News for April 7, 2002
Edited by Jeff Jones
Ronde Van Vlaanderen news
The Ronde Van Vlaanderen is nigh, with the final start list in for tomorrow's 264 kilometre battle along the roads of Flanders. Of course, you'll be able to follow all the action on cyclingnews.com, via our live coverage pages which will be linked from the RVV site and the front page. Don't miss it!
Museeuw wants a duel on the Muur
Johan Museeuw would love to take a fourth Ronde Van Vlaanderen, and become the outright record holder in terms of wins. The Lion of Flanders has won pretty much everything that he has set his sights on, and the RVV record would be "fantastic" but not essential for his palmares.
The Domo rider will have to rely on a weaker team: "No Vainsteins, Van Bon, Wadecki, VDB: two of the four have the goods for the finale. So I was annoyed that we missed the front echelon on Thursday morning in De Panne. I did not understand it."
for the Ronde "Peter Van Petegem is the top favourite...[My dream] is to have a one-on-one on the Muur with my friend-rival Van Petegem. A real battle and then a deciding attack from Museeuw."
Chris Peers (Cofidis) decided today that he will not start tomorrow. Peers was injured in the terrible crash on the Kemmelberg on Wednesday, and although he did not break any bones he was still confined to a wheelchair due to heavy bruising. He says he has only ridden on the home trainer for half an hour since then and doesn't want to start without being fully recovered and fit. Peers does intend on starting in next week's Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix.
The weather today in Belgium was still sunny, but a lot cooler as a strong nor-easterly wind blew up, chilling thousands of fanatics who participated in the "Wielertoerist Ronde Van Vlaanderen" and making life very tough over the final 80 kilometres. If this holds tomorrow, then we can expect a very hard race, with the combination of wind and cobbles certain to weed out the weak from the strong.
The hills in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen
No. Name Height diff (m) Total length Average % Max. % 1 Molenberg 32 m 325 m 9.8% 11.0% 2 Wolvenberg 50 m 800 m 6.3% 19.0% 3 Kluisberg 66 m 1100 m 6.0% 15.0% 4 Knokteberg 88 m 1100 m 8.0% 13.0% 5 Oude-Kwaremont 93 m 2200 m 4.3% 11.0% 6 Paterberg 48 m 350 m 12.5% 20.0% 7 Koppenberg 64 m 550 m 11.6% 22.0% 8 Steenbriekdries 37 m 700 m 5.3% 6.7% 9 Taaienberg 45 m 475 m 9.5% 18.0% 10 Eikenberg 65 m 1175 m 5.5% 11.0% 11 Kapelleberg 50 m 700 m 6.4% 9.3% 12 Leberg 39 m 850 m 4.6% 16.0% 13 Berendries 65 m 900 m 4.7% 14.0% 14 Tenbosse 27.5 m 250 m 11% 14.0% 15 Muur-Kapelmuur 77 m 825 m 9.3% 20.0% 16 Bosberg 40 m 475 m 8.4% 11.0%
Ronde Van Vlaanderen information
Italian drug inquires heat up
Reported by Tim Maloney and Jeff Jones
Mondini sacked from US Postal
The US Postal team has sacked Italian cyclist, Gianpaolo Mondini, in light of yesterday's recommendation by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) to suspend him for four and a half years for drug possession. The USPS team management issued a statement to that effect today in Brugge, Belgium, in accordance with its "zero-tolerance" drug policy.
Mondini was one of 13 cyclists recommended for suspensions ranging from 6 months to four and a half years by CONI, who based their findings on the results of the investigations into the 2001 Giro blitz. According to prosecutor Giacomo Aiello's report, police found EPO and growth hormones in his hotel room when it was searched. Mondini also admitted to using illegal substances when questioned earlier this year.
At the time of the Giro, he rode for Marco Pantani's Mercatone Uno team, before joining USPS at the end of last year. "When forbidden products were found on him, he was riding for another team," said the USPS statement. "The team management did not know that Mondini was at fault when he joined the US Postal Service team."
Mondini is 29 years old and has been a professional since 1996. Has has 10 career victories, including a stage in the 1999 Tour de France.
Aiello getting serious
The inquests into last year's Giro raids have now finished in Florence and Padua, and the information has been passed onto CONI, whose anti-doping commission boss Giacomo Aiello has more riders in his sights after the 13 Italians named yesterday. His list of foreign riders includes two Italians (Giovanni Lombardi and Andrea Peron) with Spanish licenses, who are under suspicion of alleged possession of illicit substances. The other riders (by country) are as follows:
Telekom: Jan Ullrich, Lothar Heinrich (team doctor)
iBanesto.com: Jose Luis Arrieta, Jon Odriozola, Pablo Lastras Garcia, Unai Osa Eizaguirre, David Chica, David Lasa Latasa, Cesar Solaun, J A Galilea Zorbano (Assistant DS), Jesus Hoyos (doctor), Juan Sunol Darnas
Kelme: Javier Francisco Fernandez, Vicente Belda (Director)
ONCE: Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano, Jolanda Rodriguez Fuentes (Medico)
Lotto-Adecco: Jeroen Blijlevens, Hans De Clercq
US Postal Service: Pavel Padrnos
Aiello was quoted in La Gazzetta dello Sport as saying: "We had to bring this affair forward, even in the middle of the cycling season, because we had to close a chapter in cycling to open another one. I regret that I have to do this, because I think it could also reduce the number of riders who will start in the Giro."
While this might explain why the iBanesto.com team wasn't selected for the Giro, there are serious implications for other riders and teams as well.
CONI has or will send all the foreigners' files onto their respective federations, who will decide whether to sanction their riders. In the case of the Italians, it seems like the FCI does not have a choice to do anything but to collaborate with CONI and suspend the 13 riders named yesterday. Ceruti [FCI president] also is in trouble politically and he is not a popular federation president.
Ceruti got in with some political patronage of Walter Veltroni, who was then a high government official (mayor of Rome) in the Italian government of Massimo D'Alima. That government is now gone, and that means Ceruti has lost his political power base. He also signed a controversial deal last year to put Colnago on the national team jersey, which did not win him any friends in Italian cycling.
The scapegoats are likely to be Mondini, Elli, De Paoli and Brignoli. Elli still can't believe it's happening, as he related to La Gazzetta.
"I have the feeling that someone is trying to do some self promotion. But how is it that athletes in other sports who have been found positive are given four months and for me they want to give me four years because they found six syringes?"
"They say that there was insulin in the syringes. I asked for a second opinion on what was in there and I still haven't got anything. And if they tell me after the analysis that they find in these syringes that there was really this stuff, then I'll ask them for a DNA analysis because it cannot be mine."
"I'm pretty much at the end of my career. At the end of the year I'll finish. What's really going to change anything if I stop in October or now. But I don't want to leave the scene in this way, because after 16 years as a professional cyclist without a positive doping control or a hematocrit higher than the norm, I will defend myself until the end.
Telekom doctor Lothar Heinrich maintains that Jan Ullrich is innocent of illegal drug use: "I haven't gotten any information regarding this situation. I can only say that regarding Jan Ullrich we're absolutely certain that the rider has nothing to fear. All the medicines that were taken were in his health booklet. I really don't see a problem."
What about Frigo and Pantani?
Next Wednesday, Bocciolini will be in Rome to discuss the dossiers of Frigo and Pantani. Regarding Pantani, Aiello has not gotten any documentation and regarding Frigo "We're waiting for the final information from the prosecutor in Florence to define this case. It wouldn't be useful to decide something based on what we have today," said Aiello.
...And Gotti and Rebellin?
The investigations are still looking into the Gotti affair. His father's caravan was raided three years ago, and a "whole pharmacy" of substances was found. Two years ago, CONI sent the info to Montecarlo, the home of Ivan Gotti. Obviously they're not in a rush. CONI has also got 400 hours of video with riders asking for EPO etc. before races. At the moment, they're still carefully examining the cases of Gotti and also David Rebellin.
Grand Prix de Rennes: Can Ljungqvist make it three?
After winning both Paris-Camembert and the Route Adélie this week, Sweden's Marcus Ljungqvist (Team fakta) is going for the hat-trick this Sunday in the Grand Prix de Rennes, held over a 189.4 kilometre parcours. His main competition looks to be French sprinters Jimmy Casper (FdJ) and Damien Nazon (Bonjour), with Stéphane Heulot and Xavier Jan (Big Mat), Laurent Brochard (Jean Delatour), and Jérôme Pineau (Bonjour) also in with a chance.
The parcours consists of several loops around Rennes, with no major climbs, although the wind could be a factor. Once the riders reach Rennes after 150 km, they do six laps of a flat finishing circuit.
Voicestream to sponsor US Team T-Mobile
USA Cycling has announced a major boost for its new women's elite cycling program - a three-year exclusive sponsorship agreement with VoiceStream Wireless, the U.S. subsidiary of T-Mobile International, a leading global provider of GSM/GPRS wireless voice and data services.
VoiceStream will operate under the T-Mobile brand name in the United States beginning this summer and will be the 'Official and Exclusive Sponsor of the USA Cycling Elite Women's Team' until the end of 2004. The team will compete under the name Team T-Mobile.
USA Cycling Vice President of Marketing Sean Petty said that "It is a credit to the program and the women on the team that we were able secure a major title sponsor in only the team's first year of existence."
The team started this year as USA-Cannondale, but will now be Team T-Mobile. It consists of Mari Holden, Kim Anderson, Katrina Berger, Dotsie Cowden, Amber Neben, Lara Ruthven and Missy Thompson.
The team plans to extend into mountain bike and track cycling in future, although this year it's concentrating on road. It will will compete at more than 20 races domestically and internationally.
Help Rodney Moseman
Rodney Moseman (Former owner of Bicycle World in Lititz, Pennsylvania) has suffered the cyclist's worst nightmare. On a cross country ride from San Diego, California to Florida he was hit by a tractor trailer. Riders within the group witnessed Rodney signaling left to make a lane change. There were no skid marks by the truck. This lane change was to enter the hotel they were to spend the evening after that day's ride.
The extent of the injuries are all severe: multiple skeletal fractures and an extensive right leg wound that is the most threatening to recovery. Miraculously there were no head trauma or internal organ damage.
Rodney owned and operated Bicycle World from the early 1970's through the mid 1990's. His early retirement allowed him to enjoy his bicycles. Bicycles and tandems that were made by him. Pull through Rodney, you still have several pulls left in you.
He is currently in the LSU Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana. Rodney and Verna need our support in any way possible while respecting their privacy.
If anyone would like to drop a note to his wife, she can be located at:
Verna Moseman, Guest
Joe Hailey passes away
By the Escape Velocity Cycling Club
It is with great sadness that we inform you that Joe Hailey passed away peacefully during the night of April 5 from complications due to massive swelling of the brain. Joe had been in Neurological Intensive Care since being involved in a severe crash in the final sprint of a race one week ago. Joe's presence will be sorely missed at the races and our heartfelt condolences go out to his family. In lieu of flowers, Joe's family asks that donations for a Joe Hailey Memorial Race be sent to Cycling BC. Please contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org