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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition News for August 23, 2003

Edited by Chris Henry

Rous loses Limousin to crash

French national champion Didier Rous (Brioches La Boulangère), on course for a likely overall victory at the Tour du Limousin, saw his chances disappear in a crash with 20km left to race in the fourth and final stage. Wearing the leader's yellow jersey since his stage 1 victory, Rous had shown exceptional form and had 43" in hand over Cofidis' Italian veteran Massimiliano Lelli. Rous suffered a fractured clavicle and shoulder blade, sadly reviving his theory that the national champion's jersey (which he wore also in 2001) is cursed.

"All I know is it's the second year I've worn the jersey, and this is the first time I've won with it," Rous commented after his stage 1 win. Unfortunately the overall honours at the Tour du Limousin won't provide a second victory in the tricouleur jersey.

With the race for the final classification stirred up, Lelli and Cofidis controlled the race well enough to put him into the final victory, 2" ahead of Laurent Lefèvre (Jean Delatour), as FDJeux.com took the final stage thanks to Bernhard Eisel. Rous was transported to a hospital in Limoges as Lelli donned the final yellow jersey with both satisfaction and regret. "The real winner is Rous," he said after the race, "he showed he was the strongest."

Mattan moves closer to Bodysol

Belgian Nico Mattan continues to talk with Quick.Step-Davitamon manager Patrick Lefevere about the prospects of joining a new Division II team which will take the place of Quick.Step's espoirs team. The new Bodysol-Brustor team will focus on the Belgian calendar, and Mattan would serve as a road captain and help guide the team of younger recruits, including the top members of the current Quick.Step Division III team.

"Patrick Lefevere knows that I spend a lot of time with the young riders in my region and he's offered me a two year contract, with an option for a third year as either a rider or part of the team management," Mattan said in Friday's l'Equipe. "It's very good news, even if it means I won't be able to ride the World Cup or other big races."

Lefevere confirmed that he and Mattan have a verbal agreement, "which for me means everything."

Ullrich has chance for Olympics

Despite the fact that he is the reigning Olympic road race champion, Jan Ullrich's participation as part of the German national team at the 2004 games in Athens is anything but assured. Under normal procedure, any German athlete who will have tested positive for a banned substance between October 1, 2000 and August 12, 2004 would be disqualified from Olympic qualification.

Ullrich tested positive for amphetamines in 2002 during an out of competition test, having taken ecstasy at a night club. The German National Olympic Committee (NOK) has indicated it will examine each case individually, implying in this case that Ullrich is not by default prohibited from defending his Olympic title next summer. The NOK will hold its next meeting on October 1, when it is expected that initial review of athletes' requests to compete will be reviewed.

Martinez out of European MTB Championships

French mountain bike dynamo Miguel Martinez has withdrawn from cross-country event at the European MTB Championships currently being held in Graz, Austria. Martinez has returned to France following the death of his father in law.

UCI Anti-doping news

The following riders have been sanctioned for doping offenses by the UCI:

Matthias Buxhofer, sanctioned by the Austrian Cycling Federation following disqualification from the 2002 Tour of Denmark. Buxhofer is serving an 18 month suspension from January 2003-July 2004 and has been fined 2,000 Swiss Francs.

Hubert Nowak, sanctioned by the Polish Cycling Federation, following disqualification from the 2003 Tour de Normandie. Nowak is suspended from May 20, 2003 to February 28, 2004, and has been fined 300 Swiss Francs.

Adrian Elzinga, sanctioned by the Canadian Cycling Association, and suspended from May 5, 2003 to June 5, 2003.

Johan Gerardo Ramirez Mejia, sanctioned by the Colombian Cycling Federation following disqualification from the 2002 Clasico RCN, and suspended six months from March 15, 2003 to September 14, 2003.

Dick Lane Velodrome fundraiser

The first fundraising event to save the Dick Lane Velodrome in East Point, Georgia is underway. The East Point Velodrome Association is auctioning off a 56cm EPX bike on eBay, fully equipped with Dura-Ace components, to raise money for the preparation of a proposal to the East Point City Council.

The association is hoping to secure a long term lease and raise the necessary funds to make repairs and improvements to the facility mandated by the city. Earlier this month, on short notice, the East Point Parks and Recreation Department notified the association that safety concerns would prompt a closure of the velodrome after the final race of the season, the September 6th Grand Prix.

The East Point Velodrome Association reports that thus far the City Council has been very receptive to the association's preliminary proposal, however the velodrome's supporters still need to raise the funding necessary to do the repairs. Additional information can be found at the association's web site: www.dicklanevelodrome.com. Interested parties are also encouraged to sign up for the association's mailing list, and may also send questions or letters of support to info@dicklanevelodrome.com.

Click here for the eBay auction address.

Hamilton World's ticket sales

The Hamilton 2003 World's Organizing Committee announced Friday that single day tickets will go on sale Wednesday, August 27th. Tickets will be sold for all of the individual days of the event, which starts on Tuesday, October 6th and ends on Sunday, October 12th. Weekly passes for the event have been on sale since April.

Tickets to the World's events are on sale through Ticketmaster. Orders can be placed by phone any time by calling 905-527-7666 (Hamilton), 416-870-8000 (Toronto), or 613-755-1111 (Ottawa - bilingual operators) and on-line through the Ticketmaster web site www.ticketmaster.ca.

Howard creates Irish 2-day

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

Stamullan M. Donnelly Road Club have gone another rung up the ladder. Last year, they successfully promoted a 3rd category cycling event, which was a success. Not prepared to let the grass grow under their feet, next Friday they are staging a two-day.

"We decided after the success of last years race to try and do something more this year," says Gabriel Howard of Stamullen. "We have the full backing of Cycling Ireland and we hope to encourage a lot of newcomers to ride this race and maybe generate some more members for the sport in general. While it will be run like any other stage race, the emphasis is on fun and enjoyment and with the meal and prize presentation we hope to encourage family and friends to attend and make it a social gathering as well as a sporting event," said Gabriel.

The Rás Teach Maoiláin 2-Day race will begin next Friday, August 29th at 6:30pm with five laps of the five-mile Monie Nolan circuit, beginning and ending in Balscadden, North County Dublin. This circuit is also used for another Stamullen promotion, the Brendan Carroll Memorial.

Stage two will begin at 11:30am next morning at the gates of Gormanston College and will cover twelve laps of a flat 2 mile circuit along the old main Dublin-Belfast road taking in the Delvin Bridge and the Cock Tavern and will finish at Gormanston.

The event is purely for 3rd category riders and is aimed at encouraging newcomers and those who have been out of the sport for a while to give it a go at their own level. Entry fee is 20€ and each entrant will receive a three-course meal at the Cock Tavern, Gormanston after the second stage. The prize presentation will be immediately after the meal. One-day licences will be allowed ride although these must be applied for in advance. Cycling Ireland has agreed to allow one licence to cover both stages. Team managers/officials or family and friends are encouraged to attend the meal and can get a ticket for 10€.

Entry forms are available from Kay Howard at 01 8411 352. Teach Maoilain is the Irish for Stamullen. Last year's one day event was won by Johnathon Cruise of the Bray Wheelers CC.

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