First Edition News for April 11, 2003
Edited by Chris Henry & Jeff Jones
Sea Otter relocates day three road race
Saturday's third stage of the Sea Otter Classic has been relocated from the originally-planned venue in Santa Cruz to the Laguna Seca raceway. The scheduled criterium races for men and women have therefore been replaced with 60km and 40km circuit races, respectively.
A statement from the organizers gave the official reason as "changing from an easier stage to a more challenging one [to] improve the overall racing dynamics," and emphasized that the change was in part as a result of the reduction of the men's race from four stages to three after the neutralization of Thursday's first stage.
Who will reign in the Queen of the Classics?
By Jeff Jones
The 101st edition of the Queen of the Classics will be the highlight of the season for many riders and fans alike. Considered the toughest race on the calendar, Paris-Roubaix stands above the rest as being a race where good luck and sturdy equipment go hand in hand with good legs and tactical astuteness. For a rider to puncture four times and still win is almost unheard of in any race other than Paris-Roubaix.
Cyclingnews will be providing live coverage of the 101st Paris-Roubaix, from start to finish on Sunday. Coverage begins at 11:00 CEST/4:00am EST (America East Coast)/1:00am PST (America West Coast)/19:00 AEST (Australia East Coast). In addition, we'll be posting full results, report and photos right after the race.
No fist fight in Pedersen/Riis breakup
By Jeff Jones
The departure of Team CSC's administrating director Alex Pedersen from the team last weekend was done in a calm manner, despite rumours in the Belgian media that there was a fist fight involved between Pedersen and Bjarne Riis. CSC's media spokesman Brian Nygaard was both surprised and annoyed at the rumours, and wished to set the record straight.
"There was no fist fight," he assured Cyclingnews. "There was a disagreement between the two about general management issues, but they parted in full understanding. They just didn't agree about certain things."
Alex Pedersen reiterated that "It's a business disagreement, and as far as that goes there's nothing more to add. It's no secret - It's just two grown up people who've known each other for a while who are parting."
CSC's Bjarne Riis is at the Tour of the Basque country at the moment, where he is hoping that Tyler Hamilton can take the overall win after tomorrow's time trial. The team's other main focus is Paris-Roubaix this weekend, where there are high hopes for Andrea Tafi to repeat his win of 1999. Although Tafi has not yet been in top shape this year, he is definitely looking forward to a good ride at Paris-Roubaix.
France 3 will likely keep Tour rights
French television network France 3, part of France Télévisions, will likely reach an agreement with Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) to keep the rights to the Tour de France. According to an AFP report, the two parties are close to signing a four year deal worth approximately 20 million euros per year, the value of the final year of the previous contract. The deal could also include the broadcast of other events run by ASO. Under the new arrangement, viewers might be subjected to a limited number of commercials, an idea which ASO accepts "in principle". Until now, the Tour has been broadcast without commercial interruption.
USA Cycling for SA track
USA Cycling has sent an eleven member delegation to participate in the third event on the UCI World Cup Track series. The American team arrived in Cape Town on Tuesday to begin training for the three-day event which begins Friday, April 11.
Women's sprinter Tanya Lindenmuth is looking to continue her success on the World Cup circuit with a podium finish in the sprint and 500 metre events in Cape Town. Lindenmuth, a 2000 Olympian, hopes to improve on her second place finish at the second round of the World Cup in Aguascalientes, Mexico last month. Erin Mirabella will also lead the women into the third event of the series with an eye on the podium in the 3,000 meter individual pursuit. Mirabella rode to a silver medal in the event in Mexico.
Becky Conzelman and Sarah Uhl round out the women's squad. Conzelman will ride the keirin, scratch race, points race, and team sprint with Uhl focusing on the sprint, keirin, and team sprint.
On the men's team, Giddeon Massie will look to improve on his fourth-place finish in the 200 meters in Mexico, while teammates Stephen Alfred, Eduardo Cocina, and Christian Stahl will contest the team sprint on Sunday. Eighteen year-old USPS National Espoir team member Tyler Farrar will contest the individual pursuit and madison events in South Africa. Colby Pearce will ride in the madison and points race while Kenny Williams will ride in the scratch race. Heading into the third World Cup event, Team USA holds eighth-place in the overall team classification with 83 points.
Knee operation for Garate
Juan Garate (Lampre) is scheduled to undergo a knee operation. Garate, 4th in the 2002 Giro d'Italia, will likely miss this year's Giro, even if he hopes the recovery period is not too long.
60th Vuelta Ciclista del Uruguay
The 60th edition of the Vuelta Ciclista del Uruguay (UCI 2.6) begins Friday in Montevideo, with more than 110 riders expected. Participants are expected from local and regional teams, as well as the United States, Argentina, Italy, and Brazil. Budget limitations will limit the geographic scope of the race, which will not cross the Rio Negro, which cuts through the centre of the country. The race will only visit nine of Uruguay's nineteen departments.
The Vuelta includes ten stages, covering a total distance of 1,600km. The first stage will connect Montevideo with Maldonado over a parcours of 165.5km. Friday, April 18 will test riders with a 40km individual time trial in Mercedes. Defending champion Gustavo Figueredo will be back to challenge for another title, along with a well-balanced field of domestic and international teams.
Saturn riders to lead Bike NY
On Sunday, May 4, Saturn's Ivan Dominguez and Rahsaan Bahati will lead Bike New York, the largest bike tour in the United States. More than 30,000 cyclists will participate in the 42 mile ride through the five boroughs of New York City, beginning in Battery Park and ending across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge on Staten Island. For Dominguez it will be the first trip back to New York since he won the inaugural New York City Cycling Championship in August, 2002.
Students preserve the pavé
The sacred pavé of the Hell of the North, Paris-Roubaix, are being tenderly preserved by high school students in France. This year a number of students from a school in Raismes worked to restore the cobbles at the Pont Gibus in Wallers, a section of pavé named for two-time Paris-Roubaix winner Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle.
This section deserved special attention after 15 riders flatted in last year's race. "All of the students responded enthusiastically," said project organiser Dominique Duyck. "For them it's rewarding. They realise that they're work will be appreciated. The students, most of whom are studying for careers in horticulture, join in the ongoing effort by the Association des amis de Paris-Roubaix (Friends of Paris-Roubaix), which works to preserve the pavé of northern France, which in recent years had begun to disappear as more communities upgraded their local roads.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)