The Week That Was...
Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.
Feb. 29, Clasica Almeria 82 kg 4
2005 April 5,
Sarthe79 kg 3
Winner of the 2001 Vuelta a Espa?a, Juan Angel Casero, has last week finished his career after announcing his retirement earlier this year. His final race was the 16th edition of the Criterium Internacional de Ciclismo de la Comunidad Valenciana.
Casero also wore the Spanish National Champions jersey for two years in 1998 and ?99.
For twenty years now, the
US national road championships has been held on the final weekend of June in the city of . In a move that surprised many, USA Cycling last week announced that has changed for 2006.
Philadelphia and Time Trial Championship will now be held in
A National Road
on the 31 st August for the Time Trial and 2 nd September for the Road Race.
Greenville, South Carolina
A National Road
After the contract with Threshold Sports - the organiser for the championships in
- ran out and negotiations faltered, USA Cycling opted to review all new applications. The
Philadelphia bid proved victorious thanks to its interesting change of format.
A race date of late summer means that it clashes with no major Tour, a problem which for many years has restricted the willingness of some of the country?s top professional riders to return to challenge for the jersey.
In another move away from tradition, it will now tow the line that all other national championships adhere to, of only allowing US riders to compete in the race. Previously overseas competitors have been able to race for the over-all victory, a situation that has almost created a race within a race in some editions. USA Cycling believe that the sport within the country is now strong enough to no longer require the support of the European riders.
While for many the changes made would appear to be positive, USA Cycling have just taken away from American fans the opportunity of being able to watch some of the leading European professionals, live in their own backyard. For most, it will be back to OLN for re-runs of the Tour and other events until a national stage race is re-founded and the elite of the sport brought back to their shores.
Till next week