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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

News for December 20, 2002

Edited by John Stevenson

Vandenbroucke loses license

The latest incident in the soap opera life of Belgian enfant terrible Frank Vandenbroucke came last weekend when VDB was stopped by Belgian police while driving from a party in Anderlecht. Police allege that Vandenbroucke ran several red lights and was found to have a blood alcohol level of 1.7 parts per thousand, over three times the Belgian legal limit of 0.5.

Vandenbroucke's driving license was suspended for an initial period of 15 days.

Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefevere was calm but not happy about the latest mishap involving the wayward Vandenbroucke, who recently told the Italian press he had found new motivation and was ready to make a comeback in grand style.

"When I engaged Frank Vandenbroucke I knew there would be ups and downs," said Lefevere. "Frank called me and offered his apologies. He knows he has done a silly thing. Of course I regret what has happened. I'm not happy with this behaviour from Frank. He gets a yellow card from me."

Saunier Duval combines with Tacconi Sport

Spanish amateur team Saunier Duval will rocket up the ranks in 2003 as it absorbs the sponsorship of Division 1 squad Tacconi Sport after an agreement reached Wednesday between Mauro Gianetti (general manager), Joxean Fernandez Matxin (directeur sportif) and Felix Igesias (President of Saunier Duval).

Within Spain and Portugal the new team will be known as Saunier Duval, while outside the Iberian peninsula the cosponsors' names will be used, according to an announcement from the team. The team will include young neo-pro David de la Fuente from the Saunier Duval amateur team, and the staff will include Joxean Fernandez Matxin, formerly a directeur sportif at Mapei, plus Tacconi Sport's Vitorio Algeri and Franco Gini, previously with Acqua e Sapone.

The team plans to ride the major races expected of a Division I team, including the Tour de France, Giro, Vuelta and the World Cups, plus many races on the newly-expanded Spanish calendar such as the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Semana Catalana, Bici Vasca, Vuelta Asturias, Alcobendas, Primavera, and GP Indurain.

O'Grady vs McEwen show to dominate Australian January

The weigh-in
Photo: © Norman Fay
Click for larger image

Australia's sprint kings Robbie McEwen and Stuart O'Grady are set for a series of January showdowns, starting with the five-day Jayco Geelong Bay Cycling Classic from January 8-12.

Tour de France green jersey winner McEwen believes O'Grady will be his toughest challenger when racing starts on January 8 at the Victorian coastal town of Rye in one of the world's top criterium series. And O'Grady is saying much the same thing about McEwen for the following weekend's Australian Open Road Championships (see next story).

O'Grady admits McEwen has speed, but he believes stamina is what counts over the five days, as the circuits are all very different; first off is Rye, then Portarlington, Geelong Ritchie Boulevard, Geelong Botanic Gardens and the final at Crown Entertainment Complex.

However, if these two think they'll have the contest to themselves, riders like last year's runner up Hilton Clarke, Olympic gold medalist and former Bay Classic winner Brett Aitken, former Australian road champion Robert Crowe, and another former winner David McKenzie believe they also have the power to win the title.

Race director John Trevorrow said that the 80-strong field for the 2003 Jayco Geelong Bay Cycling Classic included the strongest contingent of European-based Australian riders in the 10-year history of the event.

"There was a time when we relied on overseas riders to lift the quality of the field, but Australians are performing so strongly internationally, they are now recognised as among the world's best, " said Trevorrow.

"But because we have such a strong field of home-grown champions, that has lured at least a dozen overseas riders like American track star Mike Tillman and Italian Roberto Gaggioli, who has won more criteriums than any other rider in the world, to compete in the event.

The women's event has again attracted Australia's top riders: Anna Millward, Sara Carrigan, 2001 Australian road champion Katie Mactier, 2002 women's Bay Classic winner Rochelle Gilmore and triathlete Emma Carney.

Jayco Geelong Bay Cycling Classic

  • January 8: Rye, starts 12.30pm
  • January 9: Portarlington, 12.30pm
  • January 10: Geelong, Ritchie Boulevard, 5pm
  • January 11: Geelong, Botanic Gardens, 5pm
  • January 12: Crown Entertainment Complex, 9.30am

Cyclingnews coverage of the Bay Classic starts here

O'Grady aims for Australian national title

Stuart O'Grady says he wants to wear the green and gold Australian road champion's jersey when he heads back to Europe next year with Credit Agricole. O'Grady is one of a host of Australian stars who will line up in Ballarat for the 2003 BMC Software Australian Open Road Championships, January 16-19, 2003.

O'Grady already owns an enviable collection of jerseys including Tour de France yellow and green, world track championship rainbow-coloured plus the jersey he wore to victory in the 2002 Commonwealth Games road race. But despite being one of the most successful cyclists ever to represent Australia, O'Grady has not yet managed to claim the national road title.

"It's definitely on the top of my hit list because I think it would be a real honour to wear the jersey in Europe," said O'Grady who came closest to that honour in 1999 when he placed second behind close friend Henk Vogels.

"Besides I think my team uniform knicks are one of the few that match the Aussie jersey," he joked referring to his predominantly green Credit Agricole strip.

2002 was a year of mixed fortune for O'Grady bounced back from surgery to repair his iliac artery in March to claim seven top ten stage finishes and third overall in the points competition of the Tour de France.

"The surgery was obviously a great success because I rode the Tour de France afterwards and had no problems," said O'Grady. "But I also didn't have the form I wanted because of the time off required to recover."

He had, however, recovered by the time he lined up with the Australian team in Manchester where he headed a clean sweep of the medals in the Commonwealth Games road race.

"The Commonwealth Games win really salvaged my year and was a bit like a relief factor after the previous few months," said O'Grady who is back in training in Adelaide after a month long break during which he enjoyed his wedding and honeymoon. "I think my form is going to come back really quickly and I'm quietly confident I'll be up for it in Ballarat and then at the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under."

But O'Grady admits that defending champion and world ranked number four, Robbie McEwen, will be hard to beat.

"Robbie had an amazing 2002 season and if his form holds he'll definitely be the favourite, but you never know and he might find next year's race a little more difficult," said O'Grady.

BMC Software Australian Open Road Championships

  • January 16: Women's Individual Road Time Trial, 28km
  • January 17: Men's Individual Road Time Trial, 39km
  • January 18: Women's Road Race, 100km
  • January 19: Men's Road Race, 180km

Venue: Buninyong, near Ballarat, Victoria. All races start at 11am

Tour de France star leads ONCE-Eroski to Tour Down Under

Igor González de Galdeano will lead the ONCE-Eroski team back to Adelaide for the first time since the inaugural event in 1999. The reigning Spanish time trial champion this year wore the leader's jersey in the Tour de France for seven days after claiming the lead when the ONCE clan won the Stage 4 Team Time Trial.

He ended the Tour placed 5th overall and ONCE finished as the Tour's number one ranked team. González de Galdeano also stood on the podium at the World Road Titles in Belgium where he claimed the bronze medal in the time trial. In 2001 he also finished the Tour de France fifth overall and in 1999 won the prologue and two stages of the Vuelta a Espana.

Igor's brother Alvaro González De Galdeano, third in the time trial at this year's Spanish championships, will also race in South Australia. In 2000 Alvaro won a stage in both the Tour de France and the Vuelta Espana, which he also finished in seventh place overall, and in the same year claimed the Spanish road race title and bronze in the time trial.

Angel Vicioso joins ONCE for the first time in Adelaide from Kelme-Costa Blanca where this year he won his second consecutive GP Miguel Indurain, the GP Primavera and achieved numerous top ten finishes in other international events.

Queensland's Allan Davis has signed with ONCE from the Mapei-Quickstep Espoirs team and will debut with the Spanish-registered team in Adelaide.

ONCE-Eroski team for 2003 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under

  • Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa)
  • Gianpaolo Caruso (Ita)
  • Alvaro Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa)
  • David Arroyo (Spa)
  • Xavier Florencio (Spa)
  • Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa)
  • Angel Vicioso (Spa)
  • Allan Davis (Aus)

McCauley joins Kiwi stars at Auckland carnival

New Zealand's top road cyclists will switch to the track tomorrow when they line up for the 2002 Christmas Track Carnival at Manukau velodrome, Auckland. New Zealand road and time trial champion Gordon McCauley will be part of a line-up of top New Zealand riders that includes Olympian Julian Dean, Commonwealth Gold medalist Sarah Ulmer, NZ road champion Annalissa Farrell, NZ TT Champion Melissa Holt Commonwealth Games team member Justin Grace and mountain bike downhiller Vanessa Quinn.

The carnival, which kicks off at 4pm on December 21, includes the North Island Elimination Championships and the North Island Women's Keirin Championships. It is the first in the five-event North Island Track Racing Series.

North Island track racing Series

  • December 21: Auckland
  • January 18: Wanganui
  • January 19: Levin
  • Febriuary 15: Taupo
  • February 16: Rotorua

Latrobe To Recognise Carnival Legend

By Rod Morris

One of the legends of the track from the Latrobe Bicycle Race Club will be honoured at next week's Patrick's Boxing Day Latrobe Carnival.

The Latrobe Carnival will kick-start the Telstra Country Wide Tasmanian Christmas Carnival Series, which includes events at the Launceston Silverdome, Devonport Oval and Burnie's West Park.

The LBRC has dedicated its feature A Grade Scratch race over 16,000 m in honour of the late Bill Redpath who died in May this year, aged 53 after a short illness.

For many years, Mr Redpath was the No. 1 cycling pusher at the Latrobe Carnival and in more recent times when he was less mobile, he was appointed to the position of official lap scorer and bell ringer. He was a popular figure at the Latrobe Carnival, particularly with the cyclists themselves.

The LBRC stages two A Grade Scratch races and in 2000 named its 8000 m event after legendary scratchman Sid Patterson.

Just prior to his death, Mr Redpath was granted the honour of life membership to the LBRC and he was also a life member of the Latrobe Mini League, Devonport and Districts Junior Football League and Latrobe Cricket Club.

He also served in a variety of honorary capacities with the Latrobe Football Club in the NTFL.

During his life, he also won several International Volunteer awards.

The Bill Redpath Memorial 16 km A Grade Scratch fittingly, will be the final event on the Latrobe Carnival programme.

Jelly Belly aboard Orbea for 2003

Orbea USA has announced a deal with the Jelly Belly team to supply the squad with the Spanish-made bikes for next year.

"Orbea's race proven designs and heritage of supplying the European pro peloton makes this a natural decision as ORBEA grows in the US," said Orbea USA Managing Director Tony Karklins.

In Europe Orbea supports the orange-clad Basque Euskaltel-Euskadi team as well as the Maia-Milaneza team from Portugal.

Horsens renews

Team Horsens has signed a sponsorship contract for another year with Glud & Marstrand Horsens. The renewal of the team's support from its title sponsor has allowed the team to sign Dennis Rasmussen for another year. His main targets in 2003 will be the Track World Cup and the Tour of Denmark in August.

Louder signs for Navigators

The Navigators team has announced the addition of 26-year-old Salt Lake City rider Jeff Louder to its 2003 roster. Louder rode for Landbouwkrediet - Colnago in 2002 and was a member of the US World's team, with three years of pro racing in Europe under his belt.

"We are very excited for the occasion to have another younger American with a great depth of Continental experience on the team," said a Navigators team spokesman. "We expect that this will be a great chance for Jeff to continue showing his capabilities in Europe while also providing the opportunity to promote his talents at home in the USA"

Navigators also announced that the team will once again be riding Colnago bikes. The team will roll out on Colnago's latest design, the C40-HP. The HP stands for High Power, denoting the new incarnation of the B-stay rear triangle with diamond-shaped chainstay. Colnago claims the new stays increase the lateral rigidity while simultaneously increasing the vertical compliance and vibration dampening. According to Colnago's research and development tests, the C40-HP's new design is also more efficient, maximizing the frame's performance and comfort.

Pfannberger to Index

Christian Pfannberger, who rode in the colours of Team Nürnberger in 2002, will ride for Index for the 2003 season.

Madcatz downhillers switch to Iron Horse

The Madcatz downhill MTB team will ride Iron Horse bikes in 2003, according to team spokesman Sean Heimdal. The team will include up-and coming Australian riders Jared Graves and Bryn Atkinson plus Kyle Ebbet from the USA and one more rider to be confirmed.

Ross Dillon auction raises $1225

US cycling importer Velo Europa recently auctioned one of the Cyfac Altec 2+ frames it imports to raise money for the Ross Dillon Hope Fund, set up to help with the medical costs of Ross Dillon, a cyclist from Santa Rosa, California. Dillon was struck by a car from behind on June 3 while out on a training ride and subsequently spent five months in a coma.

While Ross is now out of danger there is still a long way to go in his recovery. For more details of how you can help, and updates on his progress, see the Ross Dillon website.

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