UCI Men 2009



EvansCadel2Evans Above
Dateline: 27-Sep-2009
2009 looked like being a disappointing year for Cadel - but that all changed today. A solo victory in Mendrisio made the high spot to just of Cadel’s career so far - but also gave Australia its first World Pro Road Race victory. Now Evans can take the place at the “head of the field” from a long list of fine Australian road racers. I’ve been waiting over 40 years for a successor to Tom Simpson - but Cadel’s victory makes up for another year without a British success. With the next Worlds being in Victoria it would be nice for a Briton to end the drought in 2010 on Australian soil.

As for the British team - they had the numbers but not the results. Wiggins being caught by both his minute man and 2-minute man was the writing on the wall even before his mechanical problem. Peter Kennaugh’s Under-23 fourth place was as good as it got - despite some positive spin from BC about “the foundation of a great team effort”.

Weird World
Dateline: 26-Mar-2009
Today I checked back on a story from the start of 2008 - the proposed Tour of America. The event web site has moved on - in that it now has a stage schedule starting in September 2009 - but to me this seems just as unlikely as the 2008 plans were. I could be wrong but.... now that the Tour of Missouri has HC status and overlapping dates [7-13 September] there seems no chance; despite their apparent confidence. So it looks like cheerleaders and time-outs will have to wait another year ... or forever.
PS the Pro Tour’s hope of Russian racing have been deferred now that the Tour of Sochi is definitely out for this year.

IMN81829bwsMemorable Finish in San Remo
Dateline: 21-Mar-2009
After a gap of 45 years there was a second British winner of the Primavera - Milan-San Remo. As someone who still prizes the memory of Tom Simpson’s victory in 1964, this was a result that I might never have seen again. But that man Cavendish closed the impossibly large gap of sprint leader Heinrich Haussler to take the prize by centimetres. Fellow sprint stars Thor Hushovd, Allan Davis, Alessandro Petacchi and Daniele Bennati were left many metres adrift. Break-out the vintage bubbly!!!

2009 Early Season Update
Dateline: 11-Feb-2009
Despite the time of year, cost of team travel and overlapping dates the early season races are attracting some big fields. With around 120 at Langkawi, 140 at Etoile de Bessèges and 180+ at Mallorca it looks like a healthy start to 2009. This seems set to continue with 16 teams starting today’s Tour of the Med and 17 for Saturday’s Tour of California. The start list for next week’s Tour of the Algarve has fully 22 teams with riders that include Alberto Contador alongside Britain’s David Millar, Roger Hammond and Jeremy Hunt. Stijn Devolder has the honour of “dorsale” no. 1.

2009 UK Teams
Dateline: 10-Feb-2009
The initial plans and 2009 line-ups for the UCI registered British teams are now appearing

2009 Starts Soon - Take 2
Dateline: 28-Jan-2009
The Tour Down Under just goes from strength to strength - attracting huge crowds in glorious sunshine for another successful year. Meanwhile back in Europe my write-up for the Giro di Sicilia seems to have been a false start - the rumours are that it has been cancelled. However Alberto Contador, who was down to ride, is now a possible starter in the Tour of the Algarve (18-22 Feb). But this too is an event where finding out the stage details and start list is often a struggle.
Outside of Europe the main February action will be in Qatar (01-06 Feb), Langkawi (09-15 Feb) and California (14-22 Feb). They provide some more opportunities for long-haul travel before facing the tough round of Spring Classics in Europe.
See CyclingNews for the
2009 road calendar in full.
PS the UCI still don’t have a date for Russia’s Tour of Sochi

2009 Starts Soon
Dateline: 30-Dec-2008
Sitting out a cold UK winter it’s hard to believe that the first major road race of 2009 is only a few weeks away. The Tour Down Under (20-25 Jan) has the advantage of being in the southern summer - but just 10 days later the pro-elite riders hit the start line in Europe. The three day Giro di Sicilia starts on 30-Jan and just beats the French opening event - the Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise - held at the start of February. So the road season starts before the cyclo-cross world championships have been held in Holland! But despite being so early in the season the Sicilian opener hopes to see triple grand tour winner, Alberto Contador, as a starter. In Spain the Trofeo Mallorca provides the traditional starter a week later. However most of the webmasters still seem to be busy celebrating Christmas and New Year - so no news available about the routes or riders as yet.

New Basis for Rankings Jersey
Dateline: 30-Dec-2008
Last year you may have read my thoughts about having a new basis for the Pro riders ranking - and leaders jersey. Well the UCI have bowed to the inevitable and have included the “top” races in their ranking system. According to cyclingnews.com .. “The UCI will award the leader's jersey after each Historical Calendar  or ProTour race, which includes races like the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia  and Paris-Roubaix. It will replace the white jersey awarded to the ProTour  leader from 2005 through 2008 and try to establish an overall 'rider of  the year', similar to what the world cup rankings achieved from 1989 to  2004.

This may not have been difficult to predict but it is possibly a sign that the UCI has stepped back from the crazy schemes that were typical a few years ago. However some strange ideas still come out. Here they want the riders to compete for - and wear - this new jersey just for honour! I’m sure that plenty of others will have already pointed out that these are professional riders funded by sponsors who pay big money for space on the team’s jersey.

UCI Pro Tour Teams
Dateline: 19-Dec-2008
A couple of days ago the UCI issued a press release detailing the 18 teams that will make up the Pro Tour for 2009.


Licence holder


AG2R La Mondiale (FRA)

EUSRL France Cyclisme


Team Milram (GER)

VeloCity GmbH


Lampre-N.G.C. (ITA)

Bici Club Azzurro SRL


Bbox Bouygues Telecom (FRA)

SA Vendée Cyclisme


Cofidis, le crédit en ligne (FRA)

Cofidis compétition eusrl


Astana (KAZ)

Kazakh Cycling Federation


Caisse d’Epargne (ESP)

Abarca Sports S.L


Fuji-Servetto (ESP)

GM Bikes SA


Team Columbia (USA)

High Road Sports, Inc


Liquigas (ITA)

Liquigas Sport Spa


Euskaltel-Euskadi (ESP)

Fundacion Ciclista Euskadi


Française des Jeux (FRA)

Société de Gestion l'Echappée


Katusha (RUS)

Katusha Management SA


Quick Step (BEL)

Esperanza Bvba


Saxo Bank - IT Factory (DEN)

Riis Cycling A/S


Silence-Lotto (BEL)

Omega Pharma


Garmin-Slipstream (USA)

Slipstream Sports, LLC


Rabobank (NED)

Rabo Wielerploegen


So a mix of new and familiar names for the year ahead. [No - I don’t know what sequence this is meant to be in; but no doubt someone will tell me!].

UCI Pro Tour Races
Dateline: 19-Dec-2008
The same, rather bland, press release also listed the 14 Pro Tour events that have been agreed. No real surprises in the names - but the very limited extent of the calendar is a concern. Even allowing for all the infighting between organisers and the UCI, this is a very sparse schedule. No doubt the “credit crunch” will be used as an excuse - along with the drip, drip of doping cases; especially in Germany. So it looks like the Pro Tour will be struggling for credibility again in 2009 - and that’s before you check out the actual dates of the events.




Tour Down Under

20.01.2009 25.01.2009


Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres



Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco

06.04.2009 11.04.2009


Gent - Wevelgem



Amstel Gold Race



Tour de Romandie

28.04.2009 03.05.2009


Volta Ciclista a Catalunya

18.05.2009 24.05.2009


Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré

07.06.2009 14.06.2009


Tour de Suisse

13.06.2009 21.06.2009


Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian - San Sebastian



Tour de Pologne

02.08.2009 08.08.2009


Vattenfall Cyclassics



Eneco Tour

19.08.2009 26.08.2009


GP Ouest France - Plouay



Checking the calendar it is clear that the Pro Tour licences have been granted (sold) to races even if they clash on dates - so Gent-Wevelgem and the GP Ouest France both have overlaps with stage races. And the Dauphiné Libéré overlaps with the Tour de Suisse. Plus there cannot be many riders who would attempt to go for a win in a 6 day Spanish tour the day after competing for points in the Tour of Flanders (or similarly going straight from San Sebastian to the Tour of Poland). Can you imagine the season’s calendar being handled like this by, say, FIFA or UEFA? I know nothing is ever going to be perfect but this is getting beyond a joke.

PS Russia’s Tour of Sochi is planned to be a Pro Tour event but I don’t have confirmed dates as yet.

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