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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

News for November 10, 2002

Edited by Chris Henry

Bruyneel will fight to keep Boonen

US Postal's Johan Bruyneel commented on the ongoing efforts of Belgian Tom Boonen to extract himself from the team, despite being under contract through 2003. For Bruyneel, the frustration is compounded given the arrival of Berry Floor as a major sponsor for the team. "It's the first time in the team's history that we've had a major European sponsor, and in this case it's Belgian. It's very important for us," Bruyneel said in an interview with "Tom Boonen was one of the aspects of the team that helped secure the deal with Berry Floor, who are very interested in the classics."

"This issue really upsets me," Bruyneel continued. "He has a contract with the team for next year but he wants to leave... For me, he's a member of the team for 2003! I can tell you that I will fight to make sure Tom stays with us. It's very important in my eyes, and in the eyes of our sponsor."

Of some consolation to Bruyneel is the fact that he has Boonen's contract, and the UCI, on his side. "The contract is completely valid and the UCI knows it," he said. "The UCI wants to make sure the contract is respected, and that's what counts for me."

Courtesy of

Rabobank sets deadline for Freire

With contract negotiations as yet unresolved, Rabobank has given Oscar Freire one week to sign his name to the deal. On the table is a two year contract for the ex-world champion, which was due to be signed several weeks ago, until new economic conditions were introduced by Freire and his brother/manager Antonio. November 15 is also the UCI's deadline for teams to submit their rosters, adding to the urgency of the situation.

Two for De Nardi-Colpack-Astro

Time trial specialist Serguey Gontchar, one of nine riders departing Fassa Bortolo at the end of the year, has reportedly signed a two year deal with the newly merged De Nardi-Colpack-Astro team. Also joining the team will be Italian Graziano Gasparre, who rode this year for the Mapei-Quick Step espoirs team.

Gamito to Cantanhede

Portuguese rider Vitor Gamito, 32, has been signed by Division II team Cantanhede. Following a disappointing 2002 season, Gamito was dropped by his Barbot-Torrié team. Gamito won the 2000 edition of the Volta a Portugal, but was unable to find big results in the past two seasons. The Portugeuse pro is anxious the rediscover the form that took him to top five places in several major UCI events in 1997, including fourth place at both the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and the Setmana Catalana.

Courtesy of João Cravo

Ullrich on the move

Jan Ullrich has yet to secure a contract for next season, but the German is nonetheless moving forward. Ullrich is back on the bike, working with his coach Peter Becker to prepare for 2003. For the moment on the bike means on the rollers, but Ullrich isn't prepared to risk a premature aggravation of his knee. "I'm leaving things in the control of my physicians," Ullrich commented on his Internet site. "So as not to risk overloading the knee, I'm training without expending too much energy. If everything goes smoothly I'll be riding on the road soon."

Meanwhile, the 1997 Tour winner has decided on another big move, apart from his departure from Team Telekom. Along with his girlfriend Gaby, Ullrich has decided to purchase a house in the Swiss canton of Thurgau, with a view of the Bodensee lake [Lake Constance]. "The location is perfect. Besides my old routes in the Black Forest, there are Alpine passes right outside the door, and my training partner Tobias Steinhauser lives only half an hour away," he explained. "We will move as fast as possible, so I can concentrate completely on my training."

Unzue confident for team's future

Eusebio Unzue, team manager of, remains confident that his team will survive the withdrawal of title sponsor Banesto at the end of 2003. Unzue says the team has yet to experience its best days in cycling, and riders like Unai Osa, Juan-Miguel Mercado, Denis Menchov and Francisco Mancebo are still maturing as top professionals.

The reduction of the team budget, and consequent reduction in roster size (from 26 to 20 riders), will force the team to forego certain races, including many Portuguese events and possibly the Tour of Luxembourg. Whether or not will ride the Giro in 2003 depends primarily on the broadcast rights of the event in Spain, and Unzue has not yet decided whether the team will race in Paris-Nice or Tirreno Adriatico. However, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España remain certain for 2003.

Courtesy of João Cravo

Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee round two

The second round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee will take place Monday, November 11 in Niel. The first round of the series was held in Oudenaarde at the famous Koppenberg, and was won by Richard Groenendaal. However the Dutch 'cross ace will not be present on Monday for round two. "We did everything we could to have Groenendaal at the start, but unfortunately the Dutchman is too demanding for us," commented race organizer Ronald Spagnaerts.

Due to start, among others, are Mario De Clercq, Sven Nys, Erwin Vervecken, Tom Vannoppen, Bart Wellens, Gerben de Knegt, Peter Van Santvliet, Wim Jacobs, and Bert Vervecken.

Standings after the first round for Elite men:

1. Richard Groenendaal  35 points
2. Sven Nys             32
3. Bart Wellens         29
4. Mario De Clercq      27
5. Peter Van Santvliet  26
6. Sven Vanthourenhout  24
7. Erwin Vervecken      23
8. Gerben de Knegt      22
9. Ben Berden           20
10. Arne Daelmans       18 

The third round of the competition will be held on December 14 in Essen. The seven round competition wraps up at the end of February in Oostmalle.

Nine stages, bigger teams for 2003 Peace Race

The 56th Peace Race, scheduled for May 5-15, 2003, will cover 1,470 kilometers over the course of nine stages. The race will travel from Olomouc in the Czech Republic to Erfurt, Germany. New this year will be an increase in the size of the 18 teams, from six to eight riders each.

Atlanta cyclist killed while training

On November 4, long-time Atlanta-area cyclist David Martin was killed by a motorist while riding his bike in Emerson, Georgia in the United States. David would have celebrated his thirty-fourth birthday on November 11, 2002. He survived by his parents, two brothers, his wife Gretchen and her son.

Genesis Scuba/FFCC Cycling Team director Michael Skop describes David as a competitive cyclist known for his explosive speed in the sprint, the kind of rider who could alter the outcome of a race merely by being in the peloton. Many teams would race simply to keep David out of the front group (often without success) in order to avoid having to deal with his fantastic finishing speed. Among his numerous results on the bike, David was a three time Champion of the State of Georgia, 30+ Criterium and Road Champion in 2001, and Elite Criterium Champion in 1997, Southeastern Collegiate Conference road race champion in 1996, as well as overall omnium champion.

US Bicycling Hall of Fame art contest

The United States Bicycling Hall of Fame announces a nationwide art contest commemorating the annual Induction Dinner. The winner's art will be used to create a custom wine label for the evening, and will be displayed at the dinner, as well as in the Hall of Fame as part of the museum collection. The art, and all copyright privileges, will remain property of the artist.

The Induction Dinner, May 25, 2003 at 5pm, in Somerville, NJ, will honor inductees to be announced at a future date. Event Chair for the evening is Gerard Bisceglia, CEO of USA Cycling. The dinner is held in conjunction with SomerCycle 2003, an event which will host 4 days of racing from May 23-26.

The Hall of Fame should receive original art no later than January 29, 2003.

US Bicycling Hall of Fame Art Contest - C/O Ron Roley
145 West Main Street
Somerville, NJ 08876-0853

For general information, see, or contact for specific questions.


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