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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

News for June 29, 2002

Edited by John Stevenson

Zolder worlds to go ahead despite UCI misgivings

The UCI has announced that despite its misgivings about the position of athletes who return positive dope tests in Belgium, the world championships scheduled for Zolder, Belgium October 8-13 will go ahead.

A reported on Thursday the UCI is severely disturbed by the differences between its regulations and Belgian anti-doping rules, which, among other things, may allow riders who test positive in Belgium to carry on racing outside the country.

In a press statement issued yesterday in the wake of the Court of Arbitration in Sport's (CAS) decision that Frank Vandenbroucke should not be suspended, the UCI said, "As a reminder, the CAS: Did not recognize the competence of the RLVB in this case, and according to it, in any doping case; Ruled that the procedures and sanctions for actions which happen in Flanders, according to the decree in force, are competences of the Flemish disciplinary commission."

The statement continues, "The UCI Management Board noticed that: Any sportsman/woman controlled positive during an event in Flanders, must be judged and sanctioned by the disciplinary commission of the Flemish Government. The sentence decided in relation to this decree applies only in Flanders (or by extension in Belgium), allowing thus a sportsman/woman to regularly pursue his/her activity anywhere except in Belgium after a positive control

"In this situation, the UCI cannot take responsibilities to carry out anti-doping controls which would not lead to sanctions as per its regulations.

"The UCI Management Board perfectly understands that this was not the motivation of the Flemish authorities, but subsequent to the CAS ruling, these seem to be the facts. Therefore, the UCI Management Board is confronted with an extremely difficult situation, almost unreal.

"Three months prior to the 2002 Road World Championships, a relocation is impossible, and therefore the organization of events in Zolder is confirmed. The Flemish Government will however be required to help the sports authorities in the reinstatement of a normal context mandatory for the success of this event."

Telekom has German title in sights

Soccer World Cup threatens to over-shadow road nationals

With the a Tour de France victory off its wish-list for 2002, German powerhouse Team Telekom has today's German national road race championships firmly in its sights, with star sprinter Erik Zabel the point man for a victory, according to German news agency tab.

Telekom is almost the unofficial German national pro team, with 19 of its 25 riders hailing from its home country and Zabel will therefore have no less than 16 team-mates to help propel him to victory.

The biggest threat to Zabel is probably not Germany's number two pro team, Coast, which will field eight riders, but Gerolsteiner, which will have 11. Coast's strongest riders are not German - Tour de Suisse winner Alex Zülle will be contesting his home country's national championship in Switzerland - so Gerolsteiner's numbers could be decisive.

Despite the prospect of an exciting, tactical race, it's unlikely there will be many spectators for the early stages, as the race's midday start clashes with the 1pm kick-off of Germany vs Brazil in the World Cup final

Race organisers will provide giant TV screens so spectators can watch both events and "No spectator will miss anything" according to press secretary Anke Sattler who added that "if everything goes to schedule the match will be long finished by the time the race reaches its crucial phase."

If Germany wins in the World Cup - as Telekom team manger Walter Godefroot expects, tipping a 2:1 victory over Brazil - the last couple of hours of the road race should be blessed with a great atmosphere which would no doubt be to Zabel's advantage. The sprinter has been voted Germany's most popular sportsman and has a huge fanbase.

Telekom has been reconnoitring the 207.55km course around Bühl since returning from the Tour de Suisse on Thursday. The most significant obstacle to a repeat of Zabel's 1998 victory is the course's three 388m climbs.

Vandenbroucke set to return to Domo

Frank Vandenbroucke and Domo are understood to have reached an agreement about a contract until the end of the season. It is not yet official, as they have to wait for the verdict after Vandenbroucke gets the verdict from the Flemish disciplinary commission on July 4. However, VDB and his lawyer are arguing that the case should be dropped, as there was a procedural error committed by the court in Dendermonde when they forwarded the details of VDB's dossier to the Flemish disciplinary commission - before there was even any mention that he could be sanctioned by them.

Galdeano wins Spanish time trial despite bike changes

ONCE's Igor González de Galdeano demonstrated that his time trial prowess may well make him the biggest threat to Lance Armstrong's Tour de France aims when he won yesterday's Spanish national time trial championships.

Galdeano won the 48.8km race by 30 seconds over Toni Tauler despite puncturing twice. The bike changes didn't seem to unduly slow him down as he still averaged over 50 km/h, and ONCE team manager Manolo Saiz is confident that his team can be a threat to Armstrong's US Postal squad next month.

Commonwealth Games course rehearsal at UK nationals

By Richard Allchin

The UK's biggest race, the 210 km National Elite Road Race Championship takes place on June 30 at Rivington near Manchester.

Using the same tough 11.7-km circuit as the Commonwealth Games road race just over a month later, this promises to be a real battle between Britain's continental based professionals and the cream of the British International and home based riders.

The race features Britain's highest ranked international rider and only 2002 Tour de France competitor David Millar (Cofidis). However the race will be far from an easy proposition for Millar, who faces stiff competition from other British riders based on the continent such as Sydney Olympics medallist Bradley Wiggins (La Francaise des Jeux), Roger Hammond (Collstrop-Palmans ) and Millar's team-mate Rob Hayles.

Hayles, last year runner-up to returning champion Jeremy Hunt (BigMat ) is one rider who is very hungry for success . He said "I really want this title especially after second place last year, a win will clinch a good contact for next season but it will be a tough race on a very hard circuit. To be road race champion of your country means a lot in Europe and it will also clinch my selection for the Commonwealth Games. I will give it my very best shot."

The very successful British International team will be riding as individuals with Paul Manning (VC St Raphael), Chris Newton (Pinarello) and young Steve Cummings (Sport & Publicity/OKTOS) who have all tasted victory recently with some great wins on the continent and in the U.K. However the favourites will have plenty of opposition from the home contingent including double champion John Tanner.

Power favourite for Irish nationals

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

Last season's disappointments are well behind Ciaran Power. In recent years he won the '98 FBD Milk Ras, picked up a couple of top 10 placings in the Giro d'Italia in 2000, and turned professional for Linda McCartney.

But things went pear-shaped for a while last year with the collapse of the McCartney's, and Power suffered a further set back when he broke his collar bone while riding for his new club St. Quentin in the Four Days of Dunkirk.

This year fortune has favoured him with signing on the dotted line for the American-based Navigators team and also his return to Dunkirk where he was placed fifth on one of the stages.

Victory in this year's FBD Milk Ras -- where he spent five of the event's eight days in yellow -- has put the icing on the cake for the Waterford man. This was his first win in a Union Cycliste Internationale ranked event.

Ciaran scored his first outright win in the Ras back in '98 but admits that the race has got much tougher since then. You only have to look at the classification sheet and see there were 18 foreign competitors in the first 20 in this year's edition. It's harder, but in essence it has to improve the status of the event, which has the backing of the National Dairy Council and FBD Insurances.

Since his victory in the Ras, Ciaran has been on duty on behalf of the Navigators in America and Canada.

This weekend sees him home for the National Road Race Championship, which is being staged in Stamullen tomorrow (Sunday). There is an entry in excess of 140, but Ciaran is evidently a warm favourite. If he goes anywhere near his recent form in the Ras he'll be crowned champion. In years past has always been acknowledged as the favourite, but that tag does not sit gently on his shoulders. Tomorrow it looks very likely that he'll cope with the discomfort and justifiably be crowned Irish Champion.

Ballarat veteran president killed in crash with car

Chris Cashin, president of the Veterans Cycling Club in Victoria, Australia, died on Wednesday after being hit from behind by a car. He leaves a wife Gayle and two children, four year old Emily and two year old Olivia.

Mr Cashin was on a training ride when he was hit by a Ford Falcon station wagon driven by a 50 year old man on a narrow section of Gillies Rd, Miners Rest at about 6.15pm.

According to a report in Ballarat's Courier newspaper, police described the tragedy as a "true accident", saying there was no way the driver could have avoided hitting Mr Cashin.

Family friend Shirley Hetherington said Mr Cashin was a popular man who deeply loved his young family. His great passions in life were his wife and children, his cycling and his mint condition 1974 Charger.

Local rider Brian Farrell said Mr Cashin would be sadly missed by the Ballarat vets and his Ballarat-Sebastopol club-mates.

Nicole Reinhart Fund creates scholarships

The Nicole Reinhart Memorial Fund will provide scholarships for top collegiate cyclists who are pursuing Olympic selection, according to fund president Mike Reinhart. Seven awards of $1000 will be available for the 2002-2003 academic year, and the selection process is in now place.

"Young riders like Nicole often have to choose between these two seemingly diverse dreams," said Mike Reinhart. "We have set up a scholarship to assist these talented and dedicated athletes in both of their endeavors."

"Nicole was an Olympic hopeful," said Lisa McGrath, Nicole's aunt, Godmother and scholarship committee chairperson. "She will always be remembered for her smile, her happiness, her loving kindness, her humility her spirit of encouragement and her power and strength. The Nicole Reinhart Collegiate Cycling Scholarship Program recognizes athletes like Nicole."

Scholarship applications are now available on the Fund website at www.nicolesbench.com and must be received by July 20, 2002. Athletes must have a full time status during the fall or spring semester at a post secondary 2, 4-year or trade school. Applicants must also hold a USCF road and/or track license. Winners will be announced on Saturday, August 31 during the U.S. National Track Cycling Championships, held at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome.

The Nicole Reinhart Memorial Fund was set up after the tragic death of 24-year-old Nicole Reinhart in September, 2000, after an accident in the BMC Tour of Arlington. Following Nicole's death, BMC Software donated the race's prize money to her family to establish a memorial fund. The family has continued to raise money and the scholarship fund was created based on the initial success of the first annual dinner dance fund raiser and silent auction, held last November.

Geri Mewett makes Commonwealth Games team for Bermuda

Cane Creek/Subaru rider Geri Mewett will ride for his home country of Bermuda at the Commonwealth Games July 24-August 4. Mewett was the Bermudan National Champion in 1999, and according to his team has been training hard and is" super motivated" for the games.

Team Director, Heath Dotson said, "This is a real coup for us. It is nice that a small team like ours can have a rider of this caliber. The exposure of this is great an bodes well for the future of the team." Geri recently competed in the Grand Prix Bicicletta in Toronto where he won the final stage and helped the team to a second overall on team G.C.

Mewett, who is 28, has represented Bermuda twice before at the Commonwealth Games as a swimmer in 1990 and 1994. This summer will be his first appearance on dry land.

Meanwhile, the Cane Creek/Subaru team has a new website at: www.canecreeksubaru.com.

Blood tests at Spanish nationals okay

The Anti-doping Commission of the Spanish Cycling Federation has announced that all 33 blood controls conducted at the Spanish national championships yesterday showed haematocrit readings within the permitted levels.

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