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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

News for October 20, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones and Chris Henry

Giro di Lombardia wrap up

The final race of the 2002 World Cup was run in perfect sunny conditions between Cantu and Bergamo today. It was an aggressive race dominated by the Fassa Bortolo and Saeco-Longoni Sport teams, ending in a 15 man sprint in Bergamo. Michele Bartoli powered off his teammate Casagrande's lead out to take a fine win, his sixth ever World Cup victory and one that propelled him to third overall in the World Cup standings.

Full results & report
Live report


World Cup winner's profile: Paolo Bettini

Paolo Bettini
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

In finishing 30th today in the Giro di Lombardia, Paolo Bettini secured for the first time in his career the overall classification of the World Cup. Bettini therefore reached the goal that he and his Mapei-Quick Step team set at the beginning of the season, with Mapei also taking the team's classification for the fifth time in nine years.

Bettini has proved himself to be one of the strongest and consistent riders of the season, gaining points in seven of the nine World Cup races that he took part in (he didn't take part in Paris-Roubaix). The only races where he didn't score points were Milan-San Remo and Giro di Lombardia.

Bettini won Liege-Bastogne-Liege and finished second in the Meisterschaft von Zürich, where he took over the World Cup jersey from Johan Museeuw. From then on he maintained his advantage over Museeuw, who did not start in Lombardy as it is a race that has never suited him. Today Bettini suffered over the climbs in Lombardy to be with the leaders in the last 10 km, making sure that he kept an eye on his closest rival Igor Astarloa (Saeco). On the final climb of Largo Colle Aperto, Bettini lost contact with the front group and eventually finished 30th. However his work was done as Astarloa finished in the same group.

Mapei also tasted success in the 2002 World Cup when Andrea Tafi won the Ronde Van Vlaanderen in April. That together with Bettini's consistency helped them to the overall individual and team World Cup classifications, a fitting end for the world's best team over the past 10 years.

Paolo Bettini

Born: April 1, 1974 in Cecina, Italy
UCI Ranking: 4th (1,884 points) as of 13th October 2002
Career wins: 28
Wins this season: 11

2 stages + overall, Giro della Riviera Ligure di Ponente
1 stage, Tirreno-Adriatico
1 stage + overall, Tour de la Région Wallone
Giro del Lazio
Coppa Sabatini
1 stage, Giro della Provincia di Lucca
Final Classification World Cup

World Cup winners for 2002

Round 1 - March 23: Milan-San Remo, Italy: Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua e Sapone
Round 2 - April 7: Ronde van Vlaanderen, Belgium: Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
Round 3 - April 14: Paris-Roubaix, France: Johan Museeuw (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites
Round 4 - April 21: Liège - Bastogne - Liège, Belgium: Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
Round 5 - April 28: Amstel Gold Race, The Netherlands: Michele Bartoli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
Round 6 - August 4: HEW-Cyclassics, Germany: Johan Museeuw (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites
Round 7 - August 10: Clasica San Sebastian, Spain: Laurent Jalabert (Fra) CSC-Tiscali
Round 8 - August 18: Meisterschaft von Zürich, Switzerland: Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport
Round 9 - October 6: Paris - Tours, France: Jakob Piil (Den) CSC-Tiscali
Round 10 - October 19: Giro di Lombardia, Italy: Michele Bartoli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo

Roster remake for Fassa Bortolo

The Fassa Bortolo team of Giancarlo Ferretti is undergoing a number of changes this winter, with no fewer than 9 riders saying farewell as they head to other teams. As reported earlier, team leader Francesco Casagrande is moving to Lampre with Wladimir Belli. Also departing Fassa Bortolo are Fabio Baldato, Filippo Casagrande, Sergey Gontchar, Dimitri Konyshev, Rinaldo Nocentini, Oscar Pozzi, and Paolo Tiralongo.

New additions to the team include this year's U23 road race champion Francesco Chicchi, as well as three riders from Mapei, Fabian Cancellara, Dario Cioni, and Filippo Pozzato.

The biggest ticket item on Ferretti's wish-list is Vuelta a España winner Aitor Gonzalez (Kelme), who is expected to announce his chosen destination within the next week.

Jean Delatour contract updates

The books have yet to be closed at Jean Delatour, as transfer talks continue for several riders. Among those leaving the team are Stéphane Augé (Credit Agricole), Cyril Dessel (Phonak), and Ivaïlo Gabrovski (St Quentin-Oktos). Joona Laukka and Lénaïc Olivier have been released by the team, though their destinations remain unknown. Finally, Gilles Bouvard is still in discussion with the team although an agreement to keep the Frenchman has not been reached.

Lampre to drop Rumsas?

Lampre has not yet announced that the team will renew the contract of Lithuanian Raimondas Rumsas for next season. Rumsas has not raced since his third place in this year's Tour de France, and the ensuing scandal which landed his wife Edita in a French prison for 11 weeks.

Lampre has already bolstered its roster, signing Francesco Casagrande and Wladimir Belli from Fassa Bortolo, Eddy Ratti from Mapei and iBanesto's Francisco Javier Vila.

Petrov to

Mapei's Evgeni Petrov, winner of this year's Tour de l'Avenir, will ride for Spanish formation next year, where he will join friend and compatriot Denis Menchov. Also joining iBanesto will be Jose A. López, who rode this season with Avilas Rojas.

Meanwhile, two Spaniards from the team, David Latasa and Adolfo Garcia Quesada, will move across to Kelme after their contracts were not renewed at Banesto, while Francisco Javier Villa will switch to Lampre.

Martinez signs for Phonak

Frenchman Miguel Martinez has signed for Swiss team Phonak Hearing Systems for next season. Martinez rode this year for Mapei-Quick Step and finished the Tour de France in his first attempt.

Quaranta, Pieri and Shefer to Saeco

Ivan Quaranta (Index-Alexia), Dario Pieri and Aleksandr Shefer (both Alessio) will ride next season for Saeco-Longoni Sport. Quaranta has had a reasonable year, managing four wins including the Dwars Door Gendringen, and stages in the Postgirot Open, Tour of Qatar and Regio Tour. However sickness at inopportune times has cost him form in the big stage races such as the Giro and the Vuelta.

Pieri, a classics specialist, won the GP E3 Harelbeke this year, and placed second in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen in 2000. He rode for Saeco in 2000-2001, so he will be amongst familiar faces again.

Shefer has been a little more consistent this year, winning the Giro di Toscana and a stage in the Ruta del Sol, as well as several top three placings in other races. The Kazakh will be a useful member of the Saeco team in the hillier races.

Boonen still on the table

Belgium's new hope, Tom Boonen, has yet to reach an agreement with a team for next year. Still under contract with US Postal, Boonen has made no secret of his ambitions to move elsewhere, specifically Patrick Lefevere's new Quick Step team. To leave US Postal, however, Boonen would be required to buy out the remainder of his contract. Something Lefevere, despite whatever interest he may have in Boonen, doesn't appear anxious to do. In addition, the UCI are not too keen on having a repeat of the Vandenbroucke episode, a similar contract wrangling involving Lefevere and Frank Vandenbroucke, who finished up at Mapei.

That's a question the rider has to decide himself," Lefevere told La Derniere Heure, adding that for Boonen to cover the cost himself "is a possibility, according to European customs."

On the US Postal side, team manager Johan Bruyneel has shown relatively little concern. Confident that Boonen remains under contract, and that his extraction from that contract would cost the interested parties no small sum, Bruyneel has been content to let Boonen and his suitors work out the details themselves.

Vansummeren pro with Vlaanderen-T Interim

Belgian cyclist Johan Vansummeren, who rode for the Domo U23 team this year, will turn pro with Vlaanderen-T Interim next season according to Het Laatste Nieuws. This year Vansummeren won three classics in the U23 ranks. On the other hand, Kris Gerits and Andy Vidts will leave Vlaanderen-T Interim at the end of the year, as they are retiring.

Ludwig quits BDR

Olaf Ludwig was step down from his post as vice president of the German Cycling Federation (BDR) as of March 2003. Ludwig, who has been part of the BDR since 1997, cited his heavy workload as the main reason for his departure. The 42 year old is also the official spokesman for Team Telekom, and has been criticised by his peers for having this dual role. Team Coast manager Marcel Wüst has been particularly outspoken in his criticism, saying that Telekom riders seem to get preferential selection in the World Championships and Olympic Games.

Bellutti quits Italian track position

Antonella Bellutti, Italian national track coach, has quit her post after only 6 months on the job. After a disappointing World Championships in Copenhagen, where Italy garnered only one bronze medal, Bellutti leaves the position amidst obvious dissatisfaction. "This is a job that requires patience. Six months after my appointment to the position, an appointment which was made in haste, there has not been enough talk about the programs," Bellutti told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

With the Italian track program in the arguably the worst shape it's seen, Bellutti maintained that enthusiasm and the will to succeed are two missing components. "It is true that Italian sports are in an economic crisis," she said, "and that was the case when I accepted the assignment. But I was convinced that by mid-October I would have been given approval for the programs I had proposed, or at least there would have been an opportunity to discuss them."

Frustrated by what she perceives to be a lack of support from the Italian federation, Bellutti now prefers to distance herself from the failures of the track program. "Under these conditions I have lost the credibility I earned in 25 years of sport. I have devoted six months of my time for nothing."

World's make a profit

The organisers of the World Championships in Zolder, VZW Terlamen, have reported a 150,000EUR profit from hosting the six day event. They hope to use Circuit Zolder for a future World Championship, and/or to host a stage of the Tour de France.

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