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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Latest Cycling News for April 13, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

Boonen hopes for a Scheldeprijs repeat

"Tornado" Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) will line up as one of the top favourites in today's 93rd Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen in Schoten (Antwerp). After winning three prestigious classics in the last two and a half weeks, including a very impressive Ronde van Vlaanderen/Paris-Roubaix double, Boonen hopes to go on holidays with a repeat Scheldeprijs win. Last year, he won in a bunch sprint ahead of Robbie McEwen and Simone Cadamuro, and this year, McEwen will be one of his main rivals again, although the Australian hasn't raced recently after getting sick. McEwen has been training for two weeks, but was uncertain of his form, and now has his sights set on the Giro d'Italia.

The race starts in Antwerp's Grote Markt, and does a 149 km loop to the north and east, before coming back to Schoten to finish with three 17 km circuits. The parcours is flat, favouring the sprinters, but there are seven cobbled sections that generally make things interesting. With the slightly wet conditions today, a bunch sprint is not a certainty.

Museeuw's house searched again

Johan Museeuw's house has been searched again by police acting under the authority of the court in Kortrijk, as part of the Jose Landuyt doping affair, according to Police were looking for Museeuw's health booklet, which would contain details of any medications that he had taken during his racing career. The UCI requires all professional riders to have one. However, the booklet could not be found.

Museeuw, who retired exactly one year ago and is now working in a PR role for Quick.Step, was given a four year ban (with two years suspended) by the Belgian cycling federation's disciplinary commission for his involvement in the Landuyt affair. Landuyt was a Belgian veterinarian who was accused of supplying doping products to horses and pigeon racers, as well as cyclists. Three other professionals were also implicated: Jo Planckaert, Chris Peers, and Mario de Clercq. All of them received similar sentences and all have since ended their careers.

Dierckxsens out

Ludo Dierckxsens (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) will miss the next few races after tearing the ligaments in his right hip following a crash in Paris-Roubaix. Dierckxsens will have to rest for a complete week before getting re-examined to determine when he can ride again.

Landbouwkrediet will also miss Glenn D'Hollander in today's Scheldeprijs Schoten, after he crashed in Paris-Roubaix. He will be substituted by Maxime Monfort. D'Hollander is expected to be back in time for the GP Denain.

Saunier Duval for Amstel

The Saunier Duval-Prodir team has been announced for the upcoming Amstel Gold Race on April 17. The squad consists from Iñigo Cuesta, Juan Carlos Dominguez, Jose Angel Gomez Marchante, Fabian Jeker, Manuele Mori, Joaquin Rodriguez, Constantino Zaballa and Oliver Zaugg.

De Goede on top of UCI rankings

Suzanne De Goede (Van Bemmelen-AA Drink)
Photo ©: Bert Geerts
Click for larger image

Young Dutch star Suzanne de Goede (Van Bemmelen-AA Drink) has taken over the leadership of the UCI women's rankings, after winning the women's Ronde van Drenthe last weekend. De Goede also won the New Zealand round of the World Cup, and has amassed 243 UCI points. In second place is Australian rider Oenone Wood (Nürnberger) on 217 points, with women's Ronde van Vlaanderen winner and World Cup leader Mirjam Melchers in third on 189 points.

In the teams rankings, the Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team is on top with 485 points, ahead of Nürnberger (418 pts) and Van Bemmelen-AA Drink (349 pts). The Netherlands is the number one nation at the moment with 494 points, ahead of Australia (463 pts) and traditional women's powerhouse Germany (230 pts).

Rankings as of April 12, 2005

1 Suzanne De Goede (Ned) Van Bemmelen-AA Drink                        243 pts
2 Oenone Wood (Aus) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung                    217
3 Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel (Ned) Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team         189
4 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team                  151
5 Linda Serup (Den) Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team                        132
6 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan                    115
7 Nicole Cooke (GBr) Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan                        110
8 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung                  105
9 Tina Mayolo Pic (USA)                                                75
10 Judith Arndt (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung                   66
1 Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team                                          485 pts
2 Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung                                      418
3 Van Bemmelen-AA Drink                                               349
4 Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan                                           228
5 Nobili Rubinetterie-Menikini Cogeas                                 115
1 Netherlands                                                         494 pts
2 Australia                                                           463
3 Germany                                                             230
4 Sweden                                                              181
5 United States Of America                                            179
Full rankings: Individuals, Teams, Nations

Shimano neutral service driver sacked

Pol De Baeremaecker, the Belgian driver of the Shimano neutral service vehicle that was "involved" in the finale of Gent-Wevelgem last week has been sacked by Shimano, according to an ANP report. The race was won by Nico Mattan, who closed a five second gap to Juan-Antonio Flecha in the last kilometre, but zig-zagged between the Shimano car and two race motos, benefiting slightly from their slipstreams.

Although the UCI declared Mattan's victory to be valid, questions were raised as to what all the vehicles were doing there so close to the finish. Shimano took it upon itself to dismiss its driver, as it wanted to have no doubts about the neutrality of its vehicles.

Morne Blignaut verdict

The South African cycling federation, Cycling SA, has announced that Morne Blignaut will be suspended for six weeks after an incident between him and officials at the Tri-Nations meet in Bellville last month. Blignaut appealed to officials after the third race in the sprint final, believing he had been impeded by team-mate Dean Edwards. Blignaut was unhappy with the officials' response and became angry. When team manager Willie Newman attempted to calm Blignaut, an altercation ensued in which Blignaut allegedly shoved or hit Newman. Blignaut then left the velodrome, allegedly throwing his national team clothing into a dustbin first.

Blignaut will also be stripped of his SA colours for that meeting; is required to undergo a course with a sports psychologist on anger management; and will have to tender a written public apology for his behaviour at the Tri-Nations. A further six months suspension, which will itself be suspended for a period of one year, will be imposed for any further infraction of Rule 12.1.005 (bringing the sport into disrepute). Finally, Blignaut has been fined the Swiss franc equivalent of R2,000, and he also has to pay all the legal costs incurred by Cycling SA.

Cancer survivor and Paralympian to be honoured at Alabama Criterium

Ron Williams will be honoured at the Sunny King Criterium in Anniston, Alabama, USA on Saturday evening, April 16. Ron, a 30 year-old who lives in Birmingham, Alabama, was captain of the USA Paralympic cycling team that earned a silver and bronze medal at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece. Ron lost his leg from the knee down to bone cancer as a child.

"We want to recognize Ron not only for his Paralympic cycling accomplishments, but also for the inspiration he provides to cancer survivors everywhere," said Mike Poe, the criterium's director. All of the amateur and pro racer entry fees will be donated to the local Relay for Life cancer research fundraiser, and the organisers hope to raise $10,000. Some of the Tour de Georgia teams on their way to Stage 1 in Augusta have accepted the invitation to not only race to help reach this goal with their entry fees, but also to compete for the $10,000+ Pro criterium purse.

Aside from competitions, Ron rode with Lance Armstrong in the 2003 Tour of Hope and serves on the board of directors of Camp Sunshine, a camp for kids with cancer in Decatur, Georgia.

Full event schedule is at

Maverick All Mountain team

USA based Maverick Bikes has announced its 2005 "All Mountain" Racing Team, consisting of 2004 Durango National SuperD winner Ariel Lindsley, National Marathon team member Abigail Hippley, former 24 Hour World Champion Cristina Begy and 2004 Snowmass SuperD winner Mike West.

Ariel Lindsley won the SuperD at Durango, Colorado last year, and finished in the top-10 in short track and top 15 in the XC, His second place at the National Championships in SuperD followed his runner-up status at the 24 Hour World and National Solo Championships in 2003.

Abigail Hippley built a solid record as a top-3 MTB Marathon racer in only her first year as a pro. She won the Colorado Mountain States Cup race in Keystone in 2004, and then worked on her jumping skills at the dirt jumps at the Maverick offices in Boulder. A second place finish at the SuperD at the Scottsdale NORBA event in March started her 2005 season on the right foot.

Cristina Begy was the 2003 24 Hour Solo World Champion, is a multiple National Champion and has over 14 victories in her mountain bike career. Specializing in 24 Hour racing, she has also finished on top of the heap in 7-day 650k "Raid" events like the TransRockies, as well as the 100 mile grind known as Leadville.

Mike West placed third in the time trial at Big Bear last year, and won the SuperD event at Snowmass. A former College Downhill Champion, don't be surprised if Mike enters a few downhill events.

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