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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition News for October 21, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

UCI rankings: Bettini keeps Zabel at bay

Paolo Bettini
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

With the 2003 road season all but finished after the Tour of Lombardy, the last round of the World Cup, the UCI rankings are almost set in stone for this season. World Cup champion Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step-Davitamon) will certainly end the year as number 1, with Erik Zabel (Telekom) in second place, 179 points behind the Italian. Zabel gained enough points to overtake Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo), who now sits in third ahead of compatriots Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) and David Rebellin (Gerolsteiner). Of the three grand tour winners this year, Simoni is the top ranked ahead of Lance Armstrong (8th) and Roberto Heras (24th).

Riders to benefit from World Cup points included Michael Boogerd (12th - 9th), Peter Van Petegem (27th - 18th) and Angelo Lopeboselli, who jumped an impressive 292 places to 187th after his performances last week, which included coming second in the Tour of Lombardy.

In the teams rankings, Fassa Bortolo retained the number one spot ahead of Quick.Step-Davitamon, Telekom and Saeco, although the gaps between second and fourth are still quite small. Fassa Bortolo's success has been based on the exploits of Alessandro Petacchi (and to a lesser extent Dario Frigo) who won 24 races this season, 15 of which were in grand tours. As a team, Fassa Bortolo won 56 races, 7 more than Telekom, where Erik Zabel (11) and Alexandre Vinokourov (6) both contributed heavily.

UCI rankings as of October 19, 2003

1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon             2,266.75 pts
2 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom                        2,087.75
3 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo              1,989.00
4 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco                     1,715.00
5 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                   1,656.00
6 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom              1,640.50
7 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca          1,611.00
8 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal-Berry Floor          1,521.00
9 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                       1,441.00
10 Iban Mayo Diez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi              1,425.00
11 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC                       1,363.20
12 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Team Saeco                     1,344.00
13 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Lampre                   1,322.00
14 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                     1,265.00
15 Jan Ullrich (Ger) Team Bianchi                      1,258.00
16 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Team Saeco                    1,183.00
17 Isidro Nozal Vega (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski             1,150.00
18 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Domo                  1,123.00
19 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa)          1,121.00
20 David Millar (GBr) Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone 1,092.00
Division I
1 Fassa Bortolo                                        8,520.75 pts
2 Quick.Step-Davitamon                                 7,883.75
3 Team Telekom                                         7,855.50
4 Team Saeco                                           7,779.00
5                                         6,481.00
6 Gerolsteiner                                         6,357.00
7 Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone                     6,195.00
8 Rabobank                                             5,891.75
9 O.N.C.E.-Eroski                                      5,579.25
10 US Postal presented by Berry Floor                  5,576.75
Division II
1 Bankgiroloterij Cycling Team                         3,082.00 pts
2 De Nardi-Colpack                                     2,158.00
3 Paternina-Costa de Almeria                           2,058.00
4 Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf                                1,899.00
5 Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo                             1,738.00
1 Italy                                               14,688.50 pts
2 Spain                                               10,023.75
3 Germany                                              7,741.10
4 France                                               6,679.15
5 Belgium                                              5,385.75
Full rankings: Individuals, Teams, Nations

iBanesto to continue as Illes Baleares

The top Spanish team will continue into 2004 and beyond, under the sponsorship of the government of Illes Baleares (Balearic Islands). An agreement was finally reached on Monday between the team management (José Miguel Echávarri and Eusebio Unzúe) and representatives of the government, securing the team's future until at least the end of 2006.

Many of the details still have to be finalised, but it seems that the team's management, infrastructure and at least 12 of its existing riders will remain for next season. In addition, Spanish bank Banesto will continue to sponsor the team in a lesser financial capacity. It's not known whether the team will transfer its headquarters to the islands, which on one hand could be desirable, and on the other present a logistical problem. It is also not known what the team will be called.

Negotiations have been in process between Unzúe and the Balearic Islands for months now, and it was thought that when Jan Ullrich signed for T-Mobile, the deal would fall through. However Unzúe and Echávarri pushed their proposal, pointing out the team's six Tour de France victories (including one as Reynolds in 1988) and numerous other victories. The Balearic Islands government agreed, and hopes that the team's large world-wide exposure will attract more tourism to the islands in future.

Astarloa to be honoured in Ermua

The new World Champion Igor Astarloa will be honoured in his home town of Ermua on Wednesday, October 22. The Basque rider will give a press conference at 1:00pm in the Salón de Plenos del Consistorio. In the evening, starting from 7:00pm, he will travel through the main streets of Ermua by car to the City Hall, where mayor Carlos Totorika will meet him at 7:45pm for a civic reception. After leaving the City Hall at 8:30pm, Astarloa will go on foot to the central Plaza Cardenal Orbe where he will greet his friends and fans from the region.

Bartoli to come in from the cold?

Still got it: Michele Bartoli
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

Michele Bartoli, winner of the Giro di Lombardia as well as six other World Cup races, says that he's considering defecting to another country if Italy doesn't want him any more. Bartoli is still frustrated at his non-selection in the Italian World Championships team, and has threatened to change nationalities unless things change.

"If I'm not in the World Championships team for Veronea, then I'll take out naturalisation papers," he told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. "As far as Belgium, because they certainly have respect for me!"

Belgian team for first 'cross World Cup

Belgian national cyclo-cross coach Rudy De Bie has selected six riders who will take part in this Sunday's first World Cup race in Turin, Italy. Bart Wellens and Erwin Vervecken (SpaarSelect), Sven Nijs (Rabobank), Ben Berden (John Saey-Deschacht), Sven Vanthourenhout (Quick.Step-Davitamon) and Tom Vannoppen (Palmans-Collstrop) comprise the squad, with Vannoppen securing his place with a good ride in last Sunday's Superprestige race in Ruddervoorde.

Wadecki to Lotto-Domo

Polish rider Piotr Wadecki, who has had an anonymous season at Quick.Step-Davitamon, will find a spot in Lotto-Domo for 2004. He will be the 23rd rider in the team, having chosen it over Mroz, where his brother Adam Wadecki rides.

Rumsas to Mroz

Lithuanian Raimondas Rumsas, who is currently serving a one year suspension for testing positive to EPO, will get a second chance at a cycling career. He will return to Mroz, the team where he started as a pro in 1996 before moving to Fassa Bortolo in 2000.

Colavita-Bolla signs Joanne Kiesanowski

The Colavita-Bolla Women's Cycling Team announced today that three-time New Zealand national champion Joanne Kiesanowski will join its ranks for the remainder of the 2003 spring and summer season in the southern hemisphere and the entire 2004 season. The 24 year old was one of the leading criterium specialists on the U.S. circuit in 2003, and will continue with Colavita-Bolla.

Team director Greg Wheeler is confident that Kiesanowski will be prove to be a key element in the team. "We plan to have a major presence in North American criterium racing in 2004, and so we are very excited to have Joanne on board," said Wheeler. "In addition, we are committed to supporting her as she strives for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Joanne is a top prospect to represent New Zealand not only on the road, but on the track as well."

Wheeler added that the Colavita-Bolla squad is not yet complete for 2004. "Our current roster includes: Shannon Hutchison, Lenore Imhof, Ashley Kimmet, Rebecca McClintock, Brooke O'Connor, and Tracy Sproule. We anticipate announcing at least one more signing of an international level athlete in the coming days, further boosting our presence in the top tier of American racing. Then we will consider perhaps one more top-ranked rider to bring our roster to completion."

Kiesanowski will commence racing in the red and green colours of Colavita-Bolla immediately at the New Zealand national championships. Representing New Zealand, she recently placed 35th in the Women's World Championships in Hamilton, Ontario.

Velo Girls raises $14,000 for Breast Cancer Fund

The Velo Girls women's cycling club, based in San Francisco, announced that it has raised $13,811 to benefit The Breast Cancer Fund in 2003. The 25 club members who participated in Bike Against the Odds, the Breast Cancer Fund's inaugural cycling event held on October 19th, raised funds by securing individual and corporate donations, hosting a fund-raising party and raffle.

During the 2003 season, the club has: hosted an American Red Cross blood drive, a Girl Scout Bike Rodeo, and an Energizer Station for Bike to Work Day; sponsored the Bay Area Women's Cycling Association Women's Point Series, Bay Area Super Prestige Cup Cyclocross Women's C Race Series, Silicon Valley Kid's Tri, American Lung Association Bike for Breath and the AIDS LifeCycle; provided volunteers for the Pilarcitos Stage Race, Burlingame Criterium, Sea Otter Classic, T-Mobile International, and Coyote Point Cyclocross Races; and provided subsidized membership for junior Velo Girls members.

Velo Girls started in March 2002, and since then has grown to 220 members of varying ability levels, with an age range from 12 to 76. The club encourages women to ride, challenge themselves, and become involved with the cycling community, and offers regular free monthly clinics to assist riders in all areas of cycling. On the racing side, the 28 women on the Velo Girls Racing Team competed in 56 races in 2003, with 59 podiums and 16 wins. The 2003 road racing team is ranked the #1 team for both Cat3 and Cat4 women, and individual racers are ranked at the top of the NCNCA Best All Around Rider and Bay Area Women's Cycling Association Points Series and nationally by USA Cycling.

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