tybee Island. As a founding sponsor, Rock Racing joins Wal-Mart, General Electric, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Blue Cross and others who have pledged to support the race at the highest level.

“My commitment to cycling is long-term and I am proud to support this world-class race which has featured such winners as Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis,” Ball said. “As a tribute to the state of Georgia and to the rich tradition of this race, we plan something special for the final stage, so stay tuned.”

During the Tour de Georgia, Rock Racing fans will have an opportunity to purchase official team merchandise from Thursday through Sunday at Stages 4 through 7. Rock Racing Trackside is part of the race’s Health & Wellness Expo that is adjacent to each finish venue. Fans can also get autographs from their favorite Rock Racing riders before and after each stage of the race.

On the other side of the country, Rock Racing will field a full eight-rider squad for the Sea Otter Classic SRAM Circuit Race Saturday at the Laguna Seca Raceway in California. On the roster for the 71-mile (114 km) National Race Calendar event are: Rahsaan Bahati (USA), David Clinger (USA), Peter Dawson (AUS), Sergio Hernandez (USA), Kevin Klein (USA), Rudolph “Rudy” Napolitano (USA), Adam Switters (USA) and Jeremiah Wiscovitch (USA).

Greg and Laura Bennett join the exclusive ranks of husband-wife Olympians

Q&A with Greg Bennett after selection to his second Australian Olympic team

By: Timothy Carlson - IT Senior Correspondent

With a 5th place at the Mooloolaba World Cup, Australia’s Greg Bennett convinced Triathlon Australia selectors that he was the best man for the third and final Australian men’s 2008 Olympic Triathlon team. Although three-time ITU World Champion Peter Robertson had a strong 4th place last Sunday in Ishigaki, Japan, a variety of factors led TA national coach Bill Davoren and his staff to pick the man who finished 4th at the 2004 Olympics and won $500,000 for running the table at the U.S.’s 2007 Life Time Fitness series over Robbo, Australia’s long-running all-or-nothing thrill show who either pulls off miracles or blows up. For despite Robertson’s thrilling World Championships wins in 2001, 2003 and 2005, and silvers in 2000 and 2002, the larrikin express broke down in both the 2000 and 2004 Olympics and suffered through injury plagued ITU World Cup seasons in 2006 and 2007. Bennett, on the other hand, rose to ITU World number one for more than a year in the early part of this decade and has remained one of the fastest runners in the sport and most reliable elite competitors anywhere.

Inside Triathlon: Not long ago it seemed as if you had resigned yourself to abandon hope for any further Olympic appearances. What changed?

Greg Bennett: It wasn't that I gave up on my Olympic ambitions only that the priority this time was to make sure Laura got her start at the Games. Once she had qualified first for the USA team that gave me some breathing room to see if I could impress the selectors. While we focused on Laura's ambitions of making the team I focused on helping her and my racing in the States. The Life Time Fitness series is still very much important to me and the Olympic Games will fall right in the middle of the series so I know I will be in good shape.

IT: Did Triathlon Australia officials coaches contact you and urge you to try again?

GB: Once I mentioned to them I was interested (in Olympic selection for 2008) they informed me that I needed to race a few World Cups. I told them I would not race a lot of events, but that I would race Mooloolaba in March and show them my fitness. I also mentioned that I would not be in peak shape in March but would build for my race season from June to October.

IT: What did they say were their criteria?

GB: The criteria were not only to look at the last year or even last 2 years but to look at an athlete’s performances for the last 4-5 years. The criteria would look at how an athlete would fit into the team -- and even, if needed, how to play a role in the race itself. The list of criteria the selectors looked at was long and extensive and gave the selectors the freedom to nominate the best team to try to win gold at the Games.

IT: Do you think your great year in non-drafting races in the 2007 Life Time series
have any impact to any sort of welcoming feeling you got from TA -- if any?

GB: I don't really know what the selectors were saying around the table at the meeting. The Life Time series may have helped or it may have hurt for the fact I missed so many World Cups and last year’s World Championships. The fact is I have absolutely no regrets for racing the Life Time Fitness series... a series I believe is only going to get bigger and better in future year for both professionals and amateurs alike.

IT: I am guessing - I do not know -- that they were measuring performances in
the first three World Cups of the year - Mooloolaba, New Plymouth, Ishigaki. How did you limit your world cup races to one?

GB: As I mentioned above the selection criteria was based on a long extensive list. That led to a welcome freedom of selection. It isn't one race or two races. They are able to look across the board at who will work best for the country in the sport of triathlon.

IT: I guess Mooloolaba counted most because the field was strongest. Therefore, Robbo's 4th place - one spot better than your 5th -- counted less. Do you think that was true?

GB: These three events were simply a guide. They were by no means the only criteria for selection. I am sure they weighed myself and Robbo up against each other over a long period of time. He is a fantastic athlete and has proven he can do amazing things.

IT: Do you suppose your clutch almost-a-medal performance in Athens weighed on the decision?

GB: I'm sure it helped.

IT: Or was it your consistent high finishes in your occasional forays on the World Cup circuit?

GB: These would have helped as well.

IT: Were you counting on supporting (your wife) Laura (who made the U.S, Olympic team last September) in Beijing? Will this get in the way of that at all?

GB: Not at all... in fact I think it works even better. I was committed of course to the Olympics with Laura but both being in only increases our focus as a team into the Games. We have worked together for years into major competitions and to be honest I believe we work better together when we are both striving for perfection.

IT: Laura said that you both were happy her 4th place and your 5th place finishes early in the season at Mooloolaba. In the long run, is this better than coming out with your best race so early?

GB: We were over the moon with our performances at Mooloolaba. We had just finished our conditioning phase and neither one of us was looking forward to the intensity of racing. To handle the threshold of the race and still be in the game was very pleasing.

IT: Can you beat Javier Gomez in Beijing?

GB: Of course. I believe everyone is beatable with the right preparation. Javier is obviously the Man who has the gold medal to lose and I know (he) is focused on making sure he doesn't. Laura and I both love to race and the bigger the event more we love it... so we plan to both put on a good show!

IT: Will this interrupt your effort to defend your Life Time Fitness titles?

GB: Not at all. Minneapolis and New York in July sit perfectly between World Championships, Des Moines in June and the Olympics in August. Following the games I will hit Chicago, LA and Dallas. My season is between June and October and the Olympics being in August sit right in the middle of my season.

IT: Congratulations to you and Laura!

GB: Thanks!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

David Millar On Turning On The Gas

Tour de France stage winner David Millar has a talent for injecting a double shot of speed when it's needed. He reveals what it takes to sharpen your speed.

The ability to 'turn on the gas' and increase your pace rapidly and substantially is a racing essential - and a handy skill on those 'fun' rides that always turn into the Sunday morning world championships.

Sprinters tend to be best at short blasts on the gas, while the powerhouses can up it a couple of notches and sustain this for long periods. And then there are the real speed merchants; riders who can turn it on when the pace is already at the max, closing gaps on breakaway riders, getting to the front and lining the whole peloton out, or simply blasting off the front at an incredible rate and maintaining it to the finish line.

Millar's training tips: how to get that high-speed edge

"I guess I'm quite fortunate in that I have a good level of core strength," says Millar, "which is essential when it comes to being able to turn on the gas. Most of my fine tuning is done through racing itself, as it's the best way to be put in a situation and have to use it, which is not always as easy in training - but not everyone has that opportunity.

"To develop your speed it is best to have a good base level of fitness to start with, plenty of time in on the bike; this enables you to develop things to a higher level, sustain your bursts for longer, and to recover faster.

"You need to be able to lift your speed from an already high pace, and to be able to sustain it and then recover very fast. The best way to do this is repeated simulation in training - on the road or on a turbo trainer. Build things up to an already near maximum pace - medium time trial speed - and then lift it to your max for 30 seconds, then come back down to the original pace for four minutes and keep repeating the exercise. Mix this with sessions that include 20 second maximum speed sprints with one minute rests and you should see improvements pretty quickly - but you have to keep pushing it up.

"I find it easier to do things naturally; when I was younger that would be by chasing trucks and mopeds, but that can be dangerous so it's not really advisable!"

"It's really important to be in the right frame of mind. You need to be focused on what you have to do, and be prepared to hurt, because it will really hurt for a couple of minutes or so. Think about what you need to achieve - which will be different at the end of a race than it would be to close a gap mid race - and then get your head around things and commit to what you are doing. If you go about it half heartedly then it won't work - especially if it's an attack."

Composure: ride quiet, ride smooth

"When I was younger I used to read articles like this, and l learned a lot of things from them, and one quote I always remember was to ride quiet. It's important to keep your composure and to look relaxed and untroubled in front of other riders, even if you are not.

"Keep it smooth, think about being still and efficient on the bike, and try to keep from rocking and fighting. The only time to let things get ragged is when you are all out and alone and closing on the line, then it's all or nothing and doesn't matter quite so much."

Position: learn to mix it up

"Lots of riders only have one basic position when they are full throttle, but I have three - depending on what the situation is. If it's a long effort at high speed on the flat then I will get aero and rest on the tops of the handlebars with my arms - but this can be very precarious so I cannot recommend it in most situations. But at 50kph the aero benefits of having your elbows tucked in and your body streamlined can be significant. "If it's hilly or rolling I will be on the brake lever hoods ; this enables me to get more power out, especially when the terrain starts to head upwards.

"When it's absolutely all-out for a short period - like leading out a sprint or attacking - then I will be on the drops. It gives me more control and allows me to harness the power."

Pacing: meter out your effort

"Your pace and ability to recover from efforts, and to sustain them, will be unique to you, and that is something that you will have to learn by performing simulated efforts in training.

"Exactly how you judge your efforts will depend on the timing and what you hope to achieve. If you're closing a gap mid race then you need to think about timing and recovery - don't go to your max to close things in a short time and find yourself being blown out at the bottom of a hill or as another rider attacks. Conversely, at the end of a race you must try to judge it to get everything out in those last few minutes; there's no point in having anything left in the tank when you cross the line."

Attacking: plan, focus, commit, hurt

"It's important to know what you're doing - and when to do it - when you choose to attack. Think about things in advance and work it out; it's no use just doing things for the sake of it. Check out the course, wind direction, other riders and so on, and then have a basic plan.

"When I attack I get myself into a position close to the front of the group and spend a few minutes geeing myself up and focusing on what I need to do. When you attack it needs to be fully committed, 100 per cent; there is no point in anything less. You must sprint more or less fl at out for around 200 metres in a bigger gear to open a gap, and then settle immediately into your maximum pace for a couple of minutes, at your normal cadence, which will hurt. Then, and only then, should you assess if it's been successful. A quick glance over your shoulder will tell you what the situation is."

Medium bursts: keep some gas in the tank

"When you are closing down gaps or turning things up without attempting to go clear it's a diff erent approach. Controlling things is key, and this is why it's important to know your abilities; it's no use grinding yourself into a hole only to be left behind.

"A less explosive increase of speed is required, and you need to work out how much you can afford to put out, how long you need to recover, and if you are likely to find yourself unable to respond. In a pro race these things are calculated; when trying to close a gap we leave it until as late as possible to avoid any lulls in speed and reduce the risk of counter attack. But in everyday use the key is to have some gas left in the tank."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Snowsill + Densham + Moffatt = Olympic Games!

Triathlon Australia has today announced the 3 athletes who have been chosen as part of the Nomination Team for Womens Triathlon for Australia for the 2008 Olympic Games.

The athletes:

1. Emma Snowsill
2. Emma Moffatt
3.Erin Densham

As outlined in Triathlon Australia’s Olympic nomination criteria, the Nomination Team will not be presented to the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) for consideration for selection until the beginning of July. The nomination team have continuing obligations of ongoing fitness, injury and illness monitoring between now and 4 July 2008.

Triathlon Australia would like to congratulate the three athletes above on joining an illustrious group who will represent Australia at an Olympic Games.

Rock Racing Will Rock The 2008 Tour de Georgia

Professional cycling fans will get their wish after all: Rock Racing will be a part of the 2008 Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T after reaching a settlement with race organizer, Medalist Sports, LLC.

The overwhelming favorite pro team in a recent online poll by Bicycling Magazine, Rock Racing will be a part of the six-day, 660-mile stage race that begins Monday, April 21. The team’s roster for the race will be announced in the coming days.

“The fans told us they wanted us to be there,” says Team Owner Michael Ball. “We are pleased that we were able to work with Medalist to come to a mutually beneficial decision. Now the race will truly field the best of the best of international and domestic pro cycling teams which will only build on the momentum created for domestic cycling at the Tour of California.”

Today’s decision was made after ProTour team Saunier Duval-Scott announced they would not be racing due to numerous injuries of key riders. Rock Racing had filed an injunction earlier this month to be allowed entry into the race.

A hearing in the case was scheduled for earlier today but the two parties settled out of court.

Ball said a flood of e-mails, letters and phone calls from fans in support of the team could not be ignored.

“The team is ready to race. Santiago Botero’s win and the team’s performance at Redlands is a clear indication of what to expect next week in Georgia,” said Ball.

Rock Racing’s Botero convincingly won the Redlands Bicycle Classic by 54 seconds in his first ever race in the United States. In capturing the overall, Botero also won the King of the Mountains classification and one stage of the four-day race.

At the Amgen Tour of California in February, Rock Racing was equally impressive by scoring seven top 10 finishes during the seven-stage, 650-mile race. To date in 2008, the team has won six races and registered 15 podium finishes.

Tim DeBoom to race ultramarathon

Tim DeBoom, a two-time Ironman World champion and America’s No. 1 ranked long distance triathlete, today announces his entry in the 2008 Leadville 100 trail race – a 100 mile ultramarathon through the Rocky Mountains of Leadville, Colorado. The Leadville 100 marks DeBoom’s first try at an ultramarathon and is regarded as one of the toughest annual races in the country, with runners climbing and descending a total of 15,600 feet.

“Competing in the Leadville 100 will push and challenge me in new ways both mentally and physically, and I am looking forward to rediscovering how it feels to run without pressure,” said Tim DeBoom. “Competing in triathlons is still my passion and winning another Hawaii Ironman is a top goal of mine, but I’ve conquered it twice before and am excited to try something that I’m not 100 percent sure I can even finish.”

DeBoom is bringing his athletic expertise and champion drive to the Leadville 100. Currently America’s No. 1 long distance triathlete, DeBoom is an avid runner who enters Leadville with both enthusiasm and apprehension. The 2008 Leadville 100 will be DeBoom’s first ultra-marathon and the first time he has competed in a running race over 26.2 miles.

The 2008 Leadville 100, or The Race Across the Sky, is an annual race in Leadville, Colorado that presents runners with a 50-mile out-and-back trail and dirt road course through the Rocky Mountains. Climbing and descending 15,600 feet, runners compete at high elevations between 9,200 and 12,620 feet – making the 100 mile race one of the toughest ultra-marathons in the country.

Consisting of around 500 runners, barely half of the Leadville 100 competitors finish in the 30-hour time limit set by organizers. The race, which begins before dawn, is most known for the grueling trails and the two climbs up the 12,620 foot Hope Pass – encountered on both the outbound and return leg of the race.

The 2008 Leadville 100 will take place on August 16 and 17 in Leadville, Colorado. The race has a start time of 4 a.m. on August 16. For more information on Ironman Tim DeBoom, please visit www.timdeboom.com or, for more information on the Leadville 100, visit www.leadvilletrail100.com.

Anna Kournikova - Races At The South Beach Triathlon

Former Tennis star Anna Kournikova is a more muscly version of her former self as she runs in a Florida triathlon.
The Russian has never been exactly plump, but observers in America fear she's losing the curves which catapulted her to fame in the late '90s and developing a more athletic, slender frame.

The 26-year-old blonde, who last played professional tennis in 2003, ran four miles of the Nautica South Beach Triathlon in Miami on Sunday to help raise money for St Jude's Children's Hospital.

However, unlike her fellow competitors, Anna sat out the swimming and biking part of the triathlon, but happily rejoined them later for the post-sporting cocktail party.

Following the run, Anna said: "It was really cool. I am a little out of breath, sorry. I was expecting nothing really because I was sick a week or two ago.

"I tried to stay focused and sucked it up and just went. The beginning was hard. The first mile felt like forever. "My teammates are amazing athletes and incredible women, I give them a lot of respect."

At the triathlon after-party on a yacht moored at Miami Beach, Anna declared her six-year relationship with Latin pop star Enrique Iglesias was still going strong, but the pair had ruled out marriage.

She told People magazine: "I'm never getting married. Everything is good."

Monday, April 14, 2008

61 kilos of dynamite

Kepa Zelaia, Astana’s physician, formerly of Discovery Channel team, is one of the people who best knows the physical machine of Alberto Contador, “a privileged constitution,” according to him.

“I got to know him in 2003, five years ago. I was surprised by the effort test performed by Dr. Alberto Garai. The result was spectacular, far above the norm for a young man of only 21.”

How was Contador different? “What stood out is the extremely resistant quality of his fine muscular cells. He eliminated lactates very rapidly. And he recuperated extremely fast.” These are qualities that the leader of the Vuelta al País Vasco has enhanced by training.

Dr. Zalaia ranks him “at the level of the greatest climbers of all time, like Lucho Herrera or Marco Pantani. He weighs 61 kilos and he has a resting pulse rate of between 38 and 41 beats minute.” Of course, seeing him climbing the slopes with such a high pedal cadence, another of his characteristics, one can unequivocally state that it’s 61 kilos of dynamite.

Kepa Zelaia understands that Alberto Contador “has plenty of margin left to improve in the coming two years, especially in the time trial. He’s 25 and has not yet reached physical maturity. He eats moderately. I would even say that he eats little.”


The Astana physician also emphasizes another aptitude which stands out in the effort tests. “Self-control. The cavernoma did not diminish him physically. On the contrary, I would say that it strengthened his character, level-headedness, and maturity.”

He demonstrated those qualities recently, since his grandmother Maria passed away last Tuesday. She lived in Badajoz, Barcarrota, and had been hospitalized for several days. On Monday Alberto dedicated his victory in the Legazpi stage to her.

In the past few weeks, speculation has been that Contador was diversifying his preparation and his training plans after learning that his team, Astana, had not been invited to the Tour de France. Zelaia denies this alleged change.

“Normally, he had to be well-prepared for Paris-Nice. ASO didn’t invite the team to this race, so he then aimed to be in the best possible form for the Vuelta al País Vasco, occurring one month later in the pro cycling calendar. We limited ourselves to delay his fine-tuning. From this point of view, the preparation has been the same as last year’s. In any case, Alberto's not at 100% yet. He’s still capable of improving on the bike.”

The Vuelta al País Vasco ends the first part of Contador’s season. Zelaia realises that “a race like this one demands an important effort every day.”

"In addition, in his racing style he plays offense: he attacks a lot, and this uses more energy, so much so that Alberto could pay the price next Saturday in Orio. For example, during last year’s Tour de France he attacked in five out of the six mountain stages, and paid for his efforts in the Aubisque. We’ll see how he feels after the Vuelta al País Vasco, and decide about the follow-up. There’s the option of a training camp in the Pyrenees or the Alps, as previously planned. But for the moment we must wait. There could well be a change of schedule. We’ll see.”

A reminder: Contador will not be at the departure of the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, two classics lead by the ASO, the same entity that organizes the Tour, where Astana has not been invited either. The only possibility offered would be to take part in the Dutch Amstel Gold Race, but this race is not included in Contador’s schedule.

Alberto’s next objective will will be focused on the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré.

To read more updates on Alberto click on the title link.

Hurikova Wins Czech National Cup #1

Elite women

1 Tereza Huríková (Cze) Ceská Sporitelna Mtb 1.27.54
2 Nataliya Krompets (Ukr) Isd 3.23
3 Pavla Havlíková (Cze) Kc Kooperativa Sg Jablonec 6.06
4 Pavlína Šulcová (Cze) Rock Machine - Cyklomax Wome 9.14
5 Tereza Jansová (Cze) Ceská Sporitelna Mtb 12.14
6 Ekaterina Melnikova (Rus) Mgfso-Cube 13.26
7 Karolina Stolarová (Cze) Ceská Sporitelna Mtb 14.08
8 Iryna Slobodyan (Ukr) 15.32
9 Martina Nemcová (Cze) Pell´S Hard Bikers 17.01

Major, Csomor Score a Hungarian Double at Ironman Arizona

They both grew up in the same small home town of Cegled, Hungary. And on Sunday, Jozsef Major and Erika Csomor shared the winner’s laurels 5,000 miles away at Ford Ironman Arizona in Tempe, Arizona.

Major and Csomor took impressive wins in very different fashion – Major in a nail-biting, come-from-behind thriller and Csomor with a definitive 11 minutes, three second-victory margin over two-time International Triathlon Union world champion and 2006 Ironman Hawaii winner Michellie Jones.

Major overcame a 14-minute deficit after the bike, and then blazed past race leader TJ Tollakson with just half a mile to go on the marathon to win his very first Ironman by 17 seconds. Major zoomed past six competitors on the three-loop 26.2-mile run with a race-best 2:50:12 effort to finish in 8:34:19 – 13 minutes off Michael Lovato’s 2006 race record.

Major’s last minute heroics put an exclamation point on a great men’s race in which the lead was exchanged half a dozen times and the first four competitors finished within an amazing 73 seconds of one another. Tollakson and James Bonney switched leads several times on the bike and run before Tollakson surged to a 14-second lead over Bonney with two miles to go. Lurking just one minute behind were American Jordan Rapp and Major. By the time the deck was shuffled for the last time, Major streaked to the win, Tollakson hung on for second, and Rapp surged past Bonney for third.

Continuing a bad-luck streak that reached its nadir with an illness-plagued, off-the-back Ironman Hawaii, 2007 Ironman Arizona champion Rutger Beke pulled out after finishing the bike 6:44 down to Bonney.

Csomor overcame a 7:31 deficit to Jones’ 51:37 swim when she passed Jones at Mile 76 of the bike on her way to a race-best 5:02:30 ride. With a lightning-quick transition, Jones turned a 30-second deficit into a 28-second advantage starting the run. But Csomor, coming off a smashing win over Jones, 2006 Ironman 70.3 world champion Samantha McGlone, 2007 Ironman 70.3 world champion Mirinda Carfrae and 2002 ITU short-course world champion Leanda Cave last month at Ironman 70.3 California, could not be denied.

Csomor, a four-time Powerman Zofingen champion and multiple ITU duathlon world titlist, cruised by Jones a mile and a half into the run and never looked back.

By the end of the marathon, Csomor had posted the fastest split of the day – 3:07:58 – and had outpaced Jones’ run by 11 minutes, 31 seconds. Furthermore, the 2004 Ironman Austria champion had sent a message that she was no longer just a duathlete on holiday, but on target to join fellow Brett Sutton-coached star Chrissie Wellington on the podium in Kona this October.

Csomor’s 9:14:49 finish was 1:56 behind Jones’ course record set in 2006 – the year of her Ironman Hawaii win.

Ford Ironman Arizona
Tempe, Arizona
April 13, 2008
2.4mi S/112 mi B/26.2 mi R

Elite Men's Results

Athlete Swim Bike Run Total
1. Jozsef Major (HUN) 58:59 4:41:10 2:50:12 8:34:19
2. TJ Tollakson (USA) 50:06 4:36:53 3:04:05 8:34:36
3. Jordan Rapp (USA) 55:03 4:32:42 3:02:33 8:35:04
4. James Bonney (USA) 48:24 4:37:43 3:05:34 8:35:32
5. Rene Goehler (GER) 48:45 4:45:24 3:04:34 8:42:36
6. Jonathan Caron (CAN) 50:09 4:53:29 3:00:28 8:48:11
7. Massimo Cigana (ITA) 55:58 4:46:54 3:07:53 8:54:33
8. Brian Fuller (AUS) 55:54 4:48:41 3:12:37 9:00:51
9. Serge Meyer (CZE) 59:04 4:47:27 3:10:40 9:01:39
10. Bernhard Keller (GER) 56:16 5:00:19 3:07:25 9:08:04

DNF: Rutger Beke

Elite Women' Results

1. Erika Csomor (HUN) 59:08 5:02:30 3:07:58 9:14:49
2. Michellie Jones (AUS) 51:37 5:10:48 3:19:29 9:25:52
3. Heather Gollnick (USA) 52:05 5:16:25 3:18:42 9:32:07
4. Tamara Kozulina (UKR) 59:03 5:20:54 3:09:56 9:34:18
5. Linsey Corbin (USA) 59:07 5:11:00 3:18:19 9:34:38
6. Tara Norton (CAN) 56:32 5:05:25 3:28:41 9:35:45
7. Tina Boman (FIN) 56:15 5:23:15 3:23:06 9:47:26
8. Hillary Biscay (USA) 51:32 5:21:25 3:36:05 9:53:21
9. Sione Jongstra (NED) 56:26 5:26:50 3:37:35 10:05:58
10. Teri Albertazzi (USA) 1:08:12 5:13:25 3:39:41 10:07:38

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Chris Lieto Outduels Ben Collins for Nautica South Beach Elite Win

Riding across Miami’s causeways and running past South Beach’s art deco hotels, four-time Ironman champion Chris Lieto blazed past current Ironman world champion Chris McCormack and first-year pro Ben Collins on the bike to win the inaugural Nautica South Beach Triathlon Sunday. Lieto’s 1:16:15 finishing time for the half-mile swim, 18.3-mile bike and four-mile run earned him the Nautica title by 45 seconds over runner-up Collins.

“The course was beautiful,” said Lieto. “The bike went out through the bay and jumped from island to island, went over the causeway and took a loop downtown before coming back to South Beach. On the run, the people were out and partying. All in all, it was great to put myself in a race situation in such a great place early in the season.”

Collins, the 2007 age group overall ITU world champion, blasted out of the warm azure Atlantic waters in 10:48, 22 seconds ahead of McCormack and 27 seconds ahead of Lieto. Renowned cyclist Lieto made quick work of Macca, passing the Ironman Hawaii champion at Mile 2, then took down Collins by Mile 7 of the scenic bike over Miami’s gracefully curving white causeway, arriving at T2 a minute and a half ahead of the chasers.

On the run, Collins showed his decision to turn pro was no mistake setting fastest run against his two esteemed competitors with a race-best 21:21 for the four miles and a 1:17:00 finish. With plenty of time in hand after his sizzling bike, Lieto could well afford to hand back 25 seconds on the run and still hold on for the win. McCormack, still in early base training phase for his 2008 campaign, ran a 21:36 to come in third with an overall time of 1:18:57.

“Chris got a little revenge on me for October,” joked McCormack. “He and Ben Collins just carved me up today. This was a nice race to get the cobwebs off to begin my racing season. But as it was, there was nothing I could do when Chris blew by me on the bike.”

McCormack praised Nautica South Beach promoter Michael Epstein. “This event was really well received (it was sold out at 1,000 entries). Like his other races which benefit great charities, making St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital the beneficiary makes this race for a very good purpose. I think that's reason his races are so successful. I’ve felt my career to this point has always been selfish, all about myself. So now I like to support events I believe in. I’d like to become Macca the activist, supporting things for the sport and for other people, opposed to just winning races.”

In a less hotly contested race, 2002 ITU world champion Leanda Cave of Great Britain cruised to the elite women’s win in 1:27:17, 13 minutes ahead of elite women’s runner-up Michelle Garner of Miami.

Equally dominant was the former star of ABC’s The Bachelor, Navy Lt. Andy Baldwin who won the celebrity men’s division by half an hour in 1:35:03. Coming in third in the division was celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito, who finished in 2:05:36, just six seconds behind celebrity runner-up Mark Joyella. DiSpirito was unabashedly upbeat about his finish. “I saw Andy had his new one piece race suit, and mine was a two-piece,” joked third-year triathlete DiSpirito. "And I didn’t shave my legs, so that must have been the difference.”

“Nautica put on a great race and it’s going to grow to Nautica Malibu proportions or even greater,” said Baldwin, a Navy physician with a strong age group triathlon record. Of the course, Baldwin said “The water was really beautiful and the run was very picturesque running two miles out and back in front of the Art Deco hotels.” As for his race, Baldwin said he was satisfied with his performance despite being unable to train to his usual standards. “I had been on assignment for two months in the Pacific, working from a barge diving to recover military personnel lost in combat," he sdaid. "But coming to South Beach and helping Nautica help raise money for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital made it all worthwhile.”

But perhaps the most creditable performance of the day was turned in by the celebrity women’s team. Model and pro triathlete Katya Meyers turned in a 12:31 swim, just 72 seconds behind former world champion pro Leanda Cave. Multiple Olympic swimmer Dara Torres then showed she had some chops outside her field of expertise, finishing the bike in 48:52 - 22.3 mph - actually faster than Cave’s split. Then former tennis star Anna Kournikova, who throughout her career was the target of unmerciful media scorn because her celebrity beauty outmatched her tennis results, finished it off with a 28:59 time for the four-mile run. Kournikova’s 7:15-per mile pace put her just five minutes back of world champion Cave, 56 seconds slower than Baldwin, and faster than elite runner-up Michelle Garner.

The celebrity women’s relay also outpaced Baldwin – 1:32:25 to 1:35:03 – and finished just 8 minutes back of Cave.

Nautica South Beach Triathlon
Miami Beach, Florida
April 13, 2008
0.5mi S/18.2mi B/4mi R


Elite male

1. Chris Lieto (Danville, CA) 1:16:15
2. Ben Collins (Lake Forest Park, WA) 1:17:00
3. Chris McCormack (AUS) 1:18:57
4. Marcus Ornellas (BRZ) 1:19:20
5. Miguel Tellez (Sunny Isles, FL) 1:25:58

Elite female

1. Leanda Cave (GBR) 1:27:17
2. Michelle Garner (Miami, FL) 1:40:09
3. Kassianna Rosso (Miami, FL) 1:41:14

Celebrity Male

1. Andy Baldwin (Honolulu, HI) 1:35:03
2. Mark Joyella 2:05:30
3. Rocco DiSpirito (New York, NY) 2:05:36

Celebrity Relay


Swim - Katya Meyers 12:31.2
Bike – Anna Kournikova 48:52.8
Run – Dara Torres – 28:59.5
Total: 1:32:25


Swim - Anthony Cistaro 13:38.2
Bike - Eric Etebari 1:15.8
Run – David Chokachi 38:43
Total: 1:54:44

Snowsill & Densham Go 1-2 In Ishigaki

Australian superstar Emma Snowsill added to her extensive medal count today with a win at the Ishigaki BG Triathlon World Cup. Snowsill led from start to finish claiming her eighth world cup title in a time of 2 hours 3 minutes and 11 seconds. In second place, 29 seconds behind, was fellow Aussie and Olympic hopeful Erin Densham. A further 1 minute 45 seconds back in third was young Hollie Avil of Great Britain in her world cup debut, nipping home crowd favourite Juri Ide of Japan in an exciting sprint finish. In fifth position was Canadian Kathy Trembley.

“I just wanted to get out there and get a second hit out,” said Snowsill after her win. “I felt like I had a bit more of a plateau, not so many ups and downs. I'm really happy, 2 for 2 what more can I ask for at this stage."

Right from the starter’s horn, Snowsill quickly moved to the lead of the 41 women field stringing out a long line of athletes. The only women able to keep up to her were the British swimming trio of Helen Tucker, Jodie Swallow and Kerry Lang. These four would lead the entire swim while the remaining women battled it out behind. Another Aussie Olympic hopeful Felicity Abram, was caught amongst the white water of the chasers and would withdraw from the race early in the bike portion due to stomach ailments.

This lead group of four would be joined by four more at the start of the 40-kilometre hilly bike leg. This small break away was quickly caught however by a Nicola Spirig-led chase group of ten. The Swiss powerhouse single-handedly reeled in the leaders by the end of the first lap, pulling eventual medalists Densham and Avil to within striking distance. This group would efficiently conquer the 14 hills on the course, increasing the lead to over two minutes between them and the chase group, containing pre race favourites, Debbie Tanner of New Zealand and Anja Dittmer of Germany, by the second transition.

In her usual style, Snowsill would struggle through second transition to fall almost ten seconds behind, but blasted to the front in the first 500 metres and would never look back with a blistering 33:23 final 10-kilometre run split to grab top spot and her 16th career podium. Densham dug deep to pull within 30 seconds of Snowsill, at the finish to persuade Australian Olympic selectors after a slow start to the season. Densham is one of four top Australian women fighting for two remaining Olympic spots. After battling over the final five kilometres 18-year old and reigning World Junior Champion Avil of managed to nip Japan’s Ide at the line for a bronze medal in her first world cup.

2008 Ishigaki BG Triathlon World Cup
Elite Women - Official Results
1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run
Gold – Emma Snowsill (AUS) 2:03:10
Silver – Erin Densham (AUS) 2:03:40 +:29
Bronze – Hollie Avil (GBR) 2:05:24 +2:14

Boonen wins Paris-Roubaix

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) out-kicked Fabian Cancellara (CSC) and Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) to win his second Paris-Roubaix on Sunday.

The three — the same men that made the podium in 2006 — made their break from an elite group with 35km to race. Boonen shot away, followed by Cancellara and Ballan, and they would never be retrieved.

It was not until 53km from the finish that the big favorites really began to fight it out, when an acceleration by Silence-Lotto's Johann Van Summeren prompted an eight-man lead group to form, leaving Juan Antonio Flecha, Fabio Baldato and FDJ's Frederic Guesdon trailing.

The Belgian's effort eventually pushed the CSC team of Cancellara and Boonen's Quick tep outfit into some late tactical racing, but it also indirectly led to his team leader Leif Hoste using precious energy and missing the crucial three-man break.

Quick Step's Stijn Devolder, who won the Tour of Flanders last week with a long breakaway effort, had first tested his teammate Boonen's rivals by peeling off the front on of the toughest cobblestone sectors at Mons-en-Peleve with around 46km to race.

Boonen looking relaxed at the start

He managed to ride for only a few hundred meters on his own before CSC's Stuart O'Grady, the defending champion, got up out the saddle and began to give chase - more in a bid to protect Cancellara's chances than his own.

The Australian soon had the Belgian on a tight leash after catching him before the ninth last sector, allowing Cancellara, Boonen, Hoste, Ballan and Dutchman Martijn Maaskant to catch them as they emerged from the eighth last sector.

Ballan then threw down the gauntlet with a quick burst which soon left him in front with only Boonen and Cancellara. Trapped behind with O'Grady and Devolder was Hoste, the Silence team's only remaining rider. Soon, Hoste's bid for an elusive victory on the race would come to a virtual end.

With 20km remaining the lead trio held a lead of 1:20 on the chasing foursome and after Cancellara put in a quick acceleration it was time for Boonen to push to the front as they rode through the yellow, Flemish flags covering all sight of the cobbles in the crucial Carrefour de l'Arbre sector.

Defending champion O’Grady and Devolder made repeated attempts to bridge, as did Hoste, but it wasn’t to be.

High Road’s George Hincapie was well placed until he punctured twice, the last flat coming just as the action up front heated up, and would never see the front group again. He crossed ninth at 5:15.

1. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step, 259km in 5:58:42
2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) CSC, same time
3. Alessandro Ballan (I), Lampre, s.t.
4. Martin Maaskant, (Nl), Slipstream-Chipotle, at 3:39
5. Stuart O'Grady (Aus), CSC, at 3:57
6. Leif Hoste (B), Silence Lotto, s.t.
7. Stijn Devolder (B), Quick Step, at 3:59
8. Johann Van Summeren (B), Silence-Lotto, at 4:35
9. George Hincapie (USA), High Road, at 5:12
10. Fabio Baldato (I), Lampre, at 5:12

Barack Obama a cycling fan?

While there are many different types races happening around the world, from cycling to auto, the race to become the next President of the United States is usually at the top of the news. But Friday, cycling and campaigning came together at the Indiana University Little 500, when Barack Obama made a surprise visit for a photo op and to shake hands with all of the racers in the women's race.

When asked which was more exciting, meeting Obama or winning the Little 500, Delta Gamma sprinter Jess Lander had trouble coming up with an answer. "I'm not going to lie... but winning the race is better!" she said, reluctantly. "But it's pretty damn close – it was great that he came and shook all our hands."

Obama was in Indiana to campaign for the upcoming primary. He also reportedly visited Nick's English Hut, an infamous pub next to campus, before heading out to the track.

Obama did not make any public comment, but did circle the entire quarter-mile track, with security entourage and photographer mob in tow, to shake the hands of every racer as they warmed-up on their trainers. This alone set the race start back 25 minutes. And as it is the only cycling race in the U.S. that is televised live nationally, this is quite a feat.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

German Half Marathon Championships

2004/2006 Ironman World Champion Normann Stadler runs 1:09:45 at the German Championships Half Marathon.

Elite runners gathered yesterday in Calw for the German Half Marathon Championships. Martin Beckman dominated the race and won ahead of Florian Neuschwander and Lennart Sponar.

Normann Stadler: “I am pleased with my performance test and a solid 1:09:45 hrs good for 24th overall.

Contador time trials away from his greatest rivals

Spaniard Alberto Contador continued his dominating performance in the Vuelta al País Vasco and won the final stage, an individual time trial over 20 kilometres with start and finish in Orio. The 25 year-old Astana rider was 22 seconds faster than the Australian Cadel Evans, from Silence-Lotto, which secured the overall victory for the stage winner. Rabobank's Thomas Dekker was third, 27 seconds back . The top three was also the order in the final overall classification.

Euskaltel – Euskadi's Egoi Martínez held on to the mountains classification, while Iban Mayoz from Karpin Galicia secured himself the jersey in the meta volantes. While Astana had the stranglehold on the stages and the GC, it was the Dutch Rabobank team that won the teams prize.

Race winner Contador was ecstatic in the press conference. "The win of this Vuelta al País Vasco has a prestigious value for me. The victory has not been easy, neither for the profiles nor for the climatic conditions." He was surprised about the gap between him and Evans. "I beat him for 22 seconds? That is really surprising to me!" He dedicated the victory to his grandmother, who deceased some time ago, a fact that "affected me a lot," and also to his grandfather Avellardo. He admitted to struggle with a molar infection, a fact that "only Benjamín Noval knew. I did almost not sleep in those days, but I did not want to say it as the rivals could have heard about it and tried to attack me even more."

Rabobank's Grischa Niermann was happy about the win of this team: "The Vuelta al País Vasco is one of the hardest races, it is great that we have been able to win the teams classification. The race has not been that hard, like in the past years, but yesterday and today were really two hard stages and you can say that they were worthy of the Vuelta al País Vasco." The German commented about the Alto de Aia that "yesterday, some of us would not have been able to reach the summit without the help of the spectators, because the wheels raced due to the bad weather."

How it unfolded

The weather was kinder to the public and to the riders than the previous day. Along the coast of the Basque country, the sun was out and the temperatures were around 20 degrees Celsius – perfect conditions for this last day of the Vuelta al País Vasco. A lot of cycling fans had come to Orio to support their heroes.

The course started near the beach, before crossing the little village of Orio (Gipuzkoa), direction to the port, along the luxurious yachts. It then left the village and affronted the Alto de Aia, with a maximal gradient of 22 percent. After four kilometres of climbing, a turning point and a descent of five kilometres over very narrow and curvy streets awaited the riders. The peloton descended with a speed of 85 kilometres per hour. Back in Orio, they passed the port once again before ascending to the Alto de Txanka. From the summit, they only had to descend again and the finish line awaited them besides the sea.

The vibes were great, the majority of the public was assembled at the start and finish zone and in the rampant streets of the Alto de Aia, where groups of people animated the riders calling each of them by name. In front of the Astana bus, Contador fans began to intone chants to support their idol.

Six riders did not start; amongst them stage three winner David Herrero from Karpin Galicia who crashed yesterday. The first of the remaining 99 riders, Liquigas' Iván Santaromita, started at 14:45, the last one, Alberto Contador, at 17:15.

The race leader did not let any doubt about his class: After four kilometres, he led the stage with 21 seconds ahead of his biggest rival, Cadel Evans, and he defended this advance until reaching the finish line.

Astana did a great work for their leader during the entire Vuelta, and he knew to thank it to them winning the overall classification.

The most regular rider should have been David Herrero, who was three times third in the stages and who also won the one that finished in Viana. His team, Karpin Galicia, has showed a very great performance, with Ezequiel Mosquera finishing ninth in the overall classification, and as the only non-ProTour team, they left a good impression.