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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition News for October 8, 2003

Edited by John Stevenson & Jeff Jones

Museeuw not ready to retire

Johan Museeuw sports 'Lion of Flanders' helmet in Gent-Wevelgem
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

Paris-Tours marked the end of the season but probably not the career of Johan Museeuw (Quick.Step), who has experienced some troubled times in the last month. Museeuw, who won Paris-Tours in 1993, finished 28th in Sunday's 97th edition, after helping teammate Paolo Bettini launch an attack in the closing stages. On Monday, Museeuw flew to Hamilton where he will watch the World Championships this week with staff members of the Quick.Step-Davitamon team.

Museeuw has not announced his retirement, although the Belgian press reported that he has dropped a few hints. His father Eddy Museeuw told Johan's supporters last week that he was going to watch on Sunday, "because Paris-Tours is his last race." At the airport yesterday he told teammates Jurgen Van Goolen and Tom Boonen, "What do you say now? Hello director?" referring to rumours that he will take a job as a team director after he retires from racing.

When he touched down in Hamilton, he told journalists, "Everything is decided. I have followed my heart." Later, Museeuw told TV1 that he has not yet decided to put an end to his long career. He intends to ride at least the first part of next year, and quite possibly another complete season.

Museeuw has been the top classics rider for the last decade, with 11 World Cup race victories to his credit along with numerous other semi-classics. Talk of his retirement first started in 1996 before the World Championships in Lugano, which he went on to win. Since then it has been an ongoing theme in the Belgian media, while Museeuw has always said that he will retire in a manner of his own choosing. The recent drugs affair involving veterinarian Jose Landuyt has affected Museeuw, who was one of the first riders questioned in early September, however it doesn't seem to have sent him into an early retirement.

Landuyt and Versele still in custody

Belgian veterinarian José Landuyt and soigneur Herman Versele remain in custody in Kortrijk for the time being, under suspicion of supplying illegal drugs to cyclists and other sports, notably horse and pigeon racing. The pair were due to be released on Tuesday, however the court decided to reverse its decision and hold them for longer, pending further investigation.

Rotorua to host 2006 MTB world's

Hot on the heels of yesterday's announcement of the venue for the 2006 road world's comes the news that the mountain bike world championships will be traveling to the Southern hemisphere in 2006, to Rotorua, New Zealand.

The world's was last held in the region in 1996 when Cairns, Australia played host. That event was generally considered a great success, though a location somewhat remote from Australia's major cities meant it was sparsely spectated.

New courses will be built for the 2006 world's to accommodate the three major disciplines, cross-country, downhill and four-cross.

Trevorrow back on the bike for Australian 'gran fondo'

By John Stevenson & Gerard Knapp

Former Australian cycling champion John Trevorrow is making a comeback - in his own 'gran fondo' style event, the Gippsland Lakes Raid.

Trevorrow, who now makes his living as a race promoter, café owner and general Australian cycling identity admits he has some work to do to get anywhere close to the shape he was in during his racing days. Back in the day, Trevorrow rode the Giro d'Italia and won the 1979 Tour of Tasmania, but after falling behind in his training regime, he says he's "relying on muscle memory" to complete the November 15-16 event.

The biggest incentive for Trevorrow is the challenge he's thrown out to Raid participants: "Beat my time and win a free meal at Cogs café."

"I'll probably have to put out for 250 meals," he laughs. He doesn't seem terribly upset at the prospect of welcoming all those cyclists through the doors of his café, even for a freebie. He's been watching them ride past on Melbourne's Beach Road for the last few months and still aims, "to get fit enough to sit with those fast blokes that go past the café."

Inspired by thousands of riders he sees every weekend, Trevorrow came up with the idea for the Gippsland Lakes Raid, a two-day non-competitive event for - for want of a better term - serious recreational cyclists. Based on Europe's hugely popular 'gran fondo' and 'raid' events, the Gippsland Lakes Raid includes two days of riding, hotel accommodation, top-quality meals and entertainment.

Trevorrow will be rolling out alongside another top Australian ex-pro, the legendary Phil Anderson, plus Dave McKenzie and other riders from McKenzie's Flanders/iTeamNOVA squad. To help him keep up, Trevorrow has shouted himself a new bike. "But it's like giving cream cakes to hogs," he says. "It's a Wilier Alpe d'Huez, but I've got the descending version!"

Joking apart, Trevorrow is quietly determined to get back on the bike, and is facing the same challenges so many riders have to tackle when they come back to cycling in their forties and fifties. Now 54, he retired in 1981, and running a business plus a car crash has kept him off the bike for most of the last two decades.

In that time he's "blossomed" from a racing weight of 66kg to 101kg before his recent return to cycling. He's now down to 95kg and is aiming for 85kg. "A bloke came up behind me on a ride and said, 'Iffy, where did you get that top - Ray's Tent City?'" he says, admitting that the training regime has slipped a little recently.

If he doesn't get completely back into shape, Trevorrow can always take the gentler of the two first-day options on the Gippsland Lakes Raid - there's an 80km route for those who don't fancy the challenge of the full 185km from Bairnsdale to Lakes Entrance via Bruthen, Buchan, and Orbost. The following day, everyone does the same 'recovery ride' of 65km from Lakes Entrance back to Bairnsdale.

For more details of the Gippsland Lakes Raid, see http://cyclingevents.com.au/.

Record entry for 24 Hours of Moab

Seventeen hundred riders, including 60 soloists and 450 teams, have signed up for this year's Honda 24 Hours of Moab on October 18-19. One of the earliest 24-hour mountain bike events, the 24 Hours of Moab is among the most prestigious - and popular, as those entry numbers attest.

Past winners at Moab include triple MTB world champion Alison Sydor, who described her 2001 win as part of a Coed Pro/Am team as "the hardest and most exciting mountain bike race I have ever done."

For most riders, though, Moab and 24-hour events like it are more about participation and having fun than winning. As event founder and president of organiser Granny Gear Productions Laird Knight puts it, "It's more about a sense of achievement and working as a team to achieve a difficult objective."

Moab isn't the only 24-hour event to see huge numbers of participants. This weekend's Mont 24 Hour in Canberra, Australia has closed entries at 1,760 riders [and not 1,600 as we originally wrote], a staggering number given Australia's much smaller population.

Georgia Cross Series enters fourth year

The fourth annual Georgia Cross Series kicks off on November 2, the first of eight races for 2003. Peachtree City hosts the Georgia State Championship on November 23, with the December 14 season finale in Athens for the third year in a row.

Organisers are billing the Athens race as the Unofficial Southeastern Championships and are expecting riders from neighbouring states who are unable to make the long trip to Portland Oregon for the US National Championships that weekend.

Georgia Cross Series 2003 Schedule

November 2: Macon, GA
November 8-9: Dallas, GA
November 16: Jim R. Miller Park (Cobb County)
November 23: Peachtree City (State Championship)
December 6: Covington, GA
December 7: Monroe, GA
December 14: Athens (Unofficial SE Championship)

Sponsors include Voler, Maxxis, Outback Bikes, Thomson, and Free-Flite Bicycles. For more details see www.georgia-cross.com.

Crescent Park Cyclocross Series

South Surrey, BC, Canada's Bayside Cycling Club has announced a two-race 'cross series in November. The Crescent Park Cyclocross Series will be held Saturday, November 1 and Saturday November 15 at Crescent Park in South Surrey, BC, Canada, 30 minutes from Vancouver and 10 minutes from the US border.

For more details see: www.geocities.com/baysidecycling/race.htm

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