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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

News for November 1, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

McEwen tops victory list for 2002

Robbie McEwen will finish the 2002 season as the top cyclist in terms of number of wins. Not counting points classifications, criteriums and other non-UCI races, McEwen has racked up 19 wins this season, three more than Erik Zabel (16) and five more than Mario Cipollini (14).

McEwen started his season in January when he won the Australian Championship and four stages in the Tour Down Under. He then took a stage and the overall honours in the Etoile De Besseges in France, two stages in Paris-Nice, Grote Scheldeprijs, two stages in the Giro d'Italia, two stages (and the green jersey) in the Tour de France, Delta Ronde Van Midden-Zeeland, Paris-Brussels, two stages and the overall in the Circuit Franco-Belge, his last win of the season. He also finished second in the World Championships and finished the season ranked number four on the UCI scale.

Erik Zabel's season was not quite as long as it was for the past two seasons, when he started as early as January and finished in November with a few six day races. Zabel's first win this year came in the first stage of Tirreno-Adriatico in March, and his other victories include stages in the Tour de France, Tour de Suisse, Ronde Van Nederland, Setmana Catalana, Deutschland-Tour, Tour De Luxembourg, Vuelta Aragon and Bayern Rundfahrt, as well as winning the one day races Rund Um Den Henninger Turm and Rund Um Die Nürnberger Altstadt. He also collected seven points jerseys, a measure of his consistency as a sprinter.

Mario Cipollini did not race the whole season, but when he did he won big. His victories in Milan-San Remo and the World Championships were his greatest, but he also won Gent-Wevelgem, six stages in the Giro, three stages in the Vuelta, and a stage in the Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour Méditerranéen. Cipo announced his 'retirement' in July, but returned after two months to race in the Vuelta and the World's.

The top 10 winners of 2002

1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Adecco                   19 pts
2 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom                      16
3 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo 14
5 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step             14
4 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo            13
6 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step               10
7 Aurélien Clerc (Swi) Mapei-Quick Step              10
8 Angel Edo Alsina (Spa) Milaneza-MSS                 9
9 Jacek Mickiewicz (Pol) CCC-Polsat                   9
10 Olaf Pollack (Ger) Gerolsteiner                    9

Garzelli appeal rejected

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected an appeal by Swiss based Italian cyclist Stefano Garzelli to have his two year ban for doping cancelled. Garzelli was suspended by the Swiss federation in July after testing positive for the banned diuretic Probenecid in this year's Giro d'Italia in May. He was given a two year ban, but this could be shortened to nine months providing he paid half the SFR50,000 fine, and agreed to a five year probationary period.

"It is an absolutely scandalous sentence," Garzelli wrote to the Swiss Federation at the time. "Especially compared with other cycling federations. The disparity between the treatment and the application of the rules in a manner disproportionate to the circumstances, and who "interprets" the regulations is unacceptable."

Garzelli will be able to resume racing with his new team, Tacconi Sport, in April 2003.

Obree film looking for £1 million

A film about the innovative and talented Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree will not go ahead unless another £1 million in funding is found, according to The film's producer Peter Broughan is looking for another backer after Americana Films pulled out due to the death of one of its partners. The film's total budget is £3.3 million and Americana Films was due to provide 27 percent of it.

The film, entitled "The Flying Scotsman", is "a biography of Scotland's quirkiest ever world champion," writes "A cyclist who defied convention (and the UCI) to break records. Obree broke world records in 1993 before his bike, famous for being partly constructed from washing machine parts, and his unconventional but very aerodynamic riding position, were both banned by the UCI. Last year Obree tried to commit suicide, a sad episode not in the film."

"We need a fairy godmother or fairy godfather or a group of them to say we will re-occupy the lost territory," Broughan told the Glasgow Herald. "It is a very attractive project with strong commercial possibilities, but it has to happen today."

Bessette and Van Gilder to Saturn

Lyne Bessette will be riding for Saturn again in 2003, after spending a year racing for Canadian national and regional teams. The move comes after two of Saturn's top guns Petra Rossner and Judith Arndt left for Nürnberger, opening the way for other top riders to step in. The team has also signed top US sprinter Laura Van Gilder (Trek Plus), the up and coming Sarah Uhl (Dansko IF Wheelworks) and Geneviève Jeanson's lieutenant Manon Jutras (RONA).

Portuguese sporting entrepreneur turns to cycling

By João Cravo

João Lagos, a Portuguese entrepreneur with a strong tradition in the organisation of sporting events (in tennis he is the man behind the ATP Estoril Open and was also the organiser of the Lisbon Masters two years ago), has taken a major share in PAD, the company that organises the Volta a Portugal and many other UCI races held in Portugal (e.g. Volta ao Algarve). This should be an important move for the development of the Portuguese professional cycling scene.

The Portuguese scene has been sleeping since the dramatic death of Joaquim Agostinho, the humble hero who was an agricultural worker in 1967 and ended the Tour 1968 in 8th position. Agostinho was also 14th in 1970, 5th in 1971 and 1980, 8th again in 1972 and 1973, 6th in 1974, 15th in 1975, 13th in 1977 and 3rd in 1978 and 1979 - the first time he was on the final podium in 1978 he was a 37 year old man! The fifth placing of José Azevedo (ONCE) in the 2001 Giro and his sixth position in the 2002 Tour shows that Portugal has found another world class rider. But younger riders like Rui Sousa (Milaneza) and the bronze medallist of the under-23 time-trial in Zolder, Sérgio Paulinho, are also men to keep an eye on.

Then there is Milaneza-MSS - the first Portuguese team in Division I which is knocking strongly at the Tour's door. Could the Sporting-Sotto Mayor team of 1975 (of Agostinho's fame) become just the first, but not the only, Portuguese team to ride the Tour?

Even if João Lagos doesn't ride a bike, he can be the key to a better future for Portuguese cycling. Welcome and let's go and work hard.

Mroz pulls out

Division II team MROZ will be no more, after eight years in cycling. The Polish abattoir has announced that it is looking at going in another direction by promoting its business in other ways. The presence of Mroz seen a big explosion in Polish cycling in recent years, with several UCI trade teams now registered and the depth of talent slowly increasing in Poland.

Long time team director Piotr Kosmala is determined to continue, and wants to start a new team with a similar line up to 2002. He has been talking to Tomasz Brozyna (, however with the Mroz pull out, CCC-Polsat has taken over negotiations with Brozyna as it has secure sponsorship for 2003. Kosmala should know by November 12 the future the 14 or so riders who were formerly Mroz boys.

Courtesy of Marek Jankowski

Noosa Criterium preview: Top Australian stars present

This year's Tour de France green jersey winner Robbie McEwen, will be the hot favourite in a strong international and Australian field of cyclists in this Saturday's Courier Mail Noosa Criterium. McEwen who is currently ranked fourth in the world is expected to repeat last year's winning performance and continue his top sprinting form to take out this year's event.

The Noosa International Criterium (part of the Noosa Multisport Festival) is in its fifth year, and the criterium's popularity has led to a spin-off series of International Criteriums which will be held at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast (December 7-8) and at South Bank in Brisbane (December 14-15).

This year's race will also attract former mountain bike World Cup Champion and Commonwealth Games Road Race silver medalist, Cadel Evans, Commonwealth Games gold medalist and World Record pursuit team rider, Mark Renshaw, Matt White (US Postal), Henk Vogels (Mercury), Nick Gates (Wiesenhof), Jason Phillips, Ben Johnson, Brendan Cato, Simon Gerrans, Allan Davis, Ashley Hutchinson, Jon Cantwell and more. The race will be commentated by Team Coast director and German TV commentator Marcel Wüst.

Racing starts at 4.30pm this Saturday with riders racing around 1.8km circuit in Noosa for approximately 45 minutes.

Irish Cyclo-cross League Round 3

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

The last two rounds of the Cycling Ireland Cyclo-Cross League have taken place in Lurgan and Lisburn but this weekend it goes to Co. Kildare this Sunday at midday.

The venue is Kilcullen and Hillcrest Hire Kilcullen CC is the host club. The third round of the league will be centred in the Sports Complex in the village. Liam Walker will be the master of ceremonies and said that "The competitors will be racing for one hour. To my mind it is a very technical course and the lap is 1500 meters. There has been upsurge this year with the numbers participating and I have no doubt that all going well an exciting day's racing is guaranteed on Sunday."

Currently, Robin Seymour is at the head of affairs after two rounds. Robin was in magical form last Saturday and despite the handicapper levering him with a seven and half minute's handicap on the limit group, he simply eat up the terrain and had eclipsed the field within four laps. From then on it was a matter of course that he would be winner and also would lead the league.

Robin from Kilmacanogue in Co. Wicklow heads the table with 57 points with Don Travers logged in on 51. The first round winner, junior Michael Mulvenna is on 44, but Aidan McDonald on 38 points could be the one to throw the gauntlet in Co. Kildare on Sunday with the start scheduled for midday. All categories are welcome and mountain bikes are permitted but in the points classification only those who use cross bikes are eligible for points.

At last Sunday's AGM of the Irish Veterans Cyclists Association Limited, motion 23 was of interest to many on the peripheral, "that the organisation and running of the Wicklow 200 be franchised out to interested parties in order to ensure the future of the event," remains securely within the confines of the Vets. It has to be acknowledged that this is a unique event and has been acknowledged all over the world.

Lance Armstrong jersey auctioned for $800

The auction of four time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong's cycling jersey has been won by a man whose friend's death prompted his bid. Chartered surveyor Andrew Heaney paid £515 ($800) for the signed US Postal Jersey, the proceeds of which will go towards CTC's Cyclists' Defence Fund, an account set up to help cyclists who are victims of road crashes.

Heaney, a CTC member from Edgbaston, will not ride in his new jersey. "I'll get it framed and mount it on the wall at home," he said. "The auction was for a good cause and made me think of my friend who was on his bike when he was hit and killed by a drink-drive motorist. I was also inspired by the achievements of Lance Armstrong and his recovery from cancer."

The Cyclists' Defence Fund was set up last year when Provident Insurance claimed negligence against the parents and childminder of a young cyclist who was hit and brain damaged by a motorist.

For more information about the CTC, which was founded in 1878, visit

Brad McGee's "The 7th Stage" celebration dinner

A dinner is being organised in honour of Tour de France stage winner, Commonwealth Games and World Champion Bradley McGee on November 15, 2002 at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney. Entitled "The 7th Stage" after the stage that Brad won in this year's Tour, the dinner will commence at 7:00pm for 7:30pm in the Marscay Room at Rosehill Gardens. Tickets are $70 apiece, sold individually or in tables of 10.

Contact Kerry Ruffels on +61 (0)419 712006 or for more details.

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