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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

Latest News for October 20, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

No Astarloa in 12th Japan Cup

By Miwako Sasaki, Japan Cycle Sports

2002 podium
Photo: © Miwako Sasaki
Click for larger image

The 12th edition of the Japan Cup will be held this Sunday in Japan. The race, classified as UCI 1.3, will be the second international race in Japan this year following the Tour de Hokkaido (September 10-15) after the cancellation of the Tour of Japan in May due to SARS.

Six trade teams - all first division - will come to Japan, including 2002 winner Sergio Barbero (Lampre), third in Milano-Sanremo Luca Paolini, and World TT silver medalist Michael Rogers (both Quick.Step-Davitamon). The new "Arc-en-ciel" Igor Astarloa (Saeco), second last year, was also supposed to come, but seems to have changed his mind after winning the World's in Hamilton. Team Bianchi will join the race, and it will perhaps be the last race for the team if it fails to find a new sponsor and can't continue next season.


Lampre: Sergio Barbero, Simone Bertoletti, Juan Manuel Garate, Francisco Javier Vila, Daniele Righi
Saeco: Leonardo Bertagnolli, Damiano Cunego, Juan Fuentes, Gerrit Glomser, Alessandro Spezialetti
Quick.Step-Davitamon: Davide Bramati, David Canada, Luca Paolini, Michael Rogers, Patrik Sinkewitz
Team Bianchi: Stefan Adamsson, Felix Garcia Casas, Francisco Jose Lara, David Plaza, Steffen Radochla
Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone: Daniel Atienza, Bingen Fernandez, Angelo Lopeboselli, Marek Rutkiewicz, Guido Trentin
Jean Delatour: Jerome Bernard, Gilles Bouvard, Frederic Finot, Ludovic Martin, Bruno Thibout
Team Nippon Hodo
Team Bridgestone Anchor
Team Orbea Exondo
Shimano Racing
Asian ind. Racing Team
Miyata Subaru Racing Team
Sumita Ravanello - Pearl Izumi
CCD kinan - Bike system

Tour De Langkawi 2004 route unveiled

2004 route launch
Photo: © LTDL
Click for larger image

The race route for next year's Tour de Langkawi (February 6-15) was unveiled in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, and promises 10 days of exciting racing over a well balanced route. The 2004 race will pass through eight states in the Peninsula of Malaysia, and last year's absentees - Penang, Melaka and Johor - are back on the route.

Despite the event's name, the island of Langkawi in the northern state of Kedah has been excluded from next year's race. Instead, the 9th TdL will start off in the town of Bayan Baru in Penang and finish in the country's capital city of Kuala Lumpur after 1251 km. Apart from Penang, the race will include the states of Perak, Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor. Four venues will be featured for the first time, namely Raub in the state of Pahang, Pontian in Johor, Bayan Baru in Penang and Hulu Kelang in Kuala Lumpur.

"The 2004 race has all the elements of suspense and thrills," said First Cartel Executive Director Abdullah Kamal Shafi'i. "It provides opportunities for all kind of riders with a mixture of flat and rolling route, a gentle climb, furious descent and a steep climb to Genting Highlands. In short, we can look forward to watching an interesting race where the yellow jersey is expected to change hands every day."

The race starts off with a flat and rolling 112km journey from Bayan Baru in Penang to Taiping in Perak. The long climb to the mountain holiday destination in Cameron Highlands, followed by a rapid climb to Fraser's Hill Gap (both Category 1 climbs) will provide the early tests. As in the previous years, the brutal Hors Categorie Genting climb (Stage 9) will once again be the decisive stage for riders gunning for the overall title.

Two days of hard climbing (Stage 2 and Stage 3) are expected to take their toll on riders. But the individual time trial, scheduled at the halfway point in the historical city of Melaka, will provide opportunities for riders who were lagging behind to claw their way back into contention.

It's expected to be an open affair, with the sprinters, climbers and time trialists fighting it out for stage and overall honours during the 10 day race, which will be broadcast live on Malaysia's national channel and also on ESPN Star. To further promote the race, organiser First Cartel plans to expand the televised live coverage to include Eurosport and JSkysports Japan, and is in currently in discussion with the two networks.

The team participation has yet to be finalised, but the organisers are looking at around 20 teams of seven riders each. "It's still too early to confirm anything but we're quite confident that there will be big names and top teams for the tour," said Kamal.

Le Tour de Langkawi has developed steadily since 1996 into one of the richest stage races in the world today. The Tour, which offers total prizemoney of RM1.6 million (US$400,000) is gaining in popularity as one of the biggest races outside Europe, and attracts a healthy field each year.

Ullrich made honorary member of Olymp Club Rostock

Jan Ullrich has become the first honorary member of "Olymp Club Rostock", an organisation devoted to gaining the rights to host the sailing competition of the 2012 Olympics. Ullrich, who is originally from Rostock (at the northern tip of Germany), said that he is ready to support his home town as the first representative of Rostock's Olympic sailing bid.

"We really needed a positive sign for the application of Leipzig and Rostock," said Olymp Club Rostock's new president Hansjörg Kunze. "I am completely happy that Jan Ullrich wants to support his home town in this manner."

Jiménez and Rodriguez to Kelme

Two of's riders Eladio Jiménez and Javier Pascual Rodriguez will join the Kelme-Costa Blanca team next season, replacing Oscar Sevilla and José Enrique Gutierrez who are on their way to Phonak. Both riders have been close to Kelme in the past: Jiménez, who has always ridden for iBanesto, almost joined in 2001, while Javier Pascual Rodriguez rode for Kelme from 1997 through 2000.

Kelme, which celebrates its 25th year as a team in 2004, is looking to race in all three grand tours next year, and to this end will probably sign another four riders. At least one more iBanesto rider is in negotiations with Vicente Belda's team: Spanish champion Rubén Plaza, who is waiting to see what happens with the current team.

Yates back to amateur ranks?

New Zealander Jeremy Yates, winner of the Junior World Championship in 2000, could well be going back to the amateur ranks next season, which will be his last as an U23 rider. Yates rode for the Quick.Step division III team this year, and scored a stagiaire's contract with the division I team at the end of the season. However he got bronchitis before his first race, the GP Jef Scherens in Leuven, and had to forfeit.

"I was gutted to have to call in sick for my first race with Mr Lefevere's team," Yates told Cyclingnews. "This infection ended my European season and after two weeks I decided to return to New Zealand to prepare for our upcoming National Championships."

Yates was also linked with Lefevere's new Bodysol-Brustor team, but this hasn't come to pass yet. "Perhaps another year is better for my development," he added. "2004 will be my last as an under 23 rider, and at this stage I will be riding for Dirk de Wolf's (ABX-Go Pass) new amateur team Deschacht-Eddy Merckx."

A bad season for Traksel

21 year old Rabobank rider Bobbie Traksel would rather forget this season. Starting in January he could not ride due to Achilles tendonitis. He then got ready for the spring classics, but after Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in March he injured his knee. In May fell in the Tour de Picardie and tore his shoulder, and after that he couldn't get going any more and started to lose morale.

The cause of his latest problem has been diagnosed as glandular fever (mononucleosis), together with toxoplasmosis (a parasitic infection). He is currently taking antibiotics for it and is allowed to ride, albeit slowly. He hopes to be able to train at a reasonable level again in November.

Stam to go for Dutch derny hour record

Dutchman Danny Stam intends to attack the Dutch derny [motorpaced] hour record in December again. Stam's usual madison partner Robert Slippens is the current holder of the record at 59.60868 kilometres, set in 1998 in Amsterdam. Danny Stam, who failed to break it last December, has set a date of December 28, 2003 for another crack at it. The attempt will take place in Alkmaar with Bruno Walrave riding the motorbike.

McCann's 25 mile record ratified

By Shane Stokes,

Team Endurasport rider David McCann has been confirmed as the new 25 mile record holder by Cycling Ireland, following the ratification of the time set by him in August of this year. McCann became the first Irish rider to break the fifty minute barrier when he recorded a time of 49 minutes 54 seconds in the Ulster TT league event on August 7th.

The new standard has been accepted by Cycling Ireland following a re-measurement of the course in recent weeks, thus improving on the time set by Phil Collins (Amev-IRC) in 1995. McCann's ride was on the same Moira-Nutts course where his brother Cormac set the record many years earlier.

Also ratified by Cycling Ireland was the Veteran's 25 record set by Jim McConnell (East Antrim), who posted a time of 54 minutes 39 seconds on the same night. This was six seconds faster than the old record.

Track Revolution in Manchester

A new track series has been organised to take place in Manchester Velodrome, which will attract the top stars of British and international cycling. Entitled "Revolution", the series aims to shake the dust off existing track events and inject some excitement back into UK track cycling.

The series has been by contrived by Manchester velodrome manager Jarl Walsh, and is supported by British Cycling, the World Class Performance Plan and Face Partnership, who were also involved in this year's Good Friday Meeting at Herne Hill. It will consist of four meetings with the first taking place at the end of November.

"We've been working on it for four months," said Walsh. "The aim is to provide exciting, quality racing for the spectators, whilst also providing a breeding ground for up coming young cyclists to test their skills against some of the world's best."

The organisers hope to grow the event into one that will attract more people, media and sponsors back into track cycling in the UK.

Revolution events will take place on Saturday evenings on November 29, January 24, February 28 and March 20. Tickets will cost £6 for adults, £3 for children and OAP's and £12 for a family. For more information see

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