First Edition News for September 26, 2003
Edited by Chris Henry
Nozal three days from glory
By Hernán Alvarez Macías
The current leader of the Vuelta España, Isidro Nozal (ONCE-Eroski), is ever closer to winning his first grand tour, with significant time gaps remaining to his challengers with just three stages remaining. Nozal is a shy man, but Cyclingnews spoke with the ONCE-Eroski leader Thursday to gauge his confidence as Madrid draws near.
"I'm very happy, we are very near Madrid, so let's see if we can resist until the final hour," Nozal said. About his reserved character, Nozal said simply, "I'm a person who likes to speak what it's necessary, neither more nor less."
Nozal is both surprising as leader of the Vuelta, and surprised to be the leader of his team. "Being the leader is something that everybody likes," he confessed. "It was a surprise because I had never the number 1 of my team. But there's always a first time and this is it."
Nozal enjoys an excellent relationship with team director Manolo Saiz, and each has showed his appreciation for the other. "Yes, our relation is very good and I know perfectly well that I want to continue with Manolo," he said, referring to Saiz's search for a replacement sponsor for the ONCE team.
With three stages remaining in the race, Nozal knows he must be careful if he wants to keep the leader's jersey. "Tomorrow will the toughest day because of two climbs (Navacerrada and Los Angeles de San Rafael), and we will see how we handle that".
About Saturday's uphill time trial in Abantos, Nozal said he will have to see how the fight shapes up against his key rival Roberto Heras (US Postal Service). "We will see if we feel good and if there's a good struggle for the stage."
The day after the Vuelta will no doubt be special for Nozal if he wins, and thus far the odds for victory appear to be on his side. Either way, his newfound leadership role isn't likely to change his lifestyle.
"Next Monday I will be with my girlfriend" Nozal asserted. "I will continue living with her as I did before this race..." Should he win the Vuelta, he won't be exactly the same that day, he will be the winner of a grand tour, an honour few people are able to achieve.
Saunier Duval extends three years
By Hernán Alvarez Macías
The Saunier Duval team announced Thursday after the 18th stage of the Vuelta España in Las Rozas that it would extend its contract for three years and an option of another three years. It is not certain whether Vini Caldirola will continue with the sponsorship, but the company confirmed that the team will be based in Santander, Spain.
"We have been sponsoring cycling teams for 19 years and we decided to continue with that," said the president of Saunier Duval, Félix Iglesias. "The contract is for 2004, 2005 and 2006 because we think a three-year period is adequate."
"We wanted this team to be based in Spain," Iglesias said of the move to Santander. "We will see in the next days whether Vini Caldirola will continue with us or not."
The team has already registered with the Spanish Cycling Federation for 2004.
"This team will be a GS1 team that will try to compete in all the major events of the international calendar," team director Joxean "Matxin" Fernández commented. Angel Casero, currently in the colours of Team Bianchi, is one of the targets of Saunier Duval, although no deals have been signed. Fernández added that "the team will have 18 or 20 riders and we want most of them to be Spanish, or have at least 8 Spaniards."
Among the top riders currently in the team is Giro d'Italia runner up (and former winner) Stefano Garzelli. "Garzelli has another year under contract, but it will be a decision of Saunier Duval to continue working with him," team manager Mauro Gianetti explained. "We have seven riders with a signed contract right now."
Gianetti added that American Fred Rodriguez has a chance to continue with the team, and decisions would be made in the coming days.
With the move to Spanish registry, Saunier Duval will understandably focus on the Spanish racing calendar, with the Vuelta as the top objective. "We want to compete in as many races as we can, but we will give priority to the Spanish competitions," Gianetti concluded.
Sierra Nevada TT in 2004
The famed 30km climb of the Sierra Nevada, which hosted the finish of Stage 16 of the Vuelta a España Tuesday, could once again test the legs of the peloton in 2004. Next year, according to the El Diario Montañas newspaper, the Sierra Nevada could be used for an uphill time trial, with the town of Granada hosting the stage start.
The three day Paris-Corrèze stage race, organised by 1983 and 1984 Tour de France winner Laurent Fignon, will take place this weekend south of the French capital. This year's race will be the third edition of the event, and will serve as one of the final reference points for selection of the France's elite men's road race team for the world championships in Hamilton, Canada next month.
Both previous winners of the event, Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) and defending champion Baden Cooke (FDJeux.com) will be on the start line Friday for stage 1. The toughest day of racing will likely be the last, as Sunday's final stage takes the riders from Besse to Ussel and over four categorized climbs, with a bonus sprint thrown in for good measure between the final summit ad the finish in Ussel.
Stage 1 - Friday, September 26: Ormes - Saint-Amand Montrond, 193.2 km
Vanlandschoot to Bodysol-Brustor
Belgian James Vanlandschoot (Vlaanderen-T Interim) has signed a contract to join Patrick Lefevere's new Bodysol-Brustor Division II team for 2004. Vanlandschoot, 25, has had several top ten places in major races, including 3rd in last year's GP Rudy Dhaenens, and sixth overall in the 2002 Circuit Franco-Belge.
Ride With the Champions
Cyclists of all abilities have the opportunity to win a Malaysia Airlines trip for two to the 2004 Tour de France by participating in the Ride With The Champions, to be held in conjunction with the final day of the Herald Sun Tour in Australia on Sunday, October 26.
Leisure rides will be conducted over three courses (10, 30, and 40km) on the circuits used for the Australian open road championships at Buninyong, near Ballarat, each January. The rides, starting and finishing at the Buninyong Post Office in Warrenheip Street, are open to families and cyclists of all ages.
Spot prizes worth $10,000, including the Tour de France trip with five nights' accommodation in Paris, are on offer. The prizes include 20 team and category jerseys from the VicRoads Herald Sun Tour, to be held from October 16-26.
The Active For Life Ride With The Champions is part of VicHealth Family Day festivities at the tour's final stage in Buninyong. Entry forms for the Ride With The Champions can be obtained by calling Caribou Publications at 03 5224 2466.
Important test for Irish TT riders
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
Who will qualify for those final places that are up for grabs tomorrow (Saturday) in the final trial in Ballyboughal on the Cycling Ireland's team that will be in action next month in Hamilton, Canada?
That's the burning question for both the ladies and gents who will participate over a very testing and undulating course against the clock out in North, Co. Dublin. The first rider will start the trials at 10:31am. The women's race will be over one lap of the Ballyboughal course of approximately 20 km. and the men's event will follow over two laps of the same course.
Two months ago in Enniscorthy when the All Ireland 40km Time Trial was held for both ladies and gents, the opinion on that day was that the victors would have booked their passage for the World's. It took the rumour machine at least three weeks to discount the theory and now at the end of September, the cyclists are going to post for a re-run.
As Cycling Ireland's CEO Stuart Hallam diplomatically explained, "Norman Shiel, a colleague of mine, had done a reconnaissance of the Hamilton course. It was felt that the Ballyboughal location would be best suited to the Canadian equivalent. Also the date changes had been made for obvious reasons.
"The original date clashed with professional team commitments for some of the top contenders," Hallam added. "The athletes preferred to peak just once, and, after checking the practicalities with airlines and the UCI, Cycling Ireland was able to have the ride-off just 11 days ahead of the World title races. The new date adds a classical sporting event to Hibernian National Bike Week."
David McCann and David O'Loughlin, two natural exponents at the discipline of time trialing, would have to be regarded as the favourites, but on this occasion, they may be overshadowed by Tommy Evans, who'll wing his way to Canada.
With the exception of Evans, who only last weekend won two events against the clock in England, the other contenders have been preparing diligently for the titanic struggle. We are only too well aware what happened to the aforementioned ship.
Benefit sale of Milk Race jersey
The yellow jersey worn by Arthur Metcalfe during his winning ride in the 1964 Milk Race and his GB jersey have been box framed for sale, with all proceeds to be donated to the nursing section of the Oncology Centre at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry, UK. This unique item of cycling memorabilia is contained within a gilt box frame measuring 38in x 24in (97cm x 61cm).
In addition to winning the Milk Race, Arthur won numerous races as an amateur and as a professional. Included amongst these were the Manx International, the RTTC British Best All Rounder Competition and the BCF National Road Race Championship in 1965. Arthur is the only rider to have won the BBAR and the Road Race Championship in the same year. He also enjoyed numerous victories in the professional ranks, with distinguished rides in the 1967 and 1968 Tours de France.
Expressions of interest in purchasing the jersey should be sent to: Lewis Hall 125B Beechwood Avenue Coventry CV5 6FQ United Kingdom
Clear Channel continues to threaten cyclists
Despite a public outcry following radio segments encouraging motorists to taunt or even strike cyclists on the road in both Houston, Texas and Cleveland, Ohio, it appears Clear Channel Communications, owner of radio stations throughout the United States, has not received the message. Listeners report hearing jokes about running cyclists off the road at a Raleigh, North Carolina radio station (G105) owned by Clear Channel. The segments, during which DJs shared tales and suggestions of how to run cyclists off the road, were aired September 22 and 23.
Clear Channel claimed to have taken action with its Cleveland affiliate, and the Houston station was to run a public service announcement for the Houston Police Department's cycling education efforts. Nonetheless, a third radio market has deemed it appropriate to advocate violence against cyclists, to the horror of many listeners, but to the apparent amusement of others.
Clear Channel can be reached at email@example.com.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)