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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest News for October 7, 2003

Edited by Chris Henry

Saiz closer to new team

ONCE-Eroski team manager Manolo Saiz is close to making final arrangements for a new team for 2004, following the end of ONCE's sponsorship. According to a Marca report, Saiz has already begun to make deals with some of his ONCE riders, as well as riders from other teams, and a new sponsor should be announced soon. The primary support for the team is said to come from an Italian electrical components company, though the team will reportedly be registered in the Netherlands.

Saiz has reached an agreement with 13 of his ONCE riders, including team leader Joseba Beloki, Vuelta a España runner up Isidro Nozal, and the brothers Gonzalez de Galdeano. Foreign riders linked with the new team include Giovanni Lombardi and Santos Gonzalez (Domina Vacanze), as well as Filippo Pozzato (Fassa Bortolo). More contracts, and the name of the Italian sponsor, are expected to emerge in the coming days.

Spanish TT specialists optimistic

Can Nozal find his TT legs again?
Photo: © Unipublic
Click for larger image

The Spanish duo of Isidro Nozal and Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (both ONCE-Eroski) have both expressed their optimism for top performances in the Elite Men's time trial in Hamilton. Nozal surprised many not only with his second place overall in this year's Vuelta a España, but with the impressive time trialing form which gave him two stage wins in the Vuelta's tests against the clock.

"In the Vuelta I got the silver medal, and in the World's I want to the finishing touch," Nozal told Spanish daily Marca. "This is my first World Championship and I want to do well. I haven't ridden much, because after a long race the power just isn't there, but I've tried to maintain my form from the Vuelta. I think at this point I have more desire than energy."

Gonzalez de Galdeano, who slipped from the final podium in Madrid but still rode a solid Vuelta, hopes to put in a strong ride in Hamilton after winning the bronze medal in the event last year in Zolder, Belgium. But like Nozal, Gonzalez de Galdeano suffered in the final week of the Vuelta and is hoping to regain his strength in time for the World's.

"The Vuelta is not a good reference for the World's," he said. "I started the race well but I ended up losing time, and for that reason I haven't forced myself in preparation. I've decided to rest and to regain my strength."

Although recovering from a disappointing finale to the Vuelta, Gonzalez de Galdeano still hopes Hamilton will go his way after his bronze medal in 2002. "I hope to do better than that this year," he added.

Frigo not thrilled with TT course

Dario Frigo, Italy's sole representative for the Elite Men's time trial in Hamilton, is not ecstatic about the conditions for Thursday's race against the clock, particularly the road surface on the 20.8km long course (which the Elite Men will cover twice).

"The parcours is very hard and selective," Frigo said in a Datasport interview. "The first climb, which comes right after the start, is made even more difficult by a slight descent. You think you're at the top but in fact there's a long stretch where it will be important to go all out."

Noting his displeasure with the course, the former Italian time trial champion added, "the whole time trial parcours is run on bad pavement, with a lot of joints. It won't be easy to go fast."

Bruylandts settles in

With the full Belgian team installed in Hamilton for the World Championships, preliminary reports from the team confirm expectations of difficult racing on the tough circuit. Dave Bruylandts, who could play a key role in Belgium's road team, commented on the course after a preview spin with compatriot Bert Roesems.

"It's as they told me: two solid climbs on each lap," he told La Dernière Heure. "If the weather is bad like [yesterday], with rain, wind, and fairly cold, it won't be a piece of cake. It's one of the hardest circuits in the last few years, but you can't race every year at Zolder..."

Bruylandts profited from an early arrival in Hamilton, please with the team's preparation. "We're set up in a hotel with a pool and everything we need right in the middle of town on Main Street," he said happily. "I'm glad to have come early, since that will let me get over the time change. I don't think I'll be ready until Wednesday."

2006 World's to Salzburg

At a meeting Monday prior to the opening of this year's World Championships in Hamilton, Canada, the UCI announced the successful bid for the 2006 World's events. Salzburg, Austria will host the road races, Bordeaux, France will welcome back the track championships, cyclo-cross will head to Zeddam, Netherlands, and mountain biking will make the journey to Rotorua in New Zealand.

Austria will host a number of international events in the coming years, including the junior World's in Vienna in 2005. Normally the road course location is announced three years in advance on the eve of the World Championships, however the 2007 World's have already been awarded to Stuttgart, Germany, which also stood in as a replacement for the Track World's in China after the threat of the SARS virus forced a relocation of this year's competition.

Camaño sees orange

Basque rider Iker Camaño has signed a deal to return to home soil, moving to Euskaltel-Euskadi from Phonak. Camaño, 24, signed a two year deal with Euskaltel. He turned professional with Phonak in 2002.

Record field for Herald Sun Tour

A record number of cyclists- 85 riders in 17 teams ­ will contest the VicRoads Herald Sun Tour, beginning in Melbourne, Australia next week. The race will cover 1,219km from October 16-26. A field of 43 Australian and 42 international riders was announced Tuesday at the race launch in Melbourne.

Heading the list of Australians is Matt Wilson, the 26-year-old rider who will captain the strong Malaysia Airlines team in the Sun Tour. Wilson is Australia's best chance of overall victory after the recent withdrawal of defending champion Baden Cooke. Cooke became the first Australian to win the Herald Sun Tour for 15 years in 2002.

International riders ready to challenge for the general classification include Milton Wynants of Uruguay, riding for the Echuca-Moama team with the support of countrymen Alvaro Tadaguila and Gerado Castro. Two Chilean riders, Luis-Fernando Sepulveda and Jose Medina, bring outstanding form into the tour, while Uruguay's Hector Morales and Jorge Libonatti have been in Australia for three months and have hit top form at the right time.

Tasmania will be represented by Evandale cyclist Sean Sullivan, who will ride for the South African-based Team Barloworld. Sullivan's team captain will be 24-year-old South African Tiaan Kannemeyer, who rode strongly in last year's tour.


Active For Life
Bendigo Building Industry
Carlton Midstrength
City of Melbourne
Emu Spirit/Apsco
FRF Couriers
Malaysia Airlines
Rio Coffee
Vic Roads
Team Warmambool

Tour of Scotland arrives

Next year will mark the inauguration of a new UCI stage race, the Tour of Scotland. The five day race is has been granted a slot on the UCI calendar from May 26-30, 2004 and will cover some 600 miles, possibly visiting cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, and Inverness, according to an article

"[The Tour of Scotland] would provide cycling in this country with a major boost by raising awareness of the sport," said Graeme Herd, Scottish Cycling national coach. "This, in addition to the Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup, would really put Scotland on the map."

Race promoter IMG is said to have sponsors in line for the event, but is also seeking public support, and is in contact with various sports and tourism bodies in Scotland.

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