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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

News for May 1, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

41st Rund um den Henninger Turm

The traditional May Day classic, Rund um den Henninger Turm takes place this year for the 41st time. Held in Frankfurt, Germany, the race is 206 kilometres and is classified as 1.1 by the UCI. The parcours is fairly selective, starting with a 76 kilometre loop containing the 800m+ climb of the Feldberg, followed by three 33 km laps with two steepish climbs per lap. The last 30 km is flat, with the finish in Frankfurt.

The race has featured once as part of the World Cup, when it happened to fall on a Sunday. However, the organisers prefer to keep it on the May 1 holiday rather than fit in with the UCI's schedule. In addition, there is the HEW Cyclassics in Hamburg in August which serves as the German round of the World Cup.

Being a German race, the magenta-clad riders of the Telekom team are expected to do well. They will start (in the absence of Jan Ullrich) with their top one day riders Erik Zabel and Steffen Wesemann, with 2000 winner Kai Hundertmarck also motivated to do well here. Last year, Telekom were surprised when Marcus Zberg (Rabobank) and Davide Rebellin (Liquigas) attacked the break (which had four Telekoms in it) with 65 kilometres to go, with Zberg beating Rebellin home. They will try to avenge that this year.

Marcus Zberg will not be back to defend his title, as he is racing in the Tour de Romandie this week. His presence will be missed by Rabobank, who have Grischa Niermann, Coen Boerman and Steven de Jongh to carry the flag.

Mapei-Quick Step will take Oscar Freire and Stefano Zanini as their sprinters, should the race end that way. Lotto's sprinter Robbie McEwen will also be there, and he is capable of getting over the climbs with the leaders to use his fast finish to his advantage.

Last but not least is the winner of the Amstel Gold Race, Michele Bartoli, who will front up with his Fassa Bortolo teammates including Serguei Ivanov and Alessandro Petacchi.

The 41st Rund um den Henninger Turm starts at 11:00 local time in Darmstädter Landstraße, finishing in the same location at approximately 16:11.

28th Trophée des Grimpeurs

Taking place on May 1 in the Parisian suburbs of Argenteuil and Sannois (Val d'Oise) is the 28th edition of the Trophée des Grimpeurs, also called "Polymultipliée". It's the ninth round of the Coupe de France, which is currently led by Franck Bouyer (Bonjour) after his win in Sunday's Tour de Vendee. Bouyer's teammate Didier Rous won the Trophée des Grimpeurs in 2001, and is a favourite to do so again tomorrow.

As the name suggests, it is a hilly race, held over 16 laps of an 8.3 kilometre circuit. The main obstacle is the Côte de l'Ermitage, a 300 metre ramp averaging 13 percent, that usually sees the winning move.

Twelve teams will start, due to a large number of other races either in progress or taking place on May 1. Cofidis (Tombak), Credit Agricole (Moreau), La Française des Jeux (Casar), Ag2r (Agnolutto, Botcharov) are some of the principal French teams which will take part.

There is also a 62.4 kilometre women's race, which serves as the second round of the women's Coupe de France. In the absence of last year's winner Jeannie Longo, it could be quite an open race, with Juliette Vandekerkhove and Virginie Moinard the favourites.

Cyclingnews will have full coverage of the race.

Too high a hematocrit for Volodimir Gustov

Ukrainian cyclist Volodimir Gustov (Fassa Bortolo) was prevented from starting the Tour de Romandie after being measured by the UCI with a hematocrit greater than 50%. Gustov was given a mandatory 15 day suspension by the UCI, but he and his team believe that he is innocent of any wrong doing.

Fassa Bortolo issued a press release supporting its rider: "Since we believe that the values measured today are absolutely physiological and cannot be ascribed to the use of illegal substances, we have asked the UCI to keep back our athlete in Lausanne today and for all the time needed in order to assess that the measured values are natural and physiological."

"On the basis of all hematocrit and haemoglobin values of the previous hematological and chemical tests, that the athlete has undergone as professional rider, the UCI has accepted our proposal. Starting from tomorrow our rider will undergo daily blood and urine tests in the laboratory of Lausanne."

"We will inform you in this matter through a new official press release, as soon as we know the results."

Tchmil and De Clercq back in Picardie

Andrei Tchmil has put back his return to racing until May 17, when he plans to do the Tour de Picardie. Tchmil originally wanted to ride in the Four Days of Dunkirk (May 8-12) but his broken fingers have still not sufficiently healed for him to do so.

Tchmil's Lotto-Adecco teammate Hans De Clercq will also return in the Tour de Picardie, after breaking his wrist in Paris-Roubaix. Finally, Lotto's Nico Eeckhout will come back in the Ronde van België from May 22-26, after he was injured in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen.

Wadecki has to wait another week

Polish rider Piotr Wadecki (Domo-Farm Frites) will undergo an examination next Wednesday, May 8 at a hospital in Leuven, Belgium. Wadecki broke his wrist and fractured his skull in a bad accident during Tirreno-Adriatico in March, and has only recently started riding. If doctors say he is OK next week, then he can start training hard and racing again.

Vandenbroucke's lawyers protest

The lawyers of Frank Vandenbroucke, who was suspended for six months by the Belgian Cycling Federation (BWB) after being found in possession of banned substances, have protested against the recent decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport not to lift his suspension.

They referred to the 1997 case involving Belgian cyclo-crosser Danny De Bie, who did not show up in the required time for a doping control at a cyclocross race in Kalmthout. The BWB passed the case to the Disciplinary Commission for the Flemish Community, "because they alone were qualified to rule on doping cases in Flanders."

"The BWB said that they were unqualified. Therefore they must abide by their own rules in the Vandenbroucke case," said his lawyers.

Bonjour to be taken over by Super U?

After three years of sponsorship, team Bonjour will no longer exist at the end of 2003. The contract will come to a close this year and the team of Jean-René Bernaudeau will have to seek a new sponsor. One may have already been found, according to Reuters, which reports that supermarket chain Super U is ready to fill the gap. Super U last sponsored a pro team 15 years ago, when it was then known as Système U. The team was directed by Cyrille Guimard, Bernard Quilfen and Alain Gallopin, and featured Laurent Fignon as its star rider.