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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition News for September 27, 2003

Edited by Chris Henry

Saiz ejected from Vuelta

By Hernán Alvarez Macías

ONCE-Eroski team director Manolo Saiz was expelled of the Vuelta España for not respecting the commissionaire's instructions during the 19th stage of the race. The president of the race jury, Belgian Jean Michel Voets, announced the decision to the media in a short press conference following the stage. "We decided to expel Mr. Saiz of the race until the competition is over," he explained.

Saiz argued with and insulted a TV cameraman from the official broadcasting company TVE (Televisión Española) and his motorcycle rider in the last climb of Navacerrada when he was trying to pass through the field to reach Angel Vicioso to inform the rider that race leader Isidro Nozal was suffering behind. Saiz felt the motorcycle was obstructing his way, so he stopped and began to insult both the moto driver and cameraman. The argument was broadcast all over the world by the TVE cameras that were broadcasting the stage live.

"The facts that we have confirmed, which everybody in the world saw on TV, are very serious," Voets announced. "Manolo Saiz has insulted the TV reporters many times," he said, noting that he waited to hear Saiz's version of the story before making a decision."Saiz spoke with us by the phone."

ONCE manager Pablo Anton asked for an apology for Saiz's actions. "It was because of the tension of the race," Anton said, before publicly apologizing to TVE for the incident.

This is not the first problem Saiz provoked in this year's Vuelta. He has already had two previous sanctions: one for insulting organization members and the other one for almost hitting a worker in the organization with the team car.

"Saiz has badly tarnished the image of cycling and also the image of the Vuelta España," said Voets. "The situation of the reporter and his motorcycle does not justify in any case Saiz's actions. We all know we must be aware of the motorbikes, but that is not a justification for the bad attitude he had."

The ONCE team was fined 400 Swiss francs for the threats made by Saiz and for not respecting the commissionaire's instructions during the stage. Manolo Saiz has been prevented from following the remainder of the race in the team car.

Indurain on the Vuelta

By Hernán Alvarez Macías

"A good show"
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

One of Spain's biggest champions, five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain, is following this year's Vuelta España as a journalist for the Spanish newspaper Marca. Cyclingnews decided to ask Big Mig his opinion during these last stages of the Vuelta.

"It's been good... The first week was very tough; the riders rode very fast beginning in Gijón," Indurain said. "The two time trials were very hard, especially the first one in Saragossa that made the first great time differences. Then the Pyrénées, where I enjoyed how the race developed and the fight we saw. In the final stages we saw the stage of Sierra Nevada that was a big duel between time trailers and climbers to see who can prevail until today (19th stage) when we saw a great show".

What does Indurain think about Saturday's key stage, the hill climb time trial of Abantos?

"It depends on how Nozal rides in the first kilometres," he explained. "If he has problems from the beginning- that is the hardest part- he might have a pretty bad time at the top. However, he has an advantage: if he knows how to handle it, he will be able to arrive in Madrid wearing the leader's jersey."

Indurain did not want to express a preference on the possible winner of the race, whether it be Isidro Nozal or Roberto Heras. "I like the time trailers because I was one of them," he said. "But I want the best man, the strongest man, to win so we can see a good race."

Vuelta medical checks OK

The UCI's Marc Vandeyvere announced Friday that the latest round of medical checks for riders in the Vuelta a España were all clear. Twenty five riders were tested Friday morning from US Postal Service, Kelme-Costa Blanca, ONCE-Eroski, Labarca 2-Café Baque, and Euskaltel-Euskadi. All riders' hematocrit levels were within the accepted range. No riders have failed the health checks since the beginning of the race.

Stage 19 medical communique

Domingo Sanchez (Paternina-Costa de Almería) suffered a crash Friday in the 19th stage of the Vuelta a España. Sanchez was taken to the hospital with a suspected dislocated shoulder and injured left elbow. Constantino Zaballa (Kelme-Costa Blanca) also fell in the final kilometres, suffering abrasions on his left leg but no serious injury.

Mälarenergi continues

By Gabriella Ekström

Energy supplier Mälarenergi AB has agreed to continue sponsoring third division Team Mälarenergi for another period of three years. Mälarenergi has been the head sponsor of the team since the 2000 season.

"Even though we will continue with the same budget, this is still a promise to young riders in Sweden, and it means a lot in terms of developing the sport in Sweden," team manager Patrick Serra said after the news had been announced. "I have worked with sports and sponsors for over twenty years, and this deal is part of the most professional project I've worked with. We will go back to the basic ideas we worked around back in 1993, and which proved to be a great success then. In short, we will train and motivate young riders who are willing to work hard for success. The team will be based in Västerås, and although the program isn't decided yet, we will race in Europe before the Swedish spring season starts, and then ride most races in Sweden until August, including our own Punkt GP, and after that ride international races on the continent again.

Although no riders have been presented yet, several riders have already approached the team with a clear interest, and Patrick Serra assures that he will come up with a fresh and ambitious team for the coming season.

Team Mälarenergi, a team that started under the name Isostar and later Team Wirsbo, has during the last ten years seen twelve of its members transform into professional riders, and the team has won twenty-six Swedish Championships since the start in 1993.

"If you look at the space given to our team in the media during the last three years, there's no doubt that our investment has been a success," says Kent Ryberg, chairman of the board at Mälarenergi.

Mälarenergi also stresses that their new deal isn't all about strengthening its name on the market, but also uses the skills of the team and Patrick Serra for health measurements and team building within the company.

Ardila to miss world's

Mauricio Ardila (Marlux-Wincor-Nixdorf) will not represent Colombia in the upcoming world road championships due to a knee injury. Colombia will send five riders to Hamilton to contest the road race: Victor Hugo Peña (US Postal Service), Marlon Perez (Orbitel 05), Felix Cardenas (Labarca 2-Café Baque), Israel Ochao (Loteria De Boyaca), and César Grajales (Jittery Joe's). YEar 2002 time trial champion Santiago Botero (Telekom) has ended his forgettable 2003 season due to illness and will not defend his title in Hamilton.

Shock for Montgomery

Fassa Bortolo's Sven Montgomery has suffered a great loss. Sven's brother Clint, himself an amateur cyclist, was killed during a training ride when he was hit head on by a car that was passing another vehicle coming in the opposite direction. The accident took place near Bern, Switzerland, where 24 year old Clint rode for a team sponsored by bike shop owner Aldo Schaller.

Don't eat the fish...

Several riders from each team staying at the Hotel Mercure in Lille, France for the Circuit Franco-Belge have fallen ill from food poisoning. Riders from Team CSC, Crédit Agricole,, Jean Delatour, and Team fakta all reported symptoms after Thursday night's dinner. The culprit is likely bad fish.

Cyclingnews diarist and Team fakta member Scott Sunderland was among the victims, suffering from nausea and vomiting Friday. Sunderland was administered a drip by the Telekom team doctor, but remained unsure whether he would start Saturday's third stage, 194 kilometres from Ghyvelde (France) to Lichtervelde.

TQ Set to be biggest ever

By Shane Stokes,

Next weekend's TQ Paper International is set to be the biggest in the history of the event, with an impressive field of 70 riders signed up for the two-day women's race. Taking place in North County Dublin, the three-stage contest will see riders travel from as far afield as the Netherlands and Germany, with a large UK contingent also heading over to compete.

The Dutch Moving Ladies Groenewoud team has raced to success in the last two editions of the race, and while double winner Esther Van Der Helm is not expected to attend this time, riders Sharon Van Essen, Inge Klep and Judith Helmink have all ridden well in the past. Van Essen was fourth last year, Klep took fifth overall plus a stage win, and Helmink was sixth overall in 2001. There is also a second Dutch squad, with four riders lining out in the colours of the District Noord-Holland team.

"This is by far the biggest turnout for the race," said entries coordinator and chief marshal Brian Carolan. "We are delighted with the number and quality of the field."

In response to the strong international challenge, the selectors have picked good Irish and Leinster teams. The national side comprises Louise Moriarty, Collette Swift, Kate Rudd, Karen Bothwell, Marie O'Reilly and Gillian McDarby. The Leinster squad is also strong, with women's league winner Siobhan Jacobs, Roisin Kennedy, Beth McCluskey, Orla Hendron, Susan O'Mara and former world rowing champion Sinead Jennings all confirmed.

Alan Factory Cyclocross Team

North American Importer Euromedia Group, in conjunction with Italian frame builder Alan, has announced the sponsorship of the Alan Factory Cyclocross Team for the upcoming season. The team will be lead by Elite racers Jake Stechman and Jed Schneider. Jake has won more than 25 'cross races in a short career, while Jed, a two-time NCAA 'cross champion, returns from two years at the Cycling Center in Belgium.

In addition to Jake and Jed, the squad will be comprised of nine riders that will contest both the Midwest and national circuit, major UCI events across the US, and the nationals. Featured Junior member Derek Laan hopes to improve on his 5th place finish at nationals last year and potentially gain a spot on the USA World's team. Several members also plan to race in Italy after the US Nationals in preparation for the 2004 World Championships and Master's World's.

Team roster:

Senior Elite: Jed Schneider, Jake Stechman, Colin Thierenen, Jason McDonald, Paul Thoresen

Elite Master: Paul Schoening, Steve Sonnesyn

Elite Junior: Derek Laan, Bjorn Selander

The company is currently looking to sponsor an elite female rider as well as an existing Women's UCI road team. Interested parties should contact Euromedia Group at 1-866-623-3073 or

T-Mobile International correction

In the recent T-Mobile International women's race, Cyclingnews initially reported that Diana Ziliute crashed after hitting a race motorcycle. This was incorrect, as Ziliute crashed of her own accord and there were no motorcycles involved.

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