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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Latest News for April 17, 2003

Edited by Chris Henry

Nothing broken for McEwen

Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Domo) was taken to hospital after crashing with around 1 km to go in yesterday's Grote Scheldeprijs. "After the fall he could stand upright almost immediately, and that is a good sign," said Lotto-Domo team director Hendrick Redant to Radio 1. "Robbie has a lot of contusions, especially on the right buttock. If he only has a few grazes and a few bumps and bruises, he'll be back in action in a couple of days."

Cooke aiming for May

Baden Cooke, sidelined in recent weeks by a variety of injuries and illness, is hoping to return to competition in two weeks. Most recently, Cooke has suffered pain from an inflammation of his testicles. "I still feel some pain, but I think it should be gone in a day or two," he told l'Equipe. "If all goes well, I should leave next week to train with Matthew Wilson."

Cooke plans to return to racing at the Grand Prix de Villers-Cotterêts on May 1st.

Fédrigo on the road

Crédit Agricole's Pierrick Fédrigo is finally back in training, following fractures in his hand at the Etoile de Bessèges in February and an operation to remove a cyst in March. Fédrigo is hitting the hills in the Hautes Pyrénées region of France, aiming for a return to competition at the Vuelta Ciclista a la Rioja, April 24-27.

"I did two climbs [yesterday] morning, and about three hours on the bike," Fédrigo told l'Equipe. "It was good, it helps the morale. But now I have to get to work to come back to competition."

Goubert backs off

Stéphane Goubert's comeback has been delayed, following a crash in the Critérium International. The Jean Delatour rider injured his hand in the crash, but the damage was a bit worse than originally thought. "I started training on the road four days ago, but it cracked again," he explained. "I was still in a lot of pain, so I went back to the doctor, who determined that there was a break that was hidden beneath the contusions."

Goubert also hopes to rejoin the peloton at the Vuelta Ciclista a la Rioja, or at the Tour de Romandie.

Nazon takes some time

Suffering from fatigue and a stiff back after Paris-Roubaix, Damien Nazon (Brioches La Boulangère) has been sent home to rest by his director Christophe Faudot. Nazon will miss today's Grand Prix de Denain, and may miss the Tour de Vendée on Sunday, unless his condition improves quickly.

Mori confirmed negative

The UCI announced the confirmation of a negative result for Massimiliano Mori, who came under suspicion for doping after a bidon of urine was found in his hotel room during a doping control at Tirreno-Adriatico. The UCI and the Italian federation have officially announced the negative test, however the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has not closed its investigation into possible fraud by Mori and his directeur sportif, Gabriele Di Francesco.

Vanderaerden still working on team

Former Belgian pro (and Mapei directeur sportif) Eric Vanderaerden is still trying to lay the foundation for a new professional team. Although he is aiming to build a Division I team, entering the peloton at the top is not an absolute priority. Vanderaerden had even spoken in the past months of developing a junior team. He is hoping to have a sponsorship agreement in place by July.

"I've been working on this project for a while," he told Gazet Van Antwerpen. "[Wednesday] I sat down with a potential sponsor, and the chances at the moment are 50/50. In any case, I made it clear to this sponsor that he will have to invest a lot of money if we want a Division I team. I think there's a better chance to start with a Division II team."


Ferrari defends in court

At a hearing before the court in Bologna, Dr. Michele Ferrari categorically defended his innocence on Wednesday at a new session of his trial. Ferrari, a former member of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), is charged with distribution of doping products to cyclists and other athletes.

"I never prescribed doping products because I believe that doping is a boomerang that comes back against the athletes who use drugs," he said at the trial. Ferrari testified for nearly 5 hours Wednesday before judge Maurizio Passarini. The trial is expected to resume on May 14.

Easter weekend in Ireland

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

Aspirations are high amongst the competitors who this Easter weekend will face into the first of the stage races to be held between now and September. If weather conditions hold as anticipated, competition should be of the highest order both in Killorglin, Co. Kerry, and at the most reliable of stage races, the Gorey Three, which after many years has a very substantial sponsor in Dublin Skip.

In Kerry, it is the Credit Union who is sponsoring the Ras Mumhan, which is held in a county reputed for its natural beauty, but try telling that to the 100 plus competitors who will tackle some of the toughest mountain passages in the area.

Three former winners are in the line-up for the Munster event, which has attracted a record number of overseas competitors. The race gets under way today and winds up on Monday morning after four days of hectic competition.

The races:

Credit Union Ras Mumhan., Killorglin, Co. Kerry

Stage 1: Good Friday, 2.6 mile time trial, Killorglin, 4:00pm
Stage 2: Saturday, Nissan Ring of Kerry, 101miles, Killorglin,11:00am
Stage 3: Sunday, Irish Ferries/Conor Pass Stage, 91miles, Killorglin, 11:00am
Stage 4: Monday, Western Union Stage, 58 miles, Killorglin

Dublin Skip/Gorey Three Day.

Stage 1: Saturday, Brittas/Gorey, 12:00pm
Stage 2: Gorey Time Trial, 9:00am
Stage 3: Circuit race, Gorey, 2:00pm
Stage 4: Gorey/Brittas, 12:00pm

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