Building Great Things From Ash

After a long wait, the news of Armstrong being banned from the sports for using performance enhancing substances was finally released in October 2012 and hit Doug Ulman hard. He was forced to clean up the mess Armstrong had made. It was hard for him to process that his close friend Armstrong would ever do such a thing and would take three months to apologize to the staff of Livestrong after they had supported him for months.

Doug Ulman, president and CEO of the Livestrong foundation after facing betrayal from close friend Lance Armstrong had to go his own way and pick up the pieces that Armstrong had left behind.

Doug Ulman had initially started with a career in running. However it was short lived as he was diagnosed with bone cancer and melanoma. Thankfully he was cured from both. It inspired him to launch Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. He was then discovered by Lance Armstrong who had his own project. They came together to form the Livestrong Foundation.

The two cancer survivors had always been close friends and Ulman always stood up for Armstrong. No one really knows if he was oblivious to the fact or was purposely avoiding the truth but he had to come face to face with it after the report in October 2012.

After Armstrong’s debacle, Livestrong lost some of its most important sponsors. It also continued to lose revenue and 13 out of the 100 employees of Livestrong resigned.  Armstrong’s deceit however helped Ulman to start dream bigger and focus the foundation on the cancer patient survivors for whom it was founded. Though it wasn’t as large scale as before, it was definitely more pure and humble.

One thing Armstrong has indirectly helped in doing was making a possibility for Livestrong to become something different if not fix what it was. It may just become stronger than the original Livestrong.

Evans pulls up a sharp victory

A determined, aggressive, decisive and stern Cadel Evans gave his best in the final round of the steep climb in Corkscrew Road. The third stage of Tour Down Under saw some spectacular performances from the riders but Cadel Evans was the best amongst all of them. He managed to drop Richie Porte and Simon Gerrans and took an overall lead for the World Tour which will be held in Adelaide. After the race he was asked how he was feeling taking the lead to Australia to which he said that his job is half done till now.

He said that he is feeling really good and this has been one of the best performances he had till date. This is Cadel’s first World Tour victory after Dauphine 2012 and he is looking for more such victories in the coming years. The last two years has not been quite fruitful for Cadel Evans and he has not won any major championships. That is the main reason why he is so excited after winning this World Tour.

This was also the first victory for Evans in home soil after 2002. The lead which he has taken to Adelaide is the first that he has ever done in Tour Down Under. He has started nine times in this championship and this is the first time that he has managed to take a lead. The fans were really happy when they saw him take the lead and they would be expecting more from him in the days to come in this season.

The win will give him a lot of confidence as he was 11 seconds behind when the stage started and he was also unaware of the gap he had to cover in the short period of time. His hard work in the camp has proven to be fruitful in the opening of the season.

UCI Forms New 3-men Commission

UCI has recently formed a 3-man independent investigation commission that would probe into cycling’s doping chapter. The trio comprising the independent commission includes an anti-doping specialist from Germany, an international lawyer from Switzerland & an Aussie who has earlier served as an advisor for Afghan government.
As per the reports, apart from probing into the doping past of the sport that have shook the entire sports world given Armstrong’s confession of doping consumptions- the new commission would also look into the allegations made against UCI citing mishandling of the anti-doping cases.
Dick Marty from Switzerland is the chairman of the commission while Peter Nicholson and Ulrich Haas are the vice-chairmen. The Commission is being entitled as Cycling Independent Reform Commission & is expected to complete proceedings by the completion of 2014.
Setting up of the new independent investigation commission has been one of the key elements of UCI’s recently elected President Brian Cookson. Cookson was elected as the UCI chief since last September.
“The commission has already proceeded with its preparatory works & would soon be provided full accession to UCI files & all electronic data that was copied while I was selected”, Cookson stated. “It would also seek testimony from those involved in cycling or were involved earlier. We are soon to close in our final meeting with WADA and are soon to come up with best possible incentives for people co-operating with us.”

“A budget has already been decided for the new commission that would be covered in full by UCI”, the UCI chief added in. He further confirmed that the new commission would be Lausanne based & has the power to continue all the operations independently of UCI. It would act autonomously & UCI won’t offer any instructions to its members.

St. Louis sees the return of the TSG Cup

The TSG Realty Gateway Cup is back with a bang in St. Louis and the event is expected to attract cyclists of various age group and skill sets. Top professional riders from across the country will be taking part in the event sponsored by Michelob Ultra of St. Louis is also set to attract the largest contingent of women professional competitors.  The program will start with The Tour de Lafayette on Friday Night, August 30th and end on Monday, September 2nd being the Labor Day with the Benton Park Classic. In between the series will feature The Tour de Francis Park on Saturday, August 31st and The Giro Della Montagna on Sunday September 1st.

The competition will feature events for men, women and kids aging between 10 and 18 and also hold fun races each day to entertain children. The competitions will be held in the Francis Park in St. Louis Hills, the Lafayette Square neighbourhood, the historic Benton Park and the Italian Hill neighbourhood and is open to all riders.  With commitments from top riders from the country the event looks most promising and most competitive of the editions. Rahsaan Bahati, the former US Professional from Sharecare Cycling Team will be heading the Professional events for men and Laura Van Gilder will spearhead the professional races for women who happened to be the most successful US Professional Champion in women cycling events.

According to Mike Weiss, owner of Big Shark Bicycle Company and Director TSG Realty Gateway Cup the competition is expected to throw up the most talented of the sport from the region and the country. He further added that this event is prestigious and important for the cycling community of St. Louis and its neighborhood.  This is also the stepping stone for racers to the World Series and many riders who took part in the event in the past had made it to the Tour de France.

Alberto Contador – Rising Legend

The result of fair competition is obviously unpredictable. But, that was really a tough round in the biting heat of the sun when the rising legend was about the win the highly reputed cycling tournament of France. Alberto Contador grabbed a tight grip on cycling career right from the moment he crossed the victory line of the 2007 Tour De France. Alberto was an enthusiast for cycling right from his childhood. But, it is very said most of his fans are still unaware of his early life.

Alberto Contador natively belonged to Community of Madrid in the small town of Pinto. Right from his early days, he saw a middle class family life with his four siblings. During the age of 14, he started cycling as his hobby. Fortunately, he was so good at cycling that he started racing at the age of 15 years. Although, the races were at amateur level, these races paved the way for his professional career at later stages. An interesting thing to reveal here is the support of his elder brother who encouraged him to take cycling to pro level. Continue reading “Alberto Contador – Rising Legend”

Government starts new cycling push

The government has announced investment plans to strengthen the future of cycling in the United Kingdom, with programs drafted to improve the circumstances for those who select to travel on 2 wheels in places across the country. A £77 million fund will be shared between several cities in the United Kingdom, including Oxford, Norwich, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle.

A further £17 million fund has been set aside to meliorate cycling facilities in national parks in the country. These funds as well as local contributions has aimed the amount of capital set to be devoted to cycling in coming years to £148 million.

Earlier, England Prime Minister made the announcement. He said that that the expectation is to capitalize on the success of Britain in the Olympics and the Tour de France to ensure cycling soars in the United Kingdom.

The Prime Minister added that the UK government wants to make it safer and easier for people who already cycle and encouraging more people to take it up. Business, road users, the transport sector, local government and developers all have an important role to play in serving to achieve this.

New trunk road schemes which have an important impact on cyclists, such as road widening or junction improvements, will be ‘cycle proofed’ so the roads can be navigated easily by the average cyclists.

He stated that the extra commitment to cycling in the United Kingdom is intended to put the country on a level footing with nations like the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, which are quite well known for their high levels of participation in this sport.

The Greater Manchester region will get the most funding that stands at £ 20 million, followed by West Yorkshire (£ 18.1 million) and Birmingham (£ 17 million).