Monday, November 30, 2009
Italy's Ivan Basso will return to the Tour de France in 2010, four years after leaving on the eve of the race and the start of Operación Puerto. He will co-captain the Liquigas team at next year's Giro d'Italia with Franco Pellizotti and be one of three leaders at the Tour de France in July.
"I have the most experience of us for the Tour," Basso said. "Franco [Pellizotti] will not race for the classification and our two young guys [Vincenzo Nibali and Roman Kreuziger] will join me on the team. They will have more freedom if I am there with the big stars."
Basso returned to racing full-time this season after serving a two-year suspension for the Operación Puerto doping investigation. After finishing second and third respectively in the 2005 and 2004 Tours, he was a favourite for the win at the 2006 Tour de France, but the investigation forced him out of the race before it started and led to an eventual suspension.
He proved to still be competitive this year, finishing fifth at the Giro d'Italia and fourth at the Vuelta a España. Given the added confidence and days racing from 2009, he's able to start his 2010 season later than this year. Basso's first race of 2010 will be the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, March 22 to 28.
"The journalists always looked to confirm that I had returned to my top form this year. I had form, but I was never able to be calm. With a year of racing, however, I am calm and secure.
"The second thing is that I am working on my back to achieve a better aero position for time trialling. My legs and the bike are perfect, but it is my relationship with the bike [which needs work]. I am working in the gym and stretching to improve."
Basso will co-captain the team at the Giro, May 8 to 30, with Pellizotti, who finished third overall this year. Liquigas will take all four of its classification men to the Tour, July 3 to 25: Basso, Pellizotti, Nibali and Kreuziger.
At this year's Tour, Pellizotti won the climbers' classification, while Nibali and Kreuziger finished seventh and ninth overall respectively. Next year, Pellizotti will aim for a stage win, leaving the team with three options for the overall classification.
"We are honest enough amongst ourselves to know who is going strongest, whether it is here at the training camp or in training before the race," said Basso.
Liquigas has to be united to beat Astana's Alberto Contador, RadioShack with Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Klöden, and Saxo Bank's Fränk and Andy Schleck.
"More than the pavé in the first week, I am worried about Contador, who will be just as strong," said Basso. "I'm convinced Armstrong will have 15-20 percent more of his old feeling back, but then so will I."
Basso is currently taking part with all of team Liquigas at its training camp in Moena, Italy, on Passo San Pellegrino. Partly due to snow, the camp is mostly a chance for the riders to bond whereas training on the bike will be the focus of a second camp in Spain, December 14 to 22.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Tereza Hurikova will join the Spanish mountain bike team Trek-Lorca Taller del Tiempo for 2010. The 22-year-old Czech rider has signed a three-year contract that runs through the end of 2012.
"Tereza is a rider who will give us a great international touch. With her, we intend to be in the top 10 of World Cup. Apart from top-level athlete, she is a great person," said Team Manager Juan Antonio Vilar.
Hurikova has spent her entire career thus far with the Czech Ceskä Sporitelna team. This year, despite a broken collarbone, she logged a few top 10 finishes in the Under 23 cross country World Cup as well as several podiums and victories in national series races in Switzerland, Germany and Cyprus. In 2008, she finished fourth in the World Cup in Canberra, Australia, and in 2007, she was fourth in the Under 23 race of the World Championships in Fort William, Scotland.
She was World Champion as a junior in 2004 (road time trial) and in 2005.
In 2010, the young rider will focus on the World Cup, the World Championships in Canada, the European Championships in Israel and the Bundesliga (German National Series) or Racer Bikes Cup (Swiss National Series). She will also contest the World Championship time trial on the road.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) describes a phenomenon of muscle pain, muscle soreness or muscle stiffness that is felt 12-48 hours after exercise, particularly at the beginning of a new an exercise program, after a change in sports activities, or after a dramatic increase in the duration or intensity of exercise.
This muscle pain is a normal response to unusual exertion and is part of an adaptation process that leads to greater stamina and strength as the muscles recover and build hypertrophy).
This sort of muscle pain is not quite the same as the muscle pain or fatigue you experience during exercise. This delayed pain is also very different than the acute, sudden pain of and injury such as muscle strains and sprains, which is marked by an abrupt, specific and sudden pain that occurs during activity and often causes swelling or bruising.
The delayed soreness of DOMS is generally at its worst within the first 2 days following the activity and subsides over the next few days.
Delayed onset muscle soreness is quite common and quite annoying, particularly for those beginning an exercise program or adding new activities. A beginning exerciser who bikes 10 miles, followed by push-ups and sit-ups is likely to experience muscle pain and soreness in the next day or two.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness - Causes
Delayed onset muscle soreness is thought to be a result of microscopic tearing of the muscle fibers. The amount of tearing (and soreness) depends on how hard and how long you exercise and what type of exercise you do. Any movement you aren't used to can lead to DOMS, but eccentric muscle contractions (movements that cause muscle to forcefully contract while it lengthens) seem to cause the most soreness.
Examples of eccentric muscle contractions include going down stairs, running downhill, lowering weights and the downward motion of squats and push-ups. In addition to small muscle tears there can be associated swelling in a muscle which may contribute to soreness.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness - Treatment
There is no one simple way to treat delayed onset muscle soreness. In fact, there has been an ongoing debate about both the cause and treatment of DOMS. In the past, gentle stretching was one of the recommended ways to reduce exercise related muscle soreness, but a study by Australian researchers published in 2007 found that stretching is not effective in avoiding muscle soreness.
So does anything work to reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness? Nothing is proven effective, but some people have found the following advice helpful, but it's best for an individual to try a few things to see what works for them. Ultimately, best advice for treating DOMS is to prevent it in the first place.
Here are some tips for dealing with soreness after exercise:
Wait. Soreness will go away in 3 to 7 days with no special treatment.
Try an Ice Bath or Contrast Water Bath. Many pro athletes use them to reduce soreness.
Use active recovery techniques. This strategy does have some support in the research. Perform some easy low-impact aerobic exercise to increase blood flow. This may help diminish muscle soreness.
Use the RICE method of treating injuries.
Although research doesn't find gentle stretching reduces soreness, some people find it simply feels good.
Gently massage the affected muscles. Some research has found that massage was effective in alleviating DOMS by approximately 30% and reducing swelling, but it had no effects on muscle function.
Try using a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (aspirin or ibuprofen) to reduce the soreness temporarily, though they won't actually speed healing.
Avoid any vigorous activity that increases pain.
Allow the soreness to subside thoroughly before performing any vigorous exercise.
Don't forget to warm up completely before your next exercise session. There is some research that supports that a warm-up performed immediately prior to unaccustomed eccentric exercise produces small reductions in delayed-onset muscle soreness (but cool-down performed after exercise does not).
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Landis and the Momentum Sports Group (MSG) announced Tuesday that they have mutually agreed to terminate his contract – originally slated to expire at the end of 2010 – releasing both sides from their respective obligations for the remainder of the 2009 and 2010 racing seasons.
"I wish to thank all of the sponsors for their support this year. I would also like to thank everyone at Momentum Sports Group," Landis said. "While I'm excited to pursue other opportunities, I will miss all of my teammates and everyone on staff."
Those opportunities, said Landis, include a hoped-for return to the European stage racing he’s missed since his two-year suspension for doping at the 2006 Tour de France. Landis returned to racing at the start of the 2009 season as a member of OUCH and has not enjoyed the level of success he saw before his ban.
According to a release issued by MSG on Tuesday, Landis told the team that he hopes to ride to ride “the longer, tougher stage races offered in Europe and internationally that better suit his strengths.”
The release went on to note that since the team will continue to focus on a domestic schedule, “MSG and Landis mutually agreed that it would be best for both parties to part ways at this time and allow Landis to seek a position with a team that could better accommodate his desires.”
By: Laura Weislo
On a beautiful autumn Sunday, nearly six hundred cyclists gathered for a ride in High Point, North Carolina, most eager to enjoy the seasonable weather after a week of cold, driving rain. But the mood was somber as the ride to honor David Sherman, an avid cyclist who was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run incident, got underway. It was a sobering reminder of the risks we all take while out on the road.
Friends organized the ride with proceeds going to benefit Yield to Life, an non-profit started by Garmin-Slipstream's David Zabriskie. The US time trial champion had his own run-in with a careless driver in 2003 which nearly ended his career. Since then, he's worked to try to teach drivers to be more sensitive to cyclists.
To read on click on the title link.
Monday, November 16, 2009
In a twist in what's been one of the most drawn-out transfer sagas of the year, La Gazzetta dello Sport also state that Contador is working on bringing Ivan Basso to the team. Basso, who won the Giro d'Italia in 2006 and served a two-year doping-related suspension for his involvement with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, is under contract to Liquigas for the 2010 season. He would be available to join Contador at Astana in 2011.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
“They’re very good bicycles, quite a bit better than Trek, hahaha.” Alberto Contador jokes when talking about the contract that he signed yesterday with Specialized, a California bicycle firm with whom he will ride next season. At the same, he time takes the opportunity to slip in a reference to Trek, also an American bicycle on which he pedaled in recent years, and a brand which will be forever associated with Lance Armstrong, who will ride on a different team next year.
The agreement—for one year with an option by mutual accord of more, depending on the future of Contador as of 2011—will be finalized in the next few days, when the last few details are settled, with another contract of co-sponsorship between Astana, the team with which Contador will fulfill his remaining year of commitment, and Specialized.
“The team looks great,” says the cyclist from Pinto, who in order to make the agreement official is only waiting for the UCI to give the Kazakh team its license for 2010. The deadline for the awarding of ProTour licenses is next Friday.
Associating its image with the figure of the winner of the last Tour, the only cyclist who can compete with Armstrong and Trek on their turf—the North American market for quality bicycles, the most mouthwatering and lucrative—has its price.
According to the Belgian press last week, Specialized was ready to pay a million euros as a contribution to the Spaniard’s salary of five million, to the sponsor Quick Step, one of the teams that wants to sign him. Astana, where it will also contribute to Contador’s pay, will be the third ProTour team supplied by the American company, together with Quick Step, with whom it partnered in the days that Paolo Bettini won two World Championships, and Saxo Bank, the team of Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck, dauphin to Contador in the last Tour.
During the last Tour, in fact, Contador had to pay out of his own pocket for the wheels of the bicycle on which he won the time trial at Annecy, since, say his friends, the team’s best pair of wheels were reserved for the leader, Armstrong.
By creating an agreement with the brand that invented the mountain bike, Contador will not only avoid those problems, but—and it’s a sign of his rank and his global impact—joins the lineage of only a few riders in history who have had the ability to dictate their choice of mount as general issue for the teams in which they ride.
The agreement also emphasizes the ferociously individual way in which Contador must forge his way in a sport that is going through great changes. While other historical figures in Spanish cycling, like Perico Delgado or Miguel Induráin, simply worked within existing frameworks that provided for all their needs, Contador, ever since Manolo Saiz’s goup dissolved, must invent his future every year.
Next, at the end of 2010, he will have to decide whether to sign with another team, like Caisse d’Epargne, or to create his own, with his sponsors and suppliers. Perhaps, in this sense, his commitment with Specialized is a sign of the trend of things to come.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Head Tilt: How you hold your head is key to overall posture, which determines how efficiently you run. Let your gaze guide you. Look ahead naturally, not down at your feet, and scan the horizon. This will straighten your neck and back, and bring them into alignment. Don't allow your chin to jut out.
Shoulders: Shoulders play an important role in keeping your upper body relaxed while you run, which is critical to maintaining efficient running posture. For optimum performance, your shoulders should be low and loose, not high and tight. As you tire on a run, don't let them creep up toward your ears. If they do, shake them out to release the tension. Your shoulders also need to remain level and shouldn't dip from side to side with each stride.
Arms: Even though running is primarily a lower-body activity, your arms aren't just along for the ride. Your hands control the tension in your upper body, while your arm swing works in conjunction with your leg stride to drive you forward. Keep your hands in an unclenched fist, with your fingers lightly touching your palms. Imagine yourself trying to carry a potato chip in each hand without crushing it. Your arms should swing mostly forward and back, not across your body,between waist and lower-chest level. Your elbows should be bent at about a 90-degree angle. When you feel your fists clenching or your forearms tensing, drop your arms to your sides and shake them out for a few seconds to release the tension.
Torso: The position of your torso while running is affected by the position of your head and shoulders. With your head up and looking ahead and your shoulders low and loose, your torso and back naturally straighten to allow you to run in an efficient, upright position that promotes optimal lung capacity and stride length. Many track coaches describe this ideal torso position as "running tall" and it means you need to stretch yourself up to your full height with your back comfortably straight. If you start to slouch during a run take a deep breath and feel yourself naturally straighten. As you exhale simply maintain that upright position.
Hips: Your hips are your center of gravity, so they're key to good running posture. The proper position of your torso while running helps to ensure your hips will also be in the ideal position. With your torso and back comfortably upright and straight, your hips naturally fall into proper alignment--pointing you straight ahead. If you allow your torso to hunch over or lean too far forward during a run, your pelvis will tilt forward as well, which can put pressure on your lower back and throw the rest of your lower body out of alignment. When trying to gauge the position of your hips, think of your pelvis as a bowl filled with marbles, then try not to spill the marbles by tilting the bowl.
Legs/Stride: While sprinters need to lift their knees high to achieve maximum leg power, distance runners don't need such an exaggerated knee lift--it's simply too hard to sustain for any length of time. Instead, efficient endurance running requires just a slight knee lift, a quick leg turnover, and a short stride. Together, these will facilitate fluid forward movement instead of diverting (and wasting) energy. When running with the proper stride length, your feet should land directly underneath your body. As your foot strikes the ground, your knee should be slightly flexed so that it can bend naturally on impact. If your lower leg (below the knee) extends out in front of your body, your stride is too long.
Ankles/Feet: To run well, you need to push off the ground with maximum force. With each step, your foot should hit the ground lightly--landing between your heel and midfoot--then quickly roll forward. Keep your ankle flexed as your foot rolls forward to create more force for push-off. As you roll onto your toes, try to spring off the ground. You should feel your calf muscles propelling you forward on each step. Your feet should not slap loudly as they hit the ground. Good running is springy and quiet.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
A big-wave legend’s 10 rules for eating healthfully
People think I look as good as I do at 44 because I exercise a lot. That’s only half the equation. The other half is what I eat. I love Japanese food. I love Hawaiian food. I love food in general. But I don’t eat haphazardly. I eat for performance and health, and let’s not forget pleasure. Those are the elements of what I call “food intelligence.” Not that I’m obsessive. My meals don’t take three hours to prepare, I don’t measure food by the gram, and if I get into a position where I have to eat an airplane meal or a Big Mac, I’m not going to love it, but it won’t put me into toxic shock. Instead of being like a high-performance car that is sensitive to any impurities in the fuel, I’m more like a diesel truck. If a little water gets in there, it’s still going to be okay. Here’s how I power my body.
1 Push Start
I like to begin the day at the blender with a smoothie. My favorite recipe contains five supplements that help me optimize my nutrition. A single tablespoon of Catie’s Organic Greens, for instance, equals seven servings of green vegetables. I also add apple or cherry juice and frozen bananas and berries for a nice consistency. My morning smoothie gives my body a huge amount of nutrients, which are easily absorbed because liquids are easier to digest than solids. Less than an hour later, I’m ready for whatever activity is on the agenda.
2 Don’t Graze
I don’t like to eat unless I’m hungry. When I sit down to a meal, I want my body to be in a state of craving. Not eating until you’re hungry means you’re not snacking much, if at all.
3 Chew Slowly
All too often we take our food for granted. I’m always reminding myself to eat more consciously, to savor what I’m chewing. Nature has given us millions of unique flavors. Our job is to explore and appreciate them. It also makes you hyperaware of how much you’re eating.
4 Eat Real Foods
Be wary of any food that has been created by humans rather than nature. The ingredients on the labels of processed foods, such as the average cracker or potato chip, are mind-boggling. If I don’t know what it is, it’s not going into my body.
5 Be Diverse
The food universe is vast, and in it there are hundreds of nutrients, minerals, enzymes, essential fatty acids, bioflavonoids, phytochemical, all kinds of elements. Each one provides something unique to our cells. That’s why the more diverse your diet, the healthier you’re going to be. Mix it up when you grocery shop. Don’t just buy the same stuff every time.
Eating colorful, interesting foods exposes me to new flavors, and that’s really what makes eating fun. There are countless things you can try, but strange fruits, vegetables, and grains, such as acai berries, seaweed, and quinoa, are becoming easier to find. A palm fruit native to the Brazilian Amazon, has 30 times the amount of antioxidants of red wine. Try mixing it with bananas and granola for breakfast. Edible seaweeds such as limu kohu and nori contain minerals and elements you won’t get anywhere else. Next time you have sushi, try a seaweed salad instead of edamame. Quinoa, unlike other grains, is a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids.
7 Listen to Your Body
Cravings have a bad reputation because they’re often related to sweets, but I think they’re the body’s way of indicating that it’s looking for something. Listen to your body to figure out what the craving really means. If my body wants sugar, I eat fruit, such as papaya or pineapple, instead of candy or doughnuts.
8 Don’t Be Thrifty
People say that buying quality food is too expensive, but then they’ll go out and buy giant plasma TVs. So you’re eating like crap but you’re staring at a nice screen? I don’t understand that logic. Instead, budget so that you can spend a little more money for better food. In particular, be sure to upgrade anything you eat on a regular basis. If you have coffee every morning, for instance, buy the best beans you can find. Or, even better, drink espresso. It contains less caffeine than drip coffee, delivers more antioxidants, and isn’t as acidic.
9 Skip Starches
If I eat any bread, it makes me want to go to sleep. In general, I avoid wheat and other starchy foods such as potatoes, rice, and pasta. I’m not saying I’ll never eat a waffle or a sandwich, but it’s a rare thing, and I’m not going out of my way to do it.
10 Eat Sustainable Foods
If you eat meat or seafood, look for terms such as free range, grass fed, organic, or locally caught. The closer it is to wild, the better. Sadly, one of my favorite wild foods is tuna. Buy only yellowfin or ahi, and make sure it’s caught by trolling or with poles; long-lining produces bycatch, which means that other ocean creatures are wastefully killed in the process.
By Todd Kenyon
Rinnie Carfrae is one of the best runners in triathlon, as evidenced by her record-breaking Kona marathon – on her first try and in very hot conditions no less. I shot some high speed video of her leaving T2 at the Rev3 Half (which she won) this June. Although she certainly looks decent when you see her run by, it isn’t until you see her in super slo-mo that you can really appreciate the athleticism of her running style.
Click on the title link to learn more about TTBikeFit.com
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Running outside in winter? Are you crazy? Although cold weather and the holidays can really play havoc on your running regimen, it is one of the best seasons to be a runner. The weather is cool, the path isn't crowded and the running outfits are adorable! It's easier than you think. All you need are a few key strategies and a firm running goal, and you'll be running in any kind of weather.
Set a Specific Goal: There is nothing more motivating than to train for a race or specific goal. You can plan to run a 5K, half marathon or reach a number of miles every month. You'll have instant motivation in knowing you have to train for the race or hit your target mileage. Reward yourself when you reach your goals, then set another one.
Run With a Buddy or Group: Make your workouts safe and social. You'll have a built in motivational source, a friend to chat with along the way and it is safer to run in numbers. Running with others (or pets) is a great way to beat the winter doldrums. If that's not enough motivation, reward yourself with a fun race destination like Arizona, Florida or even Mexico.
Accessorize: Having the right apparel makes all the difference in the world. Layering is the key to avoiding over- or under-dressing. Consider wearing a layer that blocks the wind; pants, tights and top that wick the moisture away from your skin; and, for the coldest days, a mid-layer that fits more loosely—like fleece—that insulates and moves the moisture from your base layer away from your skin.
Your winter running wardrobe should include a running jacket, hat or headband, gloves, tights and a few long-sleeve shirts. Your body temperature increases as you run, so you don't need many layers in most winter conditions.
Dress for 15 to 20 Degrees Warmer: Over-dressing is easy to do in winter running. Dressing for 15 to 20 degrees warmer than it actually is will allow your body temperature to increase and reduce the risk of overheating and excessive sweat. You should feel chilled when you walk out the door. If you are toasty warm, remove a layer. Less is more.
Run During Light and Warmer Times of Day: If possible, run during daylight hours so you can absorb that needed sunshine we rarely get in the winter. You'll get your miles in during the warmest time of day and come back with a smile on your face.
Be Seen: If you run when it is dark out, wear a reflective vest or flashing lights so you're seen by traffic. In snowy weather, wear bright clothing. Run with identification or a runner's I.D. in your shoe or pocket—just in case.
Hit the Treadmill: When the weather gets bone-chillingly cold and icy, hit the treadmill. Treadmill running is a great way to stay fit and you'll get in quality miles without risking an injury from slipping on ice.
Stay Low: Shorten your running stride and keep your feet lower to the ground. You will run more efficiently and reduce the risk of slipping, falling or straining muscles. Choose to run on fresh snow rather than ice or packed snow. You will get better traction on fresh snow and reduce the chance for slipping. Watch out for snow-covered cracks and holes in the road.
Take Extra Time To Warm Up: Your body will warm up more slowly in cold weather, especially if you run in the morning. Take at least five minutes to walk briskly before you start to run. It may take 10 to 15 minutes of running before you are completely warmed up and in your running tempo. Take a hot shower to pre-warm your muscles or put your clothes in the dryer on hot for a few minutes then head out for your run.
Hydrate: It is just as important to drink fluids in your winter runs as it is in the summer. Make sure to hydrate before, during and after your runs to avoid dehydration. Use warm fluids in your water bottle or tuck it under your jacket to avoid freezing.
Start into the Wind: Start your run into the wind so you have the wind at your back on your way home. You'll avoid getting chilled by the wind after you've been sweating.
Keep it Fun: Mix up your route, run through the neighborhood holiday lights or run a holiday race. It will get you outside and enjoying winter rather than cursing it.
Make sure to pick up the current copy of Cycle Sport America at newsstands now. Great article on Dave Zabriskie's recent win at the Tour of Missouri and his breakthrough 2009 season.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Italian Paolo Bettini is scheduled to make an appearance at the second annual Gran Fondo Colnago San Diego, the organisation announced on Friday.
The two-time World Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist will preside over the event when it takes place on March 7, 2010 in the Southern Californian city.
As ambassador for event sponsor Briko, Bettini will also participate in numerous pre-event activities held throughout greater San Diego.
"We have partnered with Gran Fondo Colnago San Diego because it provides the ideal platform to reintroduce our brand to the American market,” said Carlo Boroli, president of Briko S.r.l. “With the presence of our spokesman Paolo Bettini, we will showcase our entire line of products and introduce our exclusive Paolo Bettini Collection of cycling apparel."
All event participants will receive a custom Briko cycling jersey.
For more information about the event, or to register to participate, visit www.GranFondoSanDiego.com.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Abu Dhabi is to host another world-class sporting event – the US$250,000 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon (ADIT). This latest addition to Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority’s (ADTA) burgeoning sports event portfolio, aims to become an ‘instant classic’ when it debuts in the United Arab Emirates’ capital city on 13th March 2010.
The adrenaline-pumping event, which is aimed at attracting up to a 1,000 triathletes, including the world’s top 40 professionals, boasts a testing 223kms ‘pure power’ course and will mark the debut of a race of this length and discipline distances. The route has been specially designed to take in a host of Abu Dhabi city landmarks. A second 111.5kms route, which can be run as a team relay event, is also available, with both distances open to elites and amateurs.
The ADIT format, with a finishing running leg shorter than typical Ironman events, allows athletes to recover faster and compete more often – a factor which has been identified as crucial to international triathlon community success.
ADTA, which uses sport as a destination awareness-building platform to promote the emirate as a rapidly emerging business and leisure destination of distinction, believes ADIT will quickly become a top-tier fixture on the annual global triathlon racing calendar.
“This is the result of months of intensive planning and a detailed exploration of the sport through our backing of Team Abu Dhabi Triathlon and the staging of the multi-discipline, cross-emirate Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge, which in December attains its third anniversary. We have culled the best of events around the world, and blended them with Abu Dhabi’s signature culture and destination qualities to create a unique triathlon event,” said Faisal Al Sheikh, Head – Major Events Division, ADTA - the body which manages the tourism industry of the emirate, the largest of seven which make up the United Arab Emirates.
“The staging of our own triathlon, with its enhanced race format, will give us additional power in the adventure athletics arena and builds on the platform that we have created, both locally and internationally.
“Further we believe that competitors, their families and fans will look at Abu Dhabi as a combined event-holiday destination and stay after the race to sample our famed hospitality and take in our many attractions and cultural activities.”
The inaugural ADIT will feature two distances, a long course event and a shorter half distance event.. Professionals will be tested across a 3kms swim, followed by a 200kms cycle and finishes with a 20kms running leg. The shorter version, at half the length, has a 1.5kms swim, a 100kms cycle and a 10kms run.
“The course has been designed by triathlon specialists to ensure both professional and amateur athletes are challenged yet exhilarated by what they see and by the terrain they cover. This will be a unique, world-class event promising an incomparable level of competitor experience and excitement,” said Jon Hazan, ADIT’s Operations Director.
ADIT’s opening swim leg takes place in the lagoon of the iconic Emirates Palace, one of the world’s most luxurious hotels.
The cycling section will take athletes past some of the destination’s most iconic sights including Emirates Palace, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world’s largest, and along Abu Dhabi’s signature Corniche - all under the safety of completely closed roads.
The route will then go east of the city over Saadiyat Island, the 27 square kilometre natural island which is 500 metres offshore Abu Dhabi city, and on to the destination’s emerging entertainment hub of Yas Island - home to the highly successful 2009 Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – where they will compete on the same circuit as many of the world’s top race drivers.
The athletes will then run back to the Corniche through the Heritage Village to the west of the city.
“They will pass many areas of Abu Dhabi that make the emirate one of the world’s finest destinations. Cycling around the track in the shadow of towering grandstands will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not to be missed,” added Hazan.
One man who is relishing the chance to show off his racing credentials is Faris Al Sultan, the 2005 Ironman World Championship winner and captain of Team Abu Dhabi Triathlon – the international triathlon squad backed by ADTA.
“It is fantastic that a world class long course triathlon has come to Abu Dhabi and the UAE. The emirate has a long track record of delivering some of the world’s best sporting events such as the recent F1. When the authorities here decide to do something, they do it with full commitment and dedication this will be world leading not just in prize money but every aspect of athlete care.”
“Though flat, the course will have its unique challenges with the length of bike and heat. Though a milder time of the year it will be crucial for people to think about the heat and plan accordingly”
“I personally cannot wait for the event and I look forward to racing, alongside my team mates on Abu Dhabi Triathlon and the rest of the world’s top professional and age-group athletes”” said Al Sultan, who has just returned from Hawaii, where he clocked up a top 10 finish in the 2009 Ironman World Championship.
Some 1,000 places are available for the inaugural ADIT, charged at US$150 for the long-distance and US$96 for the shorter event prior to 31st December 2009. Prices from 1st January 2010 will be US$180 and US$123 for the long and short distances respectively.
Prize Money For Professionals
Position.......Male Pro..... Female Pro
10th.......... $1000........ $1000
Prize Money For Age Group Athletes: $20,000.00 – exact split to be announced
For more information: www.abudhabitriathlon.com
Tri-California proudly announces the launch of the ALCATRAZ TRIATHLON in San Francisco, California. On Sunday, August 29, 2010, 1800 swimmers, bikers and runners will christen the inaugural Tri-California ALCATRAZ Triathlon. Terry Davis, president of Tri-California Events, has 30 years of race directing and served as race director of the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon for the past 12 years. He has decided it is time to launch a triathlon designed by Tri-California for the athletes. "We want to provide our triathletes the full Tri-California Events experience, from online registration, to an incredible and safe course, to the latest technology in timing, to a memorable finish experience for all" states Terry. "Our number one priority is the triathletes; we have a passion for what we do and our industry. After producing some of the largest triathlons in the world, we understand what it takes to provide a level of service that surpasses the expectations of the athletes and spectators and will create memories that will last a lifetime." Tri-California will now be able to provide more support for our charitable groups, such as the Challenged Athletes Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team-N-Training, FCA Endurance, and many local youth and service groups.
The new ALCATRAZ Triathlon will become part of the Tri-California Race Series which includes: The AVIA Wildflower Triathlons on April 30-May 2, The San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island on July 9-11, The Triathlon at Pacific Grove Sept 10-12,and Scott Tinley's Triathlon in San Luis Obispo County on October 1-3rd. Registration for the event is on a first come basis and is expected to sell out quickly. Registration opens November 27th. To register, or for more information, go to www.tricalifornia.com// . Entry fees for individuals are $320 until January 1. Relay teams entry fees are $160 per team member.
The 1.5 mile swim begins with a Ferry jump into the bay off the shore of San Francisco's infamous Alcatraz Island, and ends just east of the Yacht Harbor and Wave Organ with a deep water exit ramp in the middle of Marina Green. The 25-mile bike course travels through the hills of San Francisco, along the shoreline with spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Legion of Honor, and the Pacific Coast cliffs. The bike course continues down the Great Highway to Skyline Blvd and back through San Francisco's famed Golden Gate Park. The 8-mile run goes along the promenade to Fort Mason, up the mesa and under the Golden Gate Bridge. The runners will continue to Baker Beach and return on the infamous Sand Ladder back to Marina Green.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar, with bike above, is making his Off-Broadway debut with Julie White, in “The Understudy.”
By JASON GAY
Not long ago, Mr. Gosselaar, a 35-year-old actor, was at a bike shop near the George Washington Bridge when he noticed another rider giving him a strange look. Mr. Gosselaar hopped on his bike and pedaled off, but the other rider followed.
“He’s like, ‘Hey, sorry dude, weird question,’ ” Mr. Gosselaar recalled, “ ‘But are you that guy from ‘Saved by the Bell?’”
It has been a decade and a half since Mr. Gosselaar last roamed the halls as Zack Morris, the blond troublemaker of Bayside High School, on the Saturday morning comedy “Saved by the Bell.” He has since worn a suit as a detective on “NYPD Blue” and, these days, he plays a defense lawyer in the TNT drama “Raising the Bar.” He is in New York City making his stage debut in an Off Broadway play, “The Understudy,” opening Nov. 5 at the Laura Pels Theater.
Lately, however, Mr. Gosselaar has developed another distinction: as perhaps the best celebrity-slash-bicyclist in America. Granted, it’s a niche category with no official rankings and a smattering of big names, like Patrick Dempsey of “Grey’s Anatomy” and Jake Gyllenhaal and Matthew McConaughey (both of whom are pals of Lance Armstrong).
Yet Mr. Gosselaar is the real spandexed deal. In and around Santa Clarita, Calif., where he lives, he competes at the Category 2 level, racing in fields that often include professionals. Loren Mooney, the editor in chief of Bicycling magazine, said of Mr. Gosselaar in an e-mail message: “He’s in a different league from all the other public figures who ride a bike. He’s not just out there riding, he’s competing and, in some cases, winning.”
Mr. Gosselaar started racing bikes seriously in 2005. An avid motocross racer, he was convinced by friends to join a relay team for a triathlon, and was underwhelmed by his time in the biking leg. Inspired to get better, he began riding constantly and soon found success in amateur events. Mr. Gosselaar won his second race, but was disqualified for a minor infraction at the finish line.
“I took my hands off the bars,” he said. He was not celebrating, he said, but had raised his hands in confusion, unsure if the race was over.
Since then, Mr. Gosselaar has moved up the ladder in the Southern California racing scene. He now races for the Amgen-Giant Elite Masters team, a highly regarded squad that includes a number of former national champions.
“He’s a really good rider,” said Chris DeMarchi, a teammate on Amgen-Giant who has won titles in road racing and time-trials. “It amazes me, with all the hours he puts in with TV time.”
Bari Waalk, a cycling partner of Mr. Gosselaar’s who has known him since his motocross days, said, “He’s not a poseur who wants to be seen as a bike racer.”
On a recent chilly morning, a reporter accompanied Mr. Gosselaar on a morning ride down the West Side Highway bike path, over the Brooklyn Bridge and into Prospect Park. He wore black spandex and a white helmet; his bike was state-of-the-art carbon.
Mr. Gosselaar said he had been stunned by the quality of riding in New York. He had expected the city to be overwhelmed by traffic and hard to navigate, but he quickly fell in with the local racing scene, occasionally waking up in darkness to ride in Central Park and taking longer spins up Riverside Drive to the George Washington Bridge and beyond. With his wife, Lisa, and two young children back in California, Mr. Gosselaar said he had logged more training in New York than he would have in Los Angeles.
“I feel like I’m on vacation, to be honest with you,” he said. “I don’t have that guilt factor.”
Once inside Prospect Park’s loop, Mr. Gosselaar hopped in with a swift peloton of local racers, including João Correia, a rider with the Bissell professional squad, and Tony Maisto of Brooklyn’s Wonder Wheel team. The riders got a little frisky, as they often do when a newcomer hops in, and ramped up the speed. One cursed at Mr. Gosselaar as they brushed by each other at 28 miles per hour but Mr. Gosselaar laughed it off.
“He’s very strong, smooth on the bike,” Chris Castaldi, another Wonder Wheel rider, said later.
Mr. Gosselaar said that his colleagues in “The Understudy” had not known about his cycling alter ego until he rushed over late to rehearsal one day on his bike. “He rolled in and I was like, ‘What the heck is that?’” said Scott Ellis, the play’s director. “I was jealous — that’s a great thing to be able to do.”
One small drawback to Mr. Gosselaar’s intense cycling is that he has to make sure he doesn’t get too lean for leading-man parts. In “The Understudy,” he plays an action movie hero making his Broadway debut in a lost Franz Kafka play. “There are not a lot of skinny action heroes out there,” Mr. Ellis said, laughing. “But he’s totally fine.”
With “The Understudy” scheduled to run through early January, Mr. Gosselaar is telling friends in California that he expects to be in good shape for racing season. Last summer, family and work commitments limited his riding time and competitive results.
Meanwhile, Mr. Gosselaar is finding plenty of new training partners in New York. The rider who recognized him in the bike shop turned out to be Gavriel Epstein, one of the region’s most prominent young racers.
“I grew up watching ‘Saved by the Bell,’ ” said Mr. Epstein, who is 23. “It’s ingrained in my head. I thought I’d ask him. Then I apologized.”
But Mr. Gosselaar did not mind. He and Mr. Epstein wound up going for a long spin together. “He knows everyone,” Mr. Gosselaar said. “We rode all the way up to Nyack and back.”
With his nasty crash in mind during the Tour de France following six weeks of absolute rest, one would think that Jens Voigt would look back on the 2009 season in resentment. But as often before, the German iron man shows his high moral and positive view of life when he reflects on the year that is almost gone:
"The crash on the descent during the Tour was ugly in many ways and most active athletes know that the a six week break in the mid-season can make you crazy and restless inside. But the incident had a more profound influence on me. With all the alternative impacts the crash could have provided in mind, I have been grateful for even being able to recognize my wife and children, to be able to walk and to live a life without permanent injuries. That is the most important issue for me and my family. Everyday life functions again and I enjoy the off-season and being at home where my kids have made endless lists of activities for us to do before the races begin again".
Not only did Jens Voigt win the 2009 edition of the stage race, Criterium International overall. He even won stage two, the point competition, the mountain competition and in addition Team Saxo Bank also conquered the team competition. There was only the youth competition left to win which the German power plant for good reasons wasn't able to take.
"It was great winning the Criterium International for the fifth time. Only the French legend, Raymond Poulidor have done the same and I will certainly go for the sixth victory in the 2010 season. In addition, I am happy about the beautiful Tour de France 2009 with three stage wins and an overall second place for Team Saxo Bank. My definite goal is to be selected for the Tour de France line-up in 2010 where I hope and believe that I am back in peak shape. I do not want to end my Tour de France's participation with a crash”.
But before then, Jens Voigt will without any kind of training enjoy a couple of weeks of well- deserved holiday which began last weekend when he helped Chris Anker Sørensen to win the Japan Cup. Then he will start his training program and at the end of this month, the whole team will join B.S. Christiansen on the annual survival camp.
"Of course, I am looking forward to days without food or sleep with nocturnal walks in complete darkness. Who wouldn't”? Jens asks ironically and rhetorically. When you are standing freezing, hungry and tired in the middle of a dark forest without knowing where you are, it seems difficult to see the point of anything. But these "stupid" hikes still serve a relevant and important purpose. It brings the team closer together and we learn to know each other and work together with our differences as a strength. That is highly relevant when we work so closely together as a team and is a great tool of welcoming new riders to the team. And when the camp is over you leave like after so many other successfully overcome challenges in life with a larger luggage of readiness and confidence”, concludes Jens Voigt.
Besides the joy of experiencing the new riders on the team in 2010, he is looking forward to meeting Baden Cooke who has signed a contract with Team Saxo Bank.
"We have had to say goodbye to good friends and old acquaintances on the team like Kurt-Asle and Karsten Kroon, Lars Bak and Marcus Ljungqvist but in return we get to welcome several new riders who are just waiting for the proper development. Baden Cooke for instance, is a strong rider who previously among other victories has won the point classification in the Tour de France. But external factors have held him back in the last few years. I am looking forward to watching him unfolding his talent and I am looking forward to working with the new aspiring riders”, concludes Jens Voigt.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
What self-respecting Ironman junkie will ever forget that finish? The one that was a year in the making after the gutsy and determined Sarah Reinertsen missed the bike cut off at the Ford Ironman World Championship in 2004 - which made Ironman fans cheer more a year later when she came back stronger, grittier and triathlon-tougher to become the first a female leg amputee to finish the race in Kona.
In a Single Bound: Losing My Leg, Finding Myself, and Training for Life by Sarah Reinertsen with Alan Goldsher tells the incredible story of the woman who was born with a birth defect that would require her leg be amputated. Growing up in Long Island she endured jeers and taunts from her schoolmates and was even told by one soccer coach to just go and kick a ball against a wall rather than be able to participate with the other kids.
Reinertsen would find running, though, and quickly became a world record holder. At 13 she became the fastest female above-the-knee amputee in history over 100 m. Eventually she would add the 200, 400 m titles to that list, along with both the half- and full marathon distance. In 1992 she was the youngest member of the American Paralympic Team that competed in Barcelona.
Then there was her amazing Ironman finish, followed a year later by an appearance and finish at the inaugural Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3, a year in which she became even more of a celebrity as part of the reality show “The Amazing Race.”
In a Single Bound provides much more background about that journey – one that began after Reinertsen was inspired to take on the sport after interviewing Olympic athletes before the 2002 Olympic Games. We learn about the overwhelming challenges a disabled athlete faces as they try to figure out the logistics of getting through a race. We learn just how hard it was for Reinertsen to get into the pool to begin her Ironman training.
Most of all, though, we get the chance to be inspired again by this diminutive woman with a huge heart who never lets anything get in the way of her goals.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Xcel is hosting the first in a series of goal setting workshops that
will be offered throughout the country. Great way to head in to 2010
- focused, committed and ready to go. Don't miss Xcel's Goal Workshop - limited space available....click on the title link to learn more.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Meb Keflezighi became the first U.S. man to win the New York City Marathon since 1982 on Sunday, a victory that capped an outstanding day for American distance running.
Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia captured the women's race, with two-time defending champ Paula Radcliffe falling back to fourth, then grabbing her left leg in pain after finishing.
Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist, learned after a disappointing performance in the U.S. Olympic trials in New York two years ago he had a stress fracture in his hip. He capped the long and painful comeback with a landmark victory against a deep field for his first major marathon title.
That day in 2007 he also lost close friend Ryan Shay, who collapsed and died during the race. Keflezighi said the tears he shed after winning were for Shay.
Born in Eritrea, the 34-year-old runner became a U.S. citizen in 1998. He was second in New York in 2004 and third in 2005. Wearing "USA" on the front of his jersey, Keflezighi won in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 15 seconds.
"The USA gave me all the opportunities there is in education, sports and lifestyle," he said. "To be able to represent the USA is a big thing for me."
A field of nearly 44,000 started the 40th edition of the race. The 53-degree weather was about perfect for the runners, although they were slowed by 14 mph winds.
Keflezighi pulled away from Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya in the 23rd mile to beat the four-time Boston Marathon champ by 41 seconds. Alberto Salazar had been the last American men's champion, taking three straight titles from 1980-82.
Morocco's Jaouad Gharib finished third and Ryan Hall of the U.S. was fourth on a day when six Americans were in the top 10 for the first time since 1979. The race doubled at the national men's marathon championship.
Ludmila Petrova, a 41-year-old Russian, was the runner-up for the second straight year in the women's race, while Christelle Daunay of France was third.
Radcliffe said she had tendinitis behind her knee. The world record-holder from Britain failed to win a marathon for just the third time in 11 starts.
The 37-year-old Tulu won Olympic gold medals on the track in the 10,000 meters in 1992 and 2000. Her only marathon title came in London in 2001.
She had struggled with her weight and endurance after the birth of her second daughter three years ago. But when she ran well at a half-marathon in Philadelphia on Sept. 20, she decided to enter New York.
"I did not come here necessarily expecting to win," she said, "but I did expect to be a strong competitor."