Saturday, 14 April 2012

Cycling News from around the World 14.04.12

Cadel: "I cannot win Amstel Gold" - Anderson on GreenEDGE - Gilbert now racing to win - Tiernan-Locke and Klöden abandon at Castilla - Houanard and Pozzato will miss Amstel Gold - Injured US soldiers take to handcycling - Bamboo bikes in India - Calling charitable cyclists

"I cannot win" Amstel Gold says Cadel
There's usually plenty of macho posturing in display by the favourites during the run-up to any important race, but when asked if he fancies his own chances for the the biggest event this weekend Cadel Evans gives a somewhat surprising answer: ""Not at all. I can not win the Amstel Gold Race," he says, explaining that he'll be competing against riders who have trained specifically for it while he has his sights set on the Tour de France. He does, however, rate team mate Philippe Gilbert - and says his main job is to assist him.

Meanwhile, Alejandro Valverde is more confident about his own prospects. "The Amstel Gold Race is the only one of the Ardennes Classics missing from my list," says the Spaniard, who returned to competition this season after a two-year doping ban. "Liège-Bastogne-Liège is more special to me, but I'll take what I can grab," he adds. However, he realises that there'll be stiff competition and lists several riders whom he believes could take victory: "I'd have to first get past Joaquim Rodriguez, Samuel Sanchez and Peter Sagan. [Also] In such long races you should always take into account the Schleck brothers, and Philippe Gilbert." (More from SportWereld)

Phil Anderson
Phil Anderson bigs up the GreenEDGE women, echoes de Vlaeminck on Paris-Roubaix
"A quiet time in the classics" for the men while the women "are performing above all expectations and are currently dominating the early European season events" is how Phil Anderson - the first non-European to wear the Tour's yellow jersey - sums up GreenEDGE's season so far. Writing for ROAR, Skippy also echoes Roger de Vlaeminck's thoughts on Tom Boonen's Paris-Roubaix victory: "Despite my boredom," he says, "it is apparent that Tom Boonen is on fire with a successive win in Paris-Roubaix." (More from ROAR)

Gilbert's ready to race
On the eve of the Amstel Gold Race - which he won for the last two years - Philippe Gilbert believes that he's finally up to speed after a disappointing start to the season marked by illness, crashes and problems with his teeth. "To be at your best in this walk of life, you need to be 100%. I didn’t realise that how much of an effect dental problems could have on the body," says the 29-year-old, who switched to BMC for this year after three seasons with Lotto-Belisol.

Other Racing News
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Endura) and Andreas Klöden (RadioShack-Nissan) have abandoned the Vuelta Castilla y León due to very bad weather.

Steve Houanard (AG2R-La Mondiale) will miss the Amstel Gold Race after a crash at Paris-Roubaix left him with a badly sprained wrist and extensive bruising. The 26-year-old is also reported to be suffering gastroenteritis. Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini Selle Italia) will also miss the race due to a knee injury sustained at Paris-Roubaix.

Injured US soldiers take to handcycling
US servicemen injured while on active duty are discovering that handcycling is the ideal way to keep fit, active and have fun. "It’s very enjoyable, it gives you a good sweat - a good workout," Erin Schaeffer, an army truck driver with eleven years military experience before a roadside bomb in Afghanistan's Paktika province shattered both his feet, told the DVIDS military news service.

The Wounded Warrior Project organises twelve annual long-distance rides for those already handcycling and brings the sport to newcomers with five clinics at various locations around the world. “Our main objective is to honor and power wounded warriors,” explains Carlos Garzon, an event co-ordinator who works at the organisation's Joint Base Lewis-McChord headquarters in Florida. “Cycling is my tool. I know from experience that I can bring a smile to anybody on a bike, regardless of what bike it is or what the injury is.” (More from DVIDS)

Nothing new about bamboo - this American bamboo bike
dates from 1896
Manipur looks to bamboo bikes to cut pollution
The Manipur Cycling Club of North-Western India have linked up with the South Asia Bamboo Foundation to promote bamboo bikes as an alternative to motorbikes and cars - and they've already produced BMX, utility and racing versions. There's nothing new about making bikes from bamboo, one of the world's fastest-growing plants, but a newly-developed process in which each culm is soaked in water, smoked and then treated with chemicals to make it termite-resistant create a material that is stronger and lighter than steel. A skilled frame designer can also make use of its natural springiness, creating a bike that is stiff enough to handle well but soft enough to take the sting out of India's roads. (More from the Weekend Leader)

Calling Charitable cyclists
If you work in London and have ever thought your lunchbreak would be the ideal time to get some extra training under your belt, you can put it to good use on the 11th and 18th of May by joining JDRF’s stationary bike race outside the Canary Wharf tube station (I tried to jump my mountain bike roof once, but got chased away by security guards) - and you'll help raise funds for research into diabetes whilst doing so. (More from HITC)

The Joshua Tree, a charity that works with the families of children suffering immune system-suppressing illnesses, is running a Land's End to John O'Groats In A Day fundraiser and needs cyclists to make up numbers on the relay teams that will complete the ride. (More from the Northwich Guardian)