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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition News for October 10, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Breathing problems end Gonzalez de Galdeano's race

Spanish rider Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano had to abandon his ride in the Elite Men's Time Trial with just four kilometres to go after suffering a strong pain in his left side which prevented him from breathing properly. Gonzalez de Galdeano, who was fifth at the 28.8 km time check, could not continue to the finish. ONCE's team doctor Pedro Celaya believed it was an intercostal muscular contraction, although he did not know what caused it.

Igor will line up again in the men's road race on Sunday.

Steve Bauer on the spot

By Mark Zalewski in Hamilton

Retired Canadian professional Steve Bauer is still very much part of the cycling world, with his main business nowadays being the operation of cycling tours to major events. He also had a hand in designing the Hamilton 2003 course, which has been met with mixed reception by the riders and commentators. Cyclingnews spoke to Bauer today about the course and the World's in general.

CN: What are your comments on the course conditions?

SB: Using the same start/finish for everything - logistically, it may not be as interesting for the riders, but for the best spectator viewing, using the same course is ideal. I can't say the road surface is perfect, and if the riders are having difficulty negotiating it, then I guess they are having them. I can't say it's a good thing...water on the course, in my opinion as a bike racer, is something they have to negotiate throughout their career regardless. The finishing stretch...perhaps there could have been some more work done to that area.

CN: How important is it to have the Championships here in Canada?

SB: There are many people who cycle in Canada. Obviously, it is not as strong as Europe, but we are interested in the sport. Holding the World's here is a good idea, because it does help raise the profile of the sport.

CN: Why is women's cycling more popular in North America compared to Europe?

SB: I'm not sure if I really know the answer. Perhaps there are some roots in the North American culture, where ladies have imposed some equality. And perhaps there is more of an affinity for ladies to do the sport here, rather than in Europe, where it is a long tradition compared to here where it is a relatively young sport. It's a men's sport mainly [in Europe].

CN: How do you see a road race unfolding in the women's and men's races?

SB: Well, I've never raced a ladies race, but being a shorter distance there might be more riders capable of finishing compared to the men. But I think there is enough challenge there that if an individual rider is strong enough, they can make the difference. Obviously, teamwork is always critical, and in the first 75% of the race of the ladies race it will be important. Tactically, for both, you have to keep the reserves as long as possible and be very patient - like any World Championships it really comes down to the final and having the most energy in the end.

But saying that, teams are going to have to be careful because I believe the race course is so difficult that at some point in time, when the break goes and happens, it may be earlier than former World Championships. It's hard to say - you have to be careful you don't play your game on the last lap. Some races, obviously in Zolder, it's a guarantee that it's a last lap race - and most World Championships are. But this race is an extremely tough one, and something may happen in the last five laps.

CN: Who is your pick to win on Sunday?

SB: (Laughs.) I can't say I've been following the Tour of Spain too closely, but of course so many people are talking about Bettini being the odds on favourite, but that's not interesting to mention. I think Oscar Freire could be a guy who is in good form and riding well. I'd like to pick my old teammate George Hincapie to do a great race because I know he's been preparing for it and riding a good Tour of Spain before the World's. And I hope the best for our Canadian team men, and the ladies as well. I think our ladies have a real chance of winning a rainbow jersey, and a gentleman like Michael Barry, my former teammate, will do an amazing race as well.

U.S. women give the course the thumbs up

By Mark Zalewski in Hamilton

There were no complaints about the course from two of the U.S. women's team, Kim Anderson and Mari Holden, who both gave the Hamilton circuit the big thumbs up. "It's a great course - it's gonna be tough, especially with so many laps," Anderson enthused to Cyclingnews. "Everyone's come here pretty prepared. It's gonna be awesome - and all the people are everywhere! That's what makes it so awesome. They know USA and they are like 'right on!'."

Mari Holden complimented it as well, saying "It's a beautiful course - a nice hard course. I'm excited about it, it's gonna be a good race and the strongest person is going to win. It's not a pure climber's course or a pure sprinter's course - it's a good all-around course. On a course like this a break could go and could be out-of-sight, out-of-mind."

Viktor Rapinski disappointed

By Mark Zalewski in Hamilton

American based U23 rider Viktor Rapinski (Belarus) was disappointed with his seventh place in the U23 men's time trial on Tuesday. "I tried to win, but I was seventh place and it's not good," Rapinski told Cyclingnews. He clarified: "For other guys maybe seventh place is good, but for me it's not. I will try to do something in the road race, but I don't know."

With the end of the Saturn team, Rapinski will be joining the Navigators next year. "For next year I am going to the Navigators team," he said. "I know some of the guys, they are my friends. I want to stay in the U.S. a couple more years, and then see about a European team. Right now, everyone is looking for a new team."

Swiss rider fails blood test

Swiss U23 rider Daniel Gysling will not be allowed to start in tomorrow's U23 Men's road race after failing a blood test, the UCI announced. Gysling was found to have a high haemoglobin level and thus will not be permitted to race for the next 15 days. He will not otherwise be sanctioned.

High haemoglobin and haematocrit values can be an indication of EPO use, although other conditions can cause this.

Valkenburg gears up for 2008

The Dutch town of Valkenburg has officially presented its candidature for the World Road Championships in five or six years time. The communities of Valkenburg and Heerlen are both involved in the bid, which they hope will allow them to host the World's in 2008 or 2009. Valkenburg last hosted the World's in 1998, and the organisers propose to use the same parcours as then. The time trial would start in Heerlen.

Simoni believes Tour victory is possible

This year's Giro d'Italia winner Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) believes that victory in the Tour de France next year is not beyond his reach. Simoni rode the Tour this year, but did not perform well in the GC and had to be content with a stage win in the Pyrenees. At a press conference in Palermo today, Simoni said that, "I have not defined my exact program for next season, but with a prepared team I could aim to win the Tour de France."

In defense of the relative difficulty of the Giro compared to the Tour, Simoni responded, "It is not true that the climbs of the Tour are harder than those of the Giro: the French race is won on the flat, on the descents and in the time trials, not only in the big mountains."

In unofficial transfer news, Saeco will sign Eddy Mazzoleni, Gabriele Balducci (both Vini Caldirola), Sylvester Szmyd (Mercatone Uno-Scanavino), Evgeny Petrov ( and Gorazd Stangelj (Fassa Bortolo) to its ranks next season.

Beloki delays

Joseba Beloki is close but not quite ready to announce his future team. The ONCE-Eroski rider was due to name his team this coming Sunday, but now says that he will delay for a few more days.

"This week began with some very good points and, above all, with the desire to free myself once and for all of this thing, given that I wanted to resolve everything and forget about it for the next three years," Beloki told Marca. "But I believe that there is going to be a little delay due to a complication with the new team."

As for Manolo Saiz's plans to form a new team next year from the ashes of ONCE, Beloki said that Saiz and Pablo Anton "have all my consent and support to find a sponsor" and that he would stay with them if they come up with something. "Up until now I haven't seen an official communique of the project," concluded Beloki.

Dean to Credit Agricole

New Zealand sprinter Julian Dean will join Credit Agricole next season, the team announced. The 28 year old who currently rides for Team CSC won six races in 2003, including the Tour de la Region Wallonne and the Wachovia Classic.

Credit Agricole has recruited several new riders for next season, including Patrice Halgand, Sebastien Joly, Damien Nazon, Benoît Salmon, Alexandre Botcharov, Andrey Kashechkin and Dimitri Muravyev.

Museeuw points to Athens 2004

Belgian legend Johan Museeuw has shed some more light on his future plans, according to an interview in Het Laatste Nieuws. The Lion of Flanders intends on racing most of next season, right up to and including the Athens Olympic Games. His goals include winning one of the spring classics again, but after Athens he will retire and take up a position as a directeur sportif in Quick.Step-Davitamon.

Aquarel to sponsor Tour until 2009

Nestlé's Aquarel brand of bottled water will be one of the Tour de France's major partners for at least another six years. Launched in May 2000, Aquarel first sponsored the Tour in 2001, and since then has enjoyed a massive amount of exposure via the world's biggest cycling event. Aquarel first associated itself with the Best Young Rider classification (white jersey) but has since moved on to sponsoring the stage winner. Next year it will be the "official partner in the drinks and sport nutrition sector" at the Tour.

"Without the TDF, the brand would not have seen the expansion from which it is benefiting today," said Jeff Caso, General Manager for Marketing & Communication at Nestlé Waters. "The Tour de France contributes actively towards getting the brand known to a wide family public across Europe."

In 2002, Nestlé Waters reported turnover of around €5.3 billion, and expects that Nestlé Aquarel will become Europe's leading brand of bottled water by 2010.

7-UP to finish sponsorship

After five years in cycling, the 7-UP company will no longer sponsor a cycling team next year. The team won some of North America's biggest events, including the San Francisco Grand Prix in 2002, this year's Canadian Grand Prix de Beauce, and the US Pro criterium title two years in a row. It will also be the end of 7-UP's sister program Diet Rite (a Dr.Pepper/7-UP owned brand), which has also won its share of races as well over the past two seasons.

Team manager Scott McAfee explained in a statement that, "7-UP has been a great sponsor of ours for the past five years and looking back this program has been far more successful than Jeff (Corbett) and I could have dreamed of. We have been fortunate to have worked with some of the brightest stars in the sport and have played a role in developing some of the best new young talent as well.

"We have many great memories and wonderful friends at 7-UP but Jeff and I were at a point were we wanted to take the program up a notch and unfortunately that was not an option with 7-UP. We will be taking our talents and resources in a different direction for 2004 and we will issue a statement on that direction soon."

Fuji Southeast Cyclocross Team

Fuji America and Back to Dirt Racing have announced the formation of the Fuji Southeast Cyclocross Team. Fuji America will be the title and equipment sponsors for the team, which will race in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Back to Dirt Racing is a group dedicated to the promotion of cycling in North Carolina. Racing for the team will be NORBA Pro's Daniel Doub, Charlie Pendry, and Charlie Storm. The team's program will include the North Carolina State series, several UCI races, and the Elite and Masters National Championships.

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