First Edition News for March 20, 2003
Edited by John Stevenson & Jeff Jones
Team Coast cleared to race
By Jeff Jones
The UCI has lifted the suspension on German Division I Team Coast, having decided that the team has fulfilled its obligations with respect to salary payments. The team will thus be allowed to start in this Saturday's Milan-San Remo.
The UCI issued a short press release on Wednesday, stating that, "A thorough examination of documents provided by Team Coast has enabled us to determine that prior conditions set when the team was registered for the 2003 season have been respected. The UCI therefore announces that the suspension of this Team is raised with immediate effect."
When contacted by Cyclingnews, team director Marcel Wüst said that, "We are happy and also we were confident that it would be lifted. From the day we were suspended until today, there was not any payment of any money, so we shouldn't have been suspended in the first place. It took our lawyers a while to explain to the UCI about the taxation issue. There are some taxes that we have to withhold from the riders and give to the German government."
That has been sorted out now, and the riders can start thinking about racing again. "There's not really much more to say," said Wüst. "It was really a situation that was hard to accept, especially for our riders. Basically the team was suspended to protect our riders, and I know from having been a rider and talking to them that the only ones who haven't been protected are our riders."
"They will race Milan-San Remo but with no preparation," he added. "It's not like closing down an office for two weeks. It will probably take at least two to three weeks to get back into form again. Cycling's a sport where you have to fight, you have to battle, and the boys are going to do their best, but I know a 300 km race won't be easy for them. If we have one rider in the front group we'll be happy."
For now, Wüst hopes that the team's problems, which he admits have occurred, are behind them. "We just have to look forward and hope for the best," he said. "Hopefully people will talk about Team Coast in a sport related way. I think Coast hasn't been responsible for most of the trouble we have been in in the last couple of days."
One thing that the team is greatly looking forward to is the return of Jan Ullrich, whose six month suspension for an amphetamine positive will finish on March 23. Despite a threat by his manager to leave the team if the salary problems weren't sorted out, Ullrich will now stay and begin his much awaited comeback to racing.
Wüst said that Ullrich wants to get back into winning form for the Tour de France, although that will probably not be until 2004. "He's thinking of nothing else other than he knows how good it is at the top. It's going to take a lot more training, a lot more suffering, but he wants to be there again," concluded the team director.
Team Coast for Milan-San Remo: Stefan Adamsson, Niki Aebersold, Daniel Becke, Thomas Liese, Fabrizio Guidi, Rafael Schweda, Steffen Radochla and Andre Korff.
Saeco to head to Milan-San Remo with Di Luca
After his strong but unlucky second place overall in Tirreno-Adriatico, Danilo Di Luca will be out for revenge in this Saturday's Milan-San Remo. In good shape so far this season, Di Luca is hoping to erase the disappointment from last year, where he was involved in a crash at a critical moment.
Saeco's DS Giuseppe Martinelli will take a strong team for the race, with Di Luca being aided by Igor Astarloa, Fabio Sacchi, Mirko Celestino, Dario Pieri, Gerrit Glomser, Alexandr Shefer, and Paolo Fornaciari.
O'Grady ready for Milan-San Remo
Credit Agricole's Roger Legeay believes that Australian champion Stuart O'Grady will be ready for Milan-San Remo. "Stuart (O'Grady) has been good since the beginning of the season," he told L'Equipe. "Up until now he's done what needs to be done. The distance doesn't pose a problem for him and he's climbing well in races. I envision a group of about 40 riders disputing the sprint."
Australian cyclist Robbie McEwen has been quietly preparing for Milan-San Remo this week, following his slightly premature abandonment in Paris-Nice on stage 6. Cyclingnews spoke to him today in the middle of a 220 km motorpaced training session, his only hard training session this week.
McEwen said that after pulling out of Paris-Nice on Saturday, he had a complete day off the bike on Sunday. On Monday and Tuesday he limited his training to around 60 km, which he will also do on Thursday and Friday. Today was a different story: He chose to skip the 193 km Nokere Koerse in favour of training. "I wanted to simulate sitting in the bunch at 50 km/h for a long period of time," he said, before setting off for another lap of the Schelde behind his wife Angelique on the scooter.
21st Clarence St Cup this weekend
Saturday night at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome will see the 21st edition of the Clarence St Cup, New South Wales' most prestigious wheelrace.
Star riders lined up for this year's event include sprint world champion Sean Eadie and Commonwealth Games sprint champion Ryan Bayley, plus former world champions Jason Niblett and Shaun Hopkins.
As well as the Cup itself, won last year by Mark Renshaw, the evening's racing features the NSW Keirin and Derny Motorpaced Championships. Sean Eadie is probably hoping this year won't see a repeat of the last-minute puncture that cost him any chance in the 2002 Keirin race.
The Clarence St Cup always provides places for young riders to experience some top-level track competition and this year among the six youngsters invited are two lads from the NSW country town of Tamworth, better known as Australia's equivalent of country music capital Nashville.
Juniors Sam Spokes and Toby Maher will line up against Australia's top riders and each one will be mentored by one of those same star riders. "It's a big kick for the kids to be with such illustrious company," Sam's father Allan Spokes told the Northern Daily Leader newspaper.
For more information call 02 9738 5850.
McLane Pacific full up
This weekend's 10th McLane Pacific (March 22-23) has reached full capacity for the Pro/1 event, according to race director Doug Fluetsch.
Fluetsch believes this year's race will be one of the most exciting in history. "The men's 150 strong field contains full teams from Ofoto-Lombardi, Schroeder Iron, Prime Alliance, Saturn, Webcor, 7UP/Maxxis, Team West Virginia, Team Monex/HotWheels, LeMond Fitness/Captain Cra-Z-Soap, Sierra Nevada and HealthNet," he said, adding that the emphasis would be on the sprinters.
"HealthNet's Gord Fraser and Mike Sayers, Saturn's Charles Dionne and Ivan Dominquez, Prime Alliance's John Peters and Jonas Carney, and Schroeder Iron's Miquel Meza are all considered favourites."
The weather forecast for the weekend looks good, with warm sunshine and breezes on the menu, and Fluetsch thinks the combination of terrain and wind will make for a tough couple of days' racing.
"We cannot offer a race with huge mountains, but can offer a race with rolling hills and plenty of wind to break up the field and it looks like this year we will have just the same. It is always exciting to see the racers thrown into the gutters, echelons and off the road during the road race as it rolls through the almond orchards here in central California. Even the almond farmers and dairy cows here have become friendly spectators of the excitement."
Missing from Saturday's McLane Pacific Downtown GP will be the KB Home Team. The team will be at the funeral for the 22 year old team rider Garret Lemire who was killed by an on coming car at last weekend's Ticson Bicycle Classic in Arizona. The team is fielding a full team at the McLane Pacific Foothills Road Race on Sunday and will race in the honor of Lemire.
The women's event is also shaping up for a big weekend with over 90 riders from from Saturn, Victory Brewing, T-Mobile, Diet-Rite, Minute Maid-Disani-LeGrange, Helen's Trek-VW, and TDS Telecom signed up for the 96 mile road race. Favorites include Saturn's Ina Teutenberg, Dede Berry and Mari Holden of T-Mobile with and Diet Rite's Tina Mayolo-Pic.
South African news
SA to Qinghai Lake
The South African Cycling Federation has announced that it will send a team to compete in the Tour of Qinghai Lake in China from August 10-17. The team rode in the UCI 2.5 ranked tour last year, which was won by American Tom Danielson.
Brindley going for Junior Tour glory
Western Province's cycling talent Brindley Hector is expected to be in the hunt for sprint success along with SA development teammates Nolan Hoffman and Reece Swartz, when the SA Cycling Federation's Junior Tour takes place in and around Ermelo from March 28-31.
Hector, who is equally at home on the track scene as he is on the road, is likely to be closely marked in the sprints, with the challenge on the climbs set to come from teammates Johan Janse van Rensburg, Durwin Benjamin and Charlton Stuurman.
SA development team: Brindley Hector (WP), Nolan Hoffman (Bol), Durwin Benjamin (Bol), Johan Janse van Rensburg (GW), Reece Swartz (GW), Charlton Stuurman (GW).
Team Manager: Robert Thomas. Assistant Team Manager: Wendal Paulse
World Masters track dates
The 2003 World Masters Track Championships will once again take place at the Manchester Velodrome at the end of the summer. The popular event is scheduled for September 7-13 with official training on Saturday, September 6 and the morning of September 7. Racing starts on September 7 with time trials.
Organiser Brian Cossavella said full details would shortly be available, and would be posted to all previous competitors as well as the event website at www.cyclingmasters.com.
Cossavella added that the event will use the services of a professional accommodation and travel company and details of hotel and transport will also be available soon.
Multi-national team heading for Chile
New Zealander Andrew Small is the only Kiwi in a New Zealand-based international team heading for the Tour of Chile next month. The team, run by New Zealand resident Chilean ex-pat and race promoter Jorge Sandoval consists of one New Zealander, two Australians, two riders from the Netherlands and a Norwegian.
The team is led by Dutch former Saturn rider Harm Jansen and Australian Baden Burke who are expected to figure in the sprints. The six-rider squad is finished off by Pelle Kil (Netherlands), Norwegian Gregorio Saw (Norway) and Tim Wilson (Australia).
According to Sandoval, his riders from Down Under are always surprised at their reception in Chile. Roadracing struggles to be noticed in Australia and New Zealand, whereas the Tour of Chile is one of the year's big events.
"When I was there last year the Australians and Kiwis couldn't believe the people in the streets," Sandoval told New Zealand newspaper The Dominion Post. "Maybe because of all the unemployment in Chile people watch it on TV and then come out on to the streets . . . it's huge, hard to believe."
The 11 day Tour of Chile starts March 27.
24 Hours of Adrenalin changes
The 2003 24 hours of Adrenalin mountain bike race series has announced changes and additions to its schedule for 2003. The changes to the series of weekend endurance MTB races are:
Olympic cyclist's father charged
According to a report in the West Australian newspaper, the father of former Olympian Darryn Hill has been charged after police raided an industrial unit alleged to have been used for the manufacture of nightclub drug gamma hydroxy butyrate, known as 'GHB', 'GBH' and 'fantasy'.
Brian William Hill (59) was charged with manufacturing a prohibited drug, possessing an unlicensed 9mm handgun and ammunition, and will appear in Perth Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, March 25.
IMBA Hot Spots program focuses on urban trails
As well as its advocacy efforts in remote areas, mountain bike organisation IMBA also works to improve trail availability in places closer to home. For 2003, with support from Clif Bar, IMBA's Hot Sports urban trail program will focus on Houston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago and Sacramento.
IMBA Executive director Tim Blumenthal put it plainly: "The trail access challenges in these cities are complex but the basic problem is clear: there aren't many places to ride a bicycle off road. Lots of people want to ride their bicycles on trails, but they can't find appealing trails close to home. The Hot Spots program is designed to help."
IMBA will lead a 10-day campaign in each city, working with local clubs and land managers, building trails and tackling tough advocacy issues. Each campaign will include events designed to get people psyched about mountain biking, including fun group rides, riding clinics and other social events.
For more information see www.imba.com/hotspots.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)