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Photo ©: Swift

First Edition News for May 6, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Team Saeco for the Giro d'Italia

The Saeco team management has decided the final line up for the team that will contest the Giro d'Italia, between May 10-June 1. The race is one of the most important of the season for the team, which will also be riding the Tour de France this year.

The team captain and Giro favourite will be Gilberto Simoni, who hopes to repeat his 2001 victory and certainly has the form and the team to do it. According to team management, Simoni has yet to reach his peak, despite the fact that he's won the last two races that he has ridden: The Giro del Trentino and the Giro dell'Appennino.

In both of these races, his teammates Marius Sabaliauskas, Leonardo Bertagnolli and Damiano Cunego all showed their strength, and will again be at Simoni's side in the Giro d'Italia. The other team members include Fabio Sacchi, Paolo Fornaciari, Alessandro Spezialetti, Andrea Tonti and Dario Pieri, the latter acting as the team's sprinter.

Alexandr Shefer and Ivan Quaranta will not be in the line up. "We've got a priority and so that forces us to make what are sometimes difficult choices," said team manager Claudio Corti. "We've got some regrets about not having Quaranta at the Giro but we're also convinced of our decision. We've got to focus our resources to help the rider who can win us the pink jersey. It's also important to note that Quaranta hasn't yet reached a satisfactory level of form or results. He needs more time to get used to our way of doing things. However Ivan will have a chance at the Tour de France."

Full team: Gilberto Simoni, Marius Sabaliauskas, Leonardo Bertagnolli, Damiano Cunego, Fabio Sacchi, Paolo Fornaciari, Alessandro Spezialetti, Andrea Tonti and Dario Pieri.

Pantani prepares in Spain

After not contesting the Giro del Trentino due to a toothache, Marco Pantani has been building up for the Giro d'Italia in relative tranquility in Spain, with his teammate Daniel Clavero. Team manager Manuela Ronchi said on his website that Pantani was "super concentrated, careful and can't wait to start in the Giro d'Italia....He has never stopped training in spite of the stop before the Giro del Trentino. He has found optimal conditions for specific training without disputing the last race."

About Pantani's comeback after serving a six month suspension for doping, Ronchi added, "Marco could have given up. He even thought about it when he saw a total lack of respect and recognition around him but in the end he has stood firm and has stared reality in the face without hiding himself behind excuses that could come back to haunt him."

As far as his training goes, Pantani said that "Today I trained lightly and tomorrow I'll do my last hard training session before the Giro, then on Wednesday I'll travel to Lecce."

Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo for the Giro

Team directors Roberto and Bruno Reverberi have selected their nine man squad for the upcoming Giro d'Italia. Led by the experienced Neapolitan Giuliano Figueras, the team boasts Mexican climber Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio, winner of two Giro stages last year and the Settimana Ciclistica Lombarda this year. Combined with Paolo Lanfranchi, the Panaria squad should be strong in the mountain stages.

On the flats, the team will be working for Australian quick Graeme Brown, who will have leadout man Brett Lancaster at his disposal. Brown finished second behind Mario Cipollini in stage 1 of the Giro last year, and will be looking forward to trying to overthrow the World Champion this time around.

Full team: Giuliano Figueras, Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio, Paolo Lanfranchi, Graeme Brown , Paolo Tiralongo , Luca Mazzanti , Brett Lancaster , Scott Davis, Ruben Bongiorno.

Steegmans in for Detilloux

Gert Steegmans will replace Christophe Detilloux in the Lotto-Domo team for the Giro d'Italia. Detilloux is still recovering from his injuries sustained in a training crash in March, and the Giro d'Italia will be too early for him.

Kelme may start with eight

The ninth rider of the Kelme-Costa Blanca Giro team may not eventuate, as the Kelme doesn't have enough cyclists to make up for the injured David Muņoz, who has a broken collarbone. His substitute Roberto Lozano Montero is out of action due to a back operation, and two more of the team's riders are sick.

The eight riders are: Isaac Galvez, Carlos Garcia Quesada, Adolfo Garcia Quesada, Jordi Riera, Julian Usano, Alexis Rodriguez, Ignacio Gutierrez and Constantino Zaballa.

Related Giro d'Italia info

Preview and history

Start List

Bloch out of South African team for Track World Cup

The South African Cycling Federation has announced a change to its lineup to contest the final round of the Track World Cup in Sydney between May 16-18. 1 kilometre specialist Garen Bloch will not be able to travel to Sydney due to medical reasons, according to SA Cycling. That leaves only Jean-Pierre van Zyl (who will ride Scratch and Madison) and Robbie Dale (madison) to represent SA at the World Cup.

Grenville Scullard has been named as team manager for the national women's team who will travel to Switzerland for the Group B World Track and Road Championships from 5-9 July 2003. Anriet Schoeman, Ronel van Wyk, Arnel Wasserman and Dianne Emery, are the riders who make up this team.

In other South African news, 16 year old Kyle Swain set a new SA record in the 3000 metre junior individual pursuit at Hector Norris Stadium on the weekend. Despite windy conditions, Swain rode a time of 3'31.07 which was enough to break the previous record of 3'33.03 set by Garen Bloch in September 1996. Swain just missed out the record in three previous rides at the SA Track Championships last week, at the Belville Velodrome.

"Due to the windy conditions, many people had negative thoughts about me being able to break the record, and I am just glad that I was able to prove them wrong. I hope for many more record breaking races in the future," said Swain.

Kyle is off to the UCI's World Training Centre in Switzerland on Thursday.

Texas cyclist killed

Larry Schwartz, a 42 year old endurance cyclist from Texas, has died after being hit by a bus in Collin County last Thursday. Schwartz, who was a member of the Plano Bicycle Association, was struck from behind on the FM 1461 by the mirror of a school bus carrying students from Collin County districts. He was unconscious when he was taken to hospital, and died on Sunday, three days after the accident.

The bus driver, Robert Haynes (40), did not stop at the time, but was later arrested and charged with failure to stop and render aid. He was released last Friday on $10,000 bond.

Schwartz was a well known endurance cyclist in the area, logging over 26,000 miles (42,000 km) last year.

Source: Dallas Morning News

Freedom Fest 2003 cancelled

The Trinity Sports Group has announced the cancellation of the 2003 Freedom Fest, scheduled for July 4-6 in Nashville, Tennessee. A lack of sponsorship funding was given as the primary reason. "In aligning our cycling event with the City of Nashville's downtown 4th of July celebration, and securing a major media partner, our prospects seemed exemplary. But with only two months before the event date, we are still a good bit shy of the funds needed to meet the necessary budget," said Trinity Sports Group president Kevin Miller in a written statement.

Two more Australian MTB endurance events

The Victorians have got in on the act following on from the announcement of the popular Mont 24 Hour race in Canberra in October. Two enduro events will be held later this year in Victoria as follows:

12hr MTB Enduro
September 6th 2003.
Werribee, VIC

24hr MTB Race
December 6th-7th 2003.
Redesdale, VIC

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