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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

News for August 26, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Tyler Hamilton badly hurt

CSC-Tiscali's Tyler Hamilton was seriously injured in Brussels today while warming up for the GP Eddy Merckx two man time trial. Hamilton was training on the course with his partner Andrea Peron, when a car door opened in front of them. Hamilton could not avoid it and hit it head on. He was immediately taken to the University hospital in Brussels, where they diagnosed a broken collarbone and a deep laceration for his forehead, causing a significant amount of blood loss.

"We hope that he will be able to leave the hospital for home this evening," said team director Christan Andersen. "The doctors do not think that he will be permanently scarred. The accident means that Tyler's season is over.

Hunt hopeful; Gouvenou and Jan to retire

Jeremy Hunt
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

Today's GP Ouest France winner Jeremy Hunt (Big Mat-Auber 93) is more hopeful of finding a team to ride for next year. With the cessation of Big Mat's sponsorship at the end of the season and few results on the board, Hunt said that he had no offers up till now. "Hopefully that will change," he added.

His teammate, 33 year old Frenchman Thierry Gouvenou (Big Mat-Auber 93) has decided to retire at the end of this season. Gouvenou turned pro in 1991 with the Z team, and has ridden for Gan (1993-1995), Aubervilliers (1996) and BigMat (1997-2002). He has three victories two his credit, in the Trio Normand (1995), a stage of the Tour de Normandie (1998) and a criterium in Riom (2002). This year, he finished 7th in Paris-Roubaix.

Also, Big Mat's Xavier Jan is reportedly retiring. Xan won the first French race of the season, the GP d'Ouverture La Marseillaise (1.3) but has since then been without success.

Telekom shopping around for GC riders

Ullrich courted by others, but will stay

With the expected signatures of Giro winner Paolo Savoldelli, Mario Aerts and Christian Werner on September 1, the Telekom team is looking at a stronger line up of general classification riders for 2003. Added to this is the name of Cadel Evans, who is in demand by several teams, including ONCE, Rabobank and Quick Step. With Jan Ullrich's successful comeback still an unknown factor, the Telekom team is looking at more security in the grand tours.

Jan Ullrich himself has received several offers to join other teams next season, notably CSC-Tiscali, run by his old team captain Bjarne Riis, and Gerolsteiner, one of the three Division I German teams. However, he has confirmed that he will remain with Telekom, which he has ridden for throughout his professional career.

Telekom's unwanted domestiques Udo Bölts and Jens Heppner are hoping to sign contracts with other German teams, with Gerolsteiner, Team Coast and Wiesenhof all being named.

Kelme to reduce next year

The Kelme-Costa Blanca team will race next year with a reduced line up of 22 riders (the maximum allowed for a division I team is 25). The squad has overcome serious financial difficulties this year which threatened to stop it mid-season. Instead, the future is assured for the popular Spanish team until 2005.

Team bosses Pepe Quiles and Vicente Belde decided on the reduced line up in order to spare the budget.

No renewal for Ludovic Capelle

Ag2r's Ludovic Capelle has been told by his team manager Vicente Lavenu that his contract will not be renewed for next season. Capelle was Belgian champion in 2001, and came close to claiming his second title in 2002, but was beaten by Tom Steels. However, his 2002 season has been fairly substandard, struggling with fitness and injury right from the beginning.

World junior track - day 5 wrap-up

The final day of competition in the World Junior Track Cycling Championships in Melbourne, Australia, on the weekend featured the men's sprint finals and Madison, as well as the women's 7.5km scratch race.

Mark French, a 17-year-old from Melbourne collected the gold medal for the second consecutive year in the sprint after beating German powerhouse Michael Seidenbecher 2-0 on his home track in a crowd-thrilling final at Vodafone Arena tonight. The bronze medal went to French rider Francois Pervis, who scored two wins against favoured Cuban, Ahmed Lopez.

Riders go down
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

The French team of Tom Thiblier and Mathiew Ladagnous raced away with the Madison gold on the final night of the 2002 World Junior Track Cycling Championships, beating the Australians and the Germans. Thiblier and Ladagnous rode in a perfect illustration of teamsmanship to clinch the event.

In the women's 7.5km scratch race, a massive crash 30 metres before the bell of tonight's women's scratch race left three riders down, a lap board almost destroyed and a French rider in hospital. However, despite the carnage littered over the track, including a snapped set of handlebars, front forks (with wheel still attached) and a saddle from the French rider's bike, there were no serious consequences and in all of the excitement, Russian rider Ekaterina Merzlikina sprinted through to win the gold medal. Korean Eun Gu Sung was second, Australian Belinda Goss third and Japanese Tomoko Endo fourth.

The host nation emerged at the top of the medal table with five gold, two silver and one bronze, with Russia in second place with three gold, two silver and two bronze, while Italy came in third on ther medal count by virtue of Elisa Frisoni's three gold medals. The Italian teenager was only one of two competitors from Italy, and her's was the stand-out performance of the championships.

Vuelta a Venezuela

The 39th edition of the Vuelta a Venezuela will take place from September 3-15. Consisting of 14 stages and half stages, the race is the most important on the Venezuelan calendar, and is classed as a UCI 2.5 stage race.

The race begins with a 121 kilometre flat circuit race in San Felix, with continues with largely flat or undulating stages for the first 10 days. Stage 11 is the only mountain top finish and the two week event ends with a 120 km circuit race in Barquimesto.

Four foreign countries have already confirmed their participation: Dominican Republic (Wendy Cruz, Bradley Núñez), Mexico (Jesús Zárate), Cuba (Luis Romero, Yosvany Falcón) and Uruguay (Gregorio Bare). In total, 150 riders are expected to take part.

The stages

  • Stage 1 - September 3: Circuito San Félix, 121 km
  • Stage 2 - September 4: Chaguaramas - Santa Bárbara, 209.5 km
  • Stage 3 - September 5: Circuito Maturín, 86 km
  • Stage 4 - September 6: Santa Bárbara - Guanta, 181 km
  • Stage 5 - September 7: Pto Píritu-V. de La Pascua, 178.3 km
  • Stage 6 - September 8: Circuito Valle de La Pascua, 129 km
  • Stage 7 - September 9: El Sombrero - Dos Caminos, 202.6 km
  • Stage 8 - September 10: San Carlos - San Felipe, 228.1 km
  • Stage 9a - September 11: San Felipe ITT, 31.4 km
  • Stage 9b - September 11: Circuito San Felipe, 86.4 km
  • Stage 10 - September 12: Carora - Cabimas, 182.6 km
  • Stage 11 - September 13: Cabimas - Valera, 178.1 km
  • Stage 12 - September 14: La Gran Parada - Quíbor, 148.6 km
  • Stage 13 - September 15: Circuito Barquisimeto, 120 km

Total: 2101.2 km

Metas volantes: 33
Sprints: 25
Mountains: 12

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