Latest News for June 17, 2003
Edited by Chris Henry & Jeff Jones
UCI Rankings: Zabel still king
Team Telekom's master of consistency, Erik Zabel, remains on top of the UCI rankings, but with a relatively slender lead over Giro d'Italia winner Gilberto Simoni, who profited from his extended stay in the pink jersey in May. Simoni is in fact the top rider of 2003, ahead of Iban Mayo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo).
American Lance Armstrong remains in 6th position in the individual rankings, while Tyler Hamilton dropped several places. Armstrong was unable to defend his 2002 Midi Libre title after that race was cancelled this year, although he did retain points with another Dauphiné Libéré victory. Hamilton, who had been the best performer of 2003 in the spring, did not race the Giro d'Italia, where he won a stage and placed second overall last year, and rode a quiet Dauphiné, suffering from a stomach ailment and thinking more of the Tour de France ahead.
Some of the big movers include David Millar (67th to 32nd), Michael Rogers (72nd to 45th), Julian Dean (231st to 134th), and José Antonio Pecharroman (554th to 150th). The Euskaltel-Euskadi team also jumped from 20th to 12th in the UCI's team rankings.
UCI Rankings as of June 15, 2003:
Individual 1 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom 2,091.00 pts 2 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco 1,997.00 3 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon 1,955.00 4 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 1,858.00 5 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1,823.00 6 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 1,797.00 7 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Lotto-Domo 1,530.00 8 Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski 1,444.00 9 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 1,419.75 10 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1,402.00 11 Iban Mayo Diez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 1,341.00 12 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Lampre 1,314.00 13 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Team Saeco 1,275.00 14 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo 1,171.00 15 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) iBanesto.com 1,169.75 16 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 1,163.60 17 Laurent Brochard (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance 1,134.00 18 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC 1,130.00 19 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) AG2r Prévoyance 1,109.00 20 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Domina Vacanze-Elitron 1,103.20 Top riders of 2003 1 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco 1,630.00 pts 2 Iban Mayo Diez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 1,016.00 3 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 955.00 4 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-SO.DI 941.00 5 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC 924.00 6 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 892.00 7 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon 848.00 8 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 719.00 9 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom 717.00 10 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom 706.00 Teams Division I 1 Team Saeco 5,009.00 pts 2 Fassa Bortolo 4,552.75 3 Quick.Step-Davitamon 3,951.00 4 Team Telekom 3,575.00 5 Rabobank 3,184.00 6 Gerolsteiner 2,930.00 7 Alessio 2,913.00 8 Lampre 2,831.00 9 Team CSC 2,763.00 10 Vini Caldirola-SO.DI 2,743.00 Division II 1 Bankgiroloterij Cycling Team 1,664.00 pts 2 Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo 1,038.00 3 De Nardi-Colpack 1,013.00 4 Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf 957.00 5 Paternina-Costa de Almeria 916.00 Full rankings: Individual, Teams, Nations
Cancellara stays grounded
Winner of the prologue Monday at the Tour de Suisse, Fabian Cancellara will not ride the Tour de France this year. Nonetheless, the Tour remains an objective for the young Swiss, who is content to remain patient and progress properly as a rider. "My objective is to win the Tour," he said in l'Equipe. "At one point I asked myself, why not do the Tour? But then I realised, there's a good reason. I'm young, and I've already raced a lot since the beginning of the season. Besides, I've already planned a week of vacation in July."
Cancellara showed his prologue speed already this season with a win at the Tour de Romandie opener. According to Bradley McGee (FDJeux.com), another fast finisher who took third place just two seconds behind the Swiss in yesterday's prologue, "over this type of distance, he's currently the best in the world."
In the company of Dario Frigo, who also has a card to play for Fassa Bortolo's overall performance at the Tour de Suisse, Cancellara keeps modest ambitions. "I've never done a ten day race before, so I'm here to learn."
Mayo open to offers
Iban Mayo's fighting performance at the Dauphiné Libéré, where he finished a close second to Lance Armstrong, has prompted the Basque star to put himself on the market for a possible team transfer. Mayo's contract with Euskaltel-Euskadi is in its final year, and his manager has signaled that not only is the negotiating free to begin before the Tour, but Mayo would like to reach a decision prior to the the start in Paris as well. Mayo is reported to be seeking a multi-year contract in the neighbourhood of 600,000 euros per year.
Tour teams emerge
The final races in the weeks before the Tour are being used not only as preparation for the Grande Boucle, but also to make difficult choices concerning who will ride in France and who will stay at home. Many team directors will wait until the end of the month for their final decisions, based on performances at the various national championships. Some details have emerged in the past few weeks, and decision time is rapidly approaching.
US Postal Service
After announcing the short list of candidates for the Tour, directeur sportif Johan Bruyneel has narrowed his selection and confirmed the presence of seven riders in addition to team leader Lance Armstrong: Beltran, Ekimov, Heras, Hincapie, Padrnos, Peña, and Rubiera. With one spot remaining, the choice will likely be between Floyd Landis, Guennadi Mikhailov, and Benoît Joachim.
The French Cofidis team has also announced that just one place remains in its roster, to be led by David Millar and David Moncoutié. Also in the team are Clain, Cuesta, Lelli, Perez, and Vasseur. Candidates for the remaining berth could be Philippe Gaumont, Frédéric Bessy, or Dimitriy Fofonov.
After a solid showing in the Dauphiné Libéré, iBanesto.com is looking to race an aggressive Tour. In the absence of a big stage race leader, the team will likely be looking for stage wins and some battles in the mountains. Three spots remain open in the Spanish formation, with Flecha, Garcia-Acosta, Lastras, Mancebo, Mercado, Menchov already chosen.
The Basque formation of Iban Mayo is essentially complete, but a question mark remains with Alberto Martinez, who is currently suffering from a saddle sore. Mayo will be joined by Artetxe, Laiseka, Landaluze, Sanchez, David and Unai Etxebarria, and Zubeldia. If Martinez does not make the team, his likely replacement would be Lopez de Munain.
Rasmussen out of Tour
According to Danish newspaper Politiken, Michael Rasmussen will not make the Tour team, losing out to Remmert Wielinga, who had a good showing in the Dauphiné. Wielinga finished the Dauphiné in 12th overall, 9'28" behind winner Lance Armstrong, and finished the face with a good performance in the final mountain climbs, confirming his place in the upcoming Tour.
Catalunya blood tests ok
Forty riders underwent blood tests prior to the start of the Volta a Catalunya Monday, and all were declared fit to race. Riders were tested from Cofidis, Fassa Bortolo, ONCE, Rabobank, Relax-Fuenlabrada, Telekom, US Postal, and Vini Caldirola.
Jerseys to benefit LAF
Wheat Ridge Cyclery, Shea Homes, and CTL Thompson have decided to sponsor a fundraising project for the Lance Armstrong Foundation (www.laf.org), by producing 250 bicycle jerseys that can be purchased through donation to the LAF. A minimum donation of $50 is required for each jersey, although a $75 - $100 donation is requested to help achieve the campaign's goal of $20,000. All proceeds will go the LAF.
The jerseys were designed by IllumeCreative and manufactured by Voler and are available in small, medium, large and extra large. Most jerseys are in a club cut with a few medium and large in a racing cut. The club cut is more "generous." XL jerseys will be available in July/August.
The jerseys can be purchased at Wheat Ridge Cyclery or by mailing a cheque made out to the Lance Armstrong Foundation to the following address:
The jerseys will be delivered or posted so make sure to include your address and phone number in case there are questions.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)