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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for May 13, 2004

Edited by John Stevenson

Cipollini uncertain after crash

Mario Cipollini crosses the line after his crash
Photo ©: Sirotti

Mario Cipollini's spectacular crash in the final 250m of stage 4 saw him end up in hospital in Arrezzo where he received 14 stitches to his shin and elbow, but fortunately was found not to have sustained any broken bones. The crash happened when his teammate Andrus Aug looked around in the sprint while Cipollini was on his wheel. Aug unintentionally drifted to the left, with the result that Cipollini lost balance and came down hard, with Andrea Tonti and Kyrylo Pospyeyev tumbling over the top.

When asked whether he would remain in the Giro, Cipollini told RAI TV, "Who knows? We'll see. I had Aug in front of me who turned around and I finished up on the ground."

Stage winner Alessandro Petacchi said after the stage, "Unfortunately in the finale there was a crash which involved Cipollini and I'm sorry about this. If Mario did not start the Giro tomorrow, we would lose a certain protagonist and the glamour of our duel on the pedals. Therefore I hope with all of my heart that tomorrow he is on the road."

Incidentally, while Cipollini's finish time is recorded 'as is' in the official results, he was not penalised on general classification as a result of the crash, but received the same finish time as the peloton.

Ullrich 'definite' for Tour of Germany

Jan Ullrich will definitely start the Tour of Germany (May 31-June 6), according to a report on At a press conference in Karlsruhe yesterday, Tour of Germany organiser Roland Hofer confirmed Ullrich's participation in his national tour. "I personally would not be sure that he can win this year," said Hofer. "However I am convinced that if he decides to he can win a stage."

Erik Zabel will also represent T-Mobile in the Tour of Germany, and both of Germany's other top teams, Gerolsteiner and Wiesenhof will line up. "Of the top eight international teams, seven will be here at the start," said Hofer.

T-Mobile is aiming to grab the leader's jersey immediately, according to team spokesman Olaf Ludwig. "The [prologue] time trial in Karlsruhe will be our absolute priority. And then we will defend the yellow jersey for as long as we can," said Ludwig.

The world arrives in Sydney

Buzz builds for final world cup round

A host of world and Olympic champions will be in action in 16 events over three days when more than 200 cyclists from 41 nations contest the fourth and final round of the UCI Track World Cup Classics series being staged at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome from May 14 to 16. A host of world and Olympic champions will be in action in 16 events over the three days.

Australia's team includes 2002 keirin World Champion, Jobie Dajka, who this week returned from Japan where he has been contesting the lucrative Japanese International Keirin Series. Dajka, who last year claimed silver medals in both the keirin and the sprint at the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, will be keen to impress after missing the Australian Championships. But he will face tough opposition from the likes of American Marty Nothstein who won gold in the sprint at the Sydney Olympic Games and is back on track ahead of his bid to gain selection for the Athens Olympic Games.

The Great Britain team is expected to perform strongly with 2002 kilometre time trial World and Commonwealth Games Champion, Chris Hoy, racing in his pet event and then teaming with Craig McLean and Jamie Staff in the teams sprint event. Hoy and McLean were members of the silver medal teams sprint trio in Sydney 2000 and with Staff claimed gold at the 2002 World Championships.

The British team also boasts 2002 points race World Champion, Chris Newton.

Three time World Champion, Franco Marvulli, will head the Swiss contingent. Marvulli won gold in both the Madison and scratch race at last year's World Championships. It was his second consecutive gold in the scratch race. His Madison partner at last year's World Championships, Bruno Risi, is also starting in Sydney.

Bathurst cyclist, Mark Renshaw, has returned from Europe where he races with the professional road team, to contest the World Cup while Sean "Big Man' Eadie (NSW) continues his successful comeback from injury. The Australian team also boasts a wealth of younger talent being given a chance to shine in the world senior ranks including Michael Ford (Vic), who at the recent Australian Championships broke the world record for the 3km individual pursuit which had been set by Brad McGee in 1994. Ford is unlikely to line up in the individual pursuit in Sydney (the senior distance is 4km) but will be a member of the teams pursuit line up.

Rochelle Gilmore (NSW) and Amy Safe (SA) are late scratchings from the Australian team, both due to illness, but Australian Championships pursuit silver medallist and points race champion Alexis Rhodes will add the scratch race to her World Cup program. Rosealee Hubbard (SA), who recently claimed the Australian Title in the keirin has been added to the team.

Track World Cup: "Anything could happen" says Aussie coach

By Karen Forman

Australia will present what is probably its youngest team ever at this weekend's final round of the UCI track world cup in Sydney - and although coaches say they don't know what will happen, they are confident the Aussies will be giving the international visitors a run for their money.

Endurance coach Gary Sutton, who arrived at the Dunc Gray velodrome on Wednesday to greet the team, fellow endurance coach Rod McGee and sprint coach Martin Barass, told Cyclingnews he was looking forward to a weekend of top notch racing.

"But I can't say much more, other than we don't know what to expect," he said. "This is probably one of the youngest teams we've ever put on the track. It will be a fantastic exposure for our young seniors, like CJ [his son, Chris Sutton] and Chris Pascoe, who are 18 and 19, and juniors like Michael Ford and Miles Olman. Then there is Alex Rhodes who is 18 and Bec Ellis is 20, so it's very exciting."

The "oldies" on the team, like Sean Eadie and Jobie Dajka, would be the main hopes, he said. "I would expect that everyone will give 100 per cent. The standard is very, very high in every area. Most teams are running their best athletes. Like, the French are here, the Mexicans. Sean and Jobie and Anna [Meares] will be up against some strong opposition in every event."

Sutton said it was disappointing that scratch race specialist Rochelle Gilmore had had to withdraw from the team due to illness, but that "the priority is to get Rochelle's health right. It's disappointing that she's not here, but we will have her going well at the Worlds."

Sutton said while the team hoped to do well in Sydney, the World's was the main priority. "That's where we need to perform," he said. "Whatever we do here is a bonus."

Olympic hopes rest on Tour de l'Aude

By Kristy Scrymgeour

Friday kicks off the 20th edition of the Tour de L'Aude Feminin, possibly the most important women's stage race this year. As well as its status as a well-organised event that carries a significant slab of UCI points, this year's race is also important on another level as many nations are using it as a selection race for the Athens Olympics.

The tour will start once again in Gruissan, in the south of France, but not with the short prologue that has started five of the last six Tours de l'Aude. Instead, the first stage will be a 95km road stage starting and finishing in Gruissan. A short 5.7km time trial will take place on day two.

Quite a few of the stages this year are similar to previous years; including the traditional 31.5km individual time trial in Castelnaudary mid-way through the tour. However there are also some significant changes. This year, the famous Pic du Nore returns for the first time since 2000. This 45km all-uphill stage will again be part of a double stage day on day eight of the tour. It is expected to have a big effect on the general classification.

Also a little different is the fact that last year's queen stage from Axat to Axat, where Judith Arndt (Nurnberger) took the overall lead from Saturn's Lyne Bessette, will not take place. It will, however, be replaced with a stage that is just as hard. The new crucial stage will be at the base of the Pyrenees and will take narrow, hilly roads from Couiza to Arques.

The final stage in Limoux is also not the flat sprinters' stage it has been for the last couple of years. This year it is hilly and hard, and although the hills are not terribly steep and it probably won't affect the top ten in GC, it will be a challenging day.

Arndt will be returning this year to defend her title once again. Having won the event for the past two years she is, of course, a definite favourite. Challenging her will be Bessette, who has also won this race twice before, in 1999 and 2001. The Canadian is in good form this year and comes off several wins in the US with her new Quark team. This week she'll be racing with the Canadian National Team.

Fabiana Luperini won this tour back in 1998 with a win on Pic de Nore and will be one of the favourites this year on the new Let's Go Finland team. Henka Kupfernagel (Vlaanderen - T-Interim Univega Ladies Team) is always good in L'Aude and could be one to watch for a stage win and Valentina Polkhanova (Nobili Rubinetterie - Guerciotti) will also be up there on the climbs.

Watch out for the Australians in the time trial, as it is the last time trial for them for Olympic selection. Margaret Hemsley, who will be racing for the Australian National Team, is currently leading the selection points for the time trial and will be aiming for another good ride to hold onto that lead and earn her spot on the Olympic team. Sara Carrigan and Kathy Watt are not far behind her and need to beat her in this time trial to take that Olympic spot.

The time trial will also be vital to the overall tour as it is a hard, open course, subject to a lot of wind, and a lot of time can be made up in the 31.5km.

In the history of the race only four people have won the overall twice. They are Arndt, Bessette, Cathy Marsal (1990 & 1994) and Jeanie Longo (1988 & 1993). With Ardnt and Bessette fighting it out this year, it is quite possible that one of them will break through that barrier setting a new record.

The stages

Stage 1 - May 14: Gruissan - Gruissan, 95km
Stage 2 - May 15: Port La Nouvelle - Port La Nouvelle ITT, 5.7km
Stage 3 - May 16: Rieux Minervois - Rieux Minervois, 109km
Stage 4 - May 17: Lezignan Corbières - Lezignan Corbières, 126km
Stage 5 - May 18: Castelnaudary - Castelnaudary, 120km
Stage 6 - May 19: Castelnaudary - Castelnaudary ITT, 31.5km
Stage 7 - May 20: Arzens - Montreal d'Aude, 121km
Stage 8a - May 21: Conques sur Orbiel - Conques sur Orbiel, 46km
Stage 8b - May 21: Conques sur Orbiel - Pic de Nore, 45km
Stage 9 - May 22: Couiza - Arques, 132km
Stage 10 - May 23: Limoux - Limoux, 111km

NORBA round 2 this weekend

The 2004 NORBA National Mountain Bike Series resumes this weekend in Sonoma, Calif. as part of the California Outdoor Championships at Infineon Raceway May 14-16.

Several U.S. Olympic mountain bike hopefuls will use the cross-country events in Sonoma as a tune-up to the UCI World Cup season opener a week later in Spain. Also, with an UCI E1 classified cross country race on Saturday and an E2 short track event on Sunday, UCI points valuable to Olympic selection are up for grabs.

On hand in Sonoma will be 2001 World Champion and winner of the cross country race at the opening round of the 2004 NORBA National Mountain Bike Series in Waco, Texas, Alison Dunlap. Dunlap, who also won two stages and the overall classification at the Sea Otter Classic last month, is currently at the top of her game and keen to secure additional UCI points towards her bid for an Olympic nomination. Dunlap's rivals for Olympic selection, Sue Haywood and Mary McConneloug have both chosen to compete in Europe this weekend as preparation for the upcoming World Cup opener. Haywood and McConneloug have spent much of the early season campaigning in Europe in an effort to accumulate enough UCI points to qualify for Athens.

The men's events will also be important for Olympic selection. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski will look for a strong performance in Sonoma to solidify his position as the number one American rider in the world rankings. Currently 16th in the world, Horgan-Kobelski is in a tight race for one of the two available spots on the U.S. men's Olympic mountain bike team. JHK's rival Jeremiah Bishop is also in Europe preparing for the World Cup opener.

Irish Olympic selection race hots up

Irishman David O'Loughlin from Cong, Co. Mayo created a little piece of history last weekend, becoming the first rider from outside the UK to with the Lincoln GP, against a classy start sheet. Not only did he win but into the bargain collected a tidy number of UCI world ranking points. Those points along with his victory in the Murphy & Gunn Elliott Memorial a fortnight previous have given him a major fillip in search of selection as one of Ireland's representatives at the road race at the Athens Olympic Games. The shrewd money at the moment is on Mark Scanlon, but that second spot is up for grabs and if Cycling Ireland select according to UCI points, then the final spot will go to one of Ciaran Power, David McCann and O'Loughlin; and by virtue of those two wins, O'Loughlin has now stolen a march on Power and McCann.

This weekend, O'Loughlin along many aspirants will have a choice of location, whether it be Dungarvan, Drogheda or Portglenone as they fine-tune their preparation for the upcoming FBD Milk Ras that hits the highways and byways of Ireland from Sunday week with yet again a truly representative field from various parts of the globe.

The FBD also has ranking points, which must leave O'Loughlin and McCann in a quandary. Both will be the Irish teams representatives in the event. Also they are committed to taking the lion's share on behalf of Cycling Ireland.

US juniors head to Europe

Six US junior riders will make up the national team that heads to Europe for a three-race stint starting with this weekend's Le Trophée Centre Morbihan in France. The following week, the team will compete at the Internationale Junioren Driedaagse van Axel in the Netherlands (May 21-23( and then return to France to close out their European campaign with the Tour de Larriance (May 28-31).

Riding for the U.S. Junior National Team will be Chad Beyer, Mike Chauner, Taylor Lane, Chris Ruhl, Peter Stetina, and Chris Stockburger. The team will be led by Danny van Haute and will be based in Izegem, Belgium, the permanent base of USA Cycling's USPS U23 National Team.

Jame Carney to coach Lehigh Valley introductory program

The Lehigh Valley Velodrome has announced a new introductory and intermediate track cycling program to begin June 14, 2004 with two-time Olympian Jame Carney as the head coach. Classes are to be held over a one-week time span with three one and a half hour sessions.

This new program will highlight the coaching expertise of Jame Carney and will give participants a broad base of cycling knowledge. The two age groups are 9-18 and 19+ years of age. Classes will also be broken down into ability with both beginner and intermediate classes. Beginner classes are intended for those who have no prior experience in track cycling, and intermediate classes will be geared towards riders who have some experience or have attended other programs at the Velodrome.

The fee for the introductory program is $25.00, and track bicycles are free of cost for participant use.

For more information see

Teams announced for Tour of Connecticut

Organisers of the Tour of Connecticut (May 16 - 23) have announced the full roster of teams that will take part in the week-long pro/amateur race that offers a total prize list if $15,000. Prominent on the start list are likely favourite Chris Horner and his Webcor team, Navigators with Vassili Davidenko and sprinters Gord Fraser of Health Net and Ivan Dominguez of the Colavita squad.

No one team is clearly strongest at this year;s Tour of Connecticut as as Webcor, Navigators, Health Net and Colavita will all field strong teams. Webcor's Horner has already been to the winner's podium this year by dominating the Redland's Classic in March winning 4 out of 5 stages, and taking third overall in the April's Tour de Georgia.

Health Net's Gord Fraser is coming off two stage wins at the Tour de Georgia, including besting Mario Cipollini in the final stage.

Housatonic favorite Vassili Davidenko of the Navigators team will be going for a hat trick this year on the final stage in Danbury with the help of Aussie teammate David McKenzie who has five top three finishes this spring.

Colavita Olive Oil boasts USPRO champion Mark McCormack, expected to be in great form to defend his UPPRO title, and Ivan Dominguez who has had a lightening fast spring season sprinting to a photo finish with Cipollini, in stage two and with five-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong in stage three of the Tour de Georgia. Dominguez hopes to better his 3rd overall place at the 2003 TOC.

Professional teams: Colavita Olive Oil, HealthNet, McGuire RacingTeam/Prodir Saunier Duval, Navigators Insurance, Team Seasilver, Sharper Image/Jelly Belly, Team OFOTO, Webcor Cycling Team

Amateur Teams: CCB/Volkswagen, CRCA/Sakonnet Technology, Espoirs Laval, ESSM/GPOA, Fior di Frutta, GS Mengoni, Ibex, Land Rover West Chester/MSA, Louis Garneau, ReMax, Snow Valley, Stelvio TEAMWEAR/Orbis Properties, T.E.A.M. Fuji, Team Holland, TIAA-Cref/5280 Magazine, Toga, U.S. Armed Forces, Volkswagen/TREK.

USA Cycling hires new V.P. of marketing

USA Cycling has announced the addition of Bryan Cook as its new Vice President of Marketing. Cook was until recently associate director of sales and planning for Kellogg's Food Away From Home, a division of Kellogg's Corporation. He brings over twenty years of sales and marketing experience to the US national body.

In other USA Cycling news, the 2004 USCF Elite National Championships and Team USA selection race at Redlands, Calif. June 16-19 has picked up a title sponsor in local pool care company PoolGel.

Sample 2004 Giro Fantasy team

Giro Fantasy gameBy Michael Tierney, 2003 Giro fantasy game winner

I have been asked by several friends how they can play the Cyclingnews Giro fantasy game when they know hardly any of the Giro riders. In fact, it is hard to know about the riders in the European peloton if you only watch the major tours on television. So I thought a sample team would help those fans who feel that way be able to enter a creditable team.

To do this, I have followed the comments presented over the past few days (see Tuesday and Wednesday's news) as a basis. I have selected the five GC riders who finished highest in last year's Giro, and the three best sprinters from last year. Then I selected three more GC riders who have been designated as team leaders for this Giro and currently have low values, and three sprinters who have low values. Finally, I added a 'wild card' who, in prior years, scored very well in the Giro and currently has a low value. Here is the team:

GC Simoni SAE
GC Garzelli VIN
GC Popovych LAN
GC Gonchar DEN

SP Petacchi FAS
SP Cipollini DVE

GC Cioni FAS
GC Garate LAM
GC Montgomery GER

SP Pollack GER
SP Strazzer SDV
SP Klemencic TEN

WC Perez Cuapio CPM

One more bit of advice: check the Giro results so far this week for possible adjustments to this base team. Be careful to keep within the 9000 points limit. Even if this may not be the best team, it has real chances, and you never know…

Play the Cyclingnews Fantasy Giro

Click here to sign up and pick your team. You can try out as many teams as you like for stages 1-5. You only need to pay for the teams you want to enter in the competition by the beginning of stage 6 (May 14). Thus, there is no disadvantage to entering a team once the Tour is under way.

For more information on joining, see the rules section.

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