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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

News for December 14, 2002

Edited by Chris Henry

US Cyclo-cross Nationals

With the best 'cross riders in the country descending on Napa to do battle this weekend, and threats of stormy weather angling to keep things even more interesting, be sure to check out Cyclingnews' coverage of the US Cyclo-cross Nationals from Domaine Chandon. Live coverage will be available for the men's and women's elite races on Sunday, December 15, starting at 1pm Pacific time.

Armstrong hints at 2004 retirement

During an appearance on the Charlie Rose show on PBS, Lance Armstrong hinted that the end of 2004 might be the time to retire. Armstrong, 31, told Rose that if something told him to continue beyond that point, he would. Either way, he promised, he'll be done before he hits 35.

TdF jersey fetches $100k

Meanwhile, a Tour de France yellow jersey signed by Lance went for $100,000 at an auction for the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Lee Roy Mitchell, CEO Cinemark movie theaters, agreed to double his planned bid of $50,000 if Armstrong would agree to visit the Peaceable Kingdom, a camp for chronically ill and special needs children. "Not in July," Armstrong said, but with that small caveat the deal was done.

Source: Miami Herald

Tracy supports LAF

Paul Tracy, a confirmed success on the race car circuit and avid cyclist in his own right, has donated his winnings from the Championship Auto Racing Team (CART) awards to the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF). At CART's recent banquet in Miami, Florida, Tracy received the MCI "most popular driver" award, which earned him a healthy $25,000. The full prize has been donated to LAF. Tracy remains passionate about cycling, and once had a contract to ride off-road with Yeti mountain bikes (he is now affiliated with Fondriest). Next year, behind the wheel, Tracy will race with the Players Forsythe team.

UCI announces BMX racing series

Beginning in 2003, the UCI will launch a new series of BMX events called the UCI BMX Supercross, which will replace the former UCI BMX World Cup, held from 1996 to 2000. The new BMX Supercross events will be held on specially designed BMX tracks, featuring obstacles, jumps and high speeds, which the UCI says will "bring BMX racing to another level."

The pilot event will be held September 19-20, 2003, in the United States at Camp Woodward, Pennsylvania. Camp Woodward is the premier BMX freestyle facility in the world. The event will be open to Elite Men and Junior Men (17 years and older). The UCI has, together with the National Bicycle League (NBL), reached an agreement with Camp Woodward to host this event for the next three years.

The UCI BMX Supercross series will be extended in 2004 with an event on the European continent. In 2005 the series will be held at three different locations around the world.

Labarca 2-Cafés Baqué signs another

Francisco Javier Cerezo is the latest pro to join the new Spanish formation Labarca 2-Cafés Baqué. Cerezo, 31, had an offer from Kelme, but chose a one year contract- with a possible option to extend- with the startup team.

Ljungblad returns

Jonas Ljungblad will return to Team Bianchi Scandinavia (ex team Crescent) next year after a year with Amore & Vita. "With him and our new recruit Thomas Lövkvist, we have our strongest line up ever and everyone’s goals will be upgraded," said team manager Tommy Prim. "Gustav Larsson, who leaves us for Fassa Bortolo during the following season has showed that good results opens the doors."

"We have had discussions with other cyclists as well but no deals are made, and there is no hurry to replace Gustav since he is leaving us when the next season is starting," added Prim.

Team Bianchi Scandinavia for 2003:

Jonas Holmkvist, 20, winner of Scandinavian Open 2002
Gustav Larsson, 22, winner of Tour de Slovaquie 2002
Tobias Lergård, 22, winner of Swedish Road Cup 2002
Jonas Ljungblad, 23, winner of Stage 3 Herald Sun Tour 2002
Thomas Lövkvist, 18, winner of European Junior MTB Championships and three national junior titles
Jonas Olsson, 22, winner of European U23 ITT Championships 2002
Petter Renäng, 21, winner of Swedish Criterium Championships 2002
Mikael Segersäll,20, breaking through 2003

The team’s MTB star, Fredrik Kessiakoff, will ride the coming season for Bianchi’s international outfit Bianchi-Motorex, along with Julien Absalon and Jose Hermida. Kessiakoff will join the team’s first training camp in February, and in the meantime will prepare with the road cyclists of team Bianchi Scandinavia.

Vanderaerden thinking ahead

Eric Vanderaerden is reportedly looking to create a new Division II pro team for 2004. The Belgian ex-pro, a directeur sportif with Mapei, was left out in the wind when the team folded and he was unable to find another DS job. Even if he is unable to form a pro team, Vanderaerden hopes to form a team for his son Michael, who will enter the junior ranks in 2004.


Rancho Vistoso Velo Club

The Rancho Vistoso Velo Club of Central Arizona will carry a five man elite team for the 2003 season. The elite riders were responsible for acquiring all sponsorship, thus Rancho Vistoso Velo will continue its support of the club members. The elite team consists of 3 masters, 1 espoir and 1 junior.

The team roster is as follows: Steven Burns, Rod Kingston (junior), Dr. Steve Lyle, Adam Mills (espoir), and Andrew Tinkling.

Sponsors include Rancho-Brochito Rotary Club, Rancho Bike Rack, Rudy Project, Spif Clothing Designs and Reality Bikes Resources.

Matheson leaves British Cycling

Following recent uncertainty surrounding the program of cycling events at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Ken Matheson has decided to withdraw from his role as National Team Manager for the British Disability Team and pursue other career options outside British Cycling, effective December 12, 2002.

Matheson also coached the National Road Team and National Women's Endurance Team. His coaching successes include Charly Wegelius, whom he coached from junior through to professional status with Mapei, Ceris Gilfillan, who was ranked UCI leading under 23 woman and finished 5th in the World Time Trial Championships in 2000, and Sara Symington, who finished 6th in the World Road Race Championships in 2000.

Back on track at Wanganui

By Alan Messenger

The row over Wanganui’s Cycling Velodrome and the lockout of the local cycling club continues, but yesterday the city’s mayor, Chas Poynter, intervened in an effort to diffuse the situation. The mayor said that he has been assured that the velodrome will open again shortly and that the facility’s only tenant, the Wanganui Cycling Club, will be given the opportunity to negotiate a fair rental.

The 3.5 million dollar Cooks Gardens track was closed last week because of safety concerns after a gap opened up between the bottom boards and the concrete apron. An even bigger gap apparently has opened up between the Wanganui Cycling Club and the Cooks Gardens Trust Board who imposed a 200% increase in the track rental.

Mr. Poynter became involved yesterday and he said that he has been told by Trust Board Chairman Dennis Woods that the standoff will be sorted out quickly. Asked by the Dominion Newspaper about Trust spokesman Noel Gudsell’s comments that the club will have to pay the increase or remain locked out, Poynter said, "I don’t know what his authority is."

Wanganui Cycling club President Graeme Cox told the Dominion, "nothing’s resolved yet and we won’t be totally happy 'till it is fixed. Things are moving forward and hopefully we can get some racing for the sake of our members."

Meanwhile, Australian turned Kiwi sprinter Anthony Peden has said that the stalemate over the track is the last straw and he is packing his bags to return to his home town of Newcastle, Australia. Peden said that he will continue to represent New Zealand.

The controversial sprinter admitted that his deteriorating relationship with the New Zealand selectors had helped in his decision to move back across the Tasman. Peden was involved in a public argument with national selector Graham Sycamore following his disqualification from the sprint event at the Manchester Commonwealth Games.




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