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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for January 14, 2004

Edited by Chris Henry

Henk Vogels on the road to recovery - again

By Anthony Tan

Leon (L) and Henk Vogels at the Perth criterium series
Photo: © Steve Lack
Click for larger image

Just over a week ago, a high speed tumble and two broken ribs was the end result in Henk Vogels' second race back after a horrific, season-ending crash in June last year. However, despite the disappointment of missing the BMC Software Australian Road Championships and Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under (JCTDU), the tough-as-nails Aussie is determined to be ready for his number one priority this year: Gent-Wevelgem.

"I'm going to put my focus on Gent-Wevelgem - everything this season is for Gent-Wevelgem - and also Scheldeprijs [Vlaanderen] and obviously Tour of Georgia, which is a big event for us as an American team," said Vogels to Cyclingnews. "I think if I can get some results, then maybe Olympic selection is possible - I've shown I can ride as a domestique in the past, but with so many good Australians, it's going to be hard to get into the team this year, but I'm going to try as hard as I can."

After spending the last six months recuperating and rehabilitating from a crash many first thought was fatal, the 30 year-old, soon to be father of two had spent barely two weeks back in serious training, riding between 80 to 100 kilometres a day, before disaster struck again at the second round of the Be Active Cycle Instead Criterium Series in his hometown of Perth.

"I went over [to Perth] to do the crits for show; I wasn't really ready because my ankle's still not back to where it should be," Vogels explained. "There were about 60 guys doing the race and halfway into the race, there were around 30 left but I was struggling - last wheel - and I stood out of the seat to accelerate and my handlebars snapped... I just went straight over the handlebars and my chest landed on the stem; I hit the deck and now I've broken a couple of ribs."

Asked if the crash has exacerbated the rehabilitation of his broken vertebra and ankle from his crash in Fitchburg last year, Vogels said the extra time off the bike will in fact allow his ankle to regain its full strength before he resumes racing with the Navigators Insurance team in Italy at the end of next month. Missing the national road championships this weekend or the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under is not a huge loss either: before Navigators was invited to race the JCTDU to replace Spanish team Liberty Seguros, Vogels had already been offered and declined a position of one of the Australian composite teams by national coach Brian Stephens on the basis of his current level of fitness.

"If anything, [the crash] gave me another 9 or 10 days off the bike for my ankle to heal and all. But I was just getting back into the swing of things; I had just done 300k in three days and I had been training quite seriously since the 20th of December, and then this comes along, so I'm just on bloody pain killers three times a day. The left hand side of my body has really been hammered the last six months; I must have killed a Chinaman in a previous life or something, I don't know," he joked.

Sick and tired of sitting on the couch, Vogels made an attempt to return to riding yesterday despite the pain of nursing two broken ribs, managing to ride for 45 minutes on the flat. "I couldn't even breathe properly until yesterday, but I just thought: 'Stuff it, I'm going for a ride anyway'. I can't get out of the saddle because I need to use my arms and torso to stand up, but I'm going to go out for a couple of hours sitting the next few days to try and get some kilometres back in - I'm sick and tired of sitting round the house - I want to get back into it."

Vogels' wife Cindy is expected to give birth to their second child in early February, meaning Henk will miss the team's first training camp in Donoratico, Italy later this month. Instead, he is likely to leave for Italy on February 17, with his first race scheduled five days later on February 22.

Click here to read the full interview with Henk Vogels.

Bartoli to try Paris-Roubaix

Classics specialist Michele Bartoli is planning his first ride in the hell of the north, Paris-Roubaix. Bartoli has found great success in the World Cup, including double victories at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Giro di Lombardia, not to mention the Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold Race. Never before, however, has the 33 year old Tuscan dared to tread of the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix. This year Bartoli leaves Fassa Bortolo to join Team CSC.

Vandenbroucke hearing January 27

A hearing has been scheduled for January 27 in Termonde, Belgium to determine whether Frank Vandenbroucke will have to go to trial for his arrest in February of 2002. At the time police seized certain prohibited substances from Vandenbroucke's home after a traffic stop with Bernard Sainz, who was staying with Vandenbroucke at the time, revealed substances in Sainz's car.

Vandenbroucke's lawyers have entered a motion to dismiss the case, citing in part the notion that VDB has already been punished in both damage to his reputation and through the suspension handed down by the Flemish cycling federation.

"I'm waiting calmly for the decision, even if the whole judicial procedure has been a bit long," Vandenbroucke commented at the Belgian court. "I'm confident."

Polish doctor investigated in Rumsas case

A Polish doctor who prescribed certain prohibited substances to Edita Rumsas, wife of embattled Lithuanian cyclist Raimondas Rumsas, remains under investigation by French authorities. Edita Rumsas was stopped in her car by French customs on her way out of the country after the final stage of the 2002 Tour de France, in which Raimondas finished third overall. She spent nearly 11 weeks in custody after being charged with possession of illegal doping products.

Polish doctor Fisek Kristof is himself targeted as part of the ongoing investigation, and statements taken as part of a judicial process in Poland have been submitted for translation and is destined for the French courts, according to an AFP report. Raimondas Rumsas is not directly involved in this current proceeding. At the time of her arrest, Mrs. Rumsas declared that the substances in question were for her mother-in-law, but this argument was discounted.

Injuries at Ag2R

Two members of the French Ag2R-Prévoyance team face minor setbacks due to injury in the off-season. Christophe Agnolutto was involved in a traffic accident outside Paris, on his way to the doctor on his motorcycle. He is expected to go for an MRI this week, however is not believe to have suffered any fractures.

New recruit Lloyd Mondory will undergo surgery Thursday for fibrosis in his knee. His required time off the bike is not yet clear.

Decision nears for Dick Lane Velodrome

The East Point, Georgia City Council will vote Tuesday, January 20 on the fate of the Dick Lane Velodrome. The City Council will vote on whether or not to offer the East Point Velodrome Association a long-term lease for the facility in order to assume responsibility for its repairs. Without the needed restoration work, the velodrome faces closure by the city.

The East Point Velodrome Association is urging all cyclists and fans of track racing to attend the City Council meeting, scheduled for 6:30pm on the 20th at the East Point Auditorium building behind the City Hall. More information on the fundraising efforts for the velodrome, as well as details and directions for the City Council meeting, are available at www.dicklanevelodrome.com.

Team Basis expands in 2004

For the 2004 season, Basis Women's Cycling Team has expanded its roster and race schedule. The team will compete in the full National Racing Calendar as well as select international competitions. Team founder Nicole Freedman plans on fielding a team for the Tour de L'Aude and the spring World Cup events in Europe.

The team is still dedicated to its core mission: to provide a supportive, nurturing environment from which to develop Olympic talent. Year 2002 International Champion Heather Albert and 2000 Olympian Nicole Freedman will captain the Basis team. Unable to scare off last year's rookies, the duo will be joined by returning racers: Chrissy Ruiter, Stephanie Hannos, Lauren Gaffney and Kate Maher, who own a combined 12 Collegiate National Championships and five dogs.

The team most recently added Kristin Johnson. "We really wanted to have multiple riders with the same name, OR the same rider with multiple names/ personalities," Freedman explained. "With Chrissy already on board, Kristin was a perfect choice."

Johnson, a former T-Mobile developmental rider, recently won her second collegiate national mountain bike title at Angel Fire, New Mexico. The team is currently seeking an eighth and final rider. (Kristens, or derivations thereof, are encouraged to apply.)

To help riders reach their potential and the 2004 summer Olympics in Athens, Team Basis is joining forces with Chris Georgas, a veteran Canadian coach living in the Aude region of France. Basis will have an international wing, Team Basis-Aude which will compete exclusively overseas. The team is spearheaded by multiple world champion Marion Clignet. Other riders include Genevieve Le Blanc, Genevieve Gagnon, Kathy White, Julie Belanger, Katy St. Laurent and Kristen Lasasso.

Joining the Basis team as sponsors are Wild Roses, Javelin Bikes, Racermate (Computrainer), Bell Sports, Cane Creek, Carnac, Continental Tires, Defeet, Fizik, Genisoy, Honeystinger, Kinesys Sunblock, 02 Rainwear, Pacific Health Labs (Accelerade/ Endurox), Reynolds Wheels, Rudy Project, Speedplay, Thomson, Voler Team Apparel, White Industries Zipcar, and Barbara's Bakery.

New US Division III team

San Francisco, California based McGuire Real Estate will sponsor a new Division III professional team for 2004, in addition to its current club team. The team will be guided by manager/directeur sportif, Terry Curley. The team will focus on the northern California/Nevada racing calendar, but will also target some out of state NRC races, as well as the T-Mobile International in San Francisco. The team is currently finalising its sponsors and racing schedule.

McGuire Real Estate Professional Cycling Team:

Colin Beardsley
Jamiel Danesh
Patrick Dunaway
Dave Fuentes
Roman Kilun
Josh Klikna
David McCook
Mike Taylor
Devon Vigus

CatEye Enduro Team

CatEye and Giant USA have created a pro-elite squad of four endurance mountain bike racers for 2004. Based in North America, the team's focus will be on 24-hour races and ultra-distance events around the world. Team members include Sloane Anderson, Jeff Kerkove, Louise Kobin, and Eric Warkentin. The team will use CatEye computers and Giant carbon composite NRS Air frames. For more information see www.cateye.com.

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