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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest News for February 6, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Ullrich trains in Tuscany

Possibly put off by the wintry weather near his home on Lake Constance, Jan Ullrich has shifted his training base to Tuscany, Italy for the next few weeks. Team Coast's newest acquisition travelled to Pisa last Sunday along with training partner Tobias Steinhauser and director sportif Rudy Pevenage, where he hoped to enjoy weather conditions conducive to longer training rides.

On Monday, Ullrich trained for four hours, and he intends to continue to work on his endurance with rides of between four and five hours, averaging no more than 32 km/h. The reason for the comparatively steady training pace is that he doesn't want to put his famous knee under too much pressure yet.

So far, Ullrich reports that there has been no pain during training. He intends to start racing again in the Setmana Catalana, which starts the day after his six month suspension for doping ends on March 23.

Cipollini hopes for clean Giro

Mario Cipollini, who was awarded the Bici d'Oro in memory of Fausto Coppi, hopes for a cleaner Giro d'Italia for the good of cycling. The World Champion spoke while accepting his award on Tuesday. "I hope that this year things go better for the Giro d'Italia, but if it's not the case, it will be the end of cycling," said Cipollini.

Cipollini also refused to put himself on the same level as Coppi, arguably the all time great of Italian cycling. "It is flattering, but I am not a complete champion, I am only a sprinter even if you put it all together."

In the voting for the Bici d'Oro, Cipollini received 242 points, well ahead of Paolo Bettini (55) Lance Armstrong (33), Michele Bartoli (27) and Johan Museeuw (10).

Marlux and Palmans at odds

In the Tour de Langkawi, things are not exactly roses between two Belgian teams Palmans-Collstrop and Marlux-Ville de Charleroi. Palmans director Luc Landuyt expressed his annoyance in Het Laatste Nieuws today, after Marlux rider Raivis Belohvosciks helped chase down Palmans-Collstrop's Peter Wuyts in the final kilometre of Stage 6 of LTDL.

"We are so far from home, and there are Belgians who apparently don't want the success. He had nothing to gain in a mass sprint. Pure jealousy," said Landuyt.

Marlux director Didier Paindaveine denied that he had instructed his team to chase down Wuyts. "The riders handled it on their own initiative. Nobody from out team instructed Belohvosciks to shoot off. You get that with the foreigners in the team," he said to Het Nieuwsblad.

Marlux's Johan Dekkers said that there were no Belgian alliances in this race. "We ride here with trade team jerseys, not with national jerseys," he said.

Blijlevens injured

Dutchman Jeroen Blijlevens has injured his knee after hitting it against corner of a table. The BankGiroLoterij rider may have to miss Het Volk, the opening Belgian race of the season, as a result.

Meanwhile his compatriot Erik Dekker has returned home to the Netherlands to have his knee examined in Amersfoort, after he hit it against a door at the beginning of the year. Dekker already had to pull out of the Challenge Illes Balears due to the pain, and team manager Jan Raas is worried that he may have to miss Milan-San Remo.

New U.S. Division III team: Health Net

A new U.S. Division III professional cycling team has been created, entitled the Health Net Pro Cycling Team. Based out of Berkeley, CA, the team's title sponsor Health Net is one of California's biggest health plans. The team will be managed by Kevin Klein and coached by former Belarus national coach Dimitriy Badeka.

Health Net's composition is interesting, comprising a mixture of US professionals and U23 riders, as well as four riders from Belarus. Included on the roster are ex-Panaria rider Yauheni Seniushkin, as well as Prime Alliance's Russell Stevenson and Rusty Beall, Mercury's Mike Sayers and Jelly Belly's Chris McGovern.

The team's presentation will be on Monday, February 10 in Berkeley.

Team Roster

Kevin Klein (USA) Team Manager/Rider
Rusty Beall (USA) ex-Prime Alliance
Bob Hooks (USA) ex-Alto Velo
John Hunt (USA) ex-Sierra Nevada
Alex Ivanov (Blr)
Alex Kozlov (Blr)
Jason Lokkesmoe (USA)
Chris McGovern (USA) ex-Jelly Belly
Randy Rocchi (USA)
Scott Price (Can) ex-Landis/VW Trek
Devon Vigus (USA)
Mike Sayers (USA) ex-Mercury
Yauheni Seniushkin (Blr) ex-Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
Dave Smith (USA) ex-Sierra Nevada
Russell Stevenson (USA) ex-Prime Alliance

U23 Development Riders

Skyler Bishop (USA)
Justin Hale (USA)
Sergei Badeka (Blr)
Patrick Dunaway (USA)

Coach: Dimitriy Badeka
Team Manager: Kevin Klein

Loteria De Boyaca 2003

Colombia's third elite cycling team after Selle Italia-Colombia and 05 Orbitel is the Grupo Deportivo Lotería de Boyacá. Featuring 23 riders, the team is mainly active at a national level, but also competes in the main South American stage races.

The squad is directed by José Patrocinio Jiménez, with Ángel Yesid Camargo as an assistant director sportif. The riders are Daniel Rincón, Miguel Sanabria, Libardo Niño, Víctor Niño, Jairo Pérez, Israel Ochoa, Víctor Becerra, Ismael Sarmiento, Emiro Matta, Félix Castro, Graciano Fonseca, José Ibáñez, Giovanni Báez, Hugo Ferney Osorio, Gustavo Guzmán, Wilson Cepeda, Carlos Blanco, Giovanni Huertas, Jorge Iván González, Néstor Bernal, William Rozo, Giovanni Torres and Ricardo Mesa.

Vuelta de las Americas

The Vuelta de las Americas will take place in Mexico between February 22 and March 16. The three week non-UCI race totals 3,263 kilometres, consisting of 16 road stages and five circuit races.

The stages

Stage 1 - February 22: Circuito en Cancún, 106.6 km
Stage 2 - February 23: Mérida - Campenche, 176 km
Stage 3 - February 24: C. Carmen - Villahermosa, 162 km
Stage 4 - February 25: Villahermosa - Coatzacoalcos, 169 km
Stage 5 - February 26: Veracruz - Xalapa, 93.7 km
Stage 6 - February 27: Tuxpan - Tampico, 180 km
Stage 7 - February 28: Circuito en Monterrey, 100 km
Stage 8 - March 1: Saltillo - Gómez Palacios, 254 km
Stage 9 - March 2: Circuito Mazatlán, 104, km
Rest Day - March 3: Transfer to Guadalajara
Stage 10 - March 4: Circuito en Guadalajara, 101.2 km
Stage 11 - March 5: Guadalajara - León, 207 km
Stage 12 - March 6: León - Aguascalientes, 128 km
Stage 13 - March 7: Aguascalientes - San L. Potosí, 160 km
Stage 14 - March 8: San L. Potosí - Querétaro, 199 km
Stage 15 - March 9: Querétaro - Morelia, 189.9 km
Rest day - March 10
Stage 16 - March 11: Morelia - Toluca, 223.5 km
Stage 17 - March 12: Toluca - Cuernavaca, 164 km
Stage 18 - March 13: Cuernavaca - Puebla, 169 km
Stage 19 - March 14: Puebla - Pachuca, 182 km
Stage 20 - March 15: Pachuca - Méjico D.F., 93.7 km
Stage 21 - March 16: Circuito Méjico D.F., 100.8 km

Total kilometres: 3,263
21 Metas Volantes
5 Mountain Primes (1x Cat. 1, 1x Cat. 2, 3x Cat. 3)

Jamieson sets sights on World Cups

Mark Jamieson
Photo: © Shane Goss
Click for larger image

2002 World Junior Pursuit Champion Mark Jamieson will carry out a combined track and road program for 2003, where his main objectives will be selected UCI Track World Cups as well as exposure to international road events through the proposed Australian U21 road program to be based in Italy.

The proposed U21 program is designed to make the transition between the junior (U19) and U23 ranks a little less bumpy, with successful riders graduating to the AIS-Mapei-Aqua U23 team. In addition to racing, the U21 squad will also be educated in other aspects of being a professional cyclist so that they are fully prepared by the time they turn pro.

The team will likely consist of the following eight riders: Jonathon Clark (Vic), Nic Sanderson (Vic), David Kemp (Qld), Ryan Sullivan (Tas), 5 Richard Moffatt (NSW), James Hannam (SA), James Meadley (ACT) and Mark Jamieson (Tas). The program is based on the 2002 Australian U19 squad, and all the riders are first year U23 riders, except for James Hannam who is a second year rider.

Mark Jamieson's 2002 road season was impressive with five wins in junior international races in Italy and Belgium during the Australian team's preparation leading into the road World's at Zolder. His silver medal in the World's time trial at Zolder was the best result by an Australian since Michael Rogers won the silver in 1997. Jamieson was beaten in the TT by talented Russian Mikhail Ignatiev, who had in turn lost to Jamieson in the final of the Individual Pursuit World Championship in Melbourne two months earlier.

Jamieson has also just signed a personal sponsorship deal to ride Avanti road bikes this season, following his multi medal winning performances last year.

Honda goes downhill

By Paul Mirtschin

Honda DH machine
Photo: © Honda
Click for larger image

Honda, makers of all things mechanical, has just entered the world of downhill mountain bike racing with the signing of ex-Global Racing rider Naoki Idegawa to the new Team G-Cross Honda.

Idegawa, 23 and currently placed 68th in the UCI World cup rankings, will be racing on Honda's new RN01 downhill bike, an internally geared single-pivot bike designed in-house at Honda's Asaka technical centre.

The RN01 gets its name as a hybrid of Racing and Nature, while G-Cross is a shortened version of the phrase Gravity Cross.

Honda hopes to use the experience to gain technical information on reliability for its motocross division.

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)