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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

News for July 29, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Riis talking to Ullrich

After the news was announced on the weekend that Jan Ullrich would be suspended from racing for a period of six months (until March 23, 2002), Telekom announced that he could stay with them on the proviso that they didn't pay him until he started racing again. Ullrich earns over 1 million euros annually, and obviously this would be quite a pay cut, in addition to the various other fines that he's had to pay for his transgressions.

Ullrich has effectively been released from his contract until he and the team management can sit down and work things out. In the meantime, Ullrich's manager Wolfgang Strohband has had contacts with Jan's former teammate Bjarne Riis, who is now the head of the CSC-Tiscali team. Riis is looking to strengthen his team, which will lose Laurent Jalabert at the end of the season. Ullrich is a different rider to Jalabert, but combined with the other GC riders such as Tyler Hamilton and Carlos Sastre, CSC-Tiscali would be quite competitive in the next Tour.

At the moment, Wolfgang Strohband is attempting to get Telekom to pay Ullrich for his time off, and would only confirm that contacts have been made with Bjarne Riis. "Of course I would have him if he comes from Telekom freely, and there are no strings attached," said Riis.

"I briefly saw Strohband in the Tour. We exchanged a couple of words. Ullrich must be clear himself about whether he wants to become a cyclist again. Then he must organise his contract with Telekom. If he explains after that that he wants to come to the Riis team, we would discuss it."

With the retirement/non contract renewal of Kevin Livingston, Jens Heppner and others, Telekom has some spare cash to invest into another potential Grand Tour winner. Oscar Sevilla and Paolo Savoldelli have both been mentioned.

Boogerd to get married a week earlier

Michael Boogerd will marry his girlfriend Nerena Ruinemans on December 7, 2003, a week earlier than originally planned. The main reason was that it was difficult to find a suitable location for a reception at that time. The marriage will take place in Roosendaal.

Celebrity Chase at New York City Cycling Championship

Six-time Major League Baseball All-Star, Keith Hernandez, Olympic gold medalist Jeff Blatnick, Olympic silver medalist Nelson Vails, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Harold Varmus and radio personality Mark F. Farrell will race for a cause through Lower Manhattan in the Celebrity Chase leading into the New York City Cycling Championship presented by BMC Software on August 4.

"The goal of the inaugural Celebrity Chase...is to expand in the future to benefit more local non-profit organizations and help promote the sport of cycling," said Dave Chauner, president of Threshold Sports (race organisers).

Nelson Vails, who won the silver medal in the 1000-meter cycling match sprint at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles said that "I haven't raced on the streets of New York since the mid-1980s so I am extremely excited to participate in this historic occasion. I have always loved New York and having the ability to help Dress for Success the best way I know how is a real honour for me."

Six to eight celebrities have been invited to participate in the one-mile race held just prior to the New York City Cycling Championship, which features four time Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong. Each participant in the Celebrity Chase will be representing their own designated charity and race for prize monies on the same course Lance Armstrong and others will ride that same day. Organizers are hoping to raise at least $25,000 in prize money.

Spanish selection for European U23 championships

Men

Unai Elorriaga (Euskadi/Baqué)
David López (Euskadi/Baqué)
Moisés Dueñas (Castilla y León/Cropusa)
Pablo de Pedro (Castilla y León/Cropusa)
Alberto Contador (Madrid/Wurth ONCE)
Juan José Cobo (Madrid/Wurth ONCE)
David de la Fuente (Cantabria/Saunier Duval)
Luis Pérez (Madrid/Saunier Duval)

Women

Arantzazu Azpiroz (Euskadi)
Maia Escolar (Euskadi)
Moreno (Aragón)
Leticia Gil (Madrid)
Patricia Roel (Galicia)

The championships will take place from August 2-4

Davy's Excellent Adventure

The story of Davy Gardiner of the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Cycling team

By Andy Layhe, Apollo Cycling Team

After a 17 year absence from the sport, Davy Gardiner began training once again after a serious cycling accident in his early twenties put halt to a promising career. It is a remarkable comeback story for the lurgan cyclist who has managed to return to the top of the sport.

38 year old Davy, who lives in Magheralin, is no stranger to top flight cycle racing. Amazingly he was selected for the 1982 Games in Brisbane 20 years ago, and his selection this time around shows the commitment, dedication and many hours of training that he has put in to reach the top level of this arduous sport once again. He managed to finish a magnificent 8th place in the Games that year and feels he was capable of a medal, but mechanical problems that forced him to change bikes four times during the last two laps quashed any hopes of top honours.

Davy's selection for the 2002 Commonwealth Games means that he has come full circle. But there have been many ups and downs in his years of top level cycling. He began cycling at the age of 11 after being introduced to the sport through his father Charlie, himself a keen racing cyclist. Davy's first race was a 10 mile time trial, clocking a time of 33.05; and from that point on, he was hooked on the sport.

The highlight of the 1981 season was winning the last stage of the Tour of Ireland in Phoenix Park and also taking the points classification - aged only 19 and showing maturity beyond his years. No sooner was the 1981 season over before Davy resumed hard training in preparation for the following season.

1982 was a great success for Davy. He finished eighth in the Commonwealth Games, second in the Viking Trophy in the Isle of Man, third overall in the Tour of Ireland (winning two stages in the process) and was selected for the Irish team to ride the World Championships at Goodwood, England. Other successes included the Tour of Armagh Classic, and travelling to the Coors Classic in Colorado, USA, to compete alongside America's finest cyclists. To cap off a great season, he broke the Irish 10 mile time trial record with a time of 21.21.

The 1983 season went along a similarly successful path with numerous victories, with the honour of being the highest placed English speaking rider at the 1983 World Championships in Switzerland.

1984 was to be the most eventful in Davy's career. He was selected to ride the Milk Race in England, a prestigious week-long stage race on the international calendar, which many of Europe's top cyclists participated in. He placed third in the mountain time trial stage; a remarkable result, and he then went on to do very well in the event. His main goal was to gain selection for the Olympics in Los Angeles.

As part of the preparation for this, Davy opted to ride the RAS, another week long stage race with a high class international field. But early in the race Davy was involved in a major crash that left him with a fractured skull. This ruled him out of the Olympic Games team and it proved to be the biggest disappointment of his career. At the end of 1984, after receiving many weeks intense treatment Davy decided to hang up his racing wheels to concentrate on his career and family. He decided to move to North London to study and returned to Northern Ireland in 1987 to take up a post as Youth Worker in Belfast - helping people in a cross community-based scheme where he is still based today.

During the winter of 2000/2001, Davy realised that the Commonwealth Games were to be held in Manchester in 2002. He joined Apollo Cycling Team, based in Lurgan, bought himself a new bike that prompted him to make a steady return to training once again, and gradually clocked up the miles in those bleak winter months come rain or shine.

He had a series of good results last year, but the lack of racing over the years meant that he had to be patient. He continued training and racing all season and began his serious training in January of this year with his mind firmly set on Commonwealth Games selection.

By the start of the season in April Davy had clocked up almost 3500 miles, enough to put him in top shape for the selection races throughout April, May and June. He impressed the selectors with a string of top placings to gain selection, and his vast wealth of experience will surely be of benefit to himself and fellow Games team-mates.

Davy is a very focussed man and is realistic of his chances in the race: "I don't think I will be returning with a medal, but you never know how you will be feeling on the day, cycling is a very tough sport and can throw many surprises, especially over the duration of a 100 mile race." Davy could well fourth child that same weekend. Apollo Cycling Team, and local cyclists alike, would like to wish Davy every success for the race and congratulations on a wonderful seasson to date.

 

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