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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

News for October 25, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Tour 2003 presentation

For complete details of the presentation of the 2003 Centenary Tour de France, please visit the Tour '03 page on Cyclingnews. Included are the preview, stages, route summary, mountain stages, team selection, quotes from the winners, organiser's statement and photos from the launch.

Pantani to decide his own fate

Marco Pantani told reporters at Thursday's Tour de France presentation that he would decide in the next two weeks whether or not he intended to continue as a professional cyclist next season.

"I have to find the motivation to become a professional cyclist once again," Pantani told l'Equipe. "There's a possibility that I might join the same time as Mario Cipollini."

The Mercatone Uno rider, whose last victory came at Courchevel in the 2000 Tour, noted that he was energized in the company of the other Tour champions at the route presentation in Paris.

Tiralongo to Panaria

Paolo Tiralongo (25) has signed a contract with the Ceramiche-Panaria Fiordo team for 2003, bringing the team's total roster to 13 riders according to director Roberto Reverberi. Tiralongo raced for Fassa Bortolo this year. The team now has the following riders under contract for 2003:

Giuliano Figueras
Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio
Luca Mazzanti (Mercatone Uno)
Paolo Tiralongo (Fassa Bortolo)
Graeme Brown
Nathan O'Neill
Sergey Matveyev
Filippo Perfetto
Brett Lancaster (

Neo pros

Fabio Gilioli
Ruben Bongiorno
Claudio Bartoli

Team Manager: Bruno Reverberi
Directeur Sportif: Roberto Reverberi

Stam and Slippens to Axa

Dutch track pair Danny Stam and Robert Slippens will ride for Axa next season according to ANP. The pair signed two year contracts on Wednesday, while leading the Amsterdam Six Days. That means they will ride for Axa up to and including the 2004 Olympics. In addition, Axa's Mark Vlijm and Jos Lucassen extended their contracts for another season.

Axa's current co-sponsor VvZ will pull out at the end of the season, however Axa will increase its sponsorship in order to maintain the team budget.

Aug (and Gontchar?) to De Nardi-Colpack

Estonian sprinter Andrus Aug (De Nardi-Montegrappa), who won seven races this year, has signed a contract with the new combined team De Nardi-Colpack. Also Ukrainian cyclist Serguei Gontchar will probably join De Nardi-Colpack.

Courtesy of Jaan Martinson/SL Õhtuleht

Brentjens to T-Mobile

Dutch mountain biker Bart Brentjens, ranked number one in the world, will ride the next two seasons for the German MTB team T-Mobile. Brentjens (34) has ridden for Giant these past two seasons. In T-Mobile, he will be joined by triple German champion Lado Fumic.

Ballester leaves Mälarenergi for Costa del Almeria

According to, Spaniard Rafael Ballester will leave Swedish TT III Team Mälarenergi for Spanish team Costa de Almeria-Paternina.

Team Ton van Bemmelen Sports-Novilon for 2003

Team Ton van Bemmelen Sports-Novilon, the feeder team for Farm Frites-Hartol under the Rotterdam Cycling banner, has made its selection for 2003. Existing riders Daphny van den Brand, Wendie Kramp, Caroline Slikker, Olga van Velzen and Catharina Mulders will be joined by Sandra Duin, Edita Bergkoppe, Sabrina Katee, Monique Verstraten and Femke Kweekel in 2003. Riders leaving the team include Sandra Missbach, Christa Pirard and Suzanne de Goede (all to Farm Frites Hartol), Soraya Bartels (Power Plate/Bik), and Ellen de Weert who is retiring for health reasons.

Sullivan on the mend

By Matthew Conn

Australian junior Ryan Sullivan is making a faster than expected recovery from injuries suffered in a fall at the World Championships in Zolder.

After falling at the finish of the junior road race, Sullivan lay unconscious with deep lacerations to his face and mouth. Now home in Tasmania, the Evandale 17 year old has been told that he will not require plastic surgery and that a suspected broken nose was in fact just heavy bruising.

Sullivan is taking the next month off the bike to concentrate on his year 11 studies and will then spend the summer gearing up for another tilt at Australian selection in the new, national under 21 programme.

SBS television will be broadcasting highlights of the World Road Championships this Sunday at 11.00 am.

Top Swedish amateur team to stop?

One of the top Swedish amateur teams,ö IF, will most likely abandon their elite program for next season since the team's main sponsor, a mail order firm, is withdrawing its support.

"Our manager Leif Resar has done a great job as well as many others in the club, but you need a strong main sponsor. We don't know much about our future. We hope that we can stick together but several clubs are pulling at Christofer Stevenson who has had a great season, and he is young enough to be attractive among the elite clubs", says ex pro Anders Juhlin, age 28.

The team has also had Martin Axelsson, Robert Johansson and Peter Resar in the ranks. Skoghall /Hammarö has showed interest in Resar since he lives close to Skoghall. The south Swedish team Degerberga is also rumoured to have shown interest in the Sollerö riders. The past season Degerberga cyclists have raced internationally with the Danish TT III Qvickly-Odder.

Sollerö IF will go on as an ordinary cycling club, but most important for Swedish cycling Sollerö IF will go on organizing Solleröloppet, Sweden's most prestigious national race.

Verge Mid-Atlantic Championship Cyclo-Cross Series: Round 5

The Verge Mid-Atlantic Championship Cyclo-Cross Series makes its southern most stop this weekend with racing action in Reston, Virginia. Along with being race #5 of the Verge Mid-Atlantic series, All Hallows 'cross is also the first race in the Virginia Cyclo-cross series.

With a win at Monkey Hill and a second place finish at Granogue last weekend, Tim Johnson (Saturn) laid claim to the Verge Mid-Atlantic leader's jersey. Marc Gullickson (Mongoose/Hyundai) landed in second place in the series after beating Johnson to take the win at Granogue and earning a hard-fought third place finish at Monkey Hill. Besides Johnson and Gullickson , the top five finishers each day included Jonathon Page (Richard Sachs), Adam Craig (Giant) and Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW).

In the Verge Mid-Atlantic Series standings, Ryan Leech (Guys Bicycles) moved into third place after posting two good finishes last weekend. Ryan DeWald (Beans) is one point back in fourth spot and only one point separates him from former Verge jersey-wearer, Kris Auer (LSV/Trek). With Johnson and Gullickson out of town this weekend, it looks like a tough three-way battle is in store.

Similar to the Elite Men's field, the Elite Women's podium looked nearly identical both days. Carmen D'Alusio (Clif Bar) dominated the weekend by racking up back to back wins. Lyne Bessette ( made her 2002 Verge Mid-Atlantic series debut, duking it out with D'Alusio but having to settle for second both days. Third place each day went to Kathryn Roszko (NCC/ and Alicia Genest (Richard Sachs) earned two fourth place finishes. The only change between Saturday and Sunday was in fifth place. Cori Page (Richard Sachs) took fifth at Granogue and Kristy Scheffenacker (Snow Valley) took fifth at Monkey Hill.

D'Alusio's wins vaulted her right past Diana Gilliam (Snow Valley) who was the series leader going into the weekend. Absent from Granogue and Monkey Hill, Diana is now locked in a two-way tie for second place with defending series champion Josie Shew (First State Velo Sport). Following closely behind them is Amber Itle (University of Pennsylvania). In her first year of racing Elite she is definitely a rider to watch and a possible threat for the overall lead. Bessette now holds fifth in the series.

Chris Long (IF/Toga) maintains his series lead over Eric Schlauch (Somerset Wheelmen) in the Masters 35+ field, with the battle set to continue on Sunday. In third place behind Schlauch in the series, sits Rick Mihills (First State Velo Sport). Kurt Mikeska (Wooden Wheels) leads the Masters 45+ series.

In the Men's B field, a mandatory upgrade to Elite is in store for Joe Piccillo (Evolution Racing) since he has now worn the Verge Leader's jersey for two weeks running. The Juniors' series is being led by Joey Thompson (Balance Bar/Devo) and the leader in the Women's B series is Megan Render (Snow Valley).

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

2002 Verge Mid-Atlantic Championship Cyclo-Cross Series

October 27, 2002: PVC/All Hallows 'Cross Reston VA
November 2, 2002: Lancaster 'Cross(UCI) Lancaster PA
November 3, 2002: Highland Park Cyclo-Cross Highland Park NJ
November 30, 2002: Rockville Bridge Cyclo-Cross hosts the Cycle-Smart Regional Cup Marysville PA
December 7, 2002: Phelps 'School Cross Main Line PA
December 8, 2002: First State Velo 'Cross Fair Hill MD

Irish Cyclo-Cross Round 2 preview

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

Word on the grapevine is that last weekend's promotion in Lurgan was a qualified success and the cyclo-cross guys and gals are again ready for action. On Saturday it'll be all go in Narrow Water on the road from Newry to Warrenpoint in the Co. Down. Also last Saturday's event which was run off on a handicap basis was a plus for the organisers and spectators who kept the decibels top heavy as their particular favourites rode at speed around a very technical course.

Young Michael Mulvenna from the Ards Cycling Club took one hell of a scalp when he defeated the red-hot favourite and current National Champion, Robin Seymour from Kilmacanogue in Co. Wicklow. All right so the junior took full advantage of his handicap of six and a half minutes and at the line had 26 seconds to spare over Robin who certainly did not sit around but went in pursuit of the field, but Michael prevailed to win the day. It will be interesting to see how the organisers dollop out the advantages in time.

Last Saturday Don Travers and Roger Aiken showed that they are up for the league. Last season they certainly made it difficult for Robin and should with the first event in their legs come into their own.

According to Dave Gill, minor adjustments will be in place, "The course will on a similar course to last year but run in reverse. Last year's course saw a lot of people puncturing and this is the main reason for reversing the course. So put on big tyres in you have them. The race will be handicapped, as will all the races in the league this year in order to give as many riders a chance to do well as possible. Only riders on Cross bikes will get points in the league in the senior race. In the underage races all riders get points."

To get to the race take the Warrenpoint Road from Newry. Head out along the side of the estuary for about three miles, Big wood is on the left hand side. For more information contact Conor Campbell of the promoting club Newry CC at 02841739039.

Norway gets 'cross

Norway is the next country to enter the cyclo-cross stage with the country's second unofficial National Championships to be held this coming Saturday at the Holmenkollen cross country ski stadium in Oslo. Hopes among Norwegian crossers are that the Championships becomes official in 2004 and that Norway can get a national team together for international events.

"We think we have the perfect conditions here at Holmenkollen for participants, spectators and not the least TV productions since countless skiing events have been televised from the trails here", says organizing Frikransen's spokesman Njål Engløk.

The championships are also the first event in a national series of six. Saturday's elite field will probably draw a crowd with MTB star Rune Hojdahl meeting among others road ace Mads Kaggestad and cross country skier Espen Bjervig, who also rode the time trial championships this summer finishing 12th.

Norwegian cyclo cross series Tine Cup 2002-2003

October 26: Holmenkollen, Oslo
November 9: Nittedal
November 16: Haslebanen, Oslo
January18: Tønsberg
February 1: Moss
February 15: Kalvøya, Oslo

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