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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for November 6, 2003

Edited by John Stevenson & Jeff Jones

Lombardi angry at Saiz

Giovanni Lombardi
Photo: © Sirotti

Italian Giovanni Lombardi, who is one of the key men in the 'almost unveiled' Stayer cycling team, is angry at ONCE director Manolo Saiz's attitude towards their sponsor, which was at one stage linked with Manolo's new team until Liberty Seguros came on board. Lombardi was appointed by Stayer's manager Manuela Ronchi to handle things in Spain, and was disappointed when Saiz chose Liberty Seguros over Stayer.

"Manolo Saiz did not keep his word," Lombardi said to AS. "We offered him nearly everything he asked for. An office in Spain, a bigger salary than he was getting at ONCE and a stupendous budget in order to sign riders. The only thing that was denied was the make of bicycle, but apart from that we had an agreement, and he was the one who would handle the budget. Saiz was going to be the only directeur sportif in Stayer, not the team manager or the manager. Perhaps that's why he went to Liberty, to have complete power. What I don't understand is why he insisted on calling us like we were partners after what he did to us."

The Stayer team was meant to be officially presented today (Wednesday) with Joseba Beloki as the top man. However they may delay it until Saturday's Giro presentation in Milan.

Ullrich to start Munich Six

Jan Ullrich will fire the starting shot for the 40th edition of the Six Days of Munich, which gets under way on Thursday evening, November 6 at 20:00. Although he was asked to actually ride in the event, Ullrich declined but agreed to be present at the start to sign autographs and meet the fans. The organisers had also asked Erik Zabel to take part, but the Telekom sprinter is enjoying a well earned rest at the moment after a long season.

Despite the absence of these two top road stars, the Munich Six should still feature a strong field of experienced six day pairs. Last year's winners Scott McGrory and Matt Gilmore will head the list, along with this year's Dortmund winners Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart and Grenoble winner Alexander Aeschbach, who will be paired with runner up Jean-Pierre van Zyl. Other teams to watch include Germans Andreas Kappes/Andreas Beikirch, Danes Jimmi Madsen/Michael Sandstød and the Dutch pair Robert Slippens/Danny Stam.

The teams

Scott McGrory/Matt Gilmore (Aus/Bel)
Bruno Risi/Kurt Betschart (Swi)
Franco Marvulli/Marco Villa (Swi/Ita)
Andreas Kappes/Andreas Beikirch (Ger)
Andreas Müller/Guido Fulst (Ger)
Robert Slippens/Danny Stam (Ned)
Jimmi Madsen/Michael Sandstød (Den)
Robert Bartko/Marty Nothstein (Ger/USA)
Ronnie Laucke/Thorsten Rund (Ger)
Alexander Aeschbach/Jean-Pierre von Zyl (Swi/RSA)
Jan Bratkowski/Erik Weißpfennig (Ger)
Roland Garber/Franz Stocher (Aut)
Gerd Dörich/Stefan Löffler (Ger)
Bradley Wiggins/Robert Sassone (GBr/Fra)
Daniel Becke/Lars Teutenberg (Ger)

Special plans for Tour de Okinawa

By Miwako Sasaki, Japan Cycle Sports

The 15th Tour de Okinawa, the final Japanese road race of the season, will be a special edition this year. Held this weekend November 8-9 in Okinawa, in the south islands of Japan, the race will feature events such as a cycling tour for watching the race as well as an International Junior Race (120km) for the first time.

On Sunday, November 9 the 200 km Elite Men's race (UCI 1.5) will feature five national teams from Canada, Ireland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the USA as well as the French La Pomme Marseille team. Four Japanese division III teams will be there: Shimano Racing, Team Bridgestone Anchor, Team Nippon Hodo, and Team Orbea Exteondo, and seven Japanese local teams, Asian Independent Racing Team, Miyata Subaru Racing Team, CCD kinan - Bike system, Cebro - Lapista, Japan University, Ritsumeikan University, and a selection from Okinawa.

The favourites include Hong Kong's Kam Po Wong, a three time winner of the Tour de Okinawa (1995, 1998, 2000), Canadian Mark Walters, winner in 1999, American Mark McCormack , winner of the 1999 Tour of Japan and current USPRO Road Champion, and Ireland's David McCann. In addition, 19 year old Nicolas Roche, son of Stephen, will come as part of La Pomme Marseille Team. The best Japanese rider is Team Nippon Hodo's Satoshi Hirose, second in the event last year. There are also Team Bridgestone Anchor's Shinichi Fukushima, current Japanese Champion, Yasutaka Tashiro, 3rd in Okinawa last year, and Shimano Racing's Shinri Suzuki, who was recently crowned Asian Champion.

Health Net's 2004 roster

Component manufacturer Ritchey USA has announced that it will supply components to the beefed-up Health Net team for 2004, and in the process has listed the riders confirmed with the team for next year.

The team, formally known as the Health Net Cycling Team presented by Maxxis, combines riders from the 2003 Health Net squad with personnel from the 7-Up/Maxxis team, and members of the 2002 Mercury squad.

Riders confirmed to date are: David Clinger, Tyler Farrar, Walker Ferguson, Gord Fraser, Hayden Godfrey, Greg Henderson, Brice Jones, Michael Jones, John Lieswyn, Jason Lokkesmoe, Jason McCartney, Scott Moninger, Michael Sayers, Dan Schmatz, and Chris Wherry.

iteamNova calls it quits

iteamNova, the Australian-based, membership-supported cycling team, will not continue for 2004. Launched in late 2001 as a team supported by membership subscriptions, iteamNova combined with the Flanders team for 2003, but has been unable to raise enough funds to continue into next year.

While team manager Susan Stewart expressed disappointment, she recognized it is a sign of the economic times. "I still think the membership concept has merit as a viable funding source, however, we have not been able to make it work without a bigger structure behind us", Stewart said.

"Jayco has been a fantastic supporter this year and I want to take the opportunity to thank all of the members who really got behind us over the last two years."

The team is currently riding the Jayco Tour of Queensland, which will be the last race for the iteamNova squad.

South African banned for steroid use

South African cyclist Owen Hannie of the Microsoft team has been banned for six months following a positive test for the anabolic steroid, stanozolol.

Hannie underwent a voluntary test on September 27 before the Africa games. He claims the positive test resulted from him taking a product called Winstral in late February/early March after doctors refused to operate on a broken collarbone he sustained in Malaysia. "It was given to me by an old school friend who told me it would help me to recover from the break," he said.

Millar & Wiggins lead the Revolution

In a rare double appearance, Britain's two world champions, Bradley Wiggins and David Millar will be the star attractions at the inaugural Revolution track meeting in Manchester on November 29.

As individual pursuit world champion Wiggins is a track specialist, and will ride at Manchester straight after the Gent Six-Day. But Millar's forte and rainbow jersey is the road time trial, and he's a little nervous - and planning a three-week block of track practice to prepare.

"Having never ridden the track properly I am a bit worried," says Millar. "I don't want to kill anyone, or myself for the matter. Hopefully by Revolution I will know a bit more about what I am meant to be doing. I'm looking forward to being there though, particularly with Brad and me both being world champions. It's the first time we will have been at an event together so its kind of cool that its in the UK."

Other top UK riders scheduled to race include Millar's team mate Rob Hayles, making his last appearance in Cofidis colours, Chris Newton, Bryan Steel and Paul Manning.

Doors open 6.30pm; racing starts at 7.00. Tickets are available online at or by calling 44 (0) 7005 942 627, prices: £6 Adults, £3 Children OAP's, £12 Family.

US women's transfers

Lynn Gaggioli, who rode for the Velo Bella team in 2003, has signed for the T-Mobile-sponsored US women's national team for 2004.

According to a reliable source, Helen Kelly will move from the TDS team to Rona-Esker for 2004. The full announcement of the 2004 Rona team is expected later this month.

Auctions: Rayner Fund dinner & Millar skinsuit

The UK's Dave Rayner fund is auctioning a pair of tickets at the top table for its 2004 fund-raising dinner. Founded to commemorate British pro cyclist Dave Rayner, who died in unfortunate circumstances in 1994, the Dave Rayner Fund provides assistance to up and coming road racing cyclists based in Europe. The guest of honour at the Fund's annual dinner is usually a top current or former professional cyclist - this year it's five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain.

The pair of tickets being auctioned will entitle the buyer to sit at the table of next year's guest of honour, as yet unannounced, and of course the money raised goes to the Fund.

John Smelt of Team Velo Ecosse, who recently rode from Edinburgh to Rome for the charity MS Scotland, is inviting bids for a Cofidis skinsuit signed by World time trial champion David Millar.

Smelt, who covered the 1800 mile route in 22 days, has registered the item on Proceeds will be added to his fund raising total which now stands at over £40,000.

Another double weekend for MACC series

With a UCI-classified event on Saturday at the Saturn Classic in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania and the fifth Rockville Bridge 'Cross Classic on Sunday, this weekend sees another big pair of cross races in the Mid-Atlantic Cyclo-Cross Championship Series. The two venues are just twenty minutes apart, so organisers say they are expecting a big turnout and "an action-packed weekend of top caliber 'cross."

Both courses are spectator-friendly with the majority of each course visible from several prime viewing spots. The Saturn Cross course includes plenty of off-camber areas, a sandpit and an always-interesting mulch pit while the Rockville course offers hard-packed, smooth fast areas, a paved road climb, the "RedBull Wall" run-up and its fair share of off-camber areas.

Rockville Bridge, sponsored this year by the Harrisburg City Islanders soccer team (a new Division III team), is continuing its tradition of adding "something extra" each year. This year four person teams will compete in a team relay with the winning team taking home $400.00.

With coveted UCI points on the line, several top riders are already confirmed for the weekend. Heading up the list of names are two guaranteed to stir-up the Elite Men's field; Todd Wells (Mongoose/Hyundai) and Ryan Trebon (Kona). Wells and Trebon, both with multiple wins already this season, have been duking it out with each other week after week. Wells and Trebon split the first MAC double-header, each taking a win. Last week in New England, they did the same with Trebon taking Worcester and Wells taking the win at Gloucester. Jeremy Powers (NCC/, who also has several wins under his belt this year, is expected to be in the mix. The 7Up/Maxxis team of Ben Turner and Brandon Dwight is confirmed for the trip to Pennsylvania and series leader and photographers' favourite, Ryan Leech (Fort/GPOA) will be on the line both days.

In the Women's field, Christine Vardaros (Velo Bella/SallySpicer) is expected to be on the start line along with past masters national champion Katrina Davis and past junior,U23 and collegiate national champion Alicia Genest of the Richard Sachs team. Vardaros scored two third place finishes on her last trip to the MAC series and will be looking to upgrade to first place this weekend. Anna Milkowski and Marianne Stover of Gearworks/Spin Arts are both making the trip from New England. Stover won round one of the MAC series back in early October and both riders are coming off strong finishes in last weekend's tough Gloucester/Worcester double. Team Saturn will be represented at the start line by Sarah Uhl and Megan Elliot and current MAC series leader Betsy Schauer (Fort/GPOA) will be looking to extend her series lead.

Racing gets underway on Saturday at 10am and Sunday at 9:30am. For race details or additional series details, please go to
For race registration, go to

Three-race crit series for Auckland

Criterium racing comes to Auckland, New Zealand next month with a three-race series of crits run by ORCA.

The series kicks off Saturday December 6 in Botany Town Centre with the Tour of Botany. Organiser Peter Ulmer describes the series opener as "a flat, fast and furious stampede around NZ’s biggest shopping centre. Riders on this Tour will get a taste of Europe, with a succession of cobbles and a finish straight through the Town Square." Racing goes from 6pm to 8.30pm.

Next up is Bikes at the Beach, Saturday December 13, Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna. Ulmer says this is "a fantastic setting for a thrilling bike race. Riders will start their journey speeding past North Shore’s busiest nightlife. The race then plunges towards Takapuna Beach for some fresh sea-breeze before returning to the bright lights and vibrant sounds of Hurstmere Rd." Again, racing runs from 6pm to 8.30pm

The series finale is Battle Off Broadway, Sunday December 21, Davis Crescent, Newmarket. This one is "ot for the fainthearted," says Ulmer. "In true downtown America bike racing style, this course is full of tight turns. Ride from the front or wave your chances goodbye. The winner of this Battle will be the true criterium king." And he'll also have to take it easy Saturday night as this one starts at 8.30am and racing ends 11am.

Velo Europa wants to get riders on Cyfac

Velo Europa Imports, the North American distributor of Cyfac professional frames, is looking for talented riders and teams to join their 2004 Equipe Sponsorship Program. With more than 30 years of experience building frames for Bernard Hinault, Laurent Fignon, and most-recently David Millar, Cyfac is looking to expand its presence among North American racers. This grassroots program equips Cyfac-sponsored riders with frames and/or bikes at a great price and eases the burden of equipment costs. Qualified candidates should have athletic achievement mixed with an approachable nature and ability to act as a positive cycling ambassador to the general community. Please contact for more details.

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