First Edition Cycling News for January 6, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones
Hennie Kuiper remembers Zanoli
The death of ex-Dutch professional Michel Zanoli was a sadly premature end for a man who was just 35 years old. Zanoli died on December 29 of heart failure, and was cremated last Saturday, January 3. Zanoli's former Motorola team director Hennie Kuiper remembered him in an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
"Michel was a guy who was always looking and fighting for recognition. In one way or another, he always had difficulty staying in line. He could not completely live for the sport. As a rider I'd say that he had qualities. I remember a Vuelta España where he was pretty much unbeatable. Unfortunately we had to make him leave Motorola in an unpleasant manner. In front of the cameras, Michel hit Phinney, who was an institution in American cycling. Jim Ochowicz couldn't do anything then but sack Zanoli. I'm afraid that since he stopped he often had problems."
AIS rider investigated for drug possession
A member of the Australian Institute of Sport cycling team is under investigation for possession of illegal drugs, according to a report in the Herald Sun. The cyclist, whose name has not been released, was found in possession of the drugs three weeks ago at the national training centre in Adelaide. The investigation is being carried out by the AIS and Cycling Australia prompted by the Australian Sports Commission, which funds the AIS. The rider in question has had their scholarship suspended until the investigation has finished.
In related news, there is still no update on the rider who returned an irregular sample during last year's Herald Sun Tour, as the UCI is still waiting for further test results.
Teams for Tour of Qatar
A total of 15 teams will take part in the Doha International Grand Prix and the Tour of Qatar from January, 31 to February 6. The field will be comprised of nearly all Division I teams as follows:
UCI Cyclo-cross rankings
Bart Wellens (Spaar Select) has leapt to the top of the UCI Cyclo-cross rankings, swapping places with Sven Nys (Rabobank) and opening up a 400 plus point lead over the last month. Nys held the position for some time before Christmas but Wellens' consistently good results saw him accumulate a mass of UCI points. In third place is Belgian Ben Berden (John Saey-Deschacht) who is followed by Mario De Clercq (Mr Bookmaker-Palmans) and Erwin Vervecken (Spaar Select). The first non-Belgian rider is Richard Groenendaal (Rabobank) who is in sixth place.
UCI Rankings as of January 4, 2004
1 Bart Wellens (Bel) Spaar Select 2483 pts 2 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank 2045 3 Ben Berden (Bel) John Saey-Deschacht 1653 4 Mario De Clercq (Bel) Mr.Bookmaker-Palmans 991 5 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Spaar Select 940 6 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) Rabobank 891
Chaurreau suffering from mononucleosis
Ag2r-Prevoyance cyclist Iñigo Chaurreau will miss the first part of the season after contracting mononucleosis (glandular fever). Spanish newspaper Diario Vasco reported that Chaurreau has lost 6 kilograms as a result, and will not be able to take part in the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under later this month.
"A month ago I thought I had something because I wasn't well," said Chaurreau. "I had a fever with a sore throat. I took antibiotics but they did not cure me, I felt weak. It coincided with the first UCI health analysis performed by the team, they did some tests on me and detected mononucleosis."
Chaurreau is recovering well and has set his sights on coming back in June. "There will be a delay in my preparation but the important thing is that I'm completely recovered," he said.
By Karen Forman
It may not be looking for stage wins or overall points, but the TAC/Victorian Police team in this week's Jayco Bay Classic on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula is looking forward to playing a more important role than emerging the winners of Australia's premiere international criterium series.
The team, comprising Barcelona Olympic cyclist Robert Crowe, Atlanta Olympic 5000 metre runner Julian Paynter, Melbourne trauma nurse and cyclist Stuart Hill, Melbourne elite cyclist Andrew Naylor and Victoria police State bicycle coordinator, Senior Constable Ted Harman, will be using its presence in the elite field to promote Vic Police's Shared Respect Initiative and newly introduced Cycling Code of Conduct (PDF file).
Both the SRI and Code of Conduct emanated from a forum held in Melbourne in 2002 to solve safety issues surrounding Melbourne's famous Saturday morning "Hell Ride" along Beach Rd - a training ride which had attracted controversy due to the speed and lack of attention to road rules of some of the 100 or so participants, risking a police ban.
"What came out of that was that we should have a Code of Conduct for cycling, telling riders not to run red lights, for the front group to wait for the back group when it was forced to stop at red lights, to not ride five abreast across the road," rider and Victoria Police officer, Senior Constable David Eadie told Cyclingnews.
"We figured if we educate the cyclists, then we can start asking the motorists to give cyclists a go. Originally it was targeted specifically at the Hell Ride but since then we have expanded on that to address all riding bunches, anywhere. Our team in the Jayco Bay Classic is one of the arms of the initiative and this is the second year we have taken part. The aim of taking part in events like the Bay crits is to have a presence among the riders."
The committee behind the initiative comprises Snr. Cnst. Eadie, Crowe, Bike Now bicycle store owner Warren Kay and Officer in Charge of Mordiallac Police Station (which is primarily responsible for the Hell Ride) Senior Sergeant Brad Hanel, and is backed by the Transport Accident Commission, Victoria Police, Vic Roads, LinFox, Bicycle Victoria, Roadsafe and Mornington Peninsula Shire Council. It also has the support of the St Kilda Cycling Club and the Caulfield Carnegie Cycling Club.
As well as its racing team, the committee has a giant blow up Tour de France-style finishing banner featuring safety messages and will sponsor a Best Young Riders Jersey to reward the best, not necessarily the leading, young rider during the five day series. Police officer Senior Constable Bec Caskey will ride in the women's division. "She's not an elite rider; she will struggle, but she is representing the initiative," Snr. Cnst. Eadie said.
"It's not so much about preaching to the riders, but educating them. We are telling riders that if we can show ourselves to be riding safely, then when we got to the motorists asking for their support, saying that Beach Road is a major cycling mecca and we would like motorists' respect, then we will have a much better chance at really making a difference.
"My (police) unit, the Youth Advisory Unit, is sponsoring the Young Riders Jersey and hopefully we can use the winner as an ambassador for the Code of Conduct. Within five years we will have a whole new culture out there."
Already the initiative has started to pay off, with 90 per cent of the Hell Riders stopping at red lights and more communication within the bunches. "The Hell Ride is still the major baby that is being worked out but we would like to see this spreading right around the country," Snr Cnst Eadie said. "Everyone needs to be made aware of the Code of Conduct."
Snr. Cnst. Eadie unfortunately had to withdraw from the team after breaking his collarbone during the recent Hawaiian Ironman, but he'll be on the sidelines next week. "This is a plea from me asking that those on Beach Rd and on bunch rides everywhere, make sure they are seen to be doing the right thing, so we can get respect from motorists," he said.
2004 Jayco Bay Classic
Irish Olympic selection criteria announced
By Shane Stokes, Irishcycling.com
Cycling Ireland has announced its selection criteria for the Olympic road race in Athens in August. UCI world ranking points attained before June 27th will be the single most important consideration, attracting a weighting of 50%. A new four man Cycling Ireland Athens Planning Grouping will also have an input, with exceptional performances in 2004 (30% weighting), exceptional teamwork (10%) and rider attributes (10%) such as the ability to handle the heat and pollution of Athens also playing a part in determining selection.
The provisional Hibernian Team Ireland International road programme for the season was also released at CI's meeting yesterday in Santry. The 2.2 Tour of Langkawi from February 6 - 15 will be the first of these. Five of the seven-man team were named yesterday, with Philip Deignan, Paul Griffin, David McCann, Denis Lynch and David O'Loughlin confirmed for the prestigious Malaysian tour. The two remaining places will be filled shortly.
The next two races on the programme will be the Omloop van-Het Waasland and the Zesbergenprijs Harelbeke, both 1.5 events, on March 14 and 27.
Extra sponsor for Saunier Duval
New Spanish Division I team Saunier Duval has gained an extra sponsor in Castellón Costa de Azahar, which will feature on the shoulders of the team's jerseys. The one year deal (with an option of two more years) will see the team take part in a training camp in Marina D'Or and Oropesa del Mar in the province of Castellón between January 16-22, in order to take advantage of the favourable climate and infrastructure in the area.
Health Net to Langkawi
The Health Net Presented by Maxxis team has confirmed that it will be among the starter in the 2004 Tour de Langkawi (February 6-15). "We are delighted to have been selected to this extremely prestigious event and we intend to open our 2004 racing season with a strong showing," said D.S. Jeff Corbett. "Our lineup is composed of both experienced riders, such as Gord Fraser, Greg Henderson, John Lieswyn and Scott Moninger, as well as younger riders including former U-23 world TT champion Danny Pate and Brice Jones. And of course, the Team will include Mike Sayers, who will be riding the Tour for the first time."
Team roster: Gord Fraser, Greg Henderson, Brice Jones, John Lieswyn, Scott Moninger, Danny Pate, Michael Sayers. Reserves: Michael Jones, Jason Lokkesmoe, Jason McCartney.
Van Haesebroucke back to Navigators
Belgian Franky Van Haesebroucke will return to the Navigators Insurance Cycling Team in 2004 to act as the team's assistant Directeur Sportif and Equipment Manager. Van Haesebroucke was last with the team in 2000-2001 when he rode for them professionally. Last year he acted as the Flanders-iteamNova assistant director.
"I am very excited to be working with Franky again," said Navigators Director Sportif Ed Beamon. "We have been talking about this possibility for some time, and I'm very happy we've been able to put things together. Franky is a good friend, and has been a tremendous help to the Navigators program in the past, as rider and supporter. We are really going to enjoy having him back in an official capacity, and I expect he will be a great addition to a very competent staff."
Simpson Desert Cycle Challenge 2004
The annual Simpson Desert Cycle Challenge (SDCC) will take place from September 28 - October 2 this year. The SDCC enters its 18th year in 2004 and the race will again see competitors ride the 580 kilometres from Purnie Bore in outback South Australia to the famous township of Birdsville in outback Queensland. The event is the annual fundraiser for the Paraplegic Benefit Fund of Australia.
The SDCC comprises nine stages over four and a half days. Competitors cover 80 kilometres during morning sessions and an average of 50 kilometres on each of the four afternoon sessions. While this may sound easy enough, event director Trent Taylor explains that the real challenge of the SDCC is to maintain the minimum speed requirement of 12 km/h across the sand and corrugated tracks.
"12 km/h might not sound very fast but given that most sand dunes require riders to dismount their bikes and walk up the hills, it can be tough to maintain," said Mr. Taylor. Riders failing to maintain this speed will result in being caught by the sweep vehicle and transported to the end of the stage.
Competitors will be able to enter the 2004 race in either open division, as an age grouper, as a team of four or in second division, which requires competitors to complete the morning stages of the event only.
More information: www.go.to/sdcc (after January 15).
Burnaby track meet coming up
The Burnaby Velodrome Club will be hosting the first major track race in North America this weekend at the only indoor velodrome in the western hemisphere. The three day meet, dubbed "Mass Start Madness", will take place between January 9-11.
The event to be held on the 200m, 47 degree banked oval in Burnaby will feature Canadian Olympic hopefuls Mandy Poitras and Lori-Ann Muenzer, as well as Canadian Champions Ryan MacKenzie, Steen Madsen, Marsh Cooper, Erin Carter, Naomi Cooper, Yannik Morin, Scott Crump and others, as well as US National Team riders Kenny Williams, Tyler Farrar, Jennie Reed and Josh Kerkhoff. Appearances are also expected from Andreas Hestler and Kirk O'Bee.
The format will include feature races each day for the three categories (A, B, and C) including Elimination, Scratch and Points Races as well as Sprint and Keirin tournaments and supporting mass start events. A tentative schedule can be found at www.burnabyvelodrome.ca. There will also be a Learn to Race clinic for kids on Wednesday, Jan 7 at 8 PM. This clinic is required for all new and novice track racers to compete on the weekend races. Clinic fee is $25.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)