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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

News for August 5, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

HEW Cyclassics wrap up

The King
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

Johan Museeuw showed that he is still a formidable rider, winning today's Hew Cyclassics World Cup in Hamburg from a group of 10 riders. Museeuw led out the sprint and held it all the way to the line, beating the likes of Davide Rebellin, Paolo Bettini, George Hincapie and Fabio Baldato, to increase his lead in the World Cup to almost 100 points. That's going to take some catching, with Bettini the man in second position at the moment with four races to go in the series.

The fastest ever edition of the HEW Cyclassics saw the hopes of two of the big favourites - Erik Zabel and Robbie McEwen - vanish after they were caught up in separate crashes. McEwen abandoned while Zabel carried on, but was too far behind at a crucial point in the race to make contact. As he was attempting to get back on, the race winning move was made on the 16% climb of the Waseberg, with Rebellin and Igor Astarloa spearheading an attack, which eventually grew to 10 men. With a lot work done by Museeuw's teammate Romans Vainsteins to keep the break together, Museeuw had a perfect sprint to win the race.

"This race was not yet on my palmares," said Museeuw of his 11th World Cup win. "In my career I haven't won so many races in Germany - two or three maybe. This is very important. It's my 11th World Cup win. In the first part of the season I was strongest in Paris-Roubaix. Then I was the strongest here in Germany."

Museeuw was coming off a stage win in last week's Tour de la Region Wallonne. "I prepared well in St Moritz and I knew last week I was very good. The team was very good, especially Romans Vainsteins who was very strong today."

Although he used to win bunch sprints early in his career, he didn't have to today. "In a bunch sprint I'm fast, but not so fast as Zabel. When it's a group of 80 or 100 I'm always afraid. With nine or ten I'm certainly strong."

When asked about his future team, Museeuw was uncertain. "What can I say? I don't know myself," he said. His current team director Patrick Lefevere is changing from Domo to Quick Step next season, and could well take Museeuw with him, depending on what Lotto-Domo has to offer him.

The next round of the World Cup will be held on Saturday, August 10 in San Sebastian, Spain. Museeuw has finished as high as 3rd in this race (in 1995), but is a different rider now. If he can stay in contact with Paolo Bettini, then he will not lose many World Cup points - he may even increase his lead if it finishes in any kind of a bunch sprint.

Full results & report
Live report
Photos

Dekker doubtful for San Sebastian

Erik Dekker is "95 percent unlikely" to start in the Clasica San Sebastian next weekend. The Rabobank rider won the event in 2000, but is still trying to regain top form after breaking his leg in Milan-San Remo in March.

Rabobank team manger Adri van Houwelingen told De Telegraaf last week that "We expect something from Erik Dekker in Hamburg. He impressed us in the last week of the Tour de France. But the parcours of the HEW Cyclassics isn't really selective. Because of his level of condition and his experiences in these kind of races, you can say he is an outsider. But it's clear that on this parcours there isn't a real favourite. A lot of riders can cause a surprise."

"This year the World Cup doesn't play a role in Dekker's program, as he doesn't have any points yet. Therefore, it's 95 percent certain that Dekker won't start in San Sebastian next week. At the moment, that parcours is too hard for him. Starting in that classic could have a negative effect on the rest of this season. So at the moment we are thinking about Eneco's Tour (Ronde van Nederland) and the Dutch time trial championship. Only if Dekker wins in Hamburg, we can talk about a trip to San Sebastian for him."

Note: Dekker finished 76th in HEW, at the back of the main peloton.

Commonwealth Games wrap up

The cycling events at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester concluded on Saturday with the women's and men's road races on the testing Rivington circuit. Wales recorded its first gold medal of the Games with Nicole Cooke pulling off a gritty win in the women's road race, after chasing back on with 2 km to go. In the men's road race that followed, Australia with its strongest ever team steamrollered the opposition with a fine display of tactical riding to claim the first three positions (O'Grady, Evans and Cooke).

Looking at the final medal tables, Australia was clearly stronger in the road events, with 7 medals (2 golds), in front of Canada, Wales and England. In the track events, it was even more clear cut, with the Australians winning 15 medals (8 gold), including breaking the world record in the 4000m team pursuit, and Brad McGee's very quick 4000m individual pursuit time of 4.16.358, which is likely to be the fastest "non-superman position" time ever ridden. New Zealand were next on the track table, picking up two gold medals including Sarah Ulmer's Games record ride in the 3000m individual pursuit.

In the mountain bike events, it was all Canada, with Chrissy Redden and Roland Green winning their respective cross country events. New Zealand managed a silver medal, while Australia and England had to be content with a bronze apiece.

Overall, the cycling medals were shared between only six Commonwealth countries, three of those normally competing as "Great Britain" at World Championship level. Surprisingly, the host nation England did not pick up any gold medals, although it was not for lack of trying.

Commonwealth Games results and reports
Photos

Final medal table

Road
                        Gold   Silver  Bronze  Total
1 Australia              2       3       2       7
2 Canada                 1       1       1       3
3 Wales                  1       0       0       1
4 England                0       0       1       1

Track

1 Australia              8       4       3       15
2 New Zealand            2       0       1       3
3 Scotland               1       0       1       2
4 England                0       5       4       9
5 Canada                 0       1       2       3
6 Wales                  0       1       0       1

MTB

1 Canada                 2       1       0       3
2 New Zealand            0       1       0       1
3 Australia              0       0       1       1
4 England                0       0       1       1

Combined totals

1 Australia              10      7       6       23
2 Canada                 3       3       3       9
3 New Zealand            2       1       1       4
4 Wales                  1       1       0       2
5 Scotland               1       0       1       2
6 England                0       5       6       11

"Battle of Asian Champions" in Gamuda Eagle Tour of Malaysia

The inaugural Gamuda Eagle Tour of Malaysia 2002 is being touted as the "Battle of Asian Champions" as 126 riders converge in Langkawi for the race which takes place between August 14-18.

Top of the list is China's Wang Guozhang, the reigning Asian champion who won the gold medal in the Asian Cycling Championships (ACC) in Bangkok in May. Guozhang, a regular contender in Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL), will spearhead China's challenge in the race.

Ghader Mizbani, Iran's national champion, is also gunning for overall victory in the race after a commanding performance with Team Telekom Malaysia in this year's Tour de Langkawi. Mizbani, who was 32nd overall in the 2002 LTdL, is known for his climbing prowess and the Gunung Raya challenge will provide him the best opportunity to win top honours in the race.

However, Mizbani is expected to face a stiff challenge from countryman Ahad Kazemi Sarai who won the silver medal in this year's ACC. Ahad has signed a contract to ride for Taiwan-based Giant Asia Racing Team, a Division III team and Asia's only professional team. Ahad, who was also a member of Team Telekom Malaysia who took part in this year's LTdL, will be aiming for some stage win including Stage 1's time trial race and the 830 metre climb to Gunung Raya.

Mongolian top cycling star Jamsran Ulzii-Orshikh, a professional with Dutch amateur outfit Marco Polo Team, will also be under spotlight. Orskhikh, the 15 time Mongolian national champion, is also known for his capabilities on the mountains and time trial races. He was 6th overall in the ACC in Bangkok and had won the silver medal in the World B Championship last year.

Tonton Susanto of Indonesia is also top on the favourites' list following his domination in the Asian category in this year's Tour de Langkawi. Tonton, who represented Team Telekom Malaysia, finished 15th overall, beating off some of the notable European riders and won the Asian individual title for the second time. Tonton first won the title in 1998 with the Indonesian team.

Meanwhile, Malaysia will be pinning its hopes on former SEA Games gold medallist Tsen Seong Hoong and seasoned rider Nor Effandy Rosli in the team and individual events. Seong Hoong will wear the colours of Team KL, along with 1998 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Nor Effandy Rosli who will also be the team's main man for the race.

National rider Shahrulneeza Razali, a former SEA Games gold medallist, is also in the running for the individual title. Shahrulneeza is the main rider for Selangor Sweet Nice Team, a mixed team which will feature three riders from Indonesia.

Malaysia will also be represented by two other teams - TEAM NSC of the National Sports Council and the National Malaysian team.

As in previous races, Philippines will again be relying on its most experienced rider Victor Espiritu who was 61st overall in the general classification in LTdL 2002 while Arnel Quirimit, 65th overall and wearer of the Proton blue jersey for three stages in the 2002 LTdL, will carry the hopes of the team in the time trial and criterium races.

The race, which has been given a 2.6 status by the UCI offers a total prize money of RM200,000 (53,344 euros). A total of 21 teams, including three national teams from Europe will compete in the five stage race which will be run over a total distance of 407.2 km.

The teams: Japan, Iran, China, Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Ireland, Austria, Team Krone (Norway) TT3, Team Jura Suisse (Switzerland) TT3, Team Down Under (Belgium), Team Malaysia, Team KL, Selangor Sweet Nice Team, Team NSC Malaysia, Giant-Asia Racing Team, Albania.

More information: www.eagletour.com.my

Tour of Southland goes international

By Alan Messenger

New Zealand's premier Bike race, the Power Net Tour of Southland will go fully international this year. Although the race has attracted overseas cyclists for many years it is registered this year as a UCI Category 2.5 race and Organiser Bruce Ross is hoping for a good response.

"We've had a few Overseas riders here in recent years and I'd obviously like to see an increase on that. I think that this year's field will be an indication of what can happen in the future," he said. Already a South African team entry has been confirmed.

The tour has a special place in New Zealand Cycling history. First held in 1956 when it attracted a field of thirty two, the race has blossomed into the country's number one event. The Winners list in early years included many of the Sport's big names. Warwick Dalton, Tino Tabak, John Dean, Blair Stockwell, Paul Jesson, Jack Swart and Stephen Cox are all there as well as two top Australians Malcolm Powell and David Gee.In recent times Brian Fowler, Graeme Miller and Scott Guyton are listed, and last year's race was won by one of New Zealand cycling's most exciting prospects, Karl Moore.

The success of the Tour has always been the outstanding support from the Southland Community. This even extends to a 'Across the Curriculum' booklet distributed to the Province's schools to keep them up to date with the event and encouraging them to extend their involvement into the classroom.

This year's Tour will start at Invercargill with a Criterium on 4th November and after nine Stages will finish at Invercargill on Saturday 9th. Inquiries to cycling.southland@xtra.co.nz

4th World Solo 24 Hours Of Adrenalin Championships

The 4th annual World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin(tm) Championships take place this year at Silver Star Mountain Resort in Vernon, British Columbia, between August 31 and September 1. The event starts at 12 p.m. on Saturday, August 31, and runs straight until 12 p.m. Sunday. Organisers Trilife Sports International expect a crowd of more than 5,000 "lifestyle enthusiasts" to cheer both the soloists competing in the World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin Championship, as well as the participants competing in the regular 24 Hours of Adrenalin event.

Participation is expected to exceed 120 soloists, including last year's champion Chris Eatough (Trek/VW), five-time NORBA National Champion Tinker Juarez (Volvo/Cannondale), Rishi Grewal (Klein), Cristina Begy (Spot Bikes), Nancy Busching (Sobe/Cannondale), Monica Nelson (Gerick Cycle), Tom Zidek (Rocky Mountain/The Bike Shop), and Lesley Tomlinson (Rocky Mountain Bicycles) 1996 and 2000 Olympian, and two-time Canadian national champion. Up for grabs is the title of World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin Champion and the cash prize purse of $US20,000.

New sponsor for Irish junior team

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

On the eve of the start of the Junior Tour of Ireland, Bray Wheeler Cycling Club have received a fillip with the announcement that a local firm Trinity Biotec will sponsor the team in the six day race which starts in Waterford on Tuesday, August 6.

According to Urban Monks who will manage the team, "There is an added bonus for the team of James Scott-Lennon, Thomas Duggan, David Pomeroy and Ian Ormonde to do well as a result of this sponsorship. I have a feeling that we can perform and maybe win a stage. The Wheelers have always supported this race. It's a great opportunity for youngsters of this to sample stage racing. In the past we have won the event outright, and the number of stage wins, you would need a foolscap to list them," said Urban.

It has been a busy year for the Bray club and in particular the committee. The staging of a UCI ranking event and the Under Age Championships held last month certainly showed that cycling at all levels in the town of Bray is alive and well.

The much travelled, Mr. Monks, was in Killorglin over the weekend for the Westwood Homes Under Age events. Then it was back to Dublin yesterday (Monday) evening with a quick turn around for Waterford and the start of the Tour for juniors. In Killorglin he was mechanic, masseur and manager, but thankfully for the Tour he'll have the back up which is part and parcel of stage racing and this is where the sponsorship of Trinity Biotec will ease the burden on behalf of the Wheelers'. "So hopefully for all concerned we can deliver," said Urban.

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