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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

News for July 2, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Lotto-Domo to go ahead

It's finally official that the merger between the Lotto and Domo teams will take place for next season. Both sponsors together with Belgian Minister for Business Concerns Rik Daems made the announcement today (July 1) in Brussels. The name of the team will be Lotto-Domo.

The structure will be similar to the current Mapei-Quick Step and Rabobank setups, with a strong division I team containing 25 riders, a division III squad of young riders, and a junior team. The team will have a minimum budget of 5 million euros, with approximately equal contributions from the National Lottery and carpet company Domo. There is also the possibility that ABX Logistics will continue its involvement, meaning that the budget could go up to 6.25 million euros.

Current Domo manager Patrick Lefevere will be the sporting manager of the new team, while Christophe Sercu will be the team's financial manager. One of the questions that is being asked is whether the two will cooperate, given that Sercu's power will be reduced in the new squad.

The next question is which riders will stay, given that there are approximately 50 riders between the two teams at the moment. Four Domo riders have contracts for 2003 (Van Bon, Virenque, Van Goolen, Vanthourenhout) and will stay within the team; Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto) is certain to stay; and there are six other Lotto riders who have a preliminary agreement with the new team. Within the next two weeks, decisions will be made about the remainder of the staff and riders.

The bikes that the team will ride have also yet to be determined. With the strong involvement of Eddy Merckx in the team, it's quite possible that they will be riding Merckx bikes instead of Litespeed, but this too will require another two weeks before a decision is made.

More Tour teams decided

The composition of the teams for the Tour de France has now all but been decided, with just a few days before the medical testing takes place in Luxembourg. The following have been confirmed today, after the national championships. Sandy Casar, Jimmy Casper, Baden Cooke, Jacky Durand, Frédéric Guesdon, Bradley McGee, Christophe Mengin, Jean-Cyril Robin, Nicolas Vogondy (French Champion)

Euskaltel-Euskadi: David Etxebarria, Haimar Zubeldia, Roberto Laiseka, Iban Mayo, Unai Etxebarria, Samuel Sánchez, Gorka Gonzalez, Gorka Arrizabalaga, Igor Flores.

Fassa Bortolo: Fabio Baldato, Ivan Basso, Wladimir Belli, Volodimir Gustov, Serguei Gontchar, Serguei Ivanov, Nicola Loda, Oscar Pozzi, Marco Velo

Cofidis: David Millar, Daniel Atienza, Inigo Cuesta, Bingen Fernandez, Andrei Kivilev, Massimiliano Lelli, Nico Mattan, David Moncoutié, Cédric Vasseur. Reserves: Dimitri Fofonov, Claude Lamour

For more Tour teams, please check our start list, which is regularly updated.

De Waele in for Mapei as Cańada forced out of the Tour

Fabien De Waele has been given a last minute reprieve to start in Mapei's Tour de France team, due to the unfortunate crash of David Cańada in yesterday's Spanish championships. Cańada dislocated his left shoulder in the fall, and will undergo special tests to confirm the diagnosis.

De Waele was disappointed at not being selected initially, but gave his all in the Belgian championships to help his friend Tom Steels take a remarkable victory. After the race he commented that "In the Belgian championships I have shown what I am worth to a sprinter. Maybe Tom can still do something for me to get a start in the Tour."

Kurt Van de Wouwer out of Lotto's Tour team

Kurt Van de Wouwer has dropped from the Lotto-Adecco Tour team and has been replaced by Thierry Marichal according to Belgian teletekst. Team management announced this the day after the national titles, and Van de Wouwer was understandably disappointed. "With the Giro and the Dauphiné Libéré in my legs I thought to be able to ride a good Tour. Therefore this is a slap in my face. I was convinced that many inside the team supported me, but now they don't dare to open their mouths any more," he said.

The team is now: Robbie McEwen, Thierry Marichal, Christophe Brandt, Guennadi Mikhailov, Mario Aerts, Aart Vierhouten, Serge Baguet, Hans De Clercq and Rik Verbrugghe.

Latest UCI rankings

Following the Tours of Switzerland and Catalunya and the European National Championships, the UCI has updated its world rankings lists. Erik Zabel (Telekom) seems to have secured the number one spot for the time being, and the main change in the top 10 is that Paolo Bettini (Mapei) has once again overtaken Lance Armstrong (USPS) for second place. Armstrong did not contest the Tour de Suisse this year (which he won last year), so he lost any points gained due to the one year rolling tally of the UCI rankings.

This year's Tour de Suisse winner was Team Coast's Alex Zülle, who has enjoyed good form all year and is now up to 14th place (from 57th). Combined with Aitor Garmendia and Luis Perez's good performances in Catalunya, Team Coast has rocketed up the first division rankings to fourth place. While that has no effect on their Tour de France selection this year, it will probably do for next year if they can hold a high position and therefore automatically qualify.

Other riders to move up the scale include Italian TT champion and runner up in the road race Dario Frigo (Tacconi, 38th - 17th); Route du Sud winner Levi Leipheimer (Rabobank, 30th - 21st); Volta a Catalunya winner Roberto Heras (USPS, 79th - 31st); runner up in the Tour de Suisse Piotr Wadecki (Domo, 100th - 59th); runner up in Catalunya Aitor Garmendia (Team Coast, 94th - 69th); and the various national champions, notably Spanish champ Juan Carlos Guillamon (Jazztel, 988th - 317th).

The UCI also has a scale for the best rider since January 1 (rather than the best rider over the past 12 months), and Mario Cipollini (Acqua e Sapone) leads this with 1,134 points, followed closely by Erik Zabel on 1077 points and Alex Zülle on 1005 points. Zabel needs just one Tour de France stage win to overtake Cipollini as the number one rider of 2002.

Rankings as of June 30, 2002


1 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom                       2,567.00 pts
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                2,062.20
3 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service             1,841.00
4 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                          1,770.00
5 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo            1,637.00
6 Jan Ullrich (Ger) Team Telekom                      1,480.00
7 Oscar Sevilla Ribera (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca       1,426.00
8 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step           1,323.75
9 Juan Miguel Mercado Martin (Spa)       1,232.00
10 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Adecco                   1,183.75
11 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo 1,134.00
12 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                 1,068.00
13 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole                   1,047.50
14 Alex Zülle (Swi) Team Coast                        1,026.00
15 Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col) Kelme-Costa Blanca 1,018.00
16 Fernando Escartin Coti (Spa) Team Coast            1,000.00
17 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi               995.00
18 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Team CSC Tiscali              989.00
19 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Index Alexia                  963.00
20 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step              958.20

Best riders of 2002

1 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo  1,134.00 pts
2 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom                       1,077.00
3 Alex Zülle (Swi) Team Coast                         1,005.00
4 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi                995.00
5 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Index Alexia                   953.00
6 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                  905.00
7 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Lotto-Adecco                      898.75
8 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo              874.00
9 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service               796.00
10 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                 755.75


Division I

1 Mapei-Quick Step                                    6,169.75 pts
2 Fassa Bortolo                                       4,520.00
3 Lotto-Adecco                                        4,392.25
4 Team Coast                                          4,282.00
5 Cofidis                                             3,949.00
6                                        3,799.75
7 Team Telekom                                        3,597.00
8 Rabobank                                            3,537.00
9 Alessio                                             3,365.00
10 Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo                       3,156.00

Division II

1 EDS-fakta                                           2,321.00 pts
2 Bankgiroloterij-Batavus                             1,550.00
3 Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo                            1,176.00
4 Landbouwkrediet-Colnago                             1,123.00
5 Palmans-Collstrop                                   1,079.00

Full rankings

National champions

The past weekend saw Europe hold its national road championships, as is customary a week prior to the Tour de France. The following table (with a few exceptions) lists all the national champions that were decided last weekend. More updates will be made in the coming days.

               Men                                  Women
Austria        Rene Haselbacher (Gerolsteiner)   Isabella Wieser (Charly Lietzsport)
Belgium        Tom Steels (Mapei)
Croatia        Massimo Demarin
Czech Republic Ondrej Fadrny (De Nardi)
Denmark        Michael Sandstod (CSC-Tiscali)    Lisbeth Simper (Lolland Falster)
Estonia        Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r-Prevoyance)
Finland        Jukka Heinikainen (TWD-Länken)    Pia Sundstedt (GIF, Kokkola)
France         Nicolas Vogondy (      Magali Le Floch (Champagne-Ardenne)
Germany        Danilo Hondo (Telekom)            Judith Arndt (Saturn)
Great Britain  Julian Winn (Pinarello RT)
Ireland        Mark Scanlon (VC la Pomme)        Geraldine Gill (VC Quintin)
Italy          Salvatore Commesso (Saeco)        Rosalisa Lapomarda (Team 2K2)
Kazakhstan     Dmitriy Muravyev (Mapei Espoirs)
Latvia         Raivis Belohvosciks (Lampre)     
Lithuania      Remigius Lupeikis (Mroz)
Luxembourg     Christian Poos (Marlux)           Danielle Lentz (Velo Woolz)
Norway         Kurt-Asle Arvesen (EDS-fakta)     Anita Valen (Skien SK)  
Netherlands    Stefan van Dijk (Lotto-Adecco)    Arenda Grimberg (Farm Frites-Hartol)
Poland         Grzegorz Gronkiewicz (Weltour) 
Portugal       Rui Lavarinhas (Maia-Milaneza-MSS)
Russia         Oleg Grichkine (Navigators)       Svetlana Boubnenkova (Izhevsk)
Slovakia       Martin Riska (ZP Sport Podbrezova)Zlatica Gavláková (Paríz)
Slovenia       Boris Premuzic (PP-Krka Telekom)
Spain          Juan Carlos Guillamon (Jazztel)   Arantzazu Azpiroz (Vasca)
Sweden         Stefan Adamsson (Team Coast)      Natalie Visser (Team Mälarenergi CK) 
Switzerland    Alexandre Moos (Phonak)           Nicole Brändli (Acca Due O)
Ukraine        Oleksandr Klymenko (Mroz)

Dutch U23 champion in national team for European championships

The winner of the Dutch U23 championships on Saturday, Pieter Weening, has been added to the national team to compete in the European championships in Bergamo in August. He will compete in the road race on August 4 along with Theo Eltink, Mart Louwers, Joost Posthuma, Niels Scheuneman, Mathieu Heijboer and David Orvalho. The time trial on August 2 will see Rick Flens, Jens Mouris and Mart Louwers compete for the Netherlands.

Sosenka declared winner of Peace Race; Szonn also non-negative

Czech cyclist Ondrej Sosenka (CCC-Polsat) has been declared the winner of the 2002 Peace Race, after his Polish teammate Piotr Przydzial was stripped of his title following a positive drug test for EPO. Both Przydzial's A and B samples showed signs of the banned drug, and he could face a two year ban as a result.

In addition, German cyclist Heiko Szonn (Team Cologne) has tested 'non-negative' to ephedrine after a control taken after he won the fifth stage of the Peace Race on May 14. Szonn has asked for a counter analysis, and if this also reveals traces of ephedrine then he will most likely be sanctioned by the German federation.

New York City Cycling Championship on TV

WABC-TV, Channel 7, will broadcast live the New York City Cycling Championship on Sunday, August 4, according to Dave Chauner, president of Threshold Sports. The race will see the likes of Lance Armstrong and Marty Nothstein in attendance, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center will be the official charity of the event.

"Lance Armstrong and some of the world's top pros going head-to-head promises to be a television spectacle for all New Yorkers as the race is broadcast live on ABC and on the Jumbrotron in Times Square," said Scott Simensky, General Sales Manager for WABC-TV.

The race, which takes place a week after the Tour de France finishes, is a 100 kilometre criterium around a 1.6 km circuit in Lower Manhattan (start/finish at Wall & Water Streets). It's expected that 60-70 pros will take part, and the event will also feature a pro women's race, the BMC Corporate Challenge, Celebrity Chase and other special events.

Correction: Mazzoleni not implicated

In yesterday's (July 1) edition of news it was reported that Eddy Mazzoleni (Tacconi Sport) was implicated along with Daniele De Paoli (Alessio) in a doping affair. That was not the case, as Mazzoleni wasn't in De Paoli's car that was stopped by Italian police last week near the Italo-Swiss border, where they found EPO, Growth Hormone, Androderm, Testosterone and Synacten. This wasn't made clear in the initial communique. Mazzoleni passed by on the same road two hours later and was also stopped by police, who only found Bentelan, an allergy treatment that Mazzoleni had medical authorisation to use.

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