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Photo ©: Schaaf

News for October 18, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Escalada a Montjuïc preview

The 39th edition of the Escalada a Montju Montjuïc will take place Sunday, October 20. The race is run in two stages, featuring a road race of 24.3km (five laps of the circuit), followed by an 8.7km uphill individual time trial. The race pays tribute this year to its founder Joaquim Sabaté Dausa, former president of the Esport Ciclista Barcelona, and will draw Spain's top riders, including Vuelta a España champion Aitor Gonzalez, Oscar Sevilla, Joseba Beloki, and Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, among others. This year's race will also be a special one for Melchior Mauri, the 1991 Vuelta winner's final competition before retirement.

Previous winners:

2001 Joaquin Rodriguez
2000 Fabian Jeker
1999 Andrei Zintchenko

Japan Cup preview

The 11th edition of the Japan Cup will be run on October 27 in Japan, at the Utsunomiya Forest Park Circuit where the World Championships were held in 1990. The race is classed as 1.3 by the UCI and six Trade Teams will come from Europe. Saeco-Longoni Sport, the team of last winner's Gilberto Simoni, will come although maybe Spaniard Igor Astarloa will lead the team. Mapei-Quick Step will also be there in Mapei's last ever professional race.

Provisional starters

Saeco-Longoni Sport: Igor Astarloa, Leonardo Bertagnolli, Damiano Cunego, Juan Fuentes, Fabio Sacchi
Lampre-Daikin: Sergio Barbero (1999 winner), Rubens Bertogliati, Massimo Codol (2000 winner), Alessandro Cortinovis, Manuel Quinziato
Mapei-Quick Step: Laszlo Bodrogi, Fabian Cancellara, Luca Paolini, Michael Rogers, Patrik Sinkewitz
Team Coast: Manuel Beltran, Angel Luis Casero, Bekim Christensen, Jaime Javier Hernandez, Raphael Schweda
Cofidis: Mederic Clain, Peter Farazijn, Claude Lamour, Chris Peers, Jo Planckaert
CSC-Tiscali: Marcelino Garcia, Jakob Piil, Frank Schleck (stagiaire), Nicki Sorensen, Michael Rasmussen

Nine Japanese local teams also participate the race; JPCA, Shimano Racing Team, Aisan-Ind. Racing Team, Sumita-Ravanello, Nippon Hodo-Jura Suisse, Miyata-Subaru Racing Team, Team Orbea- Etxe Onde, Team Bridgestone-Anchor, and Nakagawa-As-K'Design

Courtesy of Miwako Sasaki/Japanese Cycle Sports

Gotti defends Ferrari

Italian cyclist Ivan Gotti has spoken in defense of Dr Michele Ferrari, who is accused of supplying and administering illegal performance enhancing drugs to a number of athletes. The trial, which has been in progress for the last three years, is taking place in Bologna, where Gotti was heard today by Judge Passerini.

Gotti again explained why his hematocrit was measured at 50.7 in the 1998 Tour de Suisse, a race which he abandoned on the eighth stage due to respiratory problems. He blamed his high hematocrit on his sickness at the time, and said that he had never received or taken any products from Dr Ferrari, who is accused of giving riders EPO. Gotti consulted Dr Ferrari between 1996 and 2000.

"He did a series of tests on me in order to teach me how to improve my condition," said Gotti according to AFP. "At the same time I also underwent blood controls."

The next date of the Ferrari trial is set for November 12.

Two Austrians non-negative

Two Austrian riders have tested 'non-negative' for banned substances, according to the Austrian cycling federation. The names of the two are Mathias Buxhofer (Phonak) and Stefan Rucker (Elk Haus), although these will not be confirmed by the Austrian federation until the counter evaluation is also found to be positive.

Buxhofer tested positive for norandrosterone (nandralone) during the Tour of Denmark. When the result of his first test was known, he was suspended by Phonak in accordance with their anti-doping rules. Phonak has not given him a new contract for 2003.

Brochard to Ag2r

French team Ag2r-Prevoyance has signed 34 year old Laurent Brochard for next season. The Frenchman has ridden for Jean Delatour since 2000, and before that Festina (1995-1999) and Castorama (1992-1994). He has won five races this year including the Regio Tour and the Tour of Poland, gaining a valuable 921 UCI points. That will help Ag2r to remain in Division I next season, with Estonian sprinter Jaan Kirsipuu as the team's co-leader.

Vanhaecke to Palmans-Collstrop

Michel Vanhaecke will leave Landbouwkrediet-Colnago next season to join Palmans-Collstrop, Belgium's biggest Division II squad. He has a one year contract with the team.

McCauley stays with RDM

New Zealand champion Gordon McCauley has extended his contract with RDM-Flanders for next season, according to Gazet van Antwerpen. McCauley is the first rider to do so, although it's quite possible that Bert Scheirlinckx will also stay.

Meirhaeghe on track in Gent

Belgian mountain biker Filip Meirhaeghe will ride in the Six Days of Gent, which starts on November 19. Meirhaeghe rode for Landbouwkrediet-Colnago on the road this year, demonstrating his versatility as a rider. He will also ride in the Six Days of Amsterdam, which starts next Monday, October 21.

Meirhaeghe hopes to improve his speed by riding on the track, instead of doing the more traditional winter cyclo-cross circuit. The Wetteren based rider will race for Specialized next year.

Gutierrez confirms with Boavista

The Portuguese team Carvalhelhos/Boavista has confirmed the engagement of the young Spaniard Francisco Gutierrez (silver in the U23 World's road race) for a two year period. Carvalhelhos/Boavista has also signed Australian rider Ben Day (Matesica), the Moldavian Youri Sourkov, who is back racing again after one year of retirement, the Bulgarian Daniel Petrov (Porta da Ravessa) and the Portuguese Célio Sousa (Paredes Móveis).

Still on the team are Portuguese Joaquim Sampaio, Pedro Soeiro and José Rodrigues, Spaniards Pedro Arretunandia, Gustavo Lemos and Adrian Palomares and the Bulgarian Atanas Petrov.

The main riders that will leave Carvalhelhos/Boavista are the Portuguese Joaquim Gomes (retirement) and the Spaniards David Bernabéu (Milaneza) and Josep Jufre (Relax).

Jeker not staying at Milaneza?

Maybe due to the signing of David Bernabéu (27), Milaneza-MSS doesn't seem to be interested in renewing the contract of Swiss climber Fabian Jeker (33 years old). The team offered Jeker less money to do the same job, something that the winner of the 2001 Tour of Portugal and 13th in the 2002 Vuelta considers unfair. The next 24 hours will be the decisive ones but we believe that the exit door is already open to Fabian Jeker.

Courtesy of João Cravo

Fondriest stops sponsorship of Lampre

Biciclette Fondriest, S.R.L. has announced it will no longer be sponsoring the Lampre team, with the contract terminating on October 31, 2002.

"Team Lampre-Daikin's interest in primarily Italian and Eastern European riders is not in synergy with our market development initiatives, particularly in the US and the Western European countries," said Francesco Fondriest. "We were not able to come to terms on this issue with the management of Team Lampre-Daikin and as such have declined to renew our sponsorship of the team."

Maurizio Fondriest added that "We would like to thank all of the staff and riders at Team Lampre-Daikin for their excellent support and victories over the past few seasons. Fondriest has had great success in winning stages in all 3 Grand Tours, multiple Classic victories and the general classification of the 2001 Giro d'Italia."

Fondriest has been in negotiations with several UCI Division One teams during the past weeks and will announce future sponsorship initiatives as they develop.

Alessandro Forni to attempt climbing record

22 year old Italian student Alessandro Forni will attempt to break the 24 hour climbing record, which he currently holds at 16,036 vertical metres. Forni set the record in 2000 by climbing Mt. Bondone 21 times, amidst terrible weather. Last year he tried for a different challenge, riding 767 kilometres in a 24 hour period to break the Italian 24 hour record, however this year he wants another crack at the climbing record.

Forni's attempt will take place this Saturday, October 19 at 10:00am. His circuit will again include Monte Bondone, near Trento, and he will be supported by a medical team throughout.

Verge Mid-Atlantic Championship Cyclo-Cross Series: Rounds 3 & 4

The Verge Mid-Atlantic Championship Cyclo-Cross Series schedule is a tough one this weekend. With an internationally sanctioned (UCI) race both Saturday and Sunday, the start lists will read like a "who's who" of cyclo-cross. The Monkey Hill race traditionally draws top international and national talent and the additional lure of a UCI race on Saturday will make Delaware the place to be this weekend.

In the Elite Men's field, Verge Mid-Atlantic Series leader Kris Auer (LSV/Trek) will have to contend with the appearance of Tim Johnson (Saturn) fresh off his trip to the World Road Championships in Zolder, Belgium. With valuable international ranking points on the line, he should also not be surprised if U.S. National Cyclo-Cross Champion Todd Wells (Mongoose/Hundyai) shows up along with teammate Marc Gullickson. Gullickson is the current Verge New England Series leader after posting two early season wins. Ryan Leech (Guys Bicycles) and Ryan Dewald (Beans) hold second and third positions in the Verge Mid-Atlantic series and will be looking to close the gap to Auer.

Carmen D'Alusio (Clif bar) will be looking to break Diana Gilliam's (Snow Valley) win streak in the Elite Women's races. Diana wears the Verge Mid-Atlantic leader's jersey after winning the first two races in dominating fashion. Carmen is looking to continue her winning ways after taking the top spot in last week's ECV Cyclo-Cross race in Gloucester, MA. However, both riders will have to contend with the return of Lyne Bessette ( to the Mid-Atlantic region. Bessette was one of the top performed women cyclo-crossers of the year last year, winning the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series and a World Cup in Nommay, France. Lyne won several of the Mid-Atlantic races last season and would love to repeat her success of 2001.

In the super competitive Master's field, current Verge Mid-Atlantic series leader, Chris Long (Independent Fabrications/Toga) could face a challenge if 2001 Monkey Hill winner, Chris D'Alusio (Specialized) returns to attempt a repeat. Long is undefeated, having posted back to back wins in the Verge Mid-Atlantic series and he would love to make it three, even four wins in a row.

Racing starts at 10am both days. Elite Women race at 1pm and Elite Men take the course at 2pm. For race details or additional series details, please go to

Remaining rounds in Verge Mid-Atlantic series

October 19: Wooden Wheels Cyclo-Cross (UCI) Granogue DE
October 20: Monkey Hill Cyclo-Cross(UCI) Wilmington DE
October 27: PVC/All Hallows 'Cross Reston VA
November 2: Lancaster 'Cross(UCI) Lancaster PA
November 3: Highland Park Cyclo-Cross Highland Park NJ
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

Lurgan 'cross opens Irish season

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

On Saturday, October 19 the first cyclo-cross of the season gets under way in Lurgan Park, Lurgan, Co. Armagh at mid-day. Myles McCrorry a very progressive organiser has said that mountain bikers will be very welcome to participate. He is also stressing that a number of cyclo-cross events are planned over the next couple of months. Only those competitors on cyclo-cross bikes will eligible for points. Last season 120 turned up in Lurgan and hopefully they can build on that.

When it comes to cyclo-cross, only one name in particular looms large and that is Robin Seymour the current All Ireland titleholder. Robin in both disciplines is in a league of his own, time will tell today (Saturday) if anybody is going to come out of the woodwork. Further info can be had from Myles on (004428) 38 348627.

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