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Photo ©: Swift

News for June 27, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Rabobank for the Tour

Rabobank manager Jaan Raas has chosen a team for the Tour de France, which begins on July 6 in Luxembourg. Led by Levi Leipheimer, Michael Boogerd and Erik Dekker, the team has plenty of ambitions for the general classification. The other six members are Grischa Niermann, Beat Zberg, Marc Wauters, Karsten Kroon, Addy Engels, and Bram de Groot. Marc Lotz will be the reserve.

After his win in the Route du Sud yesterday, Levi Leipheimer is looking forward to his first Tour de France. Leipheimer was contracted by Rabobank after he placed third in the Vuelta España last year riding for US Postal. His choice to change teams wasn't difficult. "I had a sure start in the Tour this year, but of course in the service of Armstrong," he said to ANP. "The choice for the leadership of Rabobank was not hard."

He chose to prepare for the Tour by doing the Tour de Romandie, Tour of Luxembourg and the Route du Sud. The Tour de Suisse was an option, but he decided against it in order to start the Tour de France with fresh legs. "I want to ride to my best ability, I can't do any more than that," he said.

Domo-Farm Frites for the Tour

Patrick Lefevere has named the Domo-Farm Frites team that will start in the Tour de France on July 6. The GC riders will be Richard Virenque, Axel Merckx and Piotr Wadecki, the latter who is currently third overall in the Tour de Suisse, with a fair chance to win it in the final time trial tomorrow.

Servais Knaven, Leon van Bon, Dave Bruylandts, Enrico Cassani, Tomas Konecny and Fred Rodriguez comprise the rest of the team, which seems well balanced.

Will VDB case affect the World's in Zolder?

After Franck Vandenbroucke's six month suspension was lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport yesterday, the UCI again expressed its disappointment over what it called that "lack of clarity, even the complete anarchy which is manifested in the relation between the regulations and the sports authorities, all inspired by the Medical Code of the International Olympic Committee, as well as with all the different national laws."

Vandenbroucke was suspended by the Belgian Cycling Federation (BWB) for possession of doping substances. However, the CAS ruled that this was illegal, as the decision to suspend him should only be made by a disciplinary commission set up by the Flemish government, which VDB is due to face on Thursday.

In a communique, the UCI stated that "...the decision of the TAS will have severe consequences for the UCI. In fact, we observe that according to this verdict, riders who will be controlled in Flanders will not be submitted to procedures foreseen by the UCI regulations, but to Flemish ones."

"It is useless to point out all complications this situation could lead to. The UCI will have to wonder now if all controls during races in the international calendar in Flanders, will be necessary, or if will be more appropriate to let governmental authorities do them."

This is not the first time that this issue has arisen. Just under a year ago when the Tour de France visited Belgium, the same problem occurred whereby the Flemish government took over the drug testing on the day that the Tour finished in Antwerp. The samples (none of which were from Belgian riders) were taken to Gent for analysis, rather than the French national anti-doping laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry. This meant that no EPO testing could be carried out on these samples, as the Gent laboratory was not accredited.

At the time, the UCI pointed out that "the specification of controls was written in the Flemish language, which is against the rules of the anti-doping commission, therefore the aforementioned controls will not be considered valid by the UCI."

"It appears to us that the recent call by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), aiming to unify controls, is completely justified and necessary," said the 2001 statement, which was reiterated yesterday: "It does not seem logical that one authority be in charge of the controls and another of the disciplinary procedures, with different regulation basis."

The UCI will meet tomorrow in Aigle to discuss the consequences on the organization of the 2002 Road World Championships in Zolder.

Vandenbroucke wants to race in August

Frank Vandenbroucke is hoping that he'll be able to race again in August, and have a good end of season. That will depend on the decision made by the disciplinary commission of the Flemish Government on Thursday, June 27, who have the option to suspend him for possession of illegal drugs. But if they do, their power is only limited to Belgium, so VDB could still race in other countries. Hence the frustration of the UCI.

Vandenbroucke will have to find a team to ride for, but this should not prove problematic. Domo-Farm Frites, who were required to sack him in March, have kept good contacts with him, but there are several other teams who would also live to have him on their roster. His agent Paul De Geyter has not ruled out an offer from Collstrop-Palmans.

Noel Demeulenaere working on a Crack new team

Noel Demeulenaere, a big wheel in Belgian cycling, has plans for a new Belgian-sponsored first division team next season. The details of the team are expected to be announced within two weeks, but it has nothing to do with the possible merger of Domo and Lotto.

"In the last few days there has been an enormous evolution in cycling," he said to Belga newsagency. "First there was the rumour that Lotto and Domo would combine, then on Tuesday the news came that Mapei would stop at the end of the year. I was in the meantime busy with the foundation of a team, but apparently now there are new possibilities from all directions."

Two sponsors have been named: Quick Step (parquet floor manufacturers, currently co-sponsors of Mapei-Quick Step) and Crack (a Belgian furniture manufacturer, believe it or not). Could we see a Quick Step-Crack jersey in the peloton next year?

Demeulenaere says that he is weighing up the options at the moment, but "It's certain that I will have a new first division team next season. There are good riders who will be free from Mapei-Quick Step stable. But also with the fusion of Lotto and Domo, that I think will happen, there will be riders looking for a new employer."

Next week, Demeulenaere will talk with Frans De Cock from Quick Step about sponsorship, "and I also have other things in hand. One thing is certain, it must be a perfect organisation," he finished.

Udo Bölts to ride another season for Telekom

One of Telekom's best known domestiques, Udo Bölts, will ride for the team again in 2003. The 35 year old has not yet signed a contract, but has a verbal agreement to continue with the team. He will likely sign at the German championships.

Luperini out for 45 days after failing blood check

Fabiana Luperini, who finished first in the Giro del Trentino Alto Adige last weekend and second in the Italian time trial championships, has been suspended for 45 days after failing a health check. The tests were taken on the morning of the final day of the Giro del Trentino, with the analyses carried out at the hospital of Sant'Orsola in Bologna according to the Australian protocol, which can detect abnormalities in the blood for far longer than the French urine test, which has a three day window.

Luperini was declared unfit to race for a 45 day period, meaning that she will miss the Giro d'Italia that starts on July 5. The result is not considered a positive drug test.

No Daphny van den Brand in Dutch championships

The Dutch women's road championships will take place on Saturday, June 28 in Nijmegen, without national cyclocross and MTB champion Daphny van den Brand. The Team Ton van Bemmelen Sports-Novilon rider has been ordered to rest for two weeks by her doctor.

Bloks Wielerteam goes pro

The Bloks/Nijdam Wielerteam run by ex-pro Jelle Nijdam will ride as a professional team in 2003 with a budget of 225,000 euros according to Gazet van Antwerpen. The team will have approximately 15 riders under contract.

American Team Cycling comes to Lehigh Valley Velodrome

Cycling meets Rollerball?

The Lehigh Valley Velodrome will host American Team Cycling on Friday, June 28. East Penn Press is sponsoring the event and has been involved with American Team Cycling since its inception in 1998.

"Most Americans view Cycling as an individual sport.", said 1988 Olympian Bobby Livingston. "With ATC, we compress the excitement of team tactics into an intense one evening deal. If riders don't work as a team in ATC, they'll be left in the dust. The whole team has to win, or nobody gets any prize money." Team tactics include setting up rolling roadblocks, drafting and an occasional bump to clear the way to the finish line.

The League consists of six teams who compete head-to-head in a unique race format called "The Attack". This year league director Pat McDonough has added a new twist to the format with all six teams on the track at the same time, versus the round robin format in earlier seasons. New for 2002, teams will also earn points in a team miss-and-out (elimination race) and a team sprint (Olympic Sprint). The event will conclude with a second 10-minute "Attack", the team with the most points at the end of the night wins the coveted League Trophy.

The "Attack" is named for its aggressive style. The race is comprised of 3 laps sprints, or "Attacks", where the racing is fierce. At the end of each of these three lap bursts, the top two riders across the finish line earn points for their teams. After the Attack, a motorcycle comes onto the track to bring the field back together. The motor is on the track for 1 1/2 - 2 laps, reaching speeds of 55 km/h. The race gets very physical here, when riders jockey for the best position for the next sprint. The motor comes off the track at the and the Attack begins again with an all out sprint to the finish line.

Teams for 2002 American Team Cycling

South American Sting
Thunder from Down Under
Commonwealth Cyclones
New York Speed Demons
T-Town Express
Pennsylvania Power

World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin Championships in BC

The fourth annual World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin(tm) Championships will take place at Silver Star Mountain Resort in Vernon, British Columbia, on August 31 to September 1, 2002. Silver Star Mountain Resort has hosted 24 Hours of Adrenalin events for six consecutive years.

Tinker Juarez (Volvo/Cannondale) and Rishi Grewal (Klein) as well as Mary Grigson (Subaru/Gary Fisher) will be competing at the World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin for the cash prize purse of $US20,000. 120 of the world's best soloists are expected, along with an audience of 5,000 fans.

Last year's reigning champion, Chris Eatough (Trek) completed 22 laps of the 10.3 mile course at Hurkey Creek Park in Idyllwild, Southern California. In the female division, Mary Grigson (Subaru/Gary Fisher) took the championship with 18 laps.

The World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin Championships starts at 12 p.m. on Saturday, August 31st, and runs straight for 24 hours until 12 p.m. Sunday. The challenge for each solo rider is to complete as many laps as possible within the 24 hour time period. While relay teams can trade off riders, riding solo through challenging terrain and sometimes uncooperative weather, makes a 24 hour ride one of the most challenging events in the sports arena.

Irvine Memorial Ride for Dr. Steven Seiden

A memorial ride has been organised for Dr. Steven Seiden, one of two Louisiana cyclists killed during a training race on June 11 in Baton Rouge. The ride is on Saturday June 29, 10:00 AM leaving from the Flag Poles next to the UC Irvine Administration Building, in Irvine, California. Any and all are welcome to attend.

The ride is organized by Mark Fluss and Brian Ignatin, Steve Seiden's former teammates and roommates. The ride is being co-sponsored by the UC Irvine Cycling Team. Brian Ignatin founded the team in 1985; Steve Seiden was one of the pioneering members. Steve attended UC Irvine starting in 1985, and earned his BS, MS, and PhDs in Information and Computer Science there.

The route will be the traditional UCI easy ride, the flat 20-mile "Irvine Loop" at a casual pace (meaning slow). Prior to the ride Brian Ignatin and Mark Fluss will give everyone an update on what is going on with Steve's family, and will provide an update on the memorial fund which has been established at LSU in Steve's name.

For more information, contact Brian Ignatin on 310 827-7350 or at

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