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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition News for June 26, 2003

Edited by John Stevenson & Chris Henry

Tour de Suisse wrap

A big beer for Vino Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image
Telekom's Kazakh all-rounder Alexandre Vinokourov has claimed overall victory in the Tour de Suisse, a race that is traditionally a strong pointer to form for the Tour de France.

Vinokourov's aim was to add the final stage to his victory tally, as he told news agency AFP: "I tried to win the stage, but I'm not upset to have failed. This success shows that I'm still progressing. I improved in the time trial and in the mountains."

One rider who benefitted from Vino perhaps not going all-out for the stage was winner Baden Cooke, who said of the final sprint, "I passed along the barriers; luckily Vinokourov didn't close the door on me." Cooke's win completed a satisfying week for his team after fellow Australian Bradley McGee's stage 8 victory.

Vinokourov rode into the leader jersey by winning the first stage, and held it until Francesco Casagrande launched a devastating attack on the climb of the Albula pass in stage 5.

But while almost King of the Mountains Casagrande was undoubtedly the better climber in this year's Tour de Suisse, he had no answer for Vinokourov's speed against the clock, and the Kazakh's fifth place in stage 8's time trial was enough to put him back in the lead of a race he'd previously said was not a particular objective. Casagrande didn't even finish the Tour de Suisse, deciding not to start on the last day due to an inflamed urethra.

Vinokourov should now go into the centenary Tour as Telekom's GC point man, and the visibility that will bring at home is sure to please the man from the former Soviet state, where his success has been a major factor in increasing the popularity of cycling. "Since my second place in the road race at the Sydney Olympics, cycling has grown in popularity among young people in my country," said Vinokourov. "The president of the Kazakh federation became prime minister. It's all beneficial for our sport."

Eight women unfit for Italian nationals

Fabiana Luperini and Luisa Tamanini (Team 2002 Aurora RSM) were prevented from starting the elite women's road race in the Italian national championships Wednesday, along with six other riders, according to a Datasport report. The Italian cycling federation determined that the results of their health checks did not conform with national regulations.

Other riders prevented from starting include Francesca Lotti (GS Giglio Toscano), Sabrina Emmasi (Prato Bike Marathon), Silvia Bagnone and Monia Poggi (Velo Club Vaiano Cecchi), Valeria Cucci (Carrera Deca Equipe Romagna), and Barbara Cazzaniga (Road Runner Guerciotti).

William Dazzani, manager of Luperini's Team 2002, has been under house arrest as part of the Brescia doping investigation opened in early June.

Cipo's last chance

Denied entry to the 2003 Tour de France, Mario Cipollini's Domina Vacanze team has been unwilling the let the issue settle quietly. Having put the issue before the UCI and an arbitration panel, the world champion and his team may now expect one more verdict on the Tour selections, when the UCI makes its judgment on the case Friday, June 27 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Cipollini has the support of the Italian Cycling Federation, but his last ditch bid for a Tour invitation seems unlikely to prove successful.

Nevertheless, Domina Vacanze is making confident noises. In the latest statement on the issue, the team says that lawyer Gerald Villanacci expects a positive outcome on the basis that Domina Vacanze's exclusion from the Tour was "unjustified" and did not take into account UCI rules on applying "sporting logic" in the selection of Tour teams. "On this criterion they clearly cannot penalize the team of the world champion," said the team statement.

Galvez could miss Tour

Isaac Galvez, one of Spain's rare sprinting talents, could miss his chance to race this year's Tour de France due to tendonitis, according to Todociclismo. Galvez has been selected as part of the Kelme-Costa Blanca line up, but is as yet uncertain for the Tour prologue on July 5.

Canadian nationals on World's course this weekend

This weekend's Tim Horton Canadian National Road Championships in Hamilton, Ontario will use the same courses as the 2003 World Championships, providing a dress rehearsal for the World's, which runs October 6 to 12.

All three world's courses (road race and short and long time trial courses) are within the Hamilton city limits and start and finish in front of Hamilton City Hall. UCI officials visited Hamilton in May and pronounced themselves pleased with the progress of preparations of the World's, remarking that the course was as challenging as a mountain stage of the Tour de France.

That might be viewed as a touch of hype, but the course does two climbs per lap of the 215m Niagara Escarpment. Over the race's 21 laps, that's over 4,500m of climbing.

Team Rubicon challenge for LAF

For the second year running, US Pacific Northwest squad Team Rubicon is raising funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) by asking riders to donate $5 to the LAF for every medal its riders collect in national events over the next few weeks.

Team Rubicon, which was founded with the twin aims of developing women and young riders and raising funds for the LAF, leaves for the US Junior and Espoir Nationals next week, while the team's Senior and Masters riders will take part in their criterium and track nationals in August.

The team aims to raise $20,000 for the LAF by August 15, 2003 - the tally currently stands at $10,500

For more details and to donate, see

Chance to win weekend as pro for Canadian MTB privateers

Whistler, BC, Canada retailer SnowCovers Sports and Trek Bicycles are offering the chance for a privateer rider to get the full factory team treatment at the Tim Horton's Canadian National MTB championships, July 18-20.

The 'Adopt a Privateer' contest is open to any independent cross-country racer attending the nationals. The winning rider will receive accommodation and food as well as full technical and feed support during the race. SnowCovers and Trek will donate a swag bag to the lucky rider, who will be generally pampered and enjoy living the "Factory Team Lifestyle".

To enter, send an email or fax to SnowCovers Sports giving your name, daytime phone number and/or email address and a short race resume. Email: or fax: 604-905-4101 (attn: Christine)

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