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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for January 23, 2005

Edited by Hedwig Kröner and Jeff Jones

Six years on, silver team Fassa Bortolo shines bright

By Tim Maloney, European Editor in Treviso

The Fassa Bortolo squad
Photo ©: CN
Click for larger image

At a gala presentation Friday in Treviso, Italy, Fassa Bortolo presented its revamped 26 man ProTour squad for 2005, where Fassa celebrated five years of successful racing from 2000-2004 and looked forward to a successful sixth year in the pro peloton. For '05, the Silver Team is based around the speedy legs of Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi, with Swiss TDF prologue winner Fabian Cancellara, Spanish classics specialist Juan Antonio Flecha and enigmatic GC man Dario Frigo as other key elements.

Team patron Paolo Fassa was clearly moved by a highlight film at the beginning of the presentation, saying "Yes, I would do it all over again! Our objective was to have a serious and successful team and we have achieved that." Fassa pointed out that like his building products company, which has doubled it's turnover in five years to €400 million, and "We wanted our team to grow like the company and it's achieved that." Fassa added that the squad was seeking a co-sponsor for 2006 to relieve the financial burden, as the Italian squad has only taken out a one year ProTour licence.

Fassa Bortolo's team manager Giancarlo Ferretti, nicknamed 'il sargente di ferro' (man of iron) for his strict team discipline then spoke of the blue and white squad he's guided for the last half-decade. "This season, we will really focus on the ProTour, because we need to obtain as many points as possible to propel our team high in the ProTour rankings. This is a key objective for us."

Click here for the full report

Ten charged in Bordeaux

In the Franco-Belgian doping ring case, the court in Bordeaux has charged ten people with drug trafficking. Four of them have been released from custody, whereas six are held: the former ADR soigneur Freddy Sergeant and his wife Monique, former pro Laurent Roux and his brother Fabien as well as two amateur riders.

Among the four released, Belgian Sporza reports one of them was former mountain bike pro Christophe Dupouey, who achieved a World champion and European champion title in 1998 in his category. Five other persons held in custody in Marseilles will appear before the investigating judge in Bordeaux on Monday, January 24.

Nobili Rubinetterie to Geelong Tour

The women's cycling team Nobili Rubinetterie-Menikini Cogeas will head to the Italian island of Elba for a training camp from January 24-February 6 in order to prepare for this season's first race, the Geelong Tour in Australia from February 22-24. Meanwhile, Lithuanian rider Modesta Vzesniauskaite has been well integrated in the squad and says, "The team is very well organised and what's more, there is a very good atmosphere. When I was in Lithuania I knew that Nobili Rubinetterie was a serious team, and I've been positively surprised by the friendly climate."

For the full team roster, click here.

DCU looking for a new national track coach

The Danish Cycling Federation (DCU) was caught by surprise when the coach of the national track team, Tayeb Braikia, announced his retirement from the job. DCU had hoped that Braikia would be the man to end the ambitious project of aiming for the gold medals at the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008. The search of a replacement is already in progress.

"We have already started negotiations with a capacity from abroad as replacement for Tayeb, because as we see it, there are no possible subjects in Denmark at the moment," DCU director Jesper Worre has told Danish Politiken. "With support from 'Team Denmark' we are aiming to get Danish track cycling back on the highest level, and the potential among the riders suggest it to be a realistic goal," he continued.

Worre also assured that although the costs were significant, the DCU had the intention of sending the entire 4000 metre team as well as Kasper Jessen to the World Championships in Los Angeles. Alex Rasmussen, a major talent, will participate in scratch as well as the partner race with Michael Mørkøv.

McEwen on PR tour in Parramatta

Australia's most successful Tour de France rider, Robbie McEwen, will roll into Sydney next Tuesday, January 25 to meet local cyclists, triathletes and Paralympians in Parramatta Park at 10 am. The newly achieved Australian champion is currently contesting the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under.

In the PR exercise a couple days before returning to his home base in Belgium, McEwen will meet with Parramatta cyclists and triathletes along with Paralympics 4000 metres gold medallist Peter Brooks and Kate Bates, winner of 3 gold medals at last week's World Cup track meeting in Manchester, both from Parramatta. With local riders, McEwen will ride a lap of Parramatta Park and then partner Brooks on a tandem and ride to Blackman Cycles on the corner of Victoria Rd and Church St., where he will give a press interview on this year's Tour de France and his team.

Søren Lilholt to Glud & Marstrand Horsens

Former professional Søren Lilholt has joined Glud & Marstrand as their new sports director. The overall responsibilities for Lilholt will be to set the strategy for the team, coordination and to guide the riders with their training. Furthermore, he is going to assist sports director Jannik Skovlund with racing abroad due to his large number of contacts he acquired as an active athlete. The team also announced its hope that through his contacts, Lilholt will be able to secure a couple of extra full time contracts for some of the riders.

Søren Lilholt's professional career lasted from 1986 to 1992 with teams including Histor Sigma, Tulip and System U. He has 20 victories as a professional including the overall victory in Tour de Luxembourg. As a professional he was among the most winning Danish riders of his time, and he rode Tour de France five times, Vuelta a España twice and the Giro d'Italia at once.

As an amateur he became dual road World Champion in 1983 as a junior rider, and was in the Danish team at the World's in 1984. His professional career started with the French team System U as the youngest professional ever at that time.

Source: Feltet.dk

New career chapter for Cummings

Athens Olympic Silver medallist and recent winner of a World Cup Gold medal Steve Cummings confirmed his arrival in the world of international cycling when he signed for Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, one of Europe's top Continental teams last Friday in Brussels, soon after winning his first World Cup track Gold medal in Manchester last Saturday.

After the team's presentation, Cummings was very confident about his move into professional cycling and the racing programme ahead. "The team seems well organized and seem to have a lot of confidence in my abilities," he said. "I can't wait for my first race with the team, which will be the Tour of Langkawi. It seems possible that my programme will include Trofeo Luis Puig as well as the Tour of Murcia and the Tour of Valencia. These races in Spain are a very possible option and I just can't wait to get started."

The British neo-pro enjoyed the team's first get-together and is looking forward to using the newly provided bike. "It is really good to meet with the team at last and receiving our team kit," he said. "A real plus was receiving the top of the range Colnago bikes. Now that I'm here, I have properly realized this is likely to be the start of a new chapter in my career."

Cummings expects much from himself and has high goals for this season, his first as part of the professional peloton. "I want to help my new team gain success," he stated as his top priority. "I love winning races myself, but get great satisfaction from helping teammates win. I also want a Gold medal in the World Championship team pursuit in Los Angeles and the World Cup in Manchester. It would be great to get a pro victory on the road in my first year and ride in a major classic."

Northshore Mountain bike generates Legacy Fund

The Northshore Mountain bike Events Society (NSMBES) has announced that it has generated a $20,000 legacy fund as a result of the North Shore Credit Union World Mountain Bike Festival & Conference and North Shore News Gear Swap, held August 2004. The fund will be distributed to charitable organizations to assist with wilderness access for people with disabilities, trail repair and maintenance, mountain biking facilitation and planning, as well as education and awareness campaigns.

As a result, the NSMBES will help fund three organizations that support community-based mountain biking and outdoor recreation programs for a variety of ages and abilities: the Interfit Project, the Trail Work-Enduro/High School Race Course and the North Shore Mountain Bike Product Development Plan.

Also under consideration is development of a North Shore Mountain Bike Guide, which would include a rider code of conduct, specific North Shore information, and awareness information on environmental issues and how to deal with sensitive areas.

The North Shore Credit Union World Mountain Bike Festival is a 4-day festival involving all levels of mountain biking with family activities, junior competitions and a BC Cup Marathon-style cross country event. The North Shore Credit Union World Mountain Bike Conference is a 4-day interactive conference, hosting delegates from around the world. Over the course of the 2004 conference, delegates discussed topics and shared issues and solutions revolving around the environmental, social and economic impacts of mountain biking both locally and internationally.

For more information, visit www.nsmbfc.com.

Des Moines Cycle Club donates $2,200

The Des Moines Cycle Club bicycle race team, sponsored by Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons and Mortgage Solutions, has announced donations of over $2,200 to the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America, Iowa Chapter. The team promotes the annual 'Cross Out Crohn's Disease' Cyclocross Series presented by Jacobson Companies, a national 3rd party logistics, 3rd party warehousing company. The races raise awareness and funds for the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America, Iowa Chapter, raising nearly $3,000 since 2001.

Series promoter Marc Hollander, diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in 1999, said, "I would like to thank all of the participants and sponsors. The cyclocross racers and sponsors have helped the sport grow wildly throughout Iowa and help support a great cause." The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's mission is to cure and prevent Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis through research, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these digestive diseases through education and support.

More information available at www.crossmafia.com.

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