News for July 1, 2002
Edited by Jeff Jones
Squinzi's response to Verbruggen
By Tim Maloney and Jeff Jones
Mapei boss Dr Giorgio Squinzi has responded to Hein Verbruggen's open
letter that was published in the June 28 edition of La Gazzetta dello
Sport. In it, Verbruggen strongly criticised the man who had invested
around US$100 million into the sport over the past decade, accusing him
of profiting from cycling to promote his "previously unknown brand" of
industrial chemicals, and of "destablising the [cycling] market by signing
up every talented young rider."
Dr Squinzi is currently President of Federchimica, the Italian association
of chemical manufacturers, and is head of one of the world's biggest and
most successful chemical companies. Verbruggen had insinuated that Squinzi
and Mapei were nothing before they came into cycling, which Squinzi strongly
refutes. In fact, Squinzi and Mapei have been recognized by none other
than the Wall St.Journal as a model of entrepreneurial success while maintaining
a strong sense of corporate responsibility. Mapei's chemical plants are
known as being rigorously in line with strict EC ecological regulations
governing chemical manufacturers.
Furthermore, Mapei has effectively used cycling to gain publicity and
brought other sponsors into the sport through their business model such
as Quick-Step and Fassa Bortolo.
Finally, in addition to sponsoring the world's number one division I
team, Mapei has also been heavily involved in sponsoring young rider programs,
both at the professional and amateur level. There are several developmental
teams in Italy, Belgium, Spain and Australia, to name a few. The effects
of Mapei pulling out of cycling will be felt globally.
The full text of Dr Squinzi's letter follows:
I have read the succession of articles published in the Gazzetta dello
Sport, on 26 June 2002 (written by Angelo Zomegnan), 26 June 2002 (written
by Candio Cannavò) and the open letter Hein Verbruggen of 28 June 2002
with the note from P. Cal. (Pietro Calabrese, director of the Gazzetta
I will not reply directly to the contents of these articles, not because
there are assumptions and reactions to insinuations and heavy judgments
that have been expressed about my personal situation and that of the Mapei
team, but because I think that these type of comments and reactions are
the best confirmation of the wisdom of the decision taken to leave this
cycling. Therefore I'll stop myself here.
My attorneys tell me that the use of gratuitously offensive phrases
and insinuations, which go beyond legitimate criticism or sporting controversy
is technically called defamation. I'll leave it to them any further appraisal
with respect to possible responses.
Personally, I am now going to dedicate myself to consolidate the optimal
business results of my company, that has gotten from cycling (besides
having given abundantly) a lot of notoriety and attention.
I cannot, moreover, forget that MAPEI S.P.A., first of all owes its
fame to the person who started the company (my father) in 1937 and that
it owes its reputation to the hard work and dedication of the staff during
over 65 years of activity in the building industry, a company, therefore,
Mapei that was anything but "unknown" (as Mr. Verbruggen said) before
its entry into cycling, and was already world-wide leader in its field
at the end of the 1980's.
Dott. Giorgio Squinzi
Milan, 29 June 2002
Landaluze and Blanco injured in Spanish championships
A crash in the finale of the Spanish road championships has taken out
Euskaltel-Euskadi's Inigo Landaluze, who was selected in the team for
the Tour de France. However his injuries, which include a dislocated shoulder,
will prevent him from starting in Luxembourg next Saturday.
Santi Blanco (iBanesto.com) is in hospital after suffering a head trauma
from the fall, he is conscious but under observation, at least until tomorrow.
His Tour de France start is highly unlikely.
Nearly seven weeks after he was injured in a crash at the end of the
first stage of the Giro d'Italia, Fassa Bortolo's Michele Bartoli is riding
his bike again. Last Wednesday and Thursday he did two one hour riders,
and now begins on the road back to full fitness. He expects to return
to competition in August but will not race in anything too difficult at
first. His objectives for the rest of the season include the Giro di Lombardia,
Giro del Lazio, Paris-Brussels, and Paris-Tours, but he is less enthused
about the World Championships in Zolder, saying that the "parcours doesn't
Ullrich leaves clinic in Tegernsee
Jan Ullrich has been given the all clear to leave the clinic in Tegernsee
where he has been undergoing rehabilitation for his knee injury, that
has all but destroyed his season. That means that he will be able to start
cycling on the road again this week, after having been restricted to ergo
training for two hours a day.
According to his website, he will discuss his training program on Monday
with Peter Becker. "When I can race again, is not yet known," he says.
Heppner, Bartko and Grabsch looking for jobs
Team Deutsche Telekom will not renew the contracts of Jens Heppner,
Robert Bartko and Ralf Grabsch for 2003, according to team spokesman Olaf
Ludwig. Ludwig made these comments at the German championships in Bühl
this weekend, also announcing that Rolf Aldag, Torsten Hiekmann, Andreas
Klier, Stephan Schreck and Steffen Wesemann will get theirs extended.
The team's top stars Erik Zabel and Jan Ullrich already have contracts
through until the end of 2003, while other riders such as Udo Bölts and
Kai Hundertmarck will most likely get theirs renewed.
The timing of the announcement means that the riders are free to look
for a new employer at the upcoming Tour de France, where a lot of contractual
negotiations take place.
The happy couple
On Saturday afternoon, June 29, in his hometown of Vinci, Italian Roberto
Gaggioli, winner of 206 races in his professional career (more than any
other active pro), married Lynn Brotzman, a new American professional
cyclist who competed last weekend at Giro del Trentino and will race next
week in the Giro d'Italia Donne.
Doping in Gran Fondo
EPO and growth hormones seized before Maratona delle Dolomiti
Members of the NAS and Guardia di Finanzia have carried out raids similar
in style to those in the 2001 Giro d'Italia, before the Maratona delle
Dolomiti, a large Italian granfondo (cyclosportif) event that attracted
7,000 cyclists this year. Police, acting on instructions from Paduan magistrate
Paola Cameran, raided hotels on Saturday night in Alta Badia, uncovering
a variety of banned substances including EPO, testosterone, growth hormone
and amphetamines. No-one was prevented from starting the amateur race
Vansweevelt gets lifelong driving ban
Former cyclist Ronny Vansweevelt has been banned for life from driving
by a court in Hasselt. Vansweevelt was caught in November 2000 by Belgian
police with quantities of amphetamines and other doping substances in
his car. The investigation that ensued found that he was not the principle
supplier of the doping products, although the court declared that he should
not be allowed to drive a car again [Note: during the chase in 2000, police
shot 13 bullets into his car until he lost control and hit several other
Vansweevelt was also involved in a doping affair with Belgian coach
Jose De Cauwer, that forced De Cauwer to temporarily step down from his
2K2 Sasch Kulmine Cycling Team withdraws from Giro femminile
The 2K2 Sasch Kulmine Cycling Team directed by Gianfranco Miele, will
not participate in one of the most important tours on the women's calendar,
the Giro d'Italia femminile, which starts on July 5. The managers of the
team met with the sponsoring company and decided that due to the organisational
confusion surrounding the event, it would be best not to start. Instead,
2K2 will concentrate on other races in the coming months. They hope that
things will be organised properly in advance next year.
24 year old Belgian Nicky Vermeersch, who passed out during a race last
Friday and had to be resuscitated by paramedics, was able to leave hospital
after spending the night there. It is still not clear what exactly happened
to him during the race.
Tommy Simpson's daughter to ride Mont Ventoux
Johanna Simpson, the daughter of deceased professional cyclist Tommy
Simpson, has left Gent for a cycling pilgrimage to Mont Ventoux, where
Tommy died 35 years ago. Johanna will climb the last five kilometres of
the legendary mountain a day after the Tour stage finishes there.
3rd 4 Bridges of Elgin International
The 4 Bridges of Elgin International on July 7 is the only race of its
kind in North America for U23 riders, featuring the largest prize list
($10,000) in the world for a UCI U23 race. Past winners include Charles
Dionne and Danny Pate, both of whom have had success as young professionals.
The 2002 4BE could be the best yet. Darby Thomas the 2002 Collegiate
National Champion with Wheelsworks / Cannondale will be part of an anticipated
20 team field. Currently 14 teams are registered including USA U-23 team,
Canadian National Team, Ontario Provincial, T.E.A.M. Team Mexico-Tecos,
Fuji, Saturn Development, Sierra Nevada, RealityBikes.com, and ISCorp.
Other featured races at the 4 bridges of Elgin include the USHF Handcycle
National Championships, and USCF Women and Masters races. Race day is
July 7 2002 in Elgin Illinois.
For more, see: www.4bridgesofelgin.com or call Chicago Special Events
Management, 773 868 3010 ext 234
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)