First Edition News for March 18, 2003
Edited by John Stevenson & Jeff Jones
Mori tries an old trick
Italian cyclist Massimiliano Mori (Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave), who was thrown out of the Tirreno-Adriatico for attempting to avoid a doping control, was apparently using an old trick. He was visited by the UCI medical inspectors - for the second time on Sunday - while in his hotel room after stage 4 was cancelled. While Mori was in the bathroom of his assistant team director Gabriele Di Francesco, the UCI inspector found a bidon full of urine, which he suspected Mori could have used in place of his own to supply a sample. For that reason, both Mori and Di Francesco were suspected of trying to defraud the testing procedure, and were ejected from the race.
Race organisers RCS Sport said in a statement that the pair had been expelled from the race "for violating in fraudulent circumstances the UCI's anti-doping regulations."
The Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave team later issued a statement saying that the bidon of urine was necessary because Gabriele Di Francesco was to be admitted to hospital on Tuesday for an infection of his urinary tract. For examination purposes, he always kept a bidon of urine handy.
The team has also provisionally suspended Mori and Di Francesco. If Mori's urine sample turns out to be negative, then he and the doctor will be reinstated into the team.
Tucson Bicycle Classic update
By John Stevenson
The other riders involved in the Tucson Bicycle Classic incident in which Cat 2 rider Garrett Lemire lost his life on Saturday are recovering, according to race organizer Stephen Bohn. Three riders were hospitalized following a crash, and Garrett Lemire was attempting to avoid the fallen riders when he rode into a Toyota Camry driven by 71-year-old Mary Conners.
Bohn told Cyclingnews that all but one of the riders were released from hospital within 24 hours and that the most seriously injured had been moved out of intensive care and was expected to be released within a week.
Ms Conners was also taken to hospital for treatment for injuries from windscreen glass broken by the impact.
Bohn intends to continue with the Tucson Bicycle Classic next year, but could not say if it would be possible to close the scene of the crash, the steep, winding descent of Gates Pass Road, in future editions.
"We have to get through [the aftermath of this crash] first, but [closing the road] is something we've dreamed of," said Bohn.
"A lot of people who are saying that the road should be closed don't realize that we have asked for that too and been told it's not feasible. It's a link to a residential area, unlike the start/finish area which we do close - but there's not much traffic there on a weekend.
"But maybe after this there are some other options we can look at."
Bohn added that he was very grateful for the response of the cycling community to the accident. Lemire's death brought to an end the category 2 race, as the Saturday road race was stopped and the riders decided to do just the memorial lap in Lemire's honour on Sunday, then end the race.
Garrett Lemire was a widely-liked rider. The manager of his KB Home team told Bohn, "For every member of my team I can think of about five lame things - except for Garret. There was nothing lame about him. He was a great guy from a terrific family. He will be sorely missed."
Messages of condolence can be sent to Garrett Lemire's family at: The Lemire Family, 1290 Foothill Road, Ojai, CA 93023.
Category 2 rider John Novak, who was racing against Garrett in the event, has kindly given us permission to post his diary from the Tucson Classic.
Cyclingnews riders who would like to share memories of Garrett or otherwise offer their condolences please send us an email and we'll compile a tribute page.
CTC says 'no' to helmet compulsion
In the face of renewed calls for helmet use by cyclists to be made mandatory after the tragic death of Andrei Kivilev last week, British national cycle campaign body CTC has issued a statement reiterating its opposition to mandatory helmet use.
The CTC points out that mandatory helmet use tends to reduce the number of cyclists, saying that helmet laws caused cycling levels to drop by 30 per cent in Australia while head injuries fell by only 11 per cent. The injury risk for those who continue to cycle has risen and in some parts of Australia, injury rates are at an all time high.
The CTC also points out that:
2003 Credit Union Ras Mumhan
By Shane Stokes, Irishcycling.com
A strong turnout is expected for this year's Credit Union Rás Mumhan, based in Killorglin, Co. Kerry. Teams from Britain and Holland have already been confirmed for the Irish race and will come up against a healthy number of home teams in the four day event.
The race will begin with a 2.6 mile time trial on Friday April 18, starting at 4 pm. Saturday's 101 mile stage takes the riders over the climbs of the Ring of Kerry, while the following day's action sees the field scrap it out over 91 tough miles, including the ascent of the Conor Pass. The race ends with a 58 mile circuit race in Killorglin.
Last year's event was dominated by the Compensation Group team, with riders Kevin Dawson and Mark Lovatt finishing four minutes clear of the field at the end of the second stage and maintaining their first and second places overall to the end of the race. Both took stage wins, while Phil Cassidy (Cycleways Lee Strand) flew the home flag by taking the prologue and final stage.
Stage 1 - April 18: Killorglin Credit Union 2.6 mile TT
Sportsbook.com Espoir Challenge returns
Sportsbook.com and MHC Sports have announced details of the 2003 Sportsbook.com Espoir Challenge. This season-long contest for under 23 riders runs across seven races in the mid-Atlantic area and aims to find the toughest young racer in the region.
Sportsbook.com team manager Bill Laudien used the series last year to select riders for this year's team roster.
"This series gives directors a chance to objectively compare the abilities of U23 riders. With the series races being long hard road races against professional and elite competition, you get a real sense of where these riders are in their development and whether or not they are ready to make the next step to the professional level," said Laudien. "I think I talked to almost every one of last year's top 10 and was fortunate to pick up two solid riders in Gui [Nellesen] and Ryan [Pinkham]."
As well as Nellesen and Pinkham, three other riders from last year's series top ten turned pro in 2003: Jon Erdelyi (Ofoto/Lombardi); Kyle Wamsley (Fuji ); and Jan Haedo (Colavita/Bola).
This year's competition will kick off at the 110 mile Seaford Road Race on April 13 and will conclude with a time trial on September 20 in Lancaster, PA.
April 14: Seaford Road Race (Delaware)
For more details see www.sportsbookcycling.com
4 Wheels 4 Sean memorabilia auction hots up
With less than a week left for bidding, an online auction of cycling collectibles currently stands to raise thousands of dollars for Australian charity 4 Wheels 4 Sean. Items open for bidding are:
To bid click here. Bidding ends on 24 March at 7:00PM Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time.
4 Wheels 4 Sean raises money to assist Australians in need because of a severe disability acquired whilst cycling, and since October 2001 has raised more than $46,000.
New Idaho MTB series to include state's oldest race
Idaho's freshly-minted Knobby Tire Series of mountain bike races will include the Northwest's longest-running event, the 19th Annual Intermountain Orthopaedics White Knob Challenge, according to series and race organizers.
Davey Moore, one of the founders of the Knobby Tire Series said, "The White Knob has long been the best race in Idaho. We are stoked to work with Lost River Cycling to up the fun-level for Idaho Mountain Bikers with our new Knobby Tire Series."
Andy Bopp of White Knob organizer Lost River Cycling is looking forward to being part of the series. "Davey, who is an Idaho Mountain Biking legend, and his partner Cynthia Gibson are injecting new life into an already dynamic Idaho Race scene. Idaho mountain bikers are gonna have fun this year," he said.
2003 Knobby Tire Series
May 10: 1st Annual Coyote Classic
USC Chirio Forno d'Asolo
The USC Chirio Forno d'Asolo women's professional team had its formal launch yesterday in Villa Cipriani ad Asolo. The 15-rider team includes 2002 Grande Boucle Féminine winner Zinaida Stahurskaia and world time trial champion Zulfia Zabirova. An addition that will surely boost the team's strength is top German rider Regina Schleicher, winner of the Castilla y Leon and GP de Plouay World Cup races in 2002. While Stahurskaia and Zabirova concentrate on stage races, Schleicher will be aiming to win World Cup rounds including this weekend's Primavera Rosa, the women's Milan-San Remo.
Promising younger riders on the 2003 roster include Italian Ilenia Lazzaro and Argentinean champion Valeria Pintos.
In addition to the riders listed in the previously-announced roster, the team will include: Chiara Bertarione, Laura Betto, Silvia Bollea, Patrizia Cabella, Alice Innocenti, Marina Khodtchenkova, Krystyna Kras, Ilenia Lazzaro, Daniela Porta, Clara Rampollo.
Team 2002 Aurora RSM
The 2002 Aurora RSM women's professional team has announced its line-up for 2003, and boasts some of the biggest names in women's racing. Registered in the tiny principality of San Marino, Team 2002 Aurora includes four-time Giro d'Italia and 1995-1997 Grande Boucle Féminine winner Fabiana Luperini, 2001 world champion Rasa Polikieviciute and her twin sister Jolanta and Daniela Veronesi whose palmares includes major tour podium places.
Up-and-coming riders in the squad include Italian national team member Luisa Tamanini and Spaniard Eneritz Iturriaga.
Crank Racing 2003
New England's Crank Racing has announced its 2003 roster. For 2003 the team will focus on regional competition in just about every variety of cycling: mountain bike races; duathlons; triathlons; road races; cyclocross races; 24 hour mountain bike races; and even some running events.
Team Cyclecomponents.com is a new Swedish under 23 team sponsored by a webshop that last year sponsored the Sollerö IF elite team.
The team will be based in Säffle where four of the cyclists will live. The goal is to establish the team as one of the strongest in the Swedish peloton and the team's most important races for 2003 are the Swedish Cup, stage race Cykeltouren, Swedish Championships and Scandinavian Open. The management also hopes to get a spot on the Norwegian 2.5 race Ringerike GP and to have at least one rider on the teams for the European and World Championships. The long term goal is to help developing young talent in Scandinavia and prepare them for professional careers by transforming the team to an under 23 Division III team in 2004.
Arlington plans more bike facilities
The County Board of Arlington County, Virginia, USA recently approved plans to five miles of paved shared-use trails and ten miles of bicycle lanes to the existing network.
Arlington County's bike way system currently includes 36 miles of paved, shared-use trails, 12 miles of bicycle lanes and 38 miles of signed, shared roadways.
"Bicycles are an important component of the County's total transportation plan," said Paul Ferguson, Chairman of the Arlington County Board. "It's all part of our County's commitment to the environment, to smart growth, and to safe and attractive neighborhoods."
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)