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News for April 16, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones and John Stevenson

Paris-Roubaix missing controls "an administrative error"

The French Ministry of Youth and Sports (MJS) has admitted that the absence of doping controls at Sunday's 100th edition of the Paris-Roubaix was an 'administrative error'.

The Lille regional director of the MJS was informed of the race by the organisers, ASO (the company that also runs the Tour de France) but confused the Classic with the mountain bike race that took place in the same area on the same weekend.

Saying the error was nevertheless "unacceptable", the ministry pointed out that such mistakes were fortunately rare given that the organisation conducts about 7,500 tests per year, including 1,700 just for cycling.

The ministry has requested the departments concerned to "redouble vigilence in the exercise of this mission" and instructed that an explanation should be forthcoming of the conditions leading to such an error.

Negative test results for Mattan and VDB

Analysis of the urine samples taken from Frank Vandenbroucke and Nico Mattan at the request of the court of Termonde has given the two riders a clean slate, with no doping substances found in their bodies, according to an announcement from the prosecutor Christiaan Du Four.

The negative results of the analysis do not indicate the end of the investigation, said the prosecutor.

Vandenbroucke and Mattan were tested after notorious soigneur and horse breeder Bernard 'Dr Mabuse' Sainz was arrested for speeding February 27 and found to have suspicious substances in his car.

The products in Sainz' car turned out not to be prohibited, but in the meantime Belgian police had raided Vandenbroucke's home, because Sainz claimed he had spent the previous night there. Mattan came under suspicion because Sainz claimed Mattan's house in Audenaerde was his next destination.

Police took substances from Vandenbroucke's house which turned out to be clenbuterol, morphine and EPO. As a result, VDB was sacked by the Domo team.

Boonen "the next Museeuw"

Tom Boonen
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

Being named "the next" anyone is a large burden to carry for a young rider, but it's even larger when you're being nominated as his successor by the greatest classics rider of his generation.

That's the situation Belgian US Postal rider Tom Boonen finds himself in, named as "the next Museeuw" by no less than the Lion of Flanders himself.

Boonen's record to date shows that Museeuw's handing on the mantle may well be justified.

Getting on the podium in your first Paris-Roubaix is no small feat, but Boonen's record as an Espoir shows his potential. He played a major role in his three outings in the Under 23 edition of Paris-Roubaix, and in the other U23 editions of the Classics.

Recruited to US Postal by directeurs sportifs Johan Bruyneel and Dirk Demol - both Belgian - Boonen has ridden strongly in all the Classics so far this season in support of the team's designated Classics specialist George Hincapie.

Hincapie paid homage to Boonen after Roubaix. "He did an incredible job," said the American.

Nevertheless, Boonen is extraordinarily young to be considered a prospect for a Paris-Roubaix win in the next couple of years. Most recent classics winners have been in their thirties. This year, top spots on the World Cup podium have gone to Mario Cipollini (35) and Andrea Tafi (35) and of course 36-year-old Museeuw.

Paris-Roubaix organiser Jean-Marie Leblanc says he doesn't have a simple explanation for the dominance of 30somethings in the Classics, but, half-convinced, offers the idea that perhaps today's Classics are harder than they once were.

But young Paris-Roubaix victors are not unprecedented. Eddy Merckx was 23 when he first won, and Roger De Vlaeminck was 25. However the numbers stack up, "the next Museeuw" is clearly a rider to watch for the next decade.

UCI rankings – Zabel still on top; Boonen's giant leap

The UCI has released the latest rankings after Sunday's Paris-Roubaix and while Erik Zabel hasn't had perhaps the statling Spring Classics campaign, he remains world number one by a margin of over 200 points. Skipping Paris-Roubaix caused Mario Cipollini to drop from second to 17th, buit former leaders and now second-placed Erik Dekker is expected to continue to slide in the table until his broken leg heals and he is able to return to racing.

The biggest winner after Paris-Roubaix is young Belgian US Postal rider Tom Boonen, whose third place in Roubaix shot him up 167 places to 151st.

UCI rankings - Top 20
1 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom                        2,315.00 pts
2 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                           2,070.00
3 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                 1,810.20
4 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service              1,792.00
5 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport            1,759.00
6 Jan Ullrich (Ger) Team Telekom                       1,705.00
7 Oscar Sevilla Ribera (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca        1,493.00
8 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                   1,428.00
9 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo             1,339.00
10 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Team CSC Tiscali             1,314.00
11 Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro (Spa) ONCE-Eroski          1,160.00
12 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole                    1,157.50
13 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step           1,127.00
14 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport            1,098.00
14 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R Prevoyance                 1,098.00
14 Didier Rous (Fra) Bonjour                           1,098.00
17 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo  1,070.00
18 Juan Miguel Mercado Martin (Spa)       1,067.00
19 Serhiy Honchar (Ukr) Fassa Bortolo                  1,005.75
20 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo      981.00

Full listing of current UCI rankings

Tchmil will come back for Dunkirk

Andrei Tchmil's likely return to racwill be in May, rather than at the end of April as he had hoped. After crashing in the Driedaagse van De Panne and breaking two fingers and tearing muscles in his quadriceps, Tchmil wanted to come back for the Amstel Gold Race on April 28. However, his recovery is going slower than he would like. According to team manager Jef Braeckevelt, Tchmil will aim to be back for the Four Days of Dunkirk (May 8-12).

"At the end of this week, we will know more," said Braeckevelt.

Mapei-Quick Step for upcoming races

66th Flèche Wallonne, Belgium, April 17: Riders: Paolo Bettini, Dario Cioni, Fabien De Waele, Cadel Evans, Paolo Fornaciari, Oscar Freire, Andrea Noè , Luca Paolini. DS: Eric Vanderaerden

39th Vuelta Ciclista a Aragòn, Spain, April 17-21 :Riders: Elia Aggiano, Davide Bramati, David Cañada, Pedro Horrillo Muñoz, Miguel Martinez, Eddy Ratti, Gerhard Trampusch, Charly Wegelius. DS: Jesus Suarez Cueva

Saeco hit the Ardennes

Danilo Di Luca will be leading the Saeco-Longoni Sport team for the Ardennes classics, which are at the top of his list of objectives in the early part of the season. Di Luca will be one of the favourites for Wednesday's Flèche Wallone race, and is aiming to win it. Along with Di Luca, the Saeco team will include Celestino, Cunego, Pepoli, Sacchi, Spezialetti, Spaniard Astarloa and Austrian Glomser.

Gilberto Simoni will ride part of the Settimana Lombarda which starts on Wednesday April 17 before heading to Belgium to ride Liege-Bastogne-Liege with Di Luca on Sunday.

"We decided with Simoni that he would be benefit from riding several stages of the Settimana Lombarda as preparation for Liege," said team manager Claudio Corti. "We don't want to upset the organiser of the Settimana Lombarda but we need Simoni to help Di Luca in what is one of the most important objectives of our season."

Rabobank for Ardennes classics

La Fleche Wallonne, Belgium, April 17: Michael Boogerd, Addy Engels, Bram de Groot, Levi Leipheimer, Marc Lotz, Geert Verheyen, Grischa Niermann, Thorwald Veneberg, Beat Zberg, Markus Zberg (two riders reserve). DS: Adri van Houwelingen

Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Belgium, April 21: Maarten den Bakker, Michael Boogerd, Bram de Groot, Levi Leipheimer, Marc Lotz, Grischa Niermann, Geert Verheyen, Beat Zberg, Markus Zberg (one rider reserve). DS: Adri Van Houwelingen

54th GP Midi Libre

This year's Grand Prix du Midi Libre, from May 22-26 will see both Lance Armstrong and Laurent Jalabert at the start in Salses-le-Château in the eastern Pyrenees. The race route was published today by the sponsoring newspaper, and will consist of five stages. The full presentation will be on Tuesday, April 16.

The race features a time trial from Onet-le-Château to Rodez on stage 3, followed by the toughest stage from Saint-Léons - Sète (stage 4) which finishes on Mont St-Clair. The final stage to L'Esperou's Mont-Aigoual is also a mountain top finish.

The stages

  • Stage 1 - May 22: Salses-le-Château - Carcassonne
  • Stage 2 - May 23: Carcassonne - Villefranche-de-Rouergue
  • Stage 3 - May 24: Onet-le-Château - Rodez ITT
  • Stage 4 - May 25: Saint-Léons - Sète
  • Stage 5 - May 26: Anduze - L'Espérou-Mont Aigoual

Spanish track team heads to Vuelta a la Rioja

Joan Llaneras will lead the team of Spanish trackies riding the Vuelta a la Rioja at the end of this month (April 26-28). The track squad will use the race as training for upcoming World Cup track races.

On this basis, team manager Toni Cerdá has selected Joan Llaneras, Miquel Alzamora, Sergi Escobar and Guillermo Ferrer. Four more riders will make up the team for la Rioja and while they will not compete at world or European level on the track, these are riders being groomed for future international racing. The four will be chosen from Dioni Galparsoro (Euskadi/Caja Rural), Israel Núñez (Cataluña/Caja Rural), Ricardo Serrano (Castilla y León/Cafés Baqué), Sergio Domínguez, Luis Pasamontes (Madrid/Alcosto), Jaume Rovira (Cataluña/León-Costa Almería) and Juan Diego Navamuel (Madrid/Supermercados Froiz)

Stamullen Road Club

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

Announcements in the last couple of months augur well for Irish cycling clubs. Hot on the heels of the Earl of Desmond Tralee Bicycle Club and the Cycleways Lee Strand sponsorships comes the latest in the list of sponsorships and invariably they are focusing on this season's Irish UCI ranking events.

Last evening, Stamullen Road Club threw a glitzy reception to present their new racing strip and a new sponsor for the cycling team at the Glenside Hotel, Julianstown, Co. Meath.

The village where the club is based has been involved in cycling for the last 50 years, and the Stamullen Road Club itself has been in existence for the last 20 years.

M. Donnelly and Co., Ireland's leading supplier of power tools and accessories last night announced their backing of the club for the next three years. The 2002 season will see the team line out in a new racing kit bearing the name of M. Donnelly & Co. and Milwaukee Heavy Duty Electric Tools.

The club has been successful both domestically and abroad. Some of the highlights for the Meath club have been winning the All-Ireland Junior Road Race Team title in 1998, the All-Ireland Junior Road Race title in 1999, and winning a silver medal in the All-Ireland Senior championships the same year.

As well as winning races such as the Leinster Road Race championships (twice) and the Eastern Regional Championships on numerous occasions and in various categories, Stamullen riders have also represented their club, county, region, province and country with success in England, Scotland, Wales, France, Australia and Japan.

The announcement comes in the week that the club will be promoting a number of events. This weekend will see approximately 400 cyclists converge on Stamullen village as the club promotes the Brendan Carroll Memorial on Saturday the 20th of April at 4.30pm. The following day, the Stamullen Grand Prix series of races gets underway with Underage and Senior Races set for a 1pm start. The club will also promote a special third category race on June 29th, one day before the highlight of the 2002 season, The National Senior and Ladies Road Race Championships (being promoted jointly by Stamullen M. Donnelly and McNally Swords C.C.) in Stamullen village on June 30th. August 18th sees Stamullen M. Donnelly's final promotion, the Brendan Campbell Memorial take place in Donore at 1pm.

The team will now be known as Stamullen M. Donnelly Cycling Team and will be led by current Leinster Road Race champion Tom Hughes in 2002. Hughes will be ably supported by former All-Ireland Junior Road Race Champion, Robert Moore, his brother and current Irish international, Bill Moore, and Leinster Road Race bronze medallist in 2001 Craig Sweetman. Local girl Sarah Whyte will also represent Stamullen M. Donnelly at the Australian National Track Championships this week as she is currently based in Sydney.

As well as developing the club with the recruitment of underage riders, this season will see the team concentrate mainly on domestic events, with the FBD Milk Rás and the UCI world-ranked Shay Elliott Memorial and National Road Race Championships all targets for the year.

Star riders include:

Tom Hughes (31): Current Leinster Road Race champion. Has previously represented the Irish Eastern Region and Leinster in races such as the Dunboyne 3-Day and the Shay Elliott Memorial.

Bill Moore (29): Former Leinster Road Race Champion and regular Irish International. Has held leaders yellow jersey in Junior Tour of Wales and Tour of Ulster. Represented Ireland in the UK, Isle of Man, (where he won the Mannin Veg International). Has also been member of the Ireland team for the FBD Milk Rás and the Tour of Hokkaido in Japan.

Robert Moore (25): former All Ireland Junior Road Race Champion and Eastern Regional Champion. Last year won the final stage and the overall in the Dunboyne 3-Day stage race.

Craig Sweetman (29): Former Eastern Regional Champion. Former stage winner of Rás Connaught. Bronze medallist in 2002 Leinster Road Race Championships.

Team Roster 2002

Tom Hughes
Craig Sweetman
Robert Moore
Bill Moore
Gerard Cromwell
Seamus Howard
Matt Kelly
Noel Kelly
Dan Nulty
Mark Nulty
Mick Nulty
Mick Rowe
Robert Black
Shane Moss
Peter Sharkey
Brian Collins
Sonya Carey
Chrissie Guildea
Sarah Whyte

Lehigh Valley Velodrome Helmet Safety Program

Velodrome Staff and an Junior World Team and National Champion Cyclist Bobby Lea will visit the 3rd and 4th grade at Fogelsville Elementary to encourage children to wear their helmets when participating in cycling, skateboarding, skating activities.

The children learn how to properly fit and wear their helmet for maximum protection. It is a hands-on demonstration, which also includes an up-close look at track bicycle. Children learn about aerodynamics and other scientific aspects of cycling.


Date: Tuesday, May 7, 2002
Time: 9:15 Start
Location: Fogelsville Elementary, Route 100, Fogelsville PA


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