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Edited by Jeff Jones
The United States Postal Service Pro Cycling Team kicked off its 2002 season in Portugal at the Tour of Algarve where George Hincapie nearly pulled off a surprise victory but settled for third place overall. Hincapie was fourth in the final stage, and finished the race at 13 seconds behind L.A. Pecol's Candido Barbosa on the general classification.
Barbosa's team had to do some chasing however, after Hincapie and three others broke away from the main peloton during the stage. At one point, Hincapie had enough of a lead to become the "virtual leader" on the road, before Barbosa's men closed the gap to a safe 42 seconds.
"I was giving it everything," Hincapie said. "It looked pretty good at one point but the problem was the last 25 kilometres were into a head wind and two of the guys in the break wouldn't take a pull - it was basically me and (Milaneza-MSS' Fabian Jeker). Plus, the last five kilometres were uphill into the head wind. Barbosa's group closed one minute in the last 10 kilometres. It was close."
For the five stage event, Hincapie placed in the top five in three stages (fourth in stage four and fifth in stage three) while David Clinger finished in the top five in the opening stage, placing fourth. Christian Vandevelde also had a good ride, finishing 17th overall.
Despite the near miss, Hincapie was very pleased with his and the team's overall effort and praised the new additions to the team that raced in Portugal. "The team is awesome," he said. Big Mo (Gianpaolo Mondini) and Pavel (Padrnos) were great. They are like motors, you just follow them on the flats. We look like a football team out there - they make me look small. I am really excited about the acquisitions we made in the off season."
Hincapie added that the Tour of Algarve served as a test to gauge his fitness after an extensive winter training program. "I'm well on track," he said.
Click here for final results from Algarve
Hi everyone. It's great to be back on cyclingnews.com. I've been gone for a while. My writing season ended last year on an exciting, albeit difficult note. I followed the Vuelta a España for the Outdoor Life Network. Aside from a few car crashes, difficulty getting on line and some unpleasant encounters with Spanish men, I had a great time.
Click here for Odessa's first report for 2002
The Spanish capital Madrid wants to host the 2005 World Road Championships. A technical delegation from the UCI, headed by Charly Mottet, will travel to Madrid today (February 14) to inspect the proposal. Mottet will meet the secretary of the Spanish cycling federation, Ramón Mendiburu, and will visit the various venues proposed for the races as well as the Madrid Olympic Games 2012 offices. Madrid has proposed to hold the elite men's road race in the centre of the city, while the other races would be held at Casa del Campo.
Two other Spanish cities, Valladolid and Palma, have also nominated to be the Spanish candidate for the 2005 World's. The final decision will be made by the UCI at this year's World Championships in Zolder in October.
Another one to add to the injury list is ONCE's David Arroyo, who crashed in training. He was riding with his teammate Rafael Diaz Justo when he turned off to go home. He fell and broke his collarbone, and will be out of action for at least a month.
For the second year in a row, the Prime Alliance Cycling Team will be doing more than just racing hard at this year's first U.S. NRC event, the McLane Pacific to be held on March 2-3 in Merced, California.
As a last minute arrangement at last year's McLane Pacific, the Prime Alliance boys did a public school presentation to a class that had been studying cycling the week prior to the races. The cycling presentation went so well that the race organization of Stanislaus-Merlock had several requests to do the same this year.
"The Prime Alliance boys will arrive early on Thursday and make three visits on the Friday before the competition. It is great to community involvement and the students get to hear some real exciting stories from some great athletes," stated race director Doug Fluetsch.
In the competition end of the 2002 McLane Pacific, the Prime Alliance will have stiff competition with full line ups from Navigators, Saturn, Mercury, 7Up/Nutra Fig and Sierra Nevada. It will be the first full round of competition for the racing scene in the United States. Both the road race and the GP at the 2001 McLane Pacific were dominated by Mercury and were both won by Australian Baden Cooke.
By Karen Forman in Melbourne
The Victorian madison championship for 2002 will be decided at an action-packed country track racing carnival at Warragul, an hour's drive east of Melbourne, on Saturday.
More than 130 senior riders - including high profilers like Brett Aitken and world keirin champion Ryan Bayley - have nominated for the annual Warragul Cycling Club Track Carnival, which is back under lights for the first time in four years.
Unfortunately Brett Lancaster, who with Aitken had been earmarked a favourite for the feature event, has had to withdraw due to illness following his outing with iteamNova.com in last week's Tour of Langkawi in Malaysia.
Other riders to watch are Hilton Clarke, who with teammate Graeme Brown (winner of two stages in Langkawi), controlled much of the 2002 Skilled Geelong Bay Classic in Victoria, early in January; and Shaun Collins.
Besides the madison, which will top off an evening of racing starting at 2pm, spectators will be treated to the Avanti Cycles 2000 metre wheel race and a match race between a character commonly known as "Banana Man" (Bill Clifton) and Justin Dovaston.
Junior riders will come to the fore on Sunday in the CTC Quality Maintenance Junior Carnival, which will take in the Victoria under 15 and under 17 scratch race championships and the Baw Baw Shire Cup, a 2000 metre handicap.
Around 80 riders have nominated for the event, to be held between 10am and 3pm. For further information about either carnival, contact Karin Jones on 0408 375 238.
Joe McWilliams (Cat. 2)
Chris Spence (Cat. 2)
Kevin Burke (Cat. 2)
Jordan Brasch (Cat. 2)
Marco Vasquez (Cat. 2)
Marie Neville (Cat. 2)
Mark Merritt (Cat. 3)
Kevin Wilkins (Cat. 3)
Jeff Hansen (Cat. 3)
James Wolfe (Cat. 3)
Ian Robertson (Cat. 3)
John Peterson (Cat. 3)
Matt Gersib (Semi-Pro MTB)
Paul Chapman (Expert MTB)
Jesse Petersen (Expert MTB)
Matt Slaven (Expert MTB)
Matt Wills (Expert MTB)
Tyler Carmichael (Junior)
John Lefler Jr. (Cat. 4)
Mitch Gonzales (Cat. 4)
Tyler Carmichael (Junior)
Nebraska Health System
University of Nebraska Medical Center
University Medical Associates
A to Z Printing
Cycle Works (Equipment)