Latest News for August 29, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones & Chris Henry
Vuelta to Domina Vacanze: Cipo or nothing
Photo: © Sirotti
Vuelta a España organiser Unipublic has let its intentions be
known concerning the status of the Domina Vacanze team: bring world champion
Mario Cipollini to Spain, or don't come at all. The team, one of the wild
card selections for the Vuelta, was invited based on the expected participation
of Cipollini, who has not raced since the Giro d'Italia, apart from a
few criteriums after the Tour de France. The team once again finds itself
on the verge of missing out on a grand after it failed to earn a spot
in the Tour de France.
"If Cipollini doesn't come, don't bother coming to Gijón," Unipublic's
Víctor Cordero said to Domina Vacanze in Friday's Marca. The Vuelta
organisation has left its options open as to whether it would invite a
replacement team for Domina Vacanze or start the race with only 21 teams.
Domina Vacanze's manager Vincenzo Santoni, feeling slighted once more,
has asked UCI president Hein Verbruggen to intervene. However, being a
discretionary invite for the Vuelta, Domina Vacanze has little chance
of a helping hand from the UCI.
Unipublic noted that it wishes to avoid a situation similar to last
year, when the Italian Alexia team was invited solely for the purpose
of including 2002 Giro d'Italia winner Paolo Savoldelli, who retired early
from the race - along with several teammates - after a sub-par start to
his Vuelta. Cipollini has confirmed that he plans to race the world championships
in Hamilton, Canada in October, but unlike last year Cipo appears unlikely
to use the Vuelta as preparation.
Pecharromán will start
José Antonio Pecharromán, winner of this year's Bicicleta
Vasca and Volta a Catalunya, will start the Vuelta a España. The
Paternina-Costa de Almeria rider, who recently signed a contract with
Patrick Lefevere's Quick.Step-Davitamon team for 2004, has not been in
the good graces of his team director since his decision to leave. Paternina
had threatened not to give Pecharromán a start in the Vuelta, noting
also his lack of racing and results in the past months, but ultimately
he has been given his place on the team.
"I can't think of the podium with my current level [of fitness]," Pecharromán
told Marca, "but I hope I can race for a stage win."
Phonak for Vuelta
Photo: © C.Henry/CN
The Swiss Phonak Hearing Systems team will send a team to the Vuelta
a Españ, ostensibly built around two-time Vuelta winner Alex Zülle
(1996, 1997). The Swiss veteran has made the Vuelta a key objective, having
noted that without a competitive performance, he will likely retire from
cycling, despite having a contract with Phonak through 2004.
Up and coming Spaniard Oscar Pereiro, third place in this year's Tour
de Suisse, will also give Phonak a shot at a position in the general classification,
while Alexandre Usov will be the team's man for the sprints.
The full Phonak roster includes Zülle, Niki Aebersold, Gonzalo
Bayarri, Cyril Dessel, Juan Carlos Dominguez, Bert Grabsch, Oscar Pereiro,
Santiago Perez, and Alexandre Usov.
Beloki closer to Phonak
Joseba Beloki is in continued talks with the Swiss Phonak team, and
indications are good that the two-time Tour de France runner could reach
a deal. On the market since the announcement of ONCE-Eroski's withdrawal
from sponsorship, Beloki has said that he would prefer to stay with team
manager Manolo Saiz, however Saiz does not appear to have secured sponsors
to create a new team in time to keep the majority of his riders.
Speaking on Radio Euskadi, Phonak directeur sportif Alvaro Pino commented
that "if Joseba has declared that he has decided on a team, and he's still
in negotiations with us, then that's a good signal."
Phonak has expressed a strong desire to earn entry into the Tour de
France, but needs to bolster its roster to ensure enough UCI points for
automatic qualification. Phonak has also been reported to be talking with
Team CSC's Tyler Hamilton for a possible transfer.
Chocolat Jacques finds co-sponsor
Noël Demeulenaere has found a co-sponsor for his Chocolat Jacques team,
according to VRT Teletekst. The new sponsor is Passage Fitness Center,
which will allow Demeulenaere to work with a budget of over €2 million.
Demeulenaere hopes to add a third sponsor to push the budget up higher,
but in any case he still intends on running a Division I team. He has
approached Belgacom for sponsorship, but the telco has yet to agree to
Stagiaire contract for McPartland
Australian rider David McPartland has been offered a stagiaire contract
by the Italian Division II team Tenax. McPartland will begin racing with
them in September, and hopes that it will lead to a full professional
contract in 2004.
Australians to ride New Zealand Junior Tour
By Alan Messenger
An Australian national team will again add zest to the Bike Wise sponsored
New Zealand Junior Tour to be held from 26 to 28 September. Now based
at Wanganui in New Zealand's North Island, the tour has a 22 year history
and in that time has been won by some of New Zealand's outstanding young
cyclists including current USA National Coach Craig Griffin, former World
Junior Track Champion Alan Miller, Gary Anderson, Craig Saunders, Julian
Dean, Greg Henderson,Karl Moore and Hayden Roulston.
In that time only two Australians have won. Warren Jennings was the
first in 1996 and last year ex-triathlete Sam Lee did the honours. Lee
was only the second first year junior to win, following on from Tim Gudsell's
win the previous year. If Lee returns this year he could become the first
rider to win twice.
The Kiwi cause gained a boost with the announcement that World Junior
Duathlon Champion Terenzo Bozzone will ride the Tour. Two years ago he
won his age group in the Te Awamutu Junior Tour.
Junior cyclists interested in riding the Tour can contact Organizer
Ron Cheatley phone 64 6345 6490 (NZ 06 345 6490) or Email email@example.com.
Green Mountain Stage Race preview
The third Mad River Valley Green Mountain Stage Race will commence on
Friday with defending champions Jonathan Page (Tilton, NH; Prime Alliance)
and Geneviève Jeanson (Lachine, PQ; Rona/Esker) set to defend their titles.
Despite competing this year without any teammates, Page is still to
be considered one of the favourites to win the overall title for the second
consecutive time. Page will not be unchallenged however, with the likes
of past Canadian national road champion Mark Walters (Milford, PA; Navigators),
Eneas Freyre (Greenwich, CT; Lemond Fitness/Cra-Z Soap), current U.S.
national road champion Mark McCormack (North Easton, MA; Saturn), Alex
Lavallee (Sherbrooke, PQ; Trek/Volkswagen), Tim Johnson (Knowlton, PQ;
Saturn), Michael Jones (Harpursville, NY; West Virginia), and Jonathan
Hamblen (Amherst, MA; FiordiFrutta/Wheelworks) all due to compete.
Several Vermont riders will be fighting for the top spots this weekend
as well, including U.S. Espoir (under 23) team member Kevin Bouchard-Hall
(Shelburne; Hawley/ATA) and Andrew Knight (S. Burlington; Louis Garneau).
The women's side is loaded as well with several teams from the United
States and Canada competing. Jeanson leads the pack, having swept all
of the stages last year to win easily, and is the overwhelming favourite
to repeat this year. However, several top riders will attempt to give
Jeanson a hard time, including her former teammate Amy Moore (Mississauga,
ON; Team Ontario), Heather Peck (Southbury, CT; Independent Fabrication/Wheelworks)
and Ann Marie Miller (New York, NY; Verizon Wireless/Cervelo). Local riders
include Sarah Schreib of Williston, who has graduated to the pro women's
race after having won her first two women's category 4 races, and Marielle
Aunave of Winooski.
The race begins with a 13km hill climb prologue on Friday afternoon
in Waitsfield. This opening stage starts on the flats of the Mad River
Valley and concludes with a 6.5km climb with an 11% average grade up to
the Appalachian Gap. Look for the climbers to shine on this opening stage,
including last year's winner Jonathan Hamblen and of course Geneviève
Saturday's Moretown Circuit Race features a 29km loop through Vermont's
north-central corridor with a gradual 4km climb per lap. Mark McCormack
has owned this race in its first two years, winning both of them in solo
breakaways. The men will do 116km and the women will do 85km.
Sunday's Sugarbush Chamber Mad River Road Race will be the deciding
stage, a 104km road course with three major climbs through the Green Mountains
of central Vermont. The final 5km of the stage brings the riders to the
summit of the Appalachian Gap, with the last kilometre averaging 18% gradient.
Both last year's winner Jonathan Page and 2001 winner Scott Moninger won
this stage on the way to their race victory, while Geneviève Jeanson just
cemented her position at the top of the women's field with a strong win.
Monday's Voler Burlington Criterium shifts the focus to the streets
of the queen city of Burlington, Vermont. A very technical, six turn,
1 kilometre course provides for very fast paced, exciting racing. With
the stage race's unique points format, riders cannot rest on this day;
general classification contenders must be prepared to finish in the front
of the field to be able to maintain their stage race positions. The men
will do 50km and the women will do 32km. Page took matters in his own
hands last year and went with a four man breakaway to win the stage and
the general classification.
Prologue - August 29: Waitsfield ITT, 13 km
Stage 1 - August 30: Moretown Circuit Race, 116/85 km (M/W)
Stage 2 - August 31: Sugarbush Chamber Mad River Road Race, 104 km
Stage 3 - September 1: Voler Burlington Criterium, 50/32 km (M/W)
World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin Championships this weekend
The 2003 World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin Championships will take place
this weekend in Whistler, BC. There will be 167 athletes competing from
nine countries including Germany, France, New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway,
USA and host country Canada. On offer is a $US20,000 cash purse, which
is likely to make some of the competitors very happy indeed.
Confirmed participants in the men's field include reigning three time
Men's World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin Champion Chris Eatough (USA), 2002
3rd place finisher Mark Hendershot (USA), top Canadian in 2002 Tom Zidek
(4th place) and Chad Swanson (USA), 5th place in the 2002 event. Also
competing for the men's crown will be mountain bike veteran Tinker Juarez
(USA) who has just recovered from a hip injury that had initially thrown
his participation into question. Look for Juarez and Eatough to go head-to-head
for the title but never count out any of the other Elite Men that looking
to oust Eatough from his three year supremacy.
The women's field will this year have a new champion as 2002 Women's
World Solo 24 H ours of Adrenalin Champion Lesley Tomlinson is not returning
to defend her crown. Riders battling for the women's solo title include
Katie Lindquist (USA), 2-time 24 Hours of Adrenalin National Champion
Christina Begy (USA), Simone Otto (Germany), Louise Kobin (USA) and Michelle
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