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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

News for October 7, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Bettini strengthens World Cup grip

In finishing 19th in today's Paris-Tours race, Paolo Bettini (Mapei-Quick Step) gained a bigger edge over nearest rival Johan Museeuw (Domo-Farm Frites) in the bid for overall World Cup honours. Bettini now has 279 points compared to Museeuw's 270, meaning that he will go into the Giro di Lombardia with possibly a winning lead, given that Lombardia is not Museeuw's favoured terrain.

The Lion of Flanders does not give in easily though, as he showed today by bridging to a late attack of Michele Bartoli and Alessandro Petacchi. The trio were not going to catch the two leaders, but Museeuw could have regained the lead in the World Cup had he finished in the top 5. However the peloton swallowed them up and Bettini ended up scoring points in the bunch sprint.

Later, Bettini admitted that he had help. "Luckily I could count on my teammates and...on my friends in the peloton," he said, without being specific. However, Mario Cipollini's Acqua e Sapone teammates were seen at the front in preparation for the sprint, although Cipollini only finished 35th.

Museeuw's next goal will be to try and win the World Championships on his 37th birthday next Sunday, as he did 6 years ago in Lugano on his 31st birthday, beating Mauro Gianetti (Swi) in a two man sprint. Museeuw was in total control that day. Can he do it again next weekend?

Vandenbroucke breaks collarbone and elbow

The already very short season of Frank Vandenbroucke has come to a premature end after he fell during today's Paris-Tours, the ninth round of the World Cup, breaking his collarbone and shoulder. The fall happened the foot of the Cote de la Pagode de Chantaloupe at 53 km to go in the 257 km classic, while the peloton was travelling at high speed in pursuit of the breakaways. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) also came down, and abandoned the race.

Vandenbroucke was taken to the hospital in Amboise, where the two fractures were discovered. He was flown to Belgium, where he will undergo an operation on his elbow tomorrow.

This puts an end to Vandenbroucke's racing season, which hasn't exactly been full of highlights after he was found in possession of doping substances in February. He is currently suspended from competing in any races on Flemish territory as a result, until the end of February 2003.

Paris-Tours full results and report
Live report

Lampre team members arrested

Lampre team members arrested
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

10 members of the Lampre-Daikin team were arrested today in Tours following the conclusion of the 96th Paris-Tours World Cup, in relation to the Rumsas drug affair. In addition, several team vehicles including a motorhome, a Fiat minivan, and two station wagons, were seized by the Lyon police. The riders Rubens Bertogliati, Marco Serpellini, Alessandro Cortinovis and Ludo Dierckxsens, along with director Pietro Algeri, were arrested on their way from the showers by plain clothes policemen. The remaining people arrested were team staff. All those arrested will be heard by Judge Guesdon tomorrow.

Edita Rumsas, the wife of Lampre cyclist Raimondas, has been held in custody since July 30 under investigation for "administration, offering, transport, and aid in the use of doping products" after various quantities of banned substances were found in her car by French customs police on July 29, the final day of the Tour de France. Raimondas was interrogated in Italy by French police on September 10 in relation to the affair, but has always denied involvement, maintaining that his Tour de France was clean.

No Sixes for Zabel

Erik Zabel will put an end to his season earlier than in recent years, deciding not to ride any of the German Six Day events, which can be quite lucrative for a rider of his class. He will instead go on holidays with his family following the World Championships in Zolder next Sunday. "I have had to pay this season for the high workloads of the past two years," said the winner of 16 races this year.

Erik Zabel is currently the number one ranked cyclist in the world, and could well finish in that position with a good result in Zolder, as he has nearly a 300 point lead on second ranked Paolo Bettini. Even though he will miss the Giro di Lombardia, the last World Cup race of the season on October 19, he should still have enough points to stay on top. Bettini stands to gain a few points though if he wins the World Cup title.

Zabel is one of the big favourites for the World's road race in Zolder, saying that "I've come from the Vuelta fresher than last year. I am fit for the World's. On Wednesday we'll have a team meeting. There I will see if the German team is ready to ride for a captain like me, as the Spaniards will do for Freire for example."

Wiggins to continue season with Sixes

Despite pulling out of the World Time Trial Championships, Bradley Wiggins' season is actually far from over. The rider will be competing in three Six Day races, the final one being his third appearance at the Gent event. This Six Day saw Bradley enter the record books as the youngest ever rider to ride and a finish a Six Day when only 19 years of age in 1999. He will also be riding the Dortmund and at Munich, the latter thought by many as the toughest race on the circuit.

Before this Wiggins will probably be riding the Sun Tour in Australia with two of his teammates Baden Cooke and Matt Wilson, as part of the Victoria Institute of Sport/ squad.

"I couldn't do the World's (TT) justice if I was extending my season to the end of November to reach yet another peak, it would mean I had been racing and training at a high level from January. It's only my first year as a prof and I have ridden and worked hard for the team in a lot of races, as well as getting a few OK results myself," said Wiggins.

"I'm aiming to finish my season on a high at Gent...If I get the right partner, a podium place at Gent might be on the cards and I would like to give the British something to cheer about. They are a great bunch of supporters. Also, most of the local lads and my pals from West London are coming over, and I want to give them a good show".

Joaquim Gomes retires

The end of this season will be the end of the road for several champions such as Laurent Jalabert, Abraham Olano, Melchor Mauri and some others. At a lower level, another champion is becoming a retired young man: Joaquim Gomes (Carvalhelhos/Boavista). The 36 year old rider decided to call it a day after 16 years as pro.

During his long career, Joaquim Gomes - who always rode for Portuguese teams despite invitations from Spanish teams like Seur and Reynolds among others - won the Portuguese national tour (Volta a Portugal) twice, in 1989 and 1993. Joaquim Gomes was also 10th at the Dauphiné Libéré in 1993. In that same year he was 20th at the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque. In 1994 he was 17th at the Vuelta. He was also present at the Giro '95 but the final result (85th) was quite mediocre. In 1999, Joaquim Gomes finished the Tour of Asturias in 9th place. In total, he won 56 races in his career.

What next for Gomes? It seems that he is involved in a project that will create a professional team in Lisbon.

Courtesy of João Cravo

World Championships on Australian TV

Australian free to air channel SBS, the only free channel to provide regular coverage of cycling throughout the season, will be screening the World Track and Road Championships, as well as the Crocodile Trophy, in the near future.

The schedule is as follows:

Sunday, October 20 at 11am-12noon
2002 UCI World Track Championships.

Sunday, October 27 at 11am-12noon
2002 UCI World Road Championships.

Sunday, November 3 at 11am-12noon
2002 Crocodile Trophy

There is also rumoured to be a weekly one hour long cycling program in the works.

8th Hornsby to Swansea Cycle Classic

The final event on the NSW road calendar is the Hornsby to Swansea Cycle Classic on October 13, now in its eighth year and one of the state's top road races. The 189 km race doubles as the NSW Open Men and U23 State Championships, with medals as well as prize money for all place getters. It is also an Australian National Series Category 1 event.

The route takes the riders from Hornsby (on the northern outskirts of Sydney), up the old Pacific Hwy to Calga (km 41) and taking in nearly two circuits of a 42 km loop, including twice up the Mooney-Mooney climb. On the second lap, the riders turn right at Peats Ridge, once again heading north and descending into the Yarramalong Valley via the notorious Bumble Hill (down, not up). Then it's left onto the Hue Hue road, passing via Wyee, Doyalson and eventually back onto the old Pacific Hwy for the final 25 km of leg sapping undulations before the last descent into Swansea.

The route is quite challenging, and the race is often won by a small group or solo breakaway, although a bunch sprint is not unheard of, as 1999 winner Jeremy Hunt will attest.

Sunday's race starts at 9:00am in Hornsby Mall, Hunter St., Hornsby, finishing approximately 1:45pm on Swansea's main street. On the previous day there is a criterium at Hornsby, starting at 3:00pm and running for 1 hour + 3 laps.

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