Latest News for February 7, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones & Chris Henry
Vainsteins comes home
By Tim Maloney, European Editor
In a press conference in Missaglia, Italy, at the office of team general
manager Enrico Maggioni, Sidermec-Saunier Duval announced the signing
of 2000 World Champ Roman Vainsteins and his faithful lieutenant Marco
Milesi. After two disappointing years at Domo, a happy Vainsteins sees
this new chance at Sidermec-Saunier Duval as practically a homecoming.
"This is really a return to ride for people who know me well, who were
with me in the most important year in my career when I won the world championship,"
Vainsteins told the assembled media. "I'm looking to have a good year
in the World Cup and even improve on my third place in 2001."
The talented 29 year old Vainsteins will join stage race leader Stefano
Garzelli and ambitious 2 time USPRO champ Fred Rodriguez at Sidermec-Saunier
Duval, who are expected to announce a title sponsor later this month.
(Editor's note: the sporting group that manages the Sidermec-Saunier
Duval squad was named Tacconi Sport-Sidermec in 2002, Tacconi Sport-Vini
Caldirola in 2001, Vini Caldirola in 2000)
Fassa Bortolo changes early program
By João Cravo
Fassa Bortolo will no longer ride in the Vuelta a Andalucia-Ruta del
Sol (February 16-20), after changing its program for the first month of
competition this season. After the Tour Méditerranéen (February
12-16), the first test for Fassa Bortolo will be the Trofeo Laigueglia
held in Italy two days later.
Fassa Bortolo's team roster for the Tour Méditerranéen,
which the team completely dominated last year, is as follows: Fabian Cancellara,
Serguei Ivanov, Kim Kirchen, Nicola Loda, Roberto Petito, Filippo Pozzato,
Guido Trenti and Marco Zanotti. Unfortunately for the team, defending
champion Michele Bartoli won't be back in time from his injury to lead
them, but the squad as a whole looks to be quite strong.
The team will be back in Spain for the Trofeo Luis Puig (February 23).
The leader for that race will be Alessandro Petacchi and Fassa Bortolo
plans to have Aitor Gonzalez at the start if the UCI accepts his registration.
From February 25, Dario Frigo will lead Fassa Bortolo in the Volta a la
Comunitat Valenciana, a UCI 2.3 race that will end on March 1.
Meanwhile, Fassa Bortolo has already appointed the key names for each
of the major tours and spring classics:
Giro d'Italia: Dario Frigo and Aitor Gonzalez will be the men for the
overall classification, while Alessandro Petacchi and Matteo Tosatto will
try stage wins.
Tour de France: The best young rider of the last edition, Ivan Basso,
will lead the team in 2003. Serguei Ivanov will be his lieutenant. Sven
Montgomery also has a strong chance to start the Tour provided he is fully
recovered from his health problems.
Vuelta a España: If the UCI allows Aitor Gonzalez to ride for
Fassa Bortolo, he will ride for the win. Alessandro Petacchi is expected
to go for stage wins.
Classics season: Ivanov, Petacchi and Tosatto will be team leaders for
the first half. Basso, Michele Bartoli and Frigo will take over in the
Pantani's team for 2003
Marco Pantani's new team Mercatone Uno-Scanavino appears now to be complete
for 2003, and will take its place alongside the other teams in Division
II. Although unlikely to be invited to the Tour de France, Mercatone Uno-Scanavino
does have ambitions for the Giro d'Italia, where it hopes to present Pantani
as its top man for the corsa rosa.
Much will depend on the outcome of the UCI's appeal to the Court of
Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in relation to Pantani's eight month ban for
possession of insulin that was lifted last July 13 by the CAF (Commissione
d'Appello Federale). If the UCI's appeal is successful, then Pantani won't
be able to race until May 18, and that means he'll be out of the Giro
d'Italia and possibly out of cycling.
Either way, it would take a miracle to convince the organisers of the
Tour de France to accept Pantani when they announce the final wildcards
on May 19, halfway through the Giro. Pantani's main hope is that he can
race the early season Italian calendar and therefore be fit enough in
time for the Giro, a race that practically ended his career in 1999.
Unofficial team roster (source: L'Equipe/UCI)
Marco Pantani (Ita)
Fabiano Fontanelli (Ita)
Roberto Conti (Ita)
Daniel Clavero (Spa)
Massimo Cigana (Ita)
Massimo Codol (Ita)
Joseba Albizu (Spa)
Cristian Gasperoni (Ita) (lent by Domina Vacanza-Elitron for one year)
Francesco Bellotti (Ita)
Ruggero Borghi (Ita)
Enrico Degano (Ita)
Vicenzo Di Falco (Ita)
Mario Manzoni (Ita)
Andrea Moletta (Ita)
Ivan Ravaioli (Ita)
Eddy Serri (Ita)
Luca Solari (Ita)
Fabio Testi (Ita)
Team manager: Davide Boifava
Director sportif: Marino Amadori
Two crash out of Bessèges
A high speed crash on the descent of the Cap Canaille claimed two victims
during Thursday's stage 2 of the Etoile de Bessèges, to the frustration
of some who felt the accident could have been avoided. Frenchmen Pierrick
Fédrigo (Crédit Agricole) and Fabrice Salanson (Brioches
La Boulangère) hit the floor following a puncture by Régis
Lhuillier of FDJeux.com on the steepest part of the descent, which according
to Crédit Agricole director Michel Laurent should have been highlighted
by the race organisers.
"Just before the turn where they fell there was a sign that indicated
(a gradient) of 30%!" Laurent told l'Equipe. "But it was too late to warn
the riders, they were going too fast. Why wasn't there a yellow flag high
enough up to signal the hazard? There was already a crash there last year."
Both riders were taken to hospital following the crash. Fédrigo
suffered three fractures in his right hand, while Salanson was treated
for a separated shoulder.
Kolding to Michela Fanini
The highest ranking Danish female cyclist, Vibe Janne Kolding, will
be riding as a neo-pro for the Italian Team S.C. Michela Fanini Record
Rox this season. She is currently ranked 78th in the world, which is notable
since she has only raced one season as an amateur, collecting most of
her UCI points in three stage races with the Danish national team. In
addition in her first start in the Danish championships in 2002 she took
the silver in both the TT and the road race.
AKI-Prato Marathon Bike
Photo: © AKI
The AKI-Prato Marathon Bike team is set to make its mark in the women's
professional peloton. The team, which will be presented officially in
Prato, Italy on February 15, will be directed by Andrea Carlesi, Roberta
Bonanomi, Gabriella Pregnolato and Felice Puttini. The team features a
number of national and world champions, including Zoulfia Zabirova (World
TT champion in Zolder), Nicole Brandli (Swiss national champion), and
Rosa Lisa Lapomarda (Italian national champion), as well as 2002 Giro
d'Italia winner Svetlana Boubnenkova. Following the team presentation,
riders will head to Cecina for a training camp, with the first racing
scheduled for March 9 at the GP Citta' di Castenaso.
Rosa Lisa Lapomarda
Dori Ruano Sanchez
Chmielewski to CCC-Polsat
According to Polish sources, Piotr Chmielewski (ex-Mróz) has
signed a contract with CCC-Polsat. The contract is for one year.
Andorra start for 2004 Grande Boucle
The 2004 Grande Boucle Féminine (women's Tour de France) is slated
to begin with a prologue in Encamp, Andorra, according to the Comú
city council. With additional funding of at least 100,000 euros from the
municipality, the first road stage may also begin in Andorra. This year's
Grande Boucle is scheduled to start on the French island Corsica, although
full route details have yet to be presented.
Wielinga misses flight
Photo: © Challenge Illes Balears
Rabobank's Remmert Wielinga, winner of the final stage of the Challenge
Illes Balears in Mallorca, missed his flight home to the Netherlands after
being delayed by the extensive podium presentations. Wielinga, 24, won
the stage into Palmanova ahead of Euskaltel-Euskadi's Gorka Gonzalez,
after the two managed a successful 17km break.
The overall winner of the event was Kelme's Alejandro Valverde, who finished
fifth on the stage to clinch the classification ahead of Joaquin Rodriguez
(ONCE) and last year's winner Francisco Cabello (Kelme). The young Dutchman
Wielinga was, however, able to book another flight (along with two other
riders) and make it home after a long but successful day in Mallorca.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)