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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

News for September 18, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Full Belgian preselection for the World's

After six riders were named as certainties for the Belgian World Championships squad on the weekend, Belgian coach Jose De Cauwer has named the other 18 riders, six of whom will be selected on September 30.

The automatic candidates are: Tom Boonen (US Postal Service), Ludo Dierckxsens (Lampre-Daikin), Johan Museeuw (Domo-Farm Frites), Jo Planckaert (Cofidis), Peter Van Petegem (Lotto-Adecco) and Marc Wauters (Rabobank)

The other 18 are: Hans De Clercq, Glen D'Hollander, Nico Eeckhout, Christophe Brandt, Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto-Adecco), Jurgen Van Goolen, Wilfried Cretskens (Domo-Farm Frites), Bjrn Leukemans, Erwin Thijs (Palmans-Collstrop), Nico Mattan, Chris Peers (Cofidis), Tom Steels, Kevin Hulsmans (Mapei-Quick step), Ludovic Capelle (AG2R), Bert Scheirlinckx (RDM Flanders), Paul Van Hyfte (CSC-Tiscali), Michel Vanhaecke (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) and Geoffrey Demeyere (Vlaanderen-T Interim).

U23 Road Race: Kevin De Weert, Philippe Gilbert, Nick Nuyens and Gert Steegmans, with one of the following: Steven Caethoven, Bart Dockx, Kevin Van Der Slagmolen and Johan Vansummeren.

U23 Time Trial: Sebastian Rosseler and Jurgen Van den Broeck.

Junior Road Race (5 to be chosen): Jochen Beernaert, Frederik De Backer, Ingmar De Poortere, Christophe Fabbri, Nic Ingels, Gianni Meersman, Jurgen Roelandts, Gil Suray and Evert Verbist.

USAC NRC rankings after SFGP

USA Cycling has updated its national rankings following the San Rafael Classic and San Francisco Grand Prix. With his amazing win in San Fran, Charles Dionne (7Up) moves himself into 7th in the men's rankings, with 629 points. In front of him are a barrage of Mercury and Prime Alliance riders, with PA's Chris Horner and Danny Pate holding down the top two spots, with Fraser, Vogels and Wherry occupying the next three positions. Dionne's teammate John Lieswyn is in 6th overall on 741 points.

In the men's team rankings, Mercury still has the edge on Prime Alliance, with a 253 point buffer going into the final two races of the season: Univest GP (September 21) and Miami Cycling Classic (September 28-29).

The women's rankings are extremely close at the moment, with San Rafael winner Laura Van Gilder (Trek Plus) on top by a mere 3 points. In second is Kim Bruckner (Saturn) on 973 points, while her teammate Judith Arndt is close behind on 965. Lyne Bessette is also well placed on 956 points.

Saturn clearly have the advantage in the women's team rankings, leading by around 1400 points. Rona is in second followed by Diet Rite, a distant third.

NRC Rankings as of September 15, 2002

Men

1 Chris Horner (USA) Prime Alliance             1266 pts
2 Danny Pate (USA) Prime Alliance                997
3 Gord Fraser (Can) Mercury                      890
4 Henk Vogels (Aus) Mercury                      794
5 Chris Wherry (USA) Mercury                     779
6 John Lieswyn (USA) 7UP/NutraFig                741
7 Charles Dionne (Can) 7UP/NutraFig              629
8 Mark Walters (Can) Navigators                  565
9 Plamen Stoyanov (Bul) Mercury                  447
10 Vasilli Davidenko (Rus) Navigators            393

Women

1 Laura VanGilder (USA) Trek PLUS                976 pts
2 Kimberly Bruckner (USA) Saturn Cycling Team    973
3 Judith Arndt (Ger) Saturn Cycling Team         965
4 Lyne Bessette (Can) Canadian National Team     956
5 Tina Mayolo-Pic (USA) Diet Rite                854
6 Genevive Jeanson (Can) Rona Cycling Team      804
7 Heather Albert (USA) Goldy's                   576
8 Petra Rossner (Ger) Saturn Cycling Team        495
9 Jessica Phillips (USA) Saturn Cycling Team     485
10 Nicole Freedman (USA) Rona Cycling Team       477

Men's Teams

1 Mercury                                       3272 pts
2 Prime Alliance                                3019
3 7UP/NutraFig                                  1982
4 Navigators                                    1779
5 Saturn Cycling Team                           1645
6 U.S. Postal Service                           1261
7 Jelly Belly                                    808
8 Schroeder Iron                                 742
9 West Virginia GoMart                           467
10 Sierra Nevada/Cannondale                      464

Women's Teams

1 Saturn Cycling Team                           3283 pts
2 Rona Cycling Team                             1844
3 Diet Rite                                     1417
4 Trek PLUS                                     1202
5 Talgo America                                 1115
6 T - Mobile USA                                1084
7 Canadian National Team                         895
8 Goldy's                                        879
9 Freddie Fu                                     765
10 Boise                                         502

Hunter to ride in Amsterdam Six

South African rider Robert Hunter has joined the list of starters in the Six Days of Amsterdam from October 21-26. Hunter will ride with compatriot Jean-Pierre van Zyl, joining the other couples such as Matthew Gilmore/Scott McGrory, Silvio Martinello/Marco Villa, Bruno Risi/Kurt Betschart, Robert Slippens/Danny Stam and Leon van Bon/Servais Knaven. Hunter is no stranger to the track, having won the Three Days of Kaapstad twice (ed: does that equate to one six day?) and he has ridden the Six Days of Grenoble.

Ullrich resumes negotiations with Telekom

Jan Ullrich is reportedly back at the negotiation table with Team Telekom, to discuss his potential contract for next season. His manager Wolfgang Strohband said that "Conversations with Telekom are under way, although they could last quite a while. We have not set a time limit."

Strohband said that they are negotiating only with Telekom at the moment, although there are offers from other teams including CSC-Tiscali.

Telekom's communication director Jürgen Kindervater, confirmed that the discussions are taking place, without giving any specifics. "We propose an adequate environment although the road back again will not be easy after a year so complicated as this," he said.

Ullrich is currently serving a suspension for testing positive to amphetamines in June, and will be allowed to race again in March, 2003. He is not being paid by Telekom for the duration of his suspension.

He also hasn't raced this season since January, due to an injured knee that required several operations. At the moment it is pain free, and he is having an hour of physiotherapy each day. He is training in the gym, and will begin aqua jogging next week. The doctors believe he'll be able to start riding again in three to five weeks.

Michael Rasmussen renews with CSC-Tiscali

Danish MTB'er turned roadie Michael Rasmussen has renewed his contract with the CSC-Tiscali team for next season in a one year deal. Rasmussen was one of the team's revelations this year, winning the toughest stage of the Vuelta a Burgos as well as doing some excellent work for his teammates in the Giro.

"Michael has some obvious qualities that are very useful to the team. Mountain specialists like him are hard to come by. This year, he has demonstrated his great potential and I am confident that he will be able to develop even further. He has acquired a lot of stamina during the season and I think that we will see an even stronger Michael Rasmussen next year", said Bjarne Riis on the team's website.

"I feel at home at CSC Tiscali and I am happy to stay on. Bjarne and I negotiated the contract ourselves and we had a good discussion about my future role on the team. The 2002 season has been sort of a test for me and I am proud to have been able to convince Bjarne that I deserve my spot in the team. Next year, I would like to concentrate on the smaller stage races and take part in one of the major tours", said Michael Rasmussen.

Boonen thinking of Quick Step

Young Belgian talent Tom Boonen is considering a transfer to the Quick Step team, according to Gazet van Antwerpen. The rider who finished 3rd in his first Paris-Roubaix as a professional, said that certain promises that were made by US Postal about his contract have not been met.

"All these months we have negotiated in vain over a new contract," said Boonen in the interview. "I don't want to hold myself on the line any longer. I begin to ask myself whether I still want to do this. The only viable alternative is Quick Step. That team would be perfect for me."

Boonen has a contract with USPS for 2003, meaning he would have to buy his way out of it.

Gilmore to Vlaanderen-T Interim

Belgian Six Day star Matthew Gilmore has signed a contract with Vlaanderen-T Interim, which he also rode for in 2001 before signing with Mapei-Quick Step this season. Gilmore, along with his madison partner Scott McGrory, had an offer from RDM-Flanders, but decided in favour of Vlaanderen-T Interim.

Two other riders have also signed for the Division II Belgian team: David Meys and Wouter Van Mechelen, with two more riders to be announced in the coming days.

Moerenhout confirms with Lotto-Domo

Koos Moerenhout (Domo-Farm Frites) has become the fourth Dutchman to sign for Lotto-Domo next year, along with Leon van Bon, Aart Vierhouten and Stefan van Dijk. The contract was made official today.

Bessy to Cofidis

Frederic Bessy is leaving Credit Agricole at the end of this season, his new team being Cofidis.

Zberg to Gerolsteiner

Swiss rider Markus Zberg will leave the Rabobank team and the end of this year to ride for Gerolsteiner next season. Markus has signed a one year contract with the team.

More transfers

Demeulenaere to talk with Tchmil

Several teams interested in ABX sponsorship

Belgian cycling mecenas Nol Demeulenaere will discuss the co-sponsorship of the new Tchmil/Braeckevelt Itera team at the end of this week. According to Demeulenaere, "I have sponsors who are interested in coming on board, and therefore I have to speak with Tchmil.

Demeulenaere's other project, which involved launching a new Division I team sponsored by ABX, seems to have been re-routed. Several existing Division I teams are interested in having ABX as a co-sponsor, including iBanesto.com, Ag2r, Lampre, Saeco and Lotto-Domo. ABX, a logistics company partnering with Belgian Post, currently co-sponsors Lotto-Adecco.

Copeland steps down as Saturn Cycling Men's team director

After two years directing the men's Saturn Cycling Team, Jim Copeland announced his decision to step down from the position. Citing changing priorities, which increasingly focus on his family life at home, Copeland's resolution will bring a new episode to his life that has been predominantly cycling focused.

"I have been involved in the cycling industry for the better part of the last 20 years, both as an athlete and manager and I, along with my wife, Alisa, have decided that it's time to reduce the travel schedule and come home and stay for a while."

In the past two years, Copeland has led the men's team to wins at the Redlands Cycling Classic, the Sea Otter Classic, Downer's Grove US Pro Criterium Championships, the Tour de 'Toona, and the NY City Cycling Championships. In 2001 Copeland helped the Saturn team to #1 ranking in both the US Pro Tour and National Racing Calendar.

Copeland's decision was not an easy one, and he will miss working with what has become his family away from home. "Directing the Saturn Cycling Team was unquestionably the highlight of my 20 years in cycling thus far. The Saturn Cycling Program is the best in the business, in my opinion, because of the exceptional people - people that have provided an immeasurable contribution to the sport of cycling. I would like to especially thank Christine Rivers, Tom Schuler and Giana Roberge, as well as all of the staff and athletes on the Saturn Cycling Team. We've achieved an enormous amount of success as a team, and I will miss working with you all."

Tom Schuler, President of Team Sports, Inc expects to announce Copeland's replacement shortly. The team will kick off its 2003 season with training camp from January 14 - 26 in California before heading to Malaysia to compete at the Tour of Langkawi.

Jan Mulder picked for Athens

The Topsport commission of the Dutch Olympic Federation (NOCNSF) has nominated its first athlete for the Athens Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2004. Visually impaired cyclist Jan Mulder has been selected to ride the Kilometre time trial in the Paralympic Games. Mulder finished fourth in the event in the IPC World Championships in Spain this year, and that was the basis of his selection.

Danilo Di Luca "Killer" T-shirts

You've read the diary, now wear the T-shirt. Danilo Di Luca's official website, www.danilodiluca.it, is giving fans a chance to buy a genuine Danilo Di Luca "Killer" T-shirt. They have to be seen to be believed, but you can find out more by visiting this link.

www.danilodiluca.it/pages_e/merch.htm

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