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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition News for February 21, 2003

Edited by John Stevenson

Baguet looks forward to 2003

Serge Baguet (Lotto-Domo) did not start in Andalucia on Wednesday because of a bronchial infection. The day after, Baguet was already feeling a lot better and told Cyclingnews he is staying in France, to ride Haut Var on the weekend.

"I didn't start because I'm not taking any risks, 2003 has to become my year," said Serge.

"Last year was a year filled with injury. I went OK with a third spot in Lagueglia and a second in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. But then I crashed in Pino Cerami and that was it. Although I still managed to ride the classics with a seriously torn muscle in my right leg, the pain became that much I had to stop riding for over a month. I started preparing for the Tour de France in the Dauphiné Libéré. In the Tours, I worked for the team, but that was it, I had no chance to go for a stage win myself."

Baguet continued: "Only later in the season I was able to salvage a few things. I rode well in Italy and got selected for the World's in Zolder. 2002 was mentally a very hard year, but it didn't get me down; after all, it was not my fault."

"This year it's going to be different, I can feel it," he said optimistically. "If my theory makes sense, I'll resurface again this season. The year started off pretty nervously, because of the problems with my contract. Don't get me wrong, I can handle quite a bit of stress, but this got me worrying me for a while there."

"I did train very hard though. Even 'in the field', with Scott Sunderland I trained now and again on the cyclo-cross bike. Mario De Clercq lent me one of his bikes. Good for your technique."

"My first race confirmed that fact that I worked properly over winter. My goals are set: at least one podium place in one of the Classics. I would like to do even better than in 2001. I'm aiming for one of the Wallonian Classics or the Amstel Gold Race. From the team, I'll get a lot of help this year, we're stronger and that is a comforting thought."

Armstrong's Tour 'secret'

Lance Armstrong has revealed to USA Today the 'secret' of winning the Tour de France. Quoted in an article on the Tour - part of a USA Today series on the ten hardest things to do in sports - Armstrong cites the Tour as "the most physically demanding event in the world. What could be harder?"

Asked about the most important thing about being able to compete in the Tour, Armstrong said, "Being sharp day after day for 23 days. Motivating a team of eight other guys every day. Dealing with all the outside forces that are beyond my control (weather, crowds, media)."

And the secret? "The secret is preparation." Though the best advice Armstrong ever had was, "You have cancer, and we need to start treating it immediately."

USA Today ranks the Tour as eighth hardest thing to do in sports, ahead of downhill ski racing and stopping a penalty kick in soccer and will reveal the remaining seven over the next week.

Vuelta a Asturias

The stages and teams have been announced for this year's edition of the Vuelta a Asturias, May 13-17. The principal Spanish teams will be present, plus a selection of foreign squads.


Stage 1 - May 13: Oviedo - Llanes, 172 km
Stage 2 - May 14: Llanes - Gijón, 166km
Stage 3 - May 15: Gijón - Avilés, 166 km
Stage 4 - May 16: Cafés Toscaf - Alto del Acebo, 170 km
Stage 5 - May 17: Cangas del Narcea - Oviedo, 164 km

Kelme-Costa Blanca
Costa Almería-Paternina
Labarca 2-Café Baqué
Spanish National Team
Domina Vacanze Elitron
AG2R Prevoyance
Brioches La Boulangerie
La Pecol
Lokomotiv Pinarello
05 Orbitel

Irish News

By Shane Stokes

Olympic campaign begins

Four of Ireland´s Elite mountain bike riders will begin their campaign for Olympic qualification when they embark on an eleven day trip to Cyprus tomorrow. Robin Seymour, Glen Kinning, Richie McCauley and Tarja Owens will use their time abroad to train and also, crucially, to take part in two international races which they hope will help raise their world ranking towards the required level.

This Sunday the quartet will line out in an E1 event in Voroklini in Cyprus, with a three-day stage race based around the Afxentia area of the Troodos Mountains to follow next weekend.

Of the four, Seymour and Owens have already experienced the chase for Olympic qualification, with their 1999 world rankings of 53rd and 57th ensuring that Ireland secured two berths in the Sydney 2000 cross country event. The duo went on to compete for the country in the races and have listed Athens 2004 as their main goal for the future.

Cycling Ireland's elite MTB riders will line out in a number of International world-ranking events this year, with the two Cypriot races the start of what is hoped will be a successful campaign.

French success for La Pomme

Three of Ireland's French-based amateurs have got their seasons off to a good start, with Denis Lynch and Philip Deignan taking third and fourth in the recent GP de Cannes Montauroux and Deignan, Lynch and Paudi O´Brien placing third, twelfth and twenty-second respectively in the GP de Peymeinade.

The trio are racing this year as part of the VC La Pomme setup in Marseilles, the club with whom Lynch, Tommy Evans and Ag2R neo-pro Mark Scanlon competed with in 2002.

Team Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz County Cycling Club has announced the 25-rider roster for its 2003 road, mtb, and cyclocross team. In 2002, members of Team Santa Cruz competed in two World Championship events and several National and District Championship events spanning various cycling disciplines. Team Santa Cruz has accepted an invitation from Santa Cruz' sister city in Shingu, Japan to race the 3 Day Cycle Road Kumano this coming April. Additionally Team Santa Cruz hosts a monthly time trial, monthly "Flamingo" Rides, various safety meetings, and will co-sponsor the local Santa Cruz Criterium (April 13), the Watsonville Criterium (July 19), and the University Road Race (August 31).

Full roster

Redlands piles on the gradient

The Redlands Bicycle Classic has added one new course and modified another to increase substantially the amount of climbing in the April 1-6 event, traditionally one of the most important early-season road races on the US calendar.

The new Sun-Panorama Point Road Race course will make up stage 4, and includes two climbs, one with a maximum gradient of 20 percent to the lookout point on Sunset Drive. The second climb of this ten mile loop brings the racers across the Crafton hills on Sand Canyon road, which includes a steep climb at the beginning, followed by a high-speed descent.

The Stage 2 Highland Circuit Race course has also been modified to improve safety and improve access for local residents


Stage 1 - April 1: Mt. Rubidoux Time Trial, Riverside
Stage 2 - April 2: Highland Circuit Race, Highland
Stage 3 - April 3: Oak Glen Road Race, Redlands to Oak Glen
Stage 4 - April 4: The Sun-Panorama Point Road Race, Redlands
Stage 5 - April 5: Beaver Medical Group Criterum, Redlands
Stage 6 - April 6: Sunset Road Race, Redlands

New Heffron Park course record

Robert Cater (right) with club-mates Chris White & Brittany Orr
Photo: © Tony Horneman
Click for larger image

Sydney's Heffron Park bike racing circuit is the scene of arguably the city's most significant regular criterium races, run by the Randwick Botany Cycling Club on Saturdays and the Eastern Suburbs CC on Tuesday afternoons in the summer. For the last ten years the time trial record for the 2km course has stood at 2:46, set by Jeff Jones, now Cyclingnews' senior editor.

This Sunday, February 16, Randwick Botany junior rider Robert Cater hacked just over two seconds off the record to clock a time of 2:43.88, an average speed of just under 45km/h. Cater had calm conditions in his favour, but his achievement is more impressive because he was using the restricted gears mandated by NSW Cycling Federation rules.

Jeff's reaction on hearing his record had finally been beaten was "It's about bloody time!" and "Congratulations Robbie, I don't know how long that record has stood for, but I'm glad someone else has got it now."

It's been a busy week for Randwick Botany with two club members featuring in NSW Cycling Federation 2002 Cyclist of the Year Awards. U17 Junior Brittany Orr was awarded the Women U17 Award and Chris White the Masters Division 4 Award.

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