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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition News for February 9, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones & Chris Henry

Milan-San Remo under fire

At its meeting last Monday in Mallorca, Spain, the professional cycling teams association (AIGCP) adopted a resolution to demand from the UCI the immediate exclusion of Milan-San Remo from the World Cup calendar. The dissatisfaction of the syndicate is based on the [lack of] telecast of the race throughout Europe. An ongoing television blackout exists, resulting from a three year-old conflict between the race organization and Eurovision over the broadcast rights for the event.

"(ONCE Director) Manolo Saiz informed of AIGCP's resolution," confirmed Alain Rumpf from UCI, "we are trying to find the best solution for it." Confident that the time left until March 22 will be enough to solve the imbroglio, Rumpf added, "We understand the desire of the sponsors to get a wider media exposition for their brands, services or products."

The question remains whether or not the interested parties can resolve in just six weeks what they have been unable to resolve in three years.

Superprestige Round 7

The seventh round of the Superprestige cyclo-cross series takes place Sunday, February 9 in Harnes, France. This weekend's event is the penultimate race in the series, which wraps up on February 22 in Vorselaar. As with last weekend's World Championships in Monopoli, the series has been a decidedly Belgian affair, with the top three spots in the overall standings and every individual win in the elite category going the way of the Belgians. Recently crowned world champion Bart Wellens, winner of round 3 of the series, will be on the line in Harnes.

Series results:

Round 1, Ruddervoorde: Sven Nys
Round 2, Sint-Michielsgestel: Sven Nys
Round 3, Gavere: Bart Wellens
Round 4, Gieten: Sven Nys
Round 5, Diegem: Mario De Clercq
Round 6, Hoogstraten: Sven Nys

Elite riders scheduled to race in Harnes:

Belgium: Mario De Clercq, Bart Wellens, Sven Nys, Erwin Vervecken, Tom Vannoppen, Ben Berden, Sven Vanthourenhout, Arne Daelmans, Peter Van Santvliet, Wim Jacobs, Davy Commeyne, Björn Rondelez

Czech Republic: Kamil Ausbuher, Petr Dlask, Vaclav Jezek, Jiri Pospisil

France: Dominique Arnould, Cyrille Bonnand, John Gadret, Arnaud Labbe, Françis Mourey, Maxime Lefebvre, Jean-Baptiste Beraud, David Pagnier, Hervé Senicourt, Eddy Devos

Netherlands: Richard Groenendaal, Camiel van den Bergh, Maarten Nijland, Wim de Vos, Gerben de Knegt, Wilant van Gils

Poland: Pavel Cierpikowski, Tadeusz Korzeniewski

Slovakia: Vaclav Metlicka

Spain: David Seco

Switzerland: Michael Baumgartner, Christian Heule, Jan Ramsauer

USA: Jonathan Page

Series standings after six events:

1. Sven Nys, 163 points
2. Bart Wellens, 112
3. Mario De Clercq, 102
4. Erwin Vervecken, 98
5. Richard Groenendaal and Tom Vannoppen, 97
7. Peter Van Santvliet, 87
8. Ben Berden, 85
9. Sven Vanthourenhout, 84
10. Arne Daelmans, 78

BigMat still working on Guimard

Although tipped as the likely candidate to direct the Division II BigMat-Auber squad, Cyrille Guimard has not received a concrete offer for the new post. Team general manager Stéphane Javalet told l'Equipe, "we're in direct discussion with Cyrille, but don't be fooled, the problem still remains finding the resources to pay for this."

Guimard has directed a number of champions in his day, notably Laurent Fignon, Bernard Hinault, and Greg LeMond, but has taken a step back from the directeur sportif role in recent years.

Botero Sportsman of the Year in Colombia

Santiago Botero, winner of the time trial at the 2002 World Championships, was elected Sportsman of the Year back home in Colombia. This title recognises his brilliant season, highlights of which included Botero's fourth place in the Tour after beating Lance Armstrong in the first individual time trial. Botero finished the Tour 13'10 behind Armstrong.

Baseball player Edgar Renteria and roller skater Diego Roseroot were ranked second and third in the Sportsman of the Year by the Colombian Olympic Committee.

Courtesy of João Cravo

Eddy Planckaert bankrupt

Ex-professional cyclist Eddy Planckaert, 44, has been declared bankrupt by a court in Gent, Belgium. Het Nieuwsblad reported that the winner of the Tour de France green jersey, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix had entered into business with a partner in Poland, who subsequently defrauded him.

It's not the first time that Planckaert has had a failed business concern. Two years ago, his previous business was declared bankrupt in Lithuania.

Etape du Tour registration form online

Registration forms for the 2003 Etape du Tour are available online. Each year the Etape du Tour, which brings together 7,500 cyclists, recreates the exact route of a Tour de France stage for amateurs. This year's event will take place on the July 16 between Pau and Bayonne, following the 197.5km route of stage 16.

The 2003 Etape du Tour was initially scheduled for July 20, however insufficient resources prompted the French Gendarmerie to push for a change of date. The event now takes place during a rest day for the professionals of the Tour de France.

Entry forms will be available only in Vélo Magazine (February 2003 issue) for residents of France, and on the official site for those residing outside of France.

Hey Pippo! Pozzato website

Pippo Pozzato is a newcomer to the senior ranks of professional cycling after joining Fassa Bortolo for 2003. The handsome 22 year old from Sandrigo, Italy near Vicenza was a big winner last season for the Mapei TT3 espoirs team, notching 14 victories, including two stages of the Tour de l'Avenir. Pippo has just launched a new web site, that is worth a visit, complete with techno intro music on the home page. It is currently online in Italian and the English-language version is coming soon.

Pozzato has a "News" section, plus his "Pippo Diary", which features his training routes and his build up to the major events of his season. "In Confidenza" is another section where Pippo fans can tell it like it is... Plus boasts plenty of photos and images in the "Photo Gallery" section.


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