Latest: G lvez; Obree; Michaelsen; Boonen
Family and friends farewell G lvez; Obree comes back; Michaelsen continues with CSC; Boonen separate
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Family and friends farewell G lvez Isaac G lvez was bid farewell by his family and friends in a public funeral in Vilanova i la Geltr£ on Tuesday afternoon. The Spanish sprinter, who was killed during the Ghent Six on the weekend, was fondly remembered by hundreds of people who gathered in the city’s Pabell¢n del Garraf. His new wife, his parents and sister were all present, along with friends, cycling fans, and political figures. “We lost a great person, a friend of many people,” said fellow sprinter Angel Edo. “It seems impossible to me but life’s a bitch.” Alejandro Blanco, president of the Spanish Olympic Committee, said of G lvez that he was “a great athlete who gave his best in every race.” After the ceremony, G lvez’ body was taken to the city’s cemetery, where it was cremated. Obree comes back Scottish cycling hero Graham Obree will once again grace the boards of the Manchester Velodrome in a special return to racing at the next Revolution meeting on December 9. The “Flying Scotsman” achieved legendary status through his track exploits in the 1990s when he twice broke the world hour record and twice won the individual pursuit world title. Obree will now return to competition in a special two man 2,000 m event where he will team up with Olympic Academy rider Ian Stannard. “I’m really looking forward to it,” said Obree. “It’s my off season but I’ve been out on my bike, keeping in shape so it will be good to get back on the track. It sounds like an exciting race and it will be interesting to team up with Ian Stannard. I raced against him the pursuit in the 2005 National Championships. That was the last time I was on the track so it is fitting that we will be racing together.” The event won’t be run like a conventional two man time trial. Instead, the ‘track legends’ will start the pursuit and peel off to leave the younger riders to finish things off. Obree won’t limit himself to just one event. “I’m coming down for a track meeting so I’ll race a couple of other events such as the devil,” he said. “I’ll put on a bigger gear for that event, try to stay at the front to avoid the sprints and grit my teeth and go with the flow. “I’ll also have a go at the Madison time trial. The last time I raced the Madison was at the Bordeaux six with Tony Doyle so I’ll make sure I get to the Velodrome early to practice the hand slings!” Obree (41) will not be riding his original ‘Old Faithful’ – the hand made bike that helped him break the hour record and achieve international fame. He will, however, bring a specially built replica that was ridden by Jonny Lee Miller in the making of his upcoming biopic, The Flying Scotsman. More teams for the two man pursuit will be announced in the coming days. Tickets for Revolution 15 can be purchased from www.cyclingrevolution.com or by calling +44 (0)7005 942 579 or +44 (0)161 223 2244. Michaelsen continues with CSC Danish classics specialist Lars Michaelsen has re-signed for Team CSC in what will be his final year as a pro. Michaelsen will turn 38 next year, and has decided to hang up his wheels. “I’m looking forward to doing the cobblestones for the last time, because they’ve always been my main focus as a rider,” said Michaelsen. “They fascinate me the most and I’ve achieved my best results in them. Of course the fact that it’s the very last time adds an extra dimension for me.” Team manager Bjarne Riis commented, “Lars is a key person on our team and we’re happy he’s chosen to do the classics one more time with us. The cobblestone races are definitely his strong suit and we would be a lot worse off without him on board. Of course we’re hoping he’ll chose to stay on the team after having finished his career as a rider, because he has a lot more to offer. But the first priority right now is to give him the space to focus on doing the classics for the very last time.” Boonen separates from girlfriend Belgium’s most charismatic athlete, Tom Boonen, has split up with his girlfriend of three years, Lore van de Weyer. Boonen’s manager Paul De Geyter confirmed this on Tuesday night to the Belgian press. “Tom Boonen and Lore Van de Weyer have decided to give their relationship a rest. They will not comment any more over this decision, neither will their family or friends.” Boonen met Lore in Antwerp at the end of 2003, through mutual friends. Boonen, who was well on his way to becoming a cycling star, liked the fact that Lore didn’t know he was a cyclist. But Boonen moved to Monaco at the end of last year, while Lore stayed in Belgium. At the time, Boonen said that it was too hard to live and train in Belgium due to his immense popularity.