First Edition Cycling News for January 21, 2004
Edited by Chris Henry
More Cofidis riders questioned
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
As the Cofidis team returned to France after its pre-season training
camp in Calpe, Spain, two riders were stopped for questioning at Orly
airport, south of Paris. Investigators had already indicated to team management
that they could expect a greeting from the police upon return to Paris,
and Tuesday evening team members Cédric Vasseur and Philippe Gaumont
were pulled aside for questioning as they entered baggage claim.
Their questioning stems from the ongoing investigation focused on Cofidis
soigneur Bogdan Madejak and ex-Cofidis riders Marek Rutkiewicz and Robert
Sassone, all three of whom have been questioned. Madejak remains in custody
in France, while Sassone and Rutkiewicz have been released on bail. Bogdan
remains the primary focus of an investigation into the trafficking of
banned substances from eastern Europe.
While no incriminating evidence has been found within the Cofidis team-
apart from Madejak's implication in the trafficking ring- the
team remains the focal point of police efforts. Both Rutkiewicz and
Sassone were to ride with new teams in 2004 (RAGT Semences-MG Rover and
Cofidis defends its name
According to a l'Equipe report Tuesday, Cofidis management is
prepared to file civil suits against any party openly accusing the team
of involvement in the use or trafficking of prohibited substances.
"[Cofidis manager] Alain Bondue reserves the right to file suit against
any person(s) who attack the honour and sporting integrity of the team,"
a statement read.
Sassone appears in court
The second rider to be implicated
in the drug trafficking investigation sparked by Marek Rutkiewicz's
arrest, Robert Sassone, appeared before a French court Monday, charged
with possession and transfer of doping products. Sassone's Hyères,
France home was searched by police January 14, where substances such as
amphetamines, steroids, and EPO were seized, according to the French paper
Jaksche targets own races
After several seasons as a super domestique with ONCE-Eroski, German
Jörg Jaksche is eager to target his own races with Team CSC. Jaksche,
who made the move to the Danish team specifically to work with Bjarne
Riis, will likely ride support in the Tour de France, but envisions his
own leadership role for shorter stage races. A previous second place overall
in Paris-Nice has fuelled Jaksche's confidence.
"It's all about your physical shape," Jaksche, 27, commented on the team's
website. "If you're not in the right shape, you have to help your teammates
rather than riding your own chance. I know I'm at my best in stage races
of a maximum of 10 days duration, so I hope to do well in the period between
Paris-Nice and the Tour de Romandie, both of which are very important
to me this season."
Jaksche is also happy to have compatriot Jens Voigt in the team. Voigt
switched in the off-season from French team Crédit Agricole. "It's
perfect for me that Jens is on the team," he explained. "First of all
because it's sometimes nice to speak German, but also because he's a very
smart and sympathetic guy, who likes to talk about other stuff than cycling
all the time."
Directeur sportif Kim Andersen, who also joined CSC this year, has great
expectations for Jaksche in Paris-Nice.
"He's extremely motivated," Andersen said. "Perhaps he seems a bit modest,
but on the inside he knows exactly what he wants, no doubt about it."
Euskaltel to Ruta del Sol
The Basque Euskaltel-Euskadi team will take to the roads of Andalucia,
Spain with a participation in the Vuelta Ciclista a Andalucia-Ruta del
Sol, February 15-19. The team will send Mikel Artetxe, David Etxebarria,
Unai Etxebarria, Samuel Sanchez, Dioni Galparsoro, Iñigo Landaluce,
Aitor and Josu Silloniz.
Olympic MTB qualifications
The UCI announced Tuesday its qualifications for the mountain bike events
at the 2004 summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Based on UCI rankings and
results of the 2003 Continental Championships (excluding the European
Championships), the following 48 places have been allotted out of a possible
50 available. Thirty two nations will be represented in the Olympic MTB
Olympic qualifications by country:
Argentina 1 0
Australia 2 1
Austria 2 1
Belgium 3 0
Brazil 0 1
Canada 2 3
China 1 1
Costa Rica 1 1
Czech Republic 2 0
Denmark 2 1
France 3 1
Germany 3 3
Great Britain 2 0
Hungary 1 0
Ireland 1 1
Italy 2 1
Japan 1 0
Namibia 1 0
Netherlands 3 1
New Zealand 1 1
Norway 0 1
Poland 2 3
Romania 1 0
Russia 0 1
Slovakia 1 1
Slovenia 1 0
South Africa 1 1
Spain 2 2
Sweden 0 1
Switzerland 3 2
Ukraine 1 0
USA 2 1
Lowe to Yeti Cycles
Former junior world mountain bike champion Trent
Lowe has signed a contract with Yeti Cycles for 2004. The 2003 Australian
U23 champion suffered a series of injuries and setbacks last season (nation
title notwithstanding), but told Cyclingnews that his training
is back on schedule for the coming season. Lowe was supported by Yeti
in 2002 and is pleased to be back in the team.
"I am very motivated for this season and will be aiming for the NORBA podium
as well as Olympic selection in MTB," he said. "It's great to be back
with Yeti who initially supported me in 2002 and when I won the world's."
"This deal has largely been possible because of Paul Rowney's continued
support and his wide network of contacts in the industry which he has
built during his years on the NORBA circuit," he said of the senior Australian
MTB rider (and occasional Cyclingnews diarist).
Gears Racing MTB for 2004
Gears Racing Institute (GRI) chairman Mark Bonham and president Kevin
Wallace announced their team's roster for the 2004 mountain bike season.
The Toronto, Canada-based team is the country's largest MTB development
team, with experienced riders hand-picked to help nurture and mentor younger
The GRI team will support riders for World Cup competition, national
elite and espoir racing, right on through to provincial and junior categories.
GRI also has a large representation in the 2004 Canadian national team.
The 2004 season will focus on the Canadian World Cup rounds and select
NORBA and Canada Cup series racing.
Gears Racing is sponsored by Shimano Canada, Specialized Bicycles, Sugoi,
Michelin Tires, RockShox, Stoney Ridge Estate Winery, and Bonham & Co.
For more information on the team, visit www.gearsracing.com.
2004 Gears Racing roster:
World Cup: Kiara Bisaro, Ricky Federau, Trish Sinclair, Mathieu Toulouse
National Senior Elite: Danelle Kabush, Matt Patterson, Greg Reain, Sue
Trimble, Andrew Watson
National Espoir: Frederic Bussieres, Adam Coates, Martin Lazarski, Sophie-Anne
Blanchette, Catherine Vipond
Provincial: Paul Brown, Michael Dennis, Craig Hawkes, Sean Ito, Chris
Jackson, Heather King Cameron Mackenzie, Tim Oliver, Paul Skafel
Kevin Wallace, President
Ira Kargel, Vice-President
Ron Vanderleeuw, Team Captain/Head Mechanic
Ryan Hindmarsh, Training/Development Manager
IMBA Announces freeriding grants
Mountain bike groups looking to develop technical riding skills will
soon benefit from a new grant program focused on building challenging
trails. In 2004, Kona Bicycle Company and the International Mountain Bicycling
Association (IMBA) will award five cash grants to fund the development
of freeriding, downhilling, and dirt jumping projects.
IMBA-affiliated clubs are invited to apply for five $500 awards. The
application deadline is March 1, 2004, and the grants will be awarded
in April. Funding for the program comes from Kona and the Kona/IMBA Bowling
Party, an annual Las Vegas fundraiser held during the Interbike trade
show in Las Vegas.
The program's goal is to speed the development of freeriding opportunities
on public land. Grants will be used for a variety of purposes, including
gaining land manager approval, addressing liability concerns, trail and
stunt construction, trailhead kiosks and signage, and freeride organization
For more information, or to apply, see www.imba.com/resources/grants/
MajorMotionCycling expands junior team
Southern-California's MajorMotionCycling Team has expanded its junior
team to 15 riders, as well as two U23 riders for 2004. MajorMotion was
founded in 1975 in Los Angeles. The name was inspired by Major "Marshall"
Taylor, who won the world 1-mile Championship in Montreal, Canada in 1899,
and part of the club's focus is junior development.
Returning to the team for 2004 is Ali Camara 2002 National Criterium
Champion 15-16, silver in the RR. Also new to the team in 2004 is Alex
Garcia 2003 National Criterium Champion (13-14)
MajorMotion's aim will be to compete on a regional level and the Lance
Armstrong Series, as well as Sea Otter, Redlands and the US Junior Nationals
in Park City, Utah. The age 17-18 team has earned an invite to Le Tour
de l'Abitibi in Québec, Canada.
2004 Team roster: Alex Boyd (17-18)
Ali Camara (17-18)
Jared Downing (17-18)
Michael Sheppard (17-18)
Chris Trembly (17-18)
Patrick McFraziar (17-18)
Nico Ceinfronco (15-16)
Roberto Onofre (15-16)
Justin Williams (15-16)
Alex Garcia (13-14)
Freddie Cruz (13-14)
Peter Boyd (13-14)
Jose Banuelos (13-14)
Frank Albanez Jr. (13-14)
Iggy Silva III (13-14)
Adolfo Garcia (10-12)
Jose Estevez (U23)
Emmanual Suarez (U23)
Sponsors: KHS Bicycles, Sixtus, Ritchey, GU, DT Sports Management, American
Classic, B 4 U DECIDE.COM, Rock "n" Roll Lube, Limar Helmets
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