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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

News for October 5, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones & Chris Henry

Bruyneel on US Postal's Vuelta, and Boonen's contract

By Jeff Jones

The directeur sportif of the US Postal Service team, Johan Bruyneel, is nearing the end of another busy and successful year. The team has performed consistently well throughout the 2002 season, highlighted by Lance Armstrong winning his fourth Tour de France as well as the Midi Libre and Dauphine Libéré stage races. Armstrong also rode in the early season classics, gaining a fourth place in the Amstel Gold Race, while his teammates George Hincapie and Tom Boonen were at the front in Milan-San Remo, Ronde Van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix. More recently US Postal's Roberto Heras finished second in the Vuelta España, almost taking his second victory in the Spanish grand tour.

Heras: "The strongest climber in the race"

Cyclingnews asked Bruyneel about the Vuelta, and whether Heras and the team were disappointed in losing the lead on the final day. Bruyneel replied that "The Vuelta has been one of our three big goals this year, together with the Spring Classics and the Tour de France of course. Heras was designed as our logical leader, he won the race before, and in six participations he has finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th. This year was in general a lot better year than last year for Roberto, he won the Tour of Catalonia, finished top 10 in the Tour and now second in the Vuelta."

"In my opinion he was the strongest climber of the race, but he lost some time on Sierra Nevada in the first mountain stage, and from that moment on, Kelme really dominated the race. Our USPS team was doing well at that time, until we lost Michael Barry (crash), Steffen Kjaergaard (illness) and Victor Hugo Peńa (fractured rib). So with six riders left, it was better that Roberto was not in the lead," he added.

"He took the yellow jersey on Angliru, and from that moment on, our team was perfectly in control of the race, everybody did his job, we had Matt White, Tony Cruz and Dave Zabriskie who worked in the beginning of the stages, and Chechu Rubiera and Christian Vandevelde stayed with Roberto in the hills. Until the last TT, no problem."

Heras came into the last 41.5 km time trial with a 1'08 lead on Gonzalez, which on paper wasn't enough if the results of the first time trial were anything to go by (Heras lost 1'34 in 36 km). Bruyneel was quite aware of this: "I knew it was going to be very difficult, since Roberto had not managed to take enough time out of Gonzalez in the last mountain stage, and the course of the final TT was for a real TT specialist, but I still hoped. I didn't count on the fact that Gonzalez was going to be flying like he did though. Having lost the Tour of Spain on the last day is for sure disappointing, but no regrets: Gonzalez was simply too strong for us."

Tom Boonen: "He has a contract for 2003"

The young and talented Belgian rider Tom Boonen was signed last year by US Postal for the 2002-2003 seasons, earning a ride in a team which had serious ambitions for the classics, with George Hincapie aiming for the World Cup. Boonen's early season was impressive, finishing 24th in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, 7th in Gent-Wevelgem, and an amazing 3rd in Paris-Roubaix in terrible conditions. After a fairly quiet middle season, he came back well in the late part of the season with the Ronde van Nederland and Circuit Franco Belge.

However according to recent reports in the Belgian press, Boonen says that he is dissatisfied with US Postal, and wants to break his contract and leave the team next season. One reason he gave was that he "hadn't raced enough", thus his development as a professional had been slowed. Cyclingnews asked Bruyneel about the team's position on Boonen, in light of the recent comments.

"What everybody seems to forget here, and Boonen in the first place, is that there is a contract for 2003. And that we are expecting that this agreement will be respected," said Bruyneel. "Until now, most of the information about this soap I got out of interviews from Tom Boonen in the press. Officially, the U.S. Postal Service cycling team has not been informed yet about his intentions."

"We were really planning on developing his talent in the spring races, and we have also made huge efforts to review his current contract financially, we even signed a Belgian co-sponsor (Berry Floor) for the next 2 seasons," he added."

"It's funny to see though a 21 year old rider who signs a two year deal with a team, after having been part of several team training camps, team support, etc. as an amateur, in the beginning of his first pro season is saying everywhere that U.S. Postal is the greatest team in the world, that he's happy to ride without any pressure...saying a few months later very naturally that he has "decided to leave" after 1 year, because it's not a good environment for his development as a rider, that he can not do enough races (when we were thinking that it would be good to protect him) because other teams offer him more money. Two year contract? No value for a young, upcoming cycling star."

"Funny to see also the coincidences in the story of one of his to-be teammates: some years ago, a 20 year old Belgian super talent (Ed: Frank Vandenbroucke) broke his two year deal with his team Lotto to go to Mapei. Strange enough the same team manager (Ed: Patrick Lefevere) was involved in this transfer. To be continued..."

French elite World's squads set, U23 to be determined

Following Paris-Bourges, French national coach Charly Bérard and selector Patrick Cluzaud have announced the final 12 man team roster for the elite men's road race in Zolder. The team will likely work for Laurent Jalabert, holding 1997 world champion Laurent Brochard and Richard Virenque as other possible contenders should aggressive racing preclude the expected bunch sprint.

Jean Delatour's Patrice Halgand, winner of a stage in this year's Tour de France, as well as the overall Tour du Limousin, was one of the two final cuts made after Paris-Bourges. Charly Bérard told l'Equipe, "we asked Patrice about his form after Paris-Bourges. He told us he wasn't super that day and that he had some troubles with the weather. The weather could be a factor (in Zolder), as well as the nature of the course." Jean Delatour directeur sportif Michel Gros indicated that Halgand, more "puncheur" than sprinter, was in agreement with the decision not to send him to Zolder.

The other rider dropped from the short list of candidates was Bonjour's Didier Rous, who was excluded for similar reasons as Halgand.

Christophe Kern and Benoît Vaugrenard will ride the U23 men's time trial, however the U23 road roster has yet to be finalized. The final selection will be made after the Paris-Tours espoirs race held on the same day as the World Cup race, October 6. Three of the five U23 riders have been assured spots, including Geoffroy Lequatre, Eric Berthou, and Benoît Vaugrenard.

Elite men road race:

Jimmy Casper, Jacky Durand, Nicolas Vogondy (
Laurent Jalabert, Nicolas Jalabert (CSC-Tiscali)
Pierrick Fédrigo, Christophe Moreau (Credit Agricole)
Richard Virenque (Domo-Farm Frites)
Laurent Brochard (Jean Delatour)
Franck Rénier (Bonjour)
Andy Flickinger (AG2R)
Cédric Vasseur (Cofidis)
Reserve : Anthony Geslin (Bonjour)

Swiss World's selection

Switzerland will be banking on a solid team for the World's road race, including recent world champion Oscar Camenzind (winner in Valkenburg, 1998). The team will also feature the fast-finishing Zberg brothers, as well as the experienced Mauro Gianetti and Alex Zülle.

Despite good form in the recent one day Italian classics, Laurent Dufaux was not selected for the team. Dufaux, who had originally planned retirement at the end of the 2001 season, has subsequently indicated that he will end his days of competition prior to the World's race in Zolder.

Elite men road race:

Niki Aebersold, Mauro Gianetti, Rolf Huser, Alex Zülle (Team Coast)
Oscar Camenzind, Martin Elmiger, Alexandre Moos (Phonak)
Beat Zberg, Markus Zberg (Rabobank)
Fabian Cancellara, Aurélien Clerc (Mapei-Quick Step)
Rubens Bertogliati (Lampre-Daikin)

Time trial:

Fabian Cancellara
Jean Nuttli (Saint-Quentin Oktos)

Austrian World's selection

Elite men road race:

Rene Haselbacher, Georg Totschnig, Peter Wrolich (Gerolsteiner)
Harald Morscher, Werner Riebenbauer (Nürnberger)
Bernhard Eisel (Mapei-Quick Step)
Gerrit Glomser (Saeco-Longoni Sport)
Christian Pfannenberg

Time trial:

Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner)

Bartoli comments on Italian World's non-selection

Michele Bartoli
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

Michele Bartoli, often a favourite but not yet a winner of a World Championship title, commented on his non-selection for this year's Italian squadra for Zolder. Exclusion from the national team comes just as the Tuscan rider has returned to winning form following his crash in the first stage of this year's Giro d'Italia.

"I admit that the course at Zolder is not ideal for me," Bartoli wrote on his web site, "and recognise that Franco Ballerini has the right to put together the team he believes in most. But Ballerini's reasoning that he prefers to 'save a thoroughbred from the job of a mule' is not clear to me."

"That being said," he continued, "Forza Azzurri! For my part I will try to concentrate all my energies on the last race of the season [Paris-Tours], coming after the Giro di Lucca."

Jan Svorada out of Paris-Tours

Lampre sprinter Jan Svorada won't take part in Sunday's Paris-Tours, the ninth round of the World Cup. The Czech rider is suffering from a bad cold and prefers to recover completely before the World Championships in Zolder. Lampre-Daikin will still field a strong team, with Ludo Dierckxsens, Maximilian Sciandri, Zbigniew Spruch and Rubens Bertogliati (all candidates for Zolder), together with Gabriele Missaglia, Marco Serpellini, Mariano Piccoli (instead of Jan Svorada) and Alessandro Cortinovis. Maurizio Piovani will be the team manager.

"The route of the French classic is very interesting because it is a great chance for me to complete my training before the World's, and also because I can already look for success," said Belgian Ludo Dierckxsens. "Lampre-Daikin wants to play its cards well. As Jan Svorada won't race, I think we should enter any break and we ourselves should set off."

Swiss Rubens Bertogliati is hoping for a good performance too. "I'm taking part in the Giro della Provincia di Lucca and I feel on form," he said. "It's important to test oneself on a long route. There, the riders who have worked hard to improve their endurance will surely show off themselves. All that will be paramount during the World's race on Sunday, 13 October."

Saeco-Longoni Sport for Paris-Tours

Saeco-Longoni Sport will also field four national team riders in Paris-Tours, along with Italian national champion Salvatore Commesso. The Saeco team leader will be Spaniard Igor Astarloa, one of the revelations of this year's World Cup competition. He will be looking for another good result to defend his third place overall in the world Cup standings which he obtained from top performances in the HEW Cyclassics Cup in Hamburg and the Clasica San Sebastian in Spain.

Along with Astarloa, Directeur sportif Guido Bontempi will also have Italian team member Fabio Sacchi, Lithuanian Marius Sabaliauskas, Austrian Gerrit Glomser, Italian champion Salvatore Commesso, Cristian Pepoli and Joerg Ludewig. However Danilo Di Luca will not take part in Paris-Tours. After a lot of racing this month, he has decided to rest up and fine-tune his preparation ready for Zolder.

Full Paris Tours start list

Cyclingnews will be providing full live coverage of the 96th Paris-Tours.

Nardello to Team Telekom

Italian workhorse Daniele Nardello (Mapei-Quick Step) announced today that he will move across to Team Telekom next season. Nardello had planned to sign for an Italian team, but indicated his satisfaction in being courted by Telekom.

Speaking of his Mapei days, Nardello said, "The greatest satisfactions have clearly been the victories, above all the Italian national championships, but in my long tenure with Mapei I have never stopped working for the team, in order to always work for victory."

Nardello's most recent victory was in the Coppa Bernocchi on August 22.

Gontchar not on the dotted line yet

Although it was reported recently that Ukrainian time trial specialist Serguei Gontchar would ride for Gerolsteiner next year, the news appears to be a bit premature. German site interviewed team boss Hans Michael Holczer on Thursday evening to ask about the transfer, which was reported as a done deal in the Italian press.

"I can disclaim that clearly, I don't know how those reports came about," said Holczer. "One cannot speak also of a 'strong phase of negotiations' as our budget for the following season is pretty much accounted for. In addition, we don't have an urgent need for a strong time trial specialist. The rouleurs Uwe Peschel, winner of the GP des Nations and Michael Rich have already extended their contracts."

76th Piccolo Giro di Lombardia

The U23/amateur version of the Giro di Lombardia will be run on Saturday October 5, starting and finishing in Como. A massive field is expected, with 229 competitors scheduled to race, including the national U23 teams from Australia, Estonia and Russia, who are using it as a final tune up for the World's next week.

The race is 176 km long, with the main difficulties being the Colle Brianza (600m, 83 km), the Colle del Ghisallo (a 9 km climb after 121 km), and the Colma di Sormano (1230m) which comes just 29 km from the finish. This is followed by a 7 km descent to Zelbio a Nesso, then a small climb before the final 16 km down to Como.

Past winners of the race include Sean Kelly (1976), Moreno Argentin (1979), Maurizio Fondriest (1985) Andrea Peron (1992), Stefano Garzelli (1996) and the last four years Leonardo Giordani (1998), Volodimir Gustov (1999), Luca Barattero (2000) and Denis Bondarenko (2001)

Zolder hopefuls in GP Wieler Revue

The Grand Prix Wieler Revue (UCI 1.5) on Sunday October 6 will attract a lot of national teams, who are preparing for the U23 World's in Zolder (Belgium). The national teams of Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria and South-Africa will be present in 's-Heerenberg, in the eastern part of the Netherlands. Also Johan Lammerts, since April the official coach of the Dutch espoirs, will test his riders in the Grand Prix Wieler Revue, although they will be riding for their regular trade teams.

Other teams include Domo-Farm Frites (with Arno Wallaard, Dutch champion in 2001), Rabobank (with reigning national champion Pieter Weening), Tegeltoko, Bert Story-Piels, Axa-VvZ and the Van Hemert Groep.

For next year the organisers of the Grand Prix Wieler Revue are hoping that their race will be integrated again in the resurrected KNWU Topcompetitie. In the plans of the Dutch Cycling Federation there is room for a range of six races, all situated on the national calendar and broadcasted in relay on NOS television, the Dutch national TV channel. Rumour has it that the traditional Dutch opening classic, de Ster van Zwolle, will be part of this new series of top races.

Tour of Southland preview

By Alan Messenger

New Zealand Road Champion Gordon McCauley announced last week on his website that he was teaming with New Zealand’s top road man Julian Dean, the Yates brothers Jeremy and Matt, and trackie Heath Blackgrove to ride the Power Net sponsored Tour of Southland next month, but unfortunately now it appears that Dean is not available.

"I don't know where that report came from, but Julian Dean is not available," Tour Organiser Bruce Ross said. Ross said that the other member of the Zookeepers Café team is Australian Hilton Clarke. The Tour which this year boasts a prize list of NZ$40,000 has been included on the UCI Calendar as a 2.5 category event. This year the race will be held around New Zealand's southernmost Province for the 46th time.

Ross said that entries were coming in steadily and among the overseas riders is a team from South Africa. The team, which will be competing in the Australian Sun Tour before coming here is led by South African Road Champion Tiaan Kannemeyer. Other team members include Rudolf Wentzel who is Belgium based with team Vlaanderen and Ryan Cox who is based in Germany with Team Cologne.

Well performed American Chris Horner and Canadian Eric Wohlberg also head a strong team and they will be keen to go one better than their runner up position in the teams GC last year.

The Winton Middle Pub sponsored team features the most experienced rider in the race, eight times winner Brian Fowler who is back from his retirement from International events. The other team members are Commonwealth Games Points race winner Greg Henderson, fellow trackie Hayden Godfrey and USA professionals John Lieswyn and Kevin Monahan.

So far the field also includes several other Australian and American riders with Dutch and Swiss competitors adding to the international flavour.

Changes made to the course this year include the addition of two long single stages which are certain to provide a challenge to the riders. The 140 km stage finishing on top of spectacular Crown Range above Arrowtown and the 156 km stage into the Fiordland area are regarded as crucial stages which will have a significant effect on the overall result.

The Tour commences at Invercargill on 4th November and finishes back there on the 9th. Cyclingnews will be providing full coverage of New Zealand's biggest tour.

No-show gets U.S. Cyclist suspension

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced that Joseph Miller of Daytona Beach, Florida did not report for a doping control test at the 2002 U.S. Cycling Federation Elite National Road Championships in Nashville, Tennessee on July 20, 2002. According to UCI rules, Miller's failure to show up for the test is considered a first doping offense.

As a result, Miller, 23, has been suspended for three months from competition, effective September 17, 2002, the day after he accepted the sanction. Miller’s 38th-place finish at the Elite National Road Championships will also be annulled.

Life of Brian - Pain and Pleasure

The Danish ex-pro Brian Holm, now national team director, will release his book Smerten Glćden" ("The Pain - The Joy") on October 24. Holm is an exciting writer with a sometimes unconventional view on his sport. The book spans his career from the first contract as a pro with Roland/Colnago in 1986 to his decision to hang up the wheels and manage Team Acceptcard in 1998. He worked mostly as a domestique but was able to shine in the cobbled classics and kermesses. He notched up 13 victories. Paris-Camembert and Paris-Brussels in 1991 were probably his finest victories.

Rainbow lift for Dwars door Hasselt

There will be a collaboration between the 'Dwars door Hasselt' and the 2002 Road World Championships on October 5. Dwars door Hasselt is a mass start foot race in Hasselt organised by World Championships media partner Het Belang van Limburg. Dwars door Hasselt and the World Championships will both use the same infrastructure at the Kolonel Dusartplein and in the city of Hasselt.

Lynne Taylor breaks Land's End record

UK cyclist Lynne Taylor has broken her existing record for Land's End to John O'Groats (840 miles/1354 km) with a new time of 2 days 4 hours 45 minutes and 11 seconds. A phenomenal ride after being 2.5 hours down on her schedule at the top of Shap Fell, about halfway through the ride. This breaks her own record that she set last year by 1hr 3min. She is now going to continue with an attack on the 1,000 miles record.

Full details of her achievement can be seen at

Carolina Cyclocross Association announces team for 2002

The Carolina Cyclocross Association (Charlotte, North Carolina) has put together a team for the upcoming cyclo-cross season. They will be competing in both regional and national events. The CCA/Trek team members are:

Andy Applegate
Jennifer Maxwell
Lauren Trull
Greg Becker

Team sponsors

Trek Bicycles (frames)
True Temper/Alpha Q (carbon forks)
Easton components (bars, stems, seatposts)
Cane Creek (headsets, wheels)
Smith Sport Optics (eyewear)
DeFeet (softgoods)

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