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Latest News for April 11, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

De Vlaeminck not jealous, but wants rivalry

Johan Museeuw
Photo © AFP
Click for larger image

Four time winner of Paris-Roubaix and nicknamed "Mr Paris-Roubaix", Roger De Vlaeminck, says that he's not jealous of Johan Museeuw, who has a chance to equal De Vlaeminck's impressive record this Sunday. In the past few weeks, there has been a war of words between the two in the Belgian press, but De Vlaeminck wanted to smooth things over with Museeuw.

"If Johan wins with panache, I won't have any problem he'll come up to the same level," said De Vlaeminck to Het Laatste Nieuws. "I'm not jealous at all, in contrary, I admire Johan as he's still mentally that strong and still ready for all these sacrifices to stay on top."

The four time winner added, "I'm tired of this role of Mr Paris-Roubaix. Actually, I'd have preferred to win the Ronde van Vlaanderen three times."

However, De Vlaeminck stuck by his earlier words that racing was better in his time. "When I heard Merckx talking about Museeuw managing to do things he'd never been able to himself, I almost got sick," he exclaimed. "How can the greatest rider of all time say something like that?"

"Tom Boonen says it's more difficult to win a race now than in earlier times. Where does he get this? I had competition from Merckx, Hinault and Moser, while Johan almost only ever had to compete in Paris-Roubaix with his own teammates, and it will be the same this year: Tom Boonen - VDB. Of course this is not Johan's fault, and if it comes to a duel between Van Petegem and Museeuw and Johan wins, I'll be the first to congratulate him! There should be more rivalry, that's what the public wants."

New tyres for Van Petegem?

Peter Van Petegem (Lotto-Domo) received a set of special tubulars for Paris-Roubaix, from his friend Mario De Clercq. According to Het Nieuwsblad, these tyres are almost impossible to puncture and are worth 100 euros each. However, Van Petegem will probably not be able to use them due to sponsorship obligations.

Meirhaeghe leads Domina Vacanze

Belgian mountain biker Filip Meirhaeghe will race his first Paris-Roubaix this Sunday, riding for the Domina Vacanze team. Meirhaeghe, who won the mountain bike version of Paris-Roubaix, finished 41st in the Ronde van Vlaanderen last weekend, and has a fairly simple strategy for Sunday. "Actually it's simple: stay on the wheel of Museeuw and go round him in the last few metres," he joked to Het Laatste Nieuws.

The Domina Vacanze riders rode sections of the course on Friday morning, including the Arenberg Forest trench, considered the toughest and most dangerous cobbled sector in the race. The full team is as follows: Daniele Bennati, Kyrylo Pospeyev, Lorenzo Cardellini, Filip Meirhaeghe, Giampaolo Mondini, and Alberto Ongarato.

Rabobank save Freire for Amstel

The Rabobank team for this weekend's Paris-Roubaix will not contain Oscar Freire, who is preferring to save himself for the Amstel Gold Race next weekend. The boys in orange will feature E3 Prijs winner Steven de Jongh, Marc Wauters and Mathew Hayman, who was 10th in Gent-Wevelgem. Also riding with the squad is cyclo-crosser Sven Nijs, who could turn a few heads on Sunday.

The full team is: Steven De Jongh, Jan Boven, Karsten Kroon, Roy Sentjens, Matthew Hayman, Robert Hunter, Sven Nys and Marc Wauters.

Live Coverage

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.

More Paris-Roubaix information

Full preview
Course Map
Start List

Dierckxsens deeply disappointed

Ludo Dierckxsens (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) had to shelve his ambitions for this weekend's Paris-Roubaix and after breaking his collarbone in a crash in Gent-Wevelgem on Wednesday. Dierckxsens, who crashed together with teammate Kurt van Landeghem and Paolo Bettini, had been recovering from a serious bout of the 'flu when this latest disaster occurred.

"Bettini had to swerve in front of me to avoid a parked car and crashed," he said to Het Laatste Nieuws. "I flew over him and broke my collarbone. In the evening I was driven to Dr Claes in Herentals, who operated on me."

"I was really looking forward to Paris-Roubaix," he said. "But I'll fight back. Next week, I'll already be on the rollers and shortly afterwards back on the road."

Ludo will probably return to the peloton after four weeks, which means his participation in the Giro will be difficult.

Curvers replaces Duijn in Van Hemert Groep

The Dutch team Van Hemert Groep has made a slight change to its roster after the sudden retirement of Marcel Duijn. His place has been taken by Roy Curvers.

This weekend's Irish fixtures

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

For those who have aspirations of stage racing over Easter, this Saturday and Sunday will be important in fine tuning their preparations. The Stamullen M Donnelly RC modus operandi have two days of fine competition, which invariably attracts a big turn out to the popular village in Co. Meath.

David O'Loughlin, certainly the form cyclist since the start of the season with five wins and a second placing under his belt, will be there on Sunday for the Joey White Memorial. "I'm off to America next Thursday to compete in the Tour of Georgia. My team Ofoto Lombardia based in San Francisco has pencilled in this event for me. They are really pleased with my results and last Sunday's performance in the Markievciz Cup in Collooney, Sligo was the icing on the cake for them. Beating Mark Scanlon who dropped in on the event certainly caused a stir."

"Half way through the 60 mile race, Mark and I had caught up with the leaders. With ten miles remaining we cut loose from the pack. From there on it was a head to head as we matched each other as the miles counted down, pedal for pedal, and just when it seemed that the spectators were going to be treated to an almighty sprint, on the edge of Collooney, Mark's chain slipped with three hundred yards to go. It was advantageous to me and I made no mistake in notching up my fifth success of the season in six starts."

It was obvious that both of them were in superb form, but the doubt will remain as it didn't go to the wire. "The record book will not tell the real story, but as for now, I'm the happy camper," said David.

During the week, Team Ireland was announced for Credit Union Ras Mumhan over the Easter period. It looks as though Paddy Moriarty who heads up the team will be in Stamullen, and his colleagues on the team, Vincent Gleeson, Timmy Barry, Kieron McMahon and Paul Griffin, will opt to stay in Munster for the Ras Duhallow, as they all come from that part of the country and that event is a quality race.

All five have tasted success since the season's start. Vincent Gleeson having two wins under his belt, and pride of place would be the win in Bohermeen last month when he blemished O'Loughlin's run of three wins on the trot. Also Moriarty's win last Sunday in Balbriggan augurs well for Team Ireland to do well in Kerry.

It will also be interesting to see how this selection will be viewed since the resignations of Paul Butler and Ciaran McKenna, who previously would have been responsible for team selection, but now the onus lies on former National Director, Frankie Campbell.

The omission of Adrian Hedermann of Cycleways/Lee Strand, who won the first classic of the season in Carlow two weeks ago, is rather peculiar as the previous incumbents of selection were acting as high rollers in deference to sending an Irish team to the Archer Grand Prix, in which O'Loughlin saved them blushes by scoring the win against all the odds.

"Cycling Ireland would be better served by opting to send teams to the continent for a stage race, in preference to spending large amounts of cash on single days in England, such as the Archer and the Lincoln Grand Prix," said Ciaran McKenna of the High performance committee, who it must be pointed out was certainly putting a gloss on international performances with his blend of leadership.

His loss to the sport because of the appointment of a new Chief Executive of Cycling Ireland in the short term will not cause any hiccups, but when the main picture comes into focus in the not too distant future, the reverberations may be felt in many quarters. Cycling can ill afford to lose a man of his calibre, who brought a certain panache to his dedicated role.

Easter weekends organisers, Sam Darcy of the Dublin Skip Gorey Three Day and Sean O'Callaghan of the Credit Union Ras Mumhan, are both very happy with the entries received for their promotions. Both events have a hundred plus which is a testament to their expertise in the promotional field.

Fixtures for April 12-13

Saturday, April 12

Ulster: East Tyrone Spring Classic, Cookstown,12.00.
Leinster: Brendan Carroll Memorial, Stamullen, 14.30.

Sunday, April 13

Ulster: Castlereagh Grand Prix, Carryduff, 13.00.
Munster: Ras Duhallow, Freemount, 13.00.
Leinster: Joey White Memorial, Pat Howard Memorial, Jimmy Gough and under-age, 13.00.

Profile: New Zealand's Tom Bricklebank

By Alan Messenger

Tom Bricklebank is one of the toughest men in New Zealand cycling, but he's certainly not your everyday cyclist. For starters he's a 61 year old veteran. Last week he won his age group title at the New Zealand Masters Road Championships, a day after finishing fifteenth overall and claiming the first Vets prize in the 100k Rotorua to Taupo "Flyer".

The Aucklander began his cycling career as a schoolboy but although he's always had a passion for the sport, he hung his bike up for thirty years before commencing racing again. "I was always around the sport but I wasn't racing".

He wasn't one for recreational riding either, "That's just a waste of time. I ride a bike to win races," he said.

Back in the 1960's, Bricklebank became involved with running guru Arthur Lydiard and his stable of runners that included Olympic Gold Medallists Peter Snell and Murray Halberg. It was there that the then 18 year old learned the Master's philosophy on sport. Build up a base of fitness first, and he sticks to that even now. "I train hard and while building up my basic fitness I'd do about 500 to 700 kilometres a week," he said.

In the early 1990's, Bricklebank became involved in triathlons, and in 1994 he finished third in his age group at the World Championships. A year before that in Noumea he won the Vets Cycling Road race and time trial at the Oceania Championships.

It was European cycling that always captured Bricklebank's imagination, and he finally got there last year. "I loved it over there," he said. "Even as a vet in Belgium you can easily race four days a week and the racing is helluva hard. It's really tough, nothing like what we do here."

While in Europe Bricklebank won an international time trial in Belgium, then went on to finish third in the World Championship time trial and eighth in the road race.

If cycling is Bricklebank's passion, it doesn't completely dominate his life. The retired computer software salesman confesses to a love of good wine. "You could say that I'm a wine drinker with a really good cellar," he said. "I certainly enjoy a drink and I enjoy life, but while I'm training, I'm training"

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)