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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

News for November 24, 2002

Edited by Chris Henry

Larsson to Fassa Bortolo

Swedish time trial specialist Gustav Larsson will ride for Fassa Bortolo next year, following a verbal agreement reached between Fassa Bortolo and Team Bianchi Scandinavia, the new name of Division III Team Crescent. Larsson will likely start the season with Team Bianchi Scandinavia, then move to the Italian team later on. The contract will be finalized in December.

Meanwhile, Team Bianchi Scandinavia is negotiating with several Swedish talents to replace Larsson and Erik Wendel, who will leave the team to take up his studies. The outstanding Swedish junior rider of the last two seasons, Thomas Lövkvist is confirmed for the team, along with Jonas Holmkvist, Tobias Lergård, Jonas Olsson, Petter Renäng and Mikael Segersäll. Negotiations are ongoing with mountain biker Fredrik Kessiakoff, who finished last season on the road with a spot on the Swedish national team at the World Championships in Zolder.

Sgambelluri to Index-Alexia

Italian rider Roberto Sgambelluri (Mercatone Uno) will ride for Index-Alexia for the 2003 season. Silver medallist at the 1996 U23 World Championships road race in Lugano, the 28 year old rider had an abbreviated season this year after a failed drug test at the 2002 Giro d'Italia left him suspended from competition. Sgambelluri turned pro in 1997 and rode for Brescialat (1997-1998), Cantina Tollo (1999-200), Telekom (2001) and Mercatone Uno (2002).

Courtesy of João Cravo

Bontempi new Lampre DS

Fabrizio Bontempi will join Lampre as directeur sportif, leaving a post at Tacconi Sport-Emmegi, according to Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport. Bontempi joins Pietro Algeri, Maurizio Piovani, and Brent Copeland in the management of the team, which will meet for its first pre-season camp from December 1-4 at Salice Terme.

Gerolsteiner 2003

Italian Davide Rebellin will once more lead the German Gerolsteiner team for 2003, along with time trial aces Uwe Peschel and Michael Rich. Classics rider Marcus Zberg (ex-Rabobank) will bolster the lineup, along with the indefatigable ex-Telekom domestique Udo Bölts. The newly reinforced team will also undergo a major equipment change, as Wilier Triestina replaces Klein as the team's bike sponsor. Indeed, 2003 will be a big year for Gerolsteiner, as it ranks for the first time among the 14 teams automatically qualified for the Tour de France.

The unofficial Gerolsteiner team roster for 2003 is as follows:

Udo Bölts
Daniele Contrini
Gianni Faresin
Robert Forster
Uwe Hardter
René Haselbacher
Sebastian Lang
Torsten Nietsche
Volker Ordowski
Uwe Peschel
Olaf Pollack
Ellis Rastelli
Davide Rebellin
Michael Rich
Torsten Schmidt
Ronny Scholz
Marcel Strauss
Georg Totschnig
Gerhard Trampusch
Fabian Wegmann
Steffen Weigold
Peter Wrolich
Markus Zberg

Jean Delatour prepares for 2003

The French Jean Delatour team will convene for its first pre-season rendez-vous from December 2-7 in l'Isle d'Abeau, near Lyon. Among the eighteen riders who will ride next season, six new faces will make the trip to the Lyon region: Mickaïl Buffaz (VC Lyon Vaulx en Velin), Sébastien Joly (Bonjour), David Lefèvre, Ludovic Martin (Crédit Agricole), Jean-Patrick Nazon (FDJeux.com), and Pierre Bourquenoud (St. Quentin-Oktos). The team will be sporting newly designed jerseys for 2003.

On December 7, the final day of this first training camp, members of the team's fan club will join the pros for a 60km ride around the Lyon area.

Seventh Spanish team still on track

Plans for a seventh Spanish pro team appear to be well on track, as the Elite 2 team Cafés Baqué looks set to expand to a Division II professional team. Joining sponsorship forces with a regional construction company, Cafés Baqué is expected to take on 15 riders, including five neo-pros from the Cafés Baqué amateur team.

Swiss World Cup 'cross selection

Swiss coach Stephan Buchs revealed the names of the riders who will represent the country at the November 24 opening of the cyclo-cross World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany. The Swiss team will be lead by Thomas Frischknecht, along with Beat Wabel, Jan Ramsauer, Michi Baumgartner, Christian Heule and U23 rider Michi Müller. As an U223 rider, Müller will be an extra rider allowed by the UCI rules. The idea of this exception is to give the best young riders the opportunity to compete against the top riders on the cyclo-cross circuit.

Courtesy of João Cravo

Cyclo-cross Racing Calendar (CRC) rankings

USA Cycling has released the 2002 Cyclo-cross Racing Calendar (CRC) rankings. These rankings, to be updated weekly, will be used for rider staging at the upcoming Cyclo-cross National Championships in Napa, California. The rankings will also be used for national team selection for the 2003 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championship. Initial rankings (abridged) are as follows:

Elite Men

1 Marc Gullickson (Mongoose Hyundai) 215 points
2 Todd Wells (Mongoose Hyundai)      150
3 Jonathon Page (Richard Sachs)       67
4 Tim Johnson (Saturn)                60 
5 Mark McCormack (Saturn)             53 
6 Jackson Stewart (Clif Bar)          32 
7 Adam Craig (Giant)                  31 
8 Andy Jacques-Maynes (Clif Bar)      28 
9 Jonny Sundt (K2)                    25 
10 Jerimiah Bishop (Trek/VW)          19 

Elite Women

 1 Carmen D'Aluisio (Clif Bar)           165 points
 2 Mary McConnelough (Seven Cycles)      125
 3 Gina Hall (Clif Bar)                   90 
 4 Christine Vardaros (SallySpicer.com)   48 
 5 Shauna Gilles-Smith * (Gearworks/SRP)  47 
 6 Lyne Bessette * (CyclocrossWorld.com)  40 
 7 Rachel Lloyd (Team Spine)              40 
 8 Kathryn Roszko (NCC/BikeReg.com)       35 
 9 Alicia Genest (Richard Sachs)          27 
 10 Jodi Groesbeck (Putney/Westhill)      26 
* Canada 

For information on the USCF Cyclo-Cross National Championships, see www.galeforce.org.

Pennsylvania State Cyclo-cross Championships

The Liberty Forge, Pennsylvania State Cyclo-cross Championships will take place this Sunday, November 24th at Lower Allen Community Park. All profits from the race will be donated for care and improvements for the park.

Racing gets under way at 10:00am, with the Elite Women & Men starting at 1:00 & 2:00, respectively. For more info please go to www.libertyforge.net.

Cauberg finish for Amstel Gold Race?

The organizers of the Amstel Gold Race have reportedly decided to make some changes to the parcours of the spring World Cup classic. Most notably, beginning with the 2004 edition, the finish will be judged at the top of the Cauberg climb, rather than the current flat finish in Maastricht. This is a change that should make Lance Armstrong smile. The American has repeatedly made Amstel his first major objective of the season, animating the race on several occasions, yet has missed out on victory in the final sprint. The 2004 race is still scheduled to depart from the city of Maastricht.

New FIAC web site

The Federation of Independent Associations for Cycling (FIAC) has announced a new web site at www.fiac.us. FIAC was formed in 1999 and is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit whose mission is to lead and support the development of bicycle racing in the United States.

Tour of Flanders museum

The Tour of Flanders (Ronde van Vlaanderen) will be celebrated in a new museum. The museum, to be directed by Flanders historian Gijs Himpe, is scheduled to open its doors on February 20, 2003.

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