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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition News for June 12, 2003

Edited by John Stevenson

Lampre "saddened" by Rumsas

Raimondas Rumsas in the Giro
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

Following Raimondas Rumsas' suspension from the Lampre team yesterday after a non-negative drug test at the Giro d'Italia, Lampre has issued a statement about the troubled Lithuanian rider.

"The team management is saddened by the news especially after putting their faith in Rumsas after the events related to the 2002 Tour de France," Lampre said.

"We had decided to put our faith in Rumsas in the hope that he could prove his honesty and professionalism."

Team manager Giuseppe "Beppe" Saronni has been less diplomatic in comments to the press reported by Italian news agency ANSA. "We feel betrayed in the trust we had in him. He is suspended for now, but if the second sample confirms the findings, he will no longer be riding for us," said Saronni.

"We feel very bitter, not only me, but think about the feelings of the other officials, masseurs, doctors and all those who tried to put last year's controversy behind them."

The team statement said the UCI has not disclosed the details of the drug found by the test, but it has been widely reported to be EPO.

A positive B test would result in Rumsas's sixth place in this year's Giro d'Italia being annulled.

Fraser "excited"

In the wake of the resolution of his legal action against race promoter Threshold Sports, Health Net rider Gordon Fraser spoke briefly to Cyclingnews yesterday.

Fraser, who had been traveling home after the hearing in New York on Tuesday, said, "I just got to my parents house here in Ottawa. I can concur with Mr. Chauner that everything has been resolved to everyone's satisfaction. I can't really add anything to that at this point. I'm very excited to finish the remainder of the season."

Colorado Springs hosts World's and Pan-Am qualifier

Top US track cyclists will be in Colorado Springs this weekend to compete for spots on the World and Pan-American Championships teams. Three days of racing at the 7-Eleven Velodrome will also include National Championship events for paralympic athletes.

Cyclingnews diarist and T-Mobile rider Tanya Lindenmuth will be among the racers battling for a national team place in the women's 500 meter time trial, match spring, and keirin events.

"My goal is to race like I know how to race, by riding smart and just doing everything right," commented Lindenmuth. "I'm really excited for the level of competition this weekend. It brings us altogether on the same playing field. I've got my eye on the American record in the 200 meters and 500 meters too."

Mike Tillman, the 2002 national champion in the 4000m pursuit, has had a busy season on the road this year with Schroeder Iron and is now looking for track glory, "I'll ride a handful of events this weekend," said Tillman. "I'd like to win the pursuit and the Madison - and, of course, I'd like to go to Pan Ams."

Speed skater and 500m time trial specialist Chris Witty returns to the boards this weekend after signing for T-Mobile recently. "I'm excited to be here," said Whitty. "I'm looking to clock solid times this weekend but I'm not putting too much pressure on myself. Right now I'm getting re-introduced to the bike and training."

Racing starts at 10am on Friday June 13. Admission to Friday and Saturday morning sessions is free, while entry to the Friday and Saturday evening sessions (7.00pm start) and Sunday's noon finals costs just $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for children and seniors.

Superweek schedule

Organisers of July's International Cycling Classic, usually known as Superweek, have announced this year's schedule for the Eastern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois race series that now includes over two weeks of racing from July 11 to 27.

New for 2003 are the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic in Chicago and a five-day race series for Juniors. The junior series will include the final three races in the USAC Junior National Road Race Selection Series that will select the U.S. Junior team for the 2003 World Road Cycling Championships.

Superweek also includes 16 days of racing for Category 3, 4 and 5 riders, and nine-day series for masters and women.

Superweek 2003 schedule

July 11: Beverly Hills Cycling Classic, Chicago, IL
July 12: Otto Grunski Menasha Classic Criterium, Menasha, WI
July 13: First National Bank Maritime Bay Bicycle Classic, Manitowoc, WI
July 14: Tour Alpine Valley Road Race, East Troy, WI
July 15: MGA Proving Grounds Road Race, Burlington/Town of Lyons, WI
July 16: Whitnall Park Road Race Hales, Corners, WI
July 17: Humboldt Park Criterium, Milwaukee, WI
July 18: Schlitz Park Cycling Challenge, Milwaukee, WI
July 19: Carl Zach Cycling Classic, Waukesha, WI
July 20: Bensenville Criterium, Bensenville, IL
July 21: Tour of Holy Hill Road Race, Hartford, WI
July 22: Lake Front Long Course Road Race, Milwaukee, WI
July 23: Title Town Challenge Criterium, Green Bay, WI
July 24: Heritage Square Classic Criterium, Sheboygan, WI
July 25: Bank One Food Folks & Spokes, Kenosha, WI
July 26: Great Downer Avenue Bike Race, Milwaukee, WI
July 27: Bodyworks by Concours Whitefish Bay Classic, Whitefish Bay, WI

Exel/Implates Team Cycles looks to SA champ's to promote black cycling

Since the end of apartheid and the sporting isolation that went with it, South Africa's cyclists have begun to emerge on the world scene, notably riders such as Robert Hunter and track specialist Jean Pierre van Zyl. However, non-white athletes have been under-represented in cycling even though over 85 percent of South Africa's population identifies as black, coloured or Indian/Asian. The mission of the Exel/Implates Team Cycles squad is to help redress the balance by assisting riders from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

Exel/Implates Team Cycles made its debut in Durban in April, where the team raced against top South African teams such as Microsoft, HSBC and Minolta and this weekend will line up again for the SA Cycling Federation's SA Championships take place in Welkom from June 12-15.

The team is led by promising black cyclist Jankie Ditshego and includes Michael Tladi, Elias Tsotetsi - the baby of the team at only 20 years of age, Shane King and former Latin American dancer Greg Khumbane. Ditshego, Tladi and King will race the 230km senior road race, while Khumbane and Tsotetsi ride the Under 23 event.

Eugene Ruiters, pioneer of the initiative and chairman of the Exel/Implats Academy, says that the availability of role models is the critical factor that he believes will kick start black participation. "Jomo Sono is hailed as an icon in the soccer circles, because he headed up the transformation process, and by him being Chairman of Exel, we are certain that cycling will follow his lead and transform into a sport in which everyone is given the opportunity to excel."

"Hopefully this initiative will create some black champions in the short term and open the floodgates to broad based participation," he added.

Ruiters says that the team is not looking for first place glory at the SA Road Champs this year, but is hoping that the riders will be able to gain experience by racing with SA's best, and be seen as role models for the country's future cycling talent.

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)