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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

News for June 24, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Vinokourov unsure about continuing Tour de Suisse

Telekom's Alexandre Vinokourov lost his second place on GC in the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse after he fell on the descent of the Sustenpass with approximately 35 kilometres to go in the stage. Up until that point, Vinokourov was looking like a real contender for the overall victory, only 6 seconds behind Zülle on the general classification. However his crash made him lose 19 minutes on the stage, and he slipped to 30th overall.

Vinokourov was taken to hospital for examination afterwards, and although nothing was broken he had severe abrasions to his right thigh and upper arm. Team director Mario Kummer said that he hopes he will ride tomorrow, but at this stage it's uncertain. With the Tour de France starting in two weeks, the team hopes that Vino is not too seriously hurt, as he is one of their key GC riders.

13th Giro d'Italia femminile presentation

Starting with a 2 kilometre prologue in Pontedera on Friday, July 5 is the 13th edition of the Giro d'Italia femminile, arguably the most prestigious race on the women's calendar. This year's Giro is run over 10 days and four regions (Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont and Lombardia), containing just one other time trial on Stage 6 in Suno (19.5 km). ,p> This marks a reduction in length from previous editions which have been run over 14 days. The decision to reduce the distance was made by Giuseppe Rivolta (Associclosportivi di Sovico) in conjunction with the O.G.C. (Organizzazione Gare Ciclistiche). Italian cycling federation president Giancarlo Ceruti approved of the change, saying that it would provide a spectacle without seriously affecting the health of the athletes.

Features of note during the race include the second stage from Peccioli to Peccioli (112 km), which is modeled on the Coppa Sabatini. The first mountain top finish is on Stage 3 from Lari to Cascina, with the next being on Stage 5 from Lesmo-Triuggio. The time trial on Stage 6 in Suno has an uphill finish too, and was used in 1997 for the Italian National Championships. The penultimate Stage 8 contains the climb of Villa Vergano, which could well prove decisive.

Favourites include multiple winner Fabiana Luperini (Edilsavino), Swiss rider Nicole Brändli (Acca Due O), Zinaida Stahurskaia (Usci Chirio), and Alessandra Cappellotto (Power Plate - Bik).

The stages

  • Prologue - July 5: Pontedera ITT 2 km
  • Stage 1 - July 6: Pontedera-Perignano di Lari, 128 km
  • Stage 2 - July 7: Peccioli-Peccioli, 112 km
  • Stage 3 - July 8: Lari-Cascina, 105 km
  • Stage 4 - July 9: Correggio-Correggio, 118 km
  • Stage 5 - July 10: Lesmo-Triuggio, 94 km
  • Stage 6 - July 11: Suno-Suno ITT, 19.5 km
  • Stage 7 - July 12: Meda-Meda, 122 km
  • Stage 8 - July 13: Barzago-Barzago, 101 km
  • Stage 9 - July 14: Solbiate Olona-Gorla Minore, 87.7 km

Total: 889.2 km

Alessandra Cappellotto excluded from Giro del Trentino

33 year old Italian Alessandra Cappellotto was excluded from the Giro del Trentino Alto Adige e Sud Tirolo before the final stage, after she was not available for hematocrit testing by the UCI on Sunday morning. Cappellotto had decided to stay at home overnight, and not in the team hotel.

The race was won by Fabiana Luperini for the fifth time, beating Swiss Nicole Brandli by 43 seconds and Bielorussian Zinaida Stahurskaia by 1'37.

Mapei riders Bodrogi, Petrov and Pozzato comment before national TT championships

Most of the European countries will be holding their national championships this week, which typically include a time trial and a road race, separated by a few days. In Hungary on Thursday, June 27 Mapei-Quick Step's Laszlo Bodrogi will be defending his title of Hungarian Time Trial Champion, and he has high hopes for winning it again as well as the road race.

"I am in good form but I'm still not at my peak," said Bodrogi. "However, I have my eyes on both of the National titles - time trial and the road race so that I can present myself at the Tour of France wearing the National Champion's jersey. It would be a great honour for me to be able to wear my Country's jersey at the Grande Boucle."

24 year-old Evgueni Petrov will be taking part in the Russian National Championships. Petrov won a stage and the final classification of the Tour of Slovenia this season, and is a favourite for the Russian championships. "The time trial is an exercise very much suited to me; I shall give my very best on Friday. Let's hope the result is a logical consequence of my trial," he said.

Italian Filippo Pozzato has already won 10 races this year for the Mapei espoirs team, and will contest the Italian time trial championships on June 25. He finished sixth last year and explained that, "Personally it gives me great satisfaction riding in the National Championships, an event that is very important for me. I am in good form after special specific training that I have been undergoing. This race is definitely one of my main objectives this season."

Vanhaecke out of form for Belgian championships

Last year's third place getter in the Belgian road championships, Michel Vanhaecke (Colnago-Lanbouwkrediet), says that he is "completely out of form" for next Sunday's race in Maldegem. "I've been very sick recently and am not consistent enough yet to do well. I am aiming more for the late season classics."

77th Giro di Romagna presentation

The Società Ciclistica "Francesco Baracca" has presented the 77th Giro della Romagna, which will take place on September 8 this year and is thus an important pre-test for the World Championships. The organisers have changed the parcours this year on the advice of Italian national technical director Franco Ballerini, winner of the race in 1991. It will be closer to the circuit in Zolder that will be used for the World's, and will not include the climb of Monte Trebbio.

The 194.5 kilometre race starts and finishes in Lugo di Romagna and contains three climbs of Monte Albano, with the last situated with 70 km to go.

Mike Reinhart named as honorary member of the U.S. Postal Service team

Philanthropist and cycling enthusiast Mike Reinhart will be named today as an honorary member of the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling team. The ceremony is happening as part of the 2nd day of a youth stage race that has been renamed the Nicole Reinhart Memorial FCCC race, after a donation from the Reinhart Foundation. Macungie native, Nicole Reinhart died on September 17, 2000 during an accident in the BMC Tour of Arlington. The Foundation, founded in her honour with the prize money she would have won, supports a variety of youth programs.

On Saturday, June 22, 125 children ages 10-18 competed in a time trial and road race. Sunday's criterium was held at the Rodale Cycling and Fitness Part, across the street from the Velodrome, in Trexlertown, PA.

No World Cup, but Whistler will host Mountain Bike Downhill on July 5

The cancellation of Grouse Mountain's World Cup downhill and 4 cross threatened to leave a big whole in the West Coast's MTB calendar for 2002. However, some fast work by Whistler Blackcomb, Joyride Productions and Freeride Entertainment has led to the organisation of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park Air Downhill to be held on July 5.

Sponsored by Kona, Marzocchi, Race Face and the Resort Municipality, the competition boasts $16,000 in prize money, and the organisers expect a good quality field to take part. Cedric Gracia (Fra), Kurt Vories (USA), Scott Beaumont (UK), Anne Caroline Chausson (Fra), Tracey Moseley (UK), and Mick Hannah (Aus) are already confirmed.

The Air Downhill will take place on Whistler Mountain Bike Park's most popular trail, A-line, which includes 1,200 feet of vertical and more than 60 man-made features.