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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

News for January 14, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Ferretti on Zanette

By Tim Maloney, European editor

Cyclingnews spoke to Fassa Bortolo team boss Giancarlo Feretti about the tragic loss of one of his key riders, Denis Zanette, to a heart attack last Friday.

"Denis was a very modest person; he was a rider who really knew and understood his job," Feretti told Cyclingnews. "His role in our team was to race at the service of the more important riders and Zanette really did his job well and with a lot of enthusiasm. Denis enjoyed his work helping his teammates and I must say that there are few riders today like him. He will be missed..."

Zanette's training partner for more than the last 10 years in Sacile is pro rider Biagio Conte, who was crushed by the terrible news. "Despite all the bad things, it is not right that people are slinging mud on the memory of Denis. He was a really good guy...is it really possible that cyclists are treated this way? Inside, I feel just a big emptiness", Conte told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

After hearing the news on Zanette's sudden death, Conte immediately left his Team Pinzolo Favé team training camp in Alba Adriatica to travel home to Sacile. "How will I be able to do this (cycling) without Denis?", asked a disconsolate Conte. "For 13 years, we trained together practically every day. I miss him already...first of all, Denis was my friend, a great friend. If I wasn't at training camp, we would have been training together that Friday."

On his last day, Zanette met a group of riders near his home in Sacile, Italy, 50km northeast of Venice for their daily training ride. Despite the zero degree weather, Zanette put in his usual tough training, including intervals in the lousy weather.

"Denis was a very serious rider", his training partner Denis Silvestrin explained to La Gazzetta dello Sport, "and although I have been hearing a lot of rumours as to why he died, we should all wait until the results of his autopsy to judge why he died."

The autopsy is expected to be performed on Tuesday.

Fassa Bortolo's official statement

"Deeply shocked by the tragic and sudden death of our rider Denis Zanette, we have decided to confirm the Presentation of our Team 2003 planned for Saturday, 18th January 2003, in order to remember Denis Zanette, an extraordinary man and athlete.

Denis became a member of Fassa Bortolo Team in 2002 and was soon appreciated for his great human qualities: his courtesy and humbleness, as well as his loyalty and devotion to the team and its leaders.

On Saturday we will seize the occasion to express him and his family our deep sadness.

Verbruggen on Fanini

UCI president Hein Verbruggen has defended himself and his organisation against the attacks of Amore e Vita's Ivano Fanini, who called the anti-doping controls in cycling "a farce, and a lot of athletes risk not being able to pass 50 years."

"If Fanini is convinced of what he is saying, he must accept the consequences and leave cycling," said Verbruggen to AFP. "It's rare to hear stupid declarations such as this. It's sad to have people like this in our sport. I don't understand why he said that, but it's in line with what I know of Fanini. It isn't strange."

Verbruggen added that he didn't understand why Fanini would make these comments only a few hours after the death of Zanette.

Armstrong on Zanette, Ullrich and the Tour

Lance Armstrong, who is currently preparing for the new season at his home in Austin, Texas, recently gave an interview with Jean-Yves Donor of Paris daily Le Figaro, where he discussed life, cycling and the challenge of attempting to win his fifth straight Tour De France. Armstrong was asked about the comments of Amore e Vita's Ivano Fanini, who went on the attack yesterday calling doping controls "a farce" in the wake of Denis Zanette's death due to a heart attack.

"I didn't read this statement, but what can you say about this? I'm thinking about (Zanette's) family and the pain that they are feeling. Is it really the right time to bring this up? There is a lack of discretion here that's shocking. In any case, to die so young is tragic," said Armstrong.

Armstrong was also critical of Jan Ullrich, who yesterday announced that he would be signing for Team Coast for three years. "That's his problem, but I don't think that this is the best way to re-launch his career," he said. "For sure, isn't he going to make good money? That isn't the attitude of champion. But that won't stop Pevenage, his coach, to continue to tell him that everything is going well."

"It's disappointing. If I would have been in his place, the only thing that I would have done is to sign with Bjarne Riis. Ullrich needed to face up to his responsibilities. A one year contract for zero francs: that's I would have done!"

Armstrong continues to work with Dr. Michele Ferrari, and maintains his confidence in the controversial Italian doctor. "I don't feel bad about this; it's the opposite," said Armstrong. "Sure, I work more directly with Chris Carmichael, but I never stopped talking with Michele Ferrari. I know that he has a bad reputation and that there is a court case against him in Italy. But there have never been any problems between us. Until they prove the opposite, I have complete confidence in him. What counts for me is not the blah-blah, but the facts, nothing but the facts."

His goal remains the Tour de France, which he describes as "my life as a racing cyclist. As time goes on, I like the Tour more and more!"

In 2003, Armstrong hopes to repeat his 2002 performance, thus take a record equalling fifth Tour in a row. That would put him up with Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx and Jacques Anquetil in the 'top five club'. He was asked about the significance of this.

"The history of the Tour is a huge history, with fantastic, epic stories. I'm just one of the actors on the stage of TDF history, but, since I'm an American and I come from a country that has no cycling culture, I didn't grow up on the Tour De France. I think that from looking at the photos and history of the 100 years of the Tour I was able to learn this history and for a lot of people in Europe, the (2003) Tour will be special and have a lot of memories."

"But there's something abstract in all this history, so for me the race will not be different from the previous years. For sure, at the start in Paris there be a lot of emotion, with a lot memories of the past. But once the Tour starts, it will find the usual level." ] When asked about the possibility of a sixth win in 2004, Armstrong replied, "When you dream, you can imagine anything. But who can say what my motivation will be in 2004, or my physical condition? No one can escape the passage of time."

As for the major one day races, Armstrong confirmed that he has not planned to do the World Championships in Canada in 2003, and also isn't thinking of the Olympic Games in 2004.

"For me, I repeat that the only thing that counts is the Tour. All the rest comes after and can only be a bonus.

Belgian, Dutch, French and Spanish World's selections

Following the National Cyclo-Cross Championships on the weekend, many countries have made their selections for the World Championships in Monopoli on February 1-2. Favourites Belgium have selected a solid team, including last year's World Champion Mario De Clercq, this year's Belgian Champion Sven Nijs, along with Tom Vannoppen, Erwin Vervecken, Bart Wellens and Ben Berden.

National coach Rudy de Bie had sufficient faith in Erwin Vervecken to include him in the six man list, despite some health problems earlier this season. Vervecken is a past World Champion and is a quality rider.

The Dutch squad will be led by National Champion Richard Groenendaal, who is one of the few riders capable of beating the Belgians. The rest of the five man squad consists of Gerben de Knegt, Camiel van den Bergh, Wim de Vos and Maarten Nijland. Their women's team will be captained by Daphny van den Brand, who won the women's championship in Huijbergen on Saturday.

The French men's team will be led by Dominique Arnould, the 36 year-old veteran who won his fifth French title (sixth counting his U23 win in 1987) last Sunday. He will try to celebrate the tenth anniversary of his World championship victory by winning a second time. John Gadret, Arnaud Labbe, David Derepas and Francis Morel will be there to back up Dominique Arnould's dream.

Spanish cyclocross coach Amadeo Olmos announced the names of five men for his World championship team. They are the Spanish national champion David Seco as well as Zugaitz Ayuso, Gaizka Lejarreta, Juan Carlos Garro and Isaac Suarez. Because Spain can have four riders on the starting line, one of those five names will be erased from the list.

The Spanish team will meet for two training camps before heading to Italy. The first one will take place on the next weekend in Mujika, while the last one will be in Ispaster. Both are Basque Country towns.

Complete rosters

Belgium

Elite Men: Ben Berden, Mario De Clercq, Sven Nys, Tom Vannoppen, Erwin Vervecken, Bart Wellens. Reserves Arne Daelmans and Sven Vanthourenhout.

U23: Bart Aernouts, Kevin Pauwels, Wesley Van der Linden, Tim Van Nuffel, Klaas Van Tornout. Reserves Tim Pauwels and Jan Soetens.

Elite Women: Veerle Ingels, Anja Nobus, Hilde Quintens, Loes Sels, Kathleen Vermeiren. Reserve: Veronique Belleter.

Juniors: Niels Albert, Tom Van den Bosch, Kevin Van Lierde, Dieter Vanthourenhout, Quincy Vens. Reserves Toon Devenijns and Kay Van den Brande.

Netherlands

Elite Men: Richard Groenendaal, Gerben de Knegt, Camiel van den Bergh, Wim de Vos and Maarten Nijland.

U23 Men: Thijs Verhagen, Theo Eltink, Pieter Weening, Kenny van Hummel, Bart Dirx and Joost Posthuma.

Elite Women: Daphny van den Brand, Corine Dorland, Nicolle Leijten-De Bie, Debby Mansveld and Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn.

Juniors: Lars Boom, Sebastiaan Langeveld, Eddy van IJzendoorn, Egon van Kessel and Thijs van Amerongen.

France

Elite Men: Dominique Arnould, John Gadret, Arnaud Labbe, Francis Mourey, David Derepas.

Elite Women: Laurence Leboucher, Maryline Salvetat, Nadia Triquet.

Juniors: Romain Villa, Clément Lhotellerie, Jonathan Hivert, Nicolas Belot.

U23: Sébastien Minard, Jean-Baptiste Béraud, Fabien Bourly, Steve Chainel, Pierre-Bernard Vaillant, Julien Belgy (five to be chosen).

Spain

Elite Men: David Seco, Zugaitz Ayuso, Gaizka Lejarreta (Euskadi), Juan Carlos Garro (Navarra) and Isaac Suárez (Cantabria). Four of these to be selected.

U23 Men: Egoitz Murgoitio, Haitz Ortiz, Julen Zubero (Euskadi) and Sem Mujika (Cantabria). Reserve Ismael Esteban (Cantabria).

Elite Women: Aida Nuño (Asturias)

Juniors: Néstor Rodríguez, Delio Fernández, (Galicia), Hasier Mujika and Gorka Ruiz de Gordoa (Euskadi). Reserve: Jokin Irazola (Euskadi)

2004 Dutch 'cross champs in Heerlen

Next year's Dutch cyclo-cross championships will take place in Heerlen, according to the KNWU. The Limburg town was awarded the hosting rights ahead of Gieten, Hoogerheide and Huijbergen, the latter being the venue for this year's 'cross nationals.

51st Olympia's Tour

The 51st edition of Olympia's Tour will take place from May 17-25 this year. President Wim van Drunen announced that the race will start in Ossendrecht with a prologue, and pass through Wateringen, Hoorn, Veendam, Groesbeek, Mierlo and Buchten. The final stage in the Limburg hills will be the toughest, breaking the tradition of having the finish in Amsterdam.

The organisers are still looking for a main sponsor, however Van Drunen says that this will not affect the running of this year's race, as they have already sold packages to smaller sponsors.

JCTDU: Internationals Prepare In Adelaide

Adelaide has become the training base for a host of international cyclists who are in town to prepare for next week's Jacob’s Creek Tour Down Under. ONCE-Eroski, Quickstep-Davitamon and the remainder of the Saeco team riders arrived yesterday to join Telekom and CSC in Australia.

Tomorrow Estonians Jaan Kirsipuu and Erki Putsep will welcome the rest of their Ag2r team mates and the Lotto-Domo riders, with the exception of Australians, Robbie McEwen and Nick Gates. McEwen, who yesterday sealed overall victory in the Geelong Bay Series in Victoria, will spend this week in Queensland ahead of next Sunday’s BMC Software Australian Open Road Championship, where he will defend his 2002 national title.

2002 JCTDU champion, Michael Rogers also arrived in Adelaide on Monday for a three day visit to train with the Quickstep-Davitamon team. Rogers will remain there until Thursday, when he will head to Ballarat in a bid to claim the Australian time trial title being raced on Friday. Rogers, who took the silver medal in the event at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, finished eighth at the World Titles in Belgium last year and is favourite to claim the 2003 national time trial crown.

More information: www.tourdownunder.com.au

Jeff LaBauve announces retirement

Reigning U.S. national track cycling champion Jeff LaBauve (Frisco, Texas) announced his retirement from competitive cycling on Monday. LaBauve won two national titles (match sprint, team sprint) at the 2002 USCF National Track Cycling Championships in Trexlertown, Pa. He also holds the national record for the flying 200m (10.062 seconds at 71.556 km/hour) which he set in Moscow, Russia at a World Cup in 2002.

LaBauve was part of the team that won the coveted track World Cup Nations Title for the first time in 2002, and his consistently strong performances in World Cup competition gave the U.S. valuable points towards the World Cup title.

"I'm very grateful to have been able to participate in the sport of cycling at an elite level," said LaBauve. "I've been to places where I otherwise would not have been, and have made friendships that will last a lifetime."

"Training at an elite level has been fantastic preparation for life," said LaBauve. "In the corporate world, you work hard at a normal job. But as an elite athlete, you work very differently. You're only as good as your last result, and that gives you the motivation to be extremely disciplined and motivated to succeed."

LaBauve began cycling in 1993 after watching USA Cycling athlete Erin Hartwell win a bronze medal in the kilo at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. During his career, LaBauve was named to three World Championships teams ('00, '01, '02) and had two individual podium results in World Cup competition.

"Jeff is surely going to be missed," said USA Cycling's National Track Sprint Coach Des Dickie. "He is an intensely dedicated athlete who worked very hard to achieve his athletic success. He's leaving a big void in the track program, but the other athletes are now going to have to step up to the plate and fill that void. I'm going to miss Jeff - he surely earned his reputation as one of the hardest-working athletes on the World Cup tour. On behalf of USA Cycling, I wish him all the best, and thank him for his contributions to the sport."

LaBauve, who married wife Ann Marie on Oct. 19 of last year, will now pursue a career as a chef. He has applied to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and plans to attend school this fall. Until then, LaBauve and his wife will remain in Frisco, Texas.

"I've been thinking about this decision for a while," said LaBauve. "My passion for cycling isn't as strong as it once was, and I haven't been able to train as hard as I'd like to. I don't want to race if I can't be at the top of my performance abilities. And ever since I started cycling, my plan has been to go to culinary school after retirement.

"This was not an easy decision for me to make," said LaBauve. "But I'm confident that this is the right decision."

Bootes to compete in Track World Cup

Australian BMX'er turned Dual/4X MTB racer Wade Bootes will compete in the first round of the Track World Cup in Moscow. Bootes, who has been training with the AIS sprint team recently, wrote on his website (www.wadebootes.com) that he had to make a decision between the Track World Cup and the Red Bull underground race in Germany, which are held at the same time.

"I have not raced this race in Germany before but I have heard it is a lot of fun, racing in a salt mine 1000 feet underground through the tunnels. Red Bull are putting on some great events with big prize money and guaranteed money to everyone who is invited. The only bummer thing about this is, the Red Bull race and the World cup are on the same day."

"It was a tough decision to make but I decided to give the Track World Cup ago as I will not get the chance to race in the Track World Cup circuit that often. So for the next month I will be learning to turn left and pedal big gears. In between I leave to go to Moscow I have another UCI BMX race I will do in Melbourne."

Siemens-Cannondale update

By Paul Mirtschin

Siemens-Cannondale, the newest team in mountain bike racing turns out to be not that new after all. Siemens-Cannondale is actually the old Lana Bau-Rainer-Wurz.com team run by Markus Rainer and Alexander Wurz. Both Cannondale and Siemens have signed on as title sponsors while ex-Volvo-Cannondale rider Cedric Gracia has been added to the team.

Rainer, whose MTB career was cut short by a serious accident in the US World Cup round in 1990 that left him hospitalised, started the team in 1991 as a means of staying in the sport. Ex-Formula One racer Alexander Wurz, himself a mountain bike racer, took a position with the team in 1999. 2002 saw the Lana Bau-Rainer-Wurz.com team qualify seven riders in the Worlds at Kaprun.

This year will see both Marco Bui and Robert Kircher leave the team, making room for Cedric Gracia and possibly Christoph Sauser, who is still in negotiations with the team. Other riders include Italian U23-Champion Franz Hofer, Hannes Pallhuber and his big brother, 1997 World Champion Hubert Pallhuber, and the Belgian and European champion Roel Paulissen. Also on the team is young hopeful Petra Bernhard, currently ranked 12th in downhill, who Alexander Wurz believes could beat Anne-Caroline Chausson in the future.

Both Bernhard and Gracia will have their first outing under the new team at the Red Bull Race Down to the Middle of the Earth in East Germany on February 15.

A rider who was also rumoured to be moving to the Siemens-Cannondale team was Kashi Leuchs. However Kashi has just signed to the Maxxis team as the only cross-country rider.

On his website Kashi said "I am fully stoked about this, as have a really good feeling about this small, yet very cool team. Until now the team has just had downhill riders, and my team mates will include John Kircaldie and April Lawyer. I will be the only XC rider, which feels good to me, because I will have every opportunity to do things the I need."

Kashi is still in discussions as to what bike he will ride this season, but the rest of the Maxxis team will be on Turner bikes. They will be running the new 2003 Turner DHR, which features 8.5 inches of rear wheel travel and a 1.5 standard headtube.

Thanks also to Armin M. Küstenbrück/www.mtb-race.com

Greg Minnaar released from Global Racing

Greg Minnaar has been released from his 2003 Global Racing contract, allowing him to pursue a place on another team for the coming season. 23 Degrees Sports Management, the owners of Global Racing, have assisted Greg with this move so as to ensure he has a secure ride for the upcoming race season. His new team is expected to announce his signing later today.

"Obviously Greg has been a major part of Global Racing and we are very proud of all he has achieved for the team. He is the consummate professional. With things still uncertain for Global Racing in 2003 it was simply not possible for Greg to wait any longer, and we fully support his decision to find another ride", said Martin Whiteley of 23 Degrees today.

"I have had some incredible experiences in the past two or so years at Global Racing and I am still very much a big supporter of what the team stands for. One thing that gives me a lot of pride is that if the team does secure funding in the next month or so, I know there will be a place for another African rider, and that will be cool. I have always wanted to see more Africans on professional cycling teams. Right now I am both looking forward to my new ride, and looking back at a great experience", said Greg this morning from his home in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Global racing's team owners felt it wasn't reasonable to ask a former World number 1 to wait that long and then possibly have no ride. All the athletes and staff of Global Racing were all told at the end of season 2002 that they were free to look for other employment, as there were no guarantees on the table.

"While we regret that riders need to move to other team, we prefer that they have a secure future instead of waiting for a deal that may not actually eventuate in 2003," read a statement from the team.

"If there is no team racing in 2003, the brand "Global Racing" will continue, with the view of returning to racing as soon as possible. If we are successful in finalizing a sponsor in the next month, we will also make that announcement at the appropriate time."

NCTC decision prompts CI coaching course drive

By Shane Stokes, Irishcycling.com

The chances for Irish riders to exploit their full potential in the future have increased with the news that Cycling Ireland's coaching drive is to be stepped up over the next two months. A number of courses will be held around the country in January and February, a measure which is a direct response to the news that the National Coaching and Training Centre have agreed a procedure for the assimilation of experienced coaches and athletes from this year onwards.

With the NCTC now due to integrate level two and three national coaches, Cycling Ireland's courses are intended to increase the numbers of those who aspire to go on to this higher level. The hope that a 'substantial' number will be graded as level two, with some of these then going on to successfully reach the level three standard. Preference for those aiming for levels two and three will predictably be given to those who have already completed the CI level one coaching course.

Paddy Doran will act as lead tutor for the program which will start on the 18th and 19th of this month when Cycling Ulster host a course in Craigavon. The Munster Cycling Federation's continue the drive on February 7th- 9th in Mallow, while the Connaught Cycling Federation will run their level 1 course over five weekday evenings in February and March at an as-yet unconfirmed location.

There is no cost to take part in the program. Further details are available from the following: Ulster Cycling - Frank Campbell: 028/(048) 90228465 or (0044) 7712186910 Munster Cycling Federation - John O Sullivan: 02228713 or 0868476000 Connaught Cycling Federation - Padraig Marrey: 0877992857 Cycling Ireland - 01 8551522 Míceal Concannon - 06444396

A Night with Robbie McEwen: January 17

The Summer of Cycling's 'Night with Robbie McEwen hosted by Phil Liggett' event has been rescheduled for Friday, January 17. The event will take place at 7.00pm in the Legends Room, Level One, Crown Entertainment Complex, Southbank, Melbourne. The cost is $38 per person and bookings can be made by phoning (03) 5626 8386 or 0408 375 238.

More information

LTDL Blue Ride

Cycling enthusiasts in Malaysia will have the chance to be involved in the Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi 2003 by taking part in the Blue Ride, a 40 km fun ride that will be held on January 18. The ride will start from Menara Telekom at Jalan Pantai Baru at 8.30 am and finish at the same venue. It will be conducted under police escort the whole way. Those interested are asked to arrive by 7.30 am to register for the ride.

In conjunction with the event, a Treasure Hunt will also be organised and will set off from the same venue. A total of 50 cars comprising 200 participants (media, sponsors, LTDL staff) will take part in the Treasure Hunt. The objective of the Treasure Hunt is to foster a better working relationship among all parties concerned, as they will be working closely during the 10 day race.

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)