First Edition News for August 12, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones
Bettini's reign continues at the top
Paolo Bettini has increased his lead in the UCI rankings, after winning the Clasica San Sebastian on the weekend. With a World Cup victory worth 240 points, Bettini now has 2,388 UCI points - enough to put him over 300 clear of Gilberto Simoni and Erik Zabel.
After Bettini's flight home was cancelled on Saturday evening, the Clasica San Sebastian winner returned home to Italy on Sunday morning. He was out on his bike on Monday morning along with the President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi. He rode with Mr Prodi and a group of friends for almost 60 kilometres in the hills surrounding the city of Modena. At the end of the ride, Bettini gave Mr Prodi his World Cup 2002 winner’s jersey and his Italian Championship 2003 jersey.
"I really enjoyed myself today," Bettini said "I hope we'll be able to ride together again, maybe at the end of the season. Mr Prodi is a very enthusiastic cycling fan that has an incredible amount of determination on the climbs."
Bettini's next race will be the Due Giorni Marchigiana on August 12, a 196 kilometre race between Loreto and Castel Fidardo.
UCI rankings as of August 10, 2003
1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon 2,388 pts 2 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco 2,072 3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom 2,047 4 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 1,881 5 Iban Mayo Diez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 1,735 6 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom 1,726 7 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 1,678 8 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1,667 9 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC 1,474 10 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1,385
Piil back for another bite in Tour of Denmark
Taking place between August 12-16, the 13th edition of the Post Danmark Rundt (Tour of Denmark) is Denmark's biggest race of the season. Starting at the northern tip of the country in Skagen, the race winds its way south passing through Aalborg, Hobro, Århus, Hammel, Kolding, Middelfart and Faaborg before the all-important individual time trial in Svendborg on Friday, August 15. The final stage on Saturday takes place between Korsør and Frederiksberg over 180 km.
The absence of any major climbs in the race means that it is well suited to a strong rider who can time trial and keep himself in front of the peloton out of the wind. Jakob Storm Piil won the race last year after executing two strong attacks which gained him a minute each time, and he was able to hold off the likes of Kurt-Asle Arvesen and Laszlo Bodrogi in the final time trial. In 2001, David Millar was victorious, sealing his win in the TT.
This year Piil will be back with a strong CSC team, which contains Andrea Tafi, Michael Blaudzun and Julian Dean among others. No doubt Team fakta will be keen to challenge for the overall honours too, looking to gain good results in Denmark in its quest for a new sponsor for next season. Kurt Asle-Arvesen, Magnus Bäckstedt and Frank Høj are all on the start list, with Bäckstedt a good chance for the overall.
There is plenty of other competition however, with Telekom's Danilo Hondo and Rolf Aldag, Quick.Step's Johan Museeuw and Tom Boonen, Ag2r's Jaan Kirsipuu, Gerolsteiner's Michael Rich, Lotto-Domo's Stefan van Dijk, Rabobank's Robert Bartko, De Nardi's Serguei Gontchar and BankGiroLoterij's Bart Voskamp all in with a chance at stage wins or the overall.
Stage 1 - August 12: Skagen - Aalborg, 155 km
Pecharroman and Garrido with Quick.Step for two years
According to Basque newspaper Gara, José Antonio Pecharromán and José Antonio Garrido (both Paternina), will sign contracts with the Quick.Step-Davitamon team for two years. Pecharromán, who won the Vuelta a Pais Vasco and the Volta a Catalunya this year, told Gara that he had two other offers, but his negotiations with Quick.Step were "very advanced", and he took advantage of the Clasica San Sebastian to seal the deal, along with Garrido.
The move did not please Paternina's manager Miguel Moreno, who was angry at Pecharromán and Garrido at the start of Sunday's Subida a Urkiola. Moreno threatened to take Pecharromán out of the team for the Vuelta a Burgos and the Vuelta España, although ultimately he was allowed to start in Burgos.
Elliott still good at 42
One of Britain's top riders, Malcolm Elliott, is enjoying a second lease of life in the sport that he retired from six years ago. Now aged 42, Elliott showed that he still has what it takes by winning the UCI 1.5 classed Havant International GP in Hampshire on Sunday. Elliott beat the experienced Mark Lovatt and Matt Stephens at the end of the tough 180 km event to move up to third on the British Premier Calendar rankings.
Elliott's professional career began in 1984 with Ti Raleigh, and during his 13.5 years as a pro the blond sprinter raced for ANC, Fagor, Teka, Seur, Chevrolet and the ill-fated Comptel Data Systems team. During his career he won several stages in the British Milk Race and the Herald Sun Tour, won the Kellogg's Tour of Britain and also the points jersey in the Tour of Spain in 1989. His last race was the British Championships in 1997, before rejoining the fray in this year with the Pinarello team.
NORBA series finals return to Durango
One of the best known high-altitude training bases for elite off-road cyclists, Durango Mountain Resort will host the grand finale of the 2003 NORBA National Championship Mountain Bike Series between August 14-17. The series finals will crown both the overall and national champions.
Durango, Colorado has a cornerstone position in world mountain biking. Site of the first ever UCI World Championships in 1990, the town of 15,000 is home to "more mountain bike World Champions than any other town or city." In this tradition, Fort Lewis College is becoming a powerhouse in NCAA cycling.
Steamworks Brewing Co. in Durango will host a media reception on Thursday August 14, at 5 p.m. This will feature stars from the circuit including Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Marla Streb, Alison Dunlap and Todd Wells.
Pro racing for the weekend begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, when the Cross Country event sets out on the same course used for the 1990 Mountain Bike World Championships. For some international competitors, this may be the deciding event that qualifies them for a national team place in this pre-Olympic year. The Shimano Kids Race is scheduled for Saturday midday, then at 4:30 p.m, pro action resumes in the Mountain Cross on a course with design input from 1990 Downhill World Champion Greg "HB" Herbold.
Sunday sees the Pro/Elite women navigate the Short Track course at 12:30 p.m. followed by the men at 1:00 p.m. The course runs right through the village and keeps the athletes at "redline" for twenty minutes. Pro/elite Downhill women will jump out of the start gate at 2:00 p.m. and the men begin at 2:30 p.m. Most of the Downhill course will be viewable from the 6-pack chairlift giving a unique perspective to both spectators and photographers. Amateur Mountain Cross will be featured over the race weekend as well as a 100-mile mountain bike event for true endurance enthusiasts.
Nothstein and USPS team members at Northbrook Velodrome
Olympic Gold Medalist Marty Nothstein will join members of the US Postal Service-Berry Floor team and other professional cyclists this Thursday, August 14, for a benefit appearance to help save the Northbrook Park District Ed Rudolph Velodrome.
Nothstein, who boasts an impressive track palmares, most recently showed his sprinting prowess in the New York City Cycling Championship, which he won by outsprinting a large breakaway group. He and several of his Navigators teammates are scheduled to compete in the $500 Alberto's Points Race at the Velodrome this Thursday.
Also scheduled to appear are USPS team members Robbie Ventura and Kenny Labbé, who will join ex-Olympian Bill Clay, Guatemalan National Champion Gustavo Carrillo, Prime Alliance's Jonas Carney, and other stars in competition for a full night of racing.
The meeting is aimed at raising funds for the repair of the velodrome, which was last resurfaced in 1989. Years of harsh weather have taken their toll on the Velodrome's asphalt surface and the facility is due for a complete resurfacing. The Northbrook Park District, which owns the facility, has offered to fund half of the project, asking the Northbrook Cycle Committee (NCC) to raise funds to complete the effort.
A special fund has been set up by the NCC for resurfacing efforts. Tax-deductible contributions from individuals and organizations can be sent to Northbrook Cycle Committee, P.O. Box 1101, Northbrook, IL 60065-1101. Contributions will be put into a reserve fund to be used only for resurfacing; contributors are asked to complete the form found at www.northbrookvelodrome.com and indicate "Track Campaign" on all checks. A CPA has volunteered his time to assist the NCC in accounting for all funds received.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)