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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition News for June 24, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Quick.Step-Davitamon for the Tour

Michael Rogers
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

The Belgian Quick.Step-Davitamon team has confirmed its line up for the Tour de France. Led by top one day rider Paolo Bettini, the team also features climber Richard Virenque, time trialists Laszlo Bodrogi, Servais Knaven, all rounder Michael Rogers (currently leading the Route du Sud), David Cañada, Luca Paolini, Kurt Van de Wouwer and Piotr Wadecki. The team's reserve riders will be Davide Bramati and Andrey Kashechkin, and the directors will be Serge Parsani and Wilfried Peeters.

For Michael Rogers, it will be his first Tour de France, and the 23 year old Australian who has already won two national tours this year is looking forward to it. "I really wanna see what I'm capable of doing in the prologue," he told Cyclingnews in an interview. If I have a good day, the yellow jersey might not be out of reach."

"My goal since I was seven years old was the Tour de France," he added. "If I can mould myself to be competitive in medium-ranked stage races, then slowly - very slowly - I may be able to develop into someone who can do a good result in a 21 day tour."

Mancebo to lead

Francisco Mancebo will head the Spanish team for the Tour de France, hoping to improve on his seventh place finish from last year. The remaining team is a Spanish/Russian mix, with climbers Juan Miguel Mercado and Denis Menchov alongside all rounder Juan Antonio Flecha, strong man Jose Vicente Garcia Acosta, Pablo Lastras, Xavier Zandio, Vladimir Karpets and time trialist Evgeni Petrov.

Aerts hopes to have done enough

Mario Aerts (Telekom) finished 18th in the Volta a Catalunya, 9'46 behind winner Jose Antonio Pecharroman. The Belgian hopes that it was enough for selection in Telekom's Tour de France team, which will be built around Alexandre Vinokourov, Paolo Savoldelli, Santiago Botero and Erik Zabel.

"I'll be in now, surely?" he asked himself in Het Laatste Nieuws. "I'm close to my top form. Ideal to go to the Tour...I must still grow in condition and who knows, in the last week...?"

Fignon comes back to the Tour

42 year old French ex-pro and two time Tour de France winner Laurent Fignon will be at the Centenary Tour this year, working for French Eurosport. Fignon will co-commentate with Patrick Chassé during the live broadcasts, and offer his insights into the race that he came within eight seconds of winning a third time. In the evenings, there will be a "Fignon Special", which will feature Fignon talking about the day's stage and looking to the next one.

Pantani wants to ride Vuelta

Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno), who has been admitted to a clinic in Padua specialising in the treatment of depression, wishes to ride the Vuelta España this September. He was quoted in the Italian press as saying "I'm here [in the clinic] because the [anti-doping] inspectors are on my back, but I will soon start riding again. I want to participate in the Vuelta, and do not want to miss it."

Pantani is still involved in a court case in relation to his high hematocrit in the Giro in 1999, and is meant to appear in court in Tione, near Trento on September 19. He has already served a six month suspension for this however.

Van der Kooij comes back

Dutch rider Vincent van der Kooij (BankGiroLoterij) will make his return to racing in this Sunday's Dutch Championships in Rotterdam. He hopes to do at least 150 kilometres in the race, following seven weeks out of competition due to a broken elbow. When he crashed during training on May 10, Van der Kooij was afraid that he would not be able to ride again due to nerve damage, which restricted the movement in his left hand. Now he is able to use the hand, although it is not yet fully healed. He has mounted extra brakes on the tops of the bars for additional security.

Fassa Bortolo possible for Mattan

Belgian rider Nico Mattan wants to leave Cofidis for Fassa Bortolo, but only if he can take another Belgian rider with him. "I don't want find myself on an island," he told Het Laatste Nieuws.

McCauley moves to Schroeder Iron

Gordon McCauley
Photo: © Schroeder Iron
Click for larger image

Itinerant Kiwi Gordon McCauley has signed another pro contract, this time with US Division III team Schroeder Iron. The reigning New Zealand road and time trial champion got off to a good start with a victory in the Clif Bar Criterium in Dominguez Hills, CA, beating Peter Armitage (KB Home) and Harm Jansen (RPM) in a three man sprint.

"I'm fizzing to be back with the pros," said McCauley. "It's a great new challenge, riding on the American circuit. I was starting to crack with the same old routine in Belgium. It's a different style of riding here, and I'm really motivated to get out there and get amongst it!"

McCauley rode for RDM-Flanders last year, but did not renew his contract when he went back home to New Zealand for summer. Initially he planned to stay in New Zealand this year to concentrate on a new career as a sales rep for a cycling accessories importer. However, realising that he would likely have to race for a pro team in order to ride the Athens Olympics, McCauley signed for the Giant Asia Racing Team in late February. That contract lasted less than a month, and McCauley quit due to "uncomfortable arrangements". He then headed back to Belgium where he rode for an amateur team, winning a couple of kermesses during his stint there.

Meza hopes to be in action soon

Schroeder Iron's sprinter, Mexican Miguel Meza, has been unable to race in America lately due to immigration problems. However the team expects that he will be released from Mexico and in the saddle again soon. "Needless to say, with the state of Immigration in the US, it is much harder to get work permits and visas now than it was before 9/11," said team boss Frank Schroeder. "Next year will be even tougher, and we may see a change in domestic cycling because of these changes."

Red Robin Fastest Man on Wheels

The Lehigh Valley Velodrome will host the Red Robin Fastest Man on Wheels featuring the B104 5 & 10 Mile Dash for Cash on Friday, June 27. The Men's 10 Mile Final will hold the first ever points counting towards the Men's National Racing Calendar (NRC), typically a road only professional series.

The featured events for the evening, the B104 Men's 10-mile and Women's 5-Mile Dash for Cash, are to offer the largest prize purse in USA Track Cycling for 2003. The men will compete in 5-Mile Heats to qualify for their 10-Mile Final worth $5,000 cash. The women will compete in a 1-Mile race, and finish the night with their 5-Mile Final worth $2,000. Also on hand for the evening will be a tribute to Velodrome patron Aldo Broccari with Junior races held in his honour.

Many top athletes are expected to compete in the Red Robin Fastest Man on Wheels, including Marty Nothstein, Jame Carney, and Jeff Hopkins on the men's side, and Sarah Uhl, Becky Conzelman, and Ashley Kimmet on the women's.

The Velodrome entrance plaza will include a number of activities including an opportunity for children to meet Santa Claus [ed: in June?], balloon rides courtesy of the Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning and music by Todd Wolfe.

Symmetrics Cycling to sponsor Tour de l'Abitibi team

Symmetrics Cycling will sponsor the BC Junior Team for the Tour de l'Abitibi, an eight stage race that takes place in Val-d'Or, Quebec between July 22-27. Tour de l'Abitibi is the most prestigious Junior Men's (17-18 yrs old) race in North America, and attracts teams from Holland, South Africa, France, Mexico, and Japan.

The team is as follows:

Marsh Cooper: National Team member, 2002 National Criterium Champion, Silver medal in 2002 National Road Race, 5th Stage 4 L'Abitibi 2002, winner of more than 10 races in 2002.

Shaun Crump: Team BC member Tour de L'Abitibi 2002, 3rd Nooksack Road Race (Cat 3) 2003, 5th Enumclaw Road Race (Cat 3) 2003.

J.P. Dunlop: Third Place (Cadet) B.C Provincial Road Race Championships, B.C. Provincial Track Champion (various 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes), B.C. Provincial Criterium Champion (3rd place junior men), Bastion Square Criterium (top junior/cadet in Cat 4).

Brad Fairall: Winner Enumclaw Road Race and Overall Cat 3, 2003. In 2002 Brad won the BC Junior Provincial Championships in both the Criterium and Time Trial.

Trevor Mahon: Top ten Junior, 2003 Sea Otter Classic, 1st 2003 BC High School Mountain Bike Championships, 3rd Overall 2002 BC Cup Mountain Bike Championships, 4th (U-17) 2002 National Championships.

Max Plaxton: World Jr. 2002 Mountain Bike Championship medallist in XC, World Relay Champion 2002, Sea Otter Jr XC winner 2003, Canada Cup #1 Jr. XC winner 2003.

The Symmetrics Team BC will be led by Jeremy Storie, with mechanic Bill MacPherson accompanying them.

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