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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition News for October 1, 2003

Edited by John Stevenson

De Clercq announces surprise retirement

Mario De Clercq during his reign as world cyclo-cross champion
Photo: © Dick Soepenberg
Click for larger image

Belgian cyclo-cross superstar Mario De Clercq has announced his retirement, much to the surprise of the cyclo-cross community. De Clercq sprang the news at a press conference for the Wortegem-Petegem race (October 12), telling reporters that this race would be his last ever in front of his home crowd.

Marc Van Landeghem of spoke to De Clercq about the decision to retire and his future plans.

Marc Van Landeghem: This news has been kept as a big secret?

Mario De Clercq: I can keep a secret and I gave this a lot of thought. I was going to make a decision when I looked back at my summer campaign. With a 7th place as my best result, I decided that it's time to stop.

MVL: Three times times World Champion! Only a few riders have done as well as that.

MDC: Right! I was confronted with my dad's jersey every day. Every time I went up the stairs I saw my father's jersey hanging there. I would like to do as well as him. A big load fell off my shoulders as I won the title for the first time in Middlefart. After that Poprad and Zolder followed.

MVL: What was the most beautiful moment in your career?

MDC: For sure Middlefart. This must have been my best day of my career. The whole year Groenendaal and Van Der Poel kept on beating me and then… I rode so easily there, it seemed like I was riding a motorcycle.

MVL: So everybody wonders now, what are you going to do after October 12th

MDC: I'm still under contract with Palmans till the end of February 2004. A lot depends on what Hilaire Vanderschueren (manager) is going to do. Team manager? We never really talked about it when we were negotiating my new contract. We'll see.

Van Moorsel ready for record attempt

Leontien Van Moorsel has set a date and time for her attempt on Jeanie Longo's Hour Record: early afternoon, local time in Mexico City, Wednesday, October 1. Dutch news agency ANP reports that everything is looking good for a successful first attempt, with low wind and the temperature expected to be around 23 degrees.

Van Moorsel has already said that she will try again a few days later if she fails to beat Longo's mark of 45.094 kilometres, but that she won't treat a success as her cycling swansong. Rather, the Athens Olympics will be her last competitive appearance.

Quick.Step-Davitamon for Paris-Tours

For this weekend's Paris-Tours World Cup round, the Quick.Step-Davitamon will field a team comprising: Paolo Bettini; Tom Boonen; Davide Bramati; Wilfried Cretskens; Johan Museeuw; Nick Nuyens; Luca Paolini; and Jurgen Van Goolen. Servais Knaven and Bram Tankink will be reserves, and the team will be directed by Wilfried Peeters.

Voskamp to Chocolade Jacques

Bart Voskamp, currently with Bankgiroloterij, has accepted an offer to join the new Belgian Division 1 team Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdorf. He is expected to be joined by current team-mate Johan Capiot as well as Gerben Löwik and Jan van Velzen.

Voskamp's contract with Bankgiroloterij still has a year to run. However, while the new contracts have not yet been signed, Voskamp told Dutch news agency ANP that the transfers were "certain" and that he had a letter from Bankgiroloterij team manager Arend Scheppink, "from which I understand that all riders are free to go where they want."

The core of the new team will be derived from the current Division II Marlux team, with Belgian Dave Bruylandts as team leader.

US rider suspended

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced Tuesday that cyclist Chesen Frey of Colorado Springs, CO, tested positive at the American Velodrome Challenge in Colorado Springs on June 13, 2003. Frey tested for an elevated testosterone-epitestosterone (T/E) ratio, which is prohibited under the rules of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).

Frey, 29, accepted the two-year sanction in accordance with the UCI rules for testing positive for an elevated T/E ratio. The suspension began on Sept. 24, 2003, which is the date of that Frey accepted the sanction.

Frey also loses his finish in the scratch race at the American Velodrome Challenge.

Roger Hammond to speak at coaching seminar

British Collstrop-Palmans rider Roger Hammond will be the featured speaker at the Association of British Cycling Coaches's one-day seminar 'Pedal Power' on Saturday November 22. Hammond won this year's British national road and cyclo-cross titles and will be talking about his training and preparation.

Other speakers at the conference, to be held at the Hylands Hotel, Kenilworth Road, Coventry, include Asker Jeukendrup, author of the book 'High Performance Cycling' and scientific advisor to the Rabobank team and UK Athletics. Jeukendrup is an acknowledged authority on diet and nutrition and this will be his subject for Pedal Power.

Richard Hallett, Technical Editor of Cycling Weekly will be talking about the latest developments on kit and equipment with particular emphasis on wheels and frames. Paul Buxton, from the British Triathlon Association's World Class Performance Programme will be talking about the work they are doing, with a focus on training and preparation for time trials and road racing. There will be a question and answer session after each speaker.

Cost of the seminar is £35 per attendee, with a £25 night B&B available for anyone requiring overnight accommodation at the Hylands Hotel.

To register, contact Ray Luckett, 24 Bromley Gardens, South Beach, BLYTH, NE24 3TR. Telephone 01670 353 682. Further information may also be obtained from Lewis Hall on 02476 677 661.

Minute Maid/Dasani-La Grange recruiting

The Minute Maid/Dasani-La Grange cycling team is looking for a few strong Category 1 racers for its 2004 elite men's team. To be considered, candidates must currently hold a USCF Category 1 or equivalent racing license; be available to compete in at least 35 races in 2004; and possess strong recommendations from coaches or managers.

The squad is not only seeking racers with proven results, but riders who understand team dynamics and strategy and are willing to make selfless contributions to enhance the overall success of the team. Because the squad is part of a large club entity (Los Angeles-based Velo Club La Grange Westwood), racers must be willing to serve as mentors and role models for younger racers and the general club membership.

Bios and resumes should be sent to Dave Keire at and Matias Mendigochea at by October 31.

Stolen bike recovered - after 24 years!

Twenty-four years after having it stolen, a Dutch woman has got back the bike she owned for just two weeks in 1979, according to a report from the Reuters news agency.

The bike went missing from a hospital in the eastern Dutch city of Enschede, and reappeared by chance earlier this year when police saw a man trying to steal it again in Amsterdam. Police traced the original owner through a post-code marking on the bike and she collected her bike on Tuesday after traveling from her current home in Germany.

"The bike was in a pretty good condition, considering," said Amsterdam police spokesman Ron Moes. "It's still rideable, so it must have been a good one."

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