First Edition Cycling News for November 19, 2003
Edited by Chris Henry
Kelme under pressure
The Kelme-Costa Blanca cycling team's economic woes continue to threaten its continued existence, and despite team manager Joan Mas's confident declarations that the team's debt from unpaid taxes did not jeopardize the 2004 season, the situation looks far from settled. Spanish paper Marca reports that several months of salary owed to team members remain unpaid, and the UCI has yet to receive the team's bank deposit for 2004 which would assure its position in Division I. If November salaries are not paid on time, riders may be able to break their contracts with the team.
Unable to reach a deal with Joseba Beloki, the Italian Stayer team, still in the development stages, represents one of the last exit strategies for disgruntled riders seeking a new team this late in the year. Kelme's leader Oscar Sevilla has already left to join Phonak, while Manolo Saiz told Marca that Alejandro Valverde would make a perfect addition to the Liberty Seguros team.
"He's impressed me as a rider," Saiz said about Valverde in the Marca report. "But I have neither spoken with him, nor do I wish to see the Kelme team disappear."
Having already experienced financial difficulties, Kelme was offered several additional years of support from the Valencia government in Spain. Nonetheless, it appears the money owed by the team represents a new and arguably more substantial hurdle to cross in order to continue into what should be the team's 25th year of sponsorship in 2004.
Landuyt released from custody
Belgian veterinarian Jose Landuyt, the focal point of a sweeping investigation into the distribution and use of doping products in cycling in Belgium, has been released from police custody. Landuyt has been held in custody since September when Belgian authorities launched the investigation, which included searches of the houses of 21 homes including the residences of Johan Museeuw, Mario De Clercq, Jo Planckaert, and others.
Landuyt was suspected of supplying riders with a variety of banned substances, but investigators acknowledged Tuesday that they had insufficient evidence to justify his continued incarceration. He still faces charges of trafficking of illegal substances, according to an AP report.
Herman Versele, a medical assistant, was also released from custody, and the two are prohibited from having any contact with each other, nor are they to contact any of the other people implicated in the investigation. Investigators have not yet revealed the results of analysis performed on substances seized from several riders' homes.
Botero looking ahead
Santiago Botero is looking forward to his second season in the colours of Team Telekom, which in 2004 will carry the name T-Mobile. Botero suffered through a forgettable 2003 season, dogged by illness and poor form, but is reported to be training in his native Colombia with the goal of a more fruitful 2004.
"I want to attack again next year and leave this botched season behind," Botero commented on the team's website. Although Botero has found his own success on the roads of the Tour de France, at times considered an outside contender for the podium, he is ready to put himself in the service of Jan Ullrich, who returns to the Telekom fold next season.
"I want to help Jan win the Tour," Botero insisted. "If along the way I can still get a good result or a stage win, that would be all the better."
Team manager Walter Godefroot insisted after this season's poor performances that Botero's usual methods of training solo in Colombia throughout the spring would have to shift in favour of more time spent with the team in Europe, beginning with a team gathering in Cologne at the end of this week.
"Naturally we expected more from Santiago," Godefroot commented, "but he also expected more from himself. I'm sure that in 2004 we'll see another Botero, because he has the potential to be among the best."
Jan Ullrich expressed his own satisfaction with the team lineup, noting that "with Vinokourov, Botero, Savoldelli, and Evans, we have a lot of options [for the Tour]. That can only be an advantage."
Brown wants "as many stages as possible" in Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under
Australia's Graeme Brown, a member of the reigning world champion team pursuit squad on the track, has vowed to 'win as many stages as possible' in the 2004 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under when he spearheads the Panaria-Margres sprint attack in January. But Brown says the team selected also has the talent to challenge for overall honours.
"I'm going to try for the sprint jersey this year and with a new team bike with a fixed headset I'll be sprinting in a straight line," said Brown referring to the first stage of this year's event when he was relegated to last place and docked eight points in the SA Lotteries sprint classification for dangerous riding in the final frantic rush for the line.
"This time around I'm planning to get the upper hand on the main threats for the sprint finishes and not lose points before I start," said Brown. "I'm really geed up to start the season with some wins."
Brown will rely on team-mate Brett Lancaster to power him to the front for the sprints. The pair are not only team mates in the Italian professional line up but this year joined forces at the track world championships in Stuttgart along with Peter Dawson and Luke Roberts to smash the world record for the 4km team pursuit and claim the gold medal in a time of 3min57.280sec. The astounding time was 2.3 seconds faster than the previous mark also held by Australia and set at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Brown was also a member of the victorious team in Manchester.
He says the rest of his Panaria-Margres team is likely to concentrate on securing outright race honours.
"Paolo Tiralongo will be chomping at the bit to do well because he's been out of action since this year's Giro d'Italia where he had a really bad crash," said Brown. Tiralongo claimed second on the tenth stage of the race but on stage twelve the Italian was forced to abandon after suffering a back injury in a nasty crash. "He was on fire before the crash and was on track for a stage win," said Brown.
"The sort of climbs on this race will suit him and the other ones to watch will be Giuliano Figueros because he's always one to watch and Fabio Giloli because he also wants to prove himself after being plagued by knee problems this season."
Panaria-Margres team for 2004 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under
Graeme Brown (Aus)
Kluck continues with USPS
Damon Kluck has re-signed with US Postal Service-Berry Floor for the 2004 season. After a difficult year overcoming injury, Kluck rediscovered his form in the late season, riding well at the T-Mobile International in San Francisco and finishing his first World Cup race at Paris-Tours. His late season performances earned him selection as an alternate on the 2003 US World's Team. Kluck looks forward to riding with US Postal again in 2004.
Cyclists International Track Series
Melbourne, Australia based track cycling promoter Cyclists International launched on Monday its 2003/04 International Track Cycling Series, to be held at Vodafone Arena. The series, to consist of four rounds, will once again attract the best cyclists from Australia and internationally to compete for a rich prize pool. This season will be the fourth year that Cyclists International has promoted at Vodafone Arena.
The four round series consists of the following events:
Saturday November 29, 2003 Melbourne Cup on Wheels
Cyclists International makes no secret of its poor financial position at present, and needs as much support as possible so that it may continue to promote world-class events beyond 2004.
"Cyclists International has poured its heart and soul into brining the best track cycling in the World to Vodafone Arena over 25 years," says Media and Promotion Director Adam Murchie.
"Last year, average attendances, coupled with a desire to increase the profile of track cycling through TV coverage, cost us a substantial amount of money and we are starting off on the back foot this year. Every year we provide the best racing Australia has to offer, and we desperately need all cycling fans to come along and support us to ensure the continued viability of track cycling in Melbourne."
Once again, many of the worlds best cyclists have been confirmed to compete in the Series including Shane Kelly, Jobie Dajka and Brett Aitken who will contest the Melbourne Cup on Wheels on Saturday, November 29.
This year, the CI International Track Cycling Series will form part of the newly established National Track Series, with all Cyclists International events being ranked as Category 1 promotions. As such, competitors will be able to accrue maximum points in the keirin, handicap and endurance events (madison and scratch race) which form part of the National Series.
Tickets are on sale at Ticketek (132 849 or www.ticketek.com) from $20, and season tickets are available prior to the first event. Further information on the series is available at www.cyclistsinternational.com.au and www.viccycle.com.au, or through Adam Murchie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are still opportunities to sponsor Cyclists International events, and should anyone be interested in becoming involved in Australia’s highest profile track cycling series, they are invited to contact Adam Murchie at email@example.com.
Solano Bicycle Classic needs volunteers
The Solano Bicycle Classic (SBC), a four-day event in California which consistently draws a top domestic field, is in dire need of volunteers for 2004. Event organizers may be forced to drop the amateur and public races, leaving only the pro races. Now the entire SBC is in jeopardy due to lack of logistical support.
Scheduled for April 1-4, 2004, the SBC could be cancelled all together if organizers can not attract sufficient volunteer resources. The decision could be made as early as the next committee meeting on Monday, November 24, or by December 1, according to race chairman Scott Reynolds.
"There's about eight core people on the committee and you can't do it with that number," said SBC amateur race director Tim Jones in a Daily Republic interview. "It's all but dead unless there's an outpouring of people willing to commit time from now until the end of the races - and they commit by Thanksgiving. I'm operating under the assumption it's dead."
Sponsor Development director Denise Kirchubel encourages anyone interested in devoting time between now and the April race dates to call her at (707) 326-2312 or come to Monday's 5:15pm meeting at the Fairfield Community Center, Conference Room C.
Tom Danielson Scholarship Foundation
The Tom Danielson Scholarship Foundation announced on online auction via the popular website eBay Tuesday, the proceeds of which will benefit student-athletes and collegiate cycling programs. The auction, which will run from Nov. 21 to Dec. 5, 2004, will feature many cycling-related items from Danielson’s career.
Tom Danielson raced in the collegiate cycling program at Fort Lewis College, was a Collegiate National Mountain Bike Champion most recently rode professionally on the road with the Saturn Cycling Team. Danielson has joined the Fassa Bortolo team for 2004.
Danielson’s alma mater, the Fort Lewis Cycling Team, has been the premier collegiate cycling program in the country. With Danielson’s help, the program is now able to assist its participants with scholarship funds.
"Collegiate cycling provided me with all the tools to be a successful professional cyclist," Danielson said. "Not only did it give me cycling opportunities with top notch racing and coaching, but it taught me how to manage myself. Juggling class, training, studying, relationships and other obstacles has instilled in me a strong work ethic and taught me how to use my time efficiently. In addition, overcoming each obstacle gave me a sense of self-accomplishment and confidence that I could handle anything the real world could throw at me."
The Tom Danielson Scholarship Foundation was created in May of 2003 with the hope of assisting aspiring cyclists to pursue their dreams both academically and physically. It was created for Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. The Foundation is currently raising money through fundraisers and donations and targets becoming a self-sustaining scholarship foundation in the future. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the auction, visit www.tomdanielson.com or www.usacycling.org.
Calling all grassroots women's cycling programs
At the 2nd Yoplait Women's Cycling Summit held on October 13th, a task force was formed to identify successful grassroots women's cycling programs and to help develop similar programs that would be successful in other parts of the country as well. These programs are focused on getting more women involved with racing and making the sport more accessible.
Your help is needed in identifying successful local, regional, and national women's cycling programs. If you know of a successful grassroots women's cycling program - including camps, clinics, and race series - please forward contact information (program name, website address and email contact) to Lorri@VeloGirls.com.
Les Jeunes Cycling Club seeks sponsor
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
For the last number of years, Les Jeunes Cycling Club formed in the early 1980 has had the backing of Dublin Skip. The company has been sold on, and now the club has a mountain to climb in seeking an alternative backer which will keep it in the comfort zone.
According to the successful businessman, Mark McLeavy, "It indeed was a perfect marriage between us and the Moriartys, who were the proprietors of the well established business.
"From the feedback we got down the years, Dublin Skip was more than pleased with the level of performance in events all over the country, and the exposure they received in the media circles," he added. "As far as I am concerned, it was disappointing that the one item I felt was missing from the all but complete jigsaw, was the County award in the FBD Milk Ras.
"Being realistic, we may have been of the opinion that the support was ad infinitum, but they were more than sponsors, they were totally behind the development of cycling. We would like this opportunity to wish the Moriarty family all they would wish for themselves in the future," said Mark.
The good news is that the membership of the club at a recent meeting has agreed to continue. I have a feeling that they'll be active in the bunches up and down the country for many a year to come. They have the nucleus within the club to deliver the needs of any would-be sponsor.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)