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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for November 11, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Together again: Super sprinter Quaranta reunited with Giuliani

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

Quaranta with Giuliani
Photo ©: CN

Italian sprinter Ivan Quaranta will join his old team director Stefano Giuliani next season in the Division II Formaggio Pinzolo Fiavè cycling team, where he hopes to regain the form that saw him win several stages of the Giro d'Italia in the past.

In 1999, Ivan Quaranta burst onto the world cycling scene with a bang, winning Stage 1 of the Giro d'Italia in Modica, Sicily and grabbing the Maglia Rosa from Mario Cipollini with an incredible sprint while riding for the tiny Mobilvetta-Northwave team. Considered one of the most exciting sprinters in the peloton with an incredible rush in the last 50 meters, Quaranta ended up winning two stages during that Giro and his ding-dong duel with Cipo enlivened the Italian grand tour in '99. The Mario/Ivan duel continued in 2000 and 2001, with Cipo getting the better of Quaranta (Mario: 9 wins/Ivan: 6 wins).

In 2002, Quaranta started the Giro in sub-standard shape due to an injury and never figured in the stage finals, while this year his form was again questionable and Saeco left him home to beef up the support for Gibo Simoni. But Quaranta is still smarting from his exclusion from the Giro and Tour last year while on Saeco. "That will be a big motivation for me to get back to the place I deserve (among sprinters)," he says.

"Last year, I had to watch the Giro sprints from my couch and it wasn't easy to watch when I knew that I was at the same level (as Petacchi and Cipollini). Now I've changed teams (Formaggio Pinzolo Fiavè) and I'm back with (team manager Stefano) Giuliani. We've agreed on our objectives and my program and I've already seen that there are stages in the 2004 Giro for me."

If Ivan can get in top form, he will make an interesting contrast to Cipo and Petacchi, both of whom are "progessione" sprinters who usually ride from the front. With Quaranta's speed, he can often come around if he can stay in contact when the power men like Cipo and Petacchi make their move. "I'm used to the battles with, but I've never faced off with the Petacchi of this season. I think right now, it's harder to beat Alessandro (Petacchi) than Mario (Cipollini)."

Quaranta has been riding the winter six-day circuit to maintain his form for 2004 and with no-nonsense Giuliani running the show, both Cipo and Petacchi may get a few surprises in the volatoni (bunch sprints) of the 2004 Giro d'Italia.

2004 Giro d'Italia stage by stage

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

Running from May 8 to 30 2004, the 87th Giro d'Italia comprises 20 stages plus a prologue. The 20 days of racing divide up into 12 flat stages, an individual time trial, three moderate mountain stages and four severe mountain stages, with three mountain top finishes.

The 87th Giro d'Italia will feature a minimum of 18 and a maximum of 22 teams of 9 riders each to be at the start in Genoa, with teams to be chosen by March 31 2004, going for a total prize list of 1,350,000 euros.

By the time the riders roll into Milan on May 30 they will have covered 3,435km. Here's our stage-by stage breakdown of how they'll get there.

Click here for the full stage by stage description of the 2004 route.

Latest UCI Cyclo-cross rankings

The cyclo-cross season is now in full swing and the UCI has updated its world rankings for this discipline. Heading the list is World Champion Bart Wellens on 1996 points, well clear of his close rival Sven Nijs (Rabobank) on 1847 with Ben Berden (John Saey-Deschacht) on 1437 points. Mario De Clercq (Palmans, 1319 pts) and Richard Groenendaal (Rabobank, 1205 pts) round out the top five. As usual, Belgians occupy four of the top five spots on the rankings.

UCI rankings as of November 10, 2003

1 Bart Wellens (Bel) SpaarSelect             1996 pts
2 Sven Nijs (Bel) Rabobank                   1847
3 Ben Berden (Bel) John Saey-Deschacht       1437
4 Mario De Clercq (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop    1319
5 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) Rabobank         1205

No jail for SMS killer

24 year old Australian woman Silvia Nicole Ciach has been given a suspended two year jail sentence for killing cyclist Anthony Marsh on Port Arlington Road near Melbourne on December 31, 2001. Ciach pleaded guilty to culpable driving causing death: she didn't see Marsh because she was sending an SMS to a friend while driving.

In handing down her sentence, Judge Susan Cohen of the County Court of Geelong said that, "It is tragic that a man's life was lost in these circumstances but this case should serve as a stark warning to all that the risk is very real and with the extended use of mobile phones generally more public attention should be drawn to this risk."

Judge Cohen did not give Ciach the maximum sentence however, taking into account that Anthony Marsh's parents did not want Ciach jailed, as well as her guilty plea and her good character. Ciach was disqualified from driving for two years, which means she will be allowed to drive again in January 2004.

Source: The Age

Eddy Hollands to guest ride for Giant Asia

31 year old West Australian Eddy Hollands has grabbed the notice of the Giant Asia division III team after his recent performance in the Tour de China, where - riding for the Glen Parker Cycles/City of Perth Team - he won a stage and the points jersey. Giant Asia has signed him to ride in the Tour of Taiwan next week as a guest rider, with the possibility of a full contract in 2004.

Irish High Performance Commission overhaul makes for more structured future

By Shane Stokes, Irishcycling.com

The criteria for international selection, a more balanced campaign schedule and longer-term preparation for Team Ireland riders are just some of the areas covered at a think-tank run by Cycling Ireland in September, details of which were clarified in recent days. High Performance Commission members Frank Campbell, Philip Collins and Martin O'Loughlin sat down with CI's CEO Stuart Hallam and together concluded that despite some good results in 2003, the current structures are inadequate and need to be addressed over the winter months.

Several areas of concern were highlighted. The lack of a high performance mission statement, the selection criteria for international teams and an over reliance on short term planning for international events were identified as problems. So too the lack of management training for volunteers accompanying national teams, the unbalanced nature of the 2003 international road racing calendar and unclear terms of reference for the High Performance and Road Commissions.

Resolving to address each of these issues over the coming months, the four man group drew up a corrective plan. Stuart Hallam and Martin O'Loughlin travelled to Belgium to evaluate the Team Ireland setup there and were later due to link up with Sean Kelly in a follow up meeting. A series of rider interviews were held in October to determine long lists of riders for various squads, with eight riders as Olympic probables, ten for Elite road competition and twelve for the espoirs squad.

Riders wishing to be considered for international selection next season have been asked to detail their goals for the year and to outline how they will prepare for targeted events, showing each phase of training. Elite road riders must send this document to Martin O'Loughlin by December 1st, while the espoirs are to address the same to Frank Campbell.

Long listed squads and the selection criteria for each race will then be published on January 4th 2004. Those on these squads will be able to train specifically for events, secure in the knowledge that if they meet specific selection criteria by a certain date, the selectors will have faith in them. Those who are not on the long list will, by definition, be less likely to race on Team Ireland squads. However, they may still have an opportunity to earn a place on the team should they reach predetermined performance levels.

Officials and reserve officials will also be announced on January 4th, one day after a workshop in Dublin open to all interested in working with Team Ireland in 2004. Separate workshop sessions will be facilitated by Dolores Usher, John Keegan and Frank Campbell/Martin O' Loughlin. Consultations will also take place with those overseeing the women's and juniors scene, in order to ensure uniformity of practice.

Finally, it was recommended that the High Performance Commission would adapt the following mission statement: "By 2012, Ireland will feature in the Olympic cycling medal table and all policies will be directed towards this aim."

Euromedia Group looking for teams to sponsor

Euromedia Group, the North American importer/distributor of Alan bicycle frames from Italy, is looking for teams to join their 2004 sponsorship programs. Alan, with more than 37 years of experience building frames, is returning to the North American Market and is looking to expand its presence among North American racers. The Euromedia Group programs offers teams with frames and/or bikes at reduced prices, one of the big costs for cyclists. It's also offering sponsorship programs for Gensan Nutritionals, Thorius Components, Selev Helmets and NRG Sports Creams.

Qualified teams should have results mixed with a solid grassroots marketing platform and a willingness to act as a positive cycling ambassador to the general community. For more information, please contact the Euromedia group at: euromedia@comcast.net

Wisconsin State Cyclocross Championships this Sunday

The Brazen Dropouts Cycle Club will host the 2003 Wisconsin State Cyclocross Cycling Championships at Angell Park Motor Speedway in Sun Prairie this Sunday, November 16. The race course will be laid out on the expansive Speedway grounds and include varied and technical terrain. The race is the final event in the Wisconsin Cycling Association 7 race Cyclocross Series.

State Championship Medals will be awarded to Wisconsin riders in numerous categories, from Juniors and Beginner Women to Elite Men. Races will take place throughout the day from 10:00am through 3:00pm. Spectators are welcome and encouraged.

More information: www.brazendropouts.org/cx.shtml

Bicycle Car Boot Sale at Dunc Gray, Sydney

Come 'N' Try Day for kids and Teenagers

Sydney's Dunc Gray velodrome will host its first "Bicycle Car Boot Sale" between 9:00am and 2:00pm on Sunday, November 23. It's a perfect opportunity to get rid of some of your accumulated second hand Road/Track/MTB/BMX bikes/parts/clothing and turn it into cash. Book your spot by telephoning Margaret on +61 (0)2 9738 5850.

On the same day there will also be a "Come 'N' Try Day" for kids and teenagers at Dunc Gray, providing a chance for young cyclists to see what it's like to ride on the Olympic Velodrome on a track bike. The day will be supervised by accredited coaching staff and volunteers and costs $10. Cyclists will receive instruction on how to ride on the track, use one of the development track bikes and be covered for insurance. In addition, guides will be on hand to give tours of the velodrome each hour from 10.00 AM to 1.00 PM. Again, to reserve your place, phone Margaret on +61 (0)2 9738 5850.

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