First Edition News for June 3, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones
Cipollini refuses to comment on Tour non-selection
Although clearly disappointed with the A.S.O.'s final decision not to include his Domina Vacanze team in the Centenary Tour, Mario Cipollini declined to comment on the issue. The World Champion's only response to questions today was, "I don't intend to release any comments about the decision of Leblanc."
Cipollini, who last month broke the all time record of Giro d'Italia stage wins, has received overwhelming support from the public, who want to see him in action again in July. However Jean-Marie Leblanc has chosen to favour French cycling, selecting three French teams along with Spanish squad Euskaltel-Euskadi, and the newly refinanced Bianchi team of Jan Ullrich. The A.S.O. today ruled out the possibility of a 23rd squad in the Tour, citing security and organisational reasons.
The last time that Mario Cipollini raced in the Tour was in 1999, when he won four stages in succession - a feat not achieved since 1930. As one of the greatest sprinters in the world, he also helped restore the credibility of the race after the Festina affair of 1998. However Cipollini has never been able to finish the race in seven attempts, and this has clearly struck a discordant note with Leblanc, who is evidently of the opinion that sprinters should suffer over the mountains and make it to Paris.
It's a Catch 22 for Cipo, who hasn't been given another chance to race the Tour since his exit in 1999. If he wants to ride the Tour ever again, he will have to be part of a team that is automatically qualified.
Simoni welcomed home
Gilberto Simoni received a hero's welcome in his home town of Palù di Giovo in the early hours of Monday morning, when he finally returned home from Milan after winning the Giro. Despite only getting back a 1:00am, Simoni was greeted by an ovation from his townsfolk and a gigantic pink polenta.
Ferretti on Gonzalez
Fassa Bortolo's director Giancarlo Ferretti could be satisfied with his team's performance in the Giro, where it won eight stages, but things didn't go as planned for his top riders Aitor Gonzalez and Dario Frigo in the general classification. Although Gonzalez was relaxed going into the race, he was unable to match the climbers, and ended up finishing 19th at 41'29 on the general classification.
Quoted in Marca, Ferretti said that "Things haven't gone as we expected. He finished OK, without having enough preparation for the race, and that was the cause of his bad final classification, where he was expected to be a podium candidate after his exhibition in the last Vuelta a España."
"In the case of Aitor González it can be seen that he has class, although his morale is somewhat fragile. It's hard for him to find motivation when things are not going well."
Ferretti summed up his team's performance as follows: "It's certain that our principal objective was to be on the podium, but I'm not lucky in this race. I always have two or three riders with possibilities, but no results. Fortunately we won eight stages, six with Petacchi, and Aitor with Frigo covered themselves with a stage each."
The Fassa Bortolo boss is now looking to the Tour de France, where he hopes that Aitor Gonzalez and Dario Frigo will be able to "cause difficulties to Lance Armstrong."
Wachovia Invitational preview
By Tim Maloney in Lancaster, PA
A Belgian-style kermesse that starts in the town of Lancaster in the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch region, then heads out of town for the short, steep hills in Conestoga Park, the Wachovia Invitational usually offers non-stop action. Last year, USPS rider David Clinger soloed home over Chris Wherry. Clinger has changed squads to Prime Alliance for 2003 and after knee surgery, he's in form, winning a tough Stage 2 circuit race in the recent Tour of Connecticut, and hoping to do well at Lancaster.
Clinger's biggest challenge on Tuesday and all week may be will be from 1999 winner Jacob Piil, back with a powerful CSC team. Watch out for Flanders-Iteamnova's Belgian brothers Bert and Staf Scheirlinckx, who excel at this type of circuit. USPS has Michael Barry, who's always ridden well on this circuit and was 6th here last year.
The race is 146 km in total, consisting of 13 laps of 11.2 km. It is classified as a UCI 1.3 race.
UCI men's and women's rankings
Following the Giro d'Italia and the women's World Cup in Montreal, the UCI has updated both its men's and women's rankings. After his dominating performance in the Giro, where he wore the maglia rosa for half the race, won three stages and the points jersey. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) has rocketed up the rankings from 23rd to 2nd spot, just 155 points shy of Erik Zabel (Telekom), who seems permanently ensconced at the top. Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step) has also moved up into third place, more due to the lack of results of Davide Rebellin (3rd - 4th) and Lance Armstrong (2nd - 6th) during May.
Other big movers in the men's rankings include Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola), who made a huge jump from 412th to 27th, after finishing second in the Giro. Alessandro Petacchi (29th - 9th), Yaroslav Popovych (72nd - 32nd), Andrea Noè (284th - 82nd), Jan Svorada (107th - 56th), Serguei Gontchar (109th - 64th) and Eddy Mazzoleni (192nd - 96th) also made big improvements. Also noteworthy is Tour of Belgium winner Michael Rogers, who went from 140th to 72nd.
In the women's rankings, there were barely any changes from last week, although Judith Arndt and Nicole Brändli swapped 3rd and 4th places, while Montreal World Cup winner Geneviève Jeanson moved up from 19th to 16th and Nicole Cooke went from 12th to 9th.
In the teams rankings, there were no significant changes to the women's team hierarchy, but in the men's, Fassa Bortolo has moved back into second place behind Saeco, which kept its nose in front during the Giro through the efforts of Simoni. Garzelli's Vini Caldirola team improved from 19th to 8th, while Lampre jumped from 15th - 9th.
Rankings as of June 1, 2003
Men 1 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom 2,152.00 pts 2 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco 1,997.00 3 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon 1,871.00 4 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 1,840.00 5 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1,823.00 6 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal presented by Berry Floor1,744.00 7 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Lotto-Domo 1,530.00 8 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 1,419.75 9 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1,402.00 10 Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski 1,360.00 11 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Team Saeco 1,275.00 12 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Lampre 1,209.00 13 Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col) Team Telekom 1,207.40 14 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo 1,171.00 15 Laurent Brochard (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance 1,165.00 16 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 1,153.60 17 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC 1,130.00 18 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) AG2r Prévoyance 1,104.00 19 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Domina Vacanze-Elitron 1,103.20 20 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Team Saeco 1,073.00 Top riders of 2003 1 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco 1,630.00 pts 2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 955.00 3 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-SO.DI 941.00 4 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC 924.00 5 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 892.00 6 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon 764.00 7 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 701.00 8 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom 670.00 9 Laurent Brochard (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance 667.00 10 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 662.00 Women 1 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Team Catalunya-Aliverti-Kookai 678.00 pts 2 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Farm Frites-Hartol 595.50 3 Judith Arndt (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 549.00 4 Nicole Brändli (Swi) Prato Marathon Bike 540.50 5 Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus) Prato Marathon Bike 445.60 6 Sara Carrigan (Aus) Bik-Powerplate 394.80 7 Regina Schleicher (Ger) USC Chirio Forno d'Asolo 357.00 8 Zinaida Stahurskaya (Blr) USC Chirio Forno d'Asolo 353.00 9 Nicole Cooke (GBr) Ausra Gruodis-Safi 312.50 10 Anita Valen (Nor) Bik-Powerplate 306.00 11 Joane Somarriba Arrola (Spa) 288.50 12 Petra Rossner (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 286.00 13 Olivia Gollan (Aus) 210.00 14 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox 209.00 15 Olga Slyusareva (Rus) 204.40 16 Geneviève Jeanson (Can) Equipe Cycliste Rona-Esker 202.00 17 Lyne Bessette (Can) Saturn Cycling Team 201.00 18 Alison Wright (Aus) Road Runner-Guerciotti Cycling Team 192.00 19 Debby Mansveld (Ned) Vlaanderen-T-Interim Ladies Team 185.00 20 Svetlana Boubnenkova (Rus) Prato Marathon Bike 156.60 Teams Men's Division I 1 Team Saeco 4,618.00 pts 2 Fassa Bortolo 4,446.75 3 Quick.Step-Davitamon 3,548.00 4 Team Telekom 3,222.00 5 Rabobank 3,020.00 6 Alessio 2,846.00 7 Gerolsteiner 2,678.00 8 Vini Caldirola-SO.DI 2,672.00 9 Lampre 2,632.00 10 Team CSC 2,482.00 Men's Division II 1 Bankgiroloterij Cycling Team 1,639.00 pts 2 Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo 1,038.00 3 De Nardi-Colpack 986.00 4 Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf 930.00 5 Colchon Relax-Fuenlabrada 808.00 Women's Teams 1 Prato Marathon Bike 1,188.80 pts 2 Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 1,020.00 3 Farm Frites-Hartol Cycling Team 823.50 4 USC Chirio Forno d'Asolo 818.00 5 Bik-Powerplate 802.60 6 Team Catalunya-Aliverti-Kookai 710.00 7 Ausra Gruodis-Safi 490.50 8 Saturn Cycling Team 458.00 9 Equipe Cycliste Rona-Esker 400.00 10 Team T-Mobile USA 376.00 Full rankings
Tax benefit for riding to work?
A Bicycle Commuter Act introduced into the U.S. Senate may give commuters an extra incentive to cycle to work in the way of tax benefits. The legislation was introduced by Olympia Snowe and Ron Wyden in an attempt to include bicycle commuters under the "transportation fringe benefit" tax code. The aim of the benefit is to try and have less people driving to work, especially if there are no other passengers in the car.
If successfully passed, the Act would allow employers to regularly reimburse their employees who cycle to work, and the employed would gain a tax benefit from this.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)