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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

News for August 28, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Bruyneel responds to Rabobank comments

By Tim Maloney, European editor

Cyclingnews spoke to USPS director sportif Johan Bruyneel at his home near Valencia, Spain, where he is making final preparations for Postal's assault on the upcoming Vuelta a España.

Bruyneel told Cyclingnews that "I just don't agree with the comments from (Rabobank team leader) Theo De Rooij about (USPS) not defending the leaders jersey in the Tour of Holland. First of all, we didn't go to the Tour Of Holland to win. If this had been an objective for us, we would have sent a stronger team. I took Floyd (Landis) and Ekimov out of the team and George (Hincapie) was injured. We saw this race as a bridge to the Vuelta."

"OK", continued Bruyneel, "if we have the jersey, why can't we take advantage of it? But Rabobank showed from day 1 (of the Tour of Holland) that even if they were pulling hard after 5 stages, they didn't have the (leaders) jersey. Some people (De Rooij) were saying that there were 'unpaid accounts'... It's stupid to say that. There were also comments (ed: Erik Dekker) that it was great to 'break' the USPS team. Well, if the objective is to make USPS lose the race rather than have (Rabobank) win, in my opinion, that's not what a sponsor wants to hear."

"I have to say further that the Rabobank tactics didn't work at all in the Tour of Holland. I've rarely seen a situation like that; Dekker was coming from behind to win the race, while Boogerd was riding like a mad man in the break with the main contender Kirchen who won by seconds. Then I see these comments about USPS and that doesn't make any sense to me."

"If I would act like that, to lose the most important race of the season for my sponsor because of such a tactical mistake, and on top of that, I proudly declare afterwards that I'm very satisfied with the performance of my team and how great it is to break the USPS block, I think that my boss would ask me for an explanation about the essence of my job. He would ask me if he's investing his money in a team that wants to win races or in a team that's playing war games..."

Despite his momentary rancour, Bruyneel was pleased about Victor Hugo Pena's excellent performance as runner-up in the Tour of Holland. "We have a really good team for the Vuelta and our objective now is to win it," said Bruyneel.

Cipollini will continue, and wants to win the World's

Mario Cipollini has officially decided to race again, with under seven weeks to go until the World Road Championships in Zolder. In an open letter on his website, Cipollini stated that "Yes, I will continue to race."

"It is solely my own choice, like everything about me and without conditions, just like the one to stop. In the past two months, I often thought that I would never put a number on my back again. I was nauseated by a series of questions that were worthless and I will not dig up again. I had said the final word and I didn't really think I would return."

Cipollini wrote that his decision to return was influenced by "my father Vivaldo...my fans, the camaraderie of the team, the messages I received, and other factors that served to re ignite the passion for this sport."

But he was also still keen to train on his bike, and realised that there were still challenges that awaited him. "There is the Vuelta where I want to win some stages, and then there is the World Road Championship which is held on a route that suits me. I have dreamed of being able to win a rainbow jersey since I was a boy, and there is something inside of me that says I can do it in Zolder. And then there is the record of stages in the Giro d'Italia, and a suspended account in the Tour de France."

He says that he "rediscovered my desire to ride, and the pleasure of working on the bike for a big objective. When I started to race, I was told 'the bicycle has a soul, if you succeed to love it, it will give you emotions that you will never forget'. I was young then and I did not understand what those words meant, but in time I did, because I want that message to be broadcast strongly to all the boys who intend on taking up this sport."

Cipollini also clarified that there was never any problem with the sponsor, despite his comments at the time of his announcement to retire. He also said that he wanted to be able to repay the team, the riders and the staff for helping him achieve success. "To leave now would mean that I could not repay them."

"All these motives, besides the drive that comes from inside me, convinced me to reconsider my decision taken on July 9. Both me and the bike can get along for a little longer, there are still some goals to reach and I prefer to have some remorse rather than regrets."

Evans to Telekom

Australian Cadel Evans will ride for the next two years with Deutsche Telekom, the team officially announced today. Evans, considered one of the most promising stage race riders for the future, wore the pink leader's jersey in the Giro d'Italia for one day, before losing it in spectacular fashion to Paolo Savoldelli, who went on to win the Giro. Savoldelli is also a strong candidate for the Telekom team, but the Italian has not signed a contract yet.

"Cadel is certainly one of the biggest talents for the grand tours who is currently on the market," said team spokesman Olaf Ludwig. "Therefore we have further optimised our strong support for Jan Ullrich."

Ludwig is optimistic that Jan Ullrich will come back to full strength, meaning the team could be competitive in more than one grand tour next year. Other riders contracted by Telekom include Belgian Mario Aerts (Lotto) and German Christian Werner (Nürnberger).

14 riders confirmed for Quick Step

Quick Step-Davitamon team manager Patrick Lefevere has revealed the names of 14 riders who are certain to ride for his team next year. These riders will sign contracts within the next week, and there are several more who are likely to follow.

From the Domo-Farm Frites team are Belgians Johan Museeuw, Wilfried Cretskens, Jurgen Van Goolen and Sven Vanthourenhout. From Mapei-Quick Step are Italians Paolo Bettini, Luca Paolini and Davide Bramati, Hungarian Laszlo Bodrogi, Belgian Kevin Hulsmans, Australian Michael Rogers and German Patrick Sinkewitz. From the Lotto-Adecco team are Belgians Frédéric Amorison and Kurt Van De Wouwer, while Italian Domenico Passuello will transfer from Colombia-Selle Italia.

More Domo riders are still negotiating with Lefevere, including Richard Virenque, Frank Vandenbroucke, Dave Bruylandts, Enrico Cassani, Andrei Kashechkin, Servais Knaven, Bram Tankink, Piotr Wadecki, and neo-pro Nick Nuyens. Also, Mapei's Oscar Freire (who is of interest to CSC-Tiscali) and Aurélien Clerc are on the negotiation table.

However, there will be no room for Romans Vainsteins in the Quick Step team next year, and it's unlikely that Mapei's Tom Steels will come across also.

The team's sporting directors so far are Wilfried Peeters and Serge Parsani. On the other hand, Domo's Hendrik Redant will be a director sportif for Lotto-Domo next year.

Fassa Bortolo want Frigo back

Fassa Bortolo, the team that sacked Dario Frigo on the spot when he was found in possession of suspected doping substances (that later turned out to be saline solution) in the 2001 Giro d'Italia, are negotiating with him for a contract for 2003. Frigo is currently riding for Tacconi Sport, where he has had an excellent season so far, winning the Tour de Romandie, the Italian time trial championship, a stage in the Tour de France, and the Meisterschaft von Zürich. His consistently good results have pushed him up to fourth on the UCI rankings, behind Erik Zabel, Paolo Bettini and Lance Armstrong.

Fassa Bortolo has already signed iBanesto's Marzio Bruseghin, and Mapei's Dario Cioni and Filippo Pozzato. There is a possibility that Fabian Cancellara (Mapei) will also join Giancarlo Feretti's outfit.

Capelle has a spot in Landbouwkrediet

According to Het Laatste Nieuws, Ludovic Capelle, who will leave Ag2r this season, has an offer from Belgian division II squad Landbouwkrediet-Colnago.

Latest UCI women's rankings

The UCI has updated its women's rankings, following the Grand Boucle Féminine and the GP de Plouay World Cup. Still on top, albeit with a fairly slender margin is Mirjam Melchers (Farm Frites-Hartol) on 724 points, who leads Saturn's Judith Arndt by less than 13 points. Arndt's compatriot and teammate Petra Rossner is in third place, another 147 points behind.

Following her win in LGBF, Zinaida Stahurskaia (USCI Chirio) moved up from 21st to 10th spot, while second placed overall Susanne Ljungskog (Vlaanderen-T Interim) went from 8th to 5th place. LBGF stage winners Zulfia Zabirova and Madeleine Lindberg moved up from 188th to 30th and 281st to 91st respectively.

The team rankings are essentially unchanged at the top, with Saturn on 1724 points leading Acca Due O (1268) and Farm Frites-Hartol (993).

Rankings as of August 27, 2002

Individuals

1 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol                  724.00 pts
2 Judith Arndt (Ger) Saturn Cycling Team                         711.65
3 Petra Rossner (Ger) Saturn Cycling Team                        564.65
4 Nicole Brändli (Swi) Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Camicie      533.00
5 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Vlaanderen-T-Interim Ladies Team       502.00
6 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Figurella Dream Team                   498.35
7 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Edilsavino                              381.00
7 Rasa Polikeviciute (Ltu) Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Camicie  381.00
9 Priska Doppmann (Swi)                                          371.00
10 Zinaida Stahurskaia (Blr) Usci Chirio                         288.00
11 Anna Millward (Aus) Saturn Cycling Team                       280.00
12 Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (Fra)                                  251.00
13 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Camicie      246.00
14 Regina Schleicher (Ger) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox        232.00
15 Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung        224.00
16 Valentina Polkhanova (Rus)                                    201.35
17 Lyne Bessette (Can)                                           177.00
17 Debby Mansveld (Ned) Vlaanderen-T-Interim Ladies Team         177.00
19 Kimberly Bruckner (USA) Saturn Cycling Team                   168.00
20 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus)                                        164.00

Teams

1 Saturn Cycling Team                                          1,724.30 pts
2 Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Camicie                         1,268.00
3 Team Farm Frites-Hartol                                        993.00
4 Vlaanderen-T-Interim Ladies Team                               768.00
5 Edilsavino                                                     561.00

Full rankings

VDB may ride the Vuelta

Domo team management have decided to give Frank Vandenbroucke another chance to ride in the Vuelta España, which starts on September 7. Although it was previously announced that VDB would not be riding it, if he performs well in the Tour du Poitou Charentes this week then he could well start in Spain.

No Vuelta for Olano

Abraham Olano has ridden his last Grand Tour it seems, after he renounced his participation in the upcoming Vuelta España today. Olano won the event in 1998, but decided that his form wasn't good enough to ride it as part of the ONCE team this year. Olano has already announced his retirement at the end of the season, meaning that the 2002 Tour de France, where he finished 78th, was his last great stage race.

Euskaltel-Euskadi for the Vuelta

Julián Gorospe has selected his squad for the Vuelta España, which takes place from September 7-29. The team will be led by Haimar Zubeldia, Iban Mayo, Roberto Laiseka and David Etxebarria, who also rode the Tour de France. Alberto Martinez, Alberto López de Munain, Gorka Gerrikagoitia, Mikel Artetxe and Iker Flores will comprise the rest of the nine man team. The latter three were the final riders to be selected.

Mikel Artetxe is in good form, having won the Trofeo Agostinho and showing himself to be competitive in the sprints. Gorka Gerrikagoitia has had a solid August, placing 6th in Ordizia and riding well in Burgos. Iker Flores is hoping for a good comeback after the bad luck that has dogged him for a year, principally having problems with his back.

These three riders will finish their contracts with Euskaltel-Euskadi at the end of the season, so the Vuelta is a chance for them to perform for the future.

Cesar Solaun has been named as first reserve, and will race if one of the other riders is injured. However, the team management is not completely happy with him this season, and his future within the team is in doubt.

Van Bondt breaks wrist

CSC-Tiscali's Geert Van Bondt was one of several riders injured in a fall at the finish of Sunday's GP Ouest France in Plouay. The Belgian was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken wrist and finger. He will need a week's rest before he can start training again.

No Freire in Trofeo Melinda

There will be no Oscar Freire in this Thursday's 11th edition of the Trofeo Melinda Val di Non in Italy. The Mapei team informed the organisers recently, much to their disappointment. "Certain sporting teams show little consideration for the organisers," commented Marco Brentari. "Freire was registered already and it does not seem correct to remove him at the last minute, as well as to nearly completely change the line up of the riders. This also means that there is little respect for the public, and that is not acceptable. It's of little importance because Mapei will not be in the peloton next year."

20 teams will take part in the race, with riders such as Dario Frigo and Gianluca Bortolami (Tacconi Sport), Francesco Casagrande, Ivan Basso, Michele Bartoli (Fassa Bortolo), Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), and Silberto Simoni (Saeco), who will ensure a high level of competition for the race.

The Trofeo Melinda will be run over 197 km, starting in Malè and travelling to Fondo where the riders will do three 31.3 km circuits including the climbs of Ronzone and Revò, before finishing in Fondo.

Belgian team for MTB World's

National coaches José De Cauwer and Rudy De Bie have selected the following riders for the Belgian contingent to compete in this week's World Mountain Bike Championships in Kaprun, Austria.

Elite Men: Filip Meirhaeghe, Roel Paulissen, Jimmy Tielens

U23 Men: Damien Bynens, Davy Coenen, Maarten Wijnants

Juniors: Kevin Pauwels, Dominique Cornu

Downhill: Nico Vinck, Kristof Lenssens

Trials: Kenny Belaey, Marc-Amory Buteneers

Swedish team for World MTB Championships Team Relay

Sweden is following up its 4th place in the European Championships relay with the same team for the World's in Kaprun:

Emil Lindgren, Junior
Fredrik Kessiakoff, U23
Anna Enocsson, Women
Magnus Palmberg, Elite

No team relay for Brentjens

Dutch cyclist Bart Brentjens will not ride as part of the Dutch team in Wednesday's Team Relay, the first event of the World MTB Championships in Kaprun. Brentjens is aiming for the cross country event on Sunday, and is currently training at home in Groesbeek. Also, Dutch women's champion Corine Dorland will not contest the team relay. Their replacements are Bas Peters and Mirjam Dieleman.

Longer route for Paris-Brussels

This year's Paris-Brussels, a UCI 1.1 classified race, will feature an extra long parcours of 270 kilometres, finishing outside the Constant Vanden Stockstadion in Anderlecht and again featuring the climb of the Alsemberg.

After last year's flatter edition, the organisers Rode Sportief Beersel were criticised because the parcours was too flat. This year, "We wanted to go over the Bruineput, but due to road works we can't do that until next year," said race director Pascal Demol, who added that the race had been extended this year via Dworp, passing over the Sollenberg and finishing with a 13 km local lap. That brings the total to 270 km, "But that is still 20 less than 13 years ago."

Teams: Bonjour, Mapei-Quick Step, Lotto-Adecco, Cofidis, Rabobank, Coast, Telekom, CSC-Tiscali, Domo-Farm Frites, Lampre-Daikin, Tacconi Sport, Saeco, Gerolsteiner, FDJ.Com, AG2R, Index-Alexia, BigMat-Auber, Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, Palmans-Collstrop, Vlaanderen-T-Interim, Marlux-Ville de Charleroi, and RDM-Flanders.

Teams announced for San Francisco Grand Prix

An international field of 18 teams was announced today for the 2002 San Francisco Grand Prix presented by BMC Software on September 15th. With all the top domestic squads represented, including the US Postal team of defending champion George Hincapie, there are also several top ranked international teams including Telekom, Acqua e Sapone and Saeco-Longoni Sport.

The complete list is as follows:

US Postal Service
Prime Alliance
Ofoto-Lombardi Sports
Jelly Belly
Navigators
Mercury
Schroeder Iron
Sierra Nevada-Cannondale
7-UP/Nutra Fig
Jittery Joe’s Coffee
Saturn
Aqua & Sapone
Telekom
Saeco-Longoni Sport
PowerBar-MasterCard
Colombian National Team
Sympatico-Jet Fuel
Jura Suisse-Nippon Hodo

Mapei-Quick Step for Tour de Slovaquie

Team manager Alvaro Crespi has decided the Division III "Young Riders Group" line up for the upcoming Tour de Slovaquie, from August 28-September 1. The team is as follows:

Riders: Allan Davis, Aurélien Clerc, Scott McGrory, Dimitriy Muravyev, Frederik Willems, Leonardo Zanotti. DS: Luca Guercilena

Bessette to ride for CyclocrossWorld

Canadian Lyne Bessette, who made her cyclo-cross debut in sensational style last season, has signed for the 2002-2003 cross season with CyclocrossWorld.com. Bessette will finish her road season with the Canadian National Team at the World Championships in Zolder, Belgium on October 8-13th and take a short break before launching into the cross season.

Bessette won the Verge New England Championship Cyclocross Series, the Boston Super Cup and a round of the World Cup in Nommay France last season, but was unable to compete at the Cyclocross World Championships in Belgium. She vows that this year she'll be in top shape for the Worlds in Monopoli, Italy.

Artistic talent not welcome from UCI observer in RVN

The UCI sent a Malaysian observer to the ENECO Ronde van Nederland: A. Singh Gill. He followed the tour for five "sunny" days, turban and all, travelling in the jury car of Wim van Steenbergen. After he bid farewell on Saturday, Van Steenbergen went to clean the back seat of the car. He was in for a rude shock.

"Look what happened here!" Mr Singh Gill had drawn - in ink - several dolls on the back seat of the car. "How do you explain this to the sponsor who lent us this car?" said an upset Van Steenbergen.

The other drivers knew the answer: "Refurnish the back seat and send the bill to the UCI. Signed: A. Singh Gill."

Cyclist killed in Georgia

49 year old Roger Baruch, of Colbert, Georgia was killed on Sunday night while riding his bicycle. According to the Athens Banner Herald he was riding on Beaverdam Road near Crawford-Smithonia Road in Oglethorpe County at around 7pm when he was hit by a 17 year old who had fallen asleep at the wheel. The driver was identified by police as Joshua Franklin Tittle of Comer. Another cyclist riding with Baruch was unharmed.

No one has yet been charged in the accident, pending a full investigation by the state patrols accident reconstruction team.

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