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.
The ‘cross season is in full swing both in Europe and here in the U.S. While this country’s top series – the U.S. Grand Prix of Cyclocross – had an off week, the racing continued, with big events in the Rockies and on the East Coast. In Boulder, Colorado, the promoters of this year’s ‘Cross ‘Vegas race put on two successful events, both dominated by the reigning national champions, Ryan Trebon (Kona) and Katie Compton (Spike). And Boulder Cup. Meanwhile, in Connecticut, Compton’s biggest North American rival Lyne Bessette, scored a big win in the Chainbiter a race in which Nerac’s Chris Jones took top honors in the men’s race. Bessette scored another win the next day in Northampton, Massachusetts, in round four of the Verge series, with Jesse Anthony (Jamis) winning the men’s event.
A few weeks back, VeloNews technical editor Matt Pacocha introduced us to Jon Baker, an American software engineer who decided it was time to take a shot at the big-times by selling his house, taking a leave of absence from his job and moving his family to Europe to race ‘cross. [More] Baker is now riding the World Cup and Superprestige circuits and our Jason Sumner caught up with him to see how that dream is shaping up. [More]
While the mudtrotters are busy mounting, dismounting and clearing barriers, the roadies are finally settling in for a bit of winter down-time. Although the 2007 road season is over, the fallout from the season continues. Topping the list was a rather strange pseudo-confession offered up by former Rabobank rider Michael Rasmussen on Thursday. The one-time-yellow-jersey-holder admitted that he had, in fact, been in Italy at a time he told authorities that he was in Mexico, but that the deception was based solely on “personal reasons” and was in no way intended to avoid pre-Tour drug tests. [More]
Meanwhile, former Astana standout Andrey Kashechkin was in court this week, hoping to challenge one of the fundamental precepts of the established system of doping controls used in professional sport. Having hired attorney Marc Bosman – who successfully challenged soccer’s rules regarding the composition of teams in 1995 – Kashechkin is making a claim that private entities, like the UCI and WADA, don’t have the legal authority to take samples for testing. It’s an interesting theory and Bosman is going to great lengths to put both cases in a similar light. Bosman, of course, is not raising the case of two long distance swimmers who tried to challenge doping rules in 2004 as an illegal infringement on their right to work. Perhaps the reason he’s ignoring that case is because the court rejected that challenge as “frivolous.” You can be certain that we’ll be following that case closely.
On a personal note, I’ll be at the third world congress of the World Anti-Doping Agency in Madrid next week, following up on proposed rule changes to the WADA code and reporting on the retirement of the organization’s president, Dick Pound. His term is just about over and it appears he will be replaced by Australian Jon Fahey. I’ll send next week’s Prologue from the WADA conference in Madrid.
Meanwhile, have a good week.