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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

News for September 15, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones and Chris Henry

Syringes seized from Edita Rumsas said to contain EPO

Saturday's edition of French sports daily l'Equipe announced confirmation that the previously unidentified substance in six syringes included in Edita Rumsas's "pharmacy" were in fact EPO. Based on labels bearing Raimondas Rumsas's name, as well as a prior admission from his wife Edita that the syringes were his, the Lithuanian cyclist will certainly be expected to further explain his connection to the substances seized from Mrs. Rumsas, above all the ready to use syringes of EPO.

Raimondas Rumsas tested negative at two controls carried out during the Tour de France, however it was noted that his hematocrit level had risen during the event, when most riders show a decline over the three weeks. He also tested negative in independent tests taken after the Tour, by Swedish and German laboratories.

Investigators will have to prove that Rumsas used doping products during the Tour, but the presence of ready to use syringes of EPO in his wife's car will likely not help the rider's defence.

Grand Prix de Fourmies preview

The 70th edition of the Grand Prix de Fourmies will take place this Sunday, September 15th. The French race is a UCI 1.1 event, though in recent years winners have come from strong Italian challengers, including Michele Bartoli, Max Sciandri, and Andrea Tafi. Defending champion Scott Sunderland will not be on the starting line this year, as he is still recovering from tendonitis. However he is riding three hours per day at the moment pain free, and hopes to start in the Kampioenschap Van Vlaanderen next Friday in Koolskamp.

The all-star field which will include three of this year's Tour de France jersey winners, Laurent Jalabert, Robbie McEwen, and Ivan Basso, with McEwen coming off a win in Saturday's Paris-Brussels. Jalabert did not to start in that race, opting for an easy training ride in the hope of a good result in Fourmies.

Following are the teams confirmed for the race, along with their principal riders:

Lotto-Adecco (McEwen, Amorisson, Van Petegem)
Domo-Farm Frites (Museeuw, Knaven, Van Bon, Rodriguez)
CSC-Tiscali (Laurent and Nicolas Jalabert, Blaudzun, Piil)
Ag2R Prévoyance (Agnolutto, Kirsipuu, Scanlon, Oriol)
Bonjour (Rous, Chavanel, Magnien) (McGee, Cooke, Casar, Vogondy)
Cofidis (Mattan, Kivilev, Planckaert, Vasseur)
Credit Agricole (O'Grady, Hushovd, Langella)
Big Mat-Auber 93 (Auger, Jonker, Liboreau)
Jean Delatour (Lefevre, Goubert, Halgand)
Team Coast (Michaelsen, Adamsson, Gianetti, Hoj)
Gerolsteiner (Pollack, Ruskys, Haselbacher)
Team Telekom (Hondo-Bölts, Guerini, Bartko)
Mapei-Quickstep (Bettini, Brodogi, Martinez, Nardello, Steels)
Lampre-Daikin (Dierckxens, Bertogliati, Barbero, Sciandri)
Tacconi Sport (Bortolami, Mazzoleni, Minali)
Fassa Bortolo (Bartoli, Basso, Ivanov, Belli)
Index-Alexia (Hamburger, Lanfranchi, Valotti, Zinetti)
Saeco-Longoni Sport (Celestino, Commesso, Wegmann)
Rabobank (Dekker, Kroon, Nijs, Zberg)
Landbouwkrediet-Colnago (De Waele, Mattozza, Streel)
Palmans-Collstrop (Hammond, Leukemans, Bracke)
EDS-Fakta (Arvesen, Ljungqvist, Petersen)
Saint-Quentin Oktos (Barthe, Gabriel, Nuttli, Rinero)
Team Colpack-Astro (Lunghi, Smirnov)

San Francisco Mayor Pins Olympic Hopes on Grand Prix

By Chris Baldwin, Cyclingnews correspondent in San Francisco

Video footage from this Sunday's BMC San Francisco Grand Prix will be used in that city's bid to host the 2112 summer Olympics, Mayor Willie Brown announced Friday at a press conference held in the Niketown store on Union Square.

Calling San Francisco 'the cycling capital of the universe', the mayor went on to exhort all mayors of the city in perpetuity to commit each and every available resource to the success of this event.

Meanwhile, Kevin Livingston of Team Telekom announced that he would in fact be racing the final professional event of his career on the streets of San Francisco, saying he has chosen to retire at the end of this season.

"My family sort of made a point to come out and watch, as it is the last race of my career. So I'm definitely here to compete. It's nice to ride with some of my friends and teammates from before. I'm just here to have a good time, but winning would make it better."

2001 winner George Hincapie says he too is ready to race, though a serious crash three weeks ago nearly ended his season early.

"My injury's pretty much all healed up. I haven't been feeling 100% on the bike, but I'm really glad just to be able to come back. (The crash) definitely took some snap out...I was in bad shape. I couldn't walk for four days, I had about a week off my bike...but I'm happy, you know. It could have been a lot worse," said Hincapie.

While he stopped short of predicting a repeat victory this year, Hincapie made no secret of US Postal's intention to win the bike race. Potential winner Lance Armstrong will lead his team through 109 miles of Bay Area pain on Sunday, much to the consternation of Saturn's Eric Wohlberg.

'I talked to some of the steel workers out on the docks and I'm going to have great big pots of molten metal up there at the top of Fillmore. Because Lance is a lot like the Terminator, and that's about the only thing that can stop him," said Wohlberg.

What they said

Kimberley Bruckner (Saturn) on Saturday's San Rafael Women's Cycling Classic

"Suzanne Sonye is probably our top sprinter right now, so we're going to try and set it up for her. I hope we have a big field. At the national crit champs there were 93 on the line. I think women's cycling is increasing in number in the country, so hopefully we'll have a good turnout."

Chann McRae (US Postal) on Triathlons, Saturn and Belgium

"Eventually I'd like to be a contender at major Ironmans across the world. But this year is just going to be more of a learning experience. I was an age group swimmer when I was younger, so swimming's not a problem."

"Saturn always has a good team, and they're aggressive. I think they're the main threat, actually. Some of the Navigators' guys, too. But Saturn's the threat."

"I just hear it's super super hard, so just be prepared to suffer. There's hard races in Europe, but I don't know if they can match up to the course profile that we have on Sunday. Those early season Belgian races are point-to-point. You hit 14 climbs but you don't hit the same one 14 times. I'm looking forward to going out there and enjoying the suffering."

Colby Farrell (Ofoto-Lombardi) on home field advantage, teamwork and bike messengers

"I'm familiar with how steep it is. It's just so unusual of a climb, so I kind of know what's in store because I've trained on it a few times, so I can pace myself a bit more. It's seriously so steep that you are using a little bit different muscle groups than just normal climbing."

"You're on your own in this race, I think. There's a few flat spots, but there's usually a headwind out near Crissy Field. I think all the action's going to happen on Taylor, because Fillmore is almost too steep to attack."

"It's no secret that cyclists are tougher than bike messengers. We can actually drink those guys under the table."

Kevin Livingston (Team Telekom) on the course, retirement and decision

"I'm going to have myself to rely on. I haven't seen the course, but I imagine it's really hard. This is the kind of race where you just stay in the front and hope to just have good legs and go from there."

"The lives all of us lead as an international, it's a lot of fun. I've always said it's been a great experience and I love it. But someone who doesn't travel says 'Oh, I'd love to do what you do.' And you're thinking, 'Yeah, but I'd like to do what you do.' I just want to have one home and move back and be around my family."

"Deciding to retire wasn't abrupt. It was a really important decision for me and my family. It wasn't something I could just put out there and see what everyone had to say. I think it was important when I made it to be decisive."

Aerts calls it a season

Belgian cyclist Mario Aerts has finished his season early, after contracting a light bronchitis at the Tour of Poland. The Lotto-Adecco rider who will race for Telekom next year, won the Fleche Wallonne in April, and finished second in the KOM classification at the Tour de France. He had thought about riding the World Championships in Zolder, but decided enough was enough for this year.

Nicolas Vouilloz retires

French mountain bike downhill rider Nicolas Vouilloz announced in a press conference Thursday his retirement from professional racing following the Open de Grenoble Saint Nizier. At age 26, Vouilloz has accomplished more than any other downhill racer, but aims to shift his focus to new priorities, including starting a family.

During his 12 year career, which included ten world championship titles (3 junior, 7 elite), including this year's World's in Kaprun, and a record number of both World Cup wins and overall titles, Vouilloz asserted himself as the most successful downhill racer in the sport's history.

The competitive edge remains, however, and Vouilloz has already announced his intention to become the number one rider in the marathon downhill. He also hopes to pursue his involvement in product development within the sport, and follow his passion in rally car racing.

Turpijn can ride again

Dutch mountain biker Laura Turpijn is allowed to race again, after serving a two week suspension following a high hematocrit test at the World Championships recently. Turpijn was tested again this week, and her level was below the maximum 47 percent. The results of an EPO urine test taken at the World Championships, requested by the KNWU (Dutch Cycling Union) have yet to be analysed.

Javier Otxoa continues recovery

Spanish cyclist Javier Otxoa, who was seriously injured in an accident which claimed the life of his brother (and Kelme teammate) Ricardo, is recovering slowly but steadily a year later. The two brothers were on a training ride when they were hit head on by a car. Javier was in a coma for an extended period of time but has since been recovering in a clinic in Spain. "Little by little I am recovering," Javier said, on the occasion of a cyclotourist ride in his honor, organized by his father. Indicating also that he has not turned his back on the sport, Javier called cycling "pretty, but also a sport where one can suffer."

The Vuelta a España passed through Málaga today, near the scene of the accident. Kelme's Oscar Sevilla, currently the overall leader of the Vuelta, dedicated his jersey to the brothers Otxoa.

Quick Step-Davitamon to ride Time bikes next season

Patrick Lefevere's newly formed Quick Step-Davitamon team will be riding Time bikes next year, according to Beligian daily Het Nieuwsblad. Lefevere apparently struck a deal with the French manufacturer last week.

Ray Appleby struck by a motorist

Tasmanian cyclist Ray Appleby was hit by a vehicle while on a training ride last Wednesday, September 11, having just returned from Europe after winning a World Championship in the disabled category held at Deutschlandsberg, Austria. The reason he was racing in this category is a result of injuries he received after being struck by a car after winning a Worlds Masters Title in 1989, where he suffered multiple injuries to most of his body which left without full use of his left leg. Current injuries are fractures to right arm and possible tendon damage to his right leg, the good one.

The 60 year old commented that "The two biggest thrills in my life have been followed by two nightmares".

But he also says that he's determined to be back.

Fundraising rides for ARC Cancer Support Centre

The Irish ARC Cancer Support Centre will next year hold a number of fundraising cycles abroad, with tours in Cuba, Majorca and the Bavarian Alps. All proceeds are in aid of ARC, a voluntary organisation and registered charity which offers support to people affected by cancer and those who care for them. The free services offered are designed to work alongside primary medical treatment, providing education and psychological care.

The ARC tours begin with a stay in Stephen Roche's training camp in Majorca in February, followed by the Cuban Cycle Challenge in March. Hiking in the Baviaran Alps is offered in late September, while the final ARC challenge is a return to Majorca and Stephen Roche's training camp in October, for more of the same.

For more details, see, or contact ARC's Grainne Barnett at 00 353 12881401/ 00 353 87 2055566.

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