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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

News for November 18, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones & Chris Henry

Ullrich looking to Setmana Catalana

Jan Ullrich, suspended from competition until March 23, 2002, envisions his return to racing at the Setmana Catalana at the end of March. Ullrich told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that he "is motivated like a young professional, but with eight years of racing experience."

For the winner of the 1997 Tour de France, the "grande boucle" remains his number one goal. "I want nothing more and nothing less than to win the Tour a second time."

Ullrich remains without a team for next year, as negotiations with Bjarne Riis and the CSC team still hinge on Riis's securing a major sponsor. Team Telekom's final offer to Ullrich remains on the table, but ties with the team appear to be severed. "We have negotiated for a long time, unable to find a common ground," said Ullrich on his relationship with his former team.

Vaughters wants to start development team

By Jeff Jones

American pro Jonathan Vaughters, who will race for Prime Alliance next season, is looking at starting his own development team, consisting of Junior/U23 riders. The team would be based in the USA and be organised under the same umbrella that organises Prime Alliance. However, the funding for the team will not be supplied by Prime Alliance, as Vaughters expects the title sponsor to be 5280 magazine, Denver's guide to the arts, entertainment, dining and lifestyle.

In announcing the project, Vaughters said that "Throughout my career, I have realised that Junior and U23 cycling is very hard to financially support, due to the small commercial value of a low profile team. In essence, why would anyone sponsor a development team, when the dollars could be used much more effectively in sponsoring just one high profile professional rider?"

"The catch here is, that without development programs that the average professional rider would never have gotten to the position he's in to get the sponsorship dollars. I know I wouldn't have. So, I've come up with a truly novel idea on how to create sponsorship dollars for such a development team."

That novel idea is to raise money via his fledgling real estate brokering business. Vaughters says that he will donate 50% of his commission on each real estate transaction to support the cycling team. "In plain numbers if you have a $200,000 home to sell, we will donate $1600 to the Vaughters development team upon the sale of your house," says Vaughters.

Vaughters told Cyclingnews that the team's projected budget is around $US30,000, which by the way is similar to the budget of the Australian-French development team The money will be used primarily to cover transport and accommodation costs. Vaughters hopes "to raise $US15,000 to start the project, and hopefully the real estate venture will bring in another $15,000."

In addition to 5280 magazine, the team will have other financial and equipment sponsors such as Basil Doc's pizza and, with the intent of signing more.

Vaughters will start with four U23 riders and two juniors, as selected by him and Prime Alliance manager Roy Knickman. The team will be coached by Andy Hampsten, winner of the 1988 Giro d'Italia. The squad will race in the USA, although "If I can generate enough dollars, then next year we'll take on a few bigger events," said Vaughters.

What does it take to be a pro? Vaughters believes that "The most important things for an aspiring pro are simple: 1. Funding to be able to train full time, 2. Knowledgeable resources, to give answers and constructive criticism, 3. A happy environment, to make cycling enjoyable enough to keep working at it."

Team Ireland happy with season 2002

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

Team Ireland members, who used Belgium as a base courtesy of Cycling Ireland's development plan, were more than satisfied. They were able to take part in competition at a very high level and the results bore fruit.

Over 30 cyclists participated in the programme, which was run under the guidance of international competitor, Eugene Moriarty from Listowel in Co. Kerry. Of course Moriarty was well aware of the needs of competitors who enter the international arena. His qualifications alone from Trinity made him a natural to carry out the specifications as laid down by the CI body.

Ciaran McKenna a spokesman for the cycling body said that "it was a programme which warranted the soundings in year one as to see what benefit would derive from the exercise. We were pleased with the outcome, but next year we intend basing ourselves closer to Brussels. This move would be more central and also would cut down significantly the travelling time which was part and parcel of our programme. The need now is to step up in class and get into the bigger events, which carry world-ranking points."

"Also it is a bonus here in CI that other sports here are looking at our venture vis-a-vis a residence. We are leaders in the field and the professionalism has shown through thanks to all, and in particular Eugene who cut back on his racing to help launch our venture. The idea of a house helps our cause and Eugene was aware as to what was happening on the ground. No doubt next season we'll see better results. The Irish Sports Council saw our move as a welcome development and their funding proved invaluable."

"The template can be built on and who knows with the foundations now laid the prospects for bigger and better results which will surely follow this initiative," finished Ciaran.

Mez team folds

It's not all good news on the development team front, as a day after the report that Eric Vanderaerden was considering becoming its sports director, Belgian amateur/junior team Mez Snellegem will now fold. The reason, according to head sponsor Freddy Casteleyn (as quoted in Het Laatste Nieuws), is that Vanderaerden declined the offer. That put an end to the team's hopes for new co-sponsors and Casteleyn decided to end his involvement in the project.

The Mez team had 64 riders on its roster, including Belgian junior champion Jurgen Roelandts. It was particularly strong in the junior ranks, making up four out of the five members of the Belgian Junior World's squad. It's patron was Johan Museeuw.

Botero's welcome home adventure continues

Botero's hometown, Medellin, will honour his achievements with a sporting as well as an artistic event organized by the local authorities this coming Tuesday, November 19, 2002.

The event will take place at 6:00 pm, at the legendary velodrome Martin Emilio Rodriguez and some of Colombia's cycling legends such as Javier "el ņato" Suarez, Ramon Hoyos, Mario "Papaya" Vanegas, Efrain Dominguez, Balbino Jaramillo, Mario Escobar Goez and the man himself, Martin Emilio "Cochise" Rodriguez.

Also, active riders such as Marlon Perez, Rafael Infantino, and Hernan Buenahora will be participating in the event. The program will feature a number of events where Cochise will race Javier "el ņato" Suarez on the oval track.

Tributes will be paid to Santiago Botero by Luis Alfredo Ramos (representing the Congress of the Republic), Eugenio Prieto Soto (representing Antioquia's Governor), Luis Perez Gutierrez (representing Medellin's Mayor), and Javier Rios (representing Antioquia's cycling league) in recognition of Botero's achievements in Europe since 1996 as a professional cyclist.

During the ceremony Santiago Botero will be the guarantor for the equivalent of $US555,000 to be used for the construction of the Velodrome's roof. The project will start next year.

Courtesy of Fernando Zapata

05 Orbitel in Europe

Colombian team 05-Orbitel will make the step to Division II next year, which means that it can race a European program. The team has already had invitations for the Clasica De Alcobendas, Vuelta a Asturias, Escalada al Alto del Naranco, Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, and Vuelta a la Rioja in Spain, and hopes to participate in the Vuelta a Aragon and GP Mitsubishi in Portugal.

O'Neill and Mactier to Saturn

Italian based Australian couple Nathan O'Neill (Panaria) and Katie Mactier will ride for the Saturn men's and women's teams next season. The pair are currently in the process of moving to Boise, Idaho, where they will be based for the 2003 season. Saturn assistant manager Giana Roberge confirmed the signing, adding that the team will announce one more rider tomorrow, for a total of 22 men and women.

O'Neill, who has ridden for Panaria for the past three years, is the reigning Australian time trial champion. Mactier won the Australian road title in 2001 and has ridden with the Australian Institute of Sport squad.

Carlsson to Krone

Norwegian third division squad Team Krone becomes even more international by signing 27 year old swede Mattias Carlsson who has been riding for Danish Team Odder this season. Mattias is an all rounder and was fourth in the Swedish Road Championships this summer. Team Krone will thus meet the 2003 season with the following line up:

Gabriel Rasch, Rune Jogert, Lars Breiseth, Christopher Myhre, Andreas Molandsveen, Per Martin Lund, Mattias Carlsson (Swe) Simon Gerrans (Aus) and Jonathan Dayus (GBr)

Spanish federation president survives censure motion

The Federación Española de Ciclismo rejected a motion of censure against president Manuel Pérez. The motion was brought by the regional federations of Catalonia, Melilla, Galicia, Rioja, Ceuta, Murcia, and Madrid, prompted by presumed mismanagement of the organization. In recent months several directors have resigned, including former vice-president Jose Griñán.


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