Disciplinary Commission to meet on VandaeleThe Disciplinary Commission of the Flemish Councip will meet to hear professional rider Robbie Vandaele on January 27. Vandaele has to defend himself against not attending a required drug test after a kermesse race in Lede last year and faces a two year suspension.
Vandaele was near the finish of the race when a man approached him to take the test. Vandaele says that he did not know that he man was a doctor, whereas the man has said that he clearly identified himself.
Riis wants another Tour winBjarne Riis wants to repeat his 1996 Tour de France victory. The biggest threat to the Dane achieving his desire is within his own Telekom team - the German Jan Ullrich, winner of the 1997 Tour. "My chances this time are very good." said the 33-year old Riis on Tuesday in Palma de Mallorca where his season will begin.
For the rest of it, Riis sees no internal competition to be concerned with. "Who is the best rider and who is in the best form, will get the support of the team and that means the best helpers in the World."
Riis won the 1996 Tour by bettering the previously unapproachable standard set by Spaniard Miguel Indurain, who subsequently retired at the end of that season, "The success then was new. Now I know that I can do it." Last year, the introverted Dane took 7th place. On Tuesday he identified three factors which decreased his chances in 1997. "I made mistakes in my preparation. I failed to recover from the early season's efforts when I took a period of rest in May. Also during the Tour I had a virus. And on top of that Jan Ullrich was super strong."
Riis is of the opinion that Ullrich had a lot of luck. "Everything continues to go very fast for him. He has a great team and everyone is looking out for him. To get to this position I had to ride bikes for more than 10 years."
In May, I will have a vacation. Ullrich will ride at Mallorca and the Tour of Valencia, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo, the first race of the World Cup. If his form is good enough Ullrich will also compete in the Belgium spring classics. He will also take a vacation in May.
Telekom Team gets awardThe German Telekom Cycling Team has just received the highest sports award in Germany: "The Silver Bay Leaf" from the German Minister for Internal Affairs, Hartmut Kanther. After Jan received the "Athlete of the Year" now the Team received their well deserved honors.
Santa Clara, USA, Round 7 and Finals, Cyclo Cross Super Cup, January 10, 1998It took all seven events and three months of hard-fought racing to decide the overall champion of the senior menís Cyclo-cross Super Cup. Jed Foxís victory the week before the finals, in Santa Cruz, Calif., put him in position to challenge Dale Knappís hold on the Cup. Knapp (Redline) came into the finals with a mere eight-point lead over Fox, setting the stage for a battle between these two Ďcross racers.
The Hellyer Velodrome in San Jose, Calif., was an ideal site for the Super Cup Final. The 1.25-mile circuit utilized the park grounds surrounding the velodrome as well as the track itself. The course combined sections of pavement, open fields, numerous double barriers, and two run-ups. For the second time in as many weeks El Ninoís presence would be felt at the Super Cup as mud and rain-soaked fields would once again conspire to suck the speed and energy out of the racersí legs.
Seeing the crowdís approval as the Saturn and Redline team trucks rolled into the velodrome parking lot put an exclamation point on the caliber of the senior menís field. The 35-man senior race saw a strong field of local talent as well as such luminaries of the sport as Saturnís Bart Bowen, Frank McCormack and national champion Mark McCormack; Redlineís Knapp; Bontragerís Fox and GTís Marc Gullickson. With graying skies and a spitting rain the assembled peloton exploded off the start held on the pavement in front of the velodrome. They quickly accelerated toward a fast, loose right turn with Fox and the Saturn Team at the front of the pack.
Just as he did the week prior, Fox put the hammer down from the start. Almost immediately he began to move away from the six-man chase group of both McCormacks, Knapp, Bowen, Gullickson and Damon Kluck. By the first lapís completion he had built a 30-second lead over his nearest competitor.
"I was surprised at how strong I felt and how big an early gap I was able to get," said Fox." I got motivated after nationals and really wanted to redeem myself and come up with a couple of good races."
While Foxís form was never a factor in the outcome of this race, the deteriorating course conditions almost foiled his plans at wrestling the title from Knapp. Two hard crashes in one lap nearly sealed his fate. The worst of the two happened while he exited the velodrome and was heading back onto the grass.
"I was trying to play it nice and smooth and race smart," Fox said. "There was a gravel speed bump going onto the grass out there and somehow I was sitting down and I got caught and flew way over the bars. I was surprised I got back up. It took me a long time to get my chain back on -- I was stunned.
Ironically, as he came through to the front side of the course after losing valuable time to Team Saturn and Knapp, lightning would strike twice on a fairly benign looking downhill single track section which began to show its truly treacherous colors. Fox hit a dip half-way down the hill, lost control and hit the ground hard. In a weird twist of fate, Knapp couldnít use this bobble to his advantage as he crashed even harder a few seconds after Fox on the exact same section.
"I held my lead around the back side of the course and wiped out again on the next downhill, tweaked my bars again and got back on," said Fox. "As far as Iím concerned it was just a miracle I could get back on and keep going. There was so much goopey, slimy, deep stuff on this course that tactics wasnít so much a factor. I was just strong and had the technique to go."
These two crashes did allow Bowen and Frank McCormack to catch Fox and make an effort to reel the Ashland, Ore.-based rider in. They were no match for him on this day as he appeared from the woods all by himself and rode to victory and secured the overall Super Cup series by four points. Fox complimented the series and mused on the future of Ďcross racing in the U.S.
"The racing was great and the competitors were great. We had the first international-sanctioned race in Colorado this year with UCI points and I think itís really coming up. Hopefully it will continue next year. Itís such a great form of racing -- itís so exciting and is so good to watch."
As it turned out, Fox was the only rider to break Redlineís stranglehold on the Cup crowns.
The womenís event didnít have the same drama as Ann Grande (Redline) was racing pretty much against herself from the start but was no less impressive. The 11-woman field just could not maintain contact with the Seattle rider after the first lap. She went out fast and literally ran away from the pack, winning by almost four minutes. In a testament to both Team Redlineís racing program and Grandeís hard work, she was able to dominate this field with only one full season racing on a cyclo-cross bike.
"Because I donít do any road racing at all and I know some of these girls do, I knew I was going to have to go as hard as I could to be up there, because if they gapped me Iíd be in big trouble," said Grande. "Last week there were those big hills and eventually I knew people would get tired, but that wasnít going to happen here."
The juniors saw Port Townsend, Wash. native Narayan Mahon, also of Redline, make a clean sweep of all seven Super Cups with his victory in San Jose. He also competed in the senior menís race later that day sitting in 10th place at one point until he crashed out of the race.
"The first Super Cup was hard because I didnít now what to expect," Mahon said. "But the rest were pretty standard. The experience I got last year at worlds was great and I got great coaching from Dale Knapp all year long. Heís helped me out a lot. A faster course (like this one) suits me. I really liked this course. It was a really good course with good road sections, not too many barriers and running sections."
In other action, masters rider Larry Hibbard of Santa Cruz beat Redlineís Tim Rutledge of Seattle by a bike length in a sprint finish on the last turn of the velodrome, but Rutledge took the Super Cup title. In the under-23 category, it was a similar story as Will Bachar of Santa Cruz beat Adam Krause of Cincinnati, Ohio, for the second straight week, but Krause won the Cup crown.
Senior Men 1. JED FOX (BONTRAGER), Ashland, Ore., one hour, six mins, 37 secs; 2. Bart Bowen (Saturn), Albuquerque, N.M., @:58; 3. Frank McCormack (Saturn), Leicester, Mass., @1:29; 4. Mark McCormack (Saturn), North Easton, Mass., @2:48; 5. Dale Knapp (Redline), Tacoma, Wash., @3:22; 6. Damon Kluck (Bontrager), Santa Cruz, Calif., @3:36; 7. Marc Gullickson (GT), Durango, Colo., @3:54; 8. Justin Robinson (Bontrager), Santa Cruz, Calif., @6:37; 9. Brent Prenzlow (Steelman), Carlsbad, Calif., @7:31; 10. Kevin Merrigan (Otis Guy), Castro Valley, Calif., @9:29. Cyclo-cross Super Cup Standings (Final) 1. JED FOX (BONTRAGER), Ashland, Ore., 104 pts; 2. Knapp, 100; 3. Bowen, 83; 4. Gullickson, 74; 5. F. McCormack, 64; 6. M. McCormack, 49; 7. Prenzlow, 38; 8. Jonathan Page (GS Mengoni), Leicester, Mass., 34; 9. Merrigan, 33; 10. Peter Wedge (Kona), Fredricton, N.B., Canada, 22. Senior Women 1 ANN GRANDE (REDLINE), Seattle, Wash., 41 mins, 30 secs; 2. Jacki Sterner (Aegis), San Luis Obispo, @3:58; 3. Kathleen Lenno (Sports Center Bikes), Salinas, Calif., @ 4:17; 4. Donna Sisson (Blackmarket Scooby Snax), Santa Clara, Calif., @6:01; 5. Helene Drumm (Action-Tec), San Rafael, Calif., @ 6:13; 6. Linda Elgart (Alto Velo-Xerox), Sacramento, Calif., @9:10; 7. Gina Hall (Clif Bar), Oakland, Calif., @9:34; 8. Carol Breed (Alta Alpina), @10:29; 9. Kristi Hill (Breezer), Reedley, Calif, @11:21; 10. Brenna Wolford (East Palo Alto), E. Palo Alto, Calif., -1 lap. Cyclo-cross Super Cup Standings (Final) 1. ANN GRANDE (REDLINE), Seattle, Wash., 124 pts; 2. Katie Blincoe (Redline), Mercer Island, Wash., 86; 3. Sisson, 49; 4. Lenno, 42; 5. Sterner, 37; 6. Hall, 36; 7. Kathy Sarvary (Merlin-SmartFuel), Woburn, Mass., 30; 8. Emily Thorne (ECVC), S. Hamilton, Mass., 24; 9. Cori Book (Freewheel), Cambridge, Minn., 22; 10T. Alison Dunlap (Team GT), Colorado Springs, Colo., 20; 10T. Jennifer Dial (Alabama Wheelmen Velo), Northampton, Mass., 20. Under-23 Men 1. WILL BACHAR (MOUNTAIN TRACKS), Santa Cruz, Calif., 45 mins, 46 secs; 2. Adam Krause (Redline), Cincinnati, Ohio, @:34; 3. Jack Diemar (PowerBar), Bedminster, N.J., @6:25; 4. Matthew Davin (unattached), Santa Cruz, Calif., -2 laps. Cyclo-cross Super Cup Standings (Final) 1. ADAM KRAUSE (REDLINE), Cincinnati, Ohio, 77 pts; 2. Diemar, 56; 3. Bachar, 50; 4. Shawn McCormack (NECSA-Richard Sachs), Plymouth, Mass., 38; 5. Chris McDonald (Univ. of Massachusetts), Hampden, Mass., 34; 6. Alex Grabau (Schwinn), Newton, Mass., 32; 7. Noah Elbers (NECSA-Richard Sachs), Alstead, N.H., 30; 8. Russell Cree (Corvallis Racing), Bend, Ore., 28; 9. Davin, 21; 10. Jed Sheckler (Burrito Heaven), Olympia, Wash., 20. Junior Men 1. NARAYAN MAHON (REDLINE), Port Townsend, Wash., 35 mins, 55 secs; 2. James Lillard (Kaz), Redwood City, Calif., @3:10; 3. Cameron Falconer (BBC), Tiburon, Calif., @4:29; 4. Jackson Stewart (Summit Bikes), Los Gatos, Calif., @5:52; 5. Chris Johnson (Kelly), Belvedere, Calif., @ 7:03; 6. Roy Skinner (Cardio Sport), Los Gatos, Calif., @8:21; 7. Ryan Donovan (Kak Club), Los Gatos, Calif., -1 lap. Cyclo-cross Super Cup Standings (Final) 1. NARAYAN MAHON (REDLINE), Port Townsend, Wash., 130 pts; 2. Falconer, 42; 3. Stewart, 37; 4. Peter Lawler (NECSA-Richard Sachs), New Ipswich, N.H., 32; 5T. Johnson, 30; 5T. Erik Sperling (Seattle Express), Bainbridge, Wash., 30; 7. Lillard, 27; 8T. Elliot Lander (ECVC), Beverly, Mass., 22; 8T. Joe Alachoyan (NECSA-Richard Sachs), Millbury, Mass., 22; K.C. Kopper (Missing Links BC), Hingham, Mass., 22. Masters Men 1. LARRY HIBBARD (BONTRAGER), Aptos, Calif., 45 mins, 22 secs; 2. Tim Rutledge (Redline), Seattle, Wash., @:01; 3. John Senkier (Kestrel), Santa Cruz, Calif., @2:12; 4. Robert Meighan (Steelman), Los Gatos, Calif., @3:12; 5. Jim Gentes (unattached), Soquel, Calif., @4:09; 6. Davey Gralfan (Alta Alpina), Gardnerville, Nev., @5:10; 7. Dave Hull (unattached), Gig Harbor, Wash., @7:10; 8. Doug Hatfield (Team GT), Santa Cruz, Calif., @7:19; 9. Clarke McTaggart (Team Velocha), Hermosa Beach, Calif., @8:22; 10. Gerald Meyers (Team Hollywood), Glendale, Calif., @8:50. Cyclo-cross Super Cup Standings (Final) 1. TIM RUTLEDGE (REDLINE), Seattle, Wash., 105 pts; 2. Meighan, 91; 3. Hibbard, 50; 4. Ed Momm (Fat City Cycles), Kittery, Maine, 40; 5. Senkier, 38; 6. Hull, 36; 7T. Gentes, 32; 7T. Paul Curley (World TEAM), Taunton, Mass., 32; 9. Michael Barrett (Fat Dog Cycles), North Easton, Mass., 28; 10. Dan Norton (Redline), Seattle, Wash., 26.
Spanish Teams - the Final WordStefaan Degryse who runs the best teams pages on the WWW has sent me the final word on the Spanish team's questions.
To answer your questions about Jose-Maria Del Olmo or Txema Del Olmo. As far as I can see those are one and the same. The only real question here is what is his birthday. Frans Stoele says it is 06-03-75, but in the information I get out of the publication, Peloton Amateurs 1997 from Martin Pruimers it is 26-04-73. So I guess we have to wait for the UCI's official teams list for 1998, which will be released at the beginning of February.
Further, is true what Alasdair Fotheringham said, Txema is basque for Jose.
As Alasdair also stated Egio Aggiano biggest weapon is his sprint. I don't know very much about Ivan Cerioli except he rode some Six Day races in 1996.
And this is what I could find about Stefano Verziagi: born on 11-11-72 in Sacile, lives in Fontanafredda. Rode for De Nardi last season.
Germans take their bikes undergroundOn Saturday, the first underground cycling race was held in an old mine in the German village of Sonderhausen, and was won by Olaf Schau. 32 riders participated. They rode MTBs in the race over 21 kms through tunnels which were 800 metres underground. The race circuit was 5.2 kms long and had a rise of 200 metres.
Dust was a second handicap. Old mineworkers stood at the intersections of the tunnels and gave directions. Five riders stopped during the race. Olaf Schau was the fastest in the time of 59.26.
The organisers claimed that this was the first underground cycling race and claimed a place in th Guinness Book of Records. Sonderhausen will hold more underground events in the closed coal mine in the future. There are plans to have a bowling and canoe competition in the underground area.
Egmond, Netherlands, MTB Beach Race, January 10, 1998
1. Weevers (Zelhem) 1.16.26 2. Tolhoek (Yerseke) 3.15 3. De Jongh (Groot Schermer) 3.24 4. Barel (Veenendaal) 3.50 5. Van de Meulenhof (Helmond) 3.55
Sutton Coldfield park, UK National Cyclo-Cross ChampionshipsThe Championships were held in the Sutton Coldfield park as is usual. It is in central UK and near to Birmingham. The race was held over 18 kms.
1. Nick Craig (Diamond Back) 58.05 2. Barrie Clarke (Raleigh) 0.37 3. Steve Knight (Peugeot) 0.55 4. Colin Sturgeon (Raleigh) 2.06 5. Stuart Blunt (Ace RT) 3.08 6. Martin Seddon (Ace RT) 3.23
Neil Storey, our English source, writes that the course is very good and is a mix of fast grass, technical bits, undulating heathland and so forth. Sadly, the water splashes of yore have all gone. With the recent rain, storms and so forth in the UK, it would have cut up very badly and been something of a real slog in parts, especially through the two quarry areas, one of which includes a nasty, toe-biting climb or crawl dependant on fitness levels.
Interestingly, its the same top three as last year when Knight was the moral victor with a storming and crowd pleasing ride especially over the last three laps and no top six for either Roger Hammond (Palmans) or David Baker both previous champions. Hammond, of course, was World junior champ not so long ago (Worlds at Leeds) and starts his new season as a full pro with Palmans (alongside Scott Sunderland).
More National Championship Cyclo Cross Results
Spain: 1. Pla 55.07 2. Pereiro 0.19 (U-23 Champion) 3. Sandero 0.57 4. Seco 1.37 5. Yus 1.51 Netherlands: Elite: 1. Richard Groenendaal (Sint-Michielsgestel) 59.27 2. Adri Van der Poel (Kapellen) 1.15 3. Wim De Vos (Oosterhout) 1.44 4. Bart Brentjens (Schaijk) 2.52 5. Erik Boezewinkel (Hooglanderveen) 6. Gretinus Gommers (Kollumerzwaag) 3.13 7. De Knegt (Tilburg) 3.25 8. Wilfred Veldkamp (Kamerik) 4.14 9. Van der Ven (Schijndel) 5.25 10. Coehorst (Tilburg) Neo-amateurs: 1. Nijland (Hengelo) 2. Schmitz (Gaanderen) 3. Lubberman (Hoogeveen) 4. Van Bussel (Ommel) 5. Van Gils (Schijndel) Women: 1. Van den Brand (Zeeland) 2. Ravenstijn (Wijchen) 3. Velthuis (Wageningen) 4. Leijten (Udenhout) 5. Jansen (Geldermalsen) Junior: 1. Verhagen (Erp) 2. De Jong (Deil) 3. Van den Brand (Zeeland) 4. Bunning (Geldermalsen) 5. Mutsaars (Schijndel) Luxemburg: 1. Triebel 1.04.21 2. Fogen 0.14 3. Poos 3.22 Switzerland: 1. Beat Wabel 2. Dieter Runkel 0.50 3. Thomas Frischknecht
Employment for BreukinkThe Rabobank cycling team has asked Erik Breukink to become the Public Relations manager. The former rider, who last year retired from competition, is happy with the function.
"It will be a privilege to be of service to this great team. It is to my liking. But I must first talk it over to clarify the role that I will play and what is expected of me." Breukink said.