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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

News for September 7, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones and Chris Henry

Casero confident for Vuelta repeat

Despite a season in the shadows with minimal racing, defending Vuelta champion Angel Casero is confident in his ability to repeat the feat this year.

"I am fresh because this year I have competed only in the Tour of Portugal and a race in Germany," Casero told El Mundo on Friday. "I feel great both physically and mentally."

Casero joined Team Coast this season after the end of the Festina's team sponsorship last year. He has missed the majority of this season due to a knee injury, but is confident that he is ready to challenge at the Vuelta.

"I think the leading challengers will be Simoni, who will be fired up after his expulsion from the Giro, Heras, who rode so well in the Tour, Beloki and Sevilla."

A better time-trialist than climber, Casero is determined not to falter on the Alto de l'Angliru this year, as he did against Roberto Heras in 2000. "I failed the l'Angliru test last time. I didn't have the right gearing set-up, but that won't happen again."

For the final Vuelta start list, click here.

Cyclingnews will provide live daily Vuelta coverage, beginning at 15:00 CEST.

Saiz envisions drama on Angliru

ONCE director Manolo Saiz expects the brutal climb of the Angliru (stage 15) to provide the real drama for this year's Vuelta. Coming at the end of a 176km stage, and rising at a gradient at times exceeding 20%, the climb has helped shaped the race in previous editions, and may do the same this year. According to Saiz, the climb comes in the last week, and "the teams that have to work will arrive very tired. There may be dramatic moments..."

Saiz has confidence in his leaders Beloki and Gonzalez de Galdeano, noting that Beloki comes to the race "at a good time and with a great desire to fight."

Zabel sizes up Vuelta competition

In an interview on Team Telekom's web site, Erik Zabel named the riders he considers his biggest competition for the sprints in this year's Vuelta. "I think most of all Alessandro Petacchi, who beat me twice in Holland. Naturally I must also pay attention to Oscar Freire and Mario Cipollini."

Asked about the loss of leadout man Gian Matteo Fagnini, forced to miss the Vuelta due to stomach problems, Zabel was not surprisingly disappointed. "It is very unfortunate. He always gives 100%, and I can always count on him. But we still have nine excellent riders at the start."

Zabel won three stages at the 2001 Vuelta, and will surely be looking to claim additional stage wins this year. The German sprinter will also be looking to finish the Vuelta and gain as much condition as possible for the World's in Zolder.

Lampre-Daikin for Vuelta

Lampre-Daikin has announced its team for the Vuelta, which includes both its youngest and oldest rider. Veteran Pavel Tonkov will ride as the team captain, alongside up and coming Juan Manuel Garate, 4th in this year's Giro d'Italia. Garate may be considered one of the team's next big hopes, but he still defers to captain Tonkov. "At the moment, Pavel is Lampre's most on form rider. I'm going to stay by him without giving up any personal satisfaction. I'm thinking about a stage. Then, if I happened to be one of the leading men of the general classification, who knows."

The full team line-up is as follows:

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

Garzelli signs with Tacconi Sport

After his surprise change of course concerning the Quick Step team, ex-Mapei rider Stefano Garzelli has signed a two year contract with Tacconi Sport. Joining Garzelli will be fellow Italian Oscar Mason (from Saeco). Tacconi is also considering Stefano's Mapei teammate Andrea Noë and Domo's Romans Vainsteins, while Mauro Gianetti (Team Coast) will retire as a rider and join Tacconi Sport as Sport Director.

courtesy of cycling4all

Kjaergaard continues with US Postal

US Postal's Norwegian Steffen Kjaergaard will sign a contract for an additional year with US Postal, sealing the deal during the Vuelta a España starting this weekend.

"I was a bit in doubt about the future since I wasn't selected for the Tour this year," Kjaergaard wrote on his personal web site. "There are many good riders on the team and it will be even harder to qualify for it next year. The reason I'm staying is that the team is by far the best organized. There are capacity and capital enough to create an optimal situation for the riders."

Halgand stays, Brochard to leave Jean Delatour

Patrice Halgand, winner of stage 10 (Bazas-Pau) in this year's Tour de France and overall at the Tour du Limousin, has re-signed with Jean Delatour for next season. Meanwhile, former world champion Laurent Brochard is expected to leave the team, and appears a likely candidate for either Jean-René Bernaudeau's new La Boulangère-Vendée team, Team Coast, or Phonak.

Saeco-Longoni Sport for Coppa Placci and Giro di Romagna

While Gilberto Simoni, Danilo DI Luca and Igor Astarloa begin Saeco's charge at the Vuelta, the team will be fielding a competitive roster for the weekend of racing in Italy. Saeco's team selection for the Coppa Placci (Saturday Sept. 7) and the Giro DI Romagna (Sunday Sept. 8) is as follows:

Mirko Celestino, Salvatore Commesso, Biagio Conte, Damiano Cunego, Igor Pugaci, Marius Sabaliauskas, Oscar Mason, Cristian Pepoli. Directeur sportif: Guido Bontempi

Index Alexia for Coppa Placci and Giro Di Romagna

Fabiano Ferrari, Damiano Giannini, Bo Hamburger, Daniele Righi, Antonio Salomone, Eddy Serri, Gianluca Valoti, Paolo Valoti. Directeur sportif: Ennio Vanotti.

Grand Prix Suisse Féminin preview

The eighth and penultimate event of the UCI Women's Road World Cup, the Grand Prix Suisse Féminin, will be held Sunday in Embrach, Switzerland, near Zurich. This is the fifth edition of this race, which this year will take place on a new circuit of 10.8kms, with two climbs exceeding 7%. The race will tackle the course 11 times, for a total distance of 118.8km. German Petra Rossner (Saturn) currently leads the general classification of the 2002 World Cup, but is only six points clear of Dutch rider Mirjam Melchers (Farm Frites-Hartol). The final round of the World Cup will take place next week in Rotterdam.

Previous winners:

2001 Susanne Ljungskog
2000 Pia Sundstedt
1999 Anna Millward
1998 Sulfia Sabirowa

First Tour de l'Avenir controls negative

Friday morning, following Thursday's prologue time trial in the Tour de l'Avenir, blood tests were carried out for 36 riders. Six riders were tested from six teams (FDJeux.com, ONCE-Eroski, Vlaanderen-T Interim, Rabobank, and the Norwegian and French national teams). All 36 riders tested were declared fit to start Friday's road stage.

McCann positive

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

David McCann from the Phoenix Road club in Belfast joins the infamous list of cyclists who have been given a ban and a fine for contravening rules associated with drugs and their illegal use. He failed a random urine test at the recent Tour of Austria held last June. In that event he finished 15th overall but subsequently went on to win the National Time Trial Championship of Ireland and also the Isle of Man Internationale. Despite the ban, McCann will not be forced to relinquish those wins.

McCann was found to a have a level of Norandrosterone above the permissible limit while competing for the Austrian trade team Volksbank-Ideal. The positive reading was 8.6 nanograms/ml,which is above the 5ng/ml limit set by the UCI. When advised that he had a positive reading he sought a second test, which produced the same result.

Following a hearing of the case on 29th of August by a panel appointed by Cycling Ireland, a sanction of six months and 2000 Swiss Francs has been imposed on David McCann which prohibits him from competing until 29th of May 2003. This sanction includes the traditional non-competition period from November to January.

In the recent days, there was surprise that McCann, who last year won the Tour of Hokkaido in Japan (which begins Wednesday) was not defending. He also was a surprise omission from the Gamuda Eagle Tour of Malaysia. Obviously Cycling Ireland was aware of the latest drug scandal and in the interim, whilst waiting for the second analysis, acted accordingly to save the sport further embarrassment further afield.

French selections for Track World Championships

France's national selectors have announced the representatives for this year's Track World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. The team will spearheaded by several protagonists from last year's World's, including Arnaud Tournant, Arnaud Doublé, and Florian Rousseau. On the women's side, Cathy Moncassin and Céline Nivert will head the selection.

Men:

Kilometer: Arnaud Tournant, Arnaud Dublé, Hervé Gané, Mathieu Mandard
Sprint: Arnaud Tournant, Laurent Gané, Mickaël Bourgain, Florian Rousseau
Team sprint: Mickaël Bourgain, Arnaud Tournant, Florian Rousseau
Keirin: Laurent Gané, Florian Rousseau
Individual pursuit: Philippe Gaumont, Jérôme Neuville
Team pursuit: Philippe Gaumont, Jérôme Neuville, Fabien Merciris, Fabien Sanchez
Madison: Franck Perque, Jérôme Neuville
Points race: Franck Perque
Scratch: Franck Perque

Women:

Keirin: Céline Nivert, Clara Sanchez
Individual pursuit : Cathy Moncassin
Scratch : Cathy Moncassin
Points: Cathy Moncassin

2002 Center of Excellence Awards

USA Cycling announced Thursday the winners of the first annual Center of Excellence Award, a new program designed to recognize outstanding cycling clubs around the country with cash awards to assist in their structural development. Nine clubs across the country were selected for this honor, and each will receive a cash award of up to $2,000.

The Center of Excellence winners met certain criteria with respect to organization, business management and athlete development programs for juniors and under-23 athletes.

The clubs honored this year have produced an impressive cadre of international cycling talent, such as 2000 Olympic gold medallist Marty Nothstein (American Cycling Academy), 2002 World Track Cycling Championships silver medallist Andy Lakatosh (American Cycling Academy) and 2002 World Mountain Bike Championships team members Ryan Iddings and Aaron Bradford (Rad Racing).

Recipients of the 2002 Center of Excellence Award include:

The American Cycling Academy (Alburtis, PA) - track and road
Rad Racing (Olympia, WA) - mountain bike, cyclo-cross, road
Orlando Road Club (Orlando, FL) - road
Team Swift (Fulton, CA) - road
Bliss Racing (Burlington, VT) - mtb
Training Wheels (Atlanta, GA) - road, mtb, track
Nova Youth Cycling (Scottsdale, AZ) - mtb
New Hampshire Junior Cycling Academy (Bradford, NH) - road and mtb
Harvard University Cycling Association (Cambridge, MA) - road

2003 European Cycle Messenger Championships

The London Bicycle Messenger Association (LBMA) announced that it will host the the 2003 European Cycle Messenger Championships. The LBMA will host the championships on the weekend of May 24-26 at the Eastway Cycle Circuit.

A variety of events demonstrating & celebrating bicycle messenger culture is planned, including all the usual fixed gear competitions (skids, backwards circles, track stand), sprints, cargo, and a new competition for this year, the rickshaw team challenge.

For more information contact ecmc2003@gn.apc.org or phone 020 7274 7101.

Van Hemert Groep Cycling Team

The Van Hemert Groep Cycling Team has announced the re-signing of Robbert van der Stelt for 2003.

Papa Bartoli

Fassa Bortolo's Michele Bartoli is now a proud father, after the birth of his daughter Clarissa on Thursday. "The emotion of this event gives me the motivation to face the next race," proclaimed Bartoli. Whether or not the Italian will get any sleep before this weekend's Coppa Placci is another question.

Leipheimer jersey benefit

Levi Leipheimer (Rabobank) has signed and donated one of his Tour de France jerseys for an auction to benefit Ross Dillon, a cyclist from Santa Rosa, California. Dillon was struck by a car from behind on June 3rd while out on a training ride, and has been in a coma since then. The jersey has also been signed by Erik Dekker and 2002 Tour de France stage winners Michael Boogerd and Karsten Kroon.

All money from the sale of this jersey will be donated to the Ross Dillon Hope Fund to help defray medical costs.

To bid, click here. Bidding ends Sep-14-02 09:28:40 PDT

US grassroots promoter dies

Nestor Evancevich passed away in his sleep during the night of Wednesday, September 4. Nestor was the founder and principle officer of American Bicycle Racing (ABR), a national membership organization that promotes the sport of bicycle racing in the United States, and is a leader of the grassroots movement in competitive cycling.

During the 1980's, Nestor was instrumental in the rapid growth of bicycle racing in Illinois and the greater Midwest. He became the Illinois USCF District Rep in 1985, when there was a total of seven races on the calendar. Over the next few years, with a small group of friends, he managed to put another 90 races on the schedule, and help double the number of clubs, riders and officials in the district.

During the 1990's, Nestor became the first USCF "Super Rep" as he Gradually took over first Wisconsin and ultimately Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan.


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