News for January 1, 1998

A Message from Spinergy Wheels

This is the official statement I received from Spinergy. Wade Summers who is the Spinergy representative sent me a long explanation of what was going on. I am able to pass this much onto you all.

"Spinergy is confident that the UCI will rule favorably on our wheels. We have submitted data to the UCI from our own testing, as well as an independent testing facility. Spinergy has proposed solutions to the concerns raised this season regarding our wheels. We will now wait until the January meeting of the Technical Committee to hear the UCI’s decision."

So stay tuned.

Amstel Gold Race 1998

World champion Laurent Brochard will start in Amstel Gold Race in April. He will ride nearly all pre season classics (with exception of Paris-Roubaix). He will be coming to Limburg with Richard Virenque and Alex Zulle. In addition to these riders from Festina, Telekom's Bjarne Riis and Jan Ullrich have also put the Amstel Gold Race in their schedule.

Interview with Alex Zulle

The lights of a Christmas tree flashing and the four aces have made themselves available to exchange ideas with us. Looking at the faces we see, Wladimir Belli on the left side of the sofa. In the center there us Alex Zülle, next to the other Swiss Bruno Boscardin and Gianluca Bortolami sitting on the arm of the sofa. The aces for Festina look at next year's Giro: which starts with a Prologue time trial at Nice on May 16th and finishes in Milano on June 7. Zülle, who is the leader of the four, will rediscover the Giro.

"It was in Italy when I raced which convinced me to become a professional. It was in Italy that I won my first race: at Palermo. It is logical that Italy is in my heart", explains Zülle. The Swiss' success in Palermo, on top of Monte Pellegrino, is easy to remember. But his debut in San Marino escaped most everyone.

"It was 1991", remembers Zülle. "The year when Team Frank-Toyo gave me the chance to ride as a professional, when I finished as an amateur in the Fall and I longed to prove myself as a professional. So that's when I entered the race at San Marino". Zulle is obviously speaking of the Coppa Placci. "I returned to San Marino the year after, with the Team ONCE: with a teammate taking the win, Johan Bruyneel", adds Zülle, who was under his service and doesn't remember that two Italians, Claudio Chiappucci and Davide Cassani weren't too courteous. At that Coppa Placci, both Italians had a quarrel with Bruyneel about the way the finish happened, but that is another story.

"I have chosen the Giro, because I like racing in Italy: because it was my first experience and my first win. But above all, I'm interested in the Pink Jersey: I don't see the Giro only as a preparation for the Tour, but rather to go for the win. I have conquered La Vuelta in the last two seasons. So now I will aim for the Giro because the cycling world doesn't live only for the... Tour. The National Tours like the ones for Italy and Spain are extremely important and I will aim for the Pink Jersey with determination", says Zulle in one breath, speaking a little bit in German, a bit in Spanish, a bit in French and a bit in Italian.

"This winter I have thought of nothing but the construction of my new home in Zuchenriet, in Switzerland, which is a beautiful house, although it is not like "Dallas" like the one for my new teammate Richard Virenque, which is all controlled electronically. But from now on, my butt will be on the bicycle and when we meet for our second team retreat, I should be going well. I will intensify my preparation so that I will arrive at the Giro prepared well. Starting at the Giro del Trentino, my teammates Belli & Bortolami will escort me in the discovery of the climbs of the Giro d'Italia that I don't know. But for now I will not think too much, I will face things at the proper time: a year ago when I was with ONCE, we stressed so much thinking about the Tour, we were already nauseous when we got there. And things didn't end up well", concluded Zülle.

On his way to the Giro, the Swiss will pedal on races like Mallorca, Puig, la Vuelta Valenciana, Paris-Nice, la Setmana Catalana, Pais Vasco, Fleche Wallone, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the Giro del Trentino and the Tour of Romandie: to Nice on May 16th, where we will see him in his attempt to conquer the Pink Jersey, to complete the trilogy of the jerseys, with the yellow of the Tour and the amarillo of la Vuelta.

Alex Zülle was born on July 5th, 1968 at Wil, on the Cantone di San Gallo, in Switzerland. He has been a professional since September 1991 and won his first race in Italy: Settimana Siciliana 1992, the stage of Monte Pellegrino. Zülle ahead of Colagè and Argentin. At the end of that season the Swiss went to ride with ONCE, where he won two Vueltas in a row (1996 & 1997), the Time Trial World Championships at Lugano 1996 and has worn the Yellow for six days. For 1998 Zülle, has left Laurent Jalabert and Once, to ride with Festina-Lotus directed by Bruno Roussel.

Pezzo meets with Lawyer

Olympian Paola Pezzo met yesterday with lawyer Agostino Guardamagna and with endocrinologist Guido Norbiato, who are preparing to answer on January 3rd, charges that Pezzo used nandrolone, a steroid.

Redline rider wins fifth USA Cyclo-cross Super Cup

Frank Stanley, USCF Communications Manager, sent this to me for release.

Dale Knapp (Redline) tightened his grip on the Cyclo-cross Super Cup title when he sped away from Bart Bowen (Saturn) and Marc Gullickson (GT) to win the fifth round of the series at Steilacoom, Wash., on Dec. 28.

Set on a hillside beneath the stark ruins of an urban rescue training site, Steilacoom's hard-packed, gravel course favored fast, powerful riders. Hampered only by three barrier dismounts and two daunting run ups per 3km lap, the senior men's event would be contested at a blistering pace.

Midway through the first lap, Jed Fox (Bontrager) broke away with Knapp and Brent Prenzlow (TCB-Steelman) to gain a narrow lead on Gullickson, Mark Hanson (Control Tech), Craig Undem (Redline) and Bowen. By the end of the lap, the trio had gained seven seconds on the chasers.

Bowen, the defending Cup champ, and Gullickson bridged up to the leaders on lap two, but Knapp upped the pace and attacked after the second run up.

"I thought to myself, 'This is too slow,'" said Knapp afterwards.

Knapp immediately opened up a 15-second lead on Bowen, who was feeling the effects of his earlier chase.

"I had a bad start, but got back up to the leaders," said Bowen, the 1997 CoreStates USPRO champion. "When Dale attacked, I still hadn't recovered, and he kept the pressure on."

Bowen kept his rhythm steady over the next few laps, but lost another 40 seconds in his pursuit of the leader. Behind him, Gullickson doggedly trailed, followed by a fading Fox.

"I tried to go out early, but I didn't have any staying power," said Fox. "It could have something to do with all that Christmas dinner."

"I was inspired," related Gullickson afterwards. "I thought I was going to catch him (Bowen), but he kind of rode away from me on the last few laps."

Knapp's lead on Bowen grew to 53 seconds at the finish, where he triumphantly raised his bike over his head as he charged across the line. Gullickson finished third, at 1:17, ahead of Fox, Prenzlow, and a late-charging Kevin Merrigan (Otis Guy-Weatherford BMW).

"I felt alright, better than I thought I would after a week of 'the evils,'" laughed Knapp. "I had the big traditional dinner with all the snacks, and hadn't ridden that much, so I'm happy!"

Knapp will continue training in January, focusing on wrapping up the Super Cup title and gaining form for the World Cyclo-cross Championships in February. He now leads the Super Cup by 28 points over Fox with two events remaining.

When asked about his performance at the Cyclo-cross National Championships, were the McCormack brothers escaped to win the title, Knapp shrugged.

"Next year, you'll see," he laughed, "I'm already working on it."

Small fields ruled the rest of the day, as Ann Grande (Redline) edged teammate Katie Blincoe in the senior women’s race, though Blincoe remains 12 points ahead in the Super Cup standings. Narayon Mahon (Redline) clinced the junior Cup title with his fifth straight win, while Tim Rutledge gave the team a fourth win, taking the masters men’s race to boost his Cup lead to 26 points. Adam Krause (Saturn-Redline) took the under-23 race.

The Cyclo-cross Super Cup continues Sunday, Dec. 4, with round six in Santa Cruz, Calif. The Cup concludes Saturday, Jan. 10 in Santa Clara, Calif.

In non-Super Cup competition, winners included Eric Pedeferri, beginners 11-17; Nicole Jain, beginning women; Mark Howlett, beginning men; Pat Bentson, cyclo-cross "B" men; and Mark Lambie, cyclo-ross "B" masters.


Senior Men

1. DALE KNAPP (REDLINE), Tacoma, Wash.; 2. Bart Bowen (Saturn), Albuquerque,
N.M.; 3. Marc Gullickson (Team GT), Durango, Colo.; 4. Jed Fox (Bontrager),
Ashland, Ore.; 5. Brent Prenzlow (TCB-Steelman), Carlsbad, Calif.; 6. Kevin
Merrigan (Otis Guy-Weatherford BMW), Castro Valley, Calif.; 7. Craig Undem
(Redline), Seattle, Wash.; 8. Mark Hanson (Control Tech), Kirkland, Wash.; 9.
Narayan Mahon (Redline), Tacoma, Wash.; 10. Jonathan Sundt (Redline),
Kirkland, Wash.

Cyclo-cross Super Cup Standings (after 5 of 7 events)

1. DALE KNAPP (REDLINE), Tacoma, Wash., 82 pts; 2. Fox, 54; 3. Gullickson, 46;
4. Frank McCormack (Saturn), Leicester, Mass., 40; 5. Bowen, 38.

Senior Women

1. ANN GRANDE (REDLINE), Seattle, Wash.; 2. Katie Blincoe (Redline), Mercer
Island, Wash.; 3. Donna Sisson (Blackmarket Scooby Snax), Santa Clara, Calif.

Cyclo-cross Super Cup Standings (after 5 of 7 events)

1. KATIE BLINCOE (REDLINE), Mercer Island, Wash., 86 pts; 2. Grande, 74; 3.
Kathy Sarvary (Merlin-SmartFuel), Woburn, Mass., 30; 4. Emily Thorne (ECVC),
S. Hamilton, Mass., 24; 5T. Sisson, 22; 5T. Cori Book (Freewheel Racing),
Cambridge, Minn., 22.

Under-23 Men

1. ADAM KRAUSE (SATURN-REDLINE), Seattle, Wash.; 2. Russell Cree (Central Or
Comm Coll), Bend, Ore.

Cyclo-cross Super Cup Standings (after 5 of 7 events)

1. SHAWN MCCORMACK (NECSA-RICHARD SACHS), Plymouth, Mass., 38 pts; 2. Chris
McDonald (Univ. of Massachusetts), Hampden, Mass., 34; 3T. Krause; 32; 3T.
Alex Grabau (Schwinn), Newton, Mass., 32; 5. Noah Elbers (NECSA-Richard
Sachs), Alstead, N.H., 30.

Junior Men

1. NARAYAN MAHON (REDLINE), Port Townsend, Wash.; 2. Erik Sperling (Seattle
Express), Bainbridge, Wash.

Cyclo-cross Super Cup Standings (after 5 of 7 events)

1. NARAYAN MAHON (REDLINE), Port Townsend, Wash., 100 pts; 2. Peter Lawler
(NECSA-Richard Sachs), New Ipswich, N.H., 32; 3. Sperling, 30; 4T. Elliot
Lander (ECVC), Beverly, Mass., 22; 4T. Joe Alachoyan (NECSA-Richard Sachs),
22; 4T. K.C. Kopper (Missing Links BC), Hingham, Mass., 22.

Masters Men

1. TIM RUTLEDGE (REDLINE), Seattle, Wash.; 2. Robert Meighan (Steelman-Fox),
Los Gatos Calif.; 3. David Hull (Old Town Cycles), Gig Harbor, Wash.; 4. Ted
Mittelstaedt (Saturn of Bellevue), Maple Valley, Wash.; 5. Glen Bunselmeyer
(CT Racing), Bellevue, Wash.; 6. Randy Iddings (unattached), Enumclaw, Wash.;
7. Darrel Vreugdenhil (Mainline Cycling Club), Hovertown, Pa.; 8. Dave Stanton
(Greggs), Seattle, Wash.

Cyclo-cross Super Cup Standings (after 5 of 7 events)

1. TIM RUTLEDGE (REDLINE), Seattle, Wash., 78 pts; 2. Robert Meighan
(Steelman-Fox), Los Gatos Calif., 52; 3. Ed Momm (Fat City Cycles), Kittery,
Maine, 40; 4. Paul Curley (World T.E.A.M.), Taunton, Mass., 32; 5. Michael
Barrett (Fat Dog Cycles), North Easton, Mass., 28.