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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition News for October 11, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Mechanical costs Sutherland position in break

By Mark Zalewski

Australian Rory Sutherland found himself in the winning break of the U23 Men's race with four laps to go, but within a lap a mechanical put paid to his chances, as he told Cyclingnews after the race. "We were going down the descent with three to go, and I changed down to get one of my biggest gears, and the cassette at the back must have been loose, the back wheel decided to stop on me and I had to change wheels. With the peloton on the descent coming back at you, I lost maybe twenty seconds, but it was enough to be back in the peloton."

"I felt really good today," said a disappointed Sutherland. "On the climb after the finish, I thought that looked like a good group to go to - I felt good at the time so I attacked. I felt strong enough to win today.

Sutherland says that he's continuing with Rabobank next year. "After today, it gives me a lot more motivation to come back next year and get some revenge." On his rivals, "The Belgian Van Summeren is really strong. I've ridden against him all year and he's a classy bike rider. If he went anywhere I was going to be glued to that back wheel."

Americans come up short

Mike Creed
Photo: © M.Zalewski/CN
Click for larger image

With Mike Creed the best placed US rider in the U23 men's road race in 34th, the American team was disappointed with its performance in Hamilton. Creed explained afterwards, "I didn't think the break would come back once it went, and then when I realized there were no Dutch in it, I saw Weening start to go across. I went on his wheel and felt good, but he just kicked it up the first climb and I just missed it. I knew that was it once he made it across. I've never done an Espoir Worlds like that. I thought I was really feeling good early but then I just realized we were going really slow. There was never one solid pace, it just got faster and faster from the start to the finish."

"Today was the weirdest U-23 race I've ever done," said teammate Saul Raisin in reference to the slow and timid atmosphere that dominated the early part of the race. "We had the same game plan as every other team in the race, just to take it easy in the first five laps. It started so slowly and most of the teams just looked at each other not knowing what to do. We were waiting for the right moment to go and it was very hard to pick the move that was going to be the one."

Raisin did praise the team as a whole however: "Everyone rode well and we were in good position on the last lap with our four strongest guys left in the race. We just asked each other 'who's going good?' Will and Mike felt the best, so I drove it and brought the peloton back to about ten seconds with the help of a couple other guys. It was a great race, I'm happy with it."

Southam finds it tough going

Great Britain's protected rider Tom Southam said that it was a tough race in the U23's today, but he felt strong at the end. He told Cyclingnews, "It was hard! And kinda uncontrolled. You had the break hanging in front of the bunch all day, and it was just wearing down. I looked around and the bunch had halved in size."

"I kind of underestimated my strength in the final. I should have gambled and just saved everything for one last effort. Because I made a couple of efforts - you start getting a bit nervous because it's the World's and you make efforts too far out."

Next year, Southam will turn pro with Italian team Amore e Vita.

Australian juniors in top 10

Australia's three junior women all claimed top ten placings in the 74.4km junior women's road race on Friday morning. Candice Sullivan was the best placed in sixth with Tasmanian Stephanie Williams eighth and Kate Nichols in ninth place.

"It's fantastic to have all of us up there in the top ten," said Sullivan after the race. "We worked really hard during the race and it's nice to see it pay off."

Nichols was in a break of two riders with two kilometres remaining but the pair were unable to hold off the main field. "We were hoping Kate might be able to stay away but with the downhill section before the final corner to the finish it was always going to be hard," said Sullivan.

Williams was happy to improve from last year's 32nd place on debut to top ten today to add to her top ten in day one's individual time trial. "It's really satisfying to know that I have improved and this year has given me even more experience," said Williams. "I'll go back home to Launceston after this and let it all sink in."

French TT performances lacking

After both Sylvain Chavanel [20th] and Eddy Seigneur [23rd] failed to finish in the top 15 in the men's time trial, France will be restricted to just one spot in the Athens Olympics Time Trial in 2004. In comments to L'Equipe, Sylvain Chavanel believed that he couldn't do much better, although he was disappointed at not making the top 15.

"I felt good and this result is completely in line with what I expected," said Chavanel. "I'm capable of doing a good time trial, but that's dependent on a good preparation. I haven't been on a time trial bike since the Tour de France! My only regret is not finishing in the top 15 to assure France a second time trial spot for the time trial at the 2004 Olympics."

Eddy Seigneur echoed Chavanel's comments: "I'm equally disappointed to not be in the top 15, which would have qualified a second rider for the Olympics. Next year I'll be 35. I'll have to cede my place to the younger riders. Today I'm inclined to say that this was my last world championships."

Somarriba gets a financial boost

Women's time trial champion Joane Somarriba (Spain) will receive around €60,000 for her efforts this year, which include winning the women's Tour de France and the World Championships. In addition to a scholarship worth €48,000 from the ADO, Somarriba will also gain a €12,000 bonus for winning the gold medal.

After winning the time trial on Wednesday, Somarriba celebrated with champagne with her teammates and members of the Spanish delegation, including president Manuel Perez. That night, Somarriba said that "I woke many times, but each time I looked at the chair where I had placed the medal and rainbow jersey, and remained thus for a while, enjoying the dream that I obtained."

Rodriguez in, Vandevelde out

Fred Rodriguez has succeeded in his bid to represent the USA at the World Championships this Sunday, gaining a place at the expense of Christian Vandevelde, who USA Cycling said was not feeling well. Rodriguez is flying into Toronto on Friday and will line up with the other 11 members of his team for the road race on Sunday.

Rodriguez's Vini Caldirola trade teammate Romans Vainsteins (Latvia) has also been seen around Hamilton, so evidently his visa problems have been overcome.

Rest of U23 blood checks OK

The remainder of the UCI's health checks on members of the U23 peloton were all deemed to be OK, with no rider returning abnormal haemoglobin or haematocrit levels. 29 riders, mainly from the Spanish, Slovakian and Italian teams, were tested on Friday by the UCI. On Thursday, Swiss rider Daniel Gysling had a high haemoglobin and was not allowed to start the road race today.

WADA and UCI talk

Friday saw a meeting of the minds between WADA president Dick Pound and UCI president Hein Verbruggen to discuss the relationship between the two organising bodies, which has been a little strained of late. In addition to the two top dogs, WADA's Director General David Howman, UCI's Director of Legal Affairs Philippe Verbiest and General Director Dieter Schellenberg were all present. The main topics were the recent Independent Observer report from WADA on the Tour de France and future IO missions at UCI events.

According to WADA, Pound and Howman emphasized that the leaks regarding the report had not come from them and that "the Agency is equally concerned about this unauthorized early release of information, which occurred before the UCI had had the opportunity to comment on the report. Evidence now points to the leaks as having come from sources in France, who were also provided with preliminary copies of the report."

Pound said he will be discussing the matter with French Minister for Sport Jean-Francois Lamour when he meets with him later this month.

The UCI's Hein Verbruggen confirmed in the meeting that "reports suggesting no further IO teams would be allowed at UCI events were false." The group agreed to protocols for future missions, and importantly no comments will be made before the international federation involved has had the opportunity to respond.

"We're very pleased to have had the opportunity to clarify the recent issues regarding the IO report and to move forward in our relationship with UCI," said Dick Pound, who added that UCI has already begun the necessary work to adopt the World Anti-Doping Code prior to the Olympic Games in Athens next year.

Illes Balears pull out of iBanesto takeover

No Ullrich, no deal

The government of Illes Balears has decided not to sponsor Jose Miguel Echávarri's team, which will lose its main sponsor next year. Although the two parties were reportedly close to reaching an agreement recently, the transfer of Jan Ullrich to T-Mobile last weekend caused Illes Balears to pull out, as it was particularly interested in signing the German to the new team.

The collapse of the deal will more than likely spell the end of Echávarri's team, which has been sponsored by Banesto for the last 14 years (and before that Reynolds). As Banesto, the team won five Tours de France with Miguel Indurain at the helm, a record that no other Spanish team has come close to.

So far from the iBanesto ranks, Unai and Aitor Osa have both signed for Euskaltel-Euskadi, while Juan Miguel Mercado will join Quick.Step, Juan-Antonio Flecha will sign for Fassa Bortolo, and Evgueni Petrov will go to Saeco next season.

Ullrich and Vino in Kazakhstan

This year's second and third place getters in the Tour de France, Jan Ullrich and Alexandre Vinokourov, will compete in a criterium in Almaty, Kazakhstan, this Sunday. The pair will be teammates on T-Mobile next year.

Millar to compete Down Under

Hello Australia
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

Recently crowned World Time Trial Champion David Millar (Cofidis) has confirmed he will compete in the Cycling Grand Prix Series in Queensland, Australia in November/December. The Scot, who often spends part of the off-season in Australia, will line up alongside a top quality field that includes Australian champion Stuart O'Grady, last year's Noosa Criterium winner, Matt White, and young Sunshine Coast junior Ben Johnson, all of whom will be representing the Cofidis team.

Robbie McEwen, winner of last year's inaugural Grand Prix, will be back to defend his title and try to regain dominance over Baden Cooke who won the sprinter's Green Jersey at the Tour de France this year, just edging out McEwen. The pair are two of the world's top sprinters at the moment, and the competition is certain to be hard.

The Grand Prix Cycling Series is only in its second year but is already growing into one of the major criterium series in the country. It's held in the heart of Queensland's most popular CBD café areas with thousands of spectators on hand to view the action. The first race of the three race series will be held on November 1 in Noosa, followed by the South Bank Cycling Grand Prix in Brisbane on December 7 and the Surfers Paradise Cycling Grand Prix on December 14.

Ghent Six attracts four World Champions

At least four current World Champions will take part in the next Ghent Six (z6s-daagse Vlaanderen-Gent) which takes place between November 18-23. The field is headed by defending champion Swiss Bruno Risi, who together with Franco Marvulli won the World Madison Championships in Stuttgart this year. Along with Risi and Marvulli, Austrian Points Race Champion Franz Stocher and British Individual Pursuit Champion Bradley Wiggins will add their talent to the Ghent Six.

Other riders scheduled to start include Kurt Betschart (Risi's normal partner and also winner in 2002), Australian Scott McGrory, German Andreas Kappes, Dane Jimmy Madsen and Dutch pair Robert Slippens and Denny Stam. For the Belgians, Matthew Gilmore, Steven Deneef, Dimitri De Fauw, Iljo Keisse and Wouter Van Mechelen will all be part of the 13 teams expected to take part in the event.

Agenda for Yoplait Women's Summit

Women cyclists and their supporters are gathering at Interbike for the 2nd Yoplait Women's Cycling Summit Conference this Monday. The organizers have released the agenda, which can be viewed at

The Grassroots session will discuss strategies for making cycling more accessible to novice women. Participants from the Olympus Cycling Team, Velo Bella, Cycling Made Real, mtbchick, Velo Girls and the Minnesota Cycling Federation will discuss programs that are working in their regions.

The Elite session will focus on developing a set of recommendations that can highlight women's races at national events. The organizers are expecting participants from USA Cycling, Victory Brewing Cycling Team, Team ICO, Maxxis, Specialized, Trek, Team T Mobile, Team Sports, Team Jamba Juice, Minute Maid / Desani, TDS Cycling Team, Team Basis, Team Diet Rite, Wenzel Coaching, Red 5 Racing, the Nature Valley Grand Prix, Wendy's Cycling Classic, San Rafael Cycling Classic, the Tour de Toona and Redlands Cycling Classic.

The 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.

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