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Photo ©: Schaaf

News for November 29, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Boonen close to departure from USPS

According to the Belgian RUG newspapers, Tom Boonen has reached a legal agreement with US Postal Service with regard to his departure from the team. As specified in his contract, which was to last through 2003, Boonen will have to pay a sum of money to buy his way out of USPS. The two parties have reportedly agreed on this now.

Boonen intends to race for Quick Step-Davitamon next season, which will be holding its first training camp starting Friday. If Boonen finalises the deal with USPS, then he will take part in the camp. Otherwise he will presumably go to Austin, Texas, where USPS is holding its first training camp of the season next week.

Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere reacted to UCI president Hein Verbruggen's criticism of him last week, saying that he had done nothing to break the rules. "I didn't contact Boonen myself, it was a manager who proposed him to me," said Lefevere to Gazet Van Antwerpen.

Verbruggen's criticism of Lefevere focused on one of the first Frank Vandenbroucke affairs seven years ago, when VDB went from Lotto to Mapei. But Lefevere called Verbruggen a sore loser. "Apparently in Switzerland they have never accepted the fact that they drew the short straw in the Vandenbroucke affair," he said, pointing to the USPS/Roberto Heras deal of two years ago, when Heras bought out his contract with Kelme to ride for USPS under similar circumstances.

"What did the UCI do when Mapei was capsizing? Nothing. I fished out 17 people from that team. Since 1995, I have brought more money into the sport than the UCI. All this won't be good for my relationship with the UCI, but I don't think that it can become worse."

Formaggi Trentini back to work

The Italian Division II team Formaggi Trentini is back to work. Having the 2003 Giro as its main objective for the upcoming season, the team its first training camp on Wednesday. 13 riders are gathered at Alba Adriatica, Italy until Friday, November 29.

If the team's cash flow permits, it's possible that two other riders will join the squad next January. But by now the manager Stefano Giuliani is happy to have a team of aggressive riders like he was as a pro (Giro stage winner in 1988 and 1989).

Formaggi Trentini has recruited six new riders: Rinaldo Nocentini (Fassa Bortolo), Biagio Conte (Saeco), Elio Aggiano (Mapei), Fortunato Baliani (Selle Italia), Massimiliano Mori (Mercatone Uno) and the neo-pro Giuseppe Muraglia (Site Frezza). They join seven riders who remain from last season: Moreno Di Biase, Uros Murn, Luis Valverde, Denis Bondarenko, Domenico Gualdi, Hector Mesa and Antonio Rizzi. There are also seven riders who will not continue in the team: Alessandro Brendolin, Daniele Castellan, Saza Gajicic, Daniele Galli, Francesco Magni, Mario Traversoni and Samuele Vecchi.

Courtesy of João Cravo

Sidi and Lindt to sponsor Lampre

The Lampre team has announced two new sponsors for next season: Italian cycling shoe manufacturer Sidi and Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Sprüngli. Sidi has been in the shoe making business for 40 years, and is one of the top cycling shoe brands. Lindt, which should also need no introduction to cyclists, has already sponsored the Lampre team in the past, and riders can look forward to their favourite chocolate bars, jam and honey wherever they go.

"Healthy nutrition is paramount for any successful athletic performance", said Lindt's CFO Dr Claudio Trombetta. "Of course, athletes shouldn't eat too many sugars, but a bar of chocolate with cereals or hazelnuts can surely be a healthy nutritional supplement after a long training or a race."

Lampre's response was that "We can't know how many wins we will capture next season, but we can say that this delicious chocolate will comfort us a little in case of a defeat."

Stam to go for Dutch derny hour record

Track rider Danny Stam will make an attempt on the Dutch hour record behind a derny, with the attempt to take place this Sunday, December 1 in Amsterdam. Stam held the record very briefly in 1998 before his normal madison partner Robert Slippens broke it on the same day. Stam will be aiming to break the 60 kilometre mark, as the current Dutch hour record stands at 59.60858 kilometres. He will ride behind Bruno Walrave on the derny.

Pro Deal for Dermot Nally

By Shane Stokes,

Spanish-based rider Dermot Nally today became the latest Irishman to graduate to the professional peloton, signing a contract to race with the Paternina-Costa Almeria squad for the next two years. The Valencia resident came to the attention of the team (previously known as Jazztel-Costa Almeria) due to the good performances he recorded in Spain and Italy over the past few seasons.

The news is a massive boost for the Corkman, ending as it does his fears that he would be left without a pro contract in 2003. Last winter he was told that he would be signed up by the Selle Italia-Colombia team in June of this year, but financial problems in the team prevented that from happening. Instead, Nally got a trial with them in September, and has now ended up as part of the Paternina-Costa Almeria setup.

"I am absolutely delighted to get a contract, it is a dream come true for me," he said today. "All my life I have wanted to become a professional and now it is happening. I still can't believe it!..I am over the moon."

"I was actually beginning to lose hope as Selle Italia had originally said they would take me on, but that didn't happen. There are a lot of financial difficulties in Spanish cycling and so things looked very uncertain. However I kept in touch with Paternina-Costa Almeria and they finally offered me a contract."

Given the financial uncertainties in Spain, Nally's two-year deal is a huge plus, especially as some established professionals have been left without a ride for next season. The 22 year old will join his new team-mates at a training camp in Toledo on January 8th, and make his racing debut some time after that.

"I don't actually know what my programme is yet for next year", he said. "The manager just told me to take things easy for a while, as I have had a hard season. He said that I will have plenty of opportunity to race into form and so I should now make sure that I recover properly before starting to push myself again."

New Zealand MTB team for Oceania Championships

The 2003 Oceania MTB Championships will take place between February 21-23 at Mt Beauty, 350km north of Melbourne. The New Zealand MTB Association has already named its team for the championships.

Cross Country

Pro-Elite Men

1. Stuart Houltham - Taupo
2. Tim Vincent - Nelson
3. Wayne Hiscock - Upper Hutt
4. Paul Bishop - Rotorua
5. Mark Leishman - Palmerston North
6. Jason Clement - Levin

Pro-Elite Women

7. Suzy Pryde - Auckland
8. Robyn Wong - Wellington
9. Rebecca Cullen - Nelson
10. Sadie Parker-Wynard - Auckland

U23 Men

11. Aaron Kellis - Papakura
12. Marcus Roy - Te Anau
13. Hilton Power - Ohope
14. Scott Lyttle - Masterton

Junior Men

15. Nigel Cross - Rotorua
16. Sam Bewley - Rotorua
17. Miles Watson - Hamilton
18. Steven Butler - Upper Hutt

Junior Women

19. Carissa Wilkes - Rotorua

Down Hill

Pro-Elite Men

1. Nathan Rankin - Levin
2. Glen Haden - Wanganui
3. James Dodds - Te Rapa
4. Justin Leov - Blenheim
5. Tim Mackersy - Dunedin
6. Tom Holland - Rotorua

Junior Men

7. Scott Geater - Rotorua
8. Craig Pattle - Rotorua
9. Ben Sanders - Wellington

Junior Women

10. Scarlett Hagen - Queenstown

Verge Mid-Atlantic Championship Cyclo-Cross Series: Round 8

The second running of the Cycle-Smart Regional Cup takes place on Saturday, November 30, 2002 in Marysville, Pennsylvania. The Regional Cup is a step in the continued drive to develop national talent and competition at the regional level. In the inaugural race of 2001, Pennsylvania upset powerhouse Massachusetts and thus won the right to host the 2002 edition. New Jersey, Delaware and New York claimed the remainder of the 2001 podium spots.

The Marysville course is fast and wide-open, and should encourage a great deal of team tactics. Massachusetts's riders will be looking to capitalize on tactics to avenge their loss and take the Cycle-Smart Regional Cup Trophy back to New England.

The Regional Cup also doubles as Round 8 of the Verge Mid-Atlantic Championship Cyclo-Cross series. With series points on the line and riders rearing to go after a few weeks off, the internal Mid-Atlantic battles will pick up right where they left off.

In the Elite Men's field, Ryan Leech (Guys Bicycles) still wears the Verge leader's jersey but Gunnar Shogren (Guinness/Fort Frames) is not too far behind. Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW) and Kris Auer (LSV/Trek) are also within striking distance and a good ride by either one could shake up things at the top of the standings. A rider to watch will be Mike Yozell (Guys Bicycles). Yozell appears to be in great form and will be an important part of Team Pennsylvania. Another Mid-Atlantic favourite, Greg Ferguson (Wissahickon) will be leading the charge for Team New Jersey.

Defending series champion, Josie Shew (First State Velo Sport) currently leads the Elite Women's field. Shew's consistent riding week after week has given her a 27-point lead over second place. Strong finishes in the last few races have moved Sami Fournier (Snow Valley) into second place and Amber Itle (Wissahickon) is currently in third.

Eric Schlauch (Somerset Wheelmen) leads the Masters 35+ field, Fred Whittwer (Charlottesville) leads the 45+ category and Joe Piccilo (Evolution Racing) leads the Men's B category. Megan Render (Snow Valley) is the best in the Women's B category, while Adam Beattie (First State Velo Sport) sits on top of the Junior category,

Racing gets starts at 10:30am. Elite Women race at 1:45pm and Elite Men take the course at 2:45pm. There will be a free Kids race at 1:10pm. For race details or additional series details, please go to

Remaining rounds in the Verge Mid-Atlantic Series

November 30: Rockville Bridge Cyclo-Cross hosts the Cycle-Smart Regional Cup Marysville PA
December 7: Phelps 'School Cross Main Line PA
December 8: First State Velo 'Cross Fair Hill MD

Cycling Ireland Cyclo-Cross League Round 6

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

The sixth round of seven of the Cycling Ireland Cyclo-Cross League goes ahead on Sunday in Knocknaree Park, Killarney, Co. Kerry. It's billed as the supreme test of both bike and competitor in a picturesque setting in the heart of the "Kingdom".

Organiser, Micael Concannon has put in place a course that will allow all competitors to demonstrate their skills as they negotiate a 0.6 mile lap for the duration of one hour plus one lap. "It will comprise of 50% grass, 25% of tarmacadam and the remainder will be on gravel. Naturally there will be a number of man-made obstacles which will test the competitors this Sunday. Also we intend incorporating the Munster Championship into the formalities," said Micael.

Originally on the national stage, it was stated that five counting events of six would make up the points tally to decide the winner of the league. But two weeks ago, a slight hiccup appeared on the horizon, courtesy of the weather. The Stormont event was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances which was scheduled for Saturday 16th.

Myles McCorry of the Apollo CT realised the dilemma that was unfolding due to the cancellation and made what can only be described as a Herculean effort to put on an event the following day in Craigavon.

Unfortunately Myles in his wisdom shook up the shackles of some of the followers of the sport by inadvertently advertising the race as a counter in the league. Thankfully, calm minds put paid to an explosive situation by expanding the league to seven with five counters.

Back from his training sojourn in Spain, Robin Seymour is expected to win in Killarney thus making the final counter in Bangor in a fortnight's time as the show down amongst the top ranked cyclo-cross bikers.

It will be interesting if the Northern contingent will make the trek to one of the most renowned beauty spots in the country, if not in the world. Many years ago competitors (and these were regarded as the crème de crème which competed here thanks to the efforts of Sport for Television and our own Pat McQuaid) in the Nissan Classic regaled about the beauty and serenity in this part of the world.

Aidan McDonald, Don Travers and Roger Aiken along with the inimitable Seymour are tightly grouped on the leader board and will more than likely grace Killarney for the midday start, with facilities regarded by Micael Concannon as "out of this world" in the Killarney Community College.

iteamNovaTours to host Phil Anderson's Training Camp

The Flanders-iteamNova team will be holding its first new season training camp between January 1-7, 2003 in Geelong, Australia. The riders will use it to prepare for the Skilled Geelong Bay Classic, beginning on January 8.

The camp will be held in conjunction with Phil Anderson's Training Camp, for which there are 10 spots available to the general public. Hosted by Phil Anderson, the camp will feature special guests Stuart O'Grady, Robbie McEwen and Phil Liggett for the last few days. Activities include cycling (of course!), lectures and seminars on subjects such as physiotherapy, fitness programs, diet and sport psychology, and videos and stories from Phil Anderson and the team.

The camp is open to full members only, and packages range from $1040 (4 days) to $1560 (6 days, including membership). There is also an option to stay on at the Mercure Hotel for the week of the Skilled Geelong Bay Classic (Jan 8-12) for $130 per day including meals and transport to races.

Nothing to do with cycling, but there's wine on offer

Cyclingnews editors have been made aware of an email competition which is being run by the Australian information management magazine, Image & Data Manager (which is also owned by the same company which publishes this site).

The competition is linked to a survey on the use of email as a communications tool. It is primarily aimed at Information Technology professionals who live in the Asia Pacific region, and on offer is one of Australia's most famous exports, a bottle of Grange Hermitage wine valued at $AU330.

The CN readership surveys show that some 15 percent of our readers work in IT, so it would be remiss of us to not let our IT specialists out there know this is being held. Click here to enter and be quick as it closes on November 30.

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