First Edition News for October 2, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones & John Stevenson
Van Moorsel smashes Hour Record
Dutchwoman Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel has demolished the Women's Hour Record, with a stunning ride of 46.065 kilometres on the track in Mexico City. The attempt took place at 9:05 am on Wednesday morning local time, in near perfect conditions: no wind and 17.5 degree temperatures.
Leontien had set herself a schedule whereby she would ride at 46.310 km/h, which would allow her to comfortably surpass Jeannie Longo's mark of 45.095 kilometres. A crash while warming up delayed her attempt, but she was ready to ride by 9:00 am, and set off at 9:05 am.
The ride went perfectly according to plan: After 10 minutes she was 275m up on Jeannie Longo's mark; after 20 minutes she was 384m up; after 30 minutes she was 525m ahead; after 40 min she was 728m up; after 50 min she was 830m in front; then she lifted her tempo to eventually finish nearly a kilometre ahead of the Frenchwoman.
Visibly emotional after her storming ride, Leontien told AFP, "I am very happy with this record, but it was very hard." Before heading off to crack open the champagne with her coach and husband Michael Zijlaard and attending Dutch diplomats, Leontien paid tribute to the woman whose record she had just demolished. "Longo is a very great rider," she said, "but I am very pleased to have surpassed her."
The triple Olympic gold medalist has devoted virtually her entire year to this attempt, at an estimated cost of €150,000. Van Moorsel tried to break the Hour Record at sea level in Manchester two years ago, but fell well short of Longo's mark. With this success, she has now won everything in women's cycling: three Olympic gold medals, nine World Championships, two women's Tours de France, and more than 30 national titles.
The 33 year old Dutch queen of cycling intends to go on for one more year and represent her country at the Olympics in Athens in order to defend her titles.
Ullrich still welcome at Telekom, getting closer to Balearics
While Telekom team boss Walter Godefroot and Bianchi's Rudy Pevenage still aren't on exactly friendly terms, Ullrich himself is still welcome at Telekom, according to his manager Wolfgang Strohband,
Ullrich's return to Telekom is less likely after Tuesday's hoped-for reconciliation between Godefroot and Pevenage failed, with Godefroot telling www.radsport-news.com, "The subject of Pevenage is closed for me and I am not going to say anything more about that." However, Strohband said Ullrich's return to Telekom was still possible, and that Telekom had offered Ullrich a three-year contract with an annual salary of 2.5 million Euros, and a PR role with the team after his retirement.
Ullrich seems to prefer to continue to work with Pevenage, but Godefroot says that's not a show-stopper. "Perhaps we must look for another solution for Pevenage. How that would look, I can't say yet," said Godefroot. One possibility is that Pevenage could work for Ullrich personally, but not as an employee of the team.
Ullrich himself is running out of options. Pevenage and Dutch partner Jacques Hanegraaf have been unable to secure a 2004 co-sponsor for Bianchi so the team will not continue into 2004. Beside Telekom, Ullrich's other possible destination is the new team of iBanesto.com manager Eusebio Unzué, sponsored by the Spanish Balearic Islands (Illes Balears).
"We made a very good offer for that," said Hanegraaf of the Balearic Islands option, "though of course we can't offer a PR contract after [Ullrich's] active career. Ullrich just needs to sign up and clarify a few details and it could go ahead. It's possible we could bring along seven riders."
Ullrich clear for 2004 Olympics
The German Olympic committee says it sees no problem with Jan Ullrich representing the country at the 2004 Olympics in Athens Greece, according to a report from ANP. Olympic rules say that regional organizations can determine whether an athlete has been sufficiently penalized for doping offences.
Ullrich was suspended for nine months in 2002 after he tested positive for amphetamine in an out-of-competition test. The 1997 Tour de France winner was recovering from a knee injury at the time and the German body clearly feels he's done his time.
The way is therefore open for Ullrich to defend the Olympic road race title that he won in powerful fashion in Sydney in 2000, and to try to add a gold to his 2000 time trial silver
Headache for world's coaches: choosing juniors
World's selections always involve coaches and governing bodies in no small amount of head-scratching and controversy, but at least when it comes to choosing the elite men's and women's teams the riders have faced each other plenty of times in the year before the event, and selectors have a wealth of data on which to base their decisions.
Not so for the top junior riders, who may come from widely separated areas of a country and not present much racing as a basis for a coach's decision. In an interview in the Hamilton 2003 newsletter, Canadian development coach Jacques Landry explained how he chose his junior team.
"I look for attitude," he said. "Kids that have gumption, that have an attitude as a fighter. Sometimes it's better to have a kid that gets his ass kicked because he knows how to suffer."
In other words, a junior who wins every race in Canada may be stronger than his or her compatriots, but might not have the mental ability to perform well in a field of athletes of equal ability.
In Canada, riders are first identified based on their performances at the National Championships in late June, then a final selection is made later in the year. Because of the limited time, between the Nationals and the Worlds, to make the final selection Landry takes the juniors to where the racing is the toughest: Europe.
"It was an eye-opener (for the riders)," said Landry of this year's national team project, which included races in Italy, Germany and France. "It was a good experience for them - it gives them a heads up on what to expect (at the Worlds)."
So how does Landry expect the Canadian juniors to do this year?
It's hard to say, he says, because each year the athletes are different and it's difficult to know how they will stack up against the world's best.
"We have cycles - there's some good years, some lesser years. This year is a fairly good year," he says. "They have a good attitude - they're fighters."
When pressed for a prediction on performance in the time trial, Landry hums and haws, and finally offers, vaguely: "Top 15 to 25."
Party with the Azzurri!
Fancy having dinner with the Italian team? On Monday October 6, Giuseppi Ferrara, one of the founders of the Hamilton Worlds is organizing a dinner/party for the Azzuri and as many of their closest friends as can be squeezed into Liuna Station, the refurbished Hamilton train station on James Street. Ferrara says that the entire Italian team will be there including outgoing world champion Mario Cipollini and this year's favourite Paolo Bettini.
The bash starts at 6.30pm, costs $75 per person and includes a buffet dinner. Ticket numbers are limited (we were kidding about squeezing everyone in) and bookings close midnight (EDT), Sunday, October 5. For tickets go to go to net-zone-secure.com/canadiancyclist
Canadian Premier of The Hard Road
The Hamilton World's will play host to the Canadian premier of The Hard Road, a movie that tracks a first year professional team through an entire season on the U.S. circuit.
There will be a total of six screenings over four days in Hamilton during the Road Worlds - one each next Wednesday and Thursday (October 8 and 9) at 6:00 pm, and 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm shows on Friday and Saturday (October 10 and 11). Tickets are $10. Only 55 seats are available for each showing at the Stair Case Theatre, so get your tickets before it is too late.
For more information and to order tickets see www.canadiancyclist.com. Everyone who orders tickets before midnight EDT October 2 will be entered into a draw for a pair of week-long grandstand tickets for the World Championships, valued at $300.
Phonak for Paris-Tours & Paris-Bourges
The Phonak team has announced the riders that will start today's Paris-Bourge race and Sunday's Paris-Tours World Cup event.
For Paris-Bourge Phonak will field Michael Albasini, Roger Beuchat, Martin Elmiger, Cyril Dessel, Gregory Rast, Daniel Schnider, Johann Tschopp, and Sascha Urweider
And for Paris-Tours: Michael Albasini, Roger Beuchat, Martin Elmiger, Cyril Dessel, Bert Grabsch, Stefan Kupfernagel, Gregory Rast, Sascha Usov. Both teams will be under the direction of directeur sportif Jacques Michaud.
Lehigh Bike Flea Market this Saturday
Saturday October 4 sees this year's edition of what's claimed to be the longest-running bicycle flea market at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome. The Fall Bicycle Flea Market runs from 9am to 2pm, with a live band from 10am to 1pm; the bar - serving beers from Victory Brewing Company and Anheuser Busch - opens at 11am.
For directions and other details see www.lvvelo.org/directions1.htm
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)