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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

News for July 4, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Sevilla and Botero will lead Kelme

Kelme-Costa Blanca team leader Vicente Belda has chosen his nine men for the Tour de France. Led by Spaniard Oscar Sevilla and Colombian Santiago Botero, the team also contains Francisco Cabello, José Javier Gomez Gozalo, José Enrique Gutierrez, Santiago Perez Fernandez, Antonio Tauler, José Angel Vidal Martinez and Constantino Zaballa Contierrez.

Botero is one of the few men to have beaten Armstrong in a time trial in recent weeks (the other being Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano), and Sevilla is always a threat in the mountains, and has improved his time trialling abilities.

Ag2r replaces Paumier with Loder after corticosteroid positive

French team Ag2r-Prevoyance has made a last minute substitution to its selection for the upcoming Tour. Thierry Loder will ride in place of Laurent Paumier, who tested positive for corticosteroids in the Midi Libre. Paumier, riding for St Quentin Oktos at the time, won the final stage of that race but when tested, traces of corticosteroids were found in his urine.

Paumier explained that had taken an oral does of corticosteroids to help recover from a bout of bronchitis before the Midi Libre. He had permission to do so from his doctor, and it was noted in his health book. However, according to French law he did not have the right to take corticosteroids.

He was due to debut with Ag2r at the Tour de France, but team boss Vincent Lavenu was forced to suspend him until the affair is resolved by the French Cycling Federation, who have opened an investigation into it.

The UCI changed its rules on May 1 to allow all forms of corticosteroids to be used, providing there was therapeutic justification given. However, the rules remain stricter in France.

More Tour teams

Jean Delatour continues

The French division I team Jean Delatour will continue through 2003, announced sponsoring company president Jean-Pierre Frety. The team will continue with the same budget (2.9 million euros) but will reduced its roster to 16 riders from 19.

"This will allow us to readjust certain salaries," said Frety who added that "Our participation in the Tour de France 2002 truly saved the team...If we had not been able to participate in the Grand Boucle, I don't think that I could have announced this news today."

British Milk Race to be relaunched?

Plans were outlined yesterday for a possible relaunch of the Milk Race, the international cycle race held in Britain which for 36 years was sponsored by the dairy industry and organised by the Milk Marketing Board.

Farmers and dairy representatives at the Royal Show at Stoneleigh, near Coventry, heard that the 14-day race, last run in 1993, already had the support of the Sports Council, M.P.s from the main parties, and several sections of the industry. The required budget is estimated at between £1m and £1.5m, and the Sports Council has said that start-up funding of 35 per cent may be available.

Milk Race Ltd, the company behind the relaunch, sought additional support from farmers attending the Royal Show. "They were encouraging. My next move is to seek guarantees from companies of financial backing, if the race goes ahead, I'll be," said Allin Bewes, a Milk Race Ltd director who farms in North Devon.

He sees the race as a major opportunity for British farming to improve its image and bring "a feel-good" factor back to the countryside after the ravages of foot and mouth.

Mark Gornall, a Lancashire dairy farmer who competed in three Milk Races, said: "This is just what we want to publicise the farmers' cause, and it’s good, too, for British cycling which badly needs a prestigious race. "I have ridden all over the world, and the Milk Race is definitely the best organised."

Gornall, riding for Great Britain, won the Kettering to Leicester stage of the 1991 race.

The Milk Race originated from the Tour of Britain which first ran in 1951, and in 1958 was taken over by the Milk Marketing Board. Industry deregulation brought about the break up of the Board and that, in 1993, signalled the end of the race and one of the longest-running sports sponsorships.

British professional Chris Lillywhite won the final Milk Race which for many years had been highly rated for its organisation and promotion by competing nations such as Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, and the United States.

Verona 2004 starts today

The organisers of the 2004 World Road Championships in Verona started their preparations for "Mondiali Ciclismo 2004" on Wednesday, July 3. Verona is no stranger to the World's, having hosted them in 1999 when they were a big success.

The president of "Mondiali Ciclismo 2004" is local entrepreneur Giovanni Rana, who today announced the 10 companies that make up the organisation: Agenzia Europlan, AIA - Agricola Italiana Alimentare, Gardaland, Impresa Edile Lonardi, Index, Maxi-Di, Pastificio Rana, Pellini Caffè, Pentax, and RPM. Rana also introduced some of the board of directors: vice-president Bruno Veronesi, managing director Gianluca Rana, general coordinator Agostino Omini and technical coordinator Battista Cailotto.

Mr Omini, supported by Mr Cailotto, will coordinate the organization of the World Championships. He has had 14 years experience directing the Federazione Ciclistica Italiana, has been awarded the Ordine Olimpico by Juan Antonio Samaranch and Gianluca Rana "firmly believes that there are not any cycling managers like him in Italy."

Some of the scheduled events over the next two years include a presentation gala during the 2003 World Championships in Canada, appointments for Veronese students, a publication about the history of the World Championships and a lot of additional events.

Radical Vuelta plan postponed until 2003

Unipublic has postponed until 2003 its soccer World Cup inspired plan to have two pelotons "play off" against each other in the first week of the Vuelta Espana. The idea was to select the best nine teams from each peloton over the first seven stages, then combine them for the remainder of the race. It would therefore turn the Vuelta into a three week race with a one week qualifying period.

The idea was approved by the UCI, but there was not unanimous support for it, especially from the teams, some of whom vetoed it completely. Unipublic's desire was to improve the spectacle and public interest in the race, but they felt they could not do this without the support of everyone. In addition, Tour de France boss Jean-Marie Leblanc has already said that he would not introduce such a plan for the Tour.

FCI-Mapei school will continue

Despite the withdrawal of Mapei from professional cycling, the project between it and the Italian Cycling Federation to support a "school of cycling" will go ahead. Today, FCI head Giancarlo Ceruti consigned to Novi Ligure the bicycles for the young riders involved in the "Terre dei Campionissimi" promotion.

Philippe Gilbert to La Française des Jeux

20 year old Belgian rider Philippe Gilbert (ABX-Go Pass) will turn pro next year with the Francaise des Jeux team.

Van Dooren will leave BankGiroLoterij

Dutch mountain biker-turned-roadie Bas van Dooren will have to leave his current team of BankGiroLoterij at the end of the season. According to team manager Arend Scheppink he could not successfully make the transition from MTB to road, unlike some of his peers (Evans, Landis, Rasmussen). That means that there is a possibility that he will ride the European and World MTB championships this year.

Scheppink has several riders under his wing already for next year, including Bart Voskamp, Rudi Kemna, Rik Reinerink, Bert Hiemstra, Jan van Velzen, Bram Schmitz and Gerben Löwik. Others interested in joining the team include Jans Koerts (Domo), Patrick Jonker (BigMat), Matthé Pronk and Mart Louwers (both Rabobank).

Veneberg extends with Rabobank

24 year old Thorwald Veneberg has extended his contract with the Rabobank team for another two years, according to ANP. The team hopes to develop the talented Amsterdam rider into a good stage racer, after his performances in the Giro d'Italia 2002 and Vuelta Espana 2001. Although he won't be part of Rabobank's team in this year's Tour, there is a fair chance that he will ride in 2003.

Interest in Fertonani

After his strong showing in the mountains during the Tour de Suisse, it seems that two Italian Division I Teams (inc. Alessio) and one French Team are interested in the neo pro, who currently rides for Team Phonak

McGrory and Gilmore correction

In July 3 news it was reported that Australian/Belgian pair Scott McGrory and Matthew Gilmore will ride for RDM-Flanders next year, after their current team Mapei-Quick Step is folding due to the head sponsor pulling out. The appeal being that RDM-Flanders will support them totally with their Six Day commitments. However, they are currently discussing contracts with other larger teams and no decision has yet been made.

Dutch selection for European championships

National U23 coach Johan Lammerts and women's coach Herman Snoeijink have selected their teams for the European Championships in Bergamo (August 2-4).

U23 Men

Time Trial: Rick Flens (Van Vliet-Gazelle), Jens Mouris, Mart Louwers (Rabobank)

Road Race: Theo Eltink, Mart Louwers, Joost Posthuma, Niels Scheuneman, Pieter Weening (Rabobank), Mathieu Heijboer and David Orvalho (Tegeltoko).


Time Trial: Josephine Groenveld, Vera Koedooder, Bertine Spijkerman (National Team)

Road Race: Minke van Dongen, Sharon van Essen, Areke Hassink, Esther van der Helm, Vera Koedooder, Pleuni Mohlmann, Adrie Visser and Jaccolien Wallaard (all National Team)

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