First Edition News for September 9, 2003
Edited by Chris Henry & Jeff Jones
Unlucky Evans injured again
Cadel Evans (Telekom) has seen a season of bad luck continue, fracturing his clavicle in Stage 3 of the Vuelta a España. This is the third time Evans has sustained the injury this season, and Team Telekom confirmed Monday night that he would not start the fourth stage of the Vuelta.
Cadel explained the incident to Cyclingnews' Gabriella Ekström after having x-rays taken at the hospital in Spain. "After my last crash, I got a big plate attached to my collarbone, and it's fastened by six screws," he said. "Today I managed to break it in the one place where there's no plate. The plate runs from underneath my shoulder blade all along my collarbone, and the bone snapped on the neck side, just where the plate stops. It is slightly displaced, and I'll return to the hospital Tuesday for further examination."
The crash took place after about 75 kilometres of racing, before the feed zone. Despite the distance remaining, and the pain, Evans was able to finish the stage. "I wasn't even in the peloton, but a bit behind because riders were coming back from punctures and a few calls of nature, and I was just turning around to look for a teammate behind me," he said, describing how the crash took place. "There was no one in front of me when I turned around, but all of a sudden this rider appears and takes out my front wheel."
For Evans the accident is a major disappointment, and another scar on a difficult first season with Team Telekom. "Right now I can't believe I broke it again," he said. "At first, after the crash I didn't admit to myself that it was broken, but when the pain started to come, I started to think "Yep, it's indeed possible to break the same collarbone three times in a season!"
Although able to finish the stage, the pain was sufficient to prompt his abandon from the race. "I could probably take the start Tuesday, but then I would have to abandon or get eliminated during that stage, so my Vuelta is over. There's no way I can ride out of the saddle with this collarbone."
Now Evans will have to evaluate the remainder of his season. If he is able to train indoors within the next few days with his arm in a sling, there is a chance he could return to racing for the Giro di Lombardia in October.
"I would like to be able to do one good race this season, so I'm not all desillusioned," he concluded. "But I have to focus on getting better first, and then I'll find out if it will be possible to enter another race this season."
Early scare for Sevilla
After passing a first day of climbing successfully in Sunday's Stage 2, Oscar Sevilla crashed in the final kilometre of Stage 3 and suffered an early scare in this year's Vuelta a España. Sevilla with a number of riders on a left hand bend in the road just inside the 1km to go banner. The Kelme leader did not lose any time to his general classification rivals, nor did he appear to sustain serious injury, but nonetheless it was an unpleasant end to the day.
"I had a good scare. I hope it doesn't cause a problem for the next few stages, but I did hurt my left knee and hip," Sevilla said, quoted in Todociclismo. "Everything seems ok, and now my biggest problem will be getting a good night's sleep."
ONCE According to plan... Almost
Having already declared his intentions to see his team go out on a positive note (with sponsorship ending this year), ONCE-Eroski director Manolo Saiz couldn't have asked for a better start to the Vuelta than victory in the opening team time trial. As race leadership passed from Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano to Joaquin Rodriguez after Stage 2, Saiz had hoped to see regional native Isidro Nozal take over the jersey after Monday's stage finish in Santander. Stage 3 passed through Torrelavega, home to both Saiz and Nozal, and the ONCE plan was to demonstrate its strong team spirit by sharing the race lead among the team members still on equal time.
Things didn't quite go according to plan, however, and Rodriguez emerged in the golden jersey at day's end. Clearly this could not be deemed a disappointment for the team, but Saiz was nonetheless quick to affirm that there were no internal squabbles preventing Nozal from taking the lead.
"There was no misunderstanding," Saiz told Europa Press. "It was raining, one rider fell in the last two kilometres, another in the final kilometre, and it was very difficult to control the race. We would have preferred a different outcome but the important thing is that the leader is still in our team."
Rodriguez himself had hoped to pass the race lead to his teammate, and seemed uncomfortable donning the jersey for a second day. "Nozal fell back in the peloton in the final meters and I couldn't help but keep my momentum," he explained after the stage. "I'm not happy that Isidro isn't the first in the general classification right now. My moment of glory was yesterday, not today."
US Postal denies Maestre acquisition
Johan Bruyneel has denied that the US Postal Service team has signed Colchon Relax-Fuenlabrada rider José Manuel Maestre for 2004. Italian news service Datasport reported that Maestre had reached an agreement with US Postal for the coming season, but in an email to Cyclingnews this morning, Bruyneel wrote, "Please take note that the rider Maestre does not come to USPS. I don't know where this news came from."
Maestre's team-mate Benjamin Noval has also been reported as a possible recruit for US Postal Service. Maestre, who turned pro in 2002, has one victory to his credit thus far: stage 5 of the 2002 Volta a Catalunya.
Calvente extends with CSC
Spaniard Manuel Calvente has signed a one year contract to carry on with the Danish team, to the satisfaction of team manager Bjarne Riis. Italian veteran Andrea Peron recently signed a two year extension as well.
"Calvente has a very important Vuelta a España ahead of him as one of Sastre's helpers, and we have given him this new contract in order to allow him to concentrate fully on the job that lies in front of him," Riis commented on CSC's website. "He has worked hard for the team and has shown us that he belongs here."
Demeulenaere getting closer to Belgacom
Noël Demeulenaere is getting closer to signing Belgacom as one of the main sponsors of his Chocolat Jacques team. "I already have contracts with Jacques, Passage Fitness and Wincor-Nixdorf," he was quoted on VRT teletekst. "Belgacom can also come. The team can be called Belgacom-Jacques or Jacques-Belgacom. I had a good talk with Belgacom and would be able to count on a budget of €3 million. Once everything is sorted out, we'll fill the rider names in."
As for the latest doping scandal, Demeulenaere said "The sponsors are comfortable if I say that we will sack riders who have appeared to be doping."
Museeuw's teammates on Museeuw
Two of Johan Museeuw's Quick.Step-Davitamon teammates have voiced their opinions on the Belgian drug scandale which has implicated Museeuw. The so-called Lion of Flanders was questioned by police in Bruges concerning his relationship and alleged involvement with veterinarian Jose Landuyt, accused of trafficking growth hormones and banned substances and selling doping products to cyclists.
Frank Vandenbroucke: "This affair will always be a stain on Museeuw's career, even if he clears his name. And that is disappointing for a rider of his merits."
Tom Boonen: "I remain convinced that he is innocent. I really think that Johan will stop now. He can't rectify such a blow in a sporting manner, like a younger rider could."
Police question riders in Kortrijk
The courts in Kortrijk today questioned more professional riders over the Jose Landuyt doping affair, with Jo Planckaert, Chris Peers (Cofidis) and Mario De Clercq (Palmans) all presenting themselves on Monday. Planckaert ended up staying for eight hours, only commenting afterwards that "I have every confidence in the courts, and Saturday I'll try to win Paris-Brussels."
Teammate Chris Peers was grilled for a mere 15 minutes, while Mario De Clercq spent the whole afternoon with the police.
Landuyt now denies charges
The West Flanders veterinarian at the centre of this affair, Jose Landuyt, has now denied that he supplied riders with doping products. "He was only asked for advice," his lawyer Jef Vermassen explained. When asked about the massive file on Landuyt, Vermassen told VTM news that "the telephone of my client has been tapped for six months. Therefore the file is certainly a metre thick. The tapping is otherwise of completely legal things. The products that Landuyt used he has always bought legally in the pharmacy."
Illness forced Wiggins out of Avenir
Promising young British rider Bradley Wiggins (FDJeux.com) says that his retirement from Sunday's fourth stage of the Tour de l'Avenir was caused by illness. Wiggins felt good during the prologue time trial, which he won, but spent the next two days battling increasing fatigue.
"I have developed a very bad sore throat and my glands were up," said Wiggins. "My team doctor told me to retire otherwise the consequences in the long run could be disastrous. I probably will not be riding on the road much more this season but have been contracted for four Six-Day races as well as a couple of other events on the winter tracks. I have had a long season so I want to recover in order to be in good condition for these events which I am expected to ride at a very high level in. It's a shame I had to quit with the Yellow Jersey on my back but these things happen and its only too easy to over do things and ruin my season together my chances next year."
Next year may well be a crucial one for Wiggins as he moves from the fdjeux.com squad to Credit Agricole where he hopes to get a chance to demonstrate his time-trial abilities in the 2004 Tour prologue.
USADA Confirms Neben's suspension
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confirmed Amber Neben's (T-Mobile) suspension Monday, after USA Cycling announced her positive test from the World Cup race in Montreal on May 31. Neben tested positive for norandrosterone, although she plans to challenge the test results.
Neben voluntarily suspended herself from competition, and in doing so will receive credit for the period of time out of competition should a doping violation be determined at an arbitration hearing. According to UCI rules, if Neben did not accept the provisional sanction, her suspension would begin on the day after the decision of the arbitration panel.
Good field expected for TQ Paper Two-Day
By Shane Stokes, Irishcycling.com
The organisers of the TQ Paper International Ladies 2 day race in Ireland are hopeful that this year's edition will be one of the best yet, with a strong field expected for the three-stage event. The race regularly attracts a strong field of overseas competitors, including teams of riders from the UK and the Netherlands, and as per usual will be held in North county Dublin on the first weekend in October.
This year's contest will begin with a flat 64 kilometre road race on Saturday 4th, which takes in eight laps of the Boot Inn circuit and which will probably end in a sprint finish. Later that day the riders tackle a flat 2 kilometre time trial beside Dublin airport, which will give a clearer indication of the riders with a chance of carrying off the final yellow jersey.
The second day of competition is over a tough 74 kilometre course, which winds out through the Naul, Stamullen and Ballyboughil villages and takes in several climbs along the way. The stage gives ample opportunity for attack and so a real shake-up is expected, with the top contenders scrapping it out all the way to the line.
Entries co-ordinator Brian Carolan expects a good field to line out for the race, which enjoys a unique, friendly atmosphere and is the perfect end-of-season event. "We are hoping to have fifty riders or more, including competitors from the Netherlands, Germany and the UK. The Moving Ladies Groenewoud team will be coming back, and they always ride very well here."
Normal entries have closed for the race, but late entries are still possible. Contact Brian Carolan at 003531 8370590 (h) or 0035386 6044136 (m) for details and entry forms.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)