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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest News for August 27, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

VDB, Bruylandts and the World's

No pressure for VDB
Photo: © CN

The Belgian selection for the World Championships in Hamilton will likely not be finalised until the end of September, a couple of weeks before the men's road race takes place. With the parcours supposedly favouring the power climbers, riders like Frank Vandenbroucke and Dave Bruylandts could find themselves in the picture as key men for the Belgian squad.

As far as Vandenbroucke is concerned, his Quick.Step team manager Patrick Lefevere says much will depend on the coming weeks. "A good Vuelta and everything is possible," Lefevere told Het Laatste Nieuws. "Whether he rides well or badly depends on very little. He is looking after himself. Only he has had a lot of bad luck in the last few weeks. He may count himself as one of the favourites in the World's. He still has a lot of reserves."

Bruylandts is a little more confident, telling Het Nieuwsblad "In the past we've had Andrei Tchmil, Johan Museeuw and Frank Vandenbroucke, but now there is no-one after Peter Van Petegem. I hope that I can get a protected role. A friend in Canada said that the parcours is made for me. I want to go even earlier to look at it. I'm missing one win to give the season a nice shine, why not the World Championships?"

Dutch say no to World's TT

According to Algemeen Dagblad, it's highly unlikely that The Netherlands will be entering any riders for the men's World Time Trial Championships in Hamilton this year. Last year in Zolder the Dutch men did poorly, with Servais Knaven the best rider in 25th place. This year (on a hillier parcours), national coach Gerrie Knetemann thinks that they shouldn't waste the money sending riders to Canada when a medal is extremely unlikely.

"I'll have to discuss it with the federation, but I think that the view of the technical commission will not differ much from mine," Knetemann told AD.

The Dutch have never won a medal in the men's time trial at the World's since it was introduced in 1994. That year Erik Breukink finished fourth, the country's best performance to date.

Ullrich's asking price too high

The organisers of the GP Eddy Merckx have assembled a strong field for this Sunday's two man time trial, but will not be able to count on the presence of Tour runner-up Jan Ullrich. Ullrich's asking price to start was €50,000, which was "much too much for us" according to Eddy Merckx.

Holland Ladies Tour to go ahead, despite no sponsor

Women's stars present in Holland
Photo: © AFP

The sixth edition of the Holland Ladies Tour will take place between September 1-6 over seven stages. However the withdrawal of main sponsor Formido after last year's tour has left the race with no cash sponsor this year. "For this year the lack of a main sponsor is not a problem, but that will not be the case a second time," organiser Wim van Duivenbode told ANP. "We hope to have a new sponsor next year, or to make things up with a number of smaller sponsors. At the end of this year it has to be certain."

The race will start in Kampen on September 1 with a 118 kilometre stage via Zwolle, Lemelerveld, Raalte, Wijhe, Zwolle, finishing again in Kampen. The second day is a split day with an 88 kilometre stage in the morning in Biddinghuizen followed by a 23.3 kilometre team time trial in the afternoon, also in Biddinghuizen. The next four stages are all between 113 and 130 kilometres, starting in Leende, Haaften, Heerland and Zoeterwoude, with the final stage ending in Lisse.

The Holland Ladies Tour expects to have top riders such as defending champion Debby Mansveld (Vlaanderen-T Interim), Susanne Ljungskog, Anita Valen and Sara Carrigan (Powerplate-Bik), Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel and Mirjam Melchers (Farm Frites-Hartol), Nicole Cooke and Rochelle Gilmore (Ausra Gruodis), Margaret Hemsley and Trixi Worrack (Nürnberger) along with riders from several national teams.

The stages

September 1 - Stage 1: Kampen - Kampen, 118 km
September 2 - Stage 2a: Biddinghuizen - Biddinghuizen, 88.2 km
September 2 - Stage 2b: Biddinghuizen TTT, 23.3 km
September 3 - Stage 3: Leende - Leende, 126.9 km
September 4 - Stage 4: Haaften - Haaften, 124.5 km
September 5 - Stage 5: Heerlen - Heerlen, 129.8 km
September 6 - Stage 6: Zoeterwoude - Lisse, 113.1 km

Shorter but hillier GP Tell

By Andreas Oppliger

This year's edition of the Grand Prix Tell will again take place as an part of the U23 World Cup calendar, for the first time since its relaunch in 2000. The two race directors Moritz Lichtsteiner and Guido Graf describe their course as very challenging. Compared to the 2002 race, the riders will have to ride 60 fewer kilometres, but they will have an extra 500m in altitude gain to cope with this year.

The race is run in six stages including them two half stages on Saturday, August 30 around the picturesque town of Zug. The queen stage will be on Friday August 29 with two climbs of cat. 1 and one of cat. 2. The last obstacle on the stage is the cat. 1 climb of the Pragelpass (1550 metres above sea level), just 13 kilometres from the finish in Muotathal. Among Swiss cyclotourists, the Pragelpass is called the "Mortirolo of Switzerland" because of its tricky, narrow roads combined with the steepness of the ascent.

18 teams instead of the expected 20 will take place in the GP Tell 2003. Unfortunately the national teams of Ukraine, Ireland and Sweden informed the organisers two days before the start that they would not be participating in the Swiss World Cup event.

The top favourite for the race is certainly the current UCI number one, Ukrainian Denis Kostyuk. He is riding with the Italian espoir team Pallazago Zoccorinese Vellutex, and will count on the strong support of all his Italian teammates. His biggest challengers will be the Swiss national team riders and the Russian athletes starting for the teams of Angelin Travel St. Petersburg and the national selection of Rinat Latypov. Other riders to name for a possible podium spot include Danish rider Brian Vandborg, or the big Slovenian hope Tomas Nose.

The stages

Stage 1 - August 27: Niedererlinsbach - Niedererlinsbach criterium, 80.0 km
Stage 2 - August 28: Emmetten - Emmetten, 123.7 km
Stage 3 - August 29: Muotathal - Muotathal, 122.2 km
Stage 4a - August 30: Muotathal - Zug, 74.8 km
Stage 4b - August 30: Zug - Zug ITT, 23.8 km
Stage 5 - August 31: Zug - Beromünster, 145.1 km

Boven extends

31 year old Jan Boven has extended his contract with the Rabobank team for another year. Boven has ridden with Rabobank since 1996, and is an important part of the team's core domestiques.

Dutch BMX coach extends contract

The contract of Dutch national cyclo-cross coach Ton Kolvoort has been extended for another year, after the team's success at the European and World Championships. BMX will become an Olympic Sport in 2008, thus will become a medal opportunity for the Dutch. Next year's BMX World's will be held in Valkenswaard in the Netherlands.

Irish U23 and Junior Championships this weekend

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

With the majority of Irish Road Championships over, it remains for the U23's, Juniors and Hill Climb championships to be organised over the next month. On Sunday, August 31, the U23's and Juniors will get the opportunity to race over a very technical course in Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow.

The majority of the U23's based on the continent returned last week and participated in the Sheeffry Grand Prix held in Westport. The three riders who looked to be in great shape were Conor Murphy, Tim Cassidy and Dennis Lynch. The trio, along with David O'Loughlin, were up front for the majority of the race, which was a true classic.

Tim Cassidy, who has been plagued with an injury that has left him sidelined for the majority of the season, has the hunger to win the U23 title which may gain him selection for the World Championships in Hamilton, Canada in October. "Possibly being off the bike for the last number of months could help my chances as I am totally refreshed," said Tim in Westport last Sunday. "My ambition is to be a professional cyclist," he added. Tim leaves for Brussels next Monday to join the Cycling Ireland base under the management of Eugene Moriarty from Listowel

In the junior event, Mark Nestor from Athlone competing in his first championship has a lot going for him. He has won five races this year and last Sunday was up front in an elite group in the Sheeffry GP that included the eventual winner, David O'Loughlin. Also on the start line will be Theo Hardwick from the Killorglin Credit Union Cycling Club, who'll be certainly up for it. He went in the M. Donnelly Junior Tour earlier in the month as one of the fancied candidates, but it was not to be.

This weekend, Gabriel Howard is promoting a two-day for 3rd Category competitors with a start on Wednesday evening in Balscadden at 6.30. The leisure event, Joe Loughman, promoted by Bray Wheelers CC, has been postponed until the 25th of September.

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