News for August 11, 1998

Pantani stays at Mercatone Uno

Marco Pantani, the 28-year old Giro and Tour de France winner in 1998 has now signed an extended agreement with Mercatone Uno. It was extended for an additional 2 years until 2001. A counter offer from Mapei of $US1.8 million per annum was rejected. The Mercatone President Romani Cenni told the press: "All it took was a shake of the hands and we have agreed on a two year extension to his contract. I know that Marco will keep his word as he is an honorable man, just like me."

New Zealander fights for life

New Zealand Cycling hero Gary Anderson, hanging on to life after an horrendous crash, vows he will ride for New Zealand again at the 2000 Olympics.

The brave prediction was made last night by the Olympic pursuit bronze medallist as he lay in a critical but stable condition in a Pennsylvania hospital.

Anderson, one of New Zealand's big medal hopes at the Kuala Lumpar Commonwealth Games next month, punctured both lungs and smashed five ribs at the weekend in a race smash at an American track carnival.

According to Kiwi track coach, Ron Cheatley, Anderson lost his grip on his bars as he was about to sling his madison partner, and turned almost 90 degrees onto the infield crashing into the victory podium at race speed.

Cheatley believes the 30 year-old would have died if it had not been for the prompt action of the Allentown Veledrome medical team.

Anderson is New Zealand's most successful cyclist, winning eight Commonwealth Games medals between 1986 and 1990 and New Zealand's only Olympic track medal in 1992. But since then his career has been fraught with pain; he underwent heart surgery after collapsing during a race two years ago.

Netherlands, Roosendaal, Draai van de Kaai,

 1. Micheal Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank
 2. Marco Pantani (Ita) Mercatone Uno		0.10
 3. Bobby Julich (USA) Cofidis			0.10

Weekend Results from Europe and Elsewhere

Forst, Poland, European Stayers Championships

 1. Brand (Swi) gangmaker Aebi 		1.01.02
 2. Rol (Ned) Durst 			at 10 metres
 3. Kops (Ned) Fack			at 2 laps 
 4. Jörg (Swi) Buchmann			at 5 laps
 5. Klare (Ger) Gessler			at 6 laps

Netherlands, Afferden, Ronde van Noord-Limburg:

 1. Van Schalen (Bakel) 180 km in 4.48.10
 2. Stam (Koog a/d Zaan)
 3. Wopke Veenstra (Harkema) 0.10
 4. Bouten (Venlo)
 5. Van de Akker (Veldhoven) 0.25

Netherlands, Papendrecht:

 1. Edward Farenhout (Spijkenisse) 100 km in 2.17.10
 2. Bastiaanse (Hoogerheide)
 3. Zuijderwijk (Poeldijk)

Netherlands, Varik:


 1. Godert de Leeuw (Ermelo) 100 km in 2.18.47
 2. Van Pelt (Gerwen)
 3. Boelen (Drunen)


 1. Van Moorsel (Rotterdam) 70 km in 1.41.12
 2. Grimberg (Almelo)
 3. Mansveld (Gasselternijveen)

Netherlands, Zevenbergen:


 1. Bastiaanse (Hoogerheide) 100 km in 2.18.01
 2. Heeren (Sprundel)
 3. Bothof (Zwijndrecht)


 1. Mansveld 70 km in 1.40.14
 2. Van Moorsel
 3. Grimberg

USA, Sierra Nevada, World Cup Downhill:


 1. Vouilloz (Fra) 	     4.31.83
 2. Misser (Spa) 		5.48
 3. Sharples (Aus) 		5.88

Men's Standings:

 1. Vouilloz (Fra)		336 points
 2. Vazquez (Spa) 		325
 3. Gracia (Fra) 		281


 1. Chausson (Fra) 	     5.04.64
 2. Donovan (USA) 		0.93
 3. Streb (USA)			7.48

Women's Standings:

 1. Chausson (Fra)		250 points
 2. Giove (USA) 		201
 3. Donovan (USA)		153

Germany, Bochum, Spakassen-Giro, 128 kms:

 1. Jan Ullrich (Ger) Telekom-ARD  		     2.58.26
 2. Grischa Niermann (Ger) Die Continentale
 3. Roberto Lochowski (Ger) Bunte Berte Condor		0.29
 4. Marco Cannone (Ita)

Denmark, Charlottenlund, Ritter Classic, 110 kms:

 1. Marco Pantani (Ita) Mercatone Uno 		     2.54.41
 2. Tayeb Braikia (Den) Acceptcard Pro Cycling		0.09
 3. Michael Sandstod (Den) Team Chicky World
 4. Fabiano Fontanelli (Ita) Mercatone Uno
 5. Anders Kristensen (Den) ABC				s.t.

Axel Merckx to miss Worlds at Valkenburg

Form rider, Axel Merckx will not start in the World Championship in Valkenburg in October. After San Sebastian, he plans to only ride in Hamburg (August 16) and Switzerland (August 23). After these races he will ride some time trials and then end his season. He told the press that: "Without the Vuelta in your legs you won't be able to do anything in Valkenburg."

The Belgian national coach, Marc Sergeant, however, does not agree with Merckx and will try to get Axel to change his mind. In the coming week, Merckx (who lives in the tax haven of Monte Carlo) will make major decisions about his future. He has been offered the team leadership of Lotto and also Mapei is expected to make him an offer. He has said that the two offers are equivalent in financial terms. "My choice will be purely on sporting grounds", he said.

Drugs Scandal update

* Cantina Tollo and La Francaise des Jeux searched at the border: All the vehicles of the Cantina Tollo team, en route to Spain from Italy for the Clasica San Sebastian, were searched by French customs officials at the crossing from Italy into France at Ventimiglia on Friday. A half-hour search of the two team cars and the team's bus yielded nothing worth seizing. The previous Wednesday, La Francaise des Jeux vehicles were searched by French customs when they crossed into Germany for the Regio Tour. "To my knowledge," said deputy directeur spoertif Alain Gallopin, "nothing was seized."

* Police Protection for Casino: The Casino team in Spain for the Clasica San Sebastian were afforded a police guard overnight at their hotel in Lasarte. There were fears that the current state of tension between France and Spain following the drugs troubles in the Tour de France might lead to reprisals against the team.

* Peter Van Petegem Gets Subpoena: TVM rider Peter Van Petegem has been summoned to give evidence to a judge in Gent about the 1991 PDM affair. The Belgian rider was a member of the team when it was struck by a mysterious mass incapacity in that year's Tour de France. Festina team doctor Eric Ryckaert, currently remanded in Douai, France, as part of the investigation into Festina's use of drugs, was then PDM team doctor.

* Vuelta in France? As Yet Undecided: The organisers of next month's Vuelta a Espana are as yet undecided as to whether they will change the route of Stage 13 of the race (Sabinanigo--Sabinanigo) whose route goes 80km into France. Their fear is apparently not so much that the French police will halt the peloton and bother the riders as that they might make an aggressive search of team vehicles parked by the road, since one of the stage's feed zones is in French territory as the route stands at the moment.

* Rabobank Eschew Plouay: Dutch team Rabobank has told GP Ouest France organiser Jean-Yves Perron that it will not take part in the race on 30 August. The team fears that participation in the popular Cat 1.1 race at Plouay in Britanny might expose it to the possibility of poice harassment.

* Amongst the preliminary analysis of the products that were confiscated from TVM's team truck, the presence of forbidden products has now been confirmed.

* Alex Zulle has now said he will be riding in the Vuelta a España, which starts in Córdoba on San Sebastián, said he was now back on track. It was also stated that the Spanish owner of the Festina team, Miguel Rodríguez will continue with the team until the end of the season with the same group of riders. Zulle told the press: "Rodríguez pays me to compete and I want to completely concentrate in my job. I want to be the same that I was before. I have it in my mind to la Vuelta, even though it was not past of my plans at the start of the season".

* Cees Priem and Jaan Moors (soigneur) of the TVM team who were locked up in Reims during the Tour de France (on July 23 and August 2, respectively) have been freed on Monday evening. Their lawyer, Joost Van Mierlo announced this to the Dutch press agency, ANP.

He told the press: "It is a complete surprise, but a nice surprise."

The two men were met by members of their family but will not be able to return to the Netherlands immediately. They have been released on conditions that they do not leave French territory. They still have questions to answer.

Riis out of Tour of Denmark

Bjarne Riis will not ride the Tour of Denmark, which starts on Tuesday. He's still bothered by the thigh-injury he picked up just before the last time trial in the Tour de France. Jan Ullrich has also confirmed that he will not be riding the Tour.

No replacement is yet announced. US Postal with a great team in Denmark are by the way rated as the big favourites among the riders in the peloton.

Nicolas Jalabert feels no pain

Cofidis rider Nicolas Jalabert unknowingly rode most of the Tour de France with a fractured scaphoid (navicular -- a bone in the wrist). The extent of the injury -- which was sustained in the stage to Cholet on July 15 when he crashed with Fabrizio Guidi, Jan Kirsipuu and Mario Traversoni -- only became apparent after the Tour. Jalabert, who made a memorable (if brief) escape with big brother Laurent on the day of the first Tour riders' strike, was operated on in Mazamet hospital on 6 August after a new x-ray indicated the break. Jalabert has consequently terminated his season. "[A first] x-ray revealed nothing abnormal," said Jalabert. "I therefore continued in the race. I suffered in the mountain stages when it was necessary to pull hard on the handlebars. I thought I was suffering from tendinitis."