First Edition News for February 25, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones
Wellens gives his team a choice
The future of cyclo-cross team Spaar Select hangs in the balance, with
World Champion Bart Wellens holding the key. Wellens has given the team
a choice: keep him and Erwin Vervecken, and bring new riders in the team,
or let him go, meaning that the team would probably fold. He has a contract
through 2004, but he says without a proper team around him he will not
stay. Wellens wants to bring his brother Geert to the team, and in addition
to Vervecken, keep Peter Van Santvliet and Wim Jacobs, the latter two
having not been offered an extension of their contracts yet.
If he leaves the team, then the new Roger de Vlaeminck managed John
Saey-Deschacht 'cross team would likely be his destination.
Despite winning the GP d'Ouverture La Marseillaise at
the beginning of this month, Landbouwkrediet - Colnago's
Ludo Dierckxsens is not having an ideal start to the season.
He is currently suffering from the 'flu, which threatens
to prevent him from starting in Saturday's Omloop Het
Volk. The 38 year old is taking antibiotics until Wednesday,
and hopes that he will be able to get a long training
ride in this week. However he will not be able to train
over the parcours with his teammates.
61st Vuelta Ciclista a la Comunidad Valenciana
By Jeff Jones
Taking place between Tuesday, February 25 and Saturday, March 1 is the
61st edition of the Spanish stage race, Vuelta Ciclista a la Comunidad
Valenciana. Given a fairly modest 2.3 ranking by the UCI, the Vuelta Valenciana
has a long tradition, first being run in 1929 in November. It moved to
its present dates in February/March in 1956, and has since become an important
part of the early season race program.
The five stage race starts with a 9.7 kilometre individual time trial
in San Vicent Del Raspeig, and this will define the classification for
the stages to come. The second stage from (Xorret del Catí) Castalla to
Vila-Joiosa is a mountainous 160 km journey, containing the Cat. 1 climbs
of Alto de Tudons (at 42 and 126 km) and the Cat. 2 climb of Alto de Confrides
(at 112 km). There is quite a long descent into Vila-Joiosa after the
second climb of Alto de Tudons, but the sprinters will certainly have
to have their good climbing legs on today make it to the finish in front.
Stage 3 from Onda to Port De Sagunt again contains a Cat. 1 climb with
34 km to go, this time it's the Alto del Garbí (5.3 km at approx. 8% with
some sections of 14%). If that wasn't enough to shake the morale of the
sprinters, the fourth stage from Sagunt to Alto Del Campello finishes
on a climb, the main part of which is 5 km long and averages 6.6%, with
some 14% sections.
The final stage is a not so hilly 165 kilometres around Valencia, with
two Cat. 2 climbs to break the monotony. If they haven't already, the
sprinters will be able to shine in this stage.
GC Riders to watch include last year's winner Alex Zülle (Team Coast),
Danilo Di Luca (Saeco), Richard Virenque (Quick Step), Pedro Cardoso (Milaneza),
Javier Pascual Llorente (Kelme), Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo), Giampaolo
Caruso (ONCE), Michael Boogerd (Rabobank). For the sprinters, Mario Cipollini
(Domina Vacanze), Erik Zabel (Telekom), Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo),
and Angel Edo (Milaneza) should all be prominent.
The teams: Fassa Bortolo, Coast, Cofidis, ONCE, ibanesto .com, Rabobank,
Telekom, Kelme, Saeco, Domina Vacanze, Phonak, Milaneza, Euskaltel-Euskadi,
Relax-Fuenlabrada, Paternina-Costa De Almeria Labarca-2 Café Baque, and
Stage 1 - February 25: San Vicent Del Raspeig ITT, 9.7 km
Stage 2 - February 26: (Xorret del Catí) Castalla - Vila-Joiosa, 159.7
Stage 3 - February 27: Onda - Port De Sagunt, 157.6 km
Stage 4 - February 28: Sagunt - Alto Del Campello (Vallada), 158.2 km
Stage 5 - March 1: Valencia - Valencia, 165 km
Stages announced for 38th Tirreno-Adriatico
The seven stages of the 38th Tirreno-Adriatico were presented today
in the Auditorium del Comune di S. Benedetto del Tronto, for the race
that takes place between March 13-19. Organised by RCS Sport and La Gazzetta
dello Sport, the "Race of the Two Seas" is of key importance for Italians
preparing for Milan-San Remo on March 22. It also overlaps with Paris-Nice,
but both races carry a Hors Categorie rating and are thus equivalent in
terms of UCI points.
The seven stages this year do not include any time trials, something
of a departure from tradition. Starting on March 13 with a 178 km stage
from Sabaudia-Sabaudia, the race travels 1235 km over the next week, via
Tarquinia, Foligno, Ortezzano, Rapagnano, Torricella Sicura and finishing
in San Benedetto. There are two mountain top finishes: stage 5 (to Rapagnano)
and Stage 6 (to Torricella Sicura).
20 teams of eight riders will contest the race as follows: Alessio,
Ceramiche Panaria Fiordo, Cofidis, De Nardi-Colpack, Domina Vacanze-Elitron,
Fassa Bortolo, Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave-Ciarrocchi, Gerolsteiner, iBanesto.com,
Lampre, Landbouwkrediet Colnago, Lotto-Domo, ONCE-Eroski, Phonak, Quick
Step-Davitamon, Rabobank, Saeco-Longoni Sport, Sidermec, Team CSC, Team
Stage 1 - March 13: Sabaudia-Sabaudia, 178 km
Stage 2 - March 14: Sabaudia-Tarquinia, 213 km
Stage 3 - March 15: Tarquinia-Foligno, 168 km
Stage 4 - March 16: Foligno-Ortezzano, 174 km
Stage 5 - March 17: Monte San Giusto-Rapagnano, 181 km
Stage 6 - March 18: Teramo-Torricella Sicura, 179 km
Stage 7 - March 19: S. Benedetto-S. Benedetto, 162 km
33rd Menton - Savona preview
Just a few days after the completion of the Giro della Liguria for professionals,
the Societŕ Ciclistica Liguria Sport is organising the 33rd edition of
the Menton-Savona, a 144.7 km race reserved for Elite and U23 riders.
200 riders from 26 teams will start at 11:50 outside Stadio Rondelli in
Menton, racing via Ventimglia, San Remo, Arma di Taggia, Imperia, Capo
Berta, Capo Mele, Laigueglia, Alassio, Loano, Pietra Ligure, Noli, Vado
Ligure, and Savona. With 15 km to go, the riders will hit a 370m climb
on Via alla Strŕ, and this will be one of the key points in the race.
The field includes Trofeo Caduti di Soprazocco winner Gianluca Cavalli,
as well as other members of Fabio Borghesi's Italian U23 national team.
Also the top three riders from the 2002 edition of Menton-Savona, Roman
Luhovyy, Antonio D’Aniello e Paride Grillo, will be present.
Teams and main riders
Pratesi San Paolo Saeco (Borghesi, Checchi, Rohtmer)
Ceramiche Pagnoncelli (Bailetti, Grillo, Quadranti)
US Fracor (Ghiarč)
Team Aurora Named (Aceti)
GS Grassi Colnago (Balestri, Failli)
GS Podenzano Italfine (Liverani, D’Aniello)
VS Rho (Ruberto)
UC Bergamasca For 3 (Vanotti)
GS Brunero Boeris (Boggia, Cavalli, Luhovyy, Marenco)
GS Bottoli Artoni (Cappa, Cattaneo)
GS Centro Convenienza (Pistamiglio)
Citta’ Del Ciclismo
GS Viris (Karpatchev)
GS Promociclo (Goloubev)
Calz. Montegranaro (Salimbeni, Miti)
Horman Betoncoupe (Swi)
Amical Velo Club Aixois (Fra)
VC La Pomme Marseille (Fra)
SC Nice (Fra)
CC Etupes Le Doubs (Fra)
Kopstal Sidi (Lux) (Bozic)
Miche Componants (Bul) (Baciu)
US Palazzago Zoccorinese (Moi, Ermeti, Lagutin)
VC Beauvaisien (Fra)
2002 Roman Luhovyy (Ukr)
2001 Luca Barla (Ita)
2000 Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita)
1999 No race
1998 Ivan Basso (Ita)
1997 Mauro Zanella (Ita)
1996 Giuliano Figueras (Ita)
1995 Biagio Conte (Ita)
1994 Giuseppe Tartaggia (Ita)
1993 Gianmatteo Fagnini (Ita)
1992 Fabio Casartelli (Ita)
1991 Fabio Casartelli (Ita)
1990 Diego Ferrari (Ita)
1989 Gianluca Bortolami (Ita)
Stronger local scene for Aussie women
By Karen Forman in Geelong
Photo: © John Veage
Australian elite women's cycling has never been healthier, or happier.
According to two of the coaches working with the girls through Cycling
Australia, the State bodies and the Australian Institute of Sport - Gary
Sutton and James Victor - the sport is offering more elite competition
on home soil and more opportunity for development onto the pro scene.
As well, it is friendlier, with a more unified approach between the States.
And, it's better organised.
However, Sutton and Victor, who are managing the FRF Couriers NSWIS and
AIS Australia teams respectively at this week's inaugural Geelong Bellarine
Tour 03, recognise there is still a way to go, particularly when the women's
scene is compared to the men's. For Sutton - "Sutto" to those close to
him - it's been a long time coming. But now it's happening, he's reveling
in it. He's particularly happy about the opportunity for his girls to
compete in this tour, which features 80 riders from all over the world.
"Take this race," he says. "Each girl is here for a different reason.
Young Kate (Nichols, 18 year old daughter of Olympic gold medallist Kevin)
is here to learn. She rode well yesterday (in the first-stage crit) and
today (in the second stage 84km road race) is struggling to hang in. But
"Also, we have got Rochelle (Gilmore - who last year won the Australian
points and scratch race championships and the Bay Criterium Series) in
the team, which is great for the young riders like Kate. It's a great
stepping stone for the under 23 riders. Then, for the sake of the sponsors,
we want to get someone on the podium. That's the bottom line. We have
Olivia Gollan wearing the leader's jersey which is great, especially considering
the international competition we have here."
James says the scene is "still evolving" but that for the past few years,
Australian cycling had been able to provide the steps to land riders in
Europe on the pro scene. There are currently 10 Australians riding in
Europe on the pro scene. And there's more to come.
"This race has replaced the Tour de Snowy but plans are in place to
have another Cooma (NSW) tour next year as well as the Geelong Tour (Vic),
as a leadup to the World Cup," he said. "We'd like to make it four to
five days and there's a chance this one might also be extended to four
days. That would be two international women's tours, here in Australia,
before the World Cup round. That would be fantastic. Cycling Australia
is involved with coordinating the calendar so programming would be effective."
Sutto says with more elite racing now available at home, he is encouraging
first and second year seniors to stay home in Australia rather than facing
the expense of going to Europe just yet. "There is enough racing and development
available now for them not to go away for the first couple of years, as
they used to have to do, and get settled into work or study," he says.
"I think the stepping stone into seniors is still too great."
James believes the key to the renewed solidarity is communication, which
he says has never been as healthy. "Before, there was always interstate
rivalry, but now everyone has got the big picture in mind," he said. "In
fact, the rest of the world is envious. What we take when we go to Europe
is different. It has taken 20 years to get to where it is and a major
part of it is Shayne Bannan, who has really got the communication going."
"It's the same with the men. There are now career opportunities in Europe
with the Italians, and Gary's Francaise de Jeux [development team with
NSWIS] and we want to see it happening for the women as well."
Gary adds that it's "absolutely fantastic...it started when Shayne took
over. Everyone is getting on well."
It is obviously working too. Gollan, from James Victor's team, has worn
the leader's jersey for the past two days. And another Australian, Margaret
Hemsley, won today's second stage for her new German-based professional
team, Nürnberger Versicherung.
Fuji adds track cyclists
Lea and Wamsely
Photo: © Liz Reap
Fuji America has signed the current US U23 Track Champions, Bobby Lea
and Kyle Wamsely, to its European based T3 Pro Team, Team Fuji Bikes.
The US National Racing Calendar (NRC), historically a road only series,
will include three men's track cycling events in 2003; the 10 Mile Dash
for Cash on June 27, the Bicycling Magazine Madison Cup on July 11, and
events at the USCF National Track Cycling Championships between August
26-30. All events will be at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown,
"The new Track Program will help Team Fuji Bikes gain important NRC
points here in the U.S. as well as support the Olympic sport of track
cycling," said Fuji's sponsorship coordinator Tracy Lea.
The Lea/Wamsley madison pair will be looking to defend their overall
title in the T-town Enduro Track Series as well as win the 2003 Madison
National Championship after their bronze medal performance in 2002. Both
riders will be splitting their time between US Track Cycling events and
their European road racing calendar.
Czech MTB national cup program
Czech 4X Cup 2003
May 11: Sumperk - Rapotin, Round No.1
August 8: Rokytnice nad Jizerou, Round No.2
August 16: Spindleruv Mlyn, Round No.3
September 21: Litomerice, Round No.4 & Czech Championships
October 12: Prague (t.b.c.), Round 5
Czech DH Cup 2003
April 13: Bystrice pod Hostynem, Rounds No.1&2
May 5: Liberec, Rounds No.3&4
June 15: Teplice - Krupka, Rounds No.5&6
July 27: Bozi Dar, Rounds No.7&8 & Czech Championships
August 17: Spindleruv Mlyn, Rounds No.9&10
October 18: Marosana BikerCross & Dirt Jump & Freeride Party, Benatky
nad Jizerou (6th season ending at Michal Marosi's hometown)
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)