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News for March 18, 2002
Edited by Jeff Jones
Paris-Nice winner bio: Alexandre Vinokourov
The winner of this year's Paris-Nice was 28 year old Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov (Telekom), who took command of the race in the fourth stage to Mont Faron. There he beat Laurent Jalabert (CSC) by 28 seconds, who moved into second overall, just 5 seconds behind Vino. However, the anticipated challenge from JaJa on the Col d'Eze (stage 6) did not arise, and Vinokourov finished up with a 55 second lead over Sandy Casar, the young French revelation of this race.
Born in Petropavlosk (Kazakhstan), Vinokourov moved to France since 1997, when he rode for the French elite team EC Saint-Etienne Loire de Pierre Rivory. He was offered a contract by Vincent Lavenu, then director of the Casino squad (now Ag2r) and started his professional career in 1998.
In his first year he won an impressive six races, including the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque, Tour de l'Oise, and stages in the Tour of Poland and Circuit des Mines. In 1999 he won the Dauphiné Libére and the Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana, as well as two stages of the G.P. du Midi Libre. In 2000, he was contracted to Telekom and finished second in the Olympic Road Race as part of the "Telekom 1-2-3" as well as winning a stage of the Vuelta España.
In 2001, he won the Tour of Germany as well as a stage in the Tour de Suisse. He rode the Tour de France in support of Jan Ullrich, where he finished 16th overall.
Bio and results
Born: September 16, 1973 in Petropavlosk
Stage win, 1st overall in Paris-Nice
Stage win, 1st overall in Deutschland Tour
Stage win, Vuelta a España
Stage win, 1st overall in Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana
Stage win, 1st overall in Circuit des Mines
Police raid Tirreno-Adriatico
The Italian financial police and Carabinieri carried out raids on riders' hotel rooms before the start of the fourth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico in Rieti. The police were acting on orders from the magistrate in charge of the Giro d'Italia investigation in Padova, Paola Cameran, and the searches were made at 6:00am local time.
According to Italian newsagency ANSA, the following riders rooms were searched: Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), Fabio Sacchi (Saeco), Gorazd Stangelj (Fassa Bortolo), Davide Casarotto, Stefano Casagranda and Endrio Leoni (Alessio). In Casarotto's room, police found two ointments, which he had the correct authorisation for. Rebellin had an inhaler which was returned to him after he was taken to police headquarters to sign a declaration.
All riders were allowed to start the fourth stage, a 12.7 kilometre time trial, won by Erik Dekker.
Today's raids were certainly not as extensive as those during last year's Giro, which have resulted in a number of riders and team staff being questioned by Florence prosecutor Luigi Bocciolini, as well as Padovan magistrate Paola Cameran. The investigators are using the Italian anti-doping laws to try prevent "sporting fraud" - falsifying results through taking illegal substances.
Wadecki regains consciousness
Polish rider Piotr Wadecki (Domo-Farm Frites) has regained consciousness after his accident in stage 1 of Tirreno-Adriatico. Wadecki was operated on in Cardarelli Hospital in Naples after he fractured the front of his skull in the accident. It was also found that he had broken his wrist, but no vital organs have been damaged.
Team director Patrick Lefevere told Belgian TV that "If everything goes well, Wadecki can leave intensive care on Sunday evening. We have to wait and see exactly how he is."
Redlands: Crashes, Crashes, Crashes...
By Steve Edwards in Redlands, CA
The seemingly dangerous stage 4 proved, thankfully, to be devoid of serious accidents. Perhaps it was because the course, though technical, was very well marked and staffed, leaving the crashes to be decided only by the riders. Unfortunately, the last few days' races were held on longer courses that were much more difficult to keep a close eye on, which lead to some very serious mishaps.
On day one, Biogen's Lisa Peck was injured in a completely irresponsible accident. About halfway up the time trial course she hit a rider that was coming down the course.
"The race marshal whistled, and the other marshal whistled back to acknowledge it," she said.
"I came around a corner and there were two guys on bikes riding down toward me. One was smack right in front of me and I collided with him head on and flipped over his wheel. I broke both wrists and my elbow, and he left."
She then got up and finished the race, even though she knew it was probably serious,
"I did, one handed. I didn't know how bad it was and was just hoping for the best, and thought maybe I could finish the race."
She spent 7 hours in emergency surgery and will be out 8 to 12 weeks, putting a damper in her plans to compete in the upcoming NORBA series.
When asked who she hit, she stated that at this time she would rather not say, but scuttlebutt around the race was that it was someone involved with a team.
"I heard they had already been warned once to get off the course. Obviously, they didn't mean to hit me, but they shouldn't have been there. They knew better. What really bothers me, though, is that they left. It would have been nice if they had stayed and been a little bit accountable. I'm upset, because it shouldn't have happened."
"But I would like to add that everyone here at Redlands is wonderful: the support, the medical, the official on the motor bike, and the Mavic guys."
On stage 3's very long road race there were many crashes, mainly in the feed zones. The first one happened very early in the stage and was another example of poor communication. Somehow, a race official, police escort, and group of riders got their signals crossed. Info was all second hand but it sounds as though the riders and police officer were both unsure which way the course went. They both went the wrong direction and one rider hit the vehicle at full speed, sending Jacob Rosenbarger of Team Choco-Andean Eco-Coffee flying over the cars and breaking either one or both of his legs.
Most of the other crashes were in feed zones, which many riders say should have been on steeper sections of the course. "The feed zones were pretty crazy," said one of the victims, Dutchman Bram de Waard of the Marco Polo Team. While he didn't sound bitter, his voice made it clear that it shouldn't have happened that way it did.
"I was sitting pretty close to the leaders", he shrugged, "but the feed zone was too fast and people were out on the course trying to get things to their riders. Many people were dropping the exchanges. There was a crash in front of me and I swerved to avoid it when someone crashed into my back wheel."
De Waard suffered some abrasions and a broken elbow. He was headed into emergency surgery just as soon as they could find a capable specialist to do the job. It had been a frustrating race already. He suffered a mechanical problem in the time trial and finished way back. After gaining 100 places in stage two, he was sitting comfortably with the leaders at the time of the accident. This was to be the second of four stage races he was slated to do on the trip and will force an unfortunate end to his first trip to the States.
While there is really no one to blame, crashes due to lack of organization seem to be on the rise. Lack of funding forces races to rely on almost any volunteer help they can get, regardless of experience. Also, annual road races suffer from increased traffic and congestion on many traditional stages, making them much tougher to staff.
"They were letting traffic go in between breaks", said one fan. "It was nuts!"
Coppi's grandson commits suicide
Marco Bellocchio, the grandson of Italian great Fausto Coppi, has committed suicide, aged 27. Bellocchio threw himself into a viaduct on the side of the Genova autostrada, near the localities of Sestri Levante and Lavagna. He lived in the nearby town of Novi Ligure and was the grandson of Marine Coppi, first wife of Fausto Coppi.
Colorado Cycling Festival
The ninth annual Colorado Cycling Festival will take place on April 6, 7 and 13 in Boulder, Colorado. The three day road cycling event includes two of the largest events in the Mountain West, the Stazio Criterium, the Boulder Roubaix Road Race, as well as the inaugural Excel Sports Criterium.
The festival attracts over 2000 riders and thousands of spectators to Boulder each year, and includes a number of other activities in addition to the racing.
April 6: Stazio Criterium - Classic one-mile race loop including a steep
climb, fast descent and sharp corners.
Elitesponsor.com Cycling Team
The Elitesponsor.com Cycling Team is a small cat. 1 team based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The team will concentrate on large regional and select national events, including the Tucson Classic Stage Race, Tour of the Gila, Superweek, and Road and T.T Nationals.
The team will be racing on Shaft Race Plus frames from Actionframe.com.