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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition News for June 11, 2003

Edited by John Stevenson

Fraser/Threshold issue resolved

Gord Fraser winning at Redlands
Photo: © Rob Karman
Click for larger image

The legal dispute between Health Net rider Gordon Fraser and race promoter Threshold Sports, USA Cycling and BMC Software came to an end yesterday when the parties met in court. Threshold Sports CEO Dave Chauner told Cyclingnews reporter Kristy Scrymgeour, "It went well. It is completely settled to the satisfaction of everyone involved. The judge has ordered all parties not to speak about it until next Wednesday when a joint release will be issued."

As detailed last week what Fraser wanted was a guarantee that he would be able to race in Threshold-organised events in 2003 and beyond. "If they are going to ban every team I ride for from Threshold events then my future in cycling is very limited," Fraser told Cyclingnews prior to last week's USPRO Championships. Threshold organizes the Wachovia Cycling Series, which includes the USPRO Championships; New York City Cycling Championships; and the San Francisco Grand Prix.

Threshold's preferred outcome seems to have been for the case to be dropped. Threshold Sports had described Fraser's action as "frivolous" and Threshold's Chauner had added "Gord has to do what he has to do."

Gordon Fraser could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.

Chris Witty becomes a pink lady

By Kristy Scrymgeour

Better known for her power on the ice, Olympic 1000m speed skating champion Chris Witty has signed with T-Mobile as part of her preparation for the Summer Olympics in Athens next year. In 2000 Witty became only the ninth American to compete in events at both summer and winter Olympics, when she represented the USA in the 500m event on the track at the Sydney Olympics. Witty placed fifth in Sydney and in 2002 she came back from a bout of mononucleosis to break the World Record in the 1000m event in the Salt Lake City winter Olympics.

While training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs this week, Witty expressed her excitement with the new deal. "I'm excited that T-Mobile has given me the opportunity to ride full time and work towards Athens," she said. "This winter will be a first for me. I am planning to skip the skating World Cup and World Skating Championships and concentrate solely on cycling.

Andrei Kivilev Foundation

By Chris Henry

Team Telekom's Alexandre Vinokourov has decided to start a foundation in honour of his friend Andrei Kivilev, the Cofidis rider who died earlier this year. Vinokourov is creating the Andrei Kivilev Foundation with the goal of lending a hand to fellow Kazakhs. The foundation will help promote cycling and facilitate the transition for young, promising Kazakh riders hoping to break into the European professional ranks as stagiaires.

While it's still in the planning stages, Vinokourov considers the foundation as a way to keep the memory of Kivilev alive, as well as give something back to Kazakhstan after his success in the European peloton. Kivilev died on March 12 following head injuries sustained in a crash in stage 2 of this year's Paris-Nice stage race. Devastated by the death of his childhood friend, Vinokourov stayed in the race, vowed to win the overall classification in Kivilev's name. Vinokourov also won the Amstel Gold Race in April.

Sydor to ride Pan-Am MTB champs

Canadian Alison Sydor is the latest top North American rider to throw her helmet into the ring for this weekend's Pan-American Mountain Bike Championships, which runs June 13-15 in Medellín, Colombia. Don Jorge Ovid González, president of the Colombian Cycling Federation, said, "the presence of [Alison Sydor] brings this event to a very high level because she is one of the most important riders in this discipline."

Three times world champion has stood on the podium in seven of the last nine world's, and was runner-up in the cross-country event at the 2000 Olympics. The Canadian looks like a hot favourite in Medellín, where she will be up against US riders Kim Anderson (T-Mobile) and Heather Irmiger (Ritchey-K2), among others making the trip south. Over 300 athletes from 16 nations are expected in Colombia this weekend.

Curiak sets new Grand Loop record

Ultradistance rider Mike Curiak set a new course record at the weekend for the Grand loop, a 360-mile mountain bike race in the Rocky Mountains. Clocking a time of 74 hours, 37 minutes, Curiak beat the previous record by just 26 minutes. In the process Curiak clocked up 48,168ft of climbing and estimates that he lost over nine hours because of route-finding difficulties in the totally unsupported event. "It seemed that every time I was lost I was in one of the most beautiful places in Colorado, which helped to ease some of the frustration about losing time," said Curiak.

Curiak's next goal is the 2,500-mile Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, an epic ride along the spine of North America, which he plans to start June 21.

Ruta de Los Conquistadores 2003

While we're on the subject of adventure racing, details have been announced of the 2003 Ruta de Los Conquistadores, a 300-mile, three-day race in Costa Rica that starts November 14, 2003. Organisers claim this is the "toughest mountain bike race on the planet" and promise 30,000ft of climbing on a route inspired by the path cut through Costa Rica by the Spanish 450 years ago.

The race takes in rain forest, Alpine terrain and volcanic areas and theten previous editions have all been won by Costa Rican riders familiar with the country and its rigors. In 2003 endurance specialist Tinker Juarez is expected to return for another crack at the event after coming second in 2001.

"It's not about how you feel in the beginning; it's about whether you can suffer for so long," Juarez told Sports Illustrated after the 2001 race. "As far as the races I've done, this is the toughest. The bottom line is I came here thinking I could win. But that was hard-core."

For more details see www.adventurerace.com

L.A.T.E. Ride raises funds for Chicago Friends of the Parks

Insomniac Chicago riders have something worth staying up for on the night of July 12: the fifteenth annual L.A.T.E. Ride. Claimed to be Chicago's only after-midnight ride (we're guessing riding home from the pub - while still under the legal limit of course - doesn't count) the route goes from Buckingham Fountain downtown through Chicago's North Side and along the lakefront bicycle path.

Participants receive a free t-shirt, rider goody bag, bicycle repair and first-aid help if needed, refreshments and rest stops, and post-ride breakfast. Proceeds benefit Friends of the Parks' citywide parks advocacy work in Chicago.

Entry is $40 until July 9, $45 on the night. For more details, see www.lateride.org.

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