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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition News for May 3, 2003

Edited by Chris Henry

In-form Rebellin out of Giro

Davide Rebellin's injuries sustained at the Flèche Wallonne have forced the in-form Italian to forfeit his place in the upcoming Giro d'Italia, which begins in one week's time. Rebellin profited from a visit to his chiropractor, who helped prepare the Gerolsteiner leader for a quick return to competition at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Even more impressive was Rebellin's May 1 win at the Rund um den Henninger Turm in Germany, where he got the better of Telekom favourite Erik Zabel.

Nonetheless, the severity of the injury, a fractured bone in his left shoulder and some torn muscles, is such that Rebellin has been forced now to take time needed to fully recover. "The Giro has been an objective all year, and I worked to prepare for it all winter," an obviously disappointed Rebellin told Datasport.

"I'm convinced that I cold have repeated my performance from 1996 when I took the maglia rosa in Terme Luigiane and held it for six days," he explained. "I'm capable of a stage win, and I could have tried for the jersey in the first week. But given my condition I can't risk it. At the finale in Frankfurt I was gritting my teeth in pain."

Rebellin added that his participation at the Henninger Turm was largely at the request of the team, looking for an important result on home soil. From this point on, Rebellin will focus on the Italian national championships, as well as the Tour of Germany in June. A decision on whether or not to ride the Tour de France will be made later.

Team fakta for the Giro

Danish team fakta has announced its nine man line up for the Giro d'Italia, which begins next week in Lecce. The team is well balanced, containing a mixture of sprinters, climbers and GC riders, and should be competitive throughout the three week tour. The team includes Cyclingnews diarist Scott Sunderland, and we will be featuring a special Giro diary from Scott and partner in crime Magnus Bäckstedt, which will provide an in depth look behind the scenes of a big race.

The full team is as follows: Kurt Alse-Arvesen, Magnus Bäckstedt, Lars Bak, Frank Høj, Rene Jørgensen, Jørgen Bo Petersen, Werner Riebenbauer, Scott Sunderland and Julian Winn.

May 5: Helmets for all

The UCI has finalised its plans to make helmet use mandatory in the professional peloton. Starting Monday, May 5, riders in Elite Men's events for classes 4 and above will be required to wear helmets in all events. The decision was made with the cooperation and agreement of the Professional Cycling Council : Sports Group Association (AIGCP), Race Organisers Association (AIOCC) and the Professional Riders Association (CPA). The UCI notes that the CPA supports the initiative, notwithstanding the varied opinions of some of its members.

The UCI is also aware that a number of riders in the peloton will continue to complain about the infringement on individual freedoms. "Whilst respecting their opinion, the UCI invites them to reflect on the consequences this attitude can generate," said the UCI in a written statement.

Compromises have been made, however, and the UCI stipulates that in races finishing at the summit of a climb of at least 5km, riders may remove their helmets on the final climb.

Penalties for not wearing a helmet include possible fines ranging from 200 to 10,000 Swiss francs, a deduction of 50 points from the individual's UCI ranking, and in certain cases, expulsion from the race if a helmet is removed prematurely (or preventing the rider from starting if he does not have a helmet at the start).

VDB unlikely for Tour

Frank Vandenbroucke (Quick.Step-Davitamon) has decided that despite his strong start this year, he is unlikely to take part in the Tour de France. Vandenbroucke is scheduled to ride the Route du Sud and the Dauphiné Libéré, but the Tour might be too much.

"I'm in a rebuilding period after two missed years," Vandenbroucke told l'Equipe. "I think it's wiser to stick with the program that I established in January. Of course I dream of doing something great in the Tour, but I need to be patient and realistic. There's a 90% chance that I'll sit it out this year."

Andersen to ALB-Gold Mountainbike

Danish off-roader Peter Riis Andersen has signed a contract with German Team ALB-Gold Mountainbike for the remainder of the 2003 season. Andersen won the first round of this year's German national MTB series, the Bundesliga, and earned himself a ride on the ALB-Gold Mountainbike team. Andersen rode with Team T-Mobile Mountainbike last year but was forced to begin 2003 in the amateur ranks after his contract was not renewed. Among Andersen's career highlights are a bronze medal at the European U23 championships and the Danish national title in 2001.

SACF development commissioners ousted

South African Cycling Federation (SACF) development boss George Joseph will lead a caretaker committee to manage development issues of the sport, after the Boland province's motion of no confidence was supported by the provincial bodies at the annual SACF development commission in Cape Town.

Kimberley-based Joseph was immediately elected to lead the new-look caretaker committee, but commissioners Robert Thomas, Vossi van der Berg, and Colin Andrews were removed from their positions. Newcomers to the caretaker committee are Willie Newman, Conrad Lesch, and Elna Castelyn.

"This is a clear indication of how serious the SACF and its provinces are about developing the sport to all communities, through the four cycling disciplines of track, road, bmx and mountain biking," said SACF President Gotty Hansen. The caretaker committee will manage the SACF development program until the federation's next elections set for 2006.

British wheels for FFC

The French cycling federation (FFC) has signed a three year partnership agreement with British automobile maker MG Rover, reports l'Equipe. The company will provide 25 cars to the federation, and the MG and Rover logos will begin appearing on the French national jerseys.

Last chance for Cipo's helmet

A reminder that Saturday, May 3 is the last day for entries to Cyclingnews' special giveaway of six limited edition Specialized S1 helmets. The helmets feature the rainbow colour scheme of world champion Mario Cipollini of the Domina Vacanze-Elitron team. Check here for details.

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