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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

News for June 14, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Kelme confident that Tour will be a success

The financially embattled Kelme-Costa Blanca team is hoping to make it through its current crisis, pay all its riders what they are owed and contest the Tour de France. The team's general manager, Joan Mas, gave an interview with, in which he promised that these things will occur.

"Pepé Quiles has confirmed it, everything will be in order for the Tour de France. We will not have another sponsor in place of Kelme-Costa Blanca. The riders will receive their back pay and we will animate the Tour as necessary."

Mas named Santiago Botero, Oscar Sevilla, Jose Enrique Gutierrez, Antonio Tauler, Francisco Cabello, Angel Vidal, José Manual Cuenca and Santiago Perez as the basis of their Tour team, with a ninth rider to be decided. "We will take the start to win, as in all sporting competitions. We want to be aggressive, take the initiative, be at the front and the teams classification shouldn't be forgotten."

The team also wishes to go for the white jersey of best young rider with Santi Perez.

It's unlikely that Kelme will remain as head sponsor next year, "In all probability, another sponsor will take the place of Kelme."

FCI president Ceruti wants to continue fight against doping

Italian Cycling Federation president Giancarlo Ceruti has declared that "we will continue the fight against doping" in the wake of another Giro d'Italia overshadowed by drug cases. Ceruti made his comments at the official presentation of the Italian National Championships on Wednesday.

"Cycling, like every sport, is going through a phase at the moment that is undoubtedly negative," he said. "But our battle against doping, against a phenomenon that has taken root in our sport for a long time, continues and will not stop until we have conquered it."

Ceruti added that "This is however a battle that is not restricted to our boundaries, but stretches to all of Europe and to other nations. If we start to beat doping, the others will also succeed."

Ceruti also commented on the Saeco exclusion from the Tour de France after what happened with Simoni in the Giro. Since then, certain Italian teams have called for an Italian boycott of the Tour.

"It seems to me that there is not a unity of purpose between our professional teams, and their true objectives are for themselves. With regard to the Saeco case there is little to say: every stage race, including the Tour de France, has its clear regulations. Saeco had not obtained the results to qualify automatically, but made use of an invitation that was revoked, in accordance with the Tour regulations after what happened with Simoni. Certainly having one of our teams excluded from a race as prestigious as the French couldn't be anything but bad for me."

Ceruti also said that he has contacted the French and Spanish federations with the view to meeting the organisers of the major stage races (Giro, Tour Vuelta), "To see whether it is possible to change the rules to make sure that the teams with the best results get invited."

CAS to decide on Vandenbroucke case on June 27

In 11 days time, Frank Vandenbroucke will know whether he will be allowed to race before September 21, when his six month suspension is due to finish. VDB was suspended by the Belgian cycling federation for possession of banned drugs, but appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to get the sanction reduced. The CAS will announce its decision on June 24. Three days later VDB will have to front the disciplinary commission of the Flemish Government, to answer more questions relating to the affair.

In the meantime, Vandenbroucke has been training regularly on a fixed gear bike, and is confident that he will return to racing at the top level again.

Courier firm drives new team in Sydney

By Gerard Knapp
The FRF Couriers/Fuji Bikes team
Photo: © Jeffrey Barrett
Click for larger image

This week saw the launch of the 2002 FRF Couriers/Fuji Bikes Cycling Team at the Sydney headquarters of FRF Couriers. The riders were introduced by the team's race director and Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist Brett Dutton, who said the emphasis of the team was not "about only about results, but helping to develop young riders".

The team for 2002 features a number of up and coming riders as well as more experienced riders with considerable achievements. The team's principal sponsor is a Sydney-based courier firm owned and run by brothers Frank and Rocky Fortuna.

At the launch Dutton explained the original idea for the team came from a conversation he had with Frank Fortuna last year, when he was about to purchase a new bicycle, and "I said that if he was willing to spend that much money on a new bike, then he should sponsor a team", Dutton recalled.

"Frank has shown a great commitment to the sport, and in his life," said cycling identity Bob Hampshire, invited to address the guests at the launch. Fortuna migrated to Australia with his parents when he was nine, and started his courier business with his brother in 1987 with one truck. FRF now has over 100 employees and is growing rapidly.

The team was started in 2001 following a request from Gary Sutton, NSW Institute of Sport Head Cycling Coach and National Junior Coach, to enter a team in the 50th Anniversary Herald Sun Tour 2001 in association with NSW Institute of Sport. The Sun Tour has special significance for Sutton, who won it in 1984.

With a roster of talented riders on matching white and yellow Fuji bikes, team clothing and race support vehicles, the team is expected to become a force in the local road season.

The riders include:

Dan Smith (team captain), 29, Australian National Club Road Champion;
Brendan Shipp, 24, second in the National Club Championship, 4th National Criterium Championship;
Troy Glennan, 20, second U23 Time Trial Championship;
Warren Scott, 17, third U19 National Championship, U19 Pursuit Champion
Christine Riakos, 23, third in the National Women's Championship;
Kate Nichols, 17, first U19 National Time Trial and National Road Champion;
Steve Williams, 29, 2001 Australian National Road Champion;
Luke Barrett, 14, first U15 NSW State Pursuit Champion;
Nick Wood, 24, won King of the Mountains classification in the Hornsby-Swansea road race;
Ben Brooks, 22, formerly with the Linda McCartney professional team and ninth in the National Road Championship and 2002 Australian Madison champion;
Natasha Harrigan, 25, plus a number of under 17 riders from NSW Country areas, including Christopher Pascoe, who secured fourth in the Australian U19 individual pursuit at the recent nationals.

The team will work in association with the NSW Institute of Sport and the St George Cycling Club. Both organisations have produced elite cyclists who have won events ranging from gold medals in the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, World Championships to major and minor events throughout Australia. The St George Cycling Club currently has over 200 riders and 75 of those are under 17 years of age.

The team's support staff include a group of people with over 100 years of combined racing experience, such as race director Dutton, a 1986 Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist, 1988 Olympic Bronze Medallist and Multiple National Champion. Supporting Dutton will be team manager Anthony Flynn, who managed teams in the Herald Sun Tour, the Commonwealth Bank Cycle Classic and NSW representative teams, as well as Stuart Baker, a former State Champion and team mechanic Daniel McDonald.

The 2002 season will see the team compete in events such as all races on the NSW Cycling calendar, the Herald-Sun Tour, the Skilled Geelong Bay Criterium Series in January 2003, the Grafton-Inverell 228km one-day classic in September, the Goulburn to Sydney road race, one of the oldest bicycle races in the world, and the Perth Criterium Series, a series of twilight races in the café districts of Perth, Western Australia.

US Masters Track Nationals moved to Colorado Springs

USA Cycling has announced that the 2002 U.S. Cycling Federation's (USCF) Masters National Track Cycling Championships scheduled for August 6-10 has been moved to the 7-Eleven Velodrome in Colorado Springs. The event was moved from The Superdrome in Frisco, TX due to unsafe riding conditions reported in May.

USA Cycling National Events Director Eric Moore said that "relocating the event to Colorado Springs made the most logistical and financial sense...We've chosen to keep the event schedule exactly the same, including the race dates, and have pushed back the registration deadline one week to Tuesday, July 30."

USA Cycling will partner with the Colorado Velodrome Association to assist in the day-to-day operations in preparation for the event. CVA Vice-president Kevin Knapp [no relation] commented that "We're really excited to have Master's Nationals here. It will require a lot of effort on all fronts throughout the summer, but we feel we can put on as good an event as if we had a year to plan for it."

USAC also announced that in 2003, the Masters National Track Championships will be held at the Kenosha Velodrome in Wisconsin.

Memorial fund and ride for Louisiana cyclists

The death of two cyclists in Louisiana yesterday has left the Baton Rouge cycling community in shock. During a training race on River Road on June 11, a pickup truck crossed the centerline into a group of 40 riders, killing two and injuring five more. One of them, Steve Seiden, was an assistant professor at LSU. Had he survived, he would have witnessed the birth of his son, Benjamin Richard Seiden, who was born on June 12.

One of Steven's colleagues from Louisiana State University has set up a memorial fund at to help his wife and newborn son.

The other cyclist who died was Timmy Cappo, who was 17 years old. For more information about Steve and Timmy, please visit the Baton Rouge Cycling Club's website.

A memorial ride has been set for Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. Riders will begin at Farr Park on River Road and head south.

Meath Grand Prix preview

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

The Meath Grand Prix cycling event, which is part of the Classic series, believe it or not goes head to head with the Ireland/Spain World Cup fixture on Sunday. The event is a long-standing race on the Irish cycling calendar for many years, but those who drew up the calendar must have been unaware of a clash. Without doubt the football will win outright but the event goes ahead with a start time of quarter past one.

Because of its status as a Classic, the organisers, the Navan/ Avonmore Club have selected a new course, which will certainly test those who are in search of a win. It will be over three laps of a 28-mile undulating course, which should sort out the men from the boys.

Philip Cassidy, a former winner of the event, has to be highly regarded because of his form of late. Also his team Cycleways-Lee Strand are certainly stringing results together recently. Adrian Hederamnn and Aidan Crowley have won races in the recent days, which have by all accounts buoyed up the team.

Last year's winner Eugene Moriarty also of Cycleways because of his fine showing in the recent FBD Milk Ras must also be one to watch. In the past few weeks, competitors who participated in the Ras have been getting results, which go to prove that tough competition pays dividends.

Laurence Roche won the Dunboyne Three-Day, Brian Taaffe was a winner in Dunlavin, Tommy Evans was in scintillating form last Sunday in the Noel Taggart and both Crowley and Hedermann who have also recorded wins were the ones who benefited most from the Ras.

The start and finish is on the Slane Road with the sign-on and presentation will be at the Navan Rugby Club. The organisers have made a special appeal to the motorists and pedestrians to be extra careful on the circuit, specifically around the Kingscourt Road and Slane areas.

I have a feeling that unfortunately spectators will be thin on the ground but hopefully by the time the race is scheduled to finish the numbers should increase. Also a special word of thanks has to go to the sponsors, Premier Jewellers for their generous sponsorship of the senior race.