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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for February 24, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

De Peet going for four

Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto), one of the most experienced classics riders still racing and has a chance to win an unprecedented fourth Omloop Het Volk this Saturday. "I know the parcours practically with my eyes shut," he told Sport.be. Van Petegem was not present in Davitamon-Lotto's Het Volk reconnaissance today. "I also know that there have been a few changes in the finale, but I'm not worried about that," he added.

Van Petegem is hoping that he finds himself in a front group that can explode on the last cobbled section. Whether he can win is another question. "I was a bit sick last week, but it wasn't much. Of course I want to win and I have the right teammates around e to make it as easy as possible. The Omloop Het Volk is always nice on a palmares, and yes, I would love to win it a fourth time on Saturday."

Team rosters for Belgian opening weekend

Several teams have confirmed their lineups for this weekend's opening races in Belgium, Omloop Het Volk and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

Omloop Het Volk

Landbouwkrediet-Colnago: Ludovic Capelle, Ludo Dierckxsens, Gert Verheyen, Glenn D’Hollander , Steve Cummings, Thierry De Groote, Bert De Waele, Mathieu Criquielion

Phonak Hearing Systems: Aurélien Clerc, Martin Elmiger, Nicolas Jalabert, Robert Hunter, Viktor Rapinski, Uros Murn, Sascha Urweider, Gregory Rast.

Quick.Step: Paolo Bettini, Tom Boonen, Wilfried Cretskens, Kevin Hulsmans, Servais Knaven, Marc Lotz, Nick Nuyens, Stefano Zanini.

Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne

Landbouwkrediet-Colnago: Ludovic Capelle, Ludo Dierckxsens, James Van Landschoot, Mathieu Criquielion, Gert Verheyen, Steve Cummings, Thierry Degroote, Glenn D'Hollander

Phonak Hearing Systems: Aurélien Clerc, Martin Elmiger, Nicolas Jalabert, Robert Hunter, Viktor Rapinski, Uros Murn, Sascha Urweider, Gregory Rast.

Quick.Step: Paolo Bettini, Tom Boonen, Dimitry De Fauw, Sebastian Rosseler, Bram Tankink, Kevin De Weert, Stefano Zanini.

ProTour debate: Grand Tours back down...for now

The organisers of the three grand tours have acquiesced to honour the engagements with the 20 ProTour teams to their races this year, while at the same time stating that all of their issues with the UCI's controversial cycling reform have yet to be resolved. After meeting with UCI President Hein Verbruggen, the organisers of the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España issued a communique on Wednesday stating, "Although we have reached an advanced stage about the rules for the 2005 season, the difference of opinion on the fundamental questions remains real and profound. Despite the situation, the commitments made by the organisers of the three grand tours last December 1 that guarantee the teams participation in their races, will be respected."

The organisers are still strongly against being required to hold a UCI licence to run their races, as they believe that they should own the rights for commercial exploitation. Also, the riders have not accepted the ProTour's Code of Ethics, which is another major bone of contention.

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split

October 4, 2008 - New ASO chief to maintain values
September 26, 2008 - UCI declares peace, appoints new VP
August 30, 2008 - UCI re-signs five ProTour races
August 22, 2008 - ProTour: Bouncing back or lame duck?
August 19, 2008 - Stapleton analyses 'world calendar'
August 18, 2008 - Feedback on 'world calendar'
August 18, 2008 - UCI announces 'world calendar'

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split

Ullrich to skip Murcia

By Susan Westemeyer

As had been expected, T-Mobile Team announced today that Jan Ullrich would skip the Tour of Murcia the beginning of March, and instead would start his season an entire month later, in the Circuit de la Sarthe. Ullrich had been training in Lucca in Tuscany, but a bad cold cost him a week's training, and snow sent him home early. He is currently at home in Scherzingen, Switzerland, but will return to Tuscany on Sunday for another three weeks of training, accompanied by his personal advisor Rudy Pevenage.

TMO team doctor Lothar Heinrich said, "Right now it doesn't make much sense for Jan to ride such an intensive race as Murcia. The aim right now is the intensive build up of his ground conditioning - that is the basis of a successful season."

Heppner to stop in August

German Jens Heppner (Wiesenhof) has announced that he will finish his career near the end of August, a day after the Tour of Germany which finishes on August 23. Heppner will race a criterium in Jena on August 24 to mark the end of the 40 year-old's time as a professional. Heppner spent most of his career as part of the Telekom team, and was one of those who helped Jan Ullrich win the 1997 Tour de France. He won a Tour stage in 1998, the German Championship in 1994, the Tour of Germany in 1999, and wore the maglia rosa in the Giro d'Italia for 10 days in 2002. He joined Wiesenhof in 2003, where he has been ever since.

Liquigas-Bianchi in Spain

An identical Liquigas-Bianchi squad to that taking part in the Volta a la Comunidad Valenciana will also race in the 20th edition of the Clasica de Almeria next Sunday, 27 February. The team is composed of Stefano Garzelli, Franco Pellizotti and Magnus Bäckstedt with Brazilian sprinter Pagliarini, Andriotto, Gerosa, Milesi and Sironi. They will be led by Stefano Zanatta.

"I have achieved five good performances up to now: twice second, twice third and once fourth in nine days of races," said Pellizotti, who is hungry for a win. "Next Monday it will be a year since my last victory and I would like to celebrate it with another win as soon as possible."

Beppi-Ovarense doesn't pay

The former Portuguese division III team Beppi-Ovarense has been accused of non-payment of rider salaries in 2004. Team Sport Managers, which represents Oscar Romero Moya and Jordi Berenguer Ferrer, is claiming that the riders are owed several months' salary, and has taken the case to the Portuguese Cycling Federation, Spanish Cycling federation, Association of Professional Cyclists and UCI.

"After numerous petitions of payment to the team leaders, all the time showing good will to solve this problem on behalf of the riders, and after repeated duplicity on behalf of the Beppi-Ovarense team, giving said company sufficient time to sort out the delays in payment, we have been obliged to ask for the intervention and the execution of the aforementioned team's Bank Guarantee, so that the riders can receive the amounts that they are owed," said Team Sports Managers Carlos Meléndez in a statement.

Seven Colombians suspended

The Disciplinary Commission of the Colombian Cycling Federation has announced the suspension of seven of its riders as a result of prohibited substance abuse during the 2004 season. Federico Muñoz was suspended for 18 months after testing positive in the Vuelta a Guatemala; Argiro Zapata was given a provisional one month suspension after a positive test in the Vuelta a Costa Rica, however he will appear in front of the tribunal on March 3; Albeiro Sánchez was given two years for a positive in the Vuelta a Cundinamarca; Gustavo Ramírez was suspended for a similar period because of a positive in the Vuelta al Tolima; and Hernán Fabián Ramírez, Oscar Pérez and Daniel Díaz all received two year suspensions for testing positive in the Clásica a San Miguel Arcángel.

New bus for Quick.Step

The Quick.Step cycling team will be travelling to the races this year in a brand new bus, courtesy of Van Hool. The bus will form the team's home away from home, especially during the ProTour races, and will debut in this Saturday's Omloop Het Volk.

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Quick.Step

Revolution Future Stars

One of the key reasons for the development of The Revolution Series, which concludes for this season on Saturday night at Manchester Velodrome, was the Future Stars competition, which features young riders from around the UK competing in events which match those of the elite riders on the night.

With a £1000+ Decathlon road bike to be won, the racing has been fierce and spectacular as the confidence and experience of the young cyclists has grown. Many of the riders featuring in the competition were selected to take part in the inaugural "Olympic Development Programme" training week started by British Cycling and run by the newly appointed, and provisionally titled, Olympic Development Coach Darren Tudor.

"Up until October, this is a pilot program and after we'll be selecting the riders," said Tudor. "This is a whole new program for the riders, British Cycling and for me. It's about bringing all the coaches and managers together so we're all singing from the same hymn sheet and there is a smooth pathway from the talent team to the juniors, the under 23s and then the senior squad."

Revolution Future Stars series leaders Steven Burke, Andy Tennant and Adam Blythe all took part in the training week. "I would love to ride the World Junior Track Championships this year and race on the road abroad," said Andy Tennant. "It would be great if I got to ride the elite race at Revolution next year. The crowd atmosphere at Revolution is brilliant it is what makes the series special."

The three leading "Future Stars" will get a taste of what it's like to ride in the elite field as they have been selected to take part in the all star Madison event at the end of the night, meaning that for the first time they will be riding with the likes of double Olympic medallist Rob Hayles, Olympic Silver Medallists Bruno Risi and Franco Marvulli and other stars.

More information about the Olympic Development Program: www.britishcycling.org.uk/news/2005/02_February/15_ODP.shtml

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