Latest News for August 26, 2003
Edited by Chris Henry
Danielson to Fassa Bortolo
American Tom Danielson has just taken another big step toward the cycling's top ranks. Danielson confirmed with Cyclingnews his next move: two years in Europe with the Italian Fassa Bortolo team of Giancarlo Ferretti. Danielson is currently in Italy sealing the deal with his new team.
Danielson made his pro debut with the Mercury team, making headlines with his record-setting ride at the Mount Washington Hill Climb in 2002. In Danielson's mind, his first breakthrough success was overall victory and two stage wins at the 2002 Tour of Qinghai Lake. He was also US collegiate mountain bike champion in 2001 and 2002.
Looking for a team that would help him progress toward a career in Europe, but help him develop at a sensible pace, Danielson joined Saturn for 2003. He promptly took out a major victory at the Tour de Langkawi, where he showed not only his impressive climbing skills, but also a cool head in the midst of difficult racing and constant attacks.
Danielson will join the likes of Dario Frigo, Aitor Gonzalez, and Alessandro Petacchi at Fassa Bortolo, a sign that he is ready to make his mark in the European peloton.
Flickinger thinks big
Andy Flickinger, the big man from Ag2R-Prévoyance and winner of Sunday's GP Ouest France-Plouay, has his sights set on the big one day races to come. Plouay, an hors-catégorie one day race (the same classification as Gent-Wevelgem), was 24 year old Flickinger's second career victory, and a big confidence boost for the seasons to come.
"Plouay isn't nothing, it's a big course and I've won it," Flickinger said in Tuesday's l'Equipe. "I've been afraid that I'll become someone who often places but never wins."
Flickinger gave credit to his teammate Mark Scanlon, who worked for him in the decisive final stages of the race, and now looks forward to taking advantage of his good form and renewed confidence. Despite his big frame (he measures 1.93m tall), he proved during this year's Tour de France that he could handle himself in the mountains, and on the short but tough climbs of the Plouay circuit he showed his strength, emerging strongest in the final sprint.
"It's simple, I can't wait for September with all the single day classics," he said. "That's my thing, and now I can dream of a race like Paris-Tours. Plus, there's the World's in Hamilton. I know it's a selective parcours, but if I feel good I'll be honest with the selectors so they can count on me."
Chavanel also aims for October
As he begins the Tour du Poitou-Charentes, a tour in his home region, Sylvain Chavanel is thinking of more than just impressing the locals. Chavanel, hoping to bring success to the Brioches La Boulangère team, is also hopeful that a good showing at Poitou-Charentes could lead to a selection for France at the 2003 World Championships in Hamilton, Canada.
"I know these roads well, "Chavanel said in a l'Equipe interview, speaking of the stages to come in this week's race. "But it's not because I'm in my home region that I necessarily want to win here. Since Zurich things have gone pretty well, and my only objective is to earn a selection for the World Championships in Canada."
The Tour du Poitou-Charentes begins today in Pons, France with a 182km road stage and wraps up Friday after four days and five stages.
Spanish selector pleased with Plouay
Spanish national team selector Juan Carlos Martin has declared himself satisfied with his riders at the women's World Cup race in Plouay, France last Sunday. Spain's best finisher was Grande Boucle Féminine winner Joane Somarriba, who is not renowned for her sprinting talents. Somarriba finished a very credible fourth, behind race winner Nicole Cooke, Judith Arndt, and Mirjam Melchers.
"Rosa Bravo and Mercedes Cagigas worked well in the first part of the race," Martin said. "Then we had Dori Ruano and Eneritz Iturriaga, and finally we were lucky to get Joane Somarriba and Maribel Moreno up ahead."
According to Martin, the line up at Plouay is a good indication of who will represent Spain in Hamilton, Canada for the World Championships.
Tension remains at Paternina
Tension remains strong at the Paternina-Costa de Almería team, notably between directeur sportif Miguel Moreno and his star rider José Antonio Pecharromán. Relations between the two turned sour following Pecharromán's deal to join the Quick.Step-Davitamon team for 2004 for a reported 1.1 million euros for two years. In return, Moreno has threatened to exclude Pecharromán from Paternina's Vuelta a España team.
Pecharromán's results in the past few weeks haven't helped his cause, prompting Moreno to tell Spanish paper AS that "somebody should tell him that abandoning races doesn't count for much in the Vuelta."
For his part, has blamed his modest results on a slow comeback from knee injury earlier this year. "It wouldn't matter to me if I were left out," he said of his Vuelta participation. "I'd leave my place for a teammate who is riding better."
Former world champion Laurent Brochard has signed for an additional year with Vincent Lavenu and the Ag2R-Prévoyance team. Brochard joined Ag2R for 2003 after several seasons with Jean Delatour, and found success early this year with an overall win in the Critérium International. The fifteenth rider currently under contract with the team, Brochard could be backed up by several more new recruits according to Lavenu, who would like to have a roster of up to 21 riders to ensure the capability of fielding multiple teams at a time.
Strong field for shorter Paris-Bruxelles
This year the 83rd edition of the Paris-Bruxelles classic will be run on a shortened parcours, but organiser Pascal Demol hopes for typically exciting racing thanks to a strong line up of top one-day riders. The race downgraded by the UCI last year from a 1.1 event to a 1.2, primarily because of an excessively long parcours. Scheduled for Saturday, September 13, Paris-Bruxelles will total 222.5 kilometres, starting as usual in Soissons, France, to the northeast of Paris.
Demol is eager to regain UCI 1.1 status for his event, and although typically a sprinter's race, the Côte du Mont Saint-Roch with 45km to go should help liven up the finale. "The parcours is certainly easier this year," Demol told La Dernière Heure, "but we're counting on the riders to put on a passionate race for the fans of cycling."
With men such as Museeuw, Freire, Bettini, McEwen, and Van Petegem on the line, among others, the peloton isn't likely to disappoint despite the shorter parcours.
US Team for MTB World's
USA Cycling has announced its team to represent the United States at the World Mountain Bike Championships. This year's World's will be held in Lugano, Switzerland, from August 31 to September 7. The domestic MTB season has effectively closed with the 2003 NORBA National Championships, so attention now shifts to the international scene and the hunt for the rainbow jerseys.
The American team of national champion Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Pan Am Games Gold Medallist Jeremiah Bishop, Todd Wells, Carl Decker, Carl Swenson, and Jimi Mortenson will challenge a deep international field which is to include defending world champion Roland Green (Canada), Bart Brentjens (Netherlands), Cristoph Sauser (Switzerland), Filip Meirhaeghe (Belgium), and Julien Absalon (France), among others.
Leading the way for the American women's cross-country team is 2001 world champion and defending World Cup champion Alison Dunlap, who is returning from a serious shoulder injury suffered in June. Dunlap will have the support of Mary McConneloug, Sue Haywood, Willow Koerber, Gretchen Reeves, Dara Marks, and Shonny Vanlandingham, fresh off her victory at the NORBA NCS finals in Durango, Colorado.
The full USA roster is as follows:
Elite Men: Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Jeremiah Bishop, Todd Wells, Carl
Decker, Carl Swenson, Jimi Mortenson
Elite Men: Eric Carter, Colin Bailey, Rich Houseman, David Klassenanoorschot
Men: Eric Carter, Brian Lopes, Mike King
Elite 26": Jeremy Vanschoonhoven, Mike Snyder, Matt Robinson
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)