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Photo ©: Schaaf

News for November 15, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Van Dooren retires after EPO positive

Dutch mountain biker Bas van Dooren has put an end to his career, following a positive test for EPO at the World Mountain Bike Championships in Kaprun in August. Although he could theoretically resume racing after serving a one year suspension, the 29 year old has decided to end it once and for all, so to speak.

"I must leave it at the World Championships, shot through my head," he said in an interview with Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. "There a top performance was necessary if I wanted to continue my sporting career. With a good result there would have been team managers interested in me. But I knew on the parcours in Kaprun I would come up too short. And yes of course I knew of the stories about EPO. The men who used it, flew. Maybe it would work for me also."

Van Dooren finished 11th in the mud fest that was the men's cross country race on September 1, 10'25 behind the winner Roland Green. After that, he doubted that he would stay in mountain biking, due to the financial problems that the still young sport is wrestling with. After his year and a half contract with Specialized (January 2001-June 2002), he attempted to make it as a road rider with BankGiroLoterij, signing at the beginning of this season but quitting halfway. Nothing succeeded for him and he was already looking at retiring from cycling.

"On the internet you can find all sorts of information," he told AD. "Doctors prescriptions? Well in Germany you can get them easily from a chemist. And Germany is close by. I read several articles that the drug can only be traced between three and five days after an injection. The Bo Hamburger affair reminded me that he eventually got away free. I thought then that I could get away with it too. I gambled."

Van Dooren said that he bought some EPO for 400 euros, and injected it on August 26, six days before the race on Sunday. "However the inspectors were at my door on Friday. I gambled and lost."

Van Dooren's hematocrit was measured at 50 percent on that day, enough to make the UCI suspicious. They returned the next day and asked him to submit a urine sample, five days after Van Dooren had injected EPO. The results of his A sample were known on September 20. "Of course they were positive," said Van Dooren.

On October 17, the Dutch Olympic Committee and Dutch Sports Federation (NOC*NSF) issued a report stating that Van Dooren had resorted to the use of EPO out of desperation, and voted to ban him for a year starting February 1, 2003, as well as handing him a SF 2000 fine. However, Van Dooren knew that it was over by then. "I had little interest in the penalty, because I had already decided to stop," he said.

Van Dooren finished by criticising the KNWU (Dutch Federation) for using him as an example to show how hard it treats dopers. "Riders from Festina who talked a lot after using EPO walked away with sentences of six or a few more months. In fact I will have to stand on the sidelines for 15 months because the KNWU doesn't count winter periods. That means that I can ride all types of cyclo-cross races. Perhaps I'll do that, to show how negligently the KNWU deals with such affairs!"

"I felt as though the federation wanted to prevent me from winning the Olympics in Athens. No, they have nothing to fear. I'm busy in a job as a representative. They won't see me again in mountain bike races."

Aimar denies Tour Méditerranéen problems

Former Tour de France winner and now organiser of the Tour Méditerranéen Lucien Aimar has denied that the Conseil du Cyclisme Professionnel threatened to stop his race next year, due to non payment of last year's prizemoney and an "irregular" last stage.

In an interview with, Aimar said that the problems in last year's edition were due to the travel expenses of the French teams. The French federation demanded that the organisers invite all the French teams, which meant five extra teams for the race (this was at the time when Paris-Nice was in danger of being cancelled). However the budget didn't stretch that far and the matter is now between the French federation and the teams in question, according to Aimar. Next year, the budget has already been set for 18 teams, and these will include Milaneza-MSS, US Postal, Quick Step and Fassa Bortolo.

As far as the UCI regulations preventing a team time trial from taking place beyond the first third of the race, Aimar stated that this rule had been abolished 12 years ago. Thus the final stage, which is programmed as a team time trial and run over 42 km, does not stretch the rules.

The Tour Méditerranéen will take place over five stages as follows:

  • Stage 1 - February 12: A stage in Italy, including the ascension of the Poggio
  • Stage 2 - February 13: Menton-Le Cannet, including the climb of the Turbie
  • Stage 3 - February 14: Seillant - La Motte
  • Stage 4 - February 15: La Motte-Mont Faron
  • Stage 5 - February 16: Team Time Trial finishing in Marseille, 42 km

Courtesy of

Saeco close to signing Ivan Quaranta

The Saeco-Longoni Sport team is reportedly close to signing sprinter Ivan Quaranta (Index-Alexia) for the 2003 season. The deal would be for one year, with the option to extend for another year to 2004. Saeco intends to have 25 riders on its roster for 2003, the maximum allowed for a Division I team. At the moment it has 22, and Quaranta would make 23.

Saeco's team manager Claudio Corti is interested in the sprinter, who had a very disappointing season this year with Index-Alexia. The Italian team manager believes that the 28 year old rider still has plenty of time to realise his potential. There remain some questions to be resolved involving the personal sponsorship of Quaranta before the deal can be closed.

Courtesy of João Cravo

CCC-Polsat ready and willing to contract Rumsas

Should Lithuanian cyclist Raimondas Rumsas fail to renegotiate a contract with Lampre next season, he will certainly be welcome in Polish Division II squad CCC-Polsat, which is directed by his former teammate Andrzej Sypytkowski.

Polish newsagency PAP quoted Sypytkowski as saying "The issue of Rumsas remains pending in our team, although Raimondas is well aware of the fact that he will not get here the pay he would in Italy. But if there is the need, we should lend him a hand."

If CCC-Polsat signs Rumsas, who has 706 UCI points, it has a chance of making Division I when the points are reallocated at the beginning of next year.

Courtesy of ELTA

Duijn to Van Hemert Groep

Dutch rider Marcel Duijn has signed a contract with the Van Hemert Groep Cycling Team. Duijn rode with Rabobank for three years and won Olympia's tour in 1999.

The Van Hemert Groep team now has the following 12 riders under contract for next season, and is currently in negotiations with a 13th rider: Igor Abakoumov, Ruud Aerts, Jeroen Boelen, Stef Clement, Marcel Duijn, Edwin Dunning, Roel Egelmeers, Kees Jeurissen, Vincent van Rijn, Martin van Steen, Robbert van der Stelt and Julien Smink.

Zijlaard-Van Moorsel, Melchers and De Goede nominated for Cyclist of the Year

Dekker, Boogerd and Van Dijk in the men

The title of best Dutch female cyclist of the year 2002 will go to either Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel, Mirjam Melchers or Suzanne De Goede, all of whom are from Rotterdam Cycling, which includes Team Farm Frites Hartol and Team Ton van Bemmelen Sports Novilon.

The men's nominations are Erik Dekker, Michael Boogerd and Dutch champion Stefan van Dijk. The winner will be announced on Monday, December 2 in Den Bosch.

Nijs becomes a dad

On Monday, November 11, cyclo-cross rider Sven Nijs became the father of a boy, named Thibau. The child was 48 centimeters long and weighed 3.08 kg. Isabelle, Sven's wife, said that "Sven has no problems with the baby. He even gave more bottles of milk than I did! I don't expect him to win Sunday in Gavere, but I'm sure he'll try everything to bring home flowers for his little boy..."

A Private American Collection

By Tim Maloney, European editor

Investment banker Thom Weisel is head of his eponymous San Francisco financial firm and owner of Tailwind Sports, the sports marketing firm that manages the United States Postal Service cycling team. Weisel has also been an avid collector of art for 30 years and is a trustee of both the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Weisel has a passion for postwar art, primarily Abstract Expressionists like de Kooning, Kline and Gorky as well as West Coast artists like Wayne Thiebaud and Richard Diebenkorn.

Earlier this week, Weisel auctioned off 21 works of art out of his collection of 700 pieces at Sotheby's Manhattan auction house. Called "A Private American Collection," the sale featured between $43.4 million to $60.7 million worth of mostly Abstract Expressionist art. Although Tuesday's sale netted "only" $33,525,000, and eight paintings didn't achieve their minimum estimated prices, Weisel told the SF Chronicle's Art Critic Kenneth Baker that he was pleased with the result of the sale.

"I think Sotheby's thought several of the objects would do better at the after sale," Weisel told Baker, "so they didn't let them go. But a few things did very well, so in the end, it all equals out."

Highlight for the night was the sale of Abstract Expressionists Willem de Kooning's "Orestes" (1947) which went for over $12 million, well above its high estimate of $10 million. "Orestes" is a rare black-and-white abstract with color flashes, and most works from this period in de Kooning's career are in museums.

Another Abstract Expressionist, Franz Kline, a fellow star of the New York School with de Kooning, did well for Weisel. His 1951 painting "Ninth Street," set an auction record for the artist, bringing $4.1 million.

West Coast Artist Wayne Thiebaud's "Freeways" (1975-79), a "uncharacteristically gritty aerial cityscape", went for $2.8 million, setting a record for his work, while fellow West Coaster David Park's "Boy with Flute" also set a record, its hammer price matching the high estimate of $700,000.

Although Thom Weisel may have liquidated some of his visual assets, he still shows as much of a passion for art as he does for business or bike racing. "Collecting is somewhat of a disease," Weisel told the NY Times, describing many of his recent art acquisitions. "There's no question about it. "

Marco Wilches killed

Former Colombian climber Marco Wilches was shot dead at 11:30pm Thursday evening in the Colombian town of Facatativa. Wilches, who was now a taxi owner/driver, was killed by several men that were trying to steal the taxi from him.

Marco Wilches (38) was a good rider in the 80's while riding for the Colombian team Postobon. In that team he rode with Luis Herrera, winner of the Vuelta 1987. The main achievement of Marco Wilches was being the first Colombian to win a Tour de France stage. He also won the Vuelta El Salvador, Vuelta a Honduras, and finished second in the Vuelta a Costa Rica. He emigrated to Costa Rica in 1993 and retired from cycling in 1996.

His funeral will be in the Funeraria el Recuerdo, Facatativa this Friday at 16:00

Courtesy of João Cravo

World Champions to race international keirin series

World Champions Sean Eadie and Jobie Dajka will team up with former World Keirin Champion Ryan Bayley in an International Keirin Series at Perth’s Midvale Speed Dome on November 22 and 24. The trio will be racing against a Japanese team including Takashi Kaneko, Toshiyuki Ono, Akihiro Isezaki and Yuichiro Maesori, some of the most successful riders from the lucrative Japanese Keirin Racing Program. In addition to the strong lineup of World Champions and Japanese the event will also feature Ben Kersten, Junior World Champion Mark French, Danny Day, Greg McFarlane and Darren Harry.

Also competing will be World Team Pursuit Champion Peter Dawson, fellow Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist and World Record holder Graeme Brown and World Junior Champion Mark Jamieson, who will battling it out in the feature track endurance events.

Irish cyclo-cross league round 5 preview

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

The penultimate league cyclo-cross event goes ahead at Stormont in the Province of Ulster on Saturday. It is a marvellous setting for the league event and should attract a good entry. Last weekend, with the absence of Robin Seymour, the points table took on a new look. From being out front, Seymour now drops to fourth behind the new leader Roger Aiken who finished second. He looked as if he had the maximum points sewn up as he went through at the bell with a ten second advantage over Aidan McDonald, who went on to win the race after Roger shipped his chain, thus handing the baton to the Apollo CT competitor.

Irrespective of Seymour making it back from Spain, it looks as though the points table will be interesting. There doesn't appear to be an obvious reason why Aiken and McDonald, now that they have moved ahead of the Irish champion, should falter at this crucial juncture as points go a begging in the penultimate league outing.

Interesting that the handicapper in Banbridge was less than generous in the dishing out of time advantage, with only four and a half minutes between the limit and the scratch group. When Robin is around the limit group have eight minutes and they need it as the Wicklow man simply eats up the terrain in pursuit of glory.

The action goes ahead at mid-day (Saturday) with the event being promoted by promoted by XMTB (entrance by Massey Avenue gates, Stormont). Mountain bikers are welcome but they will not be counters in the league series.

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