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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for November 7, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Painful separation, but no grudges between Sevilla and Kelme

Oscar Sevilla
Photo: © Unipublic

Spanish cycling talent Oscar Sevilla, who will leave Kelme at the end of this year to join Swiss outfit Phonak, said that he will always feel some affinity for the team after spending six seasons there. "It was a difficult and very complicated moment and I expect it will be for the best as I'm doing it with the intention to pursue new dreams," said Sevilla of his decision. "It was a difficult decision to leave because I'm leaving a lot of friends, a great team and a great deal of support."

Sevilla was speaking at the presentation of the 14th Criterium Ciclista de la Comunidad Valenciana which will take place this weekend and will feature Sevilla as one of the top riders. He explained further about his reasons for leaving Kelme. "My head needed a change and I believe it was the right moment, but it's clear that the six years will not be forgotten."

Sevilla said that he has patched up the differences between him and former bosses Vicente Belda and Pepe Quiles at Kelme after they criticised him heavily for leaving the team. "It's normal what happened because Belda wanted me to continue with him, but I spoke with the team and they understood...There is no grudge."

Landuyt-Versele case: riders allegedly positive

In the latest development in the Jose Landuyt-Herman Versele doping affair in Belgium, several cyclists have allegedly tested positive for the "super-EPO" drug Aranesp. The tests were done in September after police searched 21 people's homes, including professional cyclists Johan Museeuw, Mario De Clercq and Jo Planckaert had their homes searched by police investigating the alleged drug dealing activities of veterinarian Jose Landuyt.

Belgian newspaper De Morgen reported that the results of the first round of tests are now known by the Court in Kortrijk, which is investigating the case. De Morgen quoted an anonymous Court source, who said that approximately 10 riders had shown traces of Aranesp in their urine samples. "It is not known yet which riders are concerned as they have not been informed yet," said the source. "The results will be collected in an official report. Those concerned will be questioned and they have the right to ask for a counter analysis."

However a spokesman for the Court, Tom Janssens, would not officially confirm the news, only saying that the Court had indeed received a few of the test results. "I cannot confirm the article [in De Morgen]," said Janssens to VRT Teletekst. "That would be a step too far. There are still results to come."

Bortolami to Lampre

Gianluca Bortolami, who spent most of the 2003 season serving a suspension for a corticosteroid positive, will leave Vini Caldirola next season to ride for the Lampre team.

Ivan Dominguez signs for Colavita-Bolla

Cuban sprinter Ivan Dominguez will join USPRO Champion Mark McCormack in the beefed up Colavita-Bolla Professional Cycling Team next season, the team announced today. Dominguez, who hails from Havana, gained notoriety in 1998 when he defected to the United States following the New York-hosted Goodwill Games. For the last three years he has raced for the Saturn Cycling Team, where he has made a name for himself as a sprinter/all-rounder. His victories include the 2002 New York City Cycling Championships, the inaugural downtown Manhattan event featuring Tour de France star Lance Armstrong and other top riders.

"Ivan will fill a vital role in our stepped-up program," said Colavita-Bolla team owner John A. Profaci, "He not only possesses the strength and speed to come out on top in any criterium, but is also a proven contender in road racing and valuable team worker. Together with his previous Saturn teammate and current US Pro Champion Mark McCormack who signed with us earlier this week, Ivan shares in our excitement for next year’s squad."

With the addition of Dominguez, the Colavita-Bolla's 2004 roster nears completion, with the full roster to be released shortly.

Miche signs d'Aniello

The Bulgarian registered Miche team has signed Italian National Elite champion Antonio D'Aniello to its squad for 2004. The 24 year old will join 22 year old Russian talent Alexander Bespalov and 23 year old Italian Pasquale Muto in the team, which will have at least 13 riders next season when it hopes to move up to Division II.

Catalan pro team?

The government of Catalonia in Spain wants to put together a Catalonian professional cycling team, using the Euskaltel-Euskadi model as a basis. ERC spokesman Josep Lluís Carod-Rovira said that the team would be both publicly and privately funded, and would cost around €3 million to get going.

"We've got some great professionals who unfortunately can't compete in Catalonia or for Catalonia," said Carod-Rovira to Europa Press at the presentation of the initiative in Vic, Catalonia.

Those involved in the plan include Volta a Catalunya president Oscar Pitarch, and riders Jordi Riera, Carles Torrent and Josep Jufré. "We have everything [in Catalonia] except a team," said Pitarch.

Amore e Vita to bear the cross

The riders of the Italian Amore e Vita-Beretta team, which is sponsored by the Vatican in Rome, will be sporting crucifixes on their stems next year. The idea came from neo-professional Stefano Ciuffi, and will be adopted by all members of the team, even the non-Christians.

Cooke and McEwen gear up for Sunday's Café Racer crit

Despite the now well known unfortunate injury to his nether regions, Baden Cooke is still maintaining he will be pinning a number on and taking it to Robbie McEwen this Sunday at the Mazda-Café Racer Criterium in St. Kilda, Australia. At the press conference on Wednesday morning, both riders were looking forward to the event, which is seen as an opportunity to race in a relaxed atmosphere.

Racing kicks off at 7:30am on Sunday with the women's race, featuring World Pursuit silver medallist Katie Mactier and former Australian Criterium Champion Lizzie Williams. At 08:30 am, the B Grade race takes to Jacka Blvd, St Kilda prior to the Elite men's field firing things up at 09:30.

Round 3 of Irish Cyclo-cross League in Kilcullen

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

Lurgan and Rostrevor have played hosts to the first two rounds of the Cycling Ireland Cyclo-Cross League, but the action switches south on Saturday to the Co. Kildare venue of Kilcullen. Action gets under way at mid-day for the under age participants, with one o'clock the scheduled start for the league proper.

Hillcrest Hire Kilcullen CC is the host club. The league will be centred in the Sports Complex in the village with Liam Walker the organiser. "Competitors will be racing for one hour," said Liam. "Last year due to unforeseen weather conditions the course cut up very badly, but there’ll be no repeat, irrespective of conditions brought on by Mother Nature. It is a very technical course and the lap is approximately 1500 meters. On the evidence of the two league events already in the can, it is refreshing to see that this winter activity is gaining momentum. For my money, I have no doubt that all going well an exciting day’s racing is guaranteed tomorrow," said Liam.

In pole position after two rounds is Roger Aiken of the Banbridge Cycling Club. Roger has taken the league by the scuff of the neck, and irrespective of the handicapper has collected the maximum of points. It has been nail biting for the spectators, as Roger has only come good on the penultimate lap of the two previous races. No doubt the organiser in Kilcullen is well aware of this. Roger finished second here last season and is odds on favourite to go one better.

In the corresponding event last year, Don Travers got a puncture when he was within a shout of clinching victory. Due to other commitments, the defending champion from last year Robin Seymour has missed the last two races. It would be a tall order for Robin to peg back Roger's tally of points, but the Kilmacanogue all round competitor could set the league alight if he shows up tomorrow where the racing gets under way at midday. All categories are welcome and mountain bikes are permitted but in the points classification, only those who use cross bikes are eligible for points.

Ras book launch a big success

By Shane Stokes,

Tom Daly, Paul Kimmage and publisher Con Collins
Photo ©: Shane Stokes

Wednesday evening's launch of Tom Daly's fine book, 'The Rás' proved to be a great success, with an excellent turnout, the presence of many Rás greats and the display of priceless memorabilia combining to make this a very special evening. A veritable troop of past winners were in attendance at the Dublin venue: Paudi Fitzgerald, Seamus Kennedy, Brian Connaughton, Stephen Spratt, Gene Mangan, Paul McQuaid, Mike O'Donaghue, Billy Kerr, Sé O'Hanlon, Stephen Delaney, Peter Doyle, Colm Nulty and the first winner, Colm Christle, all came together to celebrate the launch of the publication, which has impressed many with its meticulous research, impeccable prose and fascinating pictures.

Many of those present were quick to praise the book, including the race director Dermot Dignam and the guest speaker Paul Kimmage. Kimmage, a former professional who rode three Tours de France, spoke at length about the Collins Press publication, saying that reading it has taught him much about what went on behind the scenes at the Rás. "I read it the other day and was fascinated. I found out the full story behind certain things, such as the NCA - CRE divide, which I never knew before," he said. Kimmage also recounted his own experiences as an amateur and his determined goal to win the 1983 Rás, which was foiled by the excellent form of Meath rider Philip Cassidy.

FBD Milk Rás director Dermot Dignam was another who was quick to praise Tom Daly's work, stressing the importance of an account such as this. Dignam began his association with the Irish race as a competitor and has since overseen its progression onto the international calendar as a 2.5 ranked event. Echoing Daly's description of the race as a unique contest, he pledged that the race would retain its character and balance, a contest where he says the well-prepared county rider will always have an important part to play.

For his part, the author was quick to applaud the role of others in helping him in his research, explaining that it was their cooperation and generous assistance which made it possible to tell the story of the race. 'Everyone I contacted was happy to give their time, even when there were some awkward questions which had to be asked. Their help was invaluable', he said.

Daly said that many anecdotes and accounts emerged during the research of the book but due to space constraints, some weren't covered this time round. 'Hopefully in the future there will be another forum to do this', he said.

Some of the legacy of the 50 year old race was on display on Wednesday night, with memorabilia such as race leaders jerseys and bikes strategically placed around the venue. The faded wool jersey worn by 1954 winner Joe O'Brien was just one example, as was the immaculately restored Raleigh bike which carried a young Stephen Roche to his first big stage race success in 1979. Roche's fine showing in the race was an early indicator as to his promise; Tom Daly's book tells the tale of many other riders who went on to future professional success, the unique, unmatched Rás a valuable stepping stone along the way.


Images by Shane Stokes/

1963 Milk Race winner Peter Chisman dies

Senior members of the UK cycling fraternity are mourning the death of Peter Chisman, or 'Chis' as he was more commonly referred to. Peter died suddenly on October 23rd, 2003 at the age of 63, in hospital at Sunderland from complications, following a successful prostate operation.

For the man whose impressive record ranks him high amongst the 'Best of the Brits', it all started from humble beginnings when he borrowed a friend's bike to enter a local cyclo-cross race near Durham, which of course he won, against much older opposition. This inspired 'Chis' who then joined the Houghton cycling club in 1954 at the age of 14.

Within 10 years, he became one of the country's top amateurs and destined for a racing career that took him to Europe, even behind the 'Iron curtain' to ride for Great Britain.

The cycling history books will show the 60's as a purple patch for 'Chis'. His victory in the 1963 Milk Race would see him claim the coveted Yellow jersey from start to finish, completing the 1,354 miles at an average speed of 24 mph.

Selected other achievements:

Milk race career, never finished out of the top 15 4 amateur years competing in the Tour de L'Avenir
1960 - won 12 single day road races and the prestigious Easter 4 day
1961 - rode in the World Amateur championships in Switzerland
1962 - 5 stage wins in the Milk Race
1963 - Milk Race winner, leader start to finish
1965 - Paris-Roubaix stage winner, arguably his best ride. Comment from Les Scales after this feat "Peter, this must rank as one of the best rides by any British rider, anywhere to date"
1966 - Turned professional with Raleigh BMB, rode the World Pro championships against the likes of; Anquetil, Altig and Gimondi
1967 - Rode Tour de France
2003 - 8 weeks prior to his death, rode 130 miles Sunderland to Edinburgh in 8 hours to visit his Grandchildren, not bad at 63 years old!

Peter's time as a Pro lasted 5 years, then in 1971 he decided the high life was not for him and turned his attention to his 'other' career and passion in civil engineering, working with Gateshead and Washington councils, Northumbrian water and Entec, prior to his retirement in 2000.

In retirement, weekly rides from his home in Sunderland to the likes of Edinburgh, Carlisle, Whitby, York and even Norwich, would see 'Chis' in the same old cycling gear, clock up anything between 100-180 daily miles in single or round trips, as well as the shorter 'pleasure trips' around his beloved hills and roads of the North East.

Peter Chisman's funeral was held on October 30th, 2003 with a tribute led by his friend, colleague and fellow cyclist from those early days, Dave Thornton, who said of Peter:

"We have come to pay our respects to a champion, but more than that, to a modest champion, a quiet unassuming sportsman in the true sense of the word, a true gentleman who was universally respected and liked. Peter will not be forgotten, he will be remembered around the table in our favourite 'tea-stops', as he was last Sunday, and he will be with us in spirit in the high hills, where he battled it out with the best."

Amongst the guests of the cycling world who reflected their memories of and cycling tales of 'Chis' were: Paul Blackett, Alan Short, Ray Holton, George Bennett, Ray Wetherall, the Baty brothers and 1952 Milk Race winner and boyhood hero of Peter, Ken Russell.

Convinced by his family to put together the memoirs of his cycling exploits, sadly this will not be forthcoming in the words of Peter himself, but the archive cuttings, photos and tales of his highs and lows, remain treasured by his wife Vera, daughter Catherine, son Mickey and Grandchildren Jack and Katie.

Michael Liddell (Mickey) - stepson to Peter Chisman

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