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This Week in Pro Cycling – December 21, 2007

Dear Readers,Welcome to the latest edition of The Prologue, the weekly summary of news from the world of competitive cycling by your friends at VeloNews.com.

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Dear Readers,
Welcome to the latest edition of The Prologue, the weekly summary of news from the world of competitive cycling by your friends at VeloNews.com.

It’s almost Christmas and many of you are already on the road, heading home to spend time with your families. As VeloNews’s Neal Rogers notes, there are some out there, hitting the road – and the airport – to spend time honing their cyclocross skills over the holiday season. Montanan Geoff Proctor is, once again, hosting the winter Euro Cross Camp in Belgium, a program that has produced good results in the past.

Speaking of ‘crossers, of course, the big news over the past week were the elite national titles earned by Tim Johnson and Katie Compton in a chilly championship event in Kansas City over the weekend. VeloNews associate editor Fred Dreier was there for that one. [More] It seems that Johnson thrives in nasty Midwestern weather like that. He scored his other elite national title right there in KC seven years ago in even more miserable conditions. Like other top ‘crossers Johnson and his wife Lyne Bessette will be heading to Europe this year to take on the world’s, which for him at least is an unusual opportunity, since his road schedule has often conflicted with his love of ‘cross. We look forward to seeing the full crew in Treviso in January.

While the road season is still a couple of months off, several teams are already holding their first training camps for 2008. Photographer Graham Watson is on Spain’s Costa Blanca for the reorganized Astana team’s first get-together in the city of Javea. Have a look and see how Johan Bruyneel’s new team – largely composed of Astana and Discovery riders – looks at the end of 2007.

Last month’s Third World Conference on Doping in Sport was an impressive confab’ that stood in stark contrast to the hastily organized first conference back in 1999. While a lot of the attention in Madrid last month focused on who would replace outgoing president Dick Pound on January first, there were significant changes made to the legal code that backs up this young international organization. Attorney Antonio Gallegos was among several interested observers keeping track of those changes and he’s provided a summary of those which he believes will have the most significant impact on the sport of cycling. [More]

And speaking of lawyers, our own Robert Mionske has an interesting take on just what does – and does not – qualify as a bicycle, at least in some jurisdictions. You can read his take on what one newspaper called an “eight foot tall loophole” in his latest Legally Speaking column.

On a purely personal note, I’ve received dozens of notes from friends and readers asking what gives with the HELP WANTED ad on the front page of VeloNews.com. It’s true that we’re looking for an experienced journalist, with a background in cycling, to take over the editor’s spot at what we hope is your favorite web site. It does not, however, mean that I am leaving a company for which I’ve worked these last 13 years. Instead, I am taking on the new position of senior editor as we add additional staff. That new editor will be based in Boulder, while I continue to live and work in the high prairies of southeast Wyoming.

Here’s hoping you have a happy and safe holiday season. Try to get some miles in if the weather allows it.

Merry Christmas,

Charles Pelkey
Editor, VeloNews.com
CPelkey@insideinc.com