First Edition News for October 7, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones
Der Jan is back in the fold
After spending a year out of competition and a year riding for another team, Jan Ullrich has returned to the team where he spent almost the entire length of his career: Team Telekom, which will be renamed T-Mobile in 2004. The 1997 Tour winner and reigning Olympic champion closed a three year deal on Saturday reported to be worth €2.5 million a year. But it wasn't just the money that attracted Jan back to the Telekom fold - the security and strength of the big budget German team were of equal importance, as Ullrich wants to have everything in order for his assault on next year's Tour de France and beyond.
At a press conference in Bonn today, Ullrich answered journalists' questions and discussed his future goals. The deciding factor on his return to Telekom? "Actually I've finished second in the Tour de France too often," laughed Ullrich. "Jokes aside, I really want to tackle the next few years properly, and for that I simply need a team that supports me and can motivate me as well. Now I have the strongest team in the world behind me. I am certain that my return to Telekom was the correct thing to do.
Ullrich didn't consider this year wasted however. "I needed the trip to Coast and Bianchi to mature," he said. "I wanted to do things differently than 2002, to experience new things and perhaps to broaden my horizons. The step was crucially important for me. Now I see cycling with completely different eyes and know that I can win the Tour again."
Ullrich believes that it will be easy to fit in with his former teammates, especially Erik Zabel and Alexandre Vinokourov "who have always asked me when I'm coming back. I don't think there will be any problems in future because I have the feeling that the boys are happy to have me back in the ranks. In the Tour, we will be even more unpredictable for Lance Armstrong, because we have several people who can threaten him. I think he'll have to change his tactics a bit. That's a big advantage for us."
Speaking of the Tour, it's not the only thing on Ullrich's mind for 2004. "I also have the Olympic Games in Athens in focus. There I want to defend the gold medal I won three years ago in the road race in Sydney. Those that know me, know I am always in top form in the weeks after the Tour."
As for his new team director Walter Godefroot, Ullrich said that "Walter always believed in me and left the door open. That meant a lot to me." Also, "My girlfriend Gaby stood fully behind me. She has also had a tough time and is now happy that we have security in the next three years."
The future is not yet clear for Jan's mentor for the past nine years Rudy Pevenage, who has been offered a contract by Jan as a personal advisor, but not formal position within T-Mobile. "Everyone knows that I have collaborated with him well for nine years and he has also had a big share in my successes. Rudy must now decide whether he wants to go further."
Images by AFP Photo
World Championships kick off on Tuesday
The 2003 Road World Championships commence on Tuesday, October 7 with the 15.4 km Junior Women's Time Trial in the morning followed by the 30.8 km U23 Men's Time Trial in the afternoon. On Wednesday, the Junior Men and Elite Women will ride their races against the clock, each 20.8 kilometres long. On Thursday it's the turn of the Elite Men who will ride a 41.6 kilometre time trial. From Friday to Sunday, the road races will feature on the program, in the same order as the time trials (Junior Women/U23 Men on Friday, Junior Men/Elite Women on Saturday, and Elite Men on Sunday).
Cyclingnews will be providing its usual in depth coverage of the World Championships, with live coverage, full results, reports, news, interviews and photos from the six days in Hamilton. Our live coverage will commence on Tuesday at approximately 12:30 local time [18:30 CEST/9:30 PDT] with the U23 Men's TT, and we will also be covering the Elite Women's TT on Wednesday at 14:00 local time [20:00 CEST/11:00 PDT], Elite Men's TT on Thursday at 12:30 local time [18:30 CEST/9:30 PDT], U23 Men's RR on Friday at 12:00 local time [18:00 CEST/9:00 PDT], Elite Women's RR on Saturday at 12:45 local time [18:45 CEST/9:45 PDT] and the Elite Men's RR on Sunday at 9:00 local time [15:00 CEST/6:00 PDT].
For more information, please see: World
Championships preview, Map and
Course Profiles, Schedule,
and individual previews and provisional start lists for:
Junior women's TT, U23
Men's TT, Elite
Women's TT, Junior
Men's TT, Elite
Men's TT, Junior
Women's Road Race, U23
Men's Road Race, Elite
Women's Road Race, Junior
Men's Road Race,
Ljungskog keen to defend title in Hamilton
By Gabriella Ekström
"Very motivated! A lot!" was the frank answer given by Susanne Ljungskog when asked how motivated she was to defend her World Champion's title this Saturday. She has had quite a successful season while riding in the rainbow jersey, and she's not willing to give it up yet.
"It has been very nice to wear it this season, and I want to keep my gold medal," Ljungskog told Cyclingnews shortly before flying out to Hamilton. "The Tour was my number one goal this season, but because of the problems I had with my stomach, I wasn't able to perform at my best level, and therefore I'm even more motivated to do a good race at the World's. Overall, I'm pleased with my season. I have won races like Tour of Holland and Giro della Toscana, and for the Tour, well, there was nothing I could have done differently. My preparations were perfect, but things happen in cycling, and I can only congratulate Joane [Somarriba]."
When we spoke to Susanne, she had been home in Sweden since after Giro della Toscana, quite a while according to herself, but really only a fortnight. Susanne and coach Klas arrived in Hamilton on Sunday October 5, well aware of what to expect.
"We have taken a few precautions. After the World Cup in Montreal, we took an extra day to go to Hamilton and check it out. Naturally, we went over the course, but we also looked for a good training route, and picked a nice hotel. We did the whole lot. We might be a bit extreme, but we like to have it all checked up, and it gives a sense of security to know where you are going."
The race course in Hamilton is said to be very selective, and Susanne is not one to disagree. "It's hard indeed, and I expect that the medals will be shared among the riders in a very small group, maybe only five or six. It's a good route for strong riders who can both climb and sprint, like Judith Arndt and Mirjam Melchers, but then on the other hand, strong climbers like Joane Somarriba and Nicole Brändli can really mess the field up on the ascents if they want to, and that might break a few of the all rounders."
Another big goal for Susanne is the Olympics in Athens next year. Will a rainbow jersey encourage her further? Or will it actually disturb her preparations during the 2004 season?
"Oh, that's a good question. I haven't thought about it. I know I'd really like to win the World Championships again, and I can't see that the jersey and title would be a problem in my preparations for Athens. My main objective now is to be as good as I can for the race that is coming up, because I know the feeling, and I know I like it."
The big test comes on Saturday, but Susanne will also take part in the time trial on Wednesday. "Yeah, I'll ride it, but my hopes aren't too high actually. That race never seem to go my way," she sighs. "I won't have any problems reloading my batteries for the road race though. Saturday is all that counts, everything else comes second to that."
BankGiroLoterij losing out to Jacques
The top Dutch division II team BankGiroLoterij will lose its top riders and directeur sportif to Belgian formation Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdorf-Passage Fitness. Bart Voskamp, Gerben Löwik, Jan van Velzen, Rik Reinerink and Bert Hiemstra all signed contracts on Monday with the team, while director Johan Capiot has signed a preliminary contract. In addition, sprinter Jans Koerts has an offer from Jacques that he is considering.
Chocolade Jacques intends to debut in Division I next season, meaning that the BankGiroLoterij riders will be able to race a more attractive program. As for next year's BankGiroLoterij team, negotiations are under way with Marco Bos, Frank van Dulmen, Alain van Katwijk and Laurens ten Dam.
Six months suspension for Neben
US cyclist Amber Neben has received a six month suspension from an arbitration panel of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for testing positive to 19-norandrosterone (nandrolone) at the Montreal World Cup race on May 31, 2003. The panel, composed of members of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), dated the suspension from July 13, 2003, the date Neben accepted her provisional suspension for her violation. She will be disqualified from her 12th place finish in Montreal.
In addition, the panel ruled that Neben would also have an 18 month probationary period in which she is subject to monthly doping control tests, at her own expense, and is required to educate cyclists about the dangers of dietary supplements.
Yoplait to honour leaders in women's cycling
Organizers of the Yoplait Women's Cycling Summit Conference have announced the establishment of the Yoplait Leadership Award. This award, which will be presented for the first time at the conference held at Inberbike on October 13, will recognize individuals or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to women's cycling. The first two recipients of the Yoplait Leadership Awards will be Team Sports and Cycling Made Real.
Team Sports Inc., based in Waukesha, Wisconsin, began supporting competitive women's cycling in 1994. Since that time, Team Sports has managed two professional women's road teams, the Saturn Cycling Team and the Timex Women's Team, as well the Volvo Cannondale Mountain Bike Team. In the last two Olympic Games, Team Sports qualified 26 athletes, which culminated in six Olympic Medals, four of which were won by women, including Mari Holden, Clara Hughes and Alison Sydor.
In its effort to support women's cycling, Team Sports strives to develop young, up-and-coming cyclists. After Saturn Team member Nicole Reinhart's tragic death in 2000, Team Sports worked with the Nicole Reinhart Foundation to develop the Saturn Development Team, now renamed the Nicole Reinhart Development Team. Team Sports is dedicated to the continued support of women's cycling and is currently working on assembling another top ranked team for the 2004 season.
Cycling Made Real is a grassroots program that is dedicated to making the sport of cycling accessible to novice women. It is volunteer-based and organized by women for women. The program, which is in its eighth year, has put on more than 100 racing and clinic events in 19 states with over 1600 women participants from 26 states representing over 100 teams. Regions which have implemented this program have seen dramatic increases in the sizes of their women's fields, with races often attracting over 40 entry-level riders.
More information on Cycling Made Real is available on its web site at www.CyclingMadeReal.com
The Yoplait Women's Cycling Summit Conference, which is open to everyone who supports women's cycling, will be held in room Casanova 505 of the Venetian hotel from 6:00 to 7:30 PM on Monday, October 13. Refreshments will be served.
For more information on the conference, contact David LaPorte at Lapor001@umn.edu.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)