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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition News for May 7, 2003

Edited by John Stevenson

Anita Valen non-negative for caffeine

Norwegian cyclist Anita Valen has tested 'non-negative' for caffeine, according to At this stage 'non-negative' means that she was over the prescribed limit for the stimulant, but her B sample has yet to be analysed. The PowerPlate-Bik rider was controlled at the Vuelta Castilla y Leon in March where it was found that she had a level of 14.5 micrograms/mL of caffeine in her urine. The UCI legal limit is 12.0 micrograms/mL.

The Norwegian cycling federation issued a statement saying that her B sample is currently being analysed, and the results will be known in mid-May. If that sample also contains a high level of caffeine, then she will officially be declared positive and will face a sanction from her federation.

Landis back on track for TdF berth

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

Landis family values
Photo: © Tim Maloney
Click for larger image

After watching US Postal rider and Cyclingnews columnist Floyd Landis power a breakaway for 100km on Stage 4 of the Tour de Georgia, we were reminded once again of the talent that put Landis on last year's TdF squad in support of Lance Armstrong's fourth consecutive Tour victory.

After a week of phone tag, we caught up with Floyd at Newark Airport on his cell phone Wednesday as he was returning to Spain. We had been chasing Floyd for a follow-up to his recent column on his return to racing at Sea Otter and Tour de Georgia after a broken hip, but the likeable Landis had been busy... more than we realized. "I'm really sorry I didn't send you guys a diary yet, but I've had a lot going on. I was having some problems with my hip at Georgia; there was some bursitis and with the bone healing, the bolts were sticking out of my hip 3 to 4 millimeters," explained Landis. "I realized that there was a lot of risk to thisand I had a few choices about how to handle it. Finally I went to Saan Diego, where Dr. Chao, who is an orthopedic surgeon for the San Diego Chargers, performed a 1 hour operation to remove my old bolts and put in some new ones."

Landis was nonplussed by the surgery, as he explained that "it was no big deal; the hip has already healed so replacing the bolts was not a problem." Landis will now head to Valencia, Spain to see his team doctor for a further check-up, then begin his comeback effort again with the first race likely to be Tour of Belgium. "I'm sure that I'll be ready to go for the start of the Tour now," said a confident Landis. Look for a special double diary from Floyd on Cyclingnews in the near future.

Andrea Tafi goes on line

Popular Italian rider Andrea Tafi now has an official site, unveiled yesterday to mark his 37th birthday. As usual it has lots of pictures, his full palmares, details of recent races and so on - all in Italian so you'll need Babelfish to get some sort of sense out of it unless your Italian is a lot better than most of ours.

The home page is here, though folks on dial-up who can live without a 400kB Flash entry page should go here.

CCC Polsat for Giro

CCC-Polsat will be the first team from Poland to ride a Grand Tour when its squad, headed by Pavel Tonkov, lines up for the Giro on Sunday. Tonkov is aiming for a podium place in this year's race after his fifth place finish last year in Lampre-Daikin colours.

Tonkov will be supported by domestiques Piotr Chmielewski, Seweryn Kohut, Piotr Przydzial and Radoslaw Romanik, while Dariusz Baranowski and Tomasz Brozyna will be the team's 'freelancers', able to go after any opportunity that presents itself and aiming to finish in the top 15. Rounding out the squad are designated sprinters Andris Nauduzs and Bogdan Bondariew

However, CCC-Polsat press officer Tomasz Jaronski admits that health problems may limit the team's ambitions. Pavel Tonkov has been suffering back problems, says Jaronski, while Przydzial has problems with his shoulders after a fall in training. gear stolen

Women's mountain biking advocate Tonya Laffey is appealing for riders in the Terre Haute Indiana area and beyond to keep an eye out for clothing and equipment that was stolen from her vehicle last Thursday night, May 1.

Laffey had stopped to sleep while en route to Cincinnati, Ohio to hold a women's mountain bike clinic and woke to find the side window of her truck broken and large amounts of equipment and clothing missing, including about 30 uniforms, 100 pairs of Defeet socks, plus her white and green Apple iBook, and tools including a brand new Ultimate workstand.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of all this kit should contact Tonya at or the Terre Haute police department.

Booty call for LAF

June 13's risqué-sounding 24 Hours of Booty actually takes its name from its venue, the "Booty Loop" in Myers Park, Charlotte, NC. This three-mile circuit is popular with local riders, runner and triathletes and last year 24 Hours of Booty organizer Spencer Lueders completed 104 laps of the course in 24 hours to raise over $6,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

This year the event will be open to everyone and will benefit both the LAF and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

For more information see

Event organizer dies while warming up

Southern California time trial website reports the sad death of Orange County Santiago Time Trial event organizer Curt Sutliff on May 4 at the San Diego Fiesta Island Time Trial. Sutcliff passed out while warming up on his trainer and despite a quick response from EMT's was not able to be revived.

In a posting on the site, Todd Willis, the Organizer of the Fiesta Island Time Trial Series, said, "San Diego Bicycle Club and the all of the competitors the morning of the event are shocked and saddened by this tragic and untimely loss of such an active member of the cycling community. Curt was just 51 years old.

"Our heart goes out to Curt's family and friends during this very difficult time. In honor of Curt Sutliff, bib number 66 will be retired from the Fiesta Island Time Trial Series. He will be remembered appropriately at each future event at Fiesta Island. A memorial service is scheduled for this Friday, May 9 at 11:30. McCormick and Son Mortuary, 25002 Moulton Parkway, Laguna Hills, CA 92653 - (949) 768-0933."

Climbing legs on for Joe Martin Stage Race

This weekend's major US National Racing Calendar event is the Joe Martin Stage race in Fayetteville, Arkansas, a four-stage competition named after the race's founder who sadly died of cancer in 1989.

According to race spokesman John Carruthers, Joe Martin was "a cycling enthusiast from Fayetteville, Arkansas who dreamed of having a national-calibre bicycle race in his home town, at the foot of the Boston Mountains. In 1978, he organized the Fayetteville Spring Classic, which went on to become a fixture of the region's racing calendar; however, in 1988, Martin was stricken with cancer, and passed away within a year. Since then, the event which he founded has been renamed the Joe Martin Stage Race in his honor, and has become what Martin always dreamed it would be: a top multi-day event."

Teams that have signed up for this year's race include the Saturn men's and women's teams, Sierra Nevada/Clif Bar, 7UP/Maxxis, Prime Alliance, Jelly Belly/Carlsbad, T-Mobile, Colavita/Bolla, Health Net, Jittery Joe's, Sierra Nevada/Time, West Virginia, and Mercy Cycling Team.

Men's favourites include defending champion Gustavo Carillo (Grand Performance/Bianchi), though Carillo will have his work cut out against riders such as Eric Wohlberg (Saturn); 7 UP/Maxxis team leader John Lieswyn, fresh from his win at Shelby; young Australian Ben Brooks (Jelly Belly/Carlsbad Clothing); 2001 winner Steven Cate (Mathis Brothers Cycling); and former Tour de France competitor Javier Nelson Rodriguez of Colombia, riding for the local Tyson Racing team

On the hilly parcours of the Joe Martin, the rider to beat in the women's race will undoubtedly be Genevieve Jeanson who demonstrated her total superiority in climbing when she won last week's Tour of the Gila by over 18 minutes. Hoping to put Jeanson under pressure will be defending champion Lyn Gaggioli (Velo Bella) and Genesis Scuba's Sue Palmer-Komar, the runner up at the Flèche Wallonne World Cup two weeks ago.

The race starts Friday with a road race stage that includes 5,400ft of climbing for the men and 3,500ft for the women, then Saturday morning's stage two throws even more climbing at the riders with a 23-mile loop that takes in over 1,500ft of climbing per lap. Saturday afternoon sees yet more uphill action with a hill climb time trial in Devil's Den State Park and the race culminates with Sunday's criterium in downtown Fayeteville.


  • Stage 1 - May 9: Fayetteville-Fayetteville, 113/70 miles; 5,400ft/3,500ft climbing (M/W)
  • Stage 2 - May 10: Fayetteville-Fayetteville, 92/68 miles; 6,000ft/4,500ft
  • Stage 3 - May 10: Devil's Den State Park Hill climb ITT, 2.5 miles; 900ft
  • Stage 4 - May 11: Fayetteville Criterium, 90 minutes + 3 laps/60 minutes + 3 laps

Riding for health in the UK and Australia

The health benefits of cycling are well-documented and now the UK's National Health Service is prescribing cycling to heart patients, according to the Western Daily Press. Heart patients in Bristol, England will be prescribed free cycling lessons under the new 'Halth on Wheels' scheme.

People suffering from heart disease, diabetes, rheumatic complaints, stress and anxiety will all be eligible for the treatment. Patients will be referred by their GP or healthcare worker for six cycling sessions. A personal trainer will visit a person to teach them how to ride safely and confidently and make cycling part of their lifestyle.

Australians (or at least Sydneysiders) looking for a health boost from cycling can take advantage of a similar, free-of-charge scheme offered by Sydney's Central Area Health Service. The service provides learn-to-ride sessions presented by cycling coach Tanya Bosch that start with indoor theory and bike handling training and move on to teaching prospective cyclists how to ride in traffic.

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