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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest News for September 29, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Nozal changes his mentality

By Hernán Alvarez Macías

16 days in gold
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

Isidro Nozal (ONCE-Eroski) ended the Vuelta a Espańa in second place, after wearing the golden leader's jersey for 16 days out of the 21 in the race. "I thought I could win, it was a great disappointment," said Nozal in the press conference after the last stage. "I was very sorry for my teammates. It wasn't enough to be two minutes ahead after Navacerrada as we saw."

This is a new start in Nozal's career however. "This result changed my mentality as I will go to all the races with more confidence. But it won't change my position in my sporting team. If there's a rider who is stronger than me, I will support him, no doubt about it."

On Sunday, Nozal made a solo "attack" that surprised the US Postal-led peloton. "It was a joke somehow," grinned Nozal. "I thought, well, I'll try to pull because I saw the US Postal riders weren't going very fast."

Nozal won't have a good memories about Abantos, the climb where he suffered and ended up losing the leader's jersey. "Why I failed in Abantos? It was a mixture of many things: first my strength and also my head". He said he couldn't stand the pressure of having the golden jersey, but denied that the ejection of his team director and great supporter Manolo Sáiz was the reason for his slow climbing. "Not at all, Manolo has his job, I've got mine that is to ride and ride."

He will be one of the Spanish riders for the individual time trial, together with his friend and teammate Igor González de Galdeano of the World Championships in Hamilton (Canada) next month. Nozal commented that "I'm very good for the World's, I ended up the Vuelta in good condition. I have 12 days to recover. I have no doubts about my possibilities. I see myself with chances and willing to race and do the best I can for Spain."

Finally Nozal gave credit to the US Postal team, which never gave in. "My evaluation of the Vuelta is more than positive, more than excellent," said Nozal "We had a difficult rival (US Postal) that attacked us all the time and in the end beat us. I have to congratulate Heras because he beat my whole team."

The last Vuelta for two historic Spanish teams

By Hernán Alvarez Macías

iBanesto finish on top
Photo: © Unipublic
Click for larger image

The Vuelta a Espańa 2003 is now over and it was the last one for two historic Spanish teams: ONCE-Eroski and At the sign in for the last stage in Madrid, the riders of both teams exchanged jerseys as a symbol of fraternity between them. These two squads have been Spain's biggest and most important, and over the years have had the best Spanish riders in their ranks. Miguel Indurain, Pedro Delgado and Abraham Olano competed for Banesto (now, while Joseba Beloki, Melchor Mauri and Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano all rode for O.N.C.E., the Spanish blind society.

Eusebio Unzúe ( team director) and Manolo Sáiz (ONCE-Eroski) confirmed to Cyclingnews that the last race that the two squads will ride is the Giro di Lombardia at the end of this season. But the week that begins today will be crucial for the future of both teams. The manager José María Echávarri is discussing a sponsorship project with the regional government of the Baleares Isles. ONCE's future is not so clear after the famous argument Sáiz had with the TV motorcycle and the incredible collapse of Nozal from the leader's position in the last two days of the Vuelta.

For's full coverage of the Vuelta a Espańa, click here.

Italian team for World's

Bettini the top man
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

Italian selector Franco Ballerini has chosen his complete squad for the men's World Championship road race in Hamilton. Ballerini named 15 riders, 13 of which will race in Canada. The team will contain outgoing World Champion Mario Cipollini, and will feature Paolo Bettini, Danilo Di Luca and Francesco Casagrande as captains, along with several other good quality riders such as Luca Paolini, Ivan Basso, Daniele Nardello and Giovanni Lombardi. Notable absentees are Davide Rebellin and Michele Bartoli, who don't fit into Ballerini's plans for the World's.

Full roster

Road Race: Mario Cipollini, Mario Scirea and Giovanni Lombardi (Domina Vacanze), Paolo Bettini and Luca Paolini (Quick.Step-Davitamon), Danilo Di Luca and Fabio Sacchi (Saeco), Francesco Casagrande and Sergio Barbero (Lampre), Ivan Basso (Fassa Bortolo), Paolo Bossoni (Vini Caldirola), Luca Mazzanti (Panaria), Cristian Moreni and Andrea Noč (Alessio) and Daniele Nardello (Telekom).

Time Trial: Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo).

German Team for World Championships

The German Cycling Federation announced its full World Championships team on Monday. The men's team has a very strong Telekom/Gerolsteiner presence, with 12 of the 14 riders coming from these two teams. Included in the line up are Erik Zabel and Fabian Wegmann, who have both been riding well of late. Uwe Peschel and Michael Rich will ride the time trial.

The women's selection will be led by the in-form Judith Arndt (Nürnberger), with support from Hanka Kupfernagel, Petra Rossner, Tina Liebig, Teresa Senff and Regina Schleicher.

Elite Men: Rolf Aldag, Torsten Hiekmann, Matthias Kessler, Andreas Klier, Stephan Schreck, Christian Werner, Erik Zabel (Team Telekom), Bert Grabsch (Phonak Hearing Systems), Sebastian Lang, Uwe Peschel, Michael Rich, Ronny Scholz, Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner), Patrick Sinkewitz (Quick Step-Davitamon). Reserves: Sven Hardter (Gerolsteiner), Enrico Poitschke (Wiesenhof Leipzig), Torsten Rund, Raphael Schweda, Malte Urban (Bianchi), Steffen Wesemann (Team Telekom)

Elite Women: Judith Arndt, Hanka Kupfernagel, Petra Rossner, Trixi Worrack (Equipe Nürnberger), Tina Liebig, Teresa Senff (Euregio Egrensis), Regina Schleicher (US Chirio Forno D`Asolo), Reserves: Karen Bockel (Rona Esker), Angela Brodtka, Sarah Düster (Red Bull Frankfurt/Oder).

U23 Men: Marcus Burghardt (Team Wiesenhof Leipzig), Markus Fothen, Andreas Schillinger (TEAG Team Köstritzer), Heinrich Haussler (Lotusan Cottbus), Christian Knees (KED Radteam Berlin). Reserves: Elnathan Heizmann (Optik Delker), Michael Muck (Hofbräu Radler Stuttgart),

Junior Men: Mathias Belka (Cube Cottbus), Alexander Gottfried, Jan-Thomas Hessling (RG TV Attendorn), Nico Graf (DIW Instandh. Stuttgart), Tony Martin (Team Thüringen), Carlo Westphal (RG Sachsen-Anhalt). Reserves: Christian Kux (RG Schwalbe Sachsen), Christian Leben (RG LV Niedersachsen),

Junior Women: Lisa Brandau (Vita Classica), Sabine Fischer Bianca Knöpfle (Equipe Hamburg-Mannh), Claudia Häusler (Team Mapei Bayern). Reserve: Christine Heiny (Vita Classica Krozingen).

Ullrich says...he waited

The question has been analysed seemingly to death by our readers, but still it lives: "Did Ullrich wait for Lance Armstrong after he crashed on Luz Ardiden in stage 15 of the 2003 Tour de France?"

At the time it was thought that Ullrich, who was with Mayo and Armstrong when they crashed, did slow his pace sufficiently until Armstrong and Mayo rejoined, and that move was considered a very sporting gesture by the German, who was only a handful of seconds off the yellow jersey at that time. But not everyone agreed on what was meant by Ullrich "waiting". For example, why did Tyler Hamilton come up to the front group that had reformed around Ullrich to tell everyone to slow down?

By way of explanation, in a race, riders never stop unless they absolutely have to. "Waiting" is considered the same as slowing your pace sufficiently to allow other riders to rejoin without too much extra effort. It happens a lot in cycling: a lone attacker waits for a small breakaway group behind him in order to increase the break's chances of staying away and not waste energy; a rider who is in a breakaway slows to wait for a team leader on the last climb; the entire team drops back behind the peloton to wait for a team leader who has crashed or punctured; or the entire peloton waits for the current race leader who has suffered a mishap. There are no rules written that detail how slow you must ride to "wait", and in a dynamic situation such as the final of a critical Tour de France stage, it's even harder to define.

In his comments after the Tour (and now in his latest book), Lance Armstrong stated that Ullrich didn't wait after the crash, hence the move by Hamilton to come to the front and tell everyone to back off. However Jan Ullrich sees it differently, as he found himself alone in front after Armstrong and Mayo crashed.

"In the last few weeks I've been asked very often about Armstrong's new book," wrote Ullrich on his website. "I don't want to explain this further. The TV images, that I certainly still remember, speak for themselves. Lance, Mayo and I were alone for a while when both of them fell and I managed to avoid them with a lot of luck. Tyler Hamilton was too far back in order to be able to decisively interfere with the racing."

"I would like to emphasise here once more that I would act the same way again. In our tough sport, fairness has to be written in large letters."

Pfannberger to eD'system ZVVZ

Austrian rider Christian Pfannberger (Volksbank Ideal) has signed a contract with the Czech based division II team eD'system ZVVZ for 2004. Pfannberger broke his thighbone earlier this year but told Cyclingnews that he has fully recovered and hopes to have a successful 2004.

Caethoven to Vlaanderen-T Interim

Promising young Belgian cyclist Steven Caethoven, winner of 12 races this season, has signed a professional contract with the Vlaanderen-T Interim team. Caethoven is currently riding as a stagiaire for the team, and rode well in the Circuit Franco-Belge on the weekend. He will be third neo-professional to join the team after Frederick Veuchelen and Pieter Mertens. Mid-Atlantic Cyclo-Cross Championship Series

The 2003 Mid-Atlantic Cyclo-Cross Championship Series kicks off on Sunday, October 5 with Evo Cross, taking place at the Bucks County Horse Park in Revere, PA. A new venue, the course will include a mix of fast sections, off-camber areas, a run-up, gravel road and slow, energy-sapping sections. The park's varied terrain provides several spectator viewpoints, including the "top of the hill". Proceeds from the race will benefit the American Cancer Society.

As the first race of the series, Evo Cross is sure to include the regions top 'crossers. In the Elite Men's category, there will be Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW) who took top honours in the 2002 series. In MTB this season, Bishop won a gold medal at the Pan-Am games, a bronze medal at the Mount Snow NORBA National, a 12th place at the Grouse Mountain World Cup and a 22nd place finish at the World Championships and will the rider to watch. Riders looking to dethrone Bishop will include last year's runner-up Ryan Leech (Fort/GPOA) and the reigning Masters 40-44 National Champion Gunnar Shogren (Fort/GPOA). Leech and Shogren have become teammates, and the Fort/GPOA team will also include Greg Ferguson, the current New Jersey State Champion. Rounding out the team will be Colin Sandberg and Jared Babik.

Josie Shew (First State Velo Sport) will be looking to make it a hat trick in 2003 after winning the Elite Women's title in 2001 and 2002. Women looking to deny Shew her third consecutive title include Amber Itle (Wissahickon), the 2002 Pennsylvania State Champion, and the tough regional team Trek duo of Kristine Oesterling and Erin North. Snow Valley is expected to once again field a strong team led by Kristy Scheffenacker who just captured the number one ranking as the top category 2 criterium rider in the country. Megan Render, winner of the 2002 Women's B category and Sami Fournier will also return as part of Snow Valley's roster. Another team to watch will be Evolution Racing, always one of the top teams in the Elite Women's field.

If the competition in the Masters categories is anywhere near as fierce as it was last year it will be one of the highlights of each event. Defending champion Chris Long (IF) is expected to return as are top contenders; Mike Hebe (Monex/Atlantic Racing), Eric Schlauch (Somerset Wheelmen), Richard Mihills (First State Velo Sport) and Randy Root(Snow Valley).

Evo Cross starts with a free beginner's clinic at 9am. Racing starts at 10am with the Men's C and Women's B races. The Elite Women's race starts at 1pm and the Elite Men's race kicks off at 2pm. For race details or additional series details, please go to For race registration, go to

2003 Mid-Atlantic Cyclo-Cross Championship Series

Round 1 October 5 Evo Cross Revere PA
Round 2 October 11 Lancaster Lancaster PA
Round 3 October 25 Wooden Wheels (UCI) Granogue DE
Round 4 October 26 Prophecy Creek Cross (UCI) Blue Bell PA
Round 5 November 2 Beacon Cross Bridgeton NJ
Round 6 November 8 Saturn Classic (UCI) Camp Hill PA
Round 7 November 9 Rockville Bridge Marysville PA
Round 8 November 15 Highland Park (UCI) Highland Park NJ
Round 9 November 22 Raccoon Twp Cross Beaver County PA

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