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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition News for May 7, 2003

Edited by John Stevenson

Milaneza sets its sights on 2004 Tour

By João Cravo

Milaneza rising star Francisco Perez
Photo: © Jeff Tse
Click for larger image

Will the centenary Tour de France feature one of the most exciting teams so far this year? Portuguese Division I team Milaneza-MSS has been a major player in the recent Tour de Romandie and in Paris-Nice, however, TdF director Jean-Marie Leblanc from the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), said that Milaneza and Lampre had both missed a meeting at the beginning of the season and that automatically excluded them from consideration for a Tour wild-card.

"Well, I was at the presentation of the Tour in Paris, if that's the meeting we're talking about," Milaneza's Team Manager Manuel Zeferino told Cyclingnews. "But Leblanc is right, because we never presented a formal candidature for a Tour invitation."

While Milaneza didn't formally present as a Tour candidate, it has put in solid performances in Hors Categorie races like Paris-Nice and the Tour de Romandie. There was more of the same at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and Critérium International, as well as Volta ao Algarve and GP Mitsubishi.

"The remaining wild-cards will not be given on May 19," Zeferino said in his softly-spoken way, "They have already been attributed. We've just to wait for the formal publication of the names."

Does Zeferino feel that he is tilting at windmills expecting a Tour berth? "No, absolutely not!" he said. "We've given enough proof that we deserve a place on the Tour and I'm presenting through Cyclingnews our formal candidature for the 2004 Tour."

"Attack is our philosophy and the mountain is our environment," Zeferino said. "We don't have a team working for a man, we have 16 men working for a team. It's the road that tells us who's the strongest of our riders. Jeker can work for Perez or for Moller or for Sousa. Perez can work for Jeker or for Moller or for Bernabeu or for Horrach. Moller can work for Jeker or for Del Olmo or for no matter which other rider is best positioned. We see cycling as a team sport and our riders know that any one of them will have their opportunities. Motivation, professionalism, team spirit and talent are the secret weapon of our attacking strategy."

Zeferino continued: "You saw what happened in Paris-Nice and Tour de Romandie. In mountain stages you can expect Milaneza to win. If not at an individual level, certainly at a collective level. Look at the first 10 or 15 riders to arrive and you'll verify that Milaneza is the team that includes the largest number of riders among them. We love the mountains. Our favorite song is a Hell Is For Heroes song: 'I can climb mountains'."

With the 2003 Tour out of reach, Zeferino is now thinking about the Vuelta and about the 2004 Tour. "We're going to ride the Vuelta a Asturias (May 13-17) and after that we'll focus on the last objectives of the season, Volta a Portugal (August 6-17) and Vuelta (September 6-28)," said Zeferino.

At the same time, Zeferino wants his team to be present in Liege, Belgium, the town that will host the Prologue of the 2004 Tour. "This time, we want to be there. We'll try to finish the season at the Top 10 in order to be certain of our presence. Otherwise we'll fight hard for a wild-card," he said. "We'll have to extend our roster from 16 up to 19 or 20 riders. That will demand a little rise of our budget but I'm sure we will continue to be the Division I team that presents the best ratio of budget to UCI points."

A team as ambitious as Milaneza necessarily provides a home for many foreign riders. Right now only two Portuguese riders, Sousa and Lavarinhas, are sure to be part of the roster that Milaneza uses for the top races, but Zeferino also keeps an eye on the domestic market.

"Unfortunately, there are not that many Portuguese riders that could join us," he said, "but eventually young riders as talented as Bruno Castanheira (LA Pecol), Sérgio Paulinho (ASC/Vila do Conde) and Hugo Sabido (Barbot/Torrié) could be interesting reinforcements for us. I'm not saying we'll sign them, I'm just saying they have the qualities to ride for a team like Milaneza."

For the moment, Zeferino is looking to the immediate future and is most excited by his team's 2003 season acquisition, Francisco Perez. "Perez is just a kid (24 years old) and this is his true first season as pro," said Zeferino, "Despite the good work done by his former teams, he still has a lot to learn, a lot to improve, a lot to polish. But he has the strength and the talent to become one of the best climbers of the decade. He's tall and we'll be big."

Oelkers injured rider Ryan Oelkers was injured in a high speed crash at the Shelby Criterium on Saturday, according to team manager Bill Laudien. Laudien says that Oelkers is under observation in hospital in Shelby but continues to improve from day to day. Oelkers sustained a broken wrist and ribs in the crash, plus some internal injuries that have delayed his release, but is expected to be out and about again very soon.

Vale Michael R. Rabe, 1954-2003

A key figure in mid-west American cycling was lost over the weekend. Michael R. Rabe, who died on May 2, was a major player in the resurgence of cycling in south-east Michigan and in the overall success of the cycling program of the Wolverine Sports Club.

Rabe was a USA Cycling licensed official, rider, and coach as well as a race announcer, cyclocross racer and Vice President of Racing for the Wolverine Sports Club. He also sat on the Walden Velodrome Board and was an instructor and ride leader at the Walden School of Cycling.

Tributes from friends and relations paint Rabe as selflessly dedicated to cycling, his friends and his job as a programmer at UNISYS. He was always willing to offer coaching and general cycling advice, and was a dedicated volunteer in local cyclo-cross racing.

Rabe was a fixture at his local bike shop, Bikesport, which is hosting a more extensive tribute and a page for his friends and competitors to post their memories.

Win a Cipo replica Specialized S-Works bike

Photo: © Miwako Sasaki
Click for larger image

After landing Milan-San Remo and the world championships in 2003, Mario Cipollini is aiming for a huge career milestone when this year's Giro d'Italia starts in Lecce on Sunday: to equal and exceed Alfredo Binda's record of 41 Giro stage wins.

In celebration of this impending landmark, Specialized is giving away one of the Domina Vacanze - Elitron Team S-Works E5 bikes - the bike ridden by Cipo and his team.

All you have to do to win is predict the stages where Cipo equals and exceeds Binda's record - a winner will still be selected even Cipollini doesn't achieve this goal.

Click here to enter.

World's most expensive rear derailleur?

By John Stevenson

Don't throw away that old bike stuff - it might be a goldmine. Bidding on auction site eBay currently stands at over US$3,000 for a Simplex Record 60 rear derailleur from about 1960-61, a pretty staggering price for an old rear mech. What makes this one special is its 'NOS' condition: New Old Stock. In other words the seller, UK bike collector Hilary Stone, was lucky enough to stumble on this gem in unused condition, the prized state for collectors looking for parts to restore period bikes.

As it happens I worked with Hilary Stone back in my UK bike magazine days and I remember him (and me, if I'm honest) getting very excited when we stumbled across a set of Shimano Dura-Ace 10 track equipment in a bike shop in Germany. Struggling to conceal his enthusiasm, Hilary negotiated a good deal with the somewhat bemused shop owner for the rare 10 millimeter pitch chain, chainrings and sprocket. "Do you realize these are special parts for track bicycle?" the owner asked. "Yes I know exactly what they are," said Hilary. I wonder what those parts are worth now.

Anyone who has more than three grand burning a hole in their pocket and who feels their life won't be complete without a Simplex Record 60 should take a look at the auction here.

Thanks to Cyclingnews reader Reg Oakley for the heads-up.

Hawley rides to work

Bike and component distributor The Hawley Company is rewarding its employees for commuting to work by bike, according to a report on the website of US bike industry bible Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

Employees stand to benefit by as much as $500 per year in product or paid time off under the company's bike-to-work program, which is based on a similar scheme at King Cycle Group, manufacturer of Chris King bike parts.

"Taking into consideration the area in which we are located, we felt that it was important for us to set a good example for our customers as well as the many other various organizations we are affiliated with," said Eric Smith, a Hawley sales associate and the program's administrator.

"It was time to start practicing what we preach and implement a plan that encourages our people to ride their bikes to work. While this isn't anything new for the industry, a commuting program was long overdue for us," he added.

Defending champs to line up in Arlington

2002 winners Vassily Davidenko (Navigators) and Ina Teutenberg (Saturn) will be back in Arlington, VA on June 1 to defend their titles in the sixth edition of the Clarendon Cup Pro/Am Invitational, according to promoter Arlington Sports.

The race is a round of the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar series, and the American Criterium Championship Series. Racing starts just after 8am with various amateur categories and morning's program includes the Law Enforcement Relay, the women's race mid-morning and free kid's races for under-10s, followed by the men's Pro/Am race at noon.

Mass spinning for Lance Armstrong Foundation

Renaissance ClubSport will host a three-hour "mass" indoor cycling event on May 18 to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF). From 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Myles Murphy, Renaissance ClubSport trainer, and his elite cycling team, Areté Racing, will lead the Lance Armstrong Challenge Spinning event.

The three hour event will bring together 100 fitness and cycling enthusiasts in the first mass Spinning event of its kind in the San Francisco Bay Area. Each participant will receive an event T-shirt, sponsor thank-you gift and a ticket to the post-event party at the Renaissance ClubSport hotel and fitness resort.

This event is a prelude to Areté Racing team's participation in the 2003 Race Across America. Teams will race through 15 states from San Diego, CA, to Atlantic City, NJ, in June to raise awareness and funds for The Lance Armstrong Foundation.

The Lance Armstrong Challenge Spinning event is open to the public. Participants can register at Renaissance ClubSport, 2805 Jones Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94597 (925.938-8700) or by visiting Individual entry is $100 and Team entry is $150 (up to 3 people). All proceeds will go to LAF.

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