Latest Cycling News for March 30, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones
Armstrong reconnoitres Tour TTs
Lance Armstrong (US Postal)
Photo ©: Elmar Krings
Lance Armstrong used his recent time in France to good effect, not only
finishing third overall in the Criterium International last weekend, but
also taking the opportunity to ride certain parts of the Tour de France
parcours. Armstrong concentrated particularly on the time trials, and
a couple of days before Criterium International, he spent a day in Besançon
riding the parcours of the Tour's 19th stage, a 64 km individual race
against the clock. And on the Monday after CI, he headed north to Cambrai
to ride the route of the 65 km team time trial, Stage 4 of the Tour.
Armstrong noted in L'Equipe that Stage 19 "is the longest time
trial I've had to ride at the Tour," adding that it will be "quite hard
after three weeks of racing."
No defending champion in De Panne
Defending champion Raivis Belohvosciks (Jacques) will not take the start
of the Driedaagse van de Panne. Currently sick in bed, Belohvosciks' role
as leader will be assumed by Bart Voskamp.
Quick.Step-Davitamon's Michael Rogers is also sick, and will not take
the start. His place will be taken by Nick Nuyens.
Max van Heeswijk (US Postal-Berry Floor) is a third rider who will not
start in Middelkerke today. He is suffering from achilles tendon pain
and does not want to take any risks before Sunday's Ronde van Vlaanderen.
Teammates Viatcheslav Ekimov and George Hincapie will both start in De
No plaster for Van Hyfte
Paul Van Hyfte (Vlaanderen-T Interim) will not need an operation for
his broken elbow, and can begin training as early as next week with a
special elbow support. Van Hyfte broke his elbow in a crash during Saturday's
Steels unsure of re-entry date
Tom Steels (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) may have to forget his spring classics
season and possibly the Olympic Games as well, as he is still not recovered
from his crash in the Moscow World Cup in February. Doctors haven't ruled
out a rupture in his brain membrane, but Steels hopes that this isn't
"It's a suspicion, nothing more," he told Het Laatste Nieuws.
"But I had the same symptoms. The headaches have gone, that is the most
important thing. I have started training again but my condition is a long
way behind. I'm sick to death of all the setbacks. I was in excellent
condition in February. And then the crash on the track in Moscow: my whole
Sports doctor Chris Goossens said that a membrane rupture is more dangerous
than concussion. "You notice sometimes that people who have hit their
heads suddenly die a month later from a blood clot in the brain. That
can happen through a rupture like this. But normally you completely recover."
Steels' spot in the Belgian team for the World Cup in Manchester will
be taken by the talented young Iljo Keisse.
Van De Vijver in doubt for Flanders
Heidi Van De Vijver (Keukens Redant Cycling Team) is unsure of starting
in the first ever women's Tour of Flanders, which will be held on April
4. She has been suffering health problems for the last two months and
had to decrease her training intensity markedly. Finally, a medical examination
showed that she had thyroid gland insufficiency.
Van De Vijver started taking medication for the problem last week, but
it is doubtful that she will start in her home race. In 1995, Van De Vijver
won a previous incarnation of the women's Tour of Flanders, which included
the Muur van Geraardsbergen, beating Hanka Kupfernagel in the sprint.
Leblanc defends decision to exclude Kelme
Jean-Marie Leblanc's decision to veto the Kelme team from the Tour de
France and any other races organised by ASO was met with indignation by
Kelme, whose team director Vicente Belda asked why the same standards
aren't applied to Cofidis. Leblanc replied that the Kelme case "has nothing
to do with other teams in which there have also been revelations by riders...They
are teams classified by position according to the rules of the UCI, and
against those the organisers can do nothing.
"With the exclusion of Kelme, the organisers of the Tour want to make
a solid gesture against doping. It is something that we can contribute,
others can intervene in the rules or in the controls. The only thing we
can effect is to invite one team or another.
Requejo: "90 percent dope"
Opinions vary in the peloton as to what proportion of cyclists use doping
substances, with some riders estimating that most of their colleagues
are clean, while others contend that most are not. 29 year old Eligio
Requejo, who retired in July last year, is one of those in the "90 percent
of cyclists dope" camp, as he told a program on Spanish SER TV
"It sounds [like Manzano] and is a lot," he said. "It's counting what
I have seen and is the absolute truth...Everything that [Manzano] recounted
and the products that he mentioned I know as well. The blood transfusions,
the animal haemoglobin, I know them, but I did not dare to touch those
Requejo rode for Kelme in 1999 and 2000, and after that with ASC-Vila
do Conde in Portugal. His most notable result was a third place in the
Gran Premio Minho (UCI 2.3) in 2002. He left because "I saw that to prepare
for a tour of a week or two I would have to spend one or two months' salary.
Thus I didn't go to the other side."
Requejo said that the "obligation" to dope is strong. "You see that
people use products that work, and if you dare to try them you verify
this. And then you think: Do I stick around here or do I dedicate myself
to something else. If this is how it is, I'll leave."
He spoke up in support of Manzano, "There are people who are saying
that Jesus Manzano is doing the wrong thing, but I think the people that
are doing cycling a disservice are the ones discounting Manzano, those
who promote this among the cyclists," adding that the cause of doping
is "the environment of professional sport and the money. If you and the
team win races, the sponsor is going to put in more money, the director
is interested, the doctor who helps the team win more races is also interested.
It's a circle."
Marco Pantani foundation created
A foundation to help children, bearing the name of deceased Italian
climber Marco Pantani, has been created in Massa, Italy. The foundation
was launched in Massa's pediatric hospital by Pantani's former manager
Manuela Ronchi. Pantani's mother Tonina is the president of the foundation,
which will conduct research into improving the life of young people of
Italian elite rider positive
Italian rider Luca Lazzerini (Grassi Fausto Coppi) has tested positive
for Norandrosterone and Noreticolone, according to ANSA. The test
was taken on February 14 at a pre-season training camp near Rome. Lazzerini
was active in the dilettante (elite) class.
BRazilian sprinter Luciano Pagliarini (Lampre) has launched his official
website, www.lucianopagliarini.com. The site is currently only in Portuguese,
but in future there will be Italian and English versions.
Team iomega-Orbea to Uruguay
Boise, Idaho based elite team, iomega-Orbea will participate in the
61st edition of the Vuelta de Uruguay which runs April 2-11, 2004 and
is the longest continuous running stage race in the Americas. It will
be the first international race for the team, and the riders are looking
forward the challenge. The team will consist of five Americans and one
Uruguayan, who raced for iomega-Orbea last season: Tad Hamilton (USA),
Gary Casella (USA), Chris Abbruzzese (USA), Michael Coffman (USA), Eric
Ransom (USA) and Esteban Jukich (Uru).
Stage 1 - April 2: Piriapolis TTT, 7 km
Stage 2 - April 3: Piriapolis-Rocha, 188.5 km
Stage 3 - April 4: Jose P Varela-Melo, 147 km
Stage 4 - April 5: Melo-Tacuarembo, 201.8 km
Stage 5 - April 6: Tacuarembo-Salto, 169 km
Stage 6 - April 7: Salto-Paysandu, 116.5 km
Stage 7 - April 8: Paysandu-Frey Bentos-Mercedes, 157 km
Stage 8 - April 9: Mercedes-Frey Bentos ITT, 35 km
Stage 9 - April 10: Frey Bentos-Trinidad, 189.8 km
Stage 10 - April 11: Trinidad-Montevideo, 202 km
Total: 1415.9 km
Tour du Canada Time Trial
CycleCanada has announced the date for the 2004 Tour du Canada Time
Trial, a citizen's event held annually in Canada. In 2004 it will be held
on May 23, 2004 in Simcoe County, Ontario just north of Toronto. Categories
for prizes will be established to recognize a broad range of skill levels.
More information: www.CycleCanada.com/tdctt.htm
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)