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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition News for July 29, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones & Chris Henry

UCI rankings post-Tour

Paolo Bettini
Photo: © C.Henry/CN

The UCI has issued its latest set of rankings following the Tour de France, one of the biggest points scoring events of the season, along with the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta España. Surprisingly, despite winning his fifth Tour in a row and holding the yellow jersey for 12 stages, Lance Armstrong actually slipped down the rankings from fifth to eighth place with 1679 points. The rankings are calculated over the past 365 days, and because Armstrong only won one stage in the 2003 Tour, he lost some points relative to last year.

The number one ranked rider is still Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step), who took over that position from Erik Zabel just before the Tour following his win in the Italian championships. Bettini has a 109 point advantage over Gilberto Simoni (Saeco), winner of the Giro d'Italia as well as a stage in the Tour. If just points earned in 2003 are taken into account, Simoni is the top ranked rider this year.

Erik Zabel has slipped down to third place, just ahead of Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), who had a fairly anonymous Tour. But Iban Mayo (Euskaltel), Alexandre Vinokourov (Telekom) and Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) have all moved up to 5th, 6th and 7th respectively, after having good rides in the Tour. Tyler Hamilton (CSC) also climbed into the top 10, after his stage win and fourth place overall.

Other riders to benefit from the Tour de France include Baden Cooke (25th to 16th), Jan Ullrich (159th to 26th), Christophe Moreau (59th to 31st), Haimar Zubeldia (102nd to 32nd), Richard Virenque (61st to 43rd), Georg Totschnig (123rd to 75th), Daniele Nardello (122nd to 81st), Manuel Beltran (132nd to 85th) and Romans Vainsteins (131st to 89th).

In the teams rankings, Fassa Bortolo and Saeco kept their top two positions, while Euskaltel shot up from 16th to 6th and US Postal-Berry Floor moved up from 21st to 9th.

Rankings as of July 27, 2003

Elite men
1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon                 2,191.75 pts
2 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco                         2,082.00
3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom                            1,941.75
4 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                       1,887.00
5 Iban Mayo Diez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                   1,724.00
6 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom                  1,701.00
7 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                  1,682.00
8 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 1,679.00
9 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                          1,541.00
10 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC                           1,474.20
11 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Lotto-Domo                          1,364.00
12 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Lampre                       1,286.00
13 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Team Saeco                         1,270.00
14 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo              1,171.00
15 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal presented by Berry Floor  1,153.25
16 Baden Cooke (Aus)                            1,113.00
17 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Domina Vacanze-Elitron            1,103.20
18 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa)              1,059.00
19 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                     1,057.50
20 Laurent Brochard (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance                  1,048.40
Top riders of 2003
1 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco                         1,715.00 pts
2 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom                  1,613.00
3 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 1,507.00
4 Iban Mayo Diez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                   1,414.00
5 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC                            1,358.20
6 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                  1,235.00
7 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon                 1,084.75
8 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom                            1,048.75
9 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-SO.DI                957.00
10 Jan Ullrich (Ger) Team Bianchi                            940.00
Division I
1 Fassa Bortolo                                            6,013.75 pts
2 Team Saeco                                               5,717.00
3 Team Telekom                                             5,674.50
4 Quick.Step-Davitamon                                     5,501.75
5 Team CSC                                                 4,199.60
6 Euskaltel-Euskadi                                        3,940.00
7 Gerolsteiner                                             3,890.00
8 Rabobank                                                 3,856.75
9 US Postal presented by Berry Floor                       3,808.75
10                                            3,808.00
Division II
1 Bankgiroloterij Cycling Team                             1,795.00 pts
2 Paternina-Costa de Almeria                               1,634.00
3 De Nardi-Colpack                                         1,474.00
4 Colchon Relax-Fuenlabrada                                1,320.00
5 Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo                                 1,251.00

Full rankings: Individuals, Teams, Nations

Ullrich, Cipollini to the Vuelta?

Jan Ullrich
Photo: © Olympia

Although world champion Mario Cipollini's participation is not absolutely certain, his Domina Vacanze-Elitron team has received an invitation to race by the organisers of the Vuelta a España. Last year Cipollini used the Vuelta to hone his form prior to the world championships in Zolder, Belgium. However, this year's parcours in Hamilton, Canada will clearly not suit the sprinting talents of Cipollini, and his racing program for the remainder of the year has yet to be revealed.

Jan Ullrich, on the other hand, is likely to use the Vuelta for the same purpose, to prepare for the world championships. Prior to his dramatic return to the fore in the Tour de France, Ullrich had hinted that this year's Tour would serve as preparation for a Vuelta bid in September, and eventually a challenge to Lance Armstrong in France in 2004. After his second place in the Tour, the Vuelta may take on a different focus, however Ullrich- winner of the Vuelta in 1999- has typically been capable of maintaining his fitness through the end of the season, and this year's parcours in Hamilton could provide the German with the opportunity to take the road world championship title.

Ullrich and Bianchi directeur sportif Rudy Pevenage are expected to determine a plan for the remainder of the season in the coming weeks. Ullrich is expected to hit the World Cup circuit at the HEW Cyclassics in Hamburg this weekend, as well as the GP Zurich on August 17.

Millar extends, Mattan may stay at Cofidis

David Millar
Photo: © Sirotti

David Millar, winner of the final time trial in this year's Tour de France, has extended his contract with Cofidis through 2005. Millar has on several occasions expressed his discontent with the team and its management, but ultimately decided to stay loyal, although not without some changes.

Cofidis has typically paid its riders on an incentive basis, based on UCI ranking, a system which has prompted criticism about the lack of team unity in races. Millar will no longer be paid on this basis, and he has also requested certain changes in the team's management. In addition, he will have a role in the recruitment of young riders for the team, including a recent effort to recruit an unnamed rider from US Postal Service.

"I had mentioned the possibility of leaving [Cofidis] but I never really discussed this with any other teams," Millar explained. "I would like to see us become a real team, and for people to talk about us not for our individuality, but for our solidarity, our tactics, and our manner of racing."

Millar's teammate Nico Mattan has not decided yet if he wants to be road captain in the new second division team of Patrick Lefevere. A new contract with Cofidis is still possible.

"I hope to speak to Patrick Lefevere some more about it this week," said Mattan today. "We already talked about it briefly, but nothing was decided. The proposition does interest me; I'm 32 and need to think carefully about my future. I'd rather get a contract for two seasons with him than a year with Fassa."

"But, it is true that I don't need to leave Cofidis! Now that Francis Van Londersele has taken over from Alain Bondue, the cards have been reshuffled. I have to think about all the possibilities and make a decision afterwards."

Chris Peers wants to leave Cofidis, but has no offers yet.

Telekom becomes T-Mobile and extends until 2006

As reported yesterday, Team Telekom will change its name to Team T-Mobile in 2004, to reflect the primary source of sponsorship for the German team. Telekom also announced that it would be extending its contract with the team until 2006, and Walter Godefroot will continue on as team manager until that time. For 2004 they have signed Sergei Ivanov (Fassa Bortolo) and Tomas Konecny (eD'system) as new riders.

Vinokourov keeps on going

No rest for Alexandre Vinokourov (Telekom). The third place finisher in the Tour de France made a post-Tour criterium appearance Monday in Boxmeer, Netherlands and will jump back into serious competition at the Grand Prix Breitling, a two-man time trial in Karlsruhe, Germany, which he will contest with Bobby Julich. Sunday Vinokourov will return to World Cup competition at the Clasica San Sebastian (August 9) and GP Zurich (August 17).

Jean Delatour continues to crumble

Two more riders have left the sinking Jean Delatour ship. Samuel Dumoulin and Yuriy Krivtsov have each signed a contract with Vincent Lavenu's Ag2R-Prévoyance squad. Both riders are young talents (Dumoulin is 23, Krivtsov is 24), and each has tasted victory in notable races this year. Dumoulin won the Tro Bro Leon Coupe de France race, while Krivtsov won stages in both the Circuit de la Sarthe and Tour de Romandie.

10.5 million TV viewers in the Netherlands

More than 10.5 million people in the Netherlands saw 5 minutes or more of the Tour de France in 2003, according to public broadcasting polls conducted by Kijk-en LuisterOnderzoek (KLO).

The live stage reports had a total of 8.1 million viewers. The last stage which finished in Paris, had the most viewers, averaging 1.4 million viewers. The fifth stage had only 399,000 viewers. The NOS Tourjournaal, which screened every night at around 11 pm with anchor man Mart Smeets, had an average of 850,000 viewers, a considerable increase from last year's 596,000.

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