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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition News for March 28, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones & Chris Henry

Zülle confirms with Phonak

New threads
Photo: © Pascal Meisser
Click for larger image

The Swiss Phonak team has confirmed the engagement of Alex Zülle for the remainder of the 2003 season, with an option to extend the contract through 2004. Thirty four year old Zülle, twice runner up in the Tour de France and a two-time winner of the Vuelta a España, decided to leave Team Coast due to lingering conflicts and salary disputes.

"I don't want to ride for race any more for Coast, under any circumstances," Zülle had said. "It would be best for everybody if they let me leave." The team did release Zülle and his manager Tony Rominger from their contract, and today for the first time in his career, Zülle signed for a Swiss team.

Zülle's move bolsters the Phonak roster, potentially improving the chances of a first-ever invitation to the Tour de France. At the same time, his departure from Team Coast could free up the money necessary for Coast to provide the additional UCI bank guarantee necessary to register Jan Ullrich, who is still without a racing license.

De Clercq breaks kneecap

It wasn't all good news for Lotto-Domo in yesterday's Dwars Door Vlaanderen. Despite Robbie McEwen sprinting to victory off a perfect team leadout, one of Lotto's key domestiques, Hans De Clercq badly injured his knee in a crash, and will miss the spring classics. De Clercq fell in the massive pileup in Elst that also claimed Johan Museeuw, who is in doubt for the GP E3 and Brabantse Pijl this weekend.

In the crash, De Clercq broke the front fork of his bike, but continued in the race with a new machine. However he could not rejoin the peloton, and eventually was forced to give up. On his way to the changing rooms, his knee seized up. He was taken to hospital where it was found that he'd broken it. It is not sure whether he'll have an operation, but he will be out of action for at least seven weeks.

De Waele and Omloop injured

Palmans-Collstrop's Fabien de Waele and Geert Omloop were also caught up in the crash in Dwars Door Vlaanderen. Omloop is now in doubt for Saturday's GP E3, after sustaining cuts and abrasions all over his body. De Waele was less seriously injured, with light abrasions in various places.

Rebellin sick

Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) has suffered a setback in his preparation for this weekend's Criterium International. After his third place finish in Paris-Nice last week, Rebellin suffered a severe attack of the 'flu over the past two days, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. He was able to resume training Thursday, in view of the weekend's races. He hopes to be back into top shape by the Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, his two big objectives in spring.

Steels and Dierckxsens sick

Belgian champion Tom Steels didn't even make it to the start of the Dwars Door Vlaanderen, after suffering from fever and diarrhea on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. "I felt slow and empty," he told Het Laatste Nieuws. "There was no point forcing it. Rest and recovery are the only remedies."

His Landbouwkrediet-Colnago teammate Ludo Dierckxsens is still recovering from a viral infection, however he intends to start in Sunday's Brabantse Pijl.

CAS Verdict due on Roux

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is expected to issue a verdict within four to six weeks on the case of French professional Laurent Roux, according to an AFP report. Roux tested positive for amphetamine use in 2002, but was not suspended by the French cycling federation (FFC), as the federation felt the UCI's doping control did not conform with French procedure. The UCI subsequently appealed this decision by the FFC not to suspend Roux, taking the case before the CAS, which heard arguments on Wednesday. Roux is currently signed with the Belgian Division II team

Yeti Cycles announces new team

Yeti Cycles has announced the re-birth of Team Yeti. In keeping with its tradition, Yeti has signed relatively unknown young racers that will specialize in downhill and four-cross events.

Team Yeti will be coached by Australian National Coach and professional downhill racer Scott Sharples and Keith Darner, who won three national titles as a coach at Fort Lewis College.

Three Team Yeti riders, Justin Havukainen, Dave McLaughlin, and Luke Strom, are products of Australia's powerful junior program, which has produced the last three junior world champions. Havukainen has dual citizenship and will race as an American this year. Colorado native Ross Milan, known for his lightning fast starts, will race the four-cross and downhill. Scott Sharples, who has raced professionally for years, will race downhill events in addition to his coaching duties.

Team Yeti Roster

Ross Milan (USA) - Downhill and 4X
Dave McLaughlin (AUS) - Downhill, 4X, and Freeride competitions
Justin Havukainen (USA) - Downhill and 4X
Luke Strom (AUS) - Downhill and 4X

Scott Sharples - Downhill, 4X, Coach
Keith Darner - Coach

McKenna quits Cycling Ireland board

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent/Evening Herald/Sunday Independent

Cycling Ireland suffered a serious loss last evening when it became clear that Ciaran McKenna, a board member of the organisation, had resigned in disgust over the manner in which a new chief executive officer was appointed. An announcement of the appointment of an Englishman to the position is to be made public in the next few days.

McKenna, a leading light in the organisation since the body was reformed in the last few years, left his position when Cycling Ireland president PJ Nolan informed him that he was being overlooked for the role. McKenna received notification that he was the first reserve but this did not cut ice with the former international cyclist, not because of the nationality of the incumbent, but on the basis of talent within the country. "You have only to look at the what the rugby and soccer people have done in promoting home talent," said Ciaran.

Collegiate Cycling World Grand Prix postponed

The inaugural Collegiate Cycling World Grand Prix, scheduled for May 30-June 1, 2003, has been postponed by organisers until 2004 because a title sponsor could not be found. The race is to be held in 2004 in its originally proposed location, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

"We're committed to a first-rate event, and we didn't want to wait until the last minute to get a title sponsor," said Charlie Brown, Bethlehem's director of parks and public property. "We're going to continue on a positive note and continue to plan and make this happen for the city of Bethlehem."

The proposed event hoped to draw more than 500 competitors from over 200 American and international schools, with a prize list of over $35,000. In addition to the race, there was going to be a blues music festival, major consumer expo, job fair, and a BMX exhibition.

Spring 2003 IMBA/Koobi Club Assistance Grants

Four bicycle groups will receive cash awards in the first round of 2003 IMBA/Koobi Club Assistance Grants. The $500 grants support projects that preserve and enhance trail opportunities for mountain bikers.

The 2003 IMBA/Koobi Club Assistance Grants first-round winners are:

Durango-San Juan Mountain Bike Patrol, Durango, Colorado - This grant will help start the DSJMBP. The patrol will provide on-the-trail assistance in the Durango and San Juan Mountain area. They will work in conjunction with Trails 2000, city officials and land managers.

Batesville Independence Knobby Explorers, Batesville, Arkansas - The Koobi/IMBA award will support the construction of an informational kiosk at the trailhead of a new 75-mile trail system in the Sylamore district.

Gateway Riders, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada - The Gateway Riders were instrumental in developing the Charlottenburgh Forest Mountain Bike Area. Grant funds will help create educational kiosks throughout this popular trail system. The kiosks will list IMBA's Rules of the Trail and offer tips on trail etiquette, safety and skills.

San Diego Mountain Bike Association, San Diego, California - Koobi grant funds will pay for new trail markers and trailhead kiosks in Black Mountain Park. SDMBA has been the most active group in this rapidly growing, multi-use trail system.

Koobi and IMBA will award four more grants in 2003. The application deadline for the next round is July 1, 2003. All IMBA-affiliated clubs are invited to apply. For more information please visit:

US Bicycling Hall of Fame art contest winners

Winning design
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The United States Bicycling Hall of Fame announced the winners of a nationwide art contest commemorating the 16th annual Inductions Dinner. The art will be used as wine labels on commemorative wine provided by Bolla Wines. Also sponsoring the dinner is Colavita Pasta.

The winners are:

Darlene Barbaria of Brooklyn, NY, a graphic designer of book covers and graduate of NYC School of Visual Arts; Todd Leister of Barto, PA, a cat 2 racer for Tri-State Velo; and Kevin Kaneshiro of Portland, OR, a graphic artist and member of the US Cycling Paralympic Games as a driver for a blind cyclist.

For more information on the inductions dinner, see: or

Specific questions may be sent to

The evening will honour the 2003 inductees: John S. Johnson (1873-1934), Bob Tetzlaff, Steve Woznick, Connie Paraskevin Young, and Chris Carmichael. The Event Chair and keynote speaker for the evening is Gerard Bisceglia, CEO of USA Cycling. Bob Roll will be providing some remarks as well. There will be a silent auction featuring items donated personally by Robin Williams.


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