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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

News for October 11, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones and Chris Henry

Freire signs with Rabobank

Oscar Freire has at long last reached an agreement with a new team for next season, signing a two year contract with Rabobank. After negotiations fell through with CSC-Tiscali, iBanesto.com, and ONCE, as well as rumoured talks with Cofidis, Freire found acceptable terms with the Dutch formation. A primary sticking point appears to have been Freire's insistence on a two year deal, which iBanesto in particular was not able to offer.

Steels to Landbouwkrediet-Colnago

Mapei-Quick Step rider (and current Belgian champion) Tom Steels will ride for Landbouwkrediet-Colnago in 2003. Steels signed a one year contract with the Division II team, which hopes to be Division I next year. Team director Gerard Bulens has also announced a new co-sponsor, the Alken-Maes brewery.

100 Italians without contract for 2003

More than 100 Italian cycling professionals don't have a contract for next year as sponsors desert a sport hit by drug scandals, according to Franco Ballerini, Italian team manager at this year's World Championships. Certain French and Belgian teams are also in jeopardy, but the Italians have been worst hit, reports Darren Tulett of Bloomberg News.

Mapei-Quick Step, Italy's biggest team, is folding at the end of the season after nine years in the peloton. Lampre was left looking for a co-sponsor after its major partner dropped out. "Others are wondering whether they want to invest after all that happened at the Giro d'Italia," said Ballerini, a former professional rider himself. "More than 100 riders are uncertain of their future."

"Maybe an Italian victory could help lure more sponsors, it would be a good advert for us," said Stefano Piccolo, spokesman for the Italian Cycling Federation. "It won't solve all the problems, but it would help."

Gerrans and Dayus join Team Krone

By Jean-François Quénet in Zolder

Norwegian pro outfit Team Krone (TT3) is becoming more international with the new signing of Australian Simon Gerrans and Englishman Jonathan Dayus for the 2003 season.

Gerrans, 22, will compete on Friday with the Australian national team where he has grown up for the last couple of years. He won a stage and finished 7th overall in the GP Tell last month. "Team Krone is a fantastic opportunity for me to join the pro peloton," he said.

Dayus, 28, is nearly unknown in his country but very famous in French amateur cycling. He's a member of Nantes 44 Cyclisme who also sent Yuriy Krivtsov to the pro ranks with Jean Delatour. He won the queen stage of the Ringerike GP, which is the only UCI race in Norway. That's where he impressed the staff of Team Krone.

After the departure of Mads Kaggestad to Crédit Agricole, Team Krone needed to be reinforced for its second year of existence. "We're confident that both Gerrans and Dayus will work very well together with our young Norwegians," directeur sportif Oyvind Lillehagen said. "We chose them for their climbing abilities and their positive mentality."

Both Dayus and Gerrans will sign their first pro contract in Zolder.

Crédit Agricole Espoirs

The Crédit Agricole Espoirs team will add four new riders to its ranks next year: Jérémy Dartus (CC Nogent-sur-Oise), Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (VC Oloron HB), Fabien Fleury (Jean Floc'h), and Pierre Drancourt (ESEG Douai). At the same time, Eric Leblacher will move up to the Division I team.

Tegeltoko for another three years

The directors of Tegeltoko have voted to sposnosr the Dutch division III team for another three years, according to De Telegraaf. The decision was helped by the guarantee of co-sponsor Löwik for next season, making it possible to increase the budget by 25 percent. The team won the first Dutch race of the season, Ster van Zwolle (Marco Bos) and the last race, GP Wieler Revue (Mathieu Heyboer).

New Italian Trade Team III

According to information from Zolder, there is a very strong probability that a new Italian trade team III will be formed in time for next season, sponsored by Miche, manufacturer of a variety of bicycle components. The team will be directed by Marco Tozzi, and include riders such as Igor Bonciucov (Mda), Vadim Russo (Rus), Tomas Blaczyk and Pavel Sendal (Cze), Alberto Tacconi (Ita) and several Ukrainian riders. The team will expand to around 15 riders, giving some of the "unemployed" Italian pros somewhere to go.

Riders for Selle Italia-Colombia 2003

Team Manager Gianni Savio has so far confirmed nine riders for the Selle Italia-Colombia team for next season. They include Russell Van Hout (Aus), Mikhaylo Khalilov (Ukr), John Fredy Garcia, Ruben Marin, Jose Castelblanco, Hernan Dario Munoz, Fidel Chacon (all Col), Jose Rujano (Ven) and an Italian neo-pro.

Dutch championships to move

Next year the Dutch road championships will not be held in Nijmegen, where they were in 2002. The organisers are looking for a new venue as the city of Nijmegen would not agree to host both the road and time trial championships there.

The last two editions of the Dutch championships in Nijmegen have ended in bunch sprints, with Jans Koerts and Stefan van Dijk the winners.

Putte-Kapellen to pay respects to Prince Claus

Next Tuesday, October 15 will see the final race on the Belgian calendar, the Nationale Sluitingsprijs Putte-Kapellen, which also crosses into Dutch territory. The organisers of the race have decided, out of respect for the recently deceased Prince Claus, to start the race an hour later i.e. 13:30 instead of 12:30. This will be the day that the Dutch bid farewell to their beloved Prince.

2002 Big Bicycle Flea Market

This Saturday, October 12, the Lehigh Valley Velodrome will host the 2002 Big Bicycle Flea Market and Swap Meet. The event commemorates the first bicycle race held at the Lehigh Valley on October 12, 1975.

Twenty commercial vendors and 200 individual vendors will be selling a variety of new and used road, mountain, track and BMX bikes, parts, associated equipment as well as clothing and other related items. Over 3,000 people visited the flea market last year.

In addition, Bobby Julich, Team Telekom, will be on hand to sign autographs and sell his collection of sports attire and memorabilia. Julich (Philadelphia, PA www.bobbyjulich.com) is a five-time Tour de France finisher, finishing 3rd in 1998. Proceeds from his autographed items will benefit charity.

4 Wheels 4 Sean benefit

Tickets go on sale this weekend in a raffle of more than $14,000 worth of cycling and outdoor gear, with proceeds to benefit Australians in financial need because of a severe disability acquired whilst cycling. Tickets are $5 each and will be on sale at the Mont 24hr Mountain Bike Race in Canberra on 12-13 October and the Bicycling Australia Show on 19 October. Tickets will also be on sale at various events, bike shops and through online sales at www.phantomcycles.com.au until the 2003 Polaris Challenge on 9-10 March.

Success of the raffle will allow 4 Wheels 4 Sean to buy a specially modified vehicle for Sean Fitzgerald, a Canberra cyclist who became a quadriplegic more than two years ago. Surplus funds combined with ongoing fundraising activities will allow 4 Wheels 4 Sean to help other members of the cycling community in need of support.

All prizes have been generously donated to 4 Wheels 4 Sean by Shimano Australia, Maladjusted, Renegade Cycles and Mont. Full details of the raffle and prize listing are available on the 4 Wheels 4 Sean web site: www.polarismtb.com.au/4w4s, including information on how to obtain tickets.

For more information, contact:

Huw Kingston, Trustee (02) 4883 6509 or huw@polarismtb.com.au
Gerard Coggan, Raffle Organiser 0419 684 376 or gerard.coggan@teamagility.com

 

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