Archive for February, 2009
Lance Armstrong encourages world leaders, cancer organizations and advocates to commit to making cancer a global priority
San Diego, CA – February 22, 2009 – The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) announced today that the premiere LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit will take place Aug. 24-26, 2009 in Dublin, Ireland immediately following LAF founder and chairman, cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong’s participation in the Tour of Ireland, Aug. 19-23. As the landmark event of the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign, the Summit will make the case for acting urgently to address the global cancer burden and introduce new commitments to cancer control by bringing together world leaders, corporations, non-governmental organizations and advocates in an unprecedented show of solidarity. The announcement comes on the final day of the Amgen Tour of California, where Armstrong was competing in his second race in his return to professional cycling and against the worldwide threat of cancer. Continue Reading »
February 12, 2009
Lance Armstrong (USA)
“I think we’ve made it very clear from the beginning that there are two parts to my comeback. One is the race – the reason we’ll be on the start line on Saturday – but more important really is the thought and the idea and the initiative to take Livestrong around the world.”
On the start of the 2009 season:
“We were blessed to have amazing launch in Australia, and I don’t just mean the team, but the foundation as well, and I hope we can carry that momentum through California and Europe for the rest of the year.”
On his return from retirement:
“I’ve been trying to stay reasonably fit; it’s comforting to know that I’m not the oldest guy in the race. I’ve been at this a long time and it has been an interesting 17 years. I think as far as the science of older athletes goes, performance doesn’t drop off, the mind drops off. I’ve had a couple of breaks and my mind is fresh. Let’s do it one more time. I feel strong. At 37, I feel just as strong as I did at 27.” Continue Reading »
Kuala Lumpur – Le Tour de Langkawi has become famous in the world of cycling for the spectacular sprints that have concluded many stages since the inception of the race back in 1996. The 14th edition starting in Putrajaya on February 9th should be no exception in the history as the 120 men field features many top sprinters once again. The course is likely to generate up to five bunch sprint finishes.
There will be new faces at the winners’ protocol since Ruben Bongiorno from Argentina is the only former sprint winner on the start list this year. The CSF rider last imposed himself at Le Tour de Langkawi in 2006 and didn’t show the best of himself since then, therefore he will be back in the role of the underdog while Mattia Gavazzi, Aurélien Clerc and Chris Sutton will be the hot favourites.
Gavazzi is the new fast man brought to Malaysia by legendary team manager Gianni Savio of Diquigiovanni-Androni. Last week the Italian started his season with a win in stage 1 of the Tour of San Luis in Argentina. “He’s got a great capacity of acceleration in the finale”, Savio described. “Normally I would have lined up Alberto Loddo again at LTdL, but he was diagnosed with two kidney stones. He’s fine now but he couldn’t train properly, so Gavazzi is his replacement.” Loddo has been the most successful sprinter at Le Tour de Langkawi in the past two years with 6 stage wins, 5 in 2007 with Diquigiovanni, 1 in 2008 with Tinkoff prior to returning to Savio’s team.
Last year’s Milo green jersey winner Aurélien Clerc will be back in action after switching from Bouygues Telecom to Ag2r-La Mondiale. The Swiss rider stated that this time around he doesn’t want to be just the most regular sprinter for scoring points but he’d actually prefer to grab at least one stage win. Continue Reading »
Kuala Lumpur – The Malaysian continental team LeTua has managed a superb coup on the international cycling scene by signing Jeremy Yates from New Zealand prior to lining up at Le Tour de Langkawi from February 9 to 15.
A junior world champion crowned in Plouay, France, back in 2000, Yates finished 4th overall last year with his national team and he was determined to take part in the Malaysian race again despite having moved temporarily from professional cycling to a job as a builder. “I found my first LTdL last year to be an amazing experience”, he said. “The people stand out in my mind as being the most memorable part of it. They were always smiling, friendly and polite.”
On Friday he sent an sms to LeTua’s team manager Shukor Yassin: “I am ready. The form is good after the Tour of Wellington.” Continue Reading »
Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia will once again top the field of Le Tour de Langkawi with 15 local riders taking part in the race on the start line at Putrajaya, the home of the Malaysian government, on February 9. But the event appears more international than ever despite the reduction of the number of participating teams from 25 in 2008 to 20 this year. One year ago, it was already a record number of 30 nations lined up but the provisional start list for the 14th edition of the race boasts an exceptional number of riders hailing from 35 different countries and five continents to compete on Malaysian soil.
“Our team invitation committee has looked closely at all the applications we received for making our colourful event the most international possible”, said the chief operating officer Datuk Naim Mohamad. “We are very pleased to welcome cyclists from all over the world. It shows that our sport becomes more and more worldwide thanks to the efforts of the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale). Malaysia definitely wants to play its part in the globalization of cycling.” Continue Reading »
Kuala Lumpur – On the record books, the Australian national team has never won a stage or the general classification at Le Tour de Langkawi but since the early win of the late Damian McDonald back in 1996 under the colours of trade team Giant-Australia for the inaugural event, Australia has played a major role in the success of the Malaysian event.
“We stopped taking part in Le Tour de Langkawi for several years because the 12-day race was too long for our young riders”, national road coach Brian Stephens explained. “We came back in 2007 with our trade team Southaustralia.com and now the 7-day format suits our program at perfection.”
With the number of Continental teams increasing drastically in Australia and more of them bidding for LTdL than the race organisation could realistically host, the team invitation committee chaired by Datuk Naim Mohamad opted for inviting the Australian national team providing the opportunity to the coaches from down under to select the best Australian riders available in February. Continue Reading »
he An Post Seán Kelly Cycling team has revealed its roster for 2009, with five new high-profile signings confirmed. Among these is Irish rider David O’Loughlin, recent winner of a bronze medal at the World Cup in Beijing.
The 2009 An Post Sean Kelly Team includes five Irish cyclists, with 2008 riders Páidi O’Brien, Stephen Gallagher, Mark Cassidy and Ronan McLaughlin all re-signed and the notable new addition David O’Loughlin.
“I’m really looking forward to racing with the An Post team and the race programme this year,” O’Loughlin said. “I’m particularly excited about working with Sean Kelly, as that is a dream come true to be honest.”
“I learnt a lot last year and I think combining the track and road racing this year will work well, as they can both compliment each other,” he added.
Team manager Kurt Bogaerts has signed former Belgian champion Niko Eeckhout, with the 38-year-old Classics rider providing valuable experience and leadership for the Merchtem based squad. The team has also signed two Belgian riders, Steven Van Vooren from the American Cycling Centre team and Jeff Peters, who was part of the 2008 Profel Prorace team.
The An Post squad will return to Ireland for the nation’s top races, the Rás, Tour of Ireland and national championships.
“We are finalising our racing calendar for the year but it looks like the team will be back in Ireland for the first time on May 17th for the Rás,” said Sean Kelly. “We are already looking forward to it as it’s always great to return home and showcase our success as a continental team. In 2008, Stephen Gallagher was the first Irish winner in four year’s and he will be back to defend his title this year.”
An Post Sean Kelly 2009 roster: Paidi O’Brien, Mark Cassidy, Stephen Gallagher, Ronan McLaughlin, David O’Loughlin, Benny De Schrooder, Kenny Lisabeth, Steven Van Vooren, Jef Peeters, Niko Eeckhout, and Matt Brammeier.