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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

News for November 9, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones and Chris Henry

Boonen won't stay quietly

The Tom Boonen/US Postal contract affair will not be resolved peacefully it seems. A report in Belgian newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen suggests that Boonen wants to do everything he can to try to get out of a binding agreement with the team for 2003. However, unless he comes up with the money to buy his way out of his contract, he will have to stay.

A few days after the final race of the season (Grote Sluitingsprijs van Putte-Kapellen), Tom Boonen reportedly "sent a fax to USPS team manager Mark Gorski stating that he is leaving the team immediately." Boonen's desire for 2003 is to ride in the Quick Step-Davitamon team of Patrick Lefevere, where he could race alongside Johan Museeuw.

However, US Postal was not interested in his fax and has always maintained that Boonen has a contract with the team for 2003. In addition, the UCI has made it clear that it does not approve of riders breaking their contracts unless there is a good reason (e.g., non-payment of wages). Boonen does not fall into this category although he does feel frustrated that he did not race enough this season.

On November 15, USPS will give the UCI the names of all its riders, and Boonen still forms part of the lineup, whether he wants to or not.

Koerts to Bankgiroloterij

The Bankgiroloterij team has finalized its roster for 2003, with the addition of 34 year old Dutch sprinter Jans Koerts. The former Dutch national champion, who rode this season for Domo-Farm Frites, was not offered a contract following the team's merger with Lotto.

Also Matthé Pronk (28), who was dismissed by Rabobank at the end of this season, will reinforce Bankgiroloterij next year.

Koldo Gil to ONCE-Eroski's Koldo Gil, whose contract was not renewed at the end of this season, has signed for ONCE-Eroski. "I've had an irregular season," Gil told Spanish daily Marca. "I was injured for three months, but I continued to train and race. This is one reason why I haven't been able to mature as a cyclist and as a professional. But nobody becomes professional in just two years."

Nuttli's hour on November 15

Swiss time trial phenomenon Jean Nuttli will attempt to break Chris Boardman's world hour record of 49.441 kilometers, set in Manchester on October 27, 2000. Nuttli will make his attempt in Bordeaux on November 15, in conjunction with the Open des Nations.

Nuttli has caught the interest of many given his unusual development in the sport. Working as a painter for his family business, Nuttli weighed 125kg in 1996. Following a diabolical regime on the indoor trainer, he shed 39kg in a period of five months. Entering into amateur competition in 1997, victories came rather easily, including a win at the Tour Berne in 1998, which prompted Phonak director Jean-Jacques Loup to take notice. In 2001, Nuttli was crowned national champion in the time trial, and won his second Chrono des Herbiers.

The 2002 season has not shined as brightly on Nuttli, however recent tests at the Geneva velodrome seem to show that the Swiss speedster is ready to tackle the record in Bordeaux. Nuttli's attempt, scheduled for 3pm on November 15th, will help mark the opening of the weekend's competition.

Teams announced for Open des Nations

The Société du Tour de France has announced the sixteen teams for this year's Open des Nations track competition, which takes place November 15-17 at the velodrome in Bordeaux-Lac.

Germany: Fiedler, Wolff
Australia: Eadie, Dajka
Canada: Madsen
Denmark: Dyrgaard
Spain: Villanueva
France: Rousseau, Neuville, Tournant, Perque, Bourgain, Gané, Mandard, D'Olivier, Haddou
Great Britain: Maclean, Newton, Wiggins
Latvia/Austria: Kiksis, Garber, Berzins, Stocher
Netherlands: Bos
Czech Republich: Buran
Slovakia: Jerabek
Switzerland: Marvulli
Kazakstan: Vinokourov

Javier Otxoa to bid farewell to pro peloton

Javier Otxoa will race this Sunday, following 21 months of rehabilitation following the accident that left him in a coma and killed his twin brother Ricardo. This race, however, will also mark Otxoa's farewell to the professional peloton. The physical and neurological injuries sustained by Otxoa in the accident are too serious to allow him to fully rejoin the professional ranks.

"Javier is okay. Physically, he still limps a little bit but with a lot of training he's much better than he was," his brother Andoni Otxoa told AFP. "It's mainly the neurological injuries that he sustained that cause problems." Javier is anxious to ride and race again, but knows that his competitive days will have to continue in a new venue.

"I'm under no illusions," the rider told Basque radio last month. "I know I'll now have to ride in the Paralympics against people who are handicapped. I really want to ride again. I would love to have been able to ride in the Tour de France or the Vuelta again as a professional. Although it's going to be much different for me now, I want to give the best I can no matter what level its at."

Fowler's still got it

By Alan Messenger

Brian Fowler
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

Brian Fowler is a legend on the Tour of Southland, he won it eight times and he's here this year for the last time. The Christchurch rider first won the Tour in 1985 when it was a three day race, and his last victory came ten years later in 1995. So why is a 40 year old with nothing to prove riding the race again this year?

"Our Sponsor (Winton's Middle Pub) was putting the team together and Hayden (Godfrey) was jacking up some of his mates from the States so I thought it would be good to be part of it," Fowler told Cyclingnews. There's also the memories. "It's also the memories that brought me back. It holds a lot of good memories . I won a stage so it's all been worthwhile," he said.

These days the tough veteran has a family and a business to worry about. "I've got three boys and they take up a lot of my time. I try to spend as much time as I can with them. It's also hard when you're busy at work."

Fowler did have a parting shot to fire at the modern cyclists. "Their intelligence is something I can't figure out half the time, letting guys just go up the road, taking time, taking places off them. It's ridiculous."

Well, that's Brian Fowler, and he was never afraid to speak his mind.

Lumsden named GM and COO of 2003 World's

Neil Lumsden will be named General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of the 2003 World Cycling Championships in Hamilton, Ontario. A Burlington-native and former General Manager and Director of Football Operations for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Lumsden will continue his longtime involvement in Canadian sport. "This is an excellent opportunity for Hamilton to step up onto the world stage and show that we can host a world-class event in a world-class city," Lumsden commented.

The 2003 World's will take place from October 6 to 12, 2003.

USA Cycling 2003 Board Elections

USA Cycling announced Thursday the results from its annual Board of Trustees elections. All of the newly-elected representatives for the USCF, USPRO and NORBA ran unopposed, with the exception of Robert Heatley (Austin, Texas), who ran against and defeated USCF chairman Gary Stephenson (Abilene, Texas).

In the USCF elections, Kirk Leidy (Altoona, Pa.) will serve as the Eastern Section trustee; Jim Allen (Murrieta, Ca.) will serve as the Western Section trustee and Heatley will serve as the Central Section trustee. Brian Stickel (Ackworth, Iowa), NORBA chairman, will continue to serve NORBA as an Officials representative.

David Chauner (Norristown, Pa.) rejoins the USPRO board of trustees as a USPRO Race Organizers representative, and Ray Cipollini (Hackettstown, N.J.) will continue to serve as one of the USPRO Team Managers representatives.

Board of members serve four-year terms, and the new trustees named Thursday will assume their respective duties immediately.

Physiologist Ed Burke dies

Well known US sports physiologist Ed Burke, 53, passed away on Thursday after suffering what was thought to be a heart attack. Burke was riding near his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado when he collapsed, and could not be revived despite the efforts of paramedics who quickly appeared at the scene.

After completing his doctorate in exercise physiology, Burke joined the USCF in 1979, and served as a U.S. Olympic team staff member in 1980 and 1984. Burke made his mark through his research in sports physiology, and wrote extensively for a number of cycling publications, including serving as the editor of Cycling Science. Ed Burke is survived by his wife Kathleen.

Obree film cancelled

The Flying Scotsman film, based on the exploits of Graeme Obree, was unable to secure the £1m it needed to start shooting next week. "I feel really sorry for Graeme Obree and his family," the film's first assistant director Tommy Gormley told, after learning the film had been cancelled.

Gormley revealed that no extra funding had been found for the film, which was due to start filming on 15th November. "I'm hoping the project can be resurrected in the spring," he said.


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