International News for January 10, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones
Quick Step-Davitamon presentation
The Quick Step-Davitamon team was presented to the International press on Thursday, January 9 at the 'Auberge du Pêcheur' restaurant in St. Martens-Latem, near Gent, Belgium. The team's staff presented the team and outlined its programme for its first season in professional cycling, which includes most of the major races on the calendar.
Quick Step is a Belgian company specialising in laminate flooring, and 2003 marks its first year as a head sponsor in cycling, having previously been involved with the Mapei team. Davitamon, owned by Omega Pharma, one of Europe's biggest pharmaceutical companies, will co-sponsor the team this year.
The team is made up of 25 riders, including the number one classics rider of his generation, Johan Museeuw, 2002 World Cup winner Paolo Bettini, Richard Virenque, Servais Knaven and Laszlo Bodrogi. The team also has a solid group of young riders, with Tom Boonen, Luca Paolini, Aurélien Clerc, Michael Rogers, Patrick Sinkewitz and Jurgen Van Goolen all on the roster. Added to this is 28 year old Frank Vandenbroucke, who is looking for a long awaited clean break in his cycling career.
Johan Museeuw doesn't seem to be finished with cycling yet, saying at the presentation that after winning Paris-Roubaix and HEW Cyclassics Hamburg in 2002, he now wants to win Milan-San Remo or the Giro di Lombardia, two classics that are missing from his palmares.
Also, French climber Richard Virenque told reporters that he wanted to win another mountain stage in the Tour de France, setting his sights on Alpe d'Huez. "I've won many mountain stages in the Tour at Morzine, La Plagne, Luz-Ardiden and last year on Mont Ventoux, but I've never won on Alpe d'Huez," he said.
In addition to its Division I squad, Quick Step-Davitamon is also sponsoring a Division III team with 18 riders led by Herman Frison. The team will have the same name and will be wearing the same jerseys as the Division I team. There will also be a junior team under the same name.
Images by Quick Step-Davitamon
Facts and figures
The average age of the riders is 26.2 years. The youngest rider of the team is Sven Vanthourenhout (who will be 22 on the 14th January). The oldest member of the team is Johan Museeuw (who will be 38 on the 13th October).
In addition to the riders there are 5 managers/directors, 3 medical doctors, 1 attaché de presse, 5 mechanics, 6 masseurs and 1 driver. There are also 2 people who work in the organiser’s secretarial offices. In total the sporting group employs 48 people.
The team will take part in approximately 92 races this season for total of 260 days of racing. The first race of the season will be the Tour Down Under in Australia (January 21-26) and the last the Japan Cup on October 26.
Bikes and Components:
100 bikes at their disposal
7,000 racing caps
Food consumed overseas
400 litres of Olive Oil
The team uses 15,000 water bottles and 4,500 refueling bags.
Frédéric Amorison (Bel) ex-Lotto
General Manager: Patrick Lefevere
Five Belgians certain for World's
World Champion Mario de Clercq, Sven Nijs, Bart Wellens, Ben Berden and Tom Vannoppen are all guaranteed places in Belgium's World Cyclo-cross Championships squad, which will try and defend its title in Italy next month.
National coach Rudy de Bie told Belga newsagency that "No-one can displace these five. I only have to look for the sixth spot. I think that it will be between Erwin Vervecken, Sven Vanthourenhout and Arne Daelmans. But whatever happens, I will not wait until later than Monday. If Vervecken rides a bad Belgian championships, then I won't give him another 14 days to prove himself. If you don't ride a good season, that doesn't change in two weeks."
Pevenage reacts to Godefroot
Former Telekom director sportif Rudy Pevenage has reacted angrily to his former colleague Walter Godefroot's comments in the press recently. Pevenage, who will accompany Jan Ullrich to whichever team he goes to, said of Godefroot that "We have known each other for 18 years, and half of those we've worked with great success in Telekom. Now I hear he's saying that I'm a person who is not to be trusted, I find that really hard. I thought differently of Godefroot. Apparently I deceived myself about him."
Pevenage also revealed that one reason why Ullrich did not go to CSC is that he couldn't take Pevenage (and several others) with him. However, Ullrich's trainer Peter Becker, who will also accompany Ullrich, was surprised when he heard of the Pevenage-Ullrich link. "Pevenage pushed me aside already in Telekom," Becker was quoted in the Berliner Morgenpost on Wednesday. "Now he's trying to do so again."
Team Coast saga: Escartin complains of non-payment
The as yet to be confirmed Division I Team Coast, which purportedly owes Frank Høj, Lars Michaelsen and Mauro Gianetti most of their salaries from last year, is now facing a similar complaint from retired Spanish cyclist Fernando Escartin.
Escartin has claimed to the Spanish pro riders association that his former employer owes him four months' salary. Apparently, other Spanish riders from Team Coast faced similar situations, forcing the ACP (Associación de Ciclistas Profesionales) to forward all complaints to UCI itself.
The situation between Team Coast, its aggrieved riders, and the UCI could be perhaps resolved tomorrow, January 10, when the UCI announces the final six teams that will ride in Division I. The answer hinges on Jan Ullrich, who will supposedly bring with him a sponsor that will not only pay his salary but will also allow Team Coast to honour its commitments to Escartin, Høj, Michaelsen, Gianetti and possibly others.
With the engagement of Ullrich, Team Coast would be certain to make the Top 10 Club, and this automatically qualify itself for all the major seasonal races. However, it seems that there are a number of steps that need to be climbed before that comes to pass.
Courtesy of João Cravo
Missaglia looking at winning again
Lampre's captain Gabriele Missaglia has announced his intention to repeat his 1998 winning performance in the upcoming Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi, saying that the biggest threat will come from fellow Italian Paolo Lanfranchi.
The diminutive Italian, who won the yellow jersey in 1998 after an excellent ride in Genting Highlands, is wary of the challenge from Lanfranchi, who has earned himself a good reputation after winning the race twice in 1999 and 2001 with Mapei Quick Step.
"I'm more worried about Lanfranchi's ability," said the 32-year old Missaglia in an interview from the team's headquarters in Italy. "On his day, he could do wonders, especially when the race heads to the highlands."
"However, I'm all prepared for the big action and I regard my return to Malaysia after a lapse of four years as a very important step. I want to kick start my year on a positive note," he added.
Missaglia has won six races in his career, including the HEW Classics World Cup, stages in Volta a Catalunya, Tour de Suisse, Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a Pais Vasco and the Tour de Langkawi. Unhappy with his performance last season, Missaglia is bent on proving his critics wrong and is out to make amends by winning the overall crown. LTdL 2003 will be Missaglia's first race this year.
"Personally, I'm far from happy with performance last year. I'm looking for a big win in Malaysia and I've geared myself really hard during the team's pre-season in Salice Terme in Italy last month," said Missaglia.
"Of course, the biggest challenge will come in Genting, which I must admit is the most demanding climb that I know. I was second behind Guiliano Figueras in 1998 and hopefully, I get the same support this year," said Missaglia.
For Missaglia, pre-season training went on smoothly and he has accumulated sufficient mileage in his legs to ride in the race. "Up to now, I've covered some 3,200 km and that should be enough for me to ride strongly in Tour de Langkawi," said Missaglia.
Apart from Missaglia, Lampre will have the services of Tour de France stage winner Rubens Bertogliati, Englishman Max Sciandri and Japan Cup winner Sergio Barbero. Completing its line up are Luciano Pagliarni, Marco Pinotti and Simone Bertoletti.
"LTdL is very important for Lampre as it is our first race of the season. We need to make some impact. Our aim is to win stages and end our campaign on a good footing," said Missaglia.
"This race is proof that Malaysia is doing a great deal in spreading the sport in countries outside Europe. I'm looking forward to competing and winning again in Malaysia," he said.
'Pot Belge' trial prison sentences
Four of the 13 suspects who were accused in the 'Pot Belge' trial have been given prison sentences ranging from 30 months to three years by a court in Rennes today. The case dealt with a drug trafficking ring in the Bretagne region that was active between 1997 and 2000, and involved 13 people connected with cycling.
Three defendants, Patrick Béon, Jean-Yves Verger and Serge Begnati, were given three year sentences with suspensions of two years. Another, Philippe Tomasina, received a 30 month sentence with 20 months suspended. The remaining nine were all given suspended sentences ranging from four to 10 months.
The French Cycling Federation, which acted as a civil party in the case, received one euro in damages. However, those sentenced will have to pay customs fines of 60,350 euros.
Patrick Béon, a former professional cyclist and the principal ring leader of the gang, will likely mount an appeal, according to his lawyer.
New manager for Trek Volkswagen team
Trek Bicycles has announced the addition of Eric Wallace, formerly of Team Sports, Inc. to act as team manager for its mountain bike squad in 2003. The Trek-Volkswagen Racing Team is one of the most successful teams in mountain biking, with National and World Championship titles in multiple disciplines.
The team will start its 2003 season with a training camp in Sedona, Arizona in early March, followed by the Nova Desert Classic in Phoenix.
Siemens-Cannondale takes shape
Top MTB Downhillers Cedric Gracia (Fra) and Petra Bernhard (Aut) will form part of the new, and as yet unconfirmed, Siemens-Cannondale team. Both riders, who are ranked in the top 10 in the world in their disciplines, are entered as Siemens-Cannondale riders in the Red Bull Race Down to the Middle of the Earth, a two up downhill race in a disused salt mine east of Germany .
A spokesman for Cannondale would neither confirm nor deny the existence of the team when contacted by Cyclingnews.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)