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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

News for August 2, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Rumsas still reluctant to travel to France

Lithuanian cyclist Raimondas Rumsas has not yet made a decision about whether to travel to Lyon, France, in order to answer questions related to the investigation into his wife Edita for "administration, supply, transfer and aiding the use of illegal drugs in an organised fashion." If found guilty of these offences, she faces between 5 and 7 years in prison, and 150,000 euros in fines.

Mrs Rumsas was stopped on Sunday, July 28 by French customs officials (SRPJ) in the Mont Blanc tunnel en route to Italy. In her car were found a large number of drugs, allegedly including EPO, testosterone, growth hormone, cortico and anabolic steroids. She was arrested in Chamonix and kept under surveillance in Lyon, before being transported to a women's prison in Bonneville.

Prosecutor Vincent Le Pennerer, of the high court of Bonneville, has requested that Raimondas Rumsas should travel to France under his own free will, otherwise he has threatened to either have Rumsas extradited to France or have the hearing conducted in Italy by the Italian police. "The simplest thing is that Raimondas Rumsas comes on his own initiative to France. But we will not wait a month," said prosecutor Le Pennerer.

Both Raimondas and Edita have been in contact with the Lithuanian ambassador to France, Asta Skaisgiryte-Liauskiene over the past two days. Raimondas cancelled his initial trip to Lyon on Wednesday after talking to the ambassador. According to ELTA newsagency, they talked about the possibility that Edita could be released from jail on security. Rumsas' lawyer Pierre-Louis Piloix said today that he would not make a decision to come before Friday.

Edita Rumsas was visited in prison for approximately an hour today by Ambassador Skaisgiryte-Liauskiene, who declined to comment on the matter when she left. "Our consular role is to come to the aid of all Lithuanians in France, and we do the same for Mrs Rumsas as we do for all Lithuanians," said the ambassador in a subsequent communiqué. She said that she wished to "assure herself of the detention conditions of her compatriots and to verify that they benefited from the right to a defense."

Independent doping tests planned for Rumsas

The Lithuanian Olympic Committee and Physical Culture and Sports Department will initiate an independent doping expertise for Raimondas Rumsas in one of the Scandinavian countries, according to ELTA newsagency. More details about the proposed testing will be revealed soon, after an answer is received from the labs applied to regarding their readiness to carry out the examination.

"There are only few labs capable of performing full blood and urine tests, the ones we want. Besides, much will depend on the terms for doing it," Chief Anti-doping Program expert Rima Berloviene said to ELTA.

Berloviene claimed that the best thing would be if Rumsas could come to the lab himself, as Lithuanian experts would be able to participate in the control of the procedure.

Kazys Steponavicius of the Lithuanian Olympic Committee said Rumsas has changed his address and telephone numbers in order to avoid extra attention. The officials added that about 100 journalists had gathered at the Rumsas' house in the town of Marlie in Italy.

Australian team breaks 4000m team pursuit world record

Record breakers
Photo: © Dave Clark
Click for larger image

The Australian team pursuit squad has beaten Germany's world record of 3.59.710 in the 4000 metre team pursuit, set two years ago at the Olympic Games in Sydney. The Australians (Graeme Brown, Peter Dawson, Mark Renshaw and Luke Roberts) were competing against England in the gold medal final at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester this evening. They clocked 3.59.583, an average speed of 60.102 km/h, to carve 0.127 seconds off the world record and win the gold medal.

Just an hour later, Graeme Brown was back competing in the men's 20 km scratch race race, which he won ahead of Huw Pritchard (Wales) and Tony Gibb (England).

The Lotto-Domo saga continues

In the Wallonian press, the Lotto-Domo saga has been put in yet another light. The Flemish press reported yesterday that the National Lottery doesn't want to have Walter Planckaert on board for next year, mainly because of his critical remarks on the team's Tour selection.

According to La Dernière Heure, Lotto team manager Christophe Sercu doesn't want to continue with Jef Braeckevelt and Claude Criquielion. "Sercu is treating me as though I am not qualified for my job and as if Braeckevelt is too old to continue as team director," commented a disappointed Criquielion.

Vuelta España teams announced

The 22 teams for the upcoming Vuelta España (September 7-29) have been announced by the organisers of the race, Unipublic. Italy has the most eligible teams, with Mapei-Quick Step, Fassa Bortolo, Lampre-Daikin, Tacconi Sport, Saeco-Longoni Sport, Alessio, Acqua e Sapone and Index Alexia. The Spanish teams number six, with ONCE-Eroski, iBanesto.com, Kelme-Costa Blanca, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Colchon Relax and Jazztel-Costa del Almeria. The remaining teams are Cofidis, Ag2r-Prevoyance (France), Telekom and Team Coast (Germany), Domo-Farm Frites, US Postal, Phonak, and Milaneza.

Tour de Langkawi 2003 goes back to Langkawi for start

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

After having been left out of this year's race, the island of Langkawi will return as the starting venue for the Tour de Langkawi 2003. The island will host the individual time trial race of the eighth edition of the race, which is organised annually by First Cartel (M) Sdn. Bhd.

"The history of this Tour has its beginnings in the island of Langkawi and we are naturally pleased to be heading back there next year," said First Cartel executive chairman Datuk Wan Lokman Datuk Paduka Wan Ibrahim at the launching of Le Tour de Langkawi 2003 in Putrajaya yesterday.

With the Tour taking a new route, the stated of Johor and Melaka will not be included as venues for next year's race. This is due to the fact that the number of race days has been reduced to 10. Among the new venues are Butterworth, Kulim, Tanah Merah, Marang, Chukai and Seremban.

"I am particularly delighted to announce that there are several new towns in next year's race. I am certain these towns will benefit extensively from the Tour. Above all, we hope this will help promote other parts of the country of the rest of the world," Wan Lokman said.

Le Tour de Langkawi 2003 was officially launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also the race patron, yesterday. Sponsors, race officials, staff, volunteers, representatives of various Government agencies and national cyclists were among those who attended the launch ceremony.

Although there are several changes to the route, a mainstay of the Tour, the treacherous climb up Genting Highlands, remains. Genting, as in the past, will also be where the eventual winner of the tour will be decided. The only difference this year is that the ride to Genting begins in Seremban.

Kuala Lumpur will once again host the grand finale, an exciting criterium around the city center.

Wan Lokman said the status of next year's Tour had not been decided yet by UCI, the world cycling governing body. First Cartel have applied to UCI to upgrade the Tour from its current 2.3 status. The UCI are expected to decide on the rating next month.

Le Tour de Langkawi has rapidly developed from a 2.5 rated amateur race when it was introduced in 1996 into one of the richest stage races in the world today. The Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi that was held earlier this year attracted seven Trade One teams and was given a rating of 2.3.

Route for 2003

  • Stage 1 - Friday, Jan 31, 2003: Langkawi Individual Time Trial, 9.2 km
  • Stage 2 - Saturday, Feb 1, 2003: Kangar - Butterworth, 146.4 km
  • Stage 3 - Sunday, Feb 2, 2003: Kulim - Ipoh, 169.5 km
  • Stage 4 - Monday, Feb 3, 2003: Gerik - Tanah Merah, 172.9 km
  • Stage 5 - Tuesday, Feb 4, 2003: Kota Bharu - Kuala Terengganu, 180.1 km
  • Stage 6 - Wednesday, Feb 5, 2003: Marang - Cukai, 136.3 km
  • Stage 7 - Thursday, Feb 6, 2003: Kuantan - Bentong, 191 km
  • Stage 8 - Friday, Feb 7, 2003: Menara Telekom KL - Seremban, 111.2 km
  • Stage 9 - Saturday, Feb 8, 2003: Seremban - Genting Highlands, 154 km
  • Stage 10 - Sunday, Feb 9, 2003: Kuala Lumpur Criterium, 75.3km

Fassa Bortolo for HEW Cyclassics

The Fassa Bortolo squad has been named for the HEW Cyclassics World Cup, which takes place this Sunday in Hamburg, Germany. The team is led by the experienced Fabio Baldato, with Russian strong men Serguei Ivanov and Dmitri Konychev, and Italians Nicola Loda, Roberto Petito, Matteo Tosatto, Denis Zanette and Marco Zanotti. The team will be managed by Stefano Zanatta.

Lampre-Daikin for HEW Cyclassics

Rubens Bertogliati, who wore the yellow jersey in the Tour de France for two days, and Ludo Dierckxsens, the Belgian public's favourite, are part of the Lampre-Daikin team that is lining up on Sunday, August 4 in the HEW Cyclassics Cup Hamburg, the sixth round of the World Cup.

Jan Svorada, Raivis Belohvosciks, who both rode the Tour de France, and Gabriele Missaglia, who won the race in 2000, will also take part. The remainder of the team is Alessandro Cortinovis, Mariano Piccoli, and Zbignew Spruch.

Cancellara gets an upgrade

Mapei-Quick Step's Fabian Cancellara is now riding with the Division I team, according to the UCI. The 21 year old has competed for most of this season in the Division III ranks.

Scanlon gets stagiaire contract with Ag2r

1998 world junior champion Mark Scanlon has been given a stagiaire's contract with the French Ag2r-Prevoyance team. Scanlon, 21, will start racing with the team on September 1, with the aim of riding well enough to secure a full pro contract with them next year.

Scanlon's first pro contract came in 2001 with the ill-fated Linda McCartney team. Since then he has ridden at the amateur level in France for VC La Pomme.

Farm Frites-Hartol for LGBF

The Farm Frites-Hartol team for the Grand Boucle Féminin has been named by team leader Michael Zijlaard. The team will be captained by two time Tour winner Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel, along with UCI number 1 Mirjam Melchers. Dutch national champion Arenda Grimberg, Sissy van Alebeek, Elsbeth Vink, Anouska van der Zee and Sweden's Madeleine Lindberg will make up the rest of the team.

Bizkaia-Sabeco-Gordexola for LGBF

The Spanish Bizkaia-Sabeco-Gordexola team has left for Holland, where they will compete in the Grand Boucle Féminin which starts on Sunday, August 4. The team consists of Spaniards Cristina Alcalde, Montse Alonso and Basques Iosune Murillo, Maitane Telletxea, Agurtzane Elorriaga, American Nikane Mallea, and Dutchwoman Baukje Doedee. The team's aim is to finish the race with all of its riders. In its first year last year, four riders finished.

Polish calendar 2003

The polish International calendar for 2003 has been issued. A new four day stage race, Tour of Malopolska (2.5) will be held in August while two races, Memorial Pawla Sosika and 4 Asy Fiata are disappearing from the international scene. A number of races will be upgraded. Here is the full list.

April 25-27:     Szlakiem Grodów Piastowskich              2.3
May 1:           Grand Prix Weltour                        1.5
May 3:           Lubelski Wyscig 3-majowy                  1.3
May 4:           Memorial A. Trochanowskiego               1.3
June 10-15:      Baltyk - Karkonosze Tour                  2.4
June 22:         Grand Prix Ostrowca Swietokrzyskiego      1.5
July 02-06:      Course de la Solidarite Oliympique        2.3
July 13:         Karp Milicki                              1.5
July 23-27:      Dookola Mazowsza                          2.3
August 07-10:    Tour of Malopolska                        2.5
August 23:       Memorial  A. Kaczyny - A. Malinowskiego   1.2
August 30:       V Wyscig Kolarski o Puchar Trzech Miast   1.5
August 31:       Szlakiem walk mjr. Hubala                 1.3
September 04:    Coupe des Carpathes                       1.5
September 06:    Memorial Henryka Lasaka                   1.3
September 08-14: Tour de Pologne                           2.2

courtesy of szosa.rowery.org

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)