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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for November 18, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones

2005 Ronde van Vlaanderen presented

By Jeff Jones

2004 RVV podium
Photo ©: Sirotti

The parcours of next year's Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) was presented earlier this week in Brugge, Belgium. The race will be run on April 3, starting once again in the popular West Flemish city of Brugge and following a traditional route. It will head out to the coast at Oostende before turning southeast, passing through Gistel, Lichtervelde and Kortrijk (new for this year), then turning more easterly to visit Harelbeke, Kruishoutem, Zwalm and Zottegem, then looping back to Oudenaarde to start the hill zone. There are 17 climbs, starting with the Molenberg (km 143) and including the Kwaremont, Paterberg and Koppenberg. The finale has been made a little tougher with the inclusion of the Valkenberg (km 224) after the Berendries (km 219), followed by the usual Tenbosse (km 230), Muur-Kapelmuur (km 240) and Bosberg (km 244). As it has since 1973, the finish will again be in Ninove-Meerbeke after 256 km of hard racing.

The Ronde will feature a number of flat cobbled sections as well. The major difficulties are the 1700m section at Doorn (km 111), 2400m Paddestraat (km 131), 3000m Mater-Kerkgate (km 148), 2100m Mariaborrestraat (km 187), and 2000m Haaghoek (km 210).

The changes to the Ronde are not radical, although there is enough variation to keep the connoisseurs happy. As usual, the development of the race will be determined by the riders, with the winning break going on the Muur or perhaps the Bosberg.

The climbs

1 Molenberg (km 143)
2 Wolvenberg (km 153)
3 Oude Kwaremont (km 172)
4 Paterberg (km 176)
5 Koppenberg (km 183)
6 Steenbeekdries (km 188)
7 Taaienberg (km 190)
8 Eikenberg (km 195)
9 Boigneberg (km 199)
10 Foreest (km 206)
11 Steenberg (km 209)
12 Leberg (km 214)
13 Berendries (km 219)
14 Valkenberg (km 224)
15 Tenbosse (km 230)
16 Muur - Kapelmuur (km 240)
17 Bosberg (km 244)

Fuentes suspended for two years

By Jeff Jones

31 year-old U.S. rider David Fuentes has been given a two year suspension after he tested positive for oxymetholone, an anabolic steroid, at the Redlands Classic (USA) on March 25 this year. Fuentes, who rode for the McGuire Pro Cycling Team, will be suspended until March 24, 2006 and fined CHF165. According to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's arbitration report, the Redlands test was Fuentes' first and only drug test, although he continued to race until September 26, 2004, winning a number of races. As part of his sanction, he is required to forfeit all results from races on or after March 25.

In his defence, Fuentes claimed that after crashing on the March 24 stage of Redlands, he had taken "some [unknown] pills in a black film cannister that included some left over from an alleged prescription for a prior cycling injury." Fuentes couldn't trace the alleged prescription and did not know the drug's name. He did not finish the March 25 stage, but was selected for random drug testing. He subsequently raced and won the criterium on March 28.

The USADA's arbitration commission determined that there was no doubt that oxymetholone was in Fuentes' urine sample, and according to its "strict liability" rules, Fuentes had committed a doping offence. It also determined that there were no grounds to reduce his sanction from two years to six months, as he had requested, because he had not declared any anti-inflammatories or oxymetholone on his doping control form.

In addition, the report stated: "While the Respondent [Fuentes] did attempt to explain that he ingested some medications from his racing supplement bag, he did not adequately come forward with any evidence regarding ingestion of the prohibited drug. In light of that fact, the Respondent, at a minimum, could not disprove his negligence, which is his affirmative obligation to do in order for this Panel to consider a reduction of the suspension."

Domina Vacanze-De Nardi 2005

The new Italian combined team Domina Vacanze-De Nardi will not be drawing on too many Domina Vacanze riders next season. Domina Vacanze owner Ernesto Preatoni has split from team manager Vincenzo Santoni and thrown his sponsorship lot in with Gianluigi Stanga's De Nardi team. Meanwhile, riders from this year's Domina team are still claiming unpaid wages.

The new team will be led by 34 year-old Ukrainian Sergei Gonchar, who finished second in this year's Giro d'Italia. Joining him will be Saeco's Mirko Celestino, Formaggi's Ivan Quaranta and Lampre's Vladimir Belli, and one of the top Italian young riders Giovanni Visconti.

Team roster

From De Nardi: Simone Cadamuro (Ita), Sergei Gonchar (Ukr), Michele Gobbi (Ita), Mirko Lorenzetto (Ita), Rafael Nuritdinov (Uzb), Alessandro Vanotti (Ita), Ruggero Borghi (Ita), Matej Jurco (Svk), Enrico Grigoli (Ita)

New riders: Mirko Celestino (Ita), Ivan Quaranta (Ita), Luca Solari (Ita), Vladimir Belli (Ita), Ruslan Ivanov (Mda), Alessandro Cortinovis (Ita), Jörg Ludewig (Ger), Alessandro Fertonani (Ita), Angelo Furlan (Ita), Paolo Valoti (Ita), Cristian Bonfanti (Ita), Sergio Ghisalberti (Ita), Andrij Grivko (Ukr), Elia Rigotto (Ita), Giovanni Visconti (Ita), Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz).

Vitron Wilstra 2005

Dutch women's team Vitron Wilstra has announced its roster for 2005. Run by sisters Natasja and Cindy van Loon, whose father Ad van Loon is suffering from cancer, the team is only retaining two of its riders from 2004: Katrijn Scheffer and Ilona Valkenburg. Two more are coming from Bianchi Olympia (Famke Kweekel and Marlous Spaargaren), while time trialist Eva Sijm is signing on after riding for Therme this year. The rest of the team is completely new.

Michele Ward and Leda Cox from Great Britain and Tone Hatteland from Norway are being looked upon as investments for the future, Juliëtte Wigbold and Marjolijn Gödde are considered promising first years after good results as second year juniors. Trisha Borst is swapping her C licence for an elite one, and Aletta Huisjes and Anne Marie Persyn will be given the chance to develop themselves as domestiques.

The team will race in the Dutch Top Competition, some international World Cup and stage races, and the Holland Ladies Tour, the team's main goal.

Team roster

Directeur sportif: Natasja van Loon Riders: Trisha Borst (Ned), Leda Cox (GBr), Marjolijn Gödde (Ned), Tone Hatteland (Nor), Aletta Huisjes (Ned), Famke Kweekel (Ned), Cindy van Loon (Ned), Anne-Marie Persyn (Ned, Katrijn Scheffer (Ned), Eva Sijm (Ned), Marlous Spaargaren (Ned), Ilona Valkenburg (Ned), Michele Ward (GBr), Juliëtte Wigbold (Ned), Leonie Hollander (Ned, Linda ter Beek (Ned), Tamara Eenkhoorn (Ned)

Gilmore to SAFI

Australian sprinter Rochelle Gilmore will join Britain's Nicole Cooke in the Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan team next season. Gilmore rode for Team SATS this year, but spent much of the year out of competition due to injury. In her Cyclingnews diary, Gilmore wrote, "I will be moving back to an environment which I am very familiar with, the team I raced for last year now known as G.S. Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan. It is the longest standing team in women's cycling and is based in Treviso, Italy. I will be racing and living with the amazing rider Nicole Cooke. I am really looking forward to the beautiful training terrain and the challenge of keeping up with Nicole in the hills on her easiest training days!"

Vink to Heijdens-Ten Tusscher

The 2004 team
Photo ©: Heijdens-Ten Tusscher

Dutch mountain biker Elsbeth Vink will race with the Heijdens-Ten Tusscher team next year. Fifth in this year's Olympic XC race, Vink signed a contract for one year with a option for a second year. She will join Erwin Bakker (Ned), Maarten Tjallingii (Ned), Jakob Fuglsang (Den), Christian Poulsen (Den), Daphny van den Brand (Ned) and World Cyclo-Cross Champion Laurence Leboucher (Fra).

"Jan ten Tusscher is a good organiser and team manager," said Vink. "Heijdens-ten Tusscher-Cannondale is the top team of Holland and I want to prove to them that I can also be on the podium in the World Cup and at the World Championships." Apart from these races, Vink will also focus on the European Championships, and in August will make her debut at the World Marathon Championship in Norway. To prepare for her mountain bike races, she will ride some road races in Mirjam Melchers new team Buitenpoort/Flexpoint.

Bøchmann to Glud & Marstrand

Danish rider Lasse Bøchmann has signed a contract with Glud & Marstrand Horsens for next season, becoming the team's seventh rider.

Brown, Kelly and Carney highlight Tasmanian carnivals

Women's wheelraces feature for first time

Former track star SCAT chairman, Grant Atkins launches the carnivals
Photo ©: Shane Goss
Click for larger image

The Sports Carnivals Association of Tasmania (SCAT) launched its 2004-05 Tasmanian track carnival series at a press conference in Devonport on Wednesday. The carnivals, which have more than 100 years of history behind them, have once again attracted some top quality track cyclists. Dual Olympic Games gold medallist Graeme Brown headlines the field, along with multiple World Kilo Champion Shane Kelly, Americans Jame Carney (winner of six major Tasmanian wheelraces), Bobby Lea (multiple US champion), Mike Friedman, Joshua Kerkhof and Gui Nelessen (all US team pursuit champions). Another international rider is German individual and team pursuit specialist Christian Lademann.

The 2004-05 SCAT series will again include five carnivals at Latrobe, Launceston, Devonport (x 2) and Burnie, as well as including two criterium races in Launceston and Burnie, for a total of seven straight days/nights of racing. A feature of the Carnivals will be a dedicated series of handicap and scratch races for women, and for the first time in the history of the carnivals, each of the four SCAT clubs will run a women's wheelrace.

For the third year in a row, Basslink is the naming rights sponsor for the series. The Tasmanian Government and Cradle Coast Authority are also major sponsors, along with Australia Post, Malaysia Airlines and Devonport based companies, Fairbrothers, Russell-Smith and Degree C.

The SCAT program

December 26 - Latrobe Carnival (day)
December 27 - Launceston Criterium (twilight)
December 28 - Launceston Silverdome Carnival (day/night)
December 29 - Devonport Carnival (night)
December 30 - Devonport Carnival (night)
December 31 - Burnie Criterium (twilight)
January 1 - Burnie (day/night)

More information:


Images by Shane Goss/

Gold rush at Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under

A host of Olympic and world champions are set to line up in the 2005 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia in January.

Hometown hero Stuart O'Grady, who claimed gold in the Madison in Athens and this year became the first Australian to win a round of the World Cup series, will lead the charge for Cofidis while Britain's triple Olympic medalist, Bradley Wiggins is confirmed to head up the Credit Agricole team. Wiggins won gold in the individual pursuit and went on to claim silver in the team pursuit and bronze in the Madison.

Graeme Brown and Brett Lancaster, both members of the triumphant Australian pursuit team that set a world record in Athens and fellow team pursuit gold medalist, Peter Dawson will also sign on. Brown was a dual gold medalist in Athens adding Madison gold to his team pursuit victory.

"It's fantastic for the race that we have attracted the stars of the Olympic games and of world championship competition," said race director, Mike Turtur. "What is even more satisfying for me is that many of them are Australian cyclists.

"The tour provides an ideal opportunity for sports fans to see their home-grown heroes who are now amongst the very best cyclists in the world."

Two time road time trial world champion, Michael Rogers will return to the Tour in 2005 with his Quick.Step team and the Spanish-registered Liberty Seguros has confirmed the Portuguese silver medalist in the road race at the Athens Olympics, Sergio Paulinho, will make his tour debut.

"It's going to be a hot field and I predict we'll see some of the most exciting racing in the tour's six year history," said Turtur.

For further event information see

Revolution 6

Britain's Manchester Velodrome will host the sixth Revolution track meet on December 4, 2004. The expected main event will be a 20km madison that will feature a number of British and international teams, including Belgians Matthew Gilmore/Iijo Keisse, Scandinavians Magnus Backstedt/Jimmi Madsen, top Dutch duo Danny Stam/Robert Slippens, Swiss Franco Marvulli/Alexander Aeschbach, and Brits Chris Newton/Tony Gibb, Mark Cavendish/Tom White, Ed Clancy/Matt Brammeier, Geraint Thomas/Kieran Page, Bryan Taylor/John Scripps, Ben Hallam/James Notley, James Taylor/Stephen Cummings and Peter Williams/Tom Murray. There is still one more team to be announced for the madison.

More information:

Final weekend for Crank Brothers U.S. GP of Cyclocross

This weekend marks the final two races of the Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross, the U.S. national 'cross series. The overall winners will be crowned after the Beacon Cyclocross in Bridgeton, N.J. on Saturday and the Highland Park Cyclocross in Highland Park, N.J. on Sunday.

Canadian Geoff Kabush has a slender hold on the lead, leading American Marc Gullickson (Redline) by just 34 points. Three other Americans: Ryan Trebon (Kona), Adam Craig (Maxxis Giant) and Mark McCormack (Clif Bar-Colavita) are all within striking distance of Kabush. If an American can clinch the series victory, he's assured of a spot on the U.S. team headed to the World Championships at St. Wendel, Germany.

On the women's side, Kona's Ann Knapp (170 pts) leads Missing Link's Gina Hall (156 pts) with the rest of the field well back. Hall has claimed three of the four victories in the series to date, but a fall in round 2 cost her the overall lead. Knapp has just one win, and it will come down to who has the right form on the day to determine the winner.

In addition to the men's and women's leaders, the overall winners in the U-23 and junior categories will also qualify for the U.S. world's team. Matt White of holds a 46 point lead over defending U.S. champion Jesse Anthony (, while Zachary Grabowski (TIAA-Creff/Clif Bar) sits a further 13 points back.

The junior field has Braden Kappius (TIAA-Creff/Clif Bar) leading Charles "Toby" Marzot by just three points. Another four points back is Adam McGrath (Excel Sports), who has a first and second place finish in his last two races.

Saturday's race, the Beacon Cyclocross, features a number of challenges, including a trip across the beach, a sand pit, two sets of steps and a couple of trips through the "Amphitheater of Pain." Racing gets under way with preliminary events starting at 10:00 am. Elite women take the start at 1:30 pm, while Elite men and U-23 racers begin at 2:30.

On Sunday, racers at the Highland Park Cyclocross will test themselves on a fast, challenging course along the banks of the Raritan River. The schedule is virtually the same, with preliminary events starting at 10:00 am, elite women at 1:30 pm, and Elite men/U-23 racers at 2:45.

U.S. Cyclo-Cross Nationals at Portland

The U.S. Cyclo-cross season will conclude next month with the USA Cycling Cyclo-Cross National Championships at the Portland International Raceway in Portland, Oregon. The championships will take place over the extended weekend of December 10-12, with a total of 23 titles up for grabs.

Looking to secure a third consecutive title in the Elite Men's category will be Jonathan Page, who has once again based himself in Belgium this season to race against the best 'crossers in the world. He will have to overcome 2003 USPRO Champion Mark McCormack, who is currently the USA's top ranked rider on the UCI rankings. Another danger man is Marc Gullickson, who has had a strong season thus far and is the top American in the USGP of Cyclo-Cross Series. Ryan Trebon and Barry Wicks will arrive in Portland in strong form, both with wins this season, and riders like 2004 Olympian Todd Wells and Adam Craig are also considered solid contenders.

The Elite Women's field will be missing six-time winner and reigning National Champion Alison Dunlap, but should still yield a competitive race. Ann Knapp, current leader in the USGP of Cyclo-Cross, won the national title in 2002 and is considered one of the favourites this year. 2004 Olympian Mary McConneloug is the top ranked U.S. woman in the UCI standings, while Anna Milkowski, Barbara Howe and Gina Hall will all line up as strong contenders for this year's crown.

The U23 race will see USGP of Cyclo-Cross series leader Matt White up against defending national champion Jesse Anthony and last year's bronze medalist Zach Grabowski.

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