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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

News for April 26, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

37th Amstel Gold Race

Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

The fifth and final race of the World Cup this spring is the Amstel Gold Race, being held this year on a Sunday instead of the usual Saturday. First held in 1966, the Amstel is certainly the baby of the spring classics, but has earned its place alongside the 'monuments'. It's by far the biggest race in the Netherlands, and we can expect thousands of orange-clad fans dotted along the 33 climbs thoroughly enjoying the occasion, especially if there is a cafe nearby.

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Start list
Course map

Arno Kaspret positive for ephedrine

Austrian Arno Kaspret (Elk Wien) may receive a three month ban after he tested positive for ephedrine. Kaspret was tested after placing sixth in the Flachgauer Radsporttagen on April 1, and both his A and B samples were positive for the stimulant. Kaspret has two weeks to appeal to the Austrian Cycling Federation as well as the anti-doping committee. If he can prove that he took the ephedrine via a contaminated supplement, then he may get off with a warning.

New rider for Ton van Bemmelen Sports-Novilon

Dutch team Ton van Bemmelen Sports-Novilon has contracted a new rider. She is 25 year old Olga van Velzen, and lives in Zoeterwoude. This Sunday, she will make her debut in the Amstel Gold Race.

British team for the Circuit des Mines

The 2002 edition of this competitive French 6-Day stage race which starts tomorrow, April 26, with Great Britain the defending champions. Last year's surprise winner was Olympic Silver Medallist Chris Newton, who will lead a very similar team this year.

Notably absent from the British team is Bradley Wiggins, who is riding in the Circuit des Mines for Francaise des Jeux this year. His place is filled by actor Tim Buckle, who recently relinquished a regular role in top soap's Coronation Street to concentrate at least for the moment on his parallel cycle racing career.

"Yes it will be odd riding against the British team who are my mates, but I am paid to race for my team and that is what I will do," said Wiggins. "However I wish them much success and it would be great if the British team could get some good results as well as myself. We will see but one thing is for sure it will be a tough race, and as my pro contact originated from this race there will be plenty of riders trying to make their name."

The team is as follows

Chris Newton
Steve Cummings
Paul Manning
Phil West
Bryan Steel
Manager: John Herety Coach: Simon Jones

Track World Cup news: Day steps in for injured Kelly

Queensland's Danny Day has been called off the reserve bench for the Sydney round of the UCI Track World Cup after a shoulder injury forced Shane Kelly to withdraw. Day, 29, will step into Kelly's place in the team sprint event while Wollongong's Ben Kersten is expected to line up in the kilometre time trial. Day has already met the selection criteria for the Commonwealth Games team by posting a 200m time of under 10.50sec. He is the newly crowned Australian keirin champion, took bronze in the sprint and placed second in the Team Sprint. Day also claimed the gold medal in the kilometre at the Nationals ahead of Kelly with Kersten claiming bronze.

"I'm really upset that Shane is injured and I hope he recovers as soon as possible and is back racing on his bike," said Day of his friend who was the best man at his wedding in November, 2000.

"I hadn't thought past the Nationals really and I'm still finding it hard to believe I might be going to the Commonwealth Games," said Day who works as a Product Manager for a Queensland bank. "But I'll be doing the best I can at the World Cup to do the right thing for Australian cycling.

30 year old Kelly crashed during the quarter final round of the sprint at last week's Australian Championships and dislocated the AC joint in his right shoulder. Doctors have advised him that, although no long term damage is likely, he should not race for at least four to six weeks to ensure the muscles tighten well around the joint.

"I'm obviously disappointed as the World Cup was one of my main priorities but I'll be in a sling for at least a few more days and then I'll have to take it easy on the shoulder for a few weeks," said Kelly who was however back in the gym and on the Ergo trainer only days after the crash.

"I'm putting a positive spin on this because I was injured before the 1995 World Titles and claimed the gold medal and rode a world record," said Kelly. "Then in 1997 I fractured and dislocated the same AC joint in Japan and went into the World Titles in Perth very underdone."

"I won there as well so hopefully I can do it again," said Kelly who is hoping to claim his third consecutive Commonwealth Games gold medal in the kilometre in Manchester.

The World Cup is being raced at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome from May 10 to 12.

NZ Commonwealth Games road cycling team

A medical examination by May 6 will determine whether Julian Dean takes his place in the New Zealand Road Cycling team at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in July.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee in conjunction with Cycling New Zealand today announced Dean in the six man and six woman team, subject to a medical check. Dean broke a leg in an accident with his professional team in Belgium but is rated New Zealand's best road rider and therefore deemed critical to the New Zealand team.

Cycling New Zealand Convenor of Selectors, Gordon Sharrock said, "Julian is pivotal to the team for Manchester. We want to provide him with every opportunity to be ready for the Games and we are hopeful he will form part of that team."

Joining Dean in the men's team will be national road race champion Gordon McCauley who was also a member of the road team at the Kuala Lumpur Games four years ago. Gordon, who rides professionally in Europe for the RDM-Flanders team.

Kashi Leuches, who has already been named in the Mountain Bike team has been given the nod as has track team member Hayden Roulston. The remaining two riders in the team are young cyclists Karl Moore and Ryan Russell.

1998 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Susy Pryde will again be a leading hope for New Zealand on the road at Manchester. Pryde will lead a strong New Zealand team that also includes track queen Sarah Ulmer.

Ulmer, who spends a lot of the year racing on the road, will have a busy time in Manchester. As well as defending her individual pursuit title and competing in the points race on the track, Sarah will be a member of the women's road team.

Rosalind Reekie May, who finished 22nd at last year's world championships, Melissa Holt, the current New Zealand road champion, Kirsty Robb and Vanessa Guyton make up the women's section of the road team.

The Manchester Commonwealth Games will be held from July 25 to August 4 2002.

The New Zealand Commonwealth Games Road Cycling Team is:

Men: Julian Dean (Rotorua), Gordon McCauley (Wellington), Karl Moore (Te Awamutu), Ryan Russell (Hamilton), Kashi Leuches (Dunedin), Hayden Roulston (Ashburton).

Women: Rosalind Reekie-May (Morrinsville), Melissa Holt (Auckland), Kirsty Robb (Auckland), Vanessa Guyton (Auckland), Susy Pryde (Auckland), Sarah Ulmer (Auckland).

Courtesy NZ Olympic Committee

Shay Elliot Memorial International Race

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

The Elliott event has become synonymous with Irish cycling down the years and has had the respect of governing bodies also down the years particularly in the Triparte days before the organisations amalgamated in 1987. This year the race has been recognised by the Union Cycliste Internationale as a 1.5 world-ranking event. Up to a few days ago, the organisers in their press releases' were regaling about the home support. The event has the backing of the Irish Sports Council and a number of very interesting sponsors.

In unusual circumstances to say the least, Cycling Ireland has entered an Irish team in the Circuit des Mines in France, which starts tomorrow (Friday).

The Irish Cycling Federation now trading as Cycling Ireland made the overtures to the Bray Wheelers at a meeting last August that they should seek to upgrade the race, which precipitated the recognition of the event. In hindsight it was and still is a classic event, but surely the administrators in Ireland should have given the race 100% support. This notion would not have been inflicted on the FBD Milk Ras.

The chances of achieving a home result in Shay Elliot are greatly reduced now in, as David O'Loughlin, Martin O'Loughlin, Paul Griffin and Brian Kenneally are all missing from the start sheet, having been selected to represent Ireland in France. The quartet were highly regarded as possible favourites which now leaves the way open for the Compensation Group trio of Kevin Dawson, Mark Lovatt and John Tanner to lift the top prize on offer. This trio have tasted success already in Ireland at Easter.

The race starts from the Seaside town of Bray and takes the riders on a tough 140km course through the " Garden County" of Wicklow. The route takes in the two climbs of the Old Wicklow Gap and the famous climb of Glenmalure where there is a monument erected by the Bray Wheelers Cycling Club in memory of Shay Elliott. The race finishes in the picturesque village of Roundwood.

Past winners of the race include Ciarán Power who is now a professional with Team Navigators in the USA, ex-pro Peter Crinnion and Sean Kelly who won the race twice and is the only rider to win the race as a Junior. Another interesting winner was Pat McQuaid now a leading light in the hierarchy of the UCI.

Teams that have entered include top Irish teams such as the Cycleway-Lee Strand led by the great man of Irish cycling Phil Cassidy a former winner also. Usher Irish Road Club with last year's winner Dave Peelo; BH racing with Laurence Roche who is an ex-pro; Carrick Cidona. There is also a strong contingent from Northern Ireland including the East Antrim/Audi team and an Apollo CRT squad. There are individual riders from Spain, Holland and Denmark as well as Irish riders based in Europe, including past winner Mick O'Donnell who is riding for Velo Sport Quimpers in France.

There is also an Isle of Man Commonwealth team containing Andrew Roche, Elliot Baxter and Graeme Hatcher and there will be an Irish National team and a Scottish team as well as a strong home team from the Bray Wheelers Cycling Club.

The four man Irish team will not be found wanting in their quest to stem the tide. It will be led Patrick Moriarty who can be counted on to finish in the top six. Aiding him will be under-23 champion Thomas Hogan and his team mate from the Earl of Desmond Tralee Bicycle Club, Sean Lacey and Conor Murphy.