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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition News for April 15, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

UCI rankings after Paris-Roubaix

With Paolo Bettini unable to ride due to injury and Erik Zabel securing 15th spot in Paris-Roubaix, the UCI number one position has stayed with Zabel by just four points. The German's ability to score points all year round has kept him at or near the top for over three years, although he only leads Bettini by four points now.

Moving up to third place is Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo), who finished fourth overall in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco last week and gained some points. Pais Vasco winner Iban Mayo (Euskaltel) jumped much further in the rankings, moving from 112th up to 30th with that win. Tyler Hamilton (CSC, 23rd - 16th), Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel, 262nd - 133rd), and Alejandro Valverde (Kelme, 158th-50th) have also profited from the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.

The winner of Paris-Roubaix, Peter Van Petegem (Lotto-Domo) is now up to 17th with 1082 points, scoring over half of these in the first two and a half months of the European season. PAris-Roubaix runner up Dario Pieri (Saeco) jumped from 288th to 153rd, while Viatcheslav Ekimov (USPS-Berry Floor) went from 181st to 106th.

Rankings as of April 13, 2003


1 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom                            2,216.00 pts
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon                 2,212.00
3 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                          2,087.00
4 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 1,978.00
5 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                       1,739.00
6 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Lotto-Domo                           1,625.00
7 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo               1,502.00
8 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal presented by Berry         1,455.75
9 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Domina Vacanze-Elitron             1,433.20
10 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Lampre                       1,427.00
11 Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski          1,305.00
12 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                     1,293.00
13 Laurent Brochard (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance                  1,165.00
14 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                          1,141.60
15 Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col) Team Telekom            1,131.40
16 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC                           1,103.00
17 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Domo                      1,082.00
18 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Team Saeco                         1,069.00
19 Baden Cooke (Aus)                            1,041.00
20 Mikel Zarrabeitia Uranga (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski          1,031.25

Top riders for 2003

1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon                   764.00 pts
2 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Domo                         581.00
3 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                        542.75
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca       510.00
5 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                            507.00
6 Laurent Brochard (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance                     466.00
7 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom                              460.00
8 Iban Mayo Diez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                     455.00
9 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère              418.00
9 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                         418.00


Division I

1 Quick.Step-Davitamon                                     2,569.00 pts
2 Rabobank                                                 2,109.00
3 Fassa Bortolo                                            2,039.75
4 Team Telekom                                             1,870.00
5 Team Saeco                                               1,666.00
6 O.N.C.E.-Eroski                                          1,596.00
7 Kelme-Costa Blanca                                       1,482.00
8 Alessio                                                  1,408.00
9 AG2r Prévoyance                                          1,291.00
10 Brioches La Boulangère                                  1,280.00

Division II

1 Bankgiroloterij Cycling Team                             1,099.00 pts
2 Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf                                      609.00
3 Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo                                   520.00
4 De Nardi-Colpack                                           449.00
5 Colchon Relax-Fuenlabrada                                  448.00

Full rankings

Bettini to miss classics

Paolo Bettini will not be contesting the remainder of the spring classics, according to Quick.Step-Davitamon team management. Bettini fell during last week's Gent-Wevelgem and badly injured his left shoulder - it was dislocated, bruised and there was ligament damage, which means he is unable to do any training.

"I haven't been able to train at all since I fell," said the Milan-San Remo winner. "After watching the Paris-Roubaix race on television yesterday I decided to get on my bike and try and train, but I had to give up straight away due to the pain."

Bettini decided in conjunction with the team management that he won't take part in the Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege). "My first two objectives of the season were Milano-Sanremo and Liege-Bastogne-Liege," said Bettini. "I am sorry that I won't be able to take part in Liege. Starting the race with the number one would have made me a very happy man."

"Having said this, the season is a long one and has just started. At the moment I am concerned in getting my shoulder back in action and then start thinking about doing well in the second part of the season, especially in the World Cup."

Vandenbroucke and Boonen OK

After his fall yesterday during Paris-Roubaix, Quick.Step's Frank Vandenbroucke underwent medical tests to examine the extent of his injuries, which forced him to abandon after 90 km. It was found that he had bruised his shinbone and his left knee, but there was no serious damage.

"Today I feel pretty much rested," said Vandenbroucke on Monday evening. "I'll be training tomorrow morning. If everything goes well then I'll be taking part in the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen on Wednesday."

Tom Boonen, who had "tears in his eyes" after crashing yesterday and hurting his left leg, trained as normal this morning and will definitely ride in the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen on Wednesday.

Horillo and Peeters not

On the other hand, Quick.Step's Pedro Horrillo and Wilfried Peeters are having injury problems. Horrillo is suffering from a herniated disc in his back. "I am able - with difficulty - to train for a 2 hours a day without forcing myself too much," he said. "I also do some general exercises that reinforce my stomach and abdominal muscles.".

Team director Wilfried Peeters fell off his bike yesterday afternoon and fractured his left elbow. He will have an operation on Monday evening in Antwerp Hospital.

Dekker to ride Amstel Gold Race

Erik Dekker will start in his first classic of the season, the Amstel Gold Race this Sunday. Dekker made his decision together with Rabobank team management after last week's Vuelta al Pais Vasco, in which he finished four of the six stages. "We agreed that I must have the condition for the Gold Race so that I don't get in the way," said the 2001 winner of the race to ANP. "It's not the aim to go in the early break so that I'm finished after 100 kilometres. My role is indeed quite different to other years: I won't ride for the win, but in the service of the team."

Michael Boogerd will lead the Rabobank team for Amstel, with Oscar Freire, Erik Dekker Marc Lotz, Marc Wauters, Beat Zberg, Bram de Groot and an eighth rider to be determined.

Cipollini thinks of retirement

Mario Cipollini is considering retiring at the end of the season, according to interviews in the Belgian press last weekend. The World Champion wants to ride one more Giro (to break Alfredo Binda's stage win record) and one more Tour de France (to win a couple more stages). Cipollini retired briefly during 2002 after his team wasn't selected for the Tour, however he came back to win three stages in the Vuelta and then the World Championship in Zolder.

Berden gets an early exit from Vlaanderen-T Interim

According to Het Belang van Limburg, Vlaanderen-T Interim cyclo-crosser Ben Berden will start racing for the new Saey-Deschacht team on May 1, not at the beginning of 2004 as was previously planned. Vlaanderen is considering replacing him with Wesley van der Linden or Bart Aernouts.

Van Katwijk to Axa

24 year old Dutch rider, Alain van Katwijk, has signed for the Axa team, which was looking for another rider after injuries to Mark Vlijm and Daniel van Elven. Van Katwijk rode for the Bloks-Nijdam team prior to this. His first race for Axa will be the ZLM Tour this Saturday.

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