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Edited by Paul Goldsmith
Michele Bartoli hasn't taken long to reward the faith shown in him by Fassa Bortolo. In a race that has been dominated by Italians, the 32 year old Tuscan from Pisa picked up his first victory of the year in the 4th stage of the 29th Tour Méditerranéen.
The stage included the gruelling climb up Mount Faron. Starting at a 90-m. altitude, and finishing at 511 metres above sea level it's a 5.6-km. climb, with an average gradient below 10%, but in the second half of the ascent moves up to around 14%, even going up to 16% in a particular piece renamed "Le Trou du Diable" ("The Devil's Throne").
Fassa controlled most of the stage setting a high pace right from the penultimate ascent, the Col des Fources. Interesting, stage 3 leader Alessandro Petacchi was one of the hardest workers for Bartoli, so the indication is that team director Giancarlo Ferretti is setting up for Bartoli to claim the overall victory as well.
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by Karen Foreman in Warragul
The Victorian Madison Championship for 2002 has gone to two South Australians - Olympic gold medallist Brett Aitken and road racing hopeful Luke Roberts.
The pair rocketed it home to win this year's championship by 73 points - 33 ahead of nearest rivals Hilton Clarke and younger brother Jonny (aged just 16) on 40 - in a sizzling finale to the Warragul Cycling Club's annual track carnival tonight.
It was the club's third attempt in as many years to stage the event, which has been cancelled the past two years due to rain. Although rain clouds shadowed the outdoor 333 metre track throughout the day, the sun came out in time for the start of the 150 lap/50km event, which finished under lights just over an hour later.
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By John Stevenson in Mt Beauty
Australia's mountain bike constellation acquired a new star today with the arrival of Tasmanian Sid Taberley in the top ranks. Riding in the U23 category at the MTBA National MTB championships, Taberley comprehensively defeated reigning champion Paul Rowney as well as expected challenger and eventual Elite class winner Josh Fleming.
In the day's final race, a combined U23/Elite and Expert field rode 6 laps of a steep and technical course, pitting Elite experience against U23 power and energy. The race started as expected with Fleming and Rowney taking the lead, Rowney allowing Fleming to make the early running.
But the situation changed dramtically on the third lap when Taberley turned on the juice and stormed past Rowney and Fleming, in the process recording the day's fastest lap, completing the circuit in 20min 58sec.
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By Rod Morris
While each and every one of the 80 riders in the Skilled Tour of Tasmania road cycling race later this month harbour thoughts of winning the General Classification - for many it is only a pipedream.
In all reality there is probably only a dozen genuine chances of claiming overall honours. David McKenzie (IteamNova.com), Brett Aitken (Skilled), Jeremy Yates (New Zealand), defending champion Glen CHadwick (Skilled Quest), Alan Iacuone (IteamNova.com) and Tasmania's own Nathan Clarke and Sean Sullivan (TIS No. 1) are among those who could be classed as real threats in the General Classification, which of course will carry with it, the prestigious yellow jersey.
For other riders, there are three other preliminary aims - the Country Club Sprint Ace, Wrest Point King of the Mountain and Teams Championship.
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International cyclo-cross just continues to grow, with cities now competing to stage events. The 2002 season will wind up in Monopoli (Bari, Italy) with the final world cup race to be staged on February 1 and 2, 2003. For organisers it was the first time that there were more applications for events than events. Interest in hosting the Italian Grand Prix is particularly high with Solbiate Olona, Sassuolo and Serramazzoni are all keen to host the event.
This expansion in cyclo-cross has seen Nicola Carlone, general manager of Monopoli 2003, has announced that he has commissioned an advertising agency to select a common sponsor for the entire World Cup 2002-2003. The proceeds from the sponsorship (180.000 Euro) will be used to establish a fund for the development of cyclo-cross "I am thinking of countries such as Portugal, Austria, Denmark and Slovenia, to begin with", said Carlone.
By John Stevenson
With this year's association with an Italian team, things have come full circle for Specialized. Although it's perhaps best known as a pioneer of production mountain bikes, Specialized started as a small import business, with founder Mike Sinyard bringing Italian components into California.
The bikes that Mario Cipollini's Acqua&Sapone team is riding in 2002 are built around Specialized's S-Works E5 compact frame, developed over the last several years out of Specialized's association with tye now-definct Festina team.
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OLNTV will be showing one hour cycling shows, every weeknight from 7 -8 pm ET in March. The shows will feature Lance Armstrong, along with Paul Sherwen, for a stage by stage recap of Lance's third Tour de France victory. At this stage a definite starting date for the program hasn't been released, however the two candidates are Fri, March 1 or on Mon, Mar. 4.
by Karen Forman in Warragul
It's not easy for Brett Aitken to sit back at home in Australia and watch his Olympic gold medal madison partner Scott McGrory competing with success - without him - on the six-day scene in Europe.
But Aitken, who made a conscious decision to stay home this year and compete on the domestic scene, is coping. So far.
The Adelaide rider, in the Victorian country town of Warragul to contest the Victorian Madison Championships being run as part of the Warragul Cycling Club annual track carnival tonight, says for now he is happy with his decision.
"It is hard to watch Scott and see everybody else going off to Europe without me, but I made the decision to stay," he said last night as he rubbed shoulders with a band of admiring locals.
"It is a hard life over there - I did it.
"I had a lot of problems with my knee. Things didn't go well at the start of the year . . . Plus I have just started a new venture in Adelaide (Brett Aitken Personal Training) and am focussing on that at the moment."
Still, he hasn't ruled out a return to Europe. "It is still an option," he says, "if I want to go back and do some six days and make some money, I can. I am not saying yes or no to anything."
He says the Commonwealth Games are still an option this year and the next Olympics are on his mind.
"The thing is, that it is a catch-22 situation," he said. "I have won at the last Olympics and I have got nothing higher to aspire to. Maybe win by two to three laps?
"But the format is changing. If you get a lap you will just get points now and getting points is what we do best.
"Actually there is a Victorian rider who is one better than me - Dean Woods. He has a gold, a silver and two bronze medals. I have a gold, a silver and one bronze.
"So . . ."
In the meantime, Aitken goes for gold in tonight's Victorian championship on an outdoor country track that has been affected by rain last night and today.
He was to have been paired with iteamNova.com member Brett Lancaster for the ride, but Lancaster is ill with a chest infection following last week's Tour of Langkawi in Malaysia.
Specialized Bicycles have announced their plans for racing in the 2002 season. Using words like "grassroots" and "balanced" the announcement sees a scaling back of the companies international schedule to concentrate on US races.
For 2002, the company plans to sustain its World Cup success, although on a more moderate basis, and concentrate on rebuilding its USA program through a focus on local racing.
Defending UCI champ and the top-ranked xc woman in the world, Barbara Blatter, continues with Specialized. Consistent with the UCI's 2002 schedule, the majority of Blatter's racing will take place in Europe, with her ultimate goal being a gold medal at the '02 Worlds. Former teammates Caroline Alexander, Bas Van Dooren, Elsbeth Vink and Marga Fullana have, in the words of Specialized PR moved on to "pursued other opportunities".
The sport's first world champion, six-time USA National Champ, and perennial multi-sport athlete, Ned Overend claims to have "retired" but never really does so. Ned will remain with Specialized as an athlete, R & D guru, and ambassador for the entire sport.
"I'm excited to tackle a variety of events in '02. The X-Terra has been a great success, and I'm looking forward to regional classics like the Fruta Festival, as well as the Muddy Buddy series," says the mountain bike legend.
For '02, the company has opted to shift much of its emphasis to local and regional "Grassroots" programs. In conjunction with Specialized Dealers, hopes are to expand the reach of MTB racing, cultivate greater enthusiasm, and develop young talent.
In addition to support of grassroots racing and events, Specialized now sponsors freeride talent, Brett Tippie.
"We looked at a number of options, racing in Europe and a high-profile program in the States," Mike Sinyard, Specialized founder and president explained. "For '02, we've opted for a more grassroots approach to MTB racing, support of events like the Sea Otter, and have already begun planning for 2003," he said.
Manager: Bruce Hitchcock
Director: Joe Taddeucci
Sponsors: Vitamin Cottage, Morgul Bismark, Twinlabs, HealtSouth, Dain Rauscher
Equipment: Morgul Bismark bicycles, Louis Garneau, Profile Design, Clif Bar, SpeedPlay, Gaerne
Alan McCormack, Pro, Boulder, Colorado.
Renee Eastman, Cat I, Coloradolorado Springs, Colorado.
Jon Tarkington, Cat I, Boulder, Colorado.
Pete Beland, Cat I, Boulder, Colorado.
Mason Rickard, Cat I, Boulder, Colorado.
Tony Roberts, Cat II, Boulder, Colorado.
Nat Campbell, Cat II, Ft Collins, Colorado.
Elliot Goldman, Cat II, Boulder, Colorado.
Ben Huff, Cat II, Ft. Coloradollins, Colorado.
Chris Munro, Cat II, Boulder, Colorado.
Bob Pinkerton, Cat II, Boulder, Colorado.
Mike Rosaasen, Cat II, Boulder, Colorado.
Joe Taddeucci, Cat II, Boulder, Colorado.
Ian Howells, Cat II, Boulder, Colorado.
Joey Pinkerton, Cat II, Ft.Collins, Colorado.
Steve Boston, Cat III, Denver, Colorado.
Jeff Leischner, Cat III, Denver, Colorado.
Vint Schoenfeldt, Cat III, Denver, Colorado.
Tom Hunter, Cat III, Denver, Colorado.
Bruce Hitchcock, Masters 35-39, Denver, Colorado.
Rob Balgley, Masters 35-39, Denver, Colorado.
Joe Carcich, Masters 45-49, Denver, Colorado.
Steve Crowley, Masters 35-39, Denver, Colorado.
Mark Littrell, Masters 35-39, Denver, Colorado.
Dean Mason, Masters 35-39, Ft. Denver, Colorado.
Jeff Paul, Masters 35-39, Ft. Denver, Colorado.
Wayne Watson, Masters 50-54, Denver, Colorado.
Vic Willams, Masters 35-39, Denver, Colorado.
USA Cycling announced the latest addition to its senior management staff, vice president of membership, Lisa Herdelin-Doherty.
Herdelin-Doherty will be responsible for member service and development, as well as developing and implementing strategic plans for growth, promotion and retention. This member service includes support to event promoters, organizers, clubs and riders.
"I'm proud to join the USA Cycling staff team and look forward to helping foster growth of American bike racing," said Herdelin-Doherty. "Members are the heart of USA Cycling. It is important for us to identify what our members want, determine how we can best serve them, and continually communicate with our membership. Our staff is eager to explore new services, programs and systems that will help ensure member satisfaction."
For six years (1994-2000), Herdelin-Doherty held various positions for the YMCA, in Nashville, Tennessee and Denver, Colorado.
In 2001, she was the coordinator of athlete services for the U.S. Olympic Committee. At the USOC, she organized conferences for elite athletes and coaches. A summa cum laude graduate of East Tennessee State University, Herdelin-Doherty earned her bachelors of business administration in marketing. Herdelin-Doherty's husband, Baron, is the chief operating officer for the YMCA Pikes Peak Region.