Thursday, July 30, 2009
Planet Energy rounds out roster
Tour of Missouri organisers announced the Canadian team Planet Energy as the 15th and final squad for the September race this week.
The team will join ProTour teams Astana, Columbia-HTC, Garmin-Slipstream, Liquigas, Quick Step and Saxo Bank and Professional Continental teams Cervelo TestTeam and BMC. Domestic teams include Jelly Belly, OUCH presented by Maxxis, BissellPro Cycling Team, Colavita / Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light, Kelly Benefit Strategies and Team Type 1. BMC Racing, which is a Swiss and American based team, rounds out the field.
"Just as we have a commitment to top American teams, we have always tried to include a top North American-based continental team in this race to support the goals of the UCI," said Chris Aronhalt, managing partner of Medalist Sports, the tour's organizer. "Planet Energy is one of the top teams outside the U.S. in this hemisphere, and we are glad to reach an agreement to include them."
The 2009 Tour of Missouri begins September 7 in St. Louis and finishes a week later in Kansas City. The seven-stage race was won last year by Garmin-Slipstream's Christian Vande Velde.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Tour riders hit by pellet gun
Police have launched an investigation after two riders suffered light injuries when hit by shots fired from an airgun on the 13th stage of the Tour de France on Friday.
New Zealander Julian Dean of Garmin-Slipstream and Spaniard Oscar Freire of Rabobank were hit with pellets near the 165km mark of the 200km stage in the hilly Vosges region.
Freire, a three-time world road race champion, had to have a pellet removed from his leg by his team doctor after finishing the stage.
"He's got a bit of bruising but he will be able to start on Saturday," said his team boss.
Dean, the main lead-out man for American sprinter Tyler Farrar, was hit on a finger of his left hand, according to his Garmin team.
Police working on the stage were immediately alerted by the teams.
"Julian was shot by an air rifle or BB gun (pellet gun) at the top of a climb during the stage. He has a minor injury on his finger but he was able to finish," Garmin-Slipstream spokeswoman Marya Pongrace confirmed.
"(Tour organisers) ASO have asked police to open an investigation."
A spokesman for Rabobank said: "Oscar heard three shots and then felt a sting. A small shot was removed."
Tour organisers have confirmed an investigation had been opened and said both riders had given statements to the police.
German brothel offers discounts to cyclists
A Berlin brothel has come up with a novel way to offset the impact of the global economic crisis and target a new group of customers at the same time - offering a discount to patrons who arrive on bicycles.
Published: 12:59AM BST 14 Jul 2009
"The recession has hit our industry hard," said Thomas Goetz, owner of the Maison d'envie brothel.
"Obviously we hope that the discount will attract more people," he added. "It's good for business, it's good for the environment - and it's good for the girls."
Customers who arrive on bicycle or who can prove they took public transportation get a 5-euro ($7) discount from the usual 70-euro ($100) fee for 45 minute sessions, Mr Goetz said. He said the environmentally friendly offer was working a charm.
"We have around 3-5 new customers coming in daily to take advantage of the discount," he said, adding the green rebate has helped alleviate traffic and parking congestion in the neighbourhood.
Germany is one of the few countries in the world where prostitution is legal. It has about 400,000 prostitutes who, since 2002, have been allowed to enter formal labour contracts.
Missy Giove lived her life astounding those around her.
The iconic mountain biker, who resided in Durango for more than a decade, won 14 national titles and was the world champion downhill racer in 1994. She screamed down slopes on the edge of control, landing in either an ambulance or on the podium.
Her persona — she dangled a dried piranha around her neck and tucked her dead dog's ashes in her bra when she raced — and talent made her mountain biking's highest-paid athlete, earning her well over $2 million.
Then last month, six years after she formally retired from racing, federal agents busted the 37-year-old and an accomplice with 400 pounds of marijuana and $1 million in cash.
"Everyone in the circle of
According to authorities, on June 16, a team of federal drug cops watched Giove meet a confidential informant at a hotel in Albany, N.Y., and drive away in a rented truck pulling her own trailer. Cops had already found 350 pounds of marijuana in the trailer. Giove drove the rig to the Wilton, N.Y., home of Eric Canori, 30, where police found another 50 pounds of the weed and $1 million packed into a duffel bag in a hallway closet.
Mountain biking "rock star"
Giove bailed out of jail on June 22 on a $250,000 bond, facing a possible $2 million fine and up to 40 years in prison if convicted. She could not be reached for comment.
Days after her arrest, her public defender, Tim Austin, alleged the drugs were planted in Giove's possession, possibly by police. Her next hearing is scheduled Tuesday.
While it was shocking to hear of Giove's arrest, her friends say it is not that surprising that "Missy the Missile" would be found at the top level of anything she was doing.
"When she was riding, she was willing to throw it all out there. She was either going to win or crash hard," said Scott Montgomery, who, as vice president of marketing for Cannondale in the mid-1990s, enlisted Giove to ride for his team. "She was mountain biking's first rock star. She transcended the sport. She was larger than life."
She was sponsored by Reebok. She appeared on MTV, Conan O'Brien's show and David Letterman's "Late Show." She drew thousands of fans to formerly obscure mountain-biking events.
She was unquestionably gifted on her bike and carefully fostered her Dennis Rodman-esque image.
"That got her a huge amount of publicity, attention and money," said Alison Dunlap, a professional mountain biker who raced cross country during Giove's downhill blitzkrieg. "She knew what she was doing."
But she didn't roll like a rock star. Yes, she trained part time in the south of France. But in Durango, she drove a modest car and lived in a yurt behind a friend's house. It was her father, who died three years ago, who secured big dollars for his daughter.
Montgomery remembers a "shrewd and tough" Ben Giove, working with executives at Cannondale and Volvo on her sponsorship contract. She earned $250,000 a year after her world title in '94. In 1997, Cannondale-Volvo upped Giove's year-long contract to $450,000.
"The next year, (Ben) came back even more aggressively, and we had to cut her," Montgomery said.
Toward the late '90s, mountain biking's luster began to wane — and with it racers' income.
Invested in dad's restaurant
"She was still making some good money, and I think she took a lot of her money and invested it in her father's restaurant," said Brent Foes, who still has posters of Giove hanging in his Pasadena, Calif., bike-making headquarters. "If she had invested properly, she probably wouldn't be in the situation she is now."
By 2002, Giove's litany of injuries was catching up to her. By her own tally — reported in various bike magazines during her heyday — Giove suffered 33 fractures, including cracked ribs; broken wrists, collarbones, legs, vertebrae, heels, knee caps; and a cracked sternum. She endured concussions regularly. During the 2001 World Cup races in Vail, she went airborne, twisted and landed on her head. The blow knocked her unconscious and caused her brain to bleed.
It was "the very worst I have ever seen her crash," said Glaspell, who raced with Giove on the professional circuit for almost a decade. "I don't think she was the same since then."
Giove retired from racing in 2003 and left Durango. But she didn't stop racing. While she lived in the East, most recently in Chesapeake, Va., she would show up at local races, handily beating all comers. She briefly worked peddling indoor bike-training equipment at cycling shows.
"She really didn't know what she wanted to do after racing. She once said she wanted to be a rapper and this and that," said Foes, who would occasionally help her out with a bike to keep her racing.
Staunch drug foe
The most shocking aspect of Giove's arrest, say people who knew her, was her longtime anti-drug stance. Back in the early 1990s, drugs were part of the counter-cultural scene that went with mountain biking.
"Missy was always the one who was giving people crap about it, saying, 'Don't drink, don't smoke, stay clean and stay focused,' " said Montgomery, who now manages Scott USA's bike division.
As a fledgling racer in her early 20s, Giove coached other young racers on how to eat healthy and stay strong, Glaspell said. She pushed natural diets and meditation and a strict training regimen.
"I never ever, ever saw Missy smoke pot, never saw her do any drugs. She was always into super heavy hippy homeopathic (stuff)," Glaspell said.
That leads many to wonder whether, if the charges are true, the adventurous thrill of drug-running appealed to Giove.
"You are one step away from going to federal prison. The challenge of getting away with it, making money at it, I am sure that is incredibly invigorating and thrilling," said fellow bike-racer Dunlap. "Maybe for Missy, when she was used to that kind of feeling when she was racing, not having it anymore was a like a withdrawal from a drug."
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The state funds for the Tour of Missouri have been given approval to be released, and the 2009 Tour of Missouri is on track for the most successful year yet!
Please plan on calling in to hear details on this momentous news at 4:30PM CST.
There will be no questions taken. This is to share the immediately available information.
Call is limited to 1000 callers.
Additional details of this fantastic turn of events will be available on the Tour of Missouri website soon - http://www.tourofmissouri.com
712-432-1001 Attendee Access Code 422623590#
Monday, July 13, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
A letter from Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder...
By now, some of you may have heard rumors regarding Gov. Nixon freezing state funds for the 2009 Tour of Missouri. I would like to share with you the details that we currently have:
On Wednesday, at the close of business, I was informed by the Division of Tourism that the money set aside for the Tour of Missouri was frozen by Gov. Nixon’s administration. The state’s commitment for the 2009 Tour of Missouri was $1.5 million. Without these funds, which are available and approved by the Tourism Commission, the Tour of Missouri will cease to exist.
At this time, I have requested a special meeting of the Missouri Tourism Commission to evaluate our options and decide what our next step should be.
As you know, we are very close to putting the final touches on the race this year. Our sponsors have invested and we are on track with our fundraising goals. Teams from across the world, the same teams now racing in the Tour de France, have been invited to our state, and communities across Missouri are making great preparations for the race. Contracts have been signed by the state, cities, sponsors and vendors and cutting this funding will leave the state susceptible to wasteful litigation.
Right now, I am urging cycling fans across our great state, and around the world to contact Gov. Jay Nixon at 573-751-3222 and tell him to release the funding for the largest sporting event ever held in our state.
I am grateful for the supporters, sponsors, volunteers and spectators who in the past two years have helped generate nearly $60 million in economic impact for our state, and brought over 800,000 visitors to the race.
With your help, I truly believe we can ensure the survival and success of the 2009 Tour of Missouri.
PETER D. KINDER
Lt. Governor, Chairman of the Missouri Tourism Commission
Call Gov. Jay Nixon at 573-751-3222 and tell him to save our race!Additional Contact Info: Emails can be sent to Governor's office at http://governor.mo.gov/contact/
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Fun Facts to enjoy when you are not racing...
Sent in from my good friend Ken A.
Kentucky. If it was invented anywhere else it would have been called teethbrush.