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Archive for May, 2010

CARLOS SASTRE

26/05/2010 Leave a comment

 Carlos Sastre is the winner of the 2008 Tour de France and have several top 3 placings in Grand Tours, and is probably my favourite rider in the world. Why? There are many reasons. First of all, during the press conference before the 2009 Tour de France he was asked what he, as defending champion, felt about Lance Armstrong calling the 2008 Tour a joke. He replied, ‘He is a great champion, but behind every rider, must there be a person and that is his opinion’. I simply love the way he answered that question, and it shows what kind of person he is. Also the main quote on his website says; ‘The greatest victory is to enjoy what you do and what you achieve.’ But there are also other reasons why he’s my favourite rider. He does a huge amount of work for charities. He supports no less than 7 charities, most of them aimed at improving the lives of children in different situations. Here’s a little bit about the charities he supports.

 

Fundación Provincial Deportiva Víctor Sastre – a charity based near where Carlos grew up in Spain. The charity is aimed at children, using sport to help children develop physically and personally. Cycling has been the main sport for the foundation, but they are now also working with other sports.

 

Kinderkankerfonds – This is a Beligan charity, which works to support children suffering from cancer. Money raised from charitable initiatives and t-shirt sales are donated to the hospital in Aalter, near Gent, where Carlos has a fanclub.

 

Velokhaya – is the awareness and fundraising vehicle for the Life Cycling Academy, which is a non-profit organization focused on introducing the sport of cycling to previously disadvantaged communities in South Africa.

 Ávila Down’s Syndrome Association – This foundation’s philosophy centres on the dignity of human beings, considering all people with Down’s Syndrome as individuals with feelings, abilities, experiences, ambitions, needs and flaws. The foundation works on the principle that there should be more emphasis on their capabilities rather than their limitations or differences.

 

VIhDA Association – the main aim of this charity is to contribute to the life expectancy and improve the quality of life in the HIV/ADIS community of countries where economic levels are low and health and social assistance structure is scarce.

 

 

PYDS (Purkal) –  Founded by a small group of people who are committed to do what is within their power in their own community and their example is encouraging others to get involved in what is happening in the small village around the Purkal Gaon complex.
In Purkal, PYDS has made great efforts to change the life of almost 140 children. These volunteers provide education, food and tutelage for children that come from the poorest villages in India. These children, who were hardly even able to understand their lessons when they joined the project, can now express themselves perfectly in English. They have become interactive students who are developing interest and enthusiasm for science, history and geography.

 

The Sid-Can organisation is acknowledged by the Spanish Home Office and was created by a group of people that have lived through an experience of cancer or aids, either directly or through a friend or relative, and have joined the organisation to give thanks for life and to the people who have done so much for them. Its members want to engage in doing something for those who are now experiencing difficult moments.

 

All information is taken from Carlos Sastre’s website.

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RIDER OF THE WEEK – Tejay Van Garderen

10/05/2010 Leave a comment

This 21 year old is aiming high for the future, and with a recent 2nd overall in Tour of Turkey I think his goals are very realistic. He’s just joined Bike Pure, and is one of many young riders who speak out for a clean, fair sport. Next race up for Tejay is the Amgen Tour of California where I hope he’ll get another chance to shine.

-What got you interested in cycling and when did you start?

My father is a club cyclist, and that kinda sparked my interest. I started when I was 10 years old, which was when I could fit my legs over the old bike my dad had hanging up in his closet.

-What have you sacrificed for cycling?

I need to spend a lot of time away from my friends and family. And sometimes it’s hard to find motivation in training or a race that isn’t going well. But cycling has given me so much in return that I don’t really see it as much of a sacrifice.

-What is your biggest achievement so far?

I would say my biggest achievement so far would be making it into the Pro Tour. In terms of results getting 2nd at Tour of Turkey was a big step for me.

-What would a perfect 2010 season be for you?

A perfect 2010 season for me would be having the team be happy with me. Hopefully getting a good result in the Tour of California and getting a start in the Vuelta and finishing.

-What 3 things would you change about cycling?

a) I wish the UCI stopped making all these stupid bike restrictions.
b) There would be no more cheaters, although I think that is almost a thing of the past, with a few exceptions of course.
c) That the riders would have more of a voice rather than being forced to race and sleep and travel wherever the people in charge tell us to.

-What 3 things make you proud to be a cyclist?

a) The fact that this is the hardest sport in the world
b) That we are paving the way in sports for antidoping practices.

-What’s your goal for the next 5 years?

Over the next 5 years I want to develop into a grand tour contender.

-Which race would you most like to win during your career?

The Tour de France

-What do you, as a young rider who’s fairly new to the peloton, think is needed to fight doping in the sport?

I think the biggest thing we could do, would be to make harsher punishment for people who get caught. Make it not worth the risk.

-What is the general morale in the peloton at the moment regarding the recent cases of doping?

What I’ve heard mostly from people in the peloton regarding doping cases is “man I can’t believe how stupid that guys is”. And also frustration that these guys are ruining our sport.

-How big a part of your life was sport when you were growing up?

I have been racing since I was 10 years old, so it has been a big part of my life for a long time.

-Why do you think it is so important for children to have the opportunity to participate in sport and play?

It’s a good way to build character and interact with others, and it’s also a great way to learn and stay fit and healthy.

I would like to thank Tejay for taking the time to answer these questions, and I will be watching out for him in the future.