First Edition News for June 9, 2004
Edited by John Stevenson
Beloki & the Tour: will he or won't he?
The question of Brioches la Boulangère rider Joseba Beloki's participation in the 2004 Tour de France took another twist yesterday when he told news agency FEF that he would be riding, contrary to previous reports that he was about to pull out.
"In spite of my problems with allergies, the Tour is not in danger," said Beloki, adding that he would approach the Tour "with ambition."
"I have allergies and under French law I have problems with my treatment. If I cannot take my usual thing I will have problems in competition," he said. Beloki has a permit to use a medication containing cortisone, but this is not permitted under French regulations.
Between his slow recovery from the fall in last year's Tour in which he broke his hip, problems over his medication and the recent news that his team's sponsor is withdrawing at the end of 2004, Beloki has not had a great year so far. Now, he wants to put it all behind him and get on with racing.
"I expect that you will soon see the Beloki of last year again. I want to forget the problems and return to being a cyclist," he said. "I have recovered perfectly from the fall, but there were other complications. I was not a mistake to come to France and I affirm my decision."
Beloki said that despite everything he will be there when the 2004 Tour de France leaves Liege on July 3. "Now I am concentrating on the Alps, then I will ride the Route du Sud [June 19-22] then the Spanish championships and the Tour. Those are my immediate plans," said Beloki.
British Olympic team announced
The British Olympic Association has announced the 21 riders who will represent Great Britain in Athens, and it's a squad that GB programme director David Brailsford says is "the strongest and most exciting Olympic cycling team Great Britain has ever fielded."
Britain's best medal chances look to come from the track, where the world championships bronze medal team sprint trio of Chris Hoy, Craig MacLean and keirin world champion Jamie Staff have all been selected, as has 2000 Olympic kilo gold medallist Jason Queally.
However, with both Hoy and MacLean in great form this year, as Hoy showed when he took gold at the world's last month, Queally may not get to defend his kilo title.
"It's fair to say Chris is leading the way and Craig is running second, but it is all there to fight for," David Brailsford told the BBC.
"My task is to make sure we get the fastest guy on the line on the day and we will be looking very closely at the situation."
Brailsford said, "I wouldn't have done my job if we weren't better prepared than we were for Sydney. Across the whole range of cycling disciplines we can go to Athens with high hopes. We have an attitude that we refuse to lose and I believe the team spirit, morale and resolve in the British cycling team at the moment is second to none."
Other strong track hopes include pursuiter Bradley Wiggins and the team pursuit squad which rode to a solid silver at the world's and is believed by its coaches to be capable of an Olympic gold performance.
On the road, world time trial champion David Millar and 2003 World Cup champions Nicole Cooke were preselected last year, and while both have been troubled by injury this year, there is still time for them to come back strongly for Athens.
Great Britain 2004 Olympic team
Men: Steve Cummings, Ross Edgar, Rob Hayles, Chris Hoy, Paul Manning, Craig MacLean, Chris Newton, Jason Queally, Jamie Staff, Bryan Steel, Bradley Wiggins, Roger Hammond, Jeremy Hunt, Charly Wegelius, Julian Winn, David Millar.
Women: Emma Davies, Victoria Pendleton, Rachel Heal, Sara Symington, Nicole Cooke.
T-Mobile for Tour of Switzerland
Team T-Mobile is sending the top two riders of last year's race back to defend their titles at the Tour of Switzerland (June 12-20). Alexander Vinokurov will lead the German-based team, supported not only by last year's runner-up, Giuseppe Guerini, but also high-powered 'domestique' Jan Ullrich.
T-Mobile for Tour de Suisse: Santiago Botero, Giuseppe Guerini, Sergej Ivanov, Daniele Nardello, Tobias Steinhauser, Jan Ullrich, Steffen Wesemann, and Alexander Vinokurov.
Fassa Bortolo for Tour of Switzerland
Fassa Bortolo has announced the riders that will start the Tour of Switzerland on Saturday. They are: Fabian Cancellara, Francesco Chicchi, Massimo Codol, Dario Cioni, Tom Danielson, Volodimir Gustov, Kim Kirchen, and Alberto Ongarato.
Serotta superbike raffle for Phinney Foundation
The Davis Phinney Foundation, which supports research aimed at understanding, preventing, and treating Parkinson's disease, is running a fund-raising raffle with a first prize of a top-of-the-line titanium/carbon Serotta Ottrott with Shimano Dura-Ace components.
The $9000 bike will be raffled as part of the Foundation's first fundraising event, The Sunflower Revolution. The two day event will take place in Cincinnati, July 30-31, and will consist of a dinner with live auction and a ride the following day. The $100 raffle tickets will be sold on the foundation's website, through the mail, and at The Sunflower Revolution event. There will be a limit of five hundred tickets sold. Davis Phinney will draw the winning ticket after the Sunflower Ride an Saturday July 31, 2004. Details on the bike and the raffle are online at: www.davisphinneyfoundation.com/dreambike.htm
The raffle winner will be professionally fitted at a participating Serotta dealer and have the dream bike custom built to their specifications.
Skills and grass track racing next weekend in Ballinrobe
By Shane Stokes, irishcycling.com
Next weekend the Cycling Superstars event held at Ballinrobe racecourse will see riders from the under ten to under sixteen divisions compete in a number of races. Billed as an 'anybody, any bike' type of event, it is intended to help introduce newcomers to cycling while also catering for those who have experience on the bike.
Saturday's opening day will see a skills competition being run as well as three different grass track events of ten 400 metre laps each. A scratch race, a points race and a devil takes the hindmost competition will see points awarded to the competitors, with the highest combined total determining the national winner in each age division.
Sunday will feature team races, using riders from a mixture of age divisions.
"The Cycling Superstars events will serve both at an introductory level and also for the more experienced riders," said organiser Padraig Marrey. "The skills competition will be great fun, with a variety of obstacles set up. The races should work well and are not too long, so beginners can give them a shot too.
"It's going to be great fun. There are a load of non-cycling activities planned too so Saturday and Sunday should be real family days out."
Sign on is at Ballinrobe racecourse on Saturday at 9 am. More information is available from Padraig Marrey at 087 7992857.
US Olympic trials needs volunteers
Organisers of the PoolGel US Elite National Championship and Team USA Selection Races, at Redlands, California, June 16, 17 and 19, are appealing for volunteers to help marshal the races.
Volunteers get a ringside seat for the racing, an event shirt, and free food. To help out contact Tim and Penny Adams at (909) 797-5776 or see http://www.redlandsclassic.com/nationals.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)