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Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News for November 3, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Ullrich back in training

Jan Ullrich has recommenced cycling training after a short break at the end of the season. The Swiss-based German has been riding near his home in Scherzingen in the company of his current and future teammates Tobias Steinhauser, André Korff and Andreas Klöden. "First of all I will train around the area of Lake Constance," said Ullrich on Telekom's website. "I want to slowly build the momentum there. At the beginning we will ride about 100 kilometres or so a day, in addition to some gymnastics and some work in the weight room."

Ullrich has never started his pre-season training this early, and he will continue in December in a warmer climate. Next year he also plans on doing some more racing in spring. "I want to contest a few of the spring classics to get the necessary hard racing kilometres," he said."

In 2004, Ullrich will aim for the Tour de France and the Olympic Games in Athens, where he will be defending his road race title and hopes to improve on his time trial silver medal. Andreas Klöden, who finished third in the 2000 Olympic Road Race, also hopes to have a better season in 2004 after several years in the wilderness. "I'm a rider who prefers to train with a group," said Klöden, who recently moved to Switzerland. "Since Jan, Tobias and also Matze Kessler all live in the neighbourhood, a change of place offered itself."

Matthias Kessler, who only finished his racing season two weeks ago, will join the quartet in December after having a holiday in the Maldives with his partner Tina. Team T-Mobile will present its full squad on November 24 in Cologne.

Italian cycling going strong

Despite fears that sponsors would leave cycling in Italy due to the doping problems in the sport, it seems that Italian cycling is still going strong. ANSA news agency reports that in 2003, professional cycling in Italy was worth €48 million: €30 million from team sponsorship, €10 million from TV rights, and €8 million from race sponsorship. Italy has 11 professional teams, employing 219 riders and 160 directors, mechanics, masseurs and technical staff. There are 30 organisers for 84 race days, including the 21 days of the Giro d'Italia.

Olano in the picture for Stayer

Spanish cyclist Joseba Beloki's potential team next season, Stayer, could see ex-ONCE rider Abraham Olano as a directeur sportif if the project comes off. Beloki himself has requested Olano's presence in the team, and the latter has agreed. However much depends on whether the team, which will be registered in The Netherlands and count on Mercatone Uno as a co-sponsor, is able to pay its bank guarantee in time.

Saunier Duval nearly complete

The new Spanish team Saunier Duval has already contracted 16 riders for next season, and will probably round out its roster with a couple more riders. The team, directed by Fernández Matxin, is aiming to compete at the top level alongside established squads Kelme, Euskaltel, Liberty Seguros (ONCE) and Illes Baleares (iBanesto).

"We know our limits but we aspire to be at the top level," Matxin was quoted by AS as saying. "I think that this year there will be more equality in Spain, because with the reductions of ONCE and Banesto there will be no more super teams."

The team includes riders like David Cañada, Juan Carlos Domínguez, Miguel Martín Perdiguero, Fabian Jeker and Leonardo Piepoli, and Matxin says that there will be no specific leader. "But this is compensated by the fact that everyone will have opportunities," he said.

The team so far

Spanish riders: David Cañada (Quick Step), Rafael Casero (Paternina), David de la Fuente (Caldirola), Juan Carlos Domínguez (Phonak), Juan Gomis (LA Pecol), Rubén Lobato and Martín Perdiguero (Domina Vacanze).

Foreign riders: Javier González (Col, Orbitel), Leonardo Piepoli (Ita, iBanesto), Rubens Bertogliati (Swi, Lampre), Fabian Jeker (Swi, Milaneza), Alberto Loddo (Ita, Lampre) and Massimo Strazzer (Ita, Phonak).

Neo-professionals: Juanjo Cobo and Francisco Ventoso (Saunier Duval) and Oliver Zaugg (Swi, Zalf).

Horrach to Illes Baleares

Spanish rider Joan Horrach (Milaneza-MSS) will ride for the new Illes Baleares-Banesto squad in 2004. After a long period of negotiation, Horrach has at last arrived at an agreement with team manager Jose Miguel Echavarri.

Trent Wilson to Colombia-Selle Italia

Cyclingnews diarist Trent Wilson has signed for the Colombia-Selle Italia team for next season. The 24 year old who has ridden with Flanders-iTeamnova for the past two seasons said that he was "Happy to go back to Italy where it all started for me four years ago as an amateur. I think it's the best move for my career, as when I'm in form hills are my forte, and as you know there are plenty of them in Italy."

Wilson's current team,, has yet to announce its plans for next season.

Cycling to feature in Festival of Sevilla

Cycling will feature heavily on the program of the 3rd Festival of Cinema and Sports in Sevilla, Spain this coming weekend. 27 cycling related movies will be screened out of a total of 136 films, including 100 years of the Tour, various documentaries, and a homage to Danish film maker Jorgen Leth, who directed A Sunday in Hell and Stars and Water Carriers, among other movies.

The Festival of Sevilla will also feature the Japanese movie Nasu: A Summer in Andalusia, an animated film by Kitaro Kosaka set in the Vuelta a España, French animated movie Les Triplettes De Belleville, Franco-Belgian comedy Le Vélo de Ghislain Lambert, and Ridley Scott's first film, Boy on a Bicycle.

Bike Across Florida 2004

The second edition of Bike Across Florida, a 167 mile road race, will be held on April 18, 2004 and start in the ocean resort town of Cocoa Beach. The course will wind through the outskirts of Orlando and finish in downtown Crystal River. The event, dubbed BAF 2004, will commence with an official-send off from Mr. Beeles, the mayor of Cocoa Beach, marching bands military colour guard, high school cheerleaders and a motorcycle escort.

Last year's male winner Bill Blancher and female winner Lisa Blixt will be defending their yellow jersey. It will be the first time that the BAF will end in downtown Crystal River where the mayor, supported by the homecoming queen, will be presenting the winner's trophy.

Sakonnet Technology expands

U.S. Northeast based Elite team CRCA/Sakonnet Technology is expanding for 2004, with the target of having a national program. In its first season, the team won the Massachusetts classic, the Palmer Road Race and the New York State Road Race Championship among other races.

Returning to the Elite Team for 2004 are all-rounder Kevin Molloy, sprinter Karl Rahn and support men John Loehner, Basil Moutsopoulos, Chris Romero and Bob Weyman. New to the Elite squad are Steve Badger (CRCA/Remax), Carlos Rogers (Bicycle Therapy) and Chris Rozdilsky (CRCA/Remax).

With assistance from the CRCA's Collegiate Development Program, the team will host an U23 squad in 2004. Four riders will come from collegiate powerhouse Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO: Gregg Abrahamson, Andy Guptill, Chris Kuhl and Lee Rosenthal. From down south, the team has signed Robert Gianni (Emory University) and from New York City comes local up and comer Luis Perez (Staten Island University).

Sakonnet Technology continues as the team's title sponsor, with Larry & Jeff's Bicycles Plus, Olbas Remedies and Ivory Dental as supporting sponsors. The team will again be riding FUJI bicycles and be supplied by Gita Sports with Gomaitalia tires and Giordana clothing.

The team's program for next season begins on the west coast with the Pomona Valley Stage Race, the Tour of Tucson and the Tour of Gila. On the east coast the focus continues to be on the high profile New England and Mid-Atlantic events like the Palmer/Monson weekend and the Blue Bell Grand Prix. In late summer Espoir Nationals and the NYC Cycling Championships become the squad's main focus. The team will round out its season with the Univest Grand Prix and the G.S Mengoni Grand Prix.

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