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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

News for November 8, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Botero welcomed home

Santiago Botero, the first Colombian rider to win a gold medal at the World Championships, was surprised by thousands of compatriots who were waiting for him at Bogota Airport on Wednesday. Botero was treated to a police escort from the airport to the president's palace, as if he was a visiting president/soccer star/rock star. There, he was received by the President himself, Alvaro Uribe, who congratulated him for his time trial triumph in Zolder and said that Botero is an example who must encourage the Colombian people.

On Thursday Botero will visit the University of Sabana in Bogota where he will be met by the University rector, Álvaro Mendoza Ramírez, before an audience with the students of the University. He will receive some gifts and then take a tour of the grounds.

On November 15 in Medellin, the "Gran Homenaje de Medellín a Botero" will be held in the city's Martín Cochise Rodríguez velodrome. This will take the form of a track meet with all the best Central American cyclists present.

Cipollini celebrations

On Saturday, November 9, Mario Cipollini, who has been released from the Santa Zita di Lucca clinic after an operation on a cyst, will celebrate his success in the recent World Championships. The celebrations will take place in Capannori (where Cipollini was born) at 16:00 and then Lucca (where he has a house) at 19:00.

Cipollini will also be auctioning his jersey and bicycle for at least 15,000 euro in support of solidarity, joining other champions such as Vieri, Del Piero, Recoba, Baggio, Chiesa, Zanetti and Fiore in this initiative.

Sandstřd back on track

Michael Sandstřd is back racing on December 1 in the Winter Omnium Championships in Siemens Arena Ballerup in Copenhagen. Sandstřd crashed during Tour de France and had his lung punctured by a broken rib.

"I feel completely like the ol' Sandstřd again, and there is nothing saying that I would get any problems in the future after my crash. The perforated lung works perfectly," he told newspaper Politiken.

Sandstřd will also race the Copenhagen six days with his CSC team mate Jimmi Madsen in February.

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2003

The UCI has announced the seven venues for the 2003 MTB World Cup next season. New venues include Fort William in Great Britain for the second meet of the series (May 31-June 1) and Alpe d'Huez in France for the third race (June 7-8), which will be a Downhill/Four-Cross meet only.

May 24-25, 2003: St. Wendel (Ger): XC
May 31-June 1, 2003: Fort William (GBr): XC/DH/4-X
June 7-8, 2003: Alpe d'Huez (Fra): DH/4-X
June 28-29, 2003: Mont-Sainte-Anne (Can): XC/DH/4-X
July 5-6, 2003: Telluride (USA): XC/ DH/4-X
July 12-13, 2003: Grouse Mountain (Can): XC/DH/4-X
September 13-14, 2003: Kaprun (Aut): XC/DH/4-X

Zülle likely to stay at Coast

34 year old Swiss rider Alex Zülle has been offered a new contract at Team Coast, according to The winner of this year's Tour de Suisse and Vuelta a Valencia helped the team achieve its sixth place in the world ranking list, and therefore an automatic start in next year's Tour de France. However, the team couldn't afford Zülle's asking price and negotiations slowed.

Zülle's manager Tony Rominger attempted to find a new team for the Swiss rider, without success. One possibility was Bjarne Riis' CSC squad, but Riis is still seeking a co-sponsor in order to secure the signature of Jan Ullrich. Riis was looking at Zülle as a potential support rider for Ullrich, as well as being very useful in his own right, but that appears unlikely now.

Thus Zülle has been left with little alternative if he wants to continue as a cyclist next year. Team Coast is planning on having 20 riders in its roster next season.

Marlux and Collstrop team news

Max van Heeswijk, who this year rode for Domo-Farm Frites, is talking with future Marlux team director Jef Braeckevelt about a possible contract for 2003. Marlux has contracted two neo pros, Geoffrey Coupé (Bel) and Guillaume Guirout (Fra), and has also made Rabobank's Geert Verheyen an offer. Verheyen is also being courted by Collstrop-Palmans.

Collstrop-Palmans will lose Hans De Meester, who is 'retiring' to the amateur ranks next season, and Wim Vansevenant who will ride for Lotto-Domo. Collstrop-Palmans has only eight riders under contract for next year at the moment, including Hendrik Van Dyck, Mario De Clercq, Fabien De Waele, Björn Leukemans and Michel Vanhaecke.

Team ComNet - Senges complete for 2003

German division III team ComNet-Senges has confirmed its roster for 2003.

Current riders

Tjarco Cuppens (Ned)
Stefan Ganser (Ger)
Axel Hauschke (Ger)
Hans-Jurgen Juretzek (Ger)
Daniel Meinke (Ger)
Luke Roberts (Aus)
Stephan Schruff (Ger)
Karsten Vogel (Ger)
Wolfram Wiese (Ger)

New to the team

Stefan Cohnen (Ned)
Markus Eichler (Ger)
Alberto Kunz (Ger)
David Pell (Aus)

Leaving the team

Markus Ganser (Ger) Retiring to become a Sport Director in Team ComNet-Senges 2003
Markus Koob (Ger)
Jochen Lichtentaler (Ger)
Martin Neffgen (Ger)
Andreas Schruff (Ger)
Michel Teichert (Ger)

Team website:

One sponsor for Costa de Almeria in 2003?

Jazztel-Costa de Almeria-Paternina may well become Costa de Almeria in 2003. The pet food company Paternina joined the pool in September but left at the end of October. Meanwhile mobile phone company Jazztel doesn't know yet if it will pull out, or just not increase its financial involvement in the team. It's almost certain that the Division 2 team will continue for at least one more season but at the moment none of their 14 riders have a signed deal yet.

Courtesy of Joăo Cravo

Núńez to ASC-Vila do Conde

Spanish cyclist Israel Núńez will make his professional debut with Portuguese division III team ASC-Vila do Conde, joining compatriots Rubén Galvań, Rafael Milá and Victoriano Fernández (all Milaneza) and Portuguese Quintino Rodrigues (CCC-Polsat).

Rona signs Erinne Willock

Canadian cyclist Erinne Willock has signed for Team Rona in 2003. The recently turned 21 year old has seven years of racing behind her, and is now studying physical education and biology at the University of Victoria. She comes from a cycling background as her father, Martin Willock, wore the Canadian Olympic colours in the team time trial at the Los Angeles Games in 1984, while her uncle Bernie won a bronze medal in the team time trial at the 1979 Pan-American Games and was Canadian Road Race Champion In 1980.

Erinne tried track and mountain bike races before switching to road racing. "This is the type of race I enjoy most," she said. "I like the road race atmosphere, the teamwork and tactics in the pack. And I like the climbing part. I'm eager to get into my Rona colours and become part of the team. Racing with Genevičve (Jeanson), Cathy (Marsal) and the others is going to be quite an experience."

She has raced in the Tour de l'Aude in 2001, the Tour de la Drome in 2002 and several races in the Coupe de France, notably the Trophée des Grimpeurs (8th place and 1st Espoir in 2001).

Team Rona now contains eight riders for 2003: Genevičve Jeanson, Andrea Hannos, Carrie Tuck and Erinne Willock (all Can), Melissa Holt (NZl), Catherine Marsal (Fra), Karen Bockel (Ger) and Kristen LaSasso (USA).

Irish team for Tour of Okinawa

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

On Sunday, November 10 four Irish cyclists will line up for an the 1.5 ranked Tour of Okinawa in Japan. Off to the land of the Rising Sun are Paul Griffin, Tim Cassidy, Eugene Moriarty and Paul Healion. Listed to go was David O'Loughlin, an Irish hero at the recent world championships in Belgium, but circumstances obliged him to forgo the event.

In came Healion on the strength of his current form. He made an assault on the long-standing record of the Dublin/Waterford, but alas he was so near and yet so far away from beating the existing record held by David Peelo last month. It was all sweetness for the 24 year old Usher Irish Road Club Healion, but midway through the attempt a storm blew away his chance and he only failed by ten minutes. His support group were adamant that he would win through especially at the half way mark, but Mother Nature dictated otherwise.

Griffin who represents the Earl of Desmond Tralee Bicycle Club, without doubt is the most travelled competitor this year. He has been on the go since early march. Eugene Moriarty and Tim Cassidy represent the Cycleways/Lee Strand outfit. Young Cassidy has had a mixed season, but it is nice to see that the selectors saw fit to include him for Japan.

Moriarty has certainly been busy looking after Team Ireland members in Belgium. It is gratifying to see a cyclist of his stature getting involved in the development of international competitors. Normally Eugene gives a good account of himself in the green tunic and on Sunday he's the one to look out for in the results.

The quartet is very experienced and with any sort of luck could round off the season on a positive note. The event is over 200 kilometres and with the odd climb, they could be bringing home the silverware or a pocketful of Yen.

Cow crash in Tour of Thailand

British cyclist Neil Rothwell crashed after hitting a cow while in a break with Hong Kong's Wong Ngai Ching in the fourth stage of Tour of Thailand.

"I'm fine now. I was concerned about my back after the crash. However, the x-ray has shown that the bones are intact. Only a few bruises and scratches on my back," Rothwell told local newspaper The Nation after the stage.

"I think I will compete in the final stage tomorrow but let's see how far the pain affects my riding. However, I'd love to make it to the final if I can," he added.

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

Tickets are selling very fast for Brad McGee's "The 7th Stage" celebration dinner, 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.

Burnaby Velodrome racing

The first race for the Burnaby Velodrome this season will be held this weekend from Friday, November 8 through Sunday, November 10. Events range from kilometre time trials and pursuits to mass start and team events. Racing starts at 8:30pm on Friday evening and runs from 9:00am-5:00pm on Saturday and 8:30am-4:00pm on Sunday.

The velodrome will also host a swap meet on Saturday and Sunday, and an open house to introduce cyclists to track racing on Monday, November 11 between 11:00am and 3:00pm.

The Burnaby Velodrome is located at 7564 Barnet Highway, Burnaby, B.C. (inside the Harry Jerome Sports Centre on the North side of Burnaby Mountain).

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