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Photo ©: Swift

News for December 17, 2002

Edited by Chris Henry

Fredrik Modin to Team fakta

By Gabriella Ekstrom

Twenty two year old rider Fredrik Modin from Västerås, Sweden has signed a one year contract with the Danish first division Team fakta. After his successes in the Postgirot Open this summer, where he finished third in the G.C, the young Swede has been courted by several teams. Kim Andersen, sport director of Team fakta, explains that he has been interested in Modin since the Postgirot Open, but was not able to offer him a place on the team before he knew what division the team would ride in during 2003.

Fredrik Modin is currently living in Västerås where he rides for the TT III Team Mälarenergi, a team that has helped 14 riders including Fredrik on their way to professional contracts. In 2003 Modin may move to Luxembourg, where most of the riders from the team already live.

"I have high hopes for Modin, especially as a grimpeur," said Kim Andersen. "I think he can be of great value for the team in the future, and we will give him the time he needs to develop. During this season he will get some chances in races suitable to him, for example Tour of Austria, which is very mountainous and hard. Modin will make his debut for Team fakta in Malaysia, at the Tour de Langkawi, and since that race is often decided on the very same hard mountain, I believe Fredrik can put up a show there."

Modin himself is excited and says that he has been waiting for this since he first heard from fakta. "This is one of my biggest dreams coming true, and I feel that I have taken an important step to form my future as I want," he said. "I think Team fakta is a good team for me, because it is a Nordic team and the riders share the same mentality. I have also heard that it is a serious team with a good spirit."

"I don't know where I will be when it comes to racing on this level, and it is hard to put up goals, but one of my goals this season is to establish myself as an international rider and hopefully to make some results," Modin continued. "My long term goal is still to be able to compete in the mountains of the biggest tours. I am aware of course that I'm only 22 years old, so I'm not counting on getting to ride the really big races this year, but should the chance come up, I will take it."

Aside from Modin, Team fakta already has a contract with Magnus Bäckstedt for 2003, and the team has now signed Martin Rittsel (CSC-Tiscali in 2002) as well.

"Martin Rittsel rode for me in Chicky World a couple of years ago, and I know he is a good rider when things goes his way," Andersen commented. "Our intention is to be a Nordic team, and therefore we are content to find Nordic riders of this capacity. I think it is important to co-operate within the Nordic countries, in order to put the very best riders together. In that way we will present our sport in the best of ways, and we will be able to compete with the bigger European teams."

Patrick Serra, who is the sport director of Team Mälarenergi, where Fredrik is currently riding, is just as pleased as Fredrik himself.

"I am happy things worked out for Fredrik. We started to contact teams this spring, after Fredrik had made some great results in Spain," said Serra. "Several teams were interested in a Swedish climber, but it would turn out that most of them did not have the financial possibilities we required. It was important for us that Fredrik would end up in a good team with a serious approach, and therefore we are delighted it turned out to be fakta. We will continue to work together with Kim Andersen in the future, when it comes to the development of young riders."

The riders who have already signed for Team fakta in 2003 are: Frank Höj, Jörgen Bo Peterson, Allen Johansen, Michael Skelde, Rene Jörgensen, Lars Bak, Allan Bo Andresen and Jakob Moe Rasmussen, all from Denmark, Magnus Bäckstedt, Martin Rittsel and Fredrik Modin of Sweden, Kurt Asle Arvesen and Björnar Vestöl of Norway, Scott Sunderland (Australia), Werner Ribenbauer (Austria), and Julian Winn of Great Britain.

New sponsors bolster fakta

Team fakta's latest sponsorship additions include Choice Hotels, increasing its sponsorship and permitting more travel, and Pasta Montegrappa. It is not known which effects the second addition will have on the team's menu, but managing director Peter Sejer Nielsen hopes that the team's Italian sponsors (which also include Opera and Nalini) might give the team a chance to ride the Giro, with Jørgen Bo Petersen as the likely team captain.

D'hont to Marlux-Nixdorf

Patrick D'hont, who rode with from 1998-2001, will join Marlux-Nixdorf for next season. D'hont rode for the Category 1 amateur ICSA-Team this year.

Berden bumps Vannoppen

With plenty of choices for a strong Belgian cyclo-cross team, national selector Rudy De Bie has made a change to the line up for the next round of the World Cup in Kalmthout. The highly motivated and confident Ben Berden will replace Tom Vannoppen for this round.

The chosen six:

Ben Berden
Mario De Clercq
Sven Nys
Erwin Vervecken
Sven Vanthourenhout (U23)
Bart Wellens


Museeuw racing cross?

According to Belgian TV1, Johan Museeuw (Quick-Step) will be on the starting line January 26 at a cyclo-cross race in Lanarvilly, France. Back in his days as a junior rider Museeuw raced 'cross, but it's been a long time since the Lion of Flanders had to carry his bike over a set of barriers. Museeuw is reportedly scheduled to ride several events in Belgium, including the national championships, but only with an eye on training for the 2003 road season.


Teams for Tour of Qatar

Fifteen teams are confirmed for the 2nd Tour of Qatar. The race begins in Doha on February 4, 2003.

Brioches La Boulangère
Team Coast
Crédit Agricole
Team CSC
Quick-Step Davitamon
Saeco-Longoni Sport
Tacconi Sport
Vlaanderen-T Interim

Sponsorship makes it happen in Malaysia

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

The premier cycling event in Malaysia, the Tour of Langkawi, will have the support and the financial backing of Telekom Malaysia. Not only are they the nation's premier communications provider but they are staunch supporters of First Cartel, organisers of the event. Now in its eighth edition, the race goes on the road from January 31st to the 9th of February.

The event will be known as Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi 2003. This will be Telekom Malaysia's third consecutive year as the race title sponsor. The company has been involved with the Tour since the beginning in 1996.

The sponsorship has contributed extensively to the development of the race since its inception in 1996. For next year, the Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi has been accorded a status of 2.2 by UCI, the world's governing body for the sport of cycling.

Recently the race organisation, First Cartel (M) Sdn Bhd and Telekom Malaysia officially signed the RM10 million sponsorship deal for the 10-day race, which will feature more than 20 teams and 160 professional riders from all over the world.

Asia, and Malaysia in particular, has been accorded the distinction of hosting such a highly rated tour which now ranks alongside some of the biggest races on the UCI calendar. It is also one of the world's richest tours with total prize money of RM1.5 million up for grabs.

"Our ability to stage an outstanding tour to the world has resulted in the improved rating for next year. All this, however, would not have been possible if not for the tremendous support from Telekom Malaysia," said First Cartel Executive Chairman, Datuk Wan Lokman.

"Through the medium of television, both live and delayed, millions around the world have watched the race against the backdrop of our wonderful country," Datuk Wan Lokman said after the signing ceremony at the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Kuala Lumpur.

Deputy Chief Executive Dato' Dr. Abdul Rahim Haji Daud signed the contract on behalf of Telekom Malaysia while Datuk Wan Lokman signed on behalf of First Cartel. Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Telekom Malaysia Chairman Tan Sri Ir. Md Radzi Mansor witnessed the signing of the agreement.

As a result of the increase in UCI ranking points, the event has an added dimension. Not that the event hasnít been gaining in stature in recent years. It is sure to see an increased interest from the worldís leading teams. Already some of the sport's big teams and names including Lampre's Gabriele Missaglia, Rubens Bertogliati and Credit Agricole's star Stuart O'Grady have confirmed their entries.

The start of the ten day stage race returns to the island of Langkawi, after an absence of one year, with a time trial. It then returns to the mainland and will take in ten states in Peninsula Malaysia with the exception of Johor and Melaka. The total race distance is in excess of 1,300km.

Datuk Wan Lokman said the 2003 edition would pose tougher challenges for riders with a mixture of flat and hilly routes. The brutal Genting Highlands climb and the category 1 climb from Gerik to Tanah Merah will be the highlight of next year's race.

"With the live and delayed telecast, we hope to show to the world that Malaysia is safe from any danger elements or terrorist threats. Of late, Malaysia has been wrongly portrayed as a haven for terrorists and next year's race provides us with a good opportunity to bury all these misconceptions," said Wan Lokman.

The Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi is organised by First Cartel (M) Sdn Bhd with the support of the Malaysian Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports and sanctioned by UCI, Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC) and the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF).

Rás an Turcaí Christmas Race

By Shane Stokes,

The Christmas Hamper race normally run each December in Carrick on Suir may be off this year, but a similar event will take place in Carraroe in County Galway at the end of the month. On December 29th many of Irelandís best-known cycling names will travel to the area to compete in the Rás an Turcaí, with 2001 winner Sean Kelly, former world junior champion Mark Scanlon, US circuit professionals Ciarán Power and David O'Loughlin, plus the double FBD Milk Rás champion Philip Cassidy all confirmed for the race.

The course of the event will see the riders take in six laps of seven miles each, with the first three laps neutralised in order to accommodate the various standards of those taking part. The Galway Inter-County Football players Seán Óg de Paor and Seán Ó Dómhnaill will be part of the field, and it is hoped that their participation will provide further encouragement for cyclists of all levels to sign on for the event.

Successful riders will win turkeys and hampers in the race, and the organisers have said that they will also be handing out other prizes during the day. All roads will be closed for the event.

Further information is available by ringing 00 353 91 503147.





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