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News for March 28, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Simoni withdraws from Setmana Catalana

Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) has chosen not to continue racing in the Setmana Catalana, his first competition since a period of intense training in preparation for the Giro d'Italia. Unfortunately, Simoni fell in the second stage and hurt his knee. He rode the evening's time trial but finished 132nd, losing 1'49 in just 10.3 kilometres. The Saeco team doctor treated him afterwards, but this morning Simoni saw that his knee was still swollen, and he chose not to continue in the race.

"This morning Simoni's knee was still very swollen even after we had taken out 50cc of liquid yesterday evening," said Saeco team doctor Daniele Tarsi. "It is probably only a muscular injury but to be sure we decided Simoni should see a specialist in Italy."

Simoni returned home to Italy immediately where he saw Prof Flavio Terragnoli in Brescia. "I found that Simoni has quite a serious bruise on his knee with the release of an amount of haematic liquid," Prof Terragnoli said after seeing Simoni. "We also can't rule out a slight problem with his cartilage. That's why I've decided to carry out a scan."

"My knee doesn't hurt but it's still swollen," said a disappointed Simoni.

"I'm disappointed that I had to retire from the race because considering the weather conditions, the stage would have been an important test of my form at this point of the season. We'll see what the results of the test say and then take it form there. If it's nothing serious I hope to be back on the bike at the weekend."

Jalabert hit by a virus: 10 days rest

Despite earlier reports that Laurent Jalabert was given the all-clear to ride and race again, his test results have revealed the presence of a viral infection. Doctors have ordered the Frenchman to rest for 10 days, meaning that he will miss this weekend's Criterium International as well as the Spring Classics.

"I have a viral infection," said Jalabert in an interview with AFP. "But it is not mononucleosis. It is nothing that serious. I will recover by resting, without medication."

Jalabert's problems began after Paris-Nice, when he started feeling tired. He started in Milan-San Remo last Saturday but abandoned halfway. He then decided to have some tests taken.

"It's plain that it is finished for the classics," he said. "But for the Tour, everything is not lost, on the contrary."

After resting for 10 days, Jalabert will undergo more tests to see if the virus has left his system.

Cipollini can start in Paris-Roubaix

The Sociètè du Tour de France, organisers of Paris-Roubaix, have asked for and received special dispensation from the UCI to allow a 26th team into the race, which celebrates its 100th edition this year. That team is none other than Mario Cipollini's Acqua & Sapone outfit (for want of a better term), which will be working to try and keep Cipo in the World Cup leader's jersey for as long as possible.

The team already has an invitation to the Tour of Flanders (round 2 of the World Cup), after Cipollini said that he wished to defend the jersey. The 100th Paris-Roubaix is round 3 of the World Cup and will take place on April 14. It's considered the toughest one day classic due to the unrelenting cobbled sections and occasionally treacherous conditions.

More hotel rooms raided in Italy

Italian police have raided riders' hotel rooms during the Settimana Internazionale Coppi-Bartali, according to ANSA newsagency. Members of the Italian drug squad (NAS) visited the rooms of Marco Fincato and Marco Villa, both from Mercatone Uno, before the start of the third stage in Montecatini Terme.

Cornelissen back racing again

Dutch cyclist Björn Cornelissen (AXA-VVZ) can return to racing again after serving a two week "rest" period following a high hematocrit test. He had a second test last Tuesday, where it was found that his hematocrit had fallen below the 50% limit set by the UCI. He will therefore start racing in Belgium on Thursday.

The UCI also took a urine sample from Cornelissen to test for EPO, with the results of the analysis not yet known.

Teams announced for First Union cycling series

A field of 19 teams has been announced to compete in the 18th First Union Cycling Series, held in the USA between June 6 and June 9. The series starts with the First Union Invitational in Lancaster, PA, on June 4, continuing in Trenton, NJ, on June 6 with the First Union Classic and culminating with the First Union USPRO Championship in Philadelphia, PA, on June 9.

The field is a mixture of division I, II and III teams, all of which will be vying to win the USA's biggest races. Featured riders include 2001 Pro Cycling Tour point series champion Trent Klasna (Saturn); George Hincapie (US Postal Service), last year's Pro Cycling Tour point standings runner-up; Jay Sweet (Saturn), dual stage winner at the 2001 Tour of Rhodes and Chris Horner (Prime Alliance), 2001 Miami Cycling Classic champion.

Women's teams competing in the First Union Liberty Classic on June 9 in Philadelphia will be named in April.

First Union teams

iTeamNova.com (Australia)
Jelly Belly (USA)
Jittery Joe's Coffee (USA)
Colnago-Landouwkrediet (Belgium)
Ofoto-Lombardi Sports (USA)
Lotto-Adecco (Belgium)
Mapei-Quick Step (Italy)
Mercury (USA)
Mroz (Poland)
Navigators (USA)
Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo (Italy)
Prime Alliance (USA)
Saeco-Longoni Sport (Italy)
Saturn (USA)
Schroeder Iron (USA)
7 Up-Nutra Fig (USA)
Sierra Nevada (USA)
Sympatico.ca-Jet Fuel (Canada)
United States Postal Service (USA)

French Championships to be held in Hautes-Alpes

This year's French National Championships will be held in Briançon (Hautes-Alpes) between June 27-30. A challenging 18.8 kilometre circuit has been chosen which will be used for both the time trials and road races. The course contains two hills and does not offer a lot of recovery in between, ensuring a selective race.

The championships start on June 27 with the Elite Men's and Women's time trials, covering 37.6 and 18.8 kilometres respectively. The following day, the Elite 2 Men will tackle eight laps of the course for their 150.4 kilometre road race. They are followed by the Elite Women who will do five laps (94 kilometres). On Sunday, June 30, the Elite Men will ride 12 laps for a total of 225.6 kilometres.

Belgium gets 2007 Cyclocross World's

Belgium has been awarded the rights to host the 2007 World Cyclocross Championships, and candidates are now being sought. The town of Koksijde is one such candidate, hosting the Belgian national championships this year as well as the Driedaagse van De Panne-Koksijde. The last time that Koksijde hosted the World's was in 1994.

Cycleways-Lee Strand Cycling Team

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent/Evening Herald/Sunday Independent

Last evening in the plush surroundings of the Grasshopper Inn, Clonee, Co. Meath the official launch of the Cycleways-Lee Strand Cycling Team was announced to a full house of cycling enthusiasts and members of the Press.

Behind the venture are two well-known cycling personalities on the Irish scene, Brian Connaughton and Philip Cassidy who between them have won three FBD Milk Ras's. Both the lads established Cycleways back in 1984 which is now generally regarded as Ireland's leading bicycle shop.

Also making a welcome return to sponsorship of the sport is Lee Strand a Co-Operative Creamery based in Tralee, Co. Kerry. Lee Strand was involved in the sport a number of years ago.

General manager of Lee Strand, William Kennedy was full of praise for the professionalism of team leader of the cycling team, Philip Cassidy. "Undoubtedly an inspirational leader on the bike and also in business with his partner Brian Connaughton. Being a Co. Kerry based Co-Operative we are delighted with the inclusion of Eugene Moriarty who lives in Listowel, Co. Kerry."

"My feelings are that we will have success on many fronts. In 1995 when we were last associated with cycling; Philip led the Irish National Squad to victory in the Ras. We are also involved in a number of major sponsors of sport in Kerry including Bord Na Og, Kerry Community Games, greyhound racing soccer and basketball," said Mr. Kennedy.

Andrew Kelleher also of Lee Strand was pleased that the team would make their debut in their new colours in the Fexco Tour of Munster this weekend. "I anticipate that they will make their presence felt in a big way this Easter and next month when the FBD Milk Ras comes to the Kingdom. The professionalism that Philip inspires will got no astray on the team. "

The team will be led by Philip Cassidy and includes Raymond Clarke, Eugene Moriarty, Aidan Crowley, Timothy Cassidy, Philip Finnegan, Shane Connaughton and Adrian Hedderman.

Not only are they team members, but in their own right they have clocked up to 1,000 wins between them and if the enthusiasm last evening is anything to by they'll achieve quite a lot of success this season.

Team roster

Philip Cassidy
Raymond Clarke
Eugene Moriarty
Aidan Crowley
Timothy Cassidy
Philip Finnegan
Shane Connaughton
Adrian Hedderman


Terry Dolan Frames
Walden Motor Company
Enervit Energy drinks
Specialized Tyres and Saddles
Descente Racing Clothing
DMT Cycling Shoes
Gill Leisure Clothing
Oakley Sunglasses
CardioSport Heart Rate Monitors
Cross Insurance Ltd.

Heroes of Cycling Charity Auction

Team bn3/SRAM's 'Heroes of Cycling' auction for Cancer Research UK goes live on April 8th 2002. All money paid in goes to cancer Research UK. So far, the following items will be available:

Lot # Hero             Item					

1     Steve Peat       Signed Royal/Orange Jersey          
2     Chris Boardman   Signed Prutour Leader's Jersey
3     Missy Giove      Signed Global Racing Jersey
4     Tracy Moseley    Signed RAV4 Leader's Jersey
5     Helen Gaskell    Signed Team Jersey
6     Fionn Griffiths  Signed Zeal Goggles
7     The Clan         Signed Team Jersey

Plus, pledges from Rob Warner, Kyle Strait, Steve 'Gravy' Gravenites, Nick Craig, Jenny Copnall, Petra Wiltshire, Ed Moseley, Team Animal and Team Kona-Bioracer.

The auction website will be up and running soon, and will feature a constantly updated catalogue and bid form. In the meantime, a full list of lots and a bid form is available by emailing info@bn3.co.uk.

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