News for February 2, 2003
Edited by Chris Henry
More teams OK for UCI Division 2
By Tim Maloney / European Editor
Marco Pantani's probable new team, Scanavino-La Verve, was approved Friday for a TT2 racing license by the UCI's Professional Cycling Council (PCC) for the 2003 season, along with two French squads, BigMat and Oktos, and the Portuguese Antarte team. However, the Index team did not gain approval, while a decision is still pending on the fate of Amore & Vita.
The hopes of Index were dashed by the PCC, who found on Friday that the team file they presented lacked the appropriate financial guarantees necessary to ensure the team could go forward. Rumours about the Index-Alexia team were rife in the pro peloton prior to the Giro last year, won eventually by Index-Alexia rider Paolo Savoldelli. Several Index team members told Cyclingnews that the squad had always been on shaky ground financially with irregular salary payments and that Index-Alexia almost didn't start last years Giro, since most team members had allegedly refused to start the race unless they were paid back wages owed. Since then, Index's two top riders, Savoldelli and sprinter Ivan Quaranta, have gone elsewhere. Now Index's UCI no-go has now put 16 riders on the unemployment line, including Bo Hamburger and pistard Marco Villa.
Amore & Vita could still go ahead for 2003, as the PCC is awaiting the decision of the international association of pro teams & riders as to the minimum salary levels proposed for their riders in 2003. But Amore & Vita's outspoken boss Ivano Fanini may not have done himself any favours with his always controversial declarations about cycling and doping controls.
The Index Team issued a statement Saturday indicating its own confidence that the financial guarantees could be arranged in due time, and that the team would continue. Team manager Piercarlo Pedruzzi acknowledged the difficulties of 2002, but nonetheless remains optimistic for 2003. "Having had problems last year, we were ready to present a team with more modest ambitions, but ready to make a mark," he explained.
"Yesterday, however, news came that our registration had been refused by the UCI because of irregularities in the documents we produced," Pedruzzi continued. "I can't deny that last season I faced considerable difficulty in honouring the contracts of some riders, problems that I am resolving with my personal resources."
As for Pantani, currently training in the Canary Islands on the comeback trail, the enigmatic Italian climber is awaiting the final details to be worked out for Mercatone Uno to join up as title sponsor with the newly approved Scanavino-La Verve squad of Davide Boifava. Although this will deal likely go ahead, Pantani must still await the decision of the International Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) to rule on the details of his suspension.
Should the CAS rule in favour of the UCI, who have appealed the decision of the Italian Cycling Federation not to suspend Pantani for 8 months for a syringe containing insulin, found in his hotel room during the 2001 Giro, Pantani will not be able to start this year's Giro d'Italia in June. The CAS decision is expected within a few weeks.
De Clercq cries conspiracy
The parcours for this year's Cyclo-cross World Championships in Monopoli, Italy, designed by Vito Di Tano and Adri van der Poel for the UCI, are none too pleasing for defending champion Mario de Clercq. "If I had known this before, I would have stayed home and not come over to Italy," said a clearly vexed de Clercq. "They changed the parcours in a way such that I can never become World Champion for the fourth time. There is a plot against me."
So who exactly is behind this 'plot'? According to de Clercq, who would prefer to see the course's barriers removed, it's "Adri van der Poel, as normal." As de Clercq sees it, the barriers are there for one person: Sven Nys. "Why don't we give the World Champion jersey to Sven before the start?"
Adding to the reigning champion's frustrations was van der Poel's choice of outfit- a Rabobank jersey- while inspecting the course. "How it that possible?" asked de Clercq. "Okay, it's okay if a UCI person checks the parcours, but not with a sponsor's shirt."
And Van der Poel, for his part, seems to know the score. "I know who is talking," he said. "The parcours didn't change a lot, and the barriers were in the first concept. When there is heavy rain or snow, I will change the parcours. Than we don't need the barriers anymore because the parcours will be hard enough on its own."
Source: Het Nieuwsblad, ANP
No parties at Belgian team hotel
Staying together in the hotel Clio, Belgian riders Mario de Clercq, Sven Nys, Bart Wellens, Ben Berden, Tom Vannoppen and Erwin Vervecken aren't talking about money. Each is a candidate for the World Championship title Sunday, and each is a candidate for the 22,000 euro bonus on offer to the winner from the Belgian federation. "We don't talk about money in the race," commented Sven Nys. "Maybe a little chat about home. It's a bizarre situation."
Not the same story in the Dutch camp, according to Nys. "Richard Groenendaal is in another hotel with the Dutch riders; he has riders around him, they can help him," Nys continued. "But we, the Belgians, are sitting together, and every one can win. The rider who wins on Sunday can't celebrate his victory here in the hotel. You'll be sitting with five teammates, and all five will be in a bad mood because of a lost World Championship."
Belgian coach José de Cauwer put his ambitions quite simply, saying "The target will be numbers 1, 2 and 3, and we hope to get on the plane on Monday morning without a quarrel."
Source: Het Nieuwsblad, ANP
Vuelta invites four more
Four Spanish teams have received invitations to the 2003 Vuelta a España, in addition to the 14 teams already qualified per UCI rules. Joining the pre-selected will be Euskaltel-Euskadi, Labarca2-Café Baqué, Paternina, and Relax-Fuenlabrada. Places remain for two more teams to join the race.
The fourteen teams already qualified for the race are Alessio, iBanesto.com, Team Coast, Cofidis, Team CSC, Fassa Bortolo, Gerolsteiner, Kelme-Costa Blanca, ONCE-Eroski, Rabobank, Saeco, Sidermec, Telekom, and US Postal. Lotto-Domo, which also qualified automatically, declined its spot in the Vuelta.
Trek and Mavic settle in patent dispute
Mavic and Trek Bicycle Corporation have agreed to settle their differences on a global basis regarding multiple worldwide patents owned by Mavic: U.S. Patent No. 6,402,256; European Patent No. 1 084 868; French Patent No. 2 798 622; and German Patent No. 200 22 850.1. The Mavic patented technology relates to the reduction of the weight of a bicycle wheel/rim by progressively reducing the thickness of the wheel rim between its spokes. Under the settlement agreement, Trek has agreed to stop making and promoting its Radial Ridge wheels/rims and its original flat-milled wheels/rims.
Fastest Man Alive in Burnaby
Sam Wittingham, Victoria, British Columbia resident and current Human Powered Vehicle record holder (130km/h), is one of several Canadian track athletes confirmed to be competing at the Burnaby Velodrome's Race Series #2, February 15-16, 2003. Wittingham, a 4 time Canadian national track medallist and 10 time BC provincial medallist, will trade his record-breaking Varna Diablo II machine for a track bike and compete against other top Canadian and American riders. All the racing will take place under the brand new roof and recently upgraded facility.
Racing begins on Saturday morning with the flying 200m qualifying heats. Saturday and Sunday will see a number of mass start, sprint and timed events including points races, miss-n-out, scratch race, kilometer, keirin, Olympic sprint, and Madison.
There will also be a Learn to Race clinic run Wednesday and Friday evenings prior to the February 15-16 event. These clinics will include race entry fees for first time racers with their own category on the weekend. The weekend will also include separate races for junior and cadet riders.
For more information and a schedule and entry form see www.burnabyvelodrome.ca.
Arizona regional team
A new Arizona regional team will hit the road for 2003, backed by principal sponsor Construction Zone, based in Phoenix. The team plans to compete throughout Arizona, as well as in National Racing Calendar (NRC) events such as Pomona, Tour de Gila, and the Ironhorse classic.
Cat 1/2 Roster:
Cat 3/4 Roster:
Sponsors include: The Construction Zone, Arizona Auto Works, Orbea bicycles, Giro helmets, Sugoi clothing, Look forks, HED wheelgoods, RAGE cyclery, Extran, and Rudy Project optics.
Dansko Wheelworks 2003
Dansko Wheelworks (aka Dansko Love), an all women's amateur cycling team based in New England, is made up of category 2, 3 and 4 riders. Although the Dankso Love team has an international title sponsor, it is in essence a local team. The riders will focus primarily in the New England area road races. The majority of the team's races will be local road races, branching out for the occasional national mountain bike and cyclo-cross race.
This 2003 roster:
Sara Bresnick (pro MTB)
Team sponsors include Dansko, Wheelworks, Vintage Etc., Healthworks and Redbones.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)