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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest News for September 9, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Petacchi equals Poblet and Baffi

Alessandro Petacchi
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

In winning the third stage of the Vuelta yesterday, Italian sprinting ace Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) became only the third rider in history to win stages in all three grand tours in the same year. Only Miguel Poblet (1956, 8 grand tour stage wins) and Pierino Baffi (1958, 6 grand tour stage wins) have previously accomplished the feat, and Petacchi has surpassed their efforts with his 6 Giro wins, 4 Tour wins and 1 Vuelta win (so far) for a total of 11 stage wins.

"I certainly wanted to do it because it's not that easy to win in the three greatest races in the same year," Petacchi told Cyclingnews in an interview. "I didn't have to ride the Tour, but after the Giro I talked with my boss and we decided that I was going to compete in the "Grande Boucle" as it was better for me. I had already scheduled the Vuelta, but I was somehow tired. In the end I said "ok, ok, I'll go to the Vuelta". I like the Spanish race, I like to compete here and I like to win in the sprint if possible."

Despite this prolific burst of success, Petacchi will have to work harder to become the rider who has won the most grand tour stages in a single year. That honour belongs to Belgian sprinter Freddy Maertens, who won a record 13(!) stages of the Vuelta in 1977 as well as an additional 7 in the Giro d'Italia that year, for a total of 20 grand tour wins in 1977. He also won 8 stages in the 1976 Tour de France.

Grand tour stage win records in one year

Tour de France
8 Charles Pélissier (1930)
8 Eddy Merckx (1970)
8 Eddy Merckx (1974)
8 Freddy Maertens (1976)
7 Gino Bartali (1948)
7 Bernard Hinault (1979)
Giro d'Italia
12 Alfredo Binda (1927)
10 Learco Guerra (1934)
9 Alfredo Binda (1929)
9 Giuseppe Olmo (1936)
8 Constate Girardengo (1923)
7 Freddy Maertens (1977)
Vuelta a España
13 Freddy Maertens (1977)
12 Delio Rodriguez (1941)
8 Delio Rodriguez (1942)
8 Delio Rodriguez (1947)
8 Rik van Llly (1965)
7 Laurent Jalabert (1994)

Latest UCI women's rankings

After the ninth and final round of the World Cup in Rotterdam, the UCI has updated its women's rankings list. After winning the Tour of Holland and finishing third in Rotterdam, Susanne Ljungskog (Bik-Powerplate) has extended her lead at the top of the table with 783 points compared to Mirjam Melchers' 591 and Nicole Brändli's 584. There were few actual changes to the rankings order, with Diana Ziliute (Acca Due O) coming off a great week to move into 12th on the table, and her teammate Chantal Beltman jumping up from 61st to 31st after winning in Rotterdam.

In the teams rankings, Bik-Powerplate holds the top spot with 1608 points compared to Prato Marathon Bike's 1,181 points and Nürnberger's 820. In the nations rankings Australia has the top spot with a 75 point lead over German.

UCI rankings as of September 7, 2003

1 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Bik-Powerplate                      783.50 pts
2 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Farm Frites-Hartol Cycling Team       591.50
3 Nicole Brändli (Swi) Prato Marathon Bike                    584.00
4 Judith Arndt (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung           552.00
5 Joane Somarriba Arrola (Spa)                                469.00
6 Sara Carrigan (Aus) Bik-Powerplate                          467.30
7 Nicole Cooke (GBr) Ausra Gruodis-Safi                       431.00
8 Regina Schleicher (Ger) USC Chirio Forno d'Asolo            368.00
9 Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus) Prato Marathon Bike                  366.10
10 Anita Valen (Nor) Bik-Powerplate                           334.50
11 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox     332.00
12 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Camicie   271.00
13 Olivia Gollan (Aus)                                        269.50
14 Olga Slyusareva (Rus)                                      247.40
15 Lyne Bessette (Can) Saturn Cycling Team                    238.00
16 Alison Wright (Aus) Road Runner-Guerciotti                 216.00
17 Zinaida Stahurskaya (Blr) USC Chirio Forno d'Asolo         192.00
18 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Ausra Gruodis-Safi                  181.00
19 Jolanta Polikeviciute (Ltu) Team 2002 Aurora RSM           175.00
20 Geneviève Jeanson (Can) Equipe Cycliste Rona-Esker         168.00
1 Bik-Powerplate                                            1,608.10 pts
2 Prato Marathon Bike                                       1,181.30
3 Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung                              820.00
4 Farm Frites-Hartol Cycling Team                             818.50
5 Ausra Gruodis-Safi                                          676.00
6 USC Chirio Forno d'Asolo                                    663.00
7 Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Camicie                        579.00
8 Team 2002 Aurora RSM                                        528.00
9 Saturn Cycling Team                                         499.00
10 Team T-Mobile Women's Cycling Team                         432.00
1 Australia                                                 1,284.80 pts
2 Germany                                                   1,209.00
3 Russia                                                    1,086.90
4 Netherlands                                               1,011.20
5 Lithuania                                                   971.00
Full rankings: Individuals, Teams, Nations

51st Coppa Sabatini presented

The 51st edition of the Coppa Sabatini (UCI 1.2) was presented last Saturday in Peccioli. The race takes place on Thursday, September 25 and is considered an important race for the Italians prior to the World Championships on October 12. The Italian team will be finalised a few days after Sabatini, thus many riders will be primed to do well in the hope of gaining selection.

The race will take place over 197 kilometres using two circuits, which reportedly contain many technical similarities to the Hamilton circuit. The start will be at 11:00 in Peccioli, before the riders head through to La Tabaccaia at 11:15 for a 19.3 km circuit around Bivio SP 26 S. Pietro Belvedere, Bivio SP 64 La Fila, Bivio SP 439 Sarzanese Valdera Capannoli, Selvatelle, Terricciola, Bivio Sarzanese Valdera Terricciola to be completed eight times. After the eighth lap, the race finishes on a 12.2 km circuit including La Tabaccaia, Bivio SP 26 S. Pietro Belvedere, Bivio SP 64 La Fila, Bivio di Peccioli via Gramsci, Peccioli - via Risorgimento, to be completed twice.

The organisers hope that Peccioli will be the venue for a future World Road Championship, and will announce its candidacy in a few days for the 2009 Road World's.

Recent past winners

2002 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick.Step
2001 Dmitri Konyshev (Rus) Fassa Bortolo    
2000 Andrei Tchmil (Bel) 
1999 Dmitri Konyshev (Rus) 
1998 Emmanuel Magnien (Fra)
1997 Andrea Tafi (Ita)
1996 Bjarne Riis (Den)
1995 Davide Cassani (Ita)
1994 Maurizio Fondriest (Ita)
1993 Claudio Chiappucci (Ita)
1992 Stefano Zanini (Ita)
1991 Franco Chioccioli (Ita)
1990 Moreno Argentin (Ita)

World's 2004 news

While the 2003 World's in Hamilton are getting closer, the organisers of the 2004 World's in Verona are also not being idle. On Wednesday, September 10, the UCI will inspect the time trial course in Bardolino, taking particular note of the start/finish areas. The organisers want to include the lungolago into the final part of the course, and hope to convince the UCI that this will be possible.

On Thursday and Friday, Verona and Lake Garda will host the screening of the official short film of the launch of the 2004 World's, which will be presented in Hamilton in October.

Jeff Hansen in car accident

Last night en route from Porto, Portugal, Canadian Jeff Hansen (Atlas Cold - Italpasta) was involved in a serious car accident along with his wife Sylvia and her family. The accident occurred at highway speed on some wet roads. Jeff sustained some heavy cuts and abrasions to his face and was sent to a plastic surgeon to repair the damage. Sylvia underwent some intestinal damage most likely due to the seatbelt and impact. Sylvia Hansen is still in hospital and will remain there for the week.

At this point Sylvia's mother seems to be in the most serious condition as her intestine was severed as well as her artery: she is in intensive care but the doctors are optimistic for a recovery. Sylvia's father Carlos is fine as is her brother Nelson, save for some cuts and bruises. Jeff's brother and teammate Matt might be heading to Portugal in the next few days and all emails of support can be sent to him at

Return of the Vandedrome

The Northampton Cycling Club has announced that the Vandedrome cycling track has arrived in the Pioneer Valley. The club acquired the Vandedrome, a portable 170-meter cycling track, from designer/owner John VandeVelde after months of negotiations. It made its way from Somerville, New Jersey to the Pioneer Valley via nine movers, six box trucks, and two flatbed tractor-trailers. The velodrome has been in storage for several years, so it will need a substantial amount of work before cyclists begin racing in the summer of 2004.

The club hopes that bringing the velodrome to Northampton will be the beginning of a revival of track racing in New England. In 1884, H.E. Drucker built a special bicycle track inside the Hampden Park trotting track in Springfield. This helped launch bicycle track racing, which became a popular spectator sport. During one three day meet in Springfield, all American and European track records were shattered before the eyes of 27,000 spectators.

The Vandedrome is a portable, 170 meter cycling track, with a wooden surface, steel infrastructure and 54 degree banking. The Vandedrome has been used in the 1998 Goodwill Games and has traveled to a dozen or so locations throughout the country. There are over twenty velodromes located throughout the United States, but this will be the first in New England in decades.

Anyone who is interested in participating in the formation of a velodrome committee, with the intention of rehabbing, locating and opening the velodrome, is invited to attend an introductory meeting on Monday, September 15th at 7:00 at Seelye Hall, Room 206 on the Smith College Campus. Call John Frey at 587-8915 or email for more info, or visit

Lehigh Valley Velodrome Food & Wine Festival

The Lehigh Valley Velodrome will be hosting its first ever non-cycling event, The Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival, on October 18, 2003 and 12:00 noon. The festivities encompass the best the Lehigh Valley has to offer in food and wine, with participating wineries including the Clover Hill Winery, Vynecrest Winery, Blue Mountain Vineyards, Cherry Valley Vineyards, and Franklin Hill Vineyards. To supplement the food and wine festivities, local jazz bands will perform at the event.

Half of each pre-event ticket sale will be donated to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Ticket pricing is $5 for adults (seven and older) and free for children six and under. Included with each admission will be a commemorative wine glass.

Time running out to join Vuelta Fantasy Game

There are just two more days left to join in the Cyclingnews Vuelta Fantasy Game, with registrations closing at midnight, European time after the end of Stage 5 on September 10. You must build and pay for your teams before stage 6 begins to be eligible for the prizes on offer. First prize in the game is a very nice Orbea Vertex bicycle, with supplementary prizes from fi'zi:k saddles and Rudy Project eyewear.

The Fantasy Vuelta follows the same rules as our Giro d'Italia and Tour de France games, where you select a team of 15 riders worth a maximum of 9,000 UCI points, from which you pick nine for each stage, the overall, points and mountains classifications. It's a great way to get involved in following the Vuelta stage by stage and you can increase your chances by adding more teams.

Join now at

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