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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest Cycling News for March 2, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

Four years for De Clercq

The Belgian cycling federation's disciplinary commission has sanctioned former cyclo-crosser Mario de Clercq for four years, two of which are suspended. The federation has also fined him €6,500. De Clercq was one of the four professional riders named in the José Landuyt doping affair, and has suffered the same fate as Johan Museeuw, Chris Peers and Jo Planckaert. Although he has stopped as a cyclist, he still may lose his current job at a cycling school in Ronse because of the suspension.

Perez asks for suspended sentence

Spanish cyclist Santiago Perez, who was recently given a two year suspension by the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC), has requested that his sanction be put on hold. Perez is in negotiations with several teams at the moment, and his lawyers are arguing that he should be allowed to do his job until the case is resolved, especially because it hinges on the accuracy of a new test. Although the RFEC has rejected these arguments, Perez's lawyers have asked the Spanish Committee of Sporting Discipline (CEDD) to consider them.

Perez, who finished second in the Vuelta España last year, tested positive for a homologous blood transfusion in an out of competition test taken at the UCI's headquarters in Switzerland last October 5. His teammate Tyler Hamilton also tested positive for the same thing during last year's Vuelta, and is currently arguing his case to the US Anti-Doping Agency.

Devolder extends

Stijn Devolder (Discovery) Photo ©: Christine Grein
Click for larger image

After his impressive riding in the Belgian opening weekend, Stijn Devolder has extended his contract with the Discovery Channel team until 2007. "Johan Bruyneel was in the country on Friday and gave me a contract proposition," Devolder was quoted in Het Laatste Nieuws as saying. "I did not discuss money. I received a guarantee that I can grow further here as a rider."

Devolder was personally congratulated by Lance Armstrong after his riding. "Lance followed via the efforts of Volderke via the Internet," said Discovery's Dirk Demol to "He was really impressed by what he conjured up out of the legs. He liked what he saw. When I took on Stijn last year, nine out of ten people asked aloud what that guy could do in such a big team. Stijn is a pure natural. He'll open the eyes of a lot of people. Yes, even in the near future."

Cappelle takes Belgian federation to court

Former Chocolade Jacques rider, Andy Cappelle, is taking the Belgian cycling federation to court, claiming damages for loss of work. Cappelle has been suspended for 15 months for taking an anti-inflammatory, claiming, "Because the federation can't keep up with its administration, I tested positive for an anti-inflammatory product. They made the error. And I am now without work."

Cappelle has also appealed against his sentence to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but will not be heard until the end of March.

Ronde might miss the Koppenberg

This year's Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) may bypass the feared Koppenberg, according to course designer Harry Van den Bremt in Het Laatste Nieuws. "An underground water source on the top of the climb has caused some of the stones to come loose, with serious gaps as a consequence. We might substitute the Koppenberg for the Kortekeer."

Teams announced for Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali

A total of 20 teams will front up to the start of the Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali on March 22. The Italian five day 2.1 classified stage race will be held in the week following Milan-San Remo. Of the teams named, seven are ProTour teams: Lampre-Caffita, Fassa Bortolo, Domina Vacanze, Quick Step, Gerolsteiner, Liquigas-Bianchi and Davitamon-Lotto. The remainder are Continental Professional or Continental teams: Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, Team LPR, Team Barloworld-Valsir, Acqua & Sapone-Adria Mobil, Ed’System-Zvvz, Miche, Colombia-Selle Italia, Tenax, Navigators Insurance, Naturino-Sapore di Mare, Amore & Vita-Beretta, Team Ceramica Flaminia, Team Androni Giocattoli.

The race will be presented next Monday, March 7 in Rimini.

Peace Race moved

The Peace Race, which will hold its 58th edition this year, will not take place in its traditional spot of May, but at an as yet undetermined date in the second half of the season. A dispute between the Czech race director Pavel Dolezel and German manager Jörg Strenger, who claimed "Peace Race" as a trademark, threatened to derail the race completely. "There will definitely be no more collaboration with Jörg Strenger," said Dolezel to dpa, who will now work with Lutz Heßlich and Gerd Müller in Germany.

Dolezel will announce the full race details by the end of April. The Peace Race is not expected to clash with the German ProTour races HEW Cyclassics (July 31) and Tour of Germany (August 15-23).

Superprestige calendar 2005/2006

The Superprestige series, one of the top series for cyclo-cross, will kick off on October 16, 2005 in Ruddervoorde, Belgium. This series will be raced over seven rounds with stops in five Belgian and two Dutch towns. The final race will be in Vorselaar, Belgium on February 18, 2006.

The schedule

October 16, 2005: Ruddervoorde (Bel)
October 30, 2005: Sint Michielsgestel (Ned)
November 20, 2005: Asper-Gavere (Bel)
November 27, 2005: Gieten (Ned)
December 24, 2005: Diegem (Bel
February 05, 2006: Hoogstraten (Bel)
February 18, 2006: Vorselaar (Bel)

Bean Team Offers a Fresh Grind for 2005

Tim Johnson set to lead Jittery Joe's/Kalahari to new heights

By Mark Zalewski in Athens, Georgia

The 2005 Jittery Joe's/Kalahari Cycling Team.
Photo ©: Mark Zalewski
Click for larger image

While the rest of the U.S. domestic peloton has their training camps/team presentations somewhere in California or the like, the always different and ever laid-back Jittery Joe's/Kalahari Pro Cycling Team from Athens, Georgia, came together this past weekend for a down home party with friends and fans. At the place where the coffee that pays the bills is made, the Jittery Joe's Roasting Company warehouse, the squad for 2005 was unveiled, and what a team it is! A large crowd gathered for food, beer and (of course) coffee to toast the team as they set off to make sure last year's success will not be forgotten.

With the departure of Cesar Grajales to Navigators, Director Sportif Micah Rice knew he needed a pretty big name to fill the void left by the winner on Brasstown Bald. Luckily, former Saturn and Saunier Duval pro Tim Johnson, unhappy with the way things turned out in Spain, was looking for a radical change. After a few conversations with Rice, and countless emails asking what it would take to get him to sign, Johnson agreed to headline this year's Bean Team.

With this comes the opportunity for the team to really compete for general classification in the big U.S. stage races. The 27-year-old from Boston returns to the U.S. after a rough go across the pond: "I was having a rough time with the racing at Suanier-Duval - I was kind of racing over my head," said Johnson. "Last year on Suanier-Duval I never had the chance to be a bike racer because it was so hard for me. This year I want to help somebody win and be the guy to win; this team fits perfectly because I can be a leader and help out everyone else also."

Click here for the full story

Trek/Volkswagen announces full lineup

The Trek/Volkswagen mountain bike team will continue for another two years (until the end of 2006), the two companies have confirmed. Although numbering just three riders, the 2005 VW/Trek team boasts more national and world championship titles than any other current U.S. team:

Chris Eatough has five 24-hour Solo World Championship titles and two 24-hour solo National Champion titles, and consistently places in the top ten at the NORBA XC Nationals; Susan Haywood is a two-time NORBA National STXC Champion; and Jeremiah Bishop is the 2003 Pan American Champion and 2004 NORBA National winner with an eye towards more National wins in 2005. The team will be riding the Top Fuel 110 as well as the redesigned Trek Fuel EX 9 mountain bike.

The Trek/VW jersey will also be worn by 24 riders who are part of Trek's Local Hero regional race program, run by Ernie Martin. The regional teams consist of aspiring pro, women and masters class riders who are focused on dominating local, grassroots events and inspiring cyclists and non-cyclists alike.

The goal for both squads is to dominate the North American scene by continuing to focus on the widest range of events possible: From NORBA Nationals to the Teva Mountain Games and an all-out assault on the Trans-Alp challenge in Europe.

In addition to the mountain bike time, Trek and Volkswagen are also sponsoring nine regional road racing teams (including one in Canada), and Volkswagen is a co-sponsor of the new Trek/Dasani Fit for Women Demo Tour.

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