The Week That Was...
After an impressive start to the 2005 season, Discovery Channel rider Stijn Devolder has been rewarded with a contract extension until the end of 2007. Speaking to Het Laatste Nieuws last week, Devolder explained that, "Johan Bruyneel was in the country on Friday and gave me a contract proposition. I did not discuss money. I received a guarantee that I can grow further here as a rider."
Following his strong start to the year, Assistant Director Dirk Demol explained to Sportwereld.be that Devolder?s early season riding had impressed team leader, Lance Armstrong. "He was really impressed by what he conjured up out of the legs. He liked what he saw. When I took on Stijn last year, nine out of ten people asked aloud what that guy could do in such a big team. Stijn is a pure natural. He'll open the eyes of a lot of people. Yes, even in the near future."
While in Belgium, Johan Bruyneel appeared on the De Laatste Show and admitted that Armstrong had in fact received two death threats during his record-breaking sixth Tour de France. "No-one knows this, but in the mountain time trial to L'Alpe d'Huez, an armed security guard next to me in the following car. And there were also agents in front of Armstrong. We were terrified that day."
After spending a year in Europe riding for the Spanish Saunier Duval team, 27 year-old Tim Johnson returns to racing in the US as leader of the new look Jittery Joe's/Kalahari team. "I was having a rough time with the racing at Suanier-Duval - I was kind of racing over my head," said Johnson. "Last year on Suanier-Duval I never had the chance to be a bike racer because it was so hard for me. This year I want to help somebody win and be the guy to win; this team fits perfectly because I can be a leader and help out everyone else also."
Director Sportif, Micah Rice was forced to look for a new leader after the departure of Cesar Grajales to Navigators. After many phone calls and emails, the Bostonian finally agreed to lead the team, providing him an opportunity to compete for some of the biggest prizes in the US domestic calendar. The team was officially launched last week in Athens, Georgia, at the Jittery Joes Roasting Company warehouse.
Every bike race needs two things: bikes and pretty girls to present the jerseys! Right now, the Dodge Tour of Georgia is accepting applications for Tour hostesses for the 2005 event. Although the positions are on a volunteer basis, clothing, accommodation, meals and transport during the race will all be covered.
"We are seeking women who are smart, knowledgeable in current affairs and culturally aware, who will represent themselves, this event, our state and our nation in a professional yet friendly manner to the world," said Karen O?Neill, director of programs for the 2005 Dodge Tour de Georgia. "The cyclists, the press and the spectators come from around the globe to this event, making it an international occasion to showcase our state and the warmth of our hospitality. Ideally, the successful candidates will have the ability to speak a foreign language fluently, preferably Spanish, French or Italian."
For more information and to download an application form, log on to www.dodgetourdegeorgia.com. Feel free to CC us if you apply :-)
Finally this week, for any of you dreaming of making that first tentative step towards the dream of becoming a pro, Gent based, British club, Kingsnorth International is currently on the lookout for new riders for the 2005 season. Kingsnorth offer a variety of racing from local Kermesse's to international events throughout Northern Europe. Clothing and transport is included. For more information contact:
Peter Murphy: +44 1233 636443 (UK)
Staffe Boone: +32 9 2250096 (Bel)
Ian Whitehead: +44 1689 896292 (UK)
Until next week, send your thoughts and views to me at email@example.com.