Posted by Editoress on 07/4/08
From the headlines
Victoria rider joins Tour de France frenzy
First Canadian to race in more than a decade is excited by prospect
Ryder Hesjedal of Victoria describes the scene in Brest, a town on the Brittany coast where the 95th Tour de France begins Saturday, as being "like the Stanley Cup final crossed with the Super Bowl."
And thrown right into the swirling centre of this surreal sporting cauldron is Hesjedal, who will become the first Canadian to race the Tour since Gord Fraser of Ottawa in 1997.
Read more at canada.com
Former Islander carries Canada's velodrome hopes
After edging Olympic-medallist Alison Sydor at the wire in downtown Victoria to win the 1999 Bastion Square Criterium women's cycling race, then little-known Gina Grain was taken aback when a fan asked to take her picture.
"You're kidding?," Grain exclaimed at the time.
"Alison and them are use to something like this, but not me."
Gina Grain, seen here celebrating her victory in the fifth annual Gastown Grand Prix Women's Criterium, will be the only Canadian woman to compete in track cycling at the Olympics next month.
Well, Grain has got used to it in the nine years since.
Read more at Times Colonist
Horner's star turn at B.C. bike week
If it's not the Tour de France, it must be the Lower Mainland
Truth be told, Chris Horner would rather be riding with his powerhouse Astana team in next week's Tour de France than going solo in the final five stages of B.C. Superweek.
But the 36-year-old American, who finished 15th in the 2007 Tour and helped his Predictor-Lotto teammate Cadel Evans place second, is now part of the Astana team that wasn't invited to this year's Tour after doping problems in 2007.
Read more at The Province
It looks like a big year for bicycles
High gas prices accelerate change
It's a two-wheel twist on park 'n' ride when Al Fletcher and his wife drop off their kids at a southwest Mountain day care and go to work for the City of Hamilton.
They park the family van, with a bike rack attached, at the day care in the morning. Jill takes her bike off and rides downtown. Al rides, too. When he picks up the kids, he puts his bike on the rack.
And then drives home.
Read more at The hamilton Spectator
Custom bike shops riding a pedal boom
Central Indiana has long been the land of auto racing and auto-parts manufacturing.
But the region also is developing a niche when it comes to that two-wheeled form of transportation and recreation: the bicycle.
And with rising gas prices a hot topic, local entrepreneurs say now is a great time to be pushing the pedal-power of bikes.
Veteran bicycle frame builder Don Walker this week opened Speedway Handmade Bicycle Works, a shop that specializes in building and selling custom-built bicycles. He is selling his own "Don Walker" bicycle frames, as well as a small number of other custom brands.
Read more at www.indystar.com
Argyle Army marches off to battle
"L'Armee du Losange." How would that look on the front page of L'Equipe this month?
That's French for "The Argyle Army" and is what Boulder-based Team Garmin-Chipotle hopes to see a few times in France's biggest sports daily when the 95th Tour de France begins Saturday. Until now, Garmin-Chipotle has been "Team Clean," the little upstart with the weekly drug testing and argyle uniforms that has carried the tattered American cycling flag.
Read more at The Denver Post
Lefevere steps up UCI feud
Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefevere, one of the leading advocates of the ProTour series, sees no point in his team staying in series sponsored by the International Cycling Union (UCI) next season.
"Our sponsors don't see why they should stay in the ProTour as we could see our invitations to some leading races turned down," the Belgian manager said.
Read more at Eurosport
Riis's name back on winners' list
Organisers have re-instated Dane Bjarne Riis as the 1996 Tour de France winner one year after erasing his name from the winners' list.
Riis had been withdrawn from the Tour's roll of honour after he admitted to using banned substances during his victorious ride 12 years ago.
"We can't erase history. It is not us but the International Cycling Union (UCI) who ratify the winners' list," ASO chief press officer Philippe Sudres told Reuters on Friday.
Read more at Reuters UK
As Tour Nears, Cycling Attempts to Push Past Scandals
When 180 riders from 20 teams line up for the start of the 95th Tour de France in this coastal city in Brittany on Saturday, they will embark on a 2,212-mile journey of uncertainty: for themselves as riders, for the Tour as an event and for cycling as a sport.
Twelve months ago, the Tour limped to the finish line in Paris, seemingly on the verge of imploding over doping scandals. In its final week, the race leader, Michael Rasmussen, was expelled by his team for lying about why he missed drug tests during training, and two other teams dropped out after each had a rider fail a drug test.
Read more at The New York Times
Tour de France using new rules to fight doping
The fight against doping will have different rules at this year's Tour de France, with officials sticking closely to the cyclists in a bid to ensure none slips through the testers' net.
More random tests before and during the race, an international network of anti-doping resources, a breakthrough in detecting human growth hormone within 24 hours and eight specially trained chaperones to shadow riders means there should be little chance of an escape route for any would-be Tour cheat.
Read more at Sports Illustrated
Drug testing has reached its limit, says German veteran
Germany's Jens Voigt, who has finished the Tour de France 10 times, believes dope testing in his sport has gone as far as humanly possible.
"To go one step further, you would have to move into my house and live with me," joked the popular German, who won two Tour stages in 2001 and 2005.
Read more at Telegraph UK
New faces, cleaned-up image for Tour de France on eve of 95th race
Rhetorical question posed on the eve of the 95th Tour de France, which begins Saturday in Brest, at the tip of the Breton peninsula: Wouldn't it be surprising if cycling, for so long the poster child of pharmacologically jacked-up sports, turned out to be cleaner than, say, the NFL, or the NHL, or Major League Baseball?
My point is, far more than any of the above-mentioned sports, cycling is making a comprehensive, good-faith effort to clean itself up. This great purge is motivated less by some lofty sense of sportsmanship than it is by the desire to remain solvent.
Read more at Sports Illustrated
Cycling could use shot in arm
If drug testing is in the news again, then it must be time for ... the Tour de France?
What timing. The same week that the stripping of the title from 2006 winner Floyd Landis was upheld, they start pedaling away furiously on a new Tour - and reputation - tomorrow in Brest.
Sport's most grueling test of geography and man's endurance - 21 stages covering 2,200 miles this year - has been more defined of late by laboratory drug testing. The Pyrenees being less imposing than Court of Arbitration for Sport. The headlines in recent years have referred more to doping agencies than actual riders.
Read more at honoluluadvertiser.com
Picking a winner from the peloton
William Fotheringham's blog
From Damiano Cunego to Alejandro Valverde, here are six riders in with a chance of winning this year's race. Naming a possible winner for this year's Tour is mainly a matter of figuring out who is the last man standing. Overall classification riders figured most heavily in recent drugs scandals, and the Tour organisers' decision to exclude the Astana team of the 2007 race winner Alberto Contador due to their spate of positives last year - when Contador was not an Astana rider - means there are few cyclists in the peloton who have actually won major Tours.
Read more at sportblog
Cyclists' deaths flag highway safety issue
By any measure, the Trans-Canada Highway a few hundred kilometres west of Winnipeg should be a cyclist's dream. The prairies roll gently, the road tracks relatively straight, the prevailing wind offers a strong eastward nudge and long days are bracketed by luminous sunrises and sunsets.
But for the hundreds who cycle cross-country every year, pedalling the 300 or so kilometres of national highway snaking east from the Saskatchewan border to Winnipeg has long been considered a "death wish."
On Sunday, a car struck and killed two eastbound cyclists along that very stretch, near the town of Virden, fulfilling a grim prophesy that thousands of other riders have narrowly avoided for years.
"Local riders, they won't go to Virden, the highway is so unsafe out there," said Stephen Stanley, manager of A&L Get Active, a sporting-goods store in nearby Brandon. "They just don't ride it. It's not worth it."
Read more at The Globe and Mail
Crossing Canada for children
Josee Litalien loves bicycling and, for the past several years, the wife and mother from Mirabel, Quebec, has spent two weeks each summer crossing the country.
The first leg of her journey brought her from Victoria to Calgary and, last year, she completed a second leg from Calgary to Winnipeg. This summer, she is working on a third leg that will last a full three weeks and take her all the way to Toronto.
Read more at Beausejour Review
Canadian bikes pedal on world circuit
Some of the fastest legs in the world will pedal Canadian-made bikes in both the Tour de France and at the Olympic Games this summer.
This is the sixth year of the Tour that the bottoms of the multi-national Team CSC will be on bikes designed by Toronto's Cervelo Cycles.
The 95th Tour de France opens tomorrow in Brest, France. The 21- stage, 3,500-kilometre race ends July 27 in Paris.
CSC Saxo Bank includes previous stage winners Fabian Cancellera of Spain, Jens Voigt of Germany and perennial contender Carlos Sastre of Spain.
Read more at Welland Tribune
Books every cyclist should read
To Beat the Heat, Learn to Sweat It Out
YOU already know that if you exercise outside on hot and humid days, you should drink plenty of water. And you are probably well aware of the risk of heat stroke given the countless reports about the warning signs.
But if you're going to be out exercising anyway, you may have different questions: How long does it take to acclimate to the heat and humidity, and what is the best way to do it? How much does your performance time slow when it is sweltering and humid, and why? Does it help to douse your head with water?
Read more at BlueRidgeNow.com
Bike tour is an endurance test to help others endure
More than 175 cyclists will make a round trip from Sussex to Rothesay and back this weekend, all to raise awareness and money for multiple sclerosis.
The Sussex to Saint John Rona MS Bike Tour raised more than $100,000 last year for MS research, services and programs in Atlantic Canada with 160 participants. Maryann Moore, a volunteer for the bike tour who has MS, says she expects to beat last year's total this weekend.
Read more at Telegraph-Journal
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