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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

News for September 5, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones and Chris Henry

Saiz eager for Beloki victory

ONCE directeur sportif Manolo Saiz has made clear his eagerness to see Joseba Beloki rise to the top of the podium in a major race. Second in this year's Tour de France, and third place in the previous two editions, Beloki has yet to conquer a grand tour. The ONCE team will once again be aiming for the Vuelta title this month, with Beloki riding as designated leader. Supporting him will be a strong team headed also by Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, 5th overall in this year's Tour and wearer of the yellow jersey after ONCE's victory in the team time trial.

"What Beloki must do is to realize his potential and win a major race," Saiz told Spanish daily Marca. "But we are conscious that facing Beloki are two other riders who have already have won (the Vuelta), Heras and Casero, as well as former Giro winner Simoni."

Saiz confirmed Beloki's role as leader. "It's necessary to bet on Beloki. He has been second in the Tour, and this is a mountainous Vuelta and he is the one that is better suited to the terrain."

The competition for the overall in the Vuelta looks to be quite stiff this year, though Saiz's ONCE team are favored to win the team time trial in Valencia, just as they did during this year's Tour de France.

More Vuelta team selections

With the start of the Vuelta coming up on Saturday, teams are announcing their final rosters for the three week tour.


Simone Bertoletti, Massimo Codol, Juan Manuel Garate, Milan Kadlec, Mariano Piccoli, Zbigniew Spruch, Jan Svorada, Pavel Tonkov, Johan Verstrepen. Team managers: Maurizio Piovani, Brent Copeland.

Tacconi Sport:

Gabriele Balducci, Paolo Bossoni, Patrick Calcagni, Diego Ferrari, Andrei Hauptman, Zoran Klemencic, Peter Luttenberger, Silvester Szmyd, Pietro Zucconi. Reserves: Marco Gili, Nicola Minali. DS: Vittorio Algeri, Pietro Turchetti.


Mikel Artetxe, David Etxebarria, Iker Flores, Gorka Gerrikagoitia, Roberto Laiseka, Alberto López de Munain, Alberto Martinez, Iban Mayo, Haimar Zubeldia. DS: Julian Gorospe.

Francisco Mancebo, Juan Miguel Mercado, Aitor Osa, Santiago Blanco, Vicente Garcia Acosta, Ivan Gutiérrez, Juan Antonio Flecha, Pablo Lastras, Jon Odriozola.

Also see: Vuelta start list

Garzelli says no to Quick Step

Stefano Garzelli, who has decided to continue his career despite testing positive for probenecid during the Giro d'Italia, is now no longer in the picture for Patrick Lefevere's Quick Step team. Garzelli had a verbal agreement and was due to sign a contract on Monday evening with Lefevere, but the deal fell through. "He was too cowardly to announce his broken word himself. That had his brother to do," said an angry Lefevere to Het Nieuwsblad.

"Two weeks ago we were clear on everything. And then his brother came along, who is his manager, with some silly pretexts. Tacconi wanted to build a whole team around Garzelli and his regional mate Nardello, and there was the rivalry with Virenque and a lot of other things too."

"I have lost a month and I still don't have a classement rider," continued Lefevere. "Now I have to wait for the Vuelta, in the hope that someone falls out of the tree, a new top rider. And then to think that I let Cadel Evans go to Telekom in favour of Mr Garzelli. I had the Australian in my grasp."

"This cost me a couple of hundred thousand euros. Garzelli advised me to take Bramati instead of Cassani and I contracted climbers Patrik Sinkewitz and Kurt Van de Wouwer to support him in the cols. And besides that a soigneur and mechanic too. They all signed. Okay, that are good people. But the man for who I contracted them left me for dead."

"With me, a word is a word. Maybe I'm naïve, but that's what I'm like. Now I ask myself questions about the stories that Garzelli came up with when he was caught in the probenecid affair in the Giro. He who lies once..."

Replacement sponsor for Bonjour

The French Bonjour team, losing its title sponsor at the end of this season, will continue with new backing next year. Team director Jean-René Bernaudau has received sponsorship commitments from La Boulangère-Vendée, a French bread company, and the Conseil Général of the Vendée region of France. The total team budget will be smaller than that of the current Bonjour formation, but still fairly sizeable at 4.5-5 million euros. Several Vendée U riders have been named to join the team: Christophe Kern, Sébastien Chavanel and Maryan Hary.

Courtesy of

A new team for Braeckevelt?

Andrei Tchmil as team manager

According to reports in the Belgian press, Lotto-Adecco director Jef Braeckevelt is hoping to be involved in a new Division II team next year after he leaves the employ of the National Lottery. Braeckevelt wants to work with his former pupil Andrei Tchmil, who retired from Lotto mid-season.

"I would be the team leader, Andrei the manager," said Braeckevelt. "Andrei has twice visited Moscow to speak with representatives of Itera [Russian gas company]. The aim is to create a team with 18 riders. We are thinking, amongst others, of the Russians Tonkov, Petrov and Konychev."

At the moment, Itera already sponsors two professional teams: A division II squad made up of young, up and coming Russian riders and a women's team. If this new team formed, it would not mean the demise of the existing ones, as Itera and the Russian federation are have worked together to build a solid platform for promising Russian riders.

Itera Division II currently has 12 riders, so one possibility would be an expansion of this team, with Itera remaining as head sponsor and keeping the same development program. Another possibility would be a completely new team, sponsored by Itera and another company.

So far, the team is still on the drawing board.

Menchov may be iBanesto's only foreign rider

With the impending departures of Italian Bruseghin and Poles Baranowski and Brozyna, Russian Denis Menchov might be the only non-Spanish rider to remain with next season. The team has not yet decided whether Leonardo Piepoli will remain within its ranks, although the Italian has expressed his desire to stay. The team's budget for next year looks to be the determining factor for a decision concerning Piepoli.

Bölts confirms with Gerolsteiner

Longtime Telekom domestique Udo Bölts has confirmed his transfer to the German Gerolsteiner team for next season. Bölts spent 11 years in the service of Telekom, but was not offered a contract renewal for next season. Despite a cut in salary at Gerolsteiner, he was thankful for the opportunity to continue his career. "I had to make financial reductions, that was clear," Bölts told German Radsport. "But I wanted to absolutely to continue on, and money was not the most important thing."

Bölts has signed a one year contract with the team, but extensions beyond 2003 are considered by both parties to be quite possible.

Tacconi Sport re-signs Paolo Bossoni

Tacconi Sport director Enrico Maggioni has announced the signing of Italian Paolo Bossoni for an additional season. Picked for this year's Vuelta team, Bossoni has already had success in Spain, notably in 2000 where he won a stage ahead of Oscar Freire.

Alessio re-signs Raffaele Ferrara

Raffaele Ferrara has received a one year contract extension from his Alessio team. Pleased with the offer, Ferrara commented, "their making an offer before the Vuelta shows that they believe in my capabilities. I want to get in a breakaway and repay their confidence."

Lotto riders inspect Circuit Zolder

Lotto-Adecco riders Rik Verbrugghe, Christophe Brandt, Kevin Van Impe, Wesley Van Speybroeck and Aart Vierhouten spent Saturday at Circuit Zolder, inspecting the World's course. The course reconnaissance was the initiative of RTBF, the French-speaking Belgian TV network, and La Dernière Heure.

Aart Vierhouten, who hopes to lead the Dutch World's contingent, said optimistically, "I know this circuit like the back of my hand. I am enthusiastic because I am someone who likes wind and flat roads. If I manage to improve my condition, they will have a force to reckon with in me."

Lotto manager Jef Braeckevelt added, "this is a circuit where it is impossible to predict who is going to win. There are at least 100 racers who are in which a chance." Braeckevelt considers riders like Tafi, Nardello, Jalabert and Johan Museeuw to be at the head of the list of favorites. "Particularly Museeuw, because it's his birthday on that day. Don't forget that it was under exactly the same circumstances that he became world champion in Lugano. It was also his birthday then. For Museeuw the circuit in Zolder is after his own heart."

Rik Verbrugghe also has high hopes for the World's events, and is aiming to contest both the time trial and road race. "After my unfortunate fall during the first week of the Tour," Verbrugghe explained, "I was out for six weeks because of the collarbone fracture. That means that I am really eager to do some racing; I have got lots of pent-up energy."

The Lotto rider will head to the Tour of Poland in an effort to regain his peak fitness, and hopes to impress the Belgian selectors at the GP des Nations time trial in France. "Of course I also hope to get my ticket for the individual road race. I want reach my peak again so that the Belgian coach will make me a protected racer. I definitely want to stand on the winner's podium in Zolder," said Verbrugghe.

Leipheimer leaves hospital

Levi Leipheimer has finally left Almelo hospital, where he has spent the past 12 days recovering from a blocked intestine. Leipheimer was operated on for more three hours to try and correct the problem. "I felt terrible," he said. "The pain was truly unbearable. I was afraid that I would break. The doctors couldn't give me the reason. In the US I will look for specialists who can tell me more about it."

Leipheimer has returned home to Girona in Spain, before making the trip to California next week. "Luckily the season was just about finished," he added. "For next season, perhaps it won't have a negative influence."

Two fakta riders for GP des Nations

EDS-fakta's Jørgen Bo Petersen and Marcus Ljungqvist are among the 20 riders invited to the 66th GP des Nations (1.1) in Le Havre September 21. The GP is the highest ranked ITT on the calendar and was considered an unofficial World Championships before the UCI introduced the ITT to the World's schedule in 1994.

"It is an honour to be invited and it's also a good preparation for the World's where Jørgen Bo hopes to participate. We had hoped for one invitation, now we get two."

The invitation also means that the team will have a possibility to gain even more points on the other second division teams for a spot in first division next year. They currently have a 1000 plus point lead on BankGiroLoterij, and are unlikely to get caught.

Postgirot Open/Tour of Sweden loses its main sponsor

Nordes/Postgirot Bank has decided to quit sponsoring the Postgirot Open/Tour of Sweden (2.2) stage race. The race has been held 21 times since 1982. Nordes/Postgirot Bank will however fulfil its commitment as main sponsor for the Swedish Cycling Federation over the year 2003

The federation's secretary general Björn Mattsson says "I can look back with joy on the 21 years of cooperation", he says adding that he is grateful that the decision was made well in advance making it possible for the federation to find other sponsors for the event.

New Zealand round of Women's World Cup cancelled

By Alan Messenger

New Zealand will not be hosting a round of the Women's World Cup next year. In a shock announcement today Organizer Stephen Cox said that he has dropped his plans to again stage the event.

"I've advised the UCI that the event is off," Cox said. "I just don't have enough money, that's the overriding thing".

Cox had relied on funding from a trust set up in Hamilton to distribute profits from the City's major Energy distributor, but that body is not prepared to make a commitment until later this year. "It's just not worth the risk for me to continue," Cox said.

He was also critical of Cycling New Zealand, the Governing Body for the sport in this Country. "They actually charge me $150 to run the race but they should be providing money to provide such a prestigious event" Cox said.

Acting President of Cycling New Zealand, John McDonnell said that he was disappointed that Cox was criticizing the Association. "The $150 is actually a charge for Insurance, and that's a very cheap rate. We just don't have the money and we're not in the business of funding events".

Cox first staged a World Cup race in New Zealand in 1999 then again in 2001 and in March of this year. The race attracted some of the World's best female cyclists and this year was won by Petra Rossner (Team Saturn).

USA selections for World Track Championships

USA Cycling announced Tuesday the automatic nominees to compete at the 2002 World Track Cycling Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, Sept. 25-29. The eight athletes nominated Tuesday to the World Championships team earned automatic nominations based on their results at last week's USCF National Track Cycling Championships in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania.

U.S. athletes nominated to the 2002 World Track Cycling Championships team include: Garth Blackburn (men's keirin), Jame Carney (men's points race, madison), Colby Pearce, (men's madison), Marty Nothstein (men's scratch race), Tanya Lindenmuth (women's 500m sprint), Jennie Reed (women's keirin), Becky Quinn (women's scratch race), and Sarah Uhl (women's points race).

The remaining spots, or discretionary team nominations, will be announced on Friday, September 6. These riders will be chosen based on World Cup results and performances at the 2002 USA track nationals.

VDB says thanks, but no thanks to World Track Championships

Frank Vandenbroucke will not be partnering Mathew Gilmore in the Madison at the World Track Championships in Copenhagen later this month. He was offered a spot by national coach Michel Vaarten, who wants to see more than one Belgian competitor at the World's. VDB said that "I appreciate the attention, but in speaking to the people around me, I have decided to fully concentrate on the road and on my 2003 campaign."

Lampre-Daikin for Coppa Placci and Giro di Romagna

The Lampre team has announced its roster for this weekend's racing at the Coppa Placci (Sept. 7) and Giro di Romagna (Sept. 8) in Italy. The following team will contest both races:

Sergio Barbero, Raivis Belohvosciks, Rubens Bertogliati, Alessandro Cortinovis, Gabriele Missaglia, Marco Serpellini, Marco Pinotti, Maximilian Sciandri.

50th Coppa Sabatini

This year's Coppa Sabatini, the 50th edition of the race, will take place on September 26 in Peccioli, Italy. Two weeks before the World Championships, the UCI 1.2 race represents one of the final opportunities for the Italian hopefuls to distinguish themselves and earn selection for the World's.

Named for Giuseppe Sabatini, the race will be honored this year by the mayor of Peccioli, Dr. Renzo Macelloni, as well as the president of the Unione Ciclistica Pecciolese, Giorgio Rossi.

Previous winners:

2001 Dimitri Konyshev
2000 Andrei Tchmil
1999 Dimitri Konyshev
1998 Emmanuel Magnien
1997 Andrea Tafi

Cycling Ireland Bike Week report

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

Bike Week has commenced and will finish up on Sunday. Cycling Ireland is behind the project and the financial assistance comes from the Hibernian Group. Naturally, CI is hoping that once you get on a bike, the bug'll catch you.

One of the highlights of the week's activities is the Coast 2 Coast Challenge, which gets under way this Saturday. This is aimed mainly at the enthusiast who has miles in his/her legs.

This leisure cycle will travel from Dublin to Galway and will take place on Saturday 7th September. It will return back from Galway to Dublin on Sunday 8th September.

The "Esker Riada" heritage cycle route travels through six counties and covers a distance of 135 miles each way. If it sounds too far then why not do it as a company challenge taking part in a 4-man/woman-relay team. The choice is yours!

Also the route is a cycle-friendly route passing through ancient historic and natural landscapes from Dublin to Galway. The organiser's aim is to provide a safe and quiet, surfaced, between Dublin and Galway Cities. 1200 years ago the Great Road (Eiscir Riada) route was very different to what it is today. This raised, ten-foot wide road carried people across the country, winding its way past bogs and rivers. The paved surface carried those on foot, horseback and chariot, some chariots had up to four horses.

Route Description

The route is divided into three sections:

Section 1: Dublin-Celbridge
Section 2: Celbridge-Galway Airport
Section 3: Galway Airport-Galway City


Registration for this two-day event is €80 and includes:

Full support infrastructure
Recommended accommodation listings
Lunch and snack stops each way
Baggage transport
"Time Out" bus
T-Shirt and goody bag
Evening meal and entertainment in Galway on 7th September
Individual official timing each way from start to finish.

Cycling Ireland would like to thank Joe Roche (Navan Avanmore Road Club) for researching and developing the Esker Riada route

People can register on or by calling Elsa on +353-1-8551523 or 8551202


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