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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition News for February 11, 2003

Edited by John Stevenson & Jeff Jones

First UCI road rankings of the year

The UCI has released its first set of road rankings for 2003. There have only been a few races so far this season, so there were no big changes to the pecking order. Erik Zabel (2,302 pts), Lance Armstrong (2,110 pts) and Paolo Bettini (2,027 pts) maintained their positions as the top three ranked cyclists in the world. Australians Robbie McEwen (4th - 5th) and Baden Cooke (21st - 18th) moved slightly, following the Australian championships and the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, while Laurent Jalabert (who has retired) slipped down a couple of places to 16th.

It's also noteworthy that with the signing of Dario Frigo and Aitor Gonzalez, Fassa Bortolo now has three riders in the top 11. Look out for them in 2003.

Rankings as of February 10, 2003

1 Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom                                           2,302.00 pts
2 Lance Armstrong (USA) U.S. Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 2,110.00 
3 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step-Davitamon                           2,027.00 
4 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Domina Vacanze-Elitron                       1,749.20 
5 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo                                     1,707.00 
6 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                                    1,702.00 
7 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo                         1,556.00 
8 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                                 1,494.00 
9 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Lampre                                  1,468.00
10 Roberto Heras (Spa) U.S. Postal Service presented by Berry Floor  1,455.75 
11 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                               1,417.75 
12 Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                        1,298.00
13 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Saeco                                        1,176.00 
14 Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col) Telekom                           1,131.40 
15 Johan Museeuw (Bel) Quick Step-Davitamon                          1,109.50 
16 Laurent Jalabert (Fra)                                            1,103.00 
17 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                                    1,081.60 
18 Baden Cooke (Aus)                                      1,047.00 
19 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Domo                                1,041.00 
20 Alex Zülle (Swi) Team Coast                                       1,025.00 

Quaranta and Sacchi hungry for European success

After their flying start to the season at the Tour of Qatar and the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, Saeco's Ivan Quaranta and Fabio Sacchi are looking for victories in Europe. Both riders will be at the start of the Tour of the Mediterranean on Wednesday, February 12, a race that will also mark the season debut of Mirko Celestino, Salvatore Commesso and Dario Pieri.

Celestino intends to battle it out for the overall GC of the French race, so that he can be in good form for the Trofeo Laigueglia on February 18. Italian national champion Salvatore Commesso is motivated and determined, while Dario Pieri is building up for the Belgian classics this spring.

Directors Guido Bontempi and Flavio Miozzo will also have Paolo Fornaciari, Jörg Ludewig and Giosuè Bonomi for the Tour of Med.

Quick Step injury update

The Quick Step-Davitamon team's injury woes continue with Domenico Passuello and Frédéric Amorison on the recovery bench. Passuello is suffering from an injury to his sitbone (coccyx), while Amorison has a strained knee. Quick Step DS Lefevere commented: "We can now count on five fewer riders."

However, the team's previously side-lined riders are on the mend, according to the latest information issued by the team. Hungarian time trialist Laszlo Bodrogi has been officially diagnosed with a left pubic bone fracture, after falling during stage 3 of the Tour of Qatar. He is expected to recover in about a month.

Belgian cyclist Kevin Hulsmans, who fractured his femur while training in Australia on January 14, is also improving. The 25 year old is undergoing physiotherapy and is training for an hour a day on the home trainer.

Finally the condition of David Cañada, who fractured the radius of his left arm on January 31, is also showing signs of good recovery. Cañada is training on the home trainer, and expects to return to road training in two weeks.

Jan Vesely dies at 79

Czech cycling legend Jan Vesely has died, aged 79. A good friend of Czech runner Emil Zatopek, Jan Vesely was mainly active in the 40's and 50's, winning an incredible 26 national titles. He won the Peace Race in 1949, and accumulated a total of 16 stage wins in that race during his career, a record that was only surpassed by Olaf Ludwig in 1983.

Books 4 Bike Racers

The Back Yard Burgers Cycling Club of Memphis Tennessee has announced its Books 4 Bike Racers program for 2003.

Books 4 Bike Racers sells vintage, out-of-print cycling books. All the proceeds from each sale go to support the Southern Developmental Cycling Team (SDCT) an arm of the Back Yard Burgers' club that identifies and develops young talented road racers from the Midsouth. All of the books are in unread, new, and mint condition, and all the manpower for this program is done on a volunteer basis.

In 2002, SDCT had over 60 top five placings at regional and national events including Zach Bolian's Junior National Road Race win in Clemson, SC, a sweep of the Tennessee State Championships, and a fifth place at the Espoir National Time Trial for Dale Suttle.

In 2003, SDCT will work with up to 15 young riders including:

Jason Chatham, Godlettsville, TN (Cat 3)
Nathaniel Cornelius, Lexington, KY (Cat 1)
Nicolo Davidson, Nashville, TN (Cat 3)
David Finney, Blacksburg, VA (Cat 4)
Christian Foster, Nashville, TN (Cat 1, Tennessee Road Race & Criterium Champion)
Travis Hagner, Atlanta, GA (Cat 2)
Aaron Haubner, Lexington, KY (Cat 1)
Todd Henriksen, Atlanta, GA, (Cat 3, Jr. MTB World Championship Team Member)
Jeff Kennedy, Winchester, TN (Cat 4)
Michael Lange, St. Louis, MO (Cat 1, Missouri State Criterium Champion)
Todd Nordmeyer, Nashville, TN (Cat 1, Tennessee State Time Trial Champion)
Dale Suttle, Memphis, TN (Cat 1, U23 National Team Member)

For a full list of titles, pricing, and ordering instructions, please go to: or e-mail

For more information on the Back Yard Burgers Cycling Club or SDCT go to:

CTC says 'Go Biking' at Outdoors Show

British cycling organization CTC will be offering 'have a go' bike rides at the Ordnance Survey Outdoors Show at Birmingham's NEC, March 14-16, as part of its 'Go Biking' campaign to encourage more people to try cycling. Experts will be on hand to help visitors find a bike that fits and to advise which of the available types of bikes - including mountain bikes, commuters, tourers and tandems - best suits their needs. Test rides will be conducted on the CTC's outdoor course at the show.

New CTC members who sign up at the show will get three months' free full or family membership plus the chance to win a Giant mountain bike.

Riders and help wanted for Run for Home in aid of homeless

Swindon, UK charity Threshold Housing Link is appealing for teams and helpers to take part in its annual Run for Home race from London to Swindon. The 116 mile relay race on June 7 starts at the Houses of Parliament and uses the Thames path and the Ridgeway as its route. The usual format is 14 sections, ten running and four on the bike, but for 2003 Threshold Housing Link is looking to include an all-cycling Run For Home alongside the usual event.

As well as teams to take part and attempt to beat the record of 13 hours 21 minutes set by 47 Squadron last year, Threshold Housing Link is looking for volunteers to act as marshals, timekeepers and safety follow-up teams.

Last year's Run For Home raised UKP3,000 for Threshold Housing Link's projects, which include a hostel for the homeless, and assisting homeless people to return to normal society through finding shared accommodation and council housing. This year's event is aiming to raise 6,000 and all sponsorship money raised will go directly into the running costs of THL's projects.

The Run For Home was inspired by Andy, an ex-serviceman, who for a number of reasons became homeless. Whilst in London he came close to suicide, contemplating jumping off Tower Bridge. Instead he chose to walk back to Swindon and Threshold Housing Link's direct access hostel to restart his life. From the hostel he eventually moved into shared accommodation arranged by Threshold Housing Link and eventually into a place of his own.

For more details see or contact Gary Stenning at

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